Weirdness  - 8Aug97
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu, 2 Oct 97 16:21:29 -0700
Subject: Weirdness  - 8Aug97
Excerpted-from: WEIRDNUZ.496 (News of the Weird, August 8, 1997)
by Chuck Shepherd
* In April, DSC Communications of Plano, Tex., filed a lawsuit against
ex-employee Evan Brown, to force Brown to give up a thought in his head.
DSC had fired Brown for allegedly not honoring a contract that it says gives
the company the right to know any idea Brown got for 10 years. Brown says
he had an idea for upgrading old computer code into a higher-level code,
which could be worth millions of dollars, but has not written it down and
refuses to divulge it. In June, a federal judge ordered Brown to dislodge
the idea and give it to DSC.
* The Times of London reported in July on an 86-year-old woman living
without electricity in her Sheffield, England, home for 20 years because
she had interpreted a power failure in 1977 as her being dropped as a
customer. It turns out that Yorkshire Electric Company had only
accidentally failed to hook her back up, but she said she was too
embarrassed by her low utility use to ask if there had been a mistake. For
years, neighbors thought the woman preferred to live by candlelight.
* Student Jaimie Rising of Indiana University of Pennsylvania filed a sexual
harassment lawsuit in March against Prof. Gordon Thornton for his behavior
in his psychology of death course. According to the lawsuit, Thornton asked
in class whether any student had ever kissed a dead person, and Rising said
she had kissed her father when he died, an action which Thornton then
described aloud as "disgusting and gross." Thornton allegedly continued,
asking Rising whether she had "stuck her tongue down her father's throat."
* Buenos Aires psychologist Federico Andahazi's first novel, about the
discovery of the clitoris by a 16th century Italian doctor, won a
prestigious local literary prize last year, but when the sponsors canceled
the award ceremony rather than honor such a controversial book, "The
Anatomist" became a best-seller. According to a May New York Times story,
many Argentinians hope the book "will generate a new understanding of female
sexuality," since male pleasure needs still predominate in that country.
* In May, the business school at the University of California at Berkeley
appointed Ikujiro Nonaka to an endowed position (sponsored by $1 million
from Xerox Corporation and its Japanese affiliate) as Distinguished
Professor of Knowledge.
* In Alabama, murderer Billy Wayne Waldrop was executed in January, and the
next month, murderer Dudley Wayne Kyzer was turned down for parole. Two
weeks later, murderer Coleman Wayne Gray was executed in Virginia. In May,
murderer Larry Wayne White was executed in Texas. In July, Maryland inmate
Richard Wayne Willoughby was sentenced to life in prison for killing another
inmate. And once again this April 19, the nation was reminded that the
Oklahoma City bombing date commemorated not only the seige at Waco, but the
1995 Arkansas execution of murderer and militia hero Richard Wayne Snell.
Copyright 1997 by Universal Press Syndicate.
© 1997 Peter Langston