Saturday, September 29, 2007

Saturday’s 5-Star Special
At the Los Angeles County Fair, 30 obsessed entrants vied in this year’s competitive table-setting. "Tablescaping" requires a combination of artistry and obedience to the Emily Post-type rules of dinnerware placement, e.g., if you’re setting a James Bond-scenario table, the spoons can’t be further up than the plate, of course, and the tablecloth must be perfectly aligned on the table, but a properly-placed cigarette lighter and handgun add to the score. Judges say they are considering improvements for next year, such as asking whether a diner might actually enjoy eating food off of the setting.

Civilization in Decline
A Los Angeles mother wanted her stillborn baby back from the coroner after an autopsy but was informed that state law allows, if the "baby" is less than 20 weeks old or under 400g, to be tossed out as "bio-waste" . . . . . Carlton Turner Jr, 28, is one of the two Texas death-row inmates whose executions were held up by this week’s SCOTUS lethal-cocktail review, and Turner has been adamant about that all along because he’s worried that the 3-drug regimen will be painful (whereas, presumably, the deaths of his mom and dad had come quickly upon being shot by Carlton) . . . . . If you’re a U.S. media consultant, and you want to take the gloves off, apparently you go work for a parliamentary leader up for re-election in Ukraine, where incumbent prime minister Viktor Yanukovych’s consultants seem to have OK’d his calling his chief rival, Ms. Yuliya Tymoshenko, a "cow on an ice rink" . . . . . The next battleground over "abstinence" education: Can you reduce young people’s binge-drinking if you teach them to drink at home in moderation?

The Human Condition Today
Nationally-known (they say) cardiologist Maurice Buchbinder lost his Scripps Memorial hospital (San Diego, Calif.) privileges after he smacked around a combative patient, post-op, in August (Bonus: He even gave him a Stooges move, by grabbing his nose and twisting hard) . . . . . Über small-town-white-guy Ben Daly, 18, of Leakey, Tex. (head west from San Antonio, through Hondo, and hang the first right, that is, if you don’t want to go through Uvalde) is defiant that Leakey High School can’t make him cut his hair, because he’s a Rasta! . . . . . Her younger brothers found an 85-yr-old British woman who had been wrongly institutionalized for, er, 70 yrs, but it turns out now that the first 45 yrs were apparently OK with their mom (who died 25 yrs ago) . . . . . A 36-yr-old man died of blood-poisoning, two weeks after being bitten by his family’s pet rat, Roger . . . . . Scottish pro golfer Marc Warren was cut pretty badly in his Irish hotel room between rounds when he took a swing with a 5-iron, and his backswing shattered a glass chandelier.

Your Daily Loser
Free-lance Minneapolis tree-trimming know-it-all Will Samson, 36, is in jail on $50k bail; he happened by and volunteered some advice to two pro tree-trimmers and then went ballistic (knife, baseball bat) when they failed to take it.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Not today. Maybe tomorrow.™

Errorores
Pedro Zapeta needed 11 yrs to save up his $59k (not two), which actually makes his story (from yesterday’s NOTW Daily) sadder. Thanks to eagle-eyed readers. I quickly corrected the NOTW Daily web page, but the e-mail readers get only one shot at my copy, and if I make subsequent changes, they won’t know about them unless they visit the web page. I give e-mail readers only one shot because I’m guessing that I’d make more people unhappy, than happy, if I sent two or three versions of the same daily post to reflect changes or errors in the text. My promise remains: If you sign up for the e-mail, I’ll bother you only once a day.

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

Friday, September 28, 2007

Friday’s 5-Star Special
The city council of Ashland, Ore., came together copacetically and awarded a $37,000 contract to . . a therapist . . who will help the council members get past their issues of cussing each other and interrupting all the time.

Civilization in Decline
Researchers at Hiroshima University said they have mutated up a transparent-skin frog, which will alleviate the need for PETA-condemned "dissections" (and apparently the mutations could have been performed in any lab and not just one that was once a radioactive hot spot) . . . . . America is sticking it to Pedro Zapeta, who managed to save $59k over 2 yrs [CORRECTION: 11 yrs] at his minimum-wage job to go back to Guatemala, but the gov’t points out that (a) he’s illegal, (b) he never paid taxes, and thus (c) the fair thing to do would be for us to keep $49k.

The Human Condition Today
A NY Times investigation suggests that 9/11 survivor-organization honcho Tania Head must have been so traumatized from escaping her 78th floor World Trade Center office on 9/11 that she, er, made up the whole thing about escaping "her" 78th floor World Trade Center office on 9/11 . . . . . Six Catholic nuns (in Arkansas!) were excommunicated because they insist that the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics have it all wrong, in that it’s not the Pope who is God’s rep on Earth, but an 86-yr-old woman named Marie . . . . . New York officials are investigating funeral directors who picked bones from fresh corpses (to sell to medical houses) and replaced them with ever-handy PVC pipe (and Dick Wolf probably has three writers on it right now) . . . . . Ten days ago, it was the Nebraska state senator who sued God [NOTW Daily, 9-18-2007], but that was just to make a point; here’s a Texarkana woman suing Jesus, whom she says has unleashed (in conjunction with local gov’t agencies) an awful lot of pain on people, and she wants an injunction to make him just stop it (but the judge said he lacks jurisdiction over Jesus) . . . . . Here’s another [see yesterday’s NOTW Daily for more] preview of the new Guinness Book of World Records, whose release date is today, with more doozies (Most Panes of Safety Glass Run Through, Record for Milk Squiring from the Eye) . . . . . A North Carolina cop arrested a guy for aggressively coughing on him (Bonus: The perp’s name is Kauffman) . . . . . Career felons need to have their cars in tip-top shape because this F-State drug dealer and gun-possessor was handed 182 yrs in the slammer, all starting with a traffic stop for a busted tail light.

Your Daily Loser
Two teenagers were arrested in Des Moines, Iowa, after trying to outsmart burglar alarms at a liquor store by cutting through the roof, but then they failed to consider the roof’s overhang, and when they looked down at the hole they made, they saw that they were still outside. (They started up again, deeper in the store, but got tired and stopped.)

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
The Gov’t Accountability Office produced another one of those reports in which its investigators tried to enter the U.S. at various locations carrying telltale packages suggesting radioactive materials and found that our border security stopped them in their tracks, busted, apprehended . . 25 percent of the time.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Not today. Maybe tomorrow.™

NOTW, The Blog
For e-mail subscribers: I think the problem yesterday was just that Blogspot.com is usually lightning-quick in sending out the daily posts, but yesterday it wasn’t. Since I was also yesterday juggling some of the settings, I just assumed that I had juggled when I should have jiggled (even though all the settings looked absolutely correct when I checked) (and they were!). Thank you to those who wrote me that the original e-mail came through.

Newsrangers: Steven Zoch, Mark Neunder, Bob Pert, Joe Littrell
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thursday’s 5-Star Special
A surprisingly slow week. I see 4-stars, 3-stars . . .

Civilization in Decline
The Catholic archbishop in Mozambique (at least 16 percent of whose population has HIV) is really playing unfairly in the Church’s traditional anti-condom game: He needs to stick to extolling the glories of procreative sex; it’s cheating to claim that manufacturers deliberately daub condoms with HIV so that Europe can re-colonize Africa . . . . . Hofstra University plans a love-fest next month, with probable standing-o’s for radical lawyer Lynne Stewart, making a rare public appearance since her conviction for aiding terrorists . . . . . School officials in Ontario told CamWest News Service that there’s a province-wide problem of kids dousing themselves in Axe and Tag body sprays and setting themselves on fire, which according to the YouTube videos, causes only a split-second flash, except of course when the flames last longer than that . . . . . Toyota, with a good safety record, announced a recall yesterday, of, er, floor mats.

