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Category: Law/Police/Crime
Mock Marijuana
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 24, 2006
Status: Unusual product Want some marijuana? Of course, here in America it's illegal to buy the real thing, but you can buy mock marijuana... lifelike marijuana plants made out of silk and wood. It would be a pretty cool conversation piece to have sitting in the corner, especially if the police ever show up unexpectedly. The mock marijuana is sold by New Image Plants, operated by pro-pot activist Joseph White. It's a small business. Most of his customers, ironically, are law-enforcement agencies. But he did just sell $40,000 worth of his plants to the set director of Weeds, a Showtime series…
Marauding Machete-Wielding Clowns
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 14, 2006
Status: Weird News (True) Big Gary forwarded me this news story about a "machete-wielding gang in angry clown make-up" who have been attacking people in Washington State. The article notes that the group call themselves "juggalos" and often shout "Woo, woo, juggalo!" to each other as they attack victims. The article concludes by noting: "Juggalos often dress in black and wear clown face paint." Big Gary wonders: "Does Seattle really have a subculture of people who call themselves 'Juggalos,' dress in black, wear 'angry clown' face paint, and carry machetes? And if so, how do I join?" Yes, Gary. There is such a subculture of Juggalos. But please, as a favor…
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (31)
Nigeria Warns of British Conmen
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 28, 2006
Status: Strange News Nigerian travellers have been warned by their government to watch out for conmen while in Britain: Fraudsters in Britain might pour tomato juice or other substances on your dress and then offer to help remove it, robbing you in the process, the information ministry warned in its first-ever travel advisory obtained by Reuters on Thursday. The conmen, who are mainly white, but also include east Europeans and north Africans, might also pretend to pick up an object from under a potential victim's seat to distract his attention while he robs him, it added. "Nigerian…
Categories: Law/Police/Crime, Places Comments (7)
Wild Goose Chase
Posted by The Curator on Sat Jun 10, 2006
Status: Weird News I'm not quite sure what's going on in this story, but it's not often that a wild goose chase literally happens, so I thought it was worth posting. Chris Kaye reports for KSL local news in Utah: Officers pulled over a car fitting the description of one allegedly used to swipe a goose from the Utah Botanical Gardens. Sergeant John Spencer says when he looked inside the vehicle, he found everyone inside was obeying traffic laws. "The goose was in the front seat and was seat belted in. It had a seatbelt across…
Categories: Animals, Law/Police/Crime Comments (3)
Real Body Found At Fake Crime Scene
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 07, 2006
Status: Strange but true Here's the scene: a high school criminology class on a field trip to the local park. Their teacher has created fake bodies for them to find. But wait a second. One of those bodies looks awfully real. The AP reports: Truth proved to be stranger than fiction for a high school criminology class investigating a fake crime scene after students discovered a real dead body on a field trip. Teacher Sue Messenger has been planting cardboard skeletons with bullet holes, fake knives and other evidence at mock crime scenes for more than 20…
Categories: Death, Law/Police/Crime Comments (3)
Potato Used As Silencer
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jun 05, 2006
Status: Urban Legend The Miami Herald reports the case of a man who threatened to shoot the mother of his child with a gun silenced by a potato. He never fired the gun, but did explain to her how the potato would silence the shot, insuring that no one would hear what happened. The police had this to say about the man's knowledge of acoustics: The vegetable, while rich in carbs, does not make an effective silencer, police say. The myth dates back to mob murders of the 1920s and has persisted through movies and word of…
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (18)
DVD-Sniffing Dogs
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 08, 2006
Status: Strange, but true The Press Association wire service is reporting that "Two black Labradors have become the world's first dogs to be trained to search for counterfeit DVDs." The two dogs, Lucky and Flo, were trained by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (Fact). In their first assignment "Lucky and Flo were put to work at FedEx's UK hub at Stansted Airport in Essex where they immediately identified packages and parcels containing DVDs for destinations in the UK." Okay, obviously these dogs can't have been trained to sniff out counterfeit DVDs specifically. Why would a counterfeit DVD smell any different than a…
Categories: Animals, Law/Police/Crime Comments (6)
Perfect Shot: Bullet Lodges in Cylinder of Other Gun
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 04, 2006
Status: True It's not quite as miraculous as the (false) case of impregnation by bullet recorded in 1874, but it's still pretty remarkable. A bullet fired by a cop at an assailant ended up lodged in the assailant's gun. Not in the barrel of the gun, but in the cylinder. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports:The officers ordered the man to drop the gun. Instead, police said, he squared up against them. "The officers returned fire in response to that deadly threat," Kimerer said.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (5)
