News of the Weird

  • Article by: CHUCK SHEPHERD
  • December 21, 2012 - 2:53 PM

Plastic surgeons in Turkey and France told CNN in November that mustache implants have suddenly surged in popularity as Middle Eastern men use their increased lip bushiness to convey power and prestige.

Surgeons extract follicles from hairier parts of the body in procedures that cost about $7,000 and show full results in about six months. An anthropology professor told CNN that, by tradition in Arab countries, a man of honor would "swear on my mustache," use mustaches as collateral for loans, shave off a vanquished foe's mustache, and gravely insult enemies with "Curse be upon your mustache!"

Latest in sushi

(1) The Demeter Fragrance Library -- maker of such "classic" scents as "Dirt," "Crayon" and "Laundromat" -- has added to its line with "Sushi" cologne, reported the website in November. Fortunately, the scent is not that of raw fish, but "cooked sticky rice," seaweed, ginger and lemon essences. (2) A company called Beverly Hills Caviar recently installed three vending machines in the Los Angeles area that sell caviar, ranging from pink mother of pearl ($4) to Imperial River Beluga ($500 an ounce).

Not so brotherly

According to testimony in Perth, Australia, in November, a retired priest, the Rev. Thomas Byrne, 80, bit off the ear of another, the Rev. Thomas Smith, 81, in a brawl over a parking space. The two are residents of the same retirement home in the Perth suburb of Dianella.

Ordained by blood?

Personalities are heavily influenced by blood types, according to the Japanese. People with Type A blood are thought to be "sensitive perfectionists and good team players, but over-anxious," according to a November BBC News dispatch, while O's are "curious and generous but stubborn." Some industries market blood-type-specific products, including soft drinks.

American-made chopsticks

Japanese and Chinese traditions reject the idea of re-using wooden chopsticks. But Japan requires 23 billion pairs a year, and China 63 billion, which the wood industry can no longer provide. In 2011, Korean-born Jae Lee built a factory in Americus, Ga., near forests of poplar and sweet gum trees that proved the ideal combination of softness and hardness for the sticks. In 2011 and early 2012, he supplied Japanese, Chinese and Koreans with 20 million pairs of "Made in U.S.A." chopsticks every week. (In June, Georgia Chopsticks LLC was inexplicably closed by court order, even though its sales had remained brisk.)

Incompetent criminals

Rookie mistake: Joseph O'Callaghan, 31, was sentenced to nine years in prison by a court in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in November for having robbed an armored-car guard in 2011. He had made off with the guard's cashbox, but since he had accosted the guard on his way into Northern Bank, and not on his way out, the box contained no money.

Latest on 'Stalking Cat'

Dennis Avner transformed his body through surgery, tattoos and implants, and almost completely adopted the persona of a cat. He was known as "Stalking Cat" in the body-modification community. Avner had tiger-stripe tattoos covering most of his body, dental implants sharpened to points to resemble tiger teeth, and metal-stud implants around his mouth to hold his long, plastic whiskers. Ear and lip surgery had made his head more catlike, and special contact lenses made his eyes appear as ovals. Avner died in Las Vegas in November at the age of 54, reportedly of suicide.

Read News of the Weird daily at Send items to

© 2018 Star Tribune