Roxy Sykes of London had an idea when someone complimented her on her beautiful feet. “I was convinced to set up a social media account to show them off,” she said. But that was just the beginning for the pedo-preneur. “It wasn’t until I started getting thousands of followers and messages about selling used items that I realized I could profit from it,” she said. In her busiest month, she grossed more than 8,000 British pounds peddling socks, shoes and videos to foot fetishists. “Pairs of shoes that I would wear for two months would sell for £200, and a pair of socks that I wore for a day would sell for £20. Then a single video of me just wiggling my toes would make £100, so I was really raking in a lot of money,” she continued. Overall, she says she’s making about £100,000 a year (approx. $125,000). Sykes has also mentored fellow fetish models: “It’s great to be able to help others and teach people my apparent ‘talent,’” she said.
A Number Of Importance
Another birthday staring you down? Perhaps you can follow the lead of a man in the Netherlands who has launched a legal battle in the town of Arnhem to change his age from 69 to 49. “You can change your name and change your gender,” Emile Ratelband noted. “Why can’t I decide my own age?” The Dutch “positivity trainer” said that he feels discriminated against both in the career realm and on Tinder. “When I am on Tinder and it says I’m 69, I don’t get an answer,” Ratelband said. “When I’m 49, with the face I have, I will be in a luxurious position.” He also describes himself as a “young god.” The arbiters of his case aren’t so sure, though: One judge wanted to know what would become of the 20 years that would be erased by such a change. “Who were your parents looking after then? Who was that little boy?” he wondered.
New World Order
Coming soon from the state-run news agency Xinhua in China: the first artificial intelligence anchorman. Artificial Intelligence Anchor debuted at the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, China. The virtual host, based on images of human news broadcasters, can have real-time news typed into its system even while it’s on air. A synthesized voice reads the script. Xinhua said that its new anchor can work “24 hours a day … reducing news production costs and improving efficiency.”
Duuuude! Scientists at the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey have created a mushroom that can produce electricity using light. Using common button mushrooms, cyanobacteria (very adept at photosynthesis) and graphene nanoribbons (to make electrodes to transport the electricity), researchers were able to produce harvestable electricity by shining a light on their “bionic mushroom.” While the amount of electricity created was small, the team noted the experiment demonstrated an “environment-friendly and green source of photosynthetic bioelectricity.”
A group of cyclists in Hustopece, Moravia, Czech Republic, enjoyed a sunny afternoon of riding to a local landmark known as Lookout Tower. Taking in the view from the top of the tower, they saw a drone flying around. They took a video of it, capturing the moment when the drone picked up one of their bicycles and flew away with it. One of the cyclists threw his helmet at the drone as it flew off, and the others ran down the tower’s steps to chase the drone on foot. Happily, the drone dropped the bike a few hundred feet from the tower.
A Jackson County sheriff’s deputy in Kansas City, Mo., serving an eviction notice, was startled to discover Katfish — a 7-foot-long, 200-pound alligator that tenant Sean Casey kept as a pet (along with three pythons, a rabbit and several cats) in his residence. Casey said he’s had Katfish for four years. “He’s a big cuddly gator,” Casey said. “He wags his tail when I come home.” The gator could lounge in the home’s bathtub, and “get up and get out and cruise through the house,” said Dana Savorelli with Monkey Island Rescue, which officers called to help wrangle the alligator. Alligators are prohibited in Kansas City, so Katfish was relocated to Monkey Island in nearby Greenwood, Mo. And although Casey said Katfish was “not a vicious animal like some people make [him] out to be,” Casey was ticketed for possessing an exotic animal within city limits.
For Love And Cookies
— In North College Hill, Ohio, Noel Hines’ criminal love for Thin Mints finally caught up with her when she was arrested for stealing “a large order of Girl Scout cookies” last March. Police said Hines took the cookies, valued at more than $1,600 and never returned or paid for them. When Hines showed up at the Mayor’s Court on an unrelated matter, police arrested her. They then posted on Facebook, “That’s the way the cookie crumbles.”
— St. Johns County (Florida) Sheriff’s deputies responded to reports a car had crashed into a home in St. Augustine Shores. Officers discovered the car’s driver, Darrin Dewayne Touchton, had previously had a relationship with the homeowner. At the time of the incident, another person was with her at the home. Touchton “did not approve.” When he saw the other man in the front yard, he floored his Nissan Maxima in an attempt to kill the interloper. But the target jumped out of the way, and Touchton hit the house. Touchton had previously threatened to kill the man with his car. He was charged with attempted homicide, three counts of aggravated assault and driving with a suspended license.
Akihiko Kondo of Tokyo spent $18,000 on a wedding ceremony to marry the love of his life, Hatsune Miku — a computer-generated hologram with big eyes and long, turquoise hair. Kondo said he found Hatsune Miku, who has thousands of fans around the world, singing on the internet. The wedding ceremony included the exchange of rings (hers was placed on the finger of a stuffed doll created in her image). Friends and relatives were in attendance, Kondo’s parents were not. “I believe the shape of happiness and love is different for each person,” Kondo said.
Administrators at Spalding Grammar School in Spalding, Lincolnshire, England, introduced a new policy this year, banning sixth-formers (high-schoolers) from carrying book bags between classes. The school felt the heavy bags were causing injuries to students and encouraged them to carry their books in their arms instead. But Jacob Ford had a different plan. He carried his books in a wicker basket and an open microwave oven, for which he received a two-day suspension. Head teacher Steven Wilkinson huffed, “We have a student who has behaved in an increasingly inappropriate way, actions the likes of which I have never witnessed, and who has been sanctioned entirely in line with the school’s policies.” But Ford’s mother, Tracy, backed up her son’s actions: “I’m very proud of him for standing up for something he believes in. Microwave or no microwave.”
Hit The Jackpot
A Bank of America ATM in Houston began dispensing $100 bills instead of $10s. After the first lucky driver posted his score on social media, a crowd showed up. People stood in line for about two hours. A few fights and arguments broke out until police were summoned and the ATM was shut down. Bank of America released a statement the next day that would have galled Ebenezer Scrooge: “Customers will be able to keep the money dispensed.” Turns out the blame lay with a vendor who incorrectly loaded $100 bills into the $10 slot. There was no report of how much money was withdrawn.
Least Competent Criminals
— Richard Robert Langely of Kansas City, Mo., was working part time for the Platte Woods Police Department when he decided to take part in the department’s drug take-back program. According to court documents, Langely wasn’t disposing of drugs; he was helping himself to pills that had been collected in Lake Waukomis. His own body camera captured evidence enabling prosecutors to charge him with felony theft of a controlled substance.
— Wesley Glenn Bost, of Birmingham, Ala., made quite the impression when he fell through the ceiling of a Waffle House in Tuscumbia, not least because he wasn’t wearing pants. Bost apparently went into the restaurant’s bathroom and used his pants to tie the door shut. Then, said Tuscumbia police Detective Sgt. Wes Holland, Bost climbed into the ceiling with the intent of robbing the office. Video of the incident shows Bost shoving other restaurant patrons on his way to the door, which was being held shut by people outside, before hitting the door with his shoulder and falling to the floor. Finally, he managed to flee … without his trousers ….