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Bright and Brief

February 21, 1986

MARION, N.C. (AP) _ When Myrtle Sutton saw a wild-eyed young deer skittering down the hallway as she returned to her room at Autumn Care nursing home, her first thought was, ″I’m done, I’ve flipped, I’m seeing things.″

She wasn’t.

A yearling buck had bolted into the nursing home’s enclosed parking lot Wednesday and leaped through a glass door, cutting its leg.

It skidded down a freshly waxed hall floor, past the laundry and into the carpeted hallway of a nursing station, where administrator Thomas G. Koontz was showing speech therapists Ken Hubbard and Alan Trotter pictures of a mule deer he had bagged in a hunting trip out West.

The three pursued the errant animal. One resident in a wheelchair tried to grab the deer by its tail.

″Thank goodness he missed,″ Koontz said. ″He would have had the ride of his life.″

The deer raced into a room where a half-dozen residents were relaxing. One woman watched open-mouthed as it sailed high above her, ″just like Santa’s deer,″ Koontz said.

The deer hit a wall and dived into a window, but the glass held, Koontz said. As it headed back for a second try, Koontz tackled it, and Trotter and Hubbard piled on. A nurse then tied a patient restraint belt around the deer’s legs and bandaged the cut leg with a towel.

State wildlife wardens retrieved the misguided deer, treated its wound and returned it to the woods.

″There have been lots of jokes,″ Koontz said, ″jokes about the new pet therapy program, jokes about insurance coverage for the deer’s nursing care, jokes about disaster planning.″

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CLEVELAND (AP) - Anne McNelis might have felt that she had egg on her face Friday when yolk oozed from her entry after it fell 115 feet in an egg dropping competition.

But her two remaining competitors suffered the same shattering fate, and Ms. McNelis walked off with the city championship trophy and the $200 first prize because her 9-gram entry was the lightest.

″I just can’t believe I made it,″ said a stunned Ms. McNelis, 20, a Case Western Reserve Univeristy electrical engineering student from Euclid.

Competitors must design lightweight containers to protect Grade A large chicken eggs, which are then dropped from increasingly greater heights until there is only one intact.

Ms. McNelis’ winning design was one of the simplest of the eight entries: a softball-size plastic foam ball with an egg-shaped cavity in the center. The two halves were held together with rubberbands.

″You can squeeze an egg in your hand and it’s not going to break,″ she explained, crediting the design to her brother, Mark, 23, a graduate engineering student at Case Western. ″The design duplicates that, with pressure on all sides.″

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - You think our passion for fast foods is a new craze? An anthropologist argues that the ″trend″ is 20 million years old.

Early man munched roots and seeds while on the go, said Richard Wrangham, a professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan.

Humans have always sought out high-calorie foods, which have allowed brains to grow at a faster rate than other primates, said Wrangham.

″We are more committed to fast foods than other primates because of our digestive systems,″ he said in an interview this week. ″We have evolved in ways that increases our commitment to high-calorie foods. We run our bodies at a very high rate - we run a lot of food through them that enable us to increase our brain size.″

Wrangham dates the fast food craze to the Miocene Period, which began 20 million years ago and ended 8 million years ago. During that period a cooling trend produced more varied seasons and plants that were able to store more energy, he said.

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