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False alarm

QUICK TAKES | Roller coaster rides reveal a glitch in new Apple tech

Illustration by Phil Wrigglesworth

False alarm
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Apple’s new iPhone 14 apparently isn’t mixing well with amusement parks. According to a Wall Street Journal report, 911 dispatchers near Kings Island Amusement Park in Ohio have recently received at least 12 automated phone calls reporting that iPhone owners had been involved in a severe car crash. In reality the iPhone users were simply riding roller coasters. The misunderstanding stems from Apple’s crash detection system, which uses instruments in new iPhones and iWatches to determine whether users have been in an accident before notifying authorities on their behalf. But the twists and turns from roller coasters seem to confuse the devices. Warren County Emergency Services officials suggest users put their phones into airplane mode before jumping on roller coasters at Kings Island.

Just kidding

Some law school applicants get rejected, some accepted. But on Oct. 3, thousands of prospective law students got both. Northeastern University School of Law sent out nearly 4,000 acceptance emails that day—an error officials chalk up to a ­technical issue. The law school, which currently has 234 first-year students enrolled, clarified in an email five hours later saying acceptance letters wouldn’t be issued until later in the year. Recipients of the erroneous ­letter aren’t happy. “It was really disheartening,” one prospective law student told Boston.com. “‘Sorry’ isn’t going to cut it.”

Line in the sand

California has drawn the line on drawing lines. A sleepy state agency fined Ryan Crownholm $1,000 for providing customers with informal maps of their properties. The California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists said reproducing maps with property lines requires a license. Crownholm, whose livelihood comes from his mapping and site planning website, said he’ll fight the fine and the cease-and-desist order. On Sept. 29, Crownholm filed a lawsuit in hopes of overturning the board’s decision.

Inking the deal

A Boston-area bar will feed you hot dogs for the rest of your life. There’s just one catch: You have to get a tattoo. The Silhouette Cocktail Lounge in Allston, Mass., launched the initiative after a regular customer showed her bar-related tattoo and asked for a free drink. The bar’s marketing team wondered: Would people be willing to advertise on their skin in exchange for a free hot dog every visit? General manager Sarah Leib says some patrons have already inked the deal, getting bar-themed tattoos.

Surgery solo

It’s the most delicate saxophone solo one Italian musician has ever performed. Doctors asked an unnamed patient to play his ­saxophone for the duration of his own 9-hour brain surgery, which was conducted on Oct. 10 in Rome. The purpose? Physicians needed to understand where to cut when excising a brain tumor. The patient played along, repeatedly performing the theme to the 1970 film Love Story, as well as Italy’s national anthem. After the ­surgery, doctors reported they had successfully removed the tumor—and preserved the patient’s ability to play on.

Memory maker

When it comes to the New Testament, these people know it by heart. Shasta Bible College professor and reputed Bible Memory Man Tom Meyer teamed up with six other mega-memorizers to recite all 27 books of the New Testament from memory. Meyer, who has spent 20 years memorizing 20 books of the Bible, said he got the idea after receiving a letter from a retired teacher in Indiana who had memorized the entire book of Matthew. After rounding up other Scripture memory enthusiasts to fill in the gaps, the septet performed the feat at the ICR Discovery Center in Dallas over five days beginning Oct. 11.

Overweight pumpkin

A Minnesota horticulture teacher now has something with which to impress his students: a record-breaking pumpkin. Travis Gienger of Anoka, Minn., entered his pale green-and-yellow pumpkin into the World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay, Calif., on Oct. 10. Gienger’s gourd tipped the scales at 2,560 pounds—six pounds heavier than a New York–grown pumpkin that had been proclaimed as the new North American record-holder just a week before. Gienger, who transported the gourd on a trailer for the 35-hour drive to California, fell short of Guinness’ official world record: a 2,702-pound pumpkin grown in Italy in 2021.


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