90 Miles From Tyranny : 10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (10/20/18)

Saturday, October 20, 2018

10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (10/20/18)

It’s Saturday, which is the perfect opportunity to wind down and catch up on some of the biggest stories of the week. You can find out about the mind-blowing things that happened here. Otherwise, read on for a list that focuses on strange and unique news items.

This was quite a week for stories involving the “blankest blank in the world.” We talk about the oldest human remains in Poland, the youngest person to bike around the world solo, and the oldest fossils on Earth.

If that’s not enough for you, there are also entries involving a dead pimp, a scarf that looks like genitals, and a vote to abolish slavery.

10A Gruesome Fate For A Neanderthal Child

Photo credit: PAP/Jacek Bednarczyk

Anthropologists from Jagiellonian University in Krakow and Washington University in St. Louis have analyzed the oldest human remains found in Poland. They tell the story of a Neanderthal child who met a grisly end about 115,000 years ago.

The remains were found a few years ago in Ciemna Cave. They were just two small phalanges about one centimeter (0.4 in) in length which belonged to a Neanderthal child between five and seven years old.[1] At first, they weren’t identified as being human because they were found among animal bones.

A lab analysis revealed that the digital bones came from a Neanderthal. Closer inspection showed that they were covered in tiny holes. The porous surface was a sign that the bones passed through the digestive system of a giant Ice Age bird. However, experts cannot say if the animal attacked and killed the child or scavenged the body.

9In The Pumpkin Patch, No One Can Hear You Scream

Photo credit: Li Carter

A Canadian couple became popular online after reenacting the infamous “chestburster” scene from Alien to announce their pregnancy.

Back in 1979, a tiny xenomorph burst out of Officer Kane, and horror movie magic was made. Earlier this month, Todd Cameron from Nanaimo, British Columbia, found a model of that alien at a garage sale and bought it for $15.

His wife, Nicole, happened to be pregnant, and the two wanted a maternity shoot to reveal the big news to their friends and family. However, neither of them was interested in a traditional setting and instead opted for something gorier. They believed an Alien maternity scene better represented their shared love of theatrics and the fact that they first met at a Halloween party.

The shoot starts off innocent enough as Todd and Nicole take a stroll through a pumpkin patch. Things go sideways quick, though, as the xenomorph soon makes an appearance by “tearing open” Nicole’s stomach. Todd then chases it through the pumpkin patch.[2] The shoot ends with the new parents posing with their alien baby.

8Slavery To End In Colorado?

Next month, Colorado voters will get the opportunity to vote on abolishing slavery.

At the moment, the state constitution says that there “shall never be in this state either slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” Therefore, slavery could, technically, still be enacted under certain circumstances.

This will actually be the second attempt to abolish slavery in Colorado in recent times. An amendment was put to the ballot two years ago but didn’t pass. Anti-slavery activists blamed the wording, saying that voters were confused on whether they were voting for or against abolition.[3] This time, the amendment put forward by legislators simply states that “there shall never be in this state either slavery or involuntary servitude.”

7Police Academy 8: Mission To India

An Indian police officer from Uttar Pradesh went viral for mimicking gun noises during a criminal encounter after his pistol jammed.

Last week, police from the city of Sambhal chased several lawbreakers into a sugarcane field. As officers surrounded them, Sub-Inspector Manoj Kumar realized his gun has jammed. Unable to fire, he did the next best thing—he started shouting “thain, thain” which is the Indian equivalent of “bang, bang.” He also shouted “maaro” (“shoot”) and “ghero” (“surround”). According to Kumar, his intention was to show the criminals that they were surrounded from all sides and that there was no escape.

His actions amused the online world, but Kumar’s superiors were pleased with the sub-inspector. He is to receive a commendation for bravery. Sambhal Police superintendent Yamuna Prasad considered the sub-inspector a hero for not quitting the battle and shouting “encouraging words for his fellow colleagues in a strategic move.”[4]

6Beer Supply In Danger

Researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) warn that severe climate events which are likely to happen in the future will cause a global shortage of beer.

The beer industry consumes approximately 17 percent of the global barley production. However, severe heat waves and droughts will have a negative impact on the total yield of barley, which, in turn, will affect global beer supply.

This recent study, published in Nature Plants, predicts grain losses anywhere between 3–17 percent, depending on the severity of the weather conditions. At its best, this would cause beer consumption to drop by four percent and the alcoholic beverage to increase 15 percent in price. At its worst, the price would double, and consumption woould drop by 16 percent, or roughly 29 billion liters (7.6 billion gal) of beer.[5]

The shortage would not affect everyone equally. Worst off seem to be beer-loving European countries such as Belgium, the Czech Republic, and Germany. Following extreme weather events, their beer supply could shrink by 27–38 percent.

5Play It Again, Alex

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1 comment:

  1. number8, no more grounding teens. no more sending disobedient children to their room. no more mandatory after school "after school study hall". no more "time out in the corner".
    I can just see this one comming down the road...


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