QUICK TAKES | One Michigan man learned an expensive parenting lesson about the pitfalls of phone apps
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Hand your phone to a 6-year-old. What could go wrong? Keith Stonehouse of suburban Detroit gave his smartphone to his son Mason to play games for 30 minutes before bedtime Jan. 28. Instead of playing games, though, Mason opened the food delivery app Grubhub and placed $1,000 worth of food orders from a variety of local restaurants. The first order began arriving as Stonehouse put Mason to bed. After a few more delivery drivers arrived at his home, Stonehouse checked his phone and discovered what had happened. “I looked at my bank account and it was getting drained,” he told MLive. The Chesterfield Township man said he attempted to lecture his son that night: “He puts his hand up and stops me and says, ‘Dad, did the pepperoni pizzas come yet?’”
Coach on the court
With a critical player absent, Arlisha Boykins figured she had one more game of organized basketball in her. The problem was, the game was a junior varsity matchup between girls from two Virginia high schools, and Boykins was a 22-year-old assistant coach. Despite Boykins suiting up in a No. 1 jersey for Churchland High School on Jan. 21, her squad barely defeated the team of eighth and ninth graders from Nansemond River High School, 47-45. Later Churchland officials fired Boykins and the head coach, and the team’s players and parents decided to cancel the rest of the season.
He wasn’t late for a tee time, but the pilot of a single-engine plane still made quite the entrance when he turned a putting green into a runway. After experiencing engine trouble, the unnamed pilot landed on the ninth green of the Del Tura Golf & Country Club in North Fort Myers, Fla., on Feb. 2. According to Lee County authorities, no one was injured in the incident. Golf Digest reported that golfers present at the ninth hole pushed the plane off the green so they could play through.
High school impostor
Some imagine they could do better in high school given a second chance. Hyejeong Shin, a 29-year-old New Jersey resident, took that chance. Shin faked vital records to enroll at New Brunswick High School and even attended a few classes before school officials got wise to the Rutgers University graduate’s ploy. In her four days enrolled, school officials reported she traded text messages with one student. Police arrested Shin and charged her Jan. 24 with forging government documents.
Sniffing out cancer
French researchers announced Jan. 25 they successfully trained ants to sniff out cancer in mice. In the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the scientists claimed trained ants could become a cheap and effective method for detecting certain cancers because of the volatile organic compounds released by tumors that some animals can detect. To train the ants, researchers used a sugar reward to teach them to distinguish between the urine of healthy and cancer-stricken mice. After learning to recognize the smells, the ants on average spent 20 percent more time investigating the target odor in search of sugar, the scientists reported.
Seek and find
It was like finding a needle in a haystack—albeit a needle that could be detected by a Geiger counter. Western Australia Fire and Emergency Services officials said they found a radioactive capsule Feb. 1 after it was lost during transport in Western Australia. The capsule belonged to a mining company that said it fell out of a gauge somewhere between Perth and the small town of Newman. The search for the dangerous capsule took just seven days. “When you consider the challenge of finding an object smaller than a 10-cent coin along a 1,400-kilometer stretch of Great Northern Highway,” spokesman Darren Klemm said, “it is a tremendous result.”
A homeowner in Glen Ellen, Calif., called an exterminator in January to deal with a hole a woodpecker had jackhammered into a wall. Upon closer inspection, the homeowner should have been more worried about what the hoarding woodpecker was putting into its holes. An exterminator with Nick’s Extreme Pest Control discovered the wall was full of acorns. Pictures posted to Facebook showed acorns flowing out of a hole in the wall and piling up in a massive mound. The exterminator said he needed eight garbage bags to clear the acorns, estimating the cache’s weight at 700 pounds.
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