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News of the Weird

A paper drone

9/16/2015

The Federal Aviation Administration recently granted (likely for the first time ever) an application to fly a paper airplane. Prominent drone advocate Peter Sachs had applied to conduct commercial aerial photography with his “aircraft” and the agency, concerned with air traffic safety, accommodated by treating the request under the rules for manned flights (that, among other restrictions, Sachs must not exceed 100 mph and must engage a licensed airplane pilot to fly it). “With this grant,” said the “victorious” Sachs, “the FAA has abandoned all logic and sensibility.”

Questionable judgments
Because temperatures were in the high 90s the last weekend in August, tourists visiting the historical Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland were greeted by the outdoor sprinkler system dousing them near the gates. It was intended as relief, said operators, to keep guests from fainting, but, as one Israeli visitor said, “It was a punch to the gut” — too reminiscent of Auschwitz’s gas chamber. (Jewish prisoners had been marched calmly to their deaths under the pretense that they were only being taken for showers.)

Saving money
DIY dentistry seemed off-limits — until amateur orthodontia got a boost from a 2012 YouTube video in which Shalom DeSota, now 17, praised rubber bands for teeth-straightening. DeSota’s family lacked dental insurance at the time, so the would-be actress experimented by looping rubber bands around two front teeth she wanted to draw together. Many painful days later, she succeeded. The American Association of Orthodontists expressed alarm in August at the video’s recent popularity. So much could go wrong — infection, gum-tearing, detachment between tooth and gums — that DeSota, the organization said, had simply been lucky.

Digital world
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction announced in July that it would be experimenting with online phys ed courses for high schoolers. Students would watch videos on certain activities, then engage in them, and later self-report their (as the agency calls it) “mastery.”

New world order
British police warned in August of a brand-new sex crime based on the iPhone app AirDrop. The app sends text or photos instantly to nearby AirDrop users (who choose to receive from “contacts” or from “everyone”). Thus, perverts can “flash” strangers by posting nude pictures of themselves to reach AirDrop users set carelessly (or purposely!) to “everyone.”

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Government inaction
The streets of Jackson, Mississippi, apparently have potholes that rival the worst in the country, but without adequate budget to fix them, according to Mayor Tony Yarber. His remedy, offered earnestly to constituents in August: prayer. “I believe we can pray potholes away.”

Names in the news
Charged with choking and punching his fiancee: Mr. Daniel Gentleman, 28 (Prescott, Arizona, May). Charged with killing her husband and burying his body in a manure pile on their farm: Ms. Charlene Mess, 48 (Attica, New York, April). Charged with sexual assault: Mr. Huckleberry Finn (Keene, New Hampshire, July). And prominent in the news (confusingly so) when the Food and Drug Administration approved the so-called “female Viagra” drug Addyi in August: FDA spokesperson Dr. Janet Woodcock.

Least competent people
“Selfies” continue to take their devastating toll on Americans. On Aug. 30 in Orient, Maine, driver Jordan Toner, 29, attempting to lean into a seven-person selfie among his passengers, crashed into a tree, causing numerous injuries. On Aug. 24, Alex Gomez, 36, of Lake Elsinore, California, tried to take one after draping an angry 4-foot-long rattlesnake around his neck. The predictable bite was damaging but not fatal. On Sept. 1 in Houston, a 19-year-old man taking selfies while clumsily fondling his handgun is no longer with us.

More “slow TV”
Norwegian TV viewers have somehow given strong ratings to a series of seemingly interminable programs (a continuous camera on a salmon-fishing vessel, 12 hours of live log-burning with commentary, five hours of knitters spinning their way to a world record, 100 straight hours of chess-playing, a five-day stretch from a cruise ship), and in August were presented another such gift. The Norwegian caviar company Mills said it would live stream, on a YouTube channel, nearly 11 months of fish eggs aging 24/7 in barrels — 7,392 hours of “programming.” CV

Read more weird news at www.dmcityview.com or www.WeirdUniverse.net.

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