Alibi V.27 No.8 • Feb 22-28, 2018 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: Kansas

Kansas state authorities have rejected a gubernatorial candidate's application for candidacy because he's a dog. Angus, a 3-year-old Vizsla attempting to run for governor in November, was turned down by the Kansas Secretary of State's Office for not being able to “carry out the statutory and constitutional duties required of a Governor.” Terran Woolley, the dog's owner and campaign manager, says he entered the canine in the race after hearing news reports of the numerous teenagers who have taken advantage of Kansas' lack of age restrictions for gubernatorial candidates and are running for office this year. According to NPR, nearly a third of the state's candidates are under the age of 19. Woolley told reporters that after investigating the state's laws concerning candidate requirements, he found that there weren't any rules against animals running. On his Facebook page, Woolley wrote, “With all the teenagers running for governor, [I] decided a 23 (in dog years) candidate is more ready to assume the reigns.” Angus' campaign promises included “soft couches, Tempurpedic beds, free for life universal chuck it ball supplies, and a completely anti-squirrel agenda.” State lawmakers have introduced a bill requiring candidates be at least 18 to run for public office. If signed, the law will not go into effect until after November's elections.

Dateline: California

A child gained a new pet when doctors discovered a snail growing in his elbow. The 11-year-old boy's parents say they bandaged him after he fell into a tidepool and cut his elbow. After about a week, the wound seemed to be getting worse, and they decided to take him to a hospital. There, doctors found a small sea snail that had hatched inside a skin abscess in the wound. They believe a snail egg belonging to a periwinkle marine snail somehow entered the cut when the boy fell and—despite a hostile environment—managed to survive in the subcutaneous tissue for a full week. According to reports, the doctors allowed the boy to take the snail home with him to show his friends. He named the snail “Turbo,” after a character from an animated film of the same name. Unfortunately, Turbo died within a day of being removed. A similar story happened in Aliso Viejo, Calif., in 2013, when a snail was found in a 4-year-old boy's scraped knee. He also kept the snail and named it “Turbo.”

Dateline: New York

A man who disappeared from a mountainside in New York was found in California six days later wearing the same clothes and having no recollection of how he got there. Toronto firefighter Constantinos Filippidis was reportedly on an annual ski trip in New York when he was reported missing on Feb. 7. Authorities began a 6-day search of Whiteface Mountain, using around 140 people a day and a helicopter to comb the area looking for Filippidis. The search was called off Feb. 13, when he was found nearly 2,500 miles west of the mountain in Sacramento, Calif. At a press conference held that evening, president of the Toronto Professional Firefighters’ Association Frank Ramagnano said that when he was found by police, Filippidis was still wearing the same skiing clothes he'd had on when he went missing. Ramagnano said Filippidis seemed confused and unable to give direct answers. He reportedly told officers that he couldn't remember much of the week that had preceded, and that he believed he'd suffered from a head injury. He told authorities that he remembered catching a ride in a “big rig-style truck” and sleeping much of the time before being dropped off in Sacramento, where he received a haircut. Police are asking that anyone with information pertaining to Filippidis whereabouts or actions during the time he was missing report it to law enforcement.

Dateline: USA

An anonymous biologist exposed how easy it is to publish fake science in supposedly peer-reviewed journals by successfully publishing a study based on an episode of “Star Trek.” A recently published study written by “Doctor Lewis Zimmerman” claims to have reached speeds in excess of warp 10 through direct experimentation—a scientific discovery that could change the way we look at space travel. The only problem is that the experiment wasn't real, and warp 10 is a fictional term from the science fiction show “Star Trek.” The study's real author, an anonymous biologist going by the name “BioTrekkie” told reporters at Space.com that the paper was based on an episode of “Star Trek: Voyager” and had been written to expose “predatory” open-access journals that make their money by charging authors fees instead of charging for subscriptions. Because of this practice, he says these journals are less likely to employ rigorous fact-checking or hold high scientific standards. The “study,” which included numerous references to fictional characters and organizations, was accepted by four different journals and was actually published by the American Research Journal of Biosciences. BioTrekkie claims the journal charged him $50 to run the paper. The “study” has since been removed from the journal's website.

Compiled by Joshua Lee. Email your weird news to josh@alibi.com.