Mad Minute stories from Thursday, June 30th | Strange

ARCADIA, Fla. (AP) — A 44-year-old Florida woman brought her infant grandchild along with a stash of cocaine and heroin to a recent prison visit, officials said.

But guards searching visitors at the DeSoto Correctional Institution on Sunday found nearly 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of drugs during the jail’s check-in process, sheriff’s officials said in a Facebook post.

DeSoto County Sheriff’s deputies arrested the woman. Then, a K-9 named Liberty conducted a “free air sniff” of her car, where an additional 687 grams (24 ounces) of cocaine and heroin were located, alongside a baby’s car seat and other essentials.

The baby was turned over to the Florida Department of Children and Families.

The woman was charged with trafficking in heroin and cocaine, introduction of contraband into a correctional facility, child abuse/neglect and possession of drug paraphernalia.


(Sport Bible) There was a spectacular plan to replace the ball boys and girls at Wimbledon with dogs.

However, as brilliant as the idea was, it has hilarious failed after the four-legged fetchers refused to give the tennis balls back to players.

Insurance provider ManyPets had previously urged tennis chiefs to consider the furry friends as an alternative to teen volunteers.

A trial was conducted at the UK’s Wilton Tennis Club where a number of dogs underwent a series of tests looking at speed, agility, retrieval, and leaping over the net.

The dogs excelled on all fronts except the one that counts: actually returning the balls to players.

Club coordinator Martin Schiller told the Daily Star that the dogs required a bit of convincing to actually give up the tennis balls.

“Our players did find themselves in a game of tug-of-war,” he told the Daily Star.

“We had a stash of treats on the sidelines to offer up as a bit of encouragement which certainly did the trick.”

The fail comes shortly after ManyPets UK CEO Oke Eleazu called on Wimbledon organisers to consider their ‘ball dogs’ program for the 2023 tournament.

“We’re calling on Wimbledon to get our ‘Ball Dogs’ to centre-court next year,” Eleazu said, as per the London Post.

“Our four-legged friends have always been highly regarded for their dedication and skill when it comes to chasing after tennis balls.”

He added: “We hope that the nation will get behind our plea, and that Wimbledon grants our Ball Dog ambitions for 2023.”

ManyPets is still waiting on a formal response to their idea.

The move would mean the roughly 1,000 teens who apply to work at the Wimbledon tournament would be out of a job.

Only a quarter of teens are chosen to actually retrieve balls for some of the world’s best tennis players in the all-star tournament.

Ball boys have been used at Wimbledon since the 1920s, with ball girls introduced decades later in 1977.

As for the fuzzy fetchers, they still have plenty of time to practice for the 2023 competition.

But they’ll need to to step up their game by learning to drop the balls without a treat or pat.

Wimbledon 2022 kicked off on Monday (June 27) and has already been the subject of upset and controversy.

Serena Williams was knocked out in the first round, with some fans calling for her to retire.

Additionally, Novak Djokovic was cleared in April to defend his grand slam title after the tournament confirmed players will not have to provide Covid-19 vaccine accreditation to compete in this year’s showdown.

He was blocked from competing at the Australian Open over the same issue.


Two teens were arrested Tuesday for allegedly shoplifting underwear and pulling a gun on a security guard, according to local media.

The underwear theft happened shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday at South Hill Mall in Puyallup, Washington.

Captain Ryan Portmann told the Tacoma News Tribune one of the 16-year-old suspects pointed a gun at a security officer before fleeing the store.

Customers pointed officers in the direction of the underwear bandits. An officer in an unmarked police car located the duo near a Red Robin on 9 St SW.

The two teens were arrested and booked into Remann Hall on robbery charges. The loaded gun was found on one of the suspects, Portmann said.


MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin shot back at Western leaders who mocked his athletic exploits, saying they would look “disgusting” if they tried to emulate his bare-torso appearances.

Putin made the comment during a visit to Turkmenistan early Thursday when asked about Western leaders joking about him at the G7 summit.

As they sat down for talks, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson jested that G7 leaders could take their clothes off to “show that we’re tougher than Putin” amid Russia-West tensions over Moscow’s military action in Ukraine.

Canadian premier Justin Trudeau joked that Western leaders could try to match Putin’s naked torso pictures with a “bare-chested horseback riding display,” one of his widely publicized athletic adventures.

Speaking to reporters, Putin retorted that, unlike him, Western leaders abuse alcohol and don’t do sports.

