Saturday, March 24, 2007

Saturday’s Drip
Official policy for illegal aliens is 5 free arrests / Seattle’s articulate (yet chronic) public masturbator / The Kentucky lawyers busy re-defining "greedy" / And someone has a job that pays $1

Civilization in Decline
Found in the Justice Dept’s document dump this week in Gonzalezgate: guidelines on when to prosecute illegals caught in the Southwest (and the answer is, not before their 6th arrest) . . . . . A genuine Internet suicide in England, with the guy checking in to an insult chat room on his webcam, absorbing dozens of dares and catcalls, and then finally yielding to the wisdom of the crowd and permanently logging out . . . . . An Australian appeals court ruled, as a matter of law, that if a woman consents to fellatio, she has consented to the whole schmeer.

The Human Condition Today
Say hello to William Gallion, Shirley Cunningham Jr., and Melbourne Mills Jr., of Kentucky, who might be the only three personal-injury lawyers in the country who don’t think there’s enough money to be made the old-fashioned way from phen-fen lawsuits . . . . . UFO’s in the News: (1) Former Arizona Gov. Fife Symington, who lampooned a 1997 UFO incident in Phoenix that occurred during his term, told an interviewer that, well, it might have been real; (2) France’s space agency uploaded 1,600 UFO incident reports (supposedly everything it has from the last 50 yrs*), and said almost 400 are, er, not yet explained. [* or was it everything? . . they always say that . .] . . . . . From Seattle Weekly: "No matter how dismal the future of print media may look, what with the ascension of the all-powerful Internet, it’s comforting to know that newspapers will always have at least one loyal demographic: bus masturbators" [Ed. like, on their lap, get it?] [Anyhow, that was the Weekly’s lede sentence of a report on Michael Williamson, an articulate member of what he says is the Seattle exhibitionist underground]

NOTW Lite
According to a police blotter report, there’s a company in Asheville, N.C., with an employee who made $1 [scroll down] . . . . . A chain of cut-rate brothels in southern California apparently tells customers to use Saran Wrap instead of condoms . . . . . Dale "Dale the Innocent" Hausner, jailed as one of the two accused random shooters terrorizing the Phoenix area, drew even more attention to himself by calling up the local East Valley Tribune and asking for a discount subscription (since frightened residents had bought so many newspapers while the two were loose) . . . . . Professional ho' wrangler Matthew Thompkins was sentenced to 23 yrs in prison (He's the owner of two trophies inscribed "Pimp of the Year," which police found when they arrested him in December 2005.)

Updates
Yesterday’s update on Ms. Wu Ping, the lone resident holding out against the already-progressing re-development of her block, was trumped by BoingBoing.net, which has a "Cavalcade of Homeowner Holdouts," with photos galore.
Never Mind: The Honley Church school in England (that had so Muslim-sensitively replaced a play’s three little pigs characters with three little puppies, NOTW Daily, 3-16-2007), changed its mind.

NOTW, The Blog
Yr Editor doesn’t understand that mathematics proof for "Lie group E8" [NOTW Daily, 3-22-2007], and I never, ever will [just like I never, ever will understand what it’s like to have sex with Daryl Hannah], but NOTW Daily reader John Armstrong does, here [er, the math thing; I don’t know about Daryl Hannah].
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Friday’s Drip
"Not my fault" that I was six times over the blood-alcohol limit / The dentist who uses tools off the tray to clean his ears / Age 7 and 254 lbs. / And the year without toilet paper

Civilization in Decline
Sleep disorders are still striving for a cachet, as an American Airlines pilot who showed up for duty in Manchester, England, with 6 times the car-driver blood-alcohol max was acquitted by a jury after he swore the whiskey bottle was that full when he went to sleep but only this full when he woke up . . . . . The alpha priest of Santeria in Dallas-Ft. Worth rejected the town of Euless’s compromise (OK to sacrifice chickens but not goats), in that it’s only the blood-energy of a four-legged animal that most clearly opens up communication with the spirits . . . . . One Quran-centric German judge turned down a Moroccan-German woman’s request for a quick divorce, to stop her M-G husband from beating her, because of that verse that lets hubby avenge his honor if the wife is cuttin’ up . . . . . And cute Knut the polar bear cub is still alive in Berlin Zoo despite calls for his execution from, er, wildlife activists, who have been enthusiastically informing us that Knut really prefers death to being raised in captivity.

The Human Condition Today
Police in Kyoto, Japan, arrested a man who was ticked off that a new highrise was blocking his sunlight and who had maybe wanted to open up some see-through space, one bullet hole at a time . . . . . North Carolina Social Services is threatening to confiscate Joyce Painter’s 7-yr-old son Justin (if they can lift his 254-lb. keister), even though she swears that doctors she’s consulted are baffled . . . . . Wal-Mart tried to shoo a fretting Margaret Trask out of its Beaufort, S.C., store after she plunked down over $1,000 of her own money to buy up (and then destroy) voluntary-recall pet food so that others wouldn’t mistakenly buy it . . . . . British dentist Alan Hutchinson looks ripe for de-licensing, what with all the complaints of lack of hygiene, e.g., puts tools back in service without sterilizing, including the ones he uses to clean his nails and ears . . . . . Artist Christopher Goodwin of Washington, D.C., is the ideal dump truck driver for Junk in the Trunk refuse removal, said the owner, in that he "actually enjoys hauling away trash because he knows he might get some cool stuff" to sell in his trash-vending machines.

Your Daily Losers
Police raided suspected amateur counterfeiters’ trailer home in Damascus, Va., ["amateur" in the sense that their $20's didn’t even fool a store clerk in the mountain town of Damascus, population 980]. Valerie Lester was casually knitting, feigning ignorance of the smoke that was poring from underneath the mattress she was sitting on (representing a hurried attempt to burn some of the money).

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
It was Connecticut’s Malcolm Maker yesterday (in a ladies’ room at the Mohegan Sun casino), but today it’s Connecticut’s Steven Thibodeau, 25, who allegedly made in-shower videos of his female roommate by rigging a shampoo bottle with a camera (but was too cheap to go wireless, I mean, come on!).

Update
The Chinese guy I mentioned (with photo) [NOTW Daily, 3-12-2007] who was the last property-owner holdout to a developer is now a big deal in Chongqing, and what’s more, it’s actually a woman, Wu Ping. The other 280 residents have gone, and it looks like Wu can only access her property by helicopter.

NOTW Lite
Two NYC yuppie writers set out on a "no impact" year (locally grown food, stairs only, zero carbon footprint, etc.) but that part about air-drying your TP-less butt every time is a challenge . . . . . The first hip transplant for a NY kitty cat, using an implant the width of a matchstick (and that’ll be $3,500, please) . . . . . And behold the bdelloid rotifer, only a little larger than a human sperm, but Imperial College London researchers say the little thingy still does offspring, despite not having had sex for, er, 100 million yrs.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thursday’s Drip
Walter Reed Army hospital may have mold, but an Oregon VA clinic has bats / Hey, tourists, Florida will soon have enough toilet paper / Another public health official tells petrified, pee-in-pants patients that the risk is "low" / And Yr Editor’s rough Wednesday, uh, accuracywise.

Civilization in Decline
More woes for wounded veterans: Now it’s a VA report disclosing about 1,000 routine maintenance problems system-wide, plus about 100 serious ones, including a clinic in White City, Ore., with roof leaks and a large colony of bats . . . . . Pennsylvania enforced its underage-drinking law that requires a 90-day suspension of driving privileges, with the only hitch being that this guy’s violation, at age 14, was in 1988, and the suspension was ordered, out of the blue, this yr (though after a TV action-line howl, it was canceled) . . . . . A hospital in Vegreville, Alberta, was put on restrictions after an audit turned up "flesh and blood left on tools and inside scopes," but a province health official said as they always do, "We believe the risk is very low" . . . . . The leading "prosperity ministry" in Brazil has taken a shot, in that its Pentecostal pastors, Estevam and Sonia Hernandes, were recently arrested in Miami for smuggling money into the country, including inside a Bible . . . . . Three Indiana middle-school kids who co-produced a "movie" of bears attacking a teacher (who Dan Clevenger though was obviously him) and who were subsequently suspended, landed a $69k contract—uh, well, it was actually a $69k settlement from the school for its hastiness to punish them . . . . . A Florida state senator thinks there’s a real problem with restaurants not having enough toilet paper on hand for patrons, hence, S.B. 1462 [scroll down].

