TODAY'S NEWS

No contest: George, Abe, Thomas and Teddy.
No contest: George, Abe, Thomas and Teddy. (By Mitchell Layton -- Washington Nationals)
Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Animals Welcome

· Today is the annual blessing of the animals at Washington National Cathedral.

Oct. 4 is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. All pets are welcome at the 6:15 p.m. blessing, but they must be leashed.

Looking to adopt a pet? Two animal-rescue groups will be at the cathedral starting at 4:45 p.m. In addition, the public is asked to bring new toys for shelter animals: hard-plastic chew toys for dogs and crinkle balls or pom-poms for cats.

The cathedral is at the intersection of Massachusetts and Wisconsin avenues in Northwest Washington.

A New Spin on Spiders

· Tarantulas produce silk from their feet as well as from spinnerets in their bellies. The silk, which comes from tubes on their legs, allows the spiders to better cling to surfaces.

The discovery, reported in the current issue of the science journal Nature, could mean that spiders first began spinning silk for traction rather than as a way to trap insects or make cocoons.

No-Win Situation

· Teddy Roosevelt will have to wait till next year to claim victory at a Nationals baseball game.

The season ended Sunday with Teddy going 0 for 36 in this year's presidential-mascot races. Thomas Jefferson edged out Abe Lincoln, 15 victories to 14. George Washington was third, with seven wins.

Taken by Storm

· A bad storm in Alaska last year created a big wave that destroyed a giant iceberg near Antarctica, researchers said this week.

The wave traveled 8,300 miles -- farther than a round trip between Miami, Florida, and Anchorage, Alaska -- in six days.


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