Only in the USA

June 26, 2015 at 5:27 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Raise a glass to the Black Death: “The Black Death may still be making its presence felt 650 years after it ravaged Europe, as a historian claims it led directly to the creation of the pub. The plague killed an estimated 1.5 million people in England between 1348 and 1350, but in its aftermath, with fewer people competing for work and land, living standards reached a height not matched until centuries later, said Prof Robert Tombs of Cambridge University. Peasants had increased leisure time and freedom, so pubs became places for playing games, meeting and socialising. The amount of free time available to 15th century workers was not equalled until the 1960s, Prof Tombs said… “Terrible though it is to say, the Black Death actually had some rather good effects. This was a good time to be alive. “This was when the English pub was invented and people started drinking lots of beer and playing football and so on. That was in a way due to, or at least a consequence of, and wouldn’t have been possible without, the Black Death.”

The ‘handsome gorilla’ driving Japanese girls mad: “A gorilla who grew up in an Australian zoo has become a heartthrob among women in Japan. Shabani the gorilla, who now lives in Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Nagoya, has attracted a large following of admirers who visit him because he is so ‘handsome’. The western lowland gorilla was raised at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo but moved to Japan in 2007. Zoo officials said there had been a notable increase in young female visitors thanks to Shabani, Chunichi reported. Shabani’s rise to fame has been fuelled largely by Twitter, where fans post pictures of him claiming he is ‘too handsome’. His adoring Twitter following often refers to him as an ‘ikemen’, which means a ‘good-looking man’. Pictures of the gorilla posted online capture him in moments where he appears to be flexing his muscles, staring broodingly into the distance or playing with the younger gorillas. Comments posted online describe him as ‘hot’ and ‘too handsome’.”

The world’s saddest cat: “With her wide-eyed look and downturned mouth, this mournful moggy may just lay claim to being the world’s saddest cat. Luhu constantly looks down in the dumps – even when her owner, Maggie Liu, from China, tries to lift her spirits by playing games. Pictures show the pessimistic pussycat lounging around the house and looking thoroughly dejected with pleading, innocent eyes. According to UDN.com, nothing seems capable of cheering up Luhu – but pictures of the morose pet have melted hearts across China. The website reports how internet users have dubbed Luhu ‘The world’s saddest cat’ while her Instagram account already has more than 200,000 followers. Her glum face is reminiscent of the pitifully sad image of Puss in Boots in the children’s classic Shrek 2 as he clasps his tiny black hat in his front paws.”

Have you heard cauliflowers ‘SING’?: “Step onto a cauliflower farm this weekend, and you might just be able to hear a mysterious squeaking sound around you. That’s because the noise cauliflower florets make when they rub together – known as the ‘cauliflower creak’ – will be at its loudest in a quarter of a century. The bizarre and eerie sound is important though – it indicates that the crop is growing quickly, which will make it sweeter, according to one farmer. This weekend, rapid growth of 1.2 inches (3cm) a day is expected due to some unique conditions, causing the florets to rub together and create the sound. It is hoped that the loud squeaking noise will be heard across cauliflower farms in Cornwall and Lincolnshire due to the sudden growth or ‘flush’ of the vegetable. ‘It is real,’ said the farmer, who produces the vegetable for Morrisons supermarket. ‘You’ve got to be there in the still of morning, when there is no background noise, and you can hear the actual crops growing.’ ‘It’s a bit like Rice Krispies in a bowl.”

Is this the best suitcase ever? Expanding design that turns into a rack of SHELVES: “ShelfPack is a revolutionary new roller suitcase that turns into a chest of drawers upon arrival. Instead of stuffing your T-shirts and socks into any available space, ShelfPack comes with four built-in shelves to help you keep organised. The sturdy, retractable supports keep the shelves stable – even when they are tucked away inside the base of the bag. For smaller toiletries and grooming items, the one-of-a-kind design also boasts three outer pocket compartments. There’s also an extendable trolly handle for easy airport manoeuvering. The bag is going for $349 and is shipped by California-based McKaba Luggage.

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

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