Watercooler Stories – May 9, 2012 – UPI.com

Chinese shrub may be world’s largest

NANNING, China, May 9 (UPI) — Officials at a Chinese university said they believe a 100-foot-high purple bougainvillea plant attached to a school building may be the world’s largest.

Guangxi University officials in Nanning said the shrub was planted 10 years ago and his now grown to cover the five-story building from top to bottom, The Sun, Britain, reported Tuesday.

Officials said they have applied to Guinness World Records to find out if the shrub is the largest in the world.

Students said they are fond of the bright purple plant, despite the light it blocks from their windows.

“We all help to keep the plant healthy from the windows of our room with some leaf pruning or feeding,” one student said. “We don’t mind that it blocks out the light — it’s beautiful to look at when it’s in flower.”

Police: Man dug up pet, sent pictures

KINGSTON, N.Y., May 9 (UPI) — Police in New York state said a man accused of digging up a woman’s dead pet chinchilla and sending her pictures is being held for psychiatric evaluation.

Kingston police said Raymond Williamson, 20, was arrested Sunday on charges of felony grand larceny, misdemeanor aggravated harassment and harassment, the Daily Freeman, Kingston, reported Tuesday.

Investigators said Williamson dug up a 19-year-old woman’s pet and sent her pictures of the body with his cellphone following a domestic dispute.

Williamson was scheduled to be arraigned Monday but the proceeding was delayed pending the findings of a psychiatric evaluation at Kingston Hospital, police said.

Teen plans alternative ‘Porn Prom’ at home

OAKDALE, Minn., May 9 (UPI) — A Minnesota teenager who was banned from bringing a pair of porn stars as his prom dates said there will be an alternative event on the same night at his home.

Mike Stone, 18, who sent messages to more than 400 porn stars in Twitter seeking prom dates and got affirmative responses from two women, said there will be an alternative “Porn Prom” at his Oakdale home May 12, the same night as the Tartan High School prom, the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer-Press reported Tuesday.

Stone said the event will be a scaled-back version of the alternative prom he had hoped to have in downtown St. Paul.

“The big prom thing isn’t happening, but all my friends want to come,” he said.

Stone said his “Porn Prom” plans have made him popular at school and many classmates have made T-shirts for the event.

Stone said he was interviewed by a camera crew from Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” April 22 for a segment tentatively scheduled to air Thursday, May 10.

Naked woman seen in new Canadian $20 bill

OTTAWA, May 9 (UPI) — Focus groups say Canada’s coming new plastic $20 bill has images of a naked woman and New York’s World Trade Center towers, CTV News reported.

The bill was introduced by the Bank of Canada last week in Ottawa after weeks of scrutiny by focus groups conducted by the Strategic Counsel across the country, the report said.

Under freedom of information requests, the broadcaster said several people reported seeing at least one naked character in the bill.

“It’s too pornographic,” a participant in Toronto said. “What is the woman on the top holding?”

Another said, “The naked women are going to offend someone.”

Another image shows the World War I Vimy Memorial in France that honors thousands of Canadians who fought and died in the battle that helped turn the tide of the war.

However, many of the focus group participants said they knew nothing about the battle and said it looked more modern.

“I wonder if the monument here could conjure up memories of 9/11 or the Twin Towers,” one Toronto participant said.

Numerous others also reported seeing a similarity to the World Trade Center before it was destroyed in a terror attack Sept. 11, 2001.

There was no indication the bill’s design would be altered before its November release.

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