The Human Condition Today
Fire chased a Pennsylvania couple out of their trailer, and they made sure to grab their dogs, but somehow left behind the woman’s 4-yr-old son . . . . . Rodney Rogers and the Bowers family submitted their housing dispute to an arbitrator, like mature human being—no, actually, Rodney took a chain saw and cut the house right down the middle . . . . . Note to Karl Rove: The CFO of an airline accused by another airline of deleting incriminating documents has denied the charge, claiming that what he was actually deleting was a humongous amount of pornography that he had on his work computer(s) . . . . . Recurring: Another strapping young criminal, in his physical prime, gets shoved out the window of a house he was burglarizing, by an 80-yr-old woman . . . . . A hospital lab technician in Indianapolis is under investigation for restraining a 3-yr-old patient by, er, biting him on the shoulder . . . . . A dog-raising entrepreneur here in Weird Central was arrested for growing marijuana, and, well, growing pit bulls on steroids ("nuclear-sized," "the largest, most bigboned blockheads around").

Your Daily Loser
Chicago police officer Edward Acevedo has now twice taken another cop to court for punching him, and lost pretty quickly each time because he was apparently drunk and ornery toward the cop, but in the process forced Chicago taxpayers to cough up the expenses of defending the other cop. (Bonus: Acevedo is also an Illinois state representative.)

NOTW Lite
Two good compilations made the news yesterday: Slate.com’s story on the powerful Jockey Club, with absolute authority over what you can name your thoroughbred (and thus a list of names that somehow eeked by, like Cunning Stunt, Bodacious Tatas, and Blow Me, but not Sally Hemings) . . and a story on tomorrow’s release of the latest Guinness Book of World Records, with a selection of the doozies (Thomas Vogel of Germany unfastened 56 bras with one hand in 60 seconds) . . . . . Cool: A guy was arrested in Hyannis, Mass., for smoking marijuana, out of an apple.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
There’s no record-keeping on "inches of feces buildup," but just about everything else you want to know about cat ladies and related issues is at the Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium’s website (of Tufts University).

Newsrangers: Susan Sires, Summer Shidler, John Cieciel, Steve Miller, Philip Urban, Kathryn Wood, Joe Weckbacher
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wednesday’s 5-Star Special
A BBC search turned up Britain’s five most unusual epitaphs, with the winner being an 18th-century job in Loughborough, for a 28-yr-old woman who succumbed to dropsy (fluid build-up) and consisting almost exclusively of step-by-step notations of her fluid drainings, in gallons, quarts, and pints, e.g., "1st 8 . . . 10 [gallons] 13 [quarts] . . . 19 10 3 [pints]" etc., on and on, for a six-year period, finishing with "Oh Reader reflect when viewing of this stone What sore afflictions in my life I’ve bourne . . .."

Civilization in Decline
The eventual solution to the impending water shortage in the West: curtail development! (Just kidding: The eventual solution, which San Jose, Calif., and other locales are beginning to explore, is purifying the toilet water.)

The Human Condition Today
Police in Brisbane, Australia, arrested a 23-yr-old man who just flat-out ripped the panties off a woman on the street in broad daylight and then fled . . . . . Well, here’s another one, sort of, which actually almost couldn’t be a pettier crime: an armed robbery of a guy on the street in Mesa, Ariz., in which the perp stripped a guy of his Burger King uniform [LINK CORRECTED] . . . . . Caretaker Miles, a UK school custodian who apparently doesn’t repress like other UK school custodians, was arrested for having a "bomb factory" in his bedroom (but he seemed to be saying that the injuries that occurred from his letter bombs were due to the recipients’ failures in handling them properly) . . . . . Anthony Azzapardi, 80, finally gave up on his story that it was the 5-yr-old girl who pushed him down on the bed, sexually assaulted him, and warned him not to tell . . . . . The Continuing Irrelevance of Newspapers: JuJu Brown was arrested in Belleville, Ill., trying to deliver a half-pound of dope to a place that was all over the papers that morning as having been busted as a dope market . . . . . The North Carolina buyer of a used meat-smoker found a human leg inside, but the seller said it was merely her son’s amputated leg and that he wanted it back (Bonus: The mom’s name is [seriously] "Peg").

Your Daily Loser
Scott Clark, 26, got drunk last weekend and wrung the neck of an actual-duck mascot at the Embassy Suites in St. Paul, Minn., but then he thought the thing to do when the cops came for him was to blusteringly threaten them with job-loss because . . because he is a high official in the federal government! (Er, he’s an auditor [accountant?] at HHS).

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Add Oscar Carpio, 32, Litchfield, Conn., to the list of grooms who weren’t able to make it past their wedding receptions without schtupping a bridesmaid.

NOTW Lite
The Seattle City Council voted to allow pygmy goats to be kept as pets, which is a victory for the local, 100-member Goat Justice League (Seriously) . . . . . A Malaysian man was lying in bed with the first of his two wives, waxing rhapsodic about the sexual prowess of his newly-acquired wife number two, which naturally caused number one to Bobbittize him, but if you use this Tuesday Yahoo! link to the Reuters story (instead of the Monday Yahoo! link), you can check out a, well, supposedly unrelated Yahoo news photo to the left).

Update
Our serial, delusional (but highly creative) South Carolina inmate-litigant, Jonathan Lee Riches [NOTW Daily, 9-20-2007, 8-15-2007], has now charged that he’s been somehow injured by the fact that Steve Jobs has been paying O.J. Simpson as a hitman since 1985, and that O.J. has in return scratched Jobs’s back by giving him food blenders and money, to clone Dolly the sheep. Here’s Mr. Riches’s latest lawsuit (handwritten, of course!) and his Wikipedia entry, up to date for your reading pleasure.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Introducing the brand-new, all-purpose, audience-tested note informing readers that Yr Editor’s good intentions have once again outrun his short-term abilities: "Not today. Maybe tomorrow."

Newsrangers: Paul Di Filippo, Matt Mirapaul, Stefan Palys, Eric Gibbs, Victor Kannell, Dean Ferro, Jerry Whittle, Bob Ball
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

[NOTE: Yr Editor will not publish today, for he needs to worry about a number of things and has set aside time to do that. And anyway, there's not that much juicy news today (beyond the review of science and history by Ahmadine-jihad, anyway). Back tomorrow.]

Monday, September 24, 2007

Monday’s 5-Star Special
Dylan Jayne filed a federal lawsuit against Google for endangering his personal safety, and "crimes against humanity," in that his own Social Security number, if looked at properly (basically, upside down, while you’re extremely drunk), is a variation of the word "google," and therefore Jayne wants, er, $5b. [Note: Why, of course the filing was handwritten!] [Note: Blogger Eric Goldman uncovered the case, but here's a news story from the tech website TheRegister.com]

Civilization in Decline
Nine mostly well-off high school kids in Hanover, N.H., needing an extra push under parental pressure for Ivy League admission, did a breaking-and-entering test theft, and school officials, rather than punish them with suspensions, had them charged with felonies (misdemeanors, if they plead guilty), and now the parents are harassing prosecutors because it’s so-o-o unfair to the little buttercups’ chances for Ivy if they have rap sheets!

The Human Condition Today
Attention-mongering designer Marc Jacobs’s new high heels have the heels in the, er, front of the shoe . . . . . In Boston, they’re still trying to figure out gadgeteer and engineering student Star Simpson, 19, an apparently quick-synapses-firing MIT kid who nonetheless marches to her own drummer, and the drummer was telling her last week to go to Logan Airport with a battery-powered, lighted circuit board sewn into her shirt (and carrying a handful of Play-Doh) in what she called an art project, and for which she nearly got her head blown off by state police . . . . . A Catholic priest in Las Vegas pleaded guilty to smashing a lady friend over the head with a wine bottle and then stomping and choking her (but he stopped immediately, when she broke out in prayer!) . . . . . Accused rapist "Dickie" Lee, 38, ran away on the last day of his trial in Dedham, Mass., but there is this helpful clue to be on the lookout for: He is known as the Bad Breath Rapist . . . . . A surgical breakthrough Down Under, where doctors made a hole in the patient’s head, but he kept right on talking to nurses as if nothing were the matter [Ed.: But, come on, a breakthrough? We've all known Aussies like that].

