Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Civilization in Decline
The singer Donovan said he’ll open the "Invincible Donovan University" in Scotland to make sure students get a well-rounded education in all of the Transcendental Meditation arts (and his pal, the director David Lynch, said that, since Scotland is so small, only "250" yogics would be needed to "protect Scotland from its enemies and to bring peace, to stop violence and drug abuse") (NOTW’s previous reports on TM as the key to world peace and crimelessness: [NOTW 915, 8-21-2005] [NOTW 607, 9-24-1999]) . . . . . Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia warned countrymen not to discriminate against gays (in the same speech in which he said, with little explanation, that he was filing papers to disown his newly-uncloseted lesbian adopted daughter).

The Human Condition Today
More stats on pet surgery (in the UK): hundreds of cancerous jaw removals a yr; eight open-heart surgeries; "increasingly common" cataract removal; "widespread" dog hip replacements (and elbow replacements coming along, too) . . . . . A Minnesota woman said she’ll press abuse charges against a former friend who volunteered to care for her pig but allowed it to balloon from 50 lbs. to 150 . . . . . The Alabama Ku Klux Klan and the national Ku Klux Klan LLC protested the racial slurs, etc., of the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and want the movement cleansed of the latter’s "ignorance and stupidity" . . . . . A Huntersville, N.C., optometrist was arrested for conducting eye exams of female patients way lower down than on their eyes (Bonus: He may have a defense, in that his own eyes, according to the mugshot, aren’t aligned just right, plus his head appears Photoshopped onto his neck) . . . . . Wayne Scullino of Sydney, Australia, fell in love with the Green Bay Packers at age 15, and he’s 30 now, and his devotion was killing him, and so he and the wife recently moved to Green Bay.

NOTW Lite
Sounds Like a Joke: A researcher estimated that more than one-third of U.S. high school football players have had sex with other males (but the research sample size: 19 of 47 former high school football players who went on to become college cheerleaders).

Updates
Here’s a good piece on the late Robert Shields, the guy I mentioned yesterday who kept a diary of his life in 5-minute segments (filling 91 boxes) . . . . . New Jersey announced in January that a toxic waste dump in Ringwood was acting up and that residents in the area should thus limit their consumption of, er, squirrels, but, now, great news!: The scare is over, and squirrel casseroles are back.

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

NOTW, The Blog
(1) A guy named Robert Stewart is supposedly in some deep trouble in Ayr, Scotland, having "admitted to sexual breach of the peace" and being officially placed on the "sex offenders’ register." His "offense" was that he was "caught" by two workers at Aberley House Hostel, who barged in with a master key to find Stewart with his pants down, holding a bicycle, and "moving his hips back and forth as if to simulate sex." Two problems occur, of course, the lesser of which is that Scotland is apparently super-cautious about the health and safety of all its bicycles in that it feels it must keep sight of Mr. Stewart in the future via the "sex offenders’ register." The larger problem is that the story, as reported, contains no "breach of the peace," sexual or otherwise. If one cannot hump a bicycle in the privacy of his own locked room, we Americans should once again be grateful to our forefathers for liberating us from British-cum-UK control 231 yrs ago. Or, maybe the story's a hoax. . . . . . (2) The slam-dunk evidence of a photographed ghost in the Santa Fe, N.Mex., courthouse was revealed to be an insect on the camera lens. (Said a paranormal skeptic/investigator, "[P]eople typically say something is unexplained, and all that means is they haven’t worked hard enough to look for an explanation.")

Newsrangers: Dave Null, Gerald Sacks, Steve Miller, Ginger Katz, Jamie Anderson
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Civilization in Decline
The Muslim Grand Mufti in Australia, referring to women who go around un-hijabbed: "If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street . . and the cats come and eat it . . whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat [sic]?" . . . . .The process of acquiring a driver’s license in South Africa, reports the NY Times today, has a little Fellini to it, a little Catch-22, mostly Kafka.

The Human Condition Today
The traffic-stopped Teresa Walker called the police station while an officer was writing her a ticket, complaining that he was taking too much time and that if he didn’t hurry it up, she’d shoot him (but she denies it, except that she used the incriminatory phrase, "I don’t remember" threatening to shoot him) . . . . . An Aussie political candidate flamed out when his nude self (and apparently ordinary-looking manhood) showed up on a gay porn website, and all he could think of to explain was, "[M]y political enemies might have drugged me" and "[T]hat’s not my penis" . . . . . Kids fight; school schedules counseling with respective parents, one kid’s father kills the other kid's father . . . . . Selling your home offers such dismal prospects these days that the ol’ "bury a St. Joseph in the yard" for good luck is almost standard practice ("I wasn’t sure if it would be disrespectful for me, a Jewish Buddhist, to co-opt the saint for my real-estate purposes," said one woman, but "[w]ell, could it hurt?"

