The Weird Week in Review
Train Derails When Car is Pierced by Metal
A metro train in Sydney, Australia, derailed Wednesday when a piece of metal jabbed through the floor of a passenger car and rose up through the train. Passengers on the train said there was something wrong, that the train made loud noises and emitted a burning smell since it left Bondi Junction. As the train neared the Edgecliff Station, a metal bar was sheared off the concrete below the train. Passenger Kiriana Buffett was near the point where the bar entered the car.
"I just remember seeing it punch through the floor and then towards me – I don't know what happened next," said Ms Buffett, who sat in shock for 20 minutes after the incident. "Someone said it slowed down but I didn't see it go slow at any stage. I'm pretty lucky to be alive actually."
The chief executive of Sydney Trains, Howard Collins, said the bar that broke through the carriage was a piece of "metal channelling" attached to a concrete walkway near Edgecliff Station.
The train stopped, and its 700 passengers were evacuated. One line of the railway was closed, but was reopened by Thursday.
Car Thieves Foiled By Stick Shift
An attempted carjacking in Springfield, Massachusetts, ended with food being the only item stolen. A food delivery driver was stopped and calling to alert a customer that their order had arrived when he was rushed by three men. They demanded the car and the food, but none of the three could drive a car with a manual transmission. Each tried to operate the stick shift, but they ultimately left, taking the dinner order with them. The incident is under investigation.
Drunk Driver Busted by Parrot
Guillermo Reyes was driving home from a bar in Mexico City when he encountered a DUI traffic stop. When police talked to him, they heard a voice from inside the car saying, "He's drunk! He's drunk!" They shone a light into the car, but there were no other passengers, just Reyes' parrot. Apparently he'd heard people say that phrase enough to learn it. The cops gave Reyes a Breathalyzer test, and concluded that he was, indeed, driving while impaired. Reyes was sent to the drunk tank overnight, and the parrot was allowed to accompany him. The original story is in Spanish at El Universal. Google translation.
The Front Page Had an Error on It for Over a Century
In 1999, a 24-year-old news assistant at the New York Times discovered a strange mistake in the edition numbers of the New York Times. Aaron Donovan was responsible for numbering each issue, by adding one to the previous issue number. The possibility of an error led him to run a spreadsheet over the history of the newspaper, all the way back to 1851. He discovered that in February of 1898, such an error occurred, and it had never been caught in the hundred years since! The news assistant who numbered the issues had added one to the previous edition, which was 14,499, and got 15,000. It's an easy mistake to make, but the numbering error continued for the next century. The mistake was corrected when the Times published the January 1, 2000, issue with a number that skipped ahead by 501 instead of just one.
Kittens Break Into Prison, Steal Hearts
Staff at the Great Meadow Correctional Facility in Fort Ann, New York, discovered four new inmates a few months ago. A litter of kittens had found their way into the basement of the prison. They were infested with fleas and worms, but after bathing and medicine, they took to their new home. Employees and inmates at the prison chip in to care for the kittens, who had to be hand-fed with bottles. They have been named Comstock, Annie, and Meadow for locations around the prison, and the fourth is Doc, short for Department of Corrections. The kittens could be taken home with staff members who want to adopt them, but if they remain in the prison, they'll be well cared for by the inmates who love them. See more pictures here.
Pimp Sues Nike After Conviction for Stomping Man's Face
Sirgiorgiro Clardy of Portland, Oregon, was convicted of assault and robbery following an incident in which a man failed to pay a prostitute under Clardy's control. He received a 100-year sentence. Now Clardy has filed a $100 million lawsuit against Nike.
Jurors early in 2013 found him guilty of second-degree assault for using his Jordans -- a dangerous weapon -- to beat the john's face to a pulp. The man required stitches and plastic surgery on his nose.
The jury also found him guilty of robbing the john and beating the 18-year-old woman he forced to work as his prostitute. She was injured so badly that she bled from her ears.
In his three-page complaint handwritten from the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton, Clardy claims that Nike, Chairman Phil Knight and other executives failed to warn consumers that the shoes could be used as a weapon to cause serious injury or death.
It appears that Clardy expects the lawsuit to be thrown out as frivolous, which could give him ammunition to appeal the "with a deadly weapon" portion of the charges, which lengthens the sentence.