NEWS OF THE WIERD

Future of Travel

jet-pack

Australian aviator David Mayman has promised investors that his personal jet packs will hit the market by mid-2017, though early adopters will pay about $250,000 for one, to fly a person at up to 60 mph for 10 minutes. The JB-10 (developed by Mayman and designer Nelson Tyler) has made about 400 test runs in Monaco and over downtown London and New York City, but the partners realize that ultimate success will require that the fuel tanks be downsized so that the craft can be powered electrically — and thus seek crowdfunding both for that model and a larger one to accommodate the Pentagon’s (Special Operations Command) tactical needs. [Daily Mail (London), 11-11-2016]

The Continuing Crisis

In St. Paul, Minnesota, a 25-year-old woman told police on Nov. 3 that she was involuntarily roughed up several hours after being voluntarily roughed up at Arnellia’s Bar’s weekly “Smack Fest” — in which female patrons competitively slap each other’s faces for three “rounds” under strict house rules. The woman said she spoke amicably with her opponent, but by closing time, the opponent and several friends, including men, punched and kicked her outside the bar. (In other slapping news, a 71-year-old woman died in Lewes, England, in November while participating in a Chinese healing seminar that emphasizes being slapped repeatedly to rid the body of poisoned blood and toxins. The “healer,” Hongshi Xiao, charges clients around $900 to beat what he calls the “sha” out of them.) [St. Paul Pioneer Press, 11-7-2016] [The Argus (Brighton), 11-14-2016]

ν An Episode Almost Ended in a Tie: In November, in a remote area of Oregon’s Maury Mountains, a 69-year-old man killed an elk and dragged the carcass behind his off-road vehicle up a hill. According to the Crook County Sheriff’s office, the vehicle suddenly flipped over backward, and the man landed on, and was impaled by, the elk’s antlers. Fellow hunters summoned a helicopter, and the man has apparently survived. [The Oregonian, 11-7-2016]

The Way the World Works

ν In October, terminally ill California mother Stephanie Packer hoped to be “the face of the Right to Live movement” after revealing that her insurance company denied coverage for a drug that could extend her life — but at the same time disclosed that her Right to Die suicide drugs are covered, and even disclosed her co-pay ($1.20). [New York Post, 10-24-2016]

Medical Marvels

ν Margaret Boemer’s baby LynLee was “born” twice. In an October Texas Children’s Hospital interview, doctors described how the need to rid Boemer’s fetus of a rapidly growing tumor required them, at Boemer’s 23rd week of pregnancy, to remove the fetus completely from the uterus until it was “hanging out in the air” so that they could cut away the tumor and then reposition the fetus into the uterus. LynLee was “born” again by C-section 13 weeks later. [CNN, 10-20-2016]

Arkansas Chic

ν Kristi Goss, 43, an assistant to a Garland County (Arkansas) judge, was arrested in October and charged with stealing nearly $200,000 in public funds, which she used to buy such things as a tuxedo for her dog, sequined throw pillows, a “diamond bracelet” (retailing for $128) and, of course, Arkansas Razorback football tickets. [Sentinel-Record (Hot Springs), 10-26-2016]

The Passing Parade

ν At press time, “Bugs Bunny” and “Pink Panther” were on trial in St. Catharines, Ontario, on aggravated-assault charges from a Halloween 2015 bar fight in which “Dracula’s” ear was severely slashed with a broken bottle. “There was a lot of blood,” said a witness (but coming from Dracula, not being sucked out by Dracula). (Update: The judge cleared Bugs, but was still deliberating on Panther.) [St. Catharines Standard, 11-8-2016, 11-18-2018]