An entire town run by women where the ladies make the rules and naughty men are punished. Sounds like fun ... if you're into that sort of thing.
And now it's reportedly going to be a reality. The Shuangqiao district in Chongqing will become what is thought to be the world's first "Woman Town," covering 0.89 square miles, reports Chongqing Morning News.
The slogan: “A woman never makes a mistake. A man can never reject a woman’s request” reportedly will be carved into the town gates.
Disobedient men will reportedly be punished with wooden boards or ... gasp! ... menial chores.
“Construction will take around two years, and the place will become a very good destination for entertainment and relaxation,” Li Jigang, director of Shuangqiao district tourism bureau, told the Chongqing Morning News.
“In any tour group entering this town, female members would play the deciding role, concerning shopping and other items of the itinerary. We are drafting a township law, which stipulates clearly how men should be punished and for what. A disobedient man will be punished by kneeling on an uneven wooden board or by washing dishes in a restaurant," he added.
Entertaining, maybe. Relaxing, not so much.
Next They'll Try Donkey Kong
ATLANTA (AP) — Four-year-old Bernas isn't the computer wizard his mom is, but he's learning. Just the other day he used his lips and feet to play a game on the touch-screen monitor as his mom, Madu, swung from vines and climbed trees.
The two Sumatran orangutans at Zoo Atlanta are playing computer games while researchers study the cognitive skills of the orange and brown primates.
The best part? Zoo visitors get to watch their every move.
The orangutans use a touch screen built into a tree-like structure that blend in with their zoo habitat. Visitors watch from a video monitor in front of the exhibit.
"That's so cool," Jeri McCarthy told her three daughters as Bernas drew a red, blue and yellow picture on the screen. "He can't get enough!"
Zoo officials hope the exhibit will raise awareness of the rapidly diminishing wild orangutan population, which is on track to completely disappear in the next decade, and potentially provide keys to their survival.
"The more we understand about orangutan's cognitive processes, the more we'll understand about what they need to survive in the wild," said Tara Stoinski, manager of conservation partnerships for the zoo. "It enables us to show the public how smart they are."
In one game, orangutans choose identical photographs or match orangutan sounds with photos of the animals — correct answers are rewarded with food pellets. Another game lets them draw pictures by moving their hands and other body parts around the screen. Printouts of their masterpieces are on display in the zoo.
The computer games, which volunteers from IBM spent nearly 500 hours developing, test the animals' memory, reasoning and learning, spitting out sheets of data for researchers at the zoo and Atlanta's Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, a partner in the project.
The data will help researchers learn about socializing patterns, such as whether they mimic others or learn behavior from scratch through trial and error, said Elliott Albers with the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience.
Researchers hope the data can point to new conservation strategies to help the 37,000 orangutans living in the wild on the Indonesian islands of Borneo and Sumatra.
"Hopefully we can get the animals to find better sources of food more easily," Albers said.
The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago are also conducting such orangutan research. Visitors can also watch the animals use computers at the National Zoo, Stoinski said.
Purse Snatcher Learns the Hard Way that Port-a-Potties Make Lousy Hiding Places
MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. (AP) — Police looking for a purse snatcher were able to flush the suspect out from the portable toilet where he was hiding.
"A Port-A-Potty is not a good place to hide," police Chief James Kudlak said Wednesday. "There's only one way out."
Johnny Snodgrass, 21, apparently matched the description of a man caught on videotape at a store where an 89-year-old woman's purse was stolen in March and from a nearby video poker establishment where her wallet was found, police said.
The thief got away with about $45.
Acting on a tip, police went to a construction site where Snodgrass was working on Monday to question him, but he ran into the portable restroom. Officers yelled for him to come out and he soon complied, police said.
Snodgrass was being in jail on $5,000 bond on Wednesday. He's scheduled to appear before a magistrate on April 25.
Kudlak said Snodgrass claims he is innocent.
Court officials said Snodgrass did not yet have an attorney.
