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Tuesday October 21st 2014

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News of the Weird 11/17/11

by Chuck Shepherd

At press time, Melinda Arnold, 34, was waiting to hear whether her mother would be accepted as an organ donor for her daughter—with the organ being the mom’s womb. Melinda (a nurse from Melbourne, Australia) was born without one (though with healthy ovaries and eggs), and if the transplant by Swedish surgeon Mats Brannstrom of Gothenburg University is successful, and Melinda later conceives, her baby will be nurtured in the very same uterus in which Melinda, herself, was nurtured. (Womb transplants have been performed in rats and, with limited success, from a deceased human donor.)

Government in Action A British manufacturer, BCB International, is flourishing, buoyed by sales of its Kevlar underwear, at $65 a pair, to U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, soldiers and Marines must buy them directly; the “Bomb Boxers” are not supplied by the Pentagon even though nearly 10 percent of battlefield explosive-device injuries result in sometimes-catastrophic genital and rectal damage. According to an October report in Talking Points Memo, the Pentagon’s currently issued protection is inferior to BCB’s but is less expensive. (Although the Pentagon fully funds post-injury prostheses and colostomies, it could purchase about 7,700 Bomb Boxers for the price of a single Tomahawk missile.)

Great Art! It was haute couture meeting haute cuisine at the Communication Museum in Berlin in November, as prominent German chef Roland Trettl introduced his fashions (displayed on live models) made from food, including a tunic of octopus, a miniskirt of seaweed, a trouser suit made with lean bacon, a scarf of squid ink pasta, and a hat woven from lettuce. The museum director (presumably without irony) said the items were “provocative” and “raise(d) questions.”

• Veteran New York City performance artist Marni Kotak, 36, gave birth to her first child, Ajax, on Oct. 25—and that was her “art,” as the birth took place at the Microscope Gallery in Brooklyn, N.Y., after Kotak had moved into the space two weeks earlier to interact with visitors. Previously, Kotak had “re-enacted,” as her “art,” both her own birth and the loss of her virginity in the back seat of a car. (A New York Times report suggested that Kotak may not be the most extreme performer in her family. Her artist-husband, Jason Martin, makes videos in which he dresses as a wolf or dog and “conducts seance-like rituals intended to contact the half-animal, half-human creatures that visited him in dreams as a child.”)

Police Report Cutting-Edge Policing: Officials in Prince George’s County, Md., reported that crime had fallen as much as 23 percent during the first nine months of 2011—the result, they said, of holding meetings with 67 of the most likely recidivist offenders in five neighborhoods and sweet-talking them. The 67 were offered help in applying for various government and volunteer programs, but were told they would be watched more closely by patrols.

The Aristocrats! (1) Owen Kato, 23, was arrested following a police report in Port Charlotte, Fla., of a man grossing out customers by standing beside the entrance to a McDonald’s for about 10 minutes, popping his pimples with his fingers. (2) A man unnamed in a news story was charged on July 24 with resisting arrest (for trespassing) by failing to put his hands behind his back. According to the Destin, Fla., police report, the man explained, “I can’t put my hands behind my back because I’m making a bowel movement (in my pants).” (According to the report, that was true.)

Least Competent Criminals Brent Morgan, 20, was arrested in Prince George, British Columbia, in October on three counts related to the attempted theft of a Corvette. Morgan had seen the car in a driveway, jumped in and locked the doors. However, the owner had been in the process of charging the battery, which was still too weak for the car to start and for the door locks to continue working. Feeling trapped and sensing that the owner had called the police, Morgan panicked and began using any available tool inside the car to smash the window. According to the police report, officers arrived just as Morgan had broken open the driver’s side window, but too late for Morgan to realize that he could have exited the car by manually lifting the door lock with his fingers.

Recent Alarming Headlines “Maine Woman Loses Lawsuit Over Removal of Husband’s Brain.” “Condoms Rushed to Thai Flood Victims.” “Killer Sharks Invade Golf Course in Australia.” “Lingerie Football League Wants to Start a Youth League.” “Man Uncooperative After Being Stabbed in Scrotum With Hypodermic Needle.”