THE NEFF ZONE -- BY JIM NEFF
CADILLAC NEWS -- SEPTEMBER 12, 2020
Well kidlings, it's time for another round of "You Can't Make Up This Stuff," the game based on my brother Big Rob's theory that reality is stranger than any fiction. As usual, when we play this game, we begin with an item from Big Rob's stomping grounds of Flint.
Earlier this week, Flint police encountered a rather laid back crime. A man stole a hearse from a Flint funeral home and led police on a thirty minute “low-speed pursuit.”
ABC 12 News reports that the incident turned out okay. The accused thief “eventually stopped at McLaren Flint Hospital, got out of the hearse, stripped naked and went inside.” Police arrested the man in the hospital and there were no injuries as a result of the escapade. (https://www.abc12.com/app/2020/09/08/man-accused-of-stealing-hearse-leading-police-on-chase-to-hospital/)
Speaking of news in the buff, this just in from France. “COVID-19 cases have spiked of late in Cap d'Agde -- a French nudist resort.” The resort hosts tourists and visitors from all over the world during the summer months. “According to local officials, there's been a thirty percent positive testing rate.”
This is concerning, to be sure, but it could be worse. Luckily, “...the local government has mandated everyone in that area wear masks in public.” (https://www.tmz.com/2020/08/24/french-nudist-colony-resort-outbreak-coronavirus-cases/)
Another European location is dealing with a different problem – urination in public places. To combat this, Amsterdam has come up with a somewhat unique solution. “It has installed hemp-filled urinals in public outdoor locations around the city that were identified by local officials as hotspots.”
The urinals resemble planters. “They use less water and create green spaces for bees and other insects. The urinals produce organic fertilizer and water for the plants.” Plus, there is another significant benefit. “Several young men die each year by falling into canals at night while looking for a place to urinate.” (https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2020/08/21/Netherlands-fights-wild-peeing-with-hemp-filled-public-urinals/9781598034266/)
As long as we're thinking about public restrooms, an interesting concept is being tried in Tokyo, Japan. They've put public toilets with transparent walls in a couple of parks. “The restrooms feature see-through walls that turn opaque when a user enters the facility and locks the door. The walls change from transparent to frosted opaque when the door lock is activated. This allows users to check the cleanliness and whether anyone is using the toilet from the outside.”
There is one caveat. “Users said remembering to lock the doors is of extra importance, since a user inside the facility can't tell whether the walls appear transparent or frosted from the outside.” (https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2020/08/18/Toilets-with-transparent-walls-installed-in-two-Tokyo-parks/1661597773782/)
If you're in one of those toilets with transparent walls, in the future you may want to gaze skyward before doing your business. Why? “A Japanese company unveiled its prototype flying car to the public with a four minute test flight. SkyDrive Inc. announced the single-seat flying car, billed as the world's smallest electric vertical takeoff and landing model.”
Right now, the flying car can maintaining flight for about ten minutes. “The company is now aiming to expand that time to thirty minutes and is aiming to have a commercially available version of the car completed by 2023.” No word about what happens if you're flying along and your thirty minutes of flight time expires. (https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2020/08/28/Japanese-companys-flying-car-takes-successful-test-flight/8241598635165/)
Even with all these things going on overseas, there is still critically important stuff going on here in America. I have disturbing news to relay. There's a shortage of Dog Brew.
“Beer giant Anheuser-Busch announced it quickly sold out of its latest offering: a 'Dog Brew' that contains no alcohol and is designed to be enjoyed by man's best friend. The product, offered for order online, quickly sold out, but the company said interested customers are being put on a waiting list while more product is produced.”
Dog Brew is a bone broth made from pork, corn, celery, mint, turmeric and ginger, ingredients designed to “appeal to the tastes and nutritional needs of dogs.” While you wait for your name to come up on the waiting list, now's a good time to teach your Fido how to sit on a bar stool. (https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2020/09/03/Anheuser-Buschs-non-alcoholic-Dog-Brew-quickly-sells-out/9131599144465/)
Finally, in the “love it or hate it” category, autumn is upon us and with it comes the eventual switch to daylight saving time. There is some very illuminating evidence on the topic that came out just this week.
“The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has officially called for the elimination of daylight saving time. An abundance of accumulated evidence indicates that the acute transition from standard time to daylight saving time incurs significant public health and safety risks, including increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events, mood disorders, and motor vehicle crashes.”
The president of the AASM, a pulmonologist at the Mayo Clinic, went so far as to say this: “America needs to pick a time zone and stick with it. The evidence that daylight saving time is bad, and even deadly, has been mounting for years. You have enough data now to really say that this is not good for our health. There’s no going back now.”
The AASM recommends “educating our political leaders” to the reality of the situation. Political leaders. Reality. You can't make up this stuff.
Jim Neff is a local columnist. Read Neff Zone columns online at CadillacNews.com and NeffZone.com/cadillacnews.