NEWS OF THE WEIRD

Fine Points of the Law

ν Compelling Explanation: Senate bill 1342, passed in the Idaho legislature earlier in 2016, authorizes schools to use the Bible as a reference in classrooms (despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s having specifically condemned a previous version of the bill ever since 1964). The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Sage Dixon, said he thought his law was nonetheless constitutional because, “The little Supreme Court in my head says this is OK.” (Even so, Gov. C.L. Otter vetoed the bill.) [LoweringTheBar.net, 3-30-2016]

Fun With Pennies

■ (1) Robert Napolitan, 34, was arrested in Taylor, Pennsylvania, in September and charged with theft of a drum containing 300,000 pennies from his employer, Pyne Freight Lines. That steel drum weighs several tons and, of course, netted Napolitan only $3,000. (By contrast, in New York City’s Diamond District in September, a brazen thief made off with a 5-gallon drum containing 86 pounds of something else — gold flakes, valued at more than $1 million — and is still at large.) (2) For some reason, according to a High Point, North Carolina, TV report, Larry Hall of Randolph County took seven-plus weeks out of his life recently and glued pennies to cover (except for windows and chrome) his 2000 Chevrolet Blazer (a total of 51,300 coins). [Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pa.), 9-9-2016] [New York Daily News, 10-1-2016] [WGHP-TV (High Point, N.C.), 10-3-2016]

Bright Ideas

■ While other vehicle safety-control engineers work on actually slowing down cars and buses when a risk is detected on the road ahead, one of Volvo’s recent innovations appears aimed merely at bullying pedestrians to get out of the way. According to a September report on Treehugger.com, the safety “control” for a Volvo bus consists of progressively louder horn-honking to scare off the pedestrian. [Treehugger.com, 9-23-2016]

Simple As That:

  British farmer Pip Simpson, who lost nearly 300 sheep to rustlers in recent years, recently sprayed his remaining herd of almost 800 sheep a bright luminous orange (harmless, he said, though the sheep’s opinions are unknown) to make them less attractive to thieves. (2) Saudi Arabia switched to the 365-day Gregorian calendar on Oct. 2, in part to reduce government expenses. Bureaucrats had been using the Islamic lunar Hijri (354- day) calendar, but now must work a 3 percent longer year for the same salaries. [Westmorland Gazette, 9-27-2016] [Gulf News via RT.com

Latest Religious Messages

■ In 2014, British entrepreneur Azad Chaiwala, 33, created the matchmaking service Second Wife — because, just as men have trouble finding that special person, some Mormons, Muslims and others have at least as much trouble finding that special additional person. (Most clients, he said, are in the United States and the United Kingdom, though bigamy is illegal in both places.) The service was so successful that Chaiwala this year inaugurated Polygamy.com, which he adamantly defended as a moral alternative to adultery and one-night-stand services such as Tinder. [New York Times, 9-21-2016]

Police Report

  (1) The long-rap-sheeted Darren Clinton, 48, was in the process, according to Minneapolis police, of burglarizing a hotel room in September when an occupant returned and surprised him. Clinton, wielding a knife, escaped momentarily, but the occupant summoned his nearby roommates — the visiting University of Arizona men’s cross-country team — and after a chase, which included jumping several barriers, the runners steered a severely winded Clinton into the arms of a state trooper. (2) Kerry Johnson, 52, was arrested in August in Charleston, West Virginia, and charged with robbing a City National Bank branch. Police said Johnson had been gambling at the Mardi Gras Casino in nearby Nitro when he ran out of money at the blackjack table. (He left a $25 chip to preserve his spot, excused himself, went to the bank, and came back with more money.) [Star Tribune, 10-1-2016] [Gazette Mail (Charleston), 8-3-2016]

People With Issues

Based on recent convictions for indecent exposure, Anthony Hardison, 50, has a public masturbation habit, and it is apparently so bad that he engaged once again in August — while he was in the lobby of the sheriff’s office in Seattle, where he had reported to register as a sex offender. He was arrested. [Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 9-19-2016]