Friday, January 10, 2014

Strange and Stupid News

Nervey, but dumb: Police finally arrested William Footman, 55, in October as the person who somehow managed to swipe inside-front-door mats from at least 37 New York City banks between March and May 2013. No money was ever taken, and some banks were slow to realize the thefts -- unobservant that they had even had front-door mats in the first place. "I sell them to bodegas," Footman said. "Their floors get wet." 

Well, why not? Rodney Rotert of Tulsa, Okla., filed a lawsuit recently against Philadelphia Insurance Companies demanding the return of "his" classic 1967 Chevrolet Camaro, supposedly worth about $100,000. His case is complicated by the fact that he also recently pleaded no contest to possessing stolen property, i.e., that very same car, stolen from an Arkansas dealer in 2007. (Rotert claims he bought the car legitimately, but he also changed the Vehicle Identification Number to obtain a false title.) Rotert said his legal claim, especially with the "current" VIN, is superior to the insurance company's claim. 

Is it really coming to this? While many educators lament the mediocrity of American universities in encouraging study of science and engineering, U.S. colleges are surely among world leaders in one area: sensitivity to students questioning their gender. In the current school year, Bellevue (Wash.) College and Mills College (Oakland, Calif.) have offered students unprecedented choices of self-identification. "Male/female" is no longer useful at Bellevue, which offers "feminine, masculine, androgynous, gender neutral, transgender and other." At Mills, students identify themselves as "agender, bigender, third-gender or gender-fluid," and select the pronoun they wish to be referred to with (he or she or ze or sie or ve, or the agrammatical "they"). 

It just keeps getting dumber… When a pickpocket shared a taxi ride with him recently in China's Hunan province and somehow managed to lift Zou Bin's iPhone, Zou was frightened that he had lost all of his beverage-industry business contacts and began text-messaging desperate pleas to the thief. Several days later, in the postal mail, Zou received a list of his contacts, apparently carefully copied from the phone, totaling 11 handwritten pages of names and numbers, and as the story broke on Chinese social media, the earnest thief was referred to as "the conscience of the (robbery) industry," and compared to a member of the People's Liberation Army as the model conscientious citizen that the Chinese should aspire to. 

Today’s Reflection: 
I’ve discovered I scream the same way whether I'm about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot. 
Live Long and Prosper….

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