February 25th, 2021


Bright Ideas

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published Sept. 26, 2017

Bright Ideas

Skills: (1) In May, the British tribunal dealing with student cheating rejected the appeal of a law student who was caught taking an in-class exam with her textbook open (permitted) but containing handwritten notes in the margins -- not permitted, but written in invisible ink legible via the UV light on her pen. (2) On testing day in March for Romania's 14- and 15-year-olds, administrators of the country's popular DEX online dictionary, acting on suspicion, changed the definitions of two words likely to be improperly looked up by cheaters during the exam. "(H)undreds" of school searches for the words took place that morning, but administrators were still mulling an appropriate punishment for the cheaters (who were, of course, easily identified by their misapplication of the suspect words). [NBC News, 5-6-2017] [BBC News, 3-16-2017]

With limited trade, investment and ownership rights, many Cuban producers are forced to improvise in order to bring products to market -- like Orestes Estevez, a Havana winemaker, who finds condoms indispensable, according to an April Associated Press dispatch. The "most remarkable sight" the reporter saw was "hundreds of (open) bottles capped with condoms," which inflate from gases as the fruit ferments. When fermentation is done, the condom goes limp. (The AP also noted that fishermen use condoms to carry bait far from shore and which also increase tugging resistance when nibbling fish fight the line.) [Associated Press via Virgin Islands Daily News, 4-4-2017]