NOTW Lite
"We can’t just change [our] boat’s name," as the regetta officials wanted world yachting champion Steve Morrison to do with the long-time name of his boat, Jackie Big Tits . . . . . "Not having the O’s makes it more creative" was the helpful explanation by a Miami official for choosing, among several entries as the city’s new promotion campaign, DWNTWN MIAMI . . . . . Somewhat inconsequential actions were participated in late last week by local officials in San Francisco and Alaska, er, SF City Supervisor Ed Jew and Kenai Assemblyman Gary Superman . . . . . The F State’s agency that handles child-abuse cases sent an investigator to check out whether, when these kids exchanged "Yo Momma" jokes, that meant that one had actually had sex with another’s momma.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
It’s a shame that, though Professor Music provides the links, Yr Editor is too disorganized to review them promptly. Therefore, Yr Editor has decided to take remedial action so that he doesn’t have to think of new excuses several times a week. Starting tomorrow, Yr Editor will use the very same excuse each time.

Newsrangers: Steve Passen, Paul Di Filippo, Mark Neunder, Gil Nelson, Paul Blumstein.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday’s 5-Star Special
Update: The F State governor and cabinet took about a half-a-minute, figuratively, to send 25-yr-to-life (mandatory-minimum-sentenced) Richard Paey home yesterday. He’s the paralyzed accident victim with off-the-charts back pain found with 700 prescription Percocets but under F State law, that’s automatic trafficking [NOTW 956, 6-4-2006]. (Bonus: The facts were comparable to those in the Rush Limbaugh case, but because Limbaugh admitted to a drug problem, he was allowed to plead to a lesser crime [and, before some dittoheads write me that Rush pleaded to a small amount, let me remind them that uncontradicted evidence on the record showed that Rush possessed hundreds of Oxycodones]. Paey refused to plead to a rehabbable drug problem because he doesn’t have one; he has a permanent medical problem and in fact has been prescribed morphine in prison at an equivalent potency per day of 300 Percocets.) But, before anyone believes that the F State has actually turned progressive: Just before the governor went beyond clemency and gave Paey a full pardon, the Good Ol’ Boys on the state parole board once again turned him down.

[NOTE: Yr Editor will be off work tomorrow. Back Monday.]

Civilization in Decline
And the F State may be near the top in number of unsuccessful bank robberies, but apparently the successful bank robbery capital of the world is, er, Baghdad (an average haul of US$1m/month, with getaways easy as pie if you’re of the correct religion to make it past city checkpoints) . . . . . In several Nigerian states (with multi-wife Muslim governors), who, exactly is "First Lady" is problematic, with the situation not as bad as under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, when 800 wives vied for the titles . . . . . Dept. of Homeland Security has awarded a sole-source contract to test out Russian mind-reading technology whose last appearance in America was during the 1993 Waco crisis when the Russians recommended sound-blasting David Koresh out with complex pig squeals (although they warned that if they didn’t get the sound just right, it could cause everyone in the Waco compound to start slitting each other’s throats).

The Human Condition Today
Total failure of prison rehab: Kenneth Cunningham, 39, having served out 7 yrs for bank robbery, stuck up another one a coupla hours after he got out (Bonus: total take, $6,000, which'd get him laughed out of town in Baghdad) . . . . . A New Hampshire judge said a mummified baby that a family had been passing down for generations as an exhibitable heirloom had to be buried unless the family could prove (by DNA) that it was actually their own family’s heirloom. [Bonus: Yr Editor doesn’t see this as a great item, but he never turns down stories where the prosecutor’s name is Richard Head.]

Your Daily Loser
Least Competent Boater: Louis Pasquale, 35, discovered by the Coast Guard off of Long Island (N.Y.), towing his 35-ft fishing boat back to dock 20 miles away and against the current, using a 9-ft inflatable raft (Zodiac) he was paddling. He had covered about 100 yards in 3 hours.

NOTW Lite
Recurring, and almost No Longer Weird: A man fell into a septic pit and was overcome by fumes (this time, in rural Egypt), and six subsequent rescuers, one by one, also died as they went into save him.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Actually, Yr Editor has departed early for his day off.

Newsrangers: Joe Littrell, Brian Doherty, Bruce Townley, Scott Langill
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Thursday’s 5-Star Special
A British entrepreneur couple are selling canisters of stale-tobacco-smoke/ashtray fragrance to UK and Irish pubs, for customers who don’t relax well in clean air. (Well, maybe it’s not so clean, as some bar patrons do have problems with b.o. and even vomiting, which were masked in the old days by all that smoking.)

Civilization in Decline
It’s Good to Be a British Prisoner (cont’d): More than 200 inmates (including 33 killers) have been granted permission to purchase cars and drive, unsupervised, to their off-site employment, upon promising that they’ll return . . . . . Police in Lehigh County, Pa., not only enlisted an informant to wear a wire into a spa/brothel, but neglected to lay down limits to the, er, evidence-gathering (result: one hand job, three all-the-ways).

The Human Condition Today
Sounds Like a Joke: Reuters reported that a man in Germany, about to travel to Dubai, used two large sausages inside which to smuggle two dildos into the country . . . . . Dona Chepa, a 9-yr-old mare, just lost her 125th straight horse race, but what’s weird is the owner, like, isn’t it expensive to keep up a race horse? . . . . . A Washington state man was charged with stealing two backpacks from kids on a schoolbus because he had good intel that the kids were selling drugs from them, and by "good intel," I mean that his poodle, Peaches, told him . . . . . And speaking of the mentally challenged, South Carolina inmate Jonathan Riches filed a $3.5m lawsuit against Martha Stewart for defrauding him in a land deal, which is wholly separate from his previous lawsuits against President Bush, Tiger Woods, Barry Bonds, and Michael Vick (Bonus: Riches doesn’t want the money for himself, but wants to give it to Rachael Ray) . . . . . A woman rushed a sumo ring in Tokyo, maybe to protest tradition that prohibits any female cooties at all on the sacred ring, or—no, she just did it because she, too, is nuts . . . . . Once again, a choking motorist was saved when a collision thrust him against something (here, it was the air bag) that inadvertently applied a Heimlich-type deal.

Your Daily Loser
A rejected suitor in Evansville, Ind., wanted to talk some sense to the lady, and maybe the only way inside her house was through the chimney, but he got stuck (Bonus: WEHT-TV has the aftermath video, with the lady bomping the suitor twice with a garbage can and then throwing bottles at him).

Update
The world-famous D.C. dry cleaners who beat the $67m lawsuit have decided to close down, anyway, even though their legal fees for subsequent appeals will be covered by contributions. But they’re just moving themselves back to another location in D.C. that they had opened earlier, so they'll still have the ability to lose your pants.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Here are the winners of the 2007 World Beard & Moustache Championships, and since most of these things require a great deal of maintenance, try to imagine the actual moment when any of them decided, "Y’know, this is what I’m going to spend my spare time and creative energy on for years to come." (Additional assumption: Obviously, they’re all already married.).

Newsrangers: Rae Augenstein, Chris Knisely, Steve Miller, Michael Cadwalader, Scott Langill
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Wednesday’s 5-Star Special
The Ministry of Silly Walks comes alive, at the Wagah Crossing on the India-Pakistan border, every evening, at closing time, when guards of these two bitter rivals prance through an inexplicable ritual of practiced hostility in special, garish outfits, "glower[ing] fiercely through their mustaches," according to a Los Angeles Times dispatch. Pakistanis wear black, with headgear of black fantails, and Indians wear khaki, with hats of scarlet fantails, and the exhibition sometimes attracts thousands.

