Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday’s 5-Star Special
Brian Wilcox, in an F State lockup awaiting trial for allegedly making child porn using a relative, has diagnosed himself and would like medical attention, please, for the following: severe tooth decay, back pain, vision problems, no feeling in his feet, a bulge in his groin, a deformed mole, and severe flatulence "at all times." [Scroll down]

Civilization in Decline
Ultra-Orthodox rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who is nobody to be messed with (since Ariel Sharon went into his coma only a few months after Yosef smited him for withdrawing from Gaza), explained to Israelis that their only casualties in the recent Hezbollah war were soldiers insufficiently religious . . . . . Failure has been such a downer in China lately that the legislature is now proposing to make it OK by law for scientists to screw up, as long as they were trying hard . . . . . Apparently, there’s a Chicago female undercover cop so bored with her job as a "prostitute" that she slapped the cuffs on a motorist stopped on the street with his wife in the car and his adult daughter running back to the car after a brief stop (yet the cop, obedient to the script, swore that he had asked for sex) . . . . . The less-publicized side of gambling addiction: how governments are addicted to the tax revenue (and in Australia, now undergoing an outbreak of horse flu, they’re considering racing camels).

The Human Condition Today
A Catholic parish priest in Suffolk county, England, is on the global-warming beat almost as much as on the God beat, and will set up a "green confessional" at a gathering this weekend, for people ashamed of their poor recycling record [Ed. just in time, because the Vatican’s drawing some heat for its decision last week to start high-carbon-footprint charter flights for Catholic pilgrimages] . . . . . The F State has its own personal version of New Hampshire's Elaine Brown, D.D.S. [NOTW Daily, 7-20-2007, 6-20-2007]: a lady dentist who has located a sentence or two here and there in official documents that, taken literally, call the federal income tax into question (and of course has cheerfully ignored every other aspect of state and federal democratic will and law of the last 94 years) [Bonus: Her husband is the chief carper on this issue, but he got kicked out of court with an F in conduct, so the little snowflake is on her own, and she’s not quite as good at extemp speaking as she presumably is at drilling] . . . . . How can Arizona’s Tucson Citizen write an on-the-scene report of a Mrs. America contestant descending a staircase at a fancy resort, being frightened by a spider, and stepping directly into the path of a rattlesnake (which got ‘er), and not ask what the hell a rattlesnake was doing on the staircase of a fancy resort? . . . . . Border guards in India crack down, issuing photo ID cards, er, to cows (to prevent leakage of the sacred animals over the border to Bangladesh) . . . . . We take our sports seriously in the F State, so 1-to-10 in the slammer is James Gahan’s small price to pay for scoring steroids for his son, who at the time was a 13-yr-old competitive roller-skater . . . . . Britain’s University of Bedford’s great idea (seriously): a degree program in creative writing designed especially for the mentally ill, who presumably have rich stories to tell . . . . . Crimes You Don’t Often See: One guy would distract the convenience store clerk by doing a naked hula dance, a second would steal the beer and run, and both would jump in the getaway car driven by a third (but it failed when the clerk managed to tear her eyes away from the dancer) . . . . . A refrigerator quit at a hospital in Germany, er, while they were storing the top of a man’s skull there while brain surgery was going on, and now they’ve had to build him a plastic top (but he gets the equivalent of $4,100 compensation!) . . . . . A French manager working in China learned that, even in China, if you have a dispute with the accounting department, no gunfire! . . . . . And here's yet another thing about Japan: a support "fan club" for people who seriously appreciate digger wasps . . . . . Miami-Dade police arrested the twin-engine pilot who protested the use of his local executive airport for training flights by playing chicken with a jet.

Your Daily Loser
Edson Diaz, 28, was charged with sending threatening notes (as in threatening death) to Playboy’s Miss August 2001, whom he had never met but thought was a "white trash" tramp (which, considering all the hot women out there in the public eye, is somewhat of a compliment, but still . . .); however, the woman’s boyfriend is a defensive back for the Chicago Bears.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
The trouble with a guy naked and masturbating while driving the Indiana Toll Road is, well, Vaseline makes the steering wheel slippery.

NOTW Lite
Another rehab success story for methadone . . working on . . Big Brother, the Chinese elephant.

Updates
It turns out that Cheveon Ford, who stars in this week's NOTW [M020, 8-26-2007] as the guy who just calls 911 when he runs out of minutes on his phone, had a method to his madness: If a male dispatcher answered, Cheveon hung up; if a female answered, he tried to chat her up about her feet.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
will be along again next week

NOTW, The Blog
Leona Helmsley’s dog Trouble looks rich enough, but $12m hardly puts her into high society: From NOTW 852, 6-6-2004:

Pets Livin’ Large: London’s The Mirror released a list in March of the world’s 20 inheritance-wealthiest animals, topped by the dog "Gunther IV" (now worth over US$320 million, from the late German countess Karlotta Libenstein), followed by Kalu the chimpanzee (about US$95 million, from the late Australian Olympic swimmer Frank O’Neill) and the dog Toby Rimes (about US$80 million, from the late New Yorker Ella Wendel). The list consists of 10 cats (4 of them American), 5 dogs, a hen, a tortoise, a parrot, Kalu the chimp, and a herd of cattle supported by a British royal trust. (Most on the list are offspring of the original recipient, with trust funds even larger because of investments.) [The Mirror, 3-15-04]
Newsrangers: Steve Miller, Joe Littrell, Jerry Whittle, Dave Null, Bruce Townley, Elijah Christman, Mark Neunder, Tom Barker, Donna Lewis
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wednesday’s 5-Star Special
Today’s haul was a little better, but, still, this is Pro Edition, and your expectations should be high . . . [NOTE: And by the way, Yr Editor will not post at all tomorrow, or Saturday. But come back Friday and Monday, please.]

