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Dispatches Quick Takes

Quick Takes

Nick West (Tom Wren/SWNS)

By the thousands

For Nick West, moving houses means downsizing. And that means trimming down his collection of historic beer cans. The Englishman from North Somerset has spent more than 40 years collecting 9,300 cans of beer beginning when he was 16. “I wasn’t old enough to buy them myself, but luckily my parents humored me and would buy me a can or two,” he told the BBC. In preparation for his upcoming move, West has been selling thousands of old cans, including some dating back to 1936, to collectors. He also donated nearly 2,000 to a local museum. In his new home, West estimates he can keep about 1,500 of his favorites.


 

AmityNorton/Twitter

AmityNorton/Twitter

Delay of games

Apparently hoping to dry out a baseball field in Ridgefield, Conn., before an April 7 high-school game, someone doused a portion of the infield with 24 gallons of gasoline and sparked a fire. Ridgefield police say they think the person who lit the fire was trying to dry the field after a rainstorm the previous night left puddles in the infield. The fire sent families and fans who had gathered for the game scattering and ultimately rendered the field unfit for games for at least a week. Police say they are investigating the incident.

 


 

Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Bathroom bandit

Three sheriff’s deputies and two canine police officers surrounded a Cedar Hills, Ore., home on April 9 after a house sitter made an emergency call reporting a burglar in the home’s bathroom. As the armed officers entered the home, they could hear loud banging coming from the bathroom. With guns drawn, the officers forced the door open and found the suspect: a Roomba robotic vacuum bouncing off the glass shower door. After a brief investigation, officers discovered the Roomba had launched its scheduled cleaning mission while the emergency caller was out for a walk. Officers said the man who reported the burglary felt “terrible.”

 


 

Defense Safety Inspection Agency (IVD)

Defense Safety Inspection Agency (IVD)

Self-inflicted wound

How fast is an F-16 fighter jet? Fast enough to run into its own rounds. According to the Dutch military, a Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 flew into rounds fired from the airplane’s own cannon during a training mission. The recently released report indicates that some of the ammo from the 20 mm Vulcan machine gun damaged the plane’s exterior and one round even found its way into the engine. Despite suffering significant damage to the aircraft, the Dutch pilot was able to land the jet safely.

 

 


 

Tennessee River Valley News

Tennessee River Valley News

Flight of fancy

A man planning to speak at a high-school career day event in Lawrenceburg, Tenn., chose an unusual way to commute. The man, a flight instructor at a nearby airport, flew his yellow single-engine aircraft to Lawrence County High School in order to impress students. But upon reaching the school, the instructor found no suitable field in which to land. Not wanting to be late, the pilot set the plane down on U.S. Highway 43 and drove the plane the rest of the way. Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the pilot’s flight.

 


 

Handout

Handout

A long timeout?

A New York dad learned in April the kind of havoc a 3-year-old can cause to an iPad. Evan Osnos says his toddler got a hold of his tablet and apparently started pressing buttons. The New Yorker magazine writer shared an image of his device on social media showing the result: a message on his iPad indicating the device was disabled. “Try again in 25,536,442 minutes,” it said. The alert happens when a user repeatedly enters the wrong passcode. At first, the passcode lockout lasts 30 seconds. Subsequent passcode failures add an increasing amount of time to the lockout. Osnos did not say whether he planned to wait out the 48-year countdown or wipe the memory of the device with a hard reset.


 

The Weather Network

The Weather Network

Televised snub

A Canadian television network has issued an apology to the province of Manitoba for perpetually ignoring it. In a statement released March 25, officials for The Weather Network admitted that its weather forecasters typically stand in front of Manitoba during television broadcasts, preventing Manitobans from seeing weather reports from the province. “Viewers have contacted us over the years, wondering why our on-air personalities are always standing in front of Manitoba during national weather forecasts,” the network said in a statement. The network blamed Manitoba’s location on the screen, saying it’s always been the most sensible place for a weather forecasters to stand.


 

Frank Rumpenhorst/DPA via AP

Frank Rumpenhorst/DPA via AP

Blast from the past

A bomb that missed its target in World War II has finally exploded—safely—in Frankfurt, Germany. Divers had found the 550-pound bomb in Frankfurt’s Main River. Police evacuated 600 people from the area near the bomb on April 14 and reportedly set off smaller detonations nearby to scare away fish before they detonated the bomb. The detonation caused a large fountain of water to erupt from the river.

 


 

iStock

iStock

Let them drink water

You can live without your morning coffee, at least according to the government of Switzerland. The nation has for decades required coffee makers and retailers to stockpile coffee in case a national emergency disrupted supplies. (The country also stockpiles staples such as rice and sugar.) The government announced on April 10 that requirements to stockpile coffee will end in 2022. The reason, according to a government announcement: “The Federal Office for National Economic Supply has concluded coffee … is not essential for life.”