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news of the weird 7/14/15

By Chuck Shepherd Update California inventor Matt McMullen, who makes the world’s most realistic life-sized female doll, the RealDoll (with exquisite skin texture and facial and body architecture, sells for $5,000 to $10,000, depending on customization), is working with engineers experienced in robotics to add animation—but according to a June New York Times report, faces […]

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news of the weird 7/7/2015

by Chuck Shepherd That New York Attitude Gregory Reddick, 54, and his employer, SJQ Sightseeing Tours, filed a lawsuit in June against New York City for “harass(ing)” them and hampering their ability to rip off tourists, specifically, interfering with their “right” to sell tickets for $200 or more for trips on the Staten Island Fertry—which […]

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News of the weird: 06/30

By Chuck Shepherd   What Cannibals Can Teach Us Researchers studying the human-brain-eating Fore tribe of Papua New Guinea reported in a June journal article that they have identified the specific prion resistance gene that appears to offer complete protection against mad cow disease and perhaps other neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia and Parkinson’s. The […]

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News of the weird: 06/23

 By Chuck Shepherd Living Small Apartment buyers in ridiculously expensive Hong Kong are now eagerly paying up to the equivalent of $500,000 (U.S.) for units not much bigger than a U.S. parking space (and typically self-measured by the applicant’s wing-span). An agent told The Wall Street Journal in June that, for example, standard furniture does […]

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News of the weird: 06/09

By Chuck Shepherd Crime Does Pay When officials in Richmond, California, learned in 2009 that 70 percent of the city’s murders and firearms assaults were directly linked to 17 people, they decided on a bold program: to pay off those 17 to behave themselves. For a budget of about $1.2 million a year, the program […]

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News of the weird: 06/02

By Chuck Shepherd Great Art Class! Among the requirements of “Visual Arts 104A” at the University of California, San Diego is that, for the final exam, students would make a presentation while nude, in a darkened room. Professor Ricardo Dominguez (who would also be nude for the finals) told KGTV in May that a nude […]

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News of the weird: 05/26

By Chuck Shepherd Is This a Great Country or What? There’s hardly a more “generic” song in America than “Happy Birthday to You,” but to this day (until a judge renders a decision in a pending case), Warner/Chappel Music is still trying to make big dollars off of the 16-word ditty (15 original words plus […]

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News of the weird: 05/19

By Chuck Shepherd Lead Story – Donating for dollars Already, healthy people can donate blood, sperm and eggs, but now the nonprofit OpenBiome offers donors $40 for bowel movements – to supply “fecal transplants” for patients with nasty C. difficile bacterial infections. (“Healthy” contents are transplanted into the infected gut via endoscope or frozen swallowed […]

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News of the weird: 05/12

By Chuck Shepherd Marital enhancement Saudi Arabia’s very first sex accessory shop (in the holy city of Mecca) should be opening soon, according to news reports – operated by a Moroccan Muslim, backed by the German adult mega-retailer Beate Uhse, and supposedly fully compliant with Islamic law. Owner Abdelaziz Aouragh told Agence France-Presse he would […]

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News of the weird: 05/05

By Chuck Shepherd World’s worst sculptor It seemed like a good idea when the village of Celoron, New York, paid for a bronze statue honoring one of its only celebrities, Lucille Ball, in 2009. Ball had spent her childhood years there, and, even today, everyone “Loves Lucy.” However, the result was apparently a monstrosity, described […]

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News of the weird: 04/28

By Chuck Shepherd Hard-hitting numbers In March, offensive lineman John Urschel of the Baltimore Ravens added to his curriculum vitae by co-authoring the latest of his several peer-reviewed academic articles – “A Cascadic Multigrid Algorithm for Computing the Fiedler Vector of Graph Laplacians” in the Journal of Computational Mathematics. If Urschel can understand, and even […]

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News of the weird: 04/21

By Chuck Shepherd Government in action The predawn line in March actually started forming at midnight, snaking around the building in Maitland, Florida, but it wasn’t for concert tickets. The dozens of people needed coveted visitor passes just to speak to an IRS agent – because budget cuts and personnel reductions have limited services. “I […]

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News of the weird: 04/14

By Chuck Shepherd Wait, what? An unarmed man, suspected of no crime, who three years ago was shot 16 times by police while lying in his bed, told a Seattle Times reporter in March that he bears no ill will for the cops who shot him. Said Dustin Theoharis, now 32, “Sometimes (police) make mistakes.” […]

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News of the weird: 04/07

By Chuck Shepherd Man’s Best Friend Researchers are now preparing a study seeking to confirm that dog slobber, by itself (and not just the psychological advantages of playing with and petting a dog), might provide human health benefits (such as relief from asthma, allergies and inflammation). Specialists from the University of Arizona and University of […]

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News of the Weird: 3/31

By Chuck Shepherd The continuing crisis The trendy St. Pauli neighborhood in historic Hamburg, Germany, suffers its share of uncouth revelers who wander out from nightclubs seeking restroom facilities but too often choose walls of storefronts and private homes, reported London’s The Guardian in a March dispatch. The solution, according to the civic group IG […]

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News of the weird: 03/24

By Chuck Shepherd Anatomy Class in Court “This will be upsetting,” cautioned Justice Robert Graesser, addressing jurors in February in the Edmonton, Alberta, murder trial of Brad Barton. At issue was the cause of the victim’s having bled to death from her genitals, and the judge, ruling that jurors would benefit by inspecting the actual […]

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Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/19

L&D

Major key Last weekend a local couple was watching TV in their living room, having a relaxing evening, when suddenly […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/12

L&D

Jesus take the wheel A local couple recently decided to visit their church on a particularly warm and muggy Sunday […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/5

L&D

Flightless In a local park, police were dispatched to the crime scene. A woman called the police when she realized […]

The Docket: 8/29

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Stolen in a nanosecond Just last week a woman visited her local sheriff’s office to place a tip on a […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 8/22

L&D

Totally secure knot …not In a local home a garage door was broken into. This garage door was perfectly secured […]