The Human Condition Today
Oh, my, now it’s the Christian residents of a Russian village, who refuse to pick up their pension checks until the gov’t stops bar-coding them, in that the bar codes might contain three 6's . . . . . A very, very tired NOTW genre (the obsessive wannabe-cop who makes a traffic stop) got some extra life in Boca Raton, Fla., because, uh, the male fake-cop is really a female, and that came as a big surprise to the female companion riding with the fake-cop, and the fake cop is the granddaughter of a co-founder of NASCAR . . . . . Another No Longer Weird story, but with a twist: Maureen McLaughlin took in cats for rescue but was just charged with drowning 650 of them with the best explanation being that she was really, really dissatisfied with the local (Columbus, Ohio) pet-adoption procedures (Bonus: mugshot).

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Malcolm Maker, 48, was arrested for hiding out in a ladies’ room at the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut, having reportedly ripped the tampon-disposal rack off of a wall so he could peer into the adjacent stall.

NOTW Lite
Yr Editor strongly supports the quest for knowledge and so couldn’t be prouder of the team, led by Jeffrey Adams of the Univ. of Maryland, who solved the "Lie group E8" mathematics puzzle, which took four yrs, involved 60x as much data as the Human Genome Project, would have papered over NY’s Manhattan island if the proof had been written out in longhand (but took up as many computer GB’s as 45 days of continuous MP3 music). What is it, exactly? The team says you’d never understand it; that many mathematicians don’t understand it; and besides, it has no practical application that they know of. Great job, fellas. Damn proud of ya! (But the story includes a visual.)

NOTW, The Blog
Yesterday was one of Yr Editor’s worst days, accuracywise. What went wrong? (1) The anti-rape condom is not a male condom; it’s worn by the female so that when the rapist does his thing, he’s automatically in big trouble. [I have written about that three times in the past. Why did I completely ignore my previously correct understanding? This is evidence that I have about two more years left before I start appearing in News of the Weird.] (2) The lawyer Alan Burkitt (who pimped out the 52-IQ girlfriend) is probably not a lawyer but just a minor local official. (3) The poor bureaucrat who re-formatted the hard drive and lost all the oil-benefits-distribution records actually also reformatted the first-option backup drive, too, and then discovered that the tape backup was corrupted, meaning it was actually plan-d that the state was left with. (4) Even more important than the Chinese celebrants’ leaving paper images of Viagra at the cemetery so their deceased relatives can have better sex in the afterlife is the fact that they left paper images of condoms, too . . ..
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Wednesday’s Drip
Do Chinese live better dead than they lived alive? / Yep, people do mistakenly reformat the hard drive / There are underground people in Bozeman, Montana / And once again with that "anti-rape" condom

Civilization in Decline
At China’s annual Tombsweeping Festival, where relatives burn fake money at cemeteries so that the dead will have prosperous afterlives, they’ve started to burn paper depictions of, er, Viagra . . . . . A county zoning board in Ireland turned down a property owner’s request to build three large windows in his house because it’s adjacent to a livestock field, and the windows might, to pent-up cows, resemble escape routes. (Seriously)

The Human Condition Today
Three former subordinates (females) sued NYC welfare office supervisor Serena "Hurricane" Reaves-Cain for alleged workplace fondling, kissing, and spanking . . . . . More kudos for our nation of critical thinkers: The "natural mineral water" of the Saratoga (N.Y.) Spa State Park has, for the past 20 yrs, been mixed with tap water, but, of course, there’s never been a complaint . . . . . A couple things wrong with British lawyer Alan Burkitt: He has had a girlfriend for about 8 yrs who has an IQ of 52, and now he’s been sentenced (no jail time) for pimping her out to pay the mortgage (and, in a sense of fairness, pimping himself out, too, but "There was little interest in him," said his lawyer) . . . . . A computer technician re-formatting a disk drive at the Alaska Dept. of Revenue wiped out the applicant records for the state’s program for distributing oil revenue to residents (and then discovered the plan-b backup [tape] was corrupted and now must rely on plan-c, which is 300 boxes of paper records) . . . . . Bozeman, Mont., police report: "A woman living on Springhill Lake reported strange noises coming from underneath her house . . being made by people from the "underworld" . . to get her to leave. She then said that her house had at one time been replaced by another house in the middle of the night and her original house was being stored in an undisclosed location" (and so on).

Your Daily Losers
Three guys driving across the Triborough Bridge in NY with 110 packets of cocaine on ‘em and, er, No, I didn’t bring any money for the toll, Did you, No, Did you, Well, no . . ..

Update
South African inventor Sonnet Ehlers’s anti-rape condom [NOTW 908, 7-3-2005] (which, if you can get the rapist to put it on [CORRECTION: see below], quickly morphs on the inside into an unremovable sheath that, er, pricks the wearer painfully until he can find a surgeon to remove it) has finally survived the patent process and is ready to go. [Ed.: Having written about this 3 times in the past, it pains me that I momentarily forgot that this is a "female condom," meaning the woman wears it, and when the rapist strikes, he's done for.]

NOTW Lite
A cop in Mims, Fla., saved Gregory Renfroe’s life: He found Renfroe atop a power pole, standing on his recently-disconnected line (overdue bill), attempting to reconnect (and apparently minutes away from having himself lit up).
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

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Tuesday’s Drip
When a Catholic Cardinal spins, is it a sin? / Naomi Campbell, the fashionable urban janitor / There are Jews in Montana? / And what he did with the toilet brush was not specified

Civilization in Decline
Court papers released in the Los Angeles Archdiocese molestation cases yesterday raise an interesting question for Yr Editor: Which would you think would (if the world worked as it should) be more credible: a Catholic Cardinal or a Catholic Cardinal’s, uh, lawyer? At a time when the molestee-plaintiff families need straight talk, it’s the lawyer spinning all the partial-truth spins and ignore-that/emphasize-this spins for Cardinal Mahony. And the released papers show that Mahony himself might have, er, born false witness about the Archdiocese’s knowledge of the wayward priest Lynn Caffoe and continued to stonewall on that false witness for about 4 yrs afterward, even going to the U.S. Supremes to get them to allow him to keep stonewalling.

GAO revealed that "thousands" of doctors and health professionals continue to be routinely reimbursed by Medicare despite their being a combined $1.3B delinquent in paying their federal income and payroll taxes (i.e., tax on money they’ve already had in their pockets) . . . . . Another one of those $25k/each gourmet dinners like the one in Bangkok [NOTW 996, 3-11-2007], this one scheduled for 12-12-2008 in Egypt in front of the Pyramids of Giza, but smarting from criticism of the earlier one, the organizer’s trying to ticket it at under $10k . . . . . A NY Times investigation of the Shriners showed their reputation as a charity is way overblown: most fund-raising goes to partying; 2 percent of its hospitals’ operating expenses come from current donations; there’s much outright fraud or at least unaccounted-for bookkeeping . . . . . Your latest Gospel of Affluence success story: Pastor Ben Gibert and his old lady/pastor Charisse, who just moved into a $3.65m mansion in a swanky Detroit ‘burb (The Detroit News found a few people who were onto them, but apparently most people aren’t!)

