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Weird National Briefs (12/06/2017)

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Aria online

COLUMBUS, Ohio - An Ohio opera company is auditioning singers online for an upcoming production, with plans to create a virtual chorus synced to a live orchestra.

Opera Columbus is looking for singers of all types for next April’s performance of Orphee et Eurdice, a 1762 composition by Christoph Willibald Gluck.

Singers have until Jan. 15 to submit audition videos. One hundred entries will be selected to be projected onto the set during performances.

Peggy Kriha Dye, Opera Columbus artistic director, says the company is looking to innovate and transform the way the opera is presented and experienced.

The opera is being produced with Against the Grain Theatre in Toronto, Ontario and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Banff, Alberta.

TME – Bonus points for using Opera as your web browser.

Wasted wildlife

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. - An opossum that apparently drank bourbon after breaking into a Florida liquor store sobered up at a wildlife rescue center and was released unharmed.

Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge officials say the opossum was brought in by a Fort Walton Beach, Florida, police officer on Nov. 24. A liquor store employee found the animal next to a broken and empty bottle of bourbon.

“A worker there found the opossum up on a shelf next to a cracked open bottle of liquor with nothing in it,” said Michelle Pettis, a technician at the refuge. “She definitely wasn’t fully acting normal.”

Pettis told the Northwest Florida Daily News the female opossum appeared disoriented, was excessively salivating and was pale. The staff pumped the marsupial full of fluids and cared for her as she sobered up.

“We loaded her up with fluids to help flush out any alcohol toxins,” Pettis said. “She was good a couple of days later.”

Pettis says the opossum did not appear to have a hangover.

The store owner, Cash Moore, says he never had an opossum break in before.

“She came in from the outside and was up in the rafters, and when she came through she knocked a bottle of liquor off the shelf,” Moore said. “When she got down on the floor she drank the whole damn bottle.”

“But it just goes to show that even the animals are impressed with Cash’s,” he said.

The animal was released on Thursday.

TME – Or was the opossum just PRETENDING to be drunk?

Self-service

WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. - When a man found the only worker at an empty South Carolina Waffle House asleep, he took his meal into his own hands.

On Facebook , Alex Bowen chronicled with selfies how he made his own double Texas bacon cheese steak melt at the famous Southern 24-7 diner around 2 a.m. Thursday.

Bowen says on Facebook he waited 10 minutes, then cooked his meal and “even scraped the grill when I was done.”

Bowen’s photos showed him with the sleeping worker, frying bacon and putting the sandwich together.

After good-natured kidding about stealing the sandwich, Bowen even posted a selfie returning to pay for his meal.

Waffle House said in a statement it was impressed with Bowen’s cooking skills but customers should never go behind the counter for safety reasons.

TME – He’s in a Waffle House at 2 a.m. – you can’t expect good judgment.

Bibliocat

ST. PAUL, Minn. - A tabby named Max has been playing a game of cat and mouse with some Minnesota college librarians.

The furtive feline has been sneaking into the Macalester College library in St. Paul when people open the door and has been seen scampering around the bookshelves.

The library put up a wanted-type poster asking patrons, “Please do not let in the cat.”

The Star Tribune reports that the conundrum has caused a stir on Twitter and Reddit, where people have been posting Max-inspired artwork. Someone even made a library card for Max, who has been grounded by his owner over his naughty behavior.

TME – Better watch those curiosity levels, Max.

Dog-gun it!

WOOLSTOCK, Iowa - Authorities say a pheasant hunter in north-central Iowa was accidentally shot when a dog stepped on shotgun trigger guard and the gun fired.

The Iowa Natural Resources Department says the shooting occurred around 1:20 p.m. Wednesday at a public hunting area near Woolstock in southwestern Wright County.

The department says four hunters and two dogs were looking for the game birds when one of the hunters placed a loaded 12-gauge shotgun on the ground. It went off when one of the dogs stepped on the trigger guard, and shotgun load sprayed another hunter. The department says several pellets lodged in the back of William Rancourt, of Lebanon, New Hampshire, but he was able to walk soon after being wounded.

He was taken to a hospital in Fort Dodge for treatment.

TME – One can take only so many fake ball throws.

Geiger gambler

BERLIN - A German restaurant owner is in hot water for allegedly marking playing cards with radioactivity to rig games.

Berlin police said Tuesday the 41-year-old woman daubed Iodine-125 on specific cards, which allowed them to be identified by a gambler with a concealed detector.

Police got on her trail after radioactive card fragments were found during a routine inspection of a garbage truck at a waste treatment plant a year ago. Investigators then followed the vehicle’s route to determine the origin.

They raided the woman’s restaurant and other premises earlier this month and found 13 radioactive card pieces.

Police said Tuesday that Iodine-125 is commonly used for medical purposes and only poses a health risk through direct contact with no protective clothing.

How much the scheme netted is still under investigation.

TME – It’s the origin story for the worst Batman villain ever.

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