Latest Blog Posts
Wildwood Fire ReviewBy Ezekiel McAdams   &n

Get Connected

August 18-31
VOL.14 ISSUE. 26

News Quirks

Roland Sweet
Published Thursday September 18, 05:23 pm
There’s a slight problem with this solar power plant

Photo Credit: Illustration by Myron Campbell

Federal wildlife investigators are urging California officials to halt an application to build a state-of-the-art solar plant after concluding that a similar but smaller existing plant in the Mojave Desert is causing birds to ignite in mid-air at the rate of one every two minutes. The smaller plant, operated by Oakland-based BrightSource Energy, uses 300,000 mirrors, each the size of a garage door, to reflect solar rays onto three 40-storey boiler towers, whose heated water produces steam to turn turbines to generate enough electricity for 140,000 homes. BrightSource has applied to build its new mirror field and a 75-storey power tower near the California-Arizona border and, according to senior vice-president Joseph Desmond, is investigating ways to scare birds away to curb the incinerations. (Associated Press)


Bottom Lines

Japan kicked off Disaster Prevention Day by urging people to stockpile toilet paper. The promotion by the trade ministry and the Japan Household Paper Industry Association is part of the ministry’s “toilet paper supply continuity plan,” which was devised after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, but it’s also aimed at boosting toilet paper sales, which have flattened since shoppers hoarded consumer goods ahead of this year’s nationwide consumption tax increase. About 40 per cent of the country’s toilet paper comes from earthquake-prone Shizuoka Prefecture, according to ministry officials, who urged households to have at least a month’s reserve supply. (Bloomberg News)


Love Seat

Police arrested a 33-year-old woman they said “hiked up her dress and engaged in an intimate act with several lawn chairs” in Seattle. She then began urinating on the lawn before “quite purposefully exposing her genitalia, and then posterior, to the family inside the home,” according to the report. The family called 911. Officers who arrested the “extremely intoxicated” woman for indecent exposure explained that public nudity is not illegal, but it becomes criminal if it “causes a person to reasonably experience fear, alarm or concern.” (Seattle’s KOMO-TV)


Family Values

Fifty-four per cent of Christian men and 15 per cent of Christian women admitted to viewing pornography at least once a month, according to a Barna Group survey. The definition of pornography was left up to the respondents. (The Washington Times)


Building Better Quakes

Human-caused earthquakes, a side effect of high-tech energy drilling, cause less shaking than natural ones and feel about 16 times weaker, according to a study by U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Susan Hough. “It’s not that there’s no hazard,” Hough said of the artificial quakes induced by injections of wastewater deep underground during hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, “it’s just that it’s a little better than you might think.” Hough theorized that the artificial quakes have less energy because the injected wastewater lubricates the fault. (Associated Press)


Bad Blessings

Tennessee high school senior Kendra Turner, 17, was suspended for saying “bless you” after another student sneezed during a class. The phrase was listed on the chalkboard, along with several others that students aren’t supposed to say in class: “my bad, hang out, dumb, stupid, stuff and things like that,” Turner said, adding that she “was being courteous” when she uttered the banned phrase. Lynn Garner, assistant principal at Dyer County High School, said the teacher’s rule was “reasonable to avoid a distraction in the classroom” and blamed social media for blowing the incident out of proportion. (Dyersburg State Gazette)


Bad Blessings Redux

Leon Gardner, a physics professor at the College of Coastal Georgia, included a ban on the phrase “bless you” in his course syllabus as part of a list of disruptive behaviours, such as using a cell phone or arriving late for class. The syllabus threatened violators with a lower grade. After the syllabus went viral on social media, the college announced that the syllabus has been revised to remove the reference to “bless you.” (Inside Higher Ed)


Play With Fire, Etc.

Police charged Arthur Avery, 30, with setting fire to an apartment building in South Daytona, Florida, after they located the arson suspect at a hospital where he was being treated for burns. Witnesses said the suspect became angry when he couldn’t locate a resident and began pouring gasoline onto a discarded mattress in a stairwell. When he knelt down to light the fire, he also ignited himself. Before he fled, while he rolled around on the ground to snuff his burning clothing, a set of keys and his wallet fell out. (Orlando’s News 13)


Lettuce Lust

Police conducting a reverse prostitution sting in Daytona Beach, Florida, reported that Alonzo Liverman, 29, told the undercover police officer posing as a prostitute that he didn’t have any money, but offered a salad as payment for sex instead. (The Daytona Beach News-Journal)


Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, more than 80 per cent of U.S. divorce attorneys surveyed indicated that social networking in divorce proceedings is on the rise, and social media clauses are popping up in pre-nuptial agreements. “This is something new,” New York attorney Ann-Margaret Carrozza said, adding about a third of her clients have expressed interest in adding social media clauses to pre-nups since she started offering them in April. A typical clause forbids couples from posting nude photos of each other, or photos or posts that might harm each other’s professional reputation. Even though the damage is embarrassing, the penalty is monetary, Carrozza said, amounting to “$50,000 per episode.” (ABC News)


Crime Doesn’t Pay

Police said Dorren Singh, 26, stole $32,000 from 14 New York City banks, then took a bus to Atlantic City “to meet girls and have fun.” Instead, he lost his ill-gotten gains playing roulette. (New York Post)

Compiled from mainstream news sources by Roland Sweet

Back to TopShare/Bookmark