Published February 26, 2006
Hey there, creepy — smile, you're on street-harasser cam.
The New York women of Holla Back NYC take photos of harassing men all over the city using their camera phones and put their drooling mugs on the Internet for everyone to see, according to The New York Post.
"The other day a man said to me, 'Hey I want to hit that,'" 24-year-old Brooklyn resident Emily May, one of Holla Back's founders, told the Post. "I asked him if I could take his picture, very sweet and unassuming. He said, 'Why do you want to take my picture?' I said, 'I'm taking pictures of all the people who think I'm pretty today.'"
Defined by the core members (four women and three men) as "a form of sexual harassment that takes place in public spaces," street aggression is the main target of the group's Holla Shame gallery on their Web site Hollabacknyc.com.
"It's almost like stop, drop and roll," 24-year-old Lauren Spees, another founder, told the Post. "Except this is stop, turn and holla back. It's like, 'No, I'm not going to ignore this. I'm going to acknowledge what is going on.' I deserve to be in the present moment just as much as someone else does."
The group's site features stories from as far away as India, Korea and even a Mormon housewife — and harnesses the power of cell phone cameras to capture street harassers at the scene of the crime.
Recounting one of her first times "hollaing back," Spees told the Post: "I was wearing gold cowboy boots and this guy was like, 'Girl, I want to be your pony!' It's like, 'Seriously?' At first I thought these guys really wanted to pursue something with me. But now I'm realizing they know they don't stand a chance so they come up with the most ridiculous thing possible."
Return to Sender, Address Unknown
MILL VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — A man who allegedly mailed a half-pound of marijuana without an address label on the package was arrested after authorities returned it to its sender.
Steven Coburn, 48, of Mill Valley was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of drug possession for sale and investigators found another 1 1/2 pounds of marijuana worth $10,000 at his home behind Tamalpais High School, said Det. Matt Lethin of the Marin County Major Crimes Task Force.
The private Corte Madera shipping company where Coburn tried to mail the package on Feb. 16 followed company protocol by opening the package to see whether the label was accidentally sealed inside, Lethin said.
"Once they opened it up and saw what was inside, they immediately called law enforcement," Lethin said.
Investigators said they are not sure whether Coburn forgot to affix the address label or it fell off, but it had a return address on it that led to Coburn.
He was booked into Marin County Jail and posted bail. A court date was set for March 8.
— Thanks to Out There reader Don W.
The Officer Is Always Right
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — A college student has been given a lesson from a judge after his day in court — don't correct the police.
Clay Palmer, a student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, honked his car horn when he saw police stop their patrol car, turn on blue flashers to go through a red light and then turn the flashers off. He got a ticket for violating the city noise ordinance.
The charge was reduced to a warning Wednesday when he went before a judge who told him he acted wrongly.
"The horn blowing is not the real problem here, it's that you were trying to correct the police and they didn't need correcting," Judge Russell Bean said.
Palmer left traffic court saying he still believed officers were abusing their authority.
"I see this cop with his blue lights come screeching up beside me and I didn't know what was going on," Palmer said. "Before they got to the next light, I could see they turned their blue lights off."
Palmer said officer Matthew Puglise forced him onto the hood of his car and issued him a ticket for honking the horn when there was no reason.
Puglise said he was helping another officer track down a speeder when Palmer saw him pass through the red light.
Bean said Puglise was right and Palmer was wrong.
"I expect officers to follow the rules like everyone else," Bean said.
— Thanks to Out There readers Katie M. and Derek H.
Bessssssy Getsssssss the Boot
REXBURG, Idaho (AP) — Bessy the Burmese python is recovering in an animal shelter after spending two weeks dodging searchers and an infrared camera in a 57,000-square-foot apartment complex.
As earlier reported in Out There, the 8-foot snake's hiding spot was found Tuesday by another "snake" — a 100-foot-long device with a camera on the end normally used to locate plumbing problems in hard-to-reach places.
"It's the most interesting plumbing job I've had so far," said Kip Salas of Advanced Plumbing, who discovered Bessy in the bathroom ceiling after a three-hour search of the southeastern Idaho apartment below the unit from which she escaped.
"I'm just glad she's alive and not hurt too badly," Chelsea Stanford, the python's owner, told the Post Register.
After finding the snake, Stanford and animal control officers tried to lure her out with a white rat snack without success. So they lassoed Bessy with a steel collar and dragged her from the hole in the ceiling. Bessy received some scratches during her ordeal — and an eviction notice.