“I don’t know how they wanted to get undressed, above or below the waist,” he said. “”But I think it would be a disgusting sight in any case.”

He noted that to look good “it’s necessary to stop abusing alcohol and other bad habits, do physical exercise and take part in sports.”


June 30 (UPI) — Police in Louisiana said they safely captured a kangaroo spotted hopping loose next to an East Baton Rouge Parish road.

The kangaroo was caught on video hopping loose next to a road in Zachary and a photo posted to social media Wednesday showed the marsupial standing near a group of mailboxes.

The Zachary Police Department said the kangaroo was successfully captured Thursday morning.

Police did not say where the animal came from. Kangaroos are considered exotic animals by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and are not legal to be kept as pets.


June 30 (UPI) — Officials at a Delaware mall said they were “blown away” when a wall at the shopping center turned out to be hiding something unexpected — a completely intact Burger King restaurant with vintage decor.

Tom Dahlke, general manager of the Concord Mall in Wilmington, said he was unaware of the eatery until a photo recently snapped by mall vendor Jonathon Pruitt went viral on Twitter.

“It’s kind of cool. When I first saw it, I was blown away myself,” Dahlke told WPVI-TV.

Dahlke said he does not know how long the Burger King has been abandoned and concealed behind a wall, because the current management company took over in January 2020.

Twitter user @loserskwaddd responded to the viral post with her own video of the Burger King, saying the facility was used as a storage room for a seasonal job she had at the mall in 2019, indicating that the previous management team was aware of the defunct business.

Dahlke took New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer on a tour of the Burger King, and a video of the visit was shared on the New Castle County Government’s Facebook page.

Dahlke said the former Burger King will soon be available for rent.

“It is kind of cool to have something that nostalgic here in the building. We’re hopeful to rent it and have it occupied soon,” he said.


(The Guardian) Early on Wednesday morning, someone at a pop and soft rock station in Vancouver, Canada, began playing the song Killing in the Name by Rage Against the Machine.

Then they played it again.

And again.

By Thursday morning, the song had played hundreds of times on Kiss Radio 104.9 FM, prompting online speculation that the singular choice was a protest against layoffs by parent company Rogers Sports and Media.

The song’s lyrics include the repeated line: “F*** you, I won’t do what you tell me!”. The station, however, played the sanitised radio edit.

A first attempt to call to the radio studio did not yield clarity.

The man who answered the phone would not explain why they were playing the song on repeat, nor provide his real name.

“I’m not allowed to say. I’m just a guy in a booth, just letting the Rage play over and over,” he said. “What do you think? Do you like it?”

The incident came a day after the co-hosts of the station’s morning show posted on Facebook that they had suddenly been fired.

“Our five years on Kiss Radio has come to an end. Kiss is changing and unfortunately we were informed that we won’t be part of this new chapter. Although this comes with mixed emotions, we want to express one overwhelming feeling: gratitude,” wrote ex-hosts Kevin Lim and Sonia Sidhu.

Callers’ attempts to request anything besides Killing in the Name were denied, and between calls, the song looped several times with no discernible beginning or end. Rather, it was just one long version of Killing in the Name.

After a Twitter thread on the phenomenon went viral, listeners tuned in to the station from across Canada, the US, Europe, New Zealand and Australia.

Disappointingly for some, the apparent insurrection was on Thursday revealed to be the oldest radio trick in the book: a format change.

In radio, “stunting” has been used for decades to signal a change in programming. In the Washington state city of Spokane in 1991, a station played Louie Louie for days.

Christian Hall, the content director at the radio station, said the stunt signalled a change from the soft-rock and pop stylings of the former Kiss Radio to a new alternative music station called Sonic Radio.

“In keeping with radio’s reputation of being fun, and the format’s reputation as being a tad disruptive, we couldn’t think of a better way to capture our local listeners’ attention than by playing the iconic anthem Killing in the Name by Rage Against the Machine non-stop for 30 hours, and, well … it wound up catching the world’s attention,” said Hall in an email.

But why Killing in the Name, of all songs? Was it a tribute to their fired colleagues or a way to mark the death of the old station?

“I think that the spirit of the song definitely served that narrative, but ultimately it was more of a set-up to kick off something new,” host Angela Valiant later told the Guardian.

“There’s something really poetic about Killing in the Name,” she said. “Not only is it an iconic song, it’s super memorable. It also just feels like something that encapsulates the alternative spirit. It’s a song that’s unafraid to be political and to have a voice.”


