Weirdness  - 26Dec97
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 98 02:29:33 -0800
Subject: Weirdness  - 26Dec97
Excerpted-from: WEIRDNUZ.516 (News of the Weird, December 26, 1997)
by Chuck Shepherd
* Tough Times for Nike: The winner of November's New York City Marathon,
John Kagawe, said he might have broken the race record except that his Nike
shoes kept coming untied. And two weeks earlier, Nike cooperated with
authorities in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in the arrest of five employees
at a Nike-contracted factory; the five manufactured 51 rubber dildos on the
premises and then allegedly tried to extort about $30,000 from Nike in
exchange for not revealing that embarrassing information.
* In August, the New York Times reported on a movement in Montana to declare
as a national historical park the decaying city of Butte (described as "one
of the worst industrial crimes against nature" in history). In the center
of Butte is the Berkeley Pit, "a Grand Canyon of open-pit mining," wrote
the Times, "an 874-foot- deep chasm filled with 26 billion gallons" of
"toxic stew" that grows by three million gallons a day. In 1995, 300 snow
geese landed by mistake in The Pit, believing at night that it was a normal
lake, and were killed when their stomachs corroded. On the plus side, the
surrounding area is picturesque, and the city has some of the oldest brothel
edifices in the West.
* According to the Times of London in a July report, 85-year-old Giovanni
Beghini is organizing Italy's elderly who want to avoid the country's
often-frightening old-folks' homes by allowing themselves to be adopted by
strangers. In exchange for part of their pensions and and for mentions in
their wills, families will care for seniors as honorary grandparents.
* In August, beleaguered Thai prime minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, acting
on advice from his new fortune teller, shuffled his cabinet to make it more
"5"-friendly. According to Bangkok's The Nation newspaper, Chavalit began
to schedule events at :15 past the hour, changed to jersey number 45 on his
soccer team, and moved into a new house whose street address is 555. (Also
during the summer, the leading drafter of Thailand's new constitution
announced himself to be a "6" man who artificially split one of the 335
proposed articles so there would be 336 and who formerly said he was a "9"
man, having set up the drafting committee with 99 members.) Chavalit
resigned in November.
* Junius Wilson, written up in News of the Weird in 1993 as the state of
North Carolina was apologizing for having wrongly accused him of rape,
wrongly castrated him, and then institutionalized him for 67 years as
incompetent when the only thing amiss was his inability to speak and hear,
reached a settlement with the state in November. Wilson, whose age is
somewhere between 89 and 100, will get free medical care, free housing in
a cottage, and $114,000.
Copyright 1997 by Universal Press Syndicate.
© 1998 Peter Langston