NewsQuirks 400

TOO MUCH TIME ISN'T ALL HE HAS ON HIS HANDS Kenyan conservationist Mike Bugara announced he has figured out how to make paper out of elephant dung. He collects the droppings, boils them crushes them until they are the consistency of oatmeal, then rolls them out into sheets and lets them dry in the sun.SEX IS ITS OWN Punishment Chinese officials in Shenzhen ordered 906 families to leave the city for exceeding family-planning quotas. Two men were found dead in a Pamelia, N.Y., parking lot after meeting to complete a sale of bull semen. State police Bruce D. Ormsby, 39, and Richard W. Fischer, 52, were examining the semen in Fischer's van when liquid nitrogen gas used to refrigerate the semen escaped from a container and the fumes caused the men to suffocate. Babu, a 14-year-old Indian elephant at China's Zhengzhou city zoo, was engaging in amorous play with a female across a fence, according to the Xinhua news agency, when his trunk got caught and a large part was severed. Limb specialists summoned from across the country spent 17 hours reattaching the trunk.MENSA REJECTS OF THE WEEK Daniel Sutherland of Indiana County, Pa., went to bed around midnight, but before falling asleep he picked up the .22-caliber handgun on his night stand to make sure it was loaded. To check, he blew down the barrel with his finger on the trigger. The gun fired, shooting Sutherland in the mouth. "When I blew on it," he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from his hospital bed, "it blew back." After accused car thief Tony Brite asked for a delay in his case at a preliminary hearing in Virginia Beach, Va., he left the courthouse and got into a new Volvo. Noticing the car's New York license plates, Detective Gary Nelson, who was helping prosecute the case, ran a check and found the tags belonged to a Mercedes. After also learning that an identical Volvo had been reported stolen the day before the hearing, he arrested Brite.BRAINSTORMS The South Korean company Hyowon Mulsan Co. has begun importing dirt from North Korea to sell to millions of refugees who have been barred from their home soil for nearly half a century. After two years of intensive trade negotiations, the company's first shipment crossed the border: 102 tons of dirt. Yoshie Ogasawara opened a stress room near Mount Fuji. She charges customers $90 for two hours, during which they can do anything to release their tension: scream, curse their spouse or boss, sing, drink and break anything in the room. She explained she can afford the broken furniture because she gets it at bargain prices. Mona Penney sold her 15-year-old daughter into marriage, according to police in Portland, Me., for $250 and some used furniture.LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP A would-be carjacker in Washington, D.C., approached a vehicle with three women talking inside, but instead of taking their car, he was taken to the hospital. The women turned out to be off-duty police officers, one of whom shot the armed man.HEAVYWEIGHTS After Miss Universe pageant officials ordered reigning title holder Alicia Machado of Venezuela to drop 20 pounds that she had put on since winning the crown, Kellogg discontinued shipping boxes of Special K cereal to Venezuela that featured Machado sitting on an inflated globe with the slogan "Nothing to hide." Tyler Green of Gahanna, Ohio, filed a lawsuit against adult film star Amber Lynn, claiming he was injured when she fell on him. According to Green's suit, he made the winning bid during an auction for Lynn's underwear, entitling him to watch her dance above him and remove her underwear. He was told to lie on his back, then Lynn began dancing over him "and then without warning from a standing position, dropped and/or jumped upon the Plaintiff's chest, buttocks first, causing the Plaintiff to feel excruciating pain in his rib area and gasp for breath." Attorney Barrett McInerney, representing Amber Lynn Productions International, disputed the account, explaining that Green "purchased the right to get where he was, and then decided -- instead of keeping his hands at his side -- to reach up and try to drag her down, and she lost her balance." In either case, McInerney noted that Lynn weighs about 125 pounds and "doesn't exactly play offensive lineman."THANKS FOR NOTHING After killing 300,000 insects during a survey near the Dutch town of Udenhout, biologists needed six years to analyze the specimens. After completing the task, they announced the discovery of 10 new insect species. Five of them are mosquitoes, five are wasps.DARING DISCOUNT Authorities accused a well-to-do family in Roseville, Minn., of using a personal shoplifter to acquire gifts for them from Dayton's department store, paying him a fraction of the retail price. After he was arrested for shoplifting, convicted thief Gregory E. Thomas told police that he lifted Baccarat crystal, Armani suits and other items specified by Dr. Gerald Dick, 56, his wife Judy, 56, and two of their children, James Dick, 32, who played briefly for the Minnesota Vikings, and Stacy Zehren, 33, a lawyer. The Dicks were charged after Thomas returned to their home with a Dayton's investigator posing as a store employee who could steal items for them.SEND THEM TO AUSTRALIA Prison overcrowding has become such a serious problem in Britain that the government has reintroduced prison ships. Despite protests by prisoners' rights groups, Prisons Minister Ann Widdecombe called the inmate flotilla "a perfectly sensible solution."OVER-REACTION When Jeannie Yee, 38, tried to stop Konstantine Berdenis, 28, from constantly washing his car at the New York City condominium building where they both lived, police said Berdenis attacked and killed her by using the red 1991 Volkswagen Golf to ram her against a wall, then backing up and ramming her again.SCHOOL DAZE Officials at Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state university caught 77 students cheating on entrance exams by using digital watches. The devices acted as a telephone pager to receive correct answers to questions on the test.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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