The chosen professional interest of biologist David Scholnick of Pacific University (Forest Grove, Ore.) is in how shrimp act when they get an infection, which he gauged by building a tiny treadmill in order to run crustaceans through their paces to measure blood lactate levels. “As far as I know,” Scholnick told LiveScience.com in October, “this is the first time that shrimp have been exercised on a treadmill.” To increase the shrimps’ stress, Scholnick designed tiny backpacks out of duct tape but still found that healthy shrimp could go for about an hour without fatigue.
Simon Pope’s “Gallery Space Recall” exhibit at the Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff, Wales, in October is a startlingly empty room, with patrons called upon to supply the art by imagining another art show they have seen so that, wrote Pope, the two exhibits “exist at two locations simultaneously, both here and there.” Pope wrote that the exhibit suggested the brain-injury disorder “reduplicative paramnesia,” in which a person has a delusional belief that something exists at two places at once.
GOVERNMENT IN ACTION
The Havering town council in Romford, England, prepared a 300-page report in October, the result of a 12-month investigation, to find out who had heckled a speaker at a zoning meeting by making “baaa” noises. The authors said they had narrowed the list of suspects. And in September, London’s mayor Ken Livingstone defended his downtown anti-pigeon program, which consisted of empowering two hawks to scare the birds away, even though the three-year cost of the program (including a handler) was the equivalent of more than $400,000, which reduced the menace by 2,500 pigeons, or about $170 a bird.
CLEANING UP THE CITY
A civic group in Vienna, Austria, gathered 157,000 signatures on petitions in May and presented them to city officials to encourage a government program toward cleaner streets. Under the proposal, the government would assign the populace the task of counting and mapping dog droppings as a first step to greater penalties for owners who fail to clean up after their mutts. Critics were pessimistic that citizens wanted to count and map dog droppings.
CRACK DOESN’T PAY
In October, Robert Russel Moore, 33, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the burglary of an Arby’s in Prince Frederick, Md. Actually, Moore was assistant manager of the restaurant and was identified by clues from the surveillance tape. Four employees said they recognized the burglar’s body shape, clothing and (when he bent over) the distinctive top portion of his buttocks, as being those of Moore. The owner of the restaurant said he had had to counsel Moore “more than once” about the inadvertent exposure of his butt crack.
GOOD WORK, IF YOU CAN GET IT
A 33-year-old woman was detained by police in September after complaints by residents at a mobile home park in Michigan City, Ind., that she had been having sex in an untinted-windowed limousine on one of the park’s streets, in front of what grew to be a large crowd, mostly yelling at her for her indecency. At one point, according to police, the otherwise-occupied woman yelled back at the crowd defiantly that she was “doing adult business” and “I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do.” MTW