The Human Condition Today
Naomi Campbell showed up for her community-service sentence at the city Sanitation Dept. in NY, wearing stilettos, which one can only assume were for stabbing paper on the grass, to drop into the trash bag . . . . . Too many Jews in New York for Hasidic rabbi Chaim Bruk so he grabbed his non-cowboy hat and moved where his services were needed: Bozeman, Montana! (1,500 in the state) . . . . . Car-buyer rage: When he didn’t get the asked-for $7k for his broken-down trade-in, he grabbed a pry bar, a sledgehammer, and a sword and tried to commandeer the new car, anyway.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Ottawa shrink Juan Ernesto Tejeda Rosario gave up his license (and still faces criminal charges) after allegations that he diddled two male patients (and extended the foreplay to include a whip, a rope on the genitals, and a, uh, toilet brush).

NOTW Lite
The power of the press: A newspaper carrier survives a bad wreck because the stack of papers in the front seat acted as a buffer . . . . . Chinese villagers get fed up with this good-gov’t thing and demand a return to the system of bribing the voters . . . . . He served 18 yrs for a rape he didn’t commit, was paid $400k by the state in guilt money, and now has just blown that wad on his defense for a subsequent murder (result: didn’t help).
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Monday’s Drip
Talk about an obnoxious seat mate on a long airline flight! / Death row is "the calmest place I’ve ever been" / The real reason why so many female teachers rob the cradle / And the diamond-encrusted toilet paper dispenser

Civilization in Decline
British Airways first-class passenger Paul Trinder (Delhi to England ticket, equivalent of $3,900) thought he had a vacant seat next to him for the 9-hr flight, but a lady died in coach, and became Trinder’s seat mate, and all BA had to say was, hey, "Get over it" . . . . . Apparently-Unforeseen Problem at a museum in Takayama, Japan: Gee, if you display a $1.7m gold bar out in the open for patrons to touch, sooner or later, someone might actually try to steal it . . . . . The head teacher at Bramhall High School in Greater Manchester, England, requires ties for the boys but only clip-ons, because he fears the big buggers can’t handle knotted ties safely.

The Human Condition Today
Kristopher Lind drank 10 beers and a double cocktail but for some reason still somehow thought it was better to tell the cop that the reason his car was weaving was he was trying to open a sex vibrator (and battery it up) while driving . . . . . Revealed! Why so many female school teachers hook up with their male students (key phrase: "28 . . times during . . weeklong affair") . . . . . Death row inmate Paul John Fitzpatrick was re-convicted after a new trial and now requests death row again because the general prison population is too annoying: "It’s just a hell of a lot easier doing time with murderers than it is with fools. . . I probably found the most peace I’ve ever had in my whole life on death row. It’s the calmest place I’ve ever been."

NOTW Lite
A $132k toilet-paper dispenser (well, it comes with 148 diamonds and a roll-a-day of black TP as long as the buyer is still alive and excreting) . . . . . Pigs, being "excellent proxies of human movement [geographical, not bowel]," tell a British researcher that South Pacific settlers originally came from Vietnam, not Taiwan . . . . . Exceptionally bad plastic surgery: bad tummy tuck, missing nipple and belly button, and "gross distortion of the pubic area" . . . . . The Polish mountaintop village of Koniakow, long known for its intricately woven lace doilies, has turned reluctantly to bras and panties to pay the bills.

NOTW, The Blog
My doubting note about toothbrush-swallowing [NOTW Daily, 3-15-2007] brought a sobering note from reader Patton Browne: "I am a medical transcriptionist who does radiology reports, and in the past three years I have done at least three or four reports showing a toothbrush stuck in a throat. . . . It really happens." [Yr Editor is still inclined to say, If you swallow a toothbrush, it’s because you want to.]
Here’s another thing floating around the Internet these days but which I can’t use because it’s too old (i.e., weird, but not "news" of the weird): a medical journal article about, uh, "supernumerary breast tissue" being sort of not along the milk line, but, on, uh, the sole of her foot. (Hey, it’s a medical journal.)
Erroror: In the current NOTW column, St. Clairsville, W.Va., is really St. Clairsville, Ohio (one of those close-to-the-border towns that a West Virginia newspaper covers as local) (and which a surprisingly large number of NOTW readers know about!).
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Saturday’s Drip
Beware, the flying bowling ball / Those North Carolina castrators, back in the news / No sofas on the beach / And George Brett’s genitalia

The Human Condition Today
Just Can’t Stop Himself: Perhaps inspired by Alberto Gonzalez ("I would never, ever make a change [in U.S. Attorneys] for political reasons" [emphasis added]), Pete Rose said Wednesday night that he bet on his team every game (as opposed to first never betting on baseball, and then betting on baseball but never on his own team, and then betting on his own team but not when Bill Gullickson or Mario Soto started) . . . . . An inquest concluded that British fine-art painter Caroline Eldridge, 38, had taken The Only Way Out last yr because she got too caught up in that Da Vinci Code plot thing . . . . . Ruth Parks, voted out as recorder-treasurer in an Arkansas town, was turned down on her federal appeal (it appearing not to have been a conspiracy but that her constituents were individually displeased at her heavy involvement with extraterrestrials).

Your Daily Loser
A bunch of upper-teens that were partying in Thatcher, Utah, decided to shake the town’s decorative flagpole (located in a private park), ultimately dislodging the bowling ball on top that represented a "crown," and the ball happened to land on Elise Fredericksen’s head. She survived. The park’s creator wants his bowling ball back.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
That western North Carolina castration cell (in the town of Waynesville!) that made the news last yr [NOTW Daily, 4-1-2006] got their sentences: minor jail time (since the surgeries were benevolent removals).

NOTW Lite
It says here that some coca farmers in Bolivia are starting to fight to rehabilitate the plant’s reputation, and are now demanding that Coca-Cola change its name . . . . . The F State gets inhospitable: Cocoa Beach bans sofas on the beach . . . . . Anthony Perone, 20, is off the street now after having been stalking a woman who broke his heart in the 3rd grade, and it appears the cops wouldn’t yet have gotten probable cause had his mom not happened to see one of the stalking notes that was already sealed and ready to mail, and so helpfully added Anthony’s return address to the envelope.

NOTW, The Blog
Sounds Like a Joke: In a generally helpful article [link via BoingBoing.net], Online Journalism Review tipped web designers with results of "hot spots" testing, i.e., noticing exactly where readers’ eyes go when they look at a web page. The authors’ main point seemed to be, Don’t use mindless graphics because readers sense immediately which (or whether) graphics are important. Buried lede: On a full-length photo of baseball star George Brett in the batter’s box, women focused only on Brett’s face, but men went equally for his face and his crotch. As if to show that wasn’t a fluke, men reacted the same to a picture of a dog.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Friday’s Drip
Baptist Big concludes that God made a huge mistake (about gays and lesbians) / The Big Bad Wolf and the Three Little Dogs / Chess-boy nerd lands himself a stripper / and a NOTW Daily Erroror

Civilization in Decline
Pastor Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said Christians should prepare for the day when science proves that homosexuality is biologically wired (he doesn’t think it’s there yet) and begin thinking of "solutions," e.g., prenatal hormone therapy to flip those little God-created sinners while they’re still in the womb . . . . . Students ages 7 through 11 at the Honley Church of England Junior School (Huddersfield, West Yorkshire) will perform later this year the classic children’s tale of the big, bad wolf and the three little p—uh, puppies—which head teacher Gill Goodswen thinks will better encourage Muslim pupils to sing along, too (though a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain basically just shook his head in a daze).

The Human Condition Today
Must be something about Trenton, N.J., which is where at least four "diplomats" from Abannaki Indigenous Nation (that includes Earthlings, Martians, and Venusians) have chosen to reside (and break the law) . . . . . They’re not to be confused with Ms. Samara Spann, who belongs to a Tupac Shakur cult and who pleaded guilty to drowning her daughter in a bathtub and cutting her head off.

Your Daily Loser
Maria Daniels was arrested in a Cincinnati suburb and charged with setting up her four kids with 70 aliases just so they could scam 21 local libraries out of 837 DVD’s that she resold. On the other hand, she’s a raving beauty!

