One notably successful YouTube channel, with 700,000 subscribers, features Lauri Vuohensilta of Finland pulverizing various objects (such as a bowling ball) in a 100-ton hydraulic press. "I think it's built into every person — the need to destroy something," he said.
That channel is free of charge, but other entrepreneurs have created 24-hour pay-per-month websites and apps offering similarly specialized programming, e.g., "Zombie Go Boom" (actors taking chain saws to things; $5 a month), "Hungry Monk Yoga" (posing in orange robes while teaching martial arts; $15) and "Lather Fantasies" (clothed people "excessively shampooing each other's hair"; $20). An April Wall Street Journal report noted that the "lather" channel "sounds kinkier than it actually is."
Going to the hedgehogs
Restaurants in Tokyo continue their vigilance for unique, attention-demanding animal themes to attract diners. Eateries showcasing tableside cats, rabbits, owls, hawks and even snakes have tried their hands, with the latest being Harry, offering food and drink — and 20 to 30 teacup-size hedgehogs for diners to fondle while awaiting meal service. The equivalent of $9 brings an hour of cuddling rights.
Chew on this for awhile
The most recent suspect to have the bright idea to try biting off his fingertips to avoid identification was Kirk Kelly, wanted in Tampa. Fla., for violating probation and picked up by police in February in Akron, Ohio. While being detained in Akron, he had begun to chew the skin off his fingers. Even if he had succeeded, he was easily identified as Kirk Kelly because of his body tattoos: "Port Tampa" and "813," Tampa's area code.
The December burglary of the Halifax bank in Sale, England, drew attention even though the hour was just after midnight. Jamie Keegan and Marc Shelton, both 33, had tried to haul away an ATM, but it fell out the back of their van, producing calamitous noise and sparks in the road. Also, the ATM had an "out of order" sign on it, raising still another question about the efficacy of the crime. In February, the Minshull Street Crown Court sentenced the pair to 40 months in prison. Bonus: In court, Shelton helpfully corrected the legal record by reminding officials that the pair's crime was actually "burglary" and not, as written, "robbery."
What is believed to be the longest-running armed standoff in U.S. history came to a quiet conclusion on Jan. 6 in Trinidad, Texas, when John Joe Gray outlasted the district attorney — never having left his 47-acre ranch in the past 15 years. In 1999, Gray, carrying a pistol but without a permit, resisted arrest and bit a state trooper, retreating to his property, refusing to leave for court. The sheriff, explaining why his deputies declined to go after him, once said, "Joe Gray has been in prison out there himself" (for 14 years). Actually, the charges were dismissed in December 2014, but when the district attorney left office, he failed to notify Gray or the deputies.
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