April 04, 2012 | 12:07 PMPEOPLE OF FAITH: GPS NAVIGATOR USERS
In a world of advancing technology and declining map-reading skills, some GPS navigator users blindly over-rely on the devices, and News of the Weird has reported enough of their predicaments to mark the category "no longer weird." However, three Japanese students on holiday near Brisbane, Australia, in March created a new standard for ignoring common sense. Bound for North Stradbroke Island (about eight miles offshore), the driver (according to authorities cited by the local Bayside Bulletin) apparently put maps and eyesight aside, in favor of the all-powerful Navigator, which had instructed him to proceed. As news spread on the Internet, photographers rushed to capture the car, half-buried in sand. (In the students' defense, the beach seemed to extend to the horizon at low tide–although the word "island" might have deserved more respect.)
THE VILLAGE IDIOT
The entire village (almost!) of Sodeto, Spain, shared the grand prize in the country's huge Christmas lottery in December according to the New York Times, earning each of the 70 households the equivalent of at least $130,000. The joint buy-in of tickets is a town ritual, but one resident missed the canvassing: filmmaker Costis Mitsotakis, who said he was happy that everyone else was happy. (The dark side of winning: Hucksters flooded the town from all over the country.)
Anthony McDaniel, 47, voluntarily returned to North Carolina from his new home in Texas in February after being charged with embezzlement by his old employer, says the Greensboro News-Record. The owner of Fayetteville's Skibo Skillet (now out of business) accused McDaniel of having pocketed meatballs, corn on the cob and anchovy dip while he worked there.
MAKE YOURSELF AT HOME
Keith Davis, 46, was caught red-handed in Ashley Murray's house in South Bend, Ind., in February and charged with burglary. Murray, though, said she had mixed feelings because, while there, Davis had folded Murray's clothes and vacuumed the house. According to WNDU-TV, police said that some drug or other had made Davis believe he was in his own home.
What Christmas gift would be appropriate for the seven-year-old daughter of Britain's notorious specimen of plastic surgery known as the "Human Barbie"? For little "Poppy" Burge, it was a gift certificate worth the equivalent of about $11,000 for future liposuction (redeemable beginning at age 18). According to London's Daily Mail, Mom Sarah had already given her a voucher for breast augmentation. (Poppy, developing her early-onset need for attention: "I can't wait to be like Mummy with big boobs. They're pretty.") Mom, who recently turned 51, celebrated with about $80,000 worth of additional plastic surgery to run her lifetime total to the equivalent of (depending on source consulted) $800,000 to $1 million.
ADMIRABLE WORK ETHIC
Sheriff's detectives told the Everett, Wash., Daily Herald in January that they had recently tracked down a 21-year-old man who confessed to stealing checks from the Money Tree store in Lynnwood, Wash., and forging signatures. According to the detectives, the man was clear about his motive: "I don't have an addiction. I don't need to use drugs. I [was] doing this to show my parents that I can make it on my own, without them."
WISCONSITES, DOING IT THE HARD WAY
In October, Robbie Suhr, 48, of Pleasant Prairie, Wis., sought the affections of the young exchange student living with Suhr and his wife and children, but she had so far declined. According to police cited in a WTMJ-TV report, a disguised Suhr snatched the woman one night, intending to tie her up, leave, and then return undisguised to "rescue" her. However, she fought back, sending the masked man fleeing.
Two ministers in the Indian state of Karnataka were pressured into resigning in February after allegedly being spotted watching pornography on a cellphone in the state legislature, according to BBC News. Minister Laxman Savadi said he was actually doing research on the dangers of "rave" parties. And the Daily Mail reported that a 54-year-old court clerk at Inner London Crown Court was caught by his judge looking at pornography during the victim's testimony at a notorious rape trial. He said he was just "bored" and admitted previously browsing porn in court.
LEAST COMPETENT CRIMINALS
One of the largest methamphetamine busts in U.S. history was made in March by police in Palo Alto, Calif., who used the popular Find-My-iPad app. Apparently, someone at the drug house had stolen the iPad, and police turned on the owner's global-positioning "app," pointing to an apartment complex in Santa Clara County. Almost 800 pounds of meth was confiscated, with a street value of about $35 million. Said the father of the iPad owner in the San Jose Mercury News, "They have $35 million, and they can't go out and buy an iPad?"
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