US Customs and Border Protection seized a human brain that was part of an international mail shipment from Canada to the United States. They discovered the brain during an inspection at Blue Water Bridge between Port Huron, Michigan, US and Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. The brain was on its way from Toronto to Kenosha, Wisconsin. From Fox5NY:
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During the routine mail operation, they say they came across a shipment manifested as an "Antique Teaching Specimen..."
The brain specimen is being investigated by the CDC for any potential infectious biological agents, infectious substances, and a decision on what to do with the specimen.
Former United States postal worker Jason Delacruz admitted he rented a public storage unit for $49 per month to store mail he couldn't deliver, reports CNN. He pleaded guilty to delay of mail by a postal employee and will be sentenced in February.
Agents from the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General found almost 5,000 pieces of mail in the storage unit in Virginia Beach.
They discovered 97 pieces of first-class mail, which included letters from the Department of Motor Vehicles, the IRS, insurance companies, bank statements and other tax return documents.
Magazines and other publications made up 115 pieces of mail. There was also one undelivered package found in the unit. The bulk of the mail was advertisements, more than 4,700 ads at that.
Former Chesapeake, Virginia mail carrier Jason Delacruz pleaded guilty to delay of mail by a postal employee. He had been caught filling a storage unit for "the sole purpose of storing mail he could not deliver," according to the court records. According to the report, Delacruz felt "pressured" and was unable to "make time" to get it all delivered. He will be sentenced next month. Apparently there were more than 5,000 pieces of undelivered mail but that number reportedly includes a whopping 4,700 advertisements. From CNN:
The employee said he started hiding mail in November or December 2018 and he rented the storage unit in February 2019, according to court records. He said he put mail he was unable to deliver in the unit from that time up until he was discovered in May 2019.
Delacruz told authorities he intended to deliver the mail in the storage unit, but he fell behind and was never able to, according to court documents. He said he never destroyed any mail.
DMARC is an anti-email-spoofing tool that mail-server administrators can enable; it's designed to reject emails with forged return addresses. Read the rest
The United States Postal Service (USPS) wants to raise the fees it charges Amazon.com and other internet commerce shippers by 9 to 12 percent. This comes just months after President Donald Trump criticized the USPS, saying it gives Amazon too good of a deal. Read the rest
The UK's Royal Mail is issuing a new series of Star Wars postage stamps to celebrate the December release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. "Beautifully illustrated by UK digital artist, Malcolm Tween, some of the stamps feature secret details, revealed only by UV light," according to the Royal Mail. Read the rest
"How am I gonna get this in there? Gimme my glove back!" Read the rest
The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper received this returned mail last week. The USPS label says: “Not deliverable as addressed. Unable to forward.” No surprise, considering the letter was mailed in 1945 and the intended recipient had moved from that address before 1970 and has since died. The reporter who mailed the letter is also long dead. "How did a 68-year-old letter get delivered to the Chronicle?" Read the rest
In what Nicole Perlroth describes as "the online equivalent of a riot", Yahoo Mail users are revolting against recent updates to the service. Apparently they turned it into a confusing gmail clone with gaudy backgrounds and display advertising, or something. Read the rest
A red mailbox has mysteriously appeared on the side of a bridge crossing the River Thames in Sonning-on-Thames, Berkshire, England. Even village resident Uri Geller (yes, that Uri Geller) is puzzled by it. The Royal Mail was quick to comment that "It is certainly not an operational posting facility." (BBC News) Read the rest
Excellent collection of DIY geeky and arty mailboxes. "22 unusual and creative mailboxes you don’t see everyday" (via MAKE) Read the rest
A variety of animals have been used to deliver mail over the years, from camels and dogs to horses and pigeons. But cats? According to a 19th century article in the New York Times, around 1877 the Belgian Society for the Elevation of the Domestic Cat tested 37 cats for the task by taking them far from the city of Liege where they "promptly proceeded to 'scat.'" Within 24 hours, they had all returned home.
This result has greatly encouraged the society, and it is proposed to establish at an early day a regular system of cat communication between Liege and the neighboring villages. Messages are to be fastened in water-proof bags around the necks of the animals, and it is believed that, unless the criminal class of dogs undertakes to waylay and rob the mail-cats, the messages will be delivered with rapidity and safety.
Ron Nixon: "The Postal Service is expected to announced on Wednesday that it will stop delivering letters and other mail on Saturdays, but continue to handle packages, a move the financially struggling agency said would save about $2 billion annually as it looks for ways to cut cost." [NYT] Read the rest
Derek Watkins created a visualization tracking the spatial distribution of U.S. postal offices from the 18th to the 20th century. Gathering data from the USPS Postmaster Finder, with lat/long coordinates extracted from the USGS Geographic Names Information System, the results were animated using Processing. [Thanks, MR!] Read the rest