90 Miles From Tyranny : 10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (7/6/19)

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Saturday, July 6, 2019

10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (7/6/19)

Now that the weekend is here, it is a good opportunity to sit back and wind down with a few odd news stories that you may have missed when they hit the headlines. Click here if you want to catch up on last week’s list.This week, we aim to expand our cultural horizons a bit by checking out a poop museum. We examine two strange crimes in the form of a serial toilet clogger and a 33,000-year-old cold case. We also point the finger and laugh at a few gaffes committed by organizations that should have known better: A baseball team paid for a memorial tribute for living players, and NASA sold its original lunar landing tapes for a few bucks.

10Remember The Miracle Mets

Photo credit: Richiek

The New York Mets had to apologize after staging a reunion and showing a memorial montage which included two players who were still alive.The Mets don’t have a lot to be cheerful for these days. Their season is going terrible, and the team now has to deal with a pitcher who threatened a reporter. But last Saturday was supposed to be a happy, nostalgia-laced distraction. The New York Mets celebrated 50 years since the 1969 season, when the “Miracle Mets,” as they were dubbed by the press, won the first World Series in franchise history.In terms of good publicity, this was supposed to be a slam dunk for the organization, but it tripped over its own shoelaces. The ceremony, which was held at Citi Field, featured a tribute to all the players from the 1969 team who have passed away. This included outfielder Jim Gosger and lefty Jesse Hudson, but there was one problem: Both of these men are still alive.[1]According to the New York Mets, the franchise has reached out to the players to apologize, but Gosger said that he wouldn’t take their phone call.

9Serial Case In Sheboygan

Photo credit: Sheboygan Police Department

The Sheboygan serial toilet clogger is finally behind bars. The Wisconsin man received 150 days in jail and three years of probation for five counts of misdemeanor criminal damage to property.Thirty-five-year-old Patrick D. Beeman will also have to complete 100 hours of community service, stay away from alcohol and drugs, and pay $5,500 in restitution for clogging the women’s toilets in Deland Park and at his workplace. He was initially charged with 12 misdemeanors, but seven of those were dropped, and he received a 30-day sentence for each of the remaining five. Under the Huber program, Beeman will be able to keep his job, as long as he goes back to jail every day after work.The investigation into Beeman’s bizarre crime spree started in March, when officers found the women’s toilet of the Deland Community Center overflowing after it had been clogged with a water bottle.[2] They went through past complaints and found another ten similar incidents going back to April 2017. Police singled out Beeman as a suspect after he was caught doing the same thing at the company where he worked as a temp.As far as motive is concerned, the man asked for forgiveness but admitted that he gets urges to do odd things.

8One Space Agency’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure

Photo credit: Sotheby’s

A former intern at NASA is set to make a mint after auctioning off tapes with original footage of the Apollo 11 Moon landing that the space agency sold to him decades ago.As we have mentioned before, NASA has made its fair share of blunders. Among the most boneheaded was losing the original footage of the first time humans have landed on the Moon. Thirty-five years after the Apollo 11 mission, the agency realized that those tapes were missing and concluded that it accidentally reused them during the 1980s.As it turns out, at least three of those videotapes are still around. NASA didn’t tape over them, but they did sell them to an intern. He held onto them for decades, not really knowing what they contained, and now he is putting them up for auction.In 1976, Gary George paid $217 for 65 boxes of tapes at a government surplus auction. Now, Sotheby’s estimates that those three videotapes will fetch around $2 million.[3] Appraisers from the auction house deemed the quality “faultless,” as it represents the sharpest footage of the lunar landing ever recorded. It’s a good thing George held onto those tapes at his father’s behest and didn’t resell them like he did with all the other boxes.

7Magic Mishap In Makhanda

Photo credit: Brendon Peel

A magician had to be taken to the hospital after a crossbow accident caused him to be struck in the head with an arrow.Li Lau (left above), who goes by the stage name “One Crazy China,” was performing at the 2019 National Arts Festival in Makhanda, South Africa. Another magician named Brendon Peel (right above) was assisting him. At one point during the act, a crossbow was pointed at Li. It fired prematurely and hit him in the head.[4] The entertainer was rushed to the hospital but only incurred minor injuries.Although the magicians did not go into detail, they stressed that the trick was designed in such a way that the crossbow could never fire with force. The bolt only caused a cut to the back of Li’s head which required stitches. Even so, the organizers of the show offered trauma counseling to members of the audience.Although this time, everyone walked away from the mishap mostly unscathed, it was a reminder that magic remains a dangerous art form that can prove fatal. Just two weeks ago, an Indian magician drowned in the Hooghly River while trying to recreate one of Houdini’s most famous tricks.

6Russia’s Got Talent

A group of Russian factory workers from Yaroslavl have found a novel way of protesting the sanctions placed on them by the US government: with a rap song.Ilya Bondarenko and his colleagues manufacture car engines at a plant belonging to GAZ Group, the largest private automaker in the country. The company became the target of sanctions in April 2018, due to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Now, GAZ is in danger of going bankrupt, leaving many workers fearful for their jobs.Bondarenko has no interest in getting into the politics of the matter, but he thought that he could use his lifelong love of rap music to show the plight of the ordinary people being affected. He wrote a song to the beat of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” in the mini-studio he has at home.[5] His coworkers enjoyed it, so they performed the track with him and even filmed a music video inside the faltering factory.

5One Stylish Spider

Photo credit: Queensland Museum

Five new species of spider were identified by arachnologists in Australia. One of them was named after Karl Lagerfeld, as the researchers felt that the arachnid emulated the fashion designer’s signature look.All of the new species are tiny jumping spiders about the size of a grain of rice. One was found in New South Wales, while all the others come from...

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