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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

August 22, 2014 at 6:00 AM

A hitchhiking robot, and other stuff you might have missed this week

1 Portland's got a bridge to sell ya

No, literally, they do.

The Sellwood bridge in Multnomah County, Ore., is considered to have historic significance, so officials are legally required to try to sell it before demolishing it to make way for a new bridge.

It’s 88 years old, covered in lead paint and would cost millions of dollars to move.

Any takers?

2 Hitchhiking robot charms its way across Canada

HitchBOT, a talking robot, has been hitchhiking east to west across Canada. Its final destination is Victoria, B.C. (Photo from Ryerson University)

(Photo from Ryerson University)   Click photo to enlarge

Buckets have been in the news this week because of the “ice bucket challenge,” which has done a surprisingly great job of raising not only feel-good awareness but actual dollars to fight ALS.

But meanwhile, another bucket — a bucket o’ bolts — made headlines of its own this week for successfully hitchhiking across Canada.

The talking robot made its way from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Victoria, B.C. You can follow its adventures here.

A friend of mine who once hitchhiked across America lamented that now even he has been replaced by a machine. I believe his exact words were: “Dirty robohippie.”

3 Sprint abandons Framily plan

…and now no one ever has to use the word “framily” again.

4 Ebola puts focus on drugs made in tobacco plants

Who’d have thought that a substance tied to so many diseases might actually help treat one?

It’s not just that tobacco is being used in Ebola drug experiments — that’s weird enough — but the tobacco plants are now actually being tested as “living pharmaceutical factories.”

Ah, science!

Tobacco plants are grown at the Kentucky BioProcessing facility in Owensboro, Ky. Plants grown here are used to manufacture an experimental drug to treat Ebola. (Photo from Kentucky BioProcessing / The Associated Press)

Tobacco plants are grown at the Kentucky BioProcessing facility in Owensboro, Ky. Plants grown here are used to manufacture an experimental drug to treat Ebola. (Photo from Kentucky BioProcessing / The Associated Press)

5 Wanted man rear-ends Spokane police detective’s car

Of all the gin joints rear-endable cars in all the world…

This incident continues our trend of suspected criminals conveniently delivering themselves to the police.

Comments | More in List, Roundups, Weird news | Topics: bridge, cellphones, Ebola

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