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News of the Weird
 

Can't Possibly Be True


June 24th, 2010

According to a May report by Seattle's KOMO-TV, former Oregon National Guardsman Gary Pfleider II is awaiting the results of his latest appeal to end the garnishment of his disability checks to cover ...

According to a May report by Seattle's KOMO-TV, former Oregon National Guardsman Gary Pfleider II is awaiting the results of his latest appeal to end the garnishment of his disability checks to cover $3,175 for gear he supposedly "lost" when he was shot in Iraq. Pfleider was hit in the leg by a sniper in 2007, bled profusely and was evacuated (and is awaiting his ninth surgery on the leg), but the Oregon Guard apparently believes that, despite the trauma, Pfleider somehow should have paused to inventory the equipment he was carrying and to make arrangements for its safekeeping during his imminent hospitalization.

To ease the crowds entering the Texas Capitol building in Austin, officials recently opened an "express" line, bypassing most security precautions, for selected visitors and personnel. Obviously, members of the legislature use the express line, along with Capitol employees presenting ID. A third category of favored visitors: anyone with a Texas concealed-weapons carry permit. The Houston Chronicle reported in June that the lobbyists frustrated with the long security lines have been applying for concealed-weapons permits even if they expect never to touch a firearm.

Though he reportedly hacks more frequently lately, 2-year-old Ardi Rizal of Banyuasin, Indonesia, continues to smoke two packs of cigarettes a day, according to a May dispatch in London's Daily Mail and other news reports. Local officials offered Ardi's parents a new car if they convinced him to quit, but the mother warned that her son throws massive, head-banging tantrums if deprived of his smokes, and his fisherman father, noting Ardi's generous girth, says the kid looks fine to him. (Unfortunately for the parents, Ardi prefers only a certain high-end brand, which costs the equivalent of about $2.75 a pack.)

Sydney's Daily Telegraph reported in May that Qantas Airways has acknowledged re-using plastic knives and forks from its in-flight meals as many as 30 times before discarding them. One supplier who visited Qantas' Q Catering center in the Sydney suburb of Mascot was told that the Qantas cutlery's plastic is "more robust" than ordinary plastic utensils and is completely safe (after special cleaning).

It took until spring 2010 (eight years after the invasion of Afghanistan) for the U.S. Army to realize that enemy fighters in that vast, mountainous country were difficult to shoot at because they are often so far away. The Associated Press reported in May that the Army is only now reconsidering its reliance on standard M-4 rifles (whose effective range is under 1,000 feet), in favor of M-110 sniper rifles (effective at more than 2,500 feet). (Shorter-range rifles work well in Iraq, since the fighting is closer-in.)                               
 
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