90 Miles From Tyranny : 10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (6/15/19)

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Saturday, June 15, 2019

10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (6/15/19)

A lot of strange stuff happened this week. Don’t worry if you missed it because this list is here to catch you up. You can also click here to take a look at last week’s happenings.

This week, we examine two bizarre crimes, one of them involving an avocado grenade. We also learn about our ancient ancestors’ penchant for making “Cheerios” and smoking cannabis. Lastly, if you are a multimillionaire, you can start planning your space vacation aboard the ISS.

10All Aboard The International Space Station

Photo credit: NASA
NASA announced plans to open the International Space Station (ISS) to tourists starting in 2020. According to Robyn Gatens, deputy director of the ISS, there will be up to two missions per year which will carry multiple private astronauts to the station for up to 30 days at a time.As you might expect, a space vacation will still be incredibly expensive, so it will not be available to your average Joe anytime soon. “Booking” the ISS will cost $35,000 per night, and this does not take into account the greatest expense, which is journeying to and from the station. NASA says that private companies like SpaceX and Boeing will be in charge of traveling arrangements. They will also be responsible for the composition of the crew on each flight, as well as ensuring that the space tourists meet the medical and training criteria for such a journey. It is probable that these companies will charge private customers around the same as NASA astronauts for a two-way trip to the ISS, which is around $60 million per flight.[1]

9World’s Most Considerate Criminal

Photo credit: GMP Trafford North
Police from Manchester, England, took to social media to thank a considerate drug dealer who left behind his stash alongside his name and address.In the online post, cheeky authorities announced plans to reunite the hapless individual with the backpack that he forgot on the Bury line while traveling on the tram. Inside his rucksack were 25 tablets, large amounts of white powder and white rocks, and some scales.[2]Fortunately for police, it should prove relatively easy to get in touch with the owner of the backpack because he also left behind his Community Payback card, which had his name and address.

8On Your Mark, Get Ready, Sit

Photo credit: Reuters/Issei Kato
The small Japanese city of Hanyu kicked off the annual Isu Grand Prix, where competitors form teams of three and take part in endurance races while sitting in office chairs.Inspired by Le Mans and Formula One, Tsuyoshi Tahara created the first event back in 2009. It proved to be pretty popular, and now, ten years later, 55 teams participated in the Hanyu Grand Prix, traveling from as far away as Wakayama, 600 kilometers (372 mi) to the south. Moreover, this was just the first of ten events that will take place across Japan this year.[3]The teams used ordinary office furniture and had two hours to complete as many laps as possible of a 200-meter (656 ft) course. Although they were free to employ any method of propulsion they wanted as long as it used their own force, all racers relied on their legs to push the chairs backward. Many teams used a Le Mans-style rotation to keep each other fresh.Last year’s winners, Kitsugawa Unyu, took first place again. Their prize was 90 kilograms (200 lb) of rice, which the racers struggled to lift due to fatigue.

7Toilet Trouble For Plane Passenger

Photo credit: @HistoryofPIA1/Twitter
A flight from Manchester to Islamabad was delayed for almost eight hours after a passenger opened the emergency exit because she thought it was the toilet.The Pakistan International Airways (PIA) flight was sitting on the runway, getting ready to depart, when the confused passenger had to use the restroom. She reached for the wrong door and triggered the emergency evacuation slide. Now, because the evacuation capacity of the plane had been reduced, 38 people had to voluntarily disembark and take a later flight.[4] And, of course, the mix-up had a domino effect that caused several other departures to be delayed at Manchester Airport.Pakistani officials blamed the incident on a shortage of airline staff, which allowed the emergency exit to be opened.

6A Generous Toe-nation

Photo credit: Nick Griffiths/Twitter
The Downtown Hotel in Dawson City, Canada, recently received a peculiar delivery: two human toes. Normally, this would be cause for concern, but the proprietors “couldn’t be happier.” That’s because the digits will be used in the hotel’s infamous “sourtoe cocktail.”It is a tradition that started almost 50 years ago. Travelers who go to the hotel and visit the Sourdough Saloon can order the drink and join the “Sourtoe Cocktail Club.” Basically, it is an amputated toe floating in their alcohol of choice, typically whiskey. The rule is that the lips must touch the toe while drinking; otherwise, it doesn’t count.The original toe is long gone, and the hotel relies on donations. They recently received two digits from Nick Griffiths, a British endurance athlete who lost three of them to frostbite during the Yukon Arctic Race.[5] His plan was to travel to the hotel with his toes, but his trip was delayed by months of rehab. Eventually, he got tired of keeping his toes in jars inside his bedside drawer and mailed them to Canada. He kept one as “insurance.”

5The Avocado Robber

A man was arrested in Israel after robbing two banks and walking away with NIS 28,000 ($7,800). His weapon of choice was an avocado.The 47-year-old robber first targeted a branch of Postal Bank in...

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