Mad Minute stories from Monday, February 12th

A newly discovered pink-nosed rodent like marsupial gives its all for sex - really. Males of the species mate so intensely that they die before their young are born.

The creature's discoverers caught the little lothario in Australia's Springbrook National Park with traps baited with peanut butter and oats. In a report published Feb. 17 in the journal Zootaxa, they dubbed it the black-tailed antechinus.

Other members of the antechinus group have already been discovered, some by the same team that found the newest species. Mammalogist Andrew Baker of the Queensland University of Technology had previously found two new species of the genus Antechinus in southeastern Queensland.

They've found five new species of antechinus over the past three years, two of them recently. 

The researchers first saw the black-tailed antechinus in May 2013. It looked unlike the dusky antechinus, a relative that lives in the region, so Baker and his colleagues suspected they had seen something new. The yellow-orange fur around its eyes and rump helps distinguish it from similar species.

Marsupials in this genus are promiscuous maters. Females give birth to large broods that include offspring from several fathers. To raise their chances of siring more offspring, males mate for hours at a time with many females. This sends the animals' stress hormone levels skyrocketing, which eventually results in death.

Females collect sperm from their doomed mates and then ovulate, allowing for the simultaneous fertilization of many half-siblings. Most females die after their first litter is weaned.

Baker and his colleagues are seeking endangered species protection for the newly discovered marsupial.


DALLAS, TEXAS -- If you've been hoping for a male-version of Hooters, the wait is over.

Tallywackers is the name and sex appeal is the game.

It's no "breastraunt" but it's a place for someone who is looking for male eye candy with their burgers.

Tallywackers opened in Dallas this week, after hiring 24 attractive male waiters. The owner says 125 men applied for the jobs. 

Guests at the restaurant get to pick their servers who wear minimal clothing. 

Tallywackers serves typical comfort food with suggestive names.


If you think flying saucers are something you only see in a movie or book, think again.

NASA plans to test a saucer-shaped craft on Wednesday over Hawaii.

A balloon will lift the craft 20 miles into the sky.

The craft will then be freed to fire its rockets and test its supersonic parachute, before it splashes into the sea.

NASA is looking at the craft and chute as the key to a future human mission to mars.


SOMERSET, Pa. (AP) -- Police say a man who set up a drunken-driving checkpoint complete with road flares while pretending to be a Pennsylvania state trooper was drunk.

Troopers say 19-year-old Logan Shaulis, of Somerset, parked his vehicle diagonally across state Route 601 and set up road flares at about 4 a.m. Saturday.

A motorist who stopped says Shaulis claimed he was a trooper and demanded to see a driver's license, registration and insurance papers.

When real troopers arrived, police say Shaulis tried to hand a BB pistol to the car's passenger and said, "I can't get caught with this."

He faces charges including drunken driving, impersonating a public servant and unlawful restraint. He remained jailed Tuesday. Online court records don't list an attorney for him.

A preliminary hearing is set for June 9.


BERLIN (AP) -- Police in western Germany say a novice driver escaped unharmed but her car was crushed after she inadvertently turned into the path of a convoy of British tanks.

Lippe police spokesman Lars Risserbusch said Tuesday the 18-year-old had apparently not seen the convoy when she made a left turn in front of it. The lead tank was unable to stop in time and the 62-ton main battle tank ploughed over the front of her Toyota hatchback.

The tanks, from a British base in nearby Paderborn, were traveling through a military maneuver area that is also open to public traffic on their way to training exercises Monday morning. Police estimate 12,000 euros' ($13,500) damage to the woman's car.

The tank was unscathed.


BOSTON (AP) -- The Massachusetts secretary of state's office says a man who told investors that the Holy Spirit guided his trading system has been charged with running a Ponzi scheme.

Secretary of State William Galvin said in a complaint filed Tuesday that Uxbridge resident Charles Erickson defrauded at least 25 investors out of about $3.5 million.

Authorities say about a third of those recruited for the program attended the same church as Erickson, who claimed the Holy Spirit had given him a proprietary day-trading system for a volatile type of futures contract. Authorities say he guaranteed returns of 96 percent over two years.

Galvin says Erickson was paying monthly returns using capital reserves deposited by later investors.

