Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Wednesday’s 5-Star Special
(The August news slowdown is upon us.)

Civilization in Decline
First Great Western, which recently finished last in on-time-ness among British railways, just hired a celebrity poet to give readings at four stations, to, er, make riders happier . . . . . A British company has the bright idea to retrofit school clothing with Kevlar to make it slash-proof.

The Human Condition Today
Amsterdam’s "dirty little secret," according this NY Times dispatch, is that its older (downscale) houseboats dump their sewage into the city's famous canals, which have to be "flushed" twice a week (but the water "is cleaner than it looks," said an official) . . . . . Yr Editor hates to pick on the mentally-ill, but the guy hasn’t been officially declared-so yet, so I guess he’s fair game: An inmate serving time for wire fraud is suing Michael Vick for "$63,000,000,000 billion dollars" for stealing his two pit bulls (which Vick then sold on eBay and used the money to purchase missiles from Iran, which Vick’d need because he has pledged allegiance to al Qaeda, the lawsuit goes) . . . . . McClatchy Newspapers squeezed out mounds of statistics on gynecomastia (manboobs), e.g., 70 percent of the annual surgery is on teenage boys.

NOTW Lite
A storm in Minneapolis uprooted a humongous tree, which landed on and crushed, among other things, a stolen car toolin’ down the street (but the perp escaped) . . . . . Sounds Like a Joke: A guy wanting to have his brakes checked headed for the Les Schwab tire and brake shop, but of course couldn’t stop and went right through the front window.

Updates
Roy Pearson, the D.C. pants litigant, stayed in character yesterday. After the lawsuit-winning dry cleaner people graciously offered to drop their claim for lawsuit-loser Pearson to repay their legal expenses (which so far have been covered by donations) (and provided that Pearson forgo an appeal), Pearson filed his notice of appeal. Pearson has become the Ed and Elaine Brown of tort law.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
(Yr Editor just hasn't the energy to work the archives right now.)

NOTW, The Blog
The news is slow in August so let me tell you about two stories that flooded Yr Editor’s Inbox this week but that I won’t be using. A woman in Rochelle, Ga., called police to complain that the crack cocaine she had been sold was bad. That, of course, is No Longer Weird, from way back [NOTW 458, 11-15-1996]. In another story, out of Japan, a motorcyclist said he hadn’t realized, after riding more than a mile after running into a median wall, that his leg had actually been severed below the knee. That’s all we know about the story here in the English-speaking world. This represents two problems, in Yr Editor’s mind: (1) In general, the bar is higher for using a story generated by a non-English-speaking foreign news organization, mostly because any English-language versions of the story are usually written in brief, and thus many legitimizing details of the story may be omitted (or perhaps not ever reported in the first place). The Japanese-language Mainichi Shimbun might have had much more about the biker, but we’re left with the four sentences from the Mainichi Daily News version. Provocative stories (i.e., potentially weird stories) inevitably raise questions in my mind about authenticity, and my ability to see many details is often crucial to whether I recognize it as legitimate. (2) No matter where the story originated, I have to guard against stories that could have emanated merely from the fanciful narrative of the chief actor in the story, even though that narrative might have been sincerely believed. Without more details, it strikes me as just as likely that the biker did know, or must have known that something terrible had happened to his leg at the moment of impact. U.S. reporters (and especially editors) are trained to inquire about those things, e.g., get witnesses who could corroborate that the biker acted as though nothing was wrong, or medical experts who would say that his behavior was perfectly believable for someone so traumatized. (In the biker case, "the police" ostensibly legitimize the story, but then, they don’t, really, because all they did was repeat what the guy told them.) Without details, I’m forced to consider running a story based entirely on the chief actor’s say-so, without the substantiating influence of a journalist’s detailed investigation. [Ed. Is anyone who started reading this still awake? Ehhhh, I didn’t think so.]

Newsrangers: Stefan Palys, Tom Barker, Ed Chebret, Nelson Waller, Wendy Palm, Karl Olson
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tuesday’s 5-Star Special
nada

Civilization in Decline
eCancer: The Hong Kong company Golden Dragon Group is trying to get FDA to approve its electronic nicotine atomizer (forecast price: $208, plus 350-puff cartridges for an impressively low $4 each) that will deliver pure nicotine, allegedly "without the smell or the carcinogens" of a cigarette [Ed.: contrary to some studies].

The Human Condition Today
God’s Will: 100 people at the annual St. Mary’s Catholic Church (Brussels, Ill.) picnic brawled out of control over something or other . . . . . Of equal comic value, and no injuries, was Garrett Ledbetter’s decision to mingle in the church-work crowd in Marietta, Ga., after robbing a Bank of America, but he had his stash inside his shirt, and bills kept falling out, and the helpful Christians kept picking them up for him, until two off-duty cops collared him . . . . . Wait—he’s going to freefall from how far up? 25 miles? 8½-minute drop? the first six with no parachute? . . . . . It’s OK that a lot of hunters are devout Christians and may want to carry a Bible with them into the woods, but will an ordinary black-covered Bible really disorient deer? Evidently so, because these guys are selling camouflage-covered Bibles . . . . . Couldn’t be more embarrassing: 2 guys tried to rob a security guard in a parking lot in Miami, and the guard’s fine, but one of the robbers wound up shooting the other in the eye.

Your Daily Loser
Serious Denial: According to police, Kasey Kazee duct-taped his face and robbed Shamrock Liquors in Ashland, Ky., but despite video and witnesses of police capturing him and unwrapping his face, Kazee did his best alberto-gonzales, telling reporters he just doesn’t recall any of that.

NOTW Lite
Challenging Business Model: Koji Nakamura opened the Mayonnaise Kitchen in Tokyo, with you-know-what in every single dish, including the signature drink, the Mayogarita . . . . . Caution: entry-level Internet editor at work at cbs3.com (check out the artwork illustrating this horrid story of the bludgeoning of four grannies).

Updates
Poor Mark O’Hara, the 58-Vicodin possessor who was locked up for two yrs in the F State as a trafficker before an appeals court said, WTF?-the-guy-had-a-prescription! [NOTW Daily, 7-30-2007]. Even though the appeals court judge called the case "absurd" and "ridiculous" [which is rare in the F State—not the part about the F State having absurd and ridiculous cases, but the part about a judge realizing they’re absurd and ridiculous], the local prosecutor said last week that he’s not done with it. He said he just can’t find a specific defense to the law for having a valid prescription, and as long as the legislature didn’t put one in, he has a, er, duty to prosecute.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
not today

Newsrangers: Roger Gulbransen, Steve Miller, Matt Mirapaul
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Monday’s 5-Star Special
Comedy is easy; love is hard: The director of Love Demonstrated Ministries was charged with ordering a 15-yr-old girl at its boot camp tied up and dragged on her stomach behind a van because of inadequate running ability. The camp, near Corpus Christi, Tex., is presumably for Christianity-challenged kids having trouble with Commandment V.

Civilization in Decline
More Texas Justice: It’s the only state that’ll put you to death for just being associated with a murder, and Kenneth Foster is scheduled to pay the price on August 30 [from The Nation] . . . . . Alabamians (sometimes late to modernity) are just now finding out the power of that teachers’-union-inspired law they passed; "fired" teachers, even if the charge is rape, stay on the payroll, with raises, right on through the long due-process phase . . . . . A guy bought a New York City townhouse that is less than 26 ft wide for, er, $33 million . . . . . Two Boston entrepreneurs, just in time for the school year, are set to introduce the $175 bullet-proof backpack . . . . . The largest bank in the make-believe Second Life sorta froze its depositors’ money, but it wasn’t over sub-prime mortgages; the game banned gambling in SL because the FBI said it would enforce (in the play-like world) a 2006 federal law criminalizing gamblers’ money-changers, and lots of SL’ers ran for the exits . . . . . And speaking of SL, the Wall Street Journal did a fascinating profile of a piece of mediocrity named Ric Hoogestraat (a call-center operator), who of course is transformed into a superstar in SL and recently got married, to the chagrin of Sue Hoogestraat, the real wife ("You try to talk to [Ric] or bring [him] a drink, and [he’ll] be having sex with a cartoon"). [free link to Yahoo version]

The Human Condition Today
Least Competent Organization: A Siberian space exhibition foundation reported the theft of a, er, 6,000-lb. meteorite from out in the yard . . . . . The Washington Post profiled an Albanian journalist studying that country’s tribal "sworn virgins" deal, where a woman goes through a ritual and swears off you-know-what but then will be allowed to live as a man (benefit: respect!) (and she says there are maybe 40 left in the country).

