This Week

[June 15-June 21, 2020] Summer reading takes flight, the Exploding Whale Memorial Park, brews by seaplane, and the rest of the week’s weird news from Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Summer Reading Takes Flight

This summer, students from Montgomery County Public Schools in southwestern Virginia don’t have to go very far to get their reading materials. Also located in Christiansburg, Virginia, Google’s drone delivery division, Wing, is saving everyone’s summer reading list! Wing launched its services last October and is now a personal book delivery system for Montgomery County students. Upon reaching the home, the Wing device hovers about 23 feet in the air and lowers the package down on a cable, safely placing the books on the reader’s front doorstep. According to the Washington Post, about 600 students live in neighborhoods eligible for Wing’s flying library book delivery service.

drone delivering package

$150,000? Just Do It.

In the early 1970s, Nike co-founder and legendary University of Oregon track coach, Bill Bowerman, created a custom pair of running shoes for one of the university’s track stars. John Mays was the lucky recipient of those hand-stitched waffle spikes and, to this day, was the only owner of the pair. These shoes mark the first and only pair hand-crafted by Bill Bowerman ever to appear at auction. The set is expected to sell for up to $150,000, just one month after a pair of autographed, game-worn Nike Air Jordan 1s from Michael Jordan’s rookie season was sold for a record-breaking $560,000. “We felt the only appropriate way to follow up a sale of that magnitude was to offer something special that spoke to the history and legacy of Nike,” said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s director of e-commerce development.

Having A Blast in Oregon’s “Exploding Whale Memorial Park”

In November of 1970, a sperm whale washed up on the beach near Florence, Oregon. As one might imagine, the decaying carcass of an 8-ton sea creature posed a serious health hazard to beachgoers. As the whale was too big to drag away or bury, local officials decided to get rid of the corpse by stuffing it with dynamite and blowing up the body. The rationale was that blasting the whale into manageable, bite-sized chunks would allow for scavenging birds and crabs to have a bit of lunch, according to the Oregon Historical Society (OHS). Today, 50 years later, the city planned to announce the park’s new name, decided by a “Name the Park” survey, run by the City of Florence. Most of the names on the list spoke to the site’s natural beauty, but “Exploding Whale Memorial Park” won with a whopping 439 votes of the 856 submitted.

It’s a bird Beer! It’s a Plane!

Short’s Brewing Co., a beer company located in Northern Michigan, took their services and products from the land to the water this week. The brewery enlisted the help of a local seaplane to make six waterfront property deliveries of their signature crates to families in the Antrim County area. Joe Short, owner and founder of Short’s Brewing Co., was accompanied by a local seaplane driver, Steve Smith, to deliver brews and smiles to the lucky few who ordered these limited services online. “This is a highlight of our summer, absolutely,” delivery recipient Kathy Bryant said. “To see a seaplane come in right to your front step and deliver beer and hop off. I mean this was just phenomenal.”

seaplane

Walking With Crocs

It has recently been discovered that over 120 million years ago, a different version of crocodiles quite literally walked the earth. There’s evidence that the 10-foot-long beast walked on its two hind legs like a Tyrannosaurus Rex. After analyzing dozens of its up to 120 million-year-old footprints, including one with skin impressions, researchers are discovering that some of the crocodiles of the Cretaceous period were, in fact, bipedal.