Monday, July 16, 2007

Monday’s 5-Star Special
Bad enough that Evian has a 2,900 percent markup over tap water, but there’s a “water bar” in Chappaqua, N.Y., offering 80 brands, with one best-seller going for $30/bottle and another at $55/bottle (The owner, un-ironically complaining about the potential market: “There are so many people that are uneducated about water”)

[REMINDER: This is a six-day-a-week feature, even though, for a little while, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays get the day off.]

Civilization in Decline
The Georgia Bd. of Pardons and Paroles meets today, with one last chance to spare the condemned Troy Anthony Davis from the death chamber Tuesday; his cop-killing conviction was based on no physical evidence at all but merely nine “eyewitness” IDs, of which seven have recanted, and technicalities have beaten down his appeals so far . . . . . “Allahu Akbar!” is what Terry Mangum might have screamed as he plunged the knife into Kenneth Cummings, but actually, it wasn’t that God he was serving; Mangum said he planned to kill a gay man in the name of the Christian God after “thousands and thousands and thousands of hours” of Bible-reading [Ed.: Well, either that, or Mangum sought a gay bar adventure, changed his mind in progress, killed the only witness, and then when he got caught, thought piety was his best bet] . . . . . Yr Editor suggests bodyguards, immediately, for Australian Jeffrey Lee, because (a) he’s the only surviving tribal owner of land up toward Darwin that (b) contains 14,000 tons of uranium [value: almost US$5B] yet (c) he appears sincerely interested in keeping the land undeveloped and pristine . . . . . . . . . . A N’awlins-area injustice from 1996, but it’s still not yet undone: A couple’s house was sold from under them for a $1.96 overdue tax bill that even due diligence on their part would not have discovered, and there’s still an appeal standing in their way to get the title back . . . . . A New York City mother sees that her lazy-ass son has flunked 7th grade and now is absolutely outraged at the school system (well, er, she’s outraged that they’re nonetheless promoting the little slacker to 8th grade).

The Human Condition Today
From Reno, Nev., here are your basic super-24/7-Dungeons & Dragons players, which is fine, except that they have two starved and filthy toddlers that they were ignoring the whole time (and it’s a wonder they even found the time to make the babies) . . . . . A city councilwoman in a town near Orlando, and her husband, are in trouble for roughing up their 18-yr-old daughter in an exorcism (but dad said it was a simple “anointing” with oil) . . . . . Welsh authorities have tried to get tougher on Amy Beth Dellamura, 44, because she’s tied up rescuers (50 jump-into-the-ocean suicide attempts in 5 years), costing maybe £1M (about US$2M) . . . . . The more positive and community-minded Briton, Craig Jex, has established a dating website for those, like him, with Irritable Bowel Syndrome . . . . . Best lede (Atlanta Journal-Constitution): “Three friends who were goofing around in an apartment with a loaded AK-47 Wednesday night . .” . . . . . And here’s golden justice (but you may already know about this ‘cause it’s all over the place): Last week a woman and her brat were booted off a Continental flight (he kept endless-loop-screaming “bye bye plane” until the flight attendant went nuts on him), and Friday morning she brought the little angel to Good Morning America to show how unfair that flight attendant was, and basically [here’s the video] the angel screamed and terrorized Diane Sawyer until she had him carted offstage.

Your Daily Loser
Cody Wirick was arrested in Weber County, Utah, for possession of bomb materials, but, according to this mugshot, he more resembles an escapee from Area 51.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Even if you’ve been reading Newza Da Weird for a long time, you may not have run into a piece of work like Nizameddine Hassan Chokr, 51, of Costa Mesa, Calif. (now residing at a state facility in Vacaville), who, according to the account by the Yr Editor’s favorite reporter, R. Scott Moxley of the OC Weekly, says he is not a low-life serial public masturbator but the constant victim of set-ups by women who’ve hit on him and been rejected. He’s just so irresistible, he says (“I am the best ever”), that women turn horny on sight of him.

Deep inside Congo (but not deep enough that a researcher couldn’t find them) are huge chimps that natives say eat lions (or at least, how could they sleep on the ground with impunity in lion country?) . . . . . Another challenging news report: A now-well-traveled Washington Post tale last week had a gun-toting mugger bursting into a backyard cookout but being immediately won over by the hostess’s charm and some damn good wine (or at least that’s what she persuaded the D.C. police and WP staff writer Allison Klein happened).

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
It turns out Rhode Island’s month-old law, to require treating 17-yr-old criminal defendants as adults, was not any crackdown on juvenile crime but rather just because it costs only $40k/yr to house an adult in prison but $98k to baby-gloves-house a kid.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Prof. Music’s been a-filin’, but Yr Editor ain’t been a-editin’.

Newsrangers: Steve Clark, Joe Littrell, Mark Neunder.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.