by The Editors of WorldMag.com
Even by the standards of Portland, Ore., natives, Adam Kuby’s attempts to give the city acupuncture seem strange. The New York artist has impaled a 23-foot needle into the ground near the Willamette River, saying he’s seeking to help out the city’s “chi” or “vital energy.” In the coming months, the artist says he hopes to add more needles in his city acupuncture project.
Tammy Gobin didn’t think her rare medical condition stank. But everyone else did. She just wishes they had told her sooner. The San Diego teacher said friends and co-workers would edge away from her and cover their noses, but none would simply come out and complain about her smell. Their politeness caused Gobin to overlook the onset of trimethylaminuria, or fish malodor syndrome-a disorder that causes the afflicted to begin smelling fishy. Finally, it was her students who clued her in: “One student told me, ‘Teacher, you smell fishy,’ or another student said, ‘Teacher, you smell like garbage or my brother’s dirty gym socks,'” Gobin told a local television station. But until recently, she had trouble convincing doctors she even had the disorder. Now that she has, Gobin has discovered another unpleasant truth: Because of the disorder’s rarity, no cure has been discovered. So she has changed her diet, which has helped, and now limits her contact with strangers.
Money for nothing
Couch potato? NASA has a job for you. To study the effects of prolonged time in space, scientists at NASA are recruiting people to spend 90 straight days in bed, broken only by medical testing to see how the body reacts to such inactivity. In return for 90 days of bed rest at NASA’s Houston facility, NASA will pay participants $17,000.
One might think Philippe Quint would be more careful with his $4 million violin. The Grammy-nominated, Russian-born violinist left his 285-year-old Stradivarius in the back seat of a Newark, N.J., taxicab. One day later the driver, Mohamed Khalil, tracked Quint down to return the irreplaceable instrument. And to say thank you, Quint gave the driver a $100 reward and organized a half-hour concert for 200 cab drivers at Newark Liberty International Airport on May 8.
Rising energy and food prices have created a new niche for blue-collar thieves. For years, companies like Griffin Industries, a Kentucky-based agricultural-waste recycler, have been collecting grease from restaurants and selling the cooking byproduct to makers of alternative fuels like biodiesel. As energy and food prices soar, demand for grease grows, too. As a tradable commodity, its price has tripled in the past three years. And so petty thieves are now pilfering fast-food joints to steal fry grease. One man, David Richardson of Illinois, was caught by police allegedly filling up his tanker truck with used oil at a Burger King in Morgan Hill, Calif. A full tank of grease could be worth $7,000 on the open market.
Missing a beat
The audience at the Musselburgh’s Brunton Theatre in the United Kingdom couldn’t tell, but actor Steve Dineen was slightly ahead of cue when he collapsed during the final scene of Abigail’s Party. But his fellow actors knew that Dineen’s character, Lawrence, wasn’t supposed to collapse and die of a heart attack for a few more lines. Dineen’s heart attack, it turned out, wasn’t staged. Co-star Alice Selwyn quickly noticed Dineen wasn’t acting and emerged from character to ask for a doctor. An ambulance arrived in time to take the veteran actor to the hospital, where he is recovering.