Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Wednesday’s 5-Star Special
The Austrian rock band Handydandy works entirely with styrofoam thingies resembling guitars but which really house cell phones hooked up to computers, which they tap, then go through the "facial and bodily contortions of an Eric Clapton or Carlos Santana" on stage, reports the Wall Street Journal [pay-per-view]

REMINDER: NOTW Daily is posted Mon through Sat by noon, NY time—except this month, when it’s Mon-Wed-Fri only, and Friday by 4 p.m.

Civilization in Decline
News That Sounds Like a Joke: Black-hooded terrorists sent a chilling video to French TV, threatening "action" if the gov’t doesn’t fix the, er, falling prices of domestic wine (No, no, they’re already on record, shooting at foreign wine trucks) . . . . . The UK’s Prison Service has hired "dozens" of personal trainers to slim down all the thugs who have just tragically let themselves go . . . . . Headline: "[Britain’s Nat’l Health Service] Dentists Turn Away Patients with Bad Teeth" (but actually that’s probably due to NHS’s self-defeating pay scale that assumes no one in Britain has really, really bad teeth) . . . . . The latest U.S. figures on how much we really owe ourselves (as opposed to the low, feel-good numbers politicians try to distract us with): not $112K per household for our ordinary "debt," but $516K per household when you count Medicare and gov’t retirement payouts (and that’s $516K if we paid it all off today, but more when we borrow to pay it off).

The Human Condition Today
Israeli security officers captured longtime Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade terrorist Khaled Shawish, and a couple of Israeli bloggers are reporting that when they nailed him, he was in the process of nailing a Palestinian woman (not his wife) in a car a few hundred feet from Yassir Arafat’s gravesite . . . . . Nevada district judge Elizabeth Halverson is such an angry, out-of-control piece of work that her fellow Las Vegas judges are piece-by-piece removing cases from her jurisdiction (Bonus: At 425 lbs., she could use some hard time in a British prison) . . . . . Questionable Business Plan: A gang of nine vicious, crowbar-swinging bone-breakers are jailed in Shanghai, even though the bones they broke were apparently just their own, to draw compensation for construction-site "accidents" . . . . . It happens: If you don’t pay your fire department dues, they actually send a crew to watch your home burn to the ground . . . . . South Carolina families need to pack up and move out now!: Well, that wasn’t the explicit message of state att’y gen’l Henry McMaster, but what are ya gonna do when McMaster says, "[I] promise you out there right now, it is raining perverts. They’re all over the place. They’re trying to get into your children" . . . . . And, finally, after all these years, "You’re going to see some hard evidence. That’s a promise. That’s not just promotional talk" (said the organizer of the Sept. 7 West Virginia UFO extravaganza).

Your Daily Loser
Dude in Milwaukee struck out asking the U-Haul store employee for a date, but that was mostly because he and his pal were in the process of robbing her at the time.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Police in Guelph, Ont., report three sightings of a man who approaches women and asks if they would please kick him in the onions. [Associated Press reported "groin," but that is technically just the juncture of the thigh and the abdomen. Hey, Yr Editor is here to help.]

NOTW Lite
More Sounds-Like-A-Joke: The winner of a Colorado regional spelling bee (now on her way to the nationals) is 14-yr-old, er, M-a-i-t-h-r-e-y-i G-o-p-a-l-a-k-r-i-s-h-n-a-n . . . . . Inexplicable: Police in Key West broke up a fight between two women, battling over their Waffle House check, which was, er, $34.

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
Veteran investigative researcher David Burnham and pals totaled the number of people the federal gov’t tried to kick out of the country from 2004-2006 (814,073) and the number of those people who were cited for "terrorism-related" reasons (12) . . . . . An Associated Press reporter finds an apparently super-successful, pride-evoking California prison program, except that it’s the one that has greatly reduced the number of inmates committing suicide.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
The "Loving Wife-Spanking in a Christian Marriage" site sells mostly books on theory and technique, y’know, how a little light B&D can put the happy couple closer to God, but you can also order some neat "crotchless pantaloons." [LINK corrected] [link from BoingBoing.net]

Newsrangers: David Weiss, Steve Dunn, Mark Neunder, Nick White, Jeff Baxendale, Ginger Katz
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Monday’s 5-Star Special
The latest instance of Yr Editor’s favorite murderers also includes this price list of the alleged perp, David Wayne French, a professional psychic who charges, e.g., $135/hr for "astral travel" consulting and $155/hr for "3rd eye mastery." (Bonus: He's still on the lam) (Double Bonus: He's a girl)

REMINDER: NOTW Daily is posted Mon through Sat by noon, NY time—except this month, when it’s Mon-Wed-Fri only, and Friday by 4 p.m.

Civilization in Decline
Look what’s OK in U.S. politics now: A Colorado jury said it was Constitutionally protected political "speech" when Kathleen Ensz left a selection of dog feces at the door of her U.S. Congresswoman in Greeley . . . . . A new reality TV show in the Netherlands, starring a terminally-ill woman who must choose between three suck-ups who desperately need one of her kidneys . . . . . Toshikatsu Matsuoka (Agriculture Minister of Japan) has committed suicide over a scandal, thus demonstrating the embarrassing ineptitude of Japanese politicians, for there is utterly no American official who would be caught dead not trying to deny, weasel, and worm his way out of any scandal (and in fact, we even allow weaseling by Americans who lose entire wars for us) . . . . . Speaker Tom Craddick had a busy week, conducting the business of the Texas House of Representatives with almost cartoonish kangaroo-ness, almost provoking a Taiwan-like brawl at the podium . . . . . One more time, Ohio plays the F State’s bitch: Yeah, we might screw up an execution once in a while, but the O State couldn’t find a vein for Christopher Newton’s 10 a.m. meeting with His Maker, and he wasn’t pronounced dead until 11:53 (but actually, he was pretty genial about it).

The Human Condition Today
A fired Connecticut secretary sues the company for $33M for not letting her work at home to accommodate her wintertime sadness syndrome, but more important, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., man sues a dog owner for $1M after the pooch bit him on the chest and thus rendered one of his erogenous zones useless . . . . . An actual Chuck Palahniuk-style fight club, in the San Francisco area, made up of computer tech types . . . . . Sorry for the return to the feces motif, but in some place in Ireland [It says here "Alt Aoibhinn, Meenanillen, Derrybeg," but yeah, as if], an estranged boyfriend allegedly came back home and pooped into her spaghetti sauce, but the best he could come up with was that she pooped into her own spaghetti sauce . . . . . A Denver hospital patient, brought in unconscious after getting drunk, falling, and hitting her head, filed a complaint against the hospital because the doctor gave as formal discharge instructions, for her not to get drunk, fall, and hit her head.

Your Daily Loser
Christopher Emmorey, 23, was sentenced to 2 yrs in prison for robbing a Peterborough, Ont., bank, which he ought to have known he wasn’t equipped to do, in that he had demanded $5K from the teller but stood stoically while the teller handed over $200, saying that’s all he was getting, plus, plus the teller took back $5 and told Christopher it was a "service fee" because Christopher wasn’t a regular customer, so he slinked off with $195.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Tucson, Ariz., FBI Agent Ryan Seese, who should be out finding terrorists, for heaven’s sake, was arrested in the ladies’ room at the student union at U of Arizona, wanking gloriously for the cleaning lady. He had left his gun and ID in the car, but that might just have been to make room in his pocket for that (under-the-stall) mirror.

NOTW Lite
In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Albert Facchiano, a made Mafioso who was first arrested in 1932, was sentenced to 6 mos.’ house arrest on his latest racketeering conviction (he’s, er, 97) . . . . . The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the city had quietly raised its dog-licensing fee this year ($5 per dog, plus $22.50 per testicle or $45 per uterus, if they’ve got ‘em) . . . . . The Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s burger company is feuding with Jack In The Box burger company over the latter’s making fun of the body part you can spell using the former’s "Angus" beef claim . . . . . The Hindustan Times reports an elephant in Orissa state was imposing a one-"man" roadblock that he’ll break only if you roll your window down and let him search your car for food.

