Sip and splatNew Zealanders dressed in Velcro...


Sip and splat

New Zealanders dressed in Velcro suits are bounding off a mini-trampoline and sticking themselves to a Velcro-covered wall the latest madcap pub sport.

"The aim of the game is for people to race up and splat themselves on the wall with their feet as high off the ground as possible," said pub owner Jeremy Bayliss, of Napier. The craze was inspird by the U.S. space program, which used suits made of the sticky fabric Velcro to train astronauts for weightlessness.

So far there have been no injuries. In fact, most contestants stick to the Velcro wall so hard they have to be peeled off.

Variations in B-flat?

A Japanese lingerie firm has come up with a musical bra to mark Mozart's bicentennial year. When you hook it up, it plays about 20 seconds of a Mozart variation, said a spokeswoman for Triumph International Japan. The brassiere contains a minuscule memory chip, with a tiny speaker fastened under the armpit.

There is only one drawback for the fashion-conscious lover of the great Austrian composer. "Since it involves electronic devices, it's no good for regular use, the Triumph spokeswoman said. "It can't be washed."

My mother the dog

Hilda Russell's only trepidation about bringing home six abandoned kittens was her 2-year-old female dachshund, Sydney.

"I tried keeping her away from them, but she just got more curious," said the Lufkin (Texas) woman. "She would lay down on her side like she wanted to nurse them."

Sure enough, Sydney started lactating and has been nursing the kittens for three weeks. Ms. Russell even brought home another abandoned litter, giving Sydney 11 kittens to nurse.

"What Sydney has experienced is a false pregnancy," said veterinarian Craig Wood, who has never seen anything like it. "Sydney has fooled her body into thinking these babies are hers."

Mealy mouths

Sauteed crickets, chocolate-covered grasshoppers and mealworm quiche have some parents in Powell, Wyo., hesitant about a summer class offering for their grade-school children.

The class, "Incredible Edibles," would focus on the nutritional value of insects. Only on the last day would students have the chance to eat bugs.

Earlier this week, only one student had enrolled. Some parents called Northwest College to say they were trying to discourage their children from taking the class.

"I'm not sure about it, but I think the mealworm quiche might be the problem," said program coordinator Wendy Patrick. "Mothers just can't seem to bear the thought of it."

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