Civilization in Decline
It’s just revolting how callous American tourists trample through ruined, impoverished Third World neighborhoods with their video cameras and their artifact-climbing urchins, disrespecting the natives . . . oh, wait, they’re doing that in New Orleans.

The Human Condition Today
Police busted Pennsylvania funeral-home burglar Roderick Jones just in time to preserve the honor of a recently-deceased woman, whose legs Jones had up in the air . . . . . Again: A motorist (AWI) collided with an 80-mph motorcycle, and the driver lodged in the motorist's rear window, allegedly unbeknownst for a while to the driver . . . . . A 47-yr-old woman in the San Francisco area made friends with the man who had just raped her, setting him up for a "job interview" the next day, and he actually fell for it . . . . . A Tanzanian witch doctor jumped into a river, promising to emerge three days later with enhanced wisdom from the spirits (but all his body emerged with was river water) . . . . . The new young sumo idol, Asashoryu, continued to disappoint the sport’s traditionalists, but at least he didn’t kill any dogs; he’s either just a smart-ass or, as the Associated Press wrote (citing a Tokyo doctor), he has a "disassociative [sic] disorder" . . . . . Hey, Guantanamo’s not such a bad place: This Indian businessman so fears receiving justice in his prisons back home for his various bank scams that, to avoid extradition from Germany, he swallowed a knife.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
He’s an unnamed Troy, Mich., man who was questioned by police and then warned and released, but you can’t blame police for being alarmed, happening across him in his car with his pants undone and a "battery-powered sexual device hooked to his person." [Ed.: Excuse me . . . hooked?]

NOTW Lite
At the Minnesota State Fair, try the Spam Curds ($4), "dices of cheese-flavored Spam that are battered, deep-fried and dunked with ranch dressing," wrote the Star Tribune.

Updates
The St. Petersburg Times said that the first witness on the scene of Hulk Hogan’s son Nick’s crash [NOTW Daily, 8-28-2007] said Nick had been racing with a silver Dodge Viper, and the Times explained that there aren’t that many of those in the county, and that one of them is registered to, er, Hulk Hogan. Expect more tomorrow . . . . . Estrella Benavides (or Benevides), who was already in trouble with the town of San Mateo, Calif., for scribbling "messages from God" all over her house [NOTW 994, 2-25-2007], is now in similar trouble on her other house, in Belmont (and for those of you seeking religious wisdom, God sez: "Help worse crime ever: evil + out of mind: from Bush to neighbors using witchcraft + technology against people not belong to their religious group").

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Another Not Safe for Stomachs: This webpage’s top-10 most "amazing" body-modified people, as in, theme-modified (not just heavily-jewelry-laden), awards number one to our old pal Dennis "Catman" Avner [NOTW 905, 6-12-2005] (though you have to see the picture to appreciate him). But the other nine range from clever to spooky to unnerving, mostly unnerving.

Newsrangers: Tom Sullivan, Peter Hine, Diane Gunnels-Rowley
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tuesday’s 5-Star Special
Nothin’ doin’ today. Yr Editor will try again tomorrow, and Friday, but will not post on Thursday or Saturday. Back on Labor Day!

Civilization in Decline
It’s Good to Be a British Prisoner (cont’d): If you murder a beloved person in cold blood, the gov’t so fears vigilantes when it releases you that it sets up a program (at a cost estimated at the equivalent of $2m/yr) to protect your privacy. (Bonus: This particular perp, Learco Chindamo, is actually an Italian national, but the UK figures that it can’t deport him when he’s released because that would violate EU laws and Britain’s Human Rights Act, which Chindamo has every reason to deserve protection of)

The Human Condition Today
A post mortem revealed that a 40-yr-old Brit is the latest person to die in a urination accident . . . . . It’s not just the shacks and trailer homes in the sticks: A $2.6m mansion in Saddle River, N.J., is found to be uninhabitable because of garbage and feces from the owners’ 100-plus dogs and cats (with, e.g, both tubs in the master suite being caked "in at least two inches of fecal matter") . . . . . Yesterday, Yr Editor featured tag-team wrestling and today, in Wisconsin, tag-team DUI! . . . . . The big story around Weird Central yesterday was Hulk Hogan’s son’s car crash (with his buddy still in critical condition) (along with, possibly, Hulk’s bank account, should the buddy die), but Nick was far from a reckless driver, or at least that’s what the instructor concluded after awarding Nick a "professional drifting license" for his ability to maneuver his car sideways.

NOTW Lite
Sounds Like a Joke: "A group of anarchists" announced a meeting next weekend in Minneapolis to coordinate protests (at next yr’s Republican convention) . . . . . Headline, from Malaysia (via Reuters): "Freak Fall Traps Boy’s Testicles" . . . . . Winnie Langley turned 100 by smoking her usual five cigarettes a day, which she says she has done since she was 7 (but she’s never inhaled).

