Man’s best friend3/31/2015
Researchers are now preparing a study seeking to confirm that dog slobber, by itself (and not just the psychological advantages of playing with and petting a dog), might provide human health benefits (such as relief from asthma, allergies and inflammation). Specialists from the University of Arizona and University of California San Diego point to existing evidence of the comparative healthiness of dog-owning families and suspect that canine saliva, like yogurt, may have unusual probiotic value.
Public policymaking in the United States is often gridlocked by recalcitrant ideologues, but at least administrators are not constrained by elves, as in Iceland. After seven years of controversy, the country’s Road Administration recently approved a new pathway near Reykjavik that had been delayed by a troublesome, 70-ton boulder in the right-of-way — which could not be dislodged because it is believed to be a “church” for the country’s legendary “hidden people.” The elves’ leading spokeswoman, Ragnhildur Jonsdottir, finally declared, to officials’ relief, that the elves had accepted the boulder’s relocation (to the side of the road), having “been preparing for this for a long time, moving their energy to the new location.”
A London man agreed to pay the equivalent of $500 for surgery on a nondescript office-aquarium goldfish, to relieve its constipation. Subsequently, however, veterinarians in Scotland (charging the equivalent of $750) performed cancer surgery on two goldfish, and in September 2014, in Melbourne, Australia, a goldfish received “brain surgery” (for the apparent bargain of $200).
Japan may have its cat restaurants (where loaner felines lounge during meals) and even its penguin bar in Ikebukuro, and London (as reported here a month ago) an experimental owl cafe (with specially domesticated birds perched on diners’ shoulders), but not to be outdone, an entrepreneur in Seoul, South Korea, guesses that his Thanks to Nature Cafe will be a big hit — with sheep wandering through the dining room. (After all, according to the lunar calendar, 2015 is the Chinese zodiac Year of the Sheep.) Owner Lee Kwang-ho said his novel business model has attracted visitors from Macedonia, Saudi Arabia and New Zealand, among other countries.
Come on baby
Near Darwin, Australia, in February, an unnamed woman living in an RV came face-to-face with a snake and decided to encourage the serpent to leave — by lighting a fire beneath the RV’s floor. The vehicle was destroyed but, said the police superintendent, “we don’t know what happened to the snake.”
Supporting the troops
Federal law prohibits foreclosures and repossessions (unless by court order) against active-duty military members, but Americans would hardly know that from observing creditors. A 2012 Government Accountability Office report found at least 15,000 violations by U.S. financial institutions, small and large, including J.P. Morgan Chase (violations News of the Weird reported in 2011). In February, auto lender Santander Consumer USA agreed to pay $9.35 million to settle charges that it illegally seized cars of 760 service members (some while deployed in war zones) over the last five years.
Dentist Leopold Weinstein, 63, was arrested in February in Camarillo, California, and charged with suspicion of setting fire to three competing dental offices (one for the fourth time). One victim said the arsonist even drilled holes in the roof and poured in gasoline to accelerate the blaze. (Later in February, in Hua Hin, Thailand, a 36-year-old woman was arrested for scattering screws on a busy street in order to increase business for her husband’s tire shop.)
Padge-Victoria Windslowe, a “Gothic hip-hop” performer known as “Black Madam” who carried out buttocks-enhancement procedures on the side (“thousands,” she bragged) using industrial-grade silicone (and Krazy Glue to seal the injection site), was convicted in Philadelphia in March of the third-degree murder of one “patient” whose silicone leaked to her lungs. During the trial, Windslowe told the jury she had been called the “Michelangelo of buttocks injections” — though the reigning overachiever still appears to be Ron Oneal Morris, some of whose patients achieved higher booty-circumference numbers. CV
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