Author Archive for chuck.shepherd

Odd Files, Feb. 4, 2011

Lead story Those Ingenious Western Spies! In January, Saudi officials detained a vulture from Tel Aviv University (part of endangered-species research), calling it a spy and alarming its Israeli handlers that the bird might face a gruesome execution as an espionage agent. Then, a day later, Iran reportedly detained an Arab-American woman crossing its border […]

Odd Files, Jan. 14, 2011

LEAD STORY A now-10-year-old church in Denver ministers to (as contemplated by 1 Corinthians 4:11-13) the homeless, the reviled, and the persecuted and formally named itself after the actual words in verse 13, the “Scum of the Earth” Church. The congregation touts nonjudgmental Christianity; owns an elegant, aging building (but holds services elsewhere because of […]

Odd Files, Jan. 7, 2011

Lead story Catch-22 Catches Disabled Veteran: David Henderson, a Korean War veteran long suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, applied 15 days past the deadline for enhanced care under a 2001 veterans-benefits law and thus was, as required by the statute, disqualified from the additional benefits. Henderson’s doctor pointed out that major disorders such as Henderson’s often […]

Odd Files, Dec. 31, 2010

LEAD STORY Biologists Studying Rare Species Have to Be Quick: Researchers learned from reports in early 2010 of a new monkey species in Myanmar, with a nose so recessed that it habitually collects rainfall and constantly sneezes. However, according to an October National Geographic dispatch, by the time scientists arrived to investigate, natives had eaten […]

Odd Files, Dec. 24, 2010

LEAD STORY The Cabral Chrysler dealership in Manteca, Calif., was so desperate for a sale in October that one of its employees picked up potential customer Donald Davis, 67, at his nursing home, brought the pajamas-and-slippers-clad, dementia-suffering resident in to sign papers, handed him the keys to his new pickup truck (with the requested chrome […]

Odd Files, Dec. 17, 2010

LEAD STORY Among the oppressive patriarchal customs that remain in force in Saudi Arabia is a requirement that females obtain their father’s (or guardian’s) permission before marrying — even women who are profoundly independent, such as the 42-year-old surgeon (licensed to practice in the UK and Canada as well as Saudi Arabia) who was the […]

Odd Files, Dec. 10, 2010

LEAD STORY Britain’s National Health Service acknowledged in November that, because of a shortage of healthy lungs and other organs available for transplant, it was offering those on waiting lists the option of receiving them from former smokers, drug addicts, cancer patients and the elderly. “You have to say,” said an official with the NHS’s […]

Odd Files, Dec. 3, 2010

Lead story The collapse of the economy in 2008 might have reached the far corners of Earth, but evidently not to Planet Calypso, the make-believe asteroid containing make-believe real estate in the multiplayer online game Entropia Universe, where resort entrepreneur Jon Jacobs recently cashed out his properties for $635,000 — in real (not make-believe) U.S. […]

Odd Files, Nov. 26, 2010

LEAD STORY • Librarian Graham Barker, 45, of Perth, Australia, casually revealed to a reporter in October that his hobby of 26 years — harvesting his own navel lint daily, just before he showers — has now won acclaim in the Guinness Book of World Records. His three-jar collection (a fourth is in progress) has […]

Odd Files, Nov. 19, 2010

LEAD STORY Surreal Estate: Sixty-two percent of the 12 million people of Mumbai, India, live in slums, but the city is also home to Mukesh Ambani’s 27-story private residence (37,000 square feet, 600 employees serving a family of five), reported to cost about $1 billion. According to an October New York Times dispatch, there are […]