Civilization in Decline
Some Arizona high school girls have learned the awful lesson [Yr Editor is writing here as a member of the peno-American community] of parthenogenesis, which is the ability of some females (here, a shark in a school’s fish tank) to produce a young 'un without benefit of a male [Ed.: Ship these girls to re-education camps, quickly, before they break into small groups and discuss this among themselves!] . . . . . Something called the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority in the UK has proposed that kids learn to test themselves, and grade themselves, instead of doing things the ol’ authoritarian way (because, as we all know, most kids are self-motivated and need no direction) . . . . . Oops! Jane’s Defence Weekly revealed a July bout of ineptitude in Syria, during which dozens of Iranian engineers and 15 Syrian officers died trying to load a chemical warhead onto a Scud missile.

The Human Condition Today
OK, Leroy Carr called the police when someone stole his cocaine, which is an NOTW laugh point, but actually, Yr Editor would have done the same thing; Leroy is a coke-runner, and he needed help getting the word out to his bosses that he didn’t take the stuff, himself . . . . . Two people who apparently know how sex is supposed to be done were blamed by driver Joshua Frank for making him crash his SUV because the insatiable sybarites were flailing all over the back seat . . . . . A California man, tired of his "nag[ging]" girlfriend, enlisted two buddies to help him kidnap her to Mexico, where he hoped she’d stay, but no such luck (Bonus: One of the buddies is called "No Nose," and, as you can see by his mugshot [Not Safe for Stomachs], whoever calls him No Nose nose of what he speaks) (Double Bonus: His middle name is Wayne) . . . . . And speaking of Not Safe for Stomachs, here are the mugshots of probably the entire prostitution industry of Fort Payne, Ala. . . . . . No, no, here’s the Not Safe for Stomachs story, but it’s irresistible, actually: Matt Wilkinson is OK now, but he lingered near death as the aftermath of putting the head of his obviously frightened pet baby Eastern diamondback rattlesnake in his mouth (with tame TV video, except for one photograph of what his face looked like at the worst point) (Bonus: "It is kind of my own stupid fault" [emphasis added]) . . . . . Everyone Has a Button or Two Waiting to Be Pushed, and for Stephen Dees, 56, of Troy, N.Y., it’s unfathomably, er, Barbara Bush (the mother) ("It is my clear, unequivocal, unabashed desire to place a plastic bag over her head, tape it to her neck, and slowly strangle her to death")

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Jamie Lacey was sentenced to a yr’s worth of community service for a burglary that was limited to some solo hijinks in the host’s bathroom, involving pornography and an improvised sexual device.

NOTW Lite
Apparently, the thing that keeps Yorkshire people talking in that clipped, downscale way is fluid on their brains (because this kid had the fluid removed and now speaks like the Queen herself) . . . . . Is it a "heavenly ice" forming high up on that tree in south Texas in September, as pilgrims seem to think (or do you go with the science angle, which is that it's a spittlebug nest)?

Update
Sure enough, ex-Judge Florentino Floro [NOTW Daily, 9-17-2007] was re-energized by the Wall Street Journal piece Yr Editor directed y’all to; he sent it to his "favorite" contacts and has further greased up his mailing list.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Cavity—er, Caveat Emptor doesn’t quite capture the point here, with the non-naturally occurring meshing of "seeking romance" and "dental surgery." Prof. Music suggests only one of the potential problems: "Gosh, ya know, Svetlana, I’d really like to kiss you, but the doctor said I should wait until my gums stop bleeding."

NOTW, The Blog
A few Nebraska readers were helpful yesterday [NOTW Daily, 9-18-2007] in pointing out that Sen. Ernie Chambers is a lunatic. That’s good to know, but Yr Editor still can’t figure out how Sen. Chambers believes it’s a good idea to support position A by seemingly insulting people devoted to position A. Whatever kind of quixotic agenda he has in mind, this seems like the opposite of a good way to go about it . . . . . The latest Ananova.com humdinger is about the Chinese kids who travel to school every day by being hoisted by a cable over the raging Nujiang River (with photo!), but apparently only the NYPost and the Kansas City Star [gulp! a News of the Weird client] have picked it up.

Newsrangers: Paul Blumstein, Jim Trageser, Jerry Ricks, Kali Weidner, Rob Snyder, Steve Miller, Ken Berkun
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tuesday’s 5-Star Special
Nebraska state Sen. Ernie Chambers has filed a lawsuit to, as he says, prove a point, and Yr Editor is eagerly waiting to receive the wisdom to understand that "point." Supposedly, Chambers is for open courts and against those with quick-hit legislation to curb "frivolous" lawsuits. Also, he’s against the judge who has required the rape victim to refer to the act in question as nothing worse than "sex" [NOTW Daily, 6-22-2007]. Chambers’s bright idea? He’s suing God for all the "fearsome floods," "terrifying tornadoes," "horrendous hurricanes," and other alliterative disasters. But political conservatives are the ones most likely to file the anti-frivolous measures, as well as to object to the no-"rape" judge’s ruling. Chambers mocks God further, pointing out that serving the defendant with the lawsuit is difficult, despite his having said, "Come out, come out, wherever you are." [Yr Editor will get back to you if I figure this out.]

Civilization in Decline
Why was it that that paragon of good journalism, the Washington Post, recently censored one of its own syndicate’s stars, Berke Breathed, and why do other editors continue to nearly have seizures at any impugning of Islam? Nerikes Allehanda has the answer for ya . . . . . The gov’t’s reputation is one of oppression and complete control of the Guantanamo detainees, but now two of the men were found with unauthorized underwear (and one with a Speedo swim suit), and the base commander went nuts.

The Human Condition Today
The well-thought-of and quite sane Wayne Buffalo passed away in Gastonia, N.C., saddening fellow residents of his downscale motel ($190/wk) and his many friends, and in clearing out the 5,000 lbs. of stuff from his room, they found a current bank statement showing him $1.4m in the black . . . . . Speaking of friends, here’s a registered sex offender actually getting love and props from his community of Belleville, Ill. . . . . . Patricia Gabrysiak filed a lawsuit because she burned her insides drinking battery acid, which is the fault of the pump repairman who stored his acid (for his return trip) in water-type bottles that wound up in her basement, and of course we all drink from strange-looking bottles in our basements . . . . . The family of accused Texas spree killer Paul Devoe III say it must have been that rattlesnake-bite medicine that turned him because before that, he was just a non-deadly-force career criminal (Bonus: A public defender in New York, where Devoe was captured, tried to calm Devoe’s relatives by pointing out that his extradition to Texas would mean he’d get an attorney qualified to handle capital cases. [Ed.: Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!]

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
It’s a typical pedophile sting (say the police), 53-yr-old man, married, flies to another city to hook up with a 5-yr-old girl after promising "her mother" that he’d be really gentle. Except the man is John David Atchison, an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Pensacola, Fla.

NOTW Lite
God successfully warned the Newman United Methodist Church in Grants Pass, Ore. (via two lightning strikes in July), that it had better replace its steeple because the lightning exposed unseen dry rot that was about to bring it crashing down . . . . . The Univ. of Central F State (which lost to Yr Editor’s alma mater UT Longhorns 35-32 Saturday in the first game ever played at the new UCF stadium) has now realized that it maybe was a bad thing to build a $55m stadium with no drinking fountains.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Any day now, Yr Editor will open the back inventory of Prof. Music's pages.

NOTW, The Blog
Yr Editor has now two e-mails from what I assume to be self-righteous Second Life players (maybe not, but they sound like ‘em) who object, with some vehemence, to my having labeled SL a "game" in the current NOTW [9-16-2007]. That they would have such a narrow definition of "game," I assume, is because, y’know, World of Warcraft or other "video games" are beneath their dignity and that SL is a, a, a, well, ask ‘em, and I’ll bet they describe it in fairly lofty, sophisticated terms. Hey, people "play" all kinds of "games," from "playing" the stock market to political "games," dating "games," etc. Besides, many (most?) (nearly all?) SL players are obsessed, it is said, with making money, advancing their social status, and achieving play-like better lives and better relationships for themselves online than they have so far in their daily rat "races." That’s not a game?

