90 Miles From Tyranny : 10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (4/27/19)

Saturday, April 27, 2019

10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (4/27/19)

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 get caught up on last week’s offbeat list.We have quite a few tales from the world of crime this week. There are the antics of a bumbling Australian robber, the scam of Moroccan tree-climbing goats, and the lookout parrot used by Brazilian drug dealers. In science news, anthropologists study the importance of ancient beer, while paleontologists marvel at the strangest crab that has ever lived.

10Florida Bunny Strikes

Normally, the Easter Bunny brings joy and chocolate eggs, but the lesser-known Florida Bunny only served a can of whoop-ass on Easter Sunday. A video has made the rounds online showing a person in a bunny costume joining a fight between a man and a woman outside a bar in downtown Orlando.[1]At the moment, it is unclear what the brawl was about or who started it. The clip begins with the fight in progress and shows the bunny jumping in to the woman’s aid while other onlookers are content to film and cheer.The bunny gets a few decent shots in before police arrive on the scene and break it up. Local news reported that there were no arrests following the altercation because nobody wanted to press charges.In a later development, the identity of the bunny was revealed as 20-year-old Antoine McDonald, who is wanted in New Jersey for multiple car burglaries.

9Potholes Save Lives

It is hard to think of anything which is universally hated by everyone on the planet, but potholes make a strong candidate. Even so, there is at least one man from Gretna, Nebraska, who might have a pothole to thank for saving his life.On Monday afternoon, a 59-year-old man was in an ambulance being rushed to the hospital. His heart rate was through the roof, peaking at 200 beats per minute. Paramedics did not think he would survive the 20-minute trip to the hospital, but then the ambulance hit a pothole. Something curious happened: The patient’s heart was restored to normal rhythms.[2]The man arrived at the emergency room in time and was released from the hospital after making a full recovery. Nebraska Medicine’s Dr. Andrew Goldsweig referred to the strange phenomenon as “rare, but [ . . . ] well-described.” An electrical shock using paddles is the classic way shown on television of dealing with an irregular heartbeat, but apparently, a jolt from a pothole accomplishes the same thing. Gretna authorities refused to disclose the location of the livesaving crater to protect the patient’s privacy.

8A Society Built On Beer

Anthropologists from the Field Museum in Chicago have been studying the Wari culture and believe they have uncovered one of the main reasons why it survived for 500 years: a steady supply of beer.The Wari Empire emerged around AD 600 and occupied most of modern-day Peru. About two decades ago, a team from the Field Museum uncovered an ancient brewery in Cerro Baul, which they believe showed how important the alcoholic drink was to Wari society.The Wari made a beverage called chicha, which was served at taverns located next to the brewery. The drink was only good for about a week, so it could not be shipped. Instead, people from all over the empire attended festivals in Cerro Baul, where they partook of chicha. They included hundreds of politicians and other VIPs who would drink out of 0.9-meter-tall (3 ft) vessels decorated like Wari gods.[3]Researchers analyzed shards of those vessels and established the origins of the clay and the chemical composition of the beer. They determined that the clay was local and that the beverage was made from drought-resistant pepper berries. Anthropologists argue that brewers wanted to ensure that there was always a steady supply of alcohol, which was important to the stability of Wari society.

7There Is No Place Like Home

Last Saturday night, an Austrian man who escaped prison over a decade ago turned himself in to the authorities because he was fed up with living on a beach in the Canary Islands.The 64-year-old man landed at Munich Airport and took the railway to Salzburg. Jumping out of the train carrying two suitcases, he approached nearby police officers and informed them that he was a fugitive from the law. While authorities did not publicly identify him, they did confirm that he escaped prison in Eastern Austria and was taken back to jail.[4]According to a statement given by the fugitive to police, he spent the last ten and a half years on the run, mostly on Tenerife. In the end, he wanted to come home because he’d lived there long enough and also because the popular tourist destination “is not as nice as it used to be.”

6The Goat Boondoggle Of Morocco

Photo credit: Aaron Gekoski/Caters News
An investigative environmentalist has exposed the famed tree-climbing goats of Morocco as a scam.If you browse the Internet long enough, chances are you will see a picture of these intrepid animals perched on the branches of the Argania tree in Morocco. These kinds of images are wildly popular and often get shared on social media. People are surprised when they find out that the photographs are genuine. The goats really are up in the trees; they just didn’t get there by themselves. In fact, the whole thing appears to be a racket dreamed up by local farmers to boost tourism.British photographer Aaron Gekoski has discovered that people are placing the goats up in trees so that they can charge tourists for photographs.[5] Being nimble and adept climbers, the animals can stand in the trees for hours without falling. When they get tired, the farmers swap them out with a different set. They take them all down in the afternoon and start over again at sunrise.

5Air For Sale

Photo credit: AFP
Next week will be a momentous period for Japan, as Emperor Akihito will abdicate, and his son, Naruhito, will assume the Chrysanthemum Throne. This will also mark the end of the Heisei period and will signal the start of a new era called Reiwa, which means “beautiful harmony.” However, those who wish to remember the old days can do so by buying cans of “air of an outgoing era.”[6]The cans have gone on sale this week and cost around 1,000 yen ($9). The air itself comes from the village of Henari in Gifu Prefecture because...

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1 comment:

  1. You know, as a Florida Man, I'm actually kind of proud of the Florida Bunny coming to the aid of a "damsel in distress". Too bad he's actually a Joisey man with outstanding warrants.


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