NewsQuirks 621


Pennsylvania authorities charged Julia Sidibe, 38, with continuing to collect welfare after she won a $247,500 jackpot playing a slot machine at Atlantic City. When authorities were unable to find her winnings, Sidibe insisted she is too poor to hire a lawyer and asked the state to appoint one for her.

Where's Dr. Kevorkian When You Need Him?

Authorities in Portage, Ind., charged cancer patient Robert Lagerstrom, 57, with using a baseball bat to beat his wife in her sleep after she told him she needed a break from taking care of him. Patricia Lagerstrom, 37, was hospitalized in serious condition.

Mensa Rejects of the Week

John and Ruby Barnes suffered severe burns while heating aerosol paint cans in the oven of their Huntsville, Ala., home. Fire department spokesperson Mike Sublett told the Huntsville Times the couple explained they were heating the metal cans "to make the paint come out easier."

When Guns Are Outlawed

A gang freed two prisoners from a bus outside Nelamangala, India, by overpowering four police officers escorting them, stabbing one and throwing chili powder at the others. The Times of India reported the four officers were armed with one rifle.

Thanks for the Mammaries

A California Appeals Court upheld a jury's award of $1.08 million to a woman because a doctor surgically enhanced her breasts without her permission during an operation to remove saggy excess skin. Dr. William Shaw enlarged the woman's breasts from size 34B to 40DD. Larry Feldman, the woman's attorney, said his client decided not to get the operation reversed because "she's lost faith in the medical profession."

The British army paid for four female soldiers to have breast-enhancement surgery to make them "happier," according to the Ministry of Defense. Noting there are something like a dozen such cases a year, a ministry spokesperson said, "This is not done purely on cosmetic grounds but as a last resort."

Eye for an Eye

Wisconsin state Rep. Marlin Schneider introduced a bill that would allow relatives of domestic-abuse victims to beat up their attackers. "The only thing some thugs understand is force," Schneider said. "I know it's a radical idea. It's kind of like the Old West."

Funny Money

The makers of "Rush Hour 2," the sequel to the 1998 action film, printed tens of millions of $100 bills for casino scenes, only to have someone walk off with a stack of the phony bills during filming. The culprit was able to successfully spend it in Las Vegas, even though the bogus bills bore the phrase "In Dog We Trust."

Organ Donors

While on probation for a drug possession conviction, Donald C. Milligan Jr., 36, tried to fool drug testers by modifying a sex toy to deliver urine supplied by a friend. He inserted a tube into the fake penis connected to a glue bottle filled with his friend's urine, put makeup on the toy to match his own skin color, then reported to the testing center and pretended to urinate. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported "the plastic prosthetic didn't fool a Cuyahoga County probation officer, who was trained to observe the sights and sounds of urination." Milligan was forced to give a legitimate sample, which tested positive for cocaine and opiates. What's more, his friend's urine also tested positive for cocaine and opiates.

The incident recalls a 1999 report of Micah Sheehan, 37, using a fake penis to provide urine during one of his mandatory twice-weekly drug tests in San Antonio, Texas. Bexar County Probation Director Caesar Garcia said a probation department technician who watched Sheehan provide the sample noticed the bleached-pink fake penis was a different color from Sheehan's skin and that the urine was discharging from all different angles like water shooting from a sprinkler. The final giveaway, Garcia said, was when "he fumbled with it, and it fell out of his shorts, and he caught it before it hit the ground."

Smoked Fish

Eating large amounts of sushi may help smokers reduce the risk of lung cancer, according to scientists at the Aichi Cancer Center in Nagoya, Japan. Their study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, studied the eating habits of 4,000 healthy people and 1,000 lung cancer sufferers. "Japanese people love their fresh fish, particularly sushi," Professor Toshiro Takezaki said. "We think that is why, even though the Japanese smoke as much as people in the United Kingdom, their rate of lung cancer is only two-thirds as high."

Audacity Update

People increasingly are faking disabilities and pretending their pets are guide dogs to gain access to public places where animals are prohibited, according to Michigan state Rep. Jennifer Faunce. She introduced a bill to increase penalties for violators of a state law against imitating those with disabilities for personal gain from $10 to $500.

After Nelden McMickle spent eight years in jail for sexually abusing his children, the state of New Jersey moved him to a psychiatric facility, because he is still viewed as a threat, and told the children, now 18 and 21, he abused they would have to pay part of the $90,000 annual bill.

Biblical Nut Case

Biblical strongman Samson suffered from the earliest recorded case of antisocial personality disorder, according to researchers at the University of California at San Diego. Reporting in the Archives of General Psychiatry, they said Samson showed signs of at least six of the seven behaviors associated with the disorder: routinely getting into fights; showing no remorse by killing 1,000 Philistines, then gloating over it; being deceitful, such as by not telling his parents that he got honey from the carcass of a lion; behaving badly as a child by setting things on fire, torturing animals, stealing and bullying other children; acting impulsively by burning Philistine fields; and showing reckless disregard for his own safety by telling Delilah, a woman who had already tried to kill him three times, the secret of his strength.

Cherchez La Femme

Retired security guard Harry Rabin, 77, admitted holding up three Chicago area banks but explained he needed the money to pay for dates. Noting his girlfriend, who is two years older, has more money than he does, and that her son is a millionaire, Rabin said he feared he would lose her if he didn't have enough money to match her lifestyle. He was sentenced to three years in federal prison.

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