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Photo of group "nature sliding" from The National Archivess. The entire party is wearing tin trousers, the seats of which have been treated with paraffin.

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News of the Odd, July 2002

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Two Drown Fishing Beer Out of River
Two men in Tsukui, Kanagawa, Japan drowned in an effort to rescue their beer from the river. Kyosuke Hidaka, 40, and Sawano Junichi, 39, were camping when Hidaka dropped a can of beer into the water. He went in after it, and when the current swept him away, Junichi jumped in to save him. Their bodies were recovered about an hour later. The river was swollen from a recent typhoon. Police say both had been drinking before the incident.
(Mainichi Daily News, July 15, 2002)


Man Claimed Truck Would Explode if He Slowed Down
Police near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania chased a car theft suspect across two counties at high speed for more than an hour, before puncturing one of his tires. During the chase, Michael J. Devine called 911 on his cell phone to report that the stolen truck he was driving contained a bomb, which would explode if he drove below 55 miles per hour. No explosive devices were found in the truck. Devine has been charged with possession of a stolen handgun, stolen credit cards and stolen police and fire radios, as well as eluding police, burglary and theft, and several traffic violations. He is also wanted on charges related to another car theft in June. No word on whether that car was rigged to explode.
(Burlington County Times*,  July 10, 2002)


Hedgehog Sex Prompts Emergency Call
Police in Germany responded to an elderly woman's report that cries of distress were coming from her neighbor's yard, only to find that the sounds were being made by a pair of mating hedgehogs. The 72-year-old witness said that the frightening noise had gone on for more than 2 hours.
(Ananova, July 10, 2002)


Enforcing a Law Officials Can't Find
Joe Williams, 90, has owned horses since he was 15. If the Lipscomb, Alababma City Council has its way, though, he won't have them for much longer. After keeping the horses on his own property for years, Williams moved them to a vacant lot which once belonged to his parents. With the lot owner's permission, he cleaned up the garbage that had choked the lot, and built a fence around it. City Council President Helen Pettigrew says that the city has a law against keeping horses in town--but the council can't find the book containing that ordinance. Williams has collected 90 signatures on a petition, and 10 people have written letters urging the council to allow the horses to stay. "My grandkids and I enjoy watching them ride up and down the street," said one. "Please don't take away their fun."
(The Birmingham News*, July 8, 2002) 


Crop Circle Appears at Stonehenge
Crop Circle  On July 4, 2002, a pilot flying out of Thuxton Airfield, near Stonehenge, discovered a crop circle more than 700 feet across in a field beside the ancient monument. He reportedly told researchers that the field had been empty the day before. The formation resembles another crop circle, which appeared on July 4, 1999.
(Cosmiverse, July 8, 2002)


Armed Snacks Robber in Montana
Call it a bad case of the munchies. A man walked into Albertson's at 4:30 AM for a soda and a packet of string cheese. As he went by the cash register, he flashed a gun and walked out, never speaking to the clerk. He made no attempt to steal money, or anything other than his snacks, but he will still be charged with felony armed robbery if he is caught.
(MSNBC, July 2, 2002)


Five Collapse, Screaming, at Dinosaur Site
Four students and a lecturer from Rajabhat Institute screamed and fainted at Pedan cave in Thung Yai district. They were there to study the newly discovered dinosaur fossils in the cave. A week ago, 15 students collapsed during a visit to the cave. In both instances, the victims were taken to a local exorcist, sprinkled with holy water, and then taken to a hospital for observation. Some witnesses have blamed spirits for the seizures. The cave was once a communist base, and a burial site for political dissidents. "It could have been the work of those spirits," one villager said.
(Bangkok Post, July 2, 2002) 


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