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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Chuck Shepherd's News of the Weird

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Fanny-Pack Fashion

During New York City's Fashion Week in February, "fanny packs" made a comeback (though designers tend to shy away from that term in favor of “hands-free bags,” “belt bags,” etc.). According to a Wall Street Journal report, the fashion accessories ranged in price from $325 for a Diane von Furstenberg to $4,675 for a "Kelly Bandeau" model by Hermes.

Smooth Reactions


A suspicious wife (who lives apart from her husband because of work requirements) flew to the couple's principal home in Wilmette, Ill., on March 4 and, upon finding another woman's clothes hanging in a closet, used a pair of scissors to cut out the crotch area on all of the woman's pants. She caused about $2,000 in damage and left the remnants in the driveway before returning to her East Coast home. According to police, neither the husband nor his female companion chose to file complaints, and the case is closed.

Least Competent Criminals


Clever, But Didn't Think It All the Way Through: (1) Daryl Davis, 30, was arrested in Springfield, Pa., in March and charged with stealing a pickup truck off of a dealer's lot. According to police, Davis had carefully forged an owner's credential for the truck at another dealership and obtained a "duplicate" key, allowing him to drive the truck off the dealer's lot. However, when he made the bogus credential, he used his own name and photograph, so he was easily tracked down. (2) In March in Houston, LaShay Simmons, 22, was charged with theft after allegedly placing more than 250 orders for Sprint phones. According to police, Simmons would order 10 to 20 phones at a time under the names of legitimate businesses, and then later call Sprint back to change the delivery location. However, she always made the second call with her own, easily traceable Sprint phone.

The Entrepreneurial Spirit


Product Giveaways: (1) As part of a promotional push, new customers who sign up for select Dish satellite TV systems at the Radio Shack in Hamilton, Mont., also receive a free Hi-Point .380 pistol or 20-gauge shotgun (after passing a background check, paid for by the store). The owner said his business has tripled since introducing the promotion in October.

Weird Science


  • Medical Marvels: (1) Supatra Sasuphan, 11, of Bangkok, was recently noted as the world's hairiest girl by the Guinness Book of World Records for her wolf-like facial hair. Sasuphan is one of only 50 people in history to be recorded with the condition, known as hypertrichosis. Though she has been teased and taunted at school, she told a reporter in February that the Guinness Book recognition has actually increased her popularity at Ratchabophit school. (2) According to a team of University of Montreal psychologists, a 23-year-old man, "Mathieu," is the first documented case of a person wholly unable to feel a musical beat or to move in time with it. The scientists report for an upcoming journal article that Mathieu sings in tune but merely flails with his body, bouncing up and down much more randomly than do people who are merely poor dancers.
  • From the September 2010 issue of the journal Endoscopy, reported by three physicians at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia: A 52-year-old woman undergoing a routine colonoscopy was shown to have a cockroach in her transverse colon.

Leading Economic Indicators

An unidentified "coal baron" in northern China recently purchased an 11-month-old, 180-pound red Tibetan mastiff from a breeder in Qingdao for the equivalent of about $1.52 million. "The price is justified," said breeder Lu Liang. "We have spent a lot of money raising this dog, and we have the salaries of plenty of staff to pay."

© 2011 Chuck Shepherd

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