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Global Bizarre

By the Times Staff
Published March 7, 2008


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STREET CRIME

Measure taken to curtail evil lampposts
In an effort to protect people from themselves, London is testing a new initiative: padding lampposts. The padding is very necessary, reports the Daily Mail, because people who text don't pay attention to where they are going, and are constantly crashing into the posts. Injuries reported have ranged from bumps and bruised egos to broken noses and even a skull fracture. The program was launched on Brick Lane, because of the high frequency of injuries there, but if successful, there are plans to do it in other places. In addition to the padded posts, there is a bright line on the pavement that will steer down-looking texters away from obstacles, if not other pedestrians.

ROAD SAFETY

Welcome signs are just too dangerous
The Massachusetts Highway Department wants to ban personalized homemade banners and signs that welcome home troops. Their reasoning is that the signs, usually made of vinyl or cardboard, could fall and create a hazard for drivers. The agency wants to replace them with welcome signs that are generic and include military seals and place them on highway overpasses. They would be made of metal. Really, really heavy metal.

HANG IN THERE!

Violators face fate worse than death
If you are one of the 260 people living in the village of Sarpourenx, France, you better just keep on living. Because if you don't already own a cemetery plot, it is now illegal to die. "All persons not having a plot in the cemetery and wishing to be buried in Sarpourenx are forbidden from dying in the parish," said the ordinance posted by Mayor Gerard Lalanne, 70. "Offenders will be severely punished."

MUGS, NOT DRUGS

It's not a meth lab, it's ginger brew
Police in Hamilton, New Zealand, were tipped off to a possible drug lab in a garage. So they sent a team in marked and unmarked cars, cordoned off the street, and brought firefighters to the scene. A woman who lived there came out to meet the officials and ask what all the fuss was about. "It's my husband's bloody ginger beer set-up," she explained. So the police left. Because ginger beer is still legal.

Cut off the bags, cut off the sales
Chicago is considering an interesting new strategy in the war on drugs: making it a war on tiny plastic bags. The city's health committee is recommending a ban on "self-sealing plastic bags under two inches in either height or width." The bags are used by the thousands to sell small quantities of drugs. When an alderman expressed concern that sometimes extra buttons for clothing come in little bags, it was pointed out that the measure included language that suggested police should be pretty sure that the bags are being used for drugs before enforcing the law. Sounds like a loophole.

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at jwebster@sptimes.com.

[Last modified March 7, 2008, 01:10:56]


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