Friday, October 12, 2007

Friday’s 5-Star Special
Arbitrators in New York City are trying to work through hedge-fund trader Andrew Tong’s charges that his $150m/yr boss at SAC Capital made him take female hormones so he’d tone down his aggressiveness in trading. He complied, and, he says, the hormones made him effeminate, and Wall Street is agog (Bonus: He started wearing dresses).

Civilization in Decline
Coming to America soon, a reality TV show that dares contestants to admit embarrassing things in front of family and friends (in exchange for the big bucks), but it’s just been closed down in Colombia after a woman confessed to hiring a hit man to take out her husband . . . . . Sounds Like a Joke: OK, genocide is not a joke, and it’s bad bad bad, but still, where in the world did this come from? The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs (like, can you think of any, er, more crucial issues that such a committee ought to be fighting over these days?) has voted out a contentious resolution condemning genocide in Armenia in 1915, thus embarrassing a valuable U.S. secular Muslim ally (Turkey) that has so far resisted going extremist . . . . . The House Homeland Security Committee, too, acted sorta quixotic, telling the four staffers it sent to two NASCAR races that they needed to get vaccinated (but it turns out there was a good reason) . . . . . IRS reported this ridiculous fact based on the latest (2005) adjusted gross incomes: The wealthiest 1% of Americans earned 21.2% of all our income; the bottom 50% earned 12.8% (and there must be inequality within inequality because the Chicago Sun-Times did a catch-up on that 2005 website where, on a lark, a guy let some women post their photos and ask for public donations to get breast implants, and y’know, it was a hot site for a while, and a few guys here and there sent in, oh, $5 and $10, etc., and—wait, it’s still up, and it’s huge, and 2500 women have raised $250k, and if America’s got enough money to fund breast implants for strangers, well . . ..).

The Human Condition Today
A Woodland, Calif., dentist, under investigation, said his chest massages are completely legit, and he may be right, naaah, well, maybe . . . . . Cypriot-born artist Stelios Arcadious actually has, courtesy of British surgeons, an ear growing in his arm (and wants to mic it and Bluetooth it so he’ll be able to "hear" with it) . . . . . The L.A. Times went to the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (a literal-text college), where women can take a concentration in homemaking (cooking, laundering, sewing, etc.) not because they necessarily want to but because the Bible demands that they serve their (future) husbands . . . . . The perils of the incompletely written story: On the same day as the Ohio Columbine-wannabe struck this week, cops busted the arsenal of another potential Columbiner, 14-yr-old in Pennsylvania who said he was feeling "bullied"—but he’s home-schooled! (but I’m pretty sure that referred to taking out bullies from where he went to school before, only that’s not in the story) . . . . . Would-be Mexican horror novelist Jose Luis Calva certainly walked the walk of a cannibal, i.e., his tasty girlfriend and maybe three more women . . . . . In Poland, it says in today’s subscriber-only Wall Street Journal, the dubbing for any American TV program (including all the characters in "Desperate Housewives," for example) is done by one man, and the huskier the voice, the better the Poles like it.

Your Daily Loser
Jose Jimenez was arrested in Hobart, Ind., done in by demon rum that caused him to shoot holes in his ceiling because he thought that’s where his wife’s presumed lover was hiding, but the gun was stolen and besides, he’s a convicted felon who can’t possess one.

Too bad you’re not in the British military because you might have the tingly pleasure of serving under an Air Chief Marshal fabulously named Jock Stirrup . . . . . A train hit a, well, somewhat-inebriated man and woman in Delray Beach, Fla. ("What happened?" the woman asked the paramedic / "You were hit by a train" / "Oh . . Can I get a beer?") . . . . . A New Mexico researcher found a way to get world headlines (including in The Economist, for heaven’s sake!) while hanging out at strip clubs: He learned what Yr Editor has known for years: that ovulation begets horniness (but the professor added, it also begets bigger tips).

Illinois lawyer Gary Peel [NOTW 950, 4-23-2006], who was too smart for own his britches in trying to blackmail his ex-wife into not ratting him out at his bankruptcy hearing (by threatening to show her parents NSFW photos of her younger sister) (but, since young sis was way too young, he was convicted of possessing child porn), has now said his case was lost because of his three lawyers (for a total of four working on the case), and a judge gave him a new one, at $94/hr, on taxpayers.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Not today. Maybe tomorrow.™

NOTW, The Blog
It’s been ten yrs since Yr Editor introduced you to Matt McMullen’s creation of the lifelike silicone-doll industry [NOTW 508. 10-31-1997]:
New York City special-effects artist Matt McMullen, 28, has been offering his lifesize, authentically detailed, steel-skeletoned, silicone dolls, under the name "Real Dolls," for several months on the Internet, for around $4,000 each plus options. So far, Stacy, Natasha, Nina, and Leah are available, with choice of hair color, skin color, and height (either "supermodel" or short and voluptuous). His original doll was intended as sculpture until lonely men bombarded him with price inquiries. Said McMullen, "There is no way this can compete with the real thing, but it can fill a deep void in someone's life."

McMullen moved to California; the price has gone up; and the varieties and sophistication of features have progressed, but only now is Hollywood getting to the "deep void" stuff. The movie Lars and the Real Girl opens this weekend, and even though Lars supposedly has a top-of-the-line doll (who according to the reviews, is a major character in the story), there’s no sex, just some deep psychological void-filling.

Newsrangers: Steve Miller, James Wicht, Emory Kimbrough, Karl Olson, Matt Mirapaul, Daniel Wiesenfeld, Mark Neunder, Gerald Sacks
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.