News of the Weird
*Frenchman Richard Moureau upset Brit Terry Burrows in the European Window Cleaning Championship in Paris in March by wetting and streaklessly wiping three standard panes in 14.31 seconds. Moureau's time was very fast, but according to a Wall Street Journal report, a jurisdictional dispute between the International Window Cleaning Association and France's National Federation of Cleaning Contractors has left no uniform world records. (Both Moureau and Burrows use the "American stroke," which has revolutionized contestants' times compared with the standard "French stroke.")
*In April a navy official told the Pensacola News Journal that the navy would soon begin running the primary aviators' training at its Corpus Christi, Texas, station using off-the-shelf copies of Microsoft's Flight Simulator software ($50), thus permitting the navy to create a homemade simulator for about $6000 (versus "millions" for a commercial simulator). Also, according to news reports from Littleton, Colorado, the two Columbine High School killers were obsessed with the video game Doom, a customized version of which was adopted by the Marines several years ago for infantry training.
*In March in Ottawa, Ontario, convicted pedophile Owen Dulmage rose to address the judge in an effort to persuade him that he was no longer a threat to children because of his age and should not be imprisoned, or at least not for long, for molesting a boy in 1960. Said Dulmage, who is age 77: "I couldn't catch a six-year-old in a race." The only way he could kidnap a boy, he said (according to a report of his remarks in the Globe and Mail), was if he knocked him out first and dragged away the unconscious body.
*In Adamsburg, Pennsylvania, in March, Mary Marcoz bought a $129 twelve-gauge shotgun as a welcome-home gift for her son, Christopher Lewis, who had just been released from a mental-health treatment center. After presenting him with the gun, Marcoz went to run errands and returned to find yellow police tape at their home: According to police Lewis had begun shooting in the air, and when two neighbors came to complain, he shot both of them. Marcoz guessed that Lewis was acting out scenes from the movie Kelly's Heroes, which was in the VCR at the time.
*In February a juvenile-court judge in Dayton, Ohio, ruled that Regina Moreland's three children (plus a granddaughter in her custody) should be returned to her after being taken away by authorities when four other children in her care were murdered over a seven-month period. (Police have not filed charges in the murders but said the culprit may have been another child in the family, not Moreland.) In April the judge changed his mind and awarded custody to another relative who lives across the street from Moreland, thus still keeping the child-suspect with the surviving kids.
*Job-Rating Rage: Trung Ngo, age 32, was sentenced to 30 days in jail in Alexandria, Virginia, in January for telephoning his supervisor more than 50 times to complain about being rated "highly successful" instead of "outstanding." Porno-Denial Rage: A nineteen-year-old man and his buddies cursed a librarian and chased her from the Downsview Public Library in Toronto, Ontario, in February after she cut their Internet access because they were viewing sex sites.
-- By Chuck Shepherd
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