NewsQuirks 334

Fruits of Research People on the East Coast have different dreams from people on the West Coast, according to Stanley Krippner, a professor of psychology at the Saybrook Institute Graduate School of Research in San Francisco who is considered a leading authority on dream research. He reported in August that the dreams of people in the East tend to focus on time, activity and streets. California dreamers favor architectural themes.Public Trust Accountant Anthony Williams, 55, stole $8.5 million from London's Scotland Yard police headquarters over an eight-year period, but the agency that prides itself on having the world's finest detectives never noticed. Williams started by stealing small amounts from the police welfare fund. Then his trusting supervisors put him in charge of a secret $11.5 million undercover operations fund. He quietly funneled all but $3 million of the money into his own accounts and began a five-year spending spree, buying a big house in London, a villa in Spain and luxury cars. In the Scottish village of Tomintoul, he also bought a hotel, restaurant, bar and fire station. Only when he bought a manor house, complete with the title Lord Williams, did detectives finally become suspicious. Williams was arrested and sentenced to 7-1/2 years in jail. In Los Angeles, Jocelino Joun quit his job as a clerk at the city Department of Water and Power (DWP) to work for the city Personnel Department. While on probation for his new position, DWP announced a $25,000 severance offer to employees who quit. Since city policy gives probationary workers the option of returning to their old jobs, Joun went back to DWP for a day and qualified for the buyout. After collecting his $25,000, Joun accepted a promotion to management assistant with the city's Department of Aging.School Daze Nearly 70 people were injured in Bangladesh in July when police clashed with students demanding the right to cheat on college finals. Education officials reported students used homemade bombs, field hockey sticks and stones to attack police and examination monitors at dozens of exam centers. One teacher was hacked to death in Narail district after he tried to stop cheating. More than 8,000 students were expelled for cheating and attacking monitors during just the first week of the month-long testing. After 20,000 Romanian students demonstrated outside government headquarters in Bucharest, authorities canceled plans to charge students who fail exams. The charges ranged from about $20 for unacceptable term papers to as much as $1,400 for end-of-the-year exams. In Muroran, Japan, noisy 11-year-olds drove a teacher to slash her wrists in front of the class. "I told them again and again, but they still would not calm down," the unidentified pedagogue said, "so I thought I'd make them quiet by cutting my wrist. I didn't intend to die."First Things First Plans to have Pope John Paul II become the first pope to appear before a joint session of Congress during his October visit to the United States were scuttled when church officials said the only date the pope was available was Oct. 9, the federal holiday of Columbus Day. "If there is one thing members of Congress can count on, and there may be only one thing, it is that we will not be in session on federal holidays," Tony Blankley, a spokesperson for House Speaker Newt Gingrich, told the Baltimore Sun. "I can't imagine anything, short of war, that could cause us to change that." Hours before the pope arrived for evening service at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Newark, N.J., 80 elderly parishioners boarded buses for the Atlantic City casinos. Church officials said the Atlantic City trip had been planned months before the papal visit.Justice Served At Wilma Baxter's shoplifting trial in Contra Costa County, Calif., in May, a crucial piece of prosecution evidence was a photo supposedly taken by a grocery store security guard last November when the incident occurred. It showed a shopping cart containing liquor bottles covered by a newspaper. Prosecutors said that by covering the bottles, Baxter had intended to steal them. Three hours into deliberation, a juror looking at the paper in the photo spotted a grocery store ad for strawberries at 69 cents a pound. Thinking that a low price for strawberries in November, she realized she had seen the same ad the day before the trial started. After the discrepancy was brought to the court's attention, defense attorney Theresa Marks said, "The district attorney turned five shades of pale. He ran upstairs and got his orders, came down and dismissed the case."Knight Moves When police in Fremont, Calif., responded to a call that a man was threatening suicide, Mark Draper, 38, charged from his apartment, wearing chain mail and waving a 3-1/2-foot-long medieval sword. He also carried a 3-foot-long battle hammer. Police responded by knocking Draper to the ground with a "bean-bag gun," which only bruised him. He explained that he was trying to provoke police into shooting him.Why They Call It Dope Drug addicts in southern India are paying to be bitten on the tongue by snakes. Drug therapist Prakhas Chandran of a therapy center in Paloarivattom warned that a bite from the unidentified snake could be deadly, but he noted that the venom is strong enough to give a bitten addict a high lasting up to 16 hours.Beach Party Residents of the United Arab Emirates have finally figured out how to enjoy their sand. Many are taking up surfing by sliding down the desert dunes on a board resembling a snowboard. In one popular area of Abu Dhabi, the dunes reach 900 feet high.Oops! After 77-year-old Ned Ivey made his first bungee jump from Kararau Bridge near Queenstown, New Zealand, he lent a video of his feat to a friend. The friend accidentally taped over it, so, according to the High Country Herald, Ivey jumped again.Compiled by Roland Sweet from the nation's press. Send clippings, citing source and date, to POB 8130, Alexandria VA 22306.

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