Monday 12/1/08

Human Interest News   —   Posted on December 1, 2008

By The Editors of

Line ‘er up
Fairly soon, Beatrice Muller will have to find a new home. For her, that means a new luxury ocean liner. For the past eight years, Muller has lived aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2 as the vessel’s only permanent resident.

Muller, 89, began traveling aboard with her husband in 1995. And shortly after her husband died aboard in 1999, she sold her New Jersey home and moved onto the vessel for good, forking over close to $5,000 per month as rent. But when the soon-to-be-decommissioned QE2 makes its final port call in Dubai in December, Muller will be forced to look for another floating retirement home: “I’ll keep on staying at sea, I don’t want to go back to housekeeping,” she told the BBC.

Partied out
A spat between a Swedish school and parents got so ugly the Swedish Parliament got involved. The imbroglio began last May when an 8-year-old schoolboy handed out birthday party invitations to all but two of his classmates. The boy’s father explained that one of the uninvited boys hadn’t invited his child to his own party. The other uninvited boy had bullied his son, said the father. School officials didn’t like the snub, however. A teacher confiscated the invitations because the two boys weren’t included.

The father appealed the decision straight to the nation’s parliamentary ombudsman office, which sided with the birthday boy, but declined to sanction the school.

Meh too
Need a word for an expression of indifference or boredom? The new Collins English Dictionary published by HarperCollins now has an official way to say it: “Meh.” The expression will find its way into the dictionary’s 30th anniversary edition after gaining popularity on an episode of the television show The Simpsons in 2001. In the episode, Homer suggests taking a day trip with his children. Bart and Lisa are nonplussed by the offer. “They both just reply ‘meh’ and keep watching TV,” said Cormac McKeown, head of content at Collins Dictionaries.

If I had a hammer
More proof crime doesn’t pay: A 31-year-old Veradale, Wash., man bought an $11 hammer on Nov. 9 in order to walk next door to a closed liquor store, smash the window, and steal a $9 bottle of wine. After discovering the burglar (or was he the victim?) with a bloody hand and a bottle of booze, police arrested and charged Muoi Van Nguyen with two counts of second-degree burglary and three other lesser charges.

Think before you speak
the cops wasn’t Debra Hatton’s smartest move. The woman phoned the
authorities to report a burglary at her Upper Darby, Pa., home. But
when police arrived, Hatton and her husband Edward Hatton were the ones
who wound up in the slammer. Once inside the home, police discovered
the couple had been growing marijuana and had collected a number of
high–powered automatic weapons to protect their narcotics operation.
“[We] recovered this AK47 with a clip that was fully loaded containing
30 rounds of ammunition,” Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael
Chitwood told the local CBS affiliate. Along the way, police also ran
across a bizarre collection of police badges along with Nazi
memorabilia. Considering the Hattons called police to their house, “I
guess you have to put them in the realm of some of the world’s dumbest
criminals,” said Chitwood.