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That Snow Down South Is Fake, Say Conspiracy Theorists

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My girlfriend sent me this Gchat message today: “So, people Facebook are talking about how the government put fake snow in Atlanta because it won't melt. What is going on?”

Wait. What? This sounds crazy. So I looked around a little bit and, sure enough, lots of people with Internet handles like “WakeUpAmerica” are posting stories and photos and videos of snow that won’t melt, or turns black when held to a flame. Some are saying the government and/or terrorists must have dumped fake snow on the South as a chemical attack.

This isn’t a conspiracy—just snow behaving in a way that’s completely normal, but out of line with people’s assumptions. The folks who are freaking out here seem to expect a snowball to start dripping when a lighter is held up to it, the way an ice cube does. Snow doesn’t melt like that, though, because of the way it’s structured. Since snow is made up of lots of tiny snowflakes, it’s pretty loose and fluffy, and when you hold up a lighter to a handful of snow and start melting it, the remaining snow is going to absorb the water that’s created as some flakes melt. It goes from dry snow, to wet snow, to slush. It’s melting, but just not the way we think melting should look. Eventually, the water will run out of places to go, and your snowball will drip and turn into a pool of water.

As for the black color, that’s just soot, which results from incomplete combustion. It happens on real snow, and it happens on ice cubes, too. Go grab one from the freezer and try it yourself.

You can also do what these two Georgia boys did, and try putting the “snow that won’t melt” into the microwave, where it goes through the melting process pretty quickly.

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Paris is Selling Its Love Locks, and Donating the Proceeds to Refugee Organizations
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Paris officials have turned an urban problem into a public service: They’re selling the city’s “love locks” as souvenirs and donating the proceeds to refugee groups. The Guardian first reported the news back in December, and now—beginning on Saturday, May 13—the locks will be auctioned off online.

For traveling couples, the padlocks they affixed to the iron grills of the French city’s bridges, initials scrawled on the surface, were a symbol of romance. But to Parisian officials, they were a civil danger. Fearing that the locks would weaken overpasses like the Pont des Arts, the city began dismantling the metal trinkets in 2015.

Left with 1 million padlocks (which totaled 65 metric tons of scrap metal), authorities needed a creative way to repurpose the waste. So they decided to sell 10 metric tons of locks to members of the public, marketing them as relics of the city’s bygone history.

“Members of the public can buy five or 10 locks, or even clusters of them, all at an affordable price,” Bruno Julliard, first deputy mayor of Paris, said in a statement quoted by The Guardian in 2016. “All of the proceeds will be given to those who work in support and in solidarity of the refugees in Paris.”

The locks will be sold in a variety of lots, some of them just as a single souvenir, others in groups. Smaller lots are expected to sell for anywhere from $100 to $200, while pieces of the padlocked railings could go for as much as $5000 to $9000 apiece. Proceeds will benefit the Salvation Army, Emmaus Solidarity, and Solipam.

99-Year-Old Woman Checks "Spending Time in Jail" Off Her Bucket List

When a senior looks back on his or her life to assess their triumphs and regrets, “not getting arrested” typically falls into the former category. But according to the BBC, a 99-year-old woman in the Netherlands wished she had spent time in the slammer. To help her achieve this unconventional bucket list dream, law officers let the woman, named Annie, hang out in a jail cell—with handcuffs on—at the police station in the eastern Dutch town of Nijmegen-Zuid.

Annie has her family to thank for the experience. "Her niece came to us with this request," a police officer told the BBC. "When she was reporting a crime, she told the police officer about Annie's 'bucket list.'"

"You get many unusual requests with this profession," he added. "We thought it would be nice to do something special for Annie."

Politie Nijmegen-Zuid/Facebook

As you can see in the photos above, Annie’s brush with the law was a blast. However, she isn’t the only senior who has wondered what life is like behind bars. Last year, a 102-year-old woman named Edie Simms from St. Louis, Missouri was faux-arrested per her own bucket list request. Police teamed up with a local senior center to make Simms’s dream come true. "She was so excited that she can ride in a police car and she said, 'Do you think you could put those handcuffs on me?'" Michael Howard, executive director of Five Star Senior Center, told KPLR. Talk about centenarians gone wild!

[h/t BBC]

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