Wednesday, March 19, 2014


 News of the Weird:

Prison Blues

Norway's prison system is regarded as among the most inmate-friendly in the world, but convicted mass murderer Anders Breivik is still not impressed. Breivik, serving 21 years for the 2011 bomb-and-gun attacks that killed 77 people, may already enjoy amenities unheard of for a comparable American murderer, but he sent wardens 12 demands in November, including an upgrade of his manual typewriter and his PlayStation 2 (to a PS3, with better access to game selection). He also demanded that his weekly government "allowance" (equivalent of $49) be doubled, and said if the "torture" of his living conditions is not relieved, he would be forced into a hunger strike. (Breivik threatened a similar strike in 2012, citing "inhumane" conditions such as cold coffee, lack of skin moisturizer and insufficient butter for his bread.) [Los Angeles Times, 2-18-2014] [BBC News, 11-9-2012] 

and an oldie but a goodie:

A News of the Weird Classic (December 2002)

Driver Leon Humphreys, upset at the minor traffic ticket he had received, demanded in December (2002) that magistrates in the town of Bury St. Edmunds, England, allow him to employ the ancient tradition of "trial by combat" -- in which he would fight someone from the DMV (in England, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) over the righteousness of the ticket using samurai swords, Gurkha knives or heavy hammers. Despite Humphreys' insistence that the tradition is still valid under European human rights legislation, the magistrates declined and in fact upped his fine and court costs 12-fold. [Daily Telegraph (London), 12-2-2002]