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New way to commute

Quick Takes: One UK worker calls the River Lugg an “exceptional” way to get to the office


British Canoeing/Twitter

New way to commute
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Rising fuel prices and a commuter rail strike in the United Kingdom haven’t kept George Bullard from getting to his job. Instead, he’s taken to the river. Bullard kayaks into Presteigne, Wales, along the River Lugg to work at his outdoors company City Camping each morning. And when he pulls himself from the water, the 33-year-old deflates his inflatable kayak and stuffs it into a backpack before walking into work. “It is nice to not have to worry about being stuck in traffic, and if I was in a car it would cost me a fortune,” he told Sky News. But Bullard, an expert kayaker who once paddled from Greenland to Scotland, warned that kayaking into work isn’t for everyone. Wet weather, he noted, can make for an unpleasant trip.

Kansas getaway

Some separation anxiety and canine doggy athleticism led Dexter the dog to make a grand escape from a pet hotel earlier this year. And of course, where do you think he went? Kansas resident Jeremy Henson said he and his wife got a notification on his phone from his smart doorbell system that someone approached their door while they vacationed in Las Vegas. “We kept thinking it has to be another dog,” Henson told USA Today. “Nope, that’s definitely Dexter.” To escape the kennel, Dexter had to jump a 6-foot fence and then navigate 2 miles back to the Hensons’ residence. After calming their dog using the doorbell’s intercom, the vacationers called the pet hotel to reclaim the pooch.

Worse than Limburger

A major United Kingdom cheesemaker has been fined nearly $2 million for fouling the air with unpleasant odors. On June 23, a British court found the Dairy Crest cheese­maker of Davidstow, Cornwall, liable for plant failures that led to air pollution. Courtroom testimony claimed that the dairy’s production exhaust had made it difficult for many to sleep and gave locals headaches. Following the ruling, a company spokesman apologized for fouling the air near Davidstow and promised the cheesemaker would undertake changes to fix the problem.

Pulling a fast one

Police in Minnesota charged a 22-year-old motorcyclist with multiple offenses after clocking him traveling at a breakneck 144 miles per hour. According to Olmsted County officials, the young man explained to officers why he needed to ride so quickly: to cool off from the 95-degree heat. A sheriff’s deputy initially spotted the motorcyclist outside Rochester, Minn., on June 14 but opted against initiating a high-speed pursuit. The same officer saw the rider later in another part of town and executed a traffic stop. The rider then unsuccessfully attempted to evade arrest and was charged with reckless driving, obstruction, and other charges.

Cheap tricks

Some residents of Greece are questioning the wisdom of the country’s state television airing a segment advising viewers the best ways to siphon gas. With gas prices reaching an average of $9.65 per gallon in Greece on June 20, according to GlobalPetrolPrices.com, reporter Costas Samou gave viewers tips and tricks on siphoning gas, including advice on how to break into a car’s gas tank. The video segment, which aired on the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation’s morning show, earned mockery online. At least one person on social media sarcastically asked whether the network will soon give advice on stealing wallets.

High-flying hamster

A Japanese company developing balloon flights to the edge of space successfully launched a hamster into the stratosphere in June. Not to worry: Flight controllers brought the animal safely back to Earth again. Officials for space flight company Iwatani Giken say the successful rodent launch gives them confidence to conduct a trial run with humans later this year. The voyage, which set out from Japan’s Miyako Island, elevated at nearly 21 feet per second for the duration of the one-hour climb, reaching over 14 miles in altitude. Had it not apparently been snoozing inside its clear plastic flight canister during the journey, the hamster would have enjoyed a view of the curvature of the Earth. It was reported in good health at the time of the balloon’s landing.

Property of the United States

NASA has an official request for a Massachusetts auction house: Give us back our roaches and dust. In a formal letter, a NASA lawyer told RR Auction that it couldn’t sell off moon dust collected during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission because the dust still belongs to the government. Some of the dust had also been fed to cockroaches during a later experiment testing whether the moon dust contained any pathogens. Eventually the roach corpses and 40 milligrams of dust used in the experiment found their way to the auction house, where they were expected to fetch around $400,000. But the agency’s June 15 letter put an end to that, declaring that the dust had merely been on loan to scientists and that the dead roaches, too, remain NASA property.

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