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News of the Weird

10/1/2014

Frontiers of flight

Dutch inventors Bart Jansen and Arjen Beltman struck again recently when Pepeijn Bruins, 13, called on them to help him grieve over his pet rat, Ratjetoe, who had to be put down because of cancer. Having heard of the inventors’ work, Pepeijn asked if they could please have Ratjetoe stuffed and turned into a radio-controlled drone. Jansen and Beltman, who had previously created an “ostrichcopter” and are now working on a “turbo shark,” created Pepeijn’s rat-copter, but remain best noted for their epic taxidermied cat, “Orvillecopter,” created in 2012 (which readers can view at nydn.us/1r0WmmA).

Recurring themes

More drivers who ran over themselves: In June, Robert Pullar, 30, Minot, North Dakota, subsequently charged with DUI, fell out of his car and was run over by it. In July, Joseph Karl, 48, jumped out of his truck to confront another driver in a road rage incident in Gainesville, Florida, but as he pounded on that driver’s window, his own truck (negligently left in gear) crept up and ran him over. Pullar and Karl were not seriously injured, but in July, a 54-year-old St. Petersburg, Florida, man was hurt badly when, attempting to climb onto the street sweeper that he operates for the city, he fell off, and the machine ran over his upper body. …

For patients who are musicians, deep brain stimulation (open-brain) surgery can provide entertainment for operating-room doctors as they correct neurological conditions such as hand tremors. In September, the concert violinist Naomi Elishuv, who has performed with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, played for surgeons at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center so they could locate the exact spot in the brain for inserting the pacemaker to control the hand-trembling that had wrecked her career. (In fact, last week’s winner of the annual Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, Eddie Adcock, 76, had finger-picked some tunes in the operating room in 2007 for his own deep brain surgery. …

HIV

Surgeons at the University of Arizona Medical Center removed a 47-pound tumor from a woman’s stomach in April — not even close to being the largest ever mentioned in News of the Weird, but likely the only such large tumor appearing in a post-operative photograph being cradled in the arms of a member of the surgical team. The patient, without insurance, had been putting off the surgery for months, which allowed the tumor to grow and to complicate the surgery — but credits “Obamacare” with finally allowing her to afford the procedure. …

Previous reports of obsessively vengeful ex-lovers seem concentrated in Japan, where some heartbroken girlfriends have relentlessly harassed their exes with thousands of phone calls for months after the breakup. However, in a September report from Rhone, France, a 33-year-old man was sentenced to prison for 10 months for harassing his ex-girlfriend with a total of 21,807 phone calls and texts over the 10 months following the split (an average of 73 a day). The man insisted that he only wanted the woman to thank him for the carpentry work he had done on her apartment.

Size matters (sometimes)

It’s not the first time that a suspect has had the idea, but usually, judges are skeptical. This time, a court in Leer, Germany, ordered a medical examination of the manhood of Herbert O., 54, to help decide a criminal charge of exhibitionism. The man’s wife testified that Herbert’s organ is “too short to hang out of (his) trousers,” as claimed by the victim of the flashing. The judge asked a local health official to make an exact measurement.

Clues at the scene

Alfred J. Shropshire III was charged in June with burglarizing a home in Lakewood, Washington, identified by his having accidentally dropped at the scene a plaque from a local Mazda dealer naming Alfred J. Shropshire III Salesperson of the Month.

Least competent criminal

John Martinez, 68, was arrested for allegedly robbing a Wells Fargo bank in Denver in July, having been identified by bank personnel who remembered that the robber wore a black T-shirt with “John” on it and in part because video revealed that a silver Honda registered to “John Martinez,” was waiting outside for his getaway. CV

Read more weird news at www.WeirdUniverse.net.

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