Just imagine it – city officials ask the public to come up with a new name for the department of waste management services, creating the chance of a lifetime for you to show off your witty wordplay in a public forum.
The people in Texas' capital city, determined to keep Austin weird, seized upon a recent opportunity, when the city's Solid Waste Services set up an online poll soliciting suggestions. It sought a new name that better reflects the variety of services it provides, including – but not limited to – recycling, garbage collection, yard trimmings pick-up, litter abatement, household hazardous waste disposal, storm debris clean-up and community outreach.
In poured the clever acronyms (FLOATER = The Dept of Filth, Litter, Outreach, Abatement, Trimmings, Education and Recycling), terse political statements (How much will this cost the taxpayers?), inside jokes (Leslie's Shopping Cart), self-references (Hippy Scum) and perfectly reasonable suggestions (Solid Waste Services Department). But it was a tribute to the lead singer of rock band Limp Bizkit that captured the most hearts and minds – by more than 25,000 votes.
"Fred Durst Society of the Humanities and Arts" was the top pick with 29,796 votes as of Thursday, when voting closed, followed by "Department of Neat and Clean" with 2,069 votes. "Ministry of Filth" was the third and final suggestion to come in with more than 1,000 votes, ahead of "Hufflepuff," which drew 529 yeas.
The tattooed, baseball cap-wearing rocker also seized upon the nod, tweeting his appreciation: "I want to thank all of you who are helping me in Austin. I hope we win."
The city is not obligated to choose any of the suggested names, a city spokeswoman told the Austin-American Statesman newspaper. The new name will be announced on Earth Day, April 22.
The five most popular stories on CNN.com in the past 24 hours, according to NewsPulse.
Police looking for singer after death: A singer is being sought for questioning in connection with the death of a woman following a cosmetic procedure, police said Friday.
CNN.com 'Godfather' dies at 63: Jon Petrovich, a former CNN executive, died Thursday in New York after a battle with cancer and diabetes. He would have turned 64 at the end of this month.
Joy, uncertainty reign in Egypt after ouster: Egyptians on Saturday cleared burned cars, garbage and debris that accumulated over 18 days at Tahrir Square, a sign that Cairo and the rest of the country were ready to rebuild and get back to work while the country formulates a plan for governance.
Warrant for ex-Pakistani President Musharraf: A court in Pakistan issued an arrest warrant Saturday for former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in connection with the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, a public prosecutor told CNN.
Police: Dad's letter claims he killed twins: The father of missing Swiss twins sent a letter to his wife saying he had killed them before committing suicide, police said Friday.
The revolution in Egypt may have been good for democracy, but for the country's tourism industry, it was a huge blow, according to one tour operator.
The violent images of men on horseback storming Cairo's Tahrir Square armed with whips - among the most emblematic scenes from the 18-day revolt - not only galvanized the anti-government movement, leading to former president Hosni Mubarak's ouster after 18 days of protests, but also scared away visitors who normally tour the Great Pyramids on horses and camels, tourist industry worker Ayman al Myonir said.
Last year, 14.7 million tourists visited Egypt, and tourism generated $11 billion in revenue, according to the Egyptian Tourist Authority in New York. Tourism in Egypt makes up about 11 percent of the gross domestic product, the tourism organization said.
The stables full of idle horses and camels cost $15 a day to feed at a time when no money is coming in, he says. To the people who care for the animals, there are mixed feelings over how the revolution played out.
"That's young boys, 17 years old and 18 years old. They want to say, 'we [are] hungry, we want to eat, we want to work.' We don't think about politics. Here we are not political people... It's how much I get, how I make business, how I can work, how I can feed my family," he said.
"I hope that inside the country – and this is message for inside Egypt – please, we try to help each other. We would like to put our hands together and we start to help each other."
Tens of thousands of demonstrators have rallied since January 25 on the streets of Egypt's major cities, calling for economic reforms, railing against corruption and demanding an end to President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule. After daily street demonstrations, Mubarak decided to step down from the presidency of Egypt on February 11 and assigned the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to run the affairs of the country. Check out our full coverage and the latest tweets from CNN correspondents on the ground.
Developments, as confirmed by CNN, on the revolution in Egypt:
[Update 1:40 a.m. in Cairo, 6:40 p.m. ET] Egyptians on Saturday cleared burned cars, garbage and debris that accumulated over 18 days at Tahrir Square, a sign that Cairo and the rest of the country were beginning to get back to work while wondering what government comes next after the revolution.
