90 Miles From Tyranny : 10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (2/16/19)

Saturday, February 16, 2019

10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (2/16/19)

It is Saturday, which means it is time to do a quick review of the most notable stories that occurred over the last few days. Click here to check out some recent urgent matters while we focus on tales that come out of left field.This week was Valentine’s Day, so naturally, we needed to have a few strange stories regarding the holiday. There is also controversy from the pizza world and the discovery of a tiger by two stoners. We introduce you to the Assman and a nun who liked to party. Finally, we say a bittersweet farewell to the Opportunity rover.

10Tiger In The Garage

Photo credit: Godofredo A. Vasquez, Houston Chronicle

Two people from Texas snuck into a derelict home to smoke a little weed and found a tiger inside the garage.Last week, an unidentified man and woman entered an abandoned home in Southeast Houston to relax with a joint. While the human tenants might have been gone, there was still one notable occupant inside the home. The smokers found a male tiger locked inside a “rinky-dink” cage in the garage.[1]After making sure that the large feline was not the result of a weed-induced hallucination, the woman called the authorities. A vet ensured that the tiger was in good health, and animal control officers were able to tranquilize him and move him safely to a temporary home at the local shelter. The tiger has been named “Tyson” in reference to The Hangover and was relocated to the Cleveland Armory Black Beauty Ranch, southeast of Dallas.

9Ultima Thule Gets Weirder

Photo credit: NASA

New images of Ultima Thule have come in, and puzzled scientists say they have “never seen something like this orbiting the sun.”At the start of the year, the New Horizons probe sent back our first images of Ultima Thule, which became the most distant object ever explored by humans. Back then, it looked like Ultima Thule was a contact binary made from the collision of two round shapes, which made it resemble a snowman. Of course, New Horizons took more pictures of the cosmic object, but it took them a while to get here. New images from the side suggest that the two lobes are flatter than previously thought and resemble a walnut smashed into a pancake.[2] More importantly, though, this bizarre shape is not something we have encountered before. Scientists now have a new conundrum before them as they try to work out how such an object could have formed.It should be mentioned that the recent shots show Ultima Thule brightly lit only on one edge. While this has given us a better idea of its true form, the final shape might be altered yet again as New Horizons beams more images back to Earth.

8Who Was The Patriarch Of Pizza?

Photo credit: Peter Regas/New York Public Library

There is controversy in the world of pizza. One researcher has suggested that the man who brought pizza to America might not have been, in fact, the man who brought pizza to America.An Italian immigrant named Gennaro Lombardi is the one typically credited with the accolade. According to legend, he applied for a restaurant license to sell pizza in 1905 and opened Lombardi’s on Spring Street in Manhattan. However, food historian Peter Regas has scoured through old newspapers and uncovered articles which suggest that the true patriarch of American pizza is one Filippo Milone.[3]Curiously, Regas still believes that Lombardi’s was the country’s first pizzeria. He merely asserts that it already existed before Gennaro Lombardi obtained ownership. The researcher claims that Milone opened Lombardi’s under a different name in 1898. He then sold it to Giovanni Santillo, who owned it until Lombardi came along.Independently, food historian Scott Wiener was researching the origins of New York pizza around the same time, and he discovered that Gennaro Lombardi didn’t own the pizza joint until 1908. This lends some validity to Regas’s story, but it remains to be seen if it is accepted by the industry.

7Knowing Your Mark

Photo credit: US Department of Homeland Security

A telephone scammer picked the wrong target after trying to con the only person in US history to serve as director of both the FBI and the CIA.William Webster might be 94 years old now, but he can still tell when something smells fishy. Therefore, when someone called him up and told him he’d won $15.5 million and a brand-new Mercedes-Benz in the Mega Millions Lottery, he knew it was a scam. When the caller told Webster he had to pay $50,000 to cover the taxes on the prize, he notified the FBI.[4]When the Websters refused to pay, the calls turned into harassment and then threats. On one occasion, the scammer talked to Webster’s wife, Lynda, and described in gory detail what would happen if he were to shoot a sniper’s bullet through her head.The scammer was 29-year-old Keniel Thomas from Jamaica. He had no idea that the FBI had already identified him and that there was a warrant out for his arrest. In late 2017, he flew into New York and was promptly detained. He was sentenced last week to 71 months in prison for extortion using interstate communications. 

6Mother Knows Best

Photo credit: Towson University Police Department

The Towson University Police Department advised students of a woman in her fifties who was walking around campus looking for a date for her son.Valentine’s Day is here, and some people might be willing to go to great lengths in order to share the holiday with a special someone. In the case of one Maryland mom, she was more interested in...

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