(ABC) LONDON — Two women have been arrested in Thailand for allegedly attempting to smuggle at least 109 live animals in their luggage — including porcupines, armadillos, turtles, chameleons and snakes — as they tried to board a flight to India.

The incident occurred on Monday at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport as two Indian women tried to make their way through airport security when officials spotted a couple of suspicious items in their suitcases following a routine x-ray inspection, according to a statement released by Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.

Upon further investigation, authorities discovered a total of at least 109 animals including “two white porcupines, two armadillos, 35 turtles, 50 chameleons and 20 snakes,” read the statement.

The two women were arrested, taken into custody and charged under Thailand’s Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act, The Animal Epidemic Act of 2015, and the Customs Act.

In March 2022, TRAFFIC — a wildlife and plant trafficking watchdog group — released a report on wildlife trafficking through India’s airports and said the issue is the “fourth largest illegal trade worldwide after arms, drugs and human trafficking, and frequently links with other forms of serious crime such as fraud, money laundering, and corruption.”

In fact, from 2011 to 2020, the report says that there were 141 wildlife seizure incidents involving 146 different wildlife species at 18 of India’s major airports.

“Over 70,000 wild animals including their body parts or derivatives, were found during the study period,” the report says. “Wildlife derivatives weighing over 4000 kg (approximately four-and-a-half tons) were also seized at airports in India.”

India passed the Wildlife (Protection) Act 50 years ago in 1972 but, according to TRAFFIC, wildlife trafficking is still a big issue in India.

“Despite the restrictions, wildlife trafficking continues. TRAFFIC’s study highlights the increasing misuse of airports for smuggling wildlife and its contrabands within India and across the regions,” the report continued. “The study’s findings reflect the ongoing trafficking and not an actual representation as most of the illegal wildlife trade goes unchecked and unreported.”

An earlier statement from Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation said that the surviving animals would be sent to wildlife rescue centers or breeding stations around the country.


(New York Post) The competition at the Virginia-Kentucky District Fair began innocently enough when a woman named Linda Skeens entered her many baked treats, canned goods and other items for the judged contest.

Then she won — and she won huge. The fair posted a list of winners on Facebook showing that Skeens dominated the June 13 competition, winning more than 25 of 80 contest categories. That’s when things took on a life of their own. Her online fans wanted to find her.

Skeens swept the cake, pie, cookie, bread (both sweet and savory), brownie and candy categories. In addition to baked goods, Skeens’s corn won best overall canned vegetable, and her peppers prevailed as the overall best non-cucumber pickled item.

Skeens won best spaghetti sauce, best applesauce and best sauerkraut. Not only did she win best jelly with her grape jelly, but her peach-raspberry jam won best jam, too — among several other undefeated dishes she cooked up for the competition.

Thousands of people responded on the Facebook post, most in awe of Skeens’s culinary skills. But the questions were persistent online: Where is Linda Skeens? And who is she? Her rapidly growing fan base wanted to know, and as the days went on, it became a mystery intensifying with each meme posted on the page, as people asked, “Seriously, Linda?? Do you sleep?”

“She showed up, showed everyone what a winner looks like, and left without a trace,” posted a commenter. Some comments got 10,000 likes, and the hashtag #whereislindaskeens began circulating.

Endless jokes rolled in: “Did you hear about the time there was a kitten stuck in a tree? Linda Skeens baked a French Baguette Ladder right there on the spot and rescued it.”

Some people invited Skeens to Thanksgiving dinner, while others asked for her hand in marriage.

“We have found the lady who can take down Bobby Flay,” said a commenter.

Except they couldn’t find her. Aside from her name, the Virginia-Kentucky District Fair — which has hosted the annual event in Wise, Va., by the Kentucky border, since 1913 — revealed no information about the woman who seemingly won it all.

He died alone in his apartment. Then his artwork went viral.

One woman named Linda Skeens, who lives in Blacksburg, Va., was bombarded with messages on Facebook, to the point where she felt compelled to make a public declaration, explaining that she is not, in fact, the Linda Skeens.

Skeens, 68, said her mistaken identity has actually been delightful, as she has had the unexpected opportunity to connect with kind strangers from around around the world in recent days.

“I’ve heard from people from Indonesia, Australia, the U.K., Norway, all kinds of places,” she said in a phone interview with The Washington Post.

