Eye Spy

Apr. 8, 2009
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Canadian filmmaker Rob Spence recently said that he would install a prosthetic eye with a camera and wireless transmitter into one of his eye sockets (the eye had already been removed as the result of a childhood accident). He hopes to control the prosthetic eye in the same way that his muscles control his good eye, in order to record what his eyes see. Spence’s first project will be a documentary on people’s attitudes about privacy in an “Orwellian society.” “The best way to make a connection (with a person during an interview) is through eye contact,” he said. “When you bring in a camera, people change.”

Alcohol Was Involved

(1) An 18-year-old University of Colorado student required emergency assistance in March after spending all evening badgering fellow partygoers to hit him in the face. Finally, at 2 a.m., someone complied, resulting in a broken nose and massive bleeding. (2) A National City Bank in downtown Pittsburgh was broken into on March 7, inadvertently, when an intoxicated man accidentally tripped and crashed through the front window (narrowly avoiding decapitation).

Undignified Deaths

(1) A motorist survived a crash on Feb. 4 near Los Banos, Calif., though his car fell down a 200-foot cliff. After he climbed back to the highway and sought help, he was accidentally hit and killed by another driver. (2) A 60-year-old man, celebrating his retirement from a transportation company in Ritto, Japan, in December, was killed when co-workers tossed him playfully into the air and then apparently had a miscommunication over who would catch him.

Government in Action

Small-Town Politics: (1) The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that a March meeting of the Medina (Ohio) City Council required a recess when all members engaged in serial giggling over one person’s flatulence. (2) Resident Tony Randall of Ashland, N.H. (pop. 2,000), a surveyor by trade who was elected chief of the town’s 12-member police force in March, promised he would know more about his job beginning in September, when he starts his training at the police academy. (3) Mayor Jerry Oberholtzer of Snellville, Ga., involved in a recent feud with a city council member, called on Police Chief Roy Whitehead to escort him to the men’s room at City Hall for his safety.

Artist Beth Grossman created a wall exhibit, "Seats of Power," to encourage citizens to greater activism in local affairs around Brisbane, Calif. The "Seats" are upholstered cushions individually tailored with the butt prints of city council members and other power players in Brisbane, who allowed Grossman to photograph them from behind, clothed, through a sheet of Plexiglas pressed against their posteriors to simulate being seated. The exhibit includes the posterior of Mayor Sepi Richardson, who said she had been considering her "legacy" of late, though "I never thought it would be my butt."

Police Blotter

Police were called to the Aliso (Calif.) Town Center on March 15 after a man telephoned 911 to report an attack near the center's fountain by a woman who had flung her dog's feces at his wife and infant. The flinger was said to be upset about complaints from passers-by about the enema she was giving her dog in public.

2009 Chuck Shepherd

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