You’ve seen photo books and calendars depicting swaddled infants surrounded with flowers. In Irmo, S.C., photographer Stephanie Smith re-created the look using her high school friend Nicole Ham. Ham, who is “336 months old,” was swaddled in a pink blanket and wore a giant gold bow on her head as she lay in a circle of flowers. A sign next to her read: “Loves — champagne. Hates — dating in 2018. Go Tigers!” “We couldn’t keep a straight face,” said Smith, adding that she and Ham are already brainstorming ideas for future funny photo shoots.
People Different From Us
Asparagus is healthy and delicious. But for 63-year-old Jemima Packington of Bath, England, the columnar vegetable is much more. Packington is an “asparamancer”: a person who can foretell the future by tossing the spears into the air and seeing how they land. “When I cast the asparagus, it creates patterns and it is the patterns I interpret,” she said. “I am usually about 75 to 90 percent accurate.” In fact, out of 13 predictions she made for 2018, 10 came true. What’s in store for 2019? Packington says England’s women’s soccer team will win the World Cup; A Star Is Born will win an Oscar; and fears over Brexit will be largely unfounded. Oh, and asparagus will see an all-time high in sales.
Armed and Clumsy
Despite a flood of warnings from law enforcement about the dangers of shooting celebratory gunfire into the air on New Year’s Eve, a Kansas City, Kansas, man couldn’t resist. As he prepared to head outside at midnight with his .22-caliber handgun, he “sat the gun down in the couch (and) accidentally shot himself in the stomach,” tweeted police chief Terry Ziegler. Ziegler’s department conducted a “Tweet-along” during the evening, with multiple reports of shots fired — so many that, at 11:50 p.m., officers headed to a parking garage to take cover from the bullets that were expected to rain down at midnight. At 12:01 a.m., the department tweeted, “Gunfire EVERYWHERE.” No injuries were reported in the city.
Alarmed neighbors in Perth, Australia, called police after hearing a child screaming and a man repeatedly shouting, “Why don’t you die?!” Many units of officers arrived at the property, only to learn that the man who’d been shouting had been trying to kill a spider. His wife confirmed to police that her child had been screaming, and her husband apologized to police for the confusion. The spider didn’t survive.
Weapon of Choice
Rogelio Tapia, 26, was arrested in Des Moines, Iowa, on Dec. 31 after a dispute at a QuikTrip around 3 am. The store clerk and witnesses told police Tapia chased the clerk around the store and assaulted him with a banana after the clerk tried to intervene in a domestic situation. Tapia caused $1,000 in damage; he was charged with assault and third-degree criminal mischief.
In Madrid, Spain, salon owner Alberto Olmedo uses ninja swords and blowtorches to cut hair. Claiming his approach is inspired by Renaissance tradition, Olmedo said that swords allow a hairdresser to cut hair from both sides of the head at once, resulting in a more even finish. He started perfecting the skill when he became “disillusioned with scissors.” Olmedo also offers a cut with claws worn on the ends of his fingers, and plans are in the works to bring in lasers.
— Nike will be mowing over the competition with its new Air Max 1 golf shoes, which feature uppers covered with a green material that resembles grass. Matching green laces will further disguise your dogs as you play a round. But lest you think you’ll disappear altogether, the trademark Nike swoosh on the sides is bright white. The sneakers, yet to be released, are expected to retail for $140.
— Just when you thought there was nothing new under the blue jeans sun: a Ukrainian designer is asking $377 for a pair of jeans that have one fitted leg and one flared leg. Ksenia Schnaider, who calls her design the Asymmetric Jean, said, “It’s good to get people talking, and they’re definitely going to make people turn their heads as you walk by!”
— Employees of John J. Murphy Elementary School in Round Lake Park, Ill., were surprised when a car drove into the drop-off lane and an 11-year-old student got out of the driver’s side. Witnesses alerted police, who issued an arrest warrant for the front-seat passenger, 31-year-old Khafilu M. Oshodi of Round Lake, for two counts of child endangerment. (A 9-year-old was riding in the back seat.) Police chief George Filenko told the Lake County News-Sun the situation could have “resulted in any number of tragic scenarios.” The children have been placed with other relatives, and police are still looking for Oshodi.
— Alijah Hernandez of Houston is a skilled barber in her father’s shop. What is newsworthy is that Alijah is only 7. Her dad, Franky, says she’s been watching him since she was a toddler and started perfecting her skills three years ago. For her part, Alijah says cutting hair comes naturally to her. She practices on friends and family (with her dad supervising) and has already faced off in barber competitions across Texas.
Laura Lyons of Orinda, Calif., was in her kitchen on the afternoon of Jan. 20 when a loud alert noise blared in the living room, followed by a detailed warning from “Civil Defense” that intercontinental ballistic missiles were on their way from North Korea to Los Angeles, Chicago and Ohio. Lyons said the message warned residents they had three hours to evacuate. As she and her husband absorbed the news, they realized it had come from their Nest security camera — not from the TV, where the Rams-Saints game was playing. And news channels were not reporting anything unusual. “It was five minutes of sheer terror,” she said. The Lyonses called 911 and then Nest, where a supervisor told them they had been victims of a “third-party hack” on their camera and speakers.
Latest Religious Messages
British retailer Marks & Spencer is in hot water with Muslims who claim the store’s brand of toilet paper is embossed with the Arabic symbol God. A man posted a video to social media displaying a roll of M&S Aloe Vera 3-ply tissue and urging his Muslim brothers and sisters to avoid buying it or to boycott the store altogether. In response, Marks & Spencer says the symbol is of an aloe vera leaf: “The motif on the aloe vera toilet tissue, which we have been selling for over five years, is categorically of an aloe vera leaf, and we have investigated and confirmed this with our suppliers.”