Saturday, June 30, 2007

Saturday’s 5-Star Special
According to fashion designers, little girls go from "toddler" to hubba-hubba, bypassing entirely the stage known as "plain old kid," sez an Arizona Republic report, and that’s true for the inventory at several outlets, including GapKids, which recently offered a "white, crocheted string bikini you’d likely see Anna Kournikova wearing on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue [but was] for a 12-month-old."

Civilization in Decline
Among the New York City school principals who got big bonuses this yr: one whose school is being shut down as bad, and two whose schools are phasing out for the same reason . . . . . A rich guy in a Washington, D.C., ‘burb claimed the right to cut down trees that interfere with a park's ecosystem, because, well, let’s see, OK, I got it, they disturb his kids’ nut allergies (but he didn’t come up with that one until the 3rd try, and by the way, the trees he wants to delete keep changing in size with every application he makes). But he’s rich, so "The Arrangements Have Been Made"—No, wait, the planning board actually turned him down! . . . . . British Medical Journal's literature review concludes that we have nothing to fear from Alzheimer's-inflicted drivers as long as they're not more than 3 yrs down the road from their first clinical diagnosis.

The Human Condition Today
Branden Tingey was apprehended in the act of trying to crack the safe at the Polidoro Italian Grill, and ya could tell he didn’t much know what he was doing because he had the office’s computer on, to a web page on how to crack a safe . . . . . Las Cruces, N.M., authorities have discovered four (4) large animal hoarding cases in the last six weeks, including a 129-cat batch that all had to be euthanized because of a "variety of ailments [including] AIDS" . . . . . The obviously-well-Americanized illegal alien who sued the grocery store in northern California after slipping on a grape, er, lost the case, but it might have been because she was forced to talk about the loss of future wages that she was demanding (yet had to admit that she couldn’t legally work) . . . . . In frequently-power-outed Myanmar, thieves know that on the first sign of blackout, to rush in and strip the copper wire off the poles (but if you don’t act quickly, the power might come back on) . . . . . Duane Williams admitted to police that he has "anger-management issues," like when he got ticked that the Wendy’s clerk didn’t say please or thank you, and he reached through the drive-thru window and punched her in the face.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Here’s a promotion ad for a zoo, featuring a dog whose attitude is somewhere on the scale of indifferent to perturbed, and just because they made him wear that life-size crocodile suit.

NOTW, The Blog
Next Week’s Posting Schedule: Mon, Thur, Sat only. It’s not that Yr Editor is taking time off; it’s that U.S. news flows will be lighter than usual.

Newsrangers: Anna Maloney, Paul Music, Scott Langill, Steve Miller, Bob McClafferty.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday’s 5-, Well, No, 3-Star Special
Wrong place, Wrong time: Chicago police arrested three alleged dope-sellers after they casually spotted one of them, packaging 100 lbs. of it (street value: $670K) into baggies. Cops were actually chasing a nuisance-type public urinator through a neighborhood and happened to pass an open garage door, where they spotted the bagging operation in plain view.

Civilization in Decline
Bethel Temple Community Church (Evansville, Ind.) has abandoned its short-lived campaign to encourage parishioners not to complain so much (citing some Bible verse), but even the pastor couldn’t stop whining . . . . . In Britain’s continuing pussification campaign, the Justice Ministry thinks it's important to remove the word "prostitute" from the criminal code, so as not to hurt the feelings of "persons who sell sex persistently" . . . . . For a while, at least, you can legally huff while driving in New York (because the legislature didn’t list "Dust Off" and similar substances in the DUI law) . . . . . The prosecutor in Murphy, Tex., turned loose those 25 pervs caught in NBC Dateline’s most-recent child-predator sting (well, 24, because one killed himself) because police weren’t involved enough in the evidence-gathering.

The Human Condition Today
Timothy Fry, 22, is upset because his town council in England won’t let him exercise his two pet snakes in a park (with or without a leash, apparently) . . . . . What’s the problem? They were preparing the food just like a lot of small-town restaurants do in China—on top of a trash can (but this was Wilmington, N.C.) . . . . . Officials in Minnehaha County, S.D., rejected Randall and Vicki Eggert’s application to raise dogs on their farm, citing the "four pet" rule (but if they’d had farm animals instead of pets, the cut-off is, e.g, 150 pigs or 450 chickens) so the Eggerts brought in four pet "mammoth donkeys," that bray really loudly . . . . . An F-State woman said a construction worker on a ladder inside a Target store inadvertently peeked at her in a fitting room, and her husband looks near-suicidal: "[T]here’s a guy out there who knows what my wife looks like naked."


Your Daily Loser
Pablo Castro, 26, was taken to the hospital in Decatur, Ala., after being stabbed in a fight by a guy with a knife, and they patched him up and released him, and minutes later, he got into another fight with another guy, who stabbed him with a screwdriver, and Pablo was back in the ER.


NOTW Lite
A clothing-store burglar in Menden, Germany, was caught in the act and so pretended to be a mannequin (but he’s a guy, and the mannequin was a she).


Updates
Kobayashi (the Japanese hot-dog-eating guy) has reconsidered and said he’ll try to defend his Coney Island crown on July 4th (even though he still can barely open his mouth, due to jaw arthritis) [NOTW Daily, 6-26-2007].


Professor Music’s Weird Links
Not Safe For Work, I guess, though it’s actually a tourist attraction in Changchun in northern China (but a shameless tourist attraction!): a 30-ft-high phallus.


Newsrangers: Paul Music, Emory Kimbrough, Ginger Katz, Vic McDonald, Steve Miller, Amanda Cohen.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Thursday’s 5-Star Special
Leadership: A Boston Globe profile of Mitt Romney touted his "emotion-free crisis management," such as on the family trip in 1983 when he strapped their dog, in a carrier, onto the roof of the car but then had to make an unscheduled stop to (calmly, of course) hose off the back window when nature called on Seamus.

Civilization in Decline
Oops, launch codes for the pre-emption of the emergency broadcast system were mistakenly clicked on in Illinois Tuesday morning, causing a few minutes of panic, and, of course, it was FEMA's fault (well, a FEMA contractor's) . . . . . The Arrangements Have Been Made: 6.7 billion people on the planet, but 9.5 million of ‘em (15 in every thousand) [CORRECTION: 15 in every 10,000] control $37 trillion (one-fourth of the total economy) . . . . . U-Haul has ticked off a lot of judges because of its habit of "losing" defective trailer and truck parts that are essential to lawsuits about accidents (on at least 11 occasions, says the L.A. Times, some in direct defiance of a court order to protect the parts) . . . . . Victoria McArthur wants a lot of money, and she wants it now, because Starburst candy doesn’t come with a warning that it’s too chewy . . . . . . Man, more of that British anti-husband stuff: 30 yrs after the divorce and a major one-shot property distribution, the ex-wife (the original strayer in the marriage) asked for more, and a judge gave her the equivalent of almost $400K . . . . . Some radio stations in Israel stopped playing songs by Mr. Eliyahu Faizkov, 20, because he sounds like a girl, and "according to many Orthodox rabbinic authorities," reported the Jerusalem Post, "Jewish law forbids men to listen to a female singer’s voice [because that’s similar to] viewing parts of a woman’s body that are normally kept covered."

