The Odd Side – July 10, 2018

Burning Bird Falls From Wire In Germany, Torches Dry Field

BERLIN (AP) – Police say a burning bird falling from an overhead electric line set fire to a field in northern Germany that was parched by dry weather, torching some 17 acres of land.

Police in the Baltic Sea port city of Rostock said witnesses reported that the bird caused a short-circuit in a railway power line and fell to the ground in flames. The neighboring field then caught fire, and more than 50 firefighters were deployed to tackle the blaze Tuesday evening.

Farmers in northeastern Germany have been complaining of the effects of a persistent lack of rain over the past two months.

Ethiopia’s New Prime Minister Meets With Humanoid Robot

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) – In one of the world’s more unusual diplomatic encounters, Ethiopia’s new prime minister has met with a humanoid robot.

The chief of staff for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has shared online a photo of Monday’s meeting with the robot, who has gained global attention for using facial and speech recognition to help engage in conversation.

The robot, made in Hong Kong by Hanson Robotics, is fitted with software in part developed by Ethiopians, and has been programmed to speak the country’s official language, Amharic, as well as English.

“We need to maximize the benefit of this technology and also prepare to deal with its downsides,” the prime minister said.

The robot came to the East African country for an information technology expo.

Person, ‘Feeling Guilty,’ Pays 44-Year-Old Parking Ticket

MINERSVILLE, Pa. (AP) – A person has cleared his conscience by paying a 44-year-old parking ticket.

The Minersville, Pennsylvania Police Department received a letter last week with $5 and a note inside. The return address was “Feeling guilty, Wayward Road, Anytown, Ca.”

Police Chief Michael Combs tells WNEP the note said, “Dear PD, I’ve been carrying this ticket around for 40 plus years. Always intending to pay. Forgive me if I don’t give you my info. With respect, Dave.”

The fine for the 1974 parking ticket in the eastern Pennsylvania town was $2. But the person added $3 for interest. The same ticket today would be $20.

Combs says the ticket was for a car with Ohio license plates, but the department did not have the technology to track out-of-state vehicles.