Protesters at the Massachusetts Statehouse bared more than their souls as they demonstrated against climate change on June 15, according to an NBC-10 Boston report. Shouts began to rain down from the public gallery just after 1 p.m. from eight members of Extinction Rebellion, an international environmental movement, followed by a warning: "We are going to be mooning you ... You can look away if you wish." At that point, the octet turned their backs on the senators and dropped trou, revealing pink thongs and bare buttocks emblazoned with the words "stop passing gas." The protesters continued with chants of "You're a senator, not an ass, why are you still passing gas," and "Butts out for climate" for about an hour before they were arrested and escorted out of the chamber. [NBC 10 Boston, 6/15/2023]
Reunited and It Feels So Good
-- A first edition of George Orwell's "1984" has been returned to the library ... 65 years late. UPI reported that the Multnomah County Public Library in Portland recently received the return from an 86-year-old patron. The patron attached a note to the book, explaining that they meant to return it in 1958 after checking it out as a Portland State University student, they just "never got around to it." But talk about excellent timing: The library just went fine-free. [UPI, 6/14/2023]
-- Sheriff's detectives in Kanawha County, West Virginia, made an odd discovery while executing a search warrant on an impounded vehicle in February: a 1965 class ring from Needham Broughton High School in Raleigh, North Carolina, bearing the initials "M.P." Their investigation determined the owner was one Michael Pedneau, who told the Charleston (West Virginia) Gazette-Mail that he only vaguely recalls losing the bling some 50 years ago, perhaps on a trip to Princeton, West Virginia. "There's probably 40 or 50 of us [classmates] who get together monthly for lunch," Pedneau said. "We're all old, so we enjoy swapping stories, and this is one I'll share with them. I'll show them the ring and we'll have some fun around it." [Charleston Gazette-Mail, 6/13/2023]
Up in Smoke
A dispensary in Baltimore faces fines for blowing smoke ... literally. WMAR-2 in Baltimore reported that the Cookies dispensary opened May 27, only to be shut down less than a week later after a surprise inspection revealed a laundry list of violations, including "large plumes of medical cannabis smoke being blown from a large gun apparatus into the mouths of persons outside the dispensary," according to the suspension notice. Cookies is part of a franchise, and Cookies San Francisco was the first to utilize a "Flame Thrower" smoke blower, created by Jeff Dick of Colorado. The blower has since become part of the Cookies brand. [WMAR-2, 6/15/2023]
Some Things Beg Certainty
Relatives were mourning Bella Montoya, 76, at her wake in Ecuador on June 9 when they heard strange sounds coming from the coffin. "There were about 20 of us there," the woman's son, Gilberto Barbera, said. "After about five hours of the wake, the coffin started to make sounds." The supposedly deceased had been declared dead the Martin Icaza Hospital in Babahoyo earlier that day, but that evening, "my mom was wrapped in sheets and hitting the coffin, and when we approached we could see that she was breathing heavily," Barbera said. Montoya was rushed back to the hospital, but the Associated Press reported that she was intubated and is not expected to recover. Ecuador's Health Ministry has launched an investigation into the incident. [AP, 6/12/2023]
A Bear's Gotta Eat
Workers for American Plate Glass in Sunapee, New Hampshire, learned an important lesson about locking up their valuables on June 14, but it wasn't at the hands of the typical thief, and the valuables weren't the usual tools or construction materials. Curtis Fidler was working onsite when he noticed movement in his peripheral vision: "I turn and it was a bear nonchalantly just having lunch in the front seat of the truck." The bear enjoyed all of the snacks it could find, left the truck and disappeared into the woods. Fidler FaceTimed his mother-in-law, Melinda Scott, who watched the encounter live and later told WHDH-7 News that "There is not a single scratch on the box truck. He did no damage. He just had lunch and took a nap." [WHDH-7, 6/15/2023]