Your Daily Loser
Barbara Joyner, 59, charged with robbing a Bank of America near Jacksonville, Fla., admitted that the draft holdup notes in her purse were hers, but denied (despite witnesses) that she was the robber, but then disclosed that the notes were "practic[e]," but then wouldn’t say practice for what.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Police in Paris, Frawnts, detained a 50-yr-old man, accused of sprinkling itching powder into the drawers of an 11-yr-old girl, supposedly to watch her scratch. That’s not necessarily sexual, but in a search of his home, police did find a lot of child porn.

NOTW Lite
There are no cars in shepherding! (except by this Greek, who is getting on in years and has trained his sheep to follow his exhaust) . . . . . A Toronto Humane Society activist is in trouble because, after rescuing a Rottweiler from a hot car, he cuffed the owner to the car (to detain him for police, but hostile pet-lovers got to him first and administered a beatdown) . . . . . Ever see a 15-ton steel silo resting on top of a Suburu? A Vancouver, Wash., accident provoked this photo . . . . . United Arab Emirates is already the world’s biggest per-capita energy user, and the Chillout bar/restaurant (2,400 square ft of 21-degree (F) temperature, with everything made of ice) won’t help things, and it’s $17 for one nonalcoholic drink and (with new meaning) cover charge.

Updates
Those 3 crooked fen-phen lawyers (charged by the feds with ripping off $64m of a settlement that ought to have gone to the victims) [NOTW M002, 4-22-2007], annoyed the federal judge so much with their delaying tactics that he revoked their bail and, unless he changes his mind or is overruled, will sit in jail until all their delays run their course and the trial can start, and you might have heard the sputtering of aghastness last Friday afternoon coming from that Kentucky courtroom.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
This guy’s commercial/philosophical site has Yr Editor’s fundamentals written all over it, so do take a look. Everything Oprah, and the The Secret lady, and in fact, every self-helper on the market told you, is wrong. Everything is much, much worse. And you knew that. You just didn't have the artwork to express it.

NOTW, The Blog
Something called the North Denver News, picked up by a blog at the well-regarded ZDNet, reported that a guy had had his thumbs surgically altered so he could text faster on his handhelds. The newspaper, itself, looks legit enough (the website, that is), but the story was written in non-journalism style, and the surgeon’s name didn’t check out, either. A couple of Snopes.com commentors picked up on its unlikelihood. Yr Editor thought it was merely a deathbed tribute to the passing of Weekly World News. If it turns out to be true, it means Yr Editor has learned nothing in 19 yrs in this business. [UPDATE: The editor finally labeled the story satire.]

Newsrangers: Scott Langill, Eli Christman, Tom Barker, Mindy Cohen, Kathryn Wood.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Saturday’s 5-Star Special
You can confess your crime in a letter you send out from jail, because those are privileged and won’t be opened, but if you screw up the address, the letter will be returned to sender, at which point it is incoming mail, which is always scrutinized for contraband. Quinton Thomas found out the hard way. (Bonus: copious, precious street-talk, e.g., "stink the cracker" [kill the white witness against me])

Civilization in Decline
Hamas begins the arduous task of establishing a navy for Gaza, which means, get some swimmers (and in due time, a boat) . . . . . The main Katrina criticism of Mayor Nagin was that he delayed calling a mandatory evacuation because he feared the effect on the city’s business community, which he dismissed as posh, but then here he is this week, downplaying the city’s murder rate by calling it a "two-edged sword," i.e., it "keeps the New Orleans brand out there."

The Human Condition Today
A 12-yr-old Iowa boy, police say, stole 6 cars in 4 hours in the town of Hawkeye; apparently, everyone in town leaves the key in the ignition when they park . . . . . Judge Gone Bad: Federal judge Edward Nottingham’s divorce case opened this week, and he was forced to testify on his $3k strip-joint bill his wife discovered, plus the $150 "dating-site" charge (though that one appears to be just a porn site) . . . . . Galveston, Tex., judge David Garner had a much better day, having turned in indictee Bryan Connelly, who allegedly wrote Garner and offered the judge $5,000 to kill former prosecutor Donnie Quintanilla . . . . . We All Have Buttons: A 21-yr-old female customer at Changes club in Seattle charged the stage on karaoke night and started screaming and whaling on the singer who was doing Coldplay’s "Yellow": "Oh, no, not that song. I can’t stand that song!"

Your Daily Loser
Jazmine Roberts, 19, was detained and arrested outside the Neiman Marcus story, charged with shoplifting, despite going ballistic on the security guard, pointing out, "It’s too late [to arrest me]! I already left the store!"

NOTW Lite
Leading Economic Indicator: Telekom Malaysia Bhd. sent poor Yahaya Wahab his (actually, his late father’s) phone bill in April, for the equivalent of, er, US$218 trillion.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Not today. Soon.

Newsrangers: Jenny Beatty, Neil Gimon.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday’s 5-Star Special
This is beyond Yr Editor’s 3-day staleness rule for stories here, and I beg your forgiveness because, after all, this is important to know [via Reason magazine]: A married couple in Kinda, Sweden, was just turned down for full unemployment benefits, in that, as the husband declared, his "conscience and on an intellectual level" demands that he refuse traditional "work." They sorta farm for themselves, but this requirement of taking a job somewhere is just not for them. (Bonus: The gov’t said No this time, but their little arrangement worked for 10 yrs!).

Civilization in Decline
Cambodia and Vietnam announced they’re going halvsies on a 5-star resort and golf course (9 holes on each side of the border) on a spot that was heavily bombed during the war [Ed.: . . and what’s the over/under in years until Disney Fallujah?] . . . . . Massachusetts indicted the seller of the epoxy that didn’t hold up the pieces in the Big Dig tunnel that still leaks and that came fatally crashing down on that motorist, alleging that the company knew damn well the epoxy wouldn’t hold, but the corporate penalty for Involuntary Manslaughter in the state is a fine not to exceed $1,000 [LINK CORRECTED] . . . . . The Palestinian Authority’s bureaucratic software mistakenly paid the salaries in July of 3,000 of its former security officers, who had already signed up with Hamas before July.

The Human Condition Today
The human condition of Catholic Fr. Robert Whipkey of Frederick, Colo., was, well, naked, which is how he was jogging on the local high school track at 4:30 a.m., which he said was because he sweats too much to wear even that DuPont miracle fiber stuff . . . . . The principal of Unity High School in NYC was fired for trying to help "calm the students down" by setting up Santeria rituals (chicken blood, etc.) on campus . . . . . London’s The Sun appears to have a real interview with a real human DIY castrator (he didn’t want to do it, himself, but Nat’l Health Service said he’d have had to wait two yrs to get it done on their dime) . . . . . SeƱor Jorge Hank lost a close race for governor of Tijuana, Mexico, which is not very interesting, except that he disclosed that he owns a vest made of the skins of donkey penises . . . . . Jeromy Jackson filed a lawsuit against McD’s after he bit on his Quarter-Pounder and discovered cheese, which he’s allergic to and which he had pleaded with them not to give him (Bonus: His lawsuit claims he "took multiple preventive steps to assure that his food did not contain cheese," er, but on the other hand, he apparently didn’t think to lift the bun) . . . . . Muslim Myra Morton, 47, was charged in Norristown, Pa., with murdering her longtime husband on the day before he’d have left for Morocco to mate up with his brand-new second wife (to which Myra had previously, reluctantly agreed) (Bonus: Myra turned herself in to police, or at least they think it’s Myra because she wore full body and face covering).

