Mad Minute

If catastrophe strikes the Earth, whoever is left can still enjoy an Oreo.

Oreo says it's made a vault to protect its cookies and recipes.

The idea comes from the global seed vault - a structure in Norway where people have stored various seeds in case there's a natural or man-made disaster.

The Oreo vault was specifically created in response to asteroid 2018vp1, or r the so-called "election day asteroid," which has an extremely slim chance of entering the Earth's atmosphere on Monday.

Inside the Oreo vault, there are packs of cookies encased in mylar sealing.

They can withstand temperatures as high as 300 degrees, or as low as negative 80 degrees.

Oreo has also stored powdered milk, so survivors can mix it with powdered snow and dunk their post-apocalyptic Oreos in milk.


(FOX) There are civic duties and there are motherly responsibilities – and one pregnant Florida woman fulfilled both Tuesday as she stopped to vote on her way to the hospital to give birth, according to local reports.

She had already gone into labor by the time she arrived at the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office in Orlando Tuesday, a spokesperson told local media.

Poll worker Karen Brinceno Gonzalez told Fox 35 that the woman had asked her husband to stop and vote on their way to the hospital, which is about a half-mile away.

The wife reportedly waited in the car as her husband went inside, waited in line, and asked for poll workers to help his wife vote early, according to Gonzalez.

"He's like 'Yeah, she's about to have a baby, but she won't go to the hospital to have a baby until she votes,'" Gonzalez told the outlet. "I was like, OK, what can I do to facilitate her to vote? Where is she? Where can I go to help?"

Gonzalez went out to the car, where she reportedly found the pregnant woman breathing heavily. She checked her ID, handed her a mail-in ballot and told her to send it in by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3.

"She said, 'No! No! No! I need to fill it out right now,'" Gonzalez told Fox 35. "So she filled it out. I gave her an 'I VOTED' sticker, and she was off to the hospital."

Eileen Deliz, another early voting clerk for the supervisor's office, told the Orlando Sentinel that it was a unique event for poll workers.

"We are very, very busy, but when something like that happens it just makes our day," she told the paper. "It kind of validates what we do and the importance of voting. Every election cycle brings us a great little story."

The Supervisor of Elections Office did not release the voter's name.


Oct. 29 (UPI) -- A Wisconsin property listed for sale is gaining attention online for an unusual reason -- it's a private island with two cottages and boathouse.

Hohnback Island, situated in Wisconsin's Okauchee Lake, has nearly an acre of land, including more than 800 feet of shoreline.

The island, owned by the same family since the 1960s, is listed by Berkshire Hathaway Metro Realty with an asking price of $699,000.

The island features a pair of two-bedroom cottages, a boathouse with sleeping quarters, three piers and two boat lifts.

"There are not many islands out there that actually have more than one house," real estate agent Brian Fendry, who is handling the sale, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The island had been listed in December 2019 with an asking price of $1.1 million, but was relisted for a lower price when it failed to sell.


Oct. 29 (UPI) -- A high school in Australia is asking the public to be on the lookout for a steer that broke though a "stock-proof" fence and escaped from the campus.

St. Ignatius' College in Riverview, a Sydney suburb, said the steer was brought to the school as part of an agricultural program, but the large animal "broke through one of the stock-proof fences" and escaped from the outdoor enclosure.

School officials said in a Facebook post that they are concerned about the safety of the steer and the public alike due to the bovine "roaming in a highly urbanized area."

"The college welcomes support from the local community in providing any information regarding the animal's location so that we can safely collect and return him to the Riverview farm," the post said.

New South Wales police and Lane Cove Council rangers are now searching the area for the missing animal.

"Our rangers have done some drive-bys and looking, but we haven't had any recent reports of anyone seeing it," a Lane Cove Council representative told the Sydney Morning Herald.


Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Employees at an Ohio library reunited a patron with the diamond that fell off her wedding ring after the gem was found in a bin of quarantined returns.

Julie Travis said she was using the book drop at the Worthington Park Library when her wedding ring became snagged on a piece of metal and the quarter-karat diamond ripped free from the ring.

Library manager Jeff Regensburger, who was nearby at the time, helped Travis search the sidewalk and surrounding area for the lost diamond, but after a thorough examination they concluded the diamond must have fallen into the book return bin.

Regensburger said he then had to break some bad news to Travis -- the book return bins have to be quarantined for 7 days after being filled as part of COVID-19 safety measures.

"She took it like a champ," Regensburger told The Columbus Dispatch. "I mean, it's 2020. Of course someone is going to lose their diamond in a giant bin of books. Of course they are."

Library staff marked the bin with a note reading "this may contain a diamond" and kept Travis' contact information nearby.

"One week later, after the quarantine period had elapsed, staff carefully unpacked the bin, checked in materials, and, at the very bottom of the container, recovered the stone," Worthington Libraries said in a Facebook post.

