Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

Issue: "2004 Olympics Preview," Aug. 14, 2004

Flipped out

Some of the great paintings of the 17th-century Dutch Masters will be on display at a leading South African museum next month-but nobody will be able to see them. The Reuters news service reports that Andrew Lamprecht, curator of the Old Town House museum in Cape Town, is planning a "flip" exhibition, in which the paintings will face the wall. He says the "conceptual art intervention" will be "something new and unexpected."

Caged commitment

The bride and groom wore bubble-headed immersion suits, the officiator communicated via phone link, and the guests were just hungry. Daniela Consolaro and Maurizio Andreosi of Cattolica, Italy, were married on July 31 in a shark tank with 14 sharks. The couple, protected by a cage, wanted their wedding to draw attention to "finning," the practice of cutting off shark fins, which are considered a delicacy in parts of Asia.

Lesson learned

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A 60-year-old Japanese man, on an Aug. 1 flight from Chicago to Dayton, Ohio, wrote down two English words he saw in a newspaper so that he could look up their meaning later. The words: "suicide bomb." An alarmed fellow passenger saw the note and alerted crew members, who returned the plane to Chicago. Authorities took the man into custody and searched the plane, finding no bombs. "He teaches himself English by reading newspapers," said police spokeswoman Alice Casanova. "It was all just a miscommunication."

Auto ban

In Germany, those who can't drive, apparently, teach. The Reuters news service reports that Berlin police discovered that a driving instructor had never obtained a driver's license. He failed his first and only driving test 43 years ago.
The instructor, whom police identified only as Wolf-Dieter R., says that for decades he has driven cars, tractors, and-during service in the East German army-tanks. But he was too nervous to retake the driving test that he has prepared more than 1,000 students to take: "I was too afraid to try again."

Breakings and enterings

Michael Lovy and Zachary Mori, both of Waldorf, Md., returned to the scene of their alleged crime-twice. Surveillance cameras caught the pair stealing wine, wine coolers, and cigarettes from the Manown Mini Mart in Kingwood, W.Va., late on Aug. 1. They allegedly broke in again a few hours later for more loot.
While cleaning up after the second break-in, owner Randy Huggins heard an ATV across the street. Recognizing the pair from the surveillance video, Mr. Huggins grabbed Mr. Lovy while deputies chased down Mr. Mori. Mr. Huggins said the pair may have been planning a third break-in: "They didn't seem like they were real swift."

Crime & punishment

Sherelle Purnell stole $4.52 worth of gasoline, and now all of Salisbury, Md., knows it. Obeying a creative court order, Ms. Purnell, 18, on July 30 wore a sandwich-board sign that declared, "I was caught stealing gas," while standing outside the convenience store that she stole from. Some passersby objected to the punishment, but most agreed with Randy Jedlicka: "Embarrassment is the best way to deal with these things."


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