News of the Weird:

  • Updated: April 18, 2014 - 1:03 PM

The Formula One circuit is generally thought to attract fans as a showcase of motorcar technology and racing skill, but organizers of the Australian Grand Prix (the first of the 19 races on the annual circuit) threatened a lawsuit in March against Formula One management because the races also should be showcases of noise. Formula One has softened cars’ power this year to make breakthrough achievements in fuel efficiency, but that also tamped down Formula One’s “trademark ear-shattering roar,” according to a Business Insider report. Fans are less likely to buy tickets, the organizers fear, if they lose the deafening, 100-decibel vroom that is a “visceral element of the fan experience.”

Bright ideas

The Lakemaid brewery based in Stevens Point, Wis., acknowledged in January that it has been testing drone technology, with an eye to eventually delivering beer to isolated ice fishermen on Lake Waconia in Minnesota. The brewery reportedly found that a six-bladed drone would be necessary to carry a 12-pack for up to a half-mile. (The Federal Aviation Administration is thought to be reconsidering its ban on commercial drones, but not just yet, as it quickly ordered Lakemaid to cease the flights.)

Suspicions confirmed

Richard Wright of Canada’s Prince Edward Island was busy in March handing out $50 and $100 bills to strangers during a visit to Halifax, Nova Scotia, urging the recipients to “thank God” for the gift and to pass it along to others if they could not use it themselves. Wright soon found himself detained for a “wellness check,” which led to his transfer to a mental-health facility. Wright’s daughter Chelsea told reporters that her dad worked hard for his money, had no mental-health issues and simply wanted to help people, and a friend described him as a “generous individual wrapped up in the acts of kindness.” However, at press time, Wright still was hospitalized.

Confront your fears

The Phoenix suburb of Maryvale was “overrun,” according to February reports, with several “packs” of up to 15 Chihuahuas, roaming neighborhoods and frightening schoolchildren. Coincidentally, two months earlier, in Hobart, Australia, the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals announced that it was overwhelmed by massive recent donations of Chihuahuas, most from one couple. Said a spokesman, “We were up to our knees in little Chihuahuas.”

England’s Manchester Evening News reported in March that local police had handled 19 cases of “clown-related” crimes in the area in 2013, ranging from a clown in the town of Bury peering into the windows of at least two homes, to a boy’s report in Rochdale that a clown holding balloons had tried to grab him on the street. The secretary of Clowns International lamented the “stupid people” who damage the reputation of the clowning “profession.”

Least competent criminals

Carlos Ruiz, 42, was arrested in Haddon Township, N.J., in February after he violated a cardinal rule by returning to the scene of the crime. He had stolen valuables, including a sound system, from a home and had gotten away, but was captured a half-hour later when he returned for the sound system’s remote control.

Readers’ choice

Christopher Miller, 40, was arrested in March a few blocks from a Stride Rite shoe store in Ocean County, N.J., minutes after it had been robbed by a man resembling Miller. Police said Miller had just been released from New Jersey’s South Woods State Prison after serving 15 years for robbing the same Stride Rite store and apparently had taken a bus from the prison directly to the store in order to rob it again.

Read News of the Weird daily at www.weirduniverse.net. Send items to weirdnews@earthlink.net.

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