Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, May 23rd - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, May 23rd

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GLOUCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A message in a bottle that a woman tossed off the coast of Massachusetts has been found nearly two decades later in Nova Scotia.
Eighty-year-old Rita Ganim tells the Gloucester Times she dropped the bottle into Ipswich Bay in August 2000 with a short message asking the person who found it to contact her.
The bottle was all but forgotten until Ganim received a call from the Buffalo News saying someone found it.
Dallas Goreham had been looking for sea glass in the Canadian province last Wednesday when he came across the bottle. The 11-year-old’s mother tracked Ganim down through the newspaper and sent a photo of her son holding the message.
While there are no plans set, Ganim says she would love to meet the finders of her bottle.

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The stories seem as tall as the lake is deep. For hundreds of years, visitors to Scotland's Loch Ness have described seeing a monster that some believe lurks in the depths.
But now the legend of "Nessie" may have no place left to hide. A New Zealand scientist is leading an international team to the lake next month, where they will take samples of the murky waters and conduct DNA tests to determine what species live there.
University of Otago professor Neil Gemmell says he's no believer in Nessie, but he wants to take people on an adventure and communicate some science along the way. Besides, he says, his kids think it's one of the coolest things he's ever done.
One of the more far-fetched theories is that Nessie is a long-necked plesiosaur that somehow survived the period when dinosaurs became extinct. Another theory is that the monster is actually a sturgeon or giant catfish. Many believe the sightings are hoaxes or can be explained by floating logs or strong winds.
Gemmell said that when creatures move about in water, they leave behind tiny fragments of DNA. It comes from their skin, feathers, scales and urine.
He said his team will take 300 samples of water from different points around the lake and at different depths. They will filter the organic material and extract the DNA, he said, sequencing it by using technology originally created for the human genome project.
He said the DNA results will then be compared against a database of known species. He said they should have answers by the end of the year.
"I'm going into this thinking it's unlikely there is a monster, but I want to test that hypothesis," Gemmell said. "What we'll get is a really nice survey of the biodiversity of the Loch Ness."
He said the real discoveries may come in determining things like the prevalence of invasive species.
Gemmell, 51, said he first visited Loch Ness in his late 20s while on vacation. Like thousands of tourists before him, he gazed out over the lake trying to catch sight of a monster. He said he first came up with the idea of testing DNA from the lake a couple of years ago and it resonated with many, including his children, aged 7 and 10.
Graeme Matheson, chief of the Scottish Society of New Zealand, said he, too, has visited Loch Ness and gazed out over the water, and that he wishes Gemmell all the best.
"I hope he and his cohorts find something, although I think they'll be battling," Matheson said. "Still, it's a good way to get a trip to Scotland."
Gemmell said that even if they don't find any monster DNA, it won't deter some Nessie believers. He said they've already been offering him theories, like that Nessie might be on vacation after swimming to the sea via hidden underwater caves, or that the creature might be extraterrestrial and not leave behind any DNA.
"In our lives we want there still to be mysteries, some of which we will ultimately solve," Gemmell said. "That's part of the spirit of discovery. And sometimes, what you find may not be what you were expecting."
 
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FEDERAL WAY, Wash. (AP) — A tractor-trailer made a fowl mess when it rolled over in Washington state. It dumped about 40,000 pounds (18,145 kilograms) of chicken feathers across Interstate 5.
Washington State Patrol Trooper Rick Johnson says the driver told investigators he fell asleep at about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday north of Tacoma and lost control of the truck, which hit a guardrail and overturned.
The truck was hauling the feathers from a poultry facility to a rendering company in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The Canadian company recycles animal byproducts into ingredients for items including pet feed and soap.
The News Tribune newspaper of Tacoma reports traffic backed up for 11 miles (18 kilometers) as crews scooped up the feathers.
Johnson said the driver would be cited for negligent driving.

