World in Briefs (10.02.13)
If King Kong has taught us anything, it’s that male gorillas do not know how to positively treat the other gender. Sure, climbing a skyscraper while holding a woman seems like a good idea in theory; it’s actually a pretty bad plan. Patrick the gorilla is just like King Kong, but smaller and a jerk. After biting a female gorilla and sneering at others, this Dallas Zoo primate is being sent to South Carolina for therapy. He’ll live comfortably in his own place and bring enjoyment to the crowds that come to visit him. “He’s beautiful and smart and everyone loves him,” said Laurie Holloway, a spokeswoman for the Dallas Zoo. “We’re really sad to see him go but it’s for the best for the zoo and for Patrick.” His old space will be used to bring in two new gorillas, including Zola, a break-dancing gorilla. This is some serious monkey business.
There’s really no other way to say it; Venezuela ordered the takeover of a toilet paper factory. The state agency assured the nation that this is a necessary procedure. After awkward shortages earlier in the year, it seeks to assure consistent supplies. The national agency Sundecop, which implements price controls, said in a statement that it will occupy one of the Manpa paper production factories for 15 days. This may seem comical, but it actually underlies a rather serious issue facing the country. Some critics believe that the shortages of common products like toilet paper and milk are signs of failure for President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government. Whatever the situation, we hope that the country can find a solution to this problem and roll its way to success.
Airplanes are a great place to kick back and relax, assuming you don’t have a child kicking the back of your seat. Many people say that they use long flights for sleeping—including the pilots. In a recent survey released by the British Airline Pilot’s Association (BALPA), 56 percent of 500 commercial pilots said they have been asleep while on the flight deck. Additionally, nearly a third said they had woken up to find their co-pilot sleeping as well. This survey came ahead of a vote in the European Parliament on Monday on new rules that could replace existing British policies. The new rules would increase the maximum number of hours pilots can fly a week from 95 to 110. “Tiredness is already a major challenge for pilots who are deeply concerned that unscientific new EU rules will cut UK standards and lead to increased levels of tiredness, which has been shown to be a major contributory factor in air accidents,” said BALPA General Secretary Jim McAuslan in a statement. I’m no expert, but I think increasing the number of hours pilots work would make them even more tired. And you know what happens when pilots are asleep at the controls? That’s right—snakes on a plane.