Renting Newspapers in Africa

(CNN) In Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, Garum Tesfaye is a landlord, of a sort. He rents newspapers.

Surrounded by worn-out copies of old newspapers, stacks of gossip magazines and the crisp print of the latest news, Tesfaye sits attentively, checking his watch every now and then.

Near him, a pedestrian bridge provides shelter from the sun to dozens of avid readers who quickly, albeit meticulously, get their dose of the latest news. For 20 to 30 minutes, these readers can get their hands on a newspaper for a fraction of the price of having to buy it. . . . Among his customers are unemployed university graduates who tend to rent several publications a day as they desperately hunt for work.

How much does it cost to rent a newspaper for a few minutes? Less than the equivalent of one American penny.

First Human in Space

Fifty years ago today, Yuri Gagarin, of the U.S.S.R., became the first human to be launched into space, electrifying the world and shocking the Soviet Union’s major competitor, the United States of America. The Russian pilot circled the earth in one orbit, in a Vostok spacecraft, to be precise the Vostok 3KA, which had flown in six unmanned test missions prior to the 1961 historic mission.

The Vostok 3KA was developed for two purposes: as a manned spacecraft and as a platform for spying. Without the spy camera, it would have failed to obtain support from the Communist party, for the Cold War had been warming up for years.

Yuri Gagarin died on 27 March 1968, while on a routine training flight in a MiG-15UTI. The plane crashed near the town of Kirzhach. Although conspiracy theories have been suggested, it is generally believed to have been an accident, possibly partially from the use of outdated weather information.


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First American Death in Japan Disaster

The first American known to have died from the recent natural disasters in Japan has been identified. Taylor Anderson, a 24-year-old teacher from Richmond, Virginia, is mourned by family back home.

“She was last seen after the powerful earthquake struck Japan on March 11, riding her bike away from the school where she taught after helping to get her students home. . . . ‘It is with deep regret that we inform you that earlier this morning we received a call from the U.S. Embassy in Japan that they had found our beloved Taylor’s body,’ the Anderson family wrote in a statement. ‘We would like to thank all those (whose)  prayers and support have carried us through this crisis.  Please continue to pray for all who remain missing and for the people of Japan.'”

Devastating tsunamis triggered by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, in northern Japan on March 11,  caused great destruction, as did the earthquake itself. In addition, a nuclear power plant was disabled and leaking radiation.

“Try Explaining Airplanes to a Pterodactyl”

Another pterosaur has flown into news reports, this one, called “ropen,” is reported to fly at night in Papua New Guinea. The glow reported to come from the ropen has been compared with the flying Marfa Lights of Texas.

The blog post about the glowing flying creature of Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea, mentions years of expeditions in which many native eyewitnesses were interviewed. Their testimonies were deemed credible and were compared with those of an Austalian and an American, who had also described a long-tailed featherless flying creature in Papua New Guinea.

The strangeness of modern glowing pterosaurs was compared to the strangeness of the technological developments of human aviation: “I think it far easier for humans to believe in modern bioluminescent pterosaurs . . . than for those pterosaurs to believe in non-winged humans flying around the world. Try explaining airplanes to a pterodactyl.” (quoted from the post by the American cryptozoology author Jonathan David Whitcomb: “Umboi Island Expeditions”)

Pterosaur Reported in Georgia, U.S.A.

An anonymous eyewitness reported a large pterosaur that flew in front on her car as she was driving on a highway east of Winder, Georgia.

She had driven less than ten miles [from Winder], just leaving an area of pasture, entering an area of thick woods, around a mild downhill curve . . . when an animal suddenly flew from the right, just over the front of her car. . . . She was stunned . . . It was the tail; she looked up at a “very long” tail that had a strange shape at the end. . . . “Dive-bombing my car,” is how she described the flight path, as it crossed the highway in front of and slightly above her. “Curved, like a hammer,” is how she described the head, which had a crest that she thought was “solid, not feathery at all.”

The eyewitness was interviewed by the American cryptozoologist Jonathan Whitcomb.