News of the weird

Lead story

Religiously strict Saudi Arabia can’t have traditional Western-style beauty contests, but there was a pageant in April in remote Guwei’iya, about 75 miles from Riyadh: a beauty contest for camels. More than 250 owners brought more than 1,500 camels to be judged by such standards, said one organizer (according to a Reuters dispatch), as “the nose should be long and droop down” and “the ears should stand back, and the neck should be long” and “the hump should be high, but slightly to the back.” Prizes included more than 70 SUVs.

Creme de la Weird

New York Mets baseball fan Frank Martinez, 40, was ejected and then arrested at Shea Stadium in April after he allegedly shone a high-beam flashlight into the eyes of Atlanta Braves player Edgar Renteria during a game. A former neighbor, interviewed by the New York Post, said Martinez was once evicted from his apartment because he would commandeer the hallway after a Mets victory, and into the middle of the night, screaming “M! E! T! S!” as he paraded from one end to the other.

Your government in action

KUSA-TV reported in March that a Transportation Security Administration undercover team was able to sneak simulated liquid explosives past screeners at Denver International Airport about 90 percent of the time during a three-day test in February, in nearly every case because, though machines detected the explosives, the undercover agents talked the screeners out of personally searching them.