Piano smashing, and Patrick Dempsey saves teen from car wreck

Piano smashing, and Patrick Dempsey saves teen from car wreck

By Stephanie Grimes | Posted - Apr. 30, 2012 at 6:24 p.m.



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Massachusetts Institute of Technology celebrated a semester milestone this weekend with a 40-year tradition: dropping a piano off a rooftop and onto another piano.

The tradition began in 1972, when students living in the Baker House on MIT's campus decided to celebrate the last day of the semester on which they could drop classes by doing what anyone else would do: sliding a broken piano off a roof.

The event began casually, but in the years since its inception it has become ceremonious. And it is so successful that onlookers rush to the scene in hope of finding a souvenir to take home. MIT alumna Catherine Coleman even once took a piano key to the International Space Station.

The students are careful to emphasize that safety precautions are taken during the drop and that only already-broken, unwanted pianos are used. And it's all in the name of fun.

"You're waiting for that twang when it hits," one student said. "It's fun to see a piano hit a piano; you don't usually see that."

Nutella shells out more than $3 million to settle lawsuit

The Italy-based owner of Nutella has agreed to pay $3.05 million to settle a class-action lawsuit championed by a California mom who was surprised to learn that the spread is less healthy than jam or pancake syrup.

Ferrero USA Inc., the group's American division, agreed to pay up to $4 for any jar of Nutella bought in California since August 2009, or anywhere else in the country since January 2008. The group also agreed to "modify certain marketing statements about Nutella, create new television ads, and change the Nutella website," according to court documents.

Athena Hohenberg, a San Diego mother of a 4-year-old, began to raise support for the lawsuit in 2011, saying the product was promoted as something "healthier than it actually is," according to court documents.

The spread is marketed as "an example of a tasty yet balanced breakfast." A two-tablespoon serving contains 200 calories and 11 grams of fat, according to the company's website.

Related ...

Patrick Dempsey saves teen from car wreckIn another example of a celebrity-turned-real-life-hero, Patrick Dempsey saved a teen on Tuesday from a car wreck.

Dempsey witnessed 17-year-old Weston Masset's Mustang roll three times and crash into his front yard. The "Grey's Anatomy" star rushed to the scene of the wreck with a crowbar and fire extinguisher and rescued Masset from the crushed vehicle.

Dempsey called Masset's mom to inform her of the accident, keeping her calm and folowing her to the hospital to make sure of Masset's safety.

Masset appeared Monday on ABC's Good Morning America to publicly thank Dempsey.

"I'm just really happy that he was there for me, things could have gone a lot worse if he didn't save me as soon as he did," he said.

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Stephanie Grimes

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