We would like to bring you the top ten list of oddest events of 2007. Plenty of stuff to choose from, so let’s get to it.
Top 10 Oddest Events of 2007
10. Bad Newz: Michael Vick gets busted for dogfighting.
In July, Atlanta QB Michael Vick is indicted on charges related to Bad Newz Kennels, an interstate dog fighting ring. Allegations include gambling and brutal killings of some dogs, including drowning, shooting, and electrocution. Vick is currently serving a 23 month sentence and is suspended from the Falcons.
According to WVEC, one of the 49 dogs found had to be euthanized because it was “aggressive to the point the evaluation couldn’t be completed and it has a history of biting people.”
Vick has listed some of his real estate for sale. His endorsement deals with Nike have been terminated.
9. Jim Cramer Meltdown
August 3rd. At the beginning of the subprime mortgage debacle, Jim Cramer gives an outburst on CNBC.
Poor, poor Cramer. We hope he’ll get by ok!
8. Aqua Dots date rape toys.
Aqua Dots, for sorority girls aged 18 and up.
A woman’s son eats a toy made in China and starts vomiting. Apparently, the toy, which is called Aqua Dots (“beads that can be arranged into designs and fused when sprayed with water”), contains a chemical that metabolizes into GHB (gamma hydroxy butyrate) when eaten. Yes, GHB, drug of choice for bodybuilders, ravers, and frat boys.
Aqua Dots is manufactured in China by Australian-owned Moose Enterprises, and is really a kind of toy called “bindeez”. The tainted toys were manufactured at the Wangqi Product Factory in Shenzhen, China, where a cheap toxic chemical (1,4-Butanediol) was substituted for the specified one (1,5-Pentanediol).
The toy was subjected to a multi-national recall.
7. The I-35W Mississippi River Bridge Collapse
August 1st. The I-35W bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota between University Avenue and Washington Avenue collapses at 6:05 pm CST during the later part of rush hour, killing 13 people. The bridge was a steel truss arch bridge consisting of 8 lanes, and over 1900 feet in length.
Not particularly odd, as such a thing happens all over the world, except for the fact that it happened in the U.S., which usually doesn’t experience this kind of infrastructure collapse.
The cause of the collapse has not yet been determined as of end-of-year 2007.
6. Paris Hilton goes to jail.
Why a rich socialite insists on driving is a mystery, but at this point everyone has given up trying to figure Paris Hilton out. Arrested in 2006 on a DUI, she was pulled over in January for driving on a suspended license, and pulled over again in February for going 70 in a 35 zone, with headlights off at night!
For violating her probation, she was sentenced in May to 45 days in jail. A petition surfaced to get the Governator to pardon her. A counter-petition was started to maintain her sentence.
In June, Hilton checked into the Lynwood, California facility to begin her jail term. In an unexpected turn of events, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca signed orders on the morning of June 7, reassigning Hilton to 40 days of home confinement with an electronic monitoring device due to an unspecified medical condition.
“My message to those who don’t like celebrities is that punishing celebrities more than the average American is not justice” – Sheriff Baca
Judge Michael Sauer summoned her to reappear in court the following morning. At the hearing he sent her back to jail to serve out her original sentence. Upon hearing the sentence, Hilton shouted, “It’s not right!” and started screaming. She was moved back to the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood on June 13. She served 22 days.
5. Nappy Headed Hos. The Imus Incident
April 4th. During a discussion about the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship, Don Imus characterized the Rutgers University women’s basketball team players as “rough girls” commenting on their tattoos. His executive producer Bernard McGuirk responded in his familiar “urban-speak” vernacular by referring to them as “hardcore ho’s”. The “urban-speak” banter continued with Imus describing the girls as “nappy-headed hos” and McGuirk remarking that the two teams looked like the “jigaboos versus the wannabes” mentioned in Spike Lee’s film, School Daze; apparently referring to the two teams’ differing appearances.
IMUS: That’s some rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they got tattoos and—
McGUIRK: Some hard-core hos, Tom.
IMUS: That’s some nappy-headed hos there. I’m gonna tell you that now, man, that’s some—woo. And the girls from Tennessee, they all look cute, you know, so, like—kinda like—I don’t know.
McGUIRK: A Spike Lee thing.
As a result, CBS Radio dropped Imus’ show. However, in December, Imus returned through ABC Radio networks.
4. The Boston Mooninite scare
January 31st. In Boston, devices used in a guerrilla marketing campaign for the animated television series Aqua Teen Hunger Force are mistaken for improvised explosive devices. The devices were really LED placards featuring Ignignokt and Err. Boston police and bomb squad is called in, as well as fire trucks, ambulances, and TV crews.
The first media reports that the event was a hoax occurred around 1 p.m. Interference Inc. (the marketing firm that created the campaign) notified their client, Cartoon Network. Turner Broadcasting System issued a statement concerning the event at around 4:30 p.m.
