News of the Weird

LEAD STORIES -- Fashion Foibles

-- Because white shoes are so distracting when you're lining up your putt? According to Time magazine, Nike will be mowing over the competition with its new Air Max 1 golf shoes, which feature uppers covered with a green material that resembles grass. Matching green laces will further disguise your dogs as you play a round, but lest you think you'll disappear altogether, fear not: The trademark Nike swoosh on the sides is bright white. The sneakers, yet to be released, are expected to retail for $140. [Time, 1/14/2019]

-- Just when you thought there was nothing new under the blue jeans sun: A Ukrainian designer is asking $377 for a pair of jeans that have one fitted leg and one flared leg. Ksenia Schnaider, who calls her design the Asymmetric Jean, told DazedDigital.com: "It's good to get people talking, and they're definitely going to make people turn their heads as you walk by!" [DazedDigital.com, 1/11/2019]

People With(out) Issues

Rachel Childs, 29, of Pearland, Texas, is not autistic and doesn't have a twin autistic sister, according to the Houston Chronicle. Nevertheless, she hired a caregiver for her (fake) twin sister who is (not) autistic. The elaborate plot, which played out in early January, involved the caregiver picking up the "twin" at Childs' house and taking her to the caregiver's home, where he was hired to care for her overnight. But when Childs' "twin" exhibited sexual conduct toward the caregiver, he became suspicious and investigated Childs, then contacted police. Childs was charged with burglary of a habitation with intent to commit assault and indecent exposure. [Houston Chronicle, 1/17/2019]

Precocious

-- Employees of John J. Murphy Elementary School in Round Lake Park, Illinois, were surprised on Jan. 9 when a car drove into the drop-off lane and an 11-year-old student exited the driver's seat. Witnesses alerted police, who issued an arrest warrant for the front-seat passenger, 31-year-old Khafilu M. Oshodi of Round Lake, for two counts of child endangerment; a 9-year-old was riding in the back seat. Police Chief George Filenko told the Lake County News-Sun the situation could have "resulted in any number of tragic scenarios." The children have been placed with other relatives, and police are still looking for Oshodi. [Lake County News-Sun, 1/21/2019]

-- Alijah Hernandez of Houston is a skilled barber in her father's shop, reported KTRK-TV on Jan. 17 -- which wouldn't ordinarily be newsworthy. But Alijah is only 7 years old. Her dad, Franky, says she's been watching him since she was a toddler and started perfecting her skills three years ago. For her part, Alijah says cutting hair comes naturally to her; she practices on friends and family (with her dad supervising) and has already faced off in barber competitions across Texas. [KTRK, 1/17/2019]

What's That up in the Sky?

-- The rare super blood wolf moon of Jan. 20 was so captivating to some skywatchers on Florida's Ponte Vedra Beach, that they didn't notice when the tide rolled in and waterlogged their Honda CRV. The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office told News4Jax the occupants were able to get out of the car and move to safety, although the vehicle itself wasn't recovered until the next day. A photo showed water up to the windshield on the front end. [News4Jax, 1/21/2019]

-- Meanwhile, in West Palm Beach, Florida, two unnamed 24-year-olds chose to view the Jan. 20 eclipse by lying prone in the middle of a dark road near the Apoxee Wilderness Trail. Which would have worked out fine, except around 11:30 p.m. a West Palm Beach police officer patrolling the area ran over the pair. Fortunately, reported the South Florida Sun Sentinel, he was cruising at just 5 mph, and the human speed bumps sustained only non-life-threatening injuries. The officer was put on paid administrative leave while the incident was investigated. [Sun-Sentinel, 1/21/2019]

Terrifying Technology

Laura Lyons of Orinda, California, was in her kitchen on the afternoon of Jan. 20 when a loud alert noise blared in the living room, followed by a detailed warning from "Civil Defense" that intercontinental ballistic missiles were on their way from North Korea to Los Angeles, Chicago and Ohio. Lyons told the San Jose Mercury News the message warned residents they had three hours to evacuate. As she and her husband absorbed the news, they realized it had come from their Nest security camera -- not from the TV, where the Rams-Saints game was proceeding as normal, and news channels were not reporting anything unusual. "It was five minutes of sheer terror," she said. The Lyonses called 911 and then Nest, where a supervisor told them they had been victims of a "third-party hack" on their camera and speakers. [San Jose Mercury News, 1/22/2019]

Self-Medicating

When a 33-year-old unnamed Irish man was admitted to a Dublin hospital with swelling in his right forearm and a rash, he surprised the attending physician with the "cure" he had been using for his back pain. For a year and a half, reported Canoe.com on Jan. 16, the man had been injecting his own semen into his right forearm. X-rays revealed a pool of the fluid under his skin, which had become infected. "He had devised this 'cure' independent of any medical advice," noted Dr. Lisa Dunne in the Irish Medical Journal. He also told Dr. Dunne that his back pain had worsened after lifting a heavy metal object. [canoe.com, 1/16/2019]

Latest Religious Messages

British retailer Marks & Spencer is in hot water with Muslims who claim the store's brand of toilet paper is embossed with the Arabic symbol for the word "God." An unnamed man posted a video to social media displaying a roll of M&S Aloe Vera 3-ply tissue and urging his Muslim brothers and sisters to avoid buying it or boycott the store altogether. Metro News reports that in response, Marks & Spencer says the symbol is of an aloe vera leaf: "The motif on the aloe vera toilet tissue, which we have been selling for over five years, is categorically of an aloe vera leaf, and we have investigated and confirmed this with our suppliers." [Metro News, 1/22/2019]

Keep That to Yourself

Dennis Palmer, 31, appeared to be guilty of more than TMI on Jan. 10 when police were called to a Walmart in Stuart, Florida. TCPalm.com reported that Palmer was in the pillow aisle when he was seen exposing and touching himself inappropriately. Palmer told police "he was just itching himself because he has crabs." But surveillance video recorded Palmer indulging in "rubbing" and activities other than scratching; "this continued for several minutes," the affidavit stated. When police asked Palmer what he was thinking, he replied that "he wasn't thinking, but he should have been thinking." He was jailed for exposure of sexual organs. [TCPalm.com, 1/22/2019]

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