90 Miles From Tyranny : 10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (6/1/19)

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Saturday, June 1, 2019

10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (6/1/19)

Another week is in the history books, so it’s time to take a gander at a few bizarre and unconventional news items that you may have overlooked. You can click here to catch up on last Saturday’s list.This week, we have Canadian cheese thieves, tortoise-eating chimps, and a London pub for nudists. A laptop infested with viruses sells for over $1 million, while an English port town pays tribute to gangsta rap.

10You Can Leave Your Hat On

Photo credit: The Coach & Horses

Londoners can now head on over to the Coach & Horses, take off all their clothes, and enjoy a pint in a historical pub that has been officially granted a nudist license.Built in the early 19th century, the Coach & Horses gained its notoriety in the following century for being run for over 60 years by Norman Balon, a man dubbed “London’s rudest landlord.” Since 2006, the pub has been in the hands of Alastair Choat, who gave it a more bohemian atmosphere. However, that might go away in the near future, as Choat’s lease is about to expire, and the company that owns the pub, Fuller’s Brewery, plans to bring in new management.Although the brewery claims it will maintain the same atmosphere, Choat tried one last-ditch effort to raise money for a new lease with a 16-month nudie calendar featuring the staff and regulars.[1] In order to do so, he needed a special license similar to that given to adult entertainment establishments.Word of the calendar spread around town, and the Coach & Horses began receiving numerous calls inquiring if the pub is now naturist-friendly. While you can’t just enter the bar and drop your pants, Choat announced plans to hold a “nude night” sometime in June.

9The Great Cheese Caper

The city of Burlington, Ontario, Canada, is being terrorized by a pair of cheese-stealing women. The dairy-loving duo has struck three times in less than a month.The criminals first struck on April 5, when they entered a Fortinos supermarket and made off with multiple wheels of cheese worth hundreds of dollars. They robbed another grocery store named Longo’s that same day.The two women actually tried to steal from the same Longo’s the next day. They were recognized by staff members, who alerted authorities, but the women managed to leave before police arrived.During their latest heist, the women entered the same Fortinos as before and stole $580 worth of cheese wheels. In total, police estimate that they have purloined over $1,500 in cheese.[2] Authorities speculate that the product was sold to restaurants under the table. Despite the fact that the women revisit the same stores, and police have clear surveillance photos of their faces, they remain at large.

Photo credit: Halton Regional Police

8A Bestiary Of Viruses

One of the strangest art projects in recent history is a laptop that sold at auction in the United States for $1.3 million. Called The Persistence of Chaos, it had been purposely infected with six of the most notorious malware viruses ever programmed.[3]The venture is a joint affair between artist Guo O Dong and cybersecurity company Deep Instinct. Guo sees the project as a “bestiary” which catalogues some of the most dangerous threats of the Internet age. He put them all in the same 11-year-old laptop because it is more fun “to see beasts in a live environment.”The six viruses include some which have wreaked havoc in recent years and infected tens of millions of computers, such as ILoveYou and WannaCry. Certain precautions had to be taken to ensure that the laptop is isolated from other networks and cannot spread the infection. According to the terms and conditions, the buyer will receive the computer “as a piece of art or for academic reasons” because, otherwise, it would be illegal to sell the malware.Bemused cybersecurity experts suggest that, instead of spending millions of dollars, people looking for such a laptop could simply connect it to the Internet for a few days without any security measures.

6Drink, Dance, And Be Merry

Photo credit: Viersen District Police

A dove saved a speeding driver from a stiff fine by flying in front of his car and obscuring his identity when the camera took his picture.[4]A few days ago, a motorist was rushing through the German city of Viersen, traveling at 54 kilometers per hour (34 mph) in a zone with a 30-kilometer-per-hour (18 mph) speed limit. Normally, this would be a €105 fine. However, the driver’s face was not visible in the shot snapped by the speed camera because a white dove was flapping its wings right in front of it. Although the license plate is clearly visible, per German laws, both car and driver must be identifiable in the image.Viersen authorities suggested that the unlikely scenario could have been the result of divine intervention, seeing the dove as a symbol for the Holy Spirit. They advise the speeding motorist to take the “hint from above” and drive slower in the future.

6Drink, Dance, And Be Merry

Photo credit: EPA-EFE/Municipality of Rome
Rome is still revealing its ancient marvels. A few weeks ago, we talked about archaeologists who stumbled upon a secret chamber built by Emperor Nero. Now, new excavations under the heart of the city uncovered a giant marble head believed to...

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