Weird News

by

September 13, 2016

It might be time to reconsider the five-second rule when thinking about eating food that has fallen on the floor.

Researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey say in a new study that bacteria can contaminate food that falls on the floor instantaneously. The findings were published this month in the American Society for Microbiology's journal. Researcher Donald Schaffner said the five-second rule is a "significant oversimplification of what actually happens when bacteria transfer from a surface to food." Schaffner's research isn't the first to conclude that the favorite excuse for why that yummy snack that fell on the ground is still OK to eat is wrong. The research did find that longer contact time means more bacterial transfer, but that the type of food and surface is just as, or more, important. The Rutgers researchers tested watermelon, bread, bread and butter, and gummy candy on stainless steel, ceramic tile, wood and carpet. They found that watermelon had the most contamination, and that transfer of bacteria is affected most by moisture.

A newly installed ATM at an Ohio university is doling out the next best thing to money - pizza.

Xavier University in Cincinnati has partnered with a French company to install the first pizza ATM in North America. The company, Paline, says the machine will hold 70 pizzas at once. Each medium-sized pizza costs $9 or $10, depending on the toppings. Customers will be able to use a touchscreen to select a pizza, which will be heated for several minutes, placed in a cardboard box and ejected through a slot. Paline says the pizza dispensers have been in Europe for 14 years. They're typically in small towns, at gas stations or pizzerias. Pizza lovers have been using the machine since it started providing pies on Thursday.

Officials at Harvard University have gotten creative with their effort to clear space for new plants at its arboretum.

The Boston Globe reports four hungry goats have been tasked with eating weeds and other unwanted vegetation at the Ivy League school's Arnold Arboretum in Boston. Officials say the goats are being kept at the arboretum in a small, electrified enclosure that allows them to work on one area at a time. The enclosure will be moved around the preserve during the next few weeks to take advantage of the goats' voracious appetite. The arboretum says the goats have helped minimise chemical control and the programme may be expanded if it proves successful.

Authorities in Delaware say a tractor-trailer carrying 45,000 pounds of unstamped pennies overturned on northbound Interstate 95, spilling its load and jamming traffic.

Delaware State Police Master Corporal Jeffrey Hale said by telephone that the big rig overturned and caught fire early Thursday at the split for eastbound Interstate 295 in New Castle. Troopers say the driver, 25-year-old Stefan Marinkovic of Chicago, was hospitalized with minor injuries. Hale says the load of blank metal disks spilled onto the roadway. Authorities say the blank pennies, which were headed for the Philadelphia Mint, were picked up and stored until transportation can be arranged. The crash and clean-up closed northbound I-95 for more than 13 hours. Marinkovic was cited for inattentive driving.