Yamaha Corp. recently introduced the MyRoom, which is a customizable, soundproof, shed-like structure, with 27 square feet of floor space, for installation inside notoriously crowded Japanese homes, so that a resident can get privacy (or be exiled if he or she gets annoying). The company expects a sales surge in 2006, when Japan’s first wave of baby-boom salarymen retire and begin staying home a lot. Yamaha developed the MyRoom concept for musicians to practice in, but subsequently realized that the boxes (which sell for the equivalent of about US$5,500) had a much larger appeal.
A man identified in court papers as John Doe who suffered injuries and sexual dysfunction 11 years ago when a woman unexpectedly changed positions during intercourse, falling on him and fracturing his penis, was again turned down in his attempt to sue the woman. The Court of Appeals of Massachusetts said in May that it would be impossible for a judge or jury to decide which movements in consensual sex were legally reasonable or unreasonable.
The San Diego Union Tribune reported in April that Los Angeles Angels’ first baseman Darin Erstad was wearing a leather-pouched “balance necklace” of minerals that, according to the manufacturer, will “achieve alignment of body, mind and spirit” and “address the electro-pollution, toxic vapors, scars, surgeries and traumas to the skin by organizing the quantum nature of man,” which are things important to Erstad to avoid the kinds of injuries he had experienced in previous seasons. Erstad said that since he has been injury-free so far in 2005, “it must be working,” but the player who recommended the necklace, teammate Steve Finley, is substantially underperforming so far this season.
In Eatonton, N.J., in March, a man carjacked a van even though, unknown to him beforehand, it was transporting inmates from Northern State Prison to a highway work detail. The suspect was arrested after a 70-mile chase. And in April Washington’s King County agreed to pay $23 million to Stockpot Soups to relocate to make room for a prospective sewage-treatment plant. Until recently, Stockpot had famously tormented its neighbors most Mondays and Tuesdays—its onion-soup-making days—with a putrid, body-odor-type smell.
After a guest on the Oprah Winfrey show proclaimed the use of Premarin vaginal cream and Preparation H on her face to smooth out wrinkles, Baltimore’s WBAL-TV did a follow-up with local doctors, who generally agreed that the ingredients might work but were nonetheless harmful to facial skin. Said female Maryland gynecologist Terry Hoffman, “Personally, if something is meant for my ‘hu-ha,’ I don’t think I’m going to put it on my eyes.”
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Christopher Lamping, 20 at the time, was arrested for DUI in Indiana, Pa., in March, after he leaned on the horn repeatedly through three light changes because the car in front of him would not go through the green lights. The car in front was a marked Indiana police cruiser whose officers were talking to a man on the sidewalk, and after hearing enough of Lamping’s horn, one officer walked over and noticed Lamping’s odor of alcohol. According to the Indiana Gazette story, Lamping later explained that he “just didn’t think of” driving around the stopped car. MTW