The West Tennessee Detention Facility (Mason, Tenn.) made a video pitch for California inmates, hoping some would volunteer to be outsourced under that state’s program to relieve overcrowding. The hard-timers should come east, the video urged, because of West Tennessee’s “larger and cleaner jail cells, 79 TV channels, including ESPN, views of peaceful cow pastures, and… the ‘Dorm of the Week,’ [with its inmates] staying up all night, watching a movie and eating cheeseburgers or pizza,” according to a March description in Nashville’s Tennessean. “You’re not a number here,” said one inmate. “You come here, it’s personalized.” California’s outsourcing program is currently facing a lawsuit from the prison guards’ union, anxious about job loss.
THE CONTINUING CRISIS
Retired German farmer Karl Szmolinsky told reporters in January that he had agreed to visit North Korea in April to give tips on how he managed to breed huge rabbits (around 20 to 25 pounds), which he believes the Koreans view as one answer to their hunger crisis. He has already sent a sampler of 12 monster rabbits, which should produce 60 offspring a year, with one providing “a filling meal for eight people,” he told Der Spiegel.
A group of “extremist” rabbis (the Sanhedrin, about 70 in number) announced in February that they want Judaism to resume the centuries-ago practice of including animal sacrifices in services. They add that resumption should start, for historical reasons, in the Jerusalem compound of Temple Mount (but known primarily now as Islam’s Al Aqsa Mosque).
NEWS THAT SOUNDS LIKE A JOKE
Alabama state officials announced in February that they had identified more than $438,000 in abuses of the financial aid program at Bishop State Community College in Mobile, including $87,000 in athletic scholarships awarded to 42 relatives of employees (and others) who played no sports. Included was one employee’s 67-year-old disabled grandmother, who received scholarships in three sports but was unable to use them, in that she passed away shortly after the paperwork came through.
According to a Beijing Youth Daily report distributed by Reuters news service in February, an unidentified Chinese businessman posted an online job offer for a “substitute” mistress. That is, in order to save his marriage, he had agreed to allow his wife to beat up his mistress and thus needed a stand-in to absorb the whipping, to spare the real mistress. He offered the equivalent of about $400 per 10 minutes of pain.
In Omaha, Neb., in February, Kevin Oliver, 36, was convicted of criminal impersonation for tricking two women into giving him urine samples by convincing them, falsely, that he was a recruiter for T-Mobile and needed the samples for their employment applications.
The New York City children’s services agency took away former “breatharian” David Jubb’s 20-month-old son in February after Jubb refused to let physicians treat the boy’s fractured ankle. As mentioned previously in News of the Weird, breatharians believe that humans can subsist primarily on air and sunlight. Jubb said he has evolved since those days and now eats, but extremely few calories’ worth, and he drinks his own urine. MTW