Phenomenal Japanese singer Hatsune Miku (100 million YouTube hits) is coming off a sold-out, 10-city North American concert tour with high-energy audiences (blocks-long lines to get in; raucous crowd participation; hefty souvenir sales), except that "she" isn't real.
Hatsune Miku is a projected hologram on stage singing and dancing, but her band is human. Her May show in Dallas, according to a Dallas Observer review, ignited frenzied fans who know the show's "every beat, outfit ... and glow stick color-change."
Her voice, a synthesized "vocaloid," is crafted in pitch, timbre and timing to sound human.
'One in a billion' shot
Investigators revealed in July that an off-duty Aurora, Colo., sheriff's deputy had justifiably fired his gun to resist a parking lot mugging — and that, furthermore, one of the bullets from Deputy Jose Marquez's gun had gone straight into the barrel of one of the handguns pointed at him. The investigators called the shot "one in a billion."
Wait ... what?
• The Borough Council of Pompton Lakes, N.J., was surprised to learn in June that because of an existing local ordinance, dogs were not permitted in its brand-new dog park, created with great fanfare in an area of Hershfield Park. The council vowed to fix the problem.
• In June, a police watchdog agency in Dublin, Ireland, asked officers ("gardai") across the country to try to carry out house raids at "reasonable hours" so that they do not disturb the occupants. In one complaint, gardai staged a 3:15 a.m. raid to search for evidence of stolen vehicle accessories.
A 9-year-old girl named Irina won a contest in Berezniki, Russia, for letting mosquitoes bite her more often than they bit other contestants. It is the signature event of the annual Russian Mosquito Festival, and her 43 hits were enough to earn her the title of "tastiest girl." The annual Great Texas Mosquito Festival in Clute, Texas, apparently has nothing comparable.
In July, a Nairobian newspaper reported the remarkable career of "Rosemary," reputed to be the Kenyan capital's oldest prostitute — still going strong at 64 after more than 5,000 clients. She said she could make it through 40 on a good day, but never missed church on Sunday.
Least competent criminals
• In July, driver Joshua Jacobs, 30, accidentally knocked down a traffic sign at 12:45 a.m. in Vero Beach, Fla., and, spotting a sheriff's deputy, sped away. The deputy gave chase — especially, he said, given the fully-grown marijuana plant resting in the bed of the pickup. Jacobs was arrested.
• Jeremy Watts, 30, and Jessica Heady, 24, were charged with aggravated burglary (a PlayStation and other electronics from a man's home) in Clarksville, Tenn., in August. The pair had offered the haul to a Cash America Pawnshop, but did not realize that the home they had burglarized was the pawnshop manager's.
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