Kevin Walters, 21, staged an emotional, though unsuccessful, one-man, chained-to-the-door protest in March to prevent the closing of a commercial rest stop along the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway near Des Plaines, Ill. Ultimately, the Des Plaines Oasis, housing shops and fast-food restaurants, will be demolished as part of a highway-widening project. Walters told WBBM Radio that his poignant attachment to the oasis was because his parents had told him it was where he was conceived as they returned home from a 1992 Phil Collins concert.
In tribe-controlled areas of India, children who disrespect their families by marrying outside their castes are still, occasionally, put to death despite strong national laws. But enlightenment is advancing and Sidhnath Sharma recently filed a lawsuit instead against his caste-straying son for “destroying the family tradition” and “lowering his father’s prestige.” Sharma, a lawyer in Patna, India, is demanding that the son pay a monthly royalty of the equivalent of $163 for the son’s now-unauthorized use of the father’s name.
THIS WEEK IN CHUB CHASERS
In 2010, News of the Weird reported on the enthusiastically obese Donna Simpson, who ate meals in front of her webcam so that “chub chasers” could watch her (pay-per-view) growing larger before their eyes. Now comes a South Korean, Park Seo-yeon, 34, not at all overweight, also on pay-per-view, breaking bread with friend-challenged people desperate to avoid eating alone, however forced the circumstances. Reuters reported that in some months, Park’s “gastronomic voyeurism” earns her the equivalent of more than $9,000 for her series of two-to-three-hour meals, featuring real-time chatting.
LET THEM EAT PIZZA
After a Feb. 11 explosion at a natural gas well in Greene County, Pa., killed one worker, burned for four days and caused massive traffic jams and other inconveniences, the public relations response of well-owner Chevron was merely to give away vouchers for pizza and soda at local hangout Bobtown Pizza. Environmentalists were outraged at Chevron’s “let them eat cake/pizza” attitude, but CBS News found quite a few locals who supported Chevron’s response. For one thing, Bobtown’s pizza is apparently highly regarded.
FINE POINTS OF THE LAW
An Iowa administrative law judge ruled in February that it might be reasonable to accidentally damage a stubborn vending machine that ate your money–but not by commandeering a forklift, raising the vending machine two feet off the concrete floor, and slamming it to the ground to dislodge the reluctant candy bar (a Twix). Consequently, Robert McKevitt, fired recently over the incident by Polaris Industries in Milford, Iowa, was deemed not entitled to worker compensation. McKevitt admitted picking up the machine with the forklift, but said he just shook it and then set it down gently.
LIFE IS TOO LONG
Among the websites whose stunning visual sophistication lies in stark contrast to their marginal importance in the world is “Carpets for Airports,” apparently still the go-to site for viewing and judging air terminal floor coverings around the world. Singapore’s carpet consists of an indescribably erratic, “psychologically terrifying” design, while Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport’s is “muted” and “calming”–appropriate for the nervous traveler about to experience an Andes mountains take-off. The least ambitious of all, so far, is Denver’s “featureless” non-pattern–settled on in 2001 after religious fundamentalists objected to the evolution-enabled images on its original carpeting.