Twinkie Manufacturer Goes Bankrupt?

Hostess Brands, the maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, filed for bankruptcy today, just three years after the company last emerged from insolvency. The firm has been a victim of economic turmoil, and of health-conscious consumers turning away from Hostess’ famous range of junk foods. While the company’s products remain popular as an occasional indulgent treat, snacks like the Twinkie have been blamed for exacerbating the U.S.’s obesity epidemic. The firm blames its pension and healthcare obligations, as well as increased competition and the tough economic conditions, for its financial troubles.” w/ photos

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Largest Clog Goes Missing

Dutch police in the eastern town of Enter are investigating the theft of the country’s largest clog after it disappeared without trace from its main street, a police spokeswoman said. ‘We don’t know who stole it, but it’s disappeared,’ Rosita de Vries said of the clog, which at 13 feet in length and weighing almost two tonnes is the largest example of the Dutch icon, police said. “It is a joke. We even received an email announcing that the shoe will probably be back after Carnival,” in mid-February, she told AFP, adding it was believed the shoe disappeared Friday night or early on Saturday. Police however failed to trace the email and inquiries lead to nowhere, De Vries said.” w/ photos

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Couple Marry Again After Sex Swap

Like a lot of couples, Barry and Anne Watson wanted to renew their ­marriage vows. But when they went ahead nine years after their ­wedding, there was a big difference… this time Barry was a ­woman called Jayne. And Anne was only too happy to go ahead with the ceremony to show how much she loved her new wife. ‘At first Anne was furious when I told her I wanted a sex change,” says Barry, 43, a former bus driver who changed his name to Jayne by deed poll. ‘Our marriage had been going through problems and she thought I’d been cheating on her with another woman. But I just wanted to be one. ‘Anne came to ­accept me for who I wanted to be and love me as Jayne. ­Renewing our vows seemed the perfect way to tell the world how ­happy we are with our new lives.” w/ photos

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Woman Moves Pet Horse Into Her Living Room

An eccentric equestrian has moved her horse into the living room of her semi-detached home after a quarrel with neighbors. Stephanie Noble shares her home with three-year-old filly Grey Lady Too after a series of disputes with locals near Stornoway on Lewis. But the horse and all its paraphernalia take up most of the space, leaving only one habitable room for 65-year-old Stephanie. Yesterday, she said: ‘It will look strange to most people but I really had no choice… She arranged alternative lodgings but her relationship with the stable owner broke down in a row over money. They brought the pony back to Stephanie’s home on Christmas Eve and tethered the animal to her wooden porch. Stephanie said: ‘I was faced with the choice of leaving her out in the cold or bringing her indoors and I chose to bring her in.” w/ photos

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Oldest Cake In The U.S?

We could call this mummified wonder ‘Old Spice’ — at 100 years of age, the cake qualifies. And there’s definitely a hint of spice emanating from its layers. The surprise — after the age — may be that it’s a spice cake, not a fruit cake. At least that’s what Pierre Girard, of Golden Valley, thinks, based on its faint fragrance. His friends found the cake in 1992 on a closet shelf in St. Louis Park. They were doing an estate sale assessment, prompted by the death of an elderly resident, originally from Canada, who had died without heirs. The friends passed it along to him as a gag gift, never expecting that he would hang on to it. The cake was packed within a six-sided florist box with the handwritten inscription, “XMAS CAKE BAKED IN DEC. 1911″ on the lid. On the bottom of the box, there was more handwritten inscription: “Xmas Cake Baked in Year 1911 by my Mother’s Brother Alex died Dec. 27. Was operated on Xmas Day.” Last weekend, Girard celebrated the cake’s 100th birthday with friends and family, who snapped photos and peered at the curious confection atop his piano.” w/ photo + video

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Man Cartwheels Continuously For 2 Miles

Kung Fu enthusiast Hu Jiakai has hit the headlines after cartwheeling continuously for 2 miles through the streets of Changsha, China. Dressed in full martial arts attire, Jiakai looked every inch like cultural icon Bruce Lee as his antics attracted plenty of attention. It took Jiakai an hour to complete the unusual task which no doubt would have left him in a spin. It was a valiant effort from the 47-year-old who didn’t stop or stand up during the whole event – although the reason for his hour of head-spinning is not yet known.” w/ photo

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Copper Penny Sells For $1m

A one-cent copper coin minted in 1793, the first year that the United States produced its own coins, has fetched $1 million at a Florida auction. The Orlando Sentinel reports that the final bid by an unknown buyer for the coin was one of the largest sales at the Florida United Numismatics coin show and annual convention. The newspaper reported that the 1793 penny was sold at such a high price because it is rare and in excellent shape, showing no wear on its lettering, its Lady Liberty face or the wreath on its back.” w/ photos

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Man Assaults Police Officer With Toy Monkey

A man arrested in a theft from a convenience store is accused of attacking a police officer with one of the stolen items — a stuffed monkey. Preston James Phipps, 24, of Des Moines, was arrested late Saturday night after allegedly causing problems at the Git-N-Go convenience store at 2601 S.W. Ninth St. in Des Moines. Police Officer Andrew Pirtle said in a report that he saw a man carrying two stuffed animals leaving the store about 10:20 p.m. Moments later the officer was flagged down and informed that the man had just made a mess in the store. Officer Pirtle stopped the man near Southwest Ninth and Loomis Avenue. As they talked, Pirtle noted the man’s mood switched quickly from passive to aggressive. When Pirtle tried to take Phipps into custody, Phipps allegedly swung around and hit the officer in the face with a stuffed monkey.” w/ photo

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Museum Of Failed Inventions?

An unsuccessful Austrian inventor has won a $508,000 government grant to set up a museum of failed inventions. Fritz Gall dreamed up the idea of a museum dedicated to the flops and disasters created by other would-be entrepreneurs. Now – thanks to the grant – he and partner Friedl Umscheid have opened the Museum of Nonsense in Herrnbaumgarten, Austria. The museum prides itself on utterly useless creations like the ‘portable anonymyser’ – a piece of black card on a stick so people who don’t want to be in the public eye can black out their own eyes… The museum will move to a new expanded home later this year so it can cope with the thousands of visitors who now flock to it every month.” w/ photos

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