“I have honestly had the time of my life,” she said. “I really hope and pray the real Linda Skeens has been made aware of all the appreciation she has received online for her baking skills, because she certainly deserves it.”

Skeens’s loyal legion continued to look for their baking and canning hero on social media, or anywhere on the internet, for that matter. Several people made TikToks about her, including a man who performed “The Ballad of Linda Skeens.”

Radio personality Mason Moussette, who hosts a morning show in Dallas, was in on the quest. She is always looking for entertaining stories to share with her audience, she said, and when she stumbled upon the search for Skeens, she was intrigued.

“I just found it fascinating,” said Moussette, who also made a TikTok inquiring about Skeens’s whereabouts, which has nearly 400,000 views. “I wanted to know the story of this woman. How did she do so well in so many categories?”

“The entire internet is looking for this woman,” Moussette said in her TikTok.

As it turns out, the real Linda Skeens’s granddaughter came across Moussette’s video and got in touch.

As her grandmother’s name flew across social media, “my phone just started blowing up,” said Franki Skeens, 33.

While she and her family were stunned by Linda Skeens’s sudden stardom, they weren’t surprised by her many victories at the Virginia-Kentucky District Fair.

“To us, it’s nothing new because Mamaw has done it for years,” said Franki Skeens.

She has fond childhood memories of baking cookies and other treats with her grandmother to enter into the fair.

“It’s a big family tradition,” said Franki Skeens, adding that her grandmother has participated as a contestant for several decades, and has taken home many blue ribbons, but perhaps none as many as this year.

According to Franki Skeens, Linda Skeens lives in Russel County, Va., with her husband. She is in her late 60s, and she does not have any social media, an email address or even a cellphone.

Her granddaughter said she is a doting mother and grandparent to three children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She is also an avid churchgoer, with a knack for arts and crafts — including embroidery, cross-stich and painting — and of course, cooking and baking. Within her family, she is most famous for her potato casserole, her strawberry fudge (which won best overall baked good at the fair) and homemade blackberry ice cream.

The district fair judges awarded her top honors this year for her peach turnovers, chocolate cake, peanut butter cookies and buttermilk breakfast biscuits, among many other items.

“If it can be made, she can make it,” Franki Skeens said, adding that her grandmother declined a request for comment from The Washington Post, saying she is overwhelmed by the attention. “I don’t know how she does it. There are never any leftovers.”

Aside from her clear culinary aptitude, “she is an exceptional woman,” said Franki Skeens. “She’s kind, she’s sweet. She would either give you the shirt off her back, or she would make you a shirt, depending on what you wanted.”

Although her grandmother prefers to keep to herself, Linda Skeens is apparently thrilled about the public reaction to her triumph at the fair.

While her family reads her comments that have come in from strangers on social media, “she just grins from ear to ear,” Franki Skeens said. “She loves it.”

According to Jennifer Mullins, a member of the fair committee, Skeens was one of 40 contestants this year who entered the 80 contest categories at the fair, which ran from June 14 to 18. The food is judged by an anonymous four-person panel the day before the rest of the fair events begin.

In addition to various exhibits, the fair also hosts other events, such as bull-riding, demolition derby and talent shows. Mullins confirmed that Linda Skeens has participated in the fair for many years, and she has clinched countless contests.

“Linda has always won big,” said Mullins. “She has always been very successful at the exhibits, but this year, she took on newfound success on social media as well.”

“How this story unfolded was a surprise, I think to everyone,” she continued. “This is bringing joy right now when we need that.”

Next year’s fair is scheduled for June 13-17, and the committee is anticipating a bigger crowd than ever, thanks to the legendary Linda Skeens.

“If people are interested to meet Linda, they just need to go to the next local county fair,” Franki Skeens said.


Mad Minute stories from Thursday, January 13th | Strange

WESTBROOK, Maine (AP) — A swirling disk of ice on a Maine river is drawing onlookers in the heart of winter once again.

The disk has formed in the Presumpscot River in Westbrook. A handful of dog-walkers and onlookers stopped to gaze at the curious ice formation on a chilly Thursday morning around dawn.

The disk drew fans from around the globe when it first appeared in the river in 2019. It also partially formed in 2020.

Ice disks can form because of a current and vortex under ice. The ice sheets spin and form into circles. Officials with Westbrook have cautioned against attempting to go out on the ice disk.


Jan. 12 (UPI) — A California city in which thousands of crows have become a public nuisance is turning to a potential high-tech solution: lasers.

