Gold on the menu
Thirty pounds of edible gold dust and a cake in the shape of Charlie Chaplin's hat will be among the tapas-style offerings at Hollywood's biggest banquet. "This is like the World Cup or the Olympics for us," Wolfgang Puck declared as he experimented with a recipe for a vegan mushroom risotto ahead of Oscars night.
The celebrity chef is preparing to cook for 1,500 members of Hollywood royalty at the Governor's Ball, a gargantuan feast that follows the Academy Awards.
After the last of the golden statuettes are handed out, on February 22, the meal will be served.
After a 20-year ban, Florida may bring back bear hunts to control a growing population of black bears that is increasingly seen as a menace in suburban neighbourhoods.
Four people have been injured in bear attacks in Florida since 2012, mostly in the central part of the state built on former bear habitat near the Ocala National Forest.
Tight with his money
A Texas man has been arrested for taking tightly-wound currency into a county office to pay his $600 property tax bill and then launching a tirade when asked to help unfold the money, the Wichita County Sheriff's Office said.
Timothy Norris (27) was charged with criminal trespassing for the January 28 incident in the north Texas city of Wichita Falls.
Cash and pass go
The French version of Monopoly is celebrating its 80th year by slipping cash into 80 boxes of the game.
One box will have the full complement of real cash - €20,580 - as well as the Monopoly money needed to actually play the game, one of the most popular in France. Another 79 boxes will have smaller amounts, according to the game's manufacturer, Hasbro.
Two US casinos have been fined - one for failing to shuffle its cards and the other for losing track of how many slot machines it is operating.
The Golden Nugget in Atlantic City was fined €3,400 by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement for using unshuffled cards in four blackjack games in August. Caesars, also in Atlantic City, was fined €3,200.