Update
About that Ted Haggard thing in yesterday’s NOTW Daily: Slate.com ran a longer, authoritative breakout on it, underscoring the fishiness of the whole thing.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
A real art exhibit this month in Los Angeles, with uninhibited painters and illustrators turned loose on the ol’ sitcom The Golden Girls, and some of their pieces are definitely NSFW, so beware!

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

Monday, August 27, 2007

Monday’s 5-Star Special
Brian Blair is a seriously-conservative county comm’r here in Weird Central and also a former mid-card pro wrestler, and last week "settled" his lawsuit against a restaurant for doing what hundreds of wrestlers were never able to do to him (i.e., end his career by injuring him), by placing a tray of dirty dishes on the floor near the path to the men’s room. In court filings, Blair called his trip-and-fall "career-ending," but the injuries weren’t serious enough to curtail his subsequent, lucrative wrestling tour of Japan. (But they were tag-team matches, he said, and less strenuous than singles.) [Ed.: But Yr Editor would guess that Blair made more money in his career from tag-team matches than from singles; hence, "career-ending" was a stretch.] Plus Blair had an .089 alcohol reading when he reported to the hospital that night [which Yr Editor thought significant because how in the world would a sober pro wrestler get that badly hurt from a fall in a restaurant?]. And of course, Blair’s response to the alcohol reading was to deny the science, that he didn’t "recall" taking any medication and didn’t "recall" having more than one swig of wine. In fact, one Blair contingent-fee lawyer had already quit the case, with the most obvious speculation that he just thought he was wasting his time. And of course, the doctrinaire-conservative politician Blair is against these kinds of lawsuits, in favor of people taking personal responsibility for their own selves.

Civilization in Decline
The latest Drug Enforcement Admin. routine seizure of any money you have over $10k will be challenged by the ACLU; it’s one of those things where everybody knows it was illegal money but still, this is America, and there should be, y'know, actual evidence, and there doesn’t appear to be any here. Ehh, there is this troublesome court case from last yr, though.

The Human Condition Today
A Tennessee man is complaining that the state overcharged him on his marijuana taxes because the dope was inside a Rice Krispies treat, but that they taxed based on the weight of the treat [Ed.: Yeah, in Tennessee, you have to buy tax stamps for your dope, which is illegal to have in the first place] . . . . . UK taxpayers in Trafford are out the equivalent of $400k because the town council wrongly forbade the mayor to breastfeed her young ‘un in her official car . . . . . It’s a slow news week, so here’s what has happened in Oklahoma: (1) A church in Tulsa held a mud-pit romp to celebrate something or other, and (2) there was a kidnaping in Pryor with a hefty $350 ransom . . . . . Jeez, Aussies are tough: James Gilders’s good buddy (well, ex-) stabbed him and slammed a rock on his head (cause: jealousy over girlfriend), and then asked him if he was dead yet, but Gilders said "Not even close, brother" and got up and walked away (and today the buddy pleaded guilty to attempted murder) . . . . . A KRDO-TV (Colorado Springs) reporter broke the story last week that fallen evangelist Ted Haggard was soliciting money to keep him comfortable while he and his wife prepare for new trades (which is interesting enough, in that they must not have saved a penny from Ted’s comfortable salary as an evangelist), and now the reporter says the not-for-profit organization Ted suggested donations be sent to (a) isn’t in the same state where Ted thought it was and (b) has a director who is a convicted sex offender. (But he was a hetero sex-offender, which meets with Ted’s new "orientation," since he has now proclaimed himself 100-percent straight.)

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
A 19-yr-old man in Darwin, Australia, shoplifted a porn magazine and headed straight for a shopping center restroom, where he locked himself in. Police surrounded the toilet and waited until he was finished.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Yr Editor refers you to a series of posts on BoingBoing.net last week on the outing of the late father (adoptive) of Karl Rove as a major player on the body-piercing scene (seriously). You can pick up the thread here, but there is much more in the links. Rove’s official position on his dad has apparently always been a jolly recognition that Dad did his own thing (but not commenting at all on what that thing might have been).

NOTW, The Blog
Thanks for the Helpful Analysis: Agence France-Presse (citing Korea Times) concludes its dispatch from Seoul on the proliferation of websites where kids can buy their homework: "Experts worry that such sites could send students the wrong message, that they can buy whatever they want."

Newsrangers: Karl Olson, Paul Music (for additional news wrangling)
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Saturday’s 5-Star Special
Final Saturday in August . . .

Civilization in Decline
Baseball commissioner Selig might try to say that he’s been spending so much time getting to the bottom of that steroid thing that he didn’t have time to notice that MLB’s official cap supplier New Era has been selling New York Yankees caps in colors tailored (not accidental; tailored) to the three big gangs operating in the Bronx.

The Human Condition Today
When performing brain surgery at Rhode Island Hospital and noticing that the patient’s record is incomplete, be sure to rely on your memory of which side of his head the problem’s on rather than ordering up the CT sca—oops, sorry ‘bout that! . . . . . Money is no object when one’s pet comes down with an injury, so if the vet says he needs 7 surgeries to fix up your precious little doggie, or your darling little kitty cat, or, or, your hen . . ..

