Can't Possibly Be True | News of the Weird | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
DONATE

Can't Possibly Be True 

A weekly roundup of international news oddities

Pin It
Favorite
click to enlarge news_newsoftheweird1-1.png

Can't Possibly Be True
What is art? For Italian artist Salvatore Garau, it's ... nothing. The 67-year-old sculptor recently sold his "immaterial" sculpture, "I am," for $18,300, Newsweek reported on June 1. The buyer got a certificate of ownership. Garau says his work is a "vacuum." "The vacuum is nothing more than a space full of energy, and even if we empty it, and there is nothing left, according to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, that 'nothing' has a weight," Garau explained. The artist demands that the work be displayed in a private home free of any obstruction, in a 5-by-5-foot area, but he has no requirements for lighting or climate control.

People With Issues
William Amos, 46, a member of the Canadian House of Commons, can't seem to get a handle on the technology he uses for virtual meetings. In April, Amos appeared completely naked on camera during a House of Commons proceeding, explaining later that he was changing in his office after going for a run and was sure that he had disabled his camera. On May 26, Amos had to apologize again -- this time for urinating "without realizing I was on camera." "I am deeply embarrassed by my actions and the distress they may have caused anybody who witnessed them," he wrote on Twitter, according to the National Post. His statement also said he would "seek assistance," although it was unclear what type of assistance that would be.

Compelling Explanations
In Palm Beach County (Florida) Circuit Court, Judge Jeffrey Dana Gillen on May 28 rejected a "stand your ground" defense in the animal cruelty case of PJ Nilaja Patterson, 43, who killed an iguana in September, and ordered him to stand trial, The Washington Post reported. Patterson's lawyer argued that the iguana had "leaned forward with its mouth wide open and showing its sharp teeth," and that Patterson was bitten on his arm, needing 22 stitches. He believed the iguana could inject poison into him, his lawyers wrote, so he kicked the iguana, and "an altercation between Patterson and the wild beast took place." However, prosecutors say that Patterson's actions, caught on surveillance video, showed that he "savagely beat, tormented, tortured and killed" the 3-foot-long lizard in an attack that lasted for 30 minutes, during which the animal suffered a lacerated liver, broken pelvis and internal bleeding. Patterson's next court date is July 30.

In mid-May, an Indian engineer with the Sardar Sarovar Punarvasvat Agency (SSPA) in Gujarat was asked to explain why he hadn't been coming in to work, the Deccan Chronicle reported. Rameshchandra Fefar, who is in his late 50s, replied that as the 10th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, he is very busy doing "penance" and "I can't do such penance sitting in office. I realized that I am Kalki Avatar when I was in my office in March 2010. Since then, I am having divine powers," Fefar said. He claims that his ongoing penance is the reason that India has had good rainfall for 19 years.

The Passing Parade
As he gave a campaign speech on June 1, Albuquerque mayoral candidate Manuel Gonzalez found himself distracted by a drone with a sex toy attached to it buzzing near the stage, the Associated Press reported. The owner of the venue grabbed the drone, and its owner, 20-year-old Kaelan Ashby Dreyer, tried to take it back. Dreyer then swung his fist at Gonzalez and called him a "tyrant," punching Gonzalez's hands before being removed by deputies. Gonzalez's campaign said the candidate, currently the Bernalillo County sheriff, was unharmed and "will not be intimidated."

Inappropriate Behavior
Jerry Detrick, 70, was cited by Greenville, Ohio, police on May 30 for "littering," The Smoking Gun reported. What he actually was doing was defecating and urinating on his neighbor's lawn when the homeowner discovered him around 3:15 a.m. Matthew Guyette called 911 after spotting Detrick relieving himself next to a hedge. Detrick, a self-described "Trump man" who lives a couple of blocks away, told police that he targeted Guyette's home because he and his partner "are Democrats and support Joe Biden." Detrick claimed he'd been leaving his mark on the lawn for a decade, along with restaurant napkins he used to wipe.

Low-Tech Solution
During the COVID-19 pandemic, grounded planes were often parked in deserts—ideal conditions for storing them. But aircraft maintenance crews also discovered unwanted guests: snakes. So Australian airline Qantas added one more item to its engineering kit: a "wheel whacker," also known as a broom handle. Before crews begin their landing gear inspections, they circle the plane, stomping their feet and whacking the wheels to scare off sleepy snakes, said engineering manager Tim Heywood. The "feisty rattlers love to curl up around the warm rubber tires and in the aircraft wheels and brakes," he said, according to CNN. "We've encountered a few rattlesnakes and also some scorpions, but the wheel whacker does its job and they scuttle off."

Awesome!
On May 20, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law a bill to override a 1993 ban on yoga practice in public schools, The New York Times reported. While conservative groups had posited that yoga and Hinduism and Buddhism are inseparable, the bill gained approval from the state House and Senate before arriving on Ivey's desk. Students will still be prohibited from "chanting," and instructors will not be allowed to use Sanskrit names for yoga poses or to say "Namaste." The Rev. Clete Hux isn't having it, though: "Schools should not be in the position of endorsing possible altered states of consciousness," he said. State Rep. Jeremy Gray, a certified yoga instructor, begs to differ: "Anyone who has taken yoga, we know that 'namaste' is not something religious."

Least Competent Criminal
Among the charges levied against Jose Aramburo Molina Jr. in Phoenix on June 2 was "improper removal of a dead person," azfamily.com reported. That's because when Molina allegedly stole a parked, running van from outside a funeral home, there were two bodies in the back. Molina had the key fob for the van in his possession; he told officers he had picked it up off the ground. He also had several illegal drugs.

All in the Family
Erica Jenkins, 31, is serving a life sentence at the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women in York, Nebraska, for the murder of Curtis Bradford in 2013. (Her brother, Nikko Jenkins, is on death row for the same murder.) She has asked York County District Court to consider her petition to change her name to Elluminati Egoddess Erikka Prestige, the Omaha World-Herald reported on June 3. She's not alone in her odd behavior during incarceration; her brother has reportedly completed a series of self-mutilations while in prison, including carving 666 into his forehead, slicing his tongue and cutting his penis as a tribute to an Egyptian serpent god. Jenkins has asked for a July 12 court date in regard to the name change.

Turnabout Is Fair Play
Tytianna Sims, 23, reported a burglary in her home in Hammond, Louisiana, in late May, and detectives identified Rory Brett Welda, 29, as the suspect. A few days later, Sims called police to report that Welda was near her residence again. But as it turned out, WVUE-TV reported, he was there because Sims and her boyfriend had attacked Welda and his girlfriend, holding them at gunpoint while taking their cellphones and car keys. Sims was arrested on May 27 for armed robbery and other offenses; her boyfriend was still on the loose.

Send your weird news items to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.

Pin It
Favorite

More by The Editors at Andrews McMeel

  • Medical Mystery

    A weekly roundup of international news oddities
    • Jul 28, 2021
  • Undignified Death

    A weekly roundup of international news oddities
    • Jul 21, 2021
  • Awesome!

    A weekly roundup of international news oddities
    • Jul 14, 2021
  • More »

Latest in News of the Weird

  • Medical Mystery

    A weekly roundup of international news oddities
    • Jul 28, 2021
  • Undignified Death

    A weekly roundup of international news oddities
    • Jul 21, 2021
  • Awesome!

    A weekly roundup of international news oddities
    • Jul 14, 2021
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Extreme Measures

    A weekly roundup of international news oddities.
    • Jan 29, 2020

© 2021 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation