Mad Minute stories from Thursday, September 1st | Strange |

2022-09-02 20:00:27 By : Ms. CoCo Niu

Plentiful sunshine. Near record high temperatures. High near 100F. Winds light and variable..

Clear skies. Low 64F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.

ROCKPORT, Mass. (AP) — When Laura Hernandez fell into the water and lost her iPhone while paddleboarding off Massachusetts earlier this month, she figured it was probably gone for good.

But the next day the New York woman returned to the Rockport beach and approached the instructor of a novice scuba diving class and told him her situation.

Instructor Larry Bettencourt told her the odds of finding it, even with its distinctive pink case, were not good, but he told the class to keep an eye out for it, The Boston Globe reported Thursday.

Amazingly, Vanessa Kahn, 26, of Peabody, making her first open-water ocean dive spotted the phone in water about 25 feet deep.

“The bright pink waterproof case stuck out like a sore thumb ... it was like almost neatly placed into a bed of green seaweed,” Kahn said. She waved the phone around in the water and the screen glowed. She returned to the surface, turned on the camera and snapped a selfie, then waved the phone in triumph to Hernandez standing on the beach.

“Her face lit up,” she said. “I could tell that she was so excited.”

Excited enough to give Kahn a $300 reward.

Sept. 1 (UPI) -- A Florida woman who feared someone was repeatedly trespassing in her back yard said she was surprised to finally catch the culprit on camera -- an unusually large iguana.

Sheri Sotheby said she had heard strange noises in her Marco Island back yard on multiple occasions and thought someone might be trespassing repeatedly on her property.

"I've always been cautious because I constantly hear something out there," Sotheby told WBBH-TV. "I just had never caught it on camera."

Sotheby said her suspicions turned to the animal kingdom when she found droppings in her yard.

"I wondered if someone's pet was in the yard, so that's when I checked the camera," she said.

The homeowner said she was shocked to see the animal behind the constant noises.

"It was a large iguana," Sotheby said.

Ella Guedouar, a graduate student at Florida Gulf Coast University, confirmed the animal recorded by Sotheby appears to be a particularly large green iguana.

Iguanas are an invasive species in Florida and were introduced via the exotic pet trade.

Alfredo Fermin, a trapper contracted to remove iguanas on Marco Island, said the population of the reptiles has been booming in recent years. He said he does not expect the population on the island to ever be fully eradicated.

"If you remove five, 10 more are just going to show up," Fermin told the Marco Eagle in 2021.

Sept. 1 (UPI) -- A California homeowner shared security camera footage of a bear beating the summer heat by taking a dip in the home's backyard pool.

Steve Bray said the camera recorded the bear wandering into his Monrovia back yard on Wednesday.

The footage shows the bear climbing over a fence and walking over to the pool, where it then apparently decided to take a swim.

"A bear decided to go for a swim in our pool. Never a dull moment in the Bray house," Bray said in a Facebook post.

It was unclear if the bear was the same animal seen wandering a Monrovia street on Tuesday.

(NBC) A pregnant Texas woman who claimed she was entitled to drive in a high occupancy vehicle lane because of her unborn child received another ticket for the same offense, authorities said Tuesday.

Brandy Bottone, a 32-year-old Plano resident, became an unlikely focal point of the nation's post-Roe debate after she was pulled over in a carpool lane June 29.

A sheriff's deputy cited her for driving alone in the HOV lane that requires drivers to have at least one other person in the car — and Bottone claimed that the one other person was the unborn child in her womb.

She insisted that with the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade on June 24, her unborn child now was recognized as a living person.

Her argument was apparently good enough to win a dismissal. It wasn't immediately clear if that second ticket, picked up Aug. 3, would also be kicked out.

"Yes, Ms. Bottone's HOV case was dismissed," a Dallas County district attorney's representative said in a statement to NBC News. "The defendant received a second HOV citation about a month after the first. This second citation is currently pending."

Bottone did not return several phone calls, emails and text messages Tuesday and Wednesday seeking her comment.

She told the Dallas Morning News on Sunday that the second HOV pullover happened on U.S. Highway 75 South near Midpark Road and the deputy knew exactly who she was.

TOKYO (AP) — A small robot with a clip-like hand and enough smarts to know which drinks are popular is part of an effort to make convenience stores even more convenient.

On a recent day in Tokyo, the robot named TX SCARA slid back and forth behind the refrigerated shelves in the back of a FamilyMart store.

The hand on the end of its mechanical arm grasped a bottle or can from the stacks to the side, then the robot slithered to the right spot and placed the drink on the shelf — in a place chosen after its artificial intelligence and tiny cameras matched the kind of beverage to what's running short.

