French artist Abraham Poincheval told reporters in February that in his upcoming "performance," he will entomb himself for a week in a limestone boulder at a Paris museum and then, at the conclusion, sit on a dozen bird eggs until they hatch — "an inner journey," he said, "to find out what the world is." He apparently failed to learn that from previous efforts, such as the two weeks he spent inside a stuffed bear or his time on the Rhône River inside a giant corked bottle. He told reporters the super-snug tomb has been thoroughly accessorized, providing for breathing, eating, heart monitor and emergency phone — except, they noted, nothing on exactly how toileting will be handled.
In February, two teams of South Korean researchers announced cancer-fighting breakthroughs — by taking lessons from how two of medicine's most vexing, destructive organisms (diarrhea-causing salmonella bacteria and the rabies virus) can access often-unconquerable cancer cells. In journal articles, biologist Jung-Joon Min of Chonnam National University described how his team "weaponized" a cancer-fighting invader cell with salmonella to stir up more robust immune responses, and nanoparticle expert Yu Seok Youn's Sungkyunkwan University team coated immunizing cells with the rabies protein (since the rabies virus is remarkably successful at invading healthy cells) to reach brain tumors.
Michigan is an "open carry" state, and any adult not otherwise disqualified under state law may "pack heat" in public except in a few designated zones. In February, an overly earnest Second Amendment fan, James Baker, 24 (accompanied by pal Brandon Vreeland, 40), believed the law was an invitation to walk into the Dearborn police station in full body armor and ski mask, with a semi-automatic pistol and a sawed-off rifle — and have Vreeland photograph officers' reactions. Yes, both were arrested.
Taking one for the team
In a first-person profile for the Chicago Tribune in February, marketing consultant Peter Bender, 28, recalled how he worked to maximize his knowledge of the products of company client Hanes — and not just the flagship Hanes underwear but its Playtex and Maidenform brands. In an "empathy" exercise, Bender wore bras for three days (a sports bra, an underwire and a lacy one) — fitted at size 34A (or "less than A," he said). "These things are difficult," he wrote on a company blog. "The lacy one," especially, was "itchy."
Wild West in Harrisburg, Pa.
Stephen Reed, the former mayor of Harrisburg, Pa., pleaded guilty on the eve of his January trial on corruption counts stemming from the approximately 10,000 items of "Wild West" and "Americana" artifacts worth around $8 million that he had bought with public funds during 28 years in office. For some reason, he had a single-minded obsession with creating a local all-things-cowboy museum, and had purchased such items as a stagecoach, stagecoach harnesses, a "Billy the Kid" wanted poster, a wagon wheel and a totem pole. Somehow, he explained, as he was leaving office after being voted out in 2009, the items he had purchased — theoretically, "on behalf of" of Harrisburg — had migrated into his personal belongings.
Read News of the Weird daily at weirduniverse.net. Send items to firstname.lastname@example.org.