Friday, October 05, 2007

Friday’s 5-Star Special
Winners of this yr’s IgNobel awards last night in Cambridge, Mass.: the biologists who found that mites are all over everything, even the now-scratching audience in their seats watching the IgNobel awards; research on the obviously alarming "side effects of sword swallowing"; the Air Force’s "gay bomb" (that supposedly turns enemies uncontrollably frisky, and prone to grab the first warm body they see, regardless of gender); and the Japanese researchers who found a way to extract vanillin (for ice cream, etc.) from, er, cow dung. There’s more, including a couple that NOTW readers didn’t see here first. [Agence France-Presse]

Civilization in Decline
South Korea, aided by the head of its Unidus company, has declared that it’s the big dog of world condom manufacturing now that its countrymen’s penises have grown larger, and the country will hold a 50-nation conference on product-standardization next week . . . . . The newly emerging resort property in Ukraine, featuring boating and scenic beauty, now aches for tourists: Chernobyl (site of the world’s worst, and actually only serious, nuclear power disaster, in 1986) . . . . . What, Me Worry? A typical low-taxes, gov’t-off-our-backs Republican candidate in a suburb of Washington, D.C., cheerfully, chutzpahtically owned up to having received almost $300k in federal farm subsidies in the last 10 yrs despite the fact that he’s been just a trial lawyer all that time. ("There’s no way you can justify this for guys like me. This is what is wrong with gov’t.") . . . . . A New York couple allegedly got inadequate Dell support for their computer, along with some nonsensical e-mails back, so Dell owes us $50.5m, please . . . . . Get in bed with a bunch of anti-analytical wusses, and it’ll be hard to convince them of anything analytically: Brian Marquis thinks he’s got a good case for an A-minus in one course at the notorious U.Mass.-Amherst (America’s citadel for political correctness), instead of the C he received (which sounds like he’s being a crybaby, except it involved a professor’s ex post facto changing the criteria for a grade just because it felt right to him, and at U.Mass-Amherst, "feeling" something is much more important than proving it by logic and principle).

The Human Condition Today
A New Zealand gov’t report made it official that a doctor doing back surgery actually misplaced the patient’s false teeth (until four days later when they were recovered somewhat down his throat) . . . . . The owner of a glass company in Scottsdale, Ariz., was arrested for making a deal to replace 135 broken school bus windows for $430k, because cops now believe he’s the one that hired the hit men to break the windows in the first place . . . . . A Brit got tagged with one of those Anti-Social Behavior Orders when neighbors turned him in for habitually screaming at his TV set . . . . . The Only Way Out: The owner of a barber shop in Clarksville, Tenn., desperately wanted to relocate it to his home and made a dramatic zoning appeal to the city council, which turned him down, 7-5, at which point he muttered, "I’m outta here" (followed by a gunshot to the head confirming it) . . . . . The Michigan Supreme Court will review a confusing case in which authorities believe Rev. Gennaro Piscopo sexually assaulted a parishioner of a Roseville church but that the woman still believes it was Satan himself who did the deed, [LINK CORRECTED] and Piscopo’s lawyers say this is obviously reasonable doubt.

Your Daily Loser
Timothy Vaughn, 39, is everywhere, and we know it, only he goes by a different name in different high schools. This one, who graduated from Lakeland High in the F State in 1985, was caught stockpiling a major arsenal of explosives that he threatened to use against various of his former classmates who had ignored him in school but continue to bother him now. "Nobody talked to me back then, so stop talking to me now. [I] can make Virginia Tech look like a [phuccking] birthday party," he wrote in one e-mail to someone who was trying to organize a class reunion via Classmates.com. Vaughn just wants to be left alone . . there in his house . . living with his mom (Bonus: "reasonable-doubt"-removing mugshot, of course!)

NOTW Lite
Cheap career-advancing, mouse-click-provoking journalism of the day: the unnamed stringer in Amsterdam who discovered that Apenheul Primate Park has an orang-utan that refuses to mate with his own kind but really gets hot over blonde humans with tattoos.

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

Newsrangers: Karl Olson, Eric Gibbs
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.