Dirk Opalka (whose fox scored 96 of 100 possible points) won best in show at the World Taxidermy Championships in February in Salzburg, Austria, beating over 100 competitors in the art of stretching animal skin over fake bodies so the critters look better than they ever looked alive. The attention to detail was astonishing, according to a dispatch in Der Spiegel, on such features as a stag's nostrils, a hyena's lips, a hamster's whiskers, the neck length of a female peregrine falcon (precisely 5.5 cm), and the proper rosiness of a bat's anus.
In March, the Tokyo High Court reversed the conviction of pinup model Serena Kozakura, who had been found guilty of kicking a hole in the door of her former boyfriend's apartment so she could break in and scream at him. Kozakura had appealed, claiming that the man had made the hole himself, and as evidence, explained that she could never have squeezed through it, anyway, because her breasts are too big. That argument apparently won the day, creating enough "reasonable doubt" to overturn the verdict.
Two German air force sergeants were suspended in December after being caught in a side venture selling sausages based on an old family recipe requiring human blood. Their first batches were made with their own, but as they began mass-producing, they had allegedly asked their colleagues because, according to instructions from one of the men's grandmothers, all blood must be "fresh." "Do not use too many breadcrumbs," she had written, "but if the blood starts to curdle, stir in a teaspoon of wine vinegar."
Court documents revealed in March that federal judge Eduardo Robreno had fined New York mortgage banker Aaron Wider and his lawyer $29,000 for using variations of the "F word" 73 times (thus, about $367 per usage) during a contentious deposition he gave in a lawsuit brought by GMAC Bank.
Several psychotherapists told The New York Times in February that treatments are being developed for people who are excessively worried about their own carbon emissions being responsible for "global warming." More than 120 therapists are now listed as specialists in the field on Ecopsychology.org, and schools such as Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore., have created courses on counseling such patients.