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'Heartbreak Hotel' Fires Male Staff

There’s no room at the inn — for randy male employees, that is.

A small hotel in Istanbul, Turkey, has fired its entire male personnel after repeated flings with foreign female tourists.

The manager of the hotel, which serves mostly British and Russian visitors, said the final straw was when she saw her bartender walk out of a bathroom with a British tourist. It’s a problem that repeats every year, she said.

Read more: Reuters


Shovel Symphony?

A Japanese musician is gaining popularity with his peculiar instrument — a shovel.

Joe Masao, 66, of Shiroishi, discovered the instrument, called a “spade samisen” (a shovel that looks like a Japanese stringed instrument) during his days as an assistant steam locomotive engineer. What started with a coal shovel when Masao was in his 20s has developed into appearances at spade samisen competitions.

Masao spends about three to four hours a day practicing, and hopes to take part in a type of shovel orchestra with 20 to 30 others.

Read more: Mainichi Daily News


A Fowl Plot in New York

A New York City neighborhood turned into an urban chicken coop this week after several chickens and a large white turkey mysteriously popped up.

A nearby note read, “I removed them from the chicken market and they are sickly and unfit to eat. Please provide them with food and water if you think they need it.”

The note was traced back to a 38-year-old man, who denied releasing the chickens in Harlem but applauded the rescue efforts. Unemployed and living with family and friends, he admits to picking up castoff food from supermarkets and feeding it to the displaced birds.

“We’re all struggling through these hard times, and the chickens are struggling to survive, too,” LaForte said. “They find freedom on the city streets, and once they find freedom, they can eat and survive, rather than be put in a pen or slaughtered and eaten. I’m a struggler, and I try to help others struggling.”

Read more: The New York Times


Three-Ply Power

If two-ply toilet paper is good, then three-ply tissue must be better. At least that's what toilet-paper researchers in northeastern Wisconsin hope.

Yes, there is such a thing as a toilet-paper researcher. And a team of them at Georgia Pacific's Innovation Institute in Neenah has come up with a three-ply version of its Quilted Northern product.

The new product will be launched Monday. The company touts the toilet tissue as "ultra-soft" and says it plans to market the product to women 45 and older who view their bathroom as a "sanctuary for quality time."

Industry analyst Bill Schmitz is skeptical. He said extra layers make toilet paper stronger, not softer, although he said Georgia Pacific may have added extra fibers for softness. (AP)


Umm .. That's Not a Cat

A Pennsylvania cat lover got a smelly surpise this week when a neighbor's cat turned out to be a frightened skunk.

Not only did the skunk spray the woman, but it ran into her Mount Carmel home.

It took about several hours for emergency services officials to get the putrid pest out of the house.

Read more: WKOK


Non-Floppy Emergency

Your rabbit's ears aren't floppy? Sorry, that's not an emergency. So said police in Scotland when a woman rang the emergency 999 number to discuss her concerns about her new pet. She said the newspaper ad promised floppy ears, but flop they would not.

Central Scotland Police said Monday they were equally unimpressed by another caller who complained that a passing car had splashed water on him, and by someone else inquiring about the postal code for a town's post office.

"Whilst officers and staff are dealing with these frivolous matters that a member of the public has deemed so serious as to call 999, they are not dealing with genuine emergency calls," said Chief Inspector Alan Stewart. (AP)


Candy Shop Drug Front Gets Not-So-Sweet Surprise

A German candy store has been closed down after Berlin police found its sweets were laced with hallucinogenic mushrooms and marijuana, Reuters reported.

"In the shop we found 120 pieces of magic mushroom chocolate and countless cannabis lollipops," police officers told Reuters.

All told, police found 70 small bags of various drugs, 20 marijuana joints and jars of drug-laced honey in the shop, which is located in a trendy east Berlin neighborhood.

The 23-year-old owner of the shop has been taken into custody on suspicion of drug-dealing, and a customer was also arrested after trying to buy a bag of hallucinogenic mushrooms from a police officer, Reuters reported.

Source: Reuters


Attack Victim Says Shark Was Picky Eater

A surfer who put his fingers into the mouth of a shark to pry himself free during an attack believes the fish took no further interest in him because it didn't like the taste of his leg.

Todd Murashige, 40, spoke with reporters at The Queen's Medical Center on Thursday, two days after he was attacked in waters off Oahu.

Murashige said he was sitting on his board relaxing and didn't see the shark before it bit him on his right thigh.

"I didn't see it at all. It just seemed so surreal, like it wasn't real, just head of a shark right there in my lap," he said.

"I stuck my fingers into his mouth to try to pry him off, but I didn't feel any teeth. I think I was grabbing onto his gums or the lip part," he said.

Murashige said the shark didn't pursue him, and thinks it was a test bite, "because he never came back to me, and really aggressively never really bit me and shook me. He just took a test bite and it wasn't too good tasting."

After freeing himself, Murashige managed to get back to shore on his board, which was missing a piece from the bite, by paddling and catching a wave. He also had the help of a fellow surfer.

Once on solid ground, a towel was used to tie off the wounded thigh and a call was placed to 911.

"While I was lying on the shore, I thought I was going to black out," Murashige said. "I told myself if I black out, I'm going to die. That's what I really felt in my gut, so I called my wife and I called my mom."

Since he didn't see the shark's body, Murashige said he didn't know what kind it was or how big it was. But based on the size of its head — Murashige raised his hands about the width of his shoulders — he suspects it was a tiger shark.

Dr. Kevin Christensen said Murashige lost a lot of blood, with the wound going almost all around the thigh, but there were no broken bones and his prognosis is good.

"I anticipate he'll walk again," Christensen said. (AP)


Cyclist OK After Crash With Bear

He may have been going green by riding his bicycle to work, but a Montana middle school teacher is pretty black and blue after he struck a massive bear.

Jim Litz said he was traveling about 25 mph Monday morning when he came upon a rise and spotted a black bear about 10 feet in front of him. He didn't have time to stop and T-boned the bruin.

He tumbled over the handlebars, his helmet hit the bear's back and the two went cartwheeling down the road.

The 300-pound bear rolled over Litz's head, cracking his helmet, and scratched his back before scampering up a hill above the road.

Litz's wife drove by shortly after the crash and took her husband to the hospital. He hoped to be able to return to teaching science at Target Range Middle School by Friday. (AP)


Compiled by FOXNews.com's Tom Durante and Lana Boone.


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