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Odds & Ends

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Odds and Ends

Dateline: Mexico

Scientists say a species of fish can be so loud during copulation that it deafens dolphins. According to marine biologists from the University of Texas and the University of San Diego, all adult Gulf corvina migrate to the Colorado River Delta in the northernmost part of Mexico’s Gulf of California every year for a spawning aggregation. The number of corvina involved in the aggregation can reach into the low millions. Researchers say each fish projects a mating call that sounds like “a really loud machine gun,” and when they get together to spawn each year, they generate a sound level that is the highest recorded for a fish species. It can reportedly cause the hulls of nearby ships to vibrate. A recent study published in Biology Letters measured the fish's volume and found that under water, the sound was loud enough to damage the hearing of sea creatures in the vicinity. The researchers noted that the behavior has caused the fish to become easily targeted by fisherman, who are reportedly overfishing the aggregation. They warn that precautions like raising the market price for corvina should be taken to protect the species.

Dateline: United Kingdom

Amazon UK removed a home circumcision training kit from its website last week. The National Secular Society (NSS) wrote a complaint letter to Amazon UK after they discovered the internet commerce and cloud computing company was hosting a kit meant to train users how to perform circumcisions in their own home. The kit, sold by ESP, comes in a variety of skin colors and includes a model of a boy’s genitals made from what is described as “lifelike” material, multiple artificial replacement penises, scissors and scalpels. It sold for between £365 and £456. The chair of the NSS’s secular medical forum, Dr. Antony Lempert, wrote in his letter to Amazon: “Non-therapeutic circumcision is unethical and unnecessary and is putting infant boys at risk of death and serious injury. This practice could be encouraged by the morally negligent sale of infant circumcision training kits to the public.” In response to letter, Amazon removed the kit from its UK website The NSS praised Amazon for the move. The kit is currently available on the US Amazon website through Nasco for $196 at time of printing.

Dateline: New York

A man was arrested for waving his toupee at his son-in-law, who is afraid of the Tasmanian Devil cartoon. Mazen Dayem, a 36-year-old from Staten Island, told reporters that his father-in-law, Yunes Doleh, has harassed him on numerous occasions, using his bushy wig to take advantage of Dayem's debilitating fear of the “Looney Tunes'” Tasmanian Devil. Dayem says his father in-law's toupee looks like the character, and Doleh, knowing about his fear, would gesture with it and make growling sounds to frighten him. Earlier in the year, Dayem reportedly filed a restraining order against his father-in-law in the hopes of preventing future harassment, following an incident in which Doleh allegedly kicked Dayem's car. But the issue arose again in November when, at a funeral, Doleh allegedly began gesturing with the wig while in Dayem's line of sight. Doleh was arrested for the incident on felony charges for violating a restraining order. Doleh faces charges of criminal contempt and aggravated harassment. His attorney called the situation a “family dispute” and says he believes the criminal charges will be dropped against his client.

Dateline: Australia

Federal police in Sydney accidentally broadcast their arrest plans over social media. Earlier this month, Australian police arrested a man suspected of being a North Korean agent for attempting to sell missile parts illegally, allegedly to raise money for the North Korean government. But days before, around a minute of audio was broadcast on Periscope and linked to on Twitter wherein officers could be overheard during the operation briefing discussing the timing of the arrest and the potential need to brief the country's Prime Minister and Opposition Leader. No mention of the suspect's name were reportedly made. The tweet was quickly deleted, but the live broadcast continued until The West Australian contacted authorities and alerted them to its presence. According to reports, about 40 people listened to the recording before it was deleted. Law enforcement officials confirmed that the broadcast was an accident, saying it happened while “testing a piece of social media broadcasting equipment.” Authorities say steps have been taken to avoid future incidents. Despite the mistake, the suspect never learned of the plan, and the operation proved successful.

Compiled by Joshua Lee. Email your weird news to josh@alibi.com.

 
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