Update
FBI Agent Seese may understand that he has a problem, but our old friend the Oklahoma penis-pump judge, Donald Thompson, is apparently the least shameful public wanker of my generation. He was just turned down for early release, in part based on the fact that (despite prison recording policy) he’s always sexing it up on the phone with his girlfriend. [NOTE: Link goes to a report on NY’s quixotic NorthCountryGazette.org, which has the most expansive version, which I link to for those readers who are unfamiliar with Judge Thompson's journeys through News of the Weird. (And why aren't you familiar with them? Hey, this is "Pro Edition.") However, stories are also available in The Daily Oklahoman and in Associated Press dispatches.]

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Here’s another evergreen link, or, rather, an updated evergreen [from Fark.com]: Mainichi Daily News’s "Wackiest World" of Japanese Ice Cream of remarkably stupid flavors, a companion to its "Wacky" World and "Wackier" World, with the latest featuring a nice carton of pit viper flavored ice cream (said to be an aphrodisiac, but horrible-tasting).

Newsrangers: Ginger Katz, Kevin Dean, Harry Farkas.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Friday’s 5-Star Special
A Litigious Society Classic: The father of the late St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock has concluded that his son’s death was someone else’s fault. Josh was DUI (almost 2x the presumed-impaired level), un-seat-belted, speeding, cell-phoning, in the middle of the night on Interstate 64, but that wasn’t the problem. The problem lay with the guy who let Josh crash into him (and, of course, with the lounge that served him).

REMINDER: NOTW Daily is posted Mon through Sat by noon, NY time—except this month, when it’s Mon-Wed-Fri only, and Friday by 4 p.m.

Civilization in Decline
The U.S.’s Al Hurra TV channel, which spends $63M a yr to puff up American values to Middle Easterners, was revealed to have allowed at least one hour-long anti-Jewish, pro-violence screed, just because, er, none of the American operators understand Arabic (Seriously) . . . . . Rich parents continue to believe that their kids somehow need toy sets that go for $5K and up (up to the Rainbow Play Systems’ King Kong Carl McKee Custom, topping out at $46K, installed), but at least the units-sold number of these products is down . . . . . Whole Foods and Wal-Mart learn that expansion space is so scarce in Hawaii that new digging is bound to turn up some of the natives’ ancestors . . . . . San Antonio’s Witte natural history museum is contemplating moving some century-old trees on its property, to build a parking garage . . . . . Louisiana’s Supreme Court has now enabled the legislature’s decision to assure the murder of at least one child, and maybe many: Well, that is, the legislature has added "aggravated rape of a child under 12" as a death-penalty qualifier, meaning surely that at some point, a perp interested only in rape will conclude, in a flash of rationality, that he has a better chance of avoiding detection if he eliminates the only witness.

The Human Condition Today
In 2001, a suicidal Australian climbed a tree to do his thing, but then had a "moment of clarity" and decided, after all, that life was worth liv—oops! (And the state supreme court just now tossed his lawsuit against the psych ward to pay for his tree-fall paraplegia) . . . . . A Kansas City toddler challenged the patience of traveling Buddhist artists, by inadvertently tap-dancing on their intricate sand sculpture (but "no problem," said one of the artists; they’ll just start all over) . . . . . Here’s a student in Nebraska, academically working as a stripper and then writing a thesis on it, which is exactly the kind of exotic work that professors fawn over, but somehow it only got her a B . . . . . Fruit-Falls-Close-to-Tree Dept: Some Fort Worth, Tex., high school students can’t walk across the stage at graduation because they failed a mandatory test, so parents picket the school, one with a sign, "Let are kids walk."

NOTW Lite
Qatar’s nat’l soccer team hasn’t quite caught on, so the gov’t is offering to pay 10,000 Vietnamese to cheer for them at the Asian Cup matches in Hanoi.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
A non-Music Newsranger sent this page, for those of you who need to see a photographic display of (a) a torn-off arm, (b) that became re-infected after re-attachment, (c) and was re-amputated, and (d) was grafted onto the guy’s groin for nine days until the infection went down. Bonus: Part (d) apparently was not discussed with the patient until after the fact, when he woke up.

Newsrangers: Scott Langill, Jerry Whittle, Emory Kimbrough
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wednesday’s 5-Star Special
An Egyptian scholar, Ezzat Atiya, combing the fine print in the Quran, came up with a way in which an unmarried man and woman actually can be alone with each other. The way to do that, see, is for her to symbolically breastfeed him five times (presumably, in the presence of a male relative of hers). That way, said Ezzat, everyone can be assured that if the man and woman then go off alone, nothing immoral could possibly happen because the Quran says a man could never do bad things with a woman who has breastfed him (presumably meaning his mom, but perhaps the Prophet Mohammad could have been clearer about that). Yes, of course, Ezzat has been suspended from his teaching post.

REMINDER: NOTW Daily is posted Mon through Sat by noon, NY time—except this month, when it’s Mon-Wed-Fri only, and Friday by 4 p.m.

Civilization in Decline
WhosARat.com ($7.99/month subscription) made the news, dishing on gov’t informants (but only nonviolent cases accepted) . . . . . F State politicians must not have realized yet that their privacy law actually impedes their obsessive efforts to crush-like-bugs the state’s child-sex offenders, i.e., if you rape a kid, but you’re nuts, the state can’t take your DNA to see if you’ve raped any other kids . . . . . The New Jersey legislature is considering allowing pet owners to sue for up to $15K for "loss of companionship" for the wrongful death of a pet, i.e., the state’s pets are no longer just "property" (which is probably outrageous to Washington Redskins’ football player Clinton Portis, who in an unrelated-case interview, considered it ridiculous that dog-fighting should be considered a crime, because, after all, you can do what you want with your property) . . . . . The Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game says it has a really good reason for its proposal to tranquilize several notorious grizzly bears and dye their fur various colors before releasing them, but never mind, because animal sympathizers are certain that bears do feel embarrassment and would be mortified to be purple in the presence of another bear . . . . . Times just get tougher for rape victims in court: In England, a 174-lb. girl "may well have been glad of the attention" the rapists paid her, said one (female) lawyer, and in Australia, the gang-raped young woman was "moaning in pleasure, weren’t you?" asked a lawyer . . . . . Big Day in Pakistan: (1) The female tourism minister resigned after congratulatorily hugging a man in public; (2) A pop singer was hauled into court because a lyric made some girls feel bad; (3) The jig was up for a female-to-male tranny who tried to help a female friend by marrying her, to keep her out of an arranged marriage.

The Human Condition Today
A "traveling bishop" of some stripe or other, who has already served time in the joint for bigamy (it was a misunderstanding of Mormon teachings, he said) is back at it, with 8 proposals on the table . . . . . No sports coach alive has ever experienced his players doing exactly what he taught them, but a New York Little League coach, Leigh Bernstein, is being sued because one of his urchins slid into second incorrectly and hurt himself . . . . . The investigation continues, but preliminarily, police say a man tried to kill his girlfriend by stopping the car, with her inside, in front of an oncoming train but then was killed himself by flying shrapnel . . . . . Rev. Steve Jones, a West Virginia evangelist, got an F-State review of his dentistry ministry road show, where you line up to have Steve banish the evil spirits from your decayed or crooked teeth (or turn that amalgam filling into gold!).

