Monday, November 27, 2017

WEIRD NEWS

Drunk, Naked, Having Sex... While Driving!

According to the Washington State Patrol, the guy was drunk, naked, having sex, and had a 3-month-old child in the backseat-all while driving down Mountain Highway. Not surprising that he missed a curve, left the road and crashed his car. Witnesses say both the driver and the woman he was having sex with at the time were naked when they climbed out of the vehicle following the crash. The man was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI, vehicular assault, and child endangerment. The woman was hospitalized with broken bones. Fortunately the 3-month-old child wasn't hurt. Things probably won't go well for the guy as he already has three DUI convictions. (News Tribune)

Looking for a Change of Scenery?

Earlier this year, the Italian town of Bormida was offering $2,175 to people willing to move there in an effort to stave off its extinction. Now a tiny Swiss village, Albinen, may significantly up the ante. Facing the prospect of a similar future, the village of 240 people that overlooks the Rhone valley from an altitude of 4,200 feet will vote Nov. 30 on whether or not to pay more than $25,500 per adult and $10,200 per child to families willing to relocate there. With a lack of jobs, residents - especially young families - have been leaving Albinen in droves. In fact, the village's school was forced to close recently when three families moved away and took their eight children with them. Should Albinen residents approve the proposal, the money would come with some stipulations: new residents must be under the age of 45, they must agree to live in Albinen for 10 years (or repay the money), they must buy or build property worth at least $204,000, and the property must be their primary residence. The community newsletter calls it "an investment in the village's future." Albinen authorities believe the proposal will make them money in the long run through new taxpayers, new construction, and increased shopping. And while there aren't many jobs in Albinen, there are a few villages nearby. Plus, it's on the "sunny side" of the Rhone valley. Travel and Leisure notes that Albinen "is quite beautiful, clean, and there's even a nice spa close by." (Travel and Leisure)

Turkeys. Airplane. Arkansas.

Did you have a nice Thanksgiving? Bet it was nothing like the annual Turkey Trot in Yellville, Arkansas, which once again saw live turkeys hurled from buildings and a plane flying 500 feet above the ground. Disturbed? You're not alone. Even rocker Tommy Lee is among those to bash the "sick" tradition. Live Science explains the uproar: Domestic turkeys are bred for flightlessness, their bodies too heavy for their wings to get them off the ground. While their wings can slow a descent, there's no guarantee domestic turkeys will survive falls from great heights. The same is true of wild turkeys, which can only fly short distances. Indeed, two turkeys dropped from a plane last year died on impact. At least four turkeys dropped this year were found injured and bleeding, though they've since found refuge at a New York shelter, where they were named John, Paul, George and Ringo. The town of Yellville technically stopped throwing turkeys in 1989-but carried on with the Turkey Trot festival which was started in 1946 with a dance, race, and parade. But local pilots continue to throw turkeys and the FAA says it doesn't have the authority to intervene. According to a rep, "FAA regulations do not specifically prohibit dropping live animals from aircraft, possibly because the authors of the regulation never anticipated that an explicit prohibition would be necessary. This does not mean we endorse the practice." (Arkansas Online)

Eleven Zeroes! Eleven!

It's no secret that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos joined the billionaires' club years ago. However, Bloomberg reports that Bezos has now reached a much higher tier: the club of those worth $100 billion. That's a one, with eleven zeros! In fact, at the moment, the 53-year-old Bezos is in that club all by himself. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Bezos' net worth surged past the milestone as shares of Amazon rose on Black Friday enthusiasm. The site notes that Bill Gates, whose current value is pegged at $89 billion, would have about $150 billion right now had he not given so much away to various philanthropic causes. Gates hit the $100 billion mark back in 1999, and Bezos is the first since then to duplicate the feat. Reportedly, Bezos is beginning to explore ways to give away his money. (Bloomberg Billionaires Index)

So What Happens to Charles Manson's Estate?

We know you're all wondering, with the infamous murderer Charles Manson finally dead, what happens to his estate. Manson reportedly disinherited his known children, ex-wives, in-laws, attorneys, friends, fellow inmates, police officers, guards, and the State of California. So he gets whatever he leaves behind? It might be a pen pal-at least according to TMZ. The man, who doesn't want his name used, tells the gossip site he had been exchanging letters and phone calls, and sometimes even visiting, with Manson, who died last weekend, for two decades. He claims he wrote more than 50 unanswered letters before Manson finally replied. He gave TMZ a copy of a typed will dated 2002 that also includes handwriting, and the site offers up a comparison of that handwriting to Manson's known writing, calling the two "very similar." The document leaves Manson's entire estate - personal belongings, cash, image rights, clothing, and Manson's "exclusive music catalog" - to the pen pal. TMZ explains that Manson wrote songs, including one that was recorded by the Beach Boys, and theorizes the estate "may actually be valuable." The will also says Manson's body should be released to the pen pal, and the anonymous man says he does plan to claim the body. But a friend of Manson's tells the New York Daily News he has a will dated 2017 that names Matthew Roberts, who claims to be Manson's son, as the main beneficiary of Manson's estate. Manson's grandson is also interested in claiming the killer's remains, though he's having a tough time. (TMZ)

Back to the Gravel?

If you live in rural America, you probably already know the road situation is getting dire. One former highway department head said, "I never dreamed that by the end of my career we would be talking about having to go back to gravel," but that could be a reality for many of America's countless failed roads. One nonprofit estimates that more than half of the major rural roads in the US are between "fair" and "poor" condition. With potholes bad enough to fatally injure horses and tip school buses sideways, America's rural roads look like they've been "carpet-bombed." The reasons are numerous: from the end of the post-WWII boom, to the increasing expense of asphalt, to Americans being "in an anti-tax mood these days." US drivers pay about $450 toward roads every year; Europeans can pay more than three times that. But raising taxes to pay for infrastructure has been a nonstarter. One increasingly popular solution: "Depave" asphalt roads back to gravel or dirt, which could make for a better driving experience when compared to crumbling pavement and cost up to $35,000 less per mile to maintain. The downsides are health concerns and vehicle wear and tear. Writing about the problem in Harper's magazine, Dale Maharidge says, "If the roads are failing, it means government is failing." He calls the idea of depaving "another example of the death of the commonweal in favor of privatization." (Harper's Magazine)

What the What?

In Modesto, California, the father of Jackson Riley is pushing back against school administrators after they suspended the boy for making "terroristic threats." It seems during his third week of school, Jackson told a teacher at Great Valley Academy that he couldn't take off his backpack because there was a bomb inside and it would explode if he took the bag off. The teacher then asked to look inside the backpack and found nothing inside. Nevertheless, Jackson received a one-day suspension and had to be picked up by his dad. At this point, we might mention that Great Valley Academy is a preschool and Jackson Riley is a 5-year-old kindergartener. The administration sent a letter home, saying Jackson violated a school code when he "intentionally engaged in harassment, threats, or intimidation." The letter also said the rule applies to students "in any of grades 4 to 12." Jackson's father, Ian Riley said, "This doesn't fit, and furthermore we don't really feel like our son was threatening you. He's got an imagination. In his mind, he's being this hero that's preventing you from being exploded from an imaginary bomb in his backpack." The administration agreed the school code didn't fit, but the suspension remained on Jackson's school record all the same. School officials then sent home a second letter and said Jackson had made "terroristic threats." Ian is worried the suspension will have a lingering impact and they're asking the school to reconsider their actions. (WTAE News)

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