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The Odd Truth, Aug. 21, 2002

The Odd Truth is a collection of strange but factual news stories from around the world compiled by CBSNews.com's Brian Bernbaum. A new collection of stories is published each weekday. On weekends, you can read a week's worth of The Odd Truth.

Death Wish

BERLIN - An aging Berlin playboy has come up with an unusual offer to lure women into his bed by promising the last woman he sleeps with an inheritance of about $250,000.

Rolf Eden, a 72-year-old West Berlin disco owner famous in the German capital for his countless number of sex partners, said he could imagine no better way to die than in the arms of an attractive young woman -- preferably under 30.

"I put it all in my last will and testament -- the last woman who sleeps with me gets all the money," Eden told Bild newspaper.

"I want to pass away in the most beautiful moment of my life. First a lot of fun with a beautiful woman, then wild sex, a final orgasm -- and it will all end with a heart attack and then I'm gone."

Eden, who is selling his popular "Big Eden" nightclub later this year, said "applicants" shouldn't wait long because of his advanced age.

"It could end very soon," he said. "Maybe even tomorrow." (Reuters)

Politically Correct Department

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. — Satan has been banished from Devils Lake.

High school teams here no longer will be known as the Satans, the school's nickname for nearly 80 years.

The school board unanimously voted Monday night to immediately drop the nickname and mascot and start the process of finding a new name to represent its athletic teams.

The 5-0 vote brought applause, hugs and a few tears of joy from an audience that favored change.

"It's hard to stand up and cheer for the Satans," said Kellie Karlstad, a parent of three and the junior varsity girls basketball coach. "It's not an appropriate name for children."

Supporters of the change said the Satans nickname had brought division and a negative image.

"As far as finding one positive for keeping the nickname, I can't," board member Julie Schemionek said. "I believe in tradition. But sometimes, traditions need to be changed."

School Board Chairman Kevin Regan, a Devils Lake alumnus and athlete, said he had not been bothered by the nickname.

"I always thought it was a natural fit that the mascot for Devils Lake would be Satans," he said. (AP)

He's A Real Gem, No, Really!

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Illinois - "Diamonds are forever," they say, and soon the expression will have a whole new meaning.

Some folks are planning to have precious gems made from carbon captured during their cremations.

Funeral homes are lining-up to offer the memorial diamonds, which would have a starting price of about $4,000 for a quarter-carat.

The provider of the service is Illinois-based Life Gem. The company's chief executive says he knows some will consider it "a pretty wacky idea."

But the idea is catching on. One funeral director says while an urn may be beautiful in its own right your can't take it with you wherever you go.

The cremation gem would not have that limitation.

Incompetent Raindancer Fails To End Drought

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. - A New Jersey man says he had a good reason for his naked stroll on a local bridge -- he wanted to end the drought.

New Jersey, along with much of the rest of the country, is drying-up and so Douglas B. Carroll's idea of shedding his clothes so the clouds would shed a few drops may have seemed a good idea at the time.

It was about three o'clock Monday morning when an apparently intoxicated man was spotted by police on the bridge wearing nothing but his 33-year-old birthday suit.

He took off but was caught after a brief foot chase. He was released on his own recognizance after explaining his belief that if he ran over the bridge naked it would rain.

If it works it could start a new trend. (AP)

Drew University Gets The Finger

MADISON, N.J. — Drew University's libraries have received many unlikely donations over the years. The oddest may be a human finger that purportedly belonged to a noted English evangelist from the 1700s.

The donation came from an alumnus who also gave the school some rare Methodist books and engravings, according to librarian Ken Rowe. The finger came in a small box and was accompanied by a yellowed slip of paper that claimed the finger came from George Whitefield, a well-known charismatic preacher.

"I've had a medical doctor look at, and it is a human bone," Rowe said Tuesday. Whether it actually is Whitefield's finger, though, remains a mystery.

The finger is one of the many items of memorabilia that can be found at the university's main library and another facility that houses various Methodist relics and memorabilia, such as 250,000 photographs of missionary life around the world and the hymnal used by President Ulysses S. Grant.

"People throw in odd bits and pieces with their donations," Rowe said. "And librarians didn't always throw things out — thank God." (AP)

Man Stakes Life's Dream In New Catfood Flavor

LAFITTE, La. — A distinctly Louisiana flavor is on its way to cat diets: crawfish-flavored treats.

David Prestage hopes to break into the $29.5 billion national pet industry market with his patented recipe. This month, 30,000 pounds of the treats were produced.

"I'm busier than a cat in a litter box," said Prestage, 49.

Prestage has poured $100,000 of his own money into the initial batch of cat treats, sold under the name Cajun Crawkitty.

"I sold everything I own: my houseboat, my camp, my fishing boats, my four-wheeler," Prestage said.

He says he got the idea when, under the influence of a brew or two, he put some canned catfood in a blender and added some crawfish.

His wife's cats went nuts for the stuff, tearing the kitchen up in the process of devouring his creation. (AP)

Thai Elephants Work For Peanuts No More

BANGKOK - Thailand is to ban elephants from city streets in an effort to prevent maltreatment by their owners, who make a living selling food for passers-by to feed the animals.

Deputy Agriculture Minister Prapat Panyachatirak told reporters the new law would also allow authorities to adopt abused elephants.

Elephants suffer badly in Thai city streets, particularly in traffic accidents in Bangkok. Road vehicles hit about 20 a month.

"Raising an elephant must be done in a way that does not humiliate the pride and dignity of the national animal," Prapat told reporters.

Prapat said the Thai elephant population was dwindling at a rate of 150 a year, mostly because of maltreatment by their owners.

Southeast Asia is home to around 60,000 elephants, 5,000 of which are in Thailand. (Reuters)