Compelling Explanations 

Improbably Successful Pick-up Line: In September, school officials in Australia's Queensland state said they were investigating an incident earlier in the year in which two teenagers had consensual sex that they recorded on a cell phone camera. The girl reportedly said she was convinced to lose her virginity out of fear that the world would soon end as a result of the scheduled re-start of the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland, later this year.

Police in Deer Lake, Newfoundland, decided in August not to press charges against three boys whom they had previously believed had harassed a young moose so badly that it had to be put down. A final piece of evidence against prosecution came from the father of one of the boys, who vouched that the three could not have committed such a crime since they had been busy at the time, vandalizing a nearby church.

Not My Fault: A 60-year-old highway worker was injured when struck by motorist Catherine Stotts, 62, who was speeding down a blocked-off road construction lane near Willits, Calif., in July. The worker required hospitalization, but Stotts complained about receiving a traffic citation, telling officers that the man could have jumped out of the way faster.

Alexander Kabelis, 31, was arrested for slashing tires on almost 50 vehicles in Boulder, Colo., in May, but offered several explanations, including being overwhelmed by radiation from the nearby Rocky Flats nuclear facility and having been forced by his mother to wear braces on his teeth as a child.

What Century Is This? During the recent influence-peddling trial against Ottawa, Ontario, Mayor Larry O'Brien, local politician Lisa MacLeod, 34, gave seemingly important evidence for the prosecution. However, it was ruled of minimal value by Ontario Superior Court Justice Douglas Cunningham. The judge, 69, reasoned that since MacLeod, as a working woman with a long commute that leaves a husband and 4-year-old daughter at home, has "a number of rather significant things going on in her life" and must therefore be "distract(ed)" and thus a less reliable witness. One member of Parliament called Cunningham's ruling "pathetic."

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