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More Things to Worry About

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published Oct.8, 2015

More Things to Worry About

Under a 1981 treaty, at least 50 countries, including the United States, have banned their militaries from employing flamethrowers (as "inhumane"), but entrepreneurs have begun to market the devices domestically for $900 to $1,600 each (based on the distance of the flame, at 25 feet or 50 feet). Federal regulators appear uninterested (as the contraptions are technically neither firearms nor explosives), and only two states prohibit them outright, though a few jurisdictions believe flamethrowers are illegal under fire codes. The Ohio startup Throwflame has sensed the need for marketing savvy and describes flamethrowers as primarily for "entertainment." (Recent news reports indicate a slight run on sales under the suspicion that authorities will soon realize the danger and outlaw them.) [ArsTechnica.com, 8-25-2015; CNN via WTKR-TV (Norfolk, Va.), 8-14-2015]

After two women accused Sheffield Village, Ohio, attorney Michael Fine of "hypnotizing" and sex-talking to them during office consultations, police and the county bar association opened an investigation in November 2014. Though Fine was being consulted on a custody matter, he was secretly audio-recorded (according to one woman's lawsuit) touting "powerful whole body orgasms" and suggesting that he was "the world's greatest lover" -- among details the client recalls only vaguely if at all. The bar association later said as many as 25 women may have been victimized. Though no criminal charges have been filed, Fine's lawyer said in August that his client had voluntarily given up his law license and was seeking "medical" help. [Associated Press via Columbus Dispatch, 8-19-2015] [WEWS-TV (Cleveland), 2-3-2015]

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