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News of the Weird 

Special delivery: As straphanger Joyce M. Judge, 42, stared out the window of the Boston subway car during morning rush hour July 30, she started dripping profusely, and a minute or so later, a baby fell out from underneath her skirt and slid around on the car's floor. According to witnesses (some of whom vomited at the sight), Judge at first acted as if nothing had happened, then finally picked up her newborn, declined the help of passengers, nonchalantly continued the ride, and left the train at the next station (stopping only to pick up the placenta when it fell to the ground). She subsequently reported to Boston Medical Center, where the baby was in good condition (and where the mother was referred for a mental health evaluation).

The drawbacks of dial-up: David Mitchell, 35, was arrested in June in Omaha, Neb., on charges of false imprisonment and making terroristic threats, accused of having locked up his wife, Polly, every time he left the house over a two-year (and maybe longer) period. He was always with her in public, and intimidated her from reporting him. David always had only a cell phone, so he could take it with him when he left the house. But he had recently gotten a home phone for Internet access, allowing Polly to call her sister one day when he was out.

Proud papa: ABC News reported in May that it is not illegal in Massachusetts for a man to take surreptitious photographs of his adult daughter in the family home, even though in "hundreds" of the photos, she is nude or partially nude. The Easthampton, Mass., woman was 19 when she moved back into her old bedroom, where her father had been keeping electronic equipment. She later got a tech-savvy friend to examine a camera and computer. The parents are now divorced, but since the father committed no crime, he got to keep the photos.

A rough summer for weird India: In June, doctors at Burdwan Medical College and Hospital reported that black ants were crawling out of the left eye of an 11-year-old boy. ... Also that month, doctors at Burdwan originally diagnosed parasitic flies emerging from the penis of a 13-year-old boy while he urinated, but doctors at SSKM Hospital in Kolkata disputed that. ... Six members of a family hanged themselves on a hillside near Tirupati in July, but the bodies were not discovered until the odor wafted into a nearby village. ... After doctors in Angara found 15 students unconscious following a lightning strike, they covered the bodies in cow dung as per a traditional remedy; 13 recovered within a few hours (but not even cow dung could save the other two).

Family business: Police, having knocked on a door in Woodlawn, Ky., in June, pursuant to a neighbor's noise complaint, inadvertently stumbled across an apparent family-run retail drug business when three teenagers eagerly answered questions about the marijuana plant viewable from the front door. According to police, the kids invited them in and proudly showed them the entire elaborate hydroponic operation. The mother, Bernadette Dusing, 42, was at home at the time, but according to police, remained silent.

Least competent people: A July Associated Press dispatch from Jerusalem reported that a 32-year-old woman accidentally swallowed a cockroach and then, after trying to dig it out with a fork, swallowed the fork. Dr. Nikola Adid of the Poria Hospital in Tiberias, Israel, had to remove both items.

Also in the last month: In California, a van and an SUV, both transporting undocumented aliens, collided, injuring 28. ... A Brooklyn woman saved her drowning daughter in a backyard pool by mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, which she said she couldn't have performed if she hadn't seen it on "Baywatch." ... And in New Zealand, a 37-year-old man reported to a hospital emergency room with a knife penetrating his brain. He waited, conscious, for six hours while doctors planned the complicated surgery (which was successful).

(c) 2003 CHUCK SHEPHERD

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