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Weird National Briefs (07/15/2020)

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Super Mario Dollars

DALLAS (AP) — An unopened copy of a vintage Super Mario Bros. video game has been sold for $114,000 in an auction that underscored the enduring popularity of entertainment created decades ago.

A bidder who wished to remain anonymous snapped up an early version of the pioneering Super Mario Bros. game released in 1985 for Nintendo’s NES console during an auction conducted Friday by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions.

The $114,000 price eclipsed Heritage Auctions’ previous record amount for a video game, which was a $100,150 bid made early last year for an unopened copy of the same game.

The Super Mario Bros. copy that sold for a new record was part of a collection of video games from the 1980s and 1990s that sold to various buyers for nearly $700,000, which was well above Heritage Auction’s initial target of about $500,000. Other titles auctioned off included “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!” a 1987 video game based on the former former heavyweight boxing champion, that sold for $50,400.

TME – I assume Bowser expects a cut.

Rescue dog

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) — A dog in Tennessee became a hero on the Fourth of July by alerting her owner to a house fire next door.

Roux, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois, woke her owner Jeff LeCates with “frantic and unusual barks” on Saturday night, a Franklin Fire Department press release said.

When LeCates opened his door to investigate, Roux burst out and LeCates saw his neighbor’s home on fire, officials said.

LeCates banged on their door, waking the family of three and their pets, and then used a garden hose on the fire until firefighters arrived. No one in the home was injured.

Franklin Fire Marshal Andy King said video evidence shows the homeowners throwing away fireworks and other combustibles near their trash can. Consumer fireworks are illegal in Franklin.

The woman whose home caught fire has a special place in Roux’s heart.

The press release said the woman is a dog groomer and the reason why LeCates adopted Roux 15 months ago. She knew LeCates had lost his German Shepard and Roux is a similar breed. She helped with the adoption, knowing Roux needed a home.

TME – Weird – I would have guessed dalmatian.

Over the top

FLORENCE, Ky. (AP) — An arm-wrestling contest between a father and son turned violent and led to an 8-hour standoff with Kentucky deputies, authorities said.

Curtis Zimmerman, 55, was charged Monday with wanton endangerment, news outlets reported.

Deputies were sent to Zimmerman’s home around 1 a.m. Monday.

Boone County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Philip Ridgell said Zimmerman was intoxicated when he challenged his son to an arm-wrestling competition.

When Zimmerman lost multiple times, he became “agitated” and got into a physical fight with his son, Ridgell said.

Zimmerman grabbed a gun and fired two shots into the ceiling while his son was going upstairs, Ridgell said. No one was injured.

Police did not identify the son or give his age.

When authorities arrived, two family members were outside but Zimmerman refused to leave the home, leading to an 8-hour standoff. Zimmerman surrendered around 8:30 a.m.

It’s unclear whether Zimmerman had an attorney who would comment on his behalf.

TME – Who needs a gun? All you have to do is turn your hat backwards.

Tanks for nothing

BOSSIER CITY, La. (AP) — Police in Louisiana were able to reel in a man captured on video swimming through a fish tank at a sporting goods store.

Kevin Wise, 26, told KSLA-TV that he plunged into the indoor aquarium at a Bass Pro Shop in Bossier City last week to follow through on a promise he made to followers on the social media platform TikTok.

“I said that if I got 2,000 likes I would jump in the tank,” Wise said. “I got way more than that and didn’t want to be a liar.”

A video captured by shopper Treasure McGraw showed Wise swimming through the tank before climbing out and running from the store with wet clothes.

“We heard a big splash and I thought it was one of the fish,” McGraw told the news outlet. “My fiancé was like ‘somebody is in the tank’ and we saw the guy swimming.”

Bass Pro Shops filed a complaint with the Bossier City Police Department Friday, saying it cost them money to empty out the 13,000 gallon aquarium and clean it after Wise’s swim, KTAL-TV reported.

Wise was charged with simple criminal damage to property and released with a citation to appear in court, police said.

He told KSLA-TV he planned on continuing to make videos for his followers, but cautioned others against doing similar “spur of the moment” pranks.

TME – He might be a thirsty weirdo, but he’s a thirsty weirdo of his word.

Speedy delivery

MARGATE, Fla. (AP) — This was not one of those delivery videos that some pregnant moms plan for.

A Florida birthing center says an expectant mother was a few steps from entering the building but her baby couldn’t wait. She gave birth while standing up outside, with a midwife catching the baby and a doorbell camera catching all the action.

The Miami Herald reports that Susan Anderson already felt the need to push as her husband drove them to the Natural Birthworks center in Margate. The RING video, shared on Facebook, shows what happened next.

Anderson stands in a T-shirt, maternity shorts and flip-flops, with her husband supporting her and the midwife crouching just behind.

“She’s OK, She’s OK,” Sandra Lovaina, tells two arriving officers. “It’s OK. I’m the midwife. She is going to have a baby.”

And then a moment later, out she comes — a baby girl that Lovaina catches and passes between the legs to the mom. She cradles the girl they’ve named Julia against her chest, and says “sorry” before gasping in tears and smiles.

“This momma had a super-fast labor,” the center said on June 23. It said the video was being shared with permission, and both baby and mother are doing fine.

TME – Can we talk about “midwife catching the baby”?

Up, up and away

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A company wants to use an advanced balloon to fly customers from Earth’s surface in Alaska to the highest reaches of the planet’s atmosphere.

Florida-based startup firm Space Perspective plans to use the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Kodiak to serve as one of the launch sites for the vehicle, called the Spaceship Neptune, The Anchorage Daily News reported Sunday.

The balloon rides will be manned by a flight crew taking eight passengers in a pressurized capsule suspended beneath a hydrogen balloon the size of a football stadium.

Each passenger could pay an estimated $125,000 for a six-hour journey.

Mark Lester, CEO of Alaska Aerospace Corp., said the high-altitude rides will be available from Kodiak in a few years and will support Alaska tourism.

“You will have people from around the world who want to come to Alaska and see the northern lights from the edge of space,” Lester said.

Alaska Aerospace and Space Perspective will test and refine spaceport operations and secure spaceflight licenses from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Space Perspective plans to complete an unmanned test flight from the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida next year.

Passengers will begin with a two-hour ascent to about 19 miles (31 kilometers) above Earth. They will then be able to post on social media about the experience or send data.

“Neptune then makes a two-hour descent under the balloon and splashes down, where a ship retrieves the passengers,” along with the capsule and balloon, Alaska Aerospace said.

Capsule recovery would occur in the waters around Kodiak Island and the Aleutian Island chain, depending upon the seasonal wind patterns.

The balloon design is derived from technology NASA has used for decades to fly large research telescopes, Space Perspective said.

TME – I would both watch a movie and listen to a band named “Space Balloon.”

Last modified on Wednesday, 15 July 2020 10:55

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