The Human Condition Today
Even the homeless population has its profit centers, like Palm Springs, where, even if you’re a squeegee beggar, somebody’ll assume you have a lot of money (and rob you) . . . . . . . . . . A South Carolina rich dad complained that middle-school bullies shook down his kid many times during the year, with total demands running to, er, $35K . . . . . German Michael Werner swore to London’s Daily Mail that he’s been a "breatharian" (sunshine, fruit juice, and coffee only; no food) for 6 yrs now and is in great health [Ed.: Check under the floorboards! The Twinkies have to be somewhere!] . . . . . A Delta commuter flight made an unscheduled landing in Philadelphia because a 4-yr-old urchin was pitching a fit when she wasn’t served her apple juice fast enough (and no charges will be filed against her spawners!) . . . . . The father of a boy who was 9 when he was raped by his male nanny told the judge the perp’s got to go away for a long time because, as a predator, "He’s got game" . . . . . A real pro at Medicare/Medicaid fraud: Psychiatrist Ajit Trikha, in Belleville, Ill., worked more than 24 hrs a day on 76 occasions, and treated 1,267 patients in the U.S. during trips to Amsterdam, London, and Paris . . . . . Jesse Ramirez suffered severe brain injuries in a May 30 crash in Chandler, Ariz., and a few days later his wife said to pull the plug. Jesse’s other relatives got a court order turning everything back on, and 18 days later, Jesse regained consciousness. An anti-wife t-shirt: "Jesse, We Got Your Back."

Your Daily Loser
Arizona motorist Jenna Meyers, 22, text-messaging behind the wheel, somehow managed to run smack into another car, which was parked and (being a police car on call) had its emergency lights flashing.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Gordon Wood is finally going to trial for the 1995 murder of his girlfriend, and among the evidence is a statement from the morgue worker that Wood later walked in to view the body and matter-of-factly asked the attendant, "Do you mind if I look at her t*ts?"

NOTW Lite
Centers for Disease Control has found a way to excite adolescents about science: trading cards of gross diseases! . . . . . Apparently there was a police chase through a cornfield in a Dutch village, and here’s the remarkable overhead photo of afterward.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
will return tomorrow (perhaps)

NOTW, The Blog
From the awesome NY Times science writer, Natalie Angier, a roundabout hypothesis for the existence of cat ladies: The cat parasite Toxoplasma gondii not only messes with humans, it provokes cats (for the parasite’s own survival) to act in ways that make them insinuate themselves into people’s lives, which produces in women "warmth" and "self-assurance" (but produces in men different results). [Ed.: Alternative hypothesis: They’re nuts.]

Newsrangers: Bob Pert, Steve Miller, Larry Seltzer, Peter Hine.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Wednesday’s 5-Star Special
As long-time readers know, there is no genre of stories that Yr Editor appreciates more than the tales of people who stop their cars on the side of the road at night to whiz, only to experience tragedy. The driver of the Toyota Echo near Orlando didn’t plunge to his death Tuesday morning, but his car did, down a hill and into a pond (which was deep enough that six divers weren’t immediately able to find the car).

Civilization in Decline
Chicago’s WBBM-TV learned that 47 more employee access badges are missing from O’Hare Airport, running the total to 3,807 . . . . . Another of those "other shoe falls" things: A Middle East researcher finds that Middle East women have way-bad Vitamin D counts, mostly from all those sun-blocking fashions they wear . . . . . And Israeli researchers have "succeeded" in removing the two best features of tomatoes (taste and lycopene) by adding genes giving a lemon or rose flavor and which provide a longer shelf life . . . . . On Oklahoma’s death row, Jimmy Dale Bland was switched from his lung-cancer chemotherapy over to that other kind of chemo, with swift results . . . . . London’s Daily Mail has dug out two pretty severe cases of fatherhood abuse: Michael Cox has half-custody but has to pay as if he’s an absentee father because of a wrinkle in the tax law (and is now off to jail because he won’t pay that other half), and Mark Harris has totaled 133 court appearances in 10 yrs of custody battles, but finally two of his daughters got what they wanted all along: to live with him . . . . . On the other side of the Atlantic, a super-permissive court system: A New Jersey judge gives probation-only to 10 kids who trashed a house ($18K damage, including from the Big 3 male bodily fluids) and not only didn’t they apologize in court (well, two sorta did) but neither did their parents (except one did) (and the only thing the kids had to pay was the $750 that the victim's insurance didn't cover).

The Human Condition Today
A 2-yr-old Arizona boy, trapped in a pickup truck that rolled down several embankments and wreaked much havoc, is fine, but he’ll probably now have to spend the next 70 yrs or so in search of duplicating that one, early thrill . . . . . People Different From Us: Mary Riley, 45, was charged with aggravated battery because she really, really (for some reason, unexplained) wanted that beach towel that Lauri Kortum was lying on . . . . . Monday’s Dayton Daily News for some reason ran an April 7 police blotter entry, from Tipp City, describing the arrest of a 34-yr-old woman who had been spotted several times driving 12-yr-olds around in the middle of the night to ring kids’ doorbells and run away (which she and the kids referred to as "ding dong ditching").

Your Daily Loser
The St. Peterburg Times ran a long story Sunday about a seriously gullible female chiropractor who spent into the mid six figures to help her new love, NY Mets pitcher "Pedro Martinez" (for whom "mid six figures" is nearly chump change), and of course it wasn’t Pedro, but Dr. Rhonda Schroeder was blinded by the light.

Updates
A judge in Santa Ana, Calif., ruled that Stephen Son’s promise to repay Kim Jinsoo the $140K Kim invested in Son’s business [NOTW 967, 8-20-2006] was unenforceable because it was, er, written in blood (which makes it more sacred in some cultures but not to Santa Ana’s Nietzsche-spouting judge) . . . . . More extreme ironing [NOTW 853, 6-13-2004; NOTW 819, 10-19-2003; NOTW 774, 12-8-2002] (but actually, amateur stuff): Explorer scouts in a raft floated down England’s Ribble River, er, River Ribble, for 200 meters, while making sure those creases were perfect.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
It’s always good to step back and pay tribute to the pioneers, and here’s the lady neuroscience blogger revisiting the hero who did the first, er, monkey-to-human testicle transplant, in, um, 1920. You didn’t know, did you?

NOTW, The Blog
As readership of this-here page increases, more tips come in, and to stories that I don’t normally see, so thank you, but as more people tip me, my ability to acknowledge them decreases. Please pardon me. I can’t help it. I put in a full day on this daily thing by noon, and I still have work to do after that, and "mail management" is the last thing done. Again, if it’s from the AP, Reuters, or AFP wires, I’ve probably seen it, but that leaves so much other stuff that I might or might not get to, and I appreciate your tips. I’m at WeirdNews at the domain Earthlink dot net

Newsrangers: Emory Kimbrough, Steve Miller, Skip Munger, Ginger Katz, Kathryn Wood, Paul Music.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Tuesday’s 5-Star Special
[Well, there’s some good stuff here, but Yr Editor is having trouble actually falling in love with any of these beauties, so you’ll have to supply your own today.]


Civilization in Decline
It’s been feared for a while, but here we are: The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board in Canada is seriously considering selling naming rights to its schools . . . . . Two more of those, y’know, jobs that immigrants do because Americans, apparently, won’t: CEO and political director of the California Republican Party . . . . . Those white people sure do love that Affirmative Action, to help them get ahead! . . . . . Japanese restaurateurs ponder the unthinkable (in reaction to the worldwide tuna restrictions): deer sushi, horse sushi.

The Human Condition Today
Great Moments in Feng Shui: Jenny Robertson said she scrutinized the house at the edge of a golf course in Maricopa, Ariz., according to feng shui principles and decided to buy it, but "We did not consider the feng shui of bad golfers" . . . . . Judge Julian Hall of Britain’s Oxford Crown Court, letting a 25-yr-old man out of prison after 2 yrs because, after all, the 10-yr-old girl he had sex with was "provocative," "precocious," and "looked 16" . . . . . F-Stater Carlos Lopez, 19, is "recovering" after a guy stabbed him in the forehead with an iron bar so hard that it extended out the back of his skull . . . . . The New Zealand Herald reports that a prostitute on call in a john’s car, which was in an accident, may file for, er, workers’ comp (because she's legal in NZ) . . . . . The saga of Charlie Kemp and his lovely wife Lee, and their voluntarily sexless marriage, which came about after Lee, who had been Charlie’s gay lover for years, revealed to Charlie that he had always wanted to be a housewife and so got a full sex change [Ed.: Yeah, stop me if you’ve heard that one before!].


