Monday, December 24, 2007

The owner of the Maltermeister Turm restaurant (Gostar, Germany) has dealt with a new state no-smoking law by the sensible way of cutting three holes through a wall to the outside. A patron inside can grab a smoke by sticking his head and hands through the holes and puffing away.

Civilization in Decline
An apparently serious research paper published at Israel’s Hebrew Univ. touts the successful "strategy" of Israeli forces’ refraining from raping Palestinian women . . . . . This is the World’s Big Issue right now: Will we ever be able to make fun of religions (in this story, a California company selling underwear with Hindu gods’ images), but here is the Big Solution to the World’s Big Issue (in this story, Kyrgyzstan, a Muslim nation, announced plans for a big Santa Claus festival and theme park, so that non-Muslims from around the world will come have fun and spend money) . . . . . The District of Calamity (cont’d): The Washington Post is at it again with the tale of a successful elementary school principal, retiring, being given a $2.9M grant for a school foundation, with unbelievably skimpy paperwork, no accounting, no auditing, squiggly "signatures" that the Post cannot find any school official to own up to, $357k spent on travel in two yrs, and "16" employ—no, 16 was what the principal told the Post in the first interview, but, check that, we had, er, two employees.

The Human Condition Today
The Chattanooga paint-sniffer (125 court appearances) was caught, high and covered with paint, but this time, this time, he tried to say that, no, someone threw paint on him as a prank . . . . . The most naive woman in Arizona (who turned in a perv who had put a mirror on the floor between ladies’ room stalls): "Why would somebody do that, invade people’s privacy on purpose?" . . . . . A 15-yr-old boy at Hilton Head Island (S.C.) High School apparently got it up enough several times in 2003 to satisfy his sex-needy teacher, but he’s 18 now, and he wants the big bucks because he was "viciously teased" by his friends and will have "emotional issues intermittently for the rest of his life" (which describes, er, all of us?).

The Japanese inventor-gene comes through again: a wash-and-wear suit ("wash" meaning "wash it in the shower") . . . . . What a great country, that Netherlands: He was arrested on suspicion of growing cannabis and then served a cake spiked with hashish by the jailer! . . . . . Many female monkeys yell out during sex, but the German biologists studying them say it must be because it turns on the male (and not simply because she’s gettin’ her groove on) . . . . . Punishment for a trespassing teenager was for the workers to hang him for a while from a forklift, but a judge [sigh] said that was wrong . . . . . Readers’ Choice: Billionaire Ken Henricks, 66, who made his fortune from an Illinois roofing company, was killed at home when he accidentally fell through the roof of his garage.

Britain is about to formally outlaw designer babies, but the British Deaf Ass’n and similar groups want the right reserved to parents to create designer deaf babies because that fits their cultural lifestyles. News of the Weird touched this issue in the U.S., when it was recalcitrant parents’ refusals to let their teeny, tiny deaf babies have safe, effective cochlear implants [NOTW 741, 4-21-2002, NOTW 376, 4-14-1995], and both times Yr Editor had his ears torched (figuratively) by members of the "deaf community" who pointed out (entirely correctly) that I had no idea what it was like being deaf and that (entirely incorrectly) no non-deaf person had any right to decide this issue.

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

NOTW, The Blog
(1) Let Yr Editor, who’s hypersensitive about getting drawn into partisan political pissing matches, clarify my comment from Friday about the blue-skinned man story that I wrote was of dubious legitimacy. Just because I left a link to "Fox News" does not signify that I view Fox as an illegitimate source; to the contrary, I use Fox all the time. However, the particular blue-skinned man story on Fox appears to be a re-write of several stories that were, themselves, of dubious origin. That is not to say that the blue-skinned man doesn’t exist; I’m virtually certain that he does. But, for confidence in the news, I need to see a reportorial brand on it, and the Fox story doesn’t include one. (There are several possible reasons why no brand is mentioned. I’m guessing here: "entry-level editors, summarizing Internet stories, with journalistically-hardened editors, maybe, taking generous holiday leave.") In any event, ABC and CNN have now identified the actual TV station that shot the video story (KFSN-TV, Fresno, Calif., for which this would have been a local story). Until I knew that, I couldn’t rule out that the source wasn’t "Garth Algar, sitting in his basement editing some ol’ video into his own YouTube."
(2) Yr (straight) Editor has one thing against gays: their co-opting/retiring of the most excellent word queer. Bizarre is a pretty good word—better than odd or weird—but queer (or at least the queer of 50 yrs ago) looks and feels precisely like the concept it represents. Anyway, Thailand’s English-language Phuket Gazette editors didn’t get the gay memo, because they’ve called their "weird news" page "queer news."
(3) Just past my three-day rule on staleness for NOTW Daily: A Pennsylvania court ruled, unsurprisingly, that it’s only property improperly searched by the gov’t that is inadmissible in court (and if improperly searched by a Circuit City tech support guy, it’s still admissible, and you’ll just have to sue Circuit City for violating your privacy). Since it involves a retail computer store’s techie, you already guessed correctly that it involves child porn, and the perp’s name is . . . [drum roll] . . . the central-casting name for a Polish perv . . . Kenneth Sodomsky.

Newsrangers: Karl Olson, Diane Gunnels-Rowley, Matt Mirapaul, Lance Ellisor, Mark Neunder, Paul Blumstein
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.