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News of the Weird

The Naked Truth

Letitia Chai, Cornell University class of 2018, arrived at her “Acting in Public: Performance in Everyday Life” class on May 2 ready to present a trial run of her senior thesis wearing a button-down shirt and cutoff denim shorts. Professor Rebekah Maggor was displeased, however, and asked Chai, “Is that really what you would wear?” She referred specifically to Chai’s “too short” shorts and told Chai that her clothing choices would distract “men’s attention” from the content of her presentation. Chai left the room, but soon returned wearing just her bra and panties and delivered the entirety of her presentation. On May 5, she returned to the classroom to officially present her thesis and stripped down again, with more than two dozen others in the room joining her in bras and panties or boxers. Chai posted on Facebook about the incidents, telling The Cornell Daily Sun she wanted to raise awareness about this “huge societal issue.” [The Cornell Daily Sun, 5/6/2018]

Try the Decaf

In Hudson, Florida, Brandon Donald McCray, 47, came unglued on May 1 after discovering two of his socks missing. When suspicion fell on his roommate, Frank Smith, 53, McCray attacked him with a sword, according to WTVT. The attack continued as McCray also struck and injured two women living at the home. Pasco County Sheriff’s deputies said Smith nearly lost several fingers trying to defend himself. Deputies arrested McCray at a neighbor’s house on charges of attempted homicide and battery. [WTVT, 5/2/2018]

Cliche Comes to Life

Dimitri the Husky can thank a Good Samaritan for reporting that someone was abusing a dog in Lantana, Florida, on May 10. Palm Beach County Sheriff’s officers arrived at the apartment home of Patrick Shurod Campbell, 27, where two roommates said Campbell “beat the hell” out of Dimitri, the Palm Beach Post reported. Officers found the 2-year-old dog locked in a dark closet, shaking and submissive, with a bloody ear. Campbell told police he had bitten the dog to “establish dominance.” Campbell was charged with aggravated animal cruelty; Dimitri was turned over to Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control for treatment and re-homing. [Palm Beach Post, 5/11/2018]

It’s Good to Be a Millennial

As finals were ramping up at the University of Utah at the end of April, one student’s class project went viral: Senior Nemo Miller created a stand-alone closet, placed in the J. Willard Marriott Library, where stressed-out students could go for a good cry. KSL TV reported The Cry Closet (#cryclosetuofu) caught on quickly; even with a suggested 10-minute limit, @Gemini tweeted, “I stayed 11 mins but feel so much better thank you to whoever built this. Can we add a box of tissues please?” Miller filled the closet with stuffed animals and soft materials. “I think everyone just needs a safe space sometimes,” she said, “even if it’s in a very public place.” [KSL TV, 4/25/2018]

Make Art Great Again!

A French museum dedicated to the work of painter Etienne Terrus announced April 27 that more than half of its collection from the 19th-century artist are forgeries. The Terrus museum in Elne, where Terrus was born, gathered a group of experts to inspect the works after a visiting art historian noticed some of the paintings depict buildings that were not constructed until after Terrus’ death. In all, 82 paintings were determined to be fake. BBC News reported that the town’s mayor, Yves Barniol, called the situation “a disaster” and apologized to museum visitors. [BBC News, 4/28/2018]

High on the Hog

On Yaji Mountain in China, hog farmers are experimenting with high-rise hog breeding facilities that house 1,000 head of sows per floor. Xu Jiajing, manager of Guangxi Yangxiang Co. Ltd., told Reuters the “hog hotels” save “energy and resources. The land area is not that much, but you can raise a lot of pigs.” The buildings range from seven floors to 13, with elevators to move people and pigs, and air circulation and waste management systems designed to reduce the risk of spreading disease. [Reuters, 5/10/2018]

Armed and Clumsy

Fort Dodge, Iowa, may not exactly be the Wild West, but tell that to Balew, the pit bull-lab mix belonging to 51-year-old Richard Remme. As Remme and Balew roughhoused at home on May 9, Balew bounded back up onto the couch, where, according to The Messenger, he managed to shoot his owner in the leg. “I carry in a belly band, under my bib overalls,” Remme told the newspaper. “And apparently he bumped the safety one time, and when he bounded back over one of his toes went right down into the trigger guard,” he explained. Remme didn’t realize he’d been shot until his pant leg started to turn purple. Balew, however, “thought he was in trouble for doing something wrong,” Remme said. He “laid down beside me and cried.” [The Messenger, 5/10/2018]

Bright Ideas

— The grandmother of a 7-year-old girl in Marietta, Georgia, became alarmed May 7 when a stranger started following her and the little girl around a Kroger store. WXIA-TV reported that Einodd Samimi had earlier approached the grandmother at a nearby Walmart and asked if he could “have” her granddaughter for $100. He upped the ante at Kroger, offering to purchase her for $200 and commenting on the little girl’s pretty hair. The grandmother confronted Samimi, drawing a large crowd of shoppers who chased him through the store and to his car. Police arrested Samimi at his home on charges of enticing a child and criminal solicitation. [WXIA-TV, 5/9/2018]

— In the Indian village of Upparahal, a mother dying of an unknown condition feared that her husband, whom neighbors say is an alcoholic, would neglect her 13-year-old son and their other children. To ensure there would be an adult woman in the family capable of performing domestic chores, she married the teenager to a 23-year-old woman on April 27. However, according to the local tahsildar, or tax collector, Srinivasa Rao, “The marriage will be canceled as it is not valid as per law.” Metro News reports that both the bride’s and groom’s families have disappeared since the wedding became public. [Metro News, 5/12/2018]

People With Issues

Police in Loerrach, Germany, responded May 14 to complaints about a domestic disturbance after a neighbor reported a loud confrontation that had been going on for some time. But when they arrived, they found a 22-year-old man arguing with his girlfriend’s parrot, according to Metro News. The parrot had been barking like a dog, and the man became annoyed with it. No charges were filed. [Metro News, 5/15/2018]

Love in the Drive-Thru

@BurgerKing was looking for love in all the right places on May 9 when workers changed a Boston location’s sign to read: “@Wendys … Prom?” and posted a picture to Twitter. United Press International reported that it took less than an hour for the red-headed fast-food heartthrob, just a few doors down, to respond: “OK, but don’t get handsy and we have to be home by 10.” In a classic love triangle, @MoonPie expressed his disappointment: “I knew I should’ve asked sooner.” [United Press International, 5/10/2018]