NOTW Lite
Kenyan Wildlife Service accepts the fact that monkeys are terrorizing the village of Nachu, and that they’re gender-savvy and know they have less to fear from women (even when the women dress in men’s clothes to make them more fearsome), but they don’t quite accept the claim from some of the women that the monkeys gesture in ways that mock the women’s private parts . . . . . Not that those monkeys have sex on their mind more than Chumbee, the world’s horniest koala.

Updates
Here’s a slide show, courtesy of London’s The Sun, of doggie hairpieces made and sold by F State dog-boutique owner Ruth Regina [NOTW 968, 8-27-2006]. Some of Regina’s pieces are of human hair, shampooed and dyed, and fitted onto a pooch’s shaved head. (Unfortunately, what we don’t have is a slide show of the women who are Regina’s customers.)

Professor Music’s Weird Links
We don’t have Ruth Regina’s customers, but we do have a gallery of mostly jokey "redneck" photos (jokey being not the purpose of Weird Links), but included are a few candid, obviously-sincerely-made snapshots of People Different From Us, such as the distraught husband’s reaction to Elyse’s cheating on him, and such as the large NASCAR fan, who appears to be a little too recently arrived from Piltdown Man, and who has shaved the NASCAR-magic "3" out of his back hair.

NOTW, The Blog
Swiss and British researchers, writing this week in Science, found that a person generally believes he is where his eyes tell him he is, and if you block that signal and stimulate other senses, he’ll believe with all his heart that he’s somewhere else. (Consumed chemicals could provide the stimulation, as well as a body’s chemical imbalances.) Yr Editor is no scientist, but it seems this finding reeks of significance. The kick-ass physicist Bob Park [8-24-2007] said it kinda discounts the main "proof" by people of faith that there is a soul distinct from the body. Yr Editor says it way-easily explains the commitment shown by people who claim to have been abducted by aliens and vividly describe "out of body" experiences (and of course explains why all such victims describe the abductions almost exactly the same way, which would be highly unlikely unless there were a rigid code of abductor conduct).

Newsrangers: Ginger Katz, Eli Christman, Mark Neunder, Bruce Townley, Kathryn Wood
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday’s 5-Star Special
Could well be that Michael Monyelle, 30, is a ba-a-a-d guy, but the reason he’s going down is because a jury in Waukesha, Wis., was alarmed about something he was thinking, not something he did. He’s now indefinitely committed as a sex predator, which usually means there’s a lot of free room and board ahead for him.
If my thought-dreams could be seen
They’d probably put my head in a guillotine
B. Dylan, It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
Civilization in Decline
You’d hope that NYPD’s counter-terrorism experts would be smart guys, but apparently, the best excuse Anthony Chiofalo could come up with to save his job after a positive drug test was to say that his wife baked the dope into his meatballs without telling him . . . . . A court in Vaxjo, Sweden, ordered a woman to create a no-smoking zone inside her own garden because her poor buttercup of a neighbor was complaining about having to wear a mask . . . . . A recommendation by the UK’s chief prisons inspector, that guards should develop the habit of knocking before entering inmates’ cells, was received by wardens about as well as Sen. Warner’s Iraq recommendation to the White House yesterday.

The Human Condition Today
A minor Malaysian newspaper apologized for running that picture of Jesus smoking a cigarette (and insufficiently-reverent Christians failed to burn down anything) (Oh, wait, they don’t know about it yet) . . . . . We’re fighting a war overseas (plus having other national problems), but all that matters to Michael Beckett of Oklahoma City is that some #?&!#@ walked into a bar with a University of Texas t-shirt on . . . . . Chutzpah: Carl Dubois was busted for manufacturing Ecstasy after ordering ingredients under his name on eBay, paying for them with his credit card via PayPal, and with his e-mail address being freebasing@hotmail.com . . . . . No, wait, this is chutzpah: Peter Till took the stand in Brisbane, Australia, to defend having carried a marijuana plant into court in January, and said he couldn’t believe that was illegal because he had intended to offer it as an exhibit in a court case, and in the course of testimony, Till (barefoot and dreadlocked) developed a severe headache and requested a postponement, which was granted, and then said the pain was so bad that he was going home and probably do some cannabis for it . . . . . Perfect: Two Wiccans, feuding with local occult stores, were charged with tossing raccoon parts on their doorsteps (Bonus: It was in Salem, Mass.).

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Richard Berkey, 63, was nabbed by some campers near Estacada, Ore., hiding in bushes around the campground latrine. They tied him to a tree while they went to find authorities. (Bonus: The same campers remembered him lurking last yr but had decided that time to let the issue pass.) And yes, KPTV.com has the photo!

NOTW Lite
How to Deal with Nosy TV Reporters (even if you’re the nutso, dysfunctional son of an elderly Philadelphia judge) . . . . . Least Competent Cop? A guy standing in a car lot in Elk City, Okla., almost a mile from the police gun range was hit by a stray bullet (but the cops said it was an unfortunate ricochet, not a bad shot) . . . . . Sounds Like a Joke: Fire forced the evacuation of the Comedy Zone night club in Knoxville, Tenn., right in the middle of a hypnotist’s act, with 10 people on stage supposedly already under the spell (but somehow, somehow, they made it out).

