Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday August 14th 2018

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News of the Weird 4/3/14

by Chuck Shepherd

Job Security in the Paperwork Mine “The trucks full of paperwork come every day,” wrote The Washington Post in March, down a country road in Boyers, Pa., north of Pittsburgh, and descend “into the earth” to deliver federal retiree applications to the eight “supermarket”-sized caverns 230 feet below ground where Office of Personnel Management bureaucrats process them—manually—and store them in 28,000 metal filing cabinets. Applications thus take 61 days on average to process (compared to Texas’ automated system, which takes two). One step requires a record’s index to be digitized—but a later step requires that the digital portion be printed out for further manila-foldered file work. OPM blames contractors’ technology failures and bizarrely complicated retirement laws, but no relief is in sight except the hiring of more workers (and fortunately, cave-bound paper-shuffling is a well-regarded job around Boyers).

The Continuing Crisis In February, officials in Sudan seized at least 70 female sheep that had male sexual organs sewn on—the result of livestock smugglers trying to circumvent export restrictions. (Ewes are valued more highly, and their sale is limited.) Authorities had been treating the inspections as routine until they spotted one “ram” urinating from the female posture.

• Karma: Michael Schell, 24, and Jessica Briggs, 31, were arrested on several charges in Minot, N.D., in February when police were called to a convenience store because Schell and Briggs had commandeered a restroom and were having noisy sex. The store is part of the Iowa-based chain of 400 serving the Midwest that go by the name Kum & Go.

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