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 Jan 10 - 16, 2019 
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Odds & Ends

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Odds and Ends

Dateline: Australia

The “world's most identical twins” have announced they want to be impregnated at the same time by their shared boyfriend. Anna and Lucy DeCinque, a pair of identical twins from Perth, Western Australia, became celebrities after a local news station featured their enmeshed lives. The twins reportedly wear matching outfits, received matching cosmetic surgeries, exercise together, eat the same amount of calories every day, share a single job position and even share the same boyfriend. Last month the DeCinques told the host of an Australian television show that they wanted to marry their shared boyfriend, mechanic Ben Byrne, but were barred by Australia's laws against polygamy. According to The Sun, the sisters met Byrne online in 2012. They told reporters that they were honest from the beginning with Byrne—a twin, himself—about their intentions to live a shared life. They reportedly sleep in the same bed with Byrne and take turns having sex with him. In a recent appearance on the Australia's “Today” show, the pair announced their plans to get pregnant at the same time by Byrne. According to the New York Post, the idea came from the twins' mother, who suggested they time the pregnancies to coincide. “It’s going to be another challenge,” they told the hosts of “Today.” “There’s a lot of pressure on Ben.”

Dateline: Russia

Researchers have discovered that the woman believed to be the oldest person to have ever lived might have lied about her age. Huffington Post reports a new paper from ResearchGate questions the death of Jeanne Calment—Guinness World Record-holder who reportedly died in 1997 at the age of 122 years and 164 days. According to Russian researchers mathematician Nicolai Zak and gerontologist Valeri Novoselov, an identity card issued to Jeanne Calment in the ’30s lists a different height and hair color from those recorded later in her life. The study concluded that the woman who died in 1997 might have been Jeanne's daughter Yvonne. Researchers believe Jeanne died in 1934, and Yvonne switched places with her to avoid paying inheritance taxes. The study found that Yvonne's family were paying large inheritance taxes following the death of her father and mother-in-law. According to Novoselov, the death of Jeanne would have been an unneeded hardship. “However, if it were Yvonne who died,” he told reporters, “the family wouldn’t have to pay any taxes, as she didn’t own the homestead.” The gerontologist who helped confirm Jeanne's claim to the Guinness Book of World Records in 1997, Jean-Marie Robine, has dismissed the study. “Inside Edition” reports the runner-up for Calment's record is Sarah Knauss, an American who died in 1999 at the age of 119.

Dateline: Japan

A man's recent marriage to a hologram has been met with mixed reactions. According to CNN, Akihiko Kondo, a school administrator, turned heads in November with his wedding to the computer-generated pop star Hatsune Miko. Miko is a “Vocaloid” software voicebank developed by Crypton Future Media that synthesizes the human voice and is used by composers belonging to a globe-spanning community of fans. She is also an anthropomorphic character used to represent the program which has performed a number of live concerts in the form of a hologram. Kondo, whose home is reportedly decorated with plush dolls and merchandise dedicated to Miko, told reporters he fell in love with the virtual character a decade ago. He now owns a Gatebox, a device which projects a small hologram of the character and is outfitted with basic artificial intelligence. The device controls home lighting and is able to greet Kondo. Experts call those interested in pursuing romantic relationships with virtual lovers, like Kondo, “second-wave digisexuals”—those who integrate technology into their sexual identity. “First-wave digisexuals” are those who use technology to facilitate meeting potential mates—people who use dating apps or social media to meet partners. According to Amazon, over a million people asked Alexa to marry them in 2017. The wedding between Miko and Kondo was not legally recognized by the Japanese government.

Dateline: Australia

A man's neighbors thought he was killing his wife—the real victim was a spider. The West Australian reports multiple police units were called to a residence in Perth, Western Australia, in response to reports that a murder was occurring inside the home. According to a tweet made by the Wanneroo Police that has since been deleted, emergency services received a call from someone who claimed to have heard their neighbor repeatedly screaming, “Why don't you die?” while they walked past their house. The neighbor's toddler could be heard crying, but there appeared to be no other sounds. Since the caller knew the man was married, they became concerned and decided to notify authorities. Police raced to the scene to find that the man, who reportedly suffers from a “serious fear of spiders,” had been confronting one of the terror-inducing arachnids. He apologized for the inconvenience and officers explained the situation to all parties involved. According to a follow-up report from police, no injuries were observed at the site of the incident, “except to spider.”

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

 
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