odds and ends


V.22 No.36 | 9/5/2013
Odds and Ends

Odds & Ends

Funny because it happens to someone else.
V.18 No.43 | 10/22/2009
Odds and Ends

Dateline: Gaza Strip—Two zebras at Gaza’s city zoo died of hunger earlier this year when they were neglected during a flare-up in the Israel-Hamas conflict, but they’ve finally been replaced—by a pair of painted donkeys. New zebras would have cost the zoo $40,000 apiece, so zookeepers simply used masking tape and women’s hair dye to paint stripes on two female donkeys. Zoo officials said the high cost of the animals was due largely to import restrictions placed by the Israelis. In addition to the two “zebras,” the zoo boasts an aging tiger, two monkeys, and an assortment of birds, rabbits and cats.

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V.18 No.41 | 10/8/2009
Odds and Ends

Dateline: New York—In August, ultra-dissatisfied customer Dalton Chiscolm sued the largest U.S. bank, demanding “1,784 billion, trillion dollars” for poor customer service. He also asked for an additional $200,165,000 in punitive damages, according to court papers. Last Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin called Chiscolm’s lawsuit against Bank of America “incomprehensible” in Manhattan Federal Court. “He seems to be complaining that he placed a series of calls to the bank in New York and received inconsistent information from a ‘Spanish woman,’ ” the judge wrote. Chiscolm’s unusual monetary demand is larger than a sextillion dollars, or a 1 followed by 21 zeros. The sum far exceeds the world’s 2008 gross domestic product of $60 trillion, as estimated by the World Bank. “These are the kind of numbers you deal with only on a cosmic scale,” Sylvain Cappell, New York University’s Silver Professor at the Courant Institute for Mathematical Science, told New York’s Daily News. “If he thinks Bank of America has branches on every planet in the cosmos, then it might start to make some sense.” Judge Chin gave Chiscolm until Oct. 23 to better explain the basis for his claims or else see his complaint dismissed.

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V.18 No.40 | 10/1/2009
Odds and Ends

Dateline: England—A Jedi Church elder (well, he’s 23) is considering bringing legal action against the U.K. supermarket chain Tesco on the basis of religious discrimination. Daniel Jones from Holyhead in North Wales claims the Tesco store in Bangor victimized his beliefs when it asked him to remove his hood for security reason. Jones, who founded the International Church of Jediism, told the Daily Post, “It states in our Jedi doctrine that I can wear headwear.” Jones went on to clarify the Star Wars philosophy on head covering: “You have the choice of wearing headwear in your home or at work, but you have to wear a cover for your head when you are in public.” Jones, who works in Bangor, had gone to the store to buy something to eat during his lunch break. Jones, who was wearing his traditional Jedi robes at the time, was told by store employees to take his hood off or leave. “They said, ‘Take it off,’ and I said, ‘No, its part of my religion. It’s part of my religious right.’ I gave them a Jedi Church business card,” Jones explained. A Tesco spokesperson responded to Jones’ complaint and schooled him on nerd trivia as well, saying, “Jedis are very welcome in our stores, although we would ask them to remove their hoods. Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Luke Skywalker all appeared hoodless without ever going over to the Dark Side, and we are only aware of the Emperor as one who never removed his hood.”

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V.18 No.39 | 9/24/2009
Odds and Ends

Dateline: Nigeria—A housewife has filed for divorce from her husband because he will not stop defecating in the family’s cooking pots. According to the Online Nigeria website, Oluwakemi Ogundele told the Igando Customary Court in Lagos earlier this month that her husband, Oluwafemi, is a violent drunkard. To add insult to injury, Oluwafemi has an unfortunate habit of pooping in cooking pots and on dinner plates when intoxicated. Mrs. Ogundele asked the court to dissolve the marriage because Oluwafemi no longer provides for her or her children and because she does not love him. Oluwafemi denied charges of spousal abuse and crockery defecation, but admitted there is no love left between the couple. The court adjourned the matter until later this month and warned the couple to remain civil with one another in the meantime.

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V.18 No.31 | 7/30/2009
Odds and Ends

Dateline: Australia—Here’s a tip: If you’re huffing gas, try to avoid getting Tasered by the cops. An Aboriginal Australian who had been sniffing gasoline apparently burst into flames after a police officer zapped him with a Taser gun. Ronald Mitchell, who charged at police while brandishing a juice bottle full of fuel, is now recovering in a hospital in Perth. The incident happened in Warburton, an Aboriginal community 950 miles northeast of the city in the state of Western Australia. Cops said they were responding to a complaint at a house when Mitchell, 36, came out of the house and charged them. When he refused to stop, one officer hit him with his Taser. The man was immediately engulfed in flames. The officer threw Mitchell to the ground and extinguished the blaze with his hands. A police spokesperson said Mitchell appeared to have received third-degree burns over about 10 percent of his body.

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V.18 No.30 | 7/23/2009
Odds and Ends

Dateline: Bangladesh—Police in the northern part of the country say they have arrested dozens of swindlers who conned people out of money by calling them on mobile phones and claiming to be genies with supernatural powers. “It has become an epidemic,” Farhad bin Imrul Kayes, police chief of Gobindaganj province told Agence France-Presse. “In the last three months alone we have arrested 24 of these so-called ‘Kings of Genies,’ some of whom have even become rich in just a year.” According to Kayes, the scammers would gather personal information about their victims beforehand, then call them and speak “in a tone similar to Arabic.” Claiming to be genies who had descended from the sky, the scammers would demand money, threatening a family tragedy if the victims did not pay up. In addition to rattling off detailed family information, the callers would recite passages from the Quran. Police in Gobindaganj used phone taps to catch the scammers after receiving numerous complaints.

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V.18 No.29 | 7/16/2009
Odds and Ends

Dateline: Poland—According to England’s The Sun newspaper, a Polish woman has filed a lawsuit against an Egyptian hotel claiming that her teenage daughter got mysteriously pregnant after using the facility’s swimming pool. Magdalena Kwiatkowska claims her 13-year-old daughter became inseminated thanks to a stray sperm swimming around the hotel’s mixed-sex pool. The teen allegedly returned from a vacation in Egypt pregnant, and Kwiatkowska says her daughter certainly did not meet or fraternize with any boys while in Egypt. Tourist authorities in Warsaw confirmed the complaint. The knocked-up teen’s mother is seeking unspecified compensation from the hotel.

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Odds and Ends

Dateline: Poland—According to England’s The Sun newspaper, a Polish woman has filed a lawsuit against an Egyptian hotel claiming that her teenage daughter got mysteriously pregnant after using the facility’s swimming pool. Magdalena Kwiatkowska claims her 13-year-old daughter became inseminated thanks to a stray sperm swimming around the hotel’s mixed-sex pool. The teen allegedly returned from a vacation in Egypt pregnant, and Kwiatkowska says her daughter certainly did not meet or fraternize with any boys while in Egypt. Tourist authorities in Warsaw confirmed the complaint. The knocked-up teen’s mother is seeking unspecified compensation from the hotel.

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