Bright Ideas

A councilman in Overtornea, Sweden, introduced a bill (a “motion”) that workers be given paid “sex breaks” during the business day in order to improve well-being and, thus, job performance. The primary beneficiaries would be married, fertile couples, but all workers would receive the benefit. And employers, said Councillor Per-Erik Muskos, would have to “trust” their employees because some surely would “cheat” (by not having sex!).

Not Clever Enough

Daniel Crowninshield, 54, pleaded guilty in federal court in Sacramento in 2016 to illegally manufacturing assault weapons that had no serial numbers—despite efforts to circumvent the law by claiming that his customers actually “made” their own weapons using his equipment. Crowninshield (known as “Dr-Death” online), an expert machinist, would take a “blank” metal casting and, using special equipment and computer programs, create the firing mechanism for a numberless AR-15—provided the customer presses a button to start the process. “Pressing the button,” Crowninshield figured, made the customer the creator, not a buyer or transferee of the gun, and thus exempt from federal law. In February, Judge Troy Nunley, unimpressed, sentenced Crowninshield to three years and five months in prison.

Leading Economic Indicators

In a first-person profile for the Chicago Tribune in February, marketing consultant Peter Bender, 28, recalled how he worked to maximize his knowledge of the products of company client Hanes – and not just the flagship Hanes underwear but its Playtex and Maidenform brands. In an “empathy” exercise, Bender wore bras for three days (a sports bra, an underwire and a lacy one) – fitted at size 34A (or “less than A,” he said). “These things are difficult,” he wrote on a company blog. “The lacy one,” especially, was “itchy.”

Armed and Clumsy 

Men (women rarely appear here) Who Accidentally Shot Themselves Recently: Hunter Richardson, 19, Orange, Massachusetts, December (testing an iced-over lake with the butt end of his muzzle-loader). Three unnamed boys (ages 15, 15, and 16), Williamson County, Illinois, January (shot themselves with the same shotgun while “preparing” to go hunting). Suspected convenience store robber, Cleveland, Ohio, July (the old waistband-for-a-holster mishap, shot to the “groin”). James Short, 72, New Carlisle, Ohio, September (reached for his ringing phone in his dentist’s waiting room but instead yanked out his gun). Andrew Abellanosa, 30, Anchorage, Alaska, November (shot himself in the leg in a bar, twice in the same sequence). A 50-year-old man, Oshawa, Ontario, February (making a Valentine’s necklace out of a bullet by pulling it apart with vice grips).

News You Can Use

“Fecal transplants” (replacing a sick person’s gut bacteria with those of a healthier one) are now almost routine treatments for patients with violent abdominal attacks of C. diff bacteria, but University of California researcher Chris Callewaert says the concept also works for people with particularly stinky armpits. Testing identical twins (one odoriferous, the other not), the researcher, controlling for diet and other variables, “cured” the smelly one by swabbing his pit daily with the sweat of the better-smelling twin. The Callewaert team told a recent conference that they were working on a more “general” brew of bacteria that might help out anyone with sour armpits.

The Weirdo-American Community

Stephen Reed, the former mayor of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty on the eve of his January trial on corruption counts stemming from the approximately 10,000 items of “Wild West” and “Americana” artifacts worth around $8 million that he had bought with public funds during 28 years in office. For some reason, he had a single-minded obsession with creating a local all-things-cowboy museum, and had purchased such items as a stagecoach, stagecoach harnesses, a “Billy the Kid” wanted poster, a wagon wheel and a totem pole. Somehow, he explained, as he was leaving office after being voted out in 2009, the items he had purchased (theoretically, “on behalf of” of Harrisburg) had migrated into his personal belongings.

A News of the Weird Classic (May 2013) 

Caribou Baby, a Brooklyn, New York, “eco-friendly maternity, baby and lifestyle store,” recently (2013) hosted gatherings at which parents exchanged tips on “elimination communication” – the weaning of infants without benefit of diapers. Parents watch for cues, such as a certain “cry or grimace” that supposedly signals the need to hoist the tot onto a potty. The little darlings’ public appearances sometimes call for diapers, but can also be dealt with behind a tree, they say. Said one shocked parent, “I have absolutely been at parties and witnessed people putting their baby over the sink.” (Update: The maternity store is now called Wild Was Mama, and “elimination communication” meetings are not mentioned.)

 

 

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Chuck Shepherd
Copyright 2015 Chuck Shepherd. Distributed by Universal Uclick

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