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
One F-Stater to another in an ordinary Internet chat room, after their new friendship seemed to be going well: Say, what about if I drive down to see you, and we kill somebody, and have sex with the body? (Later: Never mind. I found somebody here. Wanna come help me?)

NOTW Lite
Readers’ Choice: The latest man to be shot by his dog is James Harris of Grinnell, Iowa . . . . . Recovering from the September Folsom Street Fair [see below], San Francisco was the scene Sunday for the Cardboard Tube Fighting Championship [cardboard tubes being aka yard-long Ta-Doot-Ta-Dooo cylinders], where contestants whomp each other until such time as your tube breaks, and you’re out.

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
The chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Comm’n told Congress, No, thanks, don’t need more money; don’t need more staff; consumers are safe enough right now (and in fact, if you raise the amount of damages we can assess for unsafe products, more people will start complaining about unsafeness, and we won’t be able to do our job) (Seriously) . . . . . A special Texas state commission on reports submitted a 668-page report, after 18 months of surveying gov’t reports, and found about 400 reports, including many reports that all would agree are useless reports, and that’s not just the reports that no longer have anything to report or reports required of agencies that no longer exist yet must still report.

Updates
The Sultan of Brunei’s legendary feud with playboy brother Jefri (who famously owned a huge yacht called Tits and two dinghies, Nipple 1 and Nipple 2 [NOTW 637, 4-21-2000] [NOTW 717, 11-4-2001]) continues in London (which administers Brunei’s courts): In an accounting, the Sultan says he spent £1.26m on a badminton tutor, and £5.86m each on his five public relations babes . . . . . Robert Shields, one of the most fascinatingly bizarre people ever to grace a News of the Weird story, has passed away at age 89. From NOTW 435, 6-7-1996:

According to a Seattle Times feature in March, Robert Shields, 77, of Dayton, Wash., is the author of perhaps the longest personal diary in history--nearly 38 million words on paper stored in 81 cardboard boxes--covering his last 24 years in five-minute increments. Example: July 25, 1993, 7 a.m.: "I cleaned out the tub and scraped my feet with my fingernails to remove layers of dead skin." 7:05 a.m.: "Passed a large, firm stool, and a pint of urine. Used 5 sheets of paper."

Professor Music’s Weird Links
San Francisco’s annual Folsom Street Fair, highlighting Sodom on the Bay’s leather scene, came around this year on September 30, but here are some Not Safe For Work photos from the 2003-2006 Fairs. (Bonus: This selection is from the Catholic League’s website; try to imagine an already-disheartened Sam Brownback supporter peering at them.)

NOTW, The Blog
Pervs on Parade (today’s mugshots): the necrophiliac, the inflatable doll lover (from last week), the (beaten-down) rapist . . . . . Yr Editor will not post this coming Friday, Nov. 2, but will on Saturday, Nov. 3. Otherwise, the Mon-thru-Fri schedule will be in effect through the week of November 17, at least.

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

Monday, October 29, 2007

Monday’s 5-Star Special
Green funerals and burials are the rage now, aimed at the 30 percent who still don’t opt for cremation, and in Sweden, even cremation is bad, compared to freeze-drying (dip the body in liquid nitrogen and then industrially vibrate it ‘til it’s powder) (Bonus: A green California cemetery bans headstones but will give you a Google map and GPS coordinates to help you find your dad’s plot)

Civilization in Decline
Now that branding of animals is frowned on in civilized society, London’s Daily Mail detects an upward spike in fashionable branding of humans, including upscale professionals who you’d think would know better ("There was smoke coming out of my arm, and my burnt flesh smelled like a cross between chicken and bacon") . . . . . Mmmm, bacon . . . . . Some British research outfit claims that parents are timing conceptions so that when they reach school, their urchins will be months older than their classmates because stats show "older" is marginally more likely to get better grades [Ed.: which is a little weird, itself, but not as weird as the research outfit’s conclusion that someone ought to put a stop to this "urgent(ly)"] . . . . . Things Lawyers Argue About: Wisconsin law prohibits lawyers from having sex with "a current client," but, Question: What if a lawyer has a three-way with a client and the client’s girlfriend (with the lawyer and the client presumably both straight males)? [Link: The Volokh Conspiracy blog, Scroll way down to 10-25-2007]

