In Other Friday News Bites: Science! Beer + More

It seemed insensitive to tack on a bunch of miscellaneous stories at the end of my #BlackLivesMatter news post, so here’s a short roundup of some other stories I found interesting this week.

Scientists at the University of Sussex have found evidence that indicates synesthesia can be learned, albeit temporarily. Subjects were taught to see thirteen letters in different colors, but a few months after the experiment, the effect had worn off. Still interesting though, our semi-mysterious brains.

Madagascar is seeing a rise in the bubonic plague, and the health ministry says there have been 138 suspected cases this year. So far, the illness has killed 47 people.

Craft beer sales now outpace Budweiser, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Arkansas is joining the marriage equality movement. Last week, a federal judge overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriages. Woo!

As part of the Hells Angels’ 16th yearly toy charity drive, members of the biker group in Fresco, California bought the entirety of one Wal-Mart’s bike stock. The group plans to donate the bikes to Poverello House, a Fresno-area nonprofit dedicated to helping the homeless and needy.

Gangster “Mad” Frankie Fraser died at age 90 last week. Fraser was known for his association with the Kray and Richardson gangs in London, and although he had been out of prison since 1989, he had served a total of 42 years for a range of offences.

Director Mike Nichols, perhaps most famous for his film The Graduate, died last week from sudden cardiac arrest. He was 83 and one of the few EGOTs in the entertainment industry — meaning he had earned at least one Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony over the course of his career.

The Amazon show Transparent hired its first trans woman writer for its second season, musician and singer-songwriter Our Lady J.

And finally, Doctor Who has hired its first female writer since 2008. Catherine Tregenna joins the show for its ninth season, and she previously worked on the show’s spin-off, Torchwood.

Until next time, friends.

A gif of 'Missy' from Doctor Who beckoning you to follow her.
Here’s hoping she has a hand in bringing back this delightfully “bananas” Time Lady.

By Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

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