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Weird National Briefs (09/09/2020)

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Keeping his cool

MELK, Austria (AP) — An Austrian man beat his own record for the longest full body contact with ice cubes on Saturday.

Josef Koeberl managed to stay 2 hours, 30 minutes and 57 seconds inside a custom-made glass box filled up to his shoulders with ice cubes. More than 200 kilograms (440 pounds) of ice cubes were needed to fill up the box, after Koeberl stepped inside wearing nothing but swim trunks.

In order to fight the “wave of pain” caused by the freezing temperatures, Koeberl says he was trying to focus on positive emotions.

“I’m fighting the pain by visualizing and drawing on positive emotions so I can dampen this wave of pain,” Koeberl told reporters. “That way I can endure.”

A small crowd of people watched on as Koeberl beat his own record from 2019 by 30 minutes on the town square of Melk in Lower Austria.

After being taken out of the ice box by helpers he said that the sun felt “really great” on his back.

Koeberl is planning to beat his own record one more time — next year in Los Angeles. His team said that Koeberl’s personal record is also the current world record when it comes to exposing the body to ice for as long as possible.

TME – A clear misunderstanding regarding Netflix and chill.

Hamster whodunit

BERLIN (AP) — German police said Wednesday they are losing hope of finding out who left on a train a box of vials with hamster DNA, which caused alarm in the southwestern town of Heidelberg last week.

Federal police sent a bomb squad to investigate after a train driver found the styrofoam box with three vials of liquid on a local train Friday. Forensic specialists later determined that the liquid contained genetic material from rodents.

Officers had hoped to crack the case by publicizing the unusual find, but despite intense media interest the owner has remained elusive so far, said Jan Doering, a federal police spokesman.

Doering said police had already disposed of the vials as the cold chain had been broken.

Heidelberg is home to several research centers, including the European Molecular Biology Laboratory.

TME – It’s like Michael Crichton wrote a children’s book.

This week in criminal masterminds

NORTH CATASAUQUA, Pa. (AP) — After a man ran off with the tip jar at an eastern Pennsylvania pizza shop, investigators didn’t have to do a lot of legwork to track him down.

Nicholas M. Mark, 22, had just applied for a job at the establishment, leaving his name and contact information, authorities said.

A worker at Pizza D’Oro in North Catasauqua told authorities that Mark came to the shop Aug. 26 to apply, but at one point snatched the tip jar off the counter and ran outside. The worker said he set off in pursuit, but backed off when the suspect produced a knife, authorities said in an affidavit of probable cause.

The suspect ran into the woods near the parking lot with the jar, which authorities say contained $220.

His backpack was found containing multiple items bearing his name as well as items associated with drugs in the restaurant, authorities said — and since he had applied for a job, the staff also had his name and phone numbers. The pizza shop employee and other witnesses picked Mark out of a photo lineup, authorities said.

Mark was arraigned Friday on Northampton County charges of robbery, theft, possession of a weapon, simple assault and possession of drug paraphernalia. Court records don’t list an attorney; a message seeking comment was left at a number listed for him.

TME – Don’t leave us hanging – did he get the job?

After a while, Outback-style

DARWIN, Australia (AP) — Wildlife rangers have trapped a 4.4-meter (14.5-foot) saltwater crocodile at a tourist destination in Australia’s Northern Territory, the biggest caught in the area in years, a wildlife ranger said Monday.

The 350-kilogram (770-pound) male was caught in the Flora River at a remote nature park 120 kilometers (75 miles) southwest of the Outback town of Katherine, said Katherine senior wildlife ranger John Burke.

A larger 4.7-meter (15.5-foot) croc was trapped three years ago in the same wildlife management zone, but that one was caught in the Katherine River, which is closer to the sea, Burke said. He said he did not know of a larger croc caught in the Flora River.

Crocodile numbers have been increasing across Australia’s tropical north since federal law made them a protected species in the early 1970s.

“They certainly are increasing (in number), and that’s part of the reason we have the management zones — to reduce the numbers in high-visitation areas so there’s less chance of interaction between salties and people,” Burke said, referring to saltwater crocs.

The captured croc had been taken to a crocodile farm to become part of a breeding program. Farmed crocodiles can be killed for their meat and leather.

The crocs are trapped in large cages baited with wild pig and other meats and submerged in waterways.

TME – Or as they call it in Australia: Monday.

A bone(less) to pick

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — In an age of growing divisive political discourse across the country, a Nebraska man is drawing attention for his impassioned plea to take action — against boneless chicken wings.

Video of Ander Christensen’s satirical rant before the Lincoln City Council on Monday pleading to ban the “boneless chicken wing” moniker has garnered widespread attention on social media and news sites.

Christensen, who is the son of a council member, made his case that the meat in boneless wings doesn’t come from a chicken’s wing at all, but from its breast.

“We’ve been living a lie for far too long,” he told the council.

Instead, he suggested the dish could be renamed, “buffalo-style chicken tenders, wet tenders, saucy nugs or trash.”

His plea, of course, was for the children.

“Our children are afraid of having bones attached to their meat, which is where meat comes from. It grows on bones!” he said. “We need to teach them that the wings of a chicken are from a chicken, and it’s delicious.”

TME – Call it “Mr. Smith Goes to Wingstop.”

Last modified on Wednesday, 09 September 2020 08:36

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