Your Daily Loser
Police in Whitehall, Ohio, went to a motel to arrest a domestic violence suspect, but when they surrounded the place and announced their presence, the next-door occupant, Kenneth Carter (wanted in a shooting, but not by these cops), was arrested scurrying out his back window

NOTW Lite
An opportunistic Missouri woman hit it twice one day, with identical twin brothers, and got knocked up, and they both DNA-test 99.9 percent likely as the father, but both say it must have been the other guy . . . . . I’ll bet you didn’t know that until last month, you could get married in Montana without ever going there because double stand-in weddings were legal (and no one thought anything of it until an Israeli company contacted the gov’t about setting up a proxy-wedding franchise) . . . . . Something else you probably didn’t know: that high school students (Conifer High, in Colorado) could get away with putting this many drug-oriented pictures and captions in their yearbook . . . . . A news crew from WCVB-TV (Boston), in Vancouver to do a story on how beautiful and livable the city is, had their cameras stolen during a coffee break.

Updates
Spring, and love, are in the air for a New York man, 61, who’s looking to get hitched again, but it’s our old pal Arthur Shawcross, serving life for killing 11 women and eating some of them.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Muslim men led astray by Ezzat Atiya’s work (see above) need not feel guilty because it says here in this Wikipedia entry that "adult suckling" (or "erotic lactation") is definitely not a disorder. Completely normal.

Newsrangers: Ginger Katz, Peter Hine, Barbara Ell, Larry Seltzer, Jamie Wilson, Steve Miller, Emory Kimbrough, Harry Farkas, Tom Barker, Mark Neunder, Stefan Palys.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Monday’s 5-Star Special
A serious problem if you don’t speak English very well, and you’re drunk as a skunk, and your remote, one-car accident leaves you dependent on telling 911 exactly where you are [911 dispatcher, repeatedly: "I need your location." Andres Vasquez, repeatedly: "I’m under the [expletive deleted by newspaper] truck"]

REMINDER: NOTW Daily is posted Mon through Sat by noon, NY time—except this month, when it’s Mon-Wed-Fri only, and Friday by 4 p.m.

Civilization in Decline
Doctors Against Organ Harvesting says China is a changed country, that it no longer harvests executed prisoners’ organs for its transplant industry, and now takes ‘em from live prisoners . . . . . A disgustingly putrid "lake" in El Salvador (3,800 metric tons of excrement/yr, plus runoff from 116 factories) is booming with 150,000 seabirds from 130 species, from as far away as Canada; m-m-m-mmm! cruuuud! . . . . . It took 2½ yrs, but the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has finally upheld Phillip Pongracz’s right to call Joni Tedesco an [askhole*] . . . . . The security director at Michigan’s Palisades nuclear power plant told Esquire magazine that he used to be a U.S. gov’t assassin; an investigation is underway . . . . . The Massachusetts legislature is considering adding height and weight to those things businesses can’t discriminate on the basis of. [*--Yr Editor is not afraid to write certain words, but since many readers get News of the Weird Daily by e-mail, in the office, I am respectful of filters.]

The Human Condition Today
In Ikeda, Japan, the relentless, feuding neighbor: 169 urine attacks on the house that’s blocking his view . . . . . A 24-yr-old F State roofer continued to do repairs on a home in foreboding weather, and lightning got him—Mr. Darwin Olivera. . . . . . A Quebec elementary school principal, sensing a teaching moment after catching four 9-yr-old bullies calling their prey a [one of George Carlin’s 7 words]: You guys write me a short essay on what fellatio means to you . . . . . A political scientist, writing on Salon.com, discovered that the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq in 2003 wrote sensitive documents in Microsoft Word, but then physically cut-and-pasted the final product, leaving undeleted an awful lot of good stuff (i.e., bad stuff) on the original files, which are now online . . . . . Not only does Eva Marie Mauldin give her husband Joshua a forgiving pass after he burned their infant daughter in their microwave but she’s got the reason figured out: Satan didn’t want Joshua (a "wonderful father") to become a preacher . . . . . A technician at Dallas Regional Medical Center, on his first day back from vacation, OD’d on laughing gas.

Your Daily Loser
San Antonio elementary school principal Elizabeth Rojas was finally removed after she failed the mandatory certification test, for the, er, 38th time. 37, no problem, apparently. Hey, wait! She’s not much of a loser; they demoted her to another position at the school at "slightly less than" her $77K salary, said WOAI-TV.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Former multi-term South Dakota state legislator Ted Klaudt turned himself in on charges that included eight counts of rape of foster children and former legislative pages. He told the girls he was helping with human egg-donation and needed to check their breasts and ovaries . . . . . There’s a photo of Klaudt, who obviously isn’t supermodel-datable material, but here’s a better mugshot, of the latest older woman trolling for young stuff.

NOTW Lite
He overcame a sore throat, er, "sword throat," to become the first swallower to take a down a steel sword underwater, in a tank with 80 sharks and stingrays dashing about . . . . . Clichés Come to Life: Zhang Haijing, 18, fell off of a 6-story building in Shanghai but was saved by her umbrella as she sort-of floated down . . . . . In a deposition, World Bank prez Wolfowitz’s gal, Shaha Riza, explains why people probably resent Wolfie's and her appearance of quasi-nepotism more than they resent actual nepotism: "[B]ecause [other nepotists are married to each other], they’re seeing that their relationships are asexual [but] because [Wolfie and I are merely] dating, there must be sex there."

Professor Music’s Weird Links
will return on Wednesday

Newsrangers: Rob Snyder, Scott Langill, John Cieciel, Mark Neunder, Geoff Egan, Paul Schlotterbeck.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday’s 5-Star Special
A customer from the Cincinnati, Ohio, area accidentally discovered that his TKO-brand heavy punching bag, that his son and he use, is filled not with sand or plastic stuff but with, er, men’s and women’s swimsuits and underwear, and not all of it was clean underwear. A company rep admitted they’ve had quality-control problems.

REMINDER: NOTW Daily is posted Mon through Sat by noon, NY time—except this month, when it’s Mon-Wed-Fri only, and Friday by 4 p.m.


Civilization in Decline
A parody-come-to-life of Madison County, Ill., personal-injury cases (Madison is the Gates of Hell for U.S. tort law): A woman got $311K because she was holding the door open for a cop at a Pizza Hut, and an employee yanked it further open, apparently (according to a courthouse chiropractor) destroying the woman’s back as she knows it . . . . . The only foreseeable monkey wrench in the eventually-world-dominating Chinese business machinery (according to Reuters): "Some Chinese Communist officials have turned to once-outlawed feng shui masters to get a better chance of promotion."

The Human Condition Today
The county commissioners in Chicago approved a payout of $4.1K to an employee out of work because she slipped on a banana peel . . . . . An 18-yr-old tagger in Santa Fe, N.Mex., went over the concrete wall and razor wire at an electrical substation so that he could graffiti-up the place, and right now, he’s at death’s door with 3rd-degree burns (with a whole cabinet of paint on the Other Side, gently whispering, ‘Come on over’) . . . . Hector Pulido, 40, was arrested in Bridgeport, Conn., and charged with biting the hell out of his 3-yr-old nephew (to, of course, teach the kid not to go around biting people) . . . . . Unclear on the Concept: He, suicidal, shot himself, and then walked to the funeral home . . . . . A hospital in Kumamoto, Japan, set up an incubator dropbox to discourage abortion (Moms: just dump your unwanted infant right after birth and be on your way), but now authorities are searching for the man who dropped off his 3-yr-old kid.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
That would be the various customers (a few years ago, because she’s been on the lam since 2001) of Stafford, Va., dominatrix Patricia "Mistress Jesse" Meehan, whose primary sadism technique, apparently, is forcing her customers to look at her beautiful face. (And, as long as we’re on mugshots, you could glance at this mom and her adult son, who apparently get it on with each other. Yr Editor will take the reporter’s word that the pair are blood-related, in that I don’t want to click the link anymore, because it hurts.)

