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10 Unusual Stories You May Have Missed This Week (3/23/19)



After another week in the history books, it's time to sit back and read some of the peculiar stories that appeared in the last few days. If you'd rather know about the latest good news in the world, you can click here.

There are stories about alligators about ketamine and the most expensive pigeon in the world. There are two stories about shipwreck discoveries, and if we look at history, we visit the city of Bedrock for a Yabba Dabba Doo period. Jack the Ripper made some headlines this week, as did an uninvited guest from space.

10 Saucy Jack Is Back


It's been 130 years since Jack the Rippers saw killers, but he's still collecting a ton of attention. A new study published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences claims that DNA from a cloth claimed to be one of the victims eventually revealed the identity of Jack the Ripper.

The authors are Jari Louhelainen of Liverpool John Moores University and David Miller of the University of Leeds. They say that Jack was a Polish barber named Aaron Kosminski. The revelation itself is not too shocking. Kosminski has always been considered one of the probable Ripper suspects. The scientists claim that the mitochondrial DNA found on a scarf is said to have belonged to Catherine Eddowes, who corresponds to the modern descendant of Kosminski.

This proclamation was not well received by the scientific community, which considered it "unpublicable" and "terrible science and terrible history." [1] First, the geneticist Adam Rutherford showed that the tests had been carried out in 2014 and had already been heavily criticized, but for some reason has now turned into a scientific journal. Other geneticists such as Turi King of the University of Leicester raised concerns about contamination. Although the cloth was part of Catherine Eddowes (which is definitely not a certainty), it has been carelessly treated by many people over the decades. It seems likely that the identity of Jack the Ripper is still escaping us.

9 A pigeon with gold weight

A pigeon named Armando set a new record after being sold for 1.25 million euros at auction (1.42 million US dollars).

The previous record was 376,000 euros. The auction house Pipa, which specializes in the sale of racing pigeons, knew that Armando would achieve a great price. He had been touted as "Lewis Hamilton of Doves". [2] However, they expected that the bids would surpass some half a million euros, perhaps a maximum of 600,000 euros. Never in their wildest dreams did they believe that Armando would be sold for more than double. The huge price was the result of a bidding war between two Chinese buyers.

What's so special about Armando? He is considered one of the greatest racing pigeons of all time. But his competing days are behind him. Armando will be five years old this year and he has dropped out of the race. However, he is still able to produce many descendants to continue his inheritance.

8 Shipwreck Ale

Beer lovers have a new drink to taste. It's called Deep Ascent Ale and is made with yeast from a centuries-old shipwreck.

The SS Oregon was once the fastest liner to travel the Atlantic. Unfortunately, it sank in 1886 following a collision with a schooner a few miles from New York in an area now known as the "Wreck Valley".

As the name implies, some ships have crashed in this region and are a popular spot for divers. One of them is Jamie Adams, a former Wall Street trader who now runs the Saint James Brewery in Long Island. He came up with the idea that, if he could find some intact bottles, he could rebuild the beers over 130 years ago.

Adams tried his luck in 2015 for the first time without success. Only in 2017 did he get some genuine beer bottles in his hands, after he had brought the sand into the dining room of the ship. It took another two years and the help of a microbiologist to extract the yeast and use it in a modern beer. [3] The finished product is a beer that Adams describes as "a slightly fruity taste and a hoppy finish". 19659019] 7 The Last Blockbuster on Earth

The city of Bend, Oregon, will soon have a strange reputation: it will be the last blockbuster in the world.

Currently there are two of these video rentals left. One is in Bend and the other is in Morley, a suburb of Perth, Western Australia. However, the latter will be closed at the end of March and will leave the store in Oregon as the last blockbuster.

The American store once belonged to a five-story franchise owned by the same family, but all the other blockbusters were closed. General Manager Sandi Harding believes that he has survived through "pure stubbornness", but he also had to run on a very tight budget. The computer system uses floppy disks to reboot while business transactions are stored on tape reels. Employees write the membership cards by hand because the dot matrix printer they once broke. [4]

These measures may have been implemented to keep costs down, but now they are actually working in the store. More and more customers are looking for a hefty dose of nostalgia.

At its height, Blockbuster had over 9,000 locations worldwide. It also had a chance to buy Netflix for $ 50 million, but the opportunity has been passed on. In 2010, it went bankrupt, but some stores were franchised and remained open.

6 Herodotus was right

Nearly 2,500 years ago, Herodotus wrote The Histories one of the most influential works of ancient literature. The texts contained a report on his visit to Egypt. A passage confused scholars. In detail, a ship called Baris was described with "long, inner ribs". Herodotus witnessed how it was built, but archaeologists never found evidence that such a ship ever existed. But now they have indeed found a "fabulously preserved" near the sunken city of Heracleion.

Herodotus described the Baris as planks, which were inserted in strong, long cones and then covered with beams. The seams are blocked with papyrus from the inside, and there is a rudder going through a hole in the keel. The mast is made of acacia and the sails are made of papyrus.

This construction has not been seen before. The so-called "ship 17" had acacia boards, which were held together with long pins and fastened with pins. [5] This resulted in a hull of the "inner ribs" mentioned by Herodotus.