NOTW Lite
If you’re of Yr Editor’s age, a scheduled code hearing in a town on the east coast of Florida yesterday had enormous irony content: Arlo Guthrie owns a hurricaned-over house that the county wants him to fix up, and authorities have glossy photographs showing why the condition is illegal. (However, the Board [apparently, none of whose members are blind] postponed the hearing until next month.)


Good Enough for Gov’t Work
The good Samaritan stayed with the severely-injured deer on the side of the road for 90 minutes, begging the Nashville (Tenn.) Metro cop at her side to please shoot it, but he refused, saying he’d have to fill out a long report if he fired his weapon (and so a state road crew finally did the job, not quickly, with a shovel and a sledgehammer).


Updates
The Japanese hot-dog-munching champ, Kobayashi, is on the DL and won’t be able to defend at Coney Island this yr ("jaw arthritis") . . . . . Our old friend the vicious killer Curtis Allgier broke away from his prison minder, killed him, escaped, and was recaptured, giving all news outlets another chance to run his mugshot . . . . . On the subject of cheap mugshot laughs, the made-over Lizard Man [NOTW 751, 6-30-2002] (and here's Cat Man [NOTW 905, 6-12-2005] as long as we're at it) appeared at the opening of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum in NYC last week . . . . . And the Arizona Court of Appeals has reached its decision: If cops see a bag of drugs partially protruding from a suspect’s rectum, and the cops’ search warrant doesn’t specifically say "body cavity" search, they can’t yank the bag out [NOTW M006, 5-20-2007].


Professor Music’s Weird Links
[Ed.: Well, ya got Curtis Allgier, Lizard Man, and Cat Man; that'll do until tomorrow.]


NOTW, The Blog
Two great lawsuits hit the news yesterday. First, as everyone knows, the dry cleaner family doesn’t have to pay the D.C. administrative law judge for those pants (but the judge deferred ruling on whether the ALJ will have to pay the family’s legal bills, so the "justice" angle is still undetermined). But also, The Day of Greenwich, Conn., provided a status report on the lawsuit by the family of a woman who was brain-impaired when her son-in-law totally screwed up the brake and the gas and plunged into the Connecticut River [NOTW 916, 8-28-2005]. Though everything appears to be the guy’s fault (according to his initial police statement, but not according to his later deposition, which contains some "I don’t recall"’s), the guy’s wife (daughter of the injured woman) is suing the town for not anticipating that someone as klutzy as her husband would drive down to the river bank, because the town should have had a barrier there and a dive team at the ready. Yr Editor’s favorite part is, of course, the daughter’s lawyer’s cliche, that she’s suing not for the money but because she wants to make sure a similar accident doesn’t happen to someone else (as if there will ever be anyone in Old Saybrook, Conn., who would do what the son-in-law did).

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

Monday, June 25, 2007

Monday’s 5-Star Special
Jeanne Nadvit, 18, started the Arrest-Fest in Brunswick, Ohio, last week when she tried to outrun police in her car but crashed it into someone’s bedroom. So she called her friend Stephanie to come help her (since she was pinned in the car). Stephanie showed up drunk and was arrested for DUI. The tow truck guy showed up, but he was drunk, too, and arrested. Nadvit was charged with felony fleeing, which she said she had to do because her license had been suspended.

Civilization in Decline
Nairobi’s Mungiki mafia looks a little like the Mafia mafia (extortions, etc.) except they’re devil-worshipers, and they drink blood out of jerrycans . . . . . Have you noticed that when some big celebrity is to be presented an environmental award, he has to create an awful lot of CO2 to get to the ceremony (like Prince Charles, for instance)? . . . . . A German TV channel debuting in a few months is all-death-prep all the time: funerals, mourning, hospices, wills and estates, etc . . . . . The Tribes of American Society: Who knew hot-shot parents today went through so much angst just to brand their babies with the coolest names (paying consultants, numerologists, "name-ologists") [Absolutely free advice from Yr Editor: Can't get much cooler than the middle name of "Wayne"]

The Human Condition Today
OK, there’s a terrier-mix dog in Asheville, N.C., that has convinced some people that he can do arithmetic and basic algebra, and (since the newspaper industry is suffering circulation declines) apparently the Citizen-Times newspaper doesn’t want to get too harsh about the intelligence of those good citizens of Asheville who are amazed by Micah’s work . . . . . Today’s Cognitive Dissonance: According to Republican Congressman Mark Kirk, conservatives might want to re-think their opposition to mass distribution of condoms because condoms would be a great way to reduce the number of illegal immigrants!

Your Daily Loser
Yr Editor suspects this is a fictitious person, but according to Brooklyn, N.Y., dentist Mohinder Mayell, he’s real: The loser would be a certain patient of Dr. Mayell, who (according to state Medicaid billing records) sat in the chair in Dr. Mayell’s office one day and had 52 teeth filled.

NOTW Lite
We’re lightning professionals here in the F State, meaning we can get killed by a bolt out of the clear blue sky . . . . . Ms. Georgia Brown, 2, became a member of Mensa [Ed.: and let’s see if she follows unwritten Mensa protocol and starts subtly dropping that fact to her pals on the playground] . . . . . Hitachi gave a status report on its brain cap (no implants) that moves (or stops) a toy train based on whether the cap wearer is using his frontal cortex or not . . . . . Firefighters in Edinburg, Tex., drew the envy of their colleagues everywhere by battling that warehouse blaze in which a ton of marijuana burned up (i.e., those air packs they wear are good, but they’re not that good) . . . . . They rounded up the Usual Suspect: A guy in Chicago got robbed at an ATM and told cops the perp looked like Samuel L. Jackson, so cops looked around for a guy who looks like Jackson, and the clerk at the nearby YMCA said he had a tenant who looks like Jackson, and voilà!

Updates
Larry Manzanares, the former judge (and at the time, City Attorney of Denver), who was caught with a stolen city gov’t computer and tried to say he, er, bought it from a guy in a parking lot [NOTW Daily, 2-26-2007], took The Only Way Out Friday night . . . . . Speaking of City Attorneys, the wife of Los Angeles’s [NOTW Daily, 6-20-2007] gets in more trouble now every day that the L.A. Times publishes; the paper discovered she was operating a business, since 2002, without a license and without state tax returns and that she has this serious problem paying attention to traffic tickets.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Nope, not today; look again tomorrow

Newsrangers: Bill Hupp, Mark Neunder, Ginger Katz, Karl Olson, Matt Mirapaul, Tom Barker
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday’s 5-Star Special
U.S. Sen. Trent Lott (an advocate for the current immigration legislation), explaining Wednesday why critics are wrong to keep harping on strengthening the Mexican border with fences: "If the answer is ‘build a fence,’ I’ve got two goats on my place in Mississippi. There ain’t no fence big enough, high enough, strong enough, that you can keep those goats in that fence. Now people are at least as smart as goats." "We should have a virtual fence. Now one of the ways I keep those goats in the fence is I electrified them. Once they get popped a couple of times they quit trying to jump it. I’m not proposing an electrified goat fence. I’m just trying . . . there’s an analogy there."

[NOTE: Yr Editor will not publish tomorrow. Back on Monday.]

Civilization in Decline
Activists have calculated that 59 U.S.-trained Arabic speakers have now been ejected from the military because they’re gay, i.e., all were native English-speakers who completed intense (and expensive) military language school . . . . . A Texas lottery activist said too few people play the game called Texas Two-Step, and that soon, according to the law, the state will have to tap into school funds to pay winners . . . . . A Nebraska judge ruled that it’s too prejudicial to allow witnesses to use the words "rape" or "sexual assault" in a rape trial, that they just have to call it "sex," to be fair to the oppressed accused-rapist, but a Slate writer says that’s OK [Ed.: Next: "Bank robbery" changed to "made a withdrawal"] [UPDATE: I've been persuaded by a reader that the Slate writer is actually skeptical, as well.]