NOTW Lite
Chess is such a lonely endeavor: South American champion Emilio Cordova, 15, broke away from his handlers after winning the title in Argentina and headed for Sao Paulo, where he has hooked up with a 29-yr-old stripper . . . . . CPR has been found to be more effective if you skip the mouth-to-mouth crap and just pump the chest (which is a good thing because the main finding was that almost nobody wants to lock lips, anyway) . . . . . This week’s big story in Kansas City: A judge ruled that Cindy Garcia did not defraud her ex-fiancĂ© Ferris Griggs, i.e., that Ferris knew full well when he was having all that great pre-marital sex with Cindy that she was really a man, and thus that their jointly-owned house has to be split 50-50.

NOTW, The Blog
Erroror: In yesterday’s top story (and thanks to several people who were more alert when they read it than I was when I wrote it), the three wrongly-convicted inmates don’t have to pay for 25 percent of their room and board expenses over the combined 47 yrs of wrongful incarceration; they only have to pay back 25 percent of the gov't's guilt-payout to them for their wrongful incarceration (again, on the ground that the gov’t was providing "essential" services to them that they’d incur even if they had not been in prison) (which is still messed up, of course).
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Thursday’s Drip
Wrongly imprisoned, and now the warden wants ‘em to repay the meal money / Outsized performers: collector of 3,977 panties and the 13-year-old, 128-felony boy / The unicorn that wasn’t / And Tonya Harding!

"Wrongly imprisoned" means different things to different people. To the three Brits locked up for a total of 47 yrs before police and prosecutors realized they had the wrong men, it means freedom and a daily struggle not to be overcome with bitterness. To the crown, it means, er, nothing, in that, We've been feeding you, You've got to pay us back. A high, high appeals court just ruled that the three must pay the gov’t 25 percent of their prison room-and-board expenses (on the ground that 25 percent represents "necessities" that the men would have incurred, even if they had been free). [CORRECTION: They must pay back 25 percent of the gov't's compensation award to them for the wrongful conviction.]

Civilization in Decline
Prosecutors in Jakarta demand two yrs in the slammer for the publisher of the way-sanitized Indonesian version of Playboy, but 100 Muslim protesters demand a hanging . . . . . This would never happen if the tenant had a lawyer: A nurse-tenant up against her elderly, sickly landlord in court stops mid-speech to give mouth-to-mouth when the landlord falls down gasping . . . . . The continued Minneapolis accommodation to Muslims: Bacon purchasers go self-serve when a Target checkout cashier declines to touch it . . . . . . . . . . The Army Corps of Engineers admits that it gave N’Awlins residents a placebo last yr and that those poor, weary suckers fell for it (helped out by a light hurricane season): The 34 new, shiny, heavy-duty pumps ACE installed to meet a 6-1-2006 deadline, in case of another Katrina, actually didn’t work, and ACE knew they didn’t work.

The Human Condition Today
The prolific, meticulous Mr. Shigeo Kodama, 54, caught in Hiroshima with 3,977 panties and 355 bras . . . . . The Nelsonville, Ohio, child prodigy, age 13, charged (as a juvy) with 128 felonies (burglary, theft, vandalism, witness intimidation).

Your Daily Loser
The severely judgment-challenged Christy Drakeford, 26, a teacher at Evan Harlow Elementary in Harrodsburg, Ky., finally confessed that the two small kids locked in the car that had been parked in the school lot for 7 hours while she taught were hers, meaning day-care had been somehow totally out of the question.

NOTW Lite
Spanish matador Fernando Cruz, gored in (a) a femoral artery and (b) both testicles, plans on being out of action, er, three weeks . . . . . Tonya Harding was escorted by police "back to her trailer" after a prescription-drug event that had her seeing animals, etc., that weren’t there . . . . . A whorehouse in Cologne, Germany, introduced an early-bird special (half-price), for men 66-and-older to enjoy an "[after]nooner."

NOTW, The Blog
Someone else swallowed a toothbrush, supposedly, although at least this wasn’t somebody just brushing too deep, as the classics go (a couple of which Yr Editor has posted over the years) (and which Yr Editor has always regarded as among the weirrrrdest genres of 'em all). This was a Hong Kong gal running-while-brushing, tripping, and ramming her throat over the thing.
For a while yesterday, it looked like a DUI driver in Montana was claiming that a unicorn, not he, was driving his car. But then the Billings prosecutor calmed everyone down, saying that some in his office refer to implausible denials in cases like that as the "unicorn defense" and that the perp didn’t actually specify "unicorn." In Yr Editor’s Washington, D.C., criminal-defense experience, it wasn’t a unicorn but "a guy from Cleveland," and that drugs "floated down from the sky" (because my client swears he has no idea how they got in his pocket).
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Wednesday’s Drip
Lose your cherry—Deal or No Deal? / stuck to the roof "like a beetle on its back" / Drop that joystick now, you maggot! / "I’m glad I’m not him"

Civilization in Decline
U.S. TV producers are now packaging "Virgin Territory" (for, they say, Spike or Fox), where a bunch of lifelong solo-artist males live together and must resist giving in to temptresses, with the "winner" entitled to a grand freebie . . . . . Merck lost a Vioxx lawsuit in Atlantic City, bringing its record now to 9 wins, 5 losses [which, as a way of deciding serious public policy, reminds Yr Editor of deciding something by coin toss, and then the loser says, OK, best of 3, and then, OK, OK, best of 5, and so on, and so on] . . . . . Massachusetts realizes that its "Department of Mental Retardation" is misnamed, since it actually helps people with illnesses and provides no support at all for the state’s many, many people who are just plain stupid . . . . . The Houston Federation of Teachers, who of course insist that they are never in it for themselves but only looking out for their students, demanded that an erroneous school bookkeeping payout of $75k be kept by the teachers (hey, your mistake, not ours) and not returned to the needy school district . . . . . A report from China’s successful boot-camp-type retreat for Internet game/porn addicts, with a part-counseling, part-military mindset.

The Human Condition Today
According to the prosecutor, Melanie McGuire knew she wanted her husband dead, but she didn’t understand that her computer activity could be traced (e.g., her search of "how to commit murder" and her use of Walgreens.com to find the nearest store where she could buy the chloral hydrate) . . . . . Amy Berner brought her 6-month-old car in for an oil change but didn’t leave until she had leased a brand-new car, and it was all because of that pesky bipolar disorder . . . . . Two guys burglarized a Troutdale, Ore., municipal building and made off with tools, including 2-way radios, but then just had to play on them (and arrange a meeting at the Plaid Pantry for a beer, where the police, who monitor said 2-way frequency, were waiting).

Your Daily Loser
The California Highway Patrol found a truck on a freeway ramp in Ontario, Calif., with the engine warm and $3m worth of marijuana in it. They guessed the engine overheated, and the driver might have panicked. A CHP spokesman said they don’t know who the driver was but that somebody certainly knows. Said the spokesman, "I’m glad I’m not him."

NOTW Lite
From Reuters: "A 91-yr-old German sparked a rescue operation when he slipped mending his roof and got stuck fast in tar 'like a beetle on its back,' police said on Tuesday" . . . . . The Minneapolis bank robber with a most casual getaway: hit bank, then liquor-store errand, then grab a sandwich, finally hop a bus home (and, yeah, he made it) . . . . . And beware Florida "doctor" Marc Goulet, but also beware anyone who agreed to be "treated" by someone who looks like that [Oh, but isn’t that Dr. Koop’s kinda-demented idea about facial hair?]

