Tennessee state Rep. Jeremy Faison, 45, had to be ejected from the stands at a high school basketball game in Johnson City on Jan. 4 after he became angry at a referee and tried to "pants" him -- pull down his trousers. Faison's son was playing on the Lakeway Christian Academy team, NBC News reported. Later, Faison tweeted: "Totally lost my junk and got booted from the gym. ... I hope to be able to find the ref and ask for his forgiveness. I was bad wrong." Our advice to referees everywhere: Always wear a belt. [NBC News, 1/6/2022]
Government at Work
In the United Kingdom, as of Jan. 29, flouting a new highway code rule will cost you up to 1,000 pounds, the Mirror reported. The rule requires someone inside a car to open the door with the hand farthest from the door, employing a technique known as the Dutch Reach. In other words, if you're driving (on the right side of the car), you would use your left hand to reach around and open the car door. (The technique is borrowed from the Netherlands, thus the name.) Rule 239 reads: "This will make you turn your head to look over your shoulder. You are then more likely to avoid causing injury to cyclists or motorcyclists passing you on the road, or to people on the pavement." If a person in a car injures someone by opening with the wrong hand, a fine will be levied. Cycling UK estimates that more than 500 people are injured every year by car doors. [Mirror, 1/26/2022]
Cameron Newsom, 42, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was treated for stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma on her tongue in 2013, the New York Post reported. Removing the tumor meant also removing part of her tongue, which doctors replaced with skin and muscle taken from her thigh. Through all of her experiences in treating the cancer, she said, "The weirdest part ... was when I felt a rough texture on the 'thigh' part of my tongue -- and when I looked in the mirror, it had started growing leg hair!" Newsom had to learn to speak again and still finds eating a challenge, but she's back to being a gymnastics coach, even with her fuzzy tongue. [New York Post, 1/19/2022]
When Mark, 38, and his wife left for work one morning in January, their back garden in Belfast, Northern Ireland, looked just like it does any other day. But when the wife returned that afternoon, there was a concrete slab painted with a creepy clown face propped against the wall, the Belfast Telegraph reported. "Someone would have had to come through our gate and down the steps to place it there -- and deliberately place it so it was facing the window so we would see it," Mark said. The clown was holding a lighted candle, and on the reverse, a Bible verse was inscribed: "Let your light shine. Matthew 5:16." Mark contacted friends, neighbors and family members to see if it was a prank, or if others had received a clown, but no one had experienced anything similar. He threw the clown away, but remains creeped out: "It's so unsettling." [Belfast Telegraph, 1/26/2022]
Thanks for Nothing!
Catherine Graham of Marshfield, Massachusetts, recently cashed in on her 15 minutes of fame on "The Price Is Right" with host Drew Carey. She flew to Los Angeles to visit her daughter and attended a taping of the show, which aired on Feb. 1. As luck would have it, Graham ended up on stage with Carey and played for a great trip -- to New Hampshire! When Carey gushed, "New Hampshire is beautiful!" Graham replied, "Drew, I live in Boston! I've been to New Hampshire a million times!" But wait, there's more! In order to collect the prize roundtrip airfare, she'll have to travel to Los Angeles again to fly to Manchester, New Hampshire. "I just wish it was Tahiti ... or Bora Bora. A cruise around the world maybe," Graham told WBZ-TV. But, she said, "It was so fun." [WBZ, 2/11/2022]
Some romantic relationships are full of drama and strife, so maybe Sandra, 28, of Budapest, Hungary, has come up with a better model. According to Oddity Central, Sandra has fallen for Luffancs, a plastic model of an airplane. After breaking up with her latest human boyfriend in January, Sandra bought Luffancs for $660 and fell madly in love. "I don't know why I love him, I just love him," she said. Sandra works in the aviation industry and is around airplanes every day, but says she will never cheat on Luffancs. In fact, she doesn't know if she'll ever date another human being. "Planes are more reliable as partners," she said. [Oddity Central, 3/10/2022]
People With Issues
Prosecutors have accused 20-year-old Mauricio Damian Guerrero of Bensalem, Pennsylvania, of burglary after he traveled to Somersworth, New Hampshire, and hid in the attic of a woman he had met on the website OnlyFans, WKBN-TV reported on March 7. Guerrero allegedly descended from the attic and took videos of the woman while she was sleeping, stole some of her underwear and planned to place a tracking device on her car. Police were called after someone at the home heard a noise; Guerrero was found on the roof of the home. He was released on bail and ordered to wear a tracking device. [WKBN, 3/7/2022]
It's a Dirty Job ...