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(Huffington Post) A group of Australian burlesque dancers are performing a truly stripped-down version of "Star Wars" ? emphasis on the strip.
The appropriately titled "The Empire Strips Back — A Burlesque Parody" will be storming California starting May 31, hot on the heels of the release of the new "Star Wars" film "Solo."  
The cheeky show ? emphasis on "cheeks" ? features 12 dancers acting out 60 separate characters from the movies, including Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and scantily clad stormtroopers.
Russell Beattie, the show's director, said the sexy sci-fi show began long, long ago in a theater far, far away ? 2011 in Sydney, Australia, to be exact."We created it as a bit of a joke," Beattie told HuffPost by email.
Beattie and others were working on a parody "Star Wars" book called Wookieerotica when they got the idea.
"Since we were creating the costumes and doing the work, we thought we'd put a one-night show for a hundred of our friends and fans," he said. "Little did we know that it would become our biggest production."
A full-blown version debuted in 2014 and has had a successful run in Australia. Along the way, there were challenges. 
"Finding the right Chewbacca for our show was difficult," he said. We needed someone who is that tall and has the dance training that the production requires."
Figuring out the proper choreography for Darth Vader or other characters is also something Beattie had to keep in mind.
"We make sure that everyone has a good understanding of who the characters are," Beattie said. We might change the character's gender, costume, etc., but the core characteristics always stay the same."
The first show of the six-city tour will be in Riverside, with Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose and Sacramento to follow before the show ends in San Francisco on June 9.
Beattie also promises that anyone who fears they might see "Solo" spoilers at the show need not worry. 
"We mainly stick to the originals. They are so well-known, and hence, so easy to parody," he said. "The latest films are very divisive and our show enjoys bringing the fans together."
"Star Wars" isn't the only film series that Beattie has burlesqued.
"We've done 'Game of Thrones,' 'Batman,' and 'Kill Bill,' to name a few," he said. "We did talk about an 'Avengers' one a few years back. But the fan boy in me would want to spend too much money making a life-sized Hulk for the show. Our next parody production will be 'Ghostbusties' — a 'Ghostbusters' parody."

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Students and staff members were evacuated from a North Carolina high school on Wednesday after an "unknown odor" was reported in the area.
The smell, which students reportedly claimed caused their eyes to tear and throats to burn, was due to a clogged toilet at South Mecklenburg High School, the Charlotte Fire Department wrote on Twitter.
Hazmat teams which investigated the incident "found nothing hazardous," officials said, and that the source of the odor "was caused by clogged toilet."
The "air quality" incident occurred after a maintenance worker plunged a toilet, and some students were treated on site, WCNC reported. 
No staff members or students were transported from the school, the fire department said.

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The group hoping to crush the Guinness Record for the world's largest recorded orgy scrambled to find a new place to hold the event after the Las Vegas hotel they planned to host it pulled out.
The event, called "Sin City 8," was slated to occur on June 2 at the Embassy Suites in Las Vegas but it appears the hotel wasn't aware of what it was getting itself into, The Blast reported.  
"We have reached an agreement with the group. Guests of the group are welcome to stay at our hotel but no events of any kind associated with Sin City 8 will take place at the Embassy Suites," the Embassy Suites told The Blast in a statement.
When we became fully aware of the nature of the functions intended to be held at the hotel, we advised the group that the events were not consistent with the standards and environment we support and consequently will not be permitted to take place at our property," the statement continued.
The group, which hopes to break the record held by Japan of "500 people simultaneously having sex," were able to find a new place for their attempt: the Erotic Heritage Museum.
Some event-goers were offered a shuttle to the museum from the hotel.
According to Sin City 8's website, the hotel was sold out due to the event but tickets were "still available to all events," which included pool parties and workshops.
Fox News' request for a comment from the Embassy Suites on Wednesday morning was not immediately returned.