Updates
The Pentagon wants those Native Americans who help the U.S. Border Patrol track down smugglers and traffickers from Mexico (the Shadow Wolves) [NOTW Daily, 2-3-2007] to help them trace Osama bin Laden in Tajikistan. [I know, but Pakistan won’t let ‘em in, plus, it’s dangerous, and besides, the Pentagon thinks OBL has been to Tajikistan.]
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tuesday’s Drip
The "ghost" airline flight to make Al Gore cringe / 56 fire-proof NY school principals / Almost $3B to medicate America’s pets / Mr. Ricky Lackey, inseminator supreme

Civilization in Decline
Tennessee’s bureaucracy is such that an arbitrator ordered it to pay a wronged Highway Patrolman $185 within 30 days, and they tarried, and now, 4 months later, a judge said that’ll be $12k, please . . . . . British Mediterranean Airways was busted for running empty round-trip flights daily since October from Heathrow to Cardiff just to preserve its valuable Heathrow landing slot (at 5 tons of CO2 per) . . . . . New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein has a list of 56 principals and ass’t principals that all schools in the city refuse to hire but for whom, by union contract, he has to make work for at their highest salaries . . . . . Once again, DNA trumps not one, but two eyewitnesses, who were absolutely certain that Cody Davis (sentenced to 3 yrs) was the robber . . . . . The U.S.’s Iraq thingie is bad enough on the surface, but when you start probing the underbelly of bureaucratic relations between Washington and its embassy in Baghdad, as the Washington Post did, the head-shaking gets worse . . . . . $2.9B in pet medications bought by Americans in 2005 (for cancer, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, allergies, dementia, and, coming soon, obesity).

The Human Condition
In Billings, Mont., Tera Stricker-Lopez, 26, just given probation in lieu of a 15-yr sentence for embezzling from her employer, found another job quickly and now has been arrested for embezzling from that company.
The extremely fatherhood-oriented Ricky Lackey (about to be sentenced for attempted theft) told the judge had repaid the money, and besides, he had, er, six kids on the way. The female judge tried to guess: "Are you marrying a woman with six kids?" "No," said Lackey. "I be concubining."
One of your more shameless, psychotic serial killers of all time, Arthur Shawcross, who now resides in a cage in upstate New York, has written London’s The Mirror for help in locating an Irish native gal on whom he has developed a crush. (He’s up for release around the year 2235, give or take.)

Your Daily Loser
Larenzo Dixon, on the lam from a murder charge in Louisiana, got picked up near San Diego when he, er, jaywalked. (Well, he got caught jaywalking and then gave the cop his alleged "rap name" but then signed the citation with his real name.)

NOTW Lite
Britain’s Channel 4 blasts Prince Charles as "unfit" to be king, to which Charles quickly (and regally) responded, Am not! . . . . . An all-time great lede in the Chicago Sun-Times: "Carrying his cat and expecting sex, an Alaskan civil engineer got off a flight from Turkey . . .." . . . . . In the dog-crossbreeding community, it’s called a bullshiht (bulldog-shihtzu) (but the hero of The Guardian’s story is Endal the wonder dog [scroll down and see what he can do!]) . . . . . And here’s TheSmokingGun.com’s latest treasured mugshots (2 of Miss Anna Clifford, 25, an alleged Memphis DUI).
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Monday’s Drip
The company whose CEO took a net "loss" to work there last yr / Iraqi pilgrims imitate British redcoats / Rosie O’Donnell . . . "hanging" . . . upside down? . . . on purpose? / 4 men’s Waffle House tab: $100?

Civilization in Decline
What a guy! CEO Ian Cockwell of builder Brookfield Homes actually "made" a negative $2.3m last yr, but that’s just the way Securities and Exchange Comm’n rules want the numbers reported on his actual salary and bonuses of nearly $8m [NY Times $$$] . . . . . Uncloseted pedophile Lindsay Ashford publicized his personal 2008 Presidential selections, based solely on daughters’ or granddaughters’ cuteness (in the finals, Obama beats Santorum) . . . . . An Army recruitment commission sniffed that 73 percent of young Americans aren’t good enough (morally, intellectually, physically) to serve in the Army, anyway . . . . . More Shiite pilgrims marching in line for holy celebration (this weekend, in Karbala) conjure up images of British redcoats, making it oh-so-easy for the Sunni insurgent bombers (as redcoats were for colonial American musketeers) (But, said one Karbala pilgrim: "Even if I know I’ll die, I’ll still come") . . . . . The Sunday Times of London says documents indicate that an Iraqi exile who returned to run the defense ministry briefly after the fall of Saddam made one of history’s biggest robberies: $800m in shrink-wrapped U.S. currency that Washington shipped over with no controls . . . . . Bad enough that FEMA way-overspent for Katrina-era trailers, but after-the-barn-door-closed restrictions on the never-used ones mean they can’t now be employed for 2006 and 2007 disasters (nor as medical trailers for N’awlins’s way-overstretched hospitals).

The Human Condition Today
A Buddhist temple was invaded by hostile red ants, but the monks’ options are limited because they are forbidden to be hostile back to ‘em . . . . . Famed Maryland ballistics expert Joseph Kopera, a fount of competence for 37 yrs, takes The Only Way Out because, well, he couldn’t resist continuing to testify about those college degrees he actually didn’t have.

Your Daily Loser
Trucker Scott Hewitt, 34, was convicted of manslaughter (vehicular) in Augusta, Maine, and sentenced to 30 months, and it’s not like they didn’t see this coming: Hewitt has 63 driving convictions on his record and 23 license suspensions. The license was finally revoked this time, to the basic indifference of the family who is down one member due to the state’s not doing this sooner.

NOTW Lite
When fingerprints don’t ID a dead woman, Tampa police go to plan B, checking her breast implants for a code number . . . . . Rosie O’Donnell, confessing on The View Friday, said the Columbine shootings sent her into depression and, thus, yoga and "inversion therapy" (hanging upside down "like a bat") . . . . . A commotion at a Waffle House lets a table of 4 men duck out on the tab, but cops caught ‘em, and, anyway, how did they spend nearly $100 at a Waffle House? . . . . . An animal handler, delivering "inventory" to a Petco store, had a rollover accident, and as rescuers worked, the 100-or-so rats, gerbils, hamsters, etc., crawled all over her . . . . . Two Georgians tried The Only Way Out with a circular saw because their business failed (but then, so did their suicide) . . . . . On the Tohono O’odham Nation in Sells, Ariz., Johnny Soto said his 6-yr-old son ("Tadpole") was born to him and Anna Nicole Smith (as a result of her stay at a nearby resort), and he’s supposedly got the papers to prove it . . . . . Israel recalled its ambassador to El Salvador after he was found outside his residence there, drunk, naked "and wearing several sex toys" . . . . . There are super-stubborn people who resist developers changing their neighborhoods, and, then, there’s this guy.

Updates
Several Austin, Tex., readers added a delicious slice to last week’s story [NOTW 995, 3-4-2007] about the hesitancy of 911 to respond to a call about smoke at a bar-b-q restaurant (resulting in the place burning down): The 45-minute delay in responding was even harder to take because the closest fire station is, er, in the same block.
The Illinois judge who ostensibly permitted the out-on-bail, accused child rapist to go to Disney World [NOTW Daily, 3-9-2007], er, changed his mind.
Former Ted-Haggard-like Tulsa, Okla., pastor Lonnie Latham, last seen on these pages [NOTW Daily, 2-24-2007] proclaiming his constitutional right to invite men up to his room for sex, was acquitted of criminal charges.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Saturday’s Drip
It must be important to put human genes into rice / Uranium for sale at a Florida pawn shop / The $50,000 mattress / Man bangs cars? / And the parliamentary campaigner appealing to the Klingon community.

Civilization in Decline
"The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture has granted preliminary approval for a plan to grow genetically altered rice containing human genes that could lead to the production of medicines to fight diarrhea dehydration in infants." [from Food Business Review] But, but, but, things could go wrong, like the genes could get mixed up with other food crops out there in the Kansas winds.
The full-service Gold Mine Pawn shop in Belleview, Fla. (near Ocala) had, on the shelf, an official lead canister of uranium yellowcake (1 oz.) [LINK CORRECTED].
You mean like, Abramoff Cigarettes?: A Chinese pharmaceutical company applied (unsuccessfully) to name a rat poison after a former gov’t official under investigation for massive corruption.

