90 Miles From Tyranny : 10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (11/17/18)

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Saturday, November 17, 2018

10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (11/17/18)

With another week in the history books, it’s time to sit back and review some of the stories that made the news over the last few days. Click here if you want to learn all about the major headlines; otherwise read on for unexpected and outlandish stories.

We investigate a few visitors from space which have come in the form of meteorites and weird, flashing lights. There’s also a new neighboring galaxy we discovered on the outskirts of our Milky Way. Besides that, we also talk about drunk raccoons, cat mummies, a fake band, and Fred Flintstone.

10UFOs Over Ireland

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) has been investigating claims of UFOs after multiple pilots reported sightings of strange lights off the coast of County Kerry.

The bizarre occurrences happened last Friday and were evidenced through discussions between airmen and Shannon air traffic control. The first was a pilot from British Airways headed for Heathrow. He contacted air traffic control to inquire if there were any military exercises in the area after seeing a “very bright light” which traveled alongside the plane before veering to the north.[1]

Another pilot from Virgin opined that it could be a meteor. He claimed to have seen “two bright lights” and multiple objects following the same trajectory. A third pilot said that the objects were moving at “astronomical” speeds, reaching Mach 2.

The IAA launched an investigation, but so far, all details are confidential. Experts chimed in and said that the UFOs were, most likely, meteorites that were heated enough to become shooting stars.

9The Red Light District Takes To The Road

A new study published in the journal Annals of Tourism Research suggests that the rise of driverless cars will lead to more people having sex on the road.

Coauthors Scott Cohen and Debbie Hopkins from the University of Surrey and University of Oxford, respectively, believe that sex in automated vehicles is a “natural conclusion.” Once the costs attached to the driver are eliminated, carmakers will begin focusing on improving passenger experience. Interiors will become more spacious and more luxurious. Standard seating will be replaced by massage chairs or even beds.

With this comes the possibility of hotels-by-the hour on wheels. Besides the obvious possibility of couples engaging in hanky-panky on the road, Cohen and Hopkins believe that automated vehicles will also provide new opportunities for prostitution—a “red light district on the move.”[2] While driverless cars will, undoubtedly, be monitored, the two researchers don’t expect this to be an effective hindrance to curb such illicit behavior.

8We’re An American Band?

Photo credit: Jered Threatin

American band Threatin went on a UK tour and played several gigs throughout cities in England. So far, so mundane, you might say, but there is a catch—Threatin doesn’t seem to exist.

At first glance, everything looked legit. The band had almost 40,000 fans on their Facebook page, while front man Jered Threatin (pictured above) had 16,000 followers on social media. They were signed to Superlative Music Recordings, which also had its own website and social media following. The gigs were secured through StageRight Bookings, and the band had already sold hundreds of advance tickets for all of the UK shows. But a curious thing happened when Threatin played at The Exchange in Bristol—nobody showed up. Things went slightly better at their Birmingham show, where they sold one ticket, and reached their peak when they performed at The Underworld in Camden and three people turned up.[3]

A bit of digging revealed that the record label and the promoter were fake. The Facebook fans were, most likely, bought. Threatin managed to book a string of gigs in the UK based on a fan base that didn’t exist.

All of this appears to have been the work of Jered Threatin. Since the story broke, the band’s Facebook page has been deleted and its social media accounts set to private. Remaining gigs in Northern Ireland have been canceled.

The band’s touring members have since revealed that they had been tricked like everyone else. Eventually, Threatin broke his silence and bragged online about how he “turned an empty room into an international headline.”

7Cat And Beetle Mummies Recovered In Ancient Tomb

Photo credit: Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters

The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced last Saturday that archaeologists explored a 4,500-year-old tomb near Cairo and found, among other things, dozens of mummified cats and two mummified scarab beetles

The cats were discovered alongside 100 gilded wooden feline statues and one bronze statue of Bastet, the goddess who was most commonly depicted as a cat. Egyptologists were more excited by the mummified beetles, as they are a much rarer commodity. The two large specimens are preserved in very good condition and were found wrapped in linen inside sarcophagi decorated with scarab drawings.[4]

The discoveries were made in Saqqara, a vast burial ground that once served as the necropolis for Memphis. Nearby, archaeologists found another tomb with its doors still sealed, raising hopes that it has evaded looters. They plan to open and explore it within the coming weeks.

6Yabba Dabba Don’t

Photo credit: Pasco County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook

Fred Flintstone was pulled over for speeding in Pasco County, Florida.

Wesley Chapel resident Don Swartz got stopped for speeding inside a residential complex back on November 4 by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office (PSO). As it happened, Swartz was dressed like Fred Flintstone, and his car was modified to look like Fred’s iconic foot-powered mobile.

A few days later, Swartz was asked to don the Flintstone outfit again and...
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