Bright Ideas

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published Dec. 22, 2014

   Bright Ideas

Neighbors in the Mandarin neighborhood of Jacksonville, Florida, complained to the city recently about a resident who scattered hundreds of mothballs -- over 400 now, at least -- around her front yard, even driving over them in her car to crush them open and extend their noxious odor. The National Pesticide Information Center warned that the mothballs were hazards to plants, wildlife, water and air, but the female resident (unnamed in a report by First Coast News) said she was forced into the tactic in order to prevent neighborhood dogs from defecating in her yard. [First Coast News (Jacksonville), 10-27-2014]

Celebrity Musicals: In September in Hamburg, Germany, "Charles Manson: Summer of Hate -- The Musical," opened at the Thalia Theater, covering the influences and failed musical career of the man convicted in the notorious 1969 Sharon Tate murders. And "I Am Stephon Marbury," a musical featuring the former star NBA basketball player, ran for 11 nights in September in Beijing, where the popular Marbury has led the Beijing Ducks to national basketball championships the last two seasons. Marbury has a role onstage in what is described as a parable about pursuing one's dreams. [Los Angeles Times, 10-1-2014; New York Times, 8-28-2014]

The most challenging toys this holiday season might be the series of furry human innards from the U.S. firm I Heart Guts -- not just the soft and cuddly pancreas, brain and prostate, but especially the rectum. Each part is packaged with a cheekily written educational description explaining its importance (the rectum being "the butt of many jokes" yet with "a serious role" in waste disposal as the "fecal loading dock"), and each sells for about $20. [Yahoo News, 11-6-2014]

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