Mad Minute

(NBC) A 40-year-old Long Island man went to a local medical facility Thursday and realized he forgot something when he returned home. He called up the place.

Normally, such a call wouldn't be problematic -- except the thing the man allegedly thought he left behind at the East Garden City happened to be cocaine, cops say.

Jose Espinosa called the medical group when he got home and described the "lost property." An employee found the "described property" and called the police.

Espinosa was arrested on two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance after an investigation, police said. He is expected to be arraigned in Mineola later Friday.

It wasn't immediately clear if the Franklin Square man had retained an attorney.


April 16 (UPI) -- Firefighters in Texas rescued a kitten found with its head stuck through a lug hole in a discarded vehicle wheel.

The San Antonio Fire Department's Technical Rescue Team said a family brought the kitten, wedged in the metal part of the wheel, into a station and said the feline had been stuck for two days.

The team said they attempted to use soap to lubricate the kitten's head so it could be squeezed back out through the hole, but they ended up having to cut through the metal to free the feline.

The department said the kitten then was adopted by the family that found it.


April 16 (UPI) -- A Welsh family found a soccer ball washed up on the beach near their home and used Facebook to find the owner, who lost the ball in Ireland.

Luke Rickard of Tywyn said he was walking on the beach with his daughter, Summer, when the girl found a soccer ball that had washed up in the sand.

The ball bore an address that friend Jayne Burden determined was in Drogheda, Ireland.

Burden spread photos of the ball on Facebook, including to the local Love Tywyn page, and soon received a message from someone who said the boy who lost the ball was a neighbor.

"We were completely shocked that within six hours of sharing the post on a local selling page and our local sightseeing Facebook page Love Tywyn, the post had made its way back to the neighbor of the person who owned the ball, who said that his parents have told him that it had been found," Rickard told the Cambrian News.

Burden said she was also surprised by the swift response.

"I could not believe that within six hours from the initial post and over 500 shares we had found the owner," she said. "The power of Facebook is brilliant."


April 16 (UPI) -- Garden stores in Britain are facing a garden gnome shortage, and industry experts said the recent blockage of the Suez canal is partially to blame.

Ian Byrne, assistant manager of Highfield Garden World in Whitminster, Gloucestershire, said COVID-19 lockdowns led to a boom in sales of gnome statues and other gardening supplies.

He said the increased demand mixed with a shortage of raw materials attributed to the recent blocking of the Suez canal by the cargo ship Ever Given has made garden gnomes increasingly difficult to find.

"We haven't seen a gnome in six months now, unfortunately," Byrne told The Guardian.

"Raw materials are becoming a bit of an issue and unfortunately gnomes are a victim of that shortage of supply. Gnomes of any type, plastic, stone or concrete, are in short supply," he said.

Figures from Britain's National Office of Statistics confirmed sales at DIY stores and garden centers spiked in 2020.

Iain Wylie, chief executive of Britain's Garden Center Association, said shortages of raw materials have impacted supply of gnomes, furniture and other outdoor decorations.

"Most garden centers haven't noticed -- although they will. We're facing a perfect storm of lockdown, everyone being stuck at home, and one thing people can do is their gardening," he said.

He said other factors have also impacted the shortage.

"We are not immune to a ship getting stuck in a canal, freight cost issues due to Brexit, or the pandemic," he said.


(FOX) Florida police are trying to identify the driver of a vehicle that was captured on video as it appeared to jump a rising drawbridge earlier this week.

Daytona Beach police officers said that at about 8 a.m. Monday, a driver broke through a traffic arm before jumping the Main Street Bridge that crosses over the Halifax River, FOX 35 reported.

It was apparently not the first time someone was caught on camera pulling the stunt, according to police. During Bike Week last month, a biker jumped a motorcycle over the gap in the rising Main Street Bridge.

With the latest driver making the jump, bridge workers were left having to fix two traffic arms. The driver's windshield was also damaged, WESH 2 reported.

"It's absolutely against the law, that's why the rails are there," Florida Safety Council spokesperson Bonnie Frank said. "You're not just risking yourself, you're risking all those people that are also on that bridge."

Investigators are trying to track down the driver by searching for the license plate.


April 16 (UPI) -- A truck driver's dashboard camera captured an unusual event on a North Carolina highway when a bird passing by overhead dropped a fish onto the vehicle's windshield.

The video, shared by Ward Transport, shows one of the company's vehicles traveling on a Charlotte highway when a bird shows up traveling the opposite direction with a fish in its talons.

The bird drops the fish, which smacks against the truck's windshield, leaving a wet spot in its wake.

"One of our Charlotte drivers verifies that when driving a truck, you must be prepared for anything," Ward Transport tweeted.

