Alibi V.27 No.48 • Nov 29-Dec 5, 2018 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: Illinois

A lawsuit is claiming that the parent of a high school football player successfully posed as a referee at his son's game and influenced its outcome. CBS2 in Chicago reports a group of parents from Simeon Career Academy in Chicago, Ill., have filed a suit against Richard Mercado, alleging that he wore a referee's uniform during a game between Simeon and Nazareth Academy, accessed the sidelines and made calls that gave Nazareth an unfair advantage—even causing a Simeon touchdown to be called back. Mercado, who is an actual referee for the Illinois High School Association and whose son plays for Nazareth, was at the game in an unofficial capacity as a spectator. But according to the lawsuit, he was seen a number of times on the sidelines wearing his uniform during controversial calls. Mercado claimed that while he was wearing the uniform, he was only there to watch the game and never spoke to or influenced the official referee in any way. However, photo evidence reportedly places him standing near the restricted box for the official referee where spectators aren't allowed. The suit also points to Facebook comments made by Mercado. “I didn’t make one bad call. I made sure the best team won,” said one. The lawsuit calls for Mercado and the officiating referee to be banned from IHSA. Plaintiffs also ask that the game be declared forfeit. A hearing for the lawsuit has been scheduled for next March. Last week the IHSA ruled that there was no interference in the game.

Dateline: United States

A US company has developed an oral sex robot outfitted with artificial intelligence that trained itself by watching hours of pornography. According to The Sun, the inventor of Autoblow AI, Brian Sloan, claims the device uses “artificial intelligence to replicate techniques that make using our machine feel less robotic and more human.” The machine is powered by a plug socket connector and uses an infrared beam sensor along with magnetic field sensors. It can allegedly simulate human touch by manipulating a soft sleeve between any of 250 different points at a variety of velocities. The Autoblow AI offers users 10 different speeds with names like “fast edge,” “the full stroke” and “masterstroke one.” To learn the numerous stimulation techniques, Sloan says his team worked with PhD robotics engineers and AI scientists to program the device using machine learning. During development, the AI was reportedly exposed to 8,333 minutes of oral sex videos to track and analyze head location data. The company set up an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign in October with the goal of $50,000—a total which was quickly met and surpassed by backers.

Dateline: New Delhi

Indian authorities are consulting with anthropologists and tribal welfare experts to plan the recovery of the body of an American missionary who was killed by the residents of a remote island cut off from the modern world. Fox News reports John Allen Chau was shot and killed by arrows last week after visiting the remote North Sentinel Island, home of the Sentinelese tribe—a highly aggressive group that has very little contact with the outside world. The tribe is known to attack all outsiders, and passage to the island is highly restricted. The Indian Navy enforces a three-mile buffer zone around North Sentinel, but Chau, a missionary from Washington, allegedly paid fishermen in the area to take him near the island at night. He reportedly used a kayak to make his way to shore. Indian authorities say Chau met with some tribespeople and offered them gifts of fish and a football, but they became angry and shot arrows at him. Chau then went back to the fishermen's boat and waited until the next day to return to shore. A day later, the fishermen witnessed members of the tribe burying the man's body. Although it has not been confirmed, authorities believe he was fatally shot by arrows. In a note to his family, Chau wrote, “You guys might think I’m crazy in all this but I think it’s worthwhile to declare Jesus to these people.” A number of conservation groups were angered by the Indian government's failure to protect the tribe from outside influence, noting that Sentinelese, whose population numbers between 50 and 100, are susceptible to modern disease. Authorities are unsure of how to retrieve Chau's body without endangering the tribe further. Indian police have charged the seven people involved with endangering Chau's life.

Dateline: Arizona

A man charged with breaking into a home while naked and assaulting members of the family allegedly sent a fruit basket to apologize. According to ABC15 in Arizona, Tempe police arrested Desmond Michael Drakes last month after he allegedly invaded a home. Drakes was reportedly naked during the incident and attacked a teenager and a woman who lived there. He also allegedly damaged a portion of drywall. Police report that they found Drakes in his home, where he was tasered after resisting arrest. While in jail, Drakes was given an injunction against harassing the family, but he reportedly violated it a week after being released by sending a fruit basket to his neighbors. He told authorities that he sent the basket to apologize for his behavior. Police have yet to mention a suspected motive for the alleged attack. Drakes has been charged with indecent exposure and criminal trespassing.

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