"We're going to let it eat, then it's leaving the building forever," said Kevin Kennedy, the apartment owner, who wanted the snake out of the complex dead or alive.
Burmese pythons are native to Southeast Asia and some islands in the East Indies. They can grow to 20 feet, weigh up to 200 pounds, and live about 25 years. Not venomous, pythons wrap their bodies around small animals to suffocate them before eating them whole.
Bessy went missing two weeks ago after apparently escaping through a hole in a bathroom wall. Stanford put up notices around the complex about the missing python, which caused some residents to refuse to spend the night in their apartments.
"We weren't too nervous but we'll definitely sleep better," said resident Ben Brown after Bessy's capture. "As long as there aren't any rattling noises in the walls."
— Click in the video box above or click here to watch a video on python problems.
I Love My 1 Million Faux Mommies
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Thanks to a patient zoo staff and a faux-fur vest, Hogle Zoo's baby orangutan, Acara, is now living and learning alongside her mother, Eve.
Eve gave birth to Acara last Mother's Day. The dangerously long labor forced zoo staff to birth the baby by Caesarean section. Because the birth was not natural, 15-year-old Eve did not recognize the baby as hers. Twenty staff members and 12 volunteers have spent the last nine months hand-raising Acara and training the pair to coexist.
Volunteer Pat Meekins took turns with other trainers wearing a faux-fur vest, modeled after Eve, to feed, train and care for Acara. Training involved getting the baby Bornean orangutan to grab the vest's fur, grasp a trainer's arm or crawl around her jungle gym.
Then, they had to bring Eve and Acara together.
The process began with smearing peanut butter on the wall above Acara's head, which allowed the baby to grab onto Eve's fur while mom licked the treat off the wall. Eve would be rewarded for tasks such as looking or touching Acara.
"When she found out she got really big rewards for Acara touching her, she used to pick up Acara's hand and put it on her face," said Bobbi Gordon of the animal-care staff.
The two stay together now, in a childproof pen. Staff stopped wearing the monkey vests around December, and Eve and Acara spent their first full night together on Valentine's Day.
"She's much more careful around the baby," said Erin Jones, part of Hogle Zoo's animal-care staff. "She wants to play and she still does ... but she makes sure it's safe."
Crikey! Let's Hunt Us a Croc!
SYDNEY, Australia (AP) — Police in northern Sydney went crocodile hunting Thursday after locals reported seeing one of the reptiles in a suburban waterway.
The New South Wales state police said a saltwater crocodile measuring up to 2 feet had been spotted munching on carp in a natural spring near an industrial park in northern Sydney.
Saltwater crocodiles — which are normally found only in northern Australia — can grow up to 23 feet in length.
Police said they would enlist the help of a local reptile park to help capture the croc.
"Once captured it will be placed in a suitable animal park," police said in a statement. It was not known how the reptile got loose, police said.
Who's Next, Bubba or Dubya?
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — If someone were to ask Richard and Regina Scheppler's children to name seven of the country's presidents, they wouldn't have any problem. They'd just have to think of their siblings.
The Schepplers' children all have presidential names. There's Tyler, Grant, McKinley, Kennedy, Harrison, Madison and Regan — although Regan's name is spelled differently than Ronald Reagan and wasn't intended as a reference to the 40th president.
"We named the first one Regan because her name meant princess; Regina's was queen; and Richard means king," Richard Scheppler said in a story in Monday's Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
"I had a great aunt who was a staunch Democrat, and she thought — she swore — that we named her after Reagan the president," he said.
Regina Scheppler said her great aunt didn't admire President Reagan.
"She wouldn't call my daughter by anything but her middle name, and was very adamant about that," she said.
After Regan Nicole, now 17, came Tyler Landmon Keith and the Schepplers saw the presidential pattern developing. They perpetuated the naming system intentionally with their third child, Madison Elaine.
She was followed by Grant William Earl, McKinley Ann, Kennedy Kate and Harrison James.
Regina Scheppler says that when the Declaration of Independence was a summer reading project, the children were enthused because Harrison was one of the signers.
She said the children are more interested in history because of their names.
But McKinley Ann, who is five, found it tough in kindergarten at first because of all the letters in her name.
"She would tell us, 'Mama, other people have short names of just four or five letters,'" Regina Scheppler said.
Compiled by FOXNews.com's Andrew Hard.
Got a good "Out There" story in your hometown? We'd like to know about it. Send an e-mail with a Web link (we need to authenticate these things) to firstname.lastname@example.org.