A $9,000 library fine
An overdue library book has finally been returned—after 110 years. Mutt Baird originally checked out the 1,553-page Webster’s dictionary from the Lyn Public Library in Ontario in 1899, but forgot to return it when he and his family moved to New York state that winter. Last week, his nephew, 83-year-old Dale Fenton Baird Sr. of Denver, presented it to Orval Ladd, president of the Lyn Heritage Place Centre, in time for Lyn’s 225th anniversary. The fine came to more than $9,000, but it was waived. “I know you had a guilty conscience,” Ladd joked to Baird.
Google Maps a cure for agoraphobia?
A British woman who suffered from agoraphobia for 20 years has finally left her house. Sue Curtis, 40, first began experiencing fear of the outdoors when her two sons were toddlers. Her panic attacks became so acute that they would surface if she tried to leave her home in northern England. But after taking free self-help classes on the Internet, and becoming fascinated by the sights she was seeing on Google Maps, Curtis can now make it down her street and back without fear. “It may not seem very far to walk, but for me this is amazing. And now I don’t see a reason why I can’t be cured in the future and lead a normal life again.”
A whiff of chocolate
If you love chocolate but are concerned about the calories, David Edwards, a Harvard biomedical engineer, has a treat for you. It’s “Le Whif,” a lipstick-sized mini-inhaler that shoots a calorie-free chocolate mist into your mouth. The device grew out of Edwards’ research into a better way to deliver inhaled medicines; the price is about $2 for four puffs. “The whole process is very art-science,” Edwards says. “You have a culinary art and aerosol science meeting.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How a degree from Duke University dashed my dreams of buying a home
- This is why you can't trust the NSA. Ever.
- Half the world's population lives in these 6 countries
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- Innocent before proven guilty? The bizarre bipartisan rush to clear Rick Perry
- What Keeping Up with the Kardashians can teach America about interracial marriage
- Today in history: Lincoln reveals the real goal of the Civil War
- ISIS and the echoes of the West's religious terror
- The single best way to help your kid succeed at school
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
Subscribe to the Week