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10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (12/15/18)

10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (12/15/18)

With one other week within the historical past books, it’s time to take a seat again and assessment a number of the tales that made the information over the previous few days. Click on right here if you wish to study concerning the main headlines; in any other case, learn on for sudden and outlandish tales.

Regardless that Christmas is quick approaching, this week’s record feels higher fitted for Halloween. There’s speak of ghost pirates, Dracula ants, historic skeletons, alien noises, guys in robotic fits, and, in fact, a river of chocolate.

10 Sister Act three: Viva Las Vegas

Two nuns have been accused of embezzling no less than half one million dollars and utilizing the cash to take lavish playing holidays.

Up till this yr, Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper served as principal for the St. James Catholic Faculty in Torrance, California, whereas her pal, Sister Lana Chang, was a instructor. The 2 had entry to an account no one else was conscious of, which was opened in 1997 underneath the identify of “St. James Convent” as an alternative of “St. James Faculty.” The nuns typically used it to embezzle tuitions, donations, and different charges. The $500,000 determine is simply what forensic auditors have been capable of finding by going by way of six years of financial institution data, and the actual sum could possibly be a lot greater.

The 2 nuns loved taking holidays to casinos and, in response to a lawyer for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, “used the account as their private account.” Every time questioned about their playing journeys, the duo stated they have been presents from a wealthy relative. In the meantime, mother and father have been advised that the varsity operated on a shoestring price range, and academics have been denied wage will increase.

Each Kreuper and Chang have retired. Mother and father have been additional outraged once they came upon that the archdiocese won’t be pursuing legal costs towards the 2 nuns as a result of they confirmed regret.[1]

9 The Mysterious Seal-Eel Connection

There’s a brand new fad on the market which has baffled scientists and poses a critical well being danger: sticking eels up your nostril. There’s only one catch, although. It’s not youngsters who’re doing it however moderately juvenile Hawaiian monk seals.

The story acquired picked up after the US Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) posted an image of a seal with a lifeless noticed eel caught up its nostril on its Fb web page. The picture puzzled animal specialists, who’d by no means seen the weird phenomenon earlier than. In line with NOAA, the group has been monitoring the endangered species for nearly 40 years and had solely observed the odd incident on a number of events, they usually all occurred within the final three years.

Charles Littnan, head of NOAA’s Hawaiian monk seal analysis program, stated the primary occasion occurred in 2016.[2] He acquired an e-mail from a area researcher which, principally, stated, “Discovered seal with eel caught in nostril. What can we do?” There was no protocol set in place again then, however now, commonplace process is to seize the animal and pull the eel by means of the nostril. Thus far, all of the eels have died, however not one of the Hawaiian monk seals appeared affected by the incident.

There’s nonetheless the query of why is that this occurring, and to date, there isn’t any satisfying reply. NOAA has dominated out the work of a deranged individual with a vendetta towards seals. Littnan stated it could possibly be that the seal is regurgitating the eel, or the fish purposely swam contained in the nostril whereas the seal was searching it, however doesn’t think about both speculation believable.

eight Shiver Me Timbers

A lady from Northern Eire ended her marriage with a 300-year-old ghost pirate.

Amanda Teague first made headlines firstly of the yr, when she introduced that she’d wed a person named Jack. Nothing uncommon at first, besides that Jack was an 18th-century pirate from Haiti who was executed for thievery. The 45-year-old lady, who occurs to work as a Jack Sparrow impersonator, had her ceremony in worldwide waters off the coast of Eire. A medium was current in order that Jack might say, “I do.”

Their love story started in 2014, when Jack started visiting Teague at nights. The 2 spent lots of time collectively, developed emotions for each other, and even began having intercourse. That’s when Teague determined that it will be correct for them to get married, despite the fact that Jack “would have been completely satisfied like most males with simply intercourse.”[3]

Alas, it looks like it was not meant to be, as Teague just lately introduced that their marriage is over. She stated she is going to clarify the whole lot “sooner or later” however, for the second, suggested everybody to watch out when participating in spiritualism.

