Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
5 min read
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Dateline: England—A British dentist has been banned from working in the tooth-cleaning profession after allowing her unqualified boyfriend to carry out dental work on more than 600 patients. Mojgan Azari was found guilty of serious professional misconduct for letting her boyfriend Omid Amidi-Mazaheri work at her dental surgery clinic in South London between 2002 and 2003. According to the BBC, Amidi-Mazaheri drilled out cavities without local anesthetic and installed expensive fillings that crumbled within days, leaving patients in agony. The General Dental Council said that Azari had allowed him to carry on working in her surgeries for seven months after she had been warned that he was unregistered. “This caused the patients considerable distress and inconvenience and cost the National Health Service approximately 180,000 pounds [$424,000],” the GDC said in its ruling. Last year, Azari pled guilty to four counts of obtaining money by deception in relation to the case and was jailed for 12 months. The BBC said Amidi-Mazaheri, an Iranian national, received a two-year sentence for similar offenses. The GDC's conduct committee ruled last week to strike Azari's name from the register.

Dateline: India—A man believed to be dead by his relatives caused a supernatural panic by returning to his home village, reports the Times of India. Raju Raghuvanshi wasn't dead, but was–in fact–in jail. In prison, he was admitted to the hospital with a stomach ailment. Raghuvanshi recovered, but a distant relative told his family he had died. When Raghuvanshi returned to his village in the Mandla district in the central state of Madhya Pradesh earlier this month, children screamed “ghost! ghost!” and villagers locked their doors. Mr. Raghuvanshi's brothers, who had shaved their heads to mourn his death in line with Hindu tradition, fled when he appeared, the Times reported. Since then, villagers and family members have ostracized him, forcing Mr. Raghuvanshi to file a complaint with the local police. The village council has demanded he prove he is not a ghost, but the paper did not say what kind of proof the elders want.

Dateline: Taiwan—Mad science alert! Researchers in Taiwan have created a pig that glows in the dark. The scientists used jellyfish genes to create the glowing green porkers. “There are partially fluorescent green pigs elsewhere,” said Wu Shinn-Chih, assistant professor of animal science at the National Taiwan University. “But ours are the only ones in the world that are green inside and out. Even their hearts and internal organs are green.” Professor Wu said the fluorescent cells would show up during stem cell treatment of diseased organs, allowing physicians to monitor the healing process.

Dateline: California—Actor William Shatner has sold his kidney stone to an online casino for $25,000. The “Star Trek” actor agreed to sell the item to GoldenPalace.com to raise money for Habitat for Humanity. “This takes organ donation to a new height, to a new low, maybe,” said Shatner, 74. Shatner passed the stone last autumn but persuaded doctors to return it so he could offer it for auction. GoldenPalace.com originally offered $10,000, but the actor turned it down, noting that his “Star Trek” tunics have sold for more than $75,000. “This is a bold new addition to our fleet,” GoldenPalace.com Chief Executive Officer Richard Rowe said. The casino website has already amassed a collection of unusual purchases, including a grilled cheese sandwich said to bear the image of the Virgin Mary.

Dateline: Ohio—A man facing a large repair bill after blowing the engine on his 1997 BMW instead told his insurance company that the car was stolen and then buried the entire vehicle in rural Ohio. Matthew Mueller rented a backhoe in October 2002 and buried the car on property owned by his father in northeast Ohio. Acting on tips, police excavated the BMW last year. Mueller, 35, of Akron, was sentenced to a year in prison for insurance fraud, tampering with evidence, falsification and receiving stolen property. Mueller received a $20,000 settlement claim from Progressive Insurance to cover the cost of the “stolen” car. He apologized in Portage County Common Pleas Court last Tuesday and paid restitution to the insurance company. He was also ordered to reimburse state officials $15,500 for their costs in digging up the vehicle. “It was stupidity and completely out of character,” Mueller said.

Dateline: New York—Miraculously, police returned New York City resident Alan Poster's stolen car to him last week–a mere 37 years after he reported it stolen. The 1968 Corvette was found inside a shipping container at the Port of Long Beach, Calif. The car was destined for a buyer in Sweden. A routine customs check showed that the car had been reported stolen on Jan. 22, 1969. The car was seized and New York police were notified. Two detectives spent several days combing through microfilmed files trying to find the original report. They then tracked down Poster and notified him that his long-lost dream car had been found. The car's paint job had been changed from blue to silver, but it was, otherwise, in excellent condition. No arrests were made in connection with the theft of the vehicle.

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

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