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Odds & Ends 11/28

Hairy arms may gain a man a Guinness record
JACKSON, Wis. — Jon Sanford takes good care of his hair, washing it regularly and conditioning it occasionally. Now he might break a record for that hair — on his arms.
    One particularly long strand measured 4.1 inches. If the measurement is ruled official by Guinness World Records, Sanford will have topped the previous record of 3.96 inches.
    ‘‘It’s my mutant hair,’’ said Sanford, 37.
    Sanford is from Jackson, a town about 30 miles northwest of Milwaukee. He downloaded the necessary forms from Guinness, faxed them back and received further directions.
    ‘‘I need two witnesses whom I do not know and they have to be respected in the community,’’ he said of the instructions.
    So he turned to Jackson patrol officer Shane Wrucke and fire chief John Skodinski.
    ‘‘We’re not always saving lives and protecting property. We also do other things,’’ Skodinski said.
    To comply with Guinness regulations, Wrucke and Skodinski accompanied Sanford to the bathroom before the measurement to watch him wash the arm hair.
    ‘‘I condition it sometimes,’’ Sanford said.
    Sanford will receive a certificate if his application is affirmed.
    His mother, Sue Sanford, said the hair was ‘‘gross,’’ but his daughter Molly called it ‘‘cool.’’

New poker machine guarantees play time, but not money

   LAS VEGAS — When it comes to gambling in Las Vegas, nothing is guaranteed. Except for this: A new video poker machine ensures a certain amount of playing time, no matter how bad your luck.
    The video poker slot machine is called ‘‘Guaranteed Play.’’ It was conceived not in the back room of a casino or at a slot machine laboratory, but at inventor Jay Walker’s office in Stamford, Conn.
    The device, which is expected to be offered in Las Vegas casinos within six months, allows players to buy a certain number of video poker hands up front for a set price.
    For example, Walker’s games can offer 150 hands of ‘‘Jacks or Better’’ for $20 and 400 hands for $40. Those hands could take 20 minutes to an hour to play. Games offer more or less hands for the money based on the type of video poker game and the odds that apply to that game.
    The gambler should assume that he will lose his money — but that he will have enjoyed playing a guaranteed number of games in the meantime.
    ‘‘At the movies you know you’re getting about an hour and a half plus some popcorn,’’ Walker said. ‘‘We can assure customers that even before they leave their house, they know they’re going to be on a game for a while.’’

Empty perfume bottle sold for over $200,000
 
    LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. — A bottle of perfume that was originally purchased for $50 has been auctioned off for $216,000. And that doesn’t include the perfume itself.
    An elderly woman who wanted to remain anonymous received the bottle of Tresor de la Mer from her husband in 1939. He had bought it at Saks Fifth Avenue store.
    The woman, who is now in her 90s, held onto the empty bottle — designed by Renee Lalique — and the box it came in for years, before deciding to auction it at the Rago Arts and Auction Center on Nov. 17.
    Ken Leach, a perfume bottle expert at the auction, told The Times of Trenton that only 50 of the Lalique bottles were made, and he only knows of another one still in existence.
    Bidding on the perfume featured two telephone bidders rapidly increasing the price during the final two minutes. ‘‘Everybody was holding their breath,’’ Leach said. ‘‘I thought they were ready to drop out at $100,000, but they just kept going.’’
    The buyer also preferred to remain anonymous.

Google gives great directions to one man's house
 
    LINCOLN, Neb. — James Bergsten has an easy way to direct people to his house: Just type in Lincoln, NE, and search in Google maps.
    The arrow that appears just happens to show the rest of the way.
    ‘‘I tell it to people all the time,’’ he said.
    The arrow is in the same spot if you did the search on MapQuest or Yahoo! Maps.
    ‘‘It is the city centroid,’’ said MapQuest representative Dori Salcido. He said it ‘‘represents the geometric center of the polygon encompassing the city.’’
    Technically, five other houses on Bergsten’s block can also brag about being the center of Lincoln’s Web universe.
    By the way: In the U.S. Postal Service world of numbers and street names, Bergsten and his family live at 3761 B St.

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