A 22-pound, century-old lobster was caught off Nantucket [there once was a crustacean from Nantucket, whose…] U.S. scientists were working on a device that shoots pain rays up to two kilometers.[New Scientist] Archeologists in Ethiopia unearthed several four-million-year-old skeletons believed to be ancestors of modern humans. The United Nations gave up trying to stop human cloning. Humans could still beat robots at arm wrestling.[Scientific American] Global warming was melting the glaciers in the Himalayas,[BBC News] and a snow festival in Arctic Greenland was canceled due to a heat wave.[Reuters] Pollution has killed all but thirteen river dolphins in China’s Yangtze River.[BBC News] and scientists found that some species of octopus can walk on two arms.
Bill Gates was knighted.[ABC News] Three anonymous donors gave $3 million to resurrect the canceled TV show Star Trek: Enterprise, Martha Stewart was released from prison. While incarcerated Stewart’s wealth increased $700 million, and her cappuccino machine broke.[Times Online] An Oregon high-school teacher was under investigation for licking the bleeding wounds of his students,[The Register-Guard] and ninety Danish master bakers were working to improve the flavor of communion wafers.[The Copenhagen Post] In Atlanta, a defendant on trial for rape grabbed a deputy’s gun and went on a shooting spree, wounding the deputy and killing the judge presiding over his case, a court reporter, and a different deputy. He stole several vehicles[New York Times] and took a woman hostage. The woman won his trust, made him pancakes, and turned him in.[CNN] Online gamers were outsourcing the hard parts of video-game playing to Romania.[The Guardian] Edeka, a German supermarket chain, announced that shoppers would soon be able to pay using their fingerprints,[Reuters] A North Carolina dentist was in trouble for filling syringes with his semen and squirting it into the mouths of several female patients.[AP] Police in York, Pennsylvania, arrested a fifty-three-year-old serial sheep molester in a barn. The man said he was just petting the sheep, even though it was 3 A.M., it was not his barn, and he had baler’s twine in his back pocket, which can be used to bind sheep.[York Sunday News] Police in Florida arrested a five-year-old girl at her kindergarten, binding her hands with plastic ties and placing handcuffs around her ankles. The girl, who weighs forty pounds, was upset about some jelly beans. They set my baby up, said her mother.[AP] A woman in India committed suicide so that her two blind sons could each receive one of her eyes. Doctors said there was little chance that such a transplant would work. Russian doctors grew a penis on a man’s arm,[Ananova.com] and a California woman, eating chili at a Wendy’s restaurant, bit into a human finger. The finger had a manicured nail.[Stuff.co.nz] A ten-year-old Vermont boy won a national smelly-sneaker contest. “The stank, he said, was from rubbing my toes back and forth and making them sweaty.[Boston.com] Starbucks came to Guantanamo Bay.
Two community colleges in California halted their student-exchange program with Spain after Spain pulled out of the Iraq war.[USA Today] Italy paid the ransom for a journalist kidnapped in Iraq; U.S. forces then fired on the journalist’s escape car, killing an Italian military intelligence agent and wounding the journalist.[BBC News] The Department of Homeland Security required 1,700 legal immigrants to wear ankle bracelets,[NPR] the Israeli army denied high-level security clearance to soldiers who play Dungeons & Dragons.[YNet News] The White House Press Office approved a press pass for a blogger,[Raw Story] According to a confidential government report, the American aviation system was still vulnerable to terrorist attacks,[New York Times] Twenty U.S. federal agencies, including the Defense Department and the Census Bureau, were found to have prepared hundreds of video news releases favorable to the government, many of which were inserted into local television news broadcasts without attribution.[New York Times] The Senate passed a resolution that will permit drilling for oil in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,[The New York Times] The Pentagon refused to let a soldier’s mother photograph her dead son’s casket as it returned from Iraq.[The Barre Montpelier Times Argus] There are two thousand attacks by insurgents every month in Iraq,[News.telegraph]
Evangelical Christians from the United States and ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel were working together to stop homosexuals from marching through Jerusalem,[Haaretz] Several IMAX theaters in the American South decided not to show a film about volcanoes because it might offend Christians,[Greenville Online] Seventy-eight percent of Americans believe that Christ rose from the dead,[Newsweek] An Ohio judge threw out domestic violence charges brought by a woman against her live-in boyfriend, who slapped and pushed her, because Ohio’s anti-gay-marriage law prohibits state or local government from enforcing laws that create or recognize a legal status of unmarried individuals.[The Advocate]
From the “Do Not Mess With Chimpanzees” department:
In California, a couple visiting an animal sanctuary to celebrate their pet chimp’s thirty-ninth birthday were just about to cut into a birthday cake when two other chimps, presumably jealous, attacked. The chimps, Buddy and Ollie, bit off the sixty-two-year-old man’s fingers, gouged out one of his eyes, ripped off his nose, hacked off a foot and parts of his lips, mutilated his buttocks, and tore off his testicles. The chimps also bit off his wife’s thumb before they were shot and killed. The birthday chimp was unharmed.[Newsday][The New Zealand Herald][SFGate]
Now I know the Terry Schiavo case:
The U.S. Senate subpoenaed Terri Schiavo, a woman who has been in a persistent vegetative state since 1991, to testify before the Health, Education, and Labor Committee. The subpoena was intended to make it impossible for Schiavo to be taken off the feeding tube that allows her to survive; the order, however, was defied by a Florida judge, and the feeding tube was removed. Schiavo then began to die of dehydration. The House and Senate held emergency sessions in order to pass a bill that would transfer the case from state court to federal court. The bill was then signed by President George W. Bush, who had flown in from his ranch in Crawford, Texas, for the occasion.[Wikipedia] Schiavo’s husband, who wants to let her die, wondered why Congress was expending so much energy on the case. Why doesn’t Congress worry about people not having health insurance? he asked. Or the budget? Let’s talk about all the children who don’t have homes. Schiavo described House Majority leader Tom DeLay, who is leading the fight to reinsert Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube, as a little slithering snake.[The Terri Schiavo Case]
A NorthCarolina man was arrested for trying to have both Schiavo’s husband and the judge who denied the request to reinsert Schiavo’s feeding tube killed,[Citizen-Times.com] and a man who wanted to rescue Schiavo was arrested for attempting to steal a gun from a Florida gun shop.[AP] [Uh…hey…what’s the operative word in “Right to Life?”]