Alibi V.29 No.28 • July 9-15, 2020 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: United Kingdom

Odds and Ends

People have been defecating on the lawn of the Queen of England. According to CNN walkers have been relieving themselves on the grounds of Balmoral Castle, the Queen’s 50,000-acre estate in the Scottish Highlands. Employees have reportedly discovered soiled wet wipes that have been disposed of on the castle’s grounds. “Disappointed to see so many wipes discarded on the Estate today,” wrote an employee on Balmoral’s Twitter account. “Next to paths and monuments. Please remember there are no public toilets open for miles around at the moment.” The problem might be an unforeseen side effect of COVID-19 lockdown measures. “Part of the problem is that we are seeing a lot of non-biodegradable wipes being discarded in the countryside,” the Balmoral wrote. “Also, people are choosing to relieve themselves right next to busy paths or monuments rather than move a little bit further away to avoid contamination.” Staff went on to encourage people to “pee” at least 30 meters (around 98 feet) from natural bodies of water. “If you need to defecate, do so as far away as possible from buildings, paths, water courses and farm animals. Bury faeces in a shallow hole and replace the turf.” The Queen and members of her family have spent their time during the pandemic at another royal estate at Windsor, near London.

Dateline: The Earth

A new perfume will allow you to experience the smell of outer space without having to put on a spacesuit. A new Kickstarter campaign is looking to manufacture a “smell of space” perfume called Eau de Space. According to CNN the scent was developed at the behest of NASA over a decade ago by chemist Steve Pearce. The agency was impressed by his work at a scent exhibition in which he recreated the smell of the inside of the Mir Space Station. NASA leaders wanted Pearce to recreate the smell of space so that astronauts would have less surprises during missions. Pearce gathered astronaut accounts of the unique scent, described as smelling smoky and bitter—like ozone, hot metal, raspberries, rum and seared steak. “It's kind of like a smell from a gun, right after you fire the shot,” said Peggy Whitson, an astronaut and former resident of the International Space Station. Now, the company Eau de Space has acquired the scent and wants to mass manufacture it so that everyone can “experience the Smell of Space for themselves.” According to the Eau de Space’s Kickstarter campaign, the company has “partnered with award winning perfumers, some of the best in the world, and secured the rights to launch this product exclusively. Our team consists of top Fashion, Tech, Design, and Logistics experience—all with a desire to increase STEM through experiential education.”

Dateline: Alabama

Health authorities in one Alabama county claim that college students have been gathering for “COVID parties” in an attempt to infect each other with the deadly virus. ABC News reports that officials in Tuscaloosa, Ala. believe that they have confirmed rumors that have been circulating about the parties. Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith told the City Council, “We did some research. Not only do the doctors' offices confirm it, but the state confirmed they also had the same information.” Smith said that a number of parties had been held within Tuscaloosa County in recent weeks. City Councilor Sonya McKinstry said party organizers were purposefully inviting infected guests to the parties as part of a gambling game. “They put money in a pot and they try to get COVID. Whoever gets COVID first gets the pot. It makes no sense,” McKinstry said. “They're intentionally doing it.” Hours after the briefing, the Tuscaloosa City Council unanimously passed an ordinance requiring residents to wear face coverings while in public.

Dateline: Israel

A food company plans to manufacture 3D printers that will be able to produce plant-based steaks that imitate real beef. Reuters reports that Israeli start-up Redefine Meat plans to launch the printers next year. The company claims that the machines will be able to print around 44 pounds of food an hour at a lower cost than real meat. CEO Eshchar Ben-Shitrit told reporters that the new food will improve on the texture of current plant-based meat alternatives. “You need a 3D printer to mimic the structure of the muscle of the animal,” he said. “Our technology will be available in selected top restaurants in Europe this year, before we focus on scaling it up during 2021,” CEO Giuseppe Scionti said. The company reportedly raised $6 million last year alone—with most of it coming from CPT Capital, a prominent investor in Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. Barclays financial services projects that alternative meat sales will reach $140 billion by 2029. Experts say the market is looking for improvements in texture and flavor. Spanish competitor Novameat is reportedly working on a 3D-printed imitation pork cut.

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