Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

Oddball occurrences

Issue: "Not angry anymore," Dec. 1, 2007

Scattered remains

Grieving family members seeking one last ride for their dearly departed may have a new destination: Disneyland. A report in the Los Angeles Times indicates that some Disney patrons are using the theme park to scatter the cremated remains of relatives. Disney officials say they're unaware of any confirmed ashings, but anonymous employees told the newspaper it had become a recurring problem-most recently on Nov. 9 when they reported seeing a woman toss ashes from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, causing employees to temporarily shut down the attraction.

Raving on

Some outlaws compose their own punchlines, but Malcolm Roberts chose one from his hero. The 59-year-old Briton may lose his home for jamming out to old Buddy Holly tunes too loudly. Roberts says he won't turn down the volume when he cranks out songs by the classic rock 'n' roller in his Leeds apartment. Elderly neighbors complained about the incessant and loud guitar music, and the community association has pledged to kick him out if he doesn't desist. When given the ultimatum to turn down or pack up, the Yorkshire Evening Post reported that Roberts quoted Holly: "That'll be the day when I die."

To dye for

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If only Gregory Holley had held up a clothing store first, he may have gotten away with a string of robberies in Largo, Fla. Police say Holley robbed a bank before hitting a pharmacy and two other stores. Authorities say surveillance video showed a man in an ink-stained T-shirt in the holdups following the bank robbery and indicate the man never bothered to change shirts after ripping open a money bag and activating an explosive dye pack. The limited wardrobe made him an easy capture for police who caught him red-shirted as he rode a bicycle through a local park.

Getting the boot

Even the Army can't fight city hall. Authorities in Dallas put metal boots on five vehicles belonging to Army recruiters who failed to pay off multiple fines for parking violations. "I'm sorry they were inconvenienced, but everybody's got to pay their tickets," city manager Mary Suhm told the Dallas Morning News. The recruiters had racked up $2,635 in fines.

Roach boutique

The owner of the Manhattan restaurant made famous for his $25,000 dessert (see Quick Takes, Nov. 24) should have plenty of time to dream up his next pricey dish. As long as he solves his roach problem, that is. After mastering the extravagancy of the Frrozen Haute Chocolate, a sundae concoction made with gold flakes and laced with gold and diamonds (on the side), Serendipity 3 owner Stephen Bruce seems to have forgotten the basics. New York City health inspectors shut down the dessert boutique last month after officials found mice, rodent droppings, and over 100 cockroaches during their second inspection in a month.

Trash into treasure

Was Doc Brown of Back to the Future fame onto something when he redesigned the flux capacitor to operate on household waste? Jeff Surma, president of Integrated Environmental Technologies, thinks so. After a few years of development, IET created a device that can turn most rubbish into an alternative energy source. Using man-made lightning, the company can vaporize, not incinerate, about one ton of garbage into about five cubic feet of glass. When scientists at IET put a tennis shoe in their plasma melter, the device vaporized most of the shoe, leaving a small glass pellet that Surma says can be used as filler for road construction. As for the nearly four gallons of gas created by vaporizing the plastic shoe: Surma says that can be turned into an alternative fuel.

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