Saturday’s News Round-Up

A new month and daily changes in my weather ranging from highs of 78 to lows of 39….there is news that you cannot use….so I shall continue along those lines.

When you are around bubble wrap to you have the desire to pop the bubbles?

That desire could be expensive…..

Popping bubble wrap is a source of satisfaction for many people. For a man in Canada, however, it may be the source of legal troubles. Police in Vancouver are asking for tips from the public as they work to track down the unidentified man shown in a video damaging a piece of art at the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Vancouver Sun reports. The piece, titled “Delta Trim,” is crafted from moose hide, Velcro, zip ties, reflective tape, and bubble wrap. The video, which was posted to TikToc earlier this year, reportedly shows the man popping some of the bubble wrap. The artist behind the piece, Maureen Gruben, tells the Globe and Mail that it is inspired by a parka owned by her late mother. “It speaks about the memory of love and care from your mother,” the Indigenous artist says. “That’s what Inuit women do for their children, out of necessity but also out of love.”

“It is very upsetting to see the blatant disregard towards the artist’s time, energy and creative expression that it took to create this piece of art,” a Vancouver police spokeswoman said, per Global News. The cost to repair the damage to the $14,000 piece could top $6,500, because more than 20 feet of bubble wrap will need to be replaced. “It’s all one roll; it’s not like you could take a section out,” Gruben’s gallerist, LaTiesha Fazakas, tells the Globe and Mail. “That would be super labor-intensive.” The vandal is described as being between 19 and 23 years old, with dark skin, brown eyes, and black, shoulder-length curly hair. Initially, Fazakas thought the damage may have been accidental. But then the TikToc video emerged: “He was super smug about it and thought it was really funny and saw it as an opportunity to create a social-media post,” she says.

Ever heard of poop testing?

Well it is a thing….and the founders of a group that does this sort of thing is in big financial trouble…..

Not too long ago, the company was a trendy medical startup being compared with another trendy medical startup, Theranos. And now, as with Theranos, the founders are facing allegations of running a huge fraud, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Zachary Schulz Apte and Jessica Sunshine Richman, co-founders of the now-defunct fecal-testing company Ubiome, were indicted last week and face charges including conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to commit health care fraud, and money laundering, per the AP. Prosecutors allege that their Silicon Valley company raked in money for tests that “were not validated and not medically necessary.” At one point, Ubiome was valued at $600 million after gaining the backing of prominent venture capital firms. The couple married in 2019, the same year their company shut down after filing for bankruptcy.

A report at Business Insider notes that the company started on a small scale in 2012, marketing their “poop tests as fun, educational tools to help ordinary people understand the community of bacteria living in and on them,” aka the microbiome. In fact, they were so small that the company initially raised money through crowdfunding. But as interest grew, Apte and Richman shifted strategy in 2014 in a big way to go after money provided by medical insurers. Instead of those initial “fun” tests that cost about $100, the company began offering what they described as more clinical tests through doctors that cost insurers $3,000. Prosecutors, however, say the tests and the company’s pitches to patients, the medical community, and VC firms amounted to a $60 million fraud.

Enough of that sort of stuff….now let’s move on to animal stories…..

Alaska has a thief with feathers…..

Some Alaska Costco shoppers said they’ve had their groceries stolen by ravens in the store parking lot, the AP reports. Matt Lewallen said he was packing his groceries into his car in the parking lot of an Anchorage Costco when ravens swooped in to steal a short rib from his cart, the Anchorage Daily News reported Friday. “I literally took 10 steps away and turned around, two ravens came down and instantly grabbed one out of the package, ripped it off and flew off with it,” Lewallen said. Lewallen said the piece of meat was about 4-by-7 inches (10-by-18 centimeters) large—a sizable meal for a sizable bird. “They know what they’re doing; it’s not their first time,” Lewallen said. Additional raven thief sightings have emerged on social media. “My parents were minding their business after a shop and made it home with one less steak!” Kimberly Waller wrote on Facebook. “The bird snatched it right out of the pack in the parking lot.”

