NewsQuirks 424

Driven Crazy A 23-year-old blind man who stole a car and crashed it into a lamppost was given a four-month suspended jail term by a court in the French city of Strasbourg. The newspaper France Soir reported the man was accompanied by his 22-year-old girlfriend, whose eyesight is normal and who guided him with voice instructions during the wild ride. The man told the court that before losing his sight due to illness his dream was to be a rally driver.Two British motorcycle riders mistook an underground garage entrance in Amsterdam for a road tunnel, entered the parking garage at high speed and slammed into a concrete barrier inside. "The riders were more or less launched from their mounts and landed about 10 meters (30 feet) further on," said a police spokesperson. One of the men broke his arm, the other injured his shoulder.Ricardo Enamorado, 30, was stranded on Lake Michigan when the jet ski he was riding stalled. He was found two days later, barely 500 yards from the shore. "He was just sitting there, waiting on us to get to him," a Coast Guard spokesperson said. Enamorado was in good condition, suffering from sunburn and dehydration -- even though Lake Michigan is a freshwater lake.Hair TodayOne of the best ways to avoid going bald is to drink to excess, according to Dr. Hugh Rushton, a fellow of the Institute of Trichologists and a leading British authority on hair loss. He explained that bald men tend to have too much testosterone in their blood, but heavy drinkers have livers so damaged they can no longer process the hormone properly. "If you castrate a man or force him to drink too much alcohol," Rushton told the Sunday Telegraph, "it is very unlikely he will lose his hair. Wander down the high street and you will see the evidence. How many of the alcoholics are ever bald?"Many French men have started dyeing their chest hair to match their dyed head hair, according to the International Herald Tribune, which explained, "the concept of lounging around on the deck with mismatching chest hair is really not desirable."Tennessee Oilers rookie defensive end Brent Burnstein walked out of the football team's training camp, apparently to avoid having veteran players cut his shoulder-length hair. His departure came after several rookies had their hair clipped and shaved. "Obviously his hair was more important to him than his football career, "Oilers Coach Jeff Fisher said, adding, "I've been in many camps over the years, and I've had players leave for a lot of different reasons, but I've never had a player leave because he didn't want to get his hair cut."Sign of the TimesA 43-year-old man in Issaquah, Wash., pulled a gun and shot his personal computer four times in the hard drive and once through the monitor, apparently in frustration. "We don't know if it wouldn't boot up or what," police Sgt. Keith Moon said after officers evacuated the town house complex where the man lived, telephoned him and coaxed him out of his home.The MommiesA custody battle in Santa Ana, Calif., took an unusual turn when the mother of a 3-year-old girl claimed the girl's father is actually a woman. Kristie Vecchione, 27, said her husband became a man through sex-change operations more than 20 years ago. Vecchione, who was impregnated by artificial insemination, wants sole custody of her daughter on claims that same-sex marriages are not recognized in the state of California.Birds of a FeatherIreland's pigeon-racing enthusiasts complained that their birds are going missing, adding they suspect mobile phones may be disrupting the birds' homing instincts. "Pigeons navigate through using the sun and the magnetic fields of the earth," Tony Kehoe, president of one pigeon-racing club told the Irish Times. "There may be a problem with mobile phones, there's so much equipment going through the air now."Dead pigeons were found strewn along roadsides in France when tens of thousands of pigeons became disoriented after crossing the English Channel to mark the British Racing Pigeon Society's centenary. Laurent Toussaint, in charge of monitoring the race, told The Times of London, "There was a magnetic front south of the release point, over the Loire, which would certainly have disoriented them." Authorities investigating the theft of diamonds from South Africa's Alexcor mine said they believed the thieves used carrier pigeons to fly the stolen gems past security checkpoints.Never Mind When an armed robber who took less than $100 from a 7-11 store in St. Peters, Mo., couldn't get his getaway car started, he returned to the store, handed back the money and told the two clerks it was all just a joke. They agreed to give his vehicle a jump start, not to write down his license plate number and wait about 40 minutes before calling the police. "We have a friendly town out here," police Officer David Kuppler noted, indicating the suspect was arrested anyway about an hour later.When Busts Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have BustsBernie Carson filed a $200,000 personal injury lawsuit against P.T.'s Show Cl ub, claiming Busty Heart, a performer at the Belleville, Ill., strip club, caused him "emotional distress, mental anguish and indignity" when she slammed her large breasts into his neck and head. Carson also insisted he was "bruised, confused, lacerated and made sore" by Heart's 88-inch chest. Her breasts reportedly weigh 40 pounds each.Wedding Day BluesOn the day Wanda Hale and David Summer were to be married in Gaffney, S.C., they discovered best man Timothy Ramsey had left town with $300 of their money, $3,800 in jewelry and their pickup truck. The couple admitted they had not known Ramsey long. The husband-to-be was arrested after shouting obscenities at police officers. The couple got married the next day. The best man was arrested and charged with grand larceny.Susie Laatz, 24, of Glenview, Ill., died just hours after her wedding, collapsing in the arms of her new husband, Sean Mangan, while the couple were climbing the stairs to their honeymoon suite. 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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