The upscale restaurant at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art announced in August that it soon would add a 20-item selection of waters from around the world, priced from $8 to $16 a bottle (except for a $12 “tasting menu”). Martin Riese, general manager of Ray’s & Stark Bar, who is also a renowned water gourmet, will sell his own California-made 9OH2O, which comes in “limited editions of 10,000 individually numbered glass bottles” at $14 each. Said Riese, “[M]any people don’t know that water is just as important to the entire dining experience as, say, a good wine.” Riese has been certified as a Water Sommelier by the German Mineral Water Association.
Hacked on the ‘throne’
A security lab, delivering a report to the makers of software for a luxury Japanese toilet, warned that a flaw in its Android program renders the toilet hackable — even while a user sits on it. The Satis (which retails for about $5,600) includes automatic flushing, bidet spray, fragrance-spritzing and music, according to an August BBC News report, and is controllable by a “My Satis” cellphone app. However, the PIN to operate the app is unalterably “0000,” so a prankster with the app could create some very uncomfortable mischief in a public restroom.
‘Instead of Doing It’
The CEO of Christian Schools Australia told the Australian Associated Press in June that Caloundra Christian College in Queensland teaches a range of creative sexual health messages and offered the school’s recent student pamphlet, “101 Things to Do Instead of Doing It,” as evidence. Recommended substitutes: “Pretend you’re 6 again,” “Have a water fight,” “Blow bubbles in the park,” and “Have a burping contest.”
Not such a batty idea
According to their study in July in the Royal Society of Biology Letters, researchers from the University of Florida and Boise State somehow have learned that the hawkmoth evolved to avoid predator bats by jamming bats’ signature radar-like hunting technique called echolocation. A co-author told ScienceRecorder.com that the hawkmoth “confuses” the bats by emitting sonic pulses from its genitals.
Here come da ‘Hon’
Immediately after Judge John Hurley’s reduced her bond from $76,000 to $10,000 on drug trafficking charges in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Felicia Underwood, 38, asked, “You can’t make it a little lower, hon?” According to a South Florida Sun-Sentinel report, Hurley was momentarily taken aback, asking: “Did she just refer to the court as ‘honey’?” (He kept the bond at $10,000.)
A misuse of balls
Adult “swinger” clubs occasionally rent commercial facilities for an evening in which randy couples can mingle. A club in Melbourne, Australia, struck a deal with the Casey Kids Play House Cranbourne, where frolickers could enjoy the playtime equipment — until parents of children who play there found out. The parents were especially concerned about the partiers cavorting among the plastic balls in the giant ball pit. One parent told the Herald Sun, “My son is one [who] puts balls in his mouth.”
Not a fast thinker
British birdwatchers were especially excited by news earlier this year that a rare white-throated needletail (the world’s fastest flying bird) had been spotted on the Isles of Harris — only the eighth such sighting in Britain in 170 years — and ornithologists arranged for an expedition that attracted birdwatchers from around the world. A June report in the Daily Telegraph noted that about 80 people were on the scene when the bird appeared again, but then had to watch it fly straight toward the blades of a wind turbine. (As the event might be described by Monty Python, the bird thus joined the choir invisible, left this mortal coil, became an ex-white-throated needletail.)
Contrary to popular wisdom, cows do not sleep standing up, but actually spend 12 to 14 hours a day lying down, even though their shape makes the position uncomfortable. Conscientious dairy farmers use beds of sand to adapt to the cow’s contour, and since the late 1990s a Wisconsin firm, Advanced Comfort Technology, has marketed $200 cow waterbeds, which are even more flexible. The waterbeds are built with an extra chamber that makes it easier for the cow to lower itself safely. The founders’ daughter, Amy Throndsen, told Huffington Post in June that her parents endured awkward moments starting the company: “Everyone … is telling them, Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Are you kidding me? Waterbeds?”
He’s in quite the bind
Sheriff’s deputies in Apopka, Fla., charged Chad Winslow with burglary after finding him stuck in a grease vent (facing outward) on the roof of Sam’s Discount Food Store in June. According to a deputy, Winslow’s first words were, “I’m stuck, and I have to take a poop.”