Alibi V.27 No.16 • April 19-25, 2018 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: Louisiana

A man has received at least 10 speeding violations since 2011 for a stationary truck parked in front of his home. According to Fox News, New Orleans resident Donald Schultz is claiming that a stationary speeding camera installed on his street has issued his legally parked truck at least 10 speeding tickets since 2011. Schultz says the camera, which is set to take a photo whenever someone driving over the speed limit passes in front of it, is positioned in such a way that when a speeding vehicle triggers the camera, instead of focusing on the offender, the camera will focus on whatever car is parked in front of the house. Schultz has reportedly had to address the problem on multiple occasions by physically going to court and explaining the situation. He told reporters that at one point, the problem had escalated so far that he had been given the telephone number of an employee of the traffic violations office to avoid the burden of making a physical appearance in court. The issued tickets have ranged between $75 and $110. Reportedly, the issue stopped for a small time after a contractor repositioned the camera in 2016. The city of New Orleans has dropped the most recent ticket issued and made a statement indicating that the company responsible for interpreting the cameras' data will be trained more extensively on how to manage it.

Dateline: Connecticut

A new study has found that bathroom hand dryers blow out particles of feces along with air. Researchers at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine recently published a report in Applied and Environmental Microbiology that analyzes the bacterial content in the school's restroom hand dryers—designed to suck up air from the surrounding area and blow it on a person's hands after they've been washed. The study found that air coming from the hand dryers contains much more bacteria than normal bathroom air. Tests performed on hand dryers in 36 bathrooms located at the university showed that as many as 60 different bacterial colonies can be blown out of a device in just one 30-second blast. According to the researchers, several samples collected contained Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that can sometimes cause serious infection and even death. Nearly all the bacteria came from aerosolized feces which escapes when toilets flush, said the study's author. The paper also looked at the effects of using a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter on the machines. The filters allegedly keep bacteria particles from passing, but the researchers found they only blocked about 75 percent of the bacteria. Whether the filters were working properly was not made clear. The University of Connecticut has installed paper towel dispensers in all 36 bathrooms used for the study.

Dateline: Australia

An Australian judge dismissed a man's claims that his boss abused him by farting with “malicious” intent. Business Insider Australia reports that an unfair dismissal case instigated by David Hingst, former employee at Construction Engineering Australia in Melbourne, alleges that the Hingst's supervisor repeatedly harassed him at work. According to the complaint, the supervisor, Greg Short, would often “lift his bum and fart” in Hingst's direction. Allegedly, Short once held the man down to fart on top of him. Hingst claims the behavior caused him to develop depression, anxiety and resulted in physical injuries. While Short reportedly admitted to farting in the office, he denied aiming his farts at Hingst and deliberately attempting to offend him. He also theorized that the issue was based around the pair's cultural differences, suggesting that Hingst's German origins preclude him from understanding the Australian view of flatulence as a source of humor. The judge ruling over the case rejected Hingst's complaints, stating that he had not proven his claims regarding the frequency of the occurrences or their deliberateness. According to the ruling, the judge said Hingst failed to prove “that the flatulence was bullying, but rather that it was humiliating and disgusting.” The trial reportedly lasted 18 days and involved 15 witnesses.

Dateline: Turkey

A squirrel who lost its two front legs after being caught in a trap is mobile again after receiving a set of prosthetic wheels. According to Daily Sabah, a squirrel named Karamel was accidentally caught in an illegal trap set by hunters near Batman, Turkey, and subsequently lost both of its front legs following a series of surgeries. After hearing about Karamel's story, squirrel-lover and computer engineer Tayfun Demir came up with a plan to give the injured animal some of its mobility back. Working with orthopedists Mustafa Gültekin, Dr. Tolgay Şatana and physical therapist Eylem Küçük, Demir has developed a set of prosthetic wheels that replace the legs and allow the animal to move upright under its own volition. The project is the first of its kind. The team is currently training Karamel to move properly while using the prosthetic.

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