As straphanger Joyce M. Judge, 42, stared out the window of the Boston subway car during morning rush hour on July 30, she started dripping profusely, and a minute or so later, a baby fell out from underneath her skirt and slid around on the car's floor. According to witnesses -- some of whom vomited at the sight -- Judge at first acted as if nothing had happened, then finally picked up her newborn, declined the help of passengers, nonchalantly continued the ride, and left the train at the next station, stopping only to pick up the placenta when it fell to the ground. She subsequently reported to Boston Medical Center, where the baby was in good condition -- and where the mother was referred for a mental-health evaluation.
In April, apparently dissatisfied with the many dictionaries on the market, the Republican-controlled Oregon House of Representatives passed House Bill 2416, whose sole purpose was to define "science" ("the systematic enterprise of gathering knowledge about the universe and organizing and condensing that knowledge into testable laws and theories").
A commentator for The Oregonian newspaper speculated that the sponsor, Rep. Betsy Close, believes that the definition will somehow halt recent successes by the state's environmental activists.
Madder than Max
According to Houston newsletter publisher and devout Catholic Hutton Gibson, there was no Holocaust; Pope John Paul II is an imposter and a "Koran kisser"; and the church is doomed because, among other things, masses are no longer conducted in Latin.
According to a July Houston Press profile, Gibson, 84, believes there is a worldwide plot that began with the 1960s' changes in the church imposed by the Vatican Council, and he is using his 600-reader newsletter to get the word out, even though the Press compares him to the paranoid lead character in the movie "Conspiracy Theory," which starred Mel Gibson, who happens to be Hutton's son.
Said Hutton, "I figure that as long as there's one (true) Catholic in the world, (the church) hasn't finished."
Slave to love
David Mitchell, 35, was arrested in June in Omaha, Neb., on charges of false imprisonment and making terroristic threats, accused of having locked up his wife, Polly, every time he left the house over a two-year (and maybe longer) period. He was always with her in public, and intimidated her from reporting him.
David had always had only a cell phone so he could take it with him when he left the house, but he had recently gotten a home phone for Internet access, allowing Polly to call her sister one day when he was out.
ABC News reported in May that it is not illegal in Massachusetts for a man to take surreptitious photographs of his adult daughter in the family home, even though in "hundreds" of the photos, she is nude or partially nude.
The Easthampton, Mass., woman was 19 when she moved back into her old bedroom, where her father had been keeping electronic equipment, but later got a tech-savvy friend to examine a camera and computer. The parents are now divorced, but since the father committed no crime, he got to keep the photos.
Out of India
In June, doctors at Burdwan Medical College and Hospital reported that black ants were crawling out of the left eye of an 11-year-old boy.
Six members of a family hanged themselves on a hillside near Tirupati in July, but the bodies were not discovered until the odor wafted into a nearby village.
After doctors in Angara found 15 students unconscious following a lightning strike, they covered the bodies in cow dung as per a traditional remedy; 13 recovered within a few hours -- but not even cow dung could save the other two.
Also in June, doctors at Burdwan originally diagnosed parasitic flies emerging from the penis of a 13-year-old boy while he urinated, but doctors at SSKM Hospital in Kolkata disputed that.
Police, having knocked on a door in Woodlawn, Ky., in June, pursuant to a neighbor's noise complaint, inadvertently stumbled across an apparent family-run retail drug business when three teen-agers eagerly answered questions about the marijuana plant viewable from the front door. According to police, the kids invited them in and proudly showed them the entire elaborate hydroponic operation. The mother, Bernadette Dusing, 42, was at home at the time, but according to police, remained silent.
In a $350 million settlement in December between AT&T and customers overcharged on telephone leases, lawyers get $84 million, and customers get back $15 to $20 each.
In a recent settlement between Sears and customers with improperly done wheel balancing, lawyers get $2.45 million, and customers get $2.50 a tire.
In a $3.7 million settlement in July between televangelist Jim Bakker's Praise the Lord Ministries and 165,000 defrauded Christians, lawyers get $2.5 million, and each victim gets $6.54.
In a July settlement of price-fixing charges against cosmetics manufacturers and retailers, lawyers get $24 million, and each customer gets a free cosmetic.