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Simple, easy and money-saving ideas that also do something positive for the environment:

Pooches and pools

Many of us love our family dog so much, we don’t see it as a problem when they jump in the backyard pool to go for a swim. But the reality is your dog’s ears, nose and eyes are more sensitive than yours, and the chlorine in the pool may actually harm them in the long run. To be on the safe side, look for non-chlorine chemicals like bromine to keep your pool clean and safe. And if your dog does go for a swim, rinse them off with fresh water from the garden hose to prevent pool chemicals from drying on their skin and fur.

Save money while away

Leaving your home for several weeks or even months means you should take steps to reduce waste while you’re away. This is a good time to unplug energy hogs like refrigerators and freezers; just be sure they are empty and leave the doors open so they dry out completely. Turn off the main water supply; it may not save you money, but it’ll give you peace of mind that there won’t be a plumbing break. Turn off the electric water heater at the main breaker switch; there’s no point in keeping water hot for weeks at a time if it’s not being used. And switch off modems, cable boxes and small kitchen appliances by unplugging them.


Top 10 states for recreational boating

According to, using data from the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Census Bureau, the top 10 recreational boating states, based on total number of boats registered are:

1. California - 1.05 million

2. Michigan - 1 million

3. Florida - 922,597

4. Minnesota - 834,974

5. Wisconsin - 650,280

6. Texas - 624,390

7. New York - 529,732

8. Ohio - 413,276

9. Illinois - 398,431

10. South Carolina - 383,971


By Chuck Sheppard

Update: News of the Weird reported on March 12 that Alexandr Kudlay, 33, and Viktoria Pustovitova, 28, from Kharkiv, Ukraine, had handcuffed themselves together for three months to test their fraught relationship. On June 18, Reuters reported that the experiment was a failure. Kudlay and Pustovitova had their shackles cut off on national television, with Kudlay admitting that “We are not on the same wavelength, we are totally different.” Pustovitova tearfully admitted, “I think it will be a good lesson for us, for other Ukrainian couples and couples abroad not to repeat what we have done.”

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