Let's Take A Closer Look

Explaining complicated subject matter simply since 1986.

Every week I read thousands of stories, articles, and news releases. From the practical to the curious, from the ironic to the absurd, here are 9 items that caught my eye. The headlines are mine.

 

As if the real ones aren’t bad enough. Taiwan’s Songshan Airport has introduced a new “fake flight” service that gives people the full airport experience without flying. The new service includes airport security checks, passport verification, the full check-in procedure, boarding the plane, and cabin crew preflight safety briefings. Passengers are served snacks and coffee before deplaning.

Rub-a-dub-dub, two men in a tub. Venice is cutting the maximum allowable capacity on the city’s gondolas from six passengers to five, citing increases in the weight of tourists who seek to explore the vast canal system. 

How about a reminder to floss printed backwards so they can read it in the mirror? Belgian tattoo artist Indy Voet provides tattoos on the roof of customer’s mouths. He does the inking by hand, saying there’s not a lot of space to maneuver.

No difference in taste, either. A research study evaluated the impact of typical amounts of grease and residual cheese on turning old pizza boxes into new ones. The American Forest & Paper Association reviewed the study and concluded that typical amounts of grease and residual cheese do not affect the quality of finished corrugated products.

And it only took them one year and several million dollars. Toyota changed its logo to two dimensions and removed their name entirely. 

Oops. Looking to protect the endangered mountain caribou, the government of British Columbia sponsored the killing of 463 wolves. A new paper published in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation says the original research concluding the caribou were facing extinction made statistical errors and the caribou are not an endangered species.

Public gluttony is still big on cruise ships and among trenchermen, though. All-you-can-eat buffet sales have tanked so badly the industry is shellshocked. 

What checklist? The pilot told the National Transportation Safety Board that normally he would wait until the aircraft was on the ground before deploying the thrust reversers to slow the plane down, but in this case he activated them while still flying and thinks that might have contributed to the crash.

Not bad, but it’s no Elvis on Toast.  When a Brazilian maintenance worker cut a tree branch, he found what he is convinced is a natural representation of Jesus Christ. Biologist Fabian Izidoro says it is a classic example of pareidolia, the perception of apparently recognizable images, especially faces, in random or accidental arrangements of shapes and lines.

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