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News Quirks 

Published January 29, 2014 at 12:44 p.m.

Curses, Foiled Again

Surveillance video of an attempted break-in at a Chicago bar showed the would-be burglar removing the lock on the front door. He got no further, police Officer Jose Estrada said, because instead of obeying the sign on the door that read “PUSH,” he kept aggressively pulling. He finally left in frustration. (Chicago’s

Brain Freeze

After two men got lost driving on rural roads east of Pincher Creek, Alberta, they ran off the road and into a ditch. Fearing they might freeze to death in the sub-zero weather, they removed the crashed vehicle’s seats and set them on fire, along with all of their personal belongings. As that fire died out, the men decided to burn the car. “They actually had two fires going,” RCMP Cpl. Jeffrey Feist said. “Their car was completely consumed by fire.” In the morning, the men, both of whom had cellphones, discovered they were within walking distance of a nearby house and headed there to find help. Authorities who responded took the men to the hospital for treatment for minor burns and frostbite and arrested one for outstanding warrants. (Canada’s QMI Agency)

Police reported that a man who built a fire to keep warm outside a house in Sisters, Ore., decided to stoke the fire by pouring gasoline on it. The resulting explosion severely burned four people. (Portland’s KPTV-TV)

Blame Hipsters and the Boston Red Sox

Trendy facial hair is hurting the bottom line at Gillette, whose owner, Procter & Gamble, reported “seeing a slight decline in wet shaving incidence in the U.S. right now driven by fashion.” P&G chief financial officer Jon R. Moeller also blamed sagging razor sales on Movember, an annual charity event whose participants raise awareness of prostate cancer by growing mustaches. Meanwhile, noting “increased shaving below the neck, particularly among younger men,” ages 18 to 24, P&G has begun marketing its new Gillette Body razor to meet “guys’ holistic shaving needs.” (Los Angeles Times)

Vehicular Cabaret

After two women having car trouble pulled into a gas station near Albany, Ore., police said that a barefoot woman approached and dropped her pants. She ran off but returned shortly, climbed onto the car’s hood and began jumping up and down until she caved in the windshield. She then jumped down and ran across Interstate 5. The occupants called 911, and a state trooper arrested Victoria Dawn Lohmann, 24. (Portland’s KPTV-TV)

Second-Amendment Follies

David Counceller, 60, police chief of Connersville, Ind., accidentally shot himself in the leg at a gun shop while examining a handgun similar to the one he carries. He had compared the two Glocks and was putting his back into its holster when “it got tangled in my clothing” and fired, he explained, adding, “I need to pay more attention.” (Indianapolis Star)

Dean Buckley, 59, was shooting at a water tower from his backyard target range in Paso Robles, Calif., but two shots missed and went into his neighbor’s house. When the neighbor complained, Buckley reportedly declared, “I can do anything I want on my own property” and fired three more rounds from his .45-caliber revolver. Police charged Buckley with felony discharge of a firearm with gross negligence. (San Luis Obispo’s Tribune)

Strange Cargo

U.S. customs agents searching a vehicle belonging to a 56-year-old Arizona man crossing the border from Mexico at the Port of Nogales unzipped one of the man’s suitcases in the backseat and discovered a 48-year-old Thai woman hiding under his clothes. Their relationship was unclear. (Phoenix’s KNXV-TV)

Perils of Progress

Kaveh Kamooneh spent more than 15 hours in jail after authorities arrested him for plugging his Nissan Leaf into an electrical outlet at a middle school in Chamblee, Ga., and drawing about a nickel’s worth of power. “He stole something that wasn’t his,” said Police Sgt. Ernesto Ford, who ticketed Kamooneh 20 minutes after he admitted plugging in without the school’s permission. “A theft is a theft.” (Atlanta’s WXIA-TV)

Gluten-Free Living

Students at Montreal’s McGill University won the $1 million Hult Prize to fund their project to produce insect-based, protein-rich flour to feed malnourished people in other countries. “We will be starting with grasshoppers,” team captain Mohammed Ashour said, noting that ingredients will vary to accommodate local dietary customs. He added that in order to research the feasibility of their five-year plan to develop Power Flour, all team members have consumed “kilos” of insects, even one who identifies himself as a vegetarian. (ABC News)

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About The Author

Roland Sweet

Roland Sweet was the author of a syndicated column called "News Quirks," which appeared weekly in Seven Days.


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