In St. Paul, Minnesota, a 25-year-old woman told police on Nov. 3 that she was involuntarily roughed up several hours after being voluntarily roughed up at Arnellia's Bar's weekly "Smack Fest" -- in which female patrons competitively slap each other's faces for three "rounds" under strict house rules. The woman said she spoke amicably with her opponent, but by closing time, the opponent and several friends, including men, punched and kicked her outside the bar. (In other slapping news, a 71-year-old woman died in Lewes, England, in November while participating in a Chinese healing seminar that emphasizes being slapped repeatedly to rid the body of poisoned blood and toxins. The "healer," Hongshi Xiao, charges clients around $900 to beat what he calls the "sha" out of them.)
Don't Scare the Animals
The state agency Colorado Parks and Wildlife filed 21 criminal charges in October against the Squirrel Creek Wildlife Rescue center in Littleton, alleging that some of the orphaned and rehabbing animals Kendall Seifert houses are not being kept according to the state's strict standards -- and that Seifert's 15-year-old center is also home to his popular swingers' club (Scarlet Ranch) featuring weekend sex parties. One of the criminal charges suggests that rescue animals could be stressed by gazing at activity in the ranch's bar area. Seifert said he will challenge the charges out of fear that many of the raccoons, foxes, song birds, coyotes, skunks, rabbits and squirrels he would have to relinquish would not find suitable facilities elsewhere.
The British retailer ASOS announced in August that 3-foot-long clip-on dinosaur tails had sold out in one of its two models (although New York magazine, which reported it in the U.S., was, for obvious reasons, baffled about why).
Right to Die vs Cost of Living
Brittany Maynard, then 29, became "the face of the Right to Die movement" in 2014, per a New York Post column, when she chose a legal physician-assisted suicide rather than awaiting the growth of her terminal brain tumor. In October, terminally ill California mother Stephanie Packer hoped to be "the face of the Right to Live movement" after revealing that her insurance company denied coverage for a drug that could extend her life -- but at the same time disclosed that her suicide drugs are covered, and even disclosed her co-pay ($1.20).
Social Credit Score
A high-level policy document released by the Chinese government in September detailed plans to use technology to monitor citizen behavior to such a degree that each person would receive a "social credit" score (like a FICO score in the U.S. but covering a range of conduct beyond financial) that would be the basis for allotting perks such as government support in starting businesses and whether parents' children are eligible for the best schools. "Keeping trust is glorious," per the document, and "good" behavior promotes a "harmonious socialist society."
Live Long and Prosper....