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News of the Weird

12/4/2013

Family of Man

The Marvels of Science: The notorious white separatist Craig Cobb is currently soliciting like-skinned people to move to his tiny town of Leith, N.D. (pop. 16), to create a deluxe Caucasian enclave, but upon the urging of a black TV host to submitting to a DNA test in November to “prove” his lineage, it turned up Cobb is 14 percent black (“Sub-Saharan African”). He has vowed to try other DNA tests before confirming those results. Bobby Harper, previously Leith’s only black resident, was gleeful: “I knew there was one other black person in town.” (In mid-November, Cobb was charged, along with an associate, with seven counts of terrorism for walking menacingly through Leith wielding a long gun.)

 

Government in Action

Though many people might agree with blind musician Stevie Wonder that it is “crazy” to let people like him carry guns, federal and state laws seem ambiguous, according to a lengthy analysis reported in the Des Moines Register in September. Some Iowa sheriffs believe that federal anti-discrimination law limits their discretion (though they can deny permits for lack of physical or mental ability to handle the gun). The National Federation of the Blind generally trusts its members never to use guns recklessly, a spokesman said, and blind Iowa activist Michael Barber emphasized his right. “(Y)ou take it out and point and shoot,” he said, “and I don’t necessarily think eyesight is necessary. For me, the inspiration is just to see if I run into any difficulties.”

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Great Art!

News sites reported in October that 27-year-old Leandro Granato sells his “eye paintings,” ink colors sucked up his nose and splattered out his eye on canvas (from up to one-and-a-half pints of ink each), for the equivalent price of $2,400 each. (Huffington Post’s story also reminded readers that Chilean artist Carina Ubeda is another who uses her menstrual blood in the form of 90 used sanitary napkins arranged in a hoop featuring an apple, symbolizing ovulation.)

 

Informal Sobriety Tests

Rachel Gossett blew a .216 alcohol reading in Loganville, Ga., in November, after an officer witnessed her attempt to put a cheeseburger onto her foot as if it were a shoe. And Rashad Williams, 38, was charged with DUI in Atlanta in October after he crashed through the front of a Walgreens drugstore and, according to a witness, calmly exited his vehicle (which was sticking halfway into the building) and resumed drinking at a bar next door.

 

Round Up the Usual Suspect

Indicted for rape in August in Hamilton County, Tenn.: Mr. John Allan Raper, 19. (Other recent miscreants were Mr. Batman Suparman, 23, convicted in Singapore in November of housebreaking and theft, and Mr. Bamboo Flute Blanchard, 18, who was arrested in June in Gainesville, Fla., and accused of trying to stab his father for an unreported provocation — although one possible motive suggests itself.) …

Sheriff’s deputy Darrell Mathis of Newton County, Ga. (30 miles east of Atlanta), a five-year veteran, was arrested in September and charged with selling marijuana locally from his squad car, in uniform, and apparently without inhibition. A confidential informant, unnerved by Mathis’ alleged brazenness, convinced FBI agents in April 2013 to do a by-the-book sting (with which Mathis, of course, naively cooperated, according to bureau affidavits).

 

Sights to Behold

In a courthouse lobby in Kelso, Wash., in October, a woman brought a cake in with her through security. Without warning, Robert Fredrickson, a stranger who was also in the building on business attacked — the cake, not the woman — feeding himself with his hands before washing them off at a drinking fountain. “(S)tand right there. Don’t move,” yelled a deputy, attempting to bring Fredrickson to justice. As soon as the officer looked away, however, Fredrickson returned to clawing at the cake and stuffing his mouth. Finally, several deputies arrived to subdue Fredrickson and charge him with theft and resisting arrest.

 

Least Competent Criminals

Not Ready for Prime Time: Derek Codd, 19, apparently left his cellphone, by accident, at the house in Lake Worth, Fla., that he had burglarized in November, and just as investigating officers were arriving and noticed it, the phone rang. (“Who is this?” an officer asked. The caller answered innocently, “Derek Codd’s mother.” Derek Codd was arrested a short time later.) CV

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