The Human Condition Today
Brit Lesley Cameron was barred at the door when she showed up for her wedding (traces of dope) because the wedding was to be at a prison, where her fiancé is awaiting sentencing for murdering Cameron’s brother . . . . . At a nursing home in Toronto, an Alzheimer’s man killed another Alzheimer’s man because the perp was certain that the victim had stolen his wife, who is an Alzheimer’s woman who had been hanging around with the victim.

Your Daily Loser
Maurice Stuckey, 20, walked up to a cop in Port St. Lucie, Fla., to ask for directions, it having slipped his mind that he had a big, fat marijuana blunt tucked behind his ear.

NOTW Lite
Apparently, if you stick your finger down your truck’s gas tank, it might get stuck, plus it’s quite painful, plus it’s gonna be a while before even professionals can get it loose, plus you’re gonna need body work on that truck . . . . . Current Formula One racing leader Lewis Hamilton, driving a go-cart to promote a charity event in London, accidentally crashed it . . . . . Conservatives in India don’t like it that a state company is marketing a new condom (OK, by itself) that has a built-in vibrating ring (not OK).
Updates
In the Josh Hancock Estate lawsuit (the speeding, inebriated, cell-phone-talking baseball player who fatally crashed in April [NOTW Daily, 5-25-2007]), the tow-truck driver, who was just sitting there when Hancock fastballed into him, has swung back, threatening to hit the Estate hard if the parents don’t drop him from this frivolous lawsuit.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Ten Weird and Bizarre Japanese Soft Drinks (y’know, "breast milk" by the carton, canned coffee, Water Salad, diet water, etc.)

Newsrangers: Lax Madapaty, Joe Littrell, Brian Bjolin, Paul Music, Mark Neunder, Jeff Powell.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thursday’s 5-Star Special
A Guantanamo defense lawyer is set to release a small book of poems composed by detainees during their stays (after military people edited the submissions for coded messages), e.g., "My soul is like a roiling sea, stirred by anguish, violent with passion"). [Yr Editor had heard that Guantanamo detainees were despondent, but had no idea that hopeless incarceration had caused them to sink to such levels of misery that they had begun to commit poetry. Oh, the horror! Shut that place down now before there's even more poetry!]

Civilization in Decline
In Minnesota, at least, if you tell the boss to Go [Cheney] himself, and he fires you, Minnesota’s businesses still have to fund unemployment benefits for the guy . . . . . A Continental Airlines flight from Europe to New Jersey had an overflowing toilet, and made an unscheduled stop shortly after takeoff to fix it, and took off again, and turns out it wasn’t fixed, and overflow ran down the aisle, and there was nowhere to land for seven hrs (but that didn’t stop the cabin crew from serving delicious meals!).

The Human Condition Today
Helene de Gier sued Netherlands’s Nat’l Postcode Lottery (a game that’s kinda odd in that your neighbors in the same code area can sign up and share winnings if their code is randomly chosen, but not all neighbors sign up) because her neighbors won without her, and they started lording it over her, anguishing her by their "emotional blackmail" (but the judge was having none of it) . . . . . Foreigners dominate the Internet identity-theft market so they apparently didn’t know that the identity of "Herman Munster," of "1313 Mocking Bird Lane," wasn’t worth very much . . . . . India’s Medical Ass’n was grossed out on learning that a doctor boasted (with video!) that his 15-yr-old son had performed a Caesarean section on the doc’s patient, for Guinness Book consideration . . . . . School crossing guard Dale Hutchings was arrested in Berwick, Pa., and charged with a massive number of molestations of adolescents, as if Berwick parents had been out of town for months.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Compulsive masturbateurs running wild: A prominent New Jersey lawyer (formerly ass’t counsel to the state senate, currently member of his town’s planning board) was charged by police for getting it on with himself in a big parking lot just after high noon last Friday . . . . . And Aussie Daniel Blair, jeez, Daniel Blair, was at it all over his girlfriend’s house, including in front of her 3½-yr-old kid, and he wouldn’t stop, even after she stabbed him in the shoulder twice.

NOTW Lite
Police in Braunschweig, Germany, do what police sometimes do: They facilitated the exchange of information by the parties after an accident (but the accident here was that a condom broke in a brothel, and the lady wanted the customer’s ID just in case) . . . . . A retired doctor in England was apparently butted and mauled to death by one or more cows, who, as usual, had returned to their slow, calm grass-chewing ("Dead?" "What guy?" "Who, us?") by the time help arrived . . . . . Professor Paul Worsey’s Summer Explosives Camp is now in its fifth year, teaching high school kids how to blow things up (which he’s doing to recruit students to the U. of Missouri, Rolla’s mine engineering program) (but this yr, they have a student from, er, Mohamed Atta's Egypt).

Professor Music’s Weird Links
This is one guy’s view, anyway, of the 8 Craziest Cults, listing the familiar (cargo cults, Aum Shinrikyo) with the not-so (the foot-readers, the channel-18 people).

Newsrangers: Steve Miller, Stefan Palys.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wednesday’s 5-Star Special
In a piece obviously written by The Onion, a Vatican official prescribed certain prayers and Christian-virtue rules for drivers ("Pastoral Care of the Road") (e.g., make the sign of the cross before starting off, say the rosary while tooling along)—oh, wait, that really was issued by the Vatican . . . . . But this one absolutely must be from The Onion: Swede Roger Tullgren, 42, has convinced the local Employment Service in Hassleholm that he has a "heavy metal" music addiction which limits his workplace abilities, and thus he gets a gov’t salary supplement for his job as dishwash—oh, wait . . .?

Civilization in Decline
Just what Brits need: more public surveillance cameras (these, in alleys, to monitor whether residents are respecting the garbage-pickup laws) . . . . . Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, who had spouted the aggressive law-enforcement line about Paris Hilton’s suspended driver’s license being serious enough for jail, finally admitted to his wife’s own suspended-license troubles (which he had apparently grown weary of stonewalling to the media).

The Human Condition Today
An F State sheriff’s deputy was suspended for browsing sex sites at work, which he said he needed to do to forget about the recent bad news that his adult daughter has cancer . . . . . In downtown Provo, Utah, a street duel with mops (and a Brigham Young track star is arrested) . . . . . You commit crime with the weapon you have, not the weapon you’d like to have: A man in a wheelchair hit a man in the face with his wooden leg and took $30 . . . . . People Different From Us: (1) In Somerset, Pa., someone broke into an apartment and stole salad out of the refrigerator; (2) In Whitehall, Pa., two women dressed as nurses walked into an old man’s home, and one held up a sheet so he couldn’t see the other one stealing him blind, but both fled empty-handed when he slugged one with his cane; (3) In Rayville, La., a sheriff’s deputy came upon a man-snake confrontation on a highway and actually recognized the snake (which was a one-eyed boa constrictor) and returned it to its owner (who had bought it at a discount because of the missing eye).

Your Daily Loser
The extraordinarily chutzpahtic Leon Caldwell is trying to collect half of the $2.9M Sept. 11 fund payout, as the biological father of a 30-yr-old man who worked in a 102nd floor office, but the former Mrs. Caldwell points out that Leon fled the family in 1973 and last made contact with the son in 1984.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
The Daily Monitor in Kampala, Uganda, reports, after interviewing police officers, that nine hundred or so women call the equivalent-of-911 number every night requesting a cop to help them not be so lonely [link from Fark.com].

Update
Tax-resisters Ed and Elaine Brown are still holed up in Plainfield, N.H., with federal marshals waiting them out [NOTW Daily, 6-14-2007]. Ed said he’s not accepting any "tomfoolery" from the feds; that "we either walk out of here free or we die"; that taxing labor is illegal because "there is no law, we looked and looked" for one; that "this is 1776 all over again"; that "the Freemasons have taken over our nation [and want to take over] all nations on the planet." [Yr Editor has long been convinced: There must be a tax gene.]

