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Recurring Themes

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Least Competent Criminals: A 30-year-old man appears to be the most recent person (according to the account of police in Woodland, Calif., in August) to attempt to throw burning fireworks at a target while traveling in a car, but having the toss fail to clear the window and thus explode inside the car. He was hospitalized. 

In another familiar scene, two 18-year-old men spotted police approaching their trailer-park home in Salina, Kan., in August, panicked, and tossed illegal drugs out a window. However, police spotted the flying drugs, even though cops had originally intended only to serve warrants on two of their neighbors. The men were arrested.

The estimated one million Japanese (almost all males) who suffer from the major anti-social funk called "Hikikomori" and confine themselves inside (typically, a bedroom in their parents' home) for months at a time without live human interaction has been mentioned in News of the Weird in 2000 and 2005. In July, the Japanese software company Avex produced a video to help those men, simply featuring a series of young women staring into the lens, occasionally saying "Good morning," so that Hikikomori sufferers can practice feeling the gazes of strangers.

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