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Friday, Jan. 25, 2013

Chuck Shepherd's News Of The Weird

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The Entrepreneurial Spirit!
  • The Chinese fashion designer "Ms. Lv" told China Newsweek in November that her sales had "quintupled" since she began using her 72-year-old grandfather to model her clothing styles for girls. "(It's) helping my granddaughter," Liu Xianping said. "I'm very old," he said. He adds, "I have nothing to lose."
  • Leading a "jerky renaissance" is Krave, a Sonoma, Calif., company creating nontraditional flavors such as turkey jerky and jerky flavored with basil citrus or lemon garlic. Actually, Krave points out, jerky is rich in protein, with low calories and fat (but with, admittedly, sky-high sodium) and could be reasonably pitched as a healthy snack. However, jerky's main obstacle (a Krave competitor's CEO told The Wall Street Journal in September) is "jerky shame," in which some male consumers remain mortified that their girlfriends might see them enjoying the snack.
 Science on the Cutting Edge

Behold, the "MacGyver" Spider: Biologist Phil Torres, working from the Tambopata national park in Peru, revealed in December that he had witnessed a tiny Cyclosa spider construct a replica of an eight-legged spider in a web made of leaves, debris and dead insects. Since the real spider was found nearby, Torres hypothesized that the wily arachnid had built a decoy to confuse predators.

Perspective

First-World Crisis: Tufts University opened America's first animal obesity clinic at its veterinary hospital in North Grafton, Mass., in September, to supply nutrition information and to help owners develop weight-loss regimens for their pets. Without treatment, veterinarians told the Tufts Daily newspaper, pet obesity can lead to pancreatitis, joint disorders and skin disease. One of its first clients was a golden retriever (a breed known for its desire to run but also known for its adaptability to non-running lifestyles), who now requires $90 prescription dog food—though the owner reports that his best friend has lost eight pounds and is thus almost halfway to his goal of 87.

Least Competent Criminals
  • Demarco Thomas, 30, was arrested in Tucson, Ariz., in November, as a drug courier for what the Arizona Daily Star called a "local cartel," after Thomas himself had called police the day before. Thomas feared being whacked by the cartel because he had come up $20,000 short in the latest delivery. According to police, Thomas brought money in suitcases from North Carolina to his Tucson contact—except for a little bit that he had somehow "misplaced." A police search of Thomas revealed almost exactly $20,000 on his person, and Thomas, about to be arrested, allegedly asked officers if they would please write a note to the cartel informing them that police had merely seized the $20,000—and not that Thomas had tried to steal it. They declined.
  • Prosecutor's Delight: (1) Police in Guntersville, Ala., suspected that Tara Hampton had resumed dealing drugs, in violation of a first-offender's program that had kept her out of jail, and they knocked on her door to ask about some evidence they had come across. According to the police report, when Hampton opened the door for them, she was absentmindedly holding a bag of crack in her hand. (2) William Cook Jr., 27, was arrested after a manager at a Wendy's restaurant in Rome, Ga., complained that Cook was acting strangely and disturbing customers. When police asked for his ID, he provided bogus information. In a search, officers found a note in his pocket, reading, "How Bill Cook intends to rob the Wendy's on Martha Berry and get away with it," followed by lists labeled "Plan A" and "Plan B."              
            
 

©2013 CHUCK SHEPHERD

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