Odd Files

Odd Files

Signs of the Times “Selfie fever” has begun to sully the sacred Islamic pilgrimages to Mecca, according to scholars who complained to Arab News in September. What for centuries has been a hallowed journey intended to renew the spirit of Islam (that all Muslims are called upon to experience at least once) has come, for […]

Odd Files

Bionic Shoes Police in Japan’s Kyoto Prefecture raided a shoe manufacturer in July and commandeered a list of about 1,500 purchasers of the company’s signature “tosatsu shoes” — shoes with built-in cameras. Investigators have begun visiting the purchasers at home to ask that they hand in the shoes (but, out of fairness, said they would […]

Odd Files

Professional Biology Research

Odd Files

Frontiers of Flight Dutch inventors Bart Jansen and Arjen Beltman struck again recently when Pepeijn Bruins, 13, called on them to help him grieve over his pet rat, Ratjetoe, who had to be put down because of cancer. Having heard of the inventors’ work, Pepeijn asked if they could please have Ratjetoe stuffed and turned […]

Odd Files

  Rocking “Messiah”

Odd Files

Down on the Deer Farm The billion-dollar deer-farming industry in America produces generations of bucks growing progressively larger racks of antlers mainly for eventual bragging rights by the so-called “hunters” who will pay large fees to kill them in fenced-in fields just so they can hang the grotesque antlers in their dens. Even before the […]

Odd Files

Sentimental Journey Kevin Walters, 21, staged an emotional, though unsuccessful, one-man, chained-to-the-door protest in March to prevent the closing of a commercial rest stop along the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway near Des Plaines, Ill.

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, […]

Odd Files

The Continuing Crisis Grrrrr! (1) In Chedzoy, England, in January, the border collie spaniel Luce was “re-homed” after Royston Grimstead, 42, learned that she had chewed completely through a wheel arch on his $120,000 Aston Martin.

Odd Files

Find That Genius! Beijing Genomics Institute scientists are closing in on a technology to allow parents to choose, from several embryos, the one most likely to yield the smartest offspring. London’s Daily Mail (in January, referencing recent work in Wired, The Wall Street Journal and The New Yorker) explained that BGI will have identified high-potential […]