Friday November 28, 2014




Popular baby names

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Vanellope, Rydder, Jceion and Burklee head the latest annual list of the most common baby names on the Social Security Administration register of first-time-appearing names. There were 63 Vanellopes (girls), but only 10 each for Rydder and Jceion, the most popular debut names for boys. Other notables were Hatch (eight times) and Psalms (seven). (In other “name” news, among the finalists in April’s “Name of the Year” contest sponsored by Deadspin.com were the actual monikers Curvaceous Bass, (Dr.) Eve Gruntfest, Chillie Poon and the winner — Shamus Beaglehole.

To celebrate today’s 25th anniversary of the weekly distribution of News of the Weird by Universal Uclick, Chuck Shepherd recalls a few of his favorite stories (among the more than 25,000 covered).

(1989) In the mid-1980s, convicted South Carolina murderer Michael Godwin won his appeal to avoid the electric chair and serve only life imprisonment. In March, while sitting naked on a metal prison toilet, attempting to fix a TV set, the 28-year-old Godwin bit into a wire and was electrocuted.

(1991) Dee Dee Jonrowe, leading the Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon in January in northern Minnesota, took a wrong turn and went 300 yards before recognizing her error. The mistake cost her team only a few minutes, but stopping to calculate her location allowed the dogs an unsupervised rest, and by the time she was ready to go, two of her dogs had begun to copulate. She was forced to wait on them for 25 minutes and lost the lead.

(1994) In Toronto in March, Sajid Rhatti, 23, and his 20-year-old wife brawled over whether Katey Sagal, who plays Peg Bundy on “Married With Children,” is prettier than Christina Applegate, who plays her daughter. First, the wife slashed Rhatti in the groin with a wine bottle as they scuffled, but she dressed his wounds and the couple sat down again to watch another episode of the show. Moments later, the brawl erupted again, and Rhatti, who suffered a broken arm and shoulder, stabbed his wife in the chest, back and legs before they begged neighbors to call an ambulance.

(1996) A pre-trial hearing was scheduled in Lamar, Missouri, on Joyce Lehr’s lawsuit against the county for injuries from a 1993 fall in the icy, unplowed parking lot of the local high school. The Carthage Press reported that Lehr claimed damage to nearly everything in her body. According to her petition: “All the bones, organs, muscles, tendons, tissues, nerves, veins, arteries, ligaments ... discs, cartilages, and the joints of her body were fractured, broken, ruptured, punctured, compressed, dislocated, separated, and infected.”

(1999) From a May police report in The Messenger (Madisonville, Kentucky), concerning two trucks being driven curiously on a rural road: A man would drive a truck 100 yards, stop, walk back to a second truck, drive it 100 yards beyond the first truck, stop, walk back to the first truck, drive it 100 yards beyond the second truck, and so on, into the evening. He did it, he told police, because his brother was passed out drunk in one of the trucks, and he was trying to drive both trucks home.same time.


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