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NEWS OF THE WEIRD


None October 1st, 2013

to take the standardized admissions test after the council offered to grant her “only” 156 extra minutes for the exam. She also demanded a room by herself with a “white noise” machine and the ability to bring a computer and food and drinks to the exam.

Unclear on the concept

In August, the Mother Nature Network website showcased an array of camping gear seemingly designed for the daintiest of those ostensibly “roughing” it.

The Blofield outdoor couch inflates in minutes to produce a facsimile of a Las Vegas lounge sofa. The Rolla Roaster’s 42-inch-long steel fork assures elegance (and evenness) in marshmallow-roasting.

For fashion-conscious backwoods women, Teva makes high-heeled hiking sandals ($330).

The mother of all Swiss army knives, by Wenga, has so many gadgets that it suggests a parody of a Swiss army knife.

To be a camper is to sleep in a tent, though, and why not the trailer-mounted Opera tent, including hardwood floors and a wine cooler?

Read all about it

A July direct-mail campaign by Canada’s Conservative Party, intended to show concern for the disabled population, might have fallen short, according to a Toronto Star report. The first wave of brochures, “Supporting Jobs for All Canadians” (meaning the disabled as well), featured the well-known wheelchair symbol and a message in a series of Braille dots.

However, the brochure was useless to blind recipients, who could neither see the dots nor read them, as the dots were printed on a flat surface.

It works for her

By her own admission, Joan Hoyt, 61, of St. Louis, has difficulty writing, is easily distracted, needs frequent breaks, and “reads about 2 1/2 times slower than her peers” — yet wants to be a lawyer.

She filed a lawsuit recently against the Law School Admission Council for special accommodations to take the standardized admissions test after the council offered to grant her “only” 156 extra minutes for the exam. She also demanded a room by herself with a “white noise” machine and the ability to bring a computer and food and drinks to the exam. (States have made similar accommodations for bar exams — but those applicants have already endured the intellectual rigors of law school.)

Kosher, if not ingested

Is oral sex permitted in Orthodox Judaism? If so, must any lubricant used be kosher (or is kosher required only for substances that may be ingested into the body)?

These questions were not answered by California’s Trigg Laboratories, which decided recently to vie for a kosher label for eight lines of Ecstasy lubricant under its Wet label — and, following an inspection by the Rabbinical Council of California, was granted it.

Many authorities believe that nonkosher products can be used if, like lipstick, they are “applied” but not ingested.

Because we can, that’s why

Two onetime roommates at the University of Michigan announced in August that they have developed a smartphone app to accommodate the questionable number of people who seek an easy way to share leftover food on restaurant plates (to save it from wasteful discarding).

Using smartphones’ location service, one diner could offer to clean another’s plate or have a stranger rush to his own table for scraps.

“We’re not gonna make millions,” one of the developers told NPR in July.

—Chuck Shepherd

 
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