Your Daily Loser
Steve Graham has been having marital problems since ‘99 but still lives at the address with his wife, except he mostly sleeps in a car in the back yard, where he apparently drives neighbors crazy with loud music and bad bathroom hygiene, among other things. An extension cord from the house is all he needs for the radio and TV. (Money quote: "I get better [radio] reception [outside] than I do [inside]. I listen to Rush [Limbaugh] every day, just about.")

NOTW Lite
The major player in Reform Judaism has now come out four-square for blessing transsexuals (one prayer for the in-progress people, another after you cross the finish line) . . . . . Recurring Theme: Rattlesnake heads don’t quite cross over to the other Other Side until a few seconds after you chop them off, as this Prosser, Wash., guy found out.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Strange Chinese Dolls for Russian Kids, er, gender-confused Russian kids.

NOTW, The Blog
Housing problems will be continuing until the end of next week, probably, but I’ll try to be more consistent in posting. Tomorrow’s probably a Go.

Newsrangers: Bob Lonski, Joe Littrell, Scott Langill, Karl Olson, Ginger Katz, Mike Mohilo, Paul Blumstein.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

[NOTE: Yr Editor is still besieged, by not one but three sets of tradespeople. I'll try for Friday.]

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Wednesday’s 5-Star Special
You’ve all heard this one by now, but it’s still 5-star: A guy in St. Paul, Minn., thought his jewels were the cause of his constant pain, but no M.D.’s would remove ‘em for him so he Internet-contacted one of the eager underground "practitioners," who probably flew immediately to St. Paul because the opportunity to perform ball-removal is like Christmas for those guys. They escaped, he survived, police are still shaking their heads.

Civilization in Decline
A training program for Britain’s Environmental Agency encourages white people to apply but just not English white people (Bonus: A woman who was barred from applying is hot, which is a well-known exception to all anti-discrimination rules everywhere).

The Human Condition Today
A 55-yr-old South Dakota man, trying to prove that a "CSI" TV show plot twist is actually impossible (i.e., shooting yourself to death in the stomach with a shotgun), accidentally shot himself to death in the stomach with a shotgun . . . . . Opherro Jones ignores the First Rule of Pistol-Whipping: Make sure barrel is not pointed toward pistol-whipper . . . . . Chutzpah! Crystal Gordon, charged with bilking a near-catatonic senior of $100k, said he was thinking as clear as a bell when he authorized her to buy those six vehicles (though he is ‘chair-bound and licenseless), including the dune buggy . . . . . And that’s a little more chutzpah than by this New Zealand fellow, who was caught growing 10 lbs. of marijuana, which he swore was for himself, at 5 lbs. a year . . . . . . . . . . There are 50 or so sun-gazers in Atlanta, according to the Journal-Constitution, getting their life’s energy by staring directly at it for up to 45 minutes at a time, and ophthalmologists are stroking their chins . . . . . Recurring Theme: If there’s a nest of yellow jackets on your property, gasoline is not the answer . . . . . The Texas Redneck Games (spicier than the Georgia Redneck Games) has come and gone, including the Spam-and-jalapeno-eating contest, the mattress chuck, bobbing in tomato sauce for raw animal parts, and the co-ed buttcrack contest.

Your Daily Loser
We don’t know who he is, but he had the robbery of the Chase Bank in New Hudson, Mich., all worked out, except he forgot to bring a bag for the money. (Actually, he wisely decided to abort the whole thing and live another day, rather than, as so many do, stuff as much as he could into his clothes and try to make an inconspicuous getaway.)

NOTW Lite
An unanticipated benefit of the Islamization of America: At the Univ. of Michigan-Dearborn, the administration decided to install foot-washing stations in the restrooms so that Muslims won’t have to wash their feet five times a day in the sinks, but, hey, who among us, of whatever persuasion, couldn’t stand to stop, a couple times a day, and clean between his toes? . . . . . A 7-yr-old girl in Reidsville, N.C., either is the most intrepid little knucklehead you’ve ever seen or has great flair for her own public relations, because according to her, she got right in that robber’s face: "Back away, back away, man."

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
Army Corps of Engineers, which mistakenly used military-ordnance-site fill dirt for the beach-renourishment project for Surf City, N.J., confessed that it was their bad and that the Corps will be glad to share the costs with the city to fix it ("That’s protocol," said a Corps spokesman. "All our projects are cost-shared.").

Updates
And China better clean up this, too, before the Olympics: No more snack stands inside public restrooms . . . . . Tony Rosato, a Saturday Night Live comic (1982) charged with stalking his ex-wife after complaining to police several times that she had been taken over by a pod, finally went on trial this week [NOTW Daily, 5-16-2007].

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Nope. It’s been a tough week so far.

NOTW, The Blog
Yr Editor is experiencing some severe housing-repair issues this week, which requires extensive use of Xanax, which in turn affects alertness and give-a-damnness. Consequently, my daily schedule is off-kilter, and tomorrow may be no better. Now you know.

Newsrangers: Chris Lee, Steve Dunn, Julia Grauf, Robin Barfoot, Sam Gaines.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

[NOTE: Yr Editor (as announced) had plans to post today and not tomorrow, but the weather here at the Kilimanjaro base camp has made my Internet connection so inconsistent that I'll have to take off today, instead, and be back tomorrow.]

Monday, August 06, 2007

Monday’s 5-Star Special
The weekly Nashville Scene reported from on the ground at the latest Christian Nudist Convocation at a Tennessee nudist camp, finding that (a) Christians dislike the CNC people because God doesn’t support public nakedness and (b) nudists dislike the CNC people because they think they’re nuts. But CNC people have made a thorough scriptures-reading and, in the spirit of al-Qaeda’s turning the pages of the Quran sideways to find textual support, have found that buck-nakedness is just fine with the Bible. "To most Christians," said one, "this [nudist camp] would be the end of the world. [T]o me, it’s Jerusalem." "You know, of all the missionary-type endeavors to do—some people get sent to Africa, some people get sent to South America—and the Lord was like, ‘I want you to go to nudist resorts.’ And I’m like, ‘Wow, what an assignment . . ..’"

Civilization in Decline
Not just rich Americans, but rich Indian Hindus, too: "Look-ee how rich I am! I can spend [$9k] to give my 2-yr-old a birthday party!" . . . . . A homeless man in Augusta, Ga., also happens to be a registered sex offender, but not having a home is no excuse under the law not to register your home address (hence, he’s facing life in prison) . . . . . Miss "Tori of Atlanta," evidently a top-of-the-line "escort," announced on her website that she’s headed for 6 months in Iraq in the Green Zone and will be available for contractors but not GI’s.

The Human Condition Today
A Waterville, Maine, dentist, under license-suspension for many instances of inexplicable performance (one assistant called the office’s patient-safety "terrifying"), is fighting to get reinstated, blaming the craziness on the stress she has been under because her husband is not able to leave his native Iraq . . . . . Detroit pastor Walter Steen got 15 months in prison for his God Will Provide Tax Service, which IRS found prepared 1,578 returns for people during 2002-2004 with 1,573 finding IRS owed ‘em . . . . . In Montgomery County, Pa., bad enough that a guy prowls around people’s homes at night, but then what he’s looking for are dirty diapers in the trash.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
A Lake Charles, La., couple was described by the sheriff as "frequently" "engaging in consensual sexual behavior involving a firearm," an activity that ended last week when the man was accidentally shot to death in flagrante delicto.

