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Kickstart: You’ve got to be forking kidding me

You’ve got to be forking kidding me

A senior prank at a high school in Texas that began with placing plastic forks in a football field went very wrong for 40 students — half the graduating class — who found themselves suspended with just days to go before graduation.

The students at Comfort High School had intended to just leave behind the forks, but some of them took the prank idea further and did some unofficial rearrangements inside the closed school. (Including wrapping some items in plastic film.)

“You’re looking at your Top 10, you’re looking at your valedictorian, your salutatorian and you’re looking at your honor society kids,” Bruce Lott, whose son is class salutatorian, told TV station KIRO. “And this was, you know, a harmless prank that they were going to do just kind of as a goodbye, you know, put a fork in us kind of a deal.”

School authorities didn’t appreciate the intrusion or redecorating, and suspended all of the students involved in the prank, not just those who entered the school.

Let’s hope no one tries to recycle these forks into a future prank. They may be sorry.

Lights, camera, Bakelite

You’ll finally get a chance to celebrate Bakelite next month as the documentary All Things Bakelite begins streaming online on June 29.

While some people have seen the documentary from director John Maher at an event — it was screened at Antec in 2017 — the 56-minute film about the discovery and growth of the first human-made synthetic plastic has not been seen widely.

The film documents how Leo Baekeland invented the phenolic resin in 1907 and marks its growth in use for everything from costume jewelry to radios and industrial parts.

Baekeland’s great-grandson, Hugh Karraker, was an executive producer on the film.

It will begin airing on streaming platforms such as YouTube, Apple TV, iTunes and Google Play on June 29. You can watch the trailer on YouTube now.


Sending out a sustainable SOS

Usually, we write about how bad it is that plastic bottles end up in waterways. This time, it’s something positive.

University of Toronto researchers are placing bottles in Lake Ontario and its tributaries to help map how plastic waste travels through the lake.

The group of undergraduate and graduate students, post-docs, researchers and volunteers call themselves the U of T Trash Team. Each bottle is equipped with a GPS tracker to “help scientists learn more about where litter travels, how it ends up on the shoreline and why it accumulates in certain areas, dubbed ‘litter hot spots,'” according to an article about the project on Yahoo News.

That sounds like a great way to update the old “message in a bottle” trope for data that will be of use to a lot of people.


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