Sheriff Gives Himself a Ticket for Road Violation
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Brown County Sheriff Dennis Kocken didn't have to write himself a ticket. But he says it was the right thing to do.
"As sheriff, I'm held to the highest standard in law enforcement. How can I hold officers accountable if I don't hold myself accountable?" he said. "I'm satisfied I'm doing the right thing."
Kocken issued himself a ticket March 27 for an unsafe lane change, three weeks after he had rear-ended a suspected speeder after that driver slowed to turn. Neither the deputy who completed the accident report nor the Brown County district attorney's office felt that Kocken deserved a citation.
"But it kept bothering me," said Kocken. "Finally I decided to write myself a ticket. I felt it was the right thing to do."
The ticket carries a $160.80 fine that Kocken said he fully intends to pay.
The 52-year-old sheriff told investigators he was trailing a vehicle to determine its speed when he had to swerve to avoid a snowblower wheel in his lane. He moved into the other driver's lane and hit the car when the driver slowed.
The ticket marks the second citation in seven months that a state law enforcement officer assessed to himself. In September, Chief Dick Knoebel of the Kewaskum police department wrote himself a $235 ticket for passing a stopped school bus.
City of Ogden, Utah, Sniffs Out New Panel
OGDEN, Utah (AP) — The city may be looking for a few good noses. When it meets Tuesday, the City Council is expected to set a public hearing for a law that would create a committee to sniff out objectionable odors.
Ogden's chief administrator, John Patterson, said the city is not singling out a specific company for enforcement. But there have been complaints about a pet-food factory, American Nutrition Inc.
Despite promises, American Nutrition has failed to install an exhaust scrubber on three ovens that bake treats for dogs and cats, Patterson said.
"Stench is not the lasting memory that we want people to have in Ogden," he said.
Councilwoman Dorrene Jeske said an ordinance is overdue.
"The odor from the American Nutrition plant may have hindered us from getting some businesses along Wall Avenue," she said.
Company executive Bill Behnken was away from his office Monday and unavailable for comment.
American Nutrition last year said it had installed scrubbers on equipment used to produce kibble products from a mix of corn, wheat, rice meal and meat products, the Standard-Examiner reported.
In addition to creating a sniff patrol, the ordinance would also require companies to adopt technology or change practices to reduce or eliminate bad odors. Violators would be fined $125 to $500.
A panel consisting of a city building official and three residents appointed by Mayor Matthew Godfrey would investigate complaints.
A device known as an olfactometer would be used by city inspectors to determine if an odor had reached an objectionable level. Restaurants and bakeries would be exempt.
Talk About a Stuffed Piggy Bank
HOWELL TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A penny saved is a penny earned, but one man believes 33,500 pennies won are best donated to a worthy cause.
Bob Wilson, who won a small claims court case last month, will donate the pennies to the Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency, which has helped him with heating bills.
Wilson was given the pennies by Karl Stepen, owner of NSK Motorsports in Fowlerville, after a judge ruled in Wilson's favor and awarded him $335.
Stepen said he paid Wilson in pennies to show his contempt for Wilson. "We paid him in legal U.S. currency," Stepen said.
Wilson said he bought a dirt bike for his 13-year-old son and took it NSK in May to get it running. He didn't get the bike back until October, and he said it stopped working almost immediately.
He took the bike back to NSK and it sat unfixed for a few more months. He picked it up and took it to another shop, which charged him $900, he said.
Stepen said he had the bike "for some time," but he's a one-man operation with as many as 70 motorcycles waiting to be repaired. He said he did everything he could to help Wilson with the 30-year-old bike and offered to fix a second problem for free.
District Judge Theresa Brennan, who handled the appeal for Wilson's claim, said she's never heard of someone paying the court in pennies in her 22 years of practicing law.
Still, she said, it's legal: "We don't dictate the form of payment."
Got a good "Out There" story in your hometown? We would like to know about it. Send an e-mail with a Web link (we need to authenticate these things) to firstname.lastname@example.org.