Odds & Ends
Dateline: Bosnia—A man living in the northern Bosnian village of Gornji Lajici says he’s being bombarded by vindictive space aliens and he’s fed up with it. Since 2007, Radivoje Lajic’s house has been struck six times by meteorites—the most recent roof-damaging strike coming within the last month. The U.K.’s Metro newspaper reports that experts at Belgrade University have confirmed all the falling rocks handed over to them have been meteorites. Lajic, 50, says the rocks only strike his house when it is raining heavily, never when the skies are clear. Scientists are trying to figure out what makes his house so attractive to the space rocks. Lajic has his own theory, of course. “I am obviously being targeted by extraterrestrials,” he told reporters. “I don’t know what I have done to annoy them, but there is no other explanation that makes sense.” Fortunately for the homeowner, Lajic has a steel-girder reinforced roof—a project that was funded by selling one of the errant meteorites to a university in the Netherlands.
Dateline: Indonesia—Two of Indonesia’s main Muslim organizations are meeting to discuss issuing a fatwa against the world’s most expensive coffee. Known as “kopi luwak,” the pricey gourmet drink is produced from coffee berries that have been eaten by a cat-sized mammals known as Asian Palm Civets. The berries are partially digested and expelled from the animal’s digestive tract. They are then gathered, washed, dried, roasted and brewed. Kopi luwak can sell for up to $350 a pound. Nonetheless, Ma’ruf Amin, chairman of the Indonesian Council of Ulama, said it would meet with Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization, to discuss issuing a religious ban against the flourishing industry. “A fatwa will hopefully put an end to the growing concerns about kopi luwak,” Ma’ruf told the Jakarta Globe. Though the Quran makes no specific mention of civet coffee, some Muslims in Indonesia believe the beverage to be najis, or ritually unclean. Indonesian Islamic groups have been criticized in the past for issuing an unwieldy number of fatwa covering a wide spectrum of human behavior—none of which have any legal standing and most of which ignored by the population at large.
Dateline: Utah—A South Salt Lake man is accused of violating a no contact order—not because he talked to his estranged wife, who filed the order, but because he’s been sending letters to her cat. Ronald Charles Dallas, 32, was ordered by the court not to contact his wife after police accused him of domestic violence. Prosecutors, however, allege that Dallas mailed 11 letters from jail that were addressed to his wife’s pet cat Molly Judge. Prosecutors say the letters were actually intended for the man’s wife and urged her not to testify against him. Dallas now faces 11 counts of violation of a protective order and two counts of tampering with a witness.
Dateline: Oregon—Onlookers and emergency responders were shocked and confused when a carload of zombies got involved in a car crash on Interstate 84 near Portland. Portland Police told KGW-8 television that the car was swerving in the eastbound lanes of the freeway just after 9:30 p.m. on Friday, July 16, when it rolled over and crashed. Emergency crews took five victims from the crash to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. First responders were initially confused because the victims, who were apparently on their way to a costume party, were all dressed as zombies. Sgt. Greg Stewart told reporters that the victims’ injuries appeared to be much worse than they actually were because of the makeup and costumes. “We’re glad that everyone is alive, despite being ‘undead,’ ” said Sgt. Stewart.
Dateline: Missouri—A dine-and-dash attempt failed miserably when two of the three female patrons left their purses behind at a Springfield restaurant. The Springfield News-Leader reports that three women ran from a Waffle House restaurant on the morning of Sunday, July 18, skipping out on a $39 bill. The general manager said the women seemed intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. The paper said a short time after fleeing, one of the women returned to the eatery, demanding the return of the two forgotten purses. The manager told her she needed to wait until the police arrived. Instead, she opted to leave again. Identifying documents were reportedly found inside the purses, but charges have yet to be filed.