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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

July 4, 2014 at 6:00 AM

Flying saucers, and other stuff you might have missed this week

Don’t worry: This Independence Day, the flying saucers are coming from Earth.

1 Plane slides go rogue

Two incidents in a week

An emergency-evacuation slide accidentally deployed when the cabin door opened on an Alaska Airlines plane. (Photo via Flyer Talk)

It’s odd enough that it happened once, outside the plane, on the ground.

But on Sunday, another emergency-evacuation slide     the second in a week     accidentally inflated, this time inside the cabin of a United Airlines flight partway between Chicago and Southern California.

No passengers were injured, but plenty were probably startled at the incident and annoyed at the emergency landing they had to make in Kansas because of it.

Both planes were Boeing 737s. It is unknown whether each slide deployed for the same reason.

2 Flying saucers, in space and on Earth

The future is now, folks.

A prototype of the ISSpresso machine, created by Italian companies Lavazza and Argotec, is seen being put to the test. (Photo courtesy of Lavazza)

A prototype of the ISSpresso machine, created by Italian companies Lavazza and Argotec, is seen being put to the test. (Photo courtesy of Lavazza)

NASA launched a “disc-shaped vehicle” from the Hawaiian island of Kauai last weekend in order to test a new parachute that could be used in (eventually manned) missions to Mars.

Another kind of flying saucer is also on its way to space: the kind you put under a coffee mug. The International Space Station (ISS) is getting an Italian espresso maker specially designed for zero gravity. They’re calling the machine     natch     “ISSpresso.”

3 A ring resurfaces in an unlikely place

Would you put it back on?

Ice pops are valuable for more than just cooling off in the summer heat. If a dog gets hold of one (stick included), you never know what surprises might come up.

For a Wisconsin woman, it meant the return of a diamond wedding ring she thought she’d lost forever. Two days after her dog swallowed and regurgitated an ice pop, it vomited again and out came the ring.

A vet said the Popsicle stick could have worked the ring loose in the dog’s belly.

In other pet-food news: A pet-store owner in Richland is eating nothing but animal food for a month to prove how delicious and nutritious it is.

4 ‘Bigfoot hairs’ not from Bigfoot

Oxford really tackling the important issues here

Oxford University genetics professor Bryan Sykes with a prepared DNA sample taken from hair from a Himalayan animal. DNA testing is taking a bite out of the Bigfoot legend. (AP photo)

Oxford University genetics professor Bryan Sykes with a prepared DNA sample taken from hair from a Himalayan animal. (AP photo)

Scientists at Oxford University did DNA tests on hair samples that people claimed were from Bigfoot.

Spoiler alert: They weren’t.

The hairs were from all sorts of other creatures, though, including bears, cows, porcupine, a Malaysian tapir… and a human. (You know it’s time for a haircut if someone was so convinced you’re Bigfoot that they sent your hair to a lab.)

5 USA out of World Cup

Anyone else boycotting waffles?

The national men’s soccer team’s defeat qualifies as “weird news” because they lost to a country the size of Maryland, and because, duh, ‘MURRICA = WINNERS.

If our Founding Fathers cared about soccer, they’d be rolling in their graves.

Two bright spots about that match, though:

1) U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard. As one D.C. type put it: “Tim Howard is so great at blocking things, the Republicans want to make him Speaker.”

2) All the memes it inspired. One of my favorites is below; you can check out the rest here.

(tweeted by @THEAndyKreutzer)

(tweeted by @THEAndyKreutzer)

Comments | More in List, Roundups, Weird news | Topics: 2014 World Cup, airplanes, Boeing

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