An opera about locusts in the Rocky Mountains? You bet. Locust: The Opera premiered on Sept. 28 at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming. The piece tells the tale of the lost Rocky Mountain locust through arias and recitatives. Locusts disappeared in the Rockies during the early 20th century and no one’s 100 percent why. For decades, the insect could be found by the trillions. During the 19th century, they were thought to be the largest concentration of animals in recorded history. The theory is that during lean times, the swarm collapsed into well-drained fertile sand river valleys. Pioneers were drawn to the same places; they plowed fields, chopped down trees, and rerouted rivers, probably leading to the demise of the Rocky Mountain locusts.
Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher have been collecting VHS tapes for the past 26 years, but not just your regular picks of every honest cinema fan; the duo collect “special interest” VHS tapes, which basically means anything not meant to be shown in public such as spin-off exercise videos, absurd job training courses, and an entire how-to series dedicated to scarf-tying. Since 2014, the two VHS archeologists have hosted the Found Footage Festival across North America, showcasing the massive eccentric library of sweet 1980s/1990s weird-o bliss.
Et tu, Jughead?
An archeological discovery in a recently unearthed Roman tomb in the northern Jordanian town of Beit Ras has revealed a collection of what looks like speech-filed caption ala-modern day comics, which has led to some claiming it to be a proto-comic strip. The underground tomb measures 550 square feet and holds two separate funeral chambers. The main room is adorned with four paintings that depict nearly 260 gods, humans, and animals. Researchers believe the paintings tell a story about the founding of Capitolias. First, a priest turns to the gods for advice on where to build the city, workers then develop the land, raise defenses, and the community is born. And when the work is done, they make a sacrifice. Someone has to please the cartoon gods.
High on democracy
A cheerleader in Hartford, Michigan’s plans to become homecoming queen have gone up in smoke after it was discovered that she was handing out batches of marijuana brownies to her classmates. Local police are currently investigating how the batch of 12-weed laced brownies were distributed at Hartford High School on Sept. 26. Hartford patrolman Michael Prince told the local news station, WWMT, this is one of the stranger cases he’s investigated. “You always think you’ve heard it all and seen it all, and there is always something new to surprise you,” Prince told the station. “We are investigating two things. No. 1, some were put in goody bags for players. Also, they were used to obtain votes for the queen contest.” According to WWMT, a student is believed to have included the brownies in gift bags for the school’s football players.
You can’t lead a horse to water
A runaway racehorse near the Chateau de Chantilly in France broke free of her handler and charged into a sports-betting bar about a mile away. Ironic? The incident, which was caught on a security camera shows the horse causing chaos, bucking from one end of the other bar, while patrons flee as the horse knocks over chairs. The horses trainer explained to a newspaper, Ouest-France, that he lost control of the animal, which has a “penchant for escape.” The fugitive horse was captured and neither the horse nor any of the bar’s patrons suffered injuries.
Mountain goat minerals
Mount goats at Olympic National Park in Washington have developed a taste for human urine and sweat and it’s starting to be a problem. Wildlife officials now have to airlift the animals out of the park and away from areas where humans roam … to pee. It’s not the incredible taste of human urine that the mountain goats enjoy; they actually just want all the salt and minerals in human sweat and or urine. At least 375 goats will be airlifted to forests in the North Cascades.
Vegetables that are great to the touch
A man in Virginia is facing charges after he allegedly grabbed produce at a store in Manassas, Virginia and pulled it down his pants, rubbing the food on his bare butt cheeks. Then, he allegedly put the produce back on the shelf. The 27-year-old was arrested at the Giant Food Store after an employee called 911. He was arrested inside the supermarket and charged with two misdemeanor crimes: indecent exposure and destruction of property. According to the police report, store employees had to destroy several pallets of produce tainted by the booty.
Forget King Arthur, give this girl a shot
Forget King Arthur and Excalibur, here’s a real-life King Arthur story. A girl named Saga discovered a pre-Viking era sword near a lake in southern Sweden this summer. Saga Vanecek, 8, was helping her father with his boat when she stumbled upon the 34-inch long sword in a holster made of wood and leather believed to be 1,500 years old. A local museum official said the girl’s find has prompted others to find long-lost treasure in the lake. A broach dating back from 300 to 400 A.D. was also recently discovered.
Giving Weekend At Bernie’s a run for its money
A funeral director in Pennsylvania who took photos of corpses to gross out her friends and relatives will not be going to prison. She was sentenced to 10 years probation after pleading guilty to 16 counts of abuse of a corpse and banned permanently from working in the funeral industry. The sentence was imposed after several people spoke about being devastated by the photos taken of their loved ones. The woman also took pictures of one corpse during an organ-harvesting process and others of a decomposing corpse.
A door stopping treasure
A man in Michigan discovered that a rock he’d used as a doorstop is actually a meteorite worth $100,000. The nearly 23-pound hunk of iron and nickel is the sixth largest meteorite found in Michigan, according to the Smithsonian Museum and Central Michigan University. The man took his doorstop to the university for examination after seeing reports of meteorite pieces selling for thousands of dollars. The meteorite come with a barn the man bought in 1988 in Edmore, Michigan, which landed in the farmer’s backyard in the 1930s. The man is done with using the $100,000 space rock as a doorstop and is actively seeking a buyer.
No more microwaved pee in Florida, please
The owner of a Florida gas station has placed a sign in his store asking customers not to warm urine in his microwave. And yet again the human race fails. The owner says he’s become “sick and tired” of people walking into his BP gas station and On the Fly convenience store in Jacksonville, Florida, to warm up their containers of piss. The store is within walking distance of two labs, though one says it doesn’t collect samples for drug tests.
Welcome to Snapcrap
A newcomer to San Francisco has created a free app, which will make it easier for people to report poop and used needles on the city’s streets. The 24-year-old man, who moved to San Francisco from Vermont after college last year, said he was astounded by the high levels of public grime in the city, and thus “Snapcrap” was born. “See something gross? Just snap a photo and press submit,” the app’s description reads. The photos are passed to the city’s Public Works department, which has its own 311 app to report feces and trash, as well as potholes and graffiti. The app’s creator, who lives and works downtown, says downloads have been in the “few hundreds.”San Francisco leaders have been grappling with the state of the city’s dirty streets. There were more than 24,300 requests last year for human waste cleanup.