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Safiri, a gorilla, in the zoo of Duisburg February 18, 2011. (Ina Fassbender / Reuters/Ina Fassbender / Reuters)
Safiri, a gorilla, in the zoo of Duisburg February 18, 2011. (Ina Fassbender / Reuters/Ina Fassbender / Reuters)

What happens when the animals pet a tourist at the zoo Add to ...

Gorillas pet a tourist

“An American tourist on a gorilla-watching tour in Uganda came a little closer to the gorillas than he expected,” says The Huffington Post. “The man, identified only as John, was petted and groomed by a group of wild mountain gorillas – including a mama and her babies – near Bwindi National Park. In the video [taken]… John sits cowering next to the gorillas and laughs as his ‘heart was racing.’ Park rangers say interactions such as these are very rare, USA Today reports.”

Perfect for Boxing Day

“Christmas may be a time of indulging for many,” BBC News says, “but [British]health experts believe it is the perfect time to tell a loved one they are overweight. The National Obesity Forum and International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk said it was important to be upfront because of the health risks … Prof. David Haslam, chair of the National Obesity Forum, said: ‘Suggesting to someone that they should consider losing a few pounds may not be a comfortable conversation to have. But if someone close to you has a large waistline then as long as you do it sensitively, discussing it with them now could help them avoid critical health risks later down the line and could even save their life.’ ”

Deer rescue failed

“Police say a drunken New York man struck a deer with his vehicle, then tried driving the injured animal to a nearby hospital – for humans,” Associated Press says. “Police say 29-year-old Andrew Caswell hit the deer early Monday [last week]in the suburban Rochester town of Greece. They say Caswell and three companions argued over what to do with it before Caswell decided the deer needed to go to the hospital. An officer who pulled the car over discovered the deer was in the vehicle’s trunk and had died … Police Chief Todd Baxter tells The Democrat and Chronicle that while trying to save the deer was commendable, ‘driving while intoxicated will not be tolerated.’ ”

Jaywalker fights ticket

“An 11-year-old Texas boy who was ticketed for walking on the wrong side of the street after he was hit by a vehicle has asked for a jury trial,” United Press International reports. “Noah Popovich, 11, of Texas City, asked a municipal judge [last]Tuesday for a jury trial to fight the citation he received Sept. 27 after he was struck by an 18-year-old driver in a sport-utility vehicle … ‘First and foremost, I don’t want that petty crap on his record,’ said Ashley Falks, the boy’s mother, of the decision to seek a jury trial. ‘Secondly, I have $10,000 in medical bills that can be denied by the insurance company if the case isn’t dismissed or if he isn’t found not guilty.’ ”

Culture isn’t contagious?

“Social media gives ordinary people unprecedented power to broadcast their taste in movies, books and film,” says The Wall Street Journal, “but for the most part those tastes don’t rub off on other people, a new study of college students finds. Instead, social media appears to strengthen our bonds with people whose tastes already resemble ours. Researchers followed the Facebook pages and networks of some 1,000 students, at one college, for four years … They learned that fans of ‘lite/classic rock’ and ‘classical/jazz’ were significantly more likely than chance would predict to form and maintain friendships, as were devotees of films featuring ‘dark satire’ or ‘raunchy comedy/gore.’ But this was the case for no other music or film genre – and for no books. What’s more, ‘jazz/classical’ was the only taste to spread from people who possessed it to those who lacked it. The researchers suggest that this is because liking jazz and classical music serves as a class marker, one that college-age people want to acquire.”

Not a geezer moment?

“The FBI says an elderly looking bank robber dubbed the ‘Geezer Bandit’ may not be as old as he appears,” reports Associated Press. “FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller says the robber believed to be responsible for 16 holdups in California may be wearing an elaborate costume … Investigators [point]to a surveillance video of a robbery this month at a Bank of America in San Luis Obispo, where a security dye-pack exploded as the robber was making his getaway. Ms. Eimiller says the speed with which the so-called ‘Geezer’ was able to run away does not match his appearance of 60 to 70 years old.”

Thought du jour

“Only cook and eat food with people you like. Life’s too short for bad food and bad company.” – Rocco DiSpirito (1966- ), Italian-American chef

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