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Mississippi Newspaper Transforms Crime Reports Into Playful Haikus  

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Word nerds can condense just about anything into a haiku: Disney movies, American history, and even politicians’ speeches. Now, NPR reports, a weekly newspaper in small-town Mississippi is using the ancient Japanese art form to breathe new life into routine community news.

The Enterprise-Tocsin in Indianola, Mississippi is publishing—and tweeting—a new “Crime Haiku of the Week.” The paper’s publisher, Charlie Smith, launched the recurring poem last month to make its police blotter, called “Cops & Robbers,” a little more interesting.

Each Wednesday while on deadline, Smith takes a report and transforms it into three 5-7-5-syllable phrases. He also changed the text-heavy column’s layout so its contents framed the haiku.

At first, the blotter’s playful makeover garnered zero feedback, but Smith’s mom was a fan, and encouraged him to keep it up. The newspaper publisher eventually realized that Twitter was the perfect platform for his micro-poems, and he began posting them to social media this past week.

"In an effort to reach the new era of digital-savvy, poetry-loving Millennials, we have begun publishing a 'Crime Haiku of the Week,'" The Enterprise-Tocsin newspaper tweeted. Smith's plan worked: People are now "liking" and retweeting his poems, and some are even submitting their own verses.

Check out a sampling of The Enterprise-Tocsin's haikus below, and while you're at it, try taking a stab at the art form yourself. (Believe it or not/it’s actually pretty fun/writing crime haikus.)

[h/t NPR]

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A New Roller Coaster is Whizzing Through Colorado's Rocky Mountains
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There are plenty of ways to explore the majestic Rocky Mountains, but few offer the adrenaline rush of the Rocky Mountain Coaster, a brand-new roller coaster that sends riders soaring along the range’s natural twists and turns.

As Urban Daddy reports, the Rocky Mountain Coaster recently opened at Copper Mountain, a mountain and ski resort that’s located near the tiny town of Frisco, about 75 miles west of Denver. Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the vacation spot is ideal for hikers, skiers, and mountain bikers. Now, visitors looking to enjoy the surrounding scenery without breaking a sweat can cruise for roughly a mile down to the resort’s high alpine Center Village.

The ride’s raised track “runs along the natural curvature of the mountain, with zigs, zags, dips, and 360-degree turns for guaranteed thrills,” according to a press release. Each personal car is equipped with manual hand brakes to control the ride’s pace, but the coaster does feature a 430-foot drop, so be careful with your phones while Instagramming the view.

The Rocky Mountain Coaster is open-year round, though it will initially mostly only be open on weekends. Solo rides cost $25, and a two-ride pass can be purchased for $35. (Resort guests get an exclusive discount.)

[h/t Urban Daddy]

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Star Wars © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
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Pop Culture
How to Perform the Star Wars Theme—On Calculators
Star Wars © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Star Wars © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

The iconic Star Wars theme has been recreated with glass harps, theremins, and even cat meows. Now, Laughing Squid reports that the team over at YouTube channel It’s a small world have created a version that can be played on calculators.

The channel’s math-related music videos feature covers of popular songs like Luis Fonsi’s "Despacito," Ed Sheeran’s "Shape of You," and the Pirates of the Caribbean theme, all of which are performed on two or more calculators. The Star Wars theme, though, is played across five devices, positioned together into a makeshift keyboard of sorts.

The video begins with a math-musician who transcribes number combinations into notes. Then, they break into an elaborate practice chord sequence on two, and then four, calculators. Once they’re all warmed up, they begin playing the epic opening song we all know and love, which you can hear for yourself in all its electronic glory below.

[h/t Laughing Squid]

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