Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Dolphins and Locusts and Camden, Oh my!

Dolphins save swimmers from shark:
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Reuters) -- A pod of dolphins circled protectively round a group of New Zealand swimmers to fend off an attack by a great white shark, media reported on Tuesday.
Further proof that Douglas Adams was probably dead on in the fourth book of the Hitchhiker's Trilogy, So Long And Thanks For All The Fish.


Locust plague sweeps into Israel:
JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- Millions of locusts swarmed through Israel's Red Sea resort town of Eilat on Sunday, devouring crops and flowers in the country's south.

Israeli agriculture officials sent crop dusters into the air to spray against the locusts that swept in from North Africa in the first such invasion since 1959.
In the Bible, locusts were the eighth of 10 plagues that God inflicted on the ancient Egyptians before Pharaoh, their leader, let the Israelites go.
The last major invasion of African locusts 45 years ago ravaged crops in the Jewish state.

But some Israelis as well as laborers from Thailand, where locusts are a delicacy, made the best of the current outbreak by collecting the insects and taking them home for dinner.

"Delicious," said one Israeli man in Eilat, licking his lips after picking a locust off the ground and eating it raw. "They're a delicacy fit for a king."

A Web site in Eilat listed recipes for locusts including locust shish-kebab, locust chips (French fries) and stir-fried locusts. The recipes said it was essential to cook the insects while alive "as otherwise they become bitter."

The locust is the only type of insect that is kosher and permissible for religious Jews to eat under Jewish law.
Either it's a sign of the coming apocalypse or a tasty afternoon treat. You decide.


Camden, N.J., named most dangerous city:
TRENTON, New Jersey (AP) -- Camden has been named the nation's most-dangerous city, snatching the top spot from Detroit, according to a company's annual ranking based on crime statistics.
Atlanta, Georgia, St. Louis, Missouri, and Gary, Indiana, rounded out the top five in the most dangerous city rankings, which was to be released Monday by Morgan Quitno Corp. The company publishes "City Crime Rankings," an annual reference book that will be published next month. Detroit fell to second in this year's list.
The news wasn't all bleak for New Jersey. The state's Brick Township was rated the second-safest city for the third straight year, behind only Newton, Massachusetts, while the Garden State's Dover Township was ranked tenth. The other communities in the top five were Amherst, N.Y., which had been ranked as the safest city for the past four years, followed by Mission Viejo, California, and Clarkstown, New York.

The rankings look at the rate for six crime categories: Murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and auto theft. It compares 350 cities with populations of 75,000 or more that reported crime data to the FBI. Final 2003 statistics, released by the FBI in October, were used to determine the rankings.
Another boon for the New Jersey tourism industry. Then again, why would people actually want to visit New Jersey? (Okay, okay, notwithstanding Atlantic City, Six Flags or Wildwood.)