The Sideshow
  • The record-breaking 98-year-old bottled message (Scottish government/AP)A message in a bottle has been pulled from the ocean 98 years after it was written, and officials say it is the world's oldest of its kind.

    Scottish fisherman Andrew Leaper found the letter in his nets while sailing off of Scotland's northern coast. And on Thursday, Guinness World Records confirmed that is the old message in a bottle ever found, beating the previous record holder by five years.

    "As we hauled in the nets I spotted the bottle neck sticking out and I quickly grabbed it before it fell back in the sea," Leaper, 43, told the BBC. "It was very exciting to find the bottle and I couldn't wait to open it."

    Amazingly, the previous record holder was found by the same boat, the Shetland-based "Copious."

    "We are pleased to hear that the same vessel helped to break the Guinness World Record for oldest message in a bottle twice," said a spokesperson for Guinness World Records. "This is a fascinating record, both historically and scientifically.

    In 1914, Scottish Captain C.H. Brown of

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  • Toyota is offering music festival attendees the chance to "whack a hipster." (Toyota)If you've ever been annoyed by a preening hipster, you'll soon have a socially acceptable method to vent your frustration. Toyota is sponsoring a Whac-a-Hipster game at this year's Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival in Seattle, which runs September 1-3.

    Whac-a-Hipster is a spin on the classic Whack-a-Mole game usually featured at country fairs and arcades.

    Though in a bit of irony, the bread and butter of the hipster class, the anti-hipster game is being held at a music festival largely catering to hipsters. Seattle PI reports that Toyota has been touring the game at music festivals around the country this summer.

    And not only is Seattle home to Bumbershoot, but it was also recently named the best city for hipsters, in the annual America's Favorite Cities survey.

    A press release from Toyota asks, "Ever felt the urge to 'Whac-A-Hipster'? ... [T]he Toyota Prius Family Playground will offer folks a chance to live out their hipster-whacking fantasies."

    Read More »from Toyota sponsoring Whac-a-Hipster game at Bumbershoot
  • Professor and author Geoffrey Nunberg has written a history of the word "A - Hole" (Creative Commons)Linguist Geoffrey Nunberg has written a scholarly study of the A-word, saying its rise in culture impacted feminism, self-discovery movements and conceptions of social class.

    The University of California, Berkeley School of Information linguist professor spoke with NPR about his book, "Ascent of the A-Word," which was released on August 14.

    "I'd meet people when I was working on the book, and even academics—they'd say, 'What are you working on?' and they'd giggle. Or they'd say, 'You must have a lot of time on your hands,'" Nunberg told NPR's "Fresh Air" host Terry Gross.

    "[T]hey reflect our genuine attitudes, rather than what we think our attitudes should be."

    Nunberg says the word's use as slang first rose to prominence during World War II, when soldiers used it when referring to an officer who took advantage of his rank, believing it gave him authority, "to either abuse his men, or makes him more important than he really is."

    According to the Historical Dictionary of American Slang,

    Read More »from Linguist studies origins of the A-word


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  • Business Highlights

    ___ School spending by affluent is widening wealth gap Education is supposed to help bridge the gap between the wealthiest people and everyone else. Ask the experts, and they'll count the ways: Preschool ...

  • Police say ambush suspect is making errors
    Police say ambush suspect is making errors

    BLOOMING GROVE, Pa. (AP) — The discovery of two powerful pipe bombs during a manhunt in the Pennsylvania woods indicates the fugitive wanted in an ambush on state troopers is stressed out and making mistakes, authorities said as they repeated a call for him to surrender.

  • Shooing birds from bridge could cost millions
    Shooing birds from bridge could cost millions

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Efforts to relocate protected birds so the old eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge can be torn down could cost the state more than $30 million, a newspaper said Monday.

  • Special Report: In foreign hands, British automakers overtake France

    By Costas Pitas and Gilles Guillaume LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) - When Britain lost its last native car company 20 years ago, it was lamented across the political spectrum as a national catastrophe. "The sheer stupidity and immorality of this betrayal is too scandalous to be ignored," wrote a columnist in the conservative Times of London. The left-leaning Guardian bemoaned: "No one can conceive of Renault, Fiat or indeed BMW fattening themselves up after years of emaciation, ready for sell-off to a foreign rival. ...

  • Ukraine truce in tatters as election season kicks off
    Ukraine truce in tatters as election season kicks off

    Kiev (AFP) - Ukraine's tenuous truce and troop withdrawal deal lay in tatters on Tuesday after the deadliest wave of attacks by pro-Russian insurgents in more than a month killed nine government soldiers.

  • Obama, Netanyahu: Great challenges in Middle East
    Obama, Netanyahu: Great challenges in Middle East

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pressed each other politely but firmly Wednesday to address areas of tension in their relationship, with the U.S. president calling for an end to Palestinian civilian deaths and the Israeli leader warning of the consequences of leaving Iran with nuclear capabilities.

  • Islamic State: Arab female F-16 pilot stirs debate in Muslim world
    Islamic State: Arab female F-16 pilot stirs debate in Muslim world

    Last week Mariam al-Mansouri, a F-16 pilot from the United Arab Emirates, was introduced to the world. Smiling out from under her helmet and hijab after launching air strikes in Syria, part of a US-led campaign against Islamic State, her image went viral.

  • New NATO chief: better ties with Russia possible
    New NATO chief: better ties with Russia possible

    BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO's new secretary-general struck a more conciliatory tone Wednesday on Russia, saying there's a chance now for improved relations between Moscow and the West.

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