The Human Condition Today
A German man who was formerly madly in love with the woman who co-owns his marital summer house now is so angry at her that he took a chainsaw to it and hauled away his half . . . . . Life imitates art imitating life: A pre-trial bailee (child-sex) illegally removed his ankle monitor so he could be on Jerry Springer to proudly proclaim his marriage to his half-sister . . . . . A high Opus Dei official acknowledges that he sometimes wears a cilice, which is now a spiked chain wrapped around his legs, to bring the pain when he needs to focus . . . . . For the consumer who for some reason really, really, really wants a good night’s sleep, a mattress that’ll run you $49,500 (until April, when it goes to $59, 750).

Your Daily Loser
The weekly Lisa Marie Nowak Forlorn Mugshot award goes to Ms. Melanie Kay Montoya of Colorado, charged with robbing an elderly mute man.

NOTW Lite
Researchers are on the job: (1) Cuckoos and cowbirds first trick other birds into hatching their eggs, and if there's any objection to that, somebody’s gonna get messed up, (2) Human genital lice originally came from [uh-oh] gorillas . . . . . No Longer Weird, but—this burglar accidentally dropped probation papers at the scene . . . . . A cheerful appeal by a Finnish member of Parliament, Jyrki Kasvi, by posting a parallel campaign website in Klingon . . . . . A stolen, $25k diamond was recovered from a jailhouse shower drain, perhaps dropped there by the perp, or perhaps it just fell out during shower room sex.

NOTW, The Blog
Beware: London’s The Sun does a full takeout on an auto mechanic they say is Chris Richard, 38, who enjoys (1) having sexual intercourse with cars (e.g., in the tailpipe) and (2) calling attention to himself by posing for The Sun. It’s pretty thorough story-telling, but lacks any bona fides that reputable reporters and editors would have included, such as an interview with anyone who could corroborate "Richard"’s story, or interviews with his customers or co-workers (like, y’know, ever see semen on his cars?). A UK site that’s pretty explicitly satirical (Anorak.co.uk) also ran a piece on "Chris Richard." Anyway, Yr Editor is much too busy to get to the bottom of this, but don’t go around assuming that just because men will nail anything, that they’ll actually nail anything, and surely don’t assume that just because men will brag about anything, that they’ll actually brag about anything.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Friday’s Drip
America’s whole 9-11 plot solved by Northwest Airlines pilot / Accused child molester "goin’ to Disney World!" / And, yes, it’s illegal to spit on someone.

The Human Condition Today
Field McConnell, 57 and an Annapolis graduate, is seeking early retirement from Northwest Airlines because he knows another major terrorist attack is imminent, and he filed a lawsuit last week against Boeing because nobody’s planes are safe right now. He said he knows who the true conspirators are (and were on September 11th) (and that Muslims were just fall guys), but, even though this is the biggest threat of our lifetimes, he can’t discuss it now since this lawsuit is pending!

Civilization in Decline
Illinois judge Craig Sahlstrom OK’d a 2-week family vacation to Florida, specifically including Disney World, for Frank Atherton of Rockford, who stands accused of sexually assaulting three children (under age 13). Just remember, Frank: No contact with minors. [UPDATE: Judge changed his mind]
That’s what courts are for: It took the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to rule that when Jeffrey Lewellyn spat on a VA patient in 2004, that was indeed a crime.
All Editors on Vacation: WTHR-TV (Indianapolis), reporting on a suspected murder-suicide Monday in Bedford, Ind., in which a pilot (with little daughter aboard) fatally dive-bombed his former mother-in-law’s house, quoted an adult at the daughter’s club (on the girl’s liveliness): "I absolutely loved that kid. She was a little ball of fire."

NOTW Lite
Next in line for No Longer Weird: paying that disagreeable bill in pennies . . . . . He commandeered a street-sweeper and, er, did donuts . . . . . It’s been months now in that Ontario apartment house, and that cobra that escaped still hasn’t turned up . . . . . Update: a lawsuit settlement in that Curb Your Enthusiasm murder alibi case [recap: It’s an out-of-body CYE episode within an actual CYE episode: The only way the suspect could ever prove his alibi is because he happened to be in a crowd shot at a Dodger Stadium CYE scene at the time of the murder] . . . . . South African thieves target the buchu herb, which is worth big bucks for its use in soft drinks and perfume, even though it smells like cat urine.

NOTW, The Blog
(1) Yr Editor just discovered that you can get an RSS feed of News of the Weird Daily (not just an Atom feed, which has always been available) here. I’ll soon figure out how to add this link to the right rail. (2) Yr Editor is about to re-name News of the Weird Daily to honor its most hardy, needy, cynical . . . intellectually advanced readers. It will soon be News of the Weird Daily / Pro Edition. As I said back when I published my weekly newsletter of the same name, You know who you are. (3) Reminder (if you would be so kind): Yr Editor would greatly appreciate your spreading the word about (and, if you have nothing better to do, clicking onto) the weekly News of the Weird column at Yahoo News. The direct link is here. Thank you.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Jesus Has Landed Again: Well, Jose de Jesus of Puerto Rico (now of Houston) has, anyway, and according to him and his followers in at least 30 countries, he is the Second Coming, and he’s just a 60-yr-old corner-pub guy whose congregants, according to this ABC News piece, line up to give themselves "666" tats to show their solidarity. His selling point: There is no "sin" (just criminal law on Earth, but that’s irrelevant when you present yourself for the hereafter). Smoking and moderate drinking are fine ("Jesus [Christ] drank wine because he didn’t have Dewar’s").

The Human Condition
Zillionaire Harry Kakavas is suing the Crown Casino on Australia’s Gold Coast because it improperly wooed him to return and bet even though he gave them a keep-me-out-of-here letter, and if you have any illusion about the size of the profit margin in casinos, understand that one of the inducements Crown offered Kakavas was a 20 percent rebate on his losses. Anyway, Crown was successful, and even with the apparent rebate, Kakavas still lost A$30m.

Just Below The Fold
The U.S. Dept. of State’s annual human rights report disses Kazakhstan in part for closing down Borat’s website . . . . . The reluctant mother of an apparently-healthy 2-yr-old sues her Massachusetts abortionists for screwing up [A few lawsuits like this have succeeded in the past but only when the child was born with problems requiring extraordinary expense] . . . . . Coming soon from the U.S. Navy: stun guns that make you hurl [well, one effect of the guns is "motion sickness"] . . . . . An accused armed-robbery suspect arrived in court for a preliminary hearing, wearing a shopping bag with eye holes cut out—and there’s actually a good reason for it [i.e., he doesn’t want the victim to get used to seeing him for when she’s later called on to actually identify her attacker; critics know that courtroom-ID is nearly always just the ID’ing of whoever is sitting in the defendant’s chair].

Your Daily Loser
Terrence Cox, 38, was convicted in Brisbane, Australia, of possession of 292 child-porn images and movies on his computer, a crime which’ll get you 30 yrs’ hard time in many U.S. states, but he got 12 months’ probation, perhaps because he said he is the victim of toxic fumes at work that led him to make poor judgments.

Updates
Just for the record, that "lonely man and donkey" story Yr Editor warned you about [NOTW Daily, 3-3-2007] was officially revealed to be an intentional hoax by the originating website. However, its editors gleefully noted how many news organizations worldwide ran the story as credible . . . . . Erroror: The urine-buyback program mentioned yesterday (and, by the way, the price appears to be $10 a cup) was from New Britain, Conn., and not Bridgeport. [Editor’s Note: It’s a pain for me to update previous entries every day, so they’ll probably be remaining in the original until I update on weekends.]

