September 1, 2016
Crafty! Beer-Tasting Lab Helps Students Learn Chemistry
Portland, ME (AP) A Maine professor is hoping to brew interest in her chemistry class by keeping the topic on beer.
University of Southern Maine professor Lucille Benedict tells the Portland Press Herald it can be challenging to keep students engaged in chemistry, so she started using beer as a testing medium.
Benedict oversees the school’s new Quality Assurance/Quality Control and Research Laboratory. The lab has partnered with the Maine Brewers Guild to provide testing and training for breweries and brewmasters.
Students say the beer-testing lab allows them to use science to solve real-world problems.
Classes for brewers begin in the fall. They focus on how a flawed brewing process can contaminate or ruin beer. Brewers can also send samples to the lab for testing.
The lab charges $25 for basic testing.
500 Cows Rustled From New Zealand Farm In Unusual Case
Wellington, New Zealand (AP) How do you steal 500 cows?
Probably not all at once. That’s according to New Zealand police, who said Tuesday that they were investigating reports of the unlikely crime at a South Island farm.
Locals said they’d never before heard of cattle rustling on such a massive scale. And that’s in a nation that’s home to some 10 million cows, more than double the number of people.
The farmer involved is feeling too sheepish to talk about what happened, according to friend Willy Leferink.
“He’s absolutely gobsmacked, and deeply embarrassed,” Leferink said. “If you had three-quarters of a million dollars go missing, you wouldn’t want to talk about it either.”
Leferink said each milking cow was worth about 1,500 New Zealand dollars ($1,090) and weighed more than half a ton. He said the cows could have been taken from the herd of 1,300 near the town of Ashburton anytime between early July, when they were last counted, and late August.
“It’s unlikely the theft of hundreds of animals could be completed at once, and is more likely that multiple thefts could be carried out over a period of time,” Senior Sgt. Scott Banfield said in a statement.
He said the thieves would face a tough time trying to fence the cows, because each one comes with an electronic identification tag in its ear. He said the tags could be removed, but that an honest dealer wouldn’t buy a cow without a tag.
Girl Strikes Gold By Finding Stolen Olympic Medal In Trash
Atlanta (AP) An Olympic champion is thanking a 7-year-old Atlanta girl who found his gold medal in a pile of trash weeks after it got stolen.
Joe Jacobi won the medal in men’s canoe double slalom at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Jacobi says it was stolen when somebody broke into his car in June.
Weeks later, Chloe Smith was walking with her father when she spotted the gold medal discarded in a pile of garbage. Chloe returned the medal to Jacobi, who had posted about the theft on social media. The former Olympian then promised to visit Chloe’s school and let her classmates know about her good deed.
Jacobi spoke Monday to Chloe’s first-grade class at Woodson Park Academy. WSB-TV reports the Olympian brought his recovered gold medal with him.
Believed Python In Maine City Actually An Anaconda
Westbrook, ME (AP) Wessie P. Thon might actually be Wessie A. Conda.
A Texas scientist who ran tests on a large snake skin found in the Maine city of Westbrook says Tuesday the tests came back as “100 percent from anaconda.”
A big snake caused a stir in Maine when it was seen this summer eating a beaver along a riverbank. The discovery of a 10-foot snakeskin this month indicates it’s still lurking locally.
Locals dubbed it Wessie. That spawned a parody Twitter account called Wessie P. Thon.
University of Texas at Tyler biologist John Placyk (play-SIK’) performed the skin test. He says Wessie’s behavior corresponds with that of an anaconda. He’s says it’s possibly an escaped pet.
The Wessie Twitter account tweeted Tuesday that the news was causing “a mid-life crisis” for the reptile.
Pokemon, Go: France Doesn't Want Creatures In Schools
Paris (AP) Attention, legendary Pokemon creatures: You may soon be expelled from the schools of France.
The education minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, said Monday that the makers of the popular “Pokemon Go” smartphone game should stop beaming their most avidly hunted Pokemon figures into real-life schools.
She has told a Paris news conference that she intends to meet representatives of California-based Niantic Inc. to explain that the game entices non-students to wander into children’s schools. She sees the quest for rare, or “legendary,” characters as posing the greatest security risk of unwanted walk-ins by strangers.
France remains in an official state of emergency following November attacks in Paris and last month’s Nice truck massacre.
She says principals already can apply online for Niantic to remove their school from the game’s global map.
Woman Admits Crickets, Worms Spilled On Subway Was Stunt
New York (AP) A woman who caused chaos aboard a subway train by releasing a container of crickets and worms says it was all a prank. Zaida Pugh tells the New York Post she had the episode videotaped “to show what homeless people go through.” The NYPD says it’s still looking into whether Wednesday’s incident was staged and whether Pugh and the woman on the train are the same person.
If so, she could face charges. Pugh told the Post on Friday that a friend intentionally flipped the container over. She says the passengers attacking her also were part of the stunt. Startled passengers had crickets on their arms and worms wriggled on the floor. Someone pulled the emergency brake, halting the train for 30 minutes. Pugh says that wasn’t planned.
Lawyer: Don't Punish Client For Buying Car From Drug Dealer
Springfield, MA (AP) A lawyer for a Massachusetts man found with 95 packets of heroin in his car says his client shouldn’t be punished for unknowingly buying a vehicle from a drug dealer.
The Republican newspaper reports that a lawyer for Sean Deglis said in court Monday that his client had no idea heroin was stashed in a hidden compartment of the car he bought over the weekend.
Attorney Tony LaCasse says it was unfair to expect Deglis to “hire a drug-sniffing dog to inspect a car before purchasing it.”
Prosecutors say narcotics detectives, acting on a tip from a confidential informant, arrested the 29-year-old Southwick man Saturday night.
Deglis pleaded not guilty and was held on $10,000 bail.
Prosecutors say Deglis has a long criminal record, including drug possession convictions.