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Home / Articles / Opinion / News Quirks /  Everything You Know Is Wrong
News Quirks

Everything You Know Is Wrong

By Roland Sweet
Posted // May 21,2012 -

Curses, Foiled Again
Chicago police charged Raymond Jefferson, 20, with robbing a Radio Shack of $17,000 worth of merchandise after they tracked him using global positioning equipment that was among the stolen items. (Chicago Tribune)

• Fenton Graham, 35, was one of three people charged with twice robbing a drug store in Potomac, Md., where he worked after a surveillance video of the second robbery showed his accomplices forgetting to take the bag of money and then showed Graham taking the loot out to their car. (The Washington Post)

Everything You Know Is Wrong
Wind farms could be contributing to climate change and affecting crops, according to new research based on satellite data of surface temperatures from Texas. The findings that wind farms actually warm up the surface of the land underneath them during the night could affect efforts to expand wind farms. “I feel that wind farms, if spatially large enough, might have noticeable impacts on local to regional meteorology,” said Liming Zhou of the State University of New York at Albany. John Dabiri, director of the California Institute of Technology’s Center for Bioinspired Wind Energy, said Zhou’s findings show “that we need to think carefully about the unintended consequences of any large-scale energy development, including green technologies.” (Discovery News)

• Earth has more than one moon, according to an international team of astronomers, although none is permanent or even observable. “At any time, there are one or two 1-meter-diameter asteroids in orbit around the Earth,” Robert Jedicke, an astronomer at the University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy, said, adding, “About once every 50 years, there’s one the size of a garbage truck.” Jedicke explained these Earth-orbiting asteroids remain in orbit only until gravity from other planets in the solar system dislodges them, and they go back into orbit around the sun. (National Public Radio)

Irony of the Week
A Scottish court fined truck driver David Loudon, 34, after he admitted falling asleep at the wheel in Dumfries and Galloway and hitting a sign advising, “Tiredness can kill, take a break.” (BBC News)

Big-Bang Theory
After an Oklahoma state trooper stopped a vehicle for speeding in Okmulgee County, he questioned passenger Davis Lee Williams, 54, about a suspicious chemical odor. Williams ran away, but the trooper caught him. As Williams resisted, his pants exploded. Trooper Shiloh Hall said Williams had a portable meth lab, known as a one-pot lab, in his pants that burst during the struggle. He was uninjured but arrested. (Tulsa’s KOTV-TV)

When Guns Are Outlawed
Police responding to a domestic disturbance in Myrtle Beach, S.C., charged Alesha Sommer Babcock, 33, with hitting Wayne Emmanuel Malcol Beachem, 37, with an inflatable hammer. Beachem blocked the attack, grabbed the hammer and threw it into the bushes, where officers found it. Babcock told them she remembered attacking Beachem with the inflatable novelty tool because she was trying to kill him. (Myrtle Beach’s The Sun News)

Show Business
Arizona resident Jesus Llovera, 43, is suing actor Steven Seagal and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office for his arrest, which the civil lawsuit claims was staged for a reality-television show that followed Seagal’s exploits as a “deputized officer.” Llovera said Seagal and deputies raided his home because they suspected he was raising fighting roosters, although he insisted the more than 100 roosters on his property were for show, not for fighting. He noted the Sheriff’s Office SWAT team showed up in full riot gear, handcuffed him and took him outside, where Seagal waited, wearing camouflage and sunglasses and hoisting a rifle, while four cameras filmed the event for the cable series Steven Seagal: Lawman. The program was slated to premiere on the A&E Network but never aired. Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Dave Trombi denied that the search warrant was based on the needs of the production company, and the Sheriff’s Office explained that deploying a tank, a bomb robot and 40 deputies was a normal response. (The Arizona Republic)

Quantifying Intangibles
The Department of Health & Human Services is funding a panel to try to define and measure happiness. If successful in determining reliable measures of “subjective well-being,” they could become official statistics. The panel, organized by the nonprofit National Academies, includes experts in psychology and economics and has already met with two key figures in the U.S. statistical bureaucracy. “There has been a lot of momentum,” said Arthur Stone, a professor of psychiatry at Stony Book University who chairs the panel. Its budget is $370,000. (The Washington Post)

Deal of a Lifetime
After Antoinette Galluzzo admitted stealing $51,601.62 from a New Jersey youth program while employed by the city of Englewood and using the money to gamble, pay debts and cover rent, she was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay $10 a month as restitution. Galluzzo’s attorney, Robert Galantucci, said even $10 a month is a lot for someone who is unemployed to pay. When Bergen County prosecutors argued that Galluzzo cashed in her pension and should have made a lump-sum payment, Judge Eugene H. Austin upheld the restitution arrangement, explaining, “I’m certainly not going to require her to pay more to set her up for failure so she gets a jail sentence.” (Bergen County’s The Record)

Problem Solved
Britain is facing a culinary crisis, thanks to the government’s immigration crackdown, which has created a shortage of Asian chefs and forced the closing of some Indian, Bangladeshi, Chinese and Thai restaurants. Britain has some 12,000 Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants, serving 2.5 million people a week, and thousands of Chinese and Thai ones. The government’s response has been to set up five “centers of excellence in Asian and Oriental cookery” to train jobless young Britons the art of making curry and other popular dishes. (The Washington Times)

There Go the Lamestream Media Again
Declaring himself exasperated by the flood of “crazy” legislation introduced in the Republican-controlled Tennessee General Assembly, Republican Gov. Bill Haslam declined to criticize lawmakers. Instead, he blamed the news media for publicizing such measures as banning students from wearing revealing clothing to school instead of focusing on more substantive issues. (Associated Press)

When Checklists Go Bad
Federal investigators concluded that the crash of a helicopter in Kamiah, Idaho, which killed the pilot and two passengers, was caused by an aluminum clipboard belonging to one of the passengers that fell out of the aircraft and hit the tail rotor. (Associated Press)

Compiled from the press reports by Roland Sweet. Authentication on demand.

 
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