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
Early on in the Iraq reconstruction, Gen. Petraeus’s unit gave Iraqis as many as 190,000 AK-47s and pistols without ever recording where they were going . . . . . A test of emergency conditions at Sequoyah Nuclear Station in Tennessee found that 31 sirens worked just fine and that, after all, 31 out of 108 is a whopping twenty-eight pecent!

Updates
China’s pre-Olympics courteousness-rehabbing of its population has now extended to threatening arrest of cussers at a soccer match . . . . . And our in-your-face pedophile, Jack McClellan [NOTW Daily, 7-30-2007], has now been ordered by a Los Angeles judge not to pass within 30 feet of anyone under 18 yrs old until August 24, when he must explain himself in detail in court.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Not today, either

NOTW, The Blog
Yr Editor will not post NOTW Daily on Wednesday (8-8-2007).

Newsrangers: Joe Littrell, Sue Clark, Tom Barker.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Saturday’s 5-Star Special
Only in Coll-ee-forn-ee-yah: The sub-prime mortgage crisis meets the marijuana industry! Sacramento-area prosecutors believe that dope entrepreneurs have bought at least 20 houses in the area using no money down, then converted them to sophisticated indoor marijuana-growing factories that could net business of $1m per house.

Civilization in Decline
New video game coming: Illegals already here play to stay off the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s radar screen . . . . . The president of the ultra-venerable Southern Christian Leadership Conference said he’d try to find a way, at the upcoming 50th anniversary celebration, to honor Michael Vick (and, yes, he said "honor," not simply "remind everyone that Vick hasn’t been convicted yet") . . . . . In Sweden, hundreds of young draftees were hacked off when the military turned them down, with 300 demanding to be forced into serving and 100 finally let in . . . . . And as everyone who watches television knows by now, the Duggars of Arkansas just gave birth to their 33rd and 34th carbon-spewing nostils and are thinking of more, and they’re all named J-something (but they didn’t get around to Jennifer until now) (no Jermaine or Jamal yet).

The Human Condition Today
Police around Orlando are looking for a 500-lb. man (in the F State, they can blend in) who has not only not missed any meals but has pretended to be a fireman in hopes of getting them for free (Bonus: surveillance video of him working a cafeteria line) . . . . . Yet another new world record in failed rehabilitation: Melissa Duhammell, 21, Hammond, Ind., released by a judge on an outstanding-warrant charge, was back in custody four minutes later, they say, when she walked out the door and solicited an undercover cop for sex.

Your Daily Loser
Catherine Delgado, 35, claimed to have been sexually assaulted, but when police questioned her, they couldn’t help but notice the fudge bulging out of her pockets and the chocolate smudges on her hands and blouse (and the subsequent clogged toilet when she tried to flush the fudge) (and the fact that the door to the Fudge Kitchen down the street was open in the middle of the night).

Updates
F-State multiple amputee Michael Wiley will finally do hard time, after 46 convictions, almost all related to reckless driving via his stumps and knees, since his arms and half of his left leg were lost in a childhood accident [NOTW M011, 6-24-2007]. Wholly apart from his physical woes, according to friends and neighbors, Wiley is also a sociopathic little turd . . . . . Another looming F State icon, state Rep. Bob Allen [NOTW Daily, 7-13-2007] has finally come up with an explanation for why he was charged with soliciting a blowjob in a public park in July. He said there were big, thug-looking black guys hovering around and that he just found it easier to agree to pay $20 than to get beat up. [Ed.: I’d score this 1.0 on a 10 scale, which could be merely the function of having an untalented lawyer advising you, but on the other hand, 1/10 spells acquittal, i.e., 12 jurors / 1 needed to buy the explanation / 1/12 is 8.33 percent.]

Professor Music’s Weird Links
will return on Monday, probably

NOTW, The Blog
Yr Editor has a problem sometimes with the No Longer Weird category, in that some stories appear in bursts and become NLW, but then, mysteriously, don’t get reported for years at a time. Take the all-out police searches of a drug dealer’s property (squad cars with flashing lights on the scene, uni’s flooding the area), but in which regular customers are undeterred from wandering onto the property to make buys. That was NLW’d in 1996 after, as I recall, at least three instances inside a few months, but the one in Cleveland this week was the first one I’ve seen in a while. (This one didn’t involve stoned-out customers; it was two Jamaican suppliers delivering 12 lbs. of dope but failing to focus on the two cruisers out front and the several officers milling around.)

Newsrangers: Dave Null, Stephen Jarzornbek, Joe Littrell, Harry Farkas.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Friday’s 5-Star Special
none that I know of

Civilization in Decline
China said it will put an end to Tibetan Buddhists’ auto-perpetual line of succession for choosing their wisest; from now on, living top-of-the-line Buddhas will have to apply to the gov’t to be reincarnated . . . . . A crisis of angst in Japan: Unknown people are giving away huge sums of money on the street, prank-like, but the strait-laced Nipponese react as they’ve been taught: by turning it in to police (but apparently it’s bothering them that they’re expected to do that) . . . . . Latest Piece of Work: Dentist Michael West of Mississippi is perhaps responsible for several death sentences by his absolute certainty that scratches here and there could have come only from the bite-mark patterns of whoever he said made them, when other "forensic odontologists" are still stroking their chins (or think those things are, like, insect bites). Bonus: West has enshrined himself as a genuine god, and historically defense-loathing Mississippi jurors suck up his every word.

The Human Condition Today
The Washington, D.C., dry-cleaning litigator, Roy Pearson, is remaining in character: With his day job as judge precariously on the line, he trashed his nominal supervisor (and thus will probably be denied re-appointment) . . . . .It had to happen: Two men were arrested after a high-speed car chase through Independence, Mo., and cops suspect the guys sucked them into it just to make a video of the chase that they could sell . . . . . A 57-yr-old Castle Rock, Colo., man took The Only Way Out, but scored a rare 9.8 for style: the ol’ "tie a cable to a pillar, with the other end around your neck, then get in the car and floor it."

Your Daily Loser
Amanda Bailey, 41, arrested for DUI in Tampa (2nd time in three months), happened to have put on, that morning, one of those "I’m not an alcoholic / I’m a drunk" t-shirts, which made for a great booking photo.

NOTW Lite
Ferrucio Pilenga runs the Italian Dog Rescue School, and his labradors and newfoundlands can actually jump out of choppers into the water, side by side with humans (but it takes 21 dog years to teach them to do that) . . . . . Discovery Channel reports that illiterate Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert are now using Palm Pilots to record wildlife movements for conservationists (select animal or plant by icon / select activity by icon / enter how many / location automatically entered by GPS).

Professor Music’s Weird Links
AngelKitty.jp makes fantasy outfits for the Japanese imagination, but this is even more disturbing than usual: an apparently-working USB keyboard in the form of a bra. Someone had to think that up, and then other people had to agree it would be a good idea to make them and put them on sale.

NOTW, The Blog
Yr Editor feels an obligation to keep readers up to date on sub-mainstream fetishes, and thus I bring F-Stater Brenda Farrell, 40, to your attention. However, this story is Not Safe for Good Taste, and you’re not going to like it, but I can’t stop you from clicking it.

Newsrangers: Ginger Katz, Jerry Whittle, Bruce Townley, Kathryn Wood, Jerry Williamson.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Thursday’s 5-Star Special
Obnoxious dental patient Benjamin Meng, 38, was fined the equivalent of about US$990 after pleading guilty to something or other in Singapore, where he had made orgasmic-type moans, and lewd remarks, while fondling his own chest, and he apparently thought it was a good idea to do all this in the chair while the young female dentist was scaling his teeth with, of course, razor-like instruments.

Civilization in Decline
GAO announced yesterday that the Pentagon, despite an ostensible ban, had continued to sell surplus parts (over 1,300 in February) that are quite useful in repairing F-14 Tomcat fighter jets, whose only known owner these days (long after being retired in the U.S.) is Iran . . . . . The new raging-success video game in China now is "Incorruptible Fighter," with the object to kill corrupt gov’t officials (apparently based on actual, though historical, corruption cases, but if the idea comes to America, things might not be so polite).

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Verle Dills, 60, was arrested in Sioux Falls, S.D., with evidence indicating that his hobby (over, say, two yrs) is setting up a camera in public places and having sex with road signs.

NOTW Lite
If only Michael Vick had gone down this road in life, instead: boxing matches with beetles, in Japan (Best parts: not to the death, and no rape stands) . . . . . Horrifically depressing news: Two Univ. of Cincinnati researchers have devised a computer program that can understand and create puns . . . . . The minor league baseball team in Lowell, Mass., staged a "politically correct" game night last week (e.g., errors were not announced so as not to hurt anyone's feelings; the guy who plays between 3rd and 2nd was the "vertically-challenged stop") . . . . . Wrong place, wrong time: Once again, a dog shoots his owner (in the back, with a handgun) . . . . . A science journal touts a Hungarian bird (the penduline tit), where mom and dad eagerly abandon the nest prematurely so each can go out and chase some more tail . . . . . According to this press release from the journal Homeopathy, its new special issue will host a range of writings showing that water molecules can remember things.

Updates
NOTW has mentioned [NOTW 993, 2-18-2007] that famous Japanese (or Australian) Waygu steaks are so exquisite that you probably can’t afford to eat one, but there’s quite a detail in this-here story about their introduction in a Phoenix steakhouse: Farmers take a nose print of each cow so that if your steak’s not good enough, they can track down and punish the farmer . . . . . Following up the CastFetish.com link Prof. Music provided last week [NOTW Daily, 7-27-2007], here’s a blog entry on the fashionableness of casts and surgical masks [link from BoingBoing.net].

Professor Music’s Weird Links
maybe tomorrow

Newsrangers: Ginger Katz, Julia Grauf, Stefan Palys, Tom Barker.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Wednesday’s 5-Star Special
Junk dealer Richard White’s house and yard in Norridgewock, Maine, was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, specifically, where an 18-wheeler filled with 24 tons of chicken poop overturned; "There’s still stuff 20 feet up the tree," he said. He’s also a little ticked that cleanup is progressing so slowly. "They [the people responsible for cleanup] think I’m a hick and don’t matter. But my life didn’t smell like this before."

Civilization in Decline
Thank goodness, it’s not just America that’s being ruined by the mindlessness of today’s TV programs: Afghanistan! (and maybe the Taliban had it right all along) . . . . . Rejoice! Ms. Indira Fernandez has passed intermediate algebra in New York City and will thus graduate from High School of the Arts and Technology. (It was her second try at the class, in her repeat-12th-grade year, after two-thirds absences the first time and one-third this time, and having failed 11 of 14 quizzes, and failing to show up at all for the final this time, though making a big splash at the senior prom.) The teacher resigned at the decision by the principle-free principal, but mom was proud of her graduate because, dammit, Indira "earned" it.

The Human Condition Today
An Atlanta-area car exporter said he was tired of the two employees always asking for raises, and that’s why he pulled out his gun and killed them . . . . . 60 residents of the Mount Gretna, Pa., community are circulating a petition to get the volunteer fire department to stop sounding that damned alarm so much . . . . . Brazil’s Formula One racing champ Nelson Piquet was ordered over to driving school for too many tickets "for all kinds of reasons," he admitted . . . . . Sounds Like a Joke: After a 24-hr-plus search, a 5-yr-old boy was found alive, in a corn field in eastern Ontario, and police said (a) they weren’t sure why he was there, but only that (b) he had been last seen playing hide-and-seek with his siblings . . . . . Headline [Malaysia’s The Star]: "Student May Be Suspended for Strangling His Teacher."

Your Daily Loser
Miguel Rogelio, 37, of Pensacola, Fla., riding with a pal, was critically injured when he opened the passenger door to spit, and fell out.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Pastor Tommy Tester, 58, of Gospel Baptist in Bristol, Va., was arrested for DWI and having an open container . . and he allegedly petitioned the officers (genders unknown) for oral sex . . and he allegedly was wearing a skirt . . and he allegedly took a leak at a car wash in front of children.

NOTW Lite
1,200 Iranian weavers have now completed what will be the largest rug in the world, a nuclear-size rug, if you will, but only for peaceful purposes, to lie in a mosque in United Arab Emirates . . . . . Columnist Lee Gomes of the subscription-only Wall Street Journal reports this morning on the joyous fellowship of mathematicians sitting around a room for a weekend, trying to solve the Tate Conjecture (which of course is closely related to the Hodge Conjecture, but everybody knows that), and though the consensus is that it won’t be done "for years," they apparently loved every minute of the weekend.

Updates
The latest on Zimbabwe inflation: The gov’t has just started cranking out currency in the denomination of Z$200,000 (which will buy you a quart of gasoline, or, on the black market, one U.S. dollar and some change).

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Hormone therapy for transsexuals is a slow, dispiriting process, but here’s the antidote: M-to-F’s can buy a head-to-toe body suit with all the proper equipment, so they at least look the part while the regular stuff grows in.

NOTW, The Blog
Sunday is the season premiere of Taboo on the Nat’l Geographic cable channel, with "initiation rituals" that NOTW has mentioned, such as people who hang from hooks in their skin, and those Chinese girls who grow up with rings on their necks to stretch them out so they’ll look like ostriches.

Newsrangers: Bruce Townley, Paul Music, James Reed, Jerry Whittle.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tuesday’s 5-Star Special
a sloooowww news day

Civilization in Decline
One place we might be headed, the Safety Police say, is standard equipment in cars (the technology is done) to remind you, when you park, to take your urchin (in the back seat) with you [Ed.: and, let’s see, what else from the News of the Weird’s archive, oh, yes, standard equipment to detect whether there’s a pedestrian that you’ve hit, embedded in your windshield] . . . . . The UK’s Royal Air Force, straining to make Walter Reed Medical Center look good, has awarded a typist the equivalent of $980k for a repetitive-strain keyboard injury (vs. about $125k for an airman who loses a leg) . . . . . London’s Daily Mail had an on-the-scene report last Friday from Russia, from an annual camp that has largely turned into Putin Youth, with one of the messages being that there aren’t enough Putinistas in the world and thus immediate procreation is required . . . . . In Stoke-on-Trent, England, a artist's tribute to the environment—in the form of a 21-ft high, er, metal tree that they had to take down real trees to clear space for.

The Human Condition Today
In a suburb of Barcelona, Spain, a guy is headed to jail for two yrs for the crime of playing music too loud . . . . . From New Zealand, vegansexuals, who say they are "attracted" to carnivores but turned off at the thought of intimacy with the equivalent of a bundle of animal carcasses . . . . . Headline [Houston Chronicle]: "Harlingen Man Says He Couldn’t Smell Dead Wife" (dead in a back room for three days, but diabetes has damaged some nose nerves).

NOTW Lite
A consensus that things were headed in the wrong direction caused a revolt in Shelburne, Nova Scotia, er, in a major beehive, where the queen’s low approval rating required intervention by RCMP bee whisperers . . . . . India’s estimated 2m prostitutes apparently form a generous demographic for a new monthly magazine on sex work, including bios, emotional essays, and poems . . . . . Johns Hopkins’s latest: breeding mice with human schizophrenia genes (Bonus: from one family in Scotland!) . . . . . But that’s at least serious research, as contrasted with Univ. of Texas psychologists who drew paychecks while asking 400 students to give reasons why they chose to have sex and then 1,500 others to then rank those reasons in importance, and it’s hard to decide which—the researchers or the students—were more trying to call attention to themselves.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
The "Hiccups Warehouse" is a page with just video clips and audio clips of different people hiccuping. Seriously.

Newsrangers: Tony Flynn, Mark Neunder.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Monday’s 5-Star Special
CBS News did a big story on Kyle Krichbaum, 12, Adrian, Mich., who collects, er, vacuum cleaners (n=165), vacuums his own house up to 5x a day, has honed his obsession since infancy; it’s left to his older sister to explain: "He’s constantly vacuuming. It's always loud in my house. I’m just like why, why, why, why, why, why? I don’t understand."