Professor Music’s Weird Links
For those tired of feeling bad about murder, here’s a chance to celebrate it. From July 26th through the 29th, in Milwaukee . . . Paul Hill Days! (He’s the guy who murdered the abortion-clinic doctor in Pensacola, Fla., in 1994). ("God’s man and our hero," wrote the organizers) [And there’s another gene Yr Editor apparently lacks.]

NOTW, The Blog
So far, commentators on the B&D website I mentioned yesterday have expressed quite a bit of indifference to that one reader’s point. Unless something changes, I’ll officially chalk this all up to one reader who maybe wasn’t all that familiar with what’s been in NOTW for the past, er, 19 yrs, and especially, in NOTW Daily, which is the, um, "Pro Edition" (and the Pros certainly ought to know who they are). One comment was on the money, though: The link opened to a page that included dirty pictures (thumbnails, but photos just the same), and I should have put a Not Safe For Work warning there, for workplace over-the-shoulder problems.

Newsrangers: Aaron Geiger, Joe Littrell, Carol Gehm, Rebecca Gamble, the unrelated Ginger Katz and Ivan Katz, Karl Olson, Mark Neunder.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tuesday’s 5-Star Special
Yesterday’s Daily Telegraph (London) has an art anecdote from 1998, recalling how prominent theater director Sir Trevor Nunn once spent the equivalent of about $50K for a Damien Hirst painting, only to be informed by Hirst when they met at a party that the painting was just a paint-splashing by his then-2-yr-old boy and the boy’s friend. (Bonus: Greater Fool Theory at work: Nunn sold it for the equivalent of $85K)

Civilization in Decline
ABC News reported last night (with video) an Al Qaeda commencement ceremony (well, it’s June!) in Afghanistan, with 300 graduating suicide bombers, who will seek work overseas (U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany) . . . . . Multiculturalism: An E.coli outbreak in China Grove, N.C., around Salisbury, is suspected to have started at the very popular Captain’s Galley restaurant after "Latinos" that work in the kitchen decided to butcher a goat after hours . . . . . Unclear on the Concept of Punishment: A former Interior Dept. official, who was caught up in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal and who pleaded guilty, recently asked for a "public service" sentence, specifically to go lobby for a not-for-profit organization promoting snowmobiling in nat’l parks . . . . . The prison system in Scotland (1) granted a murderer a week’s leave, (2) even though he once escaped and (3) now expresses surprise when he doesn’t return.

The Human Condition Today
Goes Around, Comes Around: A research team from the University of Tennessee has hypothesized that people who eat expensive foie gras (goose liver, often from geese raised solely for their livers) might be susceptible to dementia . . . . . A suicide try in the Ocala, Fla., jail, using basic tools (i.e., pounded an ink pen into his eye with a Bible) . . . . . And speaking of the F State, the fugitive Orlando "boy band producer"/$500M Ponzi-scheme suspect Lou Pearlman, captured in Bali over the weekend, met with a judge in Guam and immediately complained about the jail’s lumpy mattress and how much stress he's under . . . . . Major League Eating (the NFL of competitive hot-dog contests) is touting Juliet Lee, age 41, 107 lbs., as its breakout star of the year after she won in Norfolk, Va., with 26 in 12 minutes, in a prelim to the July 4th nationals.

Your Daily Loser
Jonathan Lefever, 20, broke into a shed in Bushnell, Fla., marked "poisonous snakes," and stole five, which happened a little while before he was taken to Leesburg Regional Hospital with a snake bite.

NOTW Lite
Uh-oh, a traditional folk healer in mostly-Muslim Malaysia is drawing attention because she treats her patients while she’s nude, dancing around, speaking either in tongues (OK) or Quranic-sounding phrases (not OK) . . . . . Trevor Phillips, head of the UK’s Comm’n for Equality and Human Rights, is officially apologizing for his weekend after-dinner speech, in which he earnestly recalled an episode as a lad when he had the opportunity to dance with the Queen Mother, and the one rule he remembered receiving beforehand was that, when he put his hands on her to dance, he had to be careful about the colostomy bag.

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
He was wrongly on the U.S.’s no-fly list, and it took four months of paperwork to get him off—and this guy runs the London (Ontario) Int’l Airport!

Updates
This is beating a dead horse, but Yr Editor loves the story from the last election cycle [NOTW Daily, 10-16-2006] where a Kansas state legislator got physical (resulting in a small cut) with an anti-abortion protester dressed as a cockroach (because the clinics are allegedly unsanitary); Rep. Vaughn Flora pleaded no-contest to misdemeanor assault last month, and Friday, the cockroach (Troy Newman) filed a lawsuit against Flora.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
will return tomorrow.

NOTW, The Blog
A reader complained that yesterday’s Professor-Music link to the comprehensive B&D website was way over the top for NOTW and that I should be criminally liable if one of you clicked on the link, convinced yourself to try some of that stuff, and hurt yourself (or worse). Hence, (1) Beware of all that if you go back and click the link, which undoubtedly you’ll do after reading this note, and (2) please drop me a line if you actually did click it yesterday and either were traumatized or have since felt yourself edging toward harmful behavior.

Newsrangers: Joe Littrell, Nathan Boucher, Karl Olson.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Monday’s 5-Star Special
What you do to get rich, see, is you find 450,000 people with an extra $20 in their pockets, and you convince them to give that $20 to you, and you’ll have $9M. Dennis Hope did that, he says. In exchange for their $20, he gave them a piece of paper "entitling" them to ownership of a small piece of some planet (or the Moon). But we’re in a down real-estate market, and Dennis frets over the prospects for his inventory of 7 trillion acres of unsold land on 95 planetary bodies. [When Yr Editor led with Mr. Hope in NOTW 824, 11-23-2003, he had just passed $6M.]

Civilization in Decline
Woman on probation for fraud steals the identity of another woman and ruins her credit for six months, then victim felicitously see the perp on the street and tracks her down for the police, and she’s arrested, convicted, and, er, given probation again . . . . . The U.S. Supreme Court last week ruled 5-4 that Keith Bowles had filed too late to challenge his murder conviction even though he was going only by what his judge told him was the deadline (i.e., SCOTUS: "HA-ha!") . . . . . A federal judge in Washington, D.C., ruled again that a poor proofreading job by the Justice Dept. is going to make it extremely difficult to get at the $100M-$175M stowed away by the biggest tax cheat in history . . . . . CBS and Fox declined to run Trojan’s hilarious new condom ads because they seem to focus on contraception rather than disease (Said a media critic, the networks "are in the business of nonstop soft porn [in programing], but God forbid we should use a condom in the pursuit of sexual pleasure").

The Human Condition Today
Looks like an absolute win-win situation: Artist Jill Coccaro wanted to take her shirt off on a downtown Manhattan street; none of her "viewers" complained; and on top of that, she now gets a $29K payout from the city because a cop arrested her after not getting the memo that NYC women can legally do that . . . . . A Boston-area gypsy couple are said to be negotiating a plea deal on insurance fraud over restaurant meals during which they had slipped ground glass down their throats to get bloody sick . . . . . Thieves got away with the safe at the Arkaba Hotel in Adelaide, Australia, but it wasn’t easy (A$20K, all in coins).

Your Daily Loser
Witnesses say Richard Glawson calmly faced the jury and said, "I’ll kill all of you if you find me guilty . . . and that goes for your family [sic], too," plus jailers said he made a "mosaic" in his cell, out of two bologna and cheese sandwiches.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
For those who thought B&D was easy, y’know, tie someone up and make ‘em lick your boots, stuff like that: Prepare for disillusion ("sociology of rope-bonding," the boola-boola restraint, "cling wrap chicken wing / frog leg," and much more . . much, much more).