Ship 17 is one of 70 ancient ships found around the underwater ruins of Thonis Heracleion, now in Abu Qir Bay. About 70 percent of the fuselage is still preserved and corresponds to the description Herodotus gave almost verbatim. It is not yet clear if there is another Baris among the other shipwrecks.

5 Gators On Ketamine Provide Insight Into Clay


In a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience researchers researched alligators with ketamine and played them off via headphones to the auditory systems of archosaurs to understand better.

Catherine Carr of the University of Maryland and Lutz Kettler of the Technical University of Munich conducted the experiment to investigate the "neural maps" that Gators use to process the sounds around them. They focused on a concept called "interaural time difference" (ITD). [6] Basically, it's the time gap between ears that hear the same sound. It is usually imperceptible, as it usually takes a few microseconds, but it is crucial for animals to determine which direction a sound is coming from.

To do the test, the scientists had to hear different sounds about electrodes as they heard the headphones on their heads recording their neural responses. Of course, alligators are not known as the most cooperative animals in the world, so they had to be sedated with ketamine.

A previous study has done something similar to birds, and this recent experiment showed that the two groups A use a similar neural mapping system, but different from mammals. Crocodiles and birds are from a pre-Siluvian ancestry called Archosauria, which included dinosaurs and pterodactyls. The researchers conclude that their extinct cousins ​​probably had a similar auditory mechanism, especially as the size of the head makes no difference.

4 Fight for the Flintstone House

The owner of the Flintstone House is accused of neighbors who consider their stay a public nuisance.

The architect William Nicholson designed several experimental dome apartments in the mid-1970s. One of them was built in the town of Hillsborough in San Mateo County, California. He gives it its unique shape by placing an air frame over inflated aviation balloons. The strange, somewhat primitive appearance earned him the "Flintstone House" award.

The last owner is retired media mogul Florence Fang. She wholeheartedly embraced the Flintstone identity and made some additions. These include several dinosaur statues and a sign saying "Yabba Dabba Doo". 19459014 [7]

. The neighbors were not satisfied with these new changes. Some consider the red, orange and purple buildings a kind of eyesore, and the dinosaurs certainly will not help. Last autumn, a group of law enforcement officials agreed with them that recent renovations are a public nuisance, and now they hope a judge will do the same. According to the complaint, Ms. Fang did not have the proper permits to make the changes. In a statement, her grandson Sean Fang said she would fight to keep Flintstone House as it is.

3 Fossil Find Stuns Scientists

Paleontologists welcome a fossil deposit in China as one of the planet's most spectacular.

The site is called Qingjiang and is about 518 million years old. What really makes it remarkable is that it contains fossilized soft tissues. These are much rarer than hard anatomical structures like shells, which are much easier to maintain. The site already draws comparisons with the famous Burgess Shale in the Canadian Rockies. As Harvard paleontologist Joanna Wolfe put it, these deposits are "the best of the best".

Researchers found the treasure chest by chance on the banks of the Qing River, a tributary of the Yangtze in 2007. Since then, you have spent four seasons in the field to really get a feel for what they've discovered. They published their findings earlier this week in the journal Science .

So far scientists have identified the remains of 101 different animal species. More than half of them are completely new to science. [8] Qingjiang will greatly expand our knowledge of the early Cambrian era, known as the Cambrian explosion, when life diversified spectacularly in just tens of millions of years.

2 The Florida Man Challenge


This week's viral internet craze comes to us thanks to the mysterious, misunderstood person we call Florida Man. In the Florida Man Challenge, people are looking for the crazy phenomena that our intrepid hero made on their birthday, and then search the social media.

It's easy to participate in the trend. All you have to do is google the words "Florida Man" followed by your birthday (month and day only). The first headline is your "Florida Man" story. For example, if your birthday was the day this article was written, you would find that on your anniversary, Florida Man was "attacked by a neighborhood squirrel with residents on high alert." Inhabitants of Florida have initiated new discussions about the possible causes. Deputy Prosecutor Ryan Butler refers to open laws that make all documents public by default, unless otherwise stated. This makes it much easier for journalists to report on crime stories. [9]

Some believe that this is due to the cyclical nature of the Florida Man myth. The popularity of the meme encourages spreading more weird crimes out of Florida than other states, which in turn further enhances the myth. Finally, there are those who simply admit that there is a "general craze" in the state.

1 When Meteors Attack


NASA revealed that in December a huge meteor exploded in the Earth's atmosphere. Despite a massive fireball, he remained largely undetected because he was blown up over the Bering Sea.

On December 18, the space rock approached our planet and moved at a speed of 30 km / s (19 mps). It broke into a fireball about 25.5 kilometers above the cold waters between Russia and Alaska. The NASA Center for Near Earth Object Studies later calculated a force of 173 kilotons, which is more than eleven times as energetic as the bomb in Hiroshima. Nevertheless, it was only 40 percent as strong as the explosion over Chelyabinsk in 2013.

In contrast to the Russian meteor, however, this caused no injuries or property damage. In fact, we almost did not notice it. There were several institutions that had instruments recording the explosion, but it was not until March 8 that the US Air Force informed NASA of the event so they could put the fireball in their database. [10]

The space rock had a diameter of about 10 meters. According to Rudiger Jehn, head of planetary defense of the European Space Agency (ESA), this is "not unusual". The event again called for an increase in the budget for planetary protection systems.



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