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HARSH REALITY Wednesday, October 22
New York Giants tight end Larry Donnell manages his own fantasy league team by “drafting” NFL players for virtual competitions based on their real-life statistics of the previous weekend. Donnell lamented to New Jersey’s The Record in October that he had benched virtual “Larry Donnell” on his fantasy team the week before because he thought his other tight end (“Vernon Davis”) would do better.
SIGNS OF THE TIMES Wednesday, October 22
“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 some in the so-called “Facebook era,” to resemble a trip to Disneyland, with visitors to the Sacred Mosque texting friends the “evidence” of their piety.
NOTW CLASSIC (October 2010) Wednesday, October 15
Donald Denney and his father (also named Donald Denney) concocted a plan on the phone for Dad to smuggle a ball of black-tar heroin into the son’s Colorado prison during visiting hours, to be passed by mouth through a kiss from a female visitor. However, Dad failed to find a woman with a clean-enough rap sheet to be admitted as a visitor.
UPDATE Wednesday, October 15
In 1993, NOTW introduced readers to Kopi Luwak coffee — whose beans had first passed through the digestive tracts of Asian civet cats (to give them, supposedly, a certain tartness, as well as a certain hipster price tag). Canadian entrepreneur Blake Dinkin, 44, believes his Black Ivory Coffee tastes even better because his pre-digested beans are recovered from elephant dung in Thailand — and are less bitter, in that the pachyderms, unlike civets, are herbivores.
ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT Wednesday, October 15
Doris Carvalho of Tampa, Florida, is raising venture capital to expand her hobby of crafting high-end handbags from groomed, recycled dog hair (two pounds’ worth for each bag). With investors, she could lower her costs and the $1,000 price tag, since it now takes 50 hours’ labor to make the yarn for her haute couture accessory.
NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME Wednesday, October 15
Police in West Valley City, Utah, searched for an exceptionally unintimidating man in August after reports that the man tried to rob a Subway sandwich shop and a Family Dollar. In each episode, an employee told the man to wait while the employee went to a back room, but then simply failed to return, leading the “robber,” eventually, to walk away empty-handed.
PERSPECTIVE Wednesday, October 15
Leonard Embody marched up and down a sidewalk in September in front of Hillsboro High School in Nashville, Tennessee, in military clothing, with a rifle on his back and a GoPro camcorder attached to his chest — his latest street demonstration supporting Tennessee’s “open carry” gun law. According to a WSMV-TV report, this episode made even some supporters edgy because of the school setting, but Embody didn’t see a problem. “Other people may think I look terrifying,” he acknowledged, but he doesn’t think so, and if you disagree, he suggests psychological counseling. Tennessee bans guns on school property, but a few inches away, on the sidewalk, Embody has decided there’s no problem.
DOCTORS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN Wednesday, October 15
An August West Virginia Board of Medicine report accused Martinsburg doctor Tressie Montene Duffy, age 44 and owner of a “weight and wellness” clinic, of over-prescribing drugs and repeatedly exposing herself to co-workers — including forcing one employee to “motor boat” Duffy’s surgically enhanced breasts.
AMERICAN SCENES Wednesday, October 15
Staci Anne Spence, 42, was hauled to jail for assault in Sandpoint, Idaho,in September, but when the squad car arrived at the station, officers learned that during the ride, she’d completely gnawed through the back seat — foam padding and seat cover. A 38-year-old man was taken, unconscious, to St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota, in August. After allegedly choking his mother-in-law and refusing to cooperate with police, who used a stun gun and chemical spray on him to no effect, he dramatically KO’d himself with an empty beer bottle.
On the same day in September, Washington, D.C., and New York City made traffic-camera announcements, with Washington declaring a revenue crisis and New York saying just one speed camera in Brooklyn had earned the city $77,550 in a single day. D.C. had projected $93 million in annual camera income, but estimated it would collect only $26 million, while New York City, with fewer cameras, was marveling at the 1,551 tickets the Brooklyn camera zapped on July 7.
 
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