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September 20th, 2018

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News That Sounds Like a Joke | The Continuing Crisis

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published April 13,2018

News That Sounds Like a Joke  |  The Continuing Crisis

In Turkmenistan's capital, Ashgabat, drivers of black cars are facing high costs to repaint their cars white or silver after President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov banned black vehicles because he thinks the color white brings good luck. Police began seizing dark-colored vehicles in late December, and owners have to apply for permission to repaint and re-register them. The average wage in Ashgabat is about $300 a month (or 1,200 manats); one Turkman told Radio Free Europe that he was quoted 7,000 manats for a paint job, but was told that the price would rise within a week to 11,000 manats. "Even if I don't spend any money anywhere, I will be forced to hand over pretty much my entire annual salary just to repaint," the unnamed man said, adding that his black car had already been impounded. [Radio Free Europe, 1/8/2018]

Birds nesting near natural gas compressors have been found to suffer symptoms similar to PTSD in humans, according to researchers at the Florida Museum of Natural History, and noise pollution has been named the culprit. The Washington Post reported the team studied birds in the Rattlesnake Canyon Habitat Management Area in New Mexico, which is uninhabited by humans but does contain natural gas wells and compression stations that constantly emit a low-frequency hum. The steady noise was linked to abnormal levels of stress hormones, and the usually hardy western bluebirds in the area were found to be smaller and displayed bedraggled feathers. "The body is just starting to break down," explained stress physiologist Christopher Lowry. [The Washington Post, 1/9/2018]


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