The Agony of the Heat
The hopes of Bangkok residents were slightly deflated on June 9, as a long-awaited art installation in Victoria Harbor lost steam. Dutch artist Forentijn Hofman's giant rubber ducky installation, which tours cities around the world and captured the affections of Bangkok residents when it visited there back in 2013, returned to the city earlier this month, this time with two giant rubber duckies, which the artist said would bring "double luck." Unfortunately, Yahoo News reported that rising temperatures put one ducky -- and residents -- at risk. The "rubber duck skin had become strained because the hot weather has caused air pressure to rise," organizers said in a statement. They deflated the duck as a precaution. [Yahoo News, 6/3/2023]
Two Paws Up, Way Up
Theatergoers in Thailand have a new pet-friendly place to bring their furry friends. Yahoo News reported that the country's largest movie theater chain, Major Cineplex Group, started offering weekend showtimes for patrons who want to bring Fluffy or Fido with them. Of course, there's a catch: Pets must weigh under 11 pounds and either wear a diaper or be kept in a carrier. Visitors turned out in droves for a pets-welcome showing of "The Little Mermaid," cosplaying their creature companions as Sebastian the crab and Ariel the mermaid. Not everyone's a fan, however; as one former resident said, "It's so ridiculous dogs are not allowed in (most Bangkok) parks but they can go to a movie or cafe. What comes next, you bring your dog or cat to a massage parlor?" [Yahoo News, 6/10/2023]
I Hope That Someone Gets My ...
Almost exactly 34 years after it was thrown into the sea in Newfoundland, a message in a bottle was recovered in Quebec. "I was so excited. I mean, what I'm looking for all the time is a note in a bottle," Trudy Shattler told Saltwire of her discovery. After some social media sleuthing, she learned that the bottle belonged to one Gilbert Hamlyn, who was known for writing messages on cigarette packs, stuffing them in bottles, and setting them to sea. Sadly, Mr. Hamlyn passed away two years ago, but his son, Rick, was all too happy to hear of the bottle's recovery, and intends to place it at his father's grave. [Saltwire, 6/13/2023]
Aquaman, Is That You?
A Florida scientist who calls himself "Dr. Deep Sea" resurfaced on June 9 ... after spending 100 days underwater. CNN reported that Dr. Joseph Dituri, 55, a biomedical engineer who teaches at the University of South Florida, began his research mission on March 1, when he dove to the bottom of the Emerald Lagoon in Key Largo, Florida. Dituri stayed in Jules' Undersea Lodge, an underwater hotel, during his record-setting stint below the surface, and he hopes that the data gleaned from all that time underwater will help researchers understand the effects of compression on the human body. "My greatest hope is that I have inspired a new generation of explorers and researchers to push past all boundaries," Dituri said in a news release. [CNN.com, 6/11/2023]
Police in Clintonville, Ohio, are on the hunt after brazen thieves used a U-Haul truck to rip a safe out of a drive-thru ATM in the early hours of June 15. WCMH-TV reported that the suspects used a chain secured to the truck to pull the safe free of the machine, then absconded in a getaway vehicle, leaving the U-Haul behind. Authorities had no description of the other vehicle or how much money the thieves stole, but they believe at least two suspects were involved. [WCMH-TV, 6/15/2023]
Time To Buy a Lottery Ticket
Ripleys.com (of "Believe It or Not!" fame) claims that orange lobsters are even more rare -- to the tune of 1-in-30-million -- than the blue variety. So one can imagine the surprise of Captain Peter Pray, a lobsterman working in Casco Bay near Portland, Maine, when he caught his third orange lobster in a week on June 15. WGME-13 reported that Pray, who is one of the lobster suppliers for Harbor Fish Market, made his latest catch, a female, using the same trap with which he caught the others, which were male. A tweet from Harbor Fish Market asked the question on everyone's mind: "What's up Casco Bay? What kind of lobster magic is happening in your waters?" [WGME-13, 6/15/2023]
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