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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.

News of the Odd, March 2002


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Turtle Survives Four-Story Fall
Sly the Turtle  A turtle named Sly is on the mend after falling four stories into the back of a truck. Her tankmate, Latina, was not so lucky. The turtles' owner, Howie Sampson, had taken her pets out onto the balcony to enjoy the sunshine. When she came back, they were gone. Two days later, she discovered that both of them had fallen, and that Sly had been taken to the Wellington Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. A truck driver, Daren Whitcher, had found Sly, dazed and bleeding in the back of his truck. "I didn't have any idea where she came from," he said. "I looked at her and she looked at me. It was quite sad." The veterinarian in charge of Sly's case patched her shell back together with tape and glue, and splinted her broken leg. Her owner is not surprised she made it through the ordeal. "She's always been a gutsy little thing, a leader," she said.
(Stuff*, March 28, 2002)

Million Clown March Seeks Acceptance
There weren't really a million clowns. There were only about 80. But they did march, in their baggy trousers and facepaint, down the main street of Santa Cruz, California. "You are born a clown," said march organizer Rico Thunder. "And for those brave enough to be out as clowns, the world can be a cold and unwelcome place. As long as one clown is oppressed, no man is free." Accompanied by kazoos, the clowns made their way down Pacific Avenue, shouting "Our clothes are better than yours!" outside The Gap, and "No more chanting!". At the end of the march, they crowded themselves into three small cars and drove off to the bowling alley, where an evening of "clowning, drinking and karaoke" awaited them.
(Santa Cruz Sentinel, March 17, 2002)

Disabled Duelists in Dispute Over Parking Space
A man in Florida has been arrested for threatening another man with a sword in a dispute over a handicapped parking space in a hospital parking lot. The conflict began with a verbal exchange, but then Lee Damron, 48, walked toward Richard Cavalier, 59, brandishing a black cane topped with a golden snake. When Damron produced a sword from within the cane, Cavalier pulled out his 9mm handgun. Damron saw the gun and fled into the hospital. Damron has been charged with aggravated assault. Cavalier, who is licensed to carry a concealed weapon, was allowed to keep his gun; no word on whether Damron will be allowed to keep his cane.
(Ananova, March 14, 2002)

Judge Doubts Counseling Will Help Man Who Had Sex with a Goat
 23-year-old Stephen Hull's attorney says that his client's decision to have a sex with a goat he came across while coming from his sister's house was spontaneous. After Hull pled guilty to a single count of "buggery with an animal," he asked the court to be lenient in sentencing him, perhaps allowing him to do community service and attend counseling. Judge Michael Mettyear said, though, "I have got to tell you that I'm very sceptical that there is any programme that has been devised at the moment, that will help him." Hull will be sentenced on March 18. (Ananova, March 13, 2003)

From the Archives
News of the Odd discovered this story today while reading Betty Bowers' interview with Justice Scalia. William Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court since 1986, was once in charge of administering literacy tests (since ruled unconstitutional) to voters in Arizona. According to eyewitnesses, he was also involved in intimidating immigrants whom he felt were not qualified to vote. In 2000, Justice Rehnquist joined the majority opinion that gave the White House to George W. Bush.
(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Posted March 12, 2002)

Arsonist Mother Wanted Sons to Look Like Heroes
A woman in Austria was so proud when her sons became firefighters that she began lighting fires for them to put out. She began her campaign on December 28, 2001. She would set a fire, then call her boys and tell them where it was. After the 9th call in a month, they got suspicious.
After her arrest, she said, "I am of course very sorry for all the trouble I have caused. After the first fire, the sound of the fire engines was music to my ears, knowing that my sons were out there helping to save their community."
(Ananova, March 4, 2002)

Original Domesday Book Outlives Electronic Version
 In 1986, the contents of the Domesday Book, the English census of 1086, were scanned onto laserdiscs, in an attempt to preserve the information electronically. 15 years later, the discs are unreadable. The original document, however, is in excellent condition.
(Slashdot, March 4, 2002)

Semi-Nude Man Caught Snorting Cocaine Off Altar
A 40-year-old Italian man was arrested after he walked into the cathedral in Cremona during Mass, wearing only his underpants, mooned the congregation, and then pulled a bag of cocaine out of his undies and spread the drug out on the altar. He became aggressive when challenged, and kicked and bit the police who came to arrest him. He has since admitted to drug use and previous psychiatric problems.
(Ananova, March 1, 2002)


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