Odd News Roundup
April 02, 2014 11:35 AM | 887 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Pennsylvania teen says typeface change could save millions

By Kevin Begos, Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A teenager has published a study suggesting the federal government could save millions of dollars a year in printing costs by switching to a thinner typeface that uses less ink.

Suvir Mirchandani, 14, said he noticed there was plenty of talk at school about saving paper and he wondered about saving ink.

Suvir, who lives in the Township of O'Hara, just outside Pittsburgh, said Friday that the idea began when he was in middle school and he "noticed that some teachers used heavier fonts" for printing. He said he was already interested in graphic design and used a software program to estimate how much ink different typefaces, or fonts, used.

"The data was really surprising to me," he said of how the differences added up, even for the printing done by his school district.

He expanded the study to look at potential savings by the federal government, and a new paper on his research was published this month in the Journal of Emerging Investigators, a peer-reviewed journal created for promising middle and high school students. He found that the Office of Management and Budget had already estimated that federal agencies would spend about $1.8 billion in printing for this year and that ink was more expensive than paper on a per-page basis.

In the new paper, "A Simple Printing Solution to Aid Deficit Reduction," Suvir analyzed five documents produced by five U.S. government agencies and estimated how much ink would be used with three typefaces: Garamond, Times New Roman and Century Gothic. The analysis estimated that using 12-point Garamond would save about 29 percent in ink costs.

Suvir said his school district looked at the idea but hasn't been able to implement the switch.

"It didn't really catch on," he said. "I understand it's hard to make this kind of a change."

Still, he's happy that his work succeeded in "even just creating an awareness" of how much ink different typefaces use.

The Government Printing Office has praised Suvir's work and said it will review the printing suggestion.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Man does C-section on dead porcupine, saves baby

LISBON, Maine (AP) — A Maine man in search of a valuable mineral cut open a dead porcupine on the side of the road and unexpectedly pulled out its baby.

Jared Buzzell, of Lisbon, says he was searching for wild mushrooms Thursday when he saw a porcupine get hit by a car in Minot. Buzzell says he'd heard that a valuable mineral deposit used in Chinese medicine formed in the stomachs of porcupines.

He then cut open the dead porcupine to search for the mineral and instead found the baby.

He tells WMTW-TV (bit.ly/1hlWRUl) he cut the umbilical cord and thought the baby porcupine was dead until he started massaging it and it began breathing.

Buzzell is caring for the baby at home and plans to give it to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Probation extended for costumed crime fighter

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A one-time costumed crime fighter who took a step on the wrong side of the law will spend more time on probation.

MLive.com reports that a Genesee County judge on Monday added a year to Adam Besso's sentence. He now is to stay on probation until Aug. 6, 2015.

The 38-year-old Besso has gone by the nickname "Bee Sting." He pleaded guilty in 2012 to attempted assault with a weapon following a disturbance at a Flint-area mobile home park.

Terms of his probation prohibit Besso from wearing his costume or going by "Bee Sting."

He pleaded guilty in February to leaving Michigan without his probation officer's permission. Besso also was cited for driving illegally and identifying himself online as "Bee Sting," wearing a mask and a crime-fighting costume.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Anger management required for Castle Rock mayor

CASTLE ROCK, Wash. (AP) — The mayor of Castle Rock is required to take anger management classes for violating the courtesy code at a City Council meeting when he raised his voice against the police chief who asked for more money for ammunition.

The council in the southwest Washington town voted last week to admonish Mayor Paul Helenberg for the tirade against Chief Bob Heuer at a December budget discussion.

The Daily News reports the Association of Washington Cities investigated a complaint and recommended that Helenberg take two two-hour anger management classes.

The mayor says he was caught off-guard by a discrepancy in budget numbers but admitted the way he presented himself was wrong. He apologized to the police chief and council.

Information from: The Daily News, http://www.tdn.com 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Woman pays $200 bill with coins, town says no more

ERIE, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania township is asking residents to keep the change.

Officials in Millcreek Township, along with its water and sewer authorities, have adopted a policy limiting how much change they'll accept from residents paying sewer bills and other fees.

David Sterrett, executive director of the authorities, tells the Erie Times-News that officials came up with the policy after a woman showed up last month with a shoebox full of nickels, dimes and quarters to pay a $200 sewer bill.

Sterrett says it took four employees an hour to count, sort and put the money into paper sleeves.

The new policy limits residents to using $10 in unrolled coins or $20 in rolled coins when paying bills.

Information from: Erie Times-News, http://www.goerie.com 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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