When 31-year-old Aaron Giles of Gloucester, Mass., was about 5, he lost his ID bracelet while playing in his grandfather’s barn in Fairmont, Minn. The barn was later dismantled and moved to nearby Elmore, where it was used to house chickens. Recently, poultry workers were slaughtering some of the birds when they noticed something shiny in a gizzard. It was Giles’ bracelet, which had apparently been transported with the dismantled barn and swallowed by a chicken. “It was in pretty immaculate shape,” said Giles, who hadn’t seen the bracelet in more than 25 years. “It was quite the surprise.”
Absinthe has been banned in the United States since 1912. The bitter, greenish liqueur, long associated with bohemian artists and poets, supposedly touched off violence and madness; van Gogh sliced off his ear while sipping it. But this week, St. George Spirits of Alameda, Calif., sold the first legal bottle of the stuff in the U.S. in nearly a century, following approval by a federal agency. Distilled with wormwood, absinthe derives its powerful mystique from the chemical thujone, which is believed to cause hallucinations. But the St. George’s version is nearly thujone-free, as are several European brands that are also being allowed into this country.
Ann Marie Weineck, a 54-year-old nursing supervisor in Mansfield, Mass., has been out of work since September, recovering from shoulder replacement surgery. A widowed mother of three, she certainly could have used the $770 in cash she found stuffed in an envelope at a local Toys “R” Us store. Instead, she turned it in, and the store soon identified the rightful owner, Collette Martino of Pawtucket, R.I., who had dropped the envelope while shopping. “She saved my Christmas for my kids and grandkids,” said Martino, who is on disability. “She restored my faith in humanity.” Martino plans to send Weineck a Christmas present.
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