Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

"Quick Takes" Continued...

Issue: "Medical care circus," Feb. 25, 2012

Lego astronaut

With $400 and some hard work, a pair of Canadian teens have managed to send their toy Lego man very nearly into space, and create a stunning video in the process. Toronto 17-year-olds Matthew Ho and Asar Muhammed used an $85 weather balloon to launch a Lego man carrying a Canadian flag up 80,000 feet to the upper boundaries of Earth's atmosphere in January. Inspired by a similar project completed by MIT students over a year ago, the two Canadian teens needed just a few months to build the contraption. They rigged their balloon with a video camera to capture the incredible footage of the planet's curvature as well as the darkness of space. Once uploaded to YouTube, the video of the soaring Lego man carrying a Canadian flag became an instant hit, bringing in hundreds of thousands of views. The pair also attached a GPS-enabled mobile phone to the floating project so they could track its descent back to Earth.

Busted in

Coconino, Ariz., Sheriff's deputies had no choice but to place Martin Batieni Kombate under arrest-for refusing to leave his jail cell. The 44-year-old Kombate had been booked into the county jail in January on a trespassing charge and was scheduled to be released on Jan. 23. But when detention officers asked him to exit his cell, Kombate allegedly refused and became disorderly. That left deputies little choice but to arrest Kombate again and charge him with a fresh count of trespassing.

Atlantic voyage

Two years after being tossed overboard by rough waves from his 26-foot pleasure boat off the coast of Nantucket, Mass., Scott Douglas finally has an end to his fishing story. The incident forced the New Jersey native and his brother-in-law to swim two hours to reach the shore after the August 2008 incident. More than three years later, Spanish officials reported spotting Douglas' vessel 20 miles off their coast on Jan. 17. Despite the trans-Atlantic drift, the Queen Bee was said to be intact-though covered in barnacles. Douglas said he doesn't expect to be reunited with his boat though. He collected the insurance money on the vessel years ago.


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