An estimated 3.2 million kids aged 5-12 take mixed-martial-arts classes, training to administer beatdowns modeled after the adults’ Ultimate Fighting Championships, according to a report in ESPN magazine, which profiled the mohawked Derek “Crazy” Rayfield, 11, and the meek, doll-clutching fighting machine, Regina “The Black Widow” Awana, 7. Kids younger than 12 fight each other without regard to gender. Blows above the collarbone, and on the groin, kidneys and back are prohibited. “Crazy” delivered merciless forearm chest smashes before the referee intervened. And The Black Widow won her match in less than a minute via “arm-bar submission.”
Who TPd The Roads?
In November, the Littleton, Colo., city government was faced with the need to blot sticky tar on 120 streets whose potholes it was filling. The city bypassed expensive “detackifiers” in favor of putting toilet paper over the tar.
The Rich Get Richer …
Long-time Mississippi environmental activist Tennie White is 27 months into a 40-month sentence on the grounds that she falsified three $150 tests in her laboratory. But high-ranking executives at the Kerr-McGee chemical conglomerate made millions on the case White helped expose, which involved leakage of cancer-causing creosote into communities, including White’s Columbus, Miss., neighborhood. A detailed investigation by TheIntercept.com in November noted the executives’ brilliant response to the 25,000 creosote lawsuits nationwide: put all the liability into one outlying company, which eventually went bankrupt, but sell off, at a high profit, the rest of the firm.
Texas is among the most enthusiastic states when it comes to jailing low-income defendants who make bail. Four Houston bail magistrates are particularly harsh, according to a recent report of the Texas Organizing Project. After hearing one financially overwhelmed woman sarcastically state that $1,000 bail is “nothing” next to her other bills, the unsympathetic magistrate Joe Licata shrugged, “It’s nothing to me, either. It’s job security.”
— “Man Mixing LSD and Cough Syrup Saves Dog From Imaginary Fire” (WNYT-TV, Albany, N.Y., 10/15). Panicked, the man sought help from neighbors, who saw no fire.
— “Santa Claus Speaks Out Against North Pole Ban of Marijuana Sales” (KTUU-TV, Anchorage). Cannabis is legal in Alaska unless towns ban it. Mr. Claus (his real name) needs it for cancer pain.
Another Animal Survives With Mouth-To-Mouth
In November, an 18-year-old man who allegedly tried to steal koi carp fish from a holding tank (pending their return to a pond at Castle Park in Colchester, England) botched the job, resulting in the deaths of most of them, including some of the oldest and most visitor-friendly of the species. Park rangers managed to rescue several, and one ranger even gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to three carp. (A biologist told BBC News that carp are noted for surviving on low oxygen and might not have needed the mouth-to-mouth.)
Weird Quantities In The News
— Price tag for one round of a 155mm projectile shot from the Navy’s USS Zumwalt: $800,000.
— Trees killed in California by the now-5-year-old drought: 102,000,000.
— Recent finding of water farthest from the Earth’s surface: 621 miles down (one-third of the way to the Earth’s core).
— Odds that Statistics Lecturer Nicholas Kapoor (Fairfield University, Fairfield, Conn.) said he played against in buying a $15 Powerball ticket: 1 in 913,129. He won $100,000.
— Speed police calculated Hector Faire, 19, reached in an Oklahoma police chase: 208 mph. They got him, anyway.
— Different languages spoken by children in Buffalo, N.Y., public classrooms: 85.
Not Really Perverts
— When police in Port Orange, Fla., arrested Anthony Coiro, 76, he admitted that he had a stash of “crazy” pornography, some featuring children. However, he adamantly insisted, “I’m not a pedophile. I’m just a pervert.” He added that he was “a law-abiding pervert.” He faces 52 counts.
— In November in Osaka, Japan, an unnamed arrestee had his sexual molestation charge against a woman on a crowded train dramatically downgraded. “Actually,” the man indignantly told the judge, he was not a pervert, but just a pickpocket. The victim had testified that the man had brushed against her.
No Breathalyzer Needed
— Michelle Keys, 35, was among those joyously caught up in Iowa’s upset win over highly ranked Michigan and celebrating that in Iowa City. She was slurring and incoherent. She told police she was certain she was in Ames, Iowa (120 miles away), and had just watched the “Iowa State — Arizona” game (a matchup not played since 1968). She registered .225.
— A 38-year-old woman was arrested in Springwood, Australia, when police stopped her car at 3 am at an intersection. A children’s swing set was wedged onto the roof of her SUV. Shortly before, she had mistakenly driven through someone’s back yard and through the swing set.
How To Run Over Yourself
In October in Orlando, William Edwards, 28, left the Dancer’s Royale strip club at 2:30 am. He started his truck; drove a short distance; fell out; felt the truck run over his leg; and saw it drift down a street and into a home, where it injured the occupant. Earlier in October, a 25-year-old man in Scugog, Ont., backed his car down his driveway with the door open. He fell out and the car ran over his leg. He watched it as it hit two mailbox posts. In both cases, alcohol was involved.
Latest Animal Rights
A judge in Argentina ordered the reluctant Mendoza Zoo to release a chimpanzee to a sanctuary in Brazil, claiming that the zoo had denied the chimpanzee the “right” to her “animal essence.” The judge defined “animal essence” as the ability to socialize with other chimps. The chimpanzee’s last two playmates had died more than two years earlier. Mendoza Zoo was heavily criticized following the death last summer of Arturo, who was dubbed the “world’s saddest polar bear.” He had had no playmates for 22 years.
Divorcing couples who can’t decide who gets to keep a treasured family home leave the decision to a judge. In October, a court in Moscow ordered a couple to build a brick wall dividing their expensive house in two. The members of the couple have assumed dominion over their respective areas, even to the extent that a friend of the wife once became “trapped” on the husband’s side and could not figure out how to leave. So she called emergency services. The court ordered the wife must have a second stairway built, as the existing one is on the husband’s side.
A 23-year-old man in Tampa, Fla., was hanging out with his cousin. Nearby were a gun and a bulletproof vest. According to police, the first man donned the vest and said he wondered whether it “still worked.” The cousin picked up the gun and said, “Let’s see.” The cousin, Alexandro Garibaldi, 24, was charged with manslaughter.
The Limitations Of Pig Latin
Among details revealed at a November murder trial in Sydney, Australia, was that members of the “Brothers 4 Life” gang may have used “pig Latin.” In a phone-tapped conversation played in court, one of the men on trial was overheard cunningly telling a henchman that a colleague had been “caught with the un-gay in the ar-kay.” A helpful witness then took the stand to explain to the jury that the defendant thus knew there was “a gun in the car.” At press time, the trial was still in progress.
Not A Great Place For A Good Time
An “academic” paper composed entirely of gibberish was accepted for a lecture at the International Conference on Atomic and Nuclear Physics in Atlanta last month. Prof. Christoph Bartneck of New Zealand’s University of Canterbury said he used an Apple iOS to write the paper by entering the words “atomic” and “nuclear” into his tablet and “randomly” following whatever “autocomplete” suggestions emerged. A sample sentence read: “The atoms of a better universe will have the right for the same as you are the way we shall have to be a great place…” The conclusion of the paper read: “Power is not a great place for a good time.”
Injured By Flying Animals
— Victims in News of the Weird stories have been hit by “flying” animals that should not be airborne. These included a cow that fell off a cliff and a horse that fell from a trailer onto a highway overpass. On Nov. 17, in Clarksville, Tenn., a pedestrian on Dover Road was smacked by a deer that sailed into him after it collided with a minivan. The pedestrian was taken to the hospital with broken bones.