Makeup for bad habits 


There's a new glossy publication in the Netherlands, Mainline Lady, designed to resemble a newsstand fashion magazine, for the purpose of helping drug-addicted women feel better about their health and appearance. Distributed by the nation's health ministry, July's debut issue includes articles on rejuvenating heroin-ravaged dry skin, putting on weight and disguising needle marks with makeup, as well as an upbeat horoscope column tailored to the everyday problems of drug addicts.

Two dips on rye, please

Max & Mina's kosher ice-cream parlor in Kew Gardens Hills, N.Y., was featured in a July arricle in Jewish Week, bringing readers up to date on the many offbeat flavors the store makes (all rich in butterfat but meeting various Jewish dietary standards): "lox," "horseradish," "peanut butter and jelly," "beer and nuts," "corn on the cob" and "campfire delight" (principal taste: baked beans). The store also once made (but has discontinued) a "broccoli" ice cream.

Coming unglued

A medical board in Oklahoma removed plastic surgeon Scott Gilbert's license after evidence of several lapses of care, including the use of wood screws and Superglue on patients. ... A 30-year-old patient was awarded $2.1-million by a jury in Spokane, Wash., after evidence that neuropsychiatrist Donald Dudley (who died before trial) tried to chemically erase part of the man's brain and turn him into a trained killer. ... A medical board in Ontario found psychiatrist Raymond Danny Leibl guilty of "disgraceful" conduct in treating a 53-year-old woman by disciplining her like a baby, giving her sodium amytal with vodka to improve her memory and having her call him "Mommydaddy Ray."

Bud-ding scholars

According Britain's The Guardian, at least two schools in Belgium's Limburg province will begin serving a kind of very-low-alcohol beer in public-school cafeterias beginning in September, in an effort to wean kids aged three to 15 from sugary sodas and fruit juice.

Stars pupils

The Washington state board charged with evaluating college-degree programs last year approved a bachelor's and master's degree curriculum in "astrological studies" for the Kepler College of Astrological Arts and Sciences in Seattle. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, only 20 of the 31 initial enrollees made it through the first year. Said Kepler's president, Enid D. Newburg, "Most of the students weren't used to a college level of study." According to one student, who said she is a veteran of an honors program at the University of Texas, "The faculty at Kepler just blows away any of the professors I had before in Texas."

Touchy-feely

At the Innovate 2001 expo in London in July, British inventor David Morrow introduced "Consent Condoms," designed to protect men from charges of date rape in that each condom comes with a fingerprint-sensitive tab of paper on which a man's partner can acknowledge that the act is consensual. A simple touch does the trick. Morrow says the fingerprint is more reliable than oral assent and that, unlike a signature, is deliverable while the partner is in the throes of ecstasy. (Among Innovate 2001's other exhibits was the "Ice Baton," billed as a "natural way" to relieve hemorrhoids.)

Shorts-order cook

Singapore's Straits Times reported in July that the health office in Muar, Malaysia, had shut down a food stall and arrested its proprietor because he was boiling dirty underwear in pots with food. The cook said that, according to legend, the undies improve the taste of food. Replied a health official, "This is an untrue belief and must be stopped."

All-capital punishment

Richard S. Markey, 44, convicted in Hartford, Conn., of defrauding investors of $4.8-million, wrote U.S. marshals that he thought he had presented a strong case for his innocence and therefore he wouldn't be reporting to prison as scheduled on May 2. Instead, he said in his letter, he was going to a relative's place near Syracuse, N.Y. He said that if he didn't hear anything more from the marshals, he would consider the case closed. Well, Markey did hear from them; the marshals looked him up in Syracuse and re-arrested him. During his trial, Markey had claimed the charges had to be dismissed because the prosecutor spelled his name in all-capitals on the indictment.

'Drop that weapon'

A barroom gunfight was averted in El Paso, Texas, when an inebriated man, waving a pellet gun in his prosthetic arm, watched as the arm fell off and went tumbling to the floor. ... Three men and a woman in Detroit hoisted a homeowner's entire metal, two-car garage onto their pickup truck and attempted to drive off with it before abandoning it in the street when the structure broke. ... A research team at Oklahoma State University said its sliced peanut butter (wrapped in plastic sleeves like single-slice cheese) will be on grocery shelves in U.S. test markets soon. ... Political correctness hit India when authorities in Jammu and Kashmir banned the word "widow" for fear it would further upset women whose husbands have died in recent separatist battles. Approved instead: "wife of late (insert name)." ... A 22-year-old Columbus, Ohio man was killed when he stopped his car in traffic and walked back to the driver behind him to express his road rage. He was hit by a car in the next lane.


Speaking of News Of The Weird

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