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September 21st, 2018

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Scientific Breakthroughs

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published Oct. 26, 2016

Scientific Breakthroughs


Friendly Bacteria: Plastics are well-known to decompose slowly, but the most difficult is the polyethylene used for containers such as the omnipresent water bottles, and despite recycling, tens of millions of metric tons wind up in landfills, where the plastic's strong polymer bonds resist breakdown. Recently, however, two Japanese researchers, after tedious trial-and-error, identified a bacterium that views the polyethylene terephthalate as an efficient, tasty meal. A colleague of the two said further tweaking was necessary before using the bacteria industrially. [Chemical & Engineering News, 3-11-2016]




The village of Trecon was inducted recently into the club of French towns with silly names. "Tres con," translated, is "very stupid." Mayor Georges Leherle accepted the town's membership, joining 38 incumbent members including "Monteton" ("My Nipple") and "Mariol" ("Dumbass"). [Kansas City Star, 6-27-2016] [The Local (Paris), 7-11-2016] Room-Sized Bong? Samuel Oliphant, 35, was arrested on various charges in Scottsdale, Arizona, in June after police were called to a house to investigate a "strong and unusual" odor (which cops suspected to be drugs). Inside, they found a "laboratory," necessitating use of their "hazmat protocols," because Oliphant had allegedly built a "complex and elaborate" system apparently for the purpose of enhancing the smoking of marijuana. [KPHO-TV (Phoenix), 7-1-2016]


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