The Coast News Group
News of the Weird

Odd Files

Sobering Signs

In February, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that David Bell could not avoid being charged with DUI merely because he had been sober enough to pass all six “field sobriety tests” administered during a traffic stop. It was enough, the court said, that he had admitted drinking that night. A few days later, the Austin American—Statesman reported on Texan Larry Davis’ struggle to clear the 2013 DWI arrest from his record —— since he had blown a 0.0 alcohol reading that night and then had voluntarily undergone a blood test for other impairing drugs and come up clean on that. Davis had admitted to “one drink,” but allegedly failed a “field sobriety test” (in the opinion of the arresting officer, anyway). (Davis’ case is still unresolved, but since he has been declared an “indigent,” the state covers his legal expenses.)

Compelling Explanations

Logical: (1) John Rogers of Geneva, Fla., recently acquitted in a shooting death (using Florida’s “stand your ground” defense), convinced a judge in February to return his guns, which police had confiscated when they arrested him. Rogers said he needs the guns for protection because he is particularly vulnerable —— in that he is blind. (2) Rogerio Scotton, challenging federal charges in January that he lied to immigration officials about his “marriage” to a Cuban woman (a “sham,” said prosecutors), offered to prove the matrimony’s bona fides by showing the couple’s conjugal—bed videos in open court. (The judge instructed Scotton to find a “less intrusive” way to make the same point.)


The Continuing Crisis

The firm 3D Babies has begun selling (for $800) 8—inch—long fetal sculptures developed from 3—D ultrasound images, computer graphics and 3—D printing technology (“printing” successive layers of material continuously, eventually creating a physical object). (Four—inch and 2—inch models are available for $400 and $200, respectively.) For celebrity hounds who are not planning imminent parenthood, the company sells one fetal sculpture off the shelf: the Kim Kardashian—Kanye West fetus (“Baby North West”) for only $250.


First—World Problems: The designer Giorgio Armani is one of the most recent one—day sponsors of a United Nations project to send safe drinking water to help some of the planet’s 768 million people without access to a clean supply. The Tap Project program signs up smartphone users with a reward: that it will donate one day’s clean water to a child for anyone who can manage to refrain from picking up his or her phone for 10 consecutive minutes. Tap Project screens even feature a 10—minute countdown clock to help do—gooders remain strong in the face of anxiety over the brief loss of access to Facebook, online games, et al.