The Sideshow
  • Jane Austen’s ring up for auction

    It's a plot straight out of a Jane Austen novel. A family ring with a possible romantic history handed down and finally put up for auction. Except this is the real-life possession of the "Pride and Prejudice" author herself.

    Sadly for fans of the novelist, the price of the gold and turquoise bauble is worth more than a paperback. Sotheby's puts the guidance around 20,000 pounds to 30,000 pounds (or about $31,000 to $46,000).

    The ring came to Sotheby's straight from Austen's family, along with a note.

    Written by Jane's sister-in-law, Eleanor Austen, to her niece, Caroline Austen, in November 1863, it reads:

    My dear Caroline, the enclosed ring once belonged to your Aunt Jane. It was given to me by your Aunt Cassandra as soon as she knew that I was engaged to your uncle. I bequeath it to you. God bless you!

    Even more delightful is speculation around who gave Jane Austen the ring in the first place. One theory is that the ring could have been a gift from her Irish lover, Tom Lefroy.

    Austen

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  • The 'Merica, a 100% ground bacon burger (Facebook)

    California burger chain Slater's 50/50 may be bringing home the bacon, now that its menu features a burger made of 100 percent ground bacon. Not to gild the lily, but the Fourth of July-inspired The 'Merica burger comes topped with a slice of thick-cut bacon, bacon island dressing, and bacon flavored cheddar cheese. Its only nonbacon topping is an impressive sunny-side-up egg.

    Foodbeast notes that Slater's 50/50 has already made a name for itself by offering its flagship burger made of half ground beef and half ground bacon. Sadly, the three Slater's stores will only be offering the all-bacon burger through the end of July.

    The month-long feature comes on the heels of previous burgers-of-the-month, including a Pulled Pork Burger and a Chili Cheese Frito Burger.

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  • Man makes final house payment in pennies


    Apparently all that loose change collecting in the couch cushions pays off: A Massachusetts man who vowed to pay his last mortgage payment in pennies made good on the pledge.

    Thirty-five years after purchasing the house, one Thomas Daigle and his wife, Sandra, walked into Milford Federal Savings and Loan Association--after alerting the bank to their plan--with 62,000 pennies in two steel crates weighing approximately 400 pounds apiece.

    The twosome had moved into the Milford home, where they still live, in 1977. The last payment was delivered on April 24, the couple's anniversary, which Daigle said was a coincidence.

    The penny pincher, who still picks up the coppers on the street, saved 2.5 pennies a day, which he put toward the house payment. The saver raised two daughters and now enjoys four grandchildren, who, he tells, "Pennies add up."

    [Related: Renters squeezed by higher prices]

    News of the penny-paid home quickly caught the

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