NOTW Lite
Yr Editor never gets tired of flying cows: A motorist was killed in Western Australia when he hit a cow in the road, and it flew up in the air and crashed through the flimsy roof of his Ford SUV [Ed.: Call Consumer Reports!] . . . . . Bloomberg News informs us that the richest person in Asia is a Chinese guy named Ka-shing . . . . . Kids at Goldenview Elementary in Anchorage have grilled hot dogs for a class project for the last 10 yrs, using moose-turd briquettes.

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
A small state school in San Diego was the victim of a billing scheme that ran them well into the hundreds of dollars, perhaps into the thousands, and so far, the investigator they hired to get to the bottom of it has interim-billed $195K, and a school trustee says the caper will run $1M before it’s over, and the government-type angle to this is that officials say the school should get to the bottom of it even if it costs multi-millions.

Updates
Everybody knows wrestling is fake, but here, they’re referring to those Taiwanese legislators who periodically brawl on the floor of parliament (incidents News of the Weird has naively reported several times); a number of them told Reuters that it’s mostly staged, to impress the folks back home that they "fight" for their constituents . . . . . President Bob of Zimbabwe still hasn’t figured out that pesky inflation thing yet, which was about 1,500 percent when we last noted it [NOTW Daily, 2-13-2007], and now rests at 3,731 percent (but it’s probably broken 4,000 since I read this story early this morning).

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Rev. Fred Phelps is front-and-center this week because he scheduled a picketing at Jerry Falwell’s funeral in Lynchburg, Va., on the ground that Falwell has fraternized with sodomites (as have "backsliders" Billy Graham, Robert Schuler, and Pat Robertson), and thus, his death "split Hell wide open the instant he died." Well, you can read that press release along with various preachings, music that you never heard in church, and a video experience not quite up to Rocky Horror standards, but close. You can click this link, or you can type in http://www.WestboroBaptistChurch.org, in which case you’ll be re-directed to the main Westboro page, which is, of course, http://www.GodHatesFags.com/

Newsrangers: Vance Bass.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Wednesday’s 5-Star Special
Least Competent Gangs: Police in Kansas City said two gangs were shooting at each other on Sunday night, and their investigation turned up (a) more than 100 bullet casings and (b), er, no casualties.

REMINDER: NOTW Daily is posted Mon through Sat by noon, NY time—except this month, when it’s Mon-Wed-Fri only, and Friday by 4 p.m.

Civilization in Decline
It Almost Worked: To stay off death row, you either (a) let your lawyer argue that your mom’s fetal alcohol syndrome doomed you from the start or (b) prevent him from mentioning that and then appealing the death sentence on the ground that any competent lawyer would have mentioned that, and so Jeffrey Landrigan chose (b) and actually got most 9th Circuit judges and 4 SCOTUS justices to buy it . . . . . There’s a swinging AA chapter in Washington, D.C. (apparently, a one-step program, with the one step being "anything that moves").

The Human Condition Today
Most people never get to experience the rush of getting shot, but here’s Daryl Miller, who got hit twice in 7 days, in his own home . . . . . Another casualty of America’s mania over scrap metal: Damion Mosher was ripping the gunpowder out of bullets (using a vise and a screwdriver), to salvage the casings, until, well, technically, I guess, he shot himself . . . . . A former Saturday Night Live player (from the lean years, so you aren’t expected to remember him), Tony Rosato, has apparently improv’ed himself into a mentally-ill diagnosis by claiming, non-comedically, that his wife and kid have been replaced by pod people . . . . . An excellent prima-facie case of "hostile environment" sexual-orientation discrimination against a transsexual—except that the "workplace" was a prison work detail, so it's OK . . . . . Not Ready for a Driver’s License: A tale of gratuitous panic by a 17-yr-old girl, complete with screaming for mommy and lifetime memories of her van, sunk in freshly-poured concrete on the West Virginia Turnpike.

Your Daily Loser
Lolita Bullock (not to be confused with those nubile dolls named Lolita in pornography) turned herself in for robbing a Bank of America and informed the arresting officer that she’d also please like the Crimestoppers reward (and, figuring she’d be off to jail, brought along a friend to take home the money).

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Courtesy of Professor Music, here is an About.com page of 38 mugshots of horny young women who have been charged with hitting on boys (in most cases, the women’s students), all gathered together for your dorm-room rating-party pleasure.

NOTW Lite
This is why Yr Editor loves Science and doubts Intelligent Design: Some researchers say there’s no such thing as "free will" for humans [search: Benjamin Libet], but it now looks like, There sure is, for fruit flies [LINK CORRECTED] . . . . . Congratulations to Roxie Britton, valedictorian at Froid High School in Montana, who beat out . . nobody . . for the top prize.

NOTW, The Blog
Yr Editor failed to perform on promises made in this space Monday but will keep them on the "active" agenda.
Two questionable stories are making the rounds this week, and purists [Ed.: After all, this is the Pro Edition of News of the Weird] will want to pass them by: (1) A guy allegedly urinated on a plugged-in PlayStation and knocked himself out, electrically speaking. I’m not sure the result is even likely, but I do know that so far there is no legitimate news source for it. (2) The Salt Lake City CBS TV station’s website ran as current news a 2005 story out of Northridge, Calif., in which a john was arrested for beating a ‘ho to death with a garden hoe (which looks like a good story except for being two yrs old).

Newsrangers: Joe Littrell, Diane Gunnels-Rowley, Mark Neunder (and too many rangers on the bullets-in-the-vise "shooting").
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Monday’s 5-Star Special
In a story that sort of reeks of "April 1" (though it’s from "May 11") and in the style of the fabulists at Ananova.com (though it comes from the website of the quite-upright German newsweekly Der Spiegel), we get a discussion of objectophilia, which is not about fetishes but about genuine affection and commitment expressed for objects rather than for humans, e.g., the Berlin Wall, the Twin Towers, steam locomotives, an iBook. (Bonus: If the object of your affection has to go into the shop for repairs, you get pangs of infidelity.) Some professor or other says it’s part of society’s drift to asexuality.

REMINDER: NOTW Daily is posted Mon through Sat by noon, NY time—except this month, when it’s Mon-Wed-Fri only, and Friday by 4 p.m.

Civilization in Decline
The Arrangements Have Been Made: Y’say y’could use maybe $360K to put your life in order? Well, that’s how much Fidelity Investments earns yearly by the simple act of raising 25 cows on its valuable suburban-Dallas property (taxable value: $10.6M, except if there’s cattle on it: $25K) . . . . . Los Angeles Housing Dept. shelled out $18K for staff seminars from a Zen Buddhist, teaching such skills as centering yourself by holding yourself in . . . . . Gee, Congress would certainly like to do something about global warming, but apparently it’s powerless when the Nat’l Rural Electric Cooperative Ass’n starts lobbying for more loans for coal-fired power plants (enough new ones, over 10 yrs, said the Washington Post, "to offset all state and federal efforts to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions during that time") . . . . . Democracy blooms in India’s Uttar Pradesh state, where 15% of this season’s candidates had been charged with crimes, and where some of them pulled off fresh victories (including the guy facing 59 charges including murder and kidnaping), and where some of them ran their campaigns from jail [Wall Street Journal, 5-12-2007, pay-per-view] . . . . . "Many of our children have no hair and bad teeth" is how a resident of the nearby Yellow River in China describes life, where 10% of the flow is raw sewage.

