News Of The Weird

The Japanese company Medical Life Care Giken said that later this year it will begin marketing a device that measures pets’ stress levels. The tiny patch on the bottom of a dog’s or cat’s paw changes color depending on the amount of sweat secreted, according to the researchers at Toyama University who developed it. And in March, New York’s Long Island Veterinary Specialists performed complicated hip-replacement surgery on a year-old shorthaired cat, using a material about the width of a wooden matchstick. Dogs receive hip replacements almost routinely now, but cats were thought to be too small.

COMPELLING EXPLANATIONS

Local music producer Ricky Lackey, during questioning in March by a judge in Cincinnati to determine an appropriate sentence for Lackey’s crime of attempted theft, said he had no children at the moment but does have “six on the way.” The judge sought clarification: “Are you marrying a woman with six children?” “No,” Lackey said. “I be concubining.” All six women are due during August, September or October. Lackey, who had recently paid restitution to his victim, was released without additional sentence.

OUTSOURCING GONE MAD

Yet another U.S. job was outsourced to India in May, that of “local government reporter” covering city hall politicians in Pasadena, Calif. The publisher of the Web site PasadenaNow.com said the local beat could be handled very well from India, through telephone interviews and by watching live city council telecasts on the Internet.

OUR LITIGIOUS SOCIETY

In January, Joshua Vannoy, 18, filed a lawsuit against the Big Beaver Falls School District near Pittsburgh for the disruption to his high school years when he and his family were forced to moved to another school district because Joshua was being too harshly taunted. His troubles stemmed from an incident a year earlier, just before a Denver-Pittsburgh playoff football game when Joshua chose to wear a Broncos jersey to class and was then forced by one teacher to sit on the floor and endure paper wads being thrown at him because he was, according to the teacher, a “stinking Denver fan.”

OOPS!

A cable broke on a leg extension machine at a YWCA facility in Akron, Ohio, in 2004, catapulting a steel bar forcefully at a 22-year-old football player working out for a shot at a college scholarship, hitting him squarely between his parted legs, whacking his left testicle. Three years later, he still walks gingerly and bow-legged because the slightest contact is painful, although he did manage to father a child in the interim. In April 2007, a jury awarded him $786,000 after hearing that the machine had been in disrepair.

IT’S A LIVING

In January, Ronald Dotson, 39, pleaded no contest to attempting to break into a Ferndale, Mich., store in order to steal a mannequin outfitted in a French maid’s uniform, which authorities said was his seventh “statuephilia”-related offense in 13 years. “I thought I was getting my life together,” he told the judge, even though his arrest came only days after he was paroled for the sixth offense. One of the previous arrests involved an apparently irresistible “woman” in a pink dress and bobbed hair, and in another, he was found in an alley with three lingerie-clad beauties. MTW

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