Friday Morning Bizarre News Headlines

NATIVITY GOAT

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. (AP) -- The Nativity goat is back.

Curly the goat was supposed to be part of a live Nativity scene last month in Minnesota, but escaped while she was being unloaded for a Christmas Eve service.

She's turned up at a farm near Fergus Falls. A radio station (KBRF) says she looked hungry, wet and cold, and had lost some weight.

Curly's owner came out to make sure the goat was his. He was going to go home to get a horse trailer, but Curly was already cold -- so she was treated to her first car ride.

HOMELESS SCIENCE WHIZ

BRENTWOOD, N.Y. (AP) -- Who knew science could be so rewarding?

A lot of good things are still coming to a homeless New York area teen who's a semifinalist in national science contest.

Samantha Garvey appeared yesterday as a guest on the "Ellen" talk show, where she received a $5,000 scholarship from AT&T to the college of her choice. She was also given a J.C. Penney gift card and a $1,000 gift card from Whole Foods.

Last week, the Brentwood High School senior was named one of 300 semifinalists in the prestigious Intel science contest. Her story attracted national attention after it was reported that she and her family had been forced to move to a homeless shelter on New Year's Eve.

She'll learn next week whether she's one of 40 finalists -- the day after she attends the State of the Union address as the guest of a local congressman.

Meanwhile, county officials have found a rent-subsidized home for the aspiring marine biologist and her family.

AIR BAGS-SKIING

KITZBUEHEL Austria (AP) -- Nothing new about an air bag to protect people during accidents.

But this one is for skiing accidents.

A high-tech system that is supposed to inflate air bags under the racing suits of competitive skiiers is expected to be introduced at the Winter Olympics in two years.

A first prototype of the system was presented yesterday in Austria. It was demonstrated by the International Ski Federation and the Italian company that's making it.

The goal is to protect the skier's back, chest, shoulders and collar bones in the event of a fall.

A ski official says there may be no way to prevent crashes -- but that the system could help skiiers walk away from them in one piece.

SEX-HEARTS

CHICAGO (AP) -- This will do a lot of hearts some good.

It turns out that most heart patients are healthy enough to have sex. There's no evidence that heart patients have more sex-related heart attacks than people without cardiac disease.

The American Heart Association says people who are healthy enough to walk up two flights of stairs without chest pain or gasping for breath are healthy enough to have a love life.

Though of course, it still might be easier to have your partner come downstairs.

TAIWAN-DRAGON BABIES

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) -- Taiwan has one of the world's lowest birth rates. But suddenly, doctors are seeing a lot of pregnant women.

It's not just a baby boom -- it's a dragon baby boom.

Monday marks the start of the Year of the Dragon. The Chinese believe that babies born during the year will be gifted with a lot of luck and strength.

Officials expect a baby boom not only in China and Taiwan, but also in other Asian countries that observe the New Year festival, including Japan, South Korea and Vietnam.

One office worker in Taiwan says she hadn't been planning a second child -- but now that the Year of the Dragon is here, she's "happy to have another one."

WASHINGTON MONUMENT

WASHINGTON (AP) -- When the Washington Monument was built, it was paid for with the help of one-dollar donations from individual Americans.

And now, a billionaire history buff is kicking in more than a few bucks of his own, to speed up repairs on the monument, which was damaged by an earthquake last August.

David Rubenstein is pledging $7.5 million. It's the largest gift to a non-profit group that is working to restore the National Mall.

Congress allocated $7.5 million in December on the condition that private donations match that amount. But lawmakers probably didn't think the money would all come from one man.

Rubenstein, one of the nation's wealthiest people, is used to supporting Washington institutions. Last month, he gave $4.5 million to save the National Zoo's giant panda program.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


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