App for the Afterlife | News Quirks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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News » News Quirks

App for the Afterlife



App for the Afterlife
A British funeral company is offering to add quick response (QR) codes to headstones, linking smart phones to online biographies featuring pictures, videos and personal messages from family and friends of the deceased. “It’s about keeping people’s memories alive in different ways,” said Stephen Nimmo, managing director of Chester Pearce funeral directors in Poole, Dorset. He explained he got the idea after visiting the Kremlin Wall necropolis in Moscow and realizing he knew so much about the people buried there. Chester Pearce charges about $480 to etch a code on a small granite or metal marker that can be placed on gravestones, benches, trees or plaques to link to a page on its QR Memories website. (Reuters)

Curses, Foiled Again
Marcus Banwell, 39, was arrested for shoplifting food at a convenience store in Bristol, England, after he ate one of the stolen items: a Scotch bonnet chili pepper. The variety has a heat rating of 100,000 to 350,000 Scoville units, compared with 2,500 to 8,000 for jalapeño peppers. Within seconds, Banwell doubled over in pain. The shopkeeper called police, who recovered four other chili peppers on him, along with a stolen milkshake and fruit juice. Police also found a stolen clarinet tucked inside his waistband, as well as crack cocaine and heroin. (The Huffington Post)

After receiving an undisclosed amount of cash at a Pittsburgh bank, a robber found his getaway thwarted when a teller locked the bank’s double glass doors, trapping him between them. Signs prominently displayed on the doors warn they’re part of the bank’s security system. Witnesses said suspect Brandon Massie, 27, was flailing around, screaming and banging his arms and head on the front door, trying to get out, and he left blood on both the glass and the floor. He was treated for cuts and arrested. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and WTAE-TV)

Threat of the Week
Health and safety officials in Manchester, England, banned paper clips for being “too dangerous.” Citing unspecified “recent incidents,” a memo from Manchester NHS Trust officials warned that the use of metal fasteners was “prohibited” in medical surgeries, clinics and offices. It ordered all metal paper fasteners to be “carefully disposed of immediately” and replaced by similar plastic fasteners. (London’s Metro)

Slightest Provocation
James Davis Wilson, 43, punched an assistant manager at a McDonald’s restaurant in Knoxville, Tenn., over a dispute about a hot-fudge sundae. “It had chocolate on the bottom,” Wilson testified at his trial. “The hot fudge should be on top. It freezes up when you get hot fudge on the bottom of it.” Even though Assistant Manager Brad Skelton refunded Wilson’s money, Wilson hit him in the face. The jury convicted him of misdemeanor assault. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

Police in Reno, Nev., took a man into custody for firing a shotgun at a golfer who hit a ball through a window of the shooter’s residence near the 16th hole, which was closed during a brief investigation. Police Lt. Keith Brown said a pellet struck the golfer twice in a leg and once in an arm. (Reno Gazette-Journal)

Police charged John Cunningham, 43, with shooting his uncle to death in Jennings, Ill., during an argument over whether the meat they were planning to cook was pork steaks or pork chops. Investigators concluded that Cunningham was correct about the meat being pork steaks but charged him with first-degree murder anyway. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Authorities in St. Paul, Minn., charged Matthew Thomas Spangler, 20, and his brother Marco Spangler, 19, with assaulting a 49-year-old man and damaging his vehicle because he honked at them for pulling out in front of him. Prosecutors said the Spanglers threw rocks at the man’s vehicle, punched him in the face when he got out, tried to run him over, then smashed out several windows of the vehicle with a baseball bat and struck the victim in the back and shoulders. (Minneapolis’s KARE-TV)

What Could Go Wrong?
Authorities in Shaoyang, a financially struggling city in China’s Hunan Province, gave roughly 1,000 neighborhood watch committee members the power to issue tickets to citizens for littering, spitting in public, parking illegally and other minor infractions. The workers, all retirees, are paid about $78 a month, plus 80 percent of all fines they collect. Residents complained that the financial incentives have turned the enforcers into veritable ticketing machines. (The New York Times)

Unnecessarily Necessary
Missouri voters approved an amendment to the state constitution that reaffirms “the right to pray in a private or public setting,” even though the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights already protect the right to pray. State Rep. Mike McGhee, whose legislation led to the amendment proposal, acknowledged the redundancy, but he and other proponents insist the amendment will fortify protection for Christianity, which they said is under attack. (Fox News)

Cause & Effect
Corn prices have risen because there are so many ethanol plants competing for the corn, but ethanol plants are closing because they can’t afford the corn. After the Central Minnesota Ethanol Co-op in Little Falls laid off most of its 30 workers and suspended production, general manager Dana Persson said, “Until we can buy corn or sell ethanol at a price more conducive to doing business, this is the course we have to take for now.” (The St. Cloud Times)

Trim Jobs
Fifteen students and two employees at Dahl’s College of Beauty in Great Falls, Mont., filed a lawsuit, accusing owners Douglas and Barbara Daughenbaugh of charging students $9,950 for classes, then abruptly expelling them and keeping the money. The plaintiffs, all women, added that the school failed to address sexual-harassment allegations against an instructor who later became the school director. According to the 10-page complaint: “Among the offensive and unwelcome conduct included, inter alia, the instructor publicly exposing her genitals, exposing her buttocks and requesting that students examine a boil to see if it could be extracted, requiring students to wax her pubic hair, using a student’s trimmers and wax stick to trim and wax her pubic hair that were, upon information and belief, then used on customer haircuts.” (The Huffington Post)

Yet Another Smoking Hazard
A man was injured when his car exploded after he lit a cigarette in Twin Falls, Idaho. Police blamed the blast on after-market modifications to the man’s Ford Mustang. Investigators learned that gas fumes were a constant issue with the vehicle and labeled the incident “careless.” (Boise’s KTVB-TV)

Compiled from the press reports by Roland Sweet. Authentication on demand.