NOTW Lite
Here’s a prostitution-bust mug shot from Melbourne, Fla., proving that Willie Nelson is on the ro—uh, on the street again . . . . . God’s Will: The house burned down, but all in all, it must have been a glorious thing because the displaced owner saw a vision of Jesus on the seared wallpaper [and that would be "Jesus Christ," not that guy sipping the Dewar's] . . . . . Flash: Young guys still haven’t gotten tired of trying Jackass stunts, especially that one about setting your package on fire . . . . . A 28-yr-old woman in Ohio lived with her roommate’s corpse for three weeks, despite the smell and even though she apparently never even picked the body up off the floor . . . . . In Waco, Tex., a search in the back seat of a car for a nearly-empty gas can, illuminated by (of course!) a cigarette lighter . . . . . An upcoming BBC television program demonstrates how disagreeable a job it is to be collecting sperm from elephants and rhinos for artificial fertilization (but, on the other hand, Shamu was one eager ejaculator!).
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Yr Editor mentioned last month that Gov. Schwarzenegger wants to save money by outsourcing the housing of inmates but that the California prison guards’ union won’t stand for any reduction in the (severely-overcrowded) lockups [NOTW Daily, 2-22-2007]. Now comes a promotional video from the Corrections Corp. of America, which runs a cool Big House in Tennessee and is itching to buy some of California’s miscreants: "larger and cleaner" cells; 79-channel cable TV (including ESPN!); "views of peaceful cow pastures"; "inmates in the ‘Dorm of the Week’ staying up all night, watching a movie and eating cheeseburgers or pizza." Most important (to an inmate): The few Californians who have already made the switch recommend it highly, with one saying they are treated, well, "I wouldn’t say equal, but you feel like a human being in here."

Quite a lede hook from CanadaWest News Service, writing on new marketing opportunities for environmental types: "For those who like to make love to the soundtrack of the global warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth . . .."

Some people in Iceland will next month stage a beauty contest for ugly people. Wait, that’s not quite right. Fabulous babes theoretically could enter, but there’ll be a lot of mediocrity because the organizers are trying to get the world to look at "beauty" differently. [Er, Webster’s says "beauty" is "the quality . . . that gives intense aesthetic pleasure . . . to the mind or the senses," so there’s a distinct possibility that every single contestant will lose.]

The Human Condition Today
An Iraqi national was detained at LAX by some of those overreacting Transportation Security people, I mean, just because he had a magnet in his butt with wires coming out of it [Dangerous? No. Hopelessly gullible, buying into the "therapeutic" value of magnets? Yeah, he’s lost, totally toast, might as well ship him to Gitmo] . . . . . According to the victim, her husband (age 21) stabbed her numerous times, then handed the knife to their kid (age 2) and said, Now, you stab mommy.

Civilization in Decline
An anthropologists’ ass’n says we should be ashamed of ourselves, referring to "primitive" and "Stone Age" people, because that’s offensive! The gekko should be pleased . . . . . A pissing match erupted in the press over whether Spain (which enjoys the traditional "quail-catapulting") is a worse animal-abuser than Germany (the traditional "tomcat-poking" and "goose-clubbing") [and the "sports" are just what you’d imagine, except in the last one, they now pre-kill the goose] . . . . . John Jay High School in a New York City suburb staged a reading of The Vagina Monologues except that the kids weren’t allowed to say "vagina" (but nonetheless the school board president said they do not tolerate censorship, of course, of course!) [The episode perfectly illustrates an important thesis of author Ensler, that society is messed up if you can’t even say, not the street version, but the formally correct word] . . . . . The French Constitutional Council approved a law to bar photographing of violence except by pro journalists (Bonus: Last Saturday was the 16th anniversary of the Rodney King massa-cree).

Your Daily Loser
They’re looking for a "heavy-frame" blonde who tried to shoplift a catfish dinner from Di’s Diner in Bulls Gap, Tenn., even though she threw money at the cash register when caught and then as a coup de grâce, flung the actual catfish and hit the employee Tina in back of the head.

Updates
NOTW Daily mentioned a month ago [2-3-2007] that some American Indians were helping out the Border Patrol in reading trails, etc., of illegal immigrants, and this morning’s New York Times is all over that story . . . . . And Yr Editor was fascinated with "financial astrologer" Arch Crawford last week [NOTW Daily, 3-2-2007], but, as you can imagine, calling stocks by the stars is de rigueur in India, what with the current "Saturn-Uranus combination" and all.

NOTW Lite
In Bridgeport [CORRECTION: New Britain], Conn., a urine-buyback program for 6th-graders! . . . . . A probable drug runner (43 lbs. of dope in his trunk), DUI, accidentally rammed a state trooper . . . . . A hardy 18-yr-old was victim of a street assault but managed to drive all the way home to safety, with a screwdriver stuck in his face.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

No Shame: Smithsonian magazine (March) examines the tour-packaging business model of Brit Christopher Way and India’s Krishna Poojari, which includes bringing well-off visitors on a guided trip through Mumbai’s most-wretched slum (Dharavi), which critics call voyeuristic or worse. Way promises to give back most of the slum income to charity, er, as soon as his company turns a profit.

No Shame II: KMGH-TV in Denver reports with a straight face a local salon’s touting of the TurboSonic, a device you stand on for 10 minutes and burn the calories typical of a 45- to 60-minute exercise workout. (On the other hand, in case you missed it from last week, a retiree with no medical experience has created a piece of hardware in his garage on Sanibel Island, Fla., that researchers at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston call promising in killing cancer cells.)

Before he retired, Boston transit-authority electrician Robert Gibson allegedly, quietly embezzled thousands of dollars worth of transit tokens, intending to help fund his later yrs, but then the system went to farecards. All was not lost, though: The system has machines where transit riders can transfer their few spare tokens into a farecard balance, but when monitors saw this guy loading bags of tokens in, to buy stacks of maxed-up farecards, they moved in for the arrest. They don’t yet know how much Gibson took, but they found $40k in tokens and coins still in his basement.

It seemed strange to Yr Editor that Kabbalah-Hollywood could have had a monopoly on this for so long, but here’s word now that Wayne Enterprises of Linden, Calif., has started to sell bottles of (supposedly-) priest-blessed "Holy Drinking Water," which looks and tastes a lot like ordinary bottled water (which, of course, looks and tastes a lot like ordinary tap water). [First link goes to NOTW 915, 8-21-2005, which refers to Kabbalah's Celestial Drops.]

Your Daily Loser
Chris Chapman, 19 and on a community council in Wales as a member of the Conservative party, is just one of those people who (intentionally or not) has laid out his extensive drug and two-bit-criminal history on his MySpace.com page, appalling his colleagues. But the opponents called the bet, and Chapman had to lay down his hand: Turns out he did do a powerful pain-killer, but that was on prescription for his shoulder, and he did maybe shoplift a candy bar once. That stuff on MySpace was just made-up.

Just Below the Fold
Now computed: the "wages of sin" (Ted Haggard-style); turns out that the damage to his church after his sex/drug revelations is 44 layoffs due to donation-dry-up . . . . . In the latest highlighted case from the files of the Iowa unemployment compensation judges: A cameraman for a Cedar Rapids TV station was justifiably fired for inability to hold in his coffee during a long, long cemetery ceremony for a fallen soldier . . . . . Officials in Papua New Guinea, preparing for June elections, say that the backwoods provinces’ voter rolls are inflated by about half, with such celebs as Elvis and Tom Jones historically casting lots of ballots.

NOTW Lite
An arthritic 77-yr-old woman in Lisbon fell on railroad tracks, couldn’t get up, and the train couldn’t stop, but she ducked under it, and she’s fine! . . . . . Pakistani man dug up his 2-yr-dead dad, jacked an ambulance home, and tried to revive him (but so far, it hasn’t worked) . . . . . 7-yr-old girl calls 911 in Burnett, Minn., because her grandfather’s cheating at cards . . . . . Robert Marsh, arrested for breaking into a woman’s apartment in Fond du Lac, Wis., warns police that he is a shape-shifting werewolf.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Beijing has more than 9 times as many public toilets as London has, and will have upgraded half of them in time for the Olympics next yr (but London, host of the 2012 Olympics, is status-quo'ing it).