In Australia, Queensland's Bill Edgar is known to some as the Coffin Confessor. As such, Edgar shows up at funerals and speaks for the deceased, telling off family members, setting friends straight and delivering bad news about beneficiaries, News.com.au reported on April 14. But Edgar's job doesn't stop there. His services, for which he charges $2,000 to $10,000, have expanded to removing items from the deceased's home that they'd rather the family not see: "Could be sex toys, messages of hate, love, whatever it is they've written down, that they want removed from their web browsers. One gentleman had ... a sex dungeon in one of his bedrooms. And that gentleman was 88 years of age, believe it or not," Edgar said. He even delivers his services in the United States and United Kingdom, and he said Paramount has picked up the story for a movie. [news.com.au, 4/14/2022]
The Federal Aviation Administration has revoked Trevor Jacob's pilot's license, The New York Times reported on April 20, after concluding that Jacob purposely abandoned a plane he was flying and filmed it crashing into the Los Padres National Forest in California while he parachuted to the ground. Jacob then posted the 13-minute video on YouTube, calling it "I Crashed My Plane." The FAA said Jacob acted in a "careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another." In the video, the propeller can be seen as it stops spinning, and Jacob opens the door and jumps out with a parachute and a selfie stick. The FAA noted, "During this flight, you opened the left side pilot door before you claimed the engine had failed." The agency also noted that Jacob did not contact air traffic control, try to restart the engine or look for a safe place to make an emergency landing. But he got 1.7 million views! [New York Times, 4/20/2022]
Everyone needs a hobby. Christina Warren is a busy software developer, but in her free time, she collects the swag of epic corporate failure: from Enron to Fyre Festival to her latest acquisition, a PopSocket branded with the CNN+ logo. NPR reported that Warren isn't interested in milquetoast meltdowns. She wants stuff from the companies that made a big splash and then sank to the bottom of the barrel. "I'm looking at the ones that were flying high, too close to the sun," she said, which "makes it funnier to be out someplace wearing a shirt from one of those things." But she doesn't want to spend more than $75 on any one item. She avoids counterfeit merchandise, and said her "white whale, the thing I haven't been able to obtain yet, is something officially from Theranos. I would even take a pen, you know, like a ballpoint pen." [NPR, 4/27/2022]
-- An unnamed man in Detroit was arrested in late April for illegally possessing guns, but the federal agents who arrived at his home with a search warrant were more interested in how he made a living: He sold marijuana from a vending machine attached to his house, clearing $2,000 a day, he told them. The Associated Press reported that agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives made purchases from the machine to collect evidence before the bust. The man was released on bond. [AP, 5/3/2022]
-- Eighty-two-year-old actor James Cromwell, known most recently for his role on "Succession," glued his palm to a midtown Manhattan Starbucks store counter on May 10 to protest the extra charge the coffee company assesses for plant-based milk in their drinks. He later used a knife to scrape his hand off the counter. The Associated Press reported that Cromwell, who starred in "Babe: Pig in the City," is a longtime animal rights activist. For its part, Starbucks seemed nonplussed by the protest, which was organized by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, characterizing the nondairy milk customizations as similar to any other, "such as an additional espresso shot or syrup." [Associated Press, 5/10/2022]
What Could Go Wrong?
More than 800 New Yorkers aged 75 and older are going to get a new friend, The Verge reported. The New York State Office for the Aging is distributing robot companions named ElliQ, built by Israeli company Intuition Robotics, to help with social isolation -- for example, engaging in small talk and helping contact loved ones. "It focuses on what matters to individuals: memories, life validation, interactions with friends and families," said NYSOA director Greg Olsen. Intuition Robotics said ElliQ can project empathy and form bonds with users, even cracking jokes for users who tend to laugh a lot. [The Verge, 5/25/2022]
A man in Japan identified as Toko has spent almost $16,000 to make himself look like a collie, fulfilling his dream and depleting his savings in one fell swoop, Wionews reported. Toko contracted with a professional company called Zeppet, which makes sculptures and costumes for movies and amusement facilities, to create a costume that is extremely realistic. It took 40 days to build. "I made it a collie because it looks real when I put on," Toko said. "Long-haired dogs can mislead the human figure. I met such a condition and made collie, my favorite breed of dog." [Wionews, 5/25/2022]
Creme de la Weird
-- Harry Matadeen, 34, from Hampshire, England, has a wellness tip to share with the world: He drinks his own urine, and what's more, he rubs it on his face. Metro News reported that Matadeen claims his habit, begun in 2016, keeps him looking young and has cured his depression. "I felt a new sense of peace, calm and determination," he said of his 200ml-per-day dose. The skin therapy keeps his face "young, soft and glowing." Matadeen calls urine an "acquired taste," but says that "fresh urine is never as bad as you imagine -- it is neutral-smelling and not a bad taste unless you are really toxic." His family doesn't approve, and his sister has ceased talking to him. [Metro News, 5/5/2022]
-- In an effort to better educate the world about the human reproductive system, the "intimate wellness brand" Intimina has introduced Period Crunch, a breakfast cereal with uterus-shaped, raspberry-flavored pieces that will color the milk red, Oddity Central reported. Alongside the startling cereal shape and red milk, the cereal box will feature a diagram of the female reproductive system so that people can learn about its location and function. The company surveyed 2,000 adults and discovered that 48% of women are embarrassed to talk about their menstrual periods and 77% have never brought it up in their households. "Periods are a natural part of who we are," said Dr. Shree Datta, a gynecologist with Intimina, "so it's deeply concerning to hear that so many people remain uncomfortable discussing them when they are just another part of our health." [Oddity Central, 6/3/2022]
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