News for Youse: Enigmatic Fairy Circles are "alive", and coroner rules out "bath salts" in Miami face-eating
Locals call them the footprints of the gods. Others call them Fairy Circles; round patches of barren earth, tens of thousands of them, measuring between two and 12 meters in diameter, inexplicably dotting a 2400 kilometer stretch of extremely harsh landscape between Angola and South Africa.
Nobody knows what these things really are, and lots of theories have been floated and then dismissed, ranging from termites, to underground gases, to fungi. The Amazing Randi probably thinks they’re man made (not that we asked him), but a biologist in Florida has at least added some details to the mystery, figuring out that Fairy Circles have an average lifespan of 41 years.
Walter Tschinkel first saw the Fairy Circles while visiting a nature reserve in Namibia in 2005. Examining satellite photographs, Tschinkel confirmed that “the circles were alive—or at least they were dynamic.” According to this report in Science magazine, “Tschinkel calculated that most smaller circles arise and vanish every 24 years, whereas larger circles last up to 75 years.”
Make of that what you will. Turning to another bottomless riddle, authorities in Florida have confirmed what News for Youse knew all along.
Writes CBS Miami: “Rudy Eugene, the Causeway Cannibal who ate the face off a homeless man he attacked along the MacArthur Causeway, was apparently not high on bath salts or any other exotic street drug at the time of the attack, according to a report released Wednesday by the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner.”The only substance returned in the toxicology report was cannabis. Interestingly, Eugene was said to have been self-medicating with ganja to deal with his violent tendencies. Even more interestingly, Eugene had also sworn off the herb at a Bible study a few days before the attack. Maketh of that what thou wilt.
Turning to the biggest mystery of all, things are looking bad for Dean Del Mastro. Elections Canada is investigating the hapless Conservative MP’s 2008 campaign expenses, and now two cheques have surfaced showing that a family member was involved in a scheme to illegally finance the election bid.
Dave Del Mastro’s firm Deltro Electric paid (read: reimbursed) $1050 to two of its employees, days after they both contributed $1000 to his cousin’s campaign. In a statutory declaration, one of the recipients claimed that some 11 Deltro employees were asked to participate in the phony donation-reimbursement caper, along with another seven friends and family members—none of which was disclosed as per Elections Canada guidelines.The extra 50 bucks was Del Mastro’s way of saying thank you for (allegedly) breaking the law on his behalf, proving at least that he’s one cheap motherfucker, if nothing else. It's nice to know that democracy can be bought for less than a meal for two at the Keg.
You can follow Adrian Mack's contribution to the lobotomizing techno-nightmare known as Twitter at @AdrianMacked.