The mac salad was a snitch 

Stranger Than Fiction

Curses, foiled again

Deputies investigating the theft of a cash register at Build-A-Burger restaurant in Mount Morris, New York, said they caught up with suspects Matthew P. Sapetko, 34, James P. Marullo, 35, and Timothy S. Walker Jr., 23, by following "a steady trail of macaroni salad," which they'd stolen and "took turns eating along their escape route." After the suspects' arrest, the restaurant posted a sign claiming it had, "The best burgers and mac salad worth stealing for." (Rochester's Democrat & Chronicle and WHAM-TV)

Police in Virginia Beach, Virginia, identified Dominyk Antonio Alfonseca, 23, as their bank-robbery suspect after he posted video on social media showing the teller stuffing money into a bag and a picture of a note asking for $150,000 (but adding "please"). Alfonseca insisted that posting the video proves it wasn't robbery." (Portsmouth's WAVY-TV)

Digital follies

Canadians now have shorter attention spans than goldfish, thanks to widespread use of mobile devices. Microsoft researchers reviewed surveys of more than 2,000 Canadians, determining attention spans have shrunk from an average of 12 seconds in 2000 to eight seconds today. They noted that goldfish average a nine-second attention span. (Ottawa Citizen)

Slight provocation

Thirty people were asked to leave an America's Best Value Inn in Mason County, Michigan, after a disagreement over the waffle maker in the breakfast area. "It sounded like one lady walked up and asked the other lady if she was in line for the waffle maker," Sheriff Kim Cole said. "She didn't answer, so this lady started to make her waffle. The other confronted her and said, 'That was my waffle,' and the other lady said, 'No, it's mine.'" Deputies found "a large group of people arguing over the waffle maker" and "a lot of yelling and screaming, but no one was assaulted." (MLive.com)

Authorities blamed the death of a 19-year-old college student on a dispute over rules of a beer-pong game. Police said Ronald McNeil, 39, and others attending a graduation party in College Station, Texas, argued until they came to blows. The host asked McNeil to leave. He did, but returned with a handgun and fired 14 times. He told police he intended only to scare the guests, but his gunshots injured two and killed the 19-year-old, a bystander. (Houston Chronicle)

The loneliest number

Minorities may perceive entering a room full of white people as "microaggression," according to a report by the University of Illinois. "Students of color reported feeling uncomfortable and unwelcomed just walking into or sitting in the classroom, especially if they were the only person of color, or one of a few," the report stated. Academics define "microaggressions" as "brief, everyday exchanges that send denigrating messages to certain individuals because of their group membership." (National Review)

Aroma therapy

American law-enforcement agencies seeking ways to disperse rioters without killing or injuring them are considering importing a chemical product that Israeli police insist "prevents casualties to protesters and security personnel." Called Skunk, it smells like raw sewage mixed with putrefying cow's carcass. Israeli soldiers regularly spray Skunk from water cannons at Palestinian protesters. The mixture of yeast and protein is non-toxic, according to its manufacturer, pesticide specialist Odortec, and the only reported difficulty is getting the stench out of clothing and off bodies. (The Economist)

Psychic coercion

While Lucy Filipov was acting director of the Veterans Affairs office in Philadelphia, she "misused her title" to coerce staff to attend a party at her house and pay for psychic readings by the wife of a VA colleague, according to the agency's inspector general. Filipov's email invitation said the wife, who goes by "The Angel Whisperer," would be charging $35 for private readings to "talk to dead people." Federal investigators who interviewed all the employees who attended said that most seemed unimpressed by the experience. (The Washington Times)

RadioShack blowback

Assets for sale as part of RadioShack's bankruptcy include customer data collected over decades. The records include names, email addresses and phone numbers for 117 million people. Hedge fund Standard General, which bought 1,743 RadioShack store leases to co-brand with Sprint, is the leading bidder for the customer data. (The Washington Post)

Dr. Fix-it

After the world's first penis transplant in South Africa, on a 21-year-old man whose penis was amputated following a botched ritual circumcision three years earlier, the head surgeon, urologist Dr. Andre van der Merwe, 46, said nine patients are waiting for the same surgery after losing their penises in similar circumstances. He has also been flooded with requests from around the world. "I've had someone email from America who wants his penis removed," van der Merwe said. "He wants to be genderless and donate his penis to somebody." He was wary of such a donor, who might change his mind and hunt down "the person who has his penis." Meanwhile, van der Merwe said he had anticipated his patient would need two years for sex to be viable, but it took only five weeks. (South Africa's Times and Britain's The Guardian)

  • All the weird news that's fit to print.


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