Quick Takes: Curb the licks
Canada cautions motorists against letting moose slurp salt from vehicles
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Don’t let moose lick your car. That’s the warning from a Parks Canada spokesperson who in January cautioned motorists against endangering wildlife in Canada’s national parks. According to Tracy McKay, moose are drawn to roadways every winter in search of the salt used to de-ice roads. McKay said motorists who stop and let the massive animals lick salty residue from their cars are putting the moose—and motorists—at risk of a collision because it encourages the animals to linger on those roadways. “Parks Canada understands that seeing those wildlife is a real highlight for a lot of people,” McKay told the CBC, “but we ask people not to stop … so that the moose can’t get used to licking salt off of the cars.”
Dousing his flame
As Quebec battled a record-breaking wildfire season last year, Brian Paré posted updates frequently on Facebook, claiming the Canadian infernos were all a government conspiracy to promote climate change initiatives. But in reality, he was lighting the matches. Paré’s social media tirades had raised suspicion among investigators, who tracked his vehicle to the scene of other suspicious fires. Paré subsequently confessed and pleaded guilty to 13 counts of arson Jan. 15 in connection with fires sparked in rural Quebec that forced the evacuation of 500 homes.
Toronto health and safety officials know how to take the fun out of snow days. The Canadian city is now limiting sledding to 29 hills at 27 parks, placing an outright ban on sledding at 45 other hills due to safety concerns. Toronto Councilor Brad Bradford decried the order, saying city residents had a long history of sledding down the now-forbidden hills. “It’s the no fun city when you start seeing them cracking down on tobogganing,” Bradford told the CBC. “This is why folks get cynical.”
Fixing a bad turn
Drivers in Edinburgh, Scotland, may want to update their Google Maps app. In January, Google officials said they fixed a problem that had directed two motorists to drive down a flight of city steps. Previously drivers were able to turn from a major street onto Greenside Lane using a ramp. But last year, the city replaced the ramp with a pedestrian-friendly staircase. Apparently, city officials didn’t tell Google, whose mapping software continued to direct drivers down the path.
Nothing’s sacred …
The Way Fellowship Church of Dallas put up a security fence to try to quell a string of burglaries. But by Jan. 8, burglars had stolen the fence, too. Pastor Tavares Gardner said thieves used a saw to cut through the wrought-iron fence and then made off with eight panels and a gate, destroying a security measure that cost the church’s congregation thousands of dollars. Gardner told KDFW-TV that burglars previously had stolen media equipment. Filled with righteous indignation, the pastor had a message for the thieves: “God bless you, but the wrath of God will be upon you for taking from the house of God.”
Belgium native Vincent Lenoir runs a French company. His wife, Martine, wrote a book in French. They have lived in southeastern France for 24 and nine years, respectively. But none of that convinced the French bureaucracy that the couple speaks enough French to qualify for citizenship. “You can see that I’m talking to you [in French] in a correct way,” Lenoir told BFMTV. “But unfortunately a priori that’s not enough for our administration.” According to French officials, the Lenoirs must pass an official language exam—a test offered so infrequently, according to Vincent, their current immigration appeal will expire before they can get results.
Apple may have a new marketing scheme after Washington resident Sean Bates found an abandoned iPhone on the side of a road Jan. 7. He was surprised the device was half charged with no screen lock. But he was even more surprised to find on the phone an Alaska Airlines baggage e-receipt from the Boeing 737 flight that made an emergency landing when the plane’s door plug blew off after departing Portland, Ore. Several items—including the phone Bates found—had been swept out of the plane. “It was still pretty clean, no scratches on it, sitting under a bush,” he said on social media. Not bad for an estimated 16,000-foot fall out of a jet.