Newsrangers: Steve Miller, Karl Olson, John Cieciel, Michael Kozlowski
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Monday’s 5-Star Special
Firefighters in Norton, Mass., searched 10 minutes, then formed a 14-person chain to perform the rescue over rugged terrain. They pulled Michael Halko, 90, to safety after he had become lodged somewhere in the clutter of his home (only his head visible), which was packed "wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling [with junk]," said the fire chief. "There was no walkable space to get around the house. You had to crawl."

Civilization in Decline
An up-and-coming F State politico, who’s operations manager for a local white-supremacy group (day job: window cleaner), is running for the state legislature after finishing a promising 6th place (er, out of 6) for a spot on a country mosquito-control board . . . . . It’s a damned good thing that Alabama schools have "abstinence-only" sex education: With Mobile County getting STD’s at 3x the rate of NYC, just imagine how bad the rate would have been if they’d been encouraging promiscuity by teaching about condoms!

The Human Condition Today
More incompetent vigilante justice: Neighbors in a Tennessee holler burned down a child-porn-arrestee’s home, missing him but killing his wife . . . . . A bank robber-in-training in a Cleveland suburb froze up before opening the front door (in sunglasses and fake beard), drawing employees’ attention, causing a premature exit-run (Bonus: It was destined to fail, anyway, because he wrote his holdup note on the back of the missus’s deposit slip) . . . . . People Different From Us: "Over [his] dead body" will Thomas Jensen, 68, pay 50 cents to ride on New Hampshire’s toll road because he has these tokens (that expired in January 2006), and luckily for him, he says he doesn’t mind jail . . . . . An F State woman smashed into five cars but explained that it was an emergency, that she had to get her pot-bellied pig to the vet (Bonus: Ain’t no pig anywhere) . . . . . After a crash, an Ontario motorist was ticketed for DWEC (er, eating cereal) . . . . . Michael Hobbs said he learned all he knows about burglary from the Discovery Channel’s It Takes a Thief (but he might have missed an episode or two because he just got 12 yrs’ hard time).

Your Daily Losers
Incompetent butt-baring: 3 men in a dinghy on Australia’s Gold Coast stood up to moon some people and fell off (Alcohol Was Involved) (Bonus: The driverless boat circled around, and one of the men stopped the outboard motor with his face, and is hospitalized).

NOTW Lite
Sculptor Jo Mann is presumably still negotiating with eBay on listing her 5-foot-2, 3-feet in diameter, plaster of Paris and duct-tape penis . . . . . The cause of the skydiver’s death, said an officer, was "coming down from the jump and being unable to impact the ground softly" . . . . . The enemy of mad-cow disease: marijuana! (but you have to get it into their feed, not yours).

Update
Philippines ex-judge Florentino Floro is nuts and made News of the Weird [NOTW 972, 9-24-2006] as the guy who relied on three spiritual dwarves to give him clarity to resolve cases, but a Wall Street Journal dispatch this morning [and this URL is free!] said that following the Supreme Court’s firing him, he’s now a celebrity in his spirits-heavy country. [Ed.: The judge wrote Yr Editor, quite upset, after my column appeared and now updates me semi-regularly with God's messages to him. Normally, I can’t be bothered with these things, but the WSJ notes that, since the firing, "a series" of disturbing things have happened to the Supreme Court, its judges, and their close family members.].

Professor Music’s Weird Links
From Alex Boese’s Museum of Hoaxes website (and in preparation for his November book release, Elephants on Acid) are his descriptions of the 20 most [non-hoax] bizarre science/medical experiments of all time.

Newsrangers: Steve Miller, Paul Music, Jude Troha, Bob Hale, Joe Littrell
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Saturday’s 5-Star Special
Y'know, I just can't decide. There are several good ones.

Civilization in Decline
30 Iowa school districts got their applications for state preschool grants tossed because of inadequate plann—no, wait, they were tossed because they weren’t double-spaced (but a few that were, er, 1.5-spaced, squeaked by) . . . . . A federal appeals court ruled that NYC's College of Staten Island is entitled (not required, just entitled) to not recognize a "fraternity" if it discriminates in admission against women . . . . . India's contribution to the Science/Creationism debate: The gov’t has been pressured not to question whether an ancient stone bridge was formed by nature or built by the god Ram and his monkeys.

The Human Condition Today
Murder convict Crossan Hoover finally got justice, after 25 yrs, when a federal magistrate ruled that he might well have been correct at his 1982 trial when he asserted that he was nuts (Bonus: His delusion was that he was gonna militarily take over California’s Marin County and make it all better!) . . . . . Russia’s checkerboard murderer (64 squares on the board, 49 charged murders, 62 confessed to) said he wasn’t ready to enter an actual plea right now because, ahem, "Some of my personal issues have not been resolved yet."

Your Daily Loser
A guy installed IED booby traps in his home after a burglary (in the high-crime mecca of Lansing, Mich.), and on Thursday accidentally got his hand blown off.

NOTW Lite
The "amorphous, jellylike creatures" (aka "blobs," "zooids") showing up on trees and dock pilings around Grapevine Lake near the D-FW metroplex are a sign of good water quality! . . . . . Alien: A guy emerged from a swim in the Atlantic in South Florida with a 3-ft-long shark attached to his abdomen.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Just keeping the spot warm . . .

Newsrangers: Bob Pert, Ginger Katz, John Cieciel, Tim Trewhella
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday’s 5-Star Special
The Wall Street Journal's usually subscription-only, but this morning, for you, this one's free: about kids who "collect" art. Just when you’re thinking it’s only rich parents setting up trusts for tax purposes, you see how into art some of the little urchins are: Ms. Dakota King, 9, has 40 pieces and specializes in animals and "happy colors." Ms. Shammiel Fleischer-Amoros, 10, saying, "I’m really scared, but Daddy told me I have to negotiate," succeeded in knocking $200 off of a $3,200 sculpture. Taylor Houghton, 14, decided at age 7 to collect art themed on his favorite food (candy) and now has $30k worth and is on dealer-notifications lists, for when works become available.

Civilization in Decline
The police’ll try anything to get the crime down in Hertfordshire, England, even a daring new approach, with signs around town reading, er, "Don’t Commit Crime" (and companion signs at gas stations: "All Fuel Must Be Paid For").

The Human Condition Today
Strangest F State Case in a While: Apparently a north Fla. farm woman, married 57 yrs, shot her husband and their 39 animals to death before taking her own life . . . . . A companion to a report yesterday: Amber Helton, 21, of South Carolina, driving a stolen car, didn’t say she was on her way to turn herself in on a separate warrant [NOTW Daily, 9-13-2007] but did say she was on her way to pay a traffic ticket . . . . . Miss Ventura County 2005 was defrocked for not being single at the time of the pageant, but she still won’t give her damned crown back (and the pageant is suing because it now looks like her excuse, that she was drunk at the time and didn’t remember the wedding, was way-deep b.s.) . . . . . God’s Will: Scammers in the UK are selling fake holy Zam Zam water (from Mecca), which causes a consumer loss of all the concrete benefits Muslims get from drinking real Zam Zam water . . . . . Fine Points of the Law: (1) A convicted DUI man challenges the hearing examiner’s opinion that a damning breath retest was properly done despite the man's possibly disqualifying belch beforehand because, the examiner concluded, it was only a "dry burp" and not a belch"; (2) That California judge who ruled that an indecent exposure law, which read anyone who exposes "his person" indecently, applied only to men, was soundly reversed (but there’s a backstory; see below); (3) A judge in Sheboygan, Wis., freed an accused child predator, only because state law required, for conviction, that he try to lure her to a "secluded place," and the judge said a "shelter" in a public park wasn’t "secluded" (Bonus: Minutes earlier, the jury had convicted the guy, but the judge overruled ‘em) . . . . . Oh, no! A New Zealand nat’l legislator fell for the ol’ dihydrogen monoxide joke (asking a drug policy advisor if he had a position on this "drug").

