Odd Side – July 30, 2019

Australian Finds Message in a Bottle Written 50 Years Ago

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – A fisherman said he was looking for the author of a message in a bottle found off the southern Australian coast 50 years after it was written.

Paul Elliot told Australian Broadcasting Corp. that he and his son Jyah found the bottle on the west coast of Eyre Peninsula in South Australia state while fishing.

Elliot said he was looking for the author Paul Gibson, who described himself in the note as a 13-year-old English boy traveling in a cruise ship along the southern Australian coast from Fremantle in the west to Melbourne in the east.

The author gave his position as “1000 miles east of Fremantle.” However, it is not clear whether the author actually meant 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) out of Fremantle, which would have included a journey south along the west coast before turning east.

Hundreds of thousands of Britons migrated to Australia in the 1960s, with the Australian government subsidizing their fares. Children traveled for free.

But a quarter of them returned to Britain within a few years when life in Australia fell short of their expectations.

Welsh Street Named Steepest in World; New Zealand Loses Out

LONDON (AP) – A street in Wales has been designated the steepest in the world after a successful campaign by residents.

The title comes at the expense of a street in New Zealand, which has apparently been eclipsed in the steepness sweepstakes.

Guinness World Records said that the street of Ffordd Pen Llech in the seafront town of Harlech, 245 miles northwest of London, has a gradient of 37.45%, two percentage points steeper than the former titleholder in Dunedin on New Zealand’s South Island.

The Welsh campaign was led by businessman and architectural historian Gwyn Headley. He says he feels “jubilation” now that the street has been recognized.

He says he feels sorry for New Zealand, but that “steeper is steeper.”

Nesting Penguins Can’t Resist Lure of New Zealand Sushi Shop

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – Two little blue penguins just couldn’t stay away from a New Zealand sushi store, returning to nest there even after police had captured them and escorted them back to the ocean.

Wellington police described them as “waddling vagrants,” while the store’s co-owner joked he had no idea that word of his tasty raw fish had reached as far as the subaquatic community.

Police got the first call about a penguin loose in the city on Saturday night, after somebody reported spotting a grumpy bird under a parked car. Police said they managed to release it back into the ocean.

Within hours, the two penguins were back underneath the shop.

Jack Mace, an operations manager for the Department of Conservation, said rangers managed to extract the birds from under the store’s freezer and put them in a special nesting box on the harbor, which is about a 660-foot waddle from the store.

Mace said the penguins haven’t been seen since and may be out at sea.

All-White Creature Identified as Rare Albino Porcupine

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine (AP) – A curious visitor to a Maine train museum that resembled a white throw pillow or perhaps a lost toupee turned out to be a rare albino porcupine.

The young rodent turned up at Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, perplexing the staff, who sought help identifying it via social media. The consensus was it’s an albino porcupine.

The Portland Press Herald reports the animal appeared to be a baby because its quills had not yet hardened. A spokeswoman for the museum said that it hadn’t yet been seen again, but it was assumed to be lurking in the area.

Porcupines are common in Maine, though albino ones certainly aren’t. About one out of every 10,000 of the species is an albino porcupine.