News of the Weird
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
In February, Dublin, Ireland, software engineer Michael Killian demonstrated his sideways-traveling bicycle, in which a rider sits and pedals facing perpendicular to front and back, with each hand controlling a wheel, e.g., squeezing the right handlebar and pedaling moves the bike rightward.
In March three homeless men were awarded $10,000 each in a settlement with the city of Las Vegas because they were arrested in November for violating a since-repealed ordinance. The men had been cited for “illegally” sleeping within 500 feet of public urine or feces (a restriction the city thought would drive the homeless to isolated parts of town to relieve themselves and/or to sleep).
To get her reluctant terrier Missy to eat dog food, Elaine Larabie decided to be a role model and eat some herself, after which, Missy indeed began nibbling at it. The next day, both Larabie and Missy were in Ottawa, Ontario, hospitals, vomiting and foaming at the mouth. The incident occurred in March, during the first days of the alert over rat-poison-laced pet food, and doctors suspected that as the culprit, but no definitive conclusion was reported in the press, and both Larabie and Missy recovered.
Beijing continues its intensive citywide upgrade campaign to impress visitors when the Olympic Games open in August 2008. In February, the city designated the 11th of each month as “voluntary wait in” day to begin training Chinese to queue up for services in an orderly fashion rather than by their customary chaotic swarming.