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Weird National Briefs (07/21/2021)

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Rooftop reptile

DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man told police officers he was “teaching it a lesson” when he tried to throw a live alligator he had stolen from a miniature golf course onto the roof of a beachside cocktail lounge, authorities said.

The 32-year-old man was arrested early Thursday when Daytona Beach Shores police officers spotted him attempting to throw the gator onto the roof of a cocktail lounge located just off Highway A1A, according to a police report.

The officers then saw the man take the alligator by its tail, hit it against the awning of the building, throw it to the ground and stomp on it twice, the report said.

The man from Homestead, Florida was taken into custody and charged with possession and injury of an alligator, unarmed burglary of an occupied dwelling, theft and criminal mischief.

The man told officers that he had stolen the gator from an enclosure at a nearby miniature golf course.

An online court docket showed no attorney for the man, who remained in jail Friday morning.

TME – He better have said “See you later!” on the release, or else what’s even the point?

Robots and royalty

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Dutch Queen Maxima teamed up with a small robot Thursday to unveil a steel 3D-printed pedestrian bridge over a canal in the heart of Amsterdam’s red light district.

Maxima pushed a green button that set the robot’s arm in motion to cut a ribbon across the bridge with a pair of scissors.

The distinctive flowing lines of the 12-meter (40-foot) bridge were created using a 3D printing technique called wire and arc additive manufacturing that combines robotics with welding.

Tim Geurtjens, of the company MX3D, said the bridge showcases the possibilities of the technology.

“If you want to have a really highly decorated bridge or really aesthetic bridge, suddenly it becomes a good option to print it,” he said. “Because it’s not just about making things cheaper and more efficient for us, it’s about giving architects and designers a new tool — a new very cool tool — in which they can rethink the design of their architecture and their designs.”

The 6-ton structure will be loaded with sensors that researchers at Imperial College London will use to monitor the bridge in real time and gauge how it reacts to being used by pedestrians.

It will remain in place for two years while the bridge that previously spanned the canal is renovated.

Micha Mos, a councillor at Amsterdam municipality, said the bridge could help bring in new tourists as the the city seeks to clean up a neighborhood known for seedy clubs and noisy stag parties.

“This may attract a new kind of visitor, one who is more interested in architecture and design, which will help change the way the neighborhood is perceived as more of something you want to visit but visit respectfully than it has been over the few last decades,” he said.

TME – “Queen Maxima and the Machine,” coming in 2022 to Disney+.

Goldfish trackers

BURNSVILLE, Minn. (AP) — Officials in Minnesota said they’re finding more giant goldfish in waterways, prompting a plea to citizens to stop illegally dumping their unwanted fish into ponds and lakes.

The goldfish, which can grow to the size of a football, compete with native species for food and increase algae in lakes. Officials in the Twin Cities suburb of Burnsville found 10 fish in Keller Lake earlier this month while doing a water quality survey.

On Monday, 18 additional fish were found. Some were 18 inches (46 centimeters) long and weighed about 4 pounds (1.8 kilograms).

“Please don’t release your pet goldfish into ponds and lakes!” the city said in a tweet. “They grow bigger than you think and contribute to poor water quality by mucking up the bottom sediments and uprooting plants.”

Burnsville officials have worked with Carp Solutions, a startup company that develops new technologies for controlling carp, a larger cousin of goldfish.

The company uses boat electrofishing to capture the fish, said founder Przemek Bajer. Wires electrify the water and the stunned fish float to the surface to be netted and measured.

In Burnsville, the fish were ultimately killed.

Goldfish and carp can survive in frozen lakes and those with very poor water quality because they can live without oxygen for long periods, the Star Tribune reported. They also show up in healthier lakes.

“I think that they are getting more and more common,” Bajer said.

TME – Talk about big fish in a small pond.

What a gas!

SPRING, TX (AP) - A chemical leak at a Houston-area water park left dozens suffering from minor skin irritation and respiratory issues Saturday, authorities said.

Twenty-nine people were taken to local hospitals following the incident at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashtown in Spring, the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office tweeted. Thirty-nine others declined to be taken to a hospital after undergoing decontamination procedures.

KPRC-TV reports that some of those who became sick were children, including a 3-year-old who was hospitalized in stable condition.

The chemicals involved included hypochlorite solution and 35% sulfuric acid, officials said.

“The safety of our guests and team member is always our highest priority and the park was immediately cleared as we try to determine a cause,” Hurricane Harbor Splashtown spokesperson Rosie Shepard said in a statement, according to news outlets. “Out of an abundance of caution, the park has been closed for the day.”

Authorities are investigating the cause of the incident, which they said was contained to one attraction at the park.

“Grateful for the swift action from first responders today at Splashtown,” Houston’s chief elected official, Lina Hidalgo, tweeted. “We’ve issued a closure order to investigate and ensure the park meets all requirements before reopening again.”

TME – At least they weren’t on that waterslide TV show that gave everyone diarrhea.

Last modified on Tuesday, 20 July 2021 07:18

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