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News of the Weird: GPS Mishaps

TelevisionMy Strange Addiction (tv program)TLC (tv network)BBCSatellite and Cable Service

In a world of advancing technology and declining map-reading skills, some GPS navigator users blindly over-rely on the devices, and News of the Weird has reported enough of their predicaments to mark the category "no longer weird." However, three Japanese students on holiday near Brisbane, Australia, in March created a new standard for ignoring common sense. Bound for North Stradbroke Island (about eight miles offshore), the driver (according to authorities cited by the local Bayside Bulletin) apparently put maps and eyesight aside, in favor of the all-powerful Navigator, which had instructed him to proceed. As news spread on the Internet, photographers rushed to capture the car, half-buried in sand. (In the students' defense, the beach seemed to extend to the horizon at low tide -- although the word "island" might have deserved more respect.)

The Continuing Crisis

• The entire village (almost!) of Sodeto, Spain, shared the grand prize in the country's huge Christmas lottery in December, earning each of the 70 households the equivalent of at least $130,000. The joint buy-in of tickets is a town ritual, but one resident missed the canvassing: filmmaker Costis Mitsotakis, who said he was happy that everyone else was happy. (The dark side of winning: Hucksters flooded the town from all over the country.)

• The town of Betws-y-Coed, Wales, holds the distinction of having its name likely butchered by more misspellings on Internet search inquiries than any other. Website managers told BBC News in February that they have compiled a list of 364 different spellings from people ostensibly looking for the town. The most common references were to "Bwtsy Code" and "Betsy Cowed."

• Anthony McDaniel, 47, voluntarily returned to North Carolina from his new home in Texas in February after being charged with embezzlement by his old employer. The owner of Fayetteville's Skibo Skillet (now out of business) accused McDaniel of having pocketed meatballs, corn on the cob and anchovy dip while he worked there.

People With Issues

• Now in its third season, the TLC cable channel's series"My Strange Addiction" continues to raise the bar for News of the Weird stories. This season's highlights include the man sexually attracted to his car, plus women who surround themselves with mothballs or eat cat food or drink nail polish or dig into their ears or eat adhesive tape. In one episode, "Ayanna," 54, who has not cut her fingernails in three decades, reports that she has recently been cultivating her toenails, which are now 4 inches long and hampering her use of shoes. Another episode this season features Sheyla Hershey, mentioned in News of the Weird four weeks ago after she credited her gigantic breast implants with cushioning her body during a recent car crash.

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