Anchorage resident Tamara Josey replied to Waller’s post and referred to the ravens as “calculating.” She said ravens hovered her in an attempt to steal her groceries. “I had two ravens, one that was on the car next to me and he kept squawking really loud,” Josey said. “He would sit on the car and stare at me, then hop next to the bed of the truck on the other side, and he kept going back and forth. The other raven was on the ground. He kept trying to pull—I had those little mini-melons you have in the mesh baggies—he kept trying to grab the netting and pull my melons off the cart.” Rick Sinnott, a former wildlife biologist, said hundreds of ravens fly to Anchorage in the winter for food. “For years, decades, they’ve watched people in parking lots of grocery stores with all this food,” Sinnott said. “They know what a piece of fruit looks like in a grocery cart because they’ve seen it on the ground or seen it in a garbage can.”
Attack of the angry Octopus…..
A man was taking a dip in sunny Australia—which we might as well call the land of beasts—when he was attacked by the “angriest octopus.” Lance Karlson, a geologist and former lifeguard, was walking along the shores of Geographe Bay in Dunsborough, Western Australia, on March 18 when he spotted an octopus lashing out at a seagull, according to an Instagram post. The octopus then moved toward Karlson and his 2-year-old daughter at the water’s edge, lashing out at the pair, per the BBC. “Ow, it got me!” a shocked Karlson says in a video that captured the sudden strike. Karlson wrote that his family then moved farther down the beach, but the octopus appeared again. Karlson was swimming some 30 yards from shore when he spotted tentacles moving away from a bed of shells.
“I was only there for a few seconds looking at the shells when I was struck on the arm from behind,” he tells 7News. “My goggles fogged up and then I was struck again, this time on the neck.” Karlson later shared photos showing red welts across his neck. “I can only describe it as a whipping sensation followed by a stinging,” he tells Yahoo News Australia. He says he prefers to use vinegar on such ocean wounds, but had to settle for acidic cola. “Turns out it works,” Karlson tells 7News. His video quickly went viral. “I can’t believe how fast those tentacles whipped out of the water,” one commenter wrote, per 7News. “I was already hesitant with sharks and saltwater crocs,” wrote another. “You have attacking octopus … I’m never going in the water again!
OMG!  Its toilet paper again!
More than a year into the pandemic, toilet paper prices are going up—not because people are still hoarding it, but because commodity prices are rising, according to Kimberley-Clark Corporation. The company, which makes brands including Cottonelle, Scott, and Viva, along with Kleenex tissues and Huggies diapers, says most of its products in North America will see “significant” price hikes “in the mid-to-high single digits” by June, USA Today reports. Analysts say the cost of wood pulp has surged 35% over the last year and price rises from other toilet paper makers will likely follow, reports Bloomberg.
In case you do not remember the ‘panic’ at the onset of this pandemic over TP then read this…..Last year, toilet paper became the “icon of panic buying.”
Now for a ‘feel good’ story…..and of course it is a canine story….

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but apparently, a unicorn — a stuffed purple one at that — is a dog’s best friend.

Animal control officers were called to a North Carolina Dollar General store after a stray dog kept coming into the store and beelining for the toy aisle.

“He went straight for the unicorn, the same one every time,” says Joe Newburn, a supervisor at Duplin County Animal Services.

“It was so strange, one of the strangest calls I’ve ever dealt with,” Newburn adds.

Workers at the Kenansville store (about 80 miles from Raleigh) told animal control officers that they caught the Lab mix darting into Dollar General every time a customer exited. Each time the stray dog made it in, he went to grab the same plush purple unicorn toy.

That is AWWWWW moment if there ever was one.

Enjoy your weekend.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

9 thoughts on “Saturday’s News Round-Up

  1. Ravens are very intelligent birds, so small wonder they have worked out how to get a free meal. As for the dog and the toy unicorn, you would think the shop would just give it to him! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. Yeah, its going on! If revolution is not started by humans, the animals will help us, this way. Lol I am sure in future they will this call “The Robin Hood syndrome”. 😉 Imagine how many guns a octopus will be able to carry! :-)) This with the poop testing company is also very funny. Here i can place the shortest comment ever: “Shit happens!” Lol Enjoy your day, Chuq! Thank you for the laughter! Michael

      1. Not yet. 😉 But I am amazed that they accept this 4 cm longer receipt. This also considerably damages the environment. They should make it 30 cm long, and we can use it as toilet paper. lol

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