Chuck Shepherd

Pixee Fox reported in May that she was recovering nicely from cosmetic rib-removal surgery, performed by one of the few doctors in the world who offers it — Dr. Barry Eppley of Carmel, Ind. Though she has had more than a dozen "beautifying" procedures, she had trouble finding a surgeon who would agree to take out six "free-floating" ribs (ones not attached to the sternum). Born in Sweden, she gave up a career as a trained electrician to come to the United States to pursue her goal of looking "like a cartoon character" — which she has surely achieved with her now 16-inch waist.

A pro in the shed

Triple Crown winner American Pharoah earned an estimated $8.6 million racing but, now retired, could earn as much as $35 million just by having sex. Stallions reportedly can breed into their 20s, and the horse, now barely age 4, will have 175 conquests by the end of this summer, according to a May report by CNBC. One industry worker said Pharoah has put on weight, spends his spare time peaceably eating grass, and "looks more like a relaxed horse." A spokesman for the Kentucky farm now housing Pharoah said he "has proven to be very professional in the breeding shed."

Plan backfired

Shannon Egeland, 41, already convicted in 2014 of running a mortgage-fraud operation in Oregon during the 2004-2008 real estate boom, recently pleaded guilty to the subsequent crime of deliberately having himself shot to gain his judge's sympathy and to collect on disability insurance he had purchased the week before. Egeland, scheduled to start a 10-year sentence for the 2014 conviction, told the judge he had been assaulted by gunfire when he stopped in traffic to help a pregnant woman, but in reality he had ordered his teenage son to shoot him in the legs with a 20-gauge shotgun.

New world order

• German soldiers participating in a four-week NATO exercise in Norway earlier this year apparently had to abort their efforts days earlier than other countries — because Germany's defense minister, Ursula von der Leyen, had imposed strict rules on overtime pay. Soldiers are to work no more than 41 hours a week, she said, according to revelations by London's Daily Telegraph.

• Britain's venerable Oxford University issued a formal suggestion to law lecturers recently that they give "trigger warnings" — and allow classroom absences — if the class subject matter might be unpleasant to some students. Complained one frustrated lecturer, "We can't remove sexual offences from the criminal law syllabus — obviously."

Armed and dangerous

Michael Blevins, 37, reported to Florida Hospital in Orange City after finally realizing, three days after the fact, that he had shot himself while cleaning his handgun. He said he was on pain medication and besides, was wearing a black shirt that obscured bloodstains. He said he had felt a sharp pain but that, mainly, it had aggravated his back injury, causing him to fall and hit his head against a coffee table, and thus was not aware of the origin of the loud noise the .22-caliber handgun made.

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