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[news of the weird]

Frontiers of Fashion

Even though concealed-carry gun permit-holders in Texas can now “open carry,” pistol-packing women concerned with fashion are not limited to traditional firearms in ordinary cowboy holsters. An online company, The Well Armed Woman, offers such carry options as stylish leggings, lace waistbands and an array of underarm and bra holsters (even an in-cup model, the “Marilyn”) in leopard-print and pastel colors. However, a woman’s body shape and size may be more important shopping considerations, according to the company’s founder. “A 32A bust could not conceal a Glock 19 very well — nor would a 42DD-or-larger (front) allow for effective cross-draw carry.”

Canonical Marijuana

(1) The Albany, New York, company Vireo Health told reporters it would soon offer the world’s first certified Kosher marijuana, announcing that the Orthodox Union of New York had authenticated it as having met Jewish dietary laws (e.g., grown with insect-free plants). (Other Kosher-validating officials complained that the approval should apply only to marijuana that is eaten, not smoked.) (2) Two habit-wearing nuns were scheduled to ask the Merced (California) City Council in January to decline its prerogative under state law to ban dispensing or cultivating medical marijuana. The nuns’ order makes and sells salves and tonics for pain management, using a strain of cannabis containing only a trace of psychoactive material.

Bright Ideas

— Since the (naturally insulated) uterus can be a lonely space, Institut Marques of Barcelona, Spain, recently demonstrated a tampon-like “speaker” to carry soothing, specially selected, 54-decibel (“hushed tone”) rhythms that supposedly improve fetal growth. In the Babypod’s first “concert,” the singer Soraya performs Christmas carols. (However, documented evidence for such a device was limited to success of in-vitro fertilization when music was wafted through during the first 48 hours of sperm-egg union.)

— The Job of the Researcher: Taiwanese scientists recently announced the availability of their Infant Cries Translator (iPhone and Android app), which they say can, with 77 percent accuracy (92 percent for those under 2 weeks old), tell what a baby wants by its screeches and wailings. The National Taiwan University Hospital Yunlin doctors first had to create a database of 200,000 crying sounds.

Compelling Explanations

The Latest in Corruption News:

(1) Italy’s highest court freed a man in January because the bribe he offered a cop to avoid a DUI ticket was “too small” to be serious — 100 euros (about $108). (2) Lawyers for John Bills (former Chicago city commissioner on trial for taking bribes on a traffic-camera contract) said Bills was obviously innocent because everyone knows that, in Chicago, only bribing the mayor (or at least an alderman) will get anything done. (3) A security guard in Nairobi, Kenya, despairingly told a New York Times reporter in November (detailing corruption so rampant that, for example, ballpoint pens were being sold to the government for $85 each) that “If (people)’re going to steal, please, just steal a little.”

LEAST COMPETENT CRIMINALS

Chutzpah! (1) Michael Leonard, 53, was charged in December with stealing a package that moments earlier had been dropped off by a courier. The delivery was to a Prince George’s County, Maryland, police station, and Leonard, hanging around in the station (to register as a sex offender), walked out with the package when no one was looking. (However, a station surveillance camera caught his face.) (2) Sean Lyons, 23, wanted on an Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, arrest warrant since October as a drug dealer, was arrested in January — at the police station, where officers recognized him when he came to give information as a victim of an unrelated hit-and-run accident.

THE ARISTOCRATS!

(1) David Newman, a prominent emergency room doctor at New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital, was recently charged with two counts of sexual abuse, one involving drugging, groping and masturbating onto the unconscious body of a female patient. (2) Well-known restaurateur Dan Hoyt, 53, was arrested in January and charged with exposing (and “pleasuring”) himself to two women, repeatedly, at a New York City subway station — and to one he had blatantly asked, “Can I masturbate to you?” Hoyt is the owner-chef at Quintessence in the East Village and gained notoriety in 2005 when a subway passenger photographed him “in action” during a previous weak moment. !

© 2016 Chuck Shepherd. Universal Press Syndicate.

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