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
The recreational diaper-user Lawrence Robarge, 48, of White River Junction, Vt., has been charged with harassing at least one woman with messages and photos inviting her to join him in the joys of feces-oriented paraphilia. (The woman’s response, "Gross old man leave me alone," was of course merely a sign of encouragement, he thought.)

NOTW Lite
Terrebonne, Ore., was the site of a "berserk llama syndrome" incident (foot-stomping, teeth-baring, spitting, biting) . . . . . Recurring: The latest Foreign Accent Syndrome afflicted Czech racecar driver Matej Kus, 18, whose English was halting before the crash but perfectly fluent and accent-less during the ambulance trip to the hospital (but not since then).

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Here’s an evergreen, for your viewing pleasure: The abstract of the 2004 Indian medical journal article, "Accidental Condom Inhalation" (by an apparently highly skilled 27-yr-old "lady" philatelist---no, wrong word).

NOTW, The Blog
OK, here's the deal on the woman who exposed "his person": A neighbor kid was bouncing a basketball too damn much, and too loudly, so the woman, 41, decided that a proper retaliatory action plan would be to disrobe completely in front of him and to do that each time in the future that he bounced that damned ball. (Apparently, none of the things that you're thinking right now ever happened.)

Newsrangers: James Wicht, Brian Caesar, Joe Littrell, R.W. Zehr, Raul Stone-Cousley
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thursday’s 5-Star Special
Convicted sex offender Paul Brunelle-Apley, 26, was arrested in Madison Township, Ohio, after he (according to police) tried to deliver conciliatory flowers and a teddy bear to his sweetheart (age 14) at school. She was apparently upset that he had been stepping out on her with another girl (age 15).

Civilization in Decline
Russia has tested a nuclear-grade (but clean) "mother of all bombs," no, wait, that name’s already taken . . "father of all bombs," which it is touting because of its environmental friendliness, i.e., its electronic shockwave merely evaporates everything nearby, with no messy radiation . . . . . British fertility expert Lord Robert Winston is coming along (within 2 yrs) with his clinic that will breed designer pigs with hearts, livers, and kidneys that are unlikely to be rejected in transplants to humans.

The Human Condition Today
The doctors studying the question of whether your kid is merely quirky or actually touched in the head came up with a 13-yr-old who’s obsessive about "baroque architecture" and another who reads Consumer Reports cover to cover twice daily . . . . . A naked man was spotted wearing a gas mask in Waltham, Mass. [Ed.: Maybe David Lynch is filming in the area?] . . . . . Seeing no alternatives, a 16-yr-old F Stater killed his parents so they’d stop being disappointed in him . . . . . A Geneva, N.Y., man apparently stole a car for the main purpose of driving down to turn himself in on a family court warrant . . . . . A suburban Detroit man, apparently good with his hands, was found dead next to his homemade guillotine . . . . . [Yr Editor does Jesse Jackson] "He IN-jected because he was RE-jected!" (A failed Cambodian suitor, still needing to be part of the lady’s life, figured out how to inject her with some of his own blood) . . . . . A recurring theme: Guy gets ticked off on the way to anger-management class and kicks butt (and actually hits one guy with his class materials).

NOTW Lite
Entry-level editor on duty at KTVB.com (Boise, Idaho): On a routine story about an attempted robbery at a massage parlor, the website included a helpful Google Map showing just exactly how the reader can get to the massage parlor . . . . . A Brut user who caught fire at an outdoor cooking pit sued the company for making an unreasonably dangerous product [Ed.: Only Brut users who wear it into elevators deserve to catch fire.]

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
A Dept. of Energy audit says the Los Alamos Nat’l Lab conducts partial check-ups on its nuclear materials from time to time but hasn’t made a comprehensive inventory in, er, 13 yrs.

Update
One of those fool British "artists," Martin Creed, who won "the prestigious Turner Prize" in 2001 for "Work No. 227: The Lights Going On and Off" [NOTW 732, 2-17-2002], has brought the exhibit to Boston for a few days. (Among his other pieces: "Work No. 88: A sheet of A4 paper crumpled into a ball")

Professor Music’s Weird Links
A gallery of someone’s Etch-a-Sketch renderings of famous paintings and iconic figures! (Umm, because he can.)

NOTW, The Blog
Not Safe for Stomachs! Warning! I’m serious! Don't read any further! On the other hand, it was in the International Herald Tribune, in a story about how developing countries shun inexpensive morphine for their most-seriously suffering people: (By the way, Warning! Didn’t I tell you—Stop reading!) "But [Ms. Zainabu] Sesay [of Sierra Leone] is sick. She has breast cancer in a form that Western doctors rarely see anymore: The tumor has burst through her skin, looking like a putrid head of cauliflower weeping small amounts of blood at its edges." (I told you! Next time, you’ll do what I say.)

Newsrangers: Jim Olin, George Elyjiw, Ginger Katz, Sandy Trudeau, Jet Lacey.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wednesday’s 5-Star Special
Unfortunately for News of the Weird, yesterday was too solemn a day for the really bizarre to be out and about in numbers.


The Human Condition Today
The 1999 side squeeze of U.S. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana has made her polygraph flat-line (experts say the test’s unreliability rap comes from wrongly labeling people liars rather than wrongly labeling them truth-tellers), that she had a copacetic relationship with the then-Congressional candidate, right up until the moment she told him her real first name, which unfortunately is the same as his wife’s . . . . . A Chinese restaurant worker in New York was spotted (and photographed) stomping the day’s garlic in a big bowl, with his boots on. (A South Dennis, Mass., restaurant was closed down in 1992 when health inspectors spotted a worker draining the day’s cooked cabbage by putting it into cloth laundry bags between two pieces of plywood and then driving over the plywood several times in a truck [NOTW 244, 10-9-1992].) . . . . . TheSmokingGun.com has the all-star mugshot of a Minnesota guy who robbed a woman of her purse and cell phone and then, well, started sucking her toes.


NOTW Lite
Beppe Grillo, a sort-of Italian Tom Dobbs (the balls-out candidate, played by Robin Williams, in Man of the Year), is gaining steam (well, 300,000 names on his petition, plus popular acceptance of his signature phrase "Vaffanculo," which is said to be the Italian equivalent of "[intercourse] you").


Professor Music’s Weird Links
You’d think I’d have plenty of time to review the files, what with the slowness of the news, but you would be wrong.


NOTW, The Blog
Leading candidate at the moment for No Longer Weird-ing: the faulty electrical wiring of the marijuana grow house that leads to a fire, which leads to a fire truck, which leads then, to police and then to handcuffs, as here in Oakland, Calif.


Newsrangers: Bob Pert, Tom Barker.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tuesday’s 5-Star Special
Several 4-stars today, but Yr Editor’s feeling selective.

Civilization in Decline
Jeez, wait till those Gorists who have shed all their energy-consuming guilt by purchasing "carbon offsets" find out that a Hummer owner can offset all his carbon, too, for less than $100/yr, and then how great will "carbon offsets" be? . . . . . At least one New York City school is so sensitive about crime stats that only the principal/ass’t principals can call 911 (and the 94-minute delay on a passed-out 14-yr-old girl may well have exascerbated her stroke) . . . . . It’s Good to Be a British Prisoner (all-new reports!): The Ministry of Justice says, when prisoners are doing road work in the community, they shouldn’t be made to wear vests that ID them as lawbreakers, because that would make them feel bad about themselves . . . . . District of Calamity: A N.Y. Times story on Washington’s super-reformer Mayor Fenty reported that his first look at the District’s bleak school system facilities (despite mega-zillions being spent on managers’ salaries) included the auditorium where students had been Pledg[ing] Allegiance to a ragged, 49-star Flag (circa 1959).