TX SCARA is filling a needed role in Japan's "conbini," as the ubiquitous tiny stores selling snacks, drinks and knick-knacks are called.

Most such stores are open 24-seven, filled with 3,000 kinds of products, but have relatively few workers. The beverage shelves in the back are farthest from the cash register, keeping workers running back and forth. And the beverage space is refrigerated, uncomfortably cold for people to stay there too many hours.

TX SCARA, which goes at an undisclosed price, can restock up to 1,000 bottles and cans a day. Its artificial intelligence, called "GORDON," knows when and where products need to be placed on shelves, according to Tokyo-based Telexistence, which created TX SCARA.

LAKE CITY, Fla. (AP) — Three puppies in northeast Florida were saved from a burning house after a delivery driver noticed a fire in the home whose owner was away, fire officials said.

The driver for Amazon was delivering a package on Tuesday when she noticed smoke coming from the home and called 911. Firefighters rescued the pups from the home and revived them from smoke inhalation, according to Columbia County Fire Rescue. Firefighters contained the fire to the room where it was started.

"Thank you to the Amazon driver who noticed the smoke and called 911," Columbia County Fire Rescue said in a Facebook post. "Since the homeowner was not at home at the time, she saved the home and the puppies' lives!"

The county is located about 60 miles (about 97 kilometers) west of Jacksonville, Florida.

It's not the first time a delivery driver has come to the rescue.

In January, a newspaper delivery woman in Georgia saved the lives of three adults, four children and several household pets after she noticed smoke billowing from the family's garage. In July, a UPS driver administered emergency CPR to a girl who had nearly drowned in a swimming pool near Soap Lake, Washington.

(Fortune) mistakenly transferred $10.5 million to a woman instead of $100 and didn't discover the error until seven months later. Now, perhaps unsurprisingly, the money is proving difficult to get back.

Back in December 2021, the cryptocurrency exchange platform—which employed Hollywood megastar Matt Damon to front its recent Super Bowl commercial—found that millions of dollars had gone to an Australian woman by the name of Thevamanogari Manivel in Melbourne after she requested a small refund in May of that year.

However, admin officials accidentally entered her account number into the payment field rather than the refund amount., which operates as Foris GFS in Australia, launched legal action this year and was granted a freeze on Manivel's account.

However, most of the money had already been transferred to other accounts or spent.

A court heard that $1.35 million of the money had gone to a four-bedroom property on Cragieburn, Melbourne and the ownership of that property had been transferred to the woman's sister Thilagavathy Gagadory, who lives in Malaysia.

Attempts to freeze the accounts in question have been unsuccessful, while attempts to get in contact with Manivel by's solicitors have also fallen short.

An email to Manivel's solicitors was simply responded to with a "Received, thanks," and they claim she is seeking legal advice.

Without a clear response, the Victoria supreme court has given a default judgment in's favour that they may force the property to be sold as soon as possible.

Manivel now also owes interest of $27,369.64. declined to comment while the case is still in court.

Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Animal rescuers in Scotland said they are now caring for a squirrel that ended up thousands of miles from home when it stowed away on a boat that departed from India.

The North East Wildlife & Animal Rescue Center, or NEW ARC, said it was contacted by Pest Solutions in Aberdeen when the group came into possession of a squirrel captured by crew members on a boat.

NEW ARC rescuers said the squirrel had been captured by the crew of the Deep Explorer three days before the end of their three week journey from India to Scotland.

"They looked after him and were feeding him grapes to keep him well after they took him into custody," NEW ARC rescuer Keith Marley told The National. "I believe he had been spotted before then but he is faster than a fast thing so he took a bit of effort to catch."

The animal is believed to be a palm squirrel, a common species of India-native squirrel also known as a three-banded squirrel.

Marley said the squirrel, named Zippy, is being kept in quarantine.

"He is doing well. He was a bit tired and panicked when he first came in, and stressed, but he had a good feed and seems to be behaving very much as a squirrel normally would," Marley said.

NEW ARC is now attempting to find a specialist to give Zippy a permanent home.

"In an ideal world we would like to return him home but it's unlikely we will be able to return him to India," Marley said. "We will be checking zoos to see if anyone has this variety of squirrel in their collection in the hope that we can donate him so he can live out his life with his own kind and will hopefully have a comfortable life."

Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Firefighters in England responded to a home where a 6-foot boa constrictor escaped from its tank and became stuck in its owner's bed springs.

The West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said in a Facebook post that a crew responded to a resident's home to deal with the "slippery situation" of a snake named Sid becoming stuck in the springs at a the base of a double mattress.

WYFRS said a technical rescue officer was able to carefully extract Sid from the bed springs.

"Animal rescues at WYFRS come in all shapes and Ssssss'sizes," the Facebook post said.

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