New Fuels Smell Like Chicken, Taste Like Beer

Now here's some fuel for thought.

Swedish conglomerate Umea Energi plans to burn dead chickens to generate electricity, United Press International reports.

The company approached the nation's egg farmers with the proposal, which calls for the roasting of up to 9,000 chicken carcasses along with other flammable waste products each year. A company spokesman called the chickens "just the right size" for the operation.

Meanwhile, Swedish engineers have figured out a way to transform alcohol confiscated by customs officials into something better than a hangover.

They're turning that booze into, you guessed it, fuel — biogas to be exact.

"Because of its high energy content, alcohol is fantastic for the production of biogas," Samar Nath, a spokesman for Svensk Biogas, told the Local.

Customs officials mix the confiscated alcohol together and add water till the alcohol content reaches about 10 percent, the paper said. It's then transferred to a biogas facility where it's converted into fuel for a fleet of 64 buses that service the city center of Linköping.

'Ghengis John' Comes Out of Retirement With a Bang

GENOA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A 44-year-old daredevil brought his "Human Firecracker" act out of retirement to help encourage donations of mobile phones and calling cards for U.S. military personnel.

John Fletcher, of Pinckney — known to his fans as "Ghengis John" — strapped on a specially designed coat of about 13,500 firecrackers on Saturday and set it off to draw attention to the Cell Phones for Soldiers drive.

"I'm going to have some bruises," he told the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus after the show in front of Liberty Tax Service, where he is a part-time employee. "I'm going to take a couple Tylenol for that."

Fletcher's last show was in October 2005.

The phone drive had amassed 200 phones as of the show, and Brad Gies, owner of Liberty Tax Service, hopes to collect more than 700. About 100 people showed up at the event, including many of Fletcher's friends.

"Hopefully, we're making a few families happy," Gies said.

Must Have Had Something to Do With a Previous Life

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Buddhist monks bound by faith in nonviolence are grappling with how to rid a Malaysian temple of a severe ant infestation without killing the insects, a temple devotee said Monday.

Stinging red ants have plagued the Hong Hock See Temple in northern Penang state for a year, causing one worshipper to be bitten so badly last month that he had to receive hospital treatment, said Elma Lin, a temple volunteer worker.

A temple disciple tried using a vacuum cleaner to gather up the ants before freeing them in a nearby forest, but the method failed to purge the insects, Lin said.

"We haven't found a solution so far," Lin said. "Nothing has worked."

The temple's chief monk, Boon Keng, was quoted as saying by The Star newspaper the monks had to "respect other living things" in the temple.

"When an ant drops on you, you must not flick it away or blow on it," he told the newspaper. "If you do, it will bite to hold on. You just have to shake it off."

The newspaper published a photograph of Boon Keng standing beside a sign at the temple that read, "Beware poisonous ants. Do not sit under the tree."

The decades-old temple has more than 10 monks living there and hundreds of devotees, Lin said.

I Got Chills and They're Multiplying

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — A man was arrested on charges of indecent exposure after authorities said he allegedly broke into a woman's home in California and fell asleep naked on her couch.

The woman called police early Saturday morning after waking up to find Michael Bonnie, 36, on her couch covered by a blanket, Costa Mesa Police Sgt. Matt Grimmold said. The two did not appear to know each other, Grimmold said.

Bonnie was also arrested on a charge of suspicion of residential burglary, and was held on $250,000 bail, The Orange County Register reported Sunday.

Stepping On McGruff's Toes

FALL RIVER, Wis. (AP) — See Kayla sit. Sit, Kayla, sit.

Tom Pawlisch, a third-grade teacher at Fall River School, is trying to encourage reading by having his students read to his pet Kayla, the school's official literacy dog.

The Chesapeake Bay retriever listens to the students, which encourages them to read expressively, said Irene Pawlisch, Kayla's co-owner.

"The dog doesn't judge if the kids make a mistake, so the kids relax," Irene said. "They sit down and read and get to play with her afterward. They relax a little bit. ... It's about getting kids excited about reading."

The after-school reading lessons also help with the 8-year-old Kayla's obedience training, Irene said.

Superintendent Heidi Schmidt and the school board approved the idea of making Kayla an informal part of the school's faculty.

Irene Pawlisch said parents and kids have responded well to the program.

"Dog literacy programs work because, as studies show, blood pressure lowers and anxieties are lessened in the presence of animals," she said.

Fall River is about 30 miles northeast of Madison in southern Wisconsin.

Compiled by's Sara Bonisteel.

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