One of the remaining 116 Guantanamo Bay prisoners (a man suspected of having been close to Osama bin Laden) has a dating profile on Match.com captioned "detained but ready to mingle," the man's lawyer Carlos Warner told Al Jazeera America in September. Muhammad Rahim al-Afghani has relentlessly proclaimed his innocence, and Warner released a series of charming letters from his client intended to humanize him. Al-Afghani commented on Lebron James, Caitlyn Jenner, the Ashley Madison website and, for some reason, South Dakota, but with the recent publicity, Match.com appears to have suspended the account.
The continuing crisis
"Let me get this straight," wrote an incredulous commenter in September. "Those who oversee" the Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor, Michigan, have the park "populated with snakes that can bite and inflict serious wounds." The remark was in response to a visitor's having been bitten by one of at least 27 rattlesnakes loose (by design) on the grounds. (The Eastern Massasauga rattler is protected by state law.) On the other hand, the park has posted many snake warning signs, and the woman who was bitten had removed her shoes to walk in the lush grass.
Aluminum foil makes a comeback
City officials in Tarpon Springs, Fla., scrambled in May to find an ordinance that artist Piotr Janowski might have violated when he covered two palm trees, and then three sides of his rented home, in heavy-duty aluminum foil, to the consternation of neighbors. Janowski is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and his work has been shown in that city's Polish Museum of America.
National Forest Service officials announced success in fire retardation in August by protectively sealing a remote structure near an Idaho wildfire in multi-ply foil.
And then there is Arthur Brown, 78, also "successful" in having kept his house in Hermitage, Pa., free of "aliens" by sealing it in foil (although neighbors griped in September about falling property values).
Latest self-declared right
Officials in Carroll County, Md., finally released a woman in August after she had been detained for 67 days — just for declining to give her name to a traffic patrolman (who had stopped her for a broken taillight). In her idiosyncratic understanding of the U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment, to "not be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against (herself)" means keeping her identity hidden from police. Eventually, sheriff deputies captured her fingerprints, and since they matched no outstanding warrants, she was released.
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