Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday June 25th 2019

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News of the Weird 5/25/17

By Chuck Shepherd

Rare Fetish! Jordan Haskins, 26, was sentenced to probation and sex counseling in May after pleading guilty to eight charges arising from two auto accidents in Saginaw, Michigan. Prosecutors said Haskins described “cranking,” in which he would remove a vehicle’s spark-plug wires to make it “run rough,” which supposedly improves his chances for a self-service happy ending. Haskins’s lawyer added, “(Cranking) is something I don’t think we understand as attorneys.”

The Entrepreneurial Spirit! Le Plat Sal (The Dirty Plate) restaurant in the Marais district of Paris features specialties actually containing dirt—or as Chef Solange Gregoire calls it, “the mud of the earth that caresses our toes, the sand kissed by the sun, and rocks.” Mused a Food Network host in April, “What’s left? People are already eating snout-to-tail, leaves-to-roots….” Gregoire extolled her four-star dishes, including pastry crust a la Mont Lachat rock and a Boue Ragout stew simmered with silt from the River Seine. (NPR also noted that the founder of The Shake Shack was “quietly” planning a new American chain, Rock in Roll.)
•Goldman Sachs analyst Noah Poponak’s 98-page paper (leaked to Business Insider in April) touted the wealth obtainable by capturing the platinum reputed to be in asteroids. The costs to mine the stone (rockets, launch expenses, etc.) might have dropped recently to about $3 billion—a trifle next to the $50 billion worth of platinum Poponak said a single asteroid might contain. (On the other hand, experts point out, such abundance of platinum might crash the worldwide price.)
•The Twisted Ranch restaurant in the Soulard neighborhood of St. Louis, saw crowds swell in March after it revamped its menu with more than two dozen items made with ranch dressing (including ranch-infused Bloody Marys). As one satisfied visitor put it, “Ranch is everyone’s guilty pleasure.”

Unclear on the Concept Yale University graduate students (well, at least eight of them), claiming “union” status, demonstrated in front of the Yale president’s home in April demanding better benefits (beyond the annual free tuition, $30,000 stipends and free health care). Some of the students characterized their action as an “indefinite fast” while others called it a “hunger strike.” However, a pamphlet associated with the unionizing made it clear that strikers could go eat any time they got hungry.

The Aristocrats! (1) Recent alarming headlines: “UK woman who urinated on Trump golf course loses case” (London). “Fish thief on unicycle busted by DNR (Department of Natural Resources)” (Battle Creek, Michigan). And, from the Northwest Florida Daily News (Fort Walton Beach), all on the same day (5-16-2017): (1) “Man throws fork at woman in fight over dog poop.” (2) “Senior citizen punches husband for taking Lord’s name in vain.” (3) “Two people busted for creating fake football league, lawmen say.” (4) “Man denies defecating in parking lot despite officer witnessing deed.”

Weirdo-American Community A 22-year-old Los Angeles makeup artist who calls himself Vinny Ohh has, according to his several TV and YouTube appearances and much social media presence, transformed himself into a “genderless,” extraterrestrial-looking person via around 110 bodily procedures (so far), costing him at least $50,000. He says his appearance is merely an “all-in” representation of how he feels inside. (The “genderless” Vinny has yet to specify a pronoun preference.)

New World Order (1) A Netherlands startup company announced in March its readiness to release drones capable of tracking freshly deposited dog poop (via an infrared glow from the pile) and, eventually, be guided (perhaps via GPS and artificial intelligence) to scoop up the deposits and carry them away. (2) Potentially Unemployed Bees: Researcher-inventor Eijiro Miyako announced in the journal Chem in March that he had created a drone that pollinates flowers (though requiring human guidance until GPS and AI can be enabled). Miyako’s adhesive gel lightly brushes pollen grains, collecting just enough to touch down successfully onto another flower to pollinate it.

Inexplicable (1) In February, a 52-year-old man who, arrested for DUI and taken to a police station in Germany’s Lower Saxony state, wound up spontaneously confessing to a 1991 cold-case murder in Bonn. Police confirmed that, after reopening the files, they found details matching the man’s account, though the man himself was “not quite clear” why he had confessed. (2) A game warden in Titus County, Texas, reported in December arresting a man for possessing a shotgun (the man’s third arrest as a convicted felon with a firearm). The warden had spotted the weapon only because the man “out of the blue” approached him and asked if he wanted to inspect his hunting license (which, it turns out, was in order). {in}