Friday, January 21, 2022

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News of the Weird

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 wound, admitted the vagina itself (not a photograph) into evidence. The organ had been removed for autopsy and preserved, and the chief medical examiner donned rubber gloves and pointed out to jurors how “clean” the wound was (suggesting a sharp object), rather than the rougher, “scraping” wound that would have been created in other ways, such as by impalement.


News you can use

Researchers from Cornell University, inspired by the book “World War Z,” recently computer-simulated the spread of a “zombie apocalypse” — and now advise the anxiety-prone to head for higher ground if infections break out, recommending Glacier National Park in Montana or, even better, Alaska. Using differential equations and “lattice-based” models, the statisticians demonstrated that infections would slow dramatically as fewer people became available to bite (but that, ultimately, we’re all doomed). The state most quickly wiped out? New Jersey.



Legislators’ war on science

Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore told a radio audience in February that she would soon introduce a bill reforming end-of-life procedures for terminally ill cancer patients, such as administering baking soda intravenously to “flush out” the cancer “fungus.” Before her election in 2013, she was CEO of Always There Personal Care of Nevada (which she describes as being “in the healthcare industry”). (Bonus: Fiore blames her accountant for the company’s reported $1 million in IRS tax liens; the accountant is her ex-husband.)



The international sportswear retailer Bjorn Borg (namesake of the Swedish tennis player) created a promotional video game (now also sold separately) that encourages not mayhem and murder, but the vanquishing of one’s opponents with love — and “lovingly” stripping them down so that they can be outfitted in Bjorn Borg fashions. Said a company official, a player’s mission is “to liberate haters by undressing them with your love guns and (then to) dress them in Bjorn Borg clothing.” (The game also features “teddy bear smoke grenades” and a shirtless man resembling Vladimir Putin astride a bear.)


Breaking bad

Mark Rothwell made the news in Portland, Oregon, in March 2010 when he prevented a bank robbery (and rescued the terrified Chase teller) by jumping the thief, knocking his gun away and holding him until police arrived. He was later awarded a coveted Portland police Civilian Medal for Heroism. However, on Feb. 19, 2015, according to an arrest report, Rothwell himself pulled a gun and robbed the Albina Community Bank in Portland, making off with $15,700.


Big crime

Morrison Wilson, 58, was convicted of assault in Belfast (Northern Ireland) Magistrates Court in February for using his admittedly “big belly” to “bounce” an aggressive neighbor lady out of his garden in a dispute. The lady was injured as she fell backward. (2) In a March skirmish over a handicapped- parking space at a Walmart in Greenfield, Wisconsin, Ms. Kezia Perkins, 32, was charged with assaulting a 71-year-old woman by, said a witness, “chest-butt(ing) her,” knocking her to the ground. Said Perkins, “It’s not my fault (she) bounced off my big (chest).”


Cavalcade of rednecks

A 37-year-old man and two female companions were charged in February with stealing tailgates from nine trucks in the Orlando area. (Their spree ended when, noticing that a club owner had offered a reward on Facebook for his branded tailgate, the three tried to sell it back to him but botched the transaction.


Least competent criminals

Aleksander Tomaszewski, 33, was convicted of filing a false police report after a January incident in Lane County, Oregon, when he claimed police had beaten him up in his cell after his arrest for stalking and sexual abuse. Tomaszewski’s face evidenced a beating, but he was obviously unaware of the surveillance camera, which revealed that, over a four-minute period, Tomaszewski (alone in his cell) had punched himself in the face 45 times to create the “police” attack. CV


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