At the Moscow Open chess tournament, a chess-playing robot apparently became unsettled by a 7-year-old player’s quick move in the game, so it grabbed the child’s hand and snapped one of his fingers. “The robot broke the child’s finger,” said Sergey Lazarev, president of the Moscow Chess Federation. “This is of course bad.” Ya think? Another official explained: “There are certain safety rules and the child, apparently, violated them. When he made his move, he did not realize he first had to wait.” The player, Christopher, returned to the tournament the next day. His parents have contacted the public prosecutor’s office.
At Least Squirrels Will Have Birth Control
In the United Kingdom, environmentalists are fighting over gray squirrels. The little rodents are taking over, damaging woodland ecosystems and native red squirrel populations. And a cull isn’t practical; gray squirrels reproduce too quickly. Now, however, scientists have created a squirrel contraceptive. Dr. Giovanna Massei of the U.K.’s Animal and Plant Health Agency said her team has developed a vaccine that prompts the immune system to restrict the production of sex hormones. Squirrels will be lured into a special trap, where they’ll feast on Nutella paste laced with the contraceptive. The project should be ready to deploy in the wild within two years.
Back To The VHS
A shrink-wrapped, near-mint-condition VHS tape of the 1986 film Back to the Future sold for an astounding $75,000 in a Heritage Auction in June. It was the highest price ever fetched at an auction for a sealed and graded VHS cassette. It didn’t hurt that the item came from the personal collection of actor Tom Wilson, who portrayed Biff Tannen in the movie trilogy, and that Wilson added a handwritten note and offered to sign the container for the winner. Wilson also sold sealed and graded VHS copies of Back to the Future II ($16,250), Back to the Future III ($13,750) and a ‘90s-era Back to the Future Trilogy boxed set ($10,000). Other highlights of the auction included VHS copies of the blockbusters Goonies ($50,000), Jaws ($32,500), Ghostbusters ($23,750) and Top Gun ($17,500).
It Was Just Candy, Your Honor!
Police found Jinhuan Chen, a 10-year veteran driver for Go Go Sun Tour with an exemplary record, unconscious at the wheel of a bus pulled over on the side of Interstate 95 in Stratford, Conn. Chen, who, according to his manager, “doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke, but does have a sweet tooth and likes candy,” had been transporting 38 passengers and munching on a package of gummy candies when he blacked out. Turns out the gummies were in fact Smokie’s Edibles Cannabis Infused Fruit Chews. Toxicology reports revealed a high level of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, in Chen’s bloodstream. “This would never have happened a couple of years ago,” Go Go Sun Tour manager Victor Chen said. “But now there’s marijuana everywhere here.” Jinhuan Chen will face 38 counts of reckless endangerment at his court date in August.
Christie Louise Jones of Richfield, N.C., went out looking for revenge on a former boyfriend. Some time later in the day, a man at a house in Gold Hill, called the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office to say a woman unknown to him was outside his home, trying to set it on fire. The arson attempt started with a pile of burning wood on the front porch. While the homeowner was trying to reach the hose, he realized his propane tank was also on fire, and his hose had been blocked with sealant to make it inoperable. That’s when he noticed a car parked across his driveway and a woman standing beside it. The homeowner said Jones “looked at me like she didn’t know who I was” — and she didn’t. She drove away, but was later apprehended. Deputies said her ex-boyfriend owns property in the area.
There’s Nothing Wrong With Our Snake Salad
A steward on a SunExpress flight from Ankara, Turkey, to Dusseldorf, Germany, discovered a severed snake’s head in the spinach in her in-flight meal. The steward took a video of the head. But SunExpress took offense, stating, “the allegations in the press regarding in-flight food service are absolutely unacceptable and a detailed investigation has been initiated on the subject.” The airline’s meals are provided by Sancak Inflight Services, which alleged the snake head was added to the meal after they prepared it.
Take A Negative And Make It A Positive
Over the Labor Day weekend, former boxer Mike Tyson (now a cannabis mogul) was set to debut his “bitten-ear-shaped” edibles at three New Jersey dispensaries. Tyson, you may remember, bit off part of Evander Holyfield’s ear, then spit it out, during a boxing match 25 years ago in Las Vegas. In an interview, Tyson said the “bitten-ear” product is his way of controlling the narrative about the infamous moment. “They fined me $3 million for biting his ear,” he said. The edibles are a “way to flip it to the positive side.”
Better Late Than Never
A package received at the Tooting Library in London contained a copy of the book A Confederate General From Big Sur by Richard Brautigan: a book that had last been checked out in 1974 — making it 48 years and 107 days overdue. Efforts to track down and thank the borrower were successful. Tony Spence, 72, a retired judge living in British Columbia, will be spared the late fees — not only the $7,618.10 that would be charged if the fines weren’t capped, but also the $10.50 maximum fine. “We’re pleased to have the book back in a condition good enough to return to the shelves, if we wanted, and under the circumstances we’re waiving the fines,” a statement from the library said. “We thank Mr. Spence for returning it and hope he enjoyed it.”
A Great Big Fancy Mess
After a punishing two-year hiatus because of COVID, the World Gravy Wrestling Championships returned to Rossendale, Lancashire, Britain Aug. 29. During the contest, entrants grapple in a pool of gravy for two minutes to raise money for East Lancashire Hospice. Carol Lowe, restaurant manager of the Rose ‘n’ Bowl Pub where the event took place, said people came from “far and wide” and the atmosphere was “absolutely bouncing.” Competitors are encouraged to don “fancy dress” and are graded on entertainment value. “It’s very messy,” Lowe conceded.
Give That Assailant A Hand
Emergency responders were called to a 7-Eleven store in Waikiki, Hawaii, just after midnight, where they found a 40-year-old man suffering from “multiple lacerations, puncture wounds and a severed hand.” When police tried to question the employees, they said no one there had been working at the time of the incident. But tourist Michael Suissa from Switzerland said he witnessed the assault. Suissa said the assailant had a sword and identified himself as a former worker at the store. A 46-year-old man was eventually arrested, but it was not clear whether he was employed at the 7-Eleven.
Controlled Fire Setting
The Curry County, Oregon, Sheriff’s Office received a call from the U.S. Forest Service about fires burning in the county. An employee of the Bureau of Land Management had reportedly seen a man walking along a gravel road, starting fires. As crews on the ground got the blazes under control, three area residents spotted 30-year-old Trennon Smith walking near the fires, Sheriff John Ward said. “It was reported that the suspect became very combative with the three residents and had to be tied to a tree,” Ward added. Ward said Smith had allegedly set the fires in a manner that would block residents from escaping. He was charged with first-degree arson, second-degree arson and reckless burning.
Points For Practicality
Dean Mayhew of Sussex, England, has a bad habit of forgetting his Tesco loyalty card when he goes grocery shopping. The scaffolder and father of seven said he visits the store up to three times a day. So the savings really add up if he can get the discounts. Mayhew got the QR code from his card tattooed on his forearm — and it works perfectly. “Sometimes I’m not the cleverest of guys, but (people have) said that, for me, it’s pretty genius,” Mayhew said. “Every time I go in there, they’re shocked. I could use the one on my phone, but I want to use the one on my arm as it’s funny.”