“We regret that they were mistakenly thought to pose any danger. The packages in question are magnetic lights that pose no danger. They are part of an outdoor marketing campaign in 10 cities in support of Adult Swim’s animated television show Aqua Teen Hunger Force. They have been in place for two to three weeks in Boston, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco, and Philadelphia.
Kevin Pereira, co-host of G4 TV’s Attack of the Show, dubbed the scare Aqua-Gate. The LA Times editorials said “Emergency personnel and anti-terrorism squads shut down more than a dozen highways, transit stations and other locations across the city Wednesday after receiving reports about multiple suspicious devices. The slender, placemat-sized items had dozens of colored lights, exposed wires and circuitry, and were powered by a row of D batteries wrapped in black tape. In other words, they looked like an upscale version of Hasbro’s Lite-Brite, a toy for artistic grade-schoolers.”
“We all thought it was pretty funny,” said one student. “The majority of us recognize the difference between a bomb and a Lite-Brite,” said another. One resident said that the police response was “silly and insane”, and that “We’re the laughingstock”.
3. Britney Spears loses her mind (and hair).
Having filed for divorce from K-Fed in 2006, Britney Spears was in an off-shore drug rehabilitation facility in Antigua for less than 24 hours on February 16. The following night, Spears went to a haircutting studio in Tarzana, California and shaved her hair off with clippers. A few days later, on February 20, she admitted herself to a treatment facility in Malibu, California. While leaving the facility briefly, she quickly returned on February 22. Spears left the rehabilitation center on March 20. Throughout early 2007, Spears embarked on a series of behaviors that received much attention from the media, including attacking the paparazzi with an umbrella.
In September, Spears was ordered to undergo random drug and alcohol testings and to attend parenting counseling. Spears and Federline continued to share joint custody of their two children on a conditional basis. A few days later, she was officially charged with misdemeanor hit-and-run and driving without a license. If convicted, she could face a year in jail. Spears lost physical custody of her children to Federline on October 1, with the court ruling that Federline will keep full custody of the children.
Spears attempts a comeback by appearing on the MTV Video Music Awards show, which everyone agrees was a disaster. Despite her performance, the single “Gimme More” was a commercial success, rendering everyone’s speculation of the end of her career premature.
2. Don’t Tase Me, Bro! The University of Florida Taser incident.
September 17th. “Don’t Tase Me, Bro!” becomes the number one catch-phrase of 2007 thanks to UF student Andrew Meyer, who, after hurling a bunch of nonsense at speaker John Kerry, is tased by campus security. Meyer was a 21 year old fourth year undergrad telecommunications student.
Meyer spoke for approximately 1.5 minutes, beginning by citing the book Armed Madhouse and its author Greg Palast’s description of the 2004 U.S. presidential election and reports of election irregularities. Meyer questioned Kerry’s concession of the 2004 U.S. presidential election, Kerry’s support or lack of support of the movement to impeach George W. Bush, and Kerry’s involvement in the Yale University secret society known as Skull and Bones.
After the incident, Meyer was arrested for inciting a riot and charged with resisting an officer and disturbing the peace. Meyer spent one night in the Alachua County Jail and was released the following morning. The government plans to drop their prosecution of Meyer’s case if he completes a voluntary 18-month probation. He plans to return as a student in the spring of 2008.
1. Anna Nicole Smith dies from an accidental drug overdose
February 8th – For one who watches TV news regularly, this event feels like it has been casting a huge shadow over everything else that happened in 2007, except maybe for the Virginia Tech Massacre. Maybe.
Smith was found unresponsive in room 607 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Ultimately her death was ruled an accidental drug overdose of the sedative chloral hydrate that became increasingly lethal when combined with other prescription drugs in her system, specifically 4 benzodiazepines: Klonopin (Clonazepam), Ativan (Lorazepam), Serax (Oxazepam), and Valium (Diazepam). Furthermore, she had taken Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) and Topamax (Toprimate), an anticonvulsant GABA agonist, which likely contributed to the sedative effect of chloral hydrate and the benzodiazepines.
Anna Nicole with Larry Birkhead
After Smith’s death, various legal battles began regarding: the will, the paternity of her daughter, and her final resting place, which resulted in the delay of her burial. Smith was finally buried March 2 at Nassau’s Lakeview Memorial Gardens and Mausoleum in a plot adjacent to her son, Daniel.
On February 9, it was revealed that Stern had custody of Smith’s child, Dannielynn. Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt, the current husband of actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, also claimed to be the father of the baby girl. Others who also claimed to be the daddy were Alexander Denk, an actor and a former bodyguard for Anna Nicole Smith, and Mark Hatten, a former boyfriend. On April 10, a Bahamian court determined from DNA evidence presented by court-appointed DNA expert Dr. Michael Baird that Larry Birkhead is the father of Dannielynn.