Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


OUR DAILY NEWS cycle has toned down considerably, now that we have capable adults in control in Washington, D.C. Nonetheless, fascinating news items still crop up. Here are tidbits on three recent happenings from Germany by way of France, Scotland, and Taiwan.

It Was The Best of Headlines; It Was The …  What a great headline from The Guardian, March 11, 2021: “Wurst Luck: Half-eaten Sausage Helps German Police Solve Cold Case.” 

Back in March 2012, a rascal broke into a house on Rocholzallee in Gevelsberg, North Rhine-Westphalia. In the midst of his burglary, he had the audacity to snack on a sausage.

The partially nibbled piece of wurst. Image by the Nordheim-Westfalen police in The Guardian, March 11, 2021.

The Guardian writes, “Officers from the Nordrhein-Westfalen force said in a statement the DNA pattern did not produce a direct hit at the time but that automatic comparisons with international databases led to a link later on.”

“The connection,” The Guardian continues, “was made after French police took a DNA sample… that matched the burglary sample, alerting investigators. The DNA identified a 30-year-old Albanian.”

“However,” The Guardian notes, “the statute of limitations on the burglary has expired, meaning the suspect is unlikely to be extradited to Germany. Schwelm police said the suspect remains free.”

Free, yes. But perhaps unsated.

Pandemic-fighting Drones. The Drone Race has scary military implications, but other UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) have proved more peaceful. The Voice of America reports about a pandemic-fighting drone project in the north of Scotland. VoA’s Arash Arabasadi offers a video on this. 

A drone view of the Scottish Highlands. This and the following images from VoA.

Primary transportation between islands in this region is by ship, but drones have enhanced medical testing and treatment to the point that health care compares favorably with that available in cities.

A drone takes on a medical sample for lab delivery.

Arash Arabasadi reports that the drones avoid choppy water by flying above it at 5000 ft. at 100 mph. Caroline Henderson, General Hospital Manager, Lorn and Islands, says, “We can get a sample off an island in half-an-hour and turn around the result within two hours.” 

The Lorn and Islands Hospital is in the outskirts of Oban in Argyll, Scotland.

It’s a pilot program to connect rural communities to modern health care, with the only real pilot sitting in a van with computer screens.

The pilot controls the drone from a remote van.

Call Me Anything, But Not Late for Sushi. According to The Guardian, March 18, 2021, “A Taiwanese official has pleaded with people to stop changing their name to ‘salmon’ after dozens made the unusual move to take advantage of a restaurant promotion…. Under the two-day promotion, which ended on Thursday, any customer whose ID card contained “gui yu” – the Chinese characters for salmon – would be entitled to an all-you-can-eat sushi meal along with five friends.”

Image from The Guardian, March 18, 2021.

In Taiwan, people are allowed to change their names officially as many as three times. However, The Guardian quotes Chen Tsung-yen, the deputy interior minister, “This kind of name change not only wastes time but causes unnecessary paperwork.… I hope everyone can be more rational about it.” 

Not likely, though, where sushi is concerned: “I’ve changed my first name to salmon and two of my friends also did,” a woman surnamed Tung told SET TV. “We’ll just change our names back afterwards.”

My favorite was a college student surnamed Ma. The Guardian quotes him: “I just changed my name this morning to add the characters ‘Bao Cheng Gui Yu’ and we already ate more than Tw$7,000 (£176).”

“Roughly translated,” The Guardian says, “Ma’s new moniker means ‘Explosive Good Looking Salmon.’ ” 

If you’re gonna be a salmon, be a grizzly salmon. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2021 

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