Monday 04/20/09

Human Interest News   —   Posted on April 20, 2009

By The Editors of 

Force feeding
Unimpressed by scientists’ goal of boosting algae levels to reduce climate change, nature bit back. Scads of crustaceans devoured about 159 square miles of CO2-eating algae in the south Atlantic fertilized by scientists. Researchers with the Alfred Wegener Institute had hoped humans could create giant algae swarms in the south Atlantic by dumping iron-what algae seems to crave-into the ocean. The experiment worked to an extent: Huge amounts of algae grew, but it also happened to be the sort of algae that local shrimplike copepods love to feast on.
Soap dispensers
Environmental regulations have created a black market in Spokane, Wash., for even the cleanest substances. A state effort to reduce phosphorus in Washington’s lakes and rivers began with a test program in Spokane County and will go statewide by July 2010. Under the program, government officials booted traditional dishwasher detergent from the shelves. Normal dishwasher soap contains phosphorus, a substance that works well to break down grease and remove stains. State officials say the chemical also promotes algae in places where environmentalists don’t want it: Washington lakes and rivers. But many Spokane residents are learning the environmentally friendly detergents just don’t get dishes clean. So, they’re driving across the state border to Idaho for regular Cascade and Electrasol. A manager at a Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Costco near Spokane estimates his detergent sales have increased 10 percent since the ban.

Lights out
Burglars of an unoccupied home in Des Moines were nothing if not thorough. The thieves took furniture and appliances including the washing machine, a night stand, bed frame, television stand, and dresser. But the thieves didn’t stop there. Police investigating the burglary reported the criminals also took the light bulbs directly from the sockets.

Of names and chains
For Kurby and Krystal McDonald, the love affair began behind the counter of a fast-food restaurant. And after a year and a half of serving up fast-food burgers and fries, the London, Ky., couple decided to tie the knot on March 23. Naturally, the McDonalds held their wedding at the place where the McDonalds’ flirting turned to courtship: the White Castle where the McDonalds work.