The other World Series
In October, another premier world sports event reached its climax, with one team left standing, rewarded for months of grueling practices, to the cheers of adoring, frenzied fans. The “world series” of professional team computer games was settled on a stage in a packed, 40,000-seat stadium in Seoul before three gigantic TV screens and an Internet audience of millions. The powerhouse Samsung White team out-moused and -keyboarded the Chinese champions at “League of Legends” using its fantasy characters to destroy opponents’ bases. The winning team took home $1 million of corporate money, but future earnings should escalate when idolized world-class players unionize and swing merchandising endorsement deals.
Can’t possibly be true
Carnell Alexander at one point owed about $60,000 in child support for a kid he did not father (according to a DNA test) and knew nothing about, but despite “successfully” challenging the claim 20 years ago, he still owes about $30,000. The mother who accused him long ago admitted lying and while a judge thus wiped out Alexander’s debt to her, the state of Michigan nonetheless still demands that Alexander repay benefits it had paid to the mother.
Erect it and they will come
America’s largest pornography website, PornHub.com, decided recently to erect a public billboard prominently encouraging the use of its service, first selecting as its location the New York City neighborhood formerly the smut epicenter of the city, Times Square. However, that area is now respectably tourist-friendly, and the billboard had to be relocated — to Los Angeles’ West Hollywood, near the headquarters of PornHub’s parent, MindGeek. The sign features a person’s two thumbs and fingers forming a rough version of a heart, beside the message (inspired by a Beatles song), “All You Need Is Hand.”
Brits behaving Britishly bad
In October, Andrew Davies, 51, was ordered by magistrates in High Wycombe, England, not to lie down in public places anymore (unless genuinely stricken by emergency). Previously, he had a habit of making bogus “999” (911) calls to get attention, and when police confiscated his phone, he began compensating by lying in roads until compassionate passersby called for ambulances.
The new math
More than 6 million students have downloaded the new iPhone app PhotoMath to solve Algebra I and Algebra II problems by pointing the phone’s camera at a printed equation. The answer, and the explanation, quickly appear on a screen, as a teaching tool or for the students to show “their” work if PhotoMath is used on exam questions. The Croatia-based developer told the Quartz website in October that it is working on upgrades for higher-level math equations (though no relief is in sight for those chronically pesky “word problems”). Meanwhile, the debate has been triggered over whether PhotoMath is a dynamic technological advance in education — or a cheating-enabler.
Neighbors in the Mandarin neighborhood of Jacksonville, Florida, complained to the city recently about a resident who scattered hundreds of mothballs — more than 400 now — around her front yard, even driving over them in her car to crush them open and extend their noxious odor. The National Pesticide Information Center warned that the mothballs were hazards to plants, wildlife, water and air, but the female resident said she was forced into the tactic in order to prevent neighborhood dogs from defecating in her yard.
In September in Hamburg, Germany, “Charles Manson: Summer of Hate — The Musical,” opened at the Thalia Theater, covering the influences and failed musical career of the man convicted in the notorious 1969 Sharon Tate murders. And “I Am Stephon Marbury,” a musical featuring the former star NBA basketball player, ran for 11 nights in September in Beijing, where the popular Marbury has led the Beijing Ducks to national basketball championships the last two seasons.
Sean Johnson, 19, was arrested in Brooksville, Florida, in October at the Wal-Mart after he was spotted at about 3 p.m. taking a toy stuffed horse into the bedding department and masturbating with it.
Least competent criminals
Daniel Rice, 21, on the lam from jailers in Muscatine, Iowa, found himself in nearby Rock Island, Illinois, according to his 911 call to emergency personnel there. Rice had made his way to the Loud Thunder Forest Preserve, where he thought he could safely hole up, but reported that he was being chased by a pack of wild coyotes and begged for help. CV
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