News of the Weird
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
In September, the headmistress of the Dvergsnes primary school in Kristiansand, Norway, proposed that boys be taught to urinate while seated, in order to reduce splashing and mis-targeting, which burden the cleaning staff, but many parents and politicians reacted bitterly. Said Vidar Kleppe of the Justice and Order party, “It’s a human right (for a boy) not to have to sit down like a girl,” adding that the school was “fiddling with God’s work.” Parent Nancy Bakke was proud of her 7-year-old boy’s ability to aim: “This rule goes against everything I’ve tried to teach my son.”
Youth cheerleading coach Christine Smith was dismissed in September by the Frederick (Md.) Youth Sports Association for a sideline gesture she said was to re-energize her 7- and 8-year-old girls when their football team fell behind. Smith drew a smiley face on her stomach, which she said they found “hilarious,” but allegedly three people complained of the unseemliness of Smith’s lifting her shirt slightly, to draw the face. Said association president Kathy Carey, “(P)ulling your shirt up is … not what our organization is about.”
Akira Haraguchi, 60, spent 16 straight hours on Oct. 4 reciting the value of pi from memory to 100,000 decimal places, breaking his old record of 83,431. Haraguchi, whose day job is psychiatric counselor, performed in front of officials at a public hall in Kisarazu, Japan, and rattled off the numbers continuously except for a five-minute break every hour. (In 2002, two University of Tokyo mathematicians, using a supercomputer, calculated pi to 1.24 trillion decimal places.)
(Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa FL 33679 or [email protected] or go to www.NewsoftheWeird.com.) NEWS OF THE WEIRD