Etc.

I think I'll use it as a doorstop

If only Karl Wimmer had kept quiet about the six-pound chunk of rock he picked up and took home from a mountainous area of northwestern Austria, he could have spared a lot of people a lot of trouble. But then, of course, there would have been no story to tell. Wimmer, you see, is an amateur astronomer from neighboring Germany, and he didn't hide the fact that he was searching for pieces of a meteorite that broke up as it entered Earth's atmosphere in April 2002 and rained down on the border area of the two countries near the famous Neuschwanstein Castle. Anyway, once word of his find got out, the town council in Reutte, Austria, claimed ownership for itself, sued him, and, in effect, started an international incident of – you should pardon the expression – cosmic proportions. Happily for Wimmer, the matter ended up before a state court in Augsburg, Germany, which ruled last Friday that he's entitled to keep his prize. Why? Because the chunk of meteorite did not come "from another part of Earth," and thus cannot be considered as having "grown" on town property. And if that weren't enough, the court noted that Austrian law permits people to gather minerals on Austrian soil. Now that he has his legal victory, Wimmer says he is willing to sell the chunk to the Museum of Natural History in Vienna. That is, if it meets his price: $400,000.

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