Update
Latest brand-new explanations of Restroom Robert Allen, the Florida state senator busted for offering an undercover cop $20 to unzip and stand still for him [NOTW Daily, 8-4-2007, and NOTW Daily, 7-13-2007]: (1) He had to duck into the public-park restroom because of an imminent lightning storm. (2) He only agreed to the bj to buy some time until he could run for help to the security gate at Kennedy Space Center (which he assumed was close to the park but which is actually several miles away).

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Umm, er . . . well, that is . . . I . . .

Newsrangers: Ruth Alfson, Mark Neunder, Eric Gibbs, Dan Murphy, Larry Ellis Reed
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thursday’s 5-Star Special
An 8th-grader is the latest victim of Columbine Syndrome—suspended for 5 days (cut to 3) for drawing a terrifying sketch of a "laser gun" on his homework [Bonus: with a re-creation of the sketch, provided by the dad, but WARNING: Not Safe for Columbine-Queasy Parents].

Civilization in Decline
Yr Editor is most alarmed at the progress Duke Medical Center researchers are making in breeding mice with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, which means they’re gonna learn more about the illness, which is responsible for, oh, at least half the most delicious NOTW stories, so would we as a society be better off without OCD? I think not! . . . . . NTSB’s job gets harder, trying to find the cause of the Minneapolis bridge collapse: heavy traffic, missing bolts, and cracking steel, and they're just now evaluating the ungodly buildup of pigeon guano.

The Human Condition Today
[Congressional] Medal of Honor fakers are all not-very-interesting losers—except when they just won’t give it up even when they’re clearly busted, like the attitude-rich Terry Powell . . . . . Ready-made for Law & Order: SVU, a child-rapist’s basement with animal skulls, organs in jars, drums of acid (all the script needs now is a plot . . no, actually, it’s SVU so it doesn’t) . . . . . Another contender for least dignified death of 2007: this Thai man who died wearing his wife’s skirt and bra (actually, 15 bras) . . . . . In a city of 20,000, even, it’s kinda easy to spot the dope seller if he has a row of arrows tattooed over each eyebrow, plus tats on his forehead and scalp with matching tats on each cheek . . . . . It must be God’s Will if a prominent Man of the Lord delivers a smackdown to a prominent Woman of the Lord . . . . . Now, people around Norwich, England, need to beware because there’s a menacing "red mist" loose, responsible, for example, for provoking this physician to belt his wife 24 times.

NOTW Lite
Kids in Budapest are said to have played Frisbee for a while with that heavy disc-shaped thingee they found, which was later ID’d as a live land mine . . . . . A TV program in the UK tried to find the family with the absolute-biggest "carbon footprint," and the winners are these guys and their 15 TV sets, 30 game consoles, etc., and a dad proudly not recycling since 1961.

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
People always look around for someone to blame in a mining tragedy, and President Bush’s MHSA administrator, Richard Stickler, looks exceptionally qualified for that role; originally, Congress blocked his appointment, relentlessly, out of fear of his inattention to safety, but Bush sneaked him in via one of those "recess appointments." [Bonus: with unfortunate photo of mental-institution-type hair day]

Professor Music’s Weird Links
deserves a better-organized editor than Yrs Truly, so don’t blame the Music man

Newsrangers: Steve Miller, Ginger Katz, Matt Mirapaul, Stefan Palys, Bruce Leiserowitz, Karl Olson
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wednesday’s 5-Star Special
Australian Les Stewart is about to have his Guinness Book record resurrected and publicized on the oddee.com website [linked, by the way, in NOTW Daily, 7-30-2007] so he expects a lot of attention, and it appears that he couldn’t be prouder. His record is that from 1983 to 1998, he wrote out all the numbers (the words for numbers) from 1 to 1,000,000, and the reason he gives for doing it is that he just "wanted something to do." [Ed.: That’s it. Just that. All the other uses of his time that he could think of were, to him, clearly inferior to this activity. This is not quite to the level of the guy who diary-recorded his life for 24 yrs in 5-minute segments [NOTW 860, 8-1-2004], but still . . ..]

Civilization in Decline
Dickenson County, Va., vies with the F State for harrumphing over drug addiction: A jury recommended Jody Powers get 135 yrs in the slammer for selling 6 pills (Well, it was within a couple blocks of a school).

The Human Condition Today
If your church really, really needs a preacher, I guess even a convicted sex offender will do . . . . . Wonderful Lede Sentence, from Wendover, Utah: "The wife of the Wendover police chief has been arrested for selling drugs at the club where she strips" . . . . . Paranoia battles narcissism for the soul of Pennsylvania hunters: The state gov’t is closing down new gun sales for five whole days in September to upgrade its background-check system, and hunting advocates are so busy being livid about that, presumably, that they haven’t time to head over to their local gun shops this week or next to buy whatever they need . . . . . And somehow there’s controversy about a South Carolina prison directive that inmates who do public sex acts in guards’ faces will get dressed in pink for 60 days; the inmates say it’s just not appropriate to humiliate them like that.

Your Daily Loser
The guy’s not an idiot because it took some doing to set up that hidden camera beside the ATM, to photograph people keying in their PINs, but then he got in the way of the lens without realizing it. (He’s still on the loose in the Detroit area.)

NOTW Lite
Please, no punchlines about Leona Helmsley or Montgomery Burns: A University of Arkansas researcher said ball pythons, rat snakes, and Western diamondback rattlers, if starving, eat their own hearts first, which buys them more time to find food.

