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6 Speed Reads: Would You Dine With a Huge Stuffed Animal?

In today’s midday reads: A restaurant provides company for lonely diners, Robinson Cano pranks Yankees fans and the NBA is set to rule on Sterling.
Image: Stuffed toys Moomin, the famous Finnish cartoon characters.
Stuffed toys Moomin, the famous Finnish cartoon characters.KAZUHIRO NOGI / AFP - Getty Images file

1. Restaurant Provides Huge Stuffed Animals for Solo Diners

Does the thought of sitting alone at a restaurant make you cringe? A restaurant in Tokyo is aiming to eliminate loneliness at the dinner table by providing an oversized stuffed animal to accompany solo diners. Personally, we’d rather dine alone than stare into the eyes of a hippopotamus-like Finnish cartoon character for an entire meal. But to each his own.

2. Graduate Attempts Back Flip, Fails

Congratulations, college graduates. Four years of lectures and tens of thousands of dollars later, you’ve earned that diploma. But one Davenport University student may have let his excitement get the best of him. After shaking hands with the university president, Robert Jeffrey Blank attempted a back flip on stage during his graduation ceremony and took a tumble. The face plant was captured on video, and thankfully Blank wasn’t injured. That’s one thing to do with a college degree.

3. NBA to Rule on Sterling Scandal

It’s unfortunate, but Donald Sterling’s reputation is anything but sterling when it comes to steering clear of alleged racism. This latest instance could be the NBA’s final straw. The league will announce his fate later this afternoon; it could respond by fining Sterling upwards of $2.5 million, or by suspending him indefinitely. And there are experts who say NBA owners could force Sterling to sell the team. But for many fans and players, the real concern is the damage done to the L.A. Clippers, who are in the middle of the playoffs. They play again tonight and all eyes will be on their response.

4. Jimmy Fallon and Robinson Cano Prank Yankee Fans

Last year, baseball player Robinson Cano ditched the Yankees for a huge contract with the Seattle Mariners, and that obviously did not sit well with New Yorkers. Now Cano is back in New York City for the first time since his notorious departure, and Jimmy Fallon kindly offered to help him get used to the booing he is sure to face at Yankee Stadium tonight. Fallon and his team set up a cardboard cutout of Cano in Bryant Park and let Yankee fans go at it. While they booed away, Cano popped out from behind the cutout, producing a few priceless fan reactions. Even more hilarious was the way haters instantly became fans upon seeing Cano.

5. Pennsylvania Woman Loses Home Over $6.30

A Pennsylvania widow has lost her home, all because of a $6.30 debt. A judge ruled last week Eileen Battisti was given ample notice before her home was sold at a tax auction three years ago for $6.30 in unpaid interest. Battisti says she didn’t know about the debt, and requested that the court reverse the September 2011 sale of her home, but the judge said there’s no doubt she received notification of the tax owed. Battisti still lives in the home and says she plans to appeal to the Commonwealth Court. Her house sold at auction for $116,000, well under its $280,000 value. Most of that money will go to Battisti if her appeal is unsuccessful.

6. Craig Ferguson Leaves ‘Late Late Show’

In the latest round of late-night musical chairs, Craig Ferguson has announced that he will leave “The Late Late Show” in December after nearly a decade at the desk. The decision comes less than a month after David Letterman broke the news about his plans to retire next year, and about two weeks after CBS tapped Stephen Colbert as his replacement. In a statement issued by the network, Ferguson joked: “CBS and I are not getting divorced, we are ‘consciously uncoupling.’” But it looks like the host will get the last laugh. In Ferguson’s contract, CBS ensured him a payout of up to $10 million if he wasn’t tapped as Letterman’s successor, according to Variety.