xxxNews Of The Weirdxxx
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
Two men were arrested in Dearborn, Mich., in July and charged with robbing a Bank One branch, done in by a glitch in their getaway plan. They had hopped on mountain bikes to make their exit (which bank robbers have used with success from time to time), but they were apparently unfamiliar with the concept of a gearshift, and both men rode away in first gear (or perhaps second), so slowly that one witness followed them easily on foot, and a bank guard got close enough to shoot one of them in the arm. They were quickly arrested.
News of the Weird has reported several times in the last 12 years on Kopi Luwak, the ultra-expensive coffee derived from beans that have been eaten and excreted by civet cats in Indonesia. In July, Massimo Marcone of the University of Guelph (Canada) published his examination (in the journal Food Research International) of how taste is affected by the beans’ journey through the civet. First, the civet instinctively chooses only the ripest beans. Then, digestive biochemicals penetrate the outer layer of the bean as it passes through the GI tract. Internal fermentation by digestive enzymes adds a unique flavor (“earthy, musty, smooth and rich with jungle and chocolate undertones”). Also, proteins are leached out during digestion, thus removing a source of coffee’s bitterness. (On the other hand, Kopi Luwak doesn’t particularly distinguish itself from other coffee in human blind taste tests.)
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Copyright © 2001 by Chuck Shepherd
NEWS OF THE WEIRD