Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
5 min read
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Dateline: China

Some lucky person, or presumably persons, got the enviable job of checking 10,000 pigeon butts for bombs in Beijing. According to the state-run media outlet
People’s Daily, the birds went through an “anal security check” before taking part in this year’s National Day celebration in Tiananmen Square. The event marks the 65th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The Chinese government has apparently taken a more serious approach to security after a series of separatist attacks in China’s Western regions over the past year. “I have not heard of pigeons released at National Day requiring security checks,” a man identified as “Mr. Yang” posted on the China Pigeon Net website. “But it is possible for them to carry things such as explosives.” The check must have worked, as no exploding pigeon incidents were reported.

Dateline: Japan

The Maruyama Zoo in Sapporo has finally figured out why their hyenas Kamutori and Kami have failed to breed: Turns out both of them are male. Zookeepers say the hyenas were born to different sets of parents at the Daejeon Zoo in South Korea in 2008 and 2009 and were given as a gift in 2010 to celebrate the sister city relationship between Sapporo and Daejeon. Kamutori was labeled as a male and Kami a female when they arrived at the zoo. Zookeepers were initially encouraged by the couple’s behavior, which included “cuddling and frolicking.” Unfortunately the relationship started to go bad in 2012, and the two were eventually separated earlier this year due to constant fighting. Officials say they performed some tests on the hyenas and determined on Sept. 26 that both are actually male. According to Rocket News 24, female spotted hyenas have a “pseudo-penis,” meaning the genders are often hard to distinguish.

Dateline: Oregon

The bad news is caffeinated underwear does not make you lose weight. The good news is, if you bought some, you can now get a refund. The Federal Trade Commission announced earlier this month that two companies have agreed to refund $1.5 million to consumers who purchased “shapewear” that allegedly reduced cellulite and fat because it was infused with caffeine, vitamin E and other chemical compounds. Norm Thompson Outfitters of Hillsboro, Ore., sold women’s bike shorts, tights and leggings made of a fabric called Lytess for between $49 and $79. The company claimed users could take 2 inches off hips and an inch off thighs in less than a month with “no diets or pills.” Lyndhurst, N.J.-based Wacoal America Inc. made similar claims about its iPants. The FTC said the claims were not backed by scientific tests. In negotiated settlements, Norm Thompson agreed to pay $230,000 and Wacoal America $1.3 million, which will be used to provide refunds to consumers. Both companies are now prevented from claiming their caffeinated garments cause weight loss.

Dateline: Georgia

A 23-year-old woman is considering taking action against police after they mistook her SpaghettiOs for methamphetamine. According to the
Gainesville Times, Ashley Huff was the passenger in a car that was pulled over on July 2. Police noticed she had a spoon in her purse that had “some residue” on it. Huff insisted the residue was from a can of SpaghettiOs she had been eating, but police didn’t believer her. Officers say they conducted a field test, and the substance tested positive for methamphetamine. Huff ended up spending two weeks in jail before being released on her own recognizance. One of the conditions of her release was that she would make a series of court appointments. Unfortunately, Huff missed one and was reincarcerated on Aug. 2. Unable to pay bond, she stayed in jail until Sept. 18—at which point a lab analysis of the substance on her spoon came back, proving that it contained tomato sauce and not illegal drugs. All charges against Huff have been dismissed. Her attorney says she is contemplating a suit against the police department, the jail and the D.A.’s office for malicious prosecution and unlawful arrest.

Dateline: New York

Billionaire boob Donald Trump says he may sue an internet prankster who tricked him into retweeting a photo of two serial killers. Philip Bradbury—who describes himself as a “failed comedian” and “drinker”—sent Trump a picture of serial killers Fred and Rosemary West along with the text, “My parents who passed away always said you were big inspiration. Can you pls RT for their memory?” Amazingly, Trump immediately retweeted the photo, sending it out to his 2.7 million Twitter followers. Twitter users soon recognized the image of the British serial killers and inundated Trump with requests to retweet photos of
Nightmare on Elm Street’s Freddy Krueger, Joseph Stalin, Darth Vader and others. Trump eventually caught on, called Bradbury a “jerk” and added “Maybe I’ll sue.” Fred West was charged with a dozen murders in Gloucester but killed himself before trial in 1995. His wife, Rosemary West, was convicted of 10 murders and jailed for life.

Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. Email your weird news to devin@alibi.com.

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