Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
4 min read
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Dateline: Japan

A junior lawmaker is stepping down after allegations that she physically and verbally abused a secretary, calling him “baldy” and smacking him while he drove her around. Second-term House of Representatives lawmaker Mayuko Toyota submitted an application to leave the ruling Liberal Democratic Party earlier this month after the
Shukan Shincho weekly magazine uploaded an audio file of the woman hurling insults at a man while he is driving. “You baldy!” she screams at the man, who repeatedly apologizes to Toyota. “You should die,” she says at another point. “I am sorry, but I’m driving,” replies the man. He also tells her, “I am sorry, but please don’t hit me. I am sorry.” Toyota, a 42-year-old former government bureaucrat, was elected in Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo, in 2012 and reelected in 2014. Since submitting her resignation letter, Toyota has reportedly been hospitalized due to what the executive acting secretary general of the LDP called her “unstable mental condition.”

Dateline: Scotland

A family in rural Scotland recently posted a listing on a British childcare website looking for a special nanny to live in their “haunted” home. The family is willing to pay a sitter handsomely to take care of their two children, ages 5 and 7, because of the “supernatural happenings” at the house, including “strange noises, broken glass and furniture moving.” According to the listing, five nannies have quit on them in the last year. The job pays 50,000 pounds (about $63,000) a year and includes 28 vacation days. Since the family’s listing went viral, they have been “overwhelmed by the responses and have received over 2,000 messages in relation to the position.” The parents say they are combing through the applicants, but—due to the number of inquiries—they “unfortunately aren’t able to respond to everyone individually.”

Dateline: Connecticut

Those looking for a definition of the word “ironic” have an excellent example in the actions of a 33-year-old father in Shelton, Conn., after he allegedly screamed at a 5-year-old and pinned him to the ground after the child tried to play “keep away” with a Father’s Day card. According to NBC Connecticut, Lance Churchill was with a group of dads attending a Father’s Day party at the Apple Tree Daycare & Preschool Center. All of the children, including Churchill’s son, made cards for their fathers. Churchill was looking at his card when another kid at the center “playfully” grabbed the card out of his hands, according to Shelton Police. The child then ran around the room while the 6-foot-4-inch, 270-pound Churchill chased him. When Churchill finally caught up with the 5-year-old, he picked up the child and lifted him over his head. According to the
New Haven Register, the father then pinned the child to the ground and “screamed at him in front of the other parents and children.” The incident ended when the day care staff pulled Churchill off the child and called police. When police arrived, Churchill demanded the 5-year-old boy be arrested. Needless to say, Churchill was arrested. He was charted with risk of injury to a minor and disorderly conduct.

Dateline: California

On June 21, the United States Geological Survey sent out a warning indicating that a magnitude 6.8 quake would occur in the Pacific Ocean 10 miles west of Santa Barbara. The news spread throughout social media, and many automated tweets, synced to the USGS alert system, broadcast the information, causing considerable concern throughout the state. The
Los Angeles Times even warned its readers about the impending disaster. By way of reference, a magnitude 6.9 earthquake hit California in 1989 killing 63 people and causing $6 billion in damage. Unfortunately, the earthquake happened exactly as predicted. Fortunately it happened 92 years ago. Shortly after the warning was issued, the US Geological Survey said it was an “an error.” A follow-up tweet eventually clarified, saying, “An errant earthquake notification was distributed at 4:49pm PDT over the Earthquake Notification System. It was caused by a revision of the historic 1925 M6.8 Santa Barbara earthquake and was misinterpreted by software as a current event. We are working to resolve the issue.” Rafael Abreu, a geophysicist with the USGS, later told the Associated Press. “The quake did happen, but it happened in 1925.”

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

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