Cobra kisser tries to set record

PATTAYA, Thailand (AP) – A Thai snake charmer kissed 19 highly poisonous king cobras in an attempt to set a world record. One by one, the cobras were released Saturday onto a stage set up in this Thai beach resort town, as the snake charmer, Khum Chaibuddee, kissed each one and then moved onto the next.

Security was tight, with four additional snake charmers flanking the stage at each corner and a medical team waiting on the sidelines with serum in case one of the snakes snapped, according to a statement from Thailand’s Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum in Pattaya, which organized the event.

The museum’s manager, Somporn Naksuetrong, said Ripley’s planned to submit the attempt to the Guinness Book of World Records to overtake a previous record set in 1999 when an American kissed 11 venomous snakes.

Sports fan gives ESPN a namesake

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) – Leann Real promised her husband, an avid sports fan, that if they ever had a son he’d get to pick the name.

ESPN Montana Real was born this week at Biloxi Regional Medical Center.

Rusty Real, of D’Iberville, chose ESPN (pronounced Espen) after the sports network and Montana after football legend Joe Montana.

Baby ESPN isn’t alone. Three others were cited in a 2005 report on about the network’s 25th anniversary.

“We were the talk of the hospital,” Rusty Real said. “The nurses kept asking my wife if she was really going to let her husband name him ESPN. She said, ‘Oh, yes.”‘

Ben and Jerry’s new flavor Ritzy

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – Chocolate-covered Ritz crackers, gooey caramel and vanilla ice cream – it doesn’t get much better than that, judges ruled at an ice cream contest.

Judges said Tasha Callister’s entry, Puttin on the Ritz, tasted great and had a clever name. The flavor got top prize in the national Ben and Jerry’s Do Us a Flavor Contest in Waterbury, Vt., on Thursday.

But the combo initially had people thinking it was a bit gross, Callister said. “People were asking me if I was pregnant. They said it sounded like something a pregnant lady would put together,” Callister, of Jacksonville, told The Florida Times-Union.

The contest drew more than 40,000 entries, said Ben & Jerry’s spokesman Sean Greenwood.

Callister actually got the recipe from her grandmother, who would melt caramel over a camp fire and squish it between two crackers before covering it with chocolate.

Callister and the other four finalists won ice cream for a year, in addition to the trip to Vermont. She also won an ice cream party for her family and friends. Ben & Jerry’s will create enough Puttin on the Ritz for the party, but there are no plans to put the new flavor in production, Greenwood said.

Cab driver gave him a ride, and pot

HAMILTON, Bermuda (AP) – A cabbie who gives rides and sells marijuana?

That’s the story an American tourist peddled to a Bermuda judge, who fined him $1,500 on Friday for carrying the drug into the British Atlantic territory.

Anthony Powe, of Fresno, Calif., pleaded guilty to importing marijuana into Bermuda. Less than two grams of the drug was found on him by narcotics officers at the island’s airport after he arrived Thursday on a flight from New York.

Prosecutor Nicole Smith said Powe, 40, told authorities he obtained the drugs in California from a cab driver who gave the marijuana to him after asking if he smoked pot. Powe said he did not realize he had the drugs with him when he traveled to Bermuda.

“That’s what I call service. You hire a cab and you get pot and rolling paper,” Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner said. “Bermuda’s got a lot to learn from California in regard to service!”

Warner asked him: “And you stick by that story?”

Powe replied, laughing, “Yes, I do.”

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