Dispatches > Quick Takes
Illustration by Krieg Barrie

Quick Takes

Issue: "Dating and courtship confusion," June 4, 2011

Packing a punch

Potential purse snatchers, be forewarned: Just because a woman is small doesn't mean she can't pack a good punch. Police in Dallas say an unidentified thief reached into Juliette Sweda's passenger seat for her purse as she loaded groceries into the back of her SUV. But the thief was messing with the wrong Texan. Sweda, a boxer and fitness boot camp instructor, gave chase and tackled the woman as she tried to make it to her getaway car. "I'm trying to stop her, I'm on top of [her], and I'm like, 'I'm getting my bag back,'" Sweda said. "It was a natural reaction-I just threw my power punch, yes, I did." Police say the thief complied with Sweda and returned the bag.

Skirt chaser

Angry that his school requires him to sport long trousers even during the summer, 12-year-old Chris Whitehead found something that belonged to his sister to help him protest what he says is a discriminatory dress code. That thing was a skirt. Finding a loophole in the school dress code, the English boy who goes to school at the year-round Impington Village College near Cambridge, U.K., borrowed his sister's skirt and wore it to school in protest of school rules. "In the summer, girl students are allowed to wear skirts but boys are not allowed to wear shorts," the boy complained to Sky News. Unsurprisingly, classmates of Chris joined in the protest, making signs that read, "Cool shorts, not hot pants," and "What's wrong with my legs?"

Bad hair day

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It's the last place you might expect the sissification of sports. But in May, an official in a minor league Australian Rules football match gave a yellow card to a player who he said had dangerous hair. Footballer Nathan Van Someren said the official had warned him about his spiky Mohawk prior to the game, but Van Someren thought the official was joking. "We all thought that he was taking the mickey out of me," Van Someren said. "A few umpires have made jokes about my hair before, so I didn't think any more of it." But in the third period, the official showed him the yellow card for his unusual but probably harmless hairdo. League officials later admitted the official was wrong to punish Van Someren.

George's brew

Next time President Barack Obama wants to hold a Beer Summit, he'll be able to use the personal brew recipe of America's first president. The New York Public Library recently released handwritten notes on George Washington's personal beer recipe and has partnered with Coney Island Brewing Company to create a slightly altered version of the first president's beer to serve exclusively at the Library's 100th anniversary celebration on May 23. The Virginian's recipe is slightly inexact, instructing brewers to add as many bran hops as you like. "Boil these 3 hours then strain out 30 Gall[ons] into a cooler put in 3 Gall[ons] Molasses while the Beer is Scalding hot or rather draw the Melasses [sic] into the cooler & St[r]ain the Beer on it while boiling Hot. let this stand till it is little more than Blood warm," Washington wrote.

Carrying capacity

It's a good thing that Chinese 16-year-old Lui Shi Ching has a strong back. The International Business Times reports that the Hebei Province teen has been carrying a friend with a congenital disorder to school every day for the past eight years. The Times reports that the teen's good deed began nearly a decade ago when his friend's parents failed to pick him up on a rainy day. Because he was unable to get home by himself, Lui Shi Ching simply carried him home. According to an interview, the boy carries his friend not only to school but also to classes.

Jump crazy

All it took for a 49-year-old Scottish man to set a world record was a lot of moxie and a strong stomach. Scott Huntly of Edinburgh, Scotland, traveled to South Africa to a famous bungee-jumping destination to attempt to set a record for most jumps completed in a seven and a half hour period. Taking infrequent breaks, Huntly managed 105 total jumps from the Bloukrans Bridge-noted by Guinness World Records as the highest commercial bungee jump in the world at more than 700 feet. "I only stopped twice. . . . Otherwise I was either jumping down or bouncing back up," Huntly, whose feat has yet to be independently verified, told reporters.

Breaking, entering, replacing

Police in Flint, Mich., probably won't be solving this one anytime soon. A man filed a larceny report with local authorities on May 8 reporting that someone had broken into his house and stolen his faucet-only to replace it with a different faucet. According to the report, the man walked into his kitchen at around 9 p.m. to discover a different faucet attached to his sink than was previously there. Authorities have not divulged a motive in the case.


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