One of the best parts of this job is that there is almost always more news than we can possibly cover, and last week we saw a number of stories that probably wouldn't fit into our traditional news beats -- but which we couldn't resist writing up. Below are some of the recent news stories that prompted us to do double takes.
• Culling Camels for Carbon Controls. The methane produced by feral camels in the Australian outback has placed the beasts in the crosshairs of a proposed culling program, which is among three plans to generate carbon credits that are being considered by the country's parliament.
Australia's feral camel population, currently 1.2 million, is expected to double by 2020, Tim Moore, the managing director of Northwest Carbon Pty Ltd. told Bloomberg Television. According to Moore, each animal consumes about a metric ton of vegetation a year and discharges an amount of methane that's equivalent to one metric ton of carbon dioxide.
By the next decade, Moore said in the interview, "that's 2 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere a year and that's excluding the vegetation they are consuming. We're talking about a significant contributor to global climate change."
Northwest Carbon proposes "removal activities" that include rounding up camels and sending them to an abattoir for slaughtering for human consumption or pet food, and thinning their numbers by shooting them from helicopters or four-wheel drives.
• When Danger Smells Sweet. Authorities in Taiwan are warning consumers not to eat bread, other baked good and food products that continue to smell fresh for unusually long periods time.
A chemical company and more than a half-dozen bread, pastry and jam businesses are under investigation for suspected use of potentially harmful plasticizer chemicals as fixative agents in products, according to the Taipei Times.
The China Report contends the list of contaminated products exceeds 960 items and described the suspected chemical that was used as being carcinogenic.
• A No-Stink Way to Be Eco-Friendly. Want to bike to work but are daunted by the prospect of arriving at the office in less than a pristine state and dealing with the hassle of changing?
Outlier and Levi's are among the companies offering clothing that they say eliminates the worries of getting to the job wrinkled, wilted and aromatic.
Outlier's webshop doesn't mince words when describing its 4 Season OG slacks (pictured at right): "At the office they drape beautifully, never stink of sweat and look like the high quality made in New York City slacks that they are."
What, clothes made out of Odor-Eaters? Not exactly. The trousers and Levi's 511 Skinny Commuter jeans and trucker jacket are made with NanoSphere-treated fabric. Schoeller Technologies of Switzerland developed textile treatment that gives fabrics the qualities of high-performance athletic gear, enables them to repel dirt, stains, light rain and, the garment companies say, protect against perspiration odor. Here is a Los Angeles Times post on the clothing via the Chicago Tribune.
If the clothes live up to the expectations they could be the answer for biking commuters who don't have showers at the office.
Image CC licensed by Flickr user David Evers.