Residents of Sunnyvale said the crows frequently are seen flocking over the downtown area, covering sidewalks and outdoor seating areas with their droppings.

Locals also complained that the crows create a large amount of noise at night with their calls.

“We have Caltrain right there, and it actually competes with Caltrain in terms of noise pollution in the downtown area,” Vice Mayor Alysa Cisneros told KNTV.

Mayor Larry Klein said the city has tried numerous methods of driving the birds away, but none showed any long-term success.

“We’ve tried multiple things. In the past, we’ve had falcons, we’ve put reflectors in our trees, and nothing seems to help,” Klein told KGO-TV.

The city is preparing to start a pilot program to test green lasers to drive the crows away.

“It’s far better than spending hundreds of dollars to spray wash the sidewalks every few weeks or spray wash Murphy Avenue because of that health risk,” Klein said.

Officials with the Audubon Society said they are worried about the plan.

“I have real concerns about the use of lasers,” said Matthew Dodder, executive director of the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society. “Lasers can blind the birds, which is a death sentence for the birds because they can’t see, they can’t fly or feed properly.”


FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — Gruyere cheese does not have to come from the Gruyere region of Europe to be sold under the gruyere name, a federal judge has ruled.

A consortium of Swiss and French cheesemakers from the region around the town of Gruyeres, Switzerland, sued in U.S. District Court in Virginia after the federal Trademark Trials and Appeals Board denied an application for trademark protections.

The consortium said gruyere — often a mild, smooth-melting cheese that’s a favorite for fondues — has been made to exacting standards in the region since the early 12th century and cheese made outside the region can’t truly be called gruyere, similar to the argument that champagne can be only be applied to sparking wines from the Champagne region of France.

But the U.S. Dairy Export Council and other groups opposed the trademark protection. They said American consumers understand the gruyere name to be generic, applying to cheeses of a certain style regardless of their place of origin.

In a decision made public last week, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis ruled against the Swiss consortium, finding that American consumers do not associate the gruyere name with cheese made specifically from that region. While similar trademark protections have been granted to Roquefort cheese and Cognac brandy, Ellis said the same case can’t be made for gruyere.

“It is clear from the record that the term GRUYERE may have in the past referred exclusively to cheese from Switzerland and France,” Ellis wrote. “However, decades of importation, production, and sale of cheese labeled GRUYERE produced outside the Gruyère region of Switzerland and France have eroded the meaning of that term and rendered it generic.”

Among other things, he cited the fact that the Food and Drug Administration regulates use of the gruyere name and that none of the requirements specify its place of origin.

The gruyere consortium is appealing Ellis’ ruling.

Shawna Morris, a senior vice president for trade policy with the U.S. Dairy Export Council, said the legal battle over gruyere is part of an increased effort in Europe to seek international trade protection for a variety of products, including gorgonzola, asiago and feta cheeses and bologna lunch meats.

“We’re thrilled that the judge made a great call here, in our view,” she said.

The European consortium did not return an email seeking comment. In court papers, its lawyers argued that Swiss and French gruyere is “painstakingly made from local, natural ingredients using traditional methods that assure the connection between the geographic region and the quality and characteristics of the final product.” They said allowing others to use the gruyere name would confuse American consumers.


Jan. 13 (UPI) — Passengers on a London Underground train were shocked to come face-to-face with an unusual straphanger — a tarantula.

The RSPCA said commuters spotted the tarantula in a plastic tub on a train that arrived at the London bridge station.

The tarantula was handed off to station staff members, who contacted the RSPCA.

Animal Rescue Officer Mat Hawkins visited the station to bring the spider, identified as a pink-toed tarantula, to specialists at the South Essex Wildlife Hospital.

“Passengers got more than they bargained for when they spotted this little guy on the train! He was shut inside a plastic tub so we believe he had been abandoned in the carriage,” Hawkins said in an RSPCA news release.

“Thankfully, passengers alerted staff, who kept him safe in their office until I could arrive to collect him.”

Pink-toed tarantulas are native to Central and South America and islands in the Southern Caribbean. They commonly are kept as pets.

The South Essex Wildlife Hospital said the apparently abandoned tarantula will be given a new home.


Jan. 12 (UPI) — A Canadian man collected a $71,000 prize from a scratch-off lottery ticket just five months after winning an $80,000 jackpot from a ticket bought from the same store.