Newsrangers: Tim Farley, Mark Neunder, Paul Di Filippo.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is ©2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Saturday’s 5-Star Special
Say It Ain’t So! NOTW has gotten much mileage out of keeping up with the escalating value of the late Italian artist Piero Manzoni’s canned feces [NOTW 298, 10-22-1993; NOTW 551, 8-28-1998; NOTW 757, 8-11-2002; NOTW 860, 8-1-2004], but now one of Manzoni’s buds says there was nothing in the tiny tins but plaster. Manzoni made 90, each containing, he said at the time, a little bit o’ his s**t, and over the years, collectors paid thousands of bucks each (making his caca worth more per ounce than gold), including once, in 1993, 75 large. Agostino Bonalumi said Manzoni had confided that he wanted to do a project to expose the art-buying public as idiots and that this is the one that had "gullible" written all over it. (A spokesman for Britain’s Tate gallery said that the actual content of the art is beside the point.)

The Human Condition Today
A sorta-familiar story, in a suburban-Chicago sex case: Horny man harasses woman, woman fights him off, they battle, woman happens to land a fatal blow (a kick). Well, that’s how it went down according to Ruth Kay, but Ruth wasn’t involved. The "man" and the "woman" in this story are horses, and the owner of the deceased horny stallion is suing Kay, the owner of the "I do, but not with you" mare, for destruction of property . . . . . NYC lawyer Sanford Young just won his $65 parking-ticket case, from, er, 2005, after three appeals and $10,000 in expenses (having to do with arriving at a space at "6:59 p.m." when the sign clearly said No Parking, 4-7 p.m.).

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
A 43-yr old man in Melbourne, Australia, is about to be charged with at least one rape and maybe many more, based on videos he helpfully made of himself having his way with about 16 drugged women, and police said part of his shtik was to place a photograph of a certain hot TV babe over the victims’ faces while he got off.

NOTW Lite
"Alternative Lifestyles" getting mainstreamed: (1) A gang rumble in a Washington, D.C., suburb, featuring two bands of gays and lesbians; (2) Roman Catholic Colombia beats nearly every state in the U.S. in legalizing same-sex civil unions; (3) Officials of the Miss Spain and Mr. Spain pageants said that, from now on, trannies are welcome, in both contests.

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
Terrebonne Parish, La., computers might need updating, after Ronald Dominique’s name showed up in a jury-duty listing (since he’s the guy charged with 9 murders and who has actually confessed to 23).

Professor Music’s Weird Links
A sort-of Jewish Blessing-O-Matic, for the keychains of Jews who want to stop thinking and start eating ($14.95!).

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

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday’s 5-Star Special
[Some days, folks, the people creating the news just don’t try hard enough.]

Civilization in Decline
Missouri may be on the verge of scrapping the school district in St. Louis (underperformance) and taking the thing over, itself, but the St. Louis School Board is fighting back, with grace and maturity, such as that of Board member Donna Jones, who showed up at the last meeting with "No State Takeover" painted onto her forehead . . . . . Ontario Court Encourages Straight Man to Turn Gay (Well, not really, but a judge did officially order the man not to have a "romantic," "intimate" relationship with a "female" for the next 3 yrs, as part of his domestic-violence punishment) . . . . . Either the UK Army doesn’t feed its troops very well, or its dogs and prisoners eat too well (approximate equivalencies, per week: troops $21, dogs $36, prisoners, $26).

The Human Condition Today
Western Indian farmer Shiv Charan Yadav, 73, has just failed his high school gateway exams (normally given at age 15) for the 38th time, and what’s worse, he vowed the first time not to marry until he passes . . . . . Research projects that you wonder how ever got started: Hajime Kimata, writing in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, found that if a mother laughs (maybe at least 15 minutes) in the period before breastfeeding her eczema-suffering kid, the kid’s symptoms are milder.

Your Daily Loser
Politically-correct police in Anaheim, Calif., won’t even risk offending a bank robber these days. That is, the guy who has robbed three area banks so far has apparently been described as smelling like "dirt" (y’know, like the ground). Nevertheless, Anaheim police say everyone should be on the lookout for the "Landscape Bandit."

NOTW Lite
Doctors in the Netherlands said the woman’s severe intestinal problems were due to a worm that she picked up before she migrated from Suriname 27 yrs ago and put her on drugs to expel it (but after 27 yrs, doesn’t the worm get squatters’ rights, ba-da-ba-ding!).

Close Enough for Gov’t Work
USA Today’s scoreboard on FEMA’s attempts so far to recover its wrongly-given Katrina money: $15M recovered, $470M to go (Well, the latter is FEMA’s self-supplied figure; GAO said it might actually be $985M to go) . . . . . ABC News found the official number of people on the FBI’s terror "watch list": 509,000 and growing "uncontrollably," and can’t figure out how this makes us safer.

Update
Lord Richards of Britain’s Court of Appeal (the highest), who was accused of flashing his 56-yr-old junk at a woman on a train on two occasions [NOTW Daily, 1-24-2007], and who was picked out of crowds twice by the woman, beat the rap. The court said maybe he did, maybe he didn’t, but the evidence wasn't all clear (especially after Lord Richards submitted his trademark black Calvin Klein briefs to countermand her testimony about the flasher's undies).

Professor Music’s Weird Links
will return tomorrow, or maybe Monday.

NOTW, The Blog
Indianapolis 6th-grader Matt Porter is apparently a cut-up in class and was therefore named by two teachers, in a prank, as "Most Likely Not to Have Children." Yr Editor doesn't know about Matt, but his mother and step-dad, anyway, surely can’t take a joke, and have gone to the media about how little Matt’s life is now ruined and that therapy is required. The cherry on this sundae is stepdad Joseph Sims’s ridiculous bathos, with that overused whiner, "Words cut deeper than any knife could." How’d ya like to have a parent like that, who’ll in principle eagerly submit your little body to be cut to shreds, killed or hideously deformed for life . . rather than permit you to be the butt of a (possibly appropriate) joke? Dad’ll be applauded, though, for defending the kid and probably for his oh-so-profound metaphor, rather than charged with child abuse.

Newsrangers: Joe Littrell, Gil Nelson, Ginger Katz
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Thursday’s 5-Star Special
Dr. Brady Barr, Nat’l Geographic’s go-to guy on idiotic challenges to reptiles, will soon appear on the show mingling with Nile crocodiles, which he was able to do in his croc suit made of glass fibre, aluminum, and Kevlar (and smeared with hippo dung, to mask his human smell). London’s Daily Mail has the pictures!

Civilization in Decline
The Environmental Working Group launched its online searchable database of federal agriculture subsidy recipients, to make it much easier to see how totally screwy the system is (in that subsidies are argued-for in order to help the "struggling" farmer, but the vast bulk goes to rich farmers or to loophole (i.e., non-) farmers like David Letterman and basketball player Scottie Pippin . . . . . The relationship between Utah developer Dell Loy Hansen and the non-subtle mayor of Salt Lake City, Rocky Anderson, is deteriorating (Anderson: "Don’t touch me! I’ll kick your ass.") . . . . . It’s a wonder the brand-conscious family of Martin Luther King Jr. hasn’t sued to get the name off of the MLKing-Harbor Hospital (formerly, MLKing-Drew) in Los Angeles, whose patient-care record is by far the most dismal of area hospitals'. In May, a woman with a perforated bowel, bleeding from the mouth and writhing in pain on the floor of the ER, couldn’t draw doctors’ or nurses’ attention (There’s a procedure to go through!), and couldn’t get 911 to help her (because, after all, she was already in the ER!), and she died. Irrespective of this episode, King-Harbor’s recent inadequacies have forced a June 30 deadline for it to prove to the federal gov’t that it’s worthy of funding. How has it survived so many bad events? The Los Angeles Times explained.

