90 Miles From Tyranny : 10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (12/22/18)

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Saturday, December 22, 2018

10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (12/22/18)

The world is full of weird and wonderful things, but a person can hardly be expected to keep up with all of them. Luckily, we’re here to help. You can check the mind-blowing list for a rundown of all the crucial stuff going on in the world right here. In this list, we present to you some of the stranger stories that made headlines.

This week, we have stories on jewels and gemstones. We talk about the largest diamond in North America, planets made of rubies and sapphires, and the rings of Saturn. We also embroil ourselves in a classic gastronomical debate, examine a 4,000-year-old cold case, and find out what kind of pornography people have been watching in 2018.

10Is A Hot Dog A Taco?

Photo credit: thetakeout.com
There is a debate which has raged on from time immemorial: Is a hot dog a sandwich? As it turns out, it might be a taco.

This is a question which is sure to divide the room as everyone has their own opinion. Some see the hot dog as meat between two pieces of bread. Therefore, it is a sandwich. Others say that a sandwich consists of a filling between two slices of bread. A hot dog bun is one piece split open and is still joined at one end. Therefore, it is not a sandwich.

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council does not consider their eponymous food a sandwich. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary does, for example. So do certain states like New York for the purposes of sales tax laws.

The Washington Post kicked the hornet’s nest last week when they declared that the hot dog is, in fact, a taco. This is according to a popular new online guideline known as the Cube Rule which aims to make sense using geometry.[1]

The Cube Rule divides foods based on starch placement or, in other words, the number and locations of bread or bread-like pieces. It looks at them as if they were the sides of a cube.

A food with starch on the top and the bottom is a sandwich. A food with three connected starch sides is a taco. Therefore, the Post proclaimed the hot dog to be a taco. Surely, this will be received well and not cause further controversy.

9Rocco And Alexa

Photo credit: thedailybeast.com

Going by the news, the United Kingdom has a problem with cheeky talking parrots. Last month, we talked about an African grey parrot that brought out the firefighters to its Daventry home by imitating a fire alarm. Before that, the London Fire Brigade tried to rescue a macaw from a roof. The bird told them to “f—k off.” Now we learn about Rocco, another African grey that’s been trying to buy stuff online using an Alexa device.

Rocco resides with foster owner Marion Wischnewski in Berkshire, England. She took him in because he was too much of a handful at the animal sanctuary where he lived. However, Marion soon discovered that the parrot has found someone else to chat with while she is away—her virtual assistant.

On separate occasions, Rocco has talked Alexa into attempting to purchase things like strawberries, watermelon, light bulbs, and even a water boiler. None of the sales actually went through thanks to a parental lock.[2]

It’s not all shopping, though. Rocco also gets Alexa to tell him jokes and play songs. On one occasion, Wischnewski returned home to find Rocco dancing to romantic music.

8Middle Finger To The Law

Photo credit: time.com

A man from Westford, Vermont, has erected a large middle finger sculpture to express his frustrations over a dispute with town officials.

For almost 10 years, Ted Pelkey has been trying to get his truck repair and recycling business moved to his property. He has been unable to do so because he can’t get the right permit.

Finally, he decided that his time and money would be better spent by showing the Westford Select Board what he thinks of their zoning regulations. He spent $3,000 on a 2-meter-tall (7 ft) carving of a wooden fist with its middle finger in the air.[3]

This November, Pelkey added a bit more visibility to his sculpture by placing it on a 4.9-meter (16 ft) pole with lights. Now it can be seen from the road by people walking or driving by. In fact, it has garnered quite a bit of fame. The disgruntled man says that motorists now pull off the road and walk up to the fist to take pictures with it.

The board’s chairwoman Allison Hope made no comment about Pelkey’s protest. She simply said that they are in the middle of an appeal “that’s been going on for a while.”

7Size Does Matter

Photo credit: BBC

The largest diamond ever uncovered in North America has been found in a mine in Canada.

The gemstone was located in the Diavik Diamond Mine in the Northwest Territories. It is a 552-carat yellow diamond which measures 33.74 millimeters (1.33 in) by 54.56 millimeters (2.15 in). This absolutely dwarfs the previous record holder which was unearthed in the same mine and was named Foxfire.

Foxfire was two billion years old and 187.7 carats. It went on display at several museums around the world before being cut into two pear-shaped earrings which sold for $1.5 million at auction.

It is still too early to say what the future has in store for this new diamond. Even though it was discovered back in October, it still doesn’t have a name yet. The next step would be to decide on the master cutter who will cut and polish the gemstone. Given the size and value of the diamond, there are only a handful of people in the world qualified for such a task.[4]

6The Year In Porn

Photo credit: irishnews.com
Last week, pornography giant Pornhub released its Year in Review recap which provides us with some interesting statistics and insights about people’s browsing habits:

Read More HERE

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