The Weekly Wrap-Up

| November 1, 2014

Words by Ryan Grice

VIRGIN Galactic goes down, Hacker gets jail time again, French clowns go too far, and a new New York frog.

Virgin Galactic may experience setbacks to their scheduled 2015 sub-orbital space flight due to a tragic test flight crash that has claimed the life of one pilot and seriously injured another. The intended tourist craft dubbed SpaceShipTwo was set to begin a powered test flight, which it had performed several times before, when it suffered “a serious anomaly”. Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides held a news conference in California stating, “The future rests in many ways on hard days like this but we believe we owe it to the folks who were flying these vehicles as well as the folks working so hard on this to understand this and move forward.”


After almost avoiding a previous one-year jail sentence for “information technology” crimes by hiding in Cambodia for several years, Swedish hacker and co-founder of BitTorrent downloading site The Pirate Bay, has found himself heading back to jail after reaching the end of another lengthy court battle and being sentenced to three and a half years behind bars. The charges this time related to a hack of police records and social security numbers in back in early 2012 owned by technology giant CSC. It was unclear if the information supposedly viewed was actually stored or used at all.


Police in the French town of Adge arrested 14 teenagers during the week who were dressed as clowns and were said to be wielding pistols, knives, and baseball bats. Since mid-October two other separate instances of people being arrested for violent crimes while dressed as clowns have occurred. The genius reasoning being used by police for these crimes: the Internet. “…there’s been a rumour inspired by videos shared on the internet, which is worrying people about the presence of threatening and aggressive clowns in France,” police stated. Though this theory seems to have sparked a counter-clown movement that although has been peaceful thus far, still worries the French authorities. “Anyone, aggressive clowns or clown hunters, found in possession of a weapon in a public place will be arrested and can be held in police custody.”


Scientists of Rutgers University in New Jersey have successfully identified a new species of frog by apparently hearing and investigating its strange and unique chorusing call. Found in the New York City wetlands the frog, named Rana kauffeldi (a leopard frog), is the first new species discovered in the area in nearly 30 years. Due to the frog’s extreme similarity to its leopard frog cousins, it is highly likely that if lead scientist Jeremy Feinberg never noticed its unique call, it may never have been discovered. “Imagine we moved forward 50 years and this frog had never been discovered. We might have destroyed its habitat and never known it was there…You wouldn’t find it hopping around Times Square.”

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Category: FEATURED, Serious Section, Uncategorized

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