QUIRKY WORLD ... St Louis woman can’t get credit for being alive

US: A 40-year-old St Louis woman has spent months trying to convince credit reporting agencies that she’s alive.

QUIRKY WORLD ... St Louis woman can’t get credit for being alive

Alexandria Goree is suing Experian, TransUnion and Equifax over the glitch, contending that it was difficult to get loans or a new home because the credit reporting firms said she was dead.

Her suit, filed last week in federal court, said Goree found a “deceased” notation on her credit files in the summer of 2013. Such a notice can appear when a creditor informs a reporting agency that one of its customers has died.

“Wow. Words can’t really explain how I felt,” she said. “It was just emotional.”

She said she had to deal with numerous rejections from credit card companies and local businesses because the credit reporting firms said that she was dead.

“Anything that would require monthly payments,” she said, “I was only able to purchase with cash.”

Goree said the misinformation hurt her efforts in finding a new place to live after her grandson’s 2013 hit-and-run death outside her former home.

Her landlord agreed to let her break her lease to move away from the street where her 2-year-old Darion Griffin was killed. Her lawsuit contends that a series of rental housing applications were rejected.

She said it took months of phone calls, letters and emails to convince Experian and TransUnion to return her to the land of the living. It’s unclear if Equifax also has done so.

Big on personality

Czech Republic:

It may be small, grey and easy to ignore, but the humble woodlouse is big on personality, according to new research.

Dogs can be friendly or hostile, cats aloof or affectionate, and horses moody — but woodlice? They are individual characters too, scientists claim.

Tests on the way the creatures respond to being prodded, squeezed and dropped show that some are bold and others timid.

Even taking account of influences such as body size, they display behaviours that meet the definition of “personality”, said the researchers.

The Czech team observed how the common rough woodlouse, Porcellio scaber, did what woodlice often do when threatened — feign death by curling up their armoured segmented bodies and tucking away legs and antennae.

Different individuals were more or less willing to adopt the “tonic immobility” (TI) strategy, some curling up for longer than others.

The way they differed was consistent across the range of tests, and when the experiment was repeated five times over a three-week period.

Writing in the journal ZooKeys, the scientists led by Dr Ivan Hadrian Tuf, from Palacky University, Czech Republic, said: “There were some consistently more ‘bold’ woodlice (short TI) and some more ‘shy’ woodlice (long TI).

They concluded: “Porcellio scaber is one of the first species of terrestrial isopods with documented personality traits.”

Personality in animals has been defined as individual behavioural characteristics that are consistent over time in response to different situations.

Hunger busters

US:

Subway’s “sandwich artists” have cranked out a record number of their lunchtime masterpieces.

Franchisees and employees from around the world set a Guinness World Record for the “most people making sandwiches simultaneously” when 1,481 people built subs at the same time during the brand’s annual convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. All the sandwiches were donated to the Salvation Army.

The previous record was set in February 2014, when 1,363 people sponsored by the dining discount company TangoTab made sandwiches at the same time in Dallas,.

Piece of Cake

UK:

Famous confectionery Kendal Mint Cake is set to have a major rebirth as an alcoholic liqueur.

The cake, traditionally made from peppermint, sugar and glucose, is popular with explorers for its high energy and was carried by Edmund Hillary and his team on their ascent to the summit of Mount Everest in 1953.

But now today’s climbers can enjoy the liqueur form — 24% alcohol by volume — as they wind down after a long day in the hills.

The idea was the brainchild of Mike Pennington, owner of Burgundy’s Wine Bar & Brewhouse in Kendal, Cumbria.

After he acquired the mint cake recipe 20 years ago, he used his mixing skills to create an alcoholic liqueur and has been selling it to his customers since.

Due to growing demand a company was set up 18 months ago to market the product worldwide and the recipe was recently honed.

The liqueur, with its distinctive green colour, contains mint, cacao and secret ingredients fused with alcohol and sugars, said Mr Pennington.

Water from Kendal Mint Mine is also infused into the recipe. In June, 10,000 bottles were produced to meet orders with exports to Australia, Thailand, Switzerland and Germany.

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