Insofar as world record holders go, Graham Barker isn't one to boast. Perhaps the Australian man doesn't particularly want to be identified by the record he holds. Barker, according to Guinness World Records, is the owner of the world's largest collection of belly-button lint. Over the past 26 years, Barker has pulled enough lint out of his navel to fill nearly three jars-a collection that tips the scales at just under one ounce. The collection process takes him just a few seconds every morning. "Collecting is not a big part of my life," said Barker, "so I generally don't talk about it or ask others about it."
For three days in October, one art gallery in New York City appealed to the nose as much as the eyes. That's because from Oct. 15 to 17 the SoHo Gallery for Digital Art held a Bacon-Palooza-an art expo devoted to the tasty breakfast meat. The event, which raised money for children with autism, featured a multitude of bacon products, from bacon lip balm to bacon vodka to bacon-themed board games and even bacon-scented soap. Gallery owner John Ordover says that, except for vegans and those required by religion to abstain, everyone he knows loves bacon. "It crossed all the social lines-rich, poor, happy, sad, outgoing, introverted," he told NPR. "If there is one thing that everyone can agree on, it's bacon."
For the sake of a deli clerk in Dover, Maine, at least the angry customer didn't order his sandwich on hard-crusted sourdough. Police in Dover charged Thomas Goulet of nearby Berwick with assault after the 40-year-old allegedly hurled a sandwich at a female deli clerk with whom he was having a dispute. According to the deli clerk, Goulet threw a sandwich at her after he became incensed at the speed with which she was completing his order. Goulet then fled the deli before police arrived but later turned himself in to authorities.
Luckily for one Wisconsin 12-year-old boy, Kristine Flynn can't spell. The 52-year-old inmate at Taycheedah Correctional Institution in Wisconsin recently attempted to forge documents setting up her guardianship of the boy-another inmate's child-and his trust fund. According to authorities, Flynn forged court documents and faked the signature of Fond du Lac County Circuit Court Judge Steven Weinke. But when Flynn mailed the documents out of prison to set her plan in motion, authorities noticed she misspelled Judge Weinke's last name as "Winkie." Now she faces an additional 22 ½ years in prison for the attempted scam.
It may look like it's made of cheese, but scientists and even astronauts all seem to agree: The moon smells like gunpowder. Former astronaut Charles Duke (Apollo 16) has teamed up with a printmaker and a flavorist to create what is believed to be the first scratch-and-sniff image of the moon. Flavorist Steven Pearce of Omega Ingredients worked with Duke to get the smell just right. Then the pair turned their work over to printer Sue Corke, who created the finished product. A UK printmaker has created about 300 scratch-and-sniff moon pictures for a sale price between $55 to $428.
Way out there
If UFO conspiracy theorist Jeff Peckman had his way, Denver would become the central hub of all extraterrestrial research. Peckman was able to secure enough signatures to put an initiative on Denver's Nov. 2 ballot asking citizens whether the Mile-High City should create an extraterrestrial affairs commission to listen to UFO stories and to make recommendations to Denver citizens in the event of an alien encounter. The measure went down to defeat, though, with Denver voters rejecting it by a four-to-one margin.
Growing old in a culture that promotes families and denigrates old maids, a 30-year-old Taiwanese office worker has decided to marry the only person she knows who will have her: herself. Chen Wei-yih of Taipei has posed for wedding photographs, rented a reception hall, and plans to have a wedding and reception amongst 30 of her friends, but Chen doesn't plan on having a groom anywhere near. "Age 30 is a prime period for me. My work and experience are in good shape, but I haven't found a partner, so what can I do?" Chen asked reporters before noting that she'll be taking a solo honeymoon to Australia.
Duties of youth
Kyle Roberts has the best excuse to get out of jury duty. The Ontario, Canada, native is only 10 but somehow appeared in local jury pools and voter registration lists. Kyle received his jury summons in October, about three weeks after he received a voter registration card in the mail.
Out of order
When Fiji celebrated the 40th anniversary of independence from the United Kingdom on Oct. 10, one item was conspicuously absent from the revelries-the legal document that first established Fiji as independent in 1970. Fijians have compared the loss of the Independence Order presented to Fijian officials by Prince Charles in 1970 to the United States losing its only copy of the Declaration of Independence. For five years, government officials in the Pacific island nation have scoured official records searching for the document. Sheepishly, ahead of the independence celebrations, the Fijian government called off the search and petitioned the United Kingdom for a photocopy version of its Independence Order.
A 62-year-old Ecuadorian native has been crowned the world's best napper after winning Spain's first Siesta Championship. Participants in the unusual contest were given 20 minutes in the early afternoon to nap in the middle of a busy Madrid shopping center. Pedro Soria Lopez was able to sleep for 17 of the 20 minutes, according to monitoring hardware used by the event's organizer, the National Organization of Friends of the Siesta. Lopez's snores even reached 70 decibels-equal to a person talking loudly-which earned him style points. For winning the contest, the unemployed Ecuadorian security guard earned a nearly $1,400 cash prize.