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The so-called New York City "poop train" — a trainload of human waste — finally left the small Alabama town it was stranded in, but the smell of excretion was so strong that Febreze stepped in to freshen up the area.
The air freshener brand provided free samples of its products to residents in Walker County's Parrish, a town with a population of 982, where the train of 200 sludge-filled shipping containers was stuck for more than two months, AL.com reported. 
The train of sludge, a byproduct of New Yorkers' excrement, was stationed in the town until April, before being transported to a landfill roughly 20 miles away.
Locals had complained about the stench for weeks. "No one should be immersed in the stink," Febreze told the outlet, explaining their decision to "finally bring a breath of fresh air to the good people of Parrish."
The Procter & Gamble company, known for its odor-eliminating products, shared a jokingly dramatic video on Twitter of residents complaining about the "awful, stinky" smell, which some compared to that of "dead bodies."
"The running joke was when the 'poop train' came that we needed to just drop Febreze on top of the train," one resident said in the video.
While New York has discontinued waste shipments to Alabama for now, experts say some cities send their waste to Alabama and other Southern states due to low landfill fees and lax zoning laws.

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ACTON, Mass. (AP) — Two horses that got loose on a Massachusetts highway and tied up rush-hour traffic have been safely corralled and returned to their owners.
State police found the horses on Route 2 in Acton after receiving 911 calls from drivers shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday.
The Boston Globe reports that state police worked with local police to locate the owners, who walked the horses to safety in the breakdown lane.
State police Sgt. Paul Sullivan joked that the horses were warned to stay off the road in the future.

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(Grand Forks Herald) FARGO—Mike Kohler lined up with thousands of other runners inside the Fargodome here on Saturday, May 19, ready for his first half-marathon as part of the Sanford Fargo Marathon.
It would be a big step for the 26-year-old plumber and pipefitter from West Fargo, who ran the 10K last year and the 5K the year before that.
But a misstep, right from the start, put him on an even more difficult course.
Nervous and tired from waking up earlier than usual, Kohler wasn't paying full attention.
He thought the full and half marathons started at the same time, at 7 a.m. In reality, the half-marathon started 15 minutes later.
Wearing headphones, Kohler wasn't listening closely to the starting announcements.
"So when they said 'go,' I went," he said, reminiscing about the day.
Just outside the dome, at the intersection of 19th Avenue North and University Drive, Kohler turned north, following the marathon pack. Half-marathoners were supposed to go south.
Kohler started getting suspicious after seeing course markings that said "full marathon only."
He wondered whether the two courses would converge and half-marathon markings would appear.
At mile eight, when the course looped around from the bike path, he noticed runners crossing the 12th Avenue North bridge over the Red River.
It was then he fully realized his mistake, knowing the half-marathon course did not go into Moorhead.
Mark Knutson, executive director of the Fargo Marathon, said it's rare that someone ends up running the wrong race.
"Probably less than half a dozen times in the 14 years we've been putting the race on," Knutson said.
Kohler thought about stopping at 13.1 miles, knowing he'd run as far as he'd aimed to. In fact, he'd met his goal of doing it in about 2 ½ hours.
But hey, he was feeling pretty good, and convinced himself to continue.
"I'm just going to go for it, because why not? I'm already here, I'm already running, I'm already tired. Might as well try to finish it," Kohler said.
And finish, he did, completing the 26.2 miles in 5:54:26.
Despite going the distance, Kohler received a half-marathon medal because that's what his bib number indicated. It's not about the medal anyway, but the accomplishment, he said.
He hopes to do a half-marathon and another full marathon in the future, so he can say he "legitimately" ran each.
For now, he's pretty proud of this feat.
"This just kind of proves you can do a lot more than what you think you can sometimes," Kohler said.
Knutson called it a true test of character.
"Thirteen's a lot, and then to add 13 to it, never having gone that far, that's pretty great," he said.

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May 23 (UPI) -- Authorities in Florida shared video of two thieves accused of stealing 3,396 quarters in a late night car wash burglary.
The Broward County Sheriff's Office posted a video to YouTube showing security camera footage of the May 8 burglary, which involved two men using a drill to gain access to an outdoor payment machine at the Mobil gas station car wash in Dania Beach.
Investigators said the men fled in a silver Ford Focus hatchback with $849 worth of quarters.
The sheriff's office is asking anyone who recognizes the men in the footage to contact investigators.


 

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