[NOTE: Yr Editor updates his thinking on publication schedule, below, in The Blog]

Civilization in Decline
Sure, the FCC gets hysterical about a micro-glimpse of Janet Jackson’s areola, but then it’s powerless to do anything about this? [Warning: way-offensive word!] . . . . . F-State Justice: He got 25 yrs for possessing 58 Vicodin pills (that’s automatic "trafficking" in these parts), and the state statute cuts no slack if you’ve got, like, a prescription for ‘em, and only last week did a court find a problem with that . . . . . The Little League apparently hands out copies of the rulebook only on a "need to know" basis, with an umpire in Virginia not quite qualifying, according to commentary in yesterday’s Washington Post (LL is afraid that the rulebook will encourage litigation) . . . . . Another Washington Post piece looks closely at the latest viral Internet video in this "golden age of inanity" (the "I like turtles" zombie boy, in the "purest form" of the inanity: "meaninglessness squared").

The Human Condition Today
Add to the list of the world’s "super-sized" ballerina (etc.) troupes: Danza Voluminosa, of Havana, exquisitely reviewed this morning in the NY Times ("And when their dance becomes frenetic, the sheer weight of the dancers thudding across the stage conveys an excitement akin to a stampede, something out of control and wild, yet made of human flesh and blood") . . . . . In Phoenix on Saturday morning, police raided an exorcism in progress (on a 3-yr-old girl), but actually a successful exorcism, in that Satan apparently departed the girl and landed in the exorcist, who dropped dead shortly after police arrived . . . . . Those ubiquitous UK surveillance cameras scored again: The Kirklees Council was able to detect that the dog poop continually being left at a certain spot was made by the same, uh, human pooper . . . . . A trustee/choir-member at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic in Mountainside, N.J., was charged with 11 yrs of stealing from the collection plates, $28k worth.

Updates
The Transcendental Meditation people are back at it, promising that the Dow will regain last week’s losses and rise to 17,000 soon, since 1,800 concentrators are at work right now producing positive energy, and in fact, if 700 more join, crime will drop big-time, and almost all social and political problems will be solved (except "world peace," which will require 8,000 yogic flyers) . . . . . Here’s more information on the uninhibited pedophile from Washington state, who has now moved to Los Angeles and will soon, he said, re-launch his website that waxes rhapsodic about little girls and where to find them (even though he says he’s against "touching"); the authorities say there’s not a damned thing they can do to stop his posts.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Oddee.com has lots of photo features on it, most uninteresting to Yr Editor, but these two, at least, cover NOTW ground: 10 Most Bizarre Sports (half of which have made NOTW in some form) and 10 Real-Life Superheroes in Masks.

NOTW, The Blog
OK, enough of this whining. Try this out: It has to be six days a week, not three. However, two or three times a month, I’ll take a day off, usually with previous-day notice. Posts will be shorter. Instead of covering 16 to 18 items, I’ll only do 8, 7, 9, something like that. Posting will usually be done by, gasp, 10 a.m. NY time. My recommendation: Sign up for the e-mail. It’ll be brief, even if you choose to click the links. You can know the most ridiculous underreported news of the day in a minute or two. OK, I’m done with the self-pity. See you tomorrow.

Newsrangers: Stefan Palys, Mike Mendenhall, Craig Stuntz, Tom Barker, Ginger Katz, Joe Littrell.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday’s 5-Star Special
Yet another new fetish, but you’re not going to like it: Jeff Doland of Ohio was arrested when his flight landed in Miami, Fla., where he had allegedly arranged with a "mother" (in an Internet sting) to get himself off while watching her dunk her daughters underwater. He "liked watching the bubbles," he said.

Civilization in Decline
A survey of Britain’s girl-scoutlike Guides reveals they’d like training (badges?) in having safe sex, reducing their carbon footprints, and assembling flat-pack furniture . . . . . Brian Rodriguez served an Iraq tour and was honorably discharged early on in the war, but now comes the Army, sending him a bill for $700, presumably for things he damaged, but with no explanation of what or when (or how to question it or challenge it) [Ed.: But before we condemn the policy, let's see if the Army bills Rumsfeld for the damage he caused] . . . . . Another shining episode for Americans: As riptides off Ocean City, Md., took down a man, fatally, who was trying to save his two teenagers, crew members from a parasailing service boat helped, but the tourists on the boat merely grabbed their cameras to make sure they had exciting vacation shots for back home.

The Human Condition Today
The certified-delusional Zoran Kostic left an estate worth the equivalent of $20m to Britain’s Conservative Party, which the heirs want for themselves, but the Tories have testimony from a shrink saying that, insane or not, based on Kostic’s fear of "satanic monsters" in the world, giving to the Tories was perfectly logical (and by "insane," we mean his view that there's "an international conspiracy of more than 100 people masterminded by sexually perverted pharmaceutical company executives to destroy freedom, democracy, and human purity") . . . . . It’s a secure home, which is why they call it a gated community, but a 24-yr-old resident is no longer with us, having gotten her head caught between her car door and a pillar at the gate (AWI) . . . . . Here’s another Californian, which makes at least 3 in 5 yrs, who were so intent about driving to work, parking, and getting to their desks, that they completely forgot about the little urchin in the back seat that they were supposed to drop off at daycare (i.e., that’s 3 deaths in 5 yrs) . . . . . In the lockup in Port Washington, Wis., pervert James Lala asked inmate Corey Wilson what he thought of Woody Allen’s marrying his girlfriend’s daughter ("Perverted," said Wilson), which apparently hit Lala too close to home, and, uh, a brawl ensued.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Lance Rushton, 37, got off with a 45-day jail sentence for the crime of photo-editing porn shots by putting on them faces of his own family members and fellow Mormon church members.

NOTW Lite
Exxon/Mobil served its 17-yr customer, Frank Van Buren, as scheduled, with two cards to replace the ones about to expire—but then, following that, two more boxes of the same card, 1,000 cards in each box . . . . . The interesting thing is not that Fort Lauderdale, Fla., inmate Terry Alexander was convicted of ostentatious wanking behind bars (his third alleged incident) but that, when you have a trial on a charge like that, lawyers simply must ask prospective jurors about their own habits . . . . . Nothing like a ceremonial virgin to bring good luck to a big celebration somewhere in the Third World, but this was in, er, no cheap shots now, New Jersey: The Quik Chek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning even went so far as to cancel its inclement-weather insurance, so hopeful it was that the virgin (Victoria Brumfield, 28) would drive away the clouds.

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
Two managers at the Small Business Administration are about to be honored for their work in clearing up that nearly-12,000-loan backlog stemming from Hurricane Katrin—oh, wait a minute, no, they’re under investigation, because apparently the only thing they did to eliminate the backlog was just to cancel all the loans outright.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Here’s an evergreen to tide you over ‘til Yr Editor can get back to these things next week: the maniacal "Joe Caster"’s site for photographing delectable young women wearing casts. Totally safe for work (but questions will be raised).

Newsrangers: Karl Olson, Joe Littrell, MaDonna Barnes, Laura O’Neal.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wednesday’s 5-Star Special
Suspicions Confirmed: Hindus have a god for everything, because last weekend in Malaysia there was a five-day celebration for the Goddess Bahuchara Mataji, whose headquarters is in India and who has other duties, but at this particular celebration, she was the deity for transsexuals.