A woman who answered the phone at Erickson's home said they had no comment.


HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) -- The blue sneakers were the subject of the crime, but police say it was a man's red underwear that led to his arrest on Long Island.

Police say 18-year-old Taykim Ross stole $200, electronics and Air Jordan sneakers from an apartment Monday and stopped in the backyard to try on the new kicks. That's when a neighbor snapped a photo of the suspect with red boxers visible above his jeans.

Hempstead Village Officer Russell Harris says he was returning after a canvass of the neighborhood when he noticed someone taking garbage out. He saw someone bending over with "bright red underwear."

Turns out, it was an exact match.

"I just happened to sit in the car for a moment and in my rear view mirror about 500 hundred yards away I see a guy bending over putting garbage bags down and what do I see, low and behold, I see red underwear standing out," Harris said.

The officer acknowledged that young men in Hempstead are often seen not wearing belts with pants hanging low.

"If he would have gone home and put a belt on, I probably wouldn't have noticed him."

Harris was arraigned on a burglary charge Tuesday in district court and was conditionally released to probation. He was represented by a lawyer from Legal Aid, which does not comment on pending cases.


Apparently Japan has forgiven Godzilla. The Tokyo ward of Shinjuku has officially made Godzilla a resident of Japan. The monster will also serve as an ambassador for the district.

The certificate reads:

Name: Godzilla

Address: Shinjuku-ku, Kabuki-cho, 1-19-1

Date of birth: April 9, 1954 (the year of the release of the very first Godzilla film)

Date of becoming a Shinjuku resident: April 9, 2015

Reason for special residency: Promoting the entertainment of and watching over the Kabuki-cho neighborhood and drawing visitors from around the globe in the form of the Godzilla head built atop the Shinjuku TOHO Building.

Previous visits to Shinjuku Ward: 3 times; Godzilla (1984), Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991), Godzilla 2000 Millennium (1999)"

To celebrate, the Shinjuku Toho Building put a giant replica of Godzilla's head on top of it. The statue occasionally released smoke.


MACON, Ga. (AP) -- A robber got away with more than money in Georgia: Officials say he demanded his victim's pants.

The Macon Telegraph reports that law enforcement officials say a man walked into the Harmony Medical Services office on Monday and asked to see a doctor.

The Bibb County Sheriff's Office says he was taken to the doctor, then pulled a gun and demanded his briefcase and pants, which had his wallet, ID and an undisclosed amount of cash. Officials say the robber left the Macon office with the items, fleeing on foot.

Officials were still looking for the robber and asking the public to call in any tips.


(AP) Restaurant operator KFC said Monday it filed a lawsuit against three companies in China whose social media accounts spread false claims about its food, including that its chickens have eight legs.

The case filed by China's biggest restaurant operator comes as the government intensifies a campaign to clean up rumors on social media. Internet marketers have been convicted of trying to manipulate online sentiment on behalf of clients by posting false information about competitors or deleting critical posts.

In an announcement posted on its Chinese website, KFC said one of the best-known fake rumors was that chickens used by the company are genetically modified and have six wings and eight legs.

KFC is demanding 1.5 million yuan ($242,000) and an apology from each of three companies that operated accounts on the popular mobile phone app WeChat. It is also seeking an immediate stop to their infringements. Shanghai Xuhui District People's Court has accepted the case, according to a press officer who would only give her surname, Wu.

KFC's China CEO Qu Cuirong said in a statement that it was hard for companies to protect their brands against rumors because of the difficulties in collecting evidence. "But the stepped-up efforts by the government in recent years to purify the online environment, as well as some judicial interpretations, have offered us confidence and weapons," she said.

The companies being sued were named as Shanxi Weilukuang Technology Company Ltd., Taiyuan Zero Point Technology Company and Yingchenanzhi Success and Culture Communication Ltd. in Shenzhen city. Calls to numbers listed for the companies either rang unanswered or were not valid.

Authorities launched a renewed campaign two years ago to clean up what they called online rumors, negativity and unruliness. Critics say the campaign was largely aimed at suppressing criticism of the ruling Communist Party. Commentaries in state media have argued that a cleanup was needed.

KFC has more than 4,600 restaurants in China.

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