The Weird Week in Review

Drunk Driver Crashes into Sober House

An SUV driven by a drunk driver slammed into a building in south Los Angeles Saturday night. Firefighters arrived to find the vehicle inside a room. Five people in the house (who were asleep when the crash occurred) and the driver suffered minor injuries. The residential building was serving as a sober living facility. The driver will be charged with felony DUI.

Letter Arrives 66 Years Late

The U.S. Postal Service delivered a letter to a California address with a postmark indicating it was mailed from Alabama on August 9th, 1944. The letter is addressed to:

“Miss R.T. Fletcher, American Red Cross Station Hospital, Camp Roberts, California.”

As you might imagine, Miss Fletcher is no longer at Camp Roberts. The letter was delivered to Gary McMaster, the volunteer curator for the Camp Roberts Historical Museum.

McMaster would like for Miss Fletcher or her relatives to get the still-sealed letter, which seems to be several pages long. The postal service has no idea why the letter was so late to arrive.

Fire Department Removes Stray Dog from Refrigerator

A family in Yuma, Arizona, called the Humane Society about a stray dog in their refrigerator. But they got a faster response from the local fire department. Yuma Fire Department spokesman Mike Erfert said the terrier-type dog was on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator and wouldn’t let anyone near. The residents said the dog ran inside when they opened the front door and barked and snapped at them. They were going to try to lure him outside with food, but when they opened the refrigerator, the dog jumped in and wouldn’t leave. It snapped at them so much they couldn’t even close the refrigerator door! Firefighters wore protective suits as they extracted the dog. An animal control officer took the dog, which was later reunited with its owner.

Facebook Squabble Leads to Jail Time

An online breakup led to a real life fight between 35-year-old Thomas Gannon and his girlfriend, 31-year-old Tina Cash, both of Brooksville, Florida. Apparently, Cash unfriended Gannon on Facebook and changed her relationship status. Gannon said when he confronted Cash about the change, she started throwing things at him. Cash said Gannon also threw objects and punched her in the face. Both were arrested and charged with battery.

A Very Personal Gravestone

Petra Dumitru of Romania always said that when he died, he wanted his gravestone to pay tribute to the two great loves of his life -his wife, and good wine. When Dumitru died at age 75, his relatives made sure his wishes were carried out -by embedding a picture in the headstone. The photograph shows Dumitru drinking from a bottle while his wife stands beside him. Church officials say the photograph is “undignified.”

Dog Must Eat Standing Up

Ronnie the 7-month-old Rottweiler has megaoesophagus, an incurable condition that makes it impossible for him to eat or drink like other dogs. He cannot swallow properly, and relies on gravity to get his kibble to his stomach. Therefore, it can take up to 20 minutes to spoon-feed him while he stands on his rear legs.

Staff at Leeds Dogs Trust rehoming centre have helped to make life easier for Ronnie after they designed and built him a special feeding station.

Manager Amanda Sands said: “We’ve fed Ronnie standing up since he came to the centre with his littermates aged seven weeks but now that he is bigger we can’t support and feed him at the same time.

“We designed the feeding station so he can support himself while we spoon-feed him. He happily gets in by himself.

Ronnie will only be adopted out to a home in which he can receive the time and help he needs.

Baby Born in Strip Club Parking Lot

A baby boy born on Tuesday may hold the record for the earliest visit to a strip club. Nate Jones, a writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, was rushing his wife Amenze to Plano, Texas to give birth. He was pulled over by a Grand Prairie police officer for speeding -Jones says he was going about 80 miles an hour. They were allowed to continue their trip, but his wife said she wouldn’t make it, so Jones pulled into the parking lot of a topless strip club and dialed 911. Ambulance attendants helped deliver a 7 pound, 5 ounce boy, after which the mother and child were taken to a hospital in Arlington. The father was familiar with the club, as he had written about it for the newspaper.

College Board Wants to Erase Thousands of Years From AP World History, and Teachers Aren't Happy

One would be forgiven for thinking that the Ides of March are upon us, because Julius Caesar is being taken out once again—this time from the Advanced Placement World History exam. The College Board in charge of the AP program is planning to remove the Roman leader, and every other historical figure who lived and died prior to 1450, from high school students’ tests, The New York Times reports.

The nonprofit board recently announced that it would revise the test, beginning in 2019, to make it more manageable for teachers and students alike. The current exam covers over 10,000 years of world history, and according to the board, “no other AP course requires such an expanse of content to be covered over a single school year.”

As an alternative, the board suggested that schools offer two separate year-long courses to cover the entirety of world history, including a Pre-AP World History and Geography class focusing on the Ancient Period (before 600 BCE) up through the Postclassical Period (ending around 1450). However, as Politico points out, a pre-course for which the College Board would charge a fee "isn’t likely to be picked up by cash-strapped public schools," and high school students wouldn't be as inclined to take the pre-AP course since there would be no exam or college credit for it.

Many teachers and historians are pushing back against the proposed changes and asking the board to leave the course untouched. Much of the controversy surrounds the 1450 start date and the fact that no pre-colonial history would be tested.

“They couldn’t have picked a more Eurocentric date,” Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, who previously helped develop AP History exams and courses, told The New York Times. “If you start in 1450, the first thing you’ll talk about in terms of Africa is the slave trade. The first thing you’ll talk about in terms of the Americas is people dying from smallpox and other things. It’s not a start date that encourages looking at the agency and creativity of people outside Europe.”

A group of teachers who attended an AP open forum in Salt Lake City also protested the changes. One Michigan educator, Tyler George, told Politico, “Students need to understand that there was a beautiful, vast, and engaging world before Europeans ‘discovered’ it.”

The board is now reportedly reconsidering its decision and may push the start date of the course back some several hundred years. Their decision will be announced in July.

[h/t The New York Times]

North America: East or West Coast?


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