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August 18-31
VOL.14 ISSUE. 26

Shell Of A Scam

Rolland Sweet
Published Thursday January 8, 04:30 pm
He was just another fool with his pants full of turtles

Photo Credit: Illustration by Myron Campbell

Ontario resident Kai Xu was charged with smuggling after border agents at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel discovered more than 50 turtles strapped to his body and hidden between his legs. Acting on a tip about a large box sent from Alabama to a Detroit postal center addressed to Xu, U.S. authorities staked it out until Xu arrived to claim his package. He then concealed the turtles under his clothing, but Canadian authorities found them after stopping him in Windsor as soon as he re-crossed the border. (The Detroit News)


Jet Bus Says No To Drugs


Indianapolis speed demon Paul Stender outfitted a school bus with a 42,000-horsepower jet engine capable of propelling the vehicle at speeds of up to 367 miles per hour. The engine, which shoots out 80-foot flames and uses 150 gallons of fuel for a quarter-mile run, is so big that the bus has room for only three passengers. “I built the bus for two reasons,” Stender said. “The first is to entertain people because, come on, it’s a jet bus. The second is to inspire kids to keep away from drugs.” He reinforced his message by putting the motto “Jets are hot — drugs are not” on the side of the bus. (New York Post)


Adieu To The View


A British company said it intends to change commercial air travel by developing an airplane without windows. Removing windows, according to the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), would eliminate the need to reinforce the fuselage, making planes lighter and thus more fuel-efficient. Instead of windows, ultra-thin flex screens could display outside scenery captured by cameras outside the plane or act as a personal touch screen for passengers to surf the Internet or check their email while flying. The concept is still in its design phase, CPI developers said, noting it will take around five years before the screens, using organic light-emitting diodes (OLED), are ready for full production. (Britain’s Daily Mail)


This Makes Too Much Sense


Utah’s Housing First began a program in Salt Lake City to end homelessness by giving homeless people homes. Instead of spending more than $20,000 a year on care, Housing First reckons putting someone into permanent housing costs the state just $8,000. The program not only saves money, but also provides stability that allows homeless people to turn their lives around. After 22 months, none of the 17 people placed in homes around the city when the program started were back on the streets. Subsequently, the number of Utah’s chronically homeless fell by 74 per cent. (The New Yorker)


Second Thoughts About Being First


After the crash of Virgin Galactic’s space tourism rocket SpaceShipTwo in California’s Mojave Desert during a test flight, “about 20” of the people holding tickets on the craft’s initial space voyage requested a refund, company representative Jess Gilbert said. Tickets originally cost $200,000 each but later rose to $250,000. (The Hollywood Reporter)


Perils Of Macadamia


Korean Air executive Heather Cho delayed the departure of her flight from New York to Incheon by demanding the removal of a flight attendant who served her macadamia nuts in a bag instead of on a plate. The incident prompted Cho’s resignation but boosted macadamia sales in Korea nearly twelve-fold. (BBC News)


And Proud Of It


Authorities arrested Deborah Asher, 37, in Laurel County, Kentucky, for drug possession and trafficking after she attracted their attention by wearing a shirt with the slogan “I love crystal meth.” (Associated Press)


The Smell Of Progress


Kohler Co. unveiled its new deodorizing toilet seat, which product manager Jerry Bougher proclaimed eliminates embarrassing bathroom odours and the candles and sprays needed to cover them up by attacking smells “where the action is.” The $90 battery-operated seat uses a hidden fan to suck in air and push it through an odour-eating carbon filter. An optional scent pack is available. (Associated Press)


Home Sweet Home


The Italian company WASP has developed a 20-foot-tall 3-D printer than can turn mud and fibre into homes. WASP CEO Massimo Moretti said the process will provide cheap housing in impoverished regions, starting this year in Sardinia, which has abundant wool to use as a fibrous binder in the printer’s mud. Moretti said that using the machine to work more closely with natural forms rather than common square brick dwellings will help people express the power of their mind, instead of just the power of constructing something by hand. (MAKE magazine)


Home Bitter Home


California authorities accused Kathy Rowe of harassing a couple who bought a Carmel Valley house that Rowe had placed an offer on, calling it her “forever home.” The criminal complaint said Rowe signed the wife up for sex ads online that encouraged visitors to drop by unannounced while her husband was at work. The couple also received unwanted magazines, books and junk mail, and Rowe allegedly sent romantic Valentine’s Day cards from the husband to his female neighbours. “Losing that house was devastating to my family and broke our hearts,” Rowe said, calling her actions “stupid pranks.” (ABC News)


Bad Manners


Jack-Lyn Blake, 47, stabbed her boyfriend in the chest with a dinner knife, according to police in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, because she got angry that he started eating Thanksgiving dinner without her while she was taking a nap after getting drunk earlier in the day. (The Smoking Gun)


Getting It Off His Chess


Police responding to an emergency call of screams at an apartment in Oslo reported the sounds came from a male chess player “frustrated by constantly losing against his own PC.” (Norway’s The Local)


Compiled from mainstream news sources by Roland Sweet 

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