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 V.23 No.33 | August 14 - 20, 2014 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: England

A dispute between Wikipedia and a British wildlife photographer has gone viral. In January Wikimedia Foundation, the group behind the information-sharing site, got a request to remove a photograph of an Indonesian macaque taken with David Slater’s camera. The problem? Slater didn’t actually take the picture. While on a trip to Indonesia in 2011, the camera was snatched by a cheeky monkey who made off with the digital device and fired off several hundred shots, including the iconic “monkey selfie” in question. Wikimedia, which had posted the shot in its public domain photo collection Wikimedia Commons, argued that Slater didn’t own the copyright, since he didn’t take the picture. Also, the monkey was not due compensation since, under US law, “copyright cannot vest in non-human authors.” Slater, who claims he’s lost thousands of dollars in income because of the photo’s appropriation, disagrees with Wikimedia’s assessment. “It wasn’t that the monkey stole the camera, went behind the bush and photographed it all by itself. It required a large input from myself.” The website has turned judgment over to its users, allowing them to vote on whether to retain the image as public property.

Dateline: England

A Portsmouth man has been fined for acting like a ghost in Kingston Cemetery. Anthony Stallard, 24, was accused of kicking a soccer ball around the graveyard with a friend and being disrespectful to people visiting the graves of their loved ones. According to the UK’s Mirror, Stallard was charged with using threatening or abusive words or behavior likely to cause distress. “While the football was going on, this defendant was effectively singing loudly and being disrespectful in among the graves,” prosecutor Tim Concannon said in court. “He was throwing himself backwards, waving his arms and going ‘wooooooooh.’ I’m assuming he was pretending to be a ghost.” Stallard admitted his behavior was inappropriate and could have caused distress to grieving relatives. The incident took place while Stallard was on a conditional discharge for a previous charge of harassment. He was fined £35 and ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge and £20 in court costs (for a total of $126). Three extra months were added to his conditional discharge.

Dateline: New York

Police in Long Island say a drunk driver who was operating a motor vehicle with a stolen python around her neck was apprehended after she crashed into a fire station. Around 7:10pm on Monday, Aug. 4, Nassau police say 22-year-old Sarah Espinosa drove her Toyota Prius across a center median, through two signs and into the garage door of the New Hyde Park firehouse on the Jericho Turnpike. Two fire engines were damaged. Fire Chief Steven Waldron told Long Island’s Newsday that firefighters rushed to pull the semiconscious Espinosa from the wreckage. That’s when the firemen noticed “she’s got a 2-foot snake sitting on her chest.” Waldron also confessed to the newspaper, “I’m not one for snakes.” Fire personnel pulled the woman from the car and took her to Winthrop-University Medical Center in Mineola where she was treated for minor injuries. Police say the snake was stolen from a Petco store in Garden City Park. No word on whether it was injured. The next day Espinosa pleaded not guilty to multiple charges, including driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, unlawful possession of marijuana and petit larceny .

Dateline: Oklahoma

A Wagoner Public Schools teacher was jailed on Monday, Aug. 4, after she allegedly showed up to work drunk and pantless. Lorie Ann Hill, 49, was booked into Wagoner City Jail on a charge of public intoxication after officers interviewed her at Wagoner High School where she was recently hired. Fellow teachers reportedly called police in the first place because Hill appeared drunk, and they did not know her. Plus the lack of pants thing. “She was found in a room kind of disoriented,” police Chief Bob Haley told Tulsa World. Police say Hill admitted she had been drinking. Even though evidence of alcohol consumption was found in Hill’s car, there were no witnesses to prove she drank and commuted to the school under the influence. Students did not show up to class at Wagoner High School until Thursday.

Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. Email your weird news to devin@alibi.com.
 
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