The Human Condition Today
The urge to play Barbie dolls with roadkill: Somebody dressed up a fawn real pretty-like in Tacoma, Wash., for some reason, and last week, an art student at Southern Illinois Univ. started dressing up possums and raccoons, to get drivers to pay more attention to the road . . . . . Republican presidential candidate Tommy Thompson said the reason he ignored (in a debate question) the fact of legal protection for gays and lesbians (in favor of a business’s using its own judgment about discrimination) was mainly because he had to go potty real bad . . . . . A company in Kitchener, Ontario, sells industrial strength adult diapers (holding up to 9 cups’ worth), advertised for casino-slot-playing obsessives (but probably also of jealous-astronaut-grade) . . . . . Speaking of which: Involved in a resisting-arrest incident in Anchorage, Alaska: a renewable-resource assault weapon . . . . . Inexplicable: Reuters leaves us hanging by ignoring a motive why a wealthy South Korean business mogul and his bodyguards would snatch some karaoke restaurant waiters and beat the crap out of them

NOTW Lite
Her body looked intact, but inside her skin, her head had become separated from her spine (which is a way-bad thing), and incredibly, doctors know how to fix something like that (though it doesn’t always work) (and, man, does it ever hurt).

Updates
Our man Tony Alleyne (the guy who meticulously remodeled his modest London flat into the flight deck of the Starship Enterprise [NOTW 947, 4-2-2006; NOTW 793, 4-20-2003]) finally sold it for (if the buyer comes through) about 5 times what it would have been without the remodel. (He had started work to recover from a nasty divorce and once pulled the apartment off the market for lack of takers but that was before he tried eBay!)
Two of last year’s headline bestiality cases were resolved last week: Ronald Kuch accepted a plea to hitting on a dead dog in Saginaw, Mich., and will be sentenced in July, and Michael McPhail, whom Yr Editor had just mentioned last week (sex with live dog in Washington state) was acquitted of all charges by a jury in Tacoma!

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Actually, a pretty spiffy, attention-getting idea from those alleged-human-cloning attention-getters, the Raelians: The West raises money for third-world poverty, malaria, AIDS, etc., so why not battle female genital mutilation the same way? ClitorAID!

NOTW, The Blog
Yr Editor has made several rather minor errors lately, and I fully intend to correct the original posts, but, man, am I busy this month. I’ll try to make the fixes today and tell you about them on Wednesday. Thank you to all.
Newsrangers: Mark Neunder, Ginger Katz, Jeff Grenier, Steve Miller.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday’s 5-Star Special
Can’t Possibly Be True: A news organization in Pasadena, Calif., is seeking a full-time beat reporter to cover local gov’t and politics and wants to hire a low-cost journalist . . in India, who, the editor says, can easily conduct all interviews by telephone and who can even cover the city council meetings, which are video’ed over the Internet.

REMINDER: NOTW Daily is posted Mon through Sat by noon, NY time—except this month, when it’s Mon-Wed-Fri only, and Friday by 4 p.m.

Civilization in Decline
A NY Times fashion writer noticed that women’s collarbones have replaced midriffs as the status symbol of fitness: A prominent clavicle means the rest of her is not too fleshy (Bonus: One or more of 7 woman at Framingham (Mass.) State College are suspected of raiding newspaper boxes and confiscating 1,000 copies of the campus paper that featured the 7 at a women’s lacrosse game with the letters of the name of their favorite player on their perhaps-too-fleshy stomachs) [Ed. They're wrong about being too fleshy!] . . . . . PC marches on: A black schoolbus driver in Iowa was fired for uttering the ol’ N word to a black elementary-school kid who was threatening to beat the crap out of her; a state agency reinstated the driver, but that kid’s momma was surely far, far more concerned that her kid had been N-ed (even by a sista) than she was that she was in the process of raising a 10- or 11-yr-old thug . . . . . The Catholic Church sure is a cheap date when it comes to accepting miracles for canonization, with the latest being a 19th century Brazilian who cured 5,000 people (only 2 certified by the Vatican, though) by giving them Tic-Tac-sized pills made of paper inscribed with prayers . . . . . Strife over remodeling at the Strathmore Tower condominium in Baltimore, where the Jewish residents want a special "Sabbath elevator" built (i.e., one that stops automatically on every floor so that observant Jews don’t actually have to "operate" electrical equipment during the Sabbath), but the Gentiles said, Oy, we’re not paying for that.

The Human Condition Today
In Cessnock, Australia, a woman who was trying to keep a neighborhood crematorium from expanding claimed in public testimony that it’s already such a monstrosity that she once saw a ghost rising there, but then a newspaper dared to publish her statement, and now she’s suing because that ghost comment makes her look like a lunatic . . . . . And in death news: A Chicagoland man, 29, perished because he couldn’t resist looking down a cylinder holding fireworks to see why it didn’t explode (and . . yeah . .) . . . . . And a stripper was ordered to jail a year after she was unfortunately present, romping on video with a man, 65, who had a heart attack in the saddle (which is not a crime for her, but it was when she grabbed his drugs and money with the camera rolling) . . . . . And an Oldham, England, man, 54, who was running to catch a bus, ran smack into a lamppost and fell, dead, into the street in front of the bus . . . . . And a Camillus, N.Y., man, 65, fishing out golf balls from a water hazard at Pine Grove Country Club, had a heart attack and drowned.

Your Daily Loser
Brit Russell Cotton, 40, was arrested in Rio de Janeiro and charged with attempted murder, traced down by his careful, 11-step plan he had written out on his computer (e.g., (1) "arrive at his flat at 3:15 p.m" . . . . (9) "break his neck with a monkey wrench"), but the problem was that he had no pre (1), which should have been "work out at the gym for a few weeks beforehand so he can’t overpower me," which is what happened and why Cotton is going down.

Updates
NOTW’s favorite sculptor Daniel Edwards (Britney Spears naked, on all fours, squeezing out her kid, onto a rug, NOTW 953, 5-14-2006) came back this week with "The Paris Hilton Autopsy," where she’s nude, reclining, legs open . . and dead (with a godawful view of intestines about to spill out). (Oh, of course he’s gone too far; he always goes too far.)
One of Yr Editor’s great stories of 2004 [NOTW 840, 3-14-2004] was of the sincere, world-class wannabe soul singer "Mingering Mike":
* The New York Times reported in February [2004] on a Washington, D.C., man whose love of usic led him, in the 1960s, to meticulously hand-make and hand-paint facsimilie record album covers of his fantasized music, complete with imagined lyric sheets and liner notes (with some albums" even shrink-wrapped), and, even more incredibly, to hand-make cardboard fascimilies of actual grooved discs to put inside them. "Mingering Mike," whom a reporter and two hobbyists racked down (but who declined to be identified in print) also made real music, on tapes, using his nd friends’ voices to simulate instruments. His 38 imagined "albums" were discovered at a flea market after Mike defaulted on storage-locker fees, and the hobbyists who found them said they ere so exactingly done that a major museum would soon feature them. [New York Times, 2-2-04]
Well, this week, the megacool Xeni Jardin did a 2-part feature on Mike for NPR, which you can read on her BoingBoing.net posts here and here (with MP3 links to the actual pieces and artwork from Mike’s hand-drawn LP album covers). Mike’s discoverer, Mr. Dori Hadar, has just chronicled the whole thing in Mingering Mike, with an Amazon.com link on the BoingBoing post.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
"A wealth of fun and important information about one of the world’s most important products," as well as "30,000 products at wholesale discount prices"! Somebody’s got to do it. The Toilet Paper Encyclopedia!

Newsrangers: Steve Miller, Jeff Grenier, Emory Kimbrough.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Wednesday’s 5-Star Special
If you’ve been hanging around the Internet long enough, you’ve seen pretty much everything that could make you queasy, right? So, when the journal Nature puts up another humdrum story about how effective "larval therapy" is (i.e., cleaning wounds that might be resistant to antibiotics, by turning sterilized maggots loose for five days on the open sore), and they illustrate it with a color photo of a swarm of maggots on an infected foot, that’s not going to be a problem for you, right?

REMINDER: NOTW Daily is posted Mon through Sat by noon, NY time—except this month, when it’s Mon-Wed-Fri only, and Friday by 4 p.m.

