Country club shooter's rampage started with burning napkins?

There's no better sign of the upcoming apocalypse than a 63-year-old man driving a half-million dollar Ferrari to shoot up his high-end country club.

Joseph Rice allegedly did just that last Monday at the pristine Minikahda Club. Rice already had the attention of police after he'd refused to leave the club the previous Friday, making threats as police escorted him away.

He may have been pissed-off about his Mercedes being stolen, something he reported to police a few days before the shooting. Or he could've been miffed about being arrested for stiffing a cab driver after a drunken night at a strip club.

But his rampage seems to have started at 112 Eatery.

Rice allegedly entered the elegant downtown restaurant and instead of ordering a bottle of wine or simply nibbling on roasted almonds and oil-drenched olives, he piled up napkins in the middle of the table and lit them on fire.

It sent flames shooting two feet into the air, according to our source. Staff reacted quickly and doused the flames, then kicked Rice out.

The following night, Rice allegedly tried to come back for seconds. The staff didn't admit him, as napkin burnings don't pair well with Pinot.

Rice left, and headed for his date with infamy.

Nancy St. Pierre, 112 co-owner, at first confirmed the story but later retracted her statement as she wasn't at the restaurant that night so couldn't verify that the man was indeed Rice. He's hard to miss, and a dead ringer for Charles Manson. —Bradley Campbell

You got creationism in my zoology

When University of Minnesota-Morris biology professor PZ Myers heard that the Cincinnati Zoo and the infamous Creation Museum were offering a joint ticket deal to lure in customers, he took his outrage to the blogosphere.

The pairing was a curious one. The Creation Museum, located in Kentucky and started by the apologetics ministry Answers in Genesis, claims the Earth and all its life forms were created 6,000 years ago. (Our favorite exhibit is the stegosaurus and triceratops living large on Noah's Ark.)

"The Cincinnati Zoo is promoting an anti-science, anti-education con job run by ignorant creationists," Myers wrote on his blog, Pharyngula. "I believe the Cincinnati Zoo has betrayed its mission and its trust in a disgraceful way, by aligning themselves with a creationist institution that is a laughingstock to the rest of the world and a mark of shame to the United States."

The news quickly spread, and two days later the deal was off. Take that, Jesus! —Emily Kaiser

A hobbit's bounty

Last week, lefty blog MN Progressive Project discovered that Elwyn Tinklenberg still has about 500 grand worth of unused funds in his campaign coffers.

But before you accuse of Tinklenberg of squandering the riches that could have unseated Michele Bachmann (R-Did I say that?), consider that it was flooding in faster than he could spend it.

"The money kept coming in up until the last day," says Tinklenberg. "Also, there had been so much media time purchased already that there wasn't really time and opportunity to buy any more."

Tinklenberg says his campaign will put the excess dough toward funding likeminded congressional candidates. And there's always the possibility of a grudge match in 2010, though Tink isn't making any promises.

"I don't have any idea [what the chances are]," he says. "So many things are going to happen in the next year, especially with the census and redistricting coming up. Until then, we'll just leave our options open and take it from there." —Matt Snyders

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