Offbeat
Latest stories
Black-and-White Stripes Are the New Orange

A Michigan sheriff says he's trading his inmates' orange jumpsuits for black-and-white stripes, in part due to pop culture.

Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel tells The Saginaw News (http://bit.ljaily/1p7egTU ) that all-orange jumpsuits are increasingly viewed as fashionable, especially because they're seen on popular TV shows such as the Netflix smash hit "Orange Is the New Black."

W140 Full Story
Pastry Pranks: Vandals Smear Cars with Baked Goods

There's mischief afoot in one suburban Portland neighborhood, but police say it doesn't involve the typical spray paint or broken windows. No, we're talking pastry here — maple bars smeared on cars, doughnuts left atop windshield wipers, pastries littering a yard.

One woman told officers she's seen more than a dozen incidents of food smeared on cars. Not just pastry, but yogurt, cakes and eggs. She alerted police July 11.

W140 Full Story
Failed Marx Letter Sale Disappoints Chinese Capitalists

A letter by the late Karl Marx, the German philosopher who offered an alternative to capitalism, has failed to sell in Communist-ruled China because the auctioneer set too high a price.

The Shanghai-based Hosane auction house set a starting price of 8.0 million yuan ($1.3 million) but failed to find a single bidder on Monday, the Global Times newspaper reported.

W140 Full Story
Australian Senator's Ideal Man: Rich and 'Well-Hung'

An Australian senator who told breakfast radio she would only date men who were rich and "well-hung" apologized Tuesday, saying she had tried to hide her embarrassment with a joke. 

Jacqui Lambie, who took her seat in the national parliament's upper house earlier this month, told Tasmania's Heart 107.3 that she had not been in a relationship for more than a decade.

W140 Full Story
'Sex Tax' also Applies to Tantric Massage, Says German Court

Tantric massages provide sexual pleasure and are subject to the same tax levied on brothels and swinger clubs in a German city, a state court said Monday.

The decision by an administrative court in Baden-Wuerttemberg state followed a complaint by the owner of a massage parlor who had been billed a total of 840 euros ($1,140) for January and February 2012 under a local "amusement tax" targeting the sex trade in the state capital Stuttgart.

W140 Full Story
Bus becomes Shower for Homeless in San Francisco

A nonprofit group is taking a novel approach to helping the homeless in San Francisco with a new bus that allows them to take a shower.

The former public transit bus has been outfitted with two full private bathrooms and offers hot showers, clean toilets, shampoo, soap and towels free of charge. The founder of the nonprofit Lava Mae mobile shower bus said she wanted to return a sense of dignity to those living on the streets.

W140 Full Story
Scientists Name Puerto Rico Water Mite after JLo

Pop singer Jennifer Lopez may be thinking life is funny after a group of scientists named a water mite in her honor after discovering a new species near Puerto Rico.

The music of the Bronx, New York-born entertainer who has Puerto Rican roots was a hit with the group while they wrote about their findings, biologist Vladimir Pesic said in an email Wednesday.

W140 Full Story
Plus-Sized Parking Spaces for Chinese Women Drivers

The parking spaces outside a Chinese shopping mall are distinctive: marked out in pink, signposted "Respectfully reserved for women", and around 30 centimeters wider than normal.

The slots at the Dashijiedaduhui -- or "World Metropolis" -- centre have sparked debate in China, which officially embraces gender equality but where old-fashioned sexism is rife in reality.

W140 Full Story
Rapping Korean Nuns Fire Up Prayer Competition

South Korea's top Buddhist organisation held an experimental "prayer competition" Thursday, featuring rapping nuns and singing monks in a bid to attract new, younger followers.

More than 300 monks and nuns packed a large temple in downtown Seoul to take part in the competition hosted by the Jogye Order.

W140 Full Story
'Ninja' Bus Tour Set to Kick off in Tokyo

Japan's biggest travel agency is launching a bus tour with some decidedly homegrown touches -- a flying ninja and sword-carrying samurai.

The one-hour "Samurai & Ninja Safari" tour around the Japanese capital features a bilingual guide pointing out key sights and then a roll around the historic Asakusa district where streetside performers jump out of the shadows.

W140 Full Story