News of the Weird
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
On display at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis., in October was a $250,000, self-service milking machine (introduced in Europe in 2005) in which the cow wanders in, and lasers and video cameras guide the rubber cups to her teats, with a computer directing the actual milking.
An appeals court in Florida finally applied the brakes to the so-called “contingency fee multiplier” available under state law for lawyers who assist mistreated insurance customers. In extraordinary cases, a lawyer is permitted to recover up to 2 1/2 times the customary fee, which supposedly helps customers with smaller claims to find legal representation. However, the court said the fee is being granted too routinely, and in one case, a client won his $1,315 claim while his lawyer got $193,750.
A Georgetown University student, whose dad bought him a $2.4 million off-campus house and who wants his eight best friends to live (and party) with him, ran up against a Washington, D.C., zoning law permitting no more than six unrelated people per house. After researching the issue, the students filed papers declaring themselves a “church” (The Apostles of O’Neill, after owner Brian O’Neill) because churches are allowed to house up to 15 unrelated people. O’Neill’s dad supports the students, as judged from his testy response to a Washington Post inquiry: “Who says they aren’t a (real) religion?”
(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