Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wednesday’s 5-Star Special
Popular Science’s 2007 list of Worst Jobs in Science is out, with a mixture of the gross (urine-lagoon diver), the dangerous (elephant vasectomist), and the near-terminally banal (volunteer for 3 weeks of motionlessness). [NOTE: The article is in the July 2007 issue, which was officially out yesterday, but as of this morning, the Current Issue on the website is still June, so you’ll have to keep checking back until they post it, at PopSci.com] [Previous editions of these great jobs: NOTW 824, 11-23-2003; NOTW 877, 11-28-2004; and NOTW 928, 11-20-2005]

Civilization in Decline
Another Clash of the Idealists: The low-carbon-footprint people are ticked at the organic-food people because so little organically is locally produced, i.e., heavy transportation costs are required . . . . . Electronic Frontier Foundation revealed that Carfax, Inc., was just awarded a U.S. patent for its "novel" method of checking auto VIN numbers really well to make sure the car’s title is clear, which means that, under the law, the Patent Office didn’t think what Carfax was doing was "obvious" [link from BoingBoing.net]. . . . . But the Trademark section of the Office is on the job, enforcing its rule against marks that use words that are "scandalous" (i.e., dirty), in the face of a major challenge from a Florida sex toy seller who wants to own the name [modified here for e-mail filters] F**kingMachines.com (Why, he said, the word is practically mainstream conversation, and in fact, he uses it as often as he can) . . . . . So, if the Social Security Administration finally gives an immigrant an SSN (after the traditional long wait), and the number turns out to have previously been stolen (but the Administration didn’t know that), it’s legally not the Administration’s problem (but fortunately Arizona Republic columnist E. J. Montini is on the case) . . . . . U.S. Sen. Craig Thomas of Wyoming died last week, and state law lets his party appoint a successor, and apparently they’re taking the responsibility seriously because they’ve posted online an actual application form for the job . . . . . Putin’s people play for keeps in the city of Murmansk: An anti-gov’t demonstration was quelled when officials spread manure around the protest site (but Putin is so unpopular that some protesters wouldn’t leave, even then).

The Human Condition Today
Here’s Bonney Eberendu’s story, which he recited to the judge: He found that taking dumps on various public trains in England would quench his desire to murder a woman or child . . . . . A classic lawyer versus lawyer lawsuit in Chicago: personal, tiny, and vicious (but if you’re fighting over Bears’ season tickets, it’s gonna be that way) . . . . . Mohammed Taheri-azar, 23, has apologized for trying to run down Americans and Jews with his car in Chapel Hill, N.C., last yr and wrote a letter to the judge asking him to please let him go so he can now live a "productive" life, OK?

Your Daily Loser
Timothy Farmer was in a gang of four people, said police in Sumter, S.C., who got into an argument with a man and who then tried to settle things by brandishing a seriously venomous cottonmouth water moccasin snake at him. By the end of the brief skirmish, the victim was unharmed; somehow, the only one bitten was Timothy.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
That would be the landlord in Kuala Lumpur who rented the house to five university students and neglected to tell them that the bathroom was a video studio (but, actually, one kid should have suspected something because she said he once gave her advice on which way to stand in the shower for better bathing). (Seriously)

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
It’s enough for Congress to labor through the arduous task of locating worthy recipients of earmarks and finding the goodies for them in the federal gov’t, and you surely don’t expect them to then keep track of whether anything worthwhile comes of it. Hence, it’s up to the NY Times to report that two decommissioned Coast Guard cutters that Congress gave to a religious organization for the sole purpose of providing medical services to South Pacific islanders . . were pretty soon sold for cash.

Updates
The Washington, D.C., lawyer suing for $54M for the missing pants actually managed to bawl in court yesterday when describing how he was humiliated by those Korean dry cleaners . . . . . The headline making the Internet rounds is something like "Pentagon Confirms It Sought to Build a ‘Gay Bomb,’" meaning a nonlethal weapon that would distribute airborne aphrodisiacs (powerful enough to make straight men go for the, er, first available target), but the story was pretty much confirmed right here: NOTW 886, 1-30-2005.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
will return tomorrow (even though that’s what I wrote yesterday; get over it).

Newsrangers: Jerry Ricks, Tom Barker, Karl Olson.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.