Odds & Ends
By Brendan Bilthock
Dateline: France—Two pioneers of the cryonics movement, which freezes dead bodies for repair and revivification in the future, have been cremated after an unfortunate freezer mishap. Dr. Raymond Martinot became a science celebrity in 1984 when he had his wife Monique, who died from cancer, frozen and stored inside their chateau in France's Loire Valley. Dr. Martinot died of a stroke in 2002 at age 84, and his son followed his orders to inject him with the same anticoagulants and store him alongside his spouse. It was Martinot's belief that scientists would be able to revive him and his wife by the year 2050. Remy Martinot, son of the cryonics researcher, battled for years to keep his parents freezer-bound. Several French courts had ruled that storing bodies in that manner was illegal. Martinot had vowed to appeal. Unfortunately, the freezer storing Mr. and Mrs. Martinot failed, taking the bodies from a constant -65C to -20C. The bodies were cremated in early March.
Dateline: Italy—Older is bolder, apparently. Police in the city of Cologno al Serio, northeast of Milan, pulled over a vehicle that was swerving erratically on the road. Inside the car, they found a completely naked 70-year-old woman who had been trying to have sex with the driver, who happened to be 11 years her junior. Police ordered the joyriding couple to put their clothes back on and tested the seminude male motorist for drunk driving. “He was three times over the legal limit,” said police commander Angelo D'Anardo. “We assume they must have been drinking at lunch and things got out of control.” Asked by reporters if the couple were married, D'Anardo said he doubted it. “Married people wouldn't probably do anything like this.”
Dateline: California—Curtis Gokey, a city employee in Lodi is suing the city after a dump truck backed into his car, causing $3,600 in damage. Oddly enough, the dump truck in question was being driven by city employee Curtis Gokey. Not so surprisingly, the city rejected Gokey's claim since he was, in essence, suing himself. Undeterred, Gokey filed a new lawsuit under his wife Rhonda's name. City Attorney Steve Schwabauer said the new suit also lacks merit because Rhonda Gokey can't sue her own husband. “You can sue your spouse for divorce, but you can't sue your spouse for negligence,” Schwabauer said. “They're a married couple under California law. They're one entity. It's damage to community property.” Nonetheless, Rhonda Gokey insists she has “the right to sue the city because a city's vehicle damaged my private vehicle.” In fact, Rhonda Gokey's claim is for an even larger amount than her husband's original claim--$4,800. “I'm not as nice as my husband is,” she said.
Dateline: Chicago—Diane Marcotte was allegedly drunk when she came to pick up her 10-year-old son at an Island Lake elementary school--and so was her dog. Last Monday afternoon, the 49-year-old Marcotte wove an erratic path through the school bus lane and ended up on the sidewalk in front of her son's school. According to police, Marcotte smelled of alcohol and failed several sobriety tests. Following the tests, officers noticed Chico, a rather unstable Chihuahua in the car's backseat. “The officer got real close to the little pooch and determined there was a strong odor of alcohol about the dog,” Island Lake Police Chief John Fellman told the Chicago Tribune. “The dog proceeded to throw up in the car.” While initial reports indicate the Chihuahua may have imbibed tequila, the findings aren't complete, Animal Control Manager Jerry Rivard said. “Our officer got there, and basically the dog fell out of the car,” said Rivard. “The dog smelled of alcohol. ... He couldn't stand up. It was like a drunken stupor.” Chico was taken to an emergency veterinary clinic and given intravenous fluid. “He was fine the next day,” said Rivard. “You could say he slept it off.” Marcotte refused a Breathalyzer test and was taken into custody. She was eventually charged with driving under the influence and child endangerment.
Dateline: California—Buyer's remorse? The northern California hamlet of Bridgeville is back on the eBay auction block a mere two years after it was first sold off on the Internet site. Bridgeville, a picturesque village of about 25 people located in Humboldt County, sparked a bidding war in 2002 when it became the first town ever put up for sale on eBay. Bidding topped $1.78 million, but the buyer never came to see the property and the deal fell through. Orange County financial advisor Bruce Krall eventually purchased the property through a traditional real estate dealer for about $700,000 in May of 2004. He's putting it back up for sale on eBay and will be asking a minimum bid of $1.75 million, more than twice what he paid for the 83-acre property. Krall says he has invested “multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars” restoring the town's old buildings, removing dilapidated structures and hauling away mounds of trash. “It's come full circle,” said Krall. “Now it's been fixed up, and I think it's actually ready to be sold on eBay.”
Compiled by Brendan Bilthock. E-mail your weird news to email@example.com.
National History Day: Albuquerque Regional competition at National Hispanic Cultural Center
National History Day is a year round program that encourages thousands of middle and high school students nationwide to engage in research on a topic of their choosing that relates to the yearly theme. This year’s theme is "Leadership and Legacy in History." Students create projects and compete in regional, state and the national contests. The projects may take the form of research papers, performances, documentaries, websites or exhibits.
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