The Odd Side – September 24, 2014

Man Who Attempted to Pet Moose in Spokane Arrested 

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – A man who attempted to pet a bull moose in Spokane was arrested after fighting with a wildlife officer.

Police say 33-year-old Joseph D. Patterson interfered with the state Fish and Wildlife officer who was trying to corral the agitated moose Sunday.

The Spokesman-Review reports Patterson approached, saying he wanted to pet the moose and take a picture.

The officer asked Patterson to stop. The two scuffled. Police arrived to help. He was jailed on suspicion of assault and resisting arrest.

Charges Dropped Against Homeless Man in Suite 

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Prosecutors in western Pennsylvania have dropped charges against a homeless man found “squatting” inside the presidential suite of a Pittsburgh hotel last fall.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Allegheny County prosecutors on Monday withdrew criminal trespass and theft of services charges against 48-year-old Jeffrey Watson.

Watson was arrested in November after guests checking into the $2,500-a-night suite at the Omni William Penn Hotel saw him sleeping on a couch and notified hotel staff.

Police said Watson told them that he had been in the city for more than a month and slept wherever he could find “somewhere comfortable.”

Mike Manko, spokesman for the Allegheny County district attorney’s office, said he did not know why the charges had been withdrawn. Hotel officials did not return a call seeking comment.

Offensive Littering: Throwing Money Out Car Window 

CORNELIUS, Ore. (AP) – Offensive littering is one of the charges a Beaverton man faces after fleeing from deputies and throwing money out the car window.

The Clackamas County sheriff’s office says Kyler Martin sped away after his Cadillac was pulled over for a traffic violation about 3 a.m., Saturday in Cornelius.

During the chase a deputy saw items being thrown out the window. When they went back to check, deputies found paper money.

KOIN reports the car was eventually stopped and the 26-year-old was arrested.

Along with offensive littering, Martin is charged with attempting to elude police and reckless driving.

Man Breaks Into Vermont Police Station 

SHELBURNE, Vt. (AP) – Police say a man who thought he was breaking into a Vermont school actually got into the local police station.

News reports said the man, identified as 59-year-old John Dettor of Washington, D.C., told police he wanted a warm place to stay.

Police say late last week Dettor used a traffic cone to break the glass to get into the police station in Shelburne, thinking it was a school.

He was arrested on suspicion of unlawful mischief and ended up in the Chittenden Correctional Center. It wasn’t immediately known if the man has a lawyer.

Leaking Lime Juice Sends Responders to Cargo Jet 

KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) – A mysterious liquid leaking on a cargo jet sent emergency responders to the island that is home to the Ketchikan, Alaska, airport.

Turns out, a bartender with a dish towel could have handled the problem.

The Ketchikan Daily News reports the leak Tuesday on the Alaska Airlines 737-700 was traced to a container of lime juice that broke open during a flight from Seattle.

Alaska Airlines spokesman Cole Cosgrove says workers first detected the sour-smelling liquid coming from a cargo container.

Airport staff took a cautious approach and called for emergency responders from the Ketchikan Fire Department to take a ferry to the airport on Gravina Island.

The leaking lime juice was diagnosed as the source at 7:30 p.m.

Ketchikan cargo was unloaded, and the jet continued to Sitka, Juneau and Anchorage.

Police: Lonely Man Made Repeated 911 Calls 

HARRISON CITY, Pa. (AP) – A Pennsylvania man has been charged with making three 911 calls to report false emergencies simply because he was lonely and wanted paramedics to show up.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports 52-year-old Gregory Shaffer was jailed after his arraignment Wednesday on charges of making false reports to authorities.

Penn Township police say Shaffer called Westmoreland County’s 911 center three times over about four hours on July 30 with various false complaints. The first time, Shaffer claimed he had fallen down some stairs and injured his head and neck. Paramedics say they found him intoxicated but otherwise well and calmly waiting inside his home.

Online court records don’t list an attorney for Shaffer. He’s in the county jail and faces a preliminary hearing Tuesday.

Banana Peel Study, Ugly Art Research Win ‘Ig Nobel’ Spoof Awards

BOSTON (Reuters) – Researchers who measured the slipperiness of banana peels, and the reactions of reindeer to humans in polar bear suits were among the winners of this year’s Ig Nobel prizes for comical scientific achievements.

The annual prizes, meant to entertain and encourage global research and innovation, are awarded by the Annals of Improbable Research as a whimsical counterpart to the Nobel Prizes, which will be announced in October.

Among the 10 awards, four went to researchers that took a peculiar interest in food. A team of Japanese scientists earned the Ig Nobel Physics Prize, for example, for detailing the hazards of stepping on a banana peel in their paper titled “Frictional Coefficient under Banana Skin.”

Ig Nobel prizes this year also went to researchers who measured the relative pain people suffer while looking at an ugly painting, investigated whether cat ownership can be mentally hazardous, and studied how people who routinely stay up late may be more psychopathic.

Former winners of real Nobels handed out the spoof awards at a ceremony at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Thursday.

A personal favorite of Marc Abrahams, editor of the Annals and architect of the Ig Nobels, was a study by a team of Norwegian and German researchers who tested how reindeer react to seeing humans wearing polar bear costumes.

“I’ve never in my life met anyone who disguised himself as a polar bear to frighten a reindeer,” Abrahams said.