Weekend reads: Meet Cactus, the dog dominating a 6-day, 140.7-mile race in the desert

Ben Palmer's reads

What's the best temperature for beer? Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Heidi Mitchell asked two beer experts—Sarah Roarty, a brewer and beer sommelier, and Charlie Bamforth, professor emeritus at the University of California, Davis, who teaches malting and brewing—about the ideal temperature for beer. While they both acknowledged that preferences for beer temperature vary depending on where you are, they said American-style light lagers should not be served at higher than 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. According to Roarty, India Pale Ales should be consumed at 50 degrees while stouts should be served at 55 degrees Fahrenheit (however the Irish stout Guinness should be served at exactly 42.8 degrees Fahrenheit, Roarty said). Meanwhile, amber ales should be served at 50 degrees Fahrenheit to bring out their nutty flavor, and specialty beers like sours and lambics should be served at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. When in doubt about what temperature to serve beer at, Bamforth said, "Err on the colder side, at least refrigerator temperature, as long as there is no ice forming at the top."

Living near a major highway could lead to developmental delays in children. According to a study in Environmental Research, living near a major highway could be associated with developmental delays in children. For the study, researchers observed 5,825 children in New York state and calculated the children's proximities to interstate and state highways. The researchers found that, compared with children living 1,000 meters away from a highway, those living within 500 meters of a highway were twice as likely to fail in the verbal and nonverbal portion of a questionnaire that tracks developmental milestones in children.

Danielle Poindexter's reads

Toddler disabled his dad's iPad for 25,536,442 minutes—or nearly 50 years. What happens when you repeatedly enter the wrong password into your iPad? Last weekend, Evan Osnos, a staff writer at The New Yorker, got to find out. After numerous failed attempts to unlock his family's iPad, Osnos' son triggered the device's security feature and disabled the device for 25,536,442 minutes—or nearly 50 years. Osnos turned to Twitter to help unlock the iPad. "[T]his looks fake," Osnos said in a viral tweet that contained a picture of the iPad lock screen, "but, alas, it's our iPad today after 3-year-old tried (repeatedly) to unlock. Ideas?" One user jokingly suggested that Osnos try "reboot[ing]" his toddler and another said Osnos should just wait 48 years for the iPad to unlock. Days later, Osnos learned that he could unlock the device by restoring it. He did not say if he will give his kid the new iPad password.

A dog named Cactus is running (and dominating) one of the most difficult races in the world. According to runners, Cactus appeared during stage two of the Marathon des Sables, a six-day, 140.7-mile race held in the hot and windy Sahara in Morocco. While he skipped the opening mileage on Sunday, Cactus logged nearly 15 miles on Monday, 23 miles on Tuesday, and the complete 47.4-mile stage on Wednesday—putting him in 76th place out of 800 (human) runners. Karen Hadfield, the owner of the inn where Cactus lives, said he is used to being around strangers and that he often travels 25 miles per day "just for fun." Other runners have taken well to Cactus and give him water and food at various checkpoints. His instincts have also helped runners stay on course throughout the marathon. "That dog was a beast; he ran right past me and I couldn't keep up," said Theo Holzapfel, a runner from London. "I kept following his footprints; I figured he knew where the hard sand was." Hadfield said she plans to meet Cactus at the final finish line on Saturday to take him back home.


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