Weirdness  May 22, 1998
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Tue, 18 Aug 98 11:33:46 -0700
Subject: Weirdness  May 22, 1998
Excerpted-from: WEIRDNUZ.537 (News of the Weird, May 22, 1998)
by Chuck Shepherd
* British mechanical engineer John Tyrer told an audience at the annual
meeting of the Institute of Physics in Brighton, England, in March that he
and his colleagues were using lasers to design a more comfortable bra. "A
breast imposes various load distributions . . . and vibrational problems as
the woman walks," he said, and he criticized the "strap design" that
"transmits the load to the wrong places." The technology, "Electron Speckle
Pattern Interfermometry," analyzes the way a three-dimensional surface
changes when a force is applied to it.
* A would-be robber walked away from the Marine Midland Bank in Pearl River,
N.Y., in March, exasperated that employees could not, after a minute or so,
decipher his poorly handwritten holdup note. In fact, several hours later,
detectives still hadn't figured out most of the words. ("Take the Money and
Run" starring Woody Allen, 1968) Also in March in Donegal, Ireland, two
men wearing blonde wigs and dresses were arrested for burglary, and one of
the men told police the heist was to pay for the other guy's sex-change
operation. ("Dog Day Afternoon" starring Al Pacino, 1975)
* In March, Thailand kickboxer Parinya Kiatbusaba, 16, ran his won-lost
record to 20-2 (18 knockouts) and garnered much world press coverage because
out of the ring, he is a flamboyant transvestite. "It is hard to fight
beautiful men," he said. "I can easily knock them out. On the other hand,
I want to hug and kiss them."
* At an American Academy of Forensic Sciences meeting in San Francisco in
February, FBI man Richard Vorder Bruegge said he and his colleagues could
identify jeans-wearing suspects by their pants because every pair has a
unique wear pattern in which light and dark lines run across the seam. In
one criminal trial, an FBI expert witness picked the defendant's jeans from
among 35 pairs his lawyer tried to confuse him with.
* Ronnie Darnell Bell, 30, was arrested in Dallas in February and charged
with attempting to rob the Federal Reserve Bank. (In the movie "Die Hard
with a Vengeance," knocking off the New York FRB required a small army of
men and truckloads of weapons.) According to police, Bell was initially
confused because there are no tellers, so he handed a security guard his
note, reading, "This is a bank robbery of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank,
of Dallas, Texas, give me all the money. Thank you, Ronnie Darnell Bell."
The guard pushed a silent alarm while an oblivious Bell chatted amiably,
revealing to the guard that only minutes earlier he had tried to rob a
nearby Postal Service office but that "they threw me out."
* Kelvin Floyd received a modest two-month sentence and a fine in Aiken, S.
C., in March for stealing a car. Floyd had wisely known to obliterate the
car's vehicle ID number and to replace it with a substitute number.
However, apparently the best he could come up with was his own Social
Security number, which police immediately recognized was bogus.
* Five Philippines treasure hunters were killed in March in Rizal province
after they found a live World War II bomb and tried to pound it open with
a crowbar. And a Philippines naval officer died in January in Zamboanga
City while renovating his home when he used a live mortar shell as a hammer.
Copyright 1998 by Universal Press Syndicate.
© 1998 Peter Langston