Updates
That shoulder-fired missile launcher turned in at an F State gun-buyback program [NOTW Daily, 8-20-2007] turned out just to be a carrying case for an anti-tank weapon, an expert said . . . . . Naturally, the union representing those D.C. jailers who didn’t recognize a woman from a strip search [NOTW Daily, 8-18-2007] whined that the gov't wasn't being fair; the jailers were fired for failing to follow "mandatory procedures that would have revealed" the gender (such as, presumably, eyeballing her stuff).

Professor Music’s Weird Links
might well return tomorrow!

Newsrangers: Christopher Nalty, Harry Farkas, James Wicht.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tuesday’s 5-Star Special
Not much out there today. [See The Blog, below]

Civilization in Decline
Just imagine what their security’d be like if airliners had taken down a couple of their tall buildings: Shenzhen, China (pop. 12m), is installing 20,000 surveillance cameras, plus will this month begin issuing mandatory computer-chip ID cards to every resident, with work history, education, religion, ancestry, police record, and, ahem, reproductive history.

The Human Condition Today
Evidently, Caesars casino in Indiana is one of the few majors that doesn’t yet have a "seat-changer" crew, to quickly clean up chairs occupied by entranced slots addicts who refuse to take restroom breaks . . . . . The latest text-messaging tragedy: Pedestrian Zachariah Smith, 18, waited patiently for the CSX train to pass before crossing, but then got hit by the Norfolk Southern train coming the other way (but he survived) . . . . . Australian Stephen Peterson, 42, was turned down in his appeal of his not-guilty/insanity hospitalization for murder, since his main point was that the "gods" who had told him to murder should have been called as witnesses.

Your Daily Loser
Louisiana inmate (child molester) Sherman Burton, sentenced in 1999 to 7 yrs, increased to 20 because he was a multiple offender, relentlessly appealed over the years, and the court finally revised the sentence . . to life.

NOTW Lite
They're trained archaeologists, and even though we cannot imagine how they know, we must accept what they tell us: British students found a hard glob of something that the Kierikki Stone Age Centre in Finland identifies as a 5,000-yr-old piece of chewing gum.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
The Poison Ivy Rash Hall of Fame (maybe Not Safe for Stomachs)

NOTW, The Blog
Yr Editor's standard explanation for light August news days (and light December days): Lots of editors and reporters go on holiday; lots of major players' decisions, normally pregnant with potential, get postponed until September. [But Chuck, aren't print journalists always smirking that August's dog days mean papers are jammed with oddball fillers?] True: The quantity of allegedly-weird news remains, but but but this-here page you're reading is Pro Edition! Yr Editor has already seen far too many stories of robbers pretending to have guns when it's really a vibrator, or a cucumber, or a screwdriver, or a flashlight.

Newsrangers: Tobiah Faulkner, Steve Price, Christopher Nalty, Scott Langill
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Monday’s 5-Star Special
Relatives of the late Patricia Nilsen have gone nuts on 1960s singer Connie Francis, to whom Nilsen inexplicably left her entire $300k estate "under the insane delusion," they said, that Connie was best buds with her. (They had met and corresponded; Nilsen was a big fan; Nilsen appears to have been a hard-to-ignore pain-in-the-butt. But, dammit, Connie wants the dough.)

Civilization in Decline
India is all thrilled/not-thrilled about next yr’s introduction of the all-plastic, equivalent-$2,400 car (size of VW Rabbit but with 1/5 the horsepower), but the country barely has enough road space now, with about 1 percent the car-ownership saturation of Americans . . . . . In Cancun, which is full of fake Mayan architecture, employees of the 5-star Hotel Coral Beach thought a guest, natively-dressed, genuine-Mayan Nobel peace prize winner Rogoberta Menchu, was surely a bag lady . . . . . Britain is investigating the Canadian company Examear, which advertises that its wireless earbuds can help students cheat on exams . . . . . Gun buy-backs are different in the F State: One guy brought in what deputies called a portable crime scene and another a shoulder-fired missile launcher.

The Human Condition Today
Brit Hannah King, 51, wanted The Times to stick it to British Telecom so badly, for poor customer service, that she didn’t seem embarrassed to admit that she actually waited on hold for 20 hours (over 3 days) . . . . . Connecticut dentist Aram Agadjanian’s alleged chairside manner, to a patient complaining of pain: He slapped him repeatedly in the face ("I will show you pain") . . . . . A Tel Aviv doctor has developed what is basically a push-up bra inserted by surgery (silicone cups under the breast tissue, held up with threads attached to upper ribs) (cheaper than a breast-lift) (Seriously) . . . . . A political boss and former councilman in East St. Louis, Ill., pleaded guilty to getting workers to dangerously, illegally remove asbestos from a building by telling them it was not the "dangerous kind" of asbestos . . . . . Sounds Like a Joke: (1) glamour ranches, where you can jet to Montana, have your butler build a campfire, have your cook rustle up bison for dinner, run your hair dryer in the tent before squeezing into your white linen sheets for the night or (2) the Japanese clothier selling shirts with two small fans sewn in and powered by a rechargeable battery, to billow out (and cool) the wearer.

