Odds and Ends – Friday January 25, 2019 – January 31, 2019

(Tina Radel/City of Westbrook via AP)
(Tina Radel/City of Westbrook via AP)

Giant rotating ice disk
draws attention, visitors

Westbrook, Maine (AP) – Think of it as a crop circle, but in a river. A curious formation that’s getting attention in Greater Portland is actually a spinning ice disk that is roughly 100 yards (91 meters) wide. The formation in the Presumpscot River was widely shared on social media and has drawn comparisons to an alien spacecraft, a carousel and the moon. The oddity drew a crowd that stood mesmerized by the slow-turning disk Tuesday afternoon in Westbrook. The ice formation is believed to have formed naturally in a part of the river where there’s a circular current that creates a whirlpool effect, said Tina Radel, the city’s marketing and communications manager. Locals say they’ve seen smaller ice disks before, but nothing like this one, Radel said. Rob Mitchell, who owns a nearby office building, spotted the alien-looking disk Monday morning and immediately notified the city. Officials say the disk is spinning slowly counter-clockwise, and has served as a big raft for ducks and other birds. “The ducks were rotating on this big Lazy Susan,” Mitchell said.

‘Don’t feed the fatberg’:
Huge mass blocks English sewer

London (AP) – A British official says a giant “fatberg” has been found blocking a sewer in southwestern England: a mass of hardened fat, oil and baby wipes measuring 64 meters (210 feet) long. Andrew Roantree of South West Water says it will “take our sewer team around eight weeks to dissect this monster in exceptionally challenging work conditions.” He urged the public not to pour grease down the drain or flush baby wipes down the toilet, adding: “Don’t feed the fatberg.” The revolting fat mass was discovered in drains in the coastal town of Sidmouth. In 2017, a 250-meter (820-foot) fatberg was found in sewers beneath Whitechapel in east London. A chunk of that later went on display at the Museum of London, nestled inside transparent boxes.

(South West Water via AP)
(South West Water via AP)


Chocolate spill creates sweet
hot mess on Arizona highway

Flagsstaff, Ariz. (AP) – Authorities in northern Arizona had a sweet hot mess on their hands after a tank trucker’s trailer detached from the truck and rolled on its side on slick pavement, spilling a river of liquid chocolate onto westbound lanes of Interstate 40. The Arizona Daily Sun reports the wreck Monday about 11 miles (18 kilometers) east of Flagstaff required cleanup crews to pour most of the 40,000 gallons (151,412 liters) of chocolate into the highway median to lighten the damaged tanker so it could be towed away. The chocolate was liquid because it was being stored in the tanker at 120 degrees (49 Celsius). State Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves says there were no injuries. The driver was not cited.

(Arizona DPS via AP)