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Stranger Than Fiction

Curses, foiled again

Joey Patterson, 22, eluded Idaho authorities for several months, but then he posted his whereabouts on Facebook. He invited friends to play softball at Armory Softball Field in Caldwell. That's where police found him. Monitoring social media has led officers to suspects before, Sgt. Joey Hoadley noted, explaining, "Surprisingly, even fugitives can't keep from updating their Facebook status." (Associated Press)

Police arrested three suspects in a tailgate-stealing spree in Volusia County, Florida, after one of them tried to return one of the nine stolen tailgates to claim a reward. The victim paid the reward but called deputies, who located the trio. (Orlando's WESH-TV)

Opportunity knocks

The world's largest international sperm bank moved its main U.S. office from New York to Orlando, Florida. Cryos International is definitely targeting college students, the company's Jim Londeree said, noting nearby University of Central Florida is among the largest universities in the nation, providing "a huge donor base here." He added that approved donors "can make up to $750 a month." (Orlando Sentinel)

Sarah Palin toll bridge

Russia unveiled plans to build a high-speed railway and freeway link between London and the United States — via Siberia. State railway boss Vladimir Yakunin, who helped develop the plan, dubbed Trans-Eurasian Belt Development (TERP), promised that the proposed 12,400-mile route would "supercharge" global economic growth by connecting Russia's oil and gas pipelines to the rest of the world. (Britain's The Independent)

Slightest provocation

Police said Phyllis D. Jefferson, 50, stabbed her 61-year-old boyfriend while the two were eating chips and salsa at home in Akron, Ohio, after they got into an argument over who was eating all the salsa. (Cleveland's WKYC-TV)

Jerome Clemons, 44, set fire to his house in Boynton Beach, Florida, authorities there said, after his niece refused to give him a ride to a liquor store. (South Florida Sun Sentinel)

Missing the point

A speaker at Australia's sixth annual National Disability Summit had to be lifted onto the stage because there was no ramp for wheelchairs or mobility scooters. In addition, disabled participants, who each paid $2,000 to attend the privately organized event, were all seated at one table in the back of the room. A blog post by participant Jax Jacki Brown noted that the "accessible toilet was filled with chairs and used as a storage space," and "the food provided was up on really tall tables" so wheelchair users couldn't reach it. (Australia's ABC News)

No hand clapping

Organizers of Britain's National Union of Students (NUS) Women's Conference asked delegates to use jazz hands instead of clapping to avoid "triggering anxiety." The aim, delegate Nona Buckley-Irvine explained, is "to show appreciation of someone's point without interrupting or causing disturbance." Gee Linford-Grayson agreed. "Plus," she added, "who doesn't like jazz hands?" (BBC News)

Obvious solution

California's death row, the country's largest, has run out of room. With 738 inmates in lethal limbo since a court invalidated the state's lethal injection method nearly a decade ago, Gov. Jerry Brown asked the legislature for more than $3 million to open 100 new cells for condemned men at San Quentin Prison, which already has 715 inmates facing execution. Brown's request, the Los Angeles Times said, "anticipates an average of 20 new arrivals on death row yearly" without a decrease in the existing condemned population. (NPR)

Faux firearms

Australian authorities charged Erica Leeder, 26,with assaulting a police officer with breast milk. While being searched after her arrest on an unspecified warrant, Leeder was nude from the waist up when she grabbed her own breast and squirted milk onto the forehead, arms and clothes of a female officer conducting the search. The Western Australia Police Union said the assault charge was partially due to the possibility of the breast milk's spreading disease. (United Press International)

When Patricia Leece, 61, answered a knock at her door in Lexington, Kentucky, stranger Ashley Sies, 31, pushed her way in and began choking Leece with a bra. After a 20-minute struggle, Leece said she managed to knock Sies unconscious by hitting her on the head with a ceramic chicken. (Lexington's WKYT-TV)

Bottoms are tops

Luxury toilet seats topped the list of souvenirs brought home by the record number of Chinese tourists who celebrated this lunar new-year holiday in Japan. Costing around $540, the heated seats feature pulsating water jets, deodorizers and even music to cover up the sound of nature's call. Many offer hands-free lid opening; some are portable and battery-operated. China's state-run media reported that many of the toilet seats sold in Japan were made in China. (The Economist)

  • All the weird news that's fit to print

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