Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
5 min read
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Dateline: Indonesia

Aviation Herald is reporting a Singapore Airlines flight from Adelaide, Australia, to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, had to make an emergency landing because of 2,186 farting sheep. The aircraft landed Oct. 26 at Ngurah Rai International Airport on the island of Bali after the cockpit noticed a smoke warning coming from the cargo hold. Investigators found no fire on the plane and eventually determined that “the smoke indication was the result of exhaust gases and manure produced by the sheep.” The plane continued on to Malaysia after spending two and a half hours on the ground. Soon after the report hit worldwide media, Singapore Airlines denying the gassy grounding, saying it had no evidence the incident took place. “That is an assumption being made by media, which we are unable to confirm,” a spokesperson told the Singaporean newspaper Today. In a statement to London’s Daily Mail, the airline also said the animals in question were goats and not sheep. Simon Hradecky, the founder of the Aviation Herald, is standing by his outlet’s report. “I am aware that [Singapore Airlines] are disputing our coverage. Fact is, emergency services and maintenance at Denpasar decided this was the cause. Had the cause been different, the aircraft would not have been able to depart again after just two hours.”

Dateline: Ireland

The historic Guinness Brewery has announced it will no longer use fish bladders in the production of its famous brew in order to appeal to vegetarians and vegans. The 256-year-old recipe for the company’s dark stout beer calls for the use of fish bladders, known as isinglass, as part of the filtration system. This helps the yeast settle and clarifies the liquid. “Isinglass has been used widely within the brewing industry as a means of filtration for decades,” Guinness said in a statement. “However, because of its use we could not label Guinness as suitable for vegetarians and have been looking into an alternative solution for some time. We are now pleased to have identified a new process through investment in a state-of-the-art filtration system.” The use of fish bladders will be phased out as the new filtration system is implemented next year.

Dateline: England

The UK supermarket chain Tesco is looking for a professional “Christmas tree light untangler” for the holidays. The unusual job listing ran recently in the
Wrexham Leader. Employment would take place at the Tesco Extra store in Wrexham for the four weeks leading up to Christmas. According to the ad, prospective untanglers are expected to have “A passion for Christmas” and “The ability to untangle 3 metres of Christmas lights in under 3 minutes. The untangler will man a Christmas light untangling stand and will also check customers’ light bulbs for “signs of breakage.” A Tesco spokesperson told The Mirror newspaper, “The successful applicant will work full time in the lead up to Christmas, showing that ‘Every Little Helps,’ lending their nimble fingers to customers while they shop.” The company estimates a typical day will involve untangling up to 60 sets of lights. No word on how much the salary will be.

Dateline: Israel

An Israeli Cabinet minister has garnered criticism and mockery for suggesting his country ship thousands of stray cats to another country. The
Yediot daily published what it said was a letter from Israel’s Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel. The minister cited Jewish laws against animal cruelty as a reason not to spay or neuter stray animals. He also quoted a biblical commandment to populate the Earth. His solution to pet overpopulation then is to simply deport all the cats of one gender to another country. Ariel is a member of the orthodox religious Jewish Home party. Israeli animal rights activists condemned his ideas, and opposition leader Tzip Livni posted a picture on Facebook of a black and white cat, saying, “No way will I get a foreign passport for Pitzkeleh.” More than 10,000 people have signed a petition denouncing Ariel’s cat deportation policy.

Dateline: Washington

Seattle’s notorious gum wall is coming down. The Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority (or PDA), announced earlier this month that the gum will be removed using an industrial steam machine. The Pike Place gum wall has been the repository for the discarded gum from tourists and locals for the last 20 years. The job is expected to take three days because, as PDA spokesperson Emily Crawford told the Seattle Times, “it’s going to be a very large job.” Kelly Foster of Cascadian Building Maintenance, the company tasked with removing the sticky mess. said, “this is probably the weirdest job we’ve done.” Crawford admitted the cleaning would probably not deter future gum donations. “We’re not saying it can’t come back. We need to wipe the canvas clean and keep [it] fresh.” TripAdvisor dubbed the gum wall the world’s second most germ-ridden tourist attraction—behind Ireland’s Blarney Stone.

Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. Email your weird news to devin@alibi.com.

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