Least Competent Criminals

Bibb County (Georgia) jail inmate Mary Beth Odum, 40, asked for and received a special Christmas card from a friend this year: a greeting filled with methamphetamine and Suboxone from Timothy Lee Snow, 40, according to authorities. The Associated Press reports deputies intercepted the card and began investigating Snow, detaining him on Jan. 9. On his person they found meth, Xanax and a revolver. In his home, deputies found more meth, Suboxone, marijuana, steroids, packing materials, a shotgun and a rifle. He was charged with possession and intent to distribute the drugs, along with giving an inmate drugs. Odom also faces charges of attempt to commit offenses pertaining to the possession of drugs.

Extreme Measures

David Ostrom, 40, and his ex-wife, Bridgette Ostrom, 38, have been tussling over custody and visitation issues and property taxes for some time, but a frustrated David, of Paola, Kansas, has come up with a unique way of settling their differences. He has challenged his ex, of Harlan, Iowa, and her attorney, Matthew Hudson, to a trial by combat and asked the Iowa District Court in Shelby County to let them “resolve our disputes on the field of battle, legally,” the Des Moines Register reported. In court documents, Ostrom claims such a trial “has never been explicitly banned or restricted as a right in these United States.” Ostrom also asked for 12 weeks to secure some Japanese samurai swords. Hudson, for his part, argued that the fight could end in a death, and “such ramifications likely outweigh those of property tax and custody issues.” At press time, the court had not ruled on the motions.

The Continuing Crisis

In Mexico City, Mexico, on any given day, 22 of the 467 escalators at subway stations are broken down, reports the Associated Press, and on Jan. 14 Metro authorities published a list of causes, including “corrosion due to urine” among the top five. Fermin Ramirez, assistant manager for rails and facilities, said he’s concluded that riders urinate on the escalators in off-peak hours or at lightly used stations -- “even though it seems hard to believe.” “When we open up escalators for maintenance, there is always urine,” Ramirez noted. Twitter users pushed back, noting that there are no restroom facilities in most Metro stations. The Mexico City subway provides 1.6 billion rides per year -- the eighth largest in the world by some measures.


During the Tokyo Olympics this summer, athletes will sleep on beds made of cardboard, a nod toward sustainability in keeping with Tokyo’s commitment to a “green” Olympics. Which all sounded admirable until Australian basketball player Andrew Bogut pointed out a potential problem: “Great gesture ... until the athletes finish their events and the 1,000s of condoms handed out all over the village are put to use.” In response, Airweave, the manufacturer of the beds, told AFP the beds will hold up to 440 pounds and have been through rigorous stress tests. “As long as they stick to just two people in the bed, they should be strong enough to support the load,” the company said.

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