News of the Weird: Some babies go diaper-free

  • Article by: CHUCK SHEPHERD
  • May 17, 2013 - 11:49 AM

Caribou Baby, a Brooklyn, N.Y., “eco-friendly maternity, baby and lifestyle store,” has recently been hosting gatherings at which parents exchange tips on “elimination communication,” according to an April report by the New York Times.

Parents watch for cues, such as a certain “cry or grimace” that supposedly signals that the tot urgently needs to be hoisted onto a potty. Eventually, they say, the potty serves to cue the baby.

Dealing with diapers is so unpleasant, they say, that cleaning an occasional mess becomes tolerable. The little darlings’ public appearances sometimes call for diapers, but can also be dealt with by taking the baby behind the nearest tree. One parent even admitted, “I have absolutely been at parties and witnessed people putting their baby over the sink.”

Can’t possibly be true

The principal and head teacher at a Godalming, England, special-needs school were reported by employees in March for allowing a student with self-harm issues to cut herself, under staff supervision. The school enrolls kids aged 7 to 19 who have high-functioning autism. Teachers were to hand the girl a sterilized blade, wait outside a bathroom while she acted out, checking on her at two-minute intervals, and then dress the girl’s wounds once she had finished. The school reportedly abandoned the policy six days after implementing it.

Democracy blues

The city council of Oita, Japan, refused to seat a recently elected member because he refused to remove the mask he always wears in public. Professional wrestler “Skull Reaper A-ji” said his fans would not accept him as authentic if he strayed from his character.

Demanding inmate

John Leopold, the former county executive of Anne Arundel County, Md., serving 30 days in jail for illegally forcing his government security detail and another employee to perform personal errands, apparently wasted no time in March displaying a similar attitude toward his jailers. He demanded that the jailers serve him a breakfast of Cheerios, skim milk, bananas and orange juice instead of the scheduled fare.

Territorial research

California street gangs stage fights at locations that can be accurately predicted using the same algorithm that anthropologists use to predict where lions and hyenas will fight in the wild to protect their own territories. A UCLA researcher, using the standard equation on 13 equal-sized criminal gangs in the Boyle Heights neighborhood in east Los Angeles, produced a table of probabilities showing how far from each gang’s border any fights were likely to occur. In the period 1999 to 2002, the formula correctly showed that about 58 percent of shootings occurred within 0.2 miles of the border, 83 percent within 0.4 miles, and 97 percent within 1 mile.

Penny ante crime?

Carl Bellenir, 48, was arrested in San Luis Obispo, Calif., in February after he had successfully cashed in, at a Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, several rolls of pennies that had been stuffed into rolls labeled for dimes. Bellenir apparently did not realize that the rolls would be examined later in the day and so returned the very next morning to the same bank and tried it again. Police were called, and Bellenir fled, but he was captured down the street at a Bank of America trying the same trick.

Readers’ choice

Kent Hendrix heroically rushed to the aid of a female neighbor being assaulted by an acquaintance on their residential street in Millcreek, Utah, in April and scared the man off. Hendrix is a bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and, more to the point, a black belt in karate, and even more to the point, was aiming his favorite samurai sword at the attacker. Said Hendrix, “His eyes just got huge ... that he was staring down 29 inches of razor.” The suspect turned himself in after the attack.

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