Tree House Living Isn't Just for Your Little Brother Anymore

Bad: You need a place to live in New York.

Really Bad: You aren't exactly hemorrhaging money.

Scary Bad: You’re willing to live in a tree house.

New York sculptor Adam Doherty found out just how willing city-dwellers are to go out on a limb for a place to hang out when he put his backyard tree house up for rent on the Internet as a joke — but instead found himself at the center of a bird-brained bidding war, the New York Daily News reports.

"I thought people would immediately take this as a joke, that it would get flagged," said Dougherty, 29. "But the sincerity of some of these people!"

Since Saturday, Doherty’s had more than 30 prospective Swiss family Robinsons e-mail him with interest in his lofty rental.

"I can't blame 'em," he said. "I mean, $150 for a place to stay in New York? That sounds like a dream."

One of interested parties — assuming there would be no running water in a tree — even asked if he could shower over at Doherty’s place.

But President David Maundrell said that as real estate prices continue to skyrocket, alternative (if you will) living arrangements aren’t bad ideas for many money-minded shelter-seekers.

"It's summer so you don't need to be inside. There's no utilities to worry about, and since its high up it's like a penthouse," Maundrell said. "That's not bad at all."

It’s like they say … if you can make it New York … you might just be crazy.

Giant Salmon Statues Are Like Kryptonite to Vandals

What’s the best way to catch a vandal red-handed?

Bait them with a giant salmon statue dressed up as a cop, of course … at least that’s how they do it in Anchorage.

The annual Wild Salmon on Parade art display, a collection of king salmon-sized sculpted fish donated by artists and placed around town, has long been a target of Alaskan art-haters and mischief-makers alike.

But this year cops decided to take matters into their own hands with a gumshoe decoy called “COPper Salmon”, the Anchorage Daily News reports. Handy Sgt. Roy LeBlanc, who admits he’s no Michelangelo, originally wanted to make a fish out of confiscated marijuana pipes and call him “Smoked Salmon,” but says he ran out of time.

Instead he carefully crafted “COPper Salmon,” a uniform-sporting fish with a hidden camera inside, to blend in with other legitimate art pieces and catch vandals in the act.

And it didn’t take long for the baited to bite.

Within hours of setting his trap, the camera taped a 15-year-old girl and a couple of friends making off with “COPper Salmon’s” nightstick and cuffs.

Cops, who undoubtedly sensed something fishy going on, quickly tracked her down and charged her with criminal mischief and theft.

Thanks to Out There reader Jason A.

I'm Gonna Go With ... Um ... No

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Can concrete float?

Twenty-three student teams from around the country are competing in a concrete canoe competition to find out. Staying afloat has a lot at stake — there's even a national champion.

The 19th annual competition is organized by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The teams competing for the championship put their boats through aesthetic, presentation and swamping tests on Thursday, with technical presentations on Friday and, finally, a series of races Saturday on Boomer Lake in Stillwater.

Teams came from coast to coast and from Canada to the Gulf.

Mike Carnivale, chairman of the national competition committee, said designing, building and floating these concrete canoes pushed students to learn in a way they might not elsewhere.

"They learn about concrete, design, project management, the works," Carnivale said.

Matt Kinney, leaning against The Arrrgregate, a boat adorned with skulls-and-crossbones, said his team couldn't begin to calculate the hours that went into designing their boat. Just getting it from the University of Maine to the competition took 37 hours on the road.

"Our goal was to get here," Kinney said.

Almost every team expressed a desire to win the national championship, and each touted different virtues of its canoe.

Roy Berryman said the University of Alabama-Huntsville team saw technology as its edge. Unlike the rigid design of most boats, the Huntsville, Ala., team constructed a sleek, black canoe that flexes in the water.

"We want to win nationals," Berryman said.

"Yeah," added Jordan Farina, another team member, "we're going to Disneyland."

Here's to You, Mr. UnnecessaryBombSquadGuy

TOKYO (AP) — Police discovered a suspicious package at a police station in southern Japan, prompting them to evacuate the surrounding area and dispatch a bomb disposal team — which used its expertise to identify the parcel as a box filled with cans of beer.

The mysterious package was found at a station in Iizuka city in Fukuoka prefecture (state), prefectural police spokesman Yoichi Oyama said.

Police became alarmed around 1:50 p.m. when they noticed a suspicious box wrapped in newspaper that had been left inside a local police station. There was no indication that the package had been delivered in the mail, Oyama said.

Five families who live near station were evacuated, and roads in the area were also closed, Oyama said.

The bomb disposal team gingerly opened the box and found cans of beer inside, said Kazuo Hirashima, another police spokesman.

The box contained no explosives, he said, adding that the police immediately lifted the evacuation order and reopened the roads. Before sending in the bomb squad, Oyama said there was a possibility that the parcel may be a gift for the police officers.

"That's probably what happened," Hirashima said.

Compiled by's Taylor Timmins.

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