Parrot Tells Owner: Your Gal's Cheating

Quick, stuff that dumb bird's mouth with crackers!

A blabbermouth parrot named Ziggy squawked "I love you, Gary" — spilling the beans to his owner on his girlfriend's affair, according to the BBC.

According to reports in the British media, Suzy Collins had been shacking up with a former co-worker, "Gary," for about four months in the Leeds flat she shared with boyfriend Chris Taylor.

After Ziggy chirped "Hiya Gary" one time when Collins answered her cell phone, Taylor reportedly started suspecting something was up.

Whenever the TV sounded out the name Gary, the blabbermouth bird apparently made little "smoochy" sounds.

The 30-year-old computer programmer confronted Collins, whom he'd lived with for a year, and she confessed to the affair under pressure and moved out, according to several different newspaper reports.

Sadly, after the 8-year-old African Grey parrot kept on calling out Gary's name — along with different embarrassing phrases in Collins' lilting 25-year-old voice — Taylor was forced to get rid of the stool pigeon.

"I wasn't sorry to see the back of Suzy after what she did, but it really broke my heart to let Ziggy go," Taylor told the BBC.

"I love him to bits and I really miss having him around, but it was torture hearing him repeat that name over and over again," he said.

Collins said she's embarrassed by the bird-brained revelations, but the relationship was already troubled.

"I'm not proud of what I did but I'm sure Chris would be the first to admit we were having problems," she told the BBC.

Named after rocker David Bowie's alter ego Ziggy Stardust, Ziggy now has a new home after being relocated by a nearby parrot dealer.

— Thanks to Out There readers Joshua H. and Alex K.

I Think I'll Never Eat Ham Again

They can't fly, but they can imitate a neon sign really well.

Scientists have bred pigs with a fluorescent material, allowing them to glow green, and hope the development will help Taiwan's stem cell research, Taiwanese researchers announced on Friday.

Wu Shinn-Chih, assistant professor of animal science at the National Taiwan University, said the fluorescent oinkers are green inside and out — and even their internal organs glow green, according to The Associated Press.

The altered oinkers glow light green on the outside, especially their mouths, knuckles and eyes.

Scientists injected embryos with a jellyfish's fluorescent green protein to enhance the oinkers, Wu said.

Wu hopes the move will help in the monitoring of tissue transformations over time — and said glowing, green cells would be visible during stem cell treatment of diseased organs, so the healing progress could be observed.

"This was simply an idea of ours," Wu told reporters. "We hope it can help with future stem cell research by cutting down on the time researchers expend."

— Click in the photo box above to see a pic of the glowing green oinkers.

— Click in the video box above or click here to watch a video on when pork glows green.

Who You Gonna Call? Goosebusters!

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Piles of goose poop at a city lake have officials struggling to find a way to clean up the mess for picnicking parkgoers.

Full-time resident Canada geese arrived at the city's Lake Merritt in 1954 when several injured birds were introduced to the refuge. Their numbers have exploded in the past 20 years to at least 200 regulars, with some 2,000 geese descending on the park each summer, according to the National Audubon Society.

"Each bird produces about a pound of poop a day — that's literally a ton each day," said Stephanie Benavidez, head naturalist at the Lake Merritt Wildlife Refuge.

It's a staggering problem that has Oakland and other cities trying to figure out how to chase away the geese without running afoul of the Federal Migratory Bird and Endangered Species acts that protect many of the birds that live alongside the geese at Lake Merritt, which covers 150 acres.

"The goose droppings on the lawn have pretty much made the lawns unusable to families who want to have picnics or use the park with their children," said Councilwoman Pat Kernighan, who represents the area. "It's very hard for people to use the park for recreation."

Some cities have tried planting grass varieties that Canada geese won't eat, or spraying lawns with chemicals geese find distasteful. Others have tried erecting fences to keep the geese out of areas reserved for people.

Chasing the birds away is another popular trick. Cities hire firms with names like Goosebusters or Wild Goose Chase, which use dogs — trained to harass, not harm, geese — to chase the birds away. But critics worry that using dogs in Oakland could harm other bird species, such as egrets, mallards and herons.

— Thanks to Out There reader Chris W.

Hog Manure Got You Down? Try My New Gizmo!

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A man has received a $500,000 federal grant to mass produce his invention, a machine that removes the odor from hog manure.

The Tempest dryer, developed by Loran Balvanz, is designed to help solve water pollution, odor and noxious gas problems in the hog industry.

Balvanz said that because his invention separates water from the solids in manure, it can solve air and water quality problems.

The Tempest removes water from manure by spinning it at a high speed. The water is vented through the top of the dryer and vaporizes in the outside air.

The process reduces the volume and weight of the manure making for easy collection of the remaining solids.

The machine was developed for Balvanz's Global Resource Recovery Organization Inc., a company he founded in 1999.

Company president Bill Flowers said a farmer using the dryer each day could retain about 75 percent of the nutrients from hog manure. Since water is eliminated, farmers will no longer need long-term storage for liquid manure, Flowers said.

