By Chuck Shepherd
4:25 PM EST, November 19, 2013
Downtown London residences are known to be staggeringly expensive, but media blogger Sam Cookney calculated in October just how much. Cookney said he can live in an upscale apartment in Barcelona, Spain, and commute almost every workday to London (700 miles away) for less money than a modest central London rental. (Sixteen commuter days over four weeks a month would run, in pound-dollar equivalents: $2,420 for a West Hampstead rental, $121 council tax, and $188 transit travel card, totaling $2,730. Barcelona, in euro-dollar equivalents: $938 for a three-bedroom flat with three balconies near transit, no tax, $47 daily round-trip on Ryanair, $32 a day in airport transportation, totaling $2,202 — a savings of $528 a month.) Plus, he said, sunny Barcelona is on the Mediterranean. (On the other hand, Cookney luckily can work on the plane, for each flight is two hours long.)
Can't Possibly Be True
Lawyers for Radu Dogaru, who is on trial in Romania for stealing masterpieces last year from the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam, Netherlands, said the heist was also the museum's fault — for having such unimaginably lax security — and that if the museum did not admit that, Dogaru would sue. Museum officials said they had tracked some of the works to Dogaru's mother, who is claiming ignorance, and the son's lawyers hope to discount any insurance-company judgments against her by spreading the blame.
Unclear on the Concept
In September, San Diego Superior Court Judge Patricia Cookson, perhaps sensing an autumnal whiff of romance in the courthouse, agreed to perform the wedding ceremony, in her courtroom, of Mr. Danne Desbrow and his fiancee, Destiny — and even to serve the lucky couple homemade cake afterward. However, Judge Cookson did all of this immediately after sentencing Desbrow to a 53-year-to-life term for first-degree murder and for threatening a witness.
People With Issues
Matched Pair: Prominent Los Angeles cosmetic surgeon David Matlock is himself a finely chiseled specimen of muscle and zero body fat, but he said that when patient “Veronica” came to him in 2007 for “vaginal rejuvenation” surgery, he instantly fell in love despite her somewhat-pudgy figure. He proposed marriage, she accepted, and with her consent, Dr. Matlock set out not only on the requested procedure but on what he called the “Wonder Woman Makeover” — diet, exercise, surgeries, suctions and injections, and by August 2013, reported Huffington Post, the sculpted couple were competing in matching bodybuilding contests.
Least Competent Criminals
Recurring Theme: Joshua Goverman, 29, was arrested in Glendale, Ariz., in October for allegedly stealing copper wiring from the back of an air-conditioner truck in a driveway. The thief apparently had trouble pulling on the wires, and police found a human finger at the scene. Despite Goverman's excuse (that he cut his finger during a “car repair”), the crime-scene finger's print matched Goverman's other fingers' prints.