Exposed: Supposed 'tippers' no match for cow-newton formula

Published: Thursday, December 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 1, 2005 at 12:34 a.m.
'Cow-tipping" (the legendary prank of pushing over dozing cows) was exposed as a near-impossibility by researchers at the University of British Columbia, according to a November report in The Times of London. Calculating the newtons of force required to topple an average cow (estimating the angles between left hooves, right hooves and the point of push; and the resistance of the cow to downward pressure), Dr. Margo Lillie found that two people could exert the required force only if the cow made no reaction at all to the initial touch, but that more than likely, a successful tipping would require at least five people.
  • Japan's Pro Baseball Owners' Association decided in August that, beginning next season, leaders of cheering sections at its games will be required to submit to background checks and be licensed. Permits will be required for anyone who plays drums or trumpets at the game, waves flags or banners, or leads organized chants. Owners say organized-crime gangs were moving into the cheering sections and shaking down fans for tips.
  • Reuters reported on the annual November ritual in Finland in which the income-tax agency makes public everyone's tax records for the previous year. (Personal disclosures of income are considered vulgar in Finland, but apparently the November ritual is welcomed.)
  • Adam Turgeon, 27, and Lisa Wagner, 26, were arrested in October and charged with vandalizing the Annunciation of the Lord Catholic Church in Decatur, Ala., which they both said they were moved to do by Jesus Christ himself. Turgeon explained that the couple, independently, had experienced visions of Jesus, and when they found themselves in services on Oct. 2, they re-enacted the part of their dreams in which they wrecked the church's altar as a protest against "manmade religion" and idolatry. Turgeon said he was especially bothered by people who balance their checkbooks during church services and by religions that believe only parts of the Bible.
  • Barbara King, 35, was arrested in Largo in October on a warrant for forgery and prescription fraud; when police knocked on her door, a man told them that she wasn't home, but a 4-year-old girl standing alongside said, "Mommy's in the closet!"
  • Police in Memphis, Tenn., reported in October they had closed down a crack house on Rosamond Street, a task made easier because the resident usually announced the start of business hours by hanging out a sign reading, "Crack House."
  • Christina Goodenow, 38, of Medford, Ore., was arrested in October and charged with using a stolen credit card, but a conviction would be especially disastrous for her since she just won $1 million in the lottery with a $1 ticket she bought with the credit card (thus voiding the ticket).
  • In November, a jury in Westmoreland County, Pa., awarded Ken Slaby $46,200 for genital injuries inflicted by his vengeful ex-girlfriend, Gail O'Toole, in 2000. While Slaby was napping (according to a report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review), O'Toole had glued Slaby's buttocks cheeks together and other parts to, well, other parts - all as payback for his having moved on after their breakup. (O'Toole said it was all part of consensual sex between them, but she had earlier pleaded guilty to simple assault for the incident.) Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa FL 33679 or or go to
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