A Little Friday File Fun

And now it's time for FRIDAY FILES!
By PS

In New York City, a bar has replaced a sign touting a special on shots with a new one. The new sign reads, in all caps, “Sorry but if you say the word ‘literally’ inside Continental you have 5 minutes to finish your drink and then you must leave. If you actually start a sentence with ‘I literally,’ you must leave immediately!!! This is the most overused, annoying word in the English language and we will not tolerate it.” The bar owner has since told Timeout New York that the sign is just a joke, and that his bar would be empty if he actually enforced the rule.

 

In New Haven, Connecticut, a suspected burglar apparently just needed a nap. A homeowner watched on surveillance video as someone broke into her home. Police were called to the scene and said they found the suspect sleeping on the homeowner’s couch. Nevertheless, according to the Associated Press, the man has been charged with third-degree burglary and first-degree criminal trespass.

 

In Sochi, Russia, orange snow has been falling in parts of Eastern Europe. According to the Associated Press, meteorologists said the snow from Siberia collided with dust-filled wind from the Sahara Desert in Africa. The orange snow has been spotted on mountains in Russia’s Sochi region, farther east in Georgia’s Adzharia region and at Romania’s Danube port of Galati.

 

In Bern, Switzerland, scientists have found those cute little rubber ducks used as bath-time toys can be dangerous. Swiss and American researchers counted the microbes swimming inside the toys and said the murky liquid released when ducks were squeezed contained “potentially pathogenic bacteria” in four out of the five toys studied. The bacteria found included Legionella and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium “often implicated in hospital-acquired infections,” the authors said in a statement. The study by the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, ETH Zurich and the University of Illinois turned up a strikingly high volume—up to 75 million cells per square centimeter (0.15 square inch)—and variety of bacteria and fungus in the ducks, the Associated Press reports. Tap water doesn’t usually foster the growth of bacteria, the scientists said, but low-quality polymers in the plastic give them the nutrients they need. Bodily fluids—e.g., urine and sweat—as well as contaminants and even soap in bathwater add microbes and nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus and create balmy brine for bacteria. While certain amounts of bacteria can help strengthen children’s immune systems, they can also lead to eye, ear and intestinal infections, the researchers said. Among the vulnerable users: Children “who may enjoy squirting water from bath toys into their faces.”