Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends

Joshua Lee
5 min read
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Dateline: United Kingdom

A memorial bench dedicated to rapper Eazy-E has been unveiled in the small British town of Newhaven, East Sussex, despite there being no connection between the two.
BBC News reports that resident Guy Stevens, a fan of the former NWA member from Compton, Calif., said the tribute to Eazy-E was “hilarious.” Stevens approached the Newhaven Town Council earlier this year to request that a statue of Eazy-E be erected on city property to honor the late rapper. He told the council that Newhaven did not have enough quality landmarks, and the statue would attract tourists. He later admitted that the request had been made in jest, and began a campaign to install a bench with a dedication plaque instead. He successfully raised more than £1,600 in his bid to fund the £1,177 bench. The leftover money was donated to two Brighton HIV charities to honor Eazy-E, who died of complications from AIDS. The installed bench is affixed with a plaque that reads: “Rest in peace Eric ‘Eazy-E’ Wright 1964-1995.” Newhaven Mayor Graham Amy admitted that the council had never heard of Eazy-E. Amy said the rapper appeared “to have led a rather colourful life” but is “greatly admired in some quarters.” He told reporters that “if someone contacts us wanting to buy a memorial bench to their aunt, say, we don’t ask questions about her lifestyle.” The mayor went on to say he’d never heard of gangsta rap. “The Beatles were more my thing,” he said. Stevens said he’d like to see memorial benches dedicated to rappers Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls installed in other nearby towns. He has also suggested renaming Newhaven as “Newcompton.”

Dateline: India

A school in India is now accepting plastic waste meant for recycling as tuition. According to
Forbes, the Akshar School in Assam, India—a primary school that serves underprivileged children between the ages of 4 and 15—is allowing students to pay their tuition fees with recyclable plastic. The school was founded in 2016 by Parmita Sarma and Mazin Mukhtar, at a time when many local children were being sent to work at stone quarries. Homegrown reports that the school’s goal is to prepare students to “earn a livelihood by being responsible to the government.” The school currently has around 100 students. The teachers say they began to focus on recycling when toxic fumes from burning plastic waste began to permeate their classrooms. Locals reportedly gather waste during the winter—including plastic—and burn it to keep warm. Sarma and Mukhtar told reporters that the people were unaware of the health and environmental threats posed by the practice. Akshar Vice President Priyongsu Borthakur told reporters that students began collecting plastics from local households last year. They were taught how to separate the plastics and repurpose them. Borthakur said that the model evolved recently and was applied to the students’ households. Now the Akshar only accepts plastics for student tuition fees. Every week, students are required to bring 25 plastic items to class. School officials hope that the new policy will make it easier for financially burdened parents to give their children educational opportunities.

Dateline: Japan

A 10-year-old Japanese YouTuber is encouraging children to skip school.
Sora News 24 reports that 10-year-old YouTuber Yutabon has been telling his 20,000 followers that parents should not be allowed to force education on their children. He says that while children who wish to go to school should be given the opportunity, those who aren’t interested should not be obligated to attend. “Many children will suffer and die if they are forced to receive education. Life is very important, so protect yourselves,” he said in a recent video. Yutabon says he’s been skipping classes regularly for two years. He said he realized that his fellow students would follow their teachers’ orders without question, and he didn’t wish to be like them. Although Yutabon has received some media attention for his unique perspective and has garnered a number of fans, many online commenters seem to disapprove of his message and have expressed concern. Questions have been raised about Yutabon’s parents and the role they’ve played in allowing him to miss school. It was soon revealed that Yutabon’s father, Yukiya Nakamura, was allegedly a childhood delinquent who quit going to school as a teenager and was reportedly involved in blackmail, theft, assault and possession of illegal drugs. Yutabon is still technically enrolled at school. Expulsions are reportedly rare in Japan.

Dateline: Canada

The lawyer of a man who is accused of exposing himself at a wedding and in other public areas is arguing that his client suffers from a disorder characterized by exhibitionism. According to
The Hamilton Spectator, lawyer Mark Evans told the Ontario Court of Justice in St. Catharines during a sentencing hearing last week that his client Jack Trapasso was inebriated and suffering from a mental disorder when he exposed his penis to a number of women. Trapasso had pleaded guilty to several counts of indecent exposure. According to Evans, the defendant’s condition caused him to misinterpret shocked responses as signs of sexual interest. Trapasso exposed his penis during a wedding celebration in St. Catharines as well as at a public library and grocery store, both in Niagara Falls, Ontario. “He did it,” assistant Crown attorney Richard Monette said, “because he found the women attractive and thought it would make him attractive to them.” Judge Donald Wolfe imposed a jail sentence of four months, reduced to 36 days due to the amount of time Trapasso spent in pre-sentence custody. He was also placed on probation for three years.

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

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