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August 18-31
VOL.14 ISSUE. 26

News Quirks

Roland Sweet
Published Thursday July 9, 06:27 pm
Swiss cops thwart an art-robot’s bitcoin-fueled ecstasy quest

Photo Credit: Illustration by Myron Campbell

Swiss police arrested a robot that bought 10 ecstasy pills on the Internet. The drugs were included in a shopping list given it by the art group that designed it: !Mediengruppe Bitnik. The robot, part of the group’s exhibit in St. Gallen, was allowed a weekly budget of $100 in bitcoins to order merchandise randomly online and also purchased fake Diesel jeans, a baseball cap with a hidden camera, a stash can, Nike trainers, 200 Chesterfield cigarettes, a set of fire-department master keys, a fake Louis Vuitton handbag, and Lord of the Rings e-books. Police released the robot after determining Bitnik never intended selling or consuming the ecstasy. (The Guardian)


Sex On Wheels

Toronto has scheduled an accessible orgy for disabled people, with space for 20 wheelchairs, an interpreter for the deaf, and free admission for caretakers. The Aug. 14 event owes its existence to Stella Palikarova, 35, who is in a wheelchair because of spinal muscular atrophy but declared nothing is wrong with her libido and she is tired of people assuming there must be. “The naysayers are just subconsciously hating the fact that people in wheelchairs are having great sex, better sex than a lot of people are having,” she explained. Fellow organizer Andrew Morrison-Gurza, 31, agreed, declaring, “A wheelchair can become just a big sex toy.” Palikarova noted the “Deliciously Disabled” sex night coincides with the Parapan Am Games and hoped some of the competitors will attend her event to unwind. (Toronto Sun)


Illegal Immigrant

In June, Canadian authorities deported Tom Rolfe, 24, for fixing cracks in the wall of his girlfriend’s Edmonton apartment. Even though the British man — who was visiting on a tourist visa — did the repairs for free, officials pointed out that immigration rules prohibit tourists from performing any work that a Canadian could be hired to do. (Ottawa Sun)


Tired Of The Problem

Florida environmental officials announced a two-year, $1.6 million project to remove an estimated 90,000 used tires from the ocean off Fort Lauderdale. The tires, among 700,000 dropped in 1972, were intended to attract fish and provide a foundation for corals. Instead, few corals grew, and the tire bundles broke apart and drifted into natural reefs, killing coral and creating a lifeless vista that stretches 35 miles. “There are just tires for as far as you can see,” said Broward County biologist Pat Quinn. “They’re piled on top of each other up to five feet deep.” (Associated Press)


Poopy Poopers

Days before Germany’s new interior ministry headquarters opened in Berlin, authorities reported that someone broke in and stole all the toilet seats, faucets and toilet-paper holders. The thefts occurred two months after burglars stole all the faucets from the new intelligence agency Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) headquarters. (The Telegraph)


Fun With Ol’ Blasty

Colonial Williamsburg has proposed increasing hands-on activities at the living history museum by opening firing ranges for 18th-century black-powder muskets. “We think that giving [guests] the opportunity to handle the device, feel the weight of it, the noise, the smell, the recoil, it will provide a fun, enjoyable and, of course, educational experience,” officials said, noting the range is expected to open this fall, with six to eight lanes where shooters can load and fire the muskets. (WTKR-TV)


Is That A Kalashnikov In Your Pants Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

Police arrested Marlon Paul Alvarez, 19, after he was observed removing an AK-47 rifle on display at a pawn shop in Davie, Florida, and stuffing it down his pants. He then pulled it out, put it back and grabbed another assault rifle, which he promptly put down his pants. Owner Kevin Hughes noticed Alvarez limping out of the store, confronted him and recovered the $830 weapon. “It’s one thing to try to steal a firearm,” prosecutor Eric Linder said. “It’s another thing trying to steal an AK-47.” (South Florida Sun Sentinel)


Hand Babies And Holy Boners

Muslim televangelist Mücahid Cihad Han warned his Turkish audience that Islam strictly prohibits masturbation and “that those who have sexual intercourse with their hands will find their hands pregnant in the afterlife.” (Hurriyet Daily News)


Selfie-Inflicted Injury

Russian authorities reported that a 21-year-old woman was in “serious condition” at Moscow’s Sklifosovsky hospital after she shot herself in the temple while posing for a selfie. Police said the victim was holding the 9 mm handgun and pulled the trigger instead of clicking the camera shutter. (Agence France-Presse)


Third Time’s The Charm?

Adam Hirtle, 30, told police in Colorado Springs, Colorado, that he removed his boot and shot himself in the foot on purpose because he wanted to see how it felt. After satisfying his curiosity, he “placed his boot back on his foot and then intentionally shot himself in the foot” a second time, police said. (Denver Post)


Bowled Over

Jamie L. Gordon, 30, told police she was “struck in the head with a bowling ball” by a robber, who took $2,100 from the safe at the bowling alley where she worked in Decatur, Illinois. When the manager arrived and gave permission to view the surveillance video, Officer James Weddle observed Gordon pick up a bowling ball and “strike herself twice in the back, left side of her head,” then drop to the floor, where she remained for 13 minutes until another employee found her. Confronted with the evidence, Gordon admitted taking the money and gambling away most of it on the bowling alley’s slot machines before conking herself on the head “to make it look like she had been robbed.” (Decatur’s Herald-Review)


Incarceration Vs. Operation

When a California court ruled that the state was financially obligated to provide sex-reassignment surgery for convicted killer Michelle-Lael Norsworthy (previously Jeffrey Bryan Norsworthy), a state panel recommended that she be paroled before the surgery. (Associated Press)


Glow In The Dark Guilt

A Subway sandwich shop in Knoxville, Tennessee, became the first location in the United States to install the Intruder Spray System. The device, which has been used in 30 other countries in the past decade, sits above a door and, when activated, showers a person with synthetic DNA that can’t be washed off, is visible only under ultraviolet light and is traceable for up to seven weeks. (WATE-TV)


Wrong Arm Of The Law


Police officer Shaun Jurgens resigned from the Fredericksburg, Virginia, police department after using his Taser and pepper spray on a hit-and-run suspect traveling in the wrong direction who refused to obey orders to show his hands and exit the vehicle. Jurgens said he presumed the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but he was actually having a medical emergency — possibly a stroke. (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)


When Nicotine Patches Aren’t Enough

China is resorting to public humiliation to punish smokers. Besides increasing the fine for smoking in public buildings to 200 yuan (US$32.20), officials post the names of those who break the law three times on a website to shame them. (Washington Post)


Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

A Welsh bus company promoting its new fleet of buses posted ads on the back of them showing an apparently topless woman holding a sign saying, “Ride me all day for £3.” Outrage on social media prompted an apology from Cardiff-based New Adventure Travel, which explained the slogan was “a little tongue-in-cheek” but promised to remove the ads “within the next 24 hours.” (The Guardian)


Curses, Foiled Again

While police searched for drugs at the Akron, Ohio, home of Andrew Palmer, 46, a United Parcel Service driver delivered a package, addressed to Palmer, containing four pounds of marijuana. (

Compiled from mainstream news sources by Roland Sweet.

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