Civilization in Decline
A federal judge, described as "usually pretty fair," sent a man away (for making 29 porn shots of girls aged 10-12) for 750 yrs [strict registration site] . . . . . A Gaza-made, pure rip-off of Mickey Mouse, named "Farfour," is now on a Hamas TV station proselytizing the young ‘uns, saying, squeakily, "You and I are laying the foundation for a world led by Islamists" . . . . . 51 Texas Aggies were busted for cheating on a class in "business ethics," with 27 let go because the proof wasn’t "irrefutable" and only some of the guilty 24 getting F’s . . . . . Ho-hum: Two journalists were jailed in Azerbaijan for writing something to the effect that Christianity is less violent than Islam, but the real action in the courtroom was when several Muslims tried to kill the journalists (for being so misguided as to think that Islam is more violent) . . . . . An Associated Press inquiry revealed the Pentagon as all fertoutst in 2004 at Canada’s attempt "to spy" by giving U.S. agents Canadian coins that were tech-ed up for eavesdropping (whereas, really, they were regular-issue coins, 30 million of them, merely with a special film topping to prevent the coloring on the coin from rubbing off) . . . . . Murderabilia dealer deluxe: Massachusetts spree shooter Wayne Lo sells his (unspecified, in a Boston Herald story) bodily fluid for $15 and runs his own Internet store from prison (in order, he said, to raise money for the family of a victim).

The Human Condition Today
A man living near Palm Springs, Calif., really, really wants those coupons in his newspaper’s supplement because if he doesn’t get them, boom! . . . . . A man in Shelby County, Tex., was arrested for shooting another, who was kicking the shooter’s car (and the kicker was no one to mess with, since he had previously been arrested for "chewing on his dog") . . . . . In a Salt Lake City suburb, the wife said, Honey, I have a surprise for you, so let me blindfold you—and she proceeded to smack him over and over with a hammer . . . . . A murder-suicide in La Habra, Calif., with a circular saw . . . . . Alcohol Was Involved: A 48-yr-old man in New Britain, Conn., trying to one-up a friend’s dance steps, does a backflip directly onto his head (and is no longer with us) . . . . . Michael Schreiber, 22, suffered two broken legs when, after the vandalism-toppling of gravestones at a Merrillville, Ind., cemetery, a half-ton one fell on his him (and, no, this isn’t the one in Lilburn, Ga., reported in NOTW 994, 2-25-2007) . . . . . In Memphis, a $2M estate up for probate passed uneventfully, except for the deceased’s golden retriever, being fervently sought by the guy’s ex-, and his fiancee, and his divorced mom, and his divorced dad (with the parents winning joint custody to work out) . . . . . The sentence was five yrs-plus for the Chicagoland couple who last yr tried to rob a bank via the drive-thru window (give me the money "or I’ll shoot everyone in the parking lot") (but give them credit for then recognizing the futility of that M.O. and actually going into the lobby for the next 2 heists).

Your Daily Loser
Police in Decatur, Ala., came upon Jorge Tavarez, 21, sitting blissfully in his SUV, which he had just accidentally driven into a river, and, as everyone waited for firefighters to pull Jorge to safety, he pulled out a couple more beers and turned up the stereo (until the water reached the vehicle’s electrical system).

NOTW Lite
Michelle Duggar of Tontitown, Ark. (with help from her husband), is about to give birth to her 17th child in 19 yrs of procreation, all with names beginning with J, and she didn’t even get around to "Jennifer" until number 17 . . . . . The newspaper industry still retains some vitality: Middle school students collect 13,580 copies to benefit the Humane Society in Gainesville, Ga. (i.e., so the dogs and cats will have something to pee on) (Seriously) . . . . . Reuters visits an 800-yr-old shrine in Kyoto, Japan, whose priests’ specialty is (for about $50) to issue a prayer to make a couple’s break-up go more smoothly . . . . . As those of you in Milwaukee know, if you’d bought a ticket to see the league-leading Brewers in action last night, a doctor would also have stuck his finger up your butt for free (er, "free prostate screening" is how the PR people billed it), along with a voucher for two more tickets for future games.

Update
Florida’s Michael Wiley, with zero arms and one leg (actually, half a leg), who is (a) super bitter at his self-made fate, (b) actually, an outstanding driver [NOTW 972, 9-24-2006], and (c) possessor of no driver’s license, will probably be arrested today after an incident yesterday in which deputies bit his dust in an 8-minute high-speed chase through Port Richey.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Walk around in the word of the Lord, all day long, with quotations from the Scriptures . . . on . . . shoe inserts (reasonably priced).

Newsrangers: Richard Lesser, Emory Kimbrough, Jenny Beatty, Roger Leduc, Gary Moody, Ivan Katz, Eric Appellof, Glen Eichenblatt, Steve Miller, Judith Roitman, Paul Di Filippo, Jon Maxwell, Tom Barker, and I-don’t-know-who-was-first on the Canadian coin story.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Monday’s 5-Star Special
A Scripps Howard News Service investigation informs you that you taxpayers are giving thousands of men (and perhaps a couple of women, maybe) hundreds of dollars a month in VA disability benefits for venereal diseases they contracted on their own time while on active duty, and, considering that returning Iraqi war wounded often have to battle the bureaucracy for months to get covered for real disabilities, this might be a caca-fan-hitting. [Ed.: This program stems from the 1970s, at the height of the influence of nonjudgmentalism on public policy.] [Ed.: Yr Editor is here violating his sacred 3-day freshness rule on this story, which was published last Wednesday but which Yr Editor missed on Friday.]

REMINDER: NOTW Daily is posted Mon through Sat by noon, NY time—except this month, when it’s Mon-Wed-Fri only, and Friday by 4 p.m.

Civilization in Decline
When U.S. soldiers and Marines get blown apart by IED’s, there’s world-class battlefield medical care, but when Iraqi soldiers get similarly blown apart, not so much . . . . . If you’re a big-shot Russian who’s the least bit not on Putin’s side, you better have lots of money for security, as Peter Aven appears to have, which is how he can build, in England, a $50M fortress for his family that probably puts Windsor Castle to shame.

The Human Condition Today
Doctors gave him 12 months to live, so he lived it up for 12 months, and now, oops, bad diagnosis, so he has to sue because he’s got years and years ahead of him, and no house, clothes, or money . . . . . A wearisome Guinness Book record try (85 hrs on a stationary bike) was for naught because the guy’s helpers couldn’t add and subtract too well, nor read a clock . . . . . Management at the landmark Robbs department store in Hexham, England, announced the store’s closing (and layoffs of 140 people) by pulling a fake fire alarm and then announcing the closing in the parking lot . . . . . The lawyer representing the so-called "D.C. Madam" is apparently a piece of work, himself, e.g., "[I] will litigate [against my estranged wife] until I am disbarred and bankrupt, if necessary," to describe the sixty lawsuits he had filed at that point . . . . . France has some powerfully courageous anarchists, like the ones in Lyon who protested Sarkozy’s election by dropping trou and bending over, pointing their butts at riot police who had already been firing non-lethal weapons.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Washington state’s first bestiality trial started last week, following the new law spurred by a guy’s notorious 2005 death at the hands of a horse (well, not exactly at the hands) [NOTW 916, 8-28-2005], with the defendant here being Michael Patrick McPhail, who was caught in the act (by the wife) with the family pit bull terrier [NOTW 961, 11-26-2006]. Also, Slate.com has a review of Zoo, the just-out documentary on the fraternal group that populated that Enumclaw, Wash., farm, which was sort of like the "Cheers" bar of the local horse-man sex scene. "These [my fellow sodomites] were people I could trust," said one, in the film. "I did summertime barbecues, Thanksgiving, I did Christmas dinners. One year we did a turkey and a ham." [Ed.: OK, ladies and gentlemen, don’t embarrass me. Yr Editor put that quote in to demonstrate the mundanity of the horse-sex club, not so you fraternity-boy types could make jokes about "barbecue" and "did" a turkey.]