The Human Condition Today
The NH Hoteles company in Spain will hand out mallets to chosen executives and invite them to imitate rock bands and trash the rooms of the NH Alcala hotel (which is to be renovated) (Bonus: The execs will be selected by a team of shrinks, perhaps to find the most psychopathic) . . . . . In Japan (with an increasingly durable elderly population), a sort-of nursing home for dogs opens (24-hr care, puppies running around to make the codger dogs feel younger) . . . . . A woman and her boyfriend were arrested in Houston, Tex., for allegedly pimping out her teenage daughters (Bonus: The perps printed up business cards) . . . . . Brit Ben Grocock, 13, is back to talking again, after enforcing his promise at age 3 never to speak again if his parents made him go through that tonsillectomy; the doctors called it "selective mutism" . . . . . A 17-yr-old had the idea (according to a park ranger) to pretend to fall off of a cliff at California’s Mount Diablo State Park, just for the camera, just to post on MySpace.com—but then he spoiled the fun by slipping and actually falling, 75 ft, getting wedged between two rocks; he’ll survive, but he’s in bad shape.

NOTW Lite
Japanese researchers have demonstrated that cockroaches have memory (or else how could they be conditioned to drool, as they do, at an odor reminding them of sugar?) . . . . . Towns get 15 minutes of fame, too: Delcambre, La., showed how easy it is, by passing an ordinance banning baggy pants that enable underwear- and crack- viewing, and now the whole world knows . . . . . Lance Aaron, 60, driving in New York City, had his car suddenly crushed when a 40-ft shipping container came loose from a flatbed truck and landed on the passenger side of his car; he’s fine . . . . . The U.S.’s largest carbon dioxide producer, American Electrical Power Co., will make things a tiny bit better by buying a few "carbon offsets," i.e., burning off manure-pit methane before it can rise up and cause trouble, but the money fact from the Wall Street Journal story is that an ordinary cow produces 115 lbs. of manure a day. [pay per view]

Professor Music’s Weird Links
They call it a silicone "nerve" bra, but it seems more like just having a lit-up Las Vegas marquee on each cup. Apparently, it’s for women who (according to Super Newsranger Ginger Katz) think men don’t pay enough attention to breasts. "[P]art bra, part sculpture, part social disturbance," and, yes, you can buy one.

NOTW, The Blog
It looks like crazy Ed and Elaine Brown, the home-tax-schooled IRS resisters in Plainfield, N.H., who were sentenced to five yrs each in the slammer in January but who won’t leave their large house [Ed.: I know, I know; if they’re anti-gov’t types, you’re supposed to call it a "compound," but, really, it’s just a big house], won’t be able to play Rope-a-Dope: Federal marshals are just going to wait them out rather than invade. Internet yahoos are creating quite a bit of indulgence for them, and their house was designed to function "off the grid," i.e., without need of local utilities, which have been turned off. As with nearly all the tax resisters you read about, the main problem stems from their very selective reading of tax statutes and the Internal Revenue Code, which leaves them believing, in childlike astonishment, that they have discovered something that was missed by virtually every tax lawyer, law professor, and state and federal legislator, judge, and law enforcement officer in the land.

Newsrangers: Ginger Katz, Julio Yeste, Bruce Townley, Emory Kimbrough, Diane Gunnels-Rowley.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wednesday’s 5-Star Special
Popular Science’s 2007 list of Worst Jobs in Science is out, with a mixture of the gross (urine-lagoon diver), the dangerous (elephant vasectomist), and the near-terminally banal (volunteer for 3 weeks of motionlessness). [NOTE: The article is in the July 2007 issue, which was officially out yesterday, but as of this morning, the Current Issue on the website is still June, so you’ll have to keep checking back until they post it, at PopSci.com] [Previous editions of these great jobs: NOTW 824, 11-23-2003; NOTW 877, 11-28-2004; and NOTW 928, 11-20-2005]

Civilization in Decline
Another Clash of the Idealists: The low-carbon-footprint people are ticked at the organic-food people because so little organically is locally produced, i.e., heavy transportation costs are required . . . . . Electronic Frontier Foundation revealed that Carfax, Inc., was just awarded a U.S. patent for its "novel" method of checking auto VIN numbers really well to make sure the car’s title is clear, which means that, under the law, the Patent Office didn’t think what Carfax was doing was "obvious" [link from BoingBoing.net]. . . . . But the Trademark section of the Office is on the job, enforcing its rule against marks that use words that are "scandalous" (i.e., dirty), in the face of a major challenge from a Florida sex toy seller who wants to own the name [modified here for e-mail filters] F**kingMachines.com (Why, he said, the word is practically mainstream conversation, and in fact, he uses it as often as he can) . . . . . So, if the Social Security Administration finally gives an immigrant an SSN (after the traditional long wait), and the number turns out to have previously been stolen (but the Administration didn’t know that), it’s legally not the Administration’s problem (but fortunately Arizona Republic columnist E. J. Montini is on the case) . . . . . U.S. Sen. Craig Thomas of Wyoming died last week, and state law lets his party appoint a successor, and apparently they’re taking the responsibility seriously because they’ve posted online an actual application form for the job . . . . . Putin’s people play for keeps in the city of Murmansk: An anti-gov’t demonstration was quelled when officials spread manure around the protest site (but Putin is so unpopular that some protesters wouldn’t leave, even then).

The Human Condition Today
Here’s Bonney Eberendu’s story, which he recited to the judge: He found that taking dumps on various public trains in England would quench his desire to murder a woman or child . . . . . A classic lawyer versus lawyer lawsuit in Chicago: personal, tiny, and vicious (but if you’re fighting over Bears’ season tickets, it’s gonna be that way) . . . . . Mohammed Taheri-azar, 23, has apologized for trying to run down Americans and Jews with his car in Chapel Hill, N.C., last yr and wrote a letter to the judge asking him to please let him go so he can now live a "productive" life, OK?

Your Daily Loser
Timothy Farmer was in a gang of four people, said police in Sumter, S.C., who got into an argument with a man and who then tried to settle things by brandishing a seriously venomous cottonmouth water moccasin snake at him. By the end of the brief skirmish, the victim was unharmed; somehow, the only one bitten was Timothy.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
That would be the landlord in Kuala Lumpur who rented the house to five university students and neglected to tell them that the bathroom was a video studio (but, actually, one kid should have suspected something because she said he once gave her advice on which way to stand in the shower for better bathing). (Seriously)

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
It’s enough for Congress to labor through the arduous task of locating worthy recipients of earmarks and finding the goodies for them in the federal gov’t, and you surely don’t expect them to then keep track of whether anything worthwhile comes of it. Hence, it’s up to the NY Times to report that two decommissioned Coast Guard cutters that Congress gave to a religious organization for the sole purpose of providing medical services to South Pacific islanders . . were pretty soon sold for cash.

Updates
The Washington, D.C., lawyer suing for $54M for the missing pants actually managed to bawl in court yesterday when describing how he was humiliated by those Korean dry cleaners . . . . . The headline making the Internet rounds is something like "Pentagon Confirms It Sought to Build a ‘Gay Bomb,’" meaning a nonlethal weapon that would distribute airborne aphrodisiacs (powerful enough to make straight men go for the, er, first available target), but the story was pretty much confirmed right here: NOTW 886, 1-30-2005.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
will return tomorrow (even though that’s what I wrote yesterday; get over it).

Newsrangers: Jerry Ricks, Tom Barker, Karl Olson.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tuesday’s 5-Star Special
Prodigious dope-growers have forced California’s Mendocino County to cry Uncle: County officials say there’s too much of it (227,000 plants seized last yr, and the stoners are still way ahead), so legalize it already!