The Human Condition Today
Even in New Delhi, men are opting for surgery to tighten those glutes . . . . . You might have missed how the fugitive fundraiser Norman Hsu was found, on that Amtrak train last week: He had been trapped for several hours in a 14-inch space between his cabin’s bed and door, with circulation in his legs cut off, and rescuers required to pull the door off with a crowbar . . . . . Everybody’s got a button or two that you just don’t push: For the F State’s Hilton James, you don’t put celery in his tuna salad (or the tuna’ll wind up in your hair).

Your Daily Loser
Yesterday’s Daily Loser was the 20-yr-old who tapped out to his 69-yr-old "victim." Today, meet the 32-yr-old tire-iron-wielding mugger who got his butt handed to him by a 74-yr-old man. (There was also a 17-yr-old German mugger who got torn up by a 33-yr-old man, which doesn’t sound as impressive, but that would be a 33-yr-old blind man).

NOTW Lite
Harrods of London guaranteed itself worldwide publicity (and maybe even security) when it brought in a cobra to guard an expensive new pair of Rene Caovilla sandals (well, after all, they retail for the equivalent of $1,200 . . no, wait, $12,000, so no wonder that they’re so concerned about secur—uh, check that, they go for $120,000).

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
Everyone talks about punishing (or withholding amnesty from) illegal immigrants, but not much is said about the companion issue: support for those immigrants who play by the rules. The L.A. Times found that more than 300,000 are waiting for the swamped FBI to do dangerous-name checks (half of them waiting for more than 6 months), and these are the people who have already jumped through the other hoops to citizenship. One of the wait-listed has actually been here legally for 19 yrs.

Update
Waco, Tex., pastor Henry Edgington may look like a fool to NOTW Daily readers [9-10-2007], with his "research" excuse for the locker full of child porn, but he’s got defenders, including one congregant who’s more concerned that an Edgington relative rudely broke into a private locker!

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Well, sir . . .

NOTW, The Blog
For you nerds seeking to hold Yr Editor to his 3-day rule, the L.A. Times story on carbon offsets originally appeared there on 9-1-2007 but was reprinted by the St. Petersburg Times on 9-9-2007. So there!

Newsrangers: Bruce Alter, Peter Hine, Karl Olson, Steve Miller, Ginger Katz
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Monday’s 5-Star Special
The neo-Nazi plague has migrated from Europe and the U.S.—to Israel, where some Jews-only-by-birth are dancing to the beat of the one and only Adolf Hitler by smacking down the serious Jews (and gays and foreigners and druggies)

Civilization in Decline
Members of an Indian tribe with special whaling rights got themselves a California gray whale off the coast of Washington, but they’re maybe not supposed to do it with a .50-caliber machine gun . . . . . Researchers mining Danish gov’t data on CEOs, found that profitability or stock price goes down a little if the CEO is building a megamansion, or when a CEO’s family member dies, but up a little if it’s the mother-in-law who croaks . . . . . A Miami Beach temple in decline is auctioning off two front-row seats, with parking spaces and a prayer shawl, with bidding to start at $1.8m, and they’re even bequeathable once.

The Human Condition Today
Naked carpentering is perfectly OK in Oakland, Calif., but not up the road in prudish Berkeley . . . . . A Texas couple with rap sheets got around 20 yrs each in the Big House for reacting to their $17 Sonic drive-in tab by pulling a gun and walking away . . . . . Docs from around the world are convening in China to figure out how to get those 26 sewing needles out of the body of the 31-yr-old woman (needles probably put there just after birth by relatives disappointed that she wasn’t a boy) . . . . . Most spectacular error: She wanted to vandalize her neighbor’s home because the neighbor stole her keys, but she got carried away and burned up the lady's kitchen, and, whaddya know, those keys were right there in her pocket the whole time.

Your Daily Loser
Keith Cochise Bellanger, 20, was caught in the act of burglarizing the home of Wayne Boniface, 69, and his wife, and by the time it was over, Wayne had forced to Keith to tap out, then ripped off every shred of Keith’s clothing trying to hold him for the cops. If you’re in your physical prime and can’t handle someone 4 yrs into Medicare, you need another line of work. (And likewise if you’re a hitman and you get choked to death by the woman you’re supposed to do the job on, only I guess there you don’t really get a chance to change careers.)

NOTW Lite
"I love that smell. Don’t you just love it? Nothing smells better to me. I was born for [them]." That would be the prominent Colorado naturist Sherri Tipple smooching, and expressing her love for, beavers . . . . . In a brain study that’s beggin’, just beggin’, I tell you, beggin’ to be misinterpreted, researchers found there’s significantly more activity buzzing around in the "conflicts" area of your noggin if you’re a liberal than if you’re a conservative.

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
The F State legislature has newly proposed this school yr that kindergartners up to 5th-graders must have 150 minutes a week of physical activity, but the school day cannot be extended, and certain learnin’-type subjects must be taught, so schools now realize there’s not that many ways to do it. Suggestions so far: do some learnin’ classes walking round, or freeing up some time by cutting out recess.

Update
The former Saturday Night Live actor Tony Rosato, on trial in Ontario for harassing his wife (but who undoubtedly has Capgras Syndrome, the thing that makes you think your friends or family have been replaced by imposters) [NOTW Daily, 5-16-2007], will likely get a verdict by Wednesday. Rosato’s got a point: It’s hard to get due process, he said, when the "Mrs. Rosato" who testifies against you is not the real Mrs. Rosato, but just the person whose face has been digitally implanted into the couple’s original wedding photos.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
It’s not yet imdb.com or sabr.org, but it’s a start. News, Database, and Calendar for, er, competitive-eating events. Follow your favorites, Black Widow Thomas, Deep Dish Bertoletti, Jaws Chestnut. They’re all there.

Errorors
Once again, Yr Editor read something too hastily last week. The late Walter Barclay, who was shot 41 yrs ago and who died in late August, was not in a coma; he spent the 41 yrs paralyzed from the waist down and subject to severe pain and violent spasms, but prosecutors still thought his final urinary infection was directly linked to the gunshots and have brought William Barnes back to court [NOTW Daily, 9-4-2007]. (Barnes has already served out his 20 yrs for the attempted murder and in fact has spent 48 of the 71 yrs of his sorry life behind bars.)

Newsrangers: Ginger Katz, Michael Ravnitzky, Tom Parker [with a P], Keith Faber, Guy Ridley, Matt Mirapaul, Gerald Sacks, H.Thompson, and the occasional contributor known as Stannous Flouride
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Saturday’s 5-Star Special
Jerry Scholes, who had been out on bail, was sentenced in Malvern, Ark., to 50 yrs in prison for rape, despite his having a day earlier nearly passed out from sawing halfway through his leg to get his ankle monitor off (or was he just trying to prove he was nuts?). And, yeah, at the hospital, they just moved the monitor to the other leg.

Civilization in Decline
This factory in China has a formal three-strikes policy: three times sassing back to management, and you’re out . . . . . The District of Calamity: What group of blues but the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia would be viewed as soft targets for theft (serial breakins of cruisers and officers’ homes, to steal high-tech police gear)?

The Human Condition Today
Chinese official Pang Jiayu was fired and booted from the Communist Party for corruption, turned in by all 11 of his mistresses, some of whom he had provoked by sentencing their husbands to death for corruption . . . . . To top off a miraculous survival story from the Oregon woods (76-yr-old woman, 2 weeks without food), the husband said, "I thought I’d never see her again until the rapture" . . . . . A 37-yr-old Cincinnati-area man was killed in a house blaze, but firefighters said he might have survived if his only viable exit hadn’t been blocked by a 5-ft stack of cases of beer . . . . . Latest amateur child-porn researcher (who accumulates the stuff for, snicker, snicker, assisting law enforcement): Rev. Henry Edgington of Waco, Tex.