A day after President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, employees and businesses readied themselves for Sunday, the traditional start of the work week. The country's stock market is expected to reopen Wednesday.
Volunteers repainted black and white striped street curbs around a monument by the Egyptian Museum, which had been on the front line in street battles between Mubarak's foes and supporters.
[Update 12:08 a.m. in Cairo, 5:08 p.m. ET] U.S. President Barack Obama spoke by phone Saturday with the leaders of Britain, Jordan and Turkey to discuss developments in Egypt. He also welcomed the Egyptian military's announcement that it is committed to a democratic transition and will honor Egypt's international obligations, the White House said.
[Update 10:15 p.m. in Cairo, 3:15 p.m. ET] Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak spoke to his Egyptian counterpart Mohammed Hussein Tantawi on the phone Saturday, according to a ministry spokesman. No other details were available.
[Update 8:45 p.m. in Cairo, 1:45 p.m. ET] Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, plans to visit key Mideast allies Israel and Jordan this weekend, a Pentagon official told CNN on Saturday.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates spoke with Egyptian Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi on Saturday, the sixth phone conversation with the minister since the situation began.
The results of the Washington Times CPAC straw poll of presidential candidates are in, and the winner is Texas Rep. Ron Paul, with 30 percent of the vote. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was the runner-up with 23 percent.
There were 3,742 ballots cast in the annual survey, which is a chance for devotees to name their pick for president in 2012. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed said they were generally satisfied with the field of potential candidates and 43 percent said they wished the GOP had a better field of potential candidates. For those surveyed, the size of the federal government was the most important issue to them.Get the rest of the results on CNN Politics
Tensions erupted in another restive North African nation as security forces in Algeria on Saturday clashed with anti-government protesters who chanted, "Change the power."
Police detained about 100 protesters in the nation's capital of Algiers, according to the Algerian League for Human Rights. The league is one of the main opposition groups that organized the rallies - unauthorized gatherings that came a day after embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down.
"We are here once again to tell this government that we want an Algeria (that is) democratic," one protester told Reuters television. "That's why we are here today and we will always be, as this power is still here, we will be always here too."
More than 3,000 demonstrators, including activists, students, doctors, and parliament members, joined the rally but were blocked by more than 30,000 police officers, said league president Mustafa Boushashi.FULL STORY
Iranian authorities have blocked the word "Bahman" – the 11th month of the Persian calendar – from Internet searches within the country, according to an opposition website.
The measure appears to be an effort by Iranian authorities to obstruct access to several websites that are promoting a rally on Monday – the 25th day of Bahman – proposed by Iranian opposition leaders in support of the uprising in Egypt, Saham News reported Saturday.
Two Tehran residents also confirmed the block via e-mail to CNN.
Iranian authorities on Wednesday warned against any attempt by the opposition movement to hold the rally, according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency.
"We definitely see them as enemies of the revolution and spies, and we will confront them with force," Revolutionary Guard Cmdr. Hossein Hamedani told IRNA.FULL STORY
The Palestinian Authority will hold legislative and presidential elections no later than September, a senior Palestinian Authority official said on Saturday.
Saeb Erakat has submitted his resignation as the chief Palestinian negotiator, according to Mohammed Shtayeh, Palestinian negotiator and a Fatah Central Committee member.
Erakat had previously said that he would resign his post if an investigation into the leak of Palestinian negotiating documents aired by the Al-Jazeera television network proved that the source of papers came from his office.
The so-called Palestine Papers suggested that Palestinian negotiators offered to give up large swaths of East Jerusalem to Israel during talks dating back to 2008 and that they had been willing to offer much larger concessions in private than they were publicly acknowledging.FULL STORY
The NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers broke their 26-game losing streak Friday night with a 126-119 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.
It was the first win for the Cavaliers since before Christmas. The team is now tied with the 1976-77 Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL for the longest losing streak in any of the four major U.S. pro team sports.
"I can smile again. It feels pretty good. Winning is a precious feeling," guard Daniel Gibson said in The Plain Dealer.
Coming into the game at Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena, Los Angeles seemed to be a good candidate to be the streak-breaker. The Clippers had won just four games on the road all season.
Cleveland, at 9-45, remains the only member of the 30-team league with fewer than 10 wins this season.