The mother of Zachary Rothfeld, 12, filed a lawsuit against the operators of NYC’s Roosevelt Island tram, nine months after that incident that stranded 69 people over the East River for 11 hours until they were rescued. Zachary’s said to be severely, severely traumatized, which was not predicted by his upbeat TV interview right after the rescue: "That didn’t scare me. I remember thinking, I hope there really is a Spider Man."

Florida is one of 19 states that detains the worst sex offenders after their sentences are up, purporting to "treat" them, but (as Yr Editor has suspected for a long time) its treatment center in Arcadia is better described as a state-sponsored circle-jerk club. The NY Times gave it page-one treatment today, disclosing: Of the hundreds housed there since 2000 (484 right now), only one has ever been certifiably rehabbed. It’s not a prison, exactly, so they removed the razor wire after detainees complained that it was puncturing their volleyballs. And in 2000, they had an actual, successful Charles Bronson-type helicopter escape. No-show rates for group therapy sessions are around 30 percent (but much of that is on the advice of their lawyers, who understand a flaw in the system, i.e., that the client might get carried away and confess to a crime that he hasn’t yet been charged with). Most of the high staff turnover is because of staff-detainee sex. And the whole thing costs about 2x as much per capita as if the guys were just "in prison" (which is peanuts compared to the 8x rate for a Kansas detainee the Times uncovered in Sunday’s story). On the other hand, Yr Editor suspects that rank-and-file, tax-hating Floridians might choose this as their favorite taxable program (if only they could cut out those wasteful expenses on "rehabbing").

Your Daily Loser: Illinois revoked the funeral director’s license of Roy M. Williams, who committed various money- and death-certificate-handling indiscretions but who most notably once wore a dead man’s hat to the guy’s funeral.

People With Worse Sex Lives Than You: Army drill sergeant Edmundo Estrada, 35, has been accused of unorthodox therapy on a depressed trainee, having him dress up as Superman and moan as Estrada did some sexual things to him which Estrada apparently had seen on a porno movie involving a Superman character weakened by kryptonite and moaning as he is sexually tortured. (Estrada also allegedly had a free-lance body-development documentation project going on, periodically photographing his charges’ chests so he could, y'know, chart their progress.)

Just Below The Fold
A church commission in New Zealand blasted the weak reprimand the broadcasting-standards agency gave a sports radio network for running a 34-second piece that was unmistakably a woman having sex with a bull . . . . . Kiwis have other problems, too: Christchurch Hospital’s cardiac unit is so short of beds that The Press found that some patients were having their surgical wounds nursed in restrooms . . . . . A courier service (which Yr Editor will not iDentify Here) Left a human liver and part of a head (destined for a medical facility) at the home of a couple expecting to receive table legs . . . . . A physician is suing a girl that he (apparently) simply did not go far-enough around when he tried to pass her on a street (he on bicycle, she, age 11 at the time, on inline skates), and the ensuing spill was way bad for him, nothing to her . . . . . So many U.S. executives are visiting India (mainly to talk about outsourcing) that India’s visa-processing office can’t keep up, and it’s going to start outsourcing that paperwork, er, to a U.S. firm . . . . . Three men wrongly convicted in a state prosecution of a gangland murder are out of prison and looking for somebody to sue, and how about the FBI, which knew they were innocent all along but defiantly says, Hey, we couldn’t tell anyone because that might have outed our confidential informant.

NOTW Lite
Two drunk drivers crashed into each other and are in critical condition in Manchester, N.H. (so, is there a problem?) . . . . . You say you’d like to meet Michael Jackson? Stand there and chit-chat with him for just one minute? No problem. That’ll be $3,500, please . . . . . A 45-yr-old woman was sentenced (no jail time) in Melbourne, Australia, for trying to smuggle 15 fish under her clothes (no comment) (Bonus: They were making flipping sounds in the water bags she had ‘em in) . . . . . In one one-story (multinational) house in Houston: 26 Hondurans, 24 Salvadorans, 13 Mexicans, 2 Brazilians, 2 Guantemalans, and not a single visa . . . . . About 170 Swiss infantry soldiers in training apparently got lost and wandered briefly into Liechtenstein, which was not aware and undoubtedly wouldn’t have taken offense anyway. (Jokesters’ Take: If the soldiers had gotten lost on their western border instead of their eastern, they’d have wandered into France and would now own the country.)
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Inside NOTW
The lonely-man-and-donkey story circulating now worldwide from Ireland is a little too over-the-top for Yr Editor, even though fairly well-done. We’ll wait and see about its authenticity. Have a look at it here, but do not tell anyone it was recommended by me.
Reader comments on a couple of stories: Efficiency consultants aren’t just making British bureaucrats tape off better-organization spots on their desks [NOTW, 2-25-2007]. One reader said it’s happening in U.S. Air Force installations. Another reader, Josh Borden, writes:

I work for a large worldwide corporation [and] we take this black tape one step further. Our floors are also taped off and labeled for everything from trashcans to desk. The weird part about this whole thing is that after you do this for so long a group of Japanese inspectors will come around and see how your company has handled this change. If you do good enough you receive the highest honor in business today, call the SHINGO award. It was named for the guy who came up with this idea. The great part is, that when you do receive this award, your whole company, all 20,000-plus employees [receive] nothing else but to be able to say that you won the shingo award.
And the Senegalese chimpanzees that make sharp sticks and stab for food [NOTW Daily, 2-23-2007] are stabbing "bushbabies," which are, according to reader Maya Wheelock:

small mammals that are also called Galagos (genus Galagoides). The term bushbaby is usually applied specifically to the dwarf galago (but maybe it's a more general term). There are surprisingly few photos of galagos on the web, but here is one. (Side note: dwarf galagos can hop like kangaroos.)
Recurring Themes: Another guy (this one in Martins Ferry, W.Va.) with the bright idea to postpone his trial (for assault) by having himself shot . . . . . Rectal contraband-smuggling (at the San Francisco Cotera prison in El Salvador): not drugs, not razor blades, but a grenade . . . . . In England, a serious head injury from an accident, and the victim wakes up super-obsessed with sex (Bonus: and cell phones) . . . . . A southern California woman didn’t realize she was pregnant until the baby squeezed out (but this woman has an excuse, in that she was carrying around 412 other pounds during that nine months) . . . . . A man robbed a bank in Fayetteville, N.C., and took the loot back to his motel room, where he was then robbed by a maintenance man.

The F State: (1) Oh, great, now that the St. Petersburg 24/7 (except for sleep) hiccuping girl who made all the news shows in February has finally stopped (after five weeks), here comes Ms. Jaime Molisee of Jacksonville, who has been going almost 24/7 for eight months now. What else can the F State do to you? (2) A Miami developer ripped off gov’t funds (ho-hum!) to buy himself, er, a sculpture of a giant watermelon slice. (3) A former vice-mayor of Naples pleaded guilty to spitting on a restaurant diner’s table after the diners had the audacity to ask hizzoner’s little urchin to stop banging on the glass that separated the two tables.

Just Below The Fold
Romanian authorities have early-released a U.S. historian/Fulbright scholar, imprisoned for child rape, because he flattered the country by writing a book on Dracula . . . . . A sect of Jerusalem rabbis is campaigning to bring back the practice of animal sacrifice (sheep) [Bonus: They want to hold these sacrifices at Islam’s iconic Al Aqsa Mosque] . . . . . Two inmates captured a guard at the smoke-free Northeast Correctional Complex in Johnson City, Tenn., but then soon handed him over for some cigarettes . . . . . Mr. Mert Ott, 77, won a mayoral primary in Marysville, Kan. (pop. 3,300), whose voters somehow forgave-and-forgot his two prison stretches for distribution of pornography.