NOTW Lite
The only item stolen: the 50-ft tree out of your yard . . . . . Said the Boston police investigator, after finding some life-in-the-hood books lying around at a gang arrest scene: How tough are you "if you [have] to read up on how to be a [gangbanger]"? . . . . . The year’s least dignified death so far: A 60-yr-old woman/exotic animal fan was crushed to death in Mitchell, Australia, when her new pet camel tried to mate with her.

Update
The righteous illegal alien Elvira Arellano [NOTW Daily, 8-18-2007] left her church sanctuary and flew to L.A. to do some real protesting of immigration policy, and was promptly arrested [Ed.: and will soon be glorified by pro-immigration advocates who will ignore her rap sheet].

Professor Music’s Weird Links
NOTW readers need some science learnin’ from time to time. Here’s actual news about the "ornate golden baboon tarantula" that can jump 3 feet and "will bite you just to bite you," said an SPCA official, but mainly here’s a 2006 post from BoingBoing, citing the authoritative Corante.com blog, on exactly how a particular kind of wasp inserts its stinger into a roach’s brain to convert it into a zombie, takes it home and locks it up, and then uses it to hatch larvae. Wrote science man Carl Zimmer, "Seeing a full-grown wasp crawl out of a roach suddenly makes those Alien movies look pretty derivative."

NOTW, The Blog
About that stolen 3-ton meteor [NOTW Daily, 8-13-2007]: NOTW’s chief science correspondent Emory Kimbrough says Reuters ought to be a-firin’ its Moscow stringer, for excessive gullibility.

The Yahoo News report . . . missed the story's biggest fact: That big rock is almost certainly NOT a meteorite. Yep, there was a huge blast at Tunguska, and there is some legitimate controversy over whether an asteroid fragment or a comet fragment was to blame. But, no reputable scientist claims that anything more than microscopic bits (like 1/1000th of an inch) of the impactor have been found, because the impactor explosively vaporized way up high in the atmosphere. So, the consensus is that there's nothing more than dust left to be found. But suppose, arguendo, that a 3-tonne fragment really did somehow survive the aerial explosion and vaporization. Then far, far more numerous smaller-sized fragments - say one pound and ten pound - should also have survived. So, how does one guy find the ultra-rare 3-tonne fragment when swarms of scientists have never, ever found even a single 1-pound or 10-pound fragment? Yury Lavbin, the theft victim, is a known crank, and [surely] he just dragged a completely ordinary plain ol' boulder back from Tunguska, foolishly self-deluded into believing it was a meteorite.

Newsrangers: Steve Miller, Seth Chickering, Paul Di Filippo, Ginger Katz, Joe Littrell, Sam Varshavchik.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Saturday’s 5-Star Special
Former State Dept. official Patrick Syring just retired, but he remains in trouble for going nuts on Arab interest group people during the 2006 Hezbollah war (voice messages like “the only good Arab is a dead Arab” and an e-mail, “[f-word] the Arabs and [f-word] James Zogby [head of an Arab interest group] and his wicked Hizbollah brothers”) [sanitizing by Shepherd]

Civilization in Decline
The righteous illegal immigrant Elvira Arellano passed her first yr of hiding out in a church in Chicago, supposedly “to protest” the unfairness of U.S. immigration policy (but not specifically its fraud laws, which is what she was convicted of violating, which is another reason why she was scheduled for deportation) . . . . . A cop was acquitted of misconduct in London despite taking off in the middle of the day to go snog, because he proved to a jury that he kept his earphone plugged in during the banging session and “would have responded” had he been called . . . . . Can’t Possibly Be True: A well-dressed but semi-feeble pastor was found sitting in a wheelchair at a taxicab stand at Orlando Int’l Airport and had been there for about 3 days . . . . . The District of Calamity: 3 jailers are set to be fired for a July incident in which they sent a woman to male lockup even after a strip-search because, well, it said right there on the paper that you’re a man, so shut up.

The Human Condition Today
Las Vegas’s tons-o-fun judge, Elizabeth Halverson, is before the state discipline commission, and her former bailiff said this week that she fell asleep in court every day and several times told him to go shoot her husband, “Evil Ed” . . . . . Only in California: Among the two dozen small-biz recipients of environmental awards in San Rafael is Pleasures of the Heart, a vibrator-and-lingerie store (well, the vibrators are rechargeable; some lingerie is made of bamboo fabric; it has a low-flow toilet; etc.) . . . . . A former South African police commissioner finally pleaded guilty to attempting to murder a black activist in 1989 by, er, poisoning his underwear (but amends have already been made in that the comm’r has ritually washed the activist’s feet, which is supposedly a high form of contrition) . . . . . Billionaire [CORRECTION: multi-millionaire] John Donovan was found guilty in Cambridge, Mass., in an incident in which he shot himself in an elaborate plot to blame one of his sons with whom he has been feuding (and actually, all five of his adult children hate his guts).

Your Daily Loser
From the MediaBistro blog, a pathetic attempt by an author named Bill Schneider to Photoshop himself on Oprah in order to hype his book, accompanied by an elaborately faked “transcript” of their on-air conversation.

NOTW Lite
Brazil’s public health system is preparing to honor a court order to provide free sex-change surgeries.

