xxxNews Of The Weirdxxx
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
A congressional committee staff revealed in May that five U.S. companies that have relocated their headquarters offshore in order to avoid federal taxes were nonetheless awarded a total of nearly $1 billion of taxpayer money in federal government contracts over the last fiscal year.
In May, Reuters reported on the increasing popularity in Australia of large cockroaches as pets (won’t hurt children, very low maintenance). However, at about the same time, health authorities in Thailand decided to confiscate and destroy about 1,000 pet cockroaches, calling them pests, but reluctantly showed sympathy for the owners’ losses by holding a Buddhist funeral rite for the cockroaches.
Also in May, artist Catherine Chalmers opened her “Executions” exhibit in New York City, featuring photographs of cockroaches dying simulated “human” deaths (hanging from tiny nooses or executed in a small prison electric chair) and, in a video, arising from the “dead” in a gas chamber (gruesomely knocked out by carbon dioxide, then revived as the gas dissipates).
In 2000, News of the Weird reported on neuroscientist Lawrence Farwell’s “brain fingerprinting” (in which he says he can measure brain activity or inactivity in order to determine whether a person has previously experienced an event or a setting, such as a murder scene). According to a May 2003 Associated Press story, University of Pennsylvania scientists are testing devices that detect brain activity in order to determine whether a person is about to lie even before he or she has spoken a word. Biophysicist Britton Chance’s headband measures blood-flow; psychologist Daniel Langleben uses a type of MRI machine; and other researchers employ devices like heat-sensitive cameras to measure telltale blood-flow around the eyes.
Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa, Fla. 33679 or Weird@compuserve.com
Copyright © 2001 by Chuck Shepherd
NEWS OF THE WEIRD