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Chinese man building ark for Dec. 21

Posted: 12/14/2012 - Liu Qiyuan from China's northern Hebei province has spent over a year and a small fortune designing and building 'Noah's Ark' survival capsules he hopes will be the flexible lifeboats of the future.

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Vodka saves elephants from death in Siberian frost

Posted: 12/14/2012 - Emergency ministry spokesman Alexander Davydov said Friday that the elephants were in a trailer that caught fire Thursday outside the city of Novosibirsk, forcing trainers to take them out into the bitter cold.

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Americans finding dozens of ways to mark 12-12-12

Posted: 12/12/2012 - A Michigan sixth-grader will put aside her nerves and get her ears pierced on her 12th birthday. Two law-enforcement officials will exchange wedding vows at 12:12 p.m. in Pittsburgh's federal courthouse.

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Peppermint pigs a smashing tradition in NY

Posted: 12/11/2012 - A holiday tradition in this upstate New York resort town has a peppermint twist: pig-shaped hard candies are sold with little metal hammers to smash them at Christmas.

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Coffee from an elephant's gut fills a $50 cup

Posted: 12/10/2012 - Trumpeted as earthy in flavor and smooth on the palate, the exotic new brew is made from beans eaten by Thai elephants and plucked a day later from their dung.

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The 'royal molecatcher' outlives Versailles king

Posted: 12/06/2012 - It's been over two centuries since Louis XVI was guillotined on Paris, but the job of hunting the underground rodent that so troubled French monarchs on the grounds of the Versailles palace still exists.

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Woman thanks NY cop with $1K, but he can't keep it

Posted: 12/06/2012 - New York State Police are trying to find the woman who handed an on-duty trooper a holiday card with $1,000 cash inside. Under New York law, members of the state police can't accept such gifts.

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Residents put ribbon on burned-out Pa. house

Posted: 12/06/2012 - Some residents of a Pittsburgh suburb have gift-wrapped something they hope will be gone by Christmas: a charred and abandoned house that burned nine months ago.

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Huston's "Infrared" wins Bad Sex fiction prize

Updated: 12/05/2012 - Award-winning novelist Nancy Huston won Britain's Bad Sex in Fiction award Tuesday for her tale of a photographer who takes pictures of her lovers during sex proved too revealing for the judges.

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Nativity scene Jesus returned, replacement swiped

Posted: 12/05/2012 - A baby Jesus figure taken from a Pennsylvania church's Nativity scene last year was found cradled in the arms of a nearby statue, just hours before the replacement statue was swiped.

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Skiing Santas hit the slopes in Maine

Posted: 12/03/2012 - Those who participated showed up in a Santa outfit and donated $10 or more to the toy drive. Participants got to ski free for the day and receiving another lift ticket good through Dec. 14.

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Deer get onto racetrack, announcer plays along

Posted: 12/03/2012 - Spectators who came to watch horses at a western Pennsylvania racetrack got a surprise this week when three deer got onto the course first and beat the horses to racing.

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Ecuador officials reject donkey as candidate

Posted: 11/19/2012 - The demand of dozens of citizens has been denied in the Ecuadorean city of Guayaquil: There will be no jackass running for the legislature.

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