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Noel Owens never ate, smoked or licked his pellet of hardened toad s

February 20, 1997

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ Noel Owens never ate, smoked or licked his pellet of hardened toad secretion. He did rub it on himself though, and that could get him five years.

Owens, 26, was convicted of possession of the illicit drug bufotenine after he testified Tuesday he used the fingernail-sized brown stone as an aphrodisiac.

Bufotenine is a hallucinogenic substance secreted by live bufo toads. It is said to give one sexual powers and is sometimes licked off a toad’s back.

Sometimes, people dry and smoke the secretions for their hallucinatory effects, or use them in a tea. Others skin the toads and dry their skins.

Although he insisted he never tasted his ``sex stone,″ Owens faces up to five years in prison and fines as high as $5,000 at sentencing in a few weeks.

His lawyer expected the judge would go easy, perhaps giving Owens probation.

``He just carried it around in his wallet, like a teen-ager carries a condom,″ lawyer Robert Rush said.

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DENVER (AP) _ X Inside computer company got a lot of inquiries over its Internet site. Too bad most were looking for smut.

Sex-minded Internet surfers couldn’t seem to pass up a site titled ``X Inside.″ What they found was hardly exotic.

Richard Van Dyke, vice president of marketing, said the the company’s listing among other ``X″ designations triggered some racy requests.

``An aspiring model even went so far as to show me a portfolio of highly suggestive photographs,″ said Thomas Roell, president and chief technology designer. ``We felt a name change was in order.″

On Wednesday, the Denver-based software developer said it changed its name from X Inside to Xi Graphics.

The company’s new name will better illustrate its current focus on developing graphics software.

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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) _ John O’Conner is used to finding stuff while walking his dog in the desert.

But emeralds, a 75 million-year-old sea-serpent head, gold-plated shark’s teeth, dinosaur teeth and skulls of extinct mammals?

O’Connor came across the items Sunday, along with a briefcase bearing the name and phone number of Ronald Stebler of Scottsdale.

When he called, Stebler said his car had been stolen and so were the items, estimated to be worth $50,000 to $100,000.

To thank O’Connor, Stebler gave him a pendant with a gemstone for his wife and a 55-million-year-old rock containing four fossilized shark’s teeth.

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