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Weird National Briefs (09/22/2021)

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Sin City snakepit

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas police found 30 boa constrictors in a home and then determined that nothing was amiss.

Investigators came across the snakes Tuesday during an unspecified law enforcement investigation and promptly called Clark County Animal Control, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

The county agency responded “and determined the possession of the animals was not criminal,” police spokesman Larry Hadfield said in an email.

County spokesman Dan Kulin said local laws don’t prohibit having dozens of boa constrictors in a residence.

“However, for practical purposes there would be a limit on the number of animals that someone could adequately care for,” Kulin said in an email. “For any legally owned animal the owner must provide clean water and food, a clean area or cage, the animal(s) must be kept in an appropriate area, and if confined to a cage the animal must be confined in a safe manner. Failure to provide a safe and clean living space could lead to animal cruelty charges.”

The boa constrictors were in “in appropriate cages” so no action was taken, Kulin said.

TME – “Nothing was amiss” my ass.

Escape plan

HOWELL, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan lawmaker ordered to jail in a drunken driving case is accused of taping a handcuff key to his foot.

The key was discovered when state Rep. Jewell Jones, a Detroit-area Democrat, was placed in jail Tuesday for violating bond conditions, authorities said.

“He truly believes that he doesn’t have to follow the judge’s orders, doesn’t have to follow rules,” said Livingston County Sheriff Michael Murphy, who runs the jail. “He’s the reason that politicians and elected officials get the bad rap.”

Jones, 26, returned to court Wednesday to face new charges over the key.

“Allegations in this matter allege the defendant taping a handcuff key to the bottom of his foot with clear tape and was found by Livingston County corrections officers upon his incarceration,” assistant prosecutor Carolyn Henry said in a court filing.

Defense attorney Byron Nolan said Jewell “realizes the seriousness of the allegations.”

The sheriff said he doesn’t know why Jones had a handcuff key.

“At the end of the day, folks are handcuffed to and from a facility. If someone has a handcuff key, that’s a bad day for us,” Murphy told the Livingston Daily Press & Argus.

Jones has been in and out of court since April when he was charged with drunken driving, resisting police and other offenses. That case is pending.

Separately, Jones was removed from his House committee assignments Thursday. House Speaker Jason Wentworth, a Republican, said the latest allegations were a “new low.”

TME – Amazing that such a well-considered scheme didn’t pan out.

Cow commodes

Turns out cows can be potty trained as easily as toddlers. Maybe easier.

It’s no bull. Scientists put the task to the test and 11 out of 16 cows learned to use the “MooLoo” when they had to go.

Just like some parents, the researchers used a sweet treat to coax the cows to push through a gate and urinate in a special pen. And it took only 15 days to train the young calves. Some kids take quite a bit longer.

“The cows are at least as good as children, age 2 to 4 years, at least as quick,” said study senior author Lindsay Matthews, an animal behavioral scientist at New Zealand’s University of Auckland who worked with colleagues on the tests at an indoor animal research lab in Germany.

What started with a half-in-jest question on a New Zealand radio talk show about the very real problem of livestock waste resulted in a serious study published Monday in the journal Current Biology. And it wasn’t just a “wow, this could be fun” academic question. Massive amounts of urine waste is a serious environmental issue, Matthews said.

And cows do pee a lot. A single cow can produce about 8 gallons (30 liters) of urine a day, Matthews said. In 2019, nitrous oxide comprised 7% of all the U.S. greenhouse gases, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

“I am not surprised they can train calves to urinate in set locations, but I am surprised no one has demonstrated this before,” said Duke University animal cognition scientist Brian Hare, who wasn’t part of the research. “The critical question is can it and will it scale?”

TME – This story kind of sounds like bulls—t.

Catfish tale

A white catfish caught in Connecticut last month has smashed a state record and could also be a world record for the species — though the evidence has been eaten.

Ben Tomkunas, 25, caught the 21.3-pound (9.66-kilogram) fish late at night in Coventry on Aug. 21. It was longer than 3 feet (about a meter).

Connecticut Fish and Wildlife confirmed in a Facebook post that the catch was a white catfish and that it easily broke the previous state record for the species of 12.7 pounds (5.76 kilograms).

“We were just sitting back and drinking a couple of beers and next thing you know, my reel just starts screaming like I had a 30-pound striper on there,” Tomkunas, of Coventry, told the Hartford Courant.

Tomkunas’ friend, Chris Braga, had a digital scale and took a photo of the fish coming in at the record-breaking weight.

The International Game Fish Association has recorded the world record for a white catfish catch to be 19.3 pounds (8.75 kilograms) for a fish caught in 2005 in California.

White catfish are one of several species of catfish in Connecticut, and officials said they scrutinized this catch to confirm it was not a channel catfish, which are generally larger. Other species of catfish, like blue catfish or catfish found in Asia, can dwarf the white catfish.

Tomkunas said he intends to submit a claim to the association to secure the new world record. But he also told the newspaper that he gave the fish to his grandfather the next morning.

“It kind of got eaten,” he said.

TME – Grandpa ate my record-breaking fish > My dog ate my homework.

Last modified on Wednesday, 22 September 2021 07:16

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