Alibi V.28 No.24 • June 13-19, 2019 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: Iceland

Authorities at a swimming pool have gone to great lengths to make men stop drying their scrota with communal hairdryers. According to Iceland Magazine, the practice became so widespread at Sundhöllin swimming pool that Haraldur Jónasson, a patron at the pool, wrote an article titled “This Is Not a Ball Sack Dryer” for the local newspaper Fréttatíminn. In the article, he denounced what he deemed offensive behavior at local swimming pools, highlighting how some men at Sundhöllin were using complimentary hair dryers provided by the pool to dry their crotches. The article presumably had an effect on staffers at the pool, because a laminated sign was soon posted that depicted a cartoon image of an elderly gentleman propping one leg on a countertop to expose his scrotum while aiming a hair dryer at the area. A translation of text accompanying the image reads: “Don‘t dry your ball sack or your butt with the communal hairdryer in the swimming pool or the gym. Bald older gentlemen with hairy torsos must either bring their own blow-dryers or just buy a more absorbent towel.”

Dateline: Israel

A man is accused of robbing two banks with an avocado. The Times of Israel reports that a resident of a Bedouin village allegedly robbed two banks last month in nearby Beersheba, stealing nearly NIS 30,000 ($8,300). According to authorities, the man entered a Postal Bank branch at the Big Beersheba shopping mall and handed the teller a note demanding cash. He then reportedly told her that if she didn't comply, he would throw a grenade. The man left the bank with NIS 16,000 ($4,450). Five days later, he entered another branch of the Postal Bank at the Oren Center shopping area and repeated the act, wielding what he said was a live grenade. He left the location with another NIS 12,000 ($3,300). Police say they used cell phone tracking and other leads to find the suspect, who reportedly had a criminal record, including a three-year sentence for robbery. During the arrest, officers discovered that the “grenade” used in both robberies was actually an avocado that the man had painted black.

Dateline: United Kingdom

A new study says that listening to pop music while driving is safer than listening to other genres. Last month, researchers working with Auto Express magazine and road safety charity IAM RoadSmart used high-tech racing simulators at Base Performance Simulators near Banbury, England, to test driver reactions while listening to four music genres: pop, hip-hop, classical and heavy metal. According to a press release, the test consisted of two laps around a virtual course at high speeds. The course involved a series of technically challenging turns and a speed-limited zone. The driver was also tasked with making a controlled stop at the end of the course. The report found that the driver performed his best while listening to Taylor Swift's “Shake It Off.” Researchers said that round was “smoothest in terms of speed consistency,” and the course was completed only two seconds slower than when compared to a control round in which no music was played. While listening to Kendrick Lamar's “Humble,” the driver overshot the finishing stop by four car lengths. While listening to Bach’s Goldberg Variations, the driver completed the course 12 seconds slower than the control lap, and his speed fell to 35 miles per hour in a 50 miles per hour zone without his awareness. The worst performance was accompanied by Slipknot's “(sic).” During this round, the driver took a full 14 seconds longer to complete the course, and his throttle movements were reportedly less controlled. The researchers used the data to warn drivers that while listening to heavy metal was linked to the subject's worst lap, the dangers of listening to classical music while driving are comparable.

Dateline: Sweden

A Swedish company has proposed introducing hundreds of pogo sticks to San Francisco, London and other cities as a transportation option to rival electric scooters. CBS News reports that start-up company Cangoroo announced last month that it would be deploying several hundred pogo sticks to select cities in a bid to compete in the micro-mobility vehicle market. Company officials say they plan to send the pogo sticks to the Swedish cities of Malmo and Stockholm this summer. They plan on launching the sticks in London and San Francisco in late summer or early fall. Cangoroo CEO and cofounder Adam Mikkelsen said the sticks could be used to travel around cities and as a fitness tool. The company says it will be working with city officials to develop regulations around the sticks before the programs launch.

Dateline: New York

Surgeons discovered that a woman's “brain tumor” was actually a parasite growing inside her skull. According to NBC News, an MRI of Middletown, NY., resident Rachel Palma's head showed a lesion the size of a marble growing on the left side of her brain. Doctors feared it was a malignant cancerous tumor and prepared Palma for the worst, but when they performed surgery to remove the “tumor,” they were surprised to find a small, firm object that “looked like a quail egg.” They removed the object in a single piece and then cut it open. Dr. Raj Shrivastava, a neurosurgeon at Mount Sinai Hospital, told reporters: “Sure enough, a baby tapeworm came out of that lesion.” Palma has successfully recovered from the surgery and is doing well. Doctors believe she contracted the tapeworm by ingesting improperly washed produce or undercooked pork.

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