7 The Velocity Of The Dracula Ant

The Dracula ant has claimed the title of quickest motion in nature. Particularly, it will probably snap its jaws 5,000 occasions quicker than a human can blink an eye fixed.

The tiny creature may be discovered all through Australia and tropical elements of Africa and Asia. It attracts its identify from the truth that it engages in larval hemolymph feeding, extra colorfully generally known as nondestructive cannibalism. In different phrases, it sucks the blood of its personal larvae.

One other distinctive function of the ant is its mandibles. Their ideas are pressed towards each other, spring-loaded and prepared for motion. As an alternative of utilizing them to chew its prey, although, the ant lets one mandible slide off the opposite one, smacking the goal. This doubtless leaves the opposite critter surprised and match to be delivered to the nest.

The movement of the mandibles is just like a finger snap, besides that it’s a lot quicker. Researchers from the College of Illinois and the Smithsonian Nationwide Museum of Pure Historical past had to make use of high-speed cameras to seize the motion. They found that the jaws snap at 320 kilometers per hour (200 mph), making them the quickest motion in nature.[4]

6 Boris The Not-So-Robotic

Russia lately hosted a know-how discussion board devoted to robotics. State tv channel Russia-24 lavished specific reward on a robotic named Boris. There was only one drawback, although—Boris was a man in a go well with.

Quickly after the channel confirmed footage of the “robotic,” numerous blogs and information businesses began bringing the report into query. Some questioned why Boris had no exterior sensors or why it made many human-like actions. Others identified that sure pictures clearly confirmed that Boris had a visual neckline. The clincher got here courtesy of MBKh Media, a information company which obtained an image of the actor previous to placing on the Boris head.[5]

Because it turned out, Boris was truly “Alyosha the Robotic.” It’s a pricy £three,000 costume made by an organization referred to as Present Robots, which creates the “close to complete phantasm that earlier than you stands an actual robotic.”

The Proyektoria Know-how Discussion board is hosted yearly and is devoted to the “future mental leaders of Russia.” In accordance with its organizers, they by no means tried to move off Boris as a real machine and don’t understand how the Russian tv channel obtained confused.

5 No Use Crying Over Spilled Chocolate

It was a tragic day within the German city of Westonnen as a ton of chocolate spilled onto the road.

On Monday night, a tank tipped over within the manufacturing unit of confectionery firm DreiMeister. There was a lot overturned chocolate that it burst out of the door and onto the close by street. The chilly climate shortly hardened the sugary deal with, and the street needed to be closed as a consequence of its Willy Wonka-style makeover.

Twenty-five firefighters armed with shovels labored exhausting to take away the chocolate, which coated round 10 sq. meters (108 ft2) of street floor.[6] Additionally they had to make use of scorching water and blowtorches to soften and take away the confection, which acquired caught inside cracks and holes.

Firm president Markus Luckey stated that commonplace operations would resume on Wednesday and guaranteed individuals with a candy tooth that this setback won’t result in a chocolate-free Christmas.

four Dangerous Santa

It’s not typically that Santa Claus goes on the “naughty listing,” however one Kris Kringle from the English city of St Ives, Cambridgeshire, had a potty mouth which scared loads of youngsters and angered their mother and father.

This occurred final Sunday at an occasion hosted by Pageant Occasion St Ives (FESt) on the Corn Trade constructing. A crowd of about 50 youngsters gathered to satisfy Santa and his “chief snowman,” however the meeting was reduce brief by a fireplace alarm. It got here from an unrelated affair, described as a “family-friendly rave,” happening in the identical constructing. That’s when St. Nick acquired purple with anger, ripped off his hat and beard, and advised the evacuating youngsters and their mother and father to “get the f—okay out.”[7]

In the meanwhile, it’s nonetheless unclear what made Santa fly off the deal with like that. DJ Stuart Wilkin, who was a part of the rave, stated that Santa was “raging.” He speculated that St. Nick turned not-so-jolly because of the music thumping whereas he was making an attempt to speak to the youngsters, and the hearth alarm proved to be the final straw.

