High on science
Apparently making stiletto heels comfortable for the female foot is rocket science after all. In the never-ending quest to make high heels more wearable, a New England shoemaker enlisted the help of an MIT rocket scientist to add a modicum of sensibility to otherwise fabulous heels. The result: selling for about $10 in CVS drug stores, the Insolia inserts. But will the new rocket-scientist--designed weight-shifting inserts really revolutionize the high-heel business? Only time will tell, though women have a clear rooting interest.
New York state of mind
From the senseless crime file: A New York man sounded unrepentant as he described bashing a rookie cop with an aluminum baseball bat without any direct provocation. Rather, the cowardly Danny Fernandez told a reporter for Newsday that he simply has a problem with authority figures and attacked rookie officer Jimmy Cho because of what he represented. "I was just doing what everybody wishes they could do, but is too scared to," Fernandez told Newsday. Obviously, police and prosecutors don't see it that way. Fernandez was charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault while Cho was laid up in stable condition at a local hospital with a fractured skull and a concussion.
The Swiss Army has done it again: a new Swiss Army knife (actually produced by Wenger) that would be MacGyver's envy. Dubbed the Giant Knife Version 1.0, the contraption weighs in at 2 pounds, 11 ounces and is nearly 9 inches long. Among the 85 tools, the knife has pointers-both telescopic and laser-a compass, a straight-edge ruler, a golf shoe spike wrench, and a tire tread gauge.
An elderly Maine woman used what she could to ward off a male intruder: her wits. The 80-year-old Mainer was watching the Super Bowl when she spied 45-year-old Daniel Thanem of Winterport walking through her house preparing to rob her. When Thanem grabbed her, pushing her toward her bedroom, the woman feigned a heart attack and demanded the thief retrieve her heart medication from her car. Willing to steal, but unwilling to be culpable for the woman's death, Thanem retrieved the medication and then fled without taking anything. Police arrested Thanem a short time later.
Just a reminder for free speech advocates who decry those on the right who they say try to muzzle freedom of expression: Censorship goes both ways. A handful of students at Long Island University discovered this the hard way. After the students posted a skit depicting a mock hostage-taking of a rubber duck on the video-sharing site YouTube.com, officials at LIU fired five students from their campus jobs. In a statement, the university's provost said the skit, which featured students using crude Arab accents while taking a residency hall rubber-duck mascot hostage, was insensitive. But to whom? Terrorists? Or ducks?
An Ontario man got more than he bargained for when he tried to rob a Hart department store in Hamilton, Ont. The thief, said to be in his late 20s and about 5-foot-8, demanded the cash drawer from the store's clerk. When she refused, the man simply set the petite young blond woman aside, took the cash, and fled to a nearby Big Bonus Variety store to await a getaway taxi. Undaunted by the thief, the clerk gave chase and managed to wrestle away the money from the robber, who then fled the scene. "She's unbelievable. I asked her why she did that," said Khalid Karim, owner of the Big Bonus Variety store. "She told me, 'It's the principle. I don't like somebody taking what doesn't belong to them.'"