Some odd news reported this week by GateHouse newspapers.
This little piggy went to school KEWANEE, Ill. -- When football players talk about hanging on to the pigskin, they’re not usually referring to the live version. But on Wednesday, Wethersfield High School football team members engaged in a little pregame practice on the field, chasing down a pig that had apparently been turned loose in the stadium. Shortly after 7:30 a.m., police received a phone call from school secretary Rose Jackson asking for help in securing a 45-pound pig running around inside the fence at Wethersfield Memorial Football field. Officers Tim Pence, Michael Minx and Jimmy Cable came to join in pursuit of the pig. Pence said police received several offers of help from football players who were watching. The offer was accepted, and after a short chase, Wethersfield wide receiver Mike McIntyre managed to catch the pig. The pig was taken to the nearest available holding facility: the school farm at Kewanee High School. Would you drink sewage water? RIDGECREST, Ca. -- Will it be Perrier or toilet water? Nationwide, cities are seeking alternative water sources to replenish depleting supplies. One idea: Convert sewage into water that’s pure enough to drink. It’s not a new concept — and in California, it’s one that has been rejected before. Mainly because of what has been deemed the “yuck” factor. But with the possibility of water shortages in California’s future, at least one city in the state, San Jose, is thinking about moving from toilet to tab. But not everyone is buying into the idea. A few years ago, attempts to reintroduce purified wastewater into the aquifers and rivers for cities that draw their supplies from those sources was met by vehement opposition. A variety of citizens’ groups stalled projects in cities from San Diego to Tampa, Fla. The recycled water, if treated properly, is good enough to drink, experts insist. “It’s pyschological — a knee-jerk reaction,” according to the American Pyschological Association. Don’t be surprised if you get a TajTune CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- If the caller on the other end of the line is singing to you with an Indian accent, someone probably sent you a “TajTune.” Earlier this year, Inman Square resident Dave Hui launched a new Web site — tajtunes.com — that delivers singing telegrams over the phone from workers in India. It’s a new twist on outsourcing, and Hui said the business idea started as a joke. Hui, who graduated from MIT with a business degree, started using administrative assistants in Bangalore, India, to help with his errands, such as setting up doctors’ appointments, making restaurant reservations and buying gifts online. One day, Hui was joking with a friend over the business trend of moving unlikely jobs overseas. “She said, ‘You better never outsource your friendship to me!’” said Hui. So, as a joke, Hui asked his administrative assistants in India to call his friend and wish her a happy birthday. Instead, the workers decided to sing to her. She was so amused by the call that he sent several more singing telegrams to other friends. Now, the Indian assistants are making calls every day to deliver the catchy singing telegrams for Hui’s new business. TajTunes advertises six different singing telegrams on its Web site to say thank you, happy birthday, get well soon, congratulations and “what’s up.” There’s even a singing telegram with a romantic message (a popular pick last Valentine’s Day), but the lyrics are always light-hearted. Why did the python cross the road? SARANAC, Mich. -- Officials aren’t sure why, but a 25-pound, 5-foot-long Burmese python definitely tried to cross the road in Saranac last week. “I don't know snakes very well, and I don't like touching them,” Lt. Michael Seinen said. “It's better to let the trained professionals handle those kinds of things.” Enter Chief Animal Control Officer Gordon Douglas of the Ionia Animal Shelter. “Gordy just walked up and grabbed it,” Seinen said. Burmese pythons are not native to Michigan. Occasionally, people purchase them as pets, which was likely the case with this python. Sometimes they get away, and sometimes their owners let them go. “Usually what happens is that these animals get bigger and bigger and people get scared or sick of them and turn them loose,” Gordon said. “Sometimes they'll just escape.” Be a zombie for a day BOSTON -- Zombies are coming the streets of Boston this weekend, and you can be one - or at least dress up as one - all for the price of fake blood. Meet your fellow undead Saturday at noon and march with them - no talking please, only groans for brains - from South Station to Harvard Square. Though it may sound bizarre to the uninitiated, such zombie walks are gaining steam from Canada to the United Kingdom. The largest march to date gathered nearly 900 revenants at a mall in Pittsburgh last year. Like most of the walks, the Boston march has no central organizer. You’ll have to glean more details from Web searches. A tip: You can make your own fake blood by mixing corn syrup, water and two parts red food coloring to one part yellow. Noisy bird at center of dispute CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Everyone’s had a noisy neighbor at some point in their lives, but how many of those neighbors are less than a foot tall and sound like a truck backing up? That’s precisely how Crescent Street resident Doug Cornfeld described his neighbor Ryan. According to Cornfeld, Ryan — the pet parrot of Eustis Street resident Helen Levich — has essentially ruined his summer with its incessant squawking. “It’s consistently making noise,” Cornfeld told the License Commission Tuesday night. “It keeps me up at night, it wakes me up in the morning. It’s totally altered my life. I used to work at home and I no longer do. My wife and I used to eat on our porch every night during the summer, and we didn’t this year because of the noise.” The commission, which handles violations of the city’s noise ordinances, said it would revisit the issue on Oct. 22 if a resolution had not been reached by then. But Cornfeld, who described the offending parrot’s call as either “a truck backing up, a broken smoke alarm or a high-pitched ‘koo-kee,’” said he’d asked Levich several times since she moved in to the apartment at 36 Eustis St. to either move the bird to a different room or close her kitchen windows. Cornfeld also said he frequently sees the bird in its cage out on Levich’s back porch. GateHouse News Service