Monday, December 10, 2007

Monday’s 5-Star Special
Nobelist James Watson, the DNA pioneer who recently resigned after publicly concluding that it’s just not in Africans’ genes ever to be as smart as Westerners, had previously published his own genome for research purposes, and a new work-up reveals that he has, er, 16x the number of African genes as the typical European, which is thought to be predictive of having at least a black great-grandparent. [Of course, that fact itself doesn’t really call his statement into question, but an awful lot of people are slapping their knees right now.]

Civilization in Decline
Relax, Americans! Oslo’s airport screeners are worse than ours.

The Human Condition Today
On the cutting edge of politically correct kudos: Tony Deifell’s classes teaching photography to the blind . . . . . Michigan nun/principal Kathy Avery sternly admonished her 5th- to 8th-graders not to cuss by going way beyond George Carlin with her own list of exactly which words she means (plus "stupid" and "boring") . . . . . But she couldn’t be as vile as the purported major league baseball artifact from 1898 instructing players not to cuss on the field (offered last week by a New Jersey auction house), which includes "you c—sucking son of a bitch," "you c—lapping dog," and "a dog must have f----d your mother when she made you" . . . . . City councilwoman Sandra Tucker of Dacono, Colo., has resigned rather than give in and remove a racially-insensitive joke of hers from a community weblog (Bonus: It almost couldn’t be lamer) . . . . . Parents in Mt. Lebanon, Pa., went nuts when they found out that a fun-fun-fun Christian youth group did a skit (that kids seemed to all enjoy) in which boys put on adult diapers/bibs/bonnets, hopped into girls’ laps, and got spoon-fed apple sauce and baby bottles of soda, with the first boy to finish declared the winner (Bonus: In a previous version, the boys had to eat chocolate pudding out of diapers).

Your Daily Loser
Unclear on the Concept: Jason Brooks, 24, applied to the Oakland, Calif., police dept., even though in the previous six months, he had been arrested for, er, 18 armed robberies.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
A Chicago man was invited by a former lover to Sheboygan, Wis., finally, to be introduced to the daughter he fathered 18 yrs ago, whereupon police say he tried to rape the girl (although his story is she pounced on him while he was asleep).

NOTW Lite
After a five-month investigation, prosecutors in Warsaw decided maybe it’s not against the law to call the president a potato.

Things That Seem Wrong
The U.S. Ambassador in Baghdad kicked project manager James Golden out of the country this yr when it became apparent that Golden's under-construction U.S. embassy was looking shoddy and that questionable contracting might be involved, but now the State Dept. admits that Golden is still running the project, from Kuwait . . . . . The waiting time on appeals from denials of Social Security disability benefits is now, on average, 500 days (and these are people who, by definition, can’t do anything to help themselves during the wait, and in some cases are forced into bankruptcy before the appeal is decided) (Bonus: When those appeals are finally decided, claimants win 2/3 of the time).

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
Bad, that Minnesota’s Carver County (pop. 70,000) made a data-entry error (valuing a small vacant lot at $189m); worse, that artificially bumped up projected tax collections by $2.5m, which is huge for such a small county; worse, still, nobody noticed, and they actually planned out how they were going to spend it.

Update
Now Mike Huckabee is in trouble for his decision, while Arkansas governor in 1996, to trust vicious-rapist Wayne DuMond for parole, probably because DuMond said all the born-again-Christian things (and then of course DuMond, when released, murdered a woman and went back to prison, where he died in 2005). But DuMond put some spring in News of the Weird’s step in the early years because DuMond had wound up neutered after the rape, and an Arkansas sheriff had actually commandeered the testicles, kept them in a jar on his desk, and taken them around to civic groups for show-and-tell’s on how tough the sheriff’s office is. Things got weirder when DuMond sued the sheriff and won $150k for emotional distress for the sheriff’s punking him like that. (Either vigilantes had tracked DuMond down and fixed him, which is DuMond’s story, or he did it to himself and blamed vigilantes, which he thought might help in his then-pending trial.) The NOTW stories are probably not available anywhere on line, but Yr Editor was on the job! [NOTW 35, 11-4-1988] [NOTW 455, 10-25-1996]

Professor Music’s Weird Links
You thought it was bizarre to see a lady pushing her little doggy in his own stroller, but it turns out she had a tough time shopping for it because you can pay up to $400 for them, in several styles and colors, including all-terrain and SUV models, and a double-decker.

Newsrangers: Mark Neunder, Emory Kimbrough, Karl Olson, Perry Levin, Paul Music
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.