Civilization in Decline
The pilot on the Vueling Airlines flight from Lisbon to Madrid Sunday had quite a job in front of him: Convince the boarding passengers that the flight would be safe despite the fact that more than half the seats were roped off because of a "safety" problem . . . . . Prison-crowding in the UK is apparently so severe that, over the last 5 yrs, 8,000 jailable sex offenders have been released instead ("cautioned"), including 1,678 whose victims were children, and 234 actual rapists . . . . . Alabama leads the nation—in reluctance to assure that death-row convicts get post-trial legal help, to evaluate such niggling issues as, well, was the trial fair (like, where the jury didn’t even deliberate a half hour), and ABC News has the story.

The Human Condition Today
In the highly competitive funeral business in Shanghai, two undertakers fistfight over a corpse in a hospital ER, in front of grievers, and then out come the nunchakus (Seriously) . . . . . Yet another tragic urination death [as NOTW has reported many times, usually involving roadside cliffs and night-time]: A train conductor in Berlin tried to tinkle out of an open door at 70 mph . . . . . Close to a world record for lack of rehabilitation: Eugenio Eschevarria, who had just bailed out of jail in Manchester, N.H., spotted a mark in the stationhouse lobby and (according to police) scammed her out of $1,500 . . . . . [South Carolina headline] "Husband Writes Profanities on Wife; Wife Bites on Husband" [Ed.: ‘nuff said!].

Your Daily Loser
Sun City, Ariz., veterinarian Joshua Winston, who is apparently a regular licensed vet, in business for a while, was arrested after assistants reported that he had dealt with a disobedient Chihuahua by punching it in the head. Five times.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
In Broken Arrow, Okla., just outside Tulsa, police are on the lookout for the guy who has, four times recently, gone into convenience store restrooms fully clothed but emerged wearing only a diaper (at least twice "exposing himself"). He’s kinda skinny and drives a silver Ford Ranger.

NOTW Lite
They aren’t as famous as Lucky and Flo, the sniffer dogs trained to find pirated CDs and DVDs in Malaysia [NOTW M002, 4-22-2007], but apparently Mok and Lai were good drug-sniffers in Thailand, but they were recently fired for being unable to control their territory-marking while on duty (which resulted in some unhappiness when travelers claimed their luggage) (Bonus: One was also frisky, as in, y'know, leg-clutching) . . . . . In Orlando, a confrontation between immigrant construction workers and protesting senior citizens escalated when a worker lettered a sign "Old People Suck," which set off the seniors, one of whom (interviewed by WFTV-TV) said, "I’m old! I don’t suck!" . . . . . A group of Australian materials companies has closed on a deal to sell a shipment of sand to, er, Saudi Arabia (well, it’s sand that doesn’t contain silica, which means it’s just right for sandblasting).

Updates
Today’s NY Times goes beyond that breast-feeding-strangers fatwa Yr Editor mentioned last month [NOTW Daily, 5-23-2007] to add another one about how it’d officially be a good thing to drink the Prophet Muhammad’s pee-pee, and reports that the people of Egypt (where the issuing clerics operate from) have had enough of this nonsense. It’s harming Muslims "more than the cartoons," said one scholar, referring to those 2006 Danish caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
will return tomorrow

NOTW, The Blog
Erroror: In the current News of the Weird [NOTW M009, 6-10-2007], Martins Ferry should be in Ohio, not West Virginia.

Newsrangers: Steve Miller, Bea Westrate, Dave Woodall, Jim Haswell.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Monday’s 5-Star Special
"One of the last remaining tribes of hunter-gatherers on the planet is on the verge of vanishing into the modern world," reports the Washington Post, and it’s because the gov’t of Tanzania is leasing 2,500 square miles of the Serengeti Plain to United Arab Emirates royalty so they’ll be able to hunt without having to mingle with the masses. The Hadzabe tribe has been around for 50,000 yrs (er, for you non-Creationists, that is).

Civilization in Decline
Toronto Gen’l Hospital has settled its dispute with kidney patient Sandi Sabloff (for now, anyway): She’s not getting the promised organ because TGH is intimidated by the donor’s mother, who said her adult son is a brain-washed "Jesus Christian," which is a well-known kidney-donating "cult" . . . . . The lede out of Akron, Ohio, was that a charter school served gin to graduating 6th-graders (but it turns out rather benign and even banal, unless you’re some of the parents at the school, in which case, the teachers might as well have been force-feeding kids liters of Gilbey’s) . . . . . A smart-ass middle-school student in North Bend, Ore., who was ticked off at a campus ban on bottled water, proved in the lab that the school’s drinking fountains were far dirtier, bacteria-wise, than the water in one of its toilets . . . . . Kitson (of Beverly Hills, "a general store for the rich") said it has settled its lawsuit against Us Weekly, which it filed because the magazine merely failed to mention Kitson when it was writing about hangouts for the rich . . . . . Ten days ago, we learned that a New Zealand company had shut off the electricity of an oxygen-machine-dependent woman over a bill of NZ$168 [US$125], but in Middlefield, Conn., on Friday, they found the body of a recluse who has probably been dead and untouched in her home since 1999, and the electricity’s been on the whole time.

The Human Condition Today
Not In My Back Yard—whether it’s low-level radioactive waste or a Bible fun park in the Bible Belt . . . . . Burlington, Vt., attorney Lorin Duckman (representing accused murderer Brian Rooney in an unrelated sex assault case) asked the judge for a delay because, after all, Duckman has to review "hundreds and hundreds" of hours of sex videos seized from Rooney, and "I’m not sure you can hire someone [else] to look at these" . . . . . From Britain’s Alldog Bakery, dog treats "made with human quality ingredients" so dog and master can bond while snacking together (with the main downside being that, per gram, the treat costs 40 percent more than lumpfish caviar) . . . . . A long-time Nigerian resident of Belgium complained that he was turned down for a job because the employer’s dog snaps at blacks (defense: "My dog is racist. Not me") . . . . . Sadly, Manuela Markham, who was arrested for trying to smuggle dope into a prison, may have seen the end of her 18-yr career as a, uh, clown ("It’s all I’ve ever done since I was a teenager. People thought [Snuffy] was a wonderful clown. I won awards." And now "Nobody wants me.") . . . . . Nice Work, Lieu: Michael Mohr walked in to a New York City police station and said he had recently found Jesus Christ, who had told him to own up to having killed that homeless woman in 2004, so, case closed.

Your Daily Loser
Man on a Mission: A 46-yr-old fella held up a store in a Milwaukee suburb, with his total take consisting of 12 bottles of whiskey, two heads of lettuce, and a digital thermometer.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Sara White, 20, Turlock, Calif., has a fiancé but decided to fool around online with a guy named Fernando, and finally they made plans to meet, but at the last minute, the fiancé looked good to her again, but she didn’t want to hurt Fernando’s feelings. So she commenced, and carried on for two hours on her cell phone, an elaborate kidnapping act that scrambled 60 cops and had her whispering "from a car trunk." "Basically," she admitted when police finally thought to knock on her front door, "it was the only thing I could think of."

NOTW Lite
Sounds Like a Joke [Ed.: And, ehh, maybe it is; even though Reuters carried it from China’s Xinhua agency, the gist is never explained]: Two gov’t officials in Bujia were jailed after a bridge collapsed, and it turned out that the builder was legally blind, and the two men either didn’t know or didn’t care . . . . . [Ed.: I’m sorry, and please, please, forgive me, please] A courthouse employee in Marshalltown, Iowa, has been charged with stealing lots of toilet paper from the supply room, and her name is [Ed.: I hate myself] Suzanne Butts.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
This is just a story from London’s Daily Mail (so it probably won’t be up forever), but I acquired it too late to run as "news." The Citarum River runs near Jakarta, Indonesia. It’s 200 miles long, and its banks house more than 500 factories. Twenty yrs ago, wrote the Daily Mail, it was a place of beauty. Take a look today (but have some Pepto Bismol handy).

Newsrangers: Emory Kimbrough, John Holsinger, John Votel, Steven Caldar, Ginger Katz, Larry Ellis Reed.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.