In the past month, I’ve stumbled across three absolutely phenomenal weird news stories. And seeing as a) I spent a good chunk of time writing this morning’s first post, b) I don’t want to take the time to wade through my feed reader to find material for more posts, c) I kinda/sorta expect this morning’s post to start some very good but very time-consuming conversations, and d) it’s Friday, we need something light hearted, I decided I would just share some of them for the final post of the week.
First, from here in Lincoln: A man drove his car into a local pizza restaurant… and then ordered a pizza.
An elderly man plowed through the front door of an east Lincoln Valentino’s on Wednesday morning — and then ordered a pizza.
The man drove his white Honda Fit, which had a Holt County license plate, through the front of the Valentino’s at 904 N. 70th St. a little after 11:30 a.m., said Lincoln Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Leo Benes….
The driver ordered a pizza while he was trapped in his car, a good sign, Benes said, because it signaled that he was alert after the crash.
Benes said the man didn’t get his pizza before going to the hospital. Police did not release the man’s name and no information was available on his condition later Wednesday.
“He seemed very calm and collected. I was amazed,” said Don Brouse who was eating at Honest Abe’s hamburger joint and went outside when he heard the crash.
“I would’ve been freaking out,” Brouse continued. “He acted like he drove through Valentino’s every day.”
Meanwhile, in Virginia area residents recently panicked and some even called 911 when they saw a baby lion prowling the streets. On closer inspection, it turned out to be a dog shaved like a lion.
The lion was really Charles the Monarch, a Labrador-poodle mix whose owner has groomed it to look like Norfolk’s Old Dominion University’s costumed lion mascot.
The Labradoodle, complete with dye-coloured mane, has since become a nationwide celebrity.
Daniel Painter bought the dog four years ago as a puppy, and his daughter Natalie brings Charles to campus.
But their lives were turned upside down after the media storm.
Charles and his owners were flown all-expenses paid to New York City for a whirlwind day of television appearances Thursday.
After creating a sensation in Times Square on Wednesday night, they were up early for a host of television appearances, including NBC’s Today Show, Good Morning America, on CNN with Anderson Cooper and Extra and Inside Edition.
Charles has been well known in the Norfolk community, frequently making appearances at the university’s tailgate parties.
Painter frequently takes Charles to work with him at a local garden centre that he operates.
Finally, a computer programmer was recently fired when his company learned that the man had used $50,000 of his six figure salary to outsource his job to China.
The software developer, who is in his 40s, is said to have paid a Chinese firm a fifth of his six-figure salary to do his job for him while he spent his working days surfing the internet.
The tale emerged via a blog by an computer forensic investigator at Verizon Business, a US-based communications firm.
Andrew Valentine claimed that his company had been contacted by another US-based firm, whom he does not name, who feared their systems were being hacked after noticing that someone in Shenyang, China was accessing the system.
According to Mr Valentine it became apparent upon investigation that one of the company’s employees had outsourced his own job, paying a Chinese firm approximately $50,000 (£31,000) from his salary to write computer programmes on his behalf.
The employee, whom Mr Valentine describes as “inoffensive and quiet someone you wouldn’t look at twice in an elevator”, would then spend his day browsing the internet, looking at sites such as YouTube, Reddit, eBay and Facebook before sending his superiors a daily status report and going home.
Mr Valentine continued: “Authentication was no problem. He physically FedExed his RSA [security] token to China so that the third-party contractor could login under his credentials during the workday. It would appear that he was working an average nine-to-five work day.”
He added: “Evidence even suggested he had the same scam going across multiple companies in the area. All told, it looked like he earned several hundred thousand dollars a year, and only had to pay the Chinese consulting firm about fifty grand annually.”
Mr Valentine said that the employee, who no longer works for the company, had even been praised for ‘his’ work.
“The best part?” he continued. “Investigators had the opportunity to read through his performance reviews while working alongside HR.
“For the last several years in a row he received excellent remarks.
His code was clean, well written, and submitted in a timely fashion.
Quarter after quarter, his performance review noted him as the best developer in the building.”