Travis visited the library the next day to retrieve her diamond.

"Now I go into the library, and I feel like a minor celebrity," Travis said. "I'm the Diamond Lady, I guess."


Oct. 28 (UPI) -- A North Carolina man ended up earning more than expected in a single work day when he scored a $72,796 lottery prize at the store where he works.

Adam Roberts of Burlington told North Carolina Education Lottery officials he had just finished his shift as a customer service manager at the Harris Teeter store in Burlington when he decided to try his luck at Instant Clover, a Fast Play lottery game.

"I looked at what was over $500 and the only thing that was over $500 was the jackpot," recalled Roberts. "I was like, 'There's no way.'"

Roberts' $2 ticket earned him 20 percent of the jackpot, a payday of $72,796.

He said that, despite his win, he won't be retiring from the Harris Teeter store anytime soon.

"I'm probably going to put a lot away as a safety net," Roberts said. "But I'll pay off the car and go figure out what I want to do."


Oct. 28 (UPI) -- A Vermont woman who got separated from her family at a South Korean market when she was only 2 years old was reunited with her mother and siblings in a video chat 44 years later.

Denise McCarty, 46, of Springfield, said she has been searching for her family for years, and in 2016 she visited the country and took a DNA test as part of a program seeking to help Korean adoptees reconnect with their birth families.

McCarty received a phone call this month informing her that a match had been found and a few days later she spoke with her mother, brother and identical twin sister for the first time in a video call.

McCarty, born Sang-Ae, learned she was only 2 years old when she and her sister, Sang-Hee, became separated from their grandmother at Namdaemun Market in Seoul. Sang-Hee was found two days later, but Sang-Ae was taken to an orphanage two hours away and was not located by the family.

McCarthy said the U.S. couple who adopted her in 1976 were told that she had been abandoned at a hospital because she was sick.

Lee Eung-sun, McCarthy's 78-year-old birth mother, said she never stopped looking for her long-lost daughter.

The family said they are now hoping to unite in person once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides and international travel becomes safer.


(People) A pair of new parents in Switzerland recently welcomed a bundle of joy — and saved a bundle on their internet bills in the process by naming her after their WiFi company.

The Swiss internet provider Twifi has been running a promotion that promises customers free WiFi for 18 years — but the catch is that you have to name your child either Twifia or Twifius.

For one couple from Graubünden, the offer was too sweet to pass up, and they gave their newborn daughter the name Twifia as a middle name, according to Blick, a local paper.

Though the parents opted to remain anonymous, the father told the outlet that he thought the promotion was a bad joke when he first stumbled upon it on Facebook.

"The longer I thought about it, the more unique the name became for me," he said, according to a translation, noting that that's when he came around to its charm. "There are much worse names. And the more often we say 'Twifia,' the heartier the name sounds!"

He soon got his wife on board as well, and they reportedly developed a plan that would benefit not only them, but their little girl, too: all the money they'll save by not paying for internet for the next 18 years (about $66 a month) will go into a savings account for her.

"She can use it to take a driving test or buy a car," her parents said, noting that they hope their daughter will find the name "pretty cool" by then.

Meanwhile, even if the company goes out of business before the baby's 18th birthday, Twifi boss Philippe Fotsch told Blick that he'll keep his word to the family.

"I'll be personally liable for it," he said. "It's a matter of honor."

According to Twifi's website, the offer still stands, as long as parents are able to upload a photo of their child's birth certificate.


Oct. 29 (UPI) -- An Australian man who won a nearly $3.4 million lottery jackpot said his numbers came from an unusual source -- a previous lottery drawing.

The Melbourne retiree told The Lott officials he always chooses his own numbers for the Set for Life drawing, and a few months ago he decided to change up the digits.

"Last time the big Powerball jackpot was won I had a look at the numbers and thought to myself 'those must be winning numbers' and decided to play those from now on," the winner said. "So whenever I mark an entry, I make sure some of those numbers are in there."

The man's lucky feeling about the numbers proved prescient when he won $3,374,712 in the Oct. 26 drawing using a ticket he bought from the Reservoir Newsagency in Reservoir.

"I don't have a car at the moment, so that's the first thing I'll buy," the man said. "I'll save up for a bit and get a nice new one. I'll probably invest some of the rest."

"I might go away for a bit of a break too when I can," he said. "Most of all I'm just excited not to have to ask the bank for money ever again."


(CNN) Spooky season is here -- so let's talk about spiders.

Ogre-faced spiders are believed to have the largest eyes of all known spider species, and they are known for their reported ability to see in the dark 2,000 times better than humans. That formidable eyesight, however, is just one of the sensory tools these arachnids can use when they hunt for food, a new study has revealed.

