As dog-walkers passed the Seascape Cafe in Chapel St. Leonards, England, on Sept. 6, they were startled to see what they thought was a "ritual mass murder" inside, United Press International reported. Police were called to the scene, but it turns out the people lying on their backs were just taking part in a yoga meditation exercise. The class's teacher, Millie Laws, said class members had dispersed before officers arrived, and assured the community on her Facebook page that "(w)e are not part of any mad cult or crazy clubs. ... They were all participating in a beautiful deep relaxation, and it could have never run through any of our minds that it could be taken this way." Namaste.
Zach Swope, 32, of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, had a worthy goal in mind when he set out to capture a Guinness World Record: He wanted to raise awareness for mental health issues. To that end, Regal Cinemas donated $7,777.77 to the American Federation for Suicide Prevention after Swope saw 777 films in 365 days, United Press International reported. He started in July 2022 with "Minions: Rise of Gru" and finished with "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny." Swope wisely bought a Regal Unlimited Membership for $22 per month, which allowed him to see as many films as he could. He said he generally saw up to three movies every weekday after work and a few on the weekends, but he was not allowed to take bathroom breaks or have snacks or drinks during the films. What was his favorite? "Across the Spider-Verse."
In Brezna, Montenegro, seven individuals are competing for the resort village's coveted title of "Laziest Citizen," Reuters reported -- and all they have to do is lie down. The contest, which promises a prize of $1,070, is held every year; it started in 2012 to mock a popular stereotype of Montenegrins being lazy. In 2022, a record of 117 hours was set. But after 20+ days and nearly 500 hours, seven of the 2023 lazy competitors -- down from the 21 who started -- were still at it. (Don't worry: Each person gets 10 minutes every eight hours to visit the restroom.) Last year's champion, Dubravka Aksic, 38, said they all "feel good, excellent, there are no health problems, they are pampering us, all we have to do is remain lying down." "Time goes by quickly," said Filip Knezevic, 23, who is determined to take the prize.
The Golden Age of Air Travel
A Swiss airlines flight on Sept. 9 from Zurich to Bilbao, Spain, took off without one key element in place: the passengers' luggage. Yahoo! News reported that although passengers waited for two hours in Spain for their luggage to arrive, it never did. Company spokesperson Kavin Ampalam explained: "There was a shortage of ground staff," and after waiting for more than an hour, they decided to take off anyway. The pilot apologized to passengers for the delay but failed to mention the lack of luggage on board. "We understand the situation is not favorable for the people involved, and of course we regret the inconvenience," Ampalam said. Or worse: "Our vacation is ruined," said passenger Carsten Redlich.
Travelers aboard a Delta flight from Ghana to New York on Sept. 8 made an unexpected 12-hour detour to remote Terceira Island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the New York Post reported, and the airline didn't have much sympathy for them. The plane experienced a "mechanical issue with a backup oxygen system," a Delta spokesperson said. Nana Asante-Smith, one of the passengers, said people on board were enclosed in a "partitioned section" because of visa regulations and "had no access to food" or water. Finally, the airport provided sandwiches, juice boxes and crackers. Flyers couldn't get any information from Delta, and one airport staffer told the group they "shouldn't start a revolution" and should be grateful that their plane didn't crash into the sea. When a replacement plane arrived, the group's luggage was not transferred to the new aircraft, and some travelers waited days for their items to be recovered.
Researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), exploring the Gulf of Alaska in early September, stumbled upon a "golden orb" on the ocean floor that they can't identify, Yahoo! News reported. Scientists used a remotely operated vehicle to survey deepwater habitats; the object, which was about 4 inches in diameter and had a tear near its base, was perched on a rock 2 miles deep. "While we were able to collect the 'golden orb' and bring it onto the ship, we still are not able to identify it beyond the fact that it is biological in origin," NOAA said.
Reza Baluchi just can't stop getting into trouble with the U.S. Coast Guard, NPR reported. The Iranian-born man from Florida was arrested on Aug. 29 after officers tried for three days to convince him to abandon his plan: running across the Atlantic Ocean in a "hamster wheel" fitted with buoys, with his final destination being London, England -- 4,000 miles from his starting point. He tried similar stunts in 2014, 2016 and 2021, "all of which resulted in USCG intervention," said Coast Guard Special Agent Michael Perez. In a short documentary made about Baluchi by Vice, he explained his motivation: "If you drive a boat, nobody cares. Bubble, nobody did before. ... Make me crazy. They stop me every time, they save my life. I don't no need it, save my life." After the 2016 incident, the Coast Guard sank Baluchi's bubble, so he redesigned and built a new one. He faces charges of obstruction of boarding and violation of a captain of the port order.
The Criminal Mind
The North Wales Police are warning residents about a new strategy being used by burglars, Sky News reported. Criminals are leaving Christmas gnomes in people's front gardens, then watching to see if the little figurines are moved. That way, they can discern whether residents are away and the home is an easy target. "We would advise residents to be vigilant," a spokesperson for the police said. Dodgy.
John McKee, 51, of Vincennes, Indiana, landed in the Knox County jail on Aug. 23 after a state trooper observed him driving a Power Wheels Jeep around 9 p.m. on a city street. According to police, the toy car didn't have lights or reflectors, and McKee failed a field sobriety test, The Smoking Gun reported. He told the officer that he had crystal meth and marijuana in his system. He was released on bond, and his fancy ride was collected by Troy's Towing, a trooper said.
Goodwill employees in Goodyear, Arizona, were startled on Sept. 5 when they opened a donated box and found a human skull inside, The Arizona Republic reported. The skull still had some of the teeth attached and featured a false eye set in the left eye socket. Goodyear Police spokesperson Lisa Berry said they believed it to be "historic" and to have no "forensic significance, meaning there appears to be no associated crime." The Goodwill store would not comment on whether the skull will be added to the store's shelves (perfect for Halloween!) or how it would be priced.
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