90 Miles From Tyranny : 10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (7/20/19)

Saturday, July 20, 2019

10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (7/20/19)

This time, we learn about gators hopped up on meth, a heavy metal knitting championship, a budding feud over the steepest street in the world, and the millions of people who want to invade Area 51 in search of aliens. Scientists also probe the mysteries of the asteroid Ryugu, and chimps bond while watching videos.

10The Inaugural Heavy Metal Knitting Championship


Most of us might think that knitting and heavy metal music don’t go together very well, but Finland strove to prove us wrong. Last Thursday, the city of Joensuu played host to the first-ever Heavy Metal Knitting World Championship.The rules were straightforward. While a band played its repertoire of the headbanging variety, competitors took to the stage and rocked out with their cross-stitch out. A three-man panel of judges scored them on their performance onstage, as well as the quality of their knitting.People from nine different countries came to take part in the competition, including 35-year-old Elise Schut from Michigan, who staged a performance with her mother and family friend. In the end, it was a Japanese group named Giga Body Metal that took home first place.[1] It featured a man dressed in a full kimono knitting while two other teammates played music and two sumo wrestlers fought around him.


9The Steepest Street In The World


Photo credit: Google Earth Pro
Guinness World Records recently decreed that Ffordd Pen Llech in the historic Welsh town of Harlech is the steepest street in the world, snatching the title from Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand.It hasn’t been a good week for New Zealand, as the country first was bested by England in the Cricket World Cup final on Sunday and then lost the “world’s steepest street” accolade to Wales the next day. Gwyn Headley, the person who was at the forefront of Harlech’s campaign, regretted the timing but said that “steeper is steeper.”[2] At its most extreme, Ffordd Pen Llech has a gradient of 37.5 percent, compared to Baldwin Street’s “meager” 35 percent.Guinness had a surprisingly long and strict set of criteria for eligibility for the title. The street has to be a thoroughfare in use by the public and must be accessible by vehicle. Harlech was almost disqualified because the tenth point requires a blueprint for the street, something that Ffordd Pen Llech lacks, as it is around 1,000 years old. However, the town successfully argued its absence by reasoning that the street has been there since time immemorial.It remains to be seen if the people of Dunedin will take this loss on the chin. Some have suggested resurfacing Baldwin Street to regain the title.


8The Grapes Of Wealth

Photo credit: NHK World-Japan
A few lucky guests who will be staying at one of the Hyakurakuso hot spring hotels in Japan in the near future will be able to feast on grapes that cost around $458 each. That’s because last week, the business purchased the most expensive grapes ever sold at auction, paying 1.2 million yen ($11,000) for a bunch of 24 Ruby Roman grapes.Expensive fruits are a common gift in Japan and are frequently bought by companies that consider it a symbol of a successful business and a strong economy to pay exorbitant prices for them at auction. In this case, Takashi Hosokawa, manager of the hotel chain, said they paid 1.2 million yen to mark 12 years since the Ruby Roman variety first appeared on the market and to commemorate the first auction of Reiwa, the new imperial era.[3]Ruby Roman grapes are, generally, the most expensive variety. They are about the size of a Ping-Pong ball, red in color, and known for being especially sweet and juicy. They are only grown in the Ishikawa Prefecture of Japan and only in small batches to keep the demand high. Around 26,000 bunches of Ruby Roman grapes are expected to be sold this year, although, of course, none of them will come close to the price paid for these grapes.


7Teenage Mutant Meth Gators

A police department in Southern Tennessee launched an online plea for its residents to stop flushing their drugs down the toilet, as they could lead to the appearance of “meth gators.”The Loretto PD made a statement last Saturday after apprehending a criminal who was in the midst of flushing his stash down the toilet. Officials see this as a growing issue because all the water in the sewer ends up in retention ponds to be processed before being sent downstream. These facilities are not really equipped to deal with meth.Already, waterfowl like ducks and geese have gotten hopped up on meth after paying a visit to one of these treatment ponds. However, officials are mainly concerned with the possibility of “meth gators” if the drug persists in the water long enough and makes it to Shoal Creek in Alabama, where the reptiles live.[4]


6Quantum Entanglement Caught On Camera

Photo credit: PA Media
Scientists have captured the first-ever image of quantum entanglement.As the name suggests, the effect occurs when two particles become entangled on a quantum level. Their physical properties are correlated, even though the particles themselves can be separated by great distances.The phenomenon is considered one of the foundations of quantum mechanics. The concept has been around for a while, and Albert Einstein called it “spooky” due to the instantaneity of the interaction between the particles. In fact, it was thought for a while that the effect contradicted certain elements of Einstein’s special theory of relativity until scientist John Bell described the concept in detail.Now, we have an image of quantum entanglement in action, courtesy of the physics team at the University of Glasgow. Their picture shows a strong form of the phenomenon achieved by firing a stream of entangled photons from a quantum source of light at “non-conventional” objects.[5] The result was displayed on liquid-crystal materials that changed the phase of the photons when they passed through.


5Life In Stone Age Israel

Photo credit: Reuters/Nir Elias
A gigantic Stone Age settlement found near Jerusalem will provide us with an unprecedented glimpse into life in ancient Israel.The fortuitous discovery was made while...


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1 comment:

  1. That Heavy Metal Knitting is a hoot. I had to post it to my son's FB Wall. He has a Punk Band.

    ReplyDelete