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Continued: News of the Weird

  • Article by: CHUCK SHEPHERD
  • Last update: September 5, 2007 - 5:27 PM

Two inmates in Port Washington, Wis., brawled in July, a dispute that started, officials said, when James Lala (who has served time for having sex with an underage girl) asked another man what he thought of Woody Allen's having married the teenage daughter of his then-girlfriend Mia Farrow. When the man responded that he thought that was perverted, Lala punched him in the face.

People different from us

In July, a California appeals court rejected the challenge of Nizameddine Chokr, 51, leaving in place his five-year-plus sentence for repeatedly masturbating in public. However, Chokr, a suede-pants-wearing, secret FBI agent (according to him), shamelessly lamented that women are constantly demanding sex from him, leading him once to proclaim in court, "I am the best ever." He termed one of the masturbation episodes (according to a July Orange County Weekly report) an "involuntary" discharge and expressed confusion why patrons in Angelo's Hamburgers restaurant would scream when he unzipped to clean himself. In another incident, he said he tried mightily to resist two women who picked him up at a bus stop, but said he had to accede to their sexual demands lest they file bogus criminal charges.

In Orlando, Fla., in July, Brittany Ossenfort complained that it was not she who had been jailed recently on a prostitution charge, that the arrestee claiming to be her was Richard Phillips, who had befriended Ossenfort last year (while pretending to be a woman) and become her roommate but who with the passage of time began dressing and acting like her until Ossenfort finally discovered "she" was a man (after which Phillips allegedly stole Ossenfort's financial identity). Ossenfort admitted to being completely fooled by Phillips: "He acted like a girl, talked like a girl, looks like a girl. He doesn't even have an Adam's apple."

Recurring themes

News of the Weird has reported several times on various designers, and even engineers, who claim to have invented a more comfortable bra. In July, a team from Hong Kong Polytechnic Institute, citing "the complex 3-D geometry" of the breast, offered a mathematical equation that they said would yield greater comfort, producing a larger variety of sizes. The researchers tried 100 different measurements, eventually narrowed to eight -- overall build, volume, breast shape (inner, outer and lower), height, "gradient" and "orientation." Their "depth/width ratio" would increase the number of sizes from the current A/B/C/D to as many as 20.

Life-saving properties of sewage

In April, a woman hanging out laundry on the sixth-floor roof of a building in Nanjing, China, fell off but was only slightly injured when she happened to land in a shallow pool of the contents of the building's septic system, which workers were cleaning.

A fiery auto crash in July near Augusta, Ga., killed the driver and probably would have killed the passenger, too, if the fire had not been immediately smothered. Firefighters were still minutes away, but passing by was a pump truck from a local plumbing company, whose quick-thinking driver extinguished the flames with 1,500 gallons of raw sewage from a septic tank-cleaning job he had just finished.

Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa, FL 33679 or or go to

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