Odds and Ends – Friday August 11- August 17, 2017


Boston transit ads seek to kick manspreading to the curb

Boston (AP) – The Boston-area transit system is hoping to kick manspreading to the curb. The Boston Globe reports that the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has begun a lighthearted digital campaign to discourage men from sitting with their legs wide apart, crowding out riders who might otherwise squeeze into a seat on a packed rush-hour train. The transit system is also asking people carrying large, heavy backpacks to take them off when boarding the train. The backpacks take up space and often bang into other passengers. In a brief animated video that recently debuted at the Copley station, a fat cat rolls around on a chair with a message reminding passengers to take only the seats they need. It ends with the words “Courtesy counts.”

(EMT via AP)
(EMT via AP)

UK girl left in tears after she’s fined for selling lemonade

London (AP) – A British man and his young daughter have gained international attention for being fined for selling lemonade. Andre Spicer said his 5-year-old daughter was left in tears after local council officers fined her 150 pounds ($195) for selling lemonade without a license near their home in London. The girl was selling home-made lemonade to fans attending the Lovebox dance festival when she was fined. The four officers approached the girl and began speaking in technical legal terms, telling her that her lemonade stand infringed on local business rights. Halfway through the interaction with the officers, Spicer said his daughter burst into tears and said, “I’ve done a bad thing, daddy. I’ve done something wrong.” “I think initially she was a bit shocked and sad,” Spicer said. “And then I suggested we try it again with a permit. And she said: ‘Oh, it’s a bit scary.’” He hopes that his daughter will overcome the “heart-wrenching” experience and continue to pursue entrepreneurial ideas. Spicer wrote an article about the incident for the Daily Telegraph that garnered hundreds of comments and shares online. Local officials said the fine will be cancelled immediately. They have apologized to the family. In a statement Friday, the council said it was “very sorry” about what happened and that its enforcement officers are expected to “show common sense, and to use their powers sensibly. This clearly did not happen.”

Officials try to figure out why roaches swarmed from manhole

Philadelphia (AP) – The Philadelphia Water Department is trying to figure out what caused thousands of cockroaches to emerge from a manhole and swarm a neighborhood. Pat Wall tells WCAU-TV that the bugs emerged Sunday night and have been invading her Bridesburg neighborhood ever since. She says the bugs were so thick residents couldn’t see the ground. Water department spokesman John DiGiulio says crews will be out Tuesday investigating. He says a sewer inlet might be clogged with food and trash that can attract the bugs, which are also known to multiply in warmer weather. In the meantime, residents say they’re spraying their homes and stomping the bugs to keep them away.

Authorities: Man robs bank, then gets naked and throws money

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (AP) – Authorities in Florida say they arrested a man who robbed a bank, stripped naked and ran down the street throwing stolen money – a spectacle that he somehow thought would jump-start his career as a comedian. Instead, the FBI says 25-year-old Alexander Sperber is charged with bank robbery. A federal complaint says the man told authorities he parked his car at the bank, made a gun motion with his hand and demanded money from the teller, who gave him about $4,700 in a bag. Officials say a red dye pack exploded, staining his clothes and a cast on his left wrist. The Sun Sentinel reports Sperber was taken to a hospital and found to be coherent and uninjured. It’s unclear if he has an attorney.