Civilization in Decline
Practice begins next week for the Oklahoma State football team, and so far, that will include star linebacker Chris Collins, despite the fact that he’s been under indictment for 3 yrs for a DNA-backed charge of at least statutory-raping a drunk 12-yr-old girl . . . . . Alcohol, the Great Equalizer: A 21-yr-old genius student at MIT, probably twice as smart as you and with twice as many friends as you, who was in NYC for the summer on an internship, apparently got drunk and fell, fatally, off of his apartment house . . . . . First there was Monday’s 5-Star Special on promiscuous labeling of people as "sex" offenders, and now this: An F-State sheriff has insisted on potential sex-offender-labeling punishment for a 21-yr-old road-rager who bare-mooned a carful of people, when the carful included a 14-yr-old boy.

The Human Condition Today
Family values: A Wisconsin couple left the woman's 7-yr-old son home alone several times, locked up, with only a bucket to dump in, while they watched Green Bay Packers’ games on TV at a casino, and they could’ve hired a sitter if they hadn’t blown so much money on a house full of Packer memorabilia . . . . . This was the plan: Five Chinese men embezzled the equivalent of $6.7M, then they’d play lotteries so they could, er, pay back the $6.7M out of their generous legitimate winnings, but, naturally, they lost every last fen . . . . . Arrested in Gary, Ind., for beating his wife: Rev. Robert Nichols, an anger-management counselor . . . . . A round-eyed former Mitsubishi executive has sued the company for firing him (attributed to his not bonding well with his Japanese superiors) because, at a 2005 evening out, they kept teasing him at a bathhouse about how hung he is . . . . . Russell Tavares, 25, was sentenced to 7 yrs in the pen for losing control of himself, to wit, getting mad that a man called him a "nerd" in a chatroom and driving from Virginia to Texas just to set fire to the guy’s trailer . . . . . Less harmful, but perhaps still a little too obsessed for Yr Editor’s taste: Norm and Lexy Stevenson leave no stone unturned to get back their pet, er, parakeet . . . . . F-State Logic: Authorities in Pensacola said Cheveon Ford, 21, made 292 false calls to 911 (with the only explanation being that he didn’t have any minutes left on his cell phone and that 911 calls are free).

Your Daily Loser
Kevin Rich, 40, of Oneida, N.Y., was arrested three separate times Sunday in the space of three hours, for, respectively, panhandling, disorderly conduct, and soliciting money under false pretenses.

NOTW Lite
Researchers at Hong Kong Polytechnic University have written up a prescription for better-fitting bras, because their data show that a "woman’s breast is a very complex 3-D geometry," and chest/cup isn’t nearly as nuanced as overall build; breast volume; inner, outer and lower breast shape; height; and "gradient and orientation."

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Friday would be a good day to post another one.

NOTW, The Blog
Today's post was late because of ISP failure . . . . . First, a TV station in China found a restaurant that made yummy dishes with actual cut-up cardboard as filler, and then the gov’t put the TV station managers in jail for scaring people with a hoax report (with the managers supposedly apologizing for setting the restaurant up), and now it turns out many think the station got it right the first time . . . . . And the owners of Weekly World News (The Onion for the trailer-park-and-hair-curler set) are shutting down the print (supermarket) edition next month; thus, you’ll only see website versions of stories like the woman who got pregnant after misapplying her contraceptive jelly by spreading it on her toast.

Newsrangers: Joe Littrell, Larry Ellis Reed, Ginger Katz, Ken Vermette, Eric Gibbs, Brian Wilkinson
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.
[Yr Editor's usually-reliable cable service was out this morning from 4:05 a.m.-10:10 a.m., which coincides exactly, and I mean exactly, with my prime workday. I will post by 5 p.m. New York time today.]

Monday, July 23, 2007

Monday’s 5-Star Special
Child-sex hysteria is back: In McMinnville, Ore., the prosecutor is falling all over himself to prove his sensitivity to how devastating "sexual assault" can be to girls, "life-altering," in fact, and therefore must be severely punished—and that’s why he’s filed 10-yr-max, sex-offender-for-life-labeling charges against two boys who were goofing on the latest trendy horseplay at Patton Middle School: "butt-slap" (apparently engaged in by both genders). (And if the boys’ aim had been bad, and the slaps had landed 10-12 inches north, in the back, they’d be looking at a max of, what, a day’s detention?) Despite numerous howls from the community, and from counselors who deal with real sex abuse, the prosecutor, and the parents of the two fragile "victims," are not backing down, and the boys’ parents’ legal fees mount.

Civilization in Decline
Killing ourselves with "fairness": A Maryland judge has dismissed, with no re-files allowed, a child-rape case against a Liberian immigrant just because, supposedly, he speaks a rare tribal language for which no translators were available (and thus, a "fair" trial is impossible, and we can’t wait forever for a translator to be found). However: (1) The perp attended high school and community college here; (2) he spoke English well enough to the cops when he was telling them he was innocent; (3) the Washington Post reporter did a better job than the court clerk in finding translators who could have worked the case; (4) the court actually found three translators, but each had a way out (including one who was set to work but freaked out when she studied the charges); (5) the court had a 4th translator in the wings, but the judge said it was too late.

The Human Condition Today
The F-State version of identity theft: It was by a woman’s former female roommate, who turned out to be an adam’s-apple-less man, who started to fix herself up just like the victim, and who was a prostitute, and called up the victim’s boss and said he was she and would the boss please bail her (him) out . . . . . Police in Bolton, England, say a genuine 12-yr-old thug, Oliver Clinch, is guilty of at least 60 crimes and probably double that, and Oliver says if any neighbors have a problem with him, they’re going down . . . . . A Darwin near-miss: Brianna Sanchez, 19, will survive (presumably, to breed) after she set herself on fire by "playing" with a cigarette lighter while pumping gasoline . . . . . But a Darwin success: A 16-yr-old Pennsylvania kid touring abandoned Mexican mines will not be breeding, as he tried to jump across a 10-ft open shaft and missed [Ed.: or maybe he’s not dead at all and just wanted to start his life all over, because he supposedly fell into a deep well of arsenic and water, and his body, if there was one, may never be recovered] . . . . . Chicagoland woman Amy Mueller tried to climb onto the bar to dance at Samy’s place but fell and broke her ankle, which, of course, is all Samy’s fault . . . . . A French painter was so overcome at a dominantly-white painting on display at a gallery that she kissed it ("The artist left this white [space] for me") and was arrested for defacing it with her lipstick . . . . . A Las Vegas mother forced a hospital to give her back the placenta from her daughter’s birth, but she now thinks she can survive post-partum depression without having to actually eat it.

Your Daily Loser
A campus postal carrier at Eastern Illinois Univ. freaked out when he saw the oversized, tattered, stained envelope with the poorly-written address (to the admissions office), the misspellings, and no return address, and the bomb squad was called, but it turned out to be just an ordinary college application by a kid whose chances of success in life, Yr Editor guesses, are small.

NOTW Lite
Too Many Punchlines to Deal With: (Well, not as many as from the Bush colonoscopy) (1) An F-Stater thought the problem in the neighborhood was those Iraqis running through the yards, and so he fired off 10 to 12 rounds at them, and of course there were no Iraqis (and probably no non-Iraqis, either) and (2) French neurologists discovered that a gov’t bureaucrat operates with a brain that’s a record-low 50-75% the size of a normal person’s and that he appears to function fine . . . . . Sounds like a joke: The school district in Houston, Tex., has refused to release the Belleaire High School baseball team’s batting averages, claiming that would violate federal privacy law. (Seriously)

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
The City of Phoenix, Ariz., apparently didn’t get the memo about screening baggage and packages during non-passenger hours at Sky Harbor Airport (midnight to 4:30 a.m., which is when federal screeners take over and start screening again) . . . . . A GAO report says the Dept. of Agriculture uses the honor system to weed out dead farmers from its subsidy program, and surviving kin are only so happy to continue to swear that the recently-expired "farmer" is "actively engaged" in the business . . . . . But, hey, USDA are amateurs compared to the Omaha (Neb.) Public Schools Retirement System, which recently discovered that it had been paying Winifred Brinker a pension for 27 yrs now, which is 20 yrs after her death, and they don't really know yet where the money went . . . . . The NY Post says the special $1B FEMA insurance fund that pays claims against New York City stemming from 9-11 has so far paid out, er, $45K (to a carpenter who fell off of a ladder) but has incurred lawyers’ expenses of $47M.

