News of the Weird

  • Article by: CHUCK SHEPHERD
  • August 24, 2012 - 1:02 PM

Paris designer Jean-Emmanuel "Valnoir" Simoulin's latest project combines his boyhood fascination with jacket patches and the societal fascination with body modification. He said he will sew patches featuring his band's next album directly onto the skin of his own back. "It's a nostalgic project about my teenage-hood, when I had an iron faith [in] black-metal [music]."

Government waste?

(1) USA Today, quoting a Pentagon official, reported in July that, during the past decade, the Pentagon had paid late fees totaling $610 million for not returning leased shipping containers by the due dates. (2) The Miami-Dade County, Fla., government confirmed in April that it had discovered, in storage, 298 brand-new vehicles that had been purchased in 2006-07, but which had never been used.

Specialist perps

(1) In May, Chicago police arrested a man they believed had just minutes earlier used a Bobcat front-end loader to crash through the window of a Family Dollar store and steal two cans of deodorant and a handful of gift cards and walk away.

(2) Police in Lorain, Ohio, were looking in June for a man about 18 years old who had been seen on surveillance video breaking into the same Sunoco convenience store several times recently and taking up to $600 worth of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

Why bother?

Police in Lewiston, Idaho, discovered in July that someone had passed a counterfeit $1 bill recently. A veteran officer told the Lewiston Tribune that counterfeiting a $1 bill is so stupid that he had seen only one in his life, made by a junior-high student to pay off a bully.

'Extraordinary' or not?

The only unlimited-issue U.S. visa allowing fast-lane entrance for certain foreign workers is the O-1, available to people such as scientists and engineers who, in the opinion of the State Department, demonstrate "extraordinary ability."

Reuters reported in June that an O-1 recently went to British journalist Piers Morgan, whose extraordinariness seems limited to replacing Larry King on his CNN interview program, and another to Shera Bechard, Playboy's Miss November 2010.

ADA-designed miniature golf

In March, a set of "accessible design" standards went into effect for miniature golf, under the Americans With Disabilities Act. The standards govern such things as the slope of courses (maximum 1:4 rise on some holes), the maximum length of the blades if artificial turf is used, and the minimum area of the "tee-off" landing (48 inches by 60 inches, with a slope not steeper than 1:48).

Trespassing -- in jail

Rodney Valentine, 37, was released from jail in Wentworth, N.C., on July 21 about 8 a.m., but adamantly refused to leave until deputies agreed to drive him to a local motel. They declined, and by noon, Valentine had been re-arrested and charged with trespassing in the jail.

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