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News of the Weird


Weird old world

“The Chinese fondness for napping in odd places is a well-documented phenomenon, one that’s spawned a popular website and even a book,” wrote The Wall Street Journal in a July dispatch. In a recent photo essay, a Getty Images photographer captured a series of shots of customers catching 40 winks in various furniture departments of IKEA stores, which officially does “not see it as a problem,” according to a spokesman. Maybe “we can sell an extra mattress or two.”

Police Report

The robber of a Chase Bank in Tucson, Arizona, in March is still on the loose even though surveillance video has been widely distributed. An additional detail from the video: The man pulled the holdup while carrying a small dog in a basket.

Donkeys Rising

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa

In Turkey, some shepherds have outfitted their sheep-monitoring donkeys with solar panels and battery packs to illuminate nighttime-isolated fields in emergencies. Thus, for instance, pregnant animals can be aided during field births and not have to return to the farms. …

In an interview with, the Swiss founder of Eurolactis touts donkey milk as the preferred substitute for cow milk — since donkeys have only one stomach, as humans have. On the other hand, as pointed out, milk-drinkers, especially, must learn to ignore the A-word nickname for “donkey.”

The Foreign Press

Five siblings in a rural Turkish family near the Syrian border were discovered by researchers in 2005 to be natural, fluid quadruped walkers (hands and feet to the ground, rear ends up), which was thought at the time possibly to mark the first known “turnaround” in human evolution. However, the siblings were re-characterized by recent PLOS One journal research as merely accommodating a musculo-skeletal imbalance in the brain. Other members of the family have normal gaits, and the five quadrupeds show additional developmental issues. …

Also, from the foreign press: Moscow Times reported the arrest of “Tomas” in Moscow in March for allegedly stealing a mobile phone, noting that he was referred to adult court even though family members claim he is only 13. Officials decided he must be at least 16, based on medical examination — especially “of his genitals.” …

Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News reported in May that a 62-year-old man on an Istanbul TV dating show said he was just “an honest person looking for a new wife” — while also casually mentioning that he had served two prison terms, one for murdering one wife and the other for murdering a girlfriend. “Bad luck always found me,” he said. “This time I’ll leave it to God.”


Critics praised bad-girl British artist Tracey Emin’s 1998 furniture-and-effects exhibit, “My Bed,” supposedly representing a failed romantic relationship, featuring mussed sheets and, littering the room, empty vodka bottles and used condoms. Prominent collector Charles Saatchi turned heads when he bought the piece for the equivalent of about $200,000, and in June, almost 15 years later, he sold “My Bed” at auction for the equivalent of $4,330,000.

Bad, Bad Samaritan!

Roy Ortiz hired a lawyer in March and said he was considering suing the first responders who rescued him during the historic September 2013 flooding around Broomfield, Colorado — because they failed to find him fast enough when his car plunged into raging waters. …

In March, Houston sheriff’s deputy Brady Pullen filed a lawsuit against the grieving family of the delusional man he was forced to shoot and kill during a 2012 emergency call — because Pullen had been injured in the skirmish and believes the family failed to warn him just how dangerous Kemal Yazar was. Also, in Alcona, Ontario, in April, Sharlene Simon, 42, filed a lawsuit against the family of the teenage bicyclist she accidentally ran down, fatally, in 2012 — claiming that the boy’s dangerous joyriding at 1:30 a.m. initiated the events that left her traumatized.

A News of the Weird Classic (March 2010)

At first, Rev. Fred Armfield’s arrest for patronizing a prostitute in Greenwood, South Carolina, in January (2010) looked uncontroversial, with Armfield allegedly confessing that he had bargained Melinda “Truck Stop” Robinson down from $10 to $5 for oral sex. Several days later, however, Armfield formally disputed the arrest, calling himself a “descendant of the original Moro-Pithecus Disoch, Kenyapithecus and Afro Pithecus,” a “living flesh-and-blood being” who, based on his (high) character and community standing, should not be prosecuted. CV

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