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
The Army had warned active personnel against blogging, because that could reveal sensitive information, but then an Army unit just revealed that over a recent 12-month period, official Army websites had revealed such info 1,813 times (vs. 28 times on 594 soldiers’ blogs) . . . . . The Pentagon revealed that it is fresh out, just now, of Purple Hearts, and if you’ve been awarded one, and you want the actual purple heart right away, you’ll have to buy it from a military surplus store . . . . . And even more anomalously, the Associated Press revealed that, of all things that we’re running short of in the U.S., it’s bullets! (and police departments, particularly, are suffering).

Updates
An F State judge voided another one of those Vicodin convictions [NOTW Daily, 8-14-2007] (In the F State, lots o’ pills means you’re a “trafficker,” even if you have a prescription) . . . . . And it looks like Gov. Crist (a Republican who’s about 150-160 degrees away from his predecessor, Gov. Jeb) is looking to free quadriplegic Richard Paey from his 25-yr-mandatory sentence for excessive pills [NOTW 956, 6-4-2006] because, after all, Paey is now allowed to self-medicate (currently, morphine) in prison, which is basically what he and Rush Limbaugh did while on the outside but which only Paey got shipped for.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Soon. No, no, really!

Newsrangers: Tom Barker, Doug Burdin, Karl Olson, Joe Littrell, Paul Di Filippo, Ginger Katz
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday’s 5-Star Special
Baptist preacher Wiley S. Drake of Buena Park, Calif., had a busy week, endorsing Mike Huckabee for the Republican presidential nomination but also calling on parishioners to pray, with him, for the quick demise of two members of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Drake said he was, of course, "simply doing what God told me to do."

Civilization in Decline
Sure, clowns are evil, but still, UK clown Barney Baloney complained that the PC crowd won't let him do his balloon tricks (a kid might have a latex allergy), or bubble-making (a kid might slip on the soapy water), or gun-shaped balloons (bad example) . . . . . Catholic bishop Martinus Muskens of the Netherlands gave the suggestion, as his parting advice upon retirement, that Catholics should begin to call God "Allah," to heal things (but other Catholics went nuts) . . . . . A court in Montreal told the largest school board in Quebec that it couldn’t just fire a teacher who failed to mention that he had killed his wife in 1990 (killing your wife has nothing to do with teaching electronics) . . . . . Apology-Mania continues to spread: In two more places, people "apologized" for things that they had absolutely nothing to do with: (1) Some people in New East Britain part of Papua New Guinea sent word to Fiji that they apologize for their ancestors who ate four Fijian missionaries 132 yrs ago, and (2) the Danish culture minister apologized to some people in Ireland for Viking raids around the year 1042 . . . . . Now available: 50,000-volt Tasers in soft pastel colors, for ladies’ protection, but the executive director of the Nat’l FOP doesn’t like the idea because, already, Tasers are not regulated any more than hair dryers.

The Human Condition Today
Half of Laurette Eifrig’s $423k retirement nest egg has now been bled by legal and guardian fees occasioned by her two daughters’ courtroom feuding over who gets to take care of her . . . . . An officer on the staff of the coroner in Norfolk, England, is suing for the equivalent of about $300k because he’s stressed out, dealing with death . . . . . Pennsylvania state court judge Michael Joyce, 58, reportedly got caught scamming two insurance companies out of a total of $440k by claiming that a minor fender-bender rendered him largely immobile (but fortunately, he could golf, scuba dive, and get a pilot’s license during that time).

Your Daily Loser
That would be the guy (unnamed but now in custody) in Orlando who had led police on a chase, then fled on foot, still clutching that last can of Corona (from the 12-pack in the front seat).

NOTW Lite
Arrested in Delaware on assaulting-police and other warrants: Mr. Jihad L. Perry . . . . . Killed by police in Fairbanks, Alaska (when he inadvisedly pointed a fake gun at officers): Mr. Lucky Adams . . . . . In the population-challenged Russian region of Ulyanovsk, Sept. 12 has been declared national, er, hittin’ it day, to go make more little Ulyanovskans . . . . . In Eugene, Ore., comes another instance of a guy choking on a sandwich while driving, then losing control and crashing into something, with his body thrust against something (here, the seat belt, but here, the steering wheel [NOTW 702, 7-22-2001]) that gave him an automatic Heimlich maneuver.

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
C&D Distributors of Lexington, S.C., and its twin-sister owners had been charged with ripping off the Pentagon not on parts (like the famous toilet seat), but on shipping charges, such as $998k for sending two 19-cent washers to a base in Texas. One sister pleaded guilty yesterday. C&D had noticed that the Pentagon failed to review charges if the shipment was labeled "priority," and C&D might have collected $20m over 6 yrs.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Soon. Promise.

NOTW, The Blog
On the heels of yesterday’s Blog entry comes word from Iraq that a sniper’s bullet headed for Pfc. Brendon Schweigart, was stopped by the pocket-sized Bible in his shirt, but of course, of course, we only know what Brendon told us happened, and (1) he's the kind of guy who carries a Bible in his pocket and (2) he also thinks he was healed partly because strangers prayed for him.

Newsrangers: David Yontz, Paul Di Filippo, Norah Satre, Karl Olson, Joe Inman, Carrie Juraska, Bob Pert, David Reside, Gil Nelson, Bruce Leiserowitz, James Wicht, Roy Henock
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

[NOTE: Owing to the slowness of the news in August, to unfinished housing issues that arose last week, and to Xanax, Yr Editor is off today. Back tomorrow and Saturday.]

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.