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News of the Weird

There’s an app for that

8/5/2015

Among the health and fitness apps for computers and smartphones are sex-tracking programs to document the variety of acts and positions, degrees of frenzy and lengths of sessions (via an on-bed motion detector) — and menstrual trackers aimed at males (to help judge their partner’s fertility but also her predicted friskiness and likelihood of orgasm). Several have chart- and graph-making potential for data (noise level, average thrust frequency, duration, etc.), and of course, the highlight of many of the apps is their ability to create a “score” to rank performance — even encouraging comparisons across a range of populations and geography. (Sociologist Deborah Lupton’s app research was summarized in the July Harper’s Magazine.)

We are not alone

Scientists from Australia’s James Cook University told reporters in June that they had spotted an aggressive fish that can walk on land making its way toward the country from Papua New Guinea. The native freshwater “climbing perch” can live out of water for days and has survived short saltwater treks from PNG toward Australia’s Queensland.

The continuing crisis

Reuters reported in early July that a big loser in the nuclear pact between Iran and six world powers was (since all negotiators have gone home to sell the deal) the brothel industry of Vienna, Austria, which hosted that final round. With so many (male, mostly) diplomats in town for two stressful months, business had been robust — especially compared to the previous round in notoriously expensive Lausanne, Switzerland.

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Profile in leadership

Maryland state Delegate Ariana Kelly was charged with trespassing and indecent exposure in June after she arrived at her ex-husband’s home to drop off their kids and learned that his girlfriend was inside. According to police, she started banging on the door and ringing the bell repeatedly and, aware that her husband had a camera trained on the doorway, she faced it, exposed her breasts and shook them, one in each hand, toward the lens. Eventually, she dared an officer to arrest her. (The Washington Post reported that Kelly is a member of a legislative task force studying maternal mental health issues.)

Wrong place, wrong time

A court in Lincoln, Nebraska, which had already sent Paul Boye to prison for at least 10 years for shooting his girlfriend, ordered him in June to cover her resulting medical bills. The woman had taken a .22-caliber bullet, which left a scar cutting right through her tattoo reading “Happiness Is A Warm Gun.”

Wait, what?

Mine worker Joshua Clay claimed in a lawsuit that a foreman had twice taunted him for complaining about conditions — by restraining him and spray-painting his testicles white. Clay filed against Kielty Mine in Mingo County, West Virginia, in July, alleging that the company had forced him to work on the dirty side of a coal-dust conversion machine — a practice forbidden by federal regulations — and that when he complained, he was subjected to off-the-books discipline.

Inexplicable

A KPHO-TV news story in Phoenix featured a local doctor advising expectant mothers against “tweaking” the result of home pregnancy tests. Some women, apparently, had discovered the magic of “Photoshopping” the pink reading on the home test’s strip — to take a faint pink line (not a certified pregnancy) to make it bold (pregnant!). Although the doctor warns of the general hazard of “false positives,” the 415-word news story does not explain how Photoshopping a not-positive reading into a positive one improves the likelihood of conception.

Mangoes in the news

Josefina Tometich, 64, was arrested in Fort Myers, Florida, in June, charged with shooting out the back window of Christopher Richey’s pickup. Richey had fetched a “perfect-looking” mango from the street in front of Tometich’s house, but Tometich insisted it was hers since it had earlier fallen from her tree. (An attorney consulted by WBBH-TV said wind-blown mangoes landing on public property is a legal “gray area.”) (2) In one of the most successful redresses of grievance in history, the Venezuelan government gave Marleny Olivo a new apartment in April. Only days before, as President Nicolas Maduro toured her neighborhood in Aragua state, she had hurled a mango at him with her phone number on it, hitting him just below the ear. The new president (a “man of the people”) called her, listened to her story, and ordered a housing upgrade. CV

 

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