Monday, March 05, 2007

Beijing has more than 9 times as many public toilets as London has, and will have upgraded half of them in time for the Olympics next yr (but London, host of the 2012 Olympics, is status-quo'ing it).

The mother of Zachary Rothfeld, 12, filed a lawsuit against the operators of NYC’s Roosevelt Island tram, nine months after that incident that stranded 69 people over the East River for 11 hours until they were rescued. Zachary’s said to be severely, severely traumatized, which was not predicted by his upbeat TV interview right after the rescue: "That didn’t scare me. I remember thinking, I hope there really is a Spider Man."

Florida is one of 19 states that detains the worst sex offenders after their sentences are up, purporting to "treat" them, but (as Yr Editor has suspected for a long time) its treatment center in Arcadia is better described as a state-sponsored circle-jerk club. The NY Times gave it page-one treatment today, disclosing: Of the hundreds housed there since 2000 (484 right now), only one has ever been certifiably rehabbed. It’s not a prison, exactly, so they removed the razor wire after detainees complained that it was puncturing their volleyballs. And in 2000, they had an actual, successful Charles Bronson-type helicopter escape. No-show rates for group therapy sessions are around 30 percent (but much of that is on the advice of their lawyers, who understand a flaw in the system, i.e., that the client might get carried away and confess to a crime that he hasn’t yet been charged with). Most of the high staff turnover is because of staff-detainee sex. And the whole thing costs about 2x as much per capita as if the guys were just "in prison" (which is peanuts compared to the 8x rate for a Kansas detainee the Times uncovered in Sunday’s story). On the other hand, Yr Editor suspects that rank-and-file, tax-hating Floridians might choose this as their favorite taxable program (if only they could cut out those wasteful expenses on "rehabbing").

Your Daily Loser: Illinois revoked the funeral director’s license of Roy M. Williams, who committed various money- and death-certificate-handling indiscretions but who most notably once wore a dead man’s hat to the guy’s funeral.

People With Worse Sex Lives Than You: Army drill sergeant Edmundo Estrada, 35, has been accused of unorthodox therapy on a depressed trainee, having him dress up as Superman and moan as Estrada did some sexual things to him which Estrada apparently had seen on a porno movie involving a Superman character weakened by kryptonite and moaning as he is sexually tortured. (Estrada also allegedly had a free-lance body-development documentation project going on, periodically photographing his charges’ chests so he could, y'know, chart their progress.)

Just Below The Fold
A church commission in New Zealand blasted the weak reprimand the broadcasting-standards agency gave a sports radio network for running a 34-second piece that was unmistakably a woman having sex with a bull . . . . . Kiwis have other problems, too: Christchurch Hospital’s cardiac unit is so short of beds that The Press found that some patients were having their surgical wounds nursed in restrooms . . . . . A courier service (which Yr Editor will not iDentify Here) Left a human liver and part of a head (destined for a medical facility) at the home of a couple expecting to receive table legs . . . . . A physician is suing a girl that he (apparently) simply did not go far-enough around when he tried to pass her on a street (he on bicycle, she, age 11 at the time, on inline skates), and the ensuing spill was way bad for him, nothing to her . . . . . So many U.S. executives are visiting India (mainly to talk about outsourcing) that India’s visa-processing office can’t keep up, and it’s going to start outsourcing that paperwork, er, to a U.S. firm . . . . . Three men wrongly convicted in a state prosecution of a gangland murder are out of prison and looking for somebody to sue, and how about the FBI, which knew they were innocent all along but defiantly says, Hey, we couldn’t tell anyone because that might have outed our confidential informant.

NOTW Lite
Two drunk drivers crashed into each other and are in critical condition in Manchester, N.H. (so, is there a problem?) . . . . . You say you’d like to meet Michael Jackson? Stand there and chit-chat with him for just one minute? No problem. That’ll be $3,500, please . . . . . A 45-yr-old woman was sentenced (no jail time) in Melbourne, Australia, for trying to smuggle 15 fish under her clothes (no comment) (Bonus: They were making flipping sounds in the water bags she had ‘em in) . . . . . In one one-story (multinational) house in Houston: 26 Hondurans, 24 Salvadorans, 13 Mexicans, 2 Brazilians, 2 Guantemalans, and not a single visa . . . . . About 170 Swiss infantry soldiers in training apparently got lost and wandered briefly into Liechtenstein, which was not aware and undoubtedly wouldn’t have taken offense anyway. (Jokesters’ Take: If the soldiers had gotten lost on their western border instead of their eastern, they’d have wandered into France and would now own the country.)
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.