In an apology, FESt claimed that their Santa Claus was solely making an attempt to assist the evacuation course of. One other occasion will happen this weekend, though it’s unclear if the identical Kris Kringle can be returning.

three Puck, Drop, And Roll

It was a singular state of affairs at a hockey recreation Monday night time between the Florida Panthers and the St. Louis Blues. Each followers and gamers have been left confused after a aim was scored when a puck hit the referee within the crotch after which bounced into the web.

The motion passed off within the first interval when St. Louis defenseman Robert Bortuzzo lobbed the puck towards goaltender Roberto Luongo. It turned out to be a large miss, although, because it went straight at referee Tim Peel, who was standing nowhere close to the web. He tried to get out of the best way, however the puck struck him proper within the groin space. Peel fell to the ground, however the puck acquired deflected into the web.[8]

The confusion arose from the truth that that is such a uncommon prevalence that not even the gamers have been positive if the aim would rely or not. They turned to Peel for solutions, however he simply obtained hit with a flying puck in his privates, so he wanted a minute.

The referee went to the locker room to recuperate and returned to the sport later. The aim was disallowed, as there was a rule stating that the puck can’t strike an official after which deflect instantly into the web.

2 Little Foot Causes Huge Dispute

There’s controversy within the anthropology world. A number of papers underneath assessment on the Journal of Human Evolution declare that a well-known historic hominin dubbed “Little Foot” is definitely a brand new species of Australopithecus.

Initially, solely small fragments of a left foot have been found within the early 1990s, therefore the nickname. Whereas making an attempt to hint their supply, paleoanthropologists found that Little Foot was, truly, an virtually intact skeleton encased in rock within the Sterkfontein Caves of South Africa. It took 20 years to rigorously free it from its rocky tomb, however scientists have been lastly capable of analyze the fossil.

The staff that dug out Little Foot was led by Ronald Clarke from the College of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Their findings have cut up the scientific group as a result of they contend that the fossil is roughly three.67 million years previous, which is far older than earlier estimates.[9]

Furthermore, additionally they assert that Little Foot was not an Australopithecus africanus, as beforehand claimed, however quite a special species whose options match these of Australopithecus prometheus, a theoretical species of historic hominin proposed in 1948. Many variations are noticed within the cranium, and the tooth point out that Little Foot was vegetarian, whereas A. africanus was an omnivore.

Some contemplate their arguments convincing. Others discover them missing. That is doubtless simply the beginning of the talk. Given the superb situation of the fossil, Little Foot will present us with invaluable info even whereas defying classification.

1 The Sound Of Mars

Two weeks in the past, we talked concerning the InSight Lander making a profitable landing on Mars. It didn’t take lengthy for the spacecraft to ship. It despatched again the first-ever sounds of Mars.[10]

Okay, so the audio recording isn’t something notably jaw-dropping. There are not any alien voices or mysterious noises. It’s simply wind passing over InSight ‘s photo voltaic panels and picked up by its seismometer. Even so, the lander has offered us with a brand new approach of exploring the Martian floor.

The wind blew at 16 to 24 kilometers per hour (10–15 mph). The audio was picked up at 10 hertz, which is under the edge of human listening to, so it truly needed to be manipulated to make it audible. NASA sped up the sound 100 occasions quicker to shift the frequency larger.

The audio surveillance gained’t final lengthy, although, as InSight ‘s seismological device can be shielded from all exterior noises when it’s lowered and deployed. The one vibrations it’s going to sense will come by means of the soil. However in the event you’re hoping for extra Martian audio, you gained’t have to attend lengthy. NASA’s Mars 2020 rover may have two microphones to seize sound.