The Odd Truth: July 25, 2005

The Odd Truth is a collection of strange but factual news stories from around the world compiled by's Meredith Stoffel.

Court Attire Wanted

BENTONVILLE, Ark. - Clothes may not make the man but they do make an impression. And if witnesses and defendants aren't dressed properly in front of some northwestern Arkansas judges, they could find themselves in contempt of court.

Once a man testified in a battery case in Rogers Municipal Court, wearing a shirt that asked on the front: "Wanna raise some hell?" The back read: "Hell yeah!"

Judge Doug Schrantz found him in contempt of court after learning the man had another shirt he could have worn. Circuit Judge Tom Keith upheld Schrantz' decision and sentenced the man to 24 hours in jail.

Keith said suits and ties aren't required, but a full set of clothing — clean — is expected. He does not want men wearing earrings or any piercings on the eye, nose or lip.

Circuit Judge David Clinger said he doesn't expect people to wear tuxedos but said there is a middle ground.

Lawyers advise their clients to come to court in proper attire so judges will concentrate on the facts of the case and not be distracted by someone in shorts, or a beer T-shirt or a skimpy outfit.

"Some I have to take under my wings and explain what's expected of them," defense lawyer Greg Clark said. "Especially in divorce cases. It may be the only time they appear before the judge, and if they are dressed like a bum, then their creditability may be that of a bum. "

If jail is an option, don't wear a T-shirt advertising beer; if a woman is seeking custody of a child, a revealing outfit won't help, Clark said.

No Lottery Fraud, Just Luck

MADISON, Wis. - When Jeffrey Hintz won the state lottery's second-chance drawing five weeks in a row, some people in state government got a little suspicious.

Turns out, Hintz just got lucky, an investigation has concluded.

Investigators with Wisconsin's Department of Revenue found no signs of fraud in his five-week winning streak in March and April.

Hintz and his wife, Lisa, have won almost $73,000 in cash prizes from the state lottery since 1999. More than $65,000 came from drawings.

But the couple's good fortune in the lottery's weekly second-chance drawing raised suspicions of fraud and prompted Rep. David Cullen to request the investigation.

Given how many tickets they were sending in for the drawing, the odds of their winning five times in a row were 1 in 14,397, auditors said.

Jeffrey Hintz told auditors he spent thousands of dollars on lottery tickets every week and countless hours stamping envelopes with the lottery's address so he could enter losing tickets in the weekly drawings. He submitted entries in his wife's name, too.

People are allowed to enter the drawings as often as they want, but each entry must include at least $5 worth of tickets. That means Hintz was sending in at least $2,500 in tickets a week, and postage alone would have cost $185 a week.

"It doesn't necessarily surprise me that that someone would be that lucky," Cullen said. "It surprises me that someone would (enter that often). They're spending a lot of time and resources on the lottery."

Boosting Baby Brainpower

BANGKOK, Thailand - The government will soon present Thai couples having their first baby with gifts designed to boost the youngster's brainpower, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said.

"The brain is like the CPU in a computer ... the practice of thinking will develop different parts of the brain to work together and to boost the power of thinking," he said in his weekly radio address.

The gift sets, to be distributed by the Health Ministry, will include a parenting handbook, children's story books, and items to help develop child's cognitive and artistic abilities, Thaksin said.

An earlier version of the gift bag caused consternation among some parents who complained its contents were unsafe for children. The bag contained toys with small bells that babies could swallow and books with sharp corners, it said.

Distribution of the new bags will begin on Thursday to mark the 53rd birthday of Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn. The prince's wife, Her Royal Highness Srirasmi, gave birth to a son in April.

Billboard Seeks Wife For Bachelor

SALT LAKE CITY - It pays to advertise. At least the friends of Lance Archibald hope so. His buddies decided he needed some help in finding a wife. So, they put up a billboard on I-15 near Salt Lake City. The giant ad has a picture of the 31-year-old former college basketball player with the slogan, "I'm Lance, Let's go out!" They've also set up a Web site, So far, the site has gotten more than 1,500 hits. But Archibald doesn't seem too worried about his continuing single status. While most of his friends are married, Archibald says he's pretty happy right now. He's a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members typically marry in their early 20's.

Implant Contest

PENTICTON, B.C. - Tiffany Freisen can't wait to get her new chest. But it might not be so easy. The personal banker has won the Sextreme Makeover competition at the Element Nightclub, a Canadian bar. The top prize is free breast implant surgery. Freisen says she's always felt short changed when it comes to a certain part of her anatomy. But she could have trouble finding a surgeon to do the operation. The British Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons has strict guidelines against doctors doing plastic surgery for contest winners. The doctors' group says the prospect of free surgery might cloud a patient's judgment about the dangers of an operation.

Man To Head Up Women's Studies Department

SEATTLE - The new head of the women studies department at the University of Washington won't be using the ladies' room. UW is tapping a man to chair the department. Professor David Allen will be the only man in charge at the ten major universities that offer doctoral programs in women studies. He knows his appointment is controversial. But Allen thinks he's the man for job. Allen says men can be committed to supporting feminism, too. Allen is also a nurse and knows about gender stereotyping. Allen says his father thought it was an "outrageously bad idea" that he became a nurse.