Professional biology research
The job of determining stress levels in whales is itself apparently stressful. The most reliable information about tension lies in hormones most accurately measured by researchers’ boarding a boat, sidling up to a whale and waiting until it blasts snot out of its blowhole. By catching enough of it (or wiping it off of their raincoats), scientists can run the gunk through chemical tests. However, a team of engineering researchers at Olin College in Needham, Massachusetts, told The Boston Globe in September that they were on the verge of creating a radio-controlled, mucus-trapping drone that would bring greater civility to the researchers’ job.
War Is hell
The newly inaugurated “Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent” (a project of Osama bin Laden’s successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri) failed spectacularly in its maiden mission in September when it attempted to commandeer an American “aircraft carrier” in port in Karachi, Pakistan. Actually, the ship was a misidentified Pakistani naval vessel that did not even vaguely resemble an aircraft carrier, and Pakistani forces killed or captured all 10 jihadists.
Latest religious messages
In September, the Seattle-based Mars Hill megachurch announced it would close several branches as founding preacher Mark Driscoll takes personal leave to contemplate over-the-top messages he’s made in the past about women. Among the most striking statements (as gathered by the “Wenatchee the Hatchet” blog in Wenatchee, Washington) were those expressing certainty that women exist solely to support men. A man’s penis “is not your (personal) penis,” he told men. “Ultimately, God created you, and it is his penis.” “Knowing that his penis would need a home … God created a woman (who) makes a very nice home.” Driscoll added, helpfully, “But, though you may believe your hand is shaped like a home, it is not.”
Ten parking spaces (of 150- to 200-square-feet each) one flight below the street at the apartment building at 42 Crosby St. in New York City have been offered for sale by the developer for $1 million each — nearly five times the median U.S. price for an entire home.
The continuing crisis
Signs went up in August in the York, Pennsylvania, courtroom of District Judge Ronald Haskell Jr. addressing two unconventional problems. First, “Pajamas are not (underlining ‘not’) appropriate attire for District Court.” Second, “Money from undergarments will not be accepted in this office.” Another judge, Scott Laird, told the York Daily Record that he’d probably take the skivvy-stored money anyway. “The bottom line is, if someone’s there to pay a fine, I don’t see how you can turn that away.”
Habitual petty offender Todd Bontrager, 47, charged with trespassing for probing various locked doors at a church in Broward County, Florida, in August, admitted skirting the law a few times, but said it was only “to study.” “Incarceration improves your concentration abilities,” he told skeptical Judge John “Jay” Hurley, who promptly ordered him jailed to, he said, help him “further concentrate.”
The Miracle of Meth
Three terrified people screaming out of an upper-story window at a house outside Dothan, Alabama, on Aug. 24 drew police in a hurry. They were trapped, they yelled — unable to escape because intruders were still inside, shooting at them. One “victim” said she had been stabbed — and the blade broken off inside her. With their own shotgun, the three had blown out several windows and walls defending themselves. They had even ripped out an upstairs toilet and sink and dropped them on an intruder outside. Police calmed the situation and later told reporters that there never were intruders — that the “hostages” had imagined the whole thing, except for the estimated $10,000 damage and the woman’s superficial, “defensive” stab wounds. (The home’s methamphetamine lab apparently remained intact.)
Least competent criminals
In Sebastopol, California, Dylan Stables, 20, already on probation, was arrested again mid-morning on July 22 when, with stolen credit cards in his possession, he decided to drive his car, even with transmission problems. Police noticed him as he slowly drove through town in reverse gear.
Round up the usual suspects
Charged in August with growing marijuana at their home in Corvallis, Montana: Rodney Stoner, 57, and his son, Adam Stoner, 24. Arrested for performing “sexually lewd acts” in front of drivers at a truck stop in Kirkwood, New York, in September: 56-year-old Calvin Wank. CV
Read more weird news at www.WeirdUniverse.net.