A Saratoga Springs, N.Y., resort has begun accepting totally defeated husbands and wives for a relaxed weekend that includes divorce, bringing to the U.S. a concept already successful in six European cities. The Gideon Putnam Resort & Spa charges $5,000 for a couple to check in on a Friday, married, but leave Sunday officially single (complete with all legal niceties and various resort amenities, including, of course, separate rooms). Even though the couple must be fairly levelheaded to accept this approach, the facility manager expressed concern that since the resort also books weddings, the "uncouplers" might inadvertently witness difficult scenes. (Gideon Putnam has hosted four divorces so far, but, said the European founder of the package service, "hundreds" of couples have used the services in Europe.)
Scientists at the University of California, Irvine (with Australian partners), announced in January that they had figured out how to unboil a hen's egg. (After boiling, the egg's proteins become "tangled," but the scientists' device can untangle them, allowing the egg white to return to its previous state.) Actually, the researchers' paper promises dramatically reduced costs in several applications, from cancer treatments to food production, where similar, clean untanglings might take "thousands" of times longer.
The Knoxville (Tenn.) Police Department reminded motorists (via its Facebook page) that all vehicles need working headlights for night driving. Included was a recent department photo of the car of a Sweetwater, Tenn., motorist who was ticketed twice the same evening with no headlights but only flashlights tied to his bumper with bungee cords.
The owner of the Kingsland Vegetarian Restaurant in a suburb of Canberra, Australia, apologized in February for the cockroach infestation that contributed to a $16,000 fine, explaining that, for moral reasons, he could not bring himself to exterminate living things — even cockroaches. (Less well-defended were Kingsland's toilet, grease and food-storage shortcomings.)
Among the participants at this year's Davos, Switzerland, gathering of billionaires and important people was property developer Jeff Greene, 60, who owns mansions in New York, Malibu and Palm Springs, and whose Beverly Hills estate is on the market for about $195 million. Greene famously won big betting against overvalued subprime mortgages before the 2008 Great Recession, but, shortly after landing at Davos, he gave Bloomberg Business his take on the symptoms of current economic turmoil (that he had capitalized on for part of his wealth by exploiting people's desire for expensive houses they ultimately could not afford). "America's lifestyle expectations are far too high," Greene explained, "and need to be adjusted so we have less things and a smaller, better existence."
Least competent criminals
Police in Houston arrested Dorian Walker-Gaines, 20, and Dillian Thompson, 22, after they posted selfies on Facebook of themselves enjoying a handful of $100 bills — photos they took on an iPad they had stolen on Jan. 8 and whose photos automatically uploaded to the victim's iCloud account. (Incidentally, Walker-Gaines has, tattooed across his chest, "BRILLIANT.")
Don't drink and drive (a Zamboni)
After consulting its substantial research base, the Smoking Gun website reported that Steven Anderson's arrest in Fargo, N.D., in January was only the third time that someone operating a Zamboni had been charged with drunken driving. Anderson, 27, was arrested while (erratically) resurfacing the ice between periods of a girls' high school hockey game.
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