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August 18-31
VOL.14 ISSUE. 26

News Quirks

Roland Sweet
Published Wednesday November 26, 01:22 am
He would’ve gotten away with it, if not for meddling mongrels

Photo Credit: Illustration by Myron Campbell

Fugitive Daniel Rice, 21, who was wanted for theft in Iowa, was captured in rural Rock Island County, Illinois, after he called the local sheriff’s office to report being pursued by as many as 30 coyotes. Deputies recognized him as a wanted fugitive and returned him to Muscatine County authorities. (Moline’s WQAD-TV)


Build A Better Bribe

Thailand’s ruling junta said it would pay traffic police officers to refuse bribes. “We want to change perceptions and practices and to reward those who show they are clean,” police Major General Adul Narongsak said after awarding two officers $310 for refusing a $3 bribe. “We encourage people to take photographs as evidence,” he said. (Reuters)


When Art Attacks

City officials removed a $559,000 sculpture from outside a recreation centre in Calgary after it caused the sun to singe an art lover’s jacket. “It’s a beautiful, shiny object, and that, I think, is part of the problem,” Sarah Iley, the city’s art and cultural manager, said. The steel artwork, titled “Wishing Well”, has hollow hemispheres where people enter to send it text messages, which it translates into a light and sound display. Iley said the concave, mirrored interior directed an intense, narrow ray at the visitor’s jacket. The incident prompted officials to return the sculpture to the artist to fix it. (Calgary Herald)


Up And Down

Ivan Trifonov, 70, became the first person to fly a hot air balloon underground. The Austrian pilot descended to the bottom of Croatia’s 675-foot-deep Mamet Cave after maneuvering through the 200-by-230-foot entrance. “I don’t believe this is going to be repeated by anyone ever again,” Trifonov declared after his 25-minute flight. (Britain’s The Guardian)


We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boot

Women whose large calves make it difficult to zip up tight-fitting, knee-high boots are turning to doctors, who report growing popularity for plastic surgery to combat “boot bulge.” “It’s a tricky procedure,” said Dr. Matthew Schulman, a New York City plastic surgeon. “You’re using microliposuction to take out very small amounts of fat.” The procedure requires up to 10 months for recovery and is impossible for women who’re avid bike riders or runners because their calves are all muscle, Schulman noted, explaining, “There has to be at least a little fat there to perform the procedure.” (ABC News)


Nuke Yourself Useful

The U.S. government changed its mind about dismantling old nuclear weapons scheduled for retirement next year, deciding they’re an “irreplaceable national asset” that should be saved to “use in planetary defense against earthbound asteroids,” according to the National Nuclear Security Administration. The plan is one of several ways the Obama administration has focused on asteroid defense. (The Seattle Times)



A British schoolgirl assigned to gain work experience at a hardware store set it on fire, causing $1.6 million worth of damage, but her attorney insisted his client hadn’t “intended to harm anyone” but “got a bit bored.” John Mohammed told Warwick Crown Court that the girl “thought it would cause some disruption, sufficient for her to be able to go home.” (Britain’s The Express)


Sneaky Small

Pennsylvania authorities charged Eric C. Opitz, 45, with fraudulently obtaining human growth hormones by claiming they were prescribed for treatment of pituitary dwarfism. Children with that condition typically don’t reach five feet by the time they’re adults. Opitz is six-foot-three and weighs 450 pounds. (


You Can’t Run OR Hide

When Dustin Kite, 25, fled from an outdoor-gear store in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with stolen merchandise, he found himself pursued by store employees and customers who were all long-distance runners. They chased him down the street, through parking lots, over a neighbouring business’s fence and into nearby woods. By then, assistant manager Eric Loffland said, “he was definitely losing wind.” Langland and the other runners caught up with the suspect and held him until police arrived. (Chattanooga Times Free Press and Trail Runner)


Light It Up

England’s third-tier soccer club Rochdale is using powerful grow lights confiscated during drug raids to improve the turf on its field. Police donated the lights to avoid having to pay for their disposal. Groundskeeper Oli Makin said the team now has a lighting system comparable to rigs used by Premier League clubs that cost upwards of $48,000. (Associated Press)


Conflict Of Interest

Academic researchers interviewed by the media as qualified experts opposed to legalizing marijuana for medical use often are on the payroll of leading pharmaceutical companies whose costly prescription painkillers, especially addictive opioids, could be replaced by pot. When they’re quoted, their drug-industry ties aren’t revealed. (VICE)


People Are The Same Everywhere

Islamic clerics have condemned “selfie fever” involving pilgrims taking pictures of themselves at Mecca’s holy sites. Their comments appeared in an article, “Say No to Hajj Selfie,” which addressed the more than two million Muslims who made the annual pilgrimage this past October. “It is as though the only purpose of this trip is to take pictures and not worship,” Sheikh Abdul Razzaq Al-Badr said, noting that the Prophet called for a pilgrimage without boasting or showing off. “And when they return home, they say: ‘Come look at me, this is me on Ararat, this is me in Muzdalifah.’” (International Business Times)


Trade Surplus

Even though the number of British sperm donors has been increasing since 2004, they haven’t kept up with demand. As a result, Denmark and the United States have become major suppliers of sperm to British women. (BBC News)


Big Trouble

A crematorium caught fire in Henrico, Virginia, while an employee was cremating a 500-pound body. “The body was so obese that the actual body fat came off and went straight up the stack,” as manager Jerry Hendrix said, and then “the grease hit the roof and started the fire.” (Richmond’s WWBT-TV)

Compiled from mainstream news sources by Roland Sweet

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