Alibi V.27 No.49 • Dec 6-12, 2018

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: Ireland

A football player in Ireland had to confirm that he was alive after his team misreported his death to allegedly get out of playing a match. The Irish Sun reports Fernando La Fuente was forced to contact family members to let them know he was alright after it was misreported that he'd been killed in a car accident. Speaking to a radio talk show host, La Fuente said, “Basically, I'm not dead. Work called me to say you're a celebrity, they sent a load of news articles, and that's how I found out I was dead.” La Fuente said he'd relocated for his job and left football, but was still alive and healthy. The confusion stems from an announcement made by the Ballybrack Football Club, La Fuente's former team. In a Facebook post which has been since removed, Ballybrack FC claimed La Fuente had died in a traffic accident and sent condolences to his family and friends. The team was set to play against Arklow Town the next day, but the game was canceled. Subsequently, the Leinster Senior League placed a notice of his death in a national newspaper and only learned of the mistake after reaching out to La Fuente's family about sending someone to the funeral and offering financial assistance. The incident is reportedly being investigated by the LSL. Ballybrack FC made a Facebook post last week calling the announcement a “gross error of judgment.” According to the statement, the person responsible “has been experiencing severe personal difficulties unbeknownst to any other members of the club” and was relieved of their duties.

Dateline: Malaysia

Researchers say they've developed “electric smell” technology that will one day allow users to send odors to one another electronically. According to NBC News, scientists at the Imagineering Institute in Malaysia inserted electrodes into the nostrils of test subjects to deliver weak electrical currents to the insides of their noses. The current stimulated the areas behind and above their nostrils, where neurons deliver scent signals to the brain, causing the test subjects to experience different smells. The researchers were unable to control which smells the subjects experienced, but managed to produce 10 distinct sensations of odor including some that smelled fruity, woody and minty. Professor Adrian Cheok of the City University of London, a researcher involved with the project, says the initial experiments were “exploratory,” and the team will be moving on to attempt a more controlled outcome. Cheok says the technology will ultimately be wearable and used for augmented reality, integrated virtual reality and entertainment. It could also potentially help those who have lost their sense of smell. Some have criticized the study, however, saying it failed to take into account the subjects' agreeableness and biases to report smells when none are present.

Dateline: South Korea

A new resort is offering busy South Koreans the chance to get away from it all and spend the day as a prisoner in a fake jail. Reuters reports over 2,000 vacationing inmates have stayed at the “Prison Inside Me” resort since it opened in 2013. A day and night in one of the 54-square-foot cells will cost around $90. Clients are required to wear blue uniforms and are not allowed to communicate with each other. Cell phones and clocks are strictly forbidden, but inmates are given a yoga mat, tea set, a pen and a notebook. The cell has no bed or mirror and one small toilet. For breakfast, prisoners are served rice porridge, and the dinner menu includes sweet potato and a banana shake. According to co-founder Noh Ji-Hyang, the idea of quiet isolation can appeal to students and office workers overwhelmed by the nation's stressful work and academic culture. Economic pressures in South Korea have reportedly led to an increasingly competitive school and work environment, coupled with a similar rise in incidents of suicide. Noh told reporters she got the idea for the resort when her husband, a prosecutor who often put in 100-hour work weeks, said he would “rather go into solitary confinement for a week” than go back to work.

Dateline: New Zealand

A dog owner is warning neighbors that his dog has been sneaking into homes and defecating on strangers' pillows. According to the New Zealand Herald, Rick Didham, the owner of a bichon frise shih-tzu cross named Jack, recently discovered a hole in the fence through which the dog has been escaping. As it turned out, Jack had been caught by more than one neighbor allegedly “sneaking in their cat door and doing number twos on people's bedroom pillows,” Didham posted on a local neighborhood Facebook page. The post asked for any unknown victims to come forward to receive financial restitution. Didham claims he is unsure of Jack's motives, but has theorized that the rescue animal suffers from mental health issues. “I'm not a dog expert,” he told reporters, “but I think he has psychotic tendencies. He looks sorry but I think he’s just waiting to do it again.” Didham says scolding the dog will only encourage him to repeat the offense, and it's better to give him a treat. Didham says he plans to take Jack to a trainer once he's covered the costs of the destroyed pillows. He officially apologized to any pets who were wrongfully accused of the dog's acts.

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