NewsQuirks 603

Curses, Foiled Again

Police investigating a purse-snatching in Singapore arrested Ong Hsia Shi, 26, after he bought two mobile phones with one of the victim's credit cards, then returned to the store to complain he had been overcharged. By then, the shopkeeper had been alerted to the card theft and called police.

The Honeymoon Is Over

Police in Ahore, Pakistan, said Munir Mumtaz stabbed his wife, Nazia, to death because he objected to her plans to run for office in local elections.

John Turner was granted a divorce in Middlesborough, England, after complaining he had finally had enough his wife rearranging the furniture every single day of the 38 years they were married. The couple, both 62, even swapped their house for a mobile home in the hope it would end her behavior. "Moving furniture about was just something I did and I always will do," Pauline Turner told a divorce court. "I suppose everybody has their little obsession."

Mensa Reject of the Week

A man decided the best way to thaw a frozen water pipe was to warm the pipe by starting a fire next to his house in Alexandria, Va., but he built the fire too close to the house, fire officials said. Flames spread under the exterior siding to the interior of the home, causing an estimated $200,000 in damage.

Jumbo Feat

A team of Taiwanese men, ages 35 to 77, announced plans to visit the United States in March and drag a Boeing 747 with their penises, according to Australia's Sydney Morning Herald. Last year, three of the men astonished a crowd in Taipei by pulling a truck loaded with 100 men for 10 feet. "We will send about 20 men to pull the 400-seat Boeing 747," Tu Chin-seng, who teaches "penis-hanging art," said. "We hope to set a world record."

Second-Amendment Follies

A federal grand jury in Denver indicted Katica Crippen, 32, after she posed for photographs that were posted on several pornographic Web sites. The photos showed her holding firearms, which Crippen, a convicted felon, is forbidden from possessing under terms of her parole. Some of the photos showed the electronic ankle bracelet used to monitor Crippen's movements.

Luis Chavarria shot himself in the foot while sleeping with a sawed-off shotgun in Bonita Springs, Fla. He was being treated at a hospital when Lee County sheriff's deputies arrested him and charged him with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

A 30-year-old woman rented a .40-caliber handgun at a gun range in Bellevue, Wash., but told workers the recoil from the weapon was too much and traded it for a 9mm handgun. She returned to her booth, where a surveillance video showed her deliberately and fatally shooting herself in the head. The incident occurred five days after George Frey, 49, a regular at the same range, rented a 9mm handgun, practiced awhile, then took the weapon to the restroom and fatally shot himself.

The state of North Dakota issued a permit to carry a concealed weapon to Carey McWilliams, 27, who is blind. Pat Healey, a Cass County sheriff's deputy who administers permit tests, said McWilliams passed the necessary background check and written and shooting exams, hitting the black silhouette target nine out of 10 times on the first try and the required 10 of 10 on the re-shoot. "I get ticked off when people say I can't do something because I'm blind," McWilliams said, warning anyone thinking of attacking him, "If you choose this blind victim, you might end up dead."

At a Christmas Eve gathering in Aurora, Colo., Adrian Lorenzo Quintana-Galindo, 23, tried to shoot a plastic drinking cup off the head of Manuel Dominguez-Quintero, 22, with a .25-caliber pistol. The single shot missed, hitting Dominguez-Quintero in the forehead and killing him.

Michael S. Holmes, 42, joined other revelers welcoming the new year at a house party in Edgewater Park, N.J., by firing guns in the air. Authorities said Holmes and the host then went into the kitchen to reload the .32-caliber handgun. While the two men, described as childhood friends, were handling the weapon, it fired, fatally shooting Holmes in the chest.

Ricky Kees, 37, an apartment manager in Memphis, Tenn., pleaded guilty to using a .22-caliber revolver to silence a tenant's electric alarm clock. The tenant, Don Ward, told police Kees used a passkey to enter his apartment, then announced "the alarm clock was disturbing him and his lady," shot it and left. The alarm continued buzzing, prompting Kees to return and take a second shot. Criminal Court Judge W. Otis Higgs Jr. sentenced Kees to 11 months and 29 days in jail.

Solar Power

After Israel ended its 22-year occupation of south Lebanon last May, hundreds of Lebanese demonstrators began routinely hurling rocks and insults at soldiers on the other side of the border. This winter they discovered a new weapon and now use mirrors to reflect sunlight into the troops' eyes and into the lenses of Israeli surveillance cameras. One of the demonstrators near the Lebanese town of Marjayoun told Reuters news agency, "This is our weapon for the 21st century."

Devil's Food

The Rev. Massimo Salani, 41, a Roman Catholic priest in Pisa, Italy, condemned fast food as "the fruit of a Protestant culture," insisting it "reflects the individualistic relation between man and God introduced by Luther." Salani, the author of "At Table with the Religions," about the dietary habits of the world's principal religions, said fast food lacks the community aspect of sharing and completely forgets the sacred nature of food.

Shocking Sight

A man who was electrocuted while trying to steal power cables in eastern Kazakhstan was wrapped in a cloth shroud according to Muslim tradition and buried in a shallow grave. Two days later, the man appeared at his own funeral feast, the daily newspaper Express K reported. He explained he regained consciousness but admitted having difficulty flagging down a vehicle to take him home.

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