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News Quirks

Video Games in Real Life

By Roland Sweet
Posted // January 28,2011 -

Curses, Foiled Again
When a woman reported that a man exposed himself to her and her children, police in Mesa, Ariz., knocked on the apartment door of upstairs neighbor Michael Polley, 55. He answered with his pants still around his ankles. Court records noted he became “immediately angry” at being interrupted and began cursing at the officers, who arrested him. (Phoenix’s The Arizona Republic)

• Police said Jerome Taylor, 20, entered a restaurant in Hartford, Conn., wearing a mask, pulled what looked like a gun on the cooks and demanded money. The cooks refused and grabbed their knives. Taylor promptly apologized and insisted it was all just a joke, and anyway, the “gun” was only an iPhone. (Hartford’s WVIT-TV)

• Police alerted to the theft of a 50-inch television off a delivery truck in Auburn, Wash., arrested Johnathon Barnes, 22, whom they spotted right outside the police station pushing a shopping cart containing the stolen set. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Melodious Mutants
Japanese scientists started breeding mice that sing like birds. The researchers at the University of Osaka genetically engineered the mice as part of their “Evolved Mouse Project,” which accelerates mutations to see what develops. “We checked the newly born mice one by one,” lead researcher Arikuni Uchimura said. “One day we found a mouse that was singing like a bird.” He explained the “singing mouse” was a random mutation but that the trait has been used to breed 100 of them so far and will be used to breed more like it. “I was surprised because I had been expecting mice that are different in physical shape,” Uchimura said, adding that the project had also produced “a mouse with short limbs and a tail like a dachshund.” (Agence France-Presse)

Video Games in Real Life
A 23-year-old man was hospitalized in Anderson, S.C., after an SUV hit him while playing a real-life version of the arcade game “Frogger,” where players move frogs through traffic. The victim had been discussing the game with his friends, said Chief Jimmy Dixon, who said the man suddenly yelled “go” and darted into oncoming traffic in the four-lane highway. (Associated Press)

Transparent Scheme
Mary Evano pleaded guilty in a Massachusetts court to 23 counts of filing false insurance claims after she and her husband intentionally ate glass particles. The couple collected more than $200,000 for claims filed against restaurants, hotels and grocery stores from 1997 to 2005. The couple owes more than $100,000 in medical bills. (Associated Press)

Drinking-Class Heroes
Defense attorney Tom Hudson helped his client beat DUI charges after the prosecution presented law enforcement video of Ronald Deveau at a DUI stop in Sarasota, Fla. Hudson hired a private investigator to videotape on-duty law enforcement officers making the same driving mistakes that officers cite as reasons for suspicion: wide turns, crossing double yellow lines and riding on lane markers. After comparing videos, Judge David Denkin declared that Deveau’s drifting was insufficient evidence of impaired driving and dismissed the charges. (Sarasota’s Herald-Tribune)

• A Ukrainian entertainment firm in Dneprodzerzhinsk now offers drinking buddies for hire. “It is a pleasant companion who can enliven a boring evening,” Yulia Peyeva, head of Kind Fairy, which also organizes weddings and birthdays. “Virtually all of our people are talented. They can play guitar, sing or recite poetry. Today you may want to talk about art and tomorrow to read Faust.” (Agence France-Presse)

Litigation Nation
After two men shot each other in a bar in New Kensington, Pa., one of them, Thomas Galloway, 42, sued the bar and its owner, claiming negligence because patrons weren’t searched for weapons before entering. Both men were armed, and Galloway was convicted of illegally possessing a weapon. A federal judge dismissed the suit. (Associated Press)

Compiled from the nation’s press by Roland Sweet. Authentication on demand.

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