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Thursday, June 11, 2015 12:01 am

Digital follies

Curses, foiled again
Police in Virginia Beach, Va., identified Dominyk Antonio Alfonseca, 23, as their bank-robbery suspect after he posted video on social media showing the teller stuffing money into a bag and a picture of a note asking for $150,000 (but adding “please”). Alfonseca insisted that posting the video proves it wasn’t robbery. “I don’t think I would videotape it, post the picture of the letter and do that all to come to jail,” he said, adding, “There are a lot of things on my Instagram that have nothing to do with what happened.” (Portsmouth’s WAVY-TV)

Deputies investigating the theft of a cash register at the Build-A-Burger restaurant in Mount Morris, N.Y., said they caught up with suspects Matthew P. Sapetko, 34, James P. Marullo, 35, and Timothy S. Walker Jr., 23, by following “a steady trail of macaroni salad,” which they’d also stolen and “took turns eating along their escape route.” After the suspects’ arrest, the restaurant posted a sign claiming it had, “The best burgers and mac salad worth stealing for.” (Rochester’s Democrat & Chronicle and WHAM-TV)

Digital follies
Canadians now have shorter attention spans than goldfish, thanks to widespread use of mobile digital devices. Microsoft Corp. researchers, who reviewed surveys of more than 2,000 Canadians, determined that attention spans have fallen from an average of 12 seconds in 2000 to eight seconds today. They noted that goldfish average a nine-second attention span. (Ottawa Citizen)

Slightest provocation
Thirty people were asked to leave an America’s Best Value Inn in Mason County, Mich., after a disagreement over the waffle maker in the buffet-style breakfast area. “It sounded like one lady walked up and asked the other lady if she was in line for the waffle maker,” Sheriff Kim Cole said. “She didn’t answer, so this lady started to make her waffle. The other confronted her and said, ‘That was my waffle,’ and the other lady said, ‘No, it’s mine,’ and then it went downhill from there.” Cole said that deputies arrived to find “a large group of people arguing over the waffle maker” and “a lot of yelling and screaming, but no one was assaulted.” (MLive.com)

Authorities blamed the shooting death of a 19-year-old college student on a dispute over the rules of a beer-pong game. Police said Ronald McNeil, 39, and others attending a graduation party in College Station, Texas, argued until they eventually came to blows. The host asked McNeil to leave. He did but returned with a handgun and fired 14 times. He told police he intended only to scare the guests, but his gunshots injured two and killed the 19-year-old, a bystander. (Houston Chronicle)

One is the loneliest number
Minorities may perceive entering a room full of white people as “microaggression,” according to a report by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Students of color reported feeling uncomfortable and unwelcomed just walking into or sitting in the classroom, especially if they were the only person of color, or one of a few,” the report stated. Academics define “microaggressions” as “brief, everyday exchanges that send denigrating messages to certain individuals because of their group membership.” (National Review)

Aroma therapy
American law-enforcement agencies seeking ways to disperse rioters without killing or injuring them are considering importing a chemical product that Israeli police insist “prevents casualties to protesters and security personnel.” Called Skunk, it smells like raw sewage mixed with putrefying cow’s carcass. Israeli soldiers regularly spray Skunk from water cannons at Palestinian protestors. The mixture of yeast and protein is non-toxic, according to its manufacturer, pesticide specialist Odortec, and the only reported side effect is difficulty getting the stench out of clothing and off bodies. (The Economist)

Love hurts
At the trial of Philip Lyle Hansen in New Zealand’s Wellington District Court on assault and sex charges, dating from 1988 to 2011, Crown Prosecutor Sally Carter told the jury that the defendant liked “gummy ladies.” She bolstered her case by playing a video in which a woman who dated Hansen explained that when they moved to the back seat of his car to have sex, he produced a pair of pliers and pulled six of her bottom teeth. “After that sixth tooth came out, I got him to stop,” she said. At his request, the woman had a dentist remove her remaining teeth and fit her with dentures, which Hansen destroyed by flushing them down the toilet and blaming the cat. When her wisdom teeth started to come through, she said he dug them out of her gums with a screwdriver. (The New Zealand Herald)

When tupperware parties aren’t enough
While Lucy Filipov served as acting director of the Veterans Affairs office in Philadelphia, she “misused her title” to coerce her subordinates to attend a party at her house and pay for psychic readings by the wife of a VA colleague, according to the agency’s inspector general. Filipov’s email invitation said the wife, who goes by the name “The Angel Whisperer,” would be charging $35 for private readings to “talk to dead people.” Federal investigators who interviewed all the employees who attended said that most seemed unimpressed by the experience. (The Washington Times)

About those batteries you bought
Among the assets for sale as part of RadioShack’s bankruptcy are customer data that the retailer collected over decades. The records include names, email addresses and phone numbers for 117 million people. Hedge fund Standard General, which bought 1,743 RadioShack store leases to co-brand with Sprint, is the leading bidder for the customer data. (The Washington Post)

Little things mean a lot
Following the world’s first penis transplant in South Africa in December, on a 21-year-old man whose penis was amputated following a botched ritual circumcision three years earlier, the head of the surgical team, urologist Dr. Andre van der Merwe, 46, said nine more patients are waiting for the same surgery after losing their penises in similar circumstances. He has also been flooded with requests from around the world. “I’ve had someone email from America who wants his penis removed,” van der Merwe said. “He wants to be genderless and donate his penis to somebody.” He said he was wary of such a donor, who might later change his mind and hunt down “the person who has his penis.” Meanwhile, van der Merwe said he had anticipated that his patient would need two years for sex to be viable, but it took only five weeks. (South Africa’s Times and Britain’s The Guardian)

Compiled from mainstream news sources by Roland Sweet. Authentication on demand.

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