News of the Weird

  • Article by: CHUCK SHEPHERD
  • November 9, 2012 - 1:53 PM

Earlier this year, the National Football League suspended some New Orleans Saints players and the head coach for having a reward system that paid players for purposely injuring opponents. In September, coach Darren Crawford of the Tustin (Calif.) Pee Wee Red Cobras team was suspended when former players reported that the coach ran a similar scheme among his 10- and 11-year-olds, using a cash reward of up to $50 for the "hit of the game." Last year's top prize allegedly went to a boy who left an opposing running back with a mild concussion. At press time, the investigation was ongoing.

'Resurrection! Live!'

"If the Messiah descends from the Mount of Olives as foretold in the Bible," wrote the Los Angeles Times in an October dispatch from Jerusalem, the two largest Christian television networks in the United States promise to cover the arrival live from a hilltop in the city. Daystar Television has already been beaming a 24/7 webcam view, and Trinity Broadcasting Network bought the building next door to Daystar's in September and has already begun staging live and pre-recorded programs using the broad expanse of the Holy Land city as background.

What's for dinner?

In October, eight units in an apartment complex in Holland Township, Mich., were destroyed, with two dozen people displaced, when one resident, preparing a meal of squirrel, had a propane torch accident as he attempted to burn off the rodent's fur.

Latest scam

In Ventura, Calif., in September, a scammer tried to bilk victims out of money by assuring them that he could double their cash (in this case, $14,000) by spraying it with a secret chemical. Of course, the victims had to wait several hours for their newly doubled cash to dry and eventually discovered the scammer had substituted blank paper and was long gone.

Birds on a mission

In October, Britain's Gravesham Borough Council, weary of neighbors' complaints about the noise and smell from Roy Day's brood of 20 birds, ordered him to remove them and find them a new home. Day, a member of the National Pigeon Racing Association, told reporters of the futility of the order: "They are homing pigeons." Said a friend, wherever Day sends them, "[T]hey will just fly straight back to him. ... He has never lost one."

Pillow fight?

Richard Parker Jr., 36, was arrested in New London, Conn., in September after allegedly hitting a man several times with a pillow, then taking his car keys and driving off.

Bagel heads

In September, the National Geographic cable TV show "Taboo" featured three young Tokyo partiers as examples of the "bagel head" craze in which fun-lovers inject saline just under the skin of the forehead to create a swelling and apply pressure to the center to achieve a doughnut look that lasts up to 24 hours before the saline is absorbed into the body.

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