News of the Weird: Nov. 22, 2018

‘Luxurious’ Living at 49

Another birthday staring you down? Perhaps you can follow the lead of a man in the Netherlands who has launched a legal battle in the city of Arnhem to change his age from 69 to 49. The Dutch “positivity trainer” told BBC News that he feels discriminated against both in the career realm and on Tinder. “When I am on Tinder, and it says I’m 69, I don’t get an answer,” Emile Ratelband said. “When I’m 49, with the face I have, I will be in a luxurious position.” He also describes himself as a “young god.” His case has yet to be decided.

Real Fake News

Coming soon from the state-run news agency Xinhua in China: the first artificial intelligence anchorman. “Artificial Intelligence Anchor” debuted at the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, China, on Wednesday, Nov. 7. The virtual host, based on images of human news broadcasters, can have real-time news typed into its system even while it’s on the air. A synthesized voice reads the script. Xinhua told Time that its new anchor can work “24 hours a day… reducing news production costs and improving efficiency.”

Powerful ‘shrooms!

Scientists at the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey have created a mushroom that can produce electricity using light, Discover magazine reports. Using common button mushrooms, cyanobacteria (very adept at photosynthesis) and graphene nanoribbons (to make electrodes to transport the electricity), researchers were able to produce harvestable electricity by shining a light on their “bionic mushroom.” While the amount of electricity created was small, the team noted the experiment demonstrated an “environment-friendly and green source of photosynthetic bioelectricity.”

Drone Delinquency

On Monday, Nov. 12, a group of cyclists in Hustopece, Czech Republic, enjoyed a sunny afternoon bike riding to a local landmark known as Lookout Tower, reported United Press International. Taking in the view from the top of the tower, they saw a drone flying around and took video of it, capturing the moment when the drone picked up one of their bicycles from the ground and flew away with it. One of the cyclists threw his helmet at the drone as it flew off, and the others ran down the tower’s steps to chase the drone on foot. The drone eventually dropped the bike unceremoniously a few hundred feet from the tower.

Mint Condition

In North College Hill, Ohio, on Tuesday, Nov. 6, Noel Hines’ criminal love for thin mint cookies finally caught up with her when she was arrested for stealing “a large order of Girl Scout cookies” last March, Fox News reported. North College Hill police said Hines took delivery of the cookies, valued at more than $1,600 and intended for a local Girl Scout troop, and never returned or paid for them. When Hines showed up at the town’s Mayors Court on an unrelated matter, police arrested her, then posted on Facebook, “That’s the way the cookie crumbles.”

Turk-ish Terrorism

Perhaps in an effort to escape its likely fate, a turkey in Shoshone, Idaho, was rounded up by police on Wednesday, Nov. 7, after “terrorizing the neighborhood” around North Fir Street. United Press International reported the bird was detained at a local petting zoo pending the owner’s coming forward to claim it.

Hot for Teacher

Administrators at Spalding Grammar School in Spalding, England, introduced a new policy this year, banning “sixth-formers” (i.e. high school students) from carrying book bags between classes. The school felt the heavy bags were causing injury to students and encouraged them to carry their books in their arms instead. But Jacob Ford, 17, disagreed, reported Metro News, and made his point by carrying his books in a microwave oven, for which he received a two-day suspension. Head teacher Steven Wilkinson huffed, “We have a student who has behaved in an increasingly inappropriate way, actions the likes of which I have never witnessed, and who has been sanctioned entirely in line with the school’s policies.” But Ford’s mother, Tracy, backed up her son’s protest: “I’m very proud of him for standing up for something he believes in. Microwave or no microwave.”



Nov. 20, 2018

3:05 p.m.

(Excerpt) Read more Here | 2018-11-20 21:32:39
Image credit: source


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