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Friday, Oct. 12, 2012

Chuck Shepherd's News Of The Weird

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Money’s Worth

Dakoda Garren, 19, was arrested in Vancouver, Wash., in September on suspicion of stealing an antique coin collection in May that was estimated to be worth $100,000. Garren and his girlfriend were identified after spending some of the coins at a movie theater and a pizza restaurant, including using a rare Liberty Head quarter (estimated to be worth between $1,100 and $18,500) at its face value of 25 cents.

 

Looking Good

For some reason, South Korea (with about one-sixth the number of men that America has) is the world's largest consumer of male cosmetics, with its leading company approaching $1 billion a year in sales. According to a September Bloomberg Businessweek dispatch, about a decade ago South Korean males became fascinated with the country’s “flower men,” a group of celebrities and athletes, including a prominent player for the nation’s 2002 World Cup soccer team, who had smooth, flawless skin—and the craze took off from there. Said a male college student, "Having a clean, neat face makes you look sophisticated and creates an image that you can handle yourself well." Makeup routines include drawing "thicker, bolder" eyebrows and, of course, expert application of lipstick. Said one admiring woman, "I feel like I have more to talk about with guys who use makeup."

 

Overachievers

(1) KETV (Omaha, Neb.) reported in September that local mother Andrea Kirby had decided to give away her stored-up breast milk to a family in greater need. She had amassed a freezer-full of 44 gallons for her now-8-month-old child. (2) How Hard Could Medical School Be? Tokyo police arrested Miyabi Kuroki, 43, in September, and charged him with forging a medical license in 2009 and subsequently treating patients at a Tokyo hospital, providing, among other things, medical interviews and electrocardiogram counseling. Hospital officials estimate he "treated" 2,300 patients before being caught.

 

Great Art!

Without the work of scientists Gregory Gage and Tim Marzullo, we might never know about playing a loud hip-hop song to create vibrations that make squids' pigmented cells change colors. The men's Backyard Brains setup involved a 1993 Cypress Hill hit ("Insane in the Brain"), an iPod nano and a "suction electrode" to jar a Longfin Inshore's muscles to reveal the squid's chromatophores that are either red, brown or yellow. A Time magazine writer gave her take on the work's reason for being: "Because really, you know, why not?"

 

People Who Are a Mess

Ihor Stetkewycz appeared in court in Warren, Mich., in June to answer for an indecent exposure incident, brought on, he told the judge, because his pants (purchased by his mother) were "10 sizes" too large. According to police sources, Stetkewycz had also recently dumped large sections of a tree in the middle of a street in Detroit; had protection orders against him from two neighbors; was late to the hearing in June because he raced down Interstate 94 chasing his allegedly stolen car that he had spotted on the way to court; and told a female TV reporter inquiring about the tree stumps, "I don't take no orders from no woman, by the way." He did promise to go clean up the tree parts: "I'm Mr. Clean Up."

 

Government in Action!

Cliché Come to Life: In an August report, the inspector general of the Department of Veterans Affairs warned that the sixth floor of the regional office building in Winston-Salem, N.C., was in danger of collapsing because there were too many claims files stacked on top of file cabinets. "We noticed floors bowing under the excess weight to the extent that the tops of file cabinets were noticeably un-level throughout the storage area." The report also warned of the potential of files falling on, and injuring, employees. For the short term, the agency relocated all the excess folders (estimated number: 37,000) on the sixth floor to offices on other floors.

 

© 2012 Chuck Shepherd