James Courtemanche, 43, of Sudbury, Ontario, told Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. officials he bought an Instant Wild 8 ticket from Minnow Lake Kwik Way in Sudbury and took it home to scratch it off.

Courtemanche said he wasn’t sure if the ticket was a winner until he scanned it with the OLG app, revealing a prize of $71,102.40.

The winner previously visited lottery headquarters five months earlier to collect an $80,000 jackpot from an Instant Money Match ticket he bought from the same store.

“I couldn’t believe it happened again! I was so surprised — and then I remembered good things happen in 3’s, so I’m ready for my next one,” Courtemanche told OLG officials.

The winner said he does not have any immediate plans for his prize money.

“With the current pandemic, it’s not a good time to make plans. I’m still waiting to book a trip from my first winnings,” he said.


Jan. 13 (UPI) — A Colorado sheriff’s deputy called to help wrangle a loose horse climbed onto the panicking equine’s back and rode the animal back to its home.

The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office said Deputy Ian Sebold was among those who responded to a call about a loose horse wandering through busy roads in Centennial.

The sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post that the horse “tried to make a clean getaway but Deputy Sebold was much too quick.”

“The cowboy cop responded to the call, wrangled the horse, jumped on its back and rode it to safety,” the post said.

Sebold said the horse was panicking when he arrived on the scene.

“I saw the horse crossing the road, and it’s a four-lane major roadway. I could tell he was terrified,” Sebold told McClatchy News. “A citizen was walking nearby, trying to stop traffic to allow him to get across.

“You could see in his face, he didn’t know what to do on a major roadway. He just wanted to go home, but didn’t know how to get there.”

Sebold and other deputies were able to corner the horse in an apartment complex parking lot.

“With no trailer to take him home, the simplest idea was to ride him back,” Sebold said. “There was no saddle, no halter, but I got a boost — old school way — and hopped on.

“To me, the biggest question was how to get this horse safely out of a major residential area. We were not walking those 2.6 miles.”

Other deputies provided an escort with their vehicles to allow Sebold to safely ride the horse back to its home.

Sebold’s actions earned praise from the sheriff’s Mounted Unit on Facebook.

“That’s some incredible horsemanship, to say the least,” the unit wrote.


(WSB-TV) Officials with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday that the agency will no longer define what can be marketed as French dressing.

In a statement, the FDA said it was revoking its standard of identity of French dressing, a regulation that required the sauce to contain at least 35% vegetable oil, and vinegar, lemon juice or both. In 1977 — the last time the FDA revised its definition of French dressing — officials said the sauce could also contain salt, tomato paste, tomato puree, ketchup or sherry wine, although none of those ingredients were required.

Standards of identity set requirements for what food products contain and how they’re produced. The FDA first established a standard of identity for French dressing in 1950. At the time, it was one of three types of dressings identified, along with mayonnaise and “salad dressing.”

In a notice published Thursday in the Federal Register, officials with the FDA said the definition “no longer promotes honesty and fair dealing in the interest of consumers.”

“Revocation of the standard of identity for French dressing will provide greater flexibility in the product’s manufacture, consistent with comparable, nonstandardized foods available in the marketplace,” officials said.

The decision came decades after the Association for Dressings and Sauces, a group representing salad dressing, mayonnaise and condiment manufacturers, filed a petition seeking to revoke the standard identity of French dressing. In the 1998 petition, ADS argued that the regulation restricted innovation as consumer expectations changed. Other dressings, such as Italian and ranch, are not subject to such standardization.

Diana R. H. Winters, deputy director of the Resnick Center for Food Law and Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, told The Wall Street Journal that the long delay between the filing of the petition and the FDA’s response shows that, at the FDA, “the wheels are turning, but extraordinarily slowly and in a way that is somewhat inexplicable.” She added that the change in definition is unlikely to affect what products appear on market shelves.

“It seems like the industry’s already been pushing at the edges of this standard of identity,” she said, according to the Journal. “You’re not going to see an actual big difference.”

Under the FDA’s previous standard, some manufacturers resorted to labeling their dressings as “imitation” French dressings to get around the regulation, The Washington Post reported, pointing to the Illinois-based Mullen’s brand. On its website, the company noted that its “Imitation French Dressing” was so named because it “contains about half the fat of a regular French dressing.”

“In order to meet state and federal law requirements, we chose to change the name rather than add more oil to the original recipe,” the company said.