The smaller quantity of solids left over after the Tempest does its job can be stored on the farm and applied to fields as fertilizer when needed, he said.

Woman Collects Over 18,000 Hooters

LEEDS, Maine (AP) — With more than 18,000 collectible owl memorabilia, Pam Barker half-kidded that she had a world's record. It turns out that she's right.

Barker, 47, sent her count, a video and photographs to Guinness World Records last spring. A couple of weeks ago, she got a certificate verifying her claim.

"I did it as an investment, then out of curiosity," Barker said.

Her collection has ceramic, macrame and plush owls, owls on beer steins and on towels, owl necklaces, owl statues, owl wind chimes, owl greeting cards. Even a blue toilet seat with a green owl painted under the lid.

The collection — all 18,055 items — had been owned by Dianne Turner, a collector who had recently died. A family friend was cleaning out the house and put the owls up for sale for $7,000. Barker offered about half.

It took four people 13 days to pack all the items up, and it took Barker months to unpack and clean them.

On the Internet, Barker found someone who claimed to have the world's largest collection of owl items, with 8,000. So Barker applied with Guinness and got her collection certified as the world's largest.

— Click in the photo box above to see a pic of far too many hooters.

Minnesota Man a 'Royal' Pain in the Rump

OAK PARK HEIGHTS, Minn. (AP) — A convicted sex offender who tried to pass himself off as a teenage member of English nobility says he just wanted some respect, until some high school journalists uncovered his past.

Joshua Adam Gardner, 22, visited Stillwater Area High School three times in December and January, posing as "Caspian James Crichton-Stuart IV, the Fifth Duke of Cleveland" and telling students he was 17 and was interested in attending the school.

He also claimed to be 27th in line for the British throne.

"Becoming 'Caspian,' I was given respect," Gardner said in a jailhouse interview broadcast Monday on NBC's "Today." "And people ... don't look at you in that way that they would look at a sex offender."

"I didn't mean to hurt anybody," he said.

Reporters at the Stillwater school newspaper, the Pony Express, thought "Caspian's" story would be an interesting feature.

"He was demanding that we call him 'Your Grace,'" said Chantel Leonhart, one of the paper's managing editors. "He even demanded that the principal call him 'Your Grace.'"

The reporters' research turned up an entry for "Earl of Scooby" at the youth Web site , where "Caspian" said he was British and that his goal for the year was "To not make the front page of any paper."

However, his description of his British lineage didn't ring true to co-editor in chief Matt Murphy. Plus, he couldn't spell the name of the castle he claimed was his home, and the British consulate in Chicago told them there was no such title as the Duke of Cleveland.

More research led the students to Web sites linking the pseudonym to Gardner's real name and to a Florida state registry of sex offenders.

The student reporters learned that Gardner was convicted in 2003 of criminal sexual conduct in Winona County, in southeastern Minnesota, for having sex with his underage girlfriend two years earlier. The girl was 14 and Gardner was 18. He was put on probation and had apparently been living lately in Stillwater and Austin.

Minnesota had informed Florida of his sex offense record because he had moved to that state at one point, Minnesota Department of Corrections spokeswoman Liz McClung said.

Gardner said he didn't know that their age difference made having sex with the girl illegal.

After school officials told police what the students had uncovered, Gardner's probation officer contacted him and he agreed to turn himself in. He was booked into jail Jan. 9 for allegedly violating terms of his parole by not always registering his changes of address, not observing restrictions on his Internet access, not getting counseling and for having unsupervised contact with minors.

He was denied bail Friday and a hearing on the alleged probation violations is set for Feb. 8, said Winona County Attorney Chuck MacLean. He could be sent to prison for 21 months.

Principal Chris Lennox there were "absolutely not" any problems or incidents with Gardner during his school visits and that he was always accompanied by a staff member.

Gardner told the St. Paul Pioneer Press last week that his alter ego was a mixture of fictional characters and real people. "Caspian" was a nickname he'd taken from the "Chronicles of Narnia" book series, he said, and Crichton is from author Michael Crichton.

— Thanks to Out There reader Sarah J.

Do You Have 'Bambi'?

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A movie rental store in southern Indiana had an unexpected shopper when a young deer charged through a plate glass window, landing in the store's drama section.

Shocked customers watched Wednesday as the deer bolted around the edges of the store, kicking displays and knocking videos off shelves.

Mike Sulawske, who had been shopping in a nearby store, came to see what was happening at the video shop. He propped open the back door and attempted to back the deer into a corner, hoping he could shove the animal out. But it didn't go willingly, he said.

The now bloody-nosed deer, which appeared to be a young buck about 3-feet tall with small antlers, charged Sulawske, he said.

Then the deer broke through an even larger glass window before police arrived.

Evansville police said the deer was last seen running south along a city street, leaping over cars.

Officer Greg Brandenstein said he has heard similar animal stories from other communities.

"It doesn't happen every day," he said. "But it does happen. When an animal is trapped inside a store, it often gets spooked by people and tries to run through a window. They see the reflection and think they can go right on through it."

— Thanks to Out There reader Derek H.

Compiled by's Andrew Hard.

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