Schapelle Corby Tours
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 17, 2006
Status: Hoax This is in pretty bad taste, but kind of funny nevertheless, in a twisted kind of way. A guy in Bali named Eddie Hutauruk claims to be offering guided tours that allow you to visit Schapelle Corby in her jail cell. (For those who don't recognize who Schapelle Corby is, she's the Australian woman who is currently serving a 20-year sentence for supposedly trying to import 4.1 kg of cannabis into Bali. The cannabis was found in her luggage. A lot of people think she's innocent, and that the cannabis was put in her luggage by baggage handlers at the…
Categories: Law/Police/Crime, Websites Comments (25)
A Meditation on the Speed Limit
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 01, 2006
Status: Civil Disobedience Prank In order to demonstrate the stupidity of the 55 mph speed limit, four Atlanta students pulled a dangerous stunt: they all drove exactly 55 mph on the highway, in a line, thereby blocking the flow of traffic and creating an enormous traffic jam. Check out the video of it. I realize the students thought they were doing something clever, but as I watched the video I found myself getting more and more angry at them. It was like experiencing road rage while sitting behind a computer. I kept imagining the people in the blocked traffic who probably had to get…
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (145)
Philippine Urban Legends (Jose Rizal was Jack the Ripper)
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 22, 2006
Status: urban legends An article from the Philippine Daily Inquirer records some Philippine urban legends: the "White Lady" of Balete Drive, Robina Gokongwei's "snake twin" lurking in department store dressing rooms, the elusive "kapre" that lives in an ancient mango tree near the Emilio Aguinaldo house in Kawit town, and Andres Bonifacio's love child from a place aptly named Libog (now Santo Domingo) in Albay province. None of those mean much to me. But most of the article is devoted to discussing two other Philippine legends that are of more general interest. The first one is that Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines, "was the father of Adolf Hitler, the result of an indiscretion with…
Camera Unlost, But Not Quite Found
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 21, 2006
Status: True Earlier today I read (via blogdex) the tale of a woman named Judith and her camera that was lost, then found, but still (paradoxically) remains lost. I thought it was interesting, but didn't consider it might be a hoax. However, several people have emailed me about it, so I thought I'd take a closer look at it. Here's the jist of the tale. Judith lost her camera while on vacation in Hawaii. Back home she decided to create a photo blog of her vacation using pictures found on Flickr of the places she visited. About two weeks into this blog, she posts this message, explaining that she had received a call from…
Topless Fish Saleswomen Legal in Liverpool
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 02, 2006
Status: Undetermined (though I'm assuming it's false, until proven otherwise) Some of you may have read this claim before: "Topless saleswomen are legal in Liverpool, England, but only in tropical fish stores." I hadn't heard it before until I happened upon it on the blog of Cavan Scott who is (rightly, I think) quite skeptical of it. He's emailed the Liverpool county council to get their opinion about it, but my guess is that he probably won't get a reply. (Though I decided to send them an email too... they must be wondering why so many emails about topless fish clerks are pouring in.) I then wasted a lot of time…
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (38)
Carjacker Strategy: Place Paper On Your Rear Window
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jan 26, 2006
Status: Theoretically could happen (though there's no solid evidence it ever has) You may have received this email warning recently: Imagine: You walk across the parking lot, unlock your car and get inside. Then you lock all your doors, start the engine and shift into REVERSE. Habit! You look into the rear-view window to back out of your parking space and you notice a piece of paper, some sort of advertisement stuck to your rear window. So, you shift into PARK, unlock your doors and jump out of your vehicle to remove that paper (or whatever it is) that is obstructing your view... when you reach the back of your car, that is when the…
The Case of the Missing Violin
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 03, 2006
Status: False theft report A San Francisco woman has admitted to sending police on a wild goose chase to find a $175,000 violin that she claimed had been stolen from her car. She really does own such a violin, but it doesn't appear to have been missing. It's not clear why she said it was. Here are some details from the AP article: The sad tale of a San Francisco music student who had a $175,000 18th century violin swiped from her towed car was a fabrication, authorities confirmed Friday... Rhee-Nakajima told police Wednesday that the violin -- along with her wallet and iPod -- were gone when she picked up her vehicle…
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (9)
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