Curses, Foiled Again
Police in Gulfport, Fla., arrested a 14-year-old boy they said called detective Matt Parks and offered to sell him drugs. Parks arranged a meeting in the parking lot of a school, where the boy showed up with 18 grams of marijuana. Noting that Parks’s phone number is unlisted, investigators concluded that the boy was dialing numbers at random to find new customers to buy drugs.
• German police investigating a burglary at a clothing store in Menden arrested a 48-year-old suspect they spotted standing motionless in one of the showroom windows posing as a female mannequin. Spidey Sense
Spider venom might boost men’s sex life, according to U.S. and Brazilian scientists looking into using it to treat male impotence. Following reports that men bitten by the Brazilian wandering spider, Phoneutria nigriventer, experience priapism—long and painful erections—the researchers interviewed male victims who claimed that the bites, which are painful and sometimes deadly, had indeed improved their sex lives. The two-year study found that the spider’s venom contains a toxin, called Tx2-6, that causes erections.
The relevant toxin has been tested successfully on other animals. Further tests are being carried out at the Medical College of Georgia before the substance can be approved for human use. Dutch Treats
Rotterdam, the Netherlands’ leading city for dance clubs, aims to tap into dancers’ energy to promote sustainability. Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported that Enviu, a nonprofit organization for eco-projects, and Dutch architects Doll have teamed up to form the Sustainable Dance Club, which will develop a dance floor that converts the movement of dancers into electricity to power the sound system, lighting and air conditioning. “The more people dance, the more energy they produce,” Alijd van Doorn, Doll’s social architecture project manager, said. Another system will collect warm perspiration that rises from the dance floor in a cooling chamber, where it will condense for use in commodes. Organizers said prototypes for both systems should be ready this summer.
• Dutch scientists announced that they have discovered a fungus in elephant dung that will help them turn wheat and wood into ethanol. The researchers, working for alcohol maker Royal Nedalco, the Delft University of Technology and Bird Engineering, predicted the method should be cost-competitive within five years. The Nose Knows
Police in Waukesha, Wis., recovered more than 1,500 pairs of girls’ shoes stolen from lockers at three high schools and a middle school after arresting a 27-year-old man for burglary. “He liked to smell them,” police Lt. William H. Graham said.
• Japanese police in Osaka prefecture found more than 8,000 pieces of women’s clothing and lingerie in the home of Maeyasu Kawamura, 60, who confessed to stealing them. The clothing included 2,400 pieces of lingerie, 600 kimonos, a wedding dress and 5,200 other items, all piled up high in his small apartment room. “He seemed to get a thrill out of sleeping covered in women’s clothes,” a police official said. “He seemed to like the smell.” Drinking-Class Heroes
Adam T. Lundgren, 42, was cited for drunken driving twice in the same day by the same police officer in Missoula, Mont., according to court records. Lundgren was jailed the following day when he showed up drunk for his arraignment.
• After receiving a call from a man saying he had just tried to perform CPR on a dead woman, sheriff’s deputies in Hilton Head Island, S.C., discovered that the woman was actually a large bale of pine straw. The sheriff’s report said the 39-year-old man also thought it was Halloween and that he had two empty bourbon bottles inside his home. Glutton for Punishment
Ontario police said they were looking for a man who reportedly approached women and asked them to kick him in the groin. Three women in a two-month period filed complaints, according to police Sgt. Cate Welsh, who noted that the man’s request is not a crime but said authorities were concerned nonetheless. Bad News, Good News, Bad News
After British doctors told John Brandrick, 62, he had pancreatic cancer and would probably die within a year, he quit his job, sold or gave away everything he owned, stopped paying his mortgage and went on a spending spree. Two years later, completely broke, he learned that the suspected tumor was merely a benign inflammation of the pancreas. Brandrick told Sky television that he is pleased to have “a second chance in life” and admitted that spending all his money was his own fault but said the hospital that misdiagnosed him “should pay something back.” First Things First
An Australian court heard that a woman stabbed a male friend twice in the shower after he refused to stop masturbating in front of her children. Defense lawyers for Kylie Louise Wilson, 28, said the mother of two “lost it” when her friend of six years, Daniel Peter Blair, 32, went on a masturbation marathon after he took amphetamines before showering. While in the bathroom, Blair began pleasuring himself, before moving to Wilson’s bedroom, where he rolled around naked on her bed and continued his lewd conduct. After Blair refused her repeated requests to stop, she stabbed him in the left shoulder. Crown prosecutors said Blair paused only to put on his shorts and flee outside to wait for police to arrive, but was again overcome by the urge. “Despite his injury, it seems he continued to masturbate while in the garage,” the prosecutor said.