Etc.

Hey, how would you feel?

Somewhere in suburban Moscow, a homeowner has summoned up the courage to take on the mighty Russian military in court. And all because the Kremlin wanted good weather for a national holiday. You don't see the connection? Well, start with the fact that June 12 was Russia Day, honoring the date in 1991 when reformer Boris Yeltsin was elected president of the federation that succeeded the Soviet Union. Add to that the tendency of government officials to order that any clouds over the capital region be seeded on holidays, literally to try to ensure that it doesn't rain on the parade. So a dozen Air Force planes carrying the necessary ingredients – silver iodide, liquid nitrogen, and dry cement mix – were sent aloft to do the deed.

Alas, one 55-pound sack of mix failed to, as police put it, "pulverize completely." In fact, it didn't change composition at all, plummeting thousands of feet to the ground ... and through the homeowner's roof. The impact left a hole roughly 3 feet square. The incident caused no physical injuries, but the homeowner says her pride was hurt when the Air Force offered a paltry $2,100 to patch the hole. The service declined to discuss the incident ... or the woman's announced intention to sue for damages. For what it's worth, reports say cloud-seeding also is expected to be used over Beijing just before the Olympic Summer Games open in August.

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