Odd Files

Sentimental Journey

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.

Cultural Diversity

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. However, enlightenment is advancing, and Mr. 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.

Fighter jets from France were forced in February to accompany the hijacked Ethiopian Airlines plane commandeered by the co-pilot, who had diverted the plane to Geneva in order to apply for asylum. The Swiss air force would normally have taken over the mission in its own air space, but the incident occurred at 4:30 a.m., and Swiss air force pilots were likely still asleep, as they work only “regular office hours,” beginning at 8 a.m. (French military officials said they are accustomed to covering for Switzerland.)

Sweden’s foul-smelling canned herring (surstromming) inexplicably raises passions among some traditionalists — which is why it was big news in February when a man found a bulging tin whose contents had been fermenting for about 25 years and reckoned he needed help to “disarm” it, lest it “explode” and damage his cabin. Ruben Madsen of Sweden’s Surstromming Academy agreed to attend the can-opening and assured the man that spewing, not explosion, was the likely outcome.

The Cutting Edge

Among the filings published in November by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was Google’s 2012 application covering a throat tattoo — actually a mobile skin “microphone” with lie-detecting capability, presumably to encourage truthfulness from people as they speak. The application explains how to couple an electronic skin tattoo to a mobile device, using “flexible substrate.”

(2) Among the “secrets” revealed recently on a BBC television special on South America’s beauty-queen obsession was one by Ms. Wi May Nava, first runner-up for Miss Venezuela 2013. Nava had a patch of plastic mesh sewn onto her tongue to create so much pain when she ate that she was forced to stick to liquids.

 

or

Log in with your credentials

or    

Forgot your details?

Skip to toolbar