Jan. 13 (UPI) — A New Zealand man who initially thought he had water trapped in his ear said the true cause of the blockage turned out to be something far more shocking — a live cockroach.

Zane Wedding, 40, of Auckland, said he went swimming at a local pool Friday and later felt the sensation of blockage in his ear.

“I used some drops to clear it up and fell asleep on the couch later that night,” Wedding told CNN.

He said his ear still felt blocked the next day, so he went to see a doctor, who advised him to try using a hairdryer to dry up the water inside his ear canal.

Wedding said the feeling persisted, so he went to see an ear, nose and throat specialist on Monday.

He said the doctor expressed shock immediately upon looking inside his ear.

“She said: ‘I think you have an insect in your ear,'” Wedding told the New Zealand Herald.

Wedding said it took the doctor about five minutes to extract the cockroach.

“Every time she touched it I just imagined her squishing a cockroach into my eardrum, so I wasn’t the perfect patient,” he said.


Hong Kong (CNN)It was supposed to be a quick get-to-know-you — but a snap Covid lockdown forced a Chinese woman to stay with her blind date at his house for days on end.

The 30-year-old woman, identified only by her surname Wang, went to meet her blind date for a home-cooked dinner on January 6 in her hometown of Zhengzhou, a city in central China grappling with a coronavirus outbreak.

“I’m getting old now, my family introduced me to 10 matches,” she said in a video on social media. “The fifth date wanted to show off his cooking skills and invited me over to his house for dinner.”

Just when Wang was about to go home after the meal, she found out the whole neighborhood had gone into a swift lockdown, she said.

China regularly seals off communities after Covid infections are detected among residents. These sudden lockdowns — along with mass testing and extensive quarantine — are part of the country’s stringent zero-Covid strategy to quickly stamp out local outbreaks.

Unable to leave, Wang was stuck at her date’s house for days. She posted videos of her unexpected co-living experience on social media, showing her date cooking meals for her, sweeping the floor and working on his laptop. The videos quickly went viral, with Wang’s encounter becoming a top trending topic on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform.

Wang, 30, posted updates to social media from her blind date's house during a Covid-19 lockdown in Zhengzhou, China.

Wang, 30, posted updates to social media from her blind date’s house during a Covid-19 lockdown in Zhengzhou, China.

Wang had returned to Zhengzhou from the southern city of Guangzhou recently ahead of the Lunar New Year, and spent a week meeting potential suitors her family had set up for her, she told state-run news outlet The Paper on Tuesday.

“During quarantine, I feel that apart from him being reticent like a wooden mannequin, everything else about him is pretty good. He cooks, cleans the house and works. Although his cooking isn’t very good, he’s still willing to spend time in the kitchen, I think that’s great,” she told The Paper.

In Wang’s videos, her date is seen serving stir-fry meals such as tomato and scrambled eggs — a popular dish in China.

Wang said in a post Monday that she had hidden her original video from her account after it went viral. “Right now I’m still at the man’s house. He’s an inarticulate, honest person and he doesn’t talk much. After my video became trending (on Weibo), some friends started calling him — I think it has affected his life. That’s why I removed it,” she said.

“Thanks everyone for your attention … I hope the pandemic will end soon and that single girls can find a relationship soon.”

As of Thursday, it is unclear whether Wang is still living at her date’s house.

Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province, has reported more than 100 Covid-19 cases in its ongoing outbreak. Authorities on Tuesday shut all non-essential businesses, such as beauty salons, banned dine-in at restaurants and suspended buses and taxis in higher risk areas.


The Portland Pickles baseball team is in a real pickle after the team mascot posted a photo on social media that may have left a sour taste in fans’ mouths.

On Wednesday, the minor league team decided to let “Dillon,” their dill pickle mascot, take over the team’s Twitter page.

However, it was the next post that really aroused interest, especially since it was cropped in a very, well, suggestive manner.

A few minutes after that post, it appeared that the Pickles’ had soured on the mascot takeover.

“It’s come to our attention that this photo can be misinterpreted as a disturbing image,” the next post read. “Dillon would like to go on record and say that he was trying to give his fans a thumbs up.”

A short time later, the team tried to turn the incident into a cautionary tale and warned followers to “ALWAYS double check before posting.”

However, many Twitter users suspected the posting of the pervy pickle pic was no accident since the team tagged Oscar Meyer, Corn Nuts and Manscaped in the tweet, among others.

People had thoughts.