xxxNews Of The Weirdxxx
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
Scientists at the University of Southern California will soon begin testing an artificial brain prosthesis (a silicon chip that mimics the hippocampus), which, if successful, can help people who cannot store future and recent memories of their experiences. One problem with the project (according to a March story in New Scientist): Subjects might not remember anything about the research or consenting to participate in it. (Another problem: Nearly everyone is glad not to be able to recall some negative experiences.)
The small Jewish Skver sect of Hasidim (New Square, N.Y.) was energized in March when a fishcutter in the sect (along with his Christian co-worker) swore they heard a 20-pound carp shout apocalyptic warnings in Hebrew. The co-worker thought the carp was merely Satanic, but Zalmen Rosen, 57, said the fish’s soul was cautioning that the end is near, perhaps because of war in Iraq. Although the news spread throughout the community (aided by a feature in The New York Times), the carp itself met an inglorious end when the co-worker butchered it and sold it for gefilte fish.
A 19-year-old woman learning to drive took a turn too fast and mowed down her two kids, her sister and her niece (all survived) (Santa Ana, Calif.).
News of the Weird from time to time reports on the vile, anti-homosexuality crusades of the indefatigable Rev. Fred Phelps (Westboro Baptist Church, Topeka, Kan.) and his extended family. The latest: The clan plans to be in Pittsburgh on April 13 to picket several organizations that had been associated with the late Fred Rogers, whom the Phelpses believe led kids in “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” to feel that being gay was acceptable. Said one of Phelps’ daughters (a Westboro attorney): “This country has forgotten God and effectively flipped Him off, and Fred Rogers is in part responsible.” (At a November demonstration at the University of Maryland, the Phelpses carried the sign, “Thank God for Sept. 11,” an event which they view as proof of God’s wrath.)
In March, former Northwest Airlines flight attendant Daniel Reed Cunningham was charged with slyly drugging the apple juice of a severely rambunctious 19-month-old baby during a 2002 flight. The mother became suspicious after tasting the juice and so slipped some into a container for later testing (which revealed Xanax).
Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa, Fla. 33679 or [email protected]
Copyright © 2001 by Chuck Shepherd
NEWS OF THE WEIRD