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October 17th, 2017

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First Things First | Suspicions Confirmed

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published July 1, 2015

First Things First |  Suspicions Confirmed

(1) A 21-year-old man in Hefei, China, collapsed in May after 14 straight days of Internet gaming, yet when paramedics revived him, the man begged them to leave and put him back in front of the screen. (2) Then, two weeks later in Nanchang, China, a 24-year-old female gamer took only a minutes-long break at an Internet cafe, at 4 a.m., to head to a rest room and give birth -- returning with her blood-covered baby in her arms to resume her place at the mouse pad. (London's Daily Telegraph, reporting from Beijing in May, estimated that China has 24 million Internet "addicts.") [Anhui Business Review via Daily Telegraph (London), 5-4-2015] [People's Daily Online via Daily Mail (London), 5-15-2015]

Almost half of the DNA collected from a broad swath of the New York City subway system matched no known organism, and less than 1 percent was human. Weill Cornell Medical College researchers announced in February that they had identified much DNA by swabbing passenger car and station surfaces, finding abundant matches to beetles and flies (and even traces of inactive anthrax and bubonic plague) but that since so few organisms have been fully DNA-"sequenced," there was no cause for alarm. The lead researcher fondly compared the bacteria-teeming subway to a "rain forest," deserving "awe and wonder" that "there are all these species" that so far cause humans relatively little harm. [New York Times, 2-5-2015]

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