In May, 19 members of the Michigan House of Representatives (led by the chairman of the judiciary committee) introduced a resolution that would establish at the state archives a "Registry of Bothersome Practices," on which people could express complaints about such things as elevator music and magazine subscription cards.
The Continuing Crisis
George Bush's son Neil was disqualified from a Denver tennis tournament in May for cheating after he and his partner signed up for a match against opponents far below their own skill level to get an easy victory.
About 140 different home video games circulating in Austria and Germany feature Nazis as heroes. In one game the player is commandant of a death camp and wins points for gassing prisoners and selling lamp shades and gold fillings. Turks, along with Jews, are the victims.
Included in last year's edition of "Outstanding Young Men of America" were five inmates at Indiana State Prison, including a man serving 110 years for murder, named for his "outstanding civic and professional contributions." He had been nominated by another murderer.
The Centers for Disease Control reported last August that the leading cause of on-the-job death for female workers in all fields nationwide is not accidents but murder--at a rate three-and-one-half times that for male workers.
The biggest traffic jam in Japan's history--involving 15,000 vehicles and extending over 94 miles--occurred August 12, 1990, brought on by a typhoon that forced the closing of several roads.
Four South Korean men were arrested in October when customers at a hotel sauna were "disgusted" by their tattoos of dragons and other animals. Authorities charged them with "causing other bathers to have bad feelings."
A November Gallup poll revealed that 78 percent of Americans believe in heaven and 60 percent in hell, the highest such figures in about 40 years. Only 4 percent of the respondents thought they personally were going to hell, and 78 percent thought they had a good shot at heaven.
Police in Thousand Oaks, California, reported a rash of incidents in February and March of teenagers rolling bowling balls and tires down a sloping street. One resident said he saw a ball going 50 or 60 miles an hour. The president of the neighborhood association said, "Something is very, very wrong."
In Japan electronic eyes installed on curbs activate a recorded voice that scolds people when they attempt to cross where there is no crosswalk. Authorities say signs alone don't work, because of the Japanese population's creeping Western-like disrespect for authority.
Romanian farmer Calin Florea, finally convinced in March that communism was dead in his country, dug up the tractor he'd kept buried in his yard for 35 years so the government wouldn't confiscate it. The engine still runs, but he couldn't find many of the parts he had buried separately. He said he could use a good metal detector to find them.
In February the New Song Baptist Church held a christening at the Puddingstone Hot Tub Resort in a suburb of Los Angeles. A spokesman called the church (the average age of members is 27) "the flock that likes to rock."
Ella Hartley, 53, a psychiatric patient on whose behalf a lawsuit was filed in 1982 by a public advocacy group in West Virginia to win more mentally ill people the freedom to live outside the hospital, drowned in November near Huntington. She had wandered off during a doctor's visit to go swimming in the Ohio River.
City officials in Anchorage held a "Scoop the Poop Day" in April to clean up the eight million pounds of dog poop that had been deposited in the city during the six-month freeze. The organization that scooped the most was to receive a trophy.
Brazil's Supreme Court struck down the "legitimate defense of honor" excuse in March, which historically had allowed men to legally murder their unfaithful wives or the wives' lovers.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Shawn Belschwender.