The company said the truck was not damaged and the driver was not injured.


April 15 (UPI) -- An Australian man said he used his winnings from a minor lottery prize to buy a scratch-off ticket -- but it was two weeks before he discovered he had won more than $200,000.

The Brisbane, Queensland, man told The Lott officials that he scored a minor prize from a Lotto drawing and decided to use the money to buy a pair of scratch-off tickets from Sunshine News in Mount Gravatt.

The man, who said he only buys scratch-off tickets "every once in a blue moon," said he ended up forgetting about the tickets for two weeks.

"I had it at home for 14 days before I scratched it," the man said. "I only remembered the tickets were at home yesterday, so I scratched them and there it was!"

One of the tickets, a Live the Life scratch-off, turned out to be a $201,587.10 winner.

"It was very exciting. I thought it must have been a mistake," the winner recalled. "It feels so good to win something!"

The winner chose to take his prize money as weekly installments for five years.

"It's such nice security," he said.


April 15 (UPI) -- Officials at Death Valley National Park said they are trying to capture a goat seen wandering in the California part of the park.

Park rangers said in a post on Death Valley National Park's official Facebook page that a tourist spotted the goat wandering near Stovepipe Wells in California and shared a photo with officials.

Rangers said they are attempting to capture the goat, which is not native to the park.

"Missing your goat? We aren't kidding," the post said. "Although it may make for a seemingly fun surprise to see a goat in Death Valley, domestic goats are a known vector of a respiratory disease that is fatal to bighorn sheep."


(Sky News) Dulux has apologized after making fun of Tottenham Hotspur - immediately after being signed as their new sponsor.

The paint brand said it was "deeply sorry" for social media posts that mocked the team's performance and would investigate them.

The apology came after the paint supplier announced its new partnership with Spurs on Twitter on Thursday.

It posted a picture of the famous English sheepdog it uses in adverts getting a pretend tour of New White Hart Lane.

But as comments from fans started to roll in, the brand's responses took an unexpectedly sarcastic turn.

Responding to one message asking whether the Dulux dog could play centre back, it said: "He might do a better job."

Another post asked if the brand planned to repaint the trophy cabinet, prompting a reply that surfaces should be "dust free" before painting.


CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts -- Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have turned spider webs into music -- creating an eerie soundtrack that could help them better understand how the arachnids spin their complex creations and even how they communicate.

The MIT team worked with Berlin-based artist Tomás Saraceno to take two-dimensional laser scans of a spider web, which were stitched together and converted into a mathematical model that could recreate the web in 3D in virtual reality. They also worked with MIT's music department to create the harplike virtual instrument.

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"Even though the web looks really random, there actually are a lot of internal structures and you can visualize them and you can look at them, but it's really hard to grasp for the human imagination or human brain to understand all these structural details," said MIT engineering professor Markus Buehler, who presented the work on Monday at a virtual meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Listening to the music while moving through the VR spider web lets you see and hear these structural changes and gives a better idea of how spiders see the world, he told CNN.

"Spiders have very keen vibrational sensors, they use vibrations as a way to orient themselves, to communicate with other spiders and so the idea of thinking literally like a spider would experience the world was something that was very obvious to us as spider material scientists," Buehler said.

Spiders are able to build their webs without scaffolding or supports, so having a better idea of how they work could lead to the development of advanced new 3D printing techniques, he said.

They scanned the web while the spider was building it and Buehler compared it to a stringed instrument that changes as the structure becomes more complex.

"While you're playing the guitar, suddenly you're going to have new strings appear and emerge and grow," he said.

Buehler said they've recorded the vibrations spiders create during different activities, such as building a web, courtship signals and communicating with other spiders, and are using artificial intelligence to create synthetic versions.

"We're beginning to perhaps be able to speak the language of a spider," he said. "The hope is that we can then play these back to the web structure to enhance the ability to communicate with the spider and perhaps induce the spider to act in a certain way, to respond to the signals in a certain way."

He said that work is still in progress and that they've had to shut down their lab because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Buehler has been interested in the connection between music and materials on the molecular level for years and has used similar techniques to show the subtle differences between the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines and between two different variants of the Covid-19 virus (you'll hear one through your left speaker and the other through the right).

In addition to the scientific value, Buehler said the webs are musically interesting and that you can hear the melodies the spider creates during construction.

"It's unusual and eerie and scary, but ultimately beautiful," he said.

Members of the team have done live musical performances by playing and manipulating the VR web, while musicians jam along on human instruments.

"The reason why I did that is I wanted to be able to transfer information really from the spider perspective, which is very atonal and weird and spooky, if you wish, to something that is more human," Buehler said.