Monday, August 20, 2007

Monday’s 5-Star Special
Relatives of the late Patricia Nilsen have gone nuts on 1960s singer Connie Francis, to whom Nilsen inexplicably left her entire $300k estate "under the insane delusion," they said, that Connie was best buds with her. (They had met and corresponded; Nilsen was a big fan; Nilsen appears to have been a hard-to-ignore pain-in-the-butt. But, dammit, Connie wants the dough.)

Civilization in Decline
India is all thrilled/not-thrilled about next yr’s introduction of the all-plastic, equivalent-$2,400 car (size of VW Rabbit but with 1/5 the horsepower), but the country barely has enough road space now, with about 1 percent the car-ownership saturation of Americans . . . . . In Cancun, which is full of fake Mayan architecture, employees of the 5-star Hotel Coral Beach thought a guest, natively-dressed, genuine-Mayan Nobel peace prize winner Rogoberta Menchu, was surely a bag lady . . . . . Britain is investigating the Canadian company Examear, which advertises that its wireless earbuds can help students cheat on exams . . . . . Gun buy-backs are different in the F State: One guy brought in what deputies called a portable crime scene and another a shoulder-fired missile launcher.

The Human Condition Today
Brit Hannah King, 51, wanted The Times to stick it to British Telecom so badly, for poor customer service, that she didn’t seem embarrassed to admit that she actually waited on hold for 20 hours (over 3 days) . . . . . Connecticut dentist Aram Agadjanian’s alleged chairside manner, to a patient complaining of pain: He slapped him repeatedly in the face ("I will show you pain") . . . . . A Tel Aviv doctor has developed what is basically a push-up bra inserted by surgery (silicone cups under the breast tissue, held up with threads attached to upper ribs) (cheaper than a breast-lift) (Seriously) . . . . . A political boss and former councilman in East St. Louis, Ill., pleaded guilty to getting workers to dangerously, illegally remove asbestos from a building by telling them it was not the "dangerous kind" of asbestos . . . . . Sounds Like a Joke: (1) glamour ranches, where you can jet to Montana, have your butler build a campfire, have your cook rustle up bison for dinner, run your hair dryer in the tent before squeezing into your white linen sheets for the night or (2) the Japanese clothier selling shirts with two small fans sewn in and powered by a rechargeable battery, to billow out (and cool) the wearer.

The only item stolen: the 50-ft tree out of your yard . . . . . Said the Boston police investigator, after finding some life-in-the-hood books lying around at a gang arrest scene: How tough are you "if you [have] to read up on how to be a [gangbanger]"? . . . . . The year’s least dignified death so far: A 60-yr-old woman/exotic animal fan was crushed to death in Mitchell, Australia, when her new pet camel tried to mate with her.

The righteous illegal alien Elvira Arellano [NOTW Daily, 8-18-2007] left her church sanctuary and flew to L.A. to do some real protesting of immigration policy, and was promptly arrested [Ed.: and will soon be glorified by pro-immigration advocates who will ignore her rap sheet].

Professor Music’s Weird Links
NOTW readers need some science learnin’ from time to time. Here’s actual news about the "ornate golden baboon tarantula" that can jump 3 feet and "will bite you just to bite you," said an SPCA official, but mainly here’s a 2006 post from BoingBoing, citing the authoritative blog, on exactly how a particular kind of wasp inserts its stinger into a roach’s brain to convert it into a zombie, takes it home and locks it up, and then uses it to hatch larvae. Wrote science man Carl Zimmer, "Seeing a full-grown wasp crawl out of a roach suddenly makes those Alien movies look pretty derivative."

NOTW, The Blog
About that stolen 3-ton meteor [NOTW Daily, 8-13-2007]: NOTW’s chief science correspondent Emory Kimbrough says Reuters ought to be a-firin’ its Moscow stringer, for excessive gullibility.

The Yahoo News report . . . missed the story's biggest fact: That big rock is almost certainly NOT a meteorite. Yep, there was a huge blast at Tunguska, and there is some legitimate controversy over whether an asteroid fragment or a comet fragment was to blame. But, no reputable scientist claims that anything more than microscopic bits (like 1/1000th of an inch) of the impactor have been found, because the impactor explosively vaporized way up high in the atmosphere. So, the consensus is that there's nothing more than dust left to be found. But suppose, arguendo, that a 3-tonne fragment really did somehow survive the aerial explosion and vaporization. Then far, far more numerous smaller-sized fragments - say one pound and ten pound - should also have survived. So, how does one guy find the ultra-rare 3-tonne fragment when swarms of scientists have never, ever found even a single 1-pound or 10-pound fragment? Yury Lavbin, the theft victim, is a known crank, and [surely] he just dragged a completely ordinary plain ol' boulder back from Tunguska, foolishly self-deluded into believing it was a meteorite.

Newsrangers: Steve Miller, Seth Chickering, Paul Di Filippo, Ginger Katz, Joe Littrell, Sam Varshavchik.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.