NOTW Lite
In Carlisle Crown Court in northern England, a 79-minute criminal trial, from swearing in the jury to conviction (said to be a record, pending getting someone to check out many tons of records back to the Magna Carta) . . . . . A New Zealand man found bugging devices in the two cars that police seized-and-returned-to-him, and what more appropriate thing to do with the devices than put them up for sale on the (eBay-type site) Trade Me? . . . . . Apparently there’s nothing at a Dollar Store worth stealing (or was it that the 15 shoppers, who wandered into the locked store to browse when the locks failed, were all honest?).

Updates
To help clear up the confusion from that NOTW Daily story [8-27-2007] about Tennessee marijuana possessors having to pay a tax for their dope (despite the fact that the stash would still be illegal): The state Court of Appeals yesterday declared the tax unconstitutional.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Monday is a brand-new day!

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

Friday, September 07, 2007

Friday’s 5-Star Special
Such startling news that Yr Editor is even willing to use the mega-cliché "Sign of the Apocalypse": Rev. Tom Ambrose of St. Mary and St. Michael Church, Trumpington, England, delivered his Christmas Day sermon in 2006 (and maybe others) via PowerPoint (and is now answering for his sin at a congregants’ tribunal).

Civilization in Decline
The L.A. Times profiled Ravi Singh, volunteer pooper cop of a village in India, armed with a shrill whistle to blow when he catches street defecators in the act, because the problem is less the adequacy of latrines than breaking people’s outdoor habits (even among people who have toilets in the home) (and they’ve got a point, in that latrines are small and smelly, but, ahhh, the great outdoors!) . . . . . A TV comedy troupe staged a fake motorcade in Sydney, Australia, and two supposedly-tight security checkpoints (to protect the APEC talks) waved ‘em through, until they got within a block of G.W. Bush’s hotel, even though in one open car, an actor dressed as Osama bin Laden saluted the crowds (ultimately, they were arrested, but only ultimately) . . . . . Among new micro-targeted prayers of the Church of England: for train riders who can’t find a seat or who are delayed.

The Human Condition Today
Some 83-yr-old who had done extensive baseball homework died recently in Lakeland, Fla., and his wife and friends believed him, for at least the last 20 yrs, that he was former Red Sox relief pitcher Bill Henry (who had a lifetime ERA of 3.26, which nowadays will get you $10m/yr guaranteed), but one of those obsessive baseball historians turned up the real Bill Henry, age 79, living happily in Texas (but "happy," also, was the other Bill Henry, who played ‘em into the grave) . . . . . Arrested in Des Moines, Iowa, for DUI and various indignities visited upon the arresting officer: good-time Danielle Brown (Bonus: nice smile) . . . . . Recurring Theme Plus: The adult sisters have kept mom’s body in cold storage for 10 yrs, and have visited more or less weekly to chat her up, re-apply her lipstick, etc., and, yeah, she’s at the Norman-Bates’s-mom stage of morbidity . . . . . Young March Boedihardjo, 9, a math prodigy admitted to the master’s program at Baptist University in Hong Kong, said after one day in class that it was too easy . . the little punk . . . . . A multinational cosmetic-surgery office was busted in San Jose, Calif., because both Ms. Ha Nguyen nor Mr. Zbigniew Makowski apparently, er, misplaced their medical licenses (with at least one complaining patient having been turned into sideshow material).

NOTW Lite
The Washington Supreme Court overturned the murder conviction of Mr. Darrell Everybodytalksabout (on an access-to-attorney issue) . . . . . Hannaford Bros. supermarket, Farmington, Maine, carded Barbara Skapa, 65, when she tried to buy wine (and refused to sell it to her because she forgot her ID) (state law: only if they look 27 or less).

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
A Seattle woman will at least not get jail time (but actually deserves a medal) for exposing how easy it is to cheat on local voter registration (Register her dog by changing her phone bill to his name, No problem; Admit ruse to officials when dog receives absentee ballot, That’s a problem; Dog gets sent absentee ballots, anyway, for the next two election cycles, Back to no problem).

Updates
The Orlando-area councilwoman Debra Rogers will not face charges for that incident in July [NOTW Daily, 7-16-2007] when police found her 18-yr-old daughter, covered in oil and who had allegedly broken free of her parents’ attempted exorcism.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Pick up some part-time money? Check out kink.com’s pay scale for online porno modeling, and fill out their application (with your real names; no dogs' or big league ballplayers’ names).

Errorors
The ever-popular Errorors section returns! Yr Editor wasn’t actually trying to get Australian men kicked in the jewels by Megan Conroy yesterday. Thanks to the several readers who pointed out that it’s actually calling her "may-gun" that pushes her buttons, not "mee-gan."

Newsrangers: Joe Littrell, Ginger Katz, Diane Gunnels-Rowley, Pierre Langenegger, Steve Miller, Bob Pert
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Thursday’s 5-Star Special
Authorities in Mobile, Ala., are investigating whether Judge Herman Thomas (already under a cloud for other reasons) had a habit of taking certain defendants into his inner office and giving them bare-butt spankings; between 6 and 12 young men have told similar stories about da judge. (Alleged rationale: You wouldn’t be in trouble today, young man, if you’d been paddled enough growing up.)


Civilization in Decline
A gov’t agency in Mumbai, India, has begun to encourage its workers to stop spitting while on the job (including shaming one "employee of the day" whom it catches hocking) (Ed: And though in Mumbai and in other developing countries, cultural tradition may condone spitting, their problem is not nearly as serious as it is in . . . Major League Baseball].


The Human Condition Today
Polish author Krystian Bala was sentenced to 25 yrs for a murder that wasn’t close to being solved for 3 yrs, until someone realized that Bala’s 2000 novel tracked the murder and contained non-public facts . . . . . Norman Hutchins, 56, was jailed again for what appears to be a lifelong sexual fetish for hospital gowns, oxygen masks, and other medical equipment . . . . . Alberta's Edmonton Sun reported that "Maggie," age 76, has for the last 7 yrs enjoyed munching on strips of, er, the Edmonton Sun, and has vowed to quit only because of a recently-discovered esophagus blockage [Ed.: Canada’s Sun papers are not exactly the first names in sophisticated journalism, but I don’t think they’re tabloid-tabloid] . . . . . For heaven’s sake, if you’re ever in Brisbane, Australia, and you run into Megan Jane Conroy, 18, don’t pronounce it "mee-gan"; it’s "may-gun," because if a man gets it wrong, she’ll kick him in the huevos . . . . . Specialty thief Michael Marburger was sentenced to 3 yrs in the joint for a series of thefts of, er, colonoscopes, totaling at least $400k worth, to feed his gambling habit . . . . . Motorcyclist Justin Patterson, 22, was arrested after a high-speed chase near Rome, Ga. (topped out at 154 mph), because he was late for an appointment with the driver’s license office to get his motorcyclist license.


People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Yr Editor has been top-heavy this week with public wankers, but, hey, get over it: This is News o’ the Weird! Now comes Alan Froula, who was arrested on federal charges at Denver Int’l Airport after alighting from a flight in which he allegedly fondled himself at the cuff of his shorts most of the flight. Said one passenger, "He was smiling and seemed to be enjoying himself."


NOTW Lite
Bishop Desmond Tutu, the moral conscience of South Africa, was guest of honor at a national barbecue day in Cape Town. "There are so many things that are pulling us apart. This [celebration of barbecue] has a wonderful potential to bring us all together."


Good Enough for Gov’t Work
The Air Force admitted that it had flown six cruise missiles from North Dakota to Shreveport, La., without first removing their nuclear warheads (which violates a treaty and various protocols). Heads will roll on this boo-boo, said a CNN military analyst.


Update
TheSmokingGun.com has a list of Dennis Saunders’s [NOTW Daily, 9-5-2007] police-confiscated porn videos, which he had meticulously listed, and valued at $25,000.


Professor Music’s Weird Links
There’s a Web page for every damned thing, including for people who eat ice.


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