NewsQuirks 417

NewsQuirks 417 June 12, 1997MENSA REJECTS OF THE WEEKKen E. Richardson was killed while playing Russian roulette with his cousin, Derrick L. Richardson, 28, in Minneapolis. Ken reportedly did not object to Derrick's suggestions that they use a semiautomatic pistol instead of a revolver and that Ken go first.An unidentified man was taken to Truman Medical Center in Kansas City, Mo., after he pierced his leg trying to climb over a wrought iron fence at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral. Parish administrator Robin Rusconi said no one at the church knew why the man was scaling the fence, noting, "We have gates that are always open. He could have walked right through."NO SURPRISESWomen who have breast enlargements tend to drink more, have more sex partners, get pregnant younger and dye their hair more than other women, according to cancer researcher Linda S. Cook. She said her study suggests implants could be getting unfair blame for health problems that might really be caused by lifestyle factors.People who buy food in large quantities tend to eat more than people who buy smaller amounts, according to a University of Illinois study where subjects were given candy in small, medium and large packages.DO-IT-YOURSELFERS OF THE WEEKEarl Zea, 34, reported that he was sleeping when a burglar entered his home in Johnstown, N.Y., and cut off his genitals with a pair of sharp pruning shears, after which he drove himself to the hospital and underwent emergency surgery. A week later, the victim admitted that he had clipped his own penis, explaining he was trying to discourage a man who was attracted to him. County District Attorney Polly Hoye said Zea would be charged only with falsely reporting an incident, noting, "It's not against the law to remove your own penis."William Mbaruku, 65, a former medical assistant at a plantation near the Tanzanian town of Morogoro, used a razor to amputate his own foot after several doctors he visited said they would charge him $26 for the procedure. "I found the bill too much," Mbaruku said, "and decided to operate myself."WHEN DANES DINE OUTTwo Danish tourists dining with two companions at the Budapest restaurant Halaszcsarda were surprised to learn they had been charged more than $6,000 for dinner and drinks. When one of the Danes complained to consumer protection officials after being informed that Halaszcsarda had a policy of routinely multiplying menu prices by 10, city officials said they would investigate, warning that if found guilty, the restaurant could be fined up to $176 -- not 3 percent of the Danes' check.Danish actress Annette Sorensen was charged with endangering the welfare of a child while visiting New York with her American husband Exavier Wardlaw and their 14-month-old daughter. They were arrested at a restaurant after they left the girl outside, keeping an eye on her through a nearby window. The parents denied any wrongdoing, insisting that leaving infants outside restaurants in Denmark is common.LET'S TALKA 34-year-old construction worker in Bonn, Germany, was arrested and lost his job after he rammed a 4.5-ton excavator through his ex-girlfriend's bedroom window. The unidentified man had driven the excavator more than 12 miles to Ilona Vogel's house to try to win her back, but she refused to talk to him because he was drunk.IT HAPPENSPolice in Argentina arrested two men, ages 22 and 20, trying to escape on a motor scooter with a stolen toilet. The two entered a fast food restaurant in the city of Resistencia and asked to use the toilet, which police said they then wrenched out and ran off with. They jumped onto their scooter and were pursued for several blocks before police caught them and were able to return the toilet to its rightful owners.Commercial aircraft could be responsible for spreading dangerous viruses around the world -- because of sewage from on-board toilets. New Scientist magazine reported that researchers who sampled waste pumped from commercial aircraft discovered that nearly half contained infectious viruses strong enough to survive the chemicals in the planes' sewage tanks.WHOSE HEALTH PLAN ARE THEY ON?San Diego plastic surgeon Dr. Joseph Graves lost his medical license for letting a waiter friend help during liposuctions and inserting breast implants. He also faces two dozen lawsuits filed by patients, as well as one by his receptionist, who accused Graves of drugging her and performing liposuction on her against her will.Maria Soto, 42, was charged with practicing dentistry without a license in Silver Spring, Md. A patient complained that on his first visit Soto pulled the wrong tooth. She got the right one on her second visit. On the third visit, Soto told the patient his pain was caused by a tooth's being too big for his mouth, so she pulled it, filed it down and reinserted it with Krazy Glue.REVENGE OF THE NERDSTo solve the impending computer crisis scheduled for the year 2000, companies are turning to the people who caused the problem. Many of the older mainframe programmers have retired, been forced to retire early or been dismissed. They were the ones who decided, when devising programs for limited capacity computers of the 1950s and 1960s, to shorten dates to save space, using the last two digits of a year. The practice continued even when computers became more powerful. The crisis will occur, experts forecast, when 1999 ends and computers will treat the next year as 1900.Offers for the services of these original programmers run as high as $100 an hour, resulting in a booming job market that is "the revenge of the dinosaurs," said Mark Walztoni, vice president of human relations at a large information technology company in New Jersey. "These are people who, three or four years ago, somebody sat across a desk and said, 'Bad news. Your skills are out of date.' Now they're saying, 'We don't really mean it. Why don't you come back?'"TIMELY COINCIDENCEOlga Whittaker, 56, was browsing in a Miami jewelry store when she recognized her husband's stolen Rolex watch as the suspected thief tried selling it to the store manager. The $3,200 watch was stolen two days earlier at an antique show the woman's husband was attending 70 miles away. The woman grabbed suspect John Kane as the jeweler locked the door and called police. Although Whittaker said God delivered Kane to her, he told police it was simply "bad luck."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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