Octopus opens jars

An octopus in a German zoo has learned to open jars of shrimp by watching zoo attendants perform the act underwater.

Frida, a five-month-old female octopus, opens the jars by pressing her body on the lid and grasping the sides with the suckers on her eight tentacles. With a succession of body twists she unscrews the lid.

"Depending on how tight the lid is, it takes her anything from 10 seconds to an hour to get it off," said Frank Mueller, head of the aquarium at the Hellabrunn Zoo. Frida opens shrimp jars before the public at feeding time twice a week.

Mueller said he taught Frida the trick after he remembered seeing octopuses showing remarkable dexterity off the coast of Morocco, where he went diving when he was younger. Frida was imported from Morocco.

Surprise! It's a wedding!

When family and friends gathered to bid National Guardsman Eric Wilde farewell, they didn't realize they were about to attend a wedding too.

Wilde set up the surprise by telling the crowd how he'd spent the past few days stopping by the bank, organizing the basement and visiting his priest - getting his life together before leaving for more than a year.

Then came the shocker.

"I have to take one more step to make sure everything is in order," Wilde said. "We're going to turn this party into a wedding!"

Moments later, Wilde's fiancee, Adrienne Jeffries, clutching a simple bouquet of red tulips and dressed in an elegant white gown, entered the back of the hall escorted by her father, Mike Jeffries.

School administrator cuts own job

A school administrator in Dollar Bay, Mich., has proposed a job cut - his own - to help the district fight its growing budget deficit.

Dollar Bay-Tamarack Superintendent Robert Barrette said he plans to recommend eliminating his position.

"I cost money," Barrette said. "I've looked at everything else but there's just not a lot to cut in our budget."

When the school board meets in March to develop next year's budget, Barrette plans to recommend his own termination and the consolidation of his position with that of principal William Tarbox.

"It's either that or cut teachers," Barrette said. "Schools are about kids. If we cut teachers we hurt the quality of education, but eliminating an administrator won't hurt kids."

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