These spiders can hear, too. In fact, ogre-faced spiders can hear both low frequency and high frequency sounds, according to the study, which was published Thursday in the journal Current Biology.

Using receptors on their legs, these spiders can detect sounds from at least 6.5 feet from the source, and are sensitive to frequencies up to 10 kilohertz, the research team said.

Through laboratory tests and observations in the field, the scientists showed that auditory stimuli in the same low frequency range as the wing beats of moths, mosquitoes and flies prompted the spiders to perform a "backward strike," one of their signature hunting moves.

This, according to the researchers, showed that the spiders use auditory cues to detect and capture flying prey.

"These spiders are a gold mine of information that have just gone untapped for a really long time," said study coauthor Jay Stafstrom, a postdoctoral researcher in neurobiology and behavior at Cornell University.

"The visual capabilities that they possess are off the map, and now, showing they can hear quite well, I think there's a lot more to understand about them going on in the future."

Ogre-faced spiders are tropical critters found all over the world, including in the US, where they are present in Southern states like Florida.

You are unlikely to have noticed them in your backyard though, as they spend the day hours camouflaging as plant fronds, and only become active at night.

"The metaphor is Jekyll and Hyde," senior study author Ronald Hoy, a professor of neurobiology and behavior at Cornell, told CNN.

"By day, this creature acts dead. By night, this creature kills, preys, hunts. Its personality is set by the sun or the moon."

Unlike other spiders that build a web that captures their food, ogre-faced spiders are net casters and hunt in a more active, rather dramatic fashion.

They build an A-shaped frame web from which they dangle upside down at night, and use a net they hold with their legs to trap prey when it's within reach.

Ogre-faced spiders strike forward to capture prey below them, and strike backward to capture prey flying above them, Stafstrom said.

The two hunting methods rely on different senses, he explained.

"It seems to be that there's this nice partition of sensory systems where they are depending on vision to catch things off the ground specifically, and their ability to hear allows them to catch things out of the air."

Spiders don't have ears, but ogre-faced spiders are able to listen to sounds through receptors on their legs, including leg hairs, according to the researchers.

Ogre-faced spiders reacted differently to sounds depending on their frequency, the study showed.

They would perform a "backward strike" to hunt for food in response to low frequency sounds in the same range as the wing beats of animals they prey upon. But when they heard high frequency sounds matching the range of bird calls, the spiders didn't move.

This doesn't mean the spiders couldn't hear sounds at high frequencies -- lab experiments the scientists conducted to monitor the spiders' brain activity in response to sounds confirmed they could, in fact, hear them.

Rather, the scientists suspect the spiders might ignore these sounds in self-defense, something they are looking to investigate further in the future.

"We know that birds eat a lot of spiders. I've seen a lot of birds in the palms that these spiders are in, and they happen to chirp in these high frequency ranges that these spiders can detect. So it might be an early warning sign that, OK, something might be coming to eat me soon," Stafstrom said.

Monitoring the spiders' response to auditory stimuli through nanotechnology electrodes inserted in their brains and legs, as the researchers did, is no easy feat.

The process of inserting electrodes into a spider's brain without killing it requires highly skilled prep work and "a watchmaker's hand," Hoy said.

He credited study coauthor Gil Menda, a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell's department of neurobiology and behavior, with this special talent.

Developing a method to record brain activity in spiders, Roy explained, allowed the Cornell research team over time to show convincingly that spiders are not just sensitive to vibrations, but also to sound from a distant source.

Looking for spiders in their natural habitat

The researchers also conducted observations in the field, studying the spiders' behavior in their natural habitat.

Hanging out with nocturnal spiders in their habitat is not the most comfortable experience, but Stafstrom does it with a passion.

For this study, he spent a week in the woods in Gainesville, Florida, equipped with a headlight, a Bluetooth speaker to play sounds for the spiders through his smartphone, and a camera to film their reactions.

Stafstrom gained experience camping with the spiders throughout his studies.

As a doctoral student at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, "I was down in Florida by myself, in a tent, for two months, in the middle of summer. It was rough, my sleeping schedule was very weird, but it's definitely the best way to study these spiders," he said.

During a different field mission in Costa Rica, Stafstrom was actually bitten by an ogre-faced spider.

"I might have the world record of the only person to have ever been bitten by these spiders," Stafstrom said.

The bite was harmless, he said -- just itchy for some time.

There is still so much we don't know about spiders, and that's a gap we need to fill, according to Hoy and Stafstrom.

Studying how spiders and other small animals are able to see and hear can further new discoveries and nanotechnology applications, the researchers argued.

"If we can figure out the equipment they are using, and how they are processing information, we should be able to translate that through biomimicry into better bio-sensors, better directional microphones, or visual processing algorithms," Stafstrom said.

"The point is any understudied, underappreciated group has fascinating lives, even a yucky spider, and we can learn something from it," Hoy added.