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Quick Takes


Illustration by Rachel Beatty

Quick Takes
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Soft-serve landing

Police in Tisdale, Saskatchewan, placed a 34-year-old man under arrest after he landed his helicopter at a Dairy Queen on July 31. Royal Canadian Mounted Police say the unnamed pilot from the nearby town of Leroy touched down in a busy parking lot near the fast-food establishment, where he dropped off a helicopter passenger who walked inside to pick up an ice cream cake. “When it landed, the helicopter blew up dust and debris through the area, which includes schools, an aquatic center and more,” a Mountie spokesman said. Because police determined the cake-pickup landing didn’t qualify as an emergency, on Sept. 7 the pilot is due in court to face charges for dangerous operation of an aircraft.

Cat to the rescue

An elderly British woman has her pet cat to thank for her rescue after a bad fall on Aug. 14. Police in Cornwall reported that loud and persistent meowing from a cat named Piran helped lead rescue workers to the location of an 83-year-old woman who had tumbled down a ravine. Neighbors had phoned police after the unnamed woman went missing for more than an hour. That’s when Piran, the woman’s cat, perched atop the creek bank and began loudly calling out. After locating the cat, emergency workers clambered down the 70-foot bank into the creek to render aid. Authorities said the woman survived the fall and was in stable condition days after the accident.

Unclear threats

A 67-year-old bank robber in the United Kingdom received a four-year jail sentence in July despite botching his first attempted heist through bad handwriting. In a Sussex courthouse, Alan Slattery pleaded guilty to trying to rob three banks earlier this year. During his first attempt, Slattery’s poor penmanship on a threatening note handed to the bank clerk resulted in confusion. After the teller couldn’t read his handwriting, Slattery fled the scene. Later, Slattery successfully made off with about $3,300 in currency in a second holdup after writing a neater note. Slattery left a third bank robbery attempt empty-handed after a cashier challenged him.

Teen vs. Lake Tahoe

In August, 14-year-old James Savage became the youngest person ever to swim the length of Lake Tahoe, completing a distance swimming challenge known as the Lake Tahoe Triple Crown. Swimming alone for 12 hours, Savage covered 21.3 miles of open water to complete the challenge. “I had no doubts whatsoever,” James’ mother Jillian Savage told the Tahoe Daily Tribune. “He’s been swimming almost every day, six, seven days a week since he was 8. With open water, it’s just what he does. But mentally, even though it takes a whole bunch of us to make the swim possible, he’s really out there by himself.” The Los Banos, Calif., teen swam the width of the lake that straddles the border of Nevada and California last year.

Karaoke with comrades

Beginning Oct. 1, karaoke playlists in China will presumably grow shorter. The nation’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced it would introduce a list of songs banned from appearing on karaoke playlists. Ministry officials said karaoke singing should be restricted to songs that promote healthy lifestyles and generate love of country, as defined by the Chinese Communist Party. Violent and sexually explicit songs will be prohibited, as will music that “endangers national unity” or “violates China’s religious policies.”

’Tis the season

Officials at Nissin Foods believe they know what customers will want this fall. The maker of Cup Noodles announced it would introduce a pumpkin spice flavor to its noodle offerings beginning Oct. 1. “After 50 years of noodle innovation, what better time to release our most unexpected flavor to date with pumpkin spice, and trust me it really is that good,” Nissin Foods vice president for marketing Jaclyn Park said. The company cited its own marketing research for the decision, highlighting data that showed more than half of Generation Z consumers are “obsessed” with pumpkin spice flavoring. The research found weaker support among older consumers. The food-maker suggests consumers top their cups of pumpkin spice noodles with whipped cream.

Porky panic at sea

When it comes to its buffet service, Carnival Cruise Line is hoisting the white flag. A company official announced in August the cruise line’s Lido Buffet would limit the quantity of bacon served on every ship beginning Aug. 16. Brand ambassador John Heald explained in a Facebook Live video that the cruise line had run into difficulties with its suppliers of bacon and would therefore only serve bacon every other day. “We purchase thousands of pieces of bacon every week, and the people that supply us and the cruise industry are having some challenges sourcing bacon for our ships at the moment,” Heald said. The ambassador reminded Carnival’s patrons that breakfast ham and sausage would still be available every breakfast.

Highway rodeo

Traffic along Interstate 15 in San Bernardino County, Calif., ground to a halt Aug. 11 when a large bull wandered onto the highway. After grazing along the shoulder, the bull stepped onto the northbound side of the freeway in Rancho Cucamonga, causing motorists to slam on their brakes. Officers with the California Highway Patrol found the bull lazily meandering around the expressway. Eventually officers corralled the bull, led it off the interstate, and fed the animal.

Taking liberties

The mayor of Nagoya, Japan, apologized to a Japanese Olympic softball player on Aug. 12 after he decided to bite her gold medal. Pitcher Miu Goto had won her medal at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo after Japan’s softball team beat the USA in the final. During Goto’s courtesy visit to Mayor Takashi Kawamura on Aug. 4, the mayor asked if he could wear her medal—then bit into it. While athletes often bite their medals while posing for photos, they don’t generally bite others’ medals. “I’m really sorry that I hurt the treasure of the gold medalist,” Kawamura said after receiving criticism for the stunt. The International Olympic Committee agreed to give Goto a replacement medal.

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