Updates
Oops! Just as yesterday’s NOTW column debuted, with that story from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on expensive playsets that parents seem to think their kids can’t live without, the Philadelphia Inquirer published a much, much, much better piece . . . . . The Washington Post yesterday had a long piece on that AA chapter in the Washington, D.C., area—the one Yr Editor mentioned a while back as apparently having a one-step program for young women, with that step being to have sex with the older men sponsors.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
According to legend, some guy bought a huge barn in Portugal, thinking it was empty, and it contained 180 deluxe, expensive, old, etc., cars, i.e., every one of them better than what you’re driving, and here are the photos. But actually, Snopes.com says it was just a collector who had bought and stored the cars, and the part about the lucky buy was tacked on. But, really: A guy owns these, and they’re sitting in a barn grabbing dust.

Newsrangers: Ken Vermette, Paul Music, Steve Dunn, Ginger Katz, Harry Farkas, Casey Hermanson
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday’s 5-Star Special
Foreign Policy magazine (not quite Foreign Affairs but still a serious journal) named the five stupidest Fatwas, and of course, our favorite (the breastfeeding one) is there. The one about not being able to look at your spouse naked is there, too, and especially because it was subsequently modified to make it OK to see each other as long as you don’t look directly at each other’s hoo-hahs.

Civilization in Decline
A Vancouver couple will have to live with their apartment’s infestation of bats for another six weeks or so because it’s illegal in Canada to disturb bats during schtupping season . . . . . This ol’ trick still works, apparently, but maybe only in the District of Calamity: You can steal time from a parking meter with a quarter on a string . . . . . Tough guy Derek Boogaard of the Nat’l Hockey League’s Minnesota Wild has opened a teenage summer camp specializing in teaching players to fight (Seriously) . . . . . The coming transgender showdown popped up in Arizona, where Scottsdale bar owner Tom Anderson is at a loss (Does he make his regular female customers endure transsexuals in the ladies’ room? How about transvestites who pretend? Does he check their equipment?).

The Human Condition Today
Not fair, in that she’s not-bad-looking (actually, sorta Dana Scully-like), and she’s a hard-working nurse, but it was just the "more than 100" cockroaches climbing all over the garbage in the back seat of her car, where her two toddlers were riding (and doing bodily functions) . . . . . Here’s what a 90-yr-old pervert looks like (Bonus: with a name from central casting) . . . . . Best headline: "Eight Die in Gun Battle Over Wild Fungus" (Reuters, from China) . . . . . A Steven Wright Joke Come to Life: Serena Yan, working out as a member of the Houston, Tex., 24 Hour Fitness center, got accidentally locked in when they closed up for the night ("not in a row!").

Your Daily Loser
Patrick Tribett, the Ohio paint huffer whose glittering-gold mug shot starred on the Internet in 2005, was arrested for public intox again (that’s at least five).

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Ehhh, Reuters says it has found an avid consumer of the "love dolls" made by Japan’s Orient Industry Company, selling for the equivalent of from $850 to $5,500 each (depending on quality of resemblance to the real thing), and the interview reveals he has a different gal for every day of the week.

NOTW Lite
Italy’s "Masters" games (entrants age 35 and older, up to, gulp, 90) will make sure the javelin-throwing competition is held way away from everything else . . . . . Right after the Roswell, N.M., celebration of 60 yrs since the aliens landed, Roswell Honda dealership suddenly found itself with 50,000 accidental "winners" of the $1,000 grand prize in a scratch-off promotion (Coincidence?).

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
WCBS-TV learned that when the NY city gov’t leases SUV’s, it pays, uh, well, $4,000 a month each (because it’s part of a city contract, and that’s what the contractor charges them) . . . . . And Cook County, Ill., was forced to eliminate the job of its award-winning nurse practitioner because she didn’t have enough seniority to satisfy the union contract.

Updates
That 10-yr-old Nepalese "goddess" who got "fired" for visiting the U.S. has been re-hired, provided she does some rehab . . . . . The Los Angeles Times checks up today on Ed and Elaine Brown of Plainfield, N.H., who are the couple holed up for six months now, suffering that disorder brought on by being born with the Tax Gene, i.e., they welcome death as long as they get to make some point or other about taxes.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Coming again soon.

Newsrangers: Joe Littrell, Michael Lewyn, Ginger Katz, Stefan Palys, George Ronczy, Nick DiNardo.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wednesday’s 5-Star Special
Yr Editor is not of the belief that seems to regard white people’s use of the ol’ n-word as tantamount to steering airliners into the World Trade Center, but on the other hand, here’s the 80-yr-old white chairman of the board of Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I., admitting he said it in a board meeting but that he’d never used the word before in his entire life and that he must’ve picked it up from watching "television" or, better yet, listening to "rap music." (Bonus: He said he should be judged by his whole career, including having given "$7 million" to the University, and the school responded that, er, $4.2 million of that must have gotten lost in the mail.)

[REMINDER: NOTW Daily is temporarily only half the man it used to be, i.e., Mon-Wed-Fri only]

Civilization in Decline
Wisconsin is said to be the first state to introduce a bill specifying in detail what a divorcing couple’s rights are regarding custody of their pets.

The Human Condition Today
Nasir Farrakhan (son of Minister "Calypso Louie" Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam) was assessed punitive damages for crashing into a couple four yrs ago while driving daddy’s Hummer, and he appealed, contending that he was merely "asleep during the entire trip" down the Indiana Toll Road, rather than doped on Vicodin and other drugs whose paraphernalia were in the Hummer (but federal judge Philip Simon wrote that Nasir was lying through his teeth [Ed.: the judge used the uptown legal word "unpersuasive"]) . . . . . An Australian man commandeered a privately-owned tank and wiped out seven cell phone towers, on account of, naturally, cell phone waves having messed with his mind . . . . . And an Australian rugby player finally got a diagnosis for the constant head pains: A collision on the field four months ago left an opponent’s tooth embedded, deeply, just above his eye . . . . . But at least the tooth wasn’t alive, as were the five "squirming fly larvae" in Aaron Dallas’s head after he picked them up in Belize and which a doctor finally diagnosed and removed back home in Colorado . . . . . In training for the upcoming Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, she runs 40 minutes a day and does 200 sit-ups, and that’s because she’s a prostitute upping her endurance for the expected surge in business during the Games . . . . . Alexander Ocampo was charged with DUI in South Carolina, with a major piece of evidence being his not having noticed that when he took a reckless turn, his passenger flew out the window.


Your Daily Losers
A little knowledge can be dangerous, er, in the hands of nincompoops, like the four Oklahoma inmates who were indicted for a grand scheme that went nowhere but which they apparently took quite seriously. They "copyrighted" their names, then demanded millions of dollars from the warden for using the names without permission, then for leverage against the "millions," filed liens against his property and hired someone to seize his cars and freeze his bank accounts.


NOTW Lite
Who knew that koalas were such dogs and hoochies (up to half in two Australian states having tested positive for chlamydia) . . . . . Sounds like a joke: In India, the winner of a condom company’s "taste test" was the one flavored in tobacco and betel nut . . . . . A routine payment dispute between a sex worker and her client, except at morning rush hour in East St. Louis, Ill., with the half-clothed women (top half) having jumped in his car and commenced beating on him even as he tried to drive through the bustling streets.


Professor Music’s Weird Links
WorldNetDaily.com is usually just a heavily-tilted conservative news site, but it deserves a Pulitzer, Yr Editor sez, for its periodically updated compilation of female teachers caught having sex with their underage students, and so far, the total is 105 [Safe For Work, except maybe for the politics].

Newsrangers: Raul Stone-Cousley, Tom Barker, James Wicht, Bob Pert, Bruce Townley.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.