Chef to dish up cicadas
Connecticut chef Bun Lai is already known for his Mexican grasshopper dish and his fried rice with meal worms and crickets. However, he might soon also be recognized as the cicada chef. Lai, owner of Miya’s Sushi, told the New Haven Register that he plans to fill a big freezer full of Brood II cicadas, once the red-eyed bugs’ 17-year life cycle brings them above ground for about five weeks. “I’m going to catch a whole bunch of them and preserve them for future eating,” he said. Lai said cicadas, and insects in general, have great nutritional value and are “healthier for our bodies than eating meat.” He plans to feature the cicada in some theme dishes, steaming some of the bugs and boiling others, with the appropriate spices and herbs. Lai said he sees it as a challenge to take something that is abundant and nourishing and make it appealing, not to mention tasty. “I’m not trying to gross people out,” he said. “I’m not running a frat house. I respect the cicada.”
Cola recipe sold for US$15m
What could be a World War II-era recipe for Coca-Cola’s secret formula found a buyer on eBay on Wednesday — a 15-year-old who now has three days to come up with US$15 million to pay for it. Georgia antiques dealer Cliff Kluge listed the yellowing typewritten document — found among papers at a Tennessee estate sale — with an opening bid of US$5 million and a buy-it-now price of US$15 million as a publicity stunt. “It would have been a wonderful thing” if it had found a genuine buyer, Kluge said. Undaunted, Kluge said he will relist it after a three-day waiting period, required under eBay rules on the off-chance that the adolescent buyer can somehow rustle up the cash. Coca-Cola, which traces its origins to a 19th-century patent medicine, says its formula of natural ingredients is a closely held trade secret, kept in a vault at its World of Coca-Cola museum in Atlanta. “We sleep well at night knowing the secret formula is safe and secure with us,” Coca-Cola spokesman Petro Kacur said.
Deer hops into bus
A deer has taken a ride on a Pennsylvania bus. The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat newspaper reports the white-tailed deer crashed through the windshield of a public bus being driven on Tuesday evening in Johnstown, about 105km east of Pittsburgh. The deer hopped around frantically near the driver before jumping on empty seats and running in circles in the aisle. Authorities say the driver stopped the bus and opened the door and the deer got off. County transportation spokesman Josh Yoder says it “just walked off the bus.” The bus was carrying one passenger, who was seated in the back far from the deer.
Stroller rolls off platform
A stroller carrying a 14-month-old girl has rolled off a Philadelphia train station platform and fallen onto the tracks, injuring her. The girl’s mother jumped onto the tracks to rescue her. The girl has been hospitalized with a cut on her forehead. Surveillance video shows the girl’s mother on the platform on Wednesday afternoon with the girl in a joggling stroller, which slowly rolls forward before tumbling to the tracks about 1.6m below. The stroller comes to rest on the outer rail, which carries no charge. The woman is seen jumping down and lifting the infant to a man waiting on the platform. Other passengers ran to help. One alerted transit police, who stopped an incoming train. Transit officials say it looks as though the mother was distracted.
Police target pickpockets
Paris police said on Wednesday they would deploy more officers to protect tourists against pickpockets and launch an awareness campaign to fight fake charity organizations targeting visitors. The efforts come in the wake of several incidents that have tarnished the image of Paris — the world’s most visited city — including the brief closing of the Louvre museum last month by workers protesting increasingly aggressive pickpockets. The Paris police prefecture said it was increasing the number of officers deployed at key sites. It will also begin distributing leaflets in heavily touristed areas, in English and French, warning against a trend that involves young criminals asking visitors to make donations to false charities or to sign false petitions, distracting them from pickpockets. Among tourists increasingly being targeted are visitors from China, with the Chinese embassy recently reporting an increase in the number of complaints.
Coin toss decides election
A coin toss has decided the lucky winner of mayor for a small Philippine town, after rival candidates were tied at the end the vote count, an election official said yesterday. The dramatic conclusion to the contest for San Teodoro, a farming town of about 16,000 people in the central Philippines, took place at the local election office, with the politicians tossing a coin to decide their fate. “They agreed to a coin toss, with the candidate getting the most heads proclaimed the winner,” San Teodoro election chief Reny Pagilagan said. He said tension built as the first tiebreak competition of five coin tosses each also ended in a draw, with both politicians getting two heads. Marvic Feraren, a member of the ruling Liberal Party, finally emerged the winner in the second tiebreak event, throwing two heads to his opponent’s one. “Both of them accepted the result. They shook hands and embraced,” Pagilagan said.
Couple jailed for maid death
A court yesterday sentenced a couple to 24 years in jail for starving their Cambodian maid to death, one of many such abuse cases straining ties between the country and its neighbors. Hardware store owners Soh Chew Tong, 44, and his wife, Chin Chui Ling, 42, were found guilty of culpable homicide at a high court in the northern state of Penang, prosecutor Tan Guat Cheng said. The 24-year jail term is to run from the day of their arrest in April last year, shortly after their maid, Mey Sichan, was found dead by paramedics. She weighed just 26kg and had bruises on her body. Police said she died from acute gastritis and ulcers likely caused by lack of food over a long period. The 23-year-old had been working for the family for eight months.
Boy left in school bus dies
A three-year-old boy has died after being left inside a private school bus for several hours in sweltering heat, Thai police said on Wednesday, the second such death of a toddler in recent weeks. Suriyakarn Thakan was found unconscious inside the cab of a pickup truck, which was being used to transport children to a nursery school in Si Sa Ket Province on Tuesday afternoon. It was due to be the child’s second day at nursery. Police said the driver of the pickup has been charged with negligence resulting in the death of another person, while the nursery teacher who owns the vehicle was to be questioned by police yesterday. The death follows that of a three-year-old girl who was left in a school bus for four hours outside Bangkok early last month.