NOTW Lite
The photographer Spencer Tunick, who shoots groups of naked people, did up 18,000 in a downtown Mexico City park Sunday, and, as usual, his work means something or other, e.g., as one of the subjects said, "The important thing is not that it’s your body or someone else’s but that you participate in something as a society. This reflects the need for change and integration in world trends."

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
The Transportation "Security" Agency (part of the Dept. of Homeland "Security") announced it had misplaced a portable hard drive that contained SSN’s and other data on the 100,000 people who worked at the agency between 2002 and 2005 . . . . . And WGME-TV’s crack investigative team, looking through a Dumpster in the parking lot of Maine’s Lottery Commission, found a cache of discarded records with SSN’s and other data . . . . . The problem with the VA’s handing out bonuses to top executives, while service deteriorates for Iraqi returnees in clinics and hospitals, mentioned last week by Yr Editor based on complaints about North Carolina facilities [NOTW Daily, 5-1-2007], is actually a national problem, and U.S. Rep. John Hall of NY has introduced legislation to suspend the bonuses until the service improves.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
San Francisco artist Clark Sorensen has created a series of, er, flower-shaped urinals that are not only beautiful but are for sale ($6k-$10k), all "made of high fire porcelain and fired to cone 10 in an oxidation atmosphere." [Yr Editor hasn’t the slightest idea what that means, but it sounds really, really authentic.] You’ve got your Red Hibiscus, and your Yellow Orchid, and your Jack-in-the-Pulpit and . . .

NOTW, The Blog
United Press Int’l reported on May 4 that Citibank Korea Inc. had lost a court judgment to some of its female employees because it had failed to pay them "menstruation leave." That seems like a newsworthy story for this era, for someone besides the increasingly obscure UPI (which in the old days was a powerhouse), but so far only a couple of minor websites that habitually use UPI stories have run it.
Newsrangers: Jamie Anderson, Gary Goldberg.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Saturday’s 5-Star Special
The home inspector in upstate NY told the buyers there was a problem with bats in the attic, but did they look before closing the deal? No, of course not. Turns out there’s almost 2 tons of droppings (Seriously).

REMINDER: NOTW Daily is posted Mon through Sat by noon, NY time—except this month, when it’s Mon-Wed-Fri only, and Friday by 4 p.m. (and, well, yeah, I missed yesterday’s post so that’s why there’s this Saturday post).

Civilization in Decline
The patriotic Nat’l Rifle Ass’n is of course staunchly anti-terrorist—unless, of course, you’re a terrorist and you want to buy a gun because in that case, unless the gov’t can actually prove you’re a terrorist, the sale must go through . . . . . The local council in the UK’s Cheltenham borough tried a new approach to lazy dog owners: The gov’t spray-paints a red circle around the dog’s pile, hoping to shame whichever owner left it there, and unsurprisingly, many residents would rather their gov’t just pick up the thing, already.

The Human Condition Today
Bertha Ramos’s defense (when Wal-Mart ratted her out for her to-be-processed film in which she’s butt-naked with her three clothed kids): Oh, it’s OK to do that in Mexico; I didn’t know it was different here.

Your Daily Loser
Police say Michael Minahen, 45, is San Francisco’s "Boring Bandit" (for his workmanlike bank robberies), but he got nabbed Wednesday afternoon when he feared someone was about to come through his motel room door to steal his drugs and so hid on the ledge outside (2nd floor) and then, oops, fell to the ground and apparently knocked himself out.

NOTW Lite
Brit Shirley Bowes, running as the Conservative in Tony Blair’s home ward last week, registered zero votes (thus tying a world record) because it turns out she couldn’t even vote for herself . . . . . Nonsensical (but a great photo): There was a "Crying Sumo" contest in Tokyo last week, where two wrestlers hold up toddlers and try to make theirs cry first . . . . . Doctors in NY removed a tumor from a 3-yr-old’s brain, thus halting her frequent seizures, which were usually accompanied by, uh, uncontrollable laughter.

Updates
Early last yr, BBC News reported (as did Yr Editor, NOTW 946, 3-26-2006) that a farmer in Sudan had caught a man having sex with one of his goats and that somehow the tribal authorities had decided, as appropriate punishment, that the frisky trespasser should marry the gal. The Guardian just two weeks ago had a little fun with the story’s longevity (it was BBC News’s most-forwarded story of 2006), but the Guardian didn’t have as much fun as Australia’s News.com.au originally had by sticking on a file photo of a goat with a privacy-protecting black bar over its eyes). Well, now comes word that the missus ("Rose") has passed away (cause of death: that old goat menace, the plastic bag).

Professor Music’s Weird Links
will return on Monday

Newsrangers: Dwayne Beck, Tom Barker, Emory Kimbrough, Steve Miller, Tim Hayes.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, May 04, 2007

NOTE: With the Attorney General of the United States of America as Yr Editor's role model, I announce that "I do not recall" promising you that NOTW Daily would be published today. [But, Chuck, your promise is on the record, in writing, below.] Oh, that. Well . . . must be hackers! Anyway, Yr Editor promises to have Friday's post up (and e-mailed, to the list) tomorrow morning. Otherwise, please remember that all this month, it's Mon-Wed-Fri instead of 6 days and that Friday's post will be late each week (but not as late as today's).

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Thursday’s 5-Star Special
In the San Joaquin Valley town of Hilmar, Calif., Marcus Schultze and his gal allegedly broke into a home, saw that it was a deputy’s, stole his badge and all his cool stuff (but his piece wasn’t there), and drove away in his truck, so, man, are they in trouble, so the thing to do, they figured, was to stop somewhere and . . have sex . . with the engine running, which alerted passersby, who called police, and by the time came to make their getaway, the truck was out of gas, and the gal got caught, but Marcus escaped on foot.

NOTE: Ah, the perils of being a one-person webpage. Starting tomorrow, Yr Editor will have to be working on another project during the rest of May, requiring that NOTW Daily be cut back to Mon-Wed-Fri (and that, on Fridays, publication be delayed until about 4 p.m. New York time rather than the normal 12 noon). Same great quality. A little less often. I hope to be back to the 6-day schedule before the end of the month.

Civilization in Decline
The Associated Press discovers entrepreneurial meth dealers cutting product with strawberry flavoring, to attract first-time users . . . . . Sen. Barbara Boxer was kinder and gentler to Condoleezza Rice than Australian senator Bill Heffernan was to childless political enemy Julia Gillard, who was labeled unfit to govern because she is "deliberately barren" . . . . . The official Vatican newspaper called a comedian a "terrorist" because he criticized the Pope (or at least the remarks quoted by Reuters appear to be mundane criticisms) . . . . . Hutchinson (Kan.) Correctional Facility adopted a highly-alarming cost-cutting policy of issuing toilet paper only "as needed," but on closer reading, all it means is that when you bring in an empty roll, they give you a full roll (instead of, y’know, having to prove need use-by-use).

The Human Condition Today
Way out in a holler in southern West Virginia, a man was charged with killing another in an illegal duel . . . . . Great Lede: "Jojo Baby, a local artist and part-time drag queen, dropped by . . to check out some mannequins for sale. The door was open, so he walked in unannounced and came upon a pot of water boiling on the stove [with] a human head inside" (but it’s actually not that weird a story) . . . . . Another one of those "man stuck in airport without passport" stories [like all-time NOTW favorite Merhan "Alfred" Nasseri and the movie "The Terminal"]: Two Bangladeshi laborers go to Saudi Arabia via New Delhi, but the Saudis turn them away and confiscate their passports and return them not to Bangladesh but to Delhi (in whose terminal they lived for 48 days until repatriated).

Update
ABC News delved a little deeper into Washington, D.C.,’s $67M-dry-cleaning man [NOTW Daily, 4-27-2007], Roy Pearson, with an explanation of just how he came to sue for that particular figure over an $800 (a generous $800) pair of pants. He plans to call 63 witnesses.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Here’s another evergreen, or rather ever-brown: the official headquarters of the Diaper Pail Fraternity. Now, the more-normal members of DPF are the ones merely into wearing diapers and rubber pants. The less-normal ones, ah, . . . never mind.

NOTW, The Blog
Gimundo.com is start-up news service offering "Good News, Served Daily," to counteract all that disgusting, depressing stuff you’re forced to read in your regular news outlets. [Ed.: Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, and good night!] Gimundo’s professional survey just released asked people why they thought the news was always so bad, and most people blamed it on the structure of the news business itself (which of course begs the question, in that publishers and broadcasters wouldn’t emphasize bad news if people refused to consume bad news). But here you go: 3 percent said a big reason why bad news is so popular is that "hearing about bad things makes me feel better about my own situation." [And good night, again!]
Newsrangers: Betina McCoy, Steve Dunn, Eli Christman, Gil Nelson, Ginger Katz
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Wednesday’s 5-Star Special
A team of biologists who apparently specialize in bird genitals reported that female ducks have a receptor that’s corkscrew-shaped, to protect their eggs from rapists’ sperm, and that as evolution has made males’ genitals bigger, it has also made the corkscrew route even trickier (assuring that, after all these yrs, she still pretty much controls [by relaxing the corkscrew] who fathers her offspring). Thank God for bird-genital experts.

Civilization in Decline
The Republican Party of Utah’s Utah County (just south of Salt Lake City) actually debated a resolution condemning the influence of, er, Satan, for causing illegal immigration, and the sponsor, Don Larsen, actually cried in his presentation about how America is going to hell because of it ("If the Democrats take over the country, we will be dead") . . . . . New sentencing guidelines for England and Wales ask judges to take note of whether sex-assault victims under age 13 might have "consented" to the crime because, though it doesn’t excuse the crime, it might mitigate the punishment . . . . . D’Oh! Academics learned that corporate outside directors who suck up get invited to be on other boards but the ones who rock the boat (likelier to actually represent those things called "shareholders") don’t.

The Human Condition Today
The F State’s legislature presented the governor with a bill to solve the state’s hurricane insurance-funding crisis—no, wait, that was too complicated to deal with; it was a bill to allow a pet’s cremated ashes to be buried with the owner in people-type cemeteries . . . . . Art Works: "Artist" Carl Lindstrom though it would be a good time to show (at the Univ.of Hawaii gallery) his piece consisting of a bank of live b&w surveillance videos, except for one that looked live but was a taped loop featuring a semi-nude man with a gun, walking around (and wouldn’t ya know it, a gallery viewer got petrified) . . . . . You Know The Type: After canoeists emotionally rescued an apparently suicidal women in Idaho’s Snake River, and got her to shore, they were greeted by a sheriff’s deputy who immediately wrote them out two $85 tickets for having no life jackets . . . . . A Phoenix-area business exec named, er, "Jim," dresses up as a superhero ("Citizen Prime") several nights a week and does Guardian-Angel-type work on the streets . . . . . At a Daytona Beach Denny’s, a man wearing a purple wizard outfit is not a superhero; in fact, he was arrested after leaving his fiance’s 4-yr-old son at a booth and walking out.

Your Daily Loser
Jonathan Powell, 16, of Iowa City, apparently had some time to come up with an explanation of why his DNA was on the woman’s chest and inside her bra (i.e., he had been charged with sexual assault), but the best he could do was that he was out jogging and ran into her, and the two became benignly entangled, and he was unable to free himself for 45 minutes. (Seriously)

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
A NY Times piece points out how the number of food shipments into the U.S. has grown in multiples over the last 10 yrs but that the number of inspectors on the job is almost unchanged, which led former HHS Sec’y Tommy Thompson to say in 2004, "For the life of me, I cannot understand why the terrorists have not attacked our food supply because it is so easy to do."

Professor Music’s Weird Links
There are tinfoil hats, and there is that beekeeper-type anti-ray headgear Yr Editor called to your attention [NOTW Daily, 4-28-2007], and then there’s this site, for your serious, professional electrowaves-be-gone needs.

Newsrangers: Ginger Katz, Joe Littrell, Cindy Hildebrand, Patrick Geisler, Bea Westrate, Mark Neunder.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Tuesday’s 5-Star Special
Judith Dadd’s lawsuit against Mount Hope Church goes to trial this week in Lansing, Mich., for her head injuries when she answered a "call to the altar" in 2001 and was then properly overcome by the Holy Spirit and fell backwards, only to learn that there was no Church catcher. [Ed.: Better than litigation as a solution would be to go to one of those healing ministries, such as that of the Rev. Ernest Angley, to have Ernest smack the evil headache spirit right out of her body, and have her fall into the arms of his well-trained catchers.]

Civilization in Decline
An Austrian judge has refused to appoint a legal guardian for a chimpanzee, thus thrusting Austria against the EU’s "progressive" drift toward human rights for animals . . . . . New Zealand’s Telecom was revealed to have included the word "gay" on its list of words that would cause a company e-mail to be deleted (revealed by a customer, Ms. Gay Hamilton) [bonus: She’s gay] . . . . . A Scottish funeral home director admits that, for years, they’ve used excess cremation ashes (that won't fit in the urn) to kinda salt the sidewalks around the building when they got icy . . . . . Just like old times in the People’s Republic: Li Chaoyang passed away in jail, laden with cuts and bruises after numerous "escape" attempts, and the cause of death: "adult sudden death syndrome."

The Human Condition Today
Donald Bryant was charged in Troy, N.Y., with trying to arrange a hit on the unknown informant who ratted him out on a drug conviction, and it turns out that the "hit man" (i.e., police informant) he was talking to was the same guy who had ratted him out . . . . . Police in Yorktown, Ind., said David Monroe told his wife, Why don’t you sit here by the picture window, maybe to enjoy the sunny day . . and a few minutes later, Monroe rammed his F-150 through the window to try to kill her . . . . . And here’s today's aesthetically-challenged (British) prostitute (courtesy of The Sun).

Your Daily Loser
A man not named in a Winona (Minn.) Daily News report checked in to Community Memorial Hospital, bloody with nine stab wounds after an apparent attack which he said he must have slept through and only noticed when his girlfriend asked him about the blood.

NOTW Lite
Johan Huibers started building his half-sized replica of Noah’s Ark in 2005 in Schagen, Netherlands, as a tribute to creationism, and now that he's finished, he looks prescient, of course, because Al Gore has informed us that the Netherlands will be among the first flood casualties of global warming . . . . . A presentation at the American Physiological Society’s annual meeting called everyone’s attention to the Brazilian wandering spider, whose bite is quite painful, but never mind, because the pain is almost always accompanied (in the male) by an uncomfortable erection (and there’s a lot of Erection Science in the story).

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
Records obtained by the Charlotte Observer found that top executives of North Carolina VA facilities got bonuses in 2004 and 2005, during precisely the time when the hospital in Salisbury and several other clinics were under intense criticism for poor patient care. The amounts weren’t large (by corporate standards), but the Dept. of Veterans Affairs was uninterested in explaining why they were awarded.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
As a way to spend one’s time on Earth, probing the ground with a metal detector seems one of the least useful, but then there must be a subset of those practitioners who take the additional step of actually purchasing a Bill Wyman [the retired Rolling Stone] Signature Metal Detector.

Newsrangers: Emory Kimbrough, Mark Neunder, Joe Littrell, Ginger Katz, Steve Miller.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.