The Human Condition Today
Philadelphia pastor Willie Singletary, running for Traffic Court judge, begged his motorcycle club for campaign donations because "You’re all going to need me" (Bonus: His own driver’s license has been suspended until 2011 for excessive tickets) . . . . . New World Record: Graham Hurley, Hackensack, N.J., charged with having nearly, er, 1,000 GB of child porn (and we long for much more information because he was married-with-children but kept his stash in a sealed-off room upstairs protected by fingerprint-ID) . . . . . A golfer in Naples, Fla., swears up and down that his 14-yr-old son, who typically shoots 100 for 18 holes, had a hole-in-one, plus holed out another shot from the fairway and chipped in yet another, all in the same rou—oh, wait, he also had two more holes-in-one that round, for a total of three—and, no, now that you ask, there weren’t any other witnesses (except one guy, on one of the aces, allegedly) . . . . . Least Competent Dictator: Uncle Bob’s ministers in Zimbabwe fell for a huckster who promised an unlimited, perpetual supply of refined oil, located by sort-of dowsing (On the other hand, the huckster accepted Zimbabwe dollars, whose value today is about 1/700th what it was when she was paid) . . . . . The Bank of England is not incompetent, though, because it quickly realized that Chinese con men trying to cash in £1,000 notes couldn’t be serious because they were all recalled in 1963 (and only a few serial numbers are still outstanding), er, let alone those £500,000 notes, let alone that it’s "Bank of England," not "England Bank" . . . . . Two more perps not ready for prime time: A Gainesville, Fla., home invader was shot in the neck by the resident, who’s blind, and a Dallas, Tex., home invader was shot to death by the resident, who had gotten up from his wheelchair to wrestle the perp’s gun away.

Your Daily Loser
According to Austin, Tex., police, Tony Davis has ripped off the families of 160 inmates (up to $17.5k each) to get ‘em freed in court on a Congressional-error technicality that’s so transparently bogus that Yr Editor goes full-circle and actually has sympathy for the victims (and Davis is prepared for a defeat in SCOTUS, because he says he’s got 6 more technicalities researched and ready to go) (Bonus: He’s not a lawyer).

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Urbana, Ill., elementary school teacher Jon White, 26, stands accused of getting away with, for a long time, having girls play the taste-test game where they’re blindfolded and have to guess the flavored topping that’s on a, uh, "banana."

NOTW Lite
The Massachusetts-area chain Jordan’s is out as much as $20m ($40k to one guy) (insured, though, since owner Berkshire Hathaway wouldn’t have it any other way) from a Spring promotion offering furniture for free if the Red Sox won the World Series.

Update
Yikes! The F State genital-piercing mother [NOTW Daily, 10-26-2007] was, um, acquitted, apparently because she didn’t mean any harm to the girl, who friends agreed was well on her way to slutdom before the mother's "solution."

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

Newsrangers: Jamie Anderson, Paul Music, H.Thompson, Tom Barker
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Civilization in Decline
A federal judge OK’d the possibility of a raid on the N’awlins district attorney’s office, for cars, furniture, and office equipment, if DA Eddie Jordan doesn’t come up soon with that $3.5m he owes the white ex-employees whom he fired on a whim to racially re-balance his workforce . . . . . An F State mom forced genital-piercing on her 13-yr-old daughter, the girl said, to make sex painful so she’d stop doing it (especially with mom’s boyfriend) . . . . . An AP Halloween telephone poll found that about 1/3 of Americans believe in ghosts and UFOs (which seems low to Yr Editor because we all know how dead people and aliens can program your brain to give answers that throw off the poll-takers).

The Human Condition Today
Included in that UFO group would have to be Dennis Kucinich, according to his good friend Shirley MacLaine’s latest book (Bonus: Kucinich’s other good friend Chris Griscom is the man who taught Shirley to communicate with trees) . . . . . Travelodges in the UK will be the first chain, apparently, to train staff to deal with the ever-growing problem of naked sleepwalkers . . . . . Names weren’t released, but two drivers smart-assing their way around a highway construction barrier in Mequon, Wis., got stuck in the wet concrete and had to be towed . . . . . The alcoholic had been sober for 16 months, but he went nuts when he saw the Jack Daniel’s Lynchburg Lemonade display at Wal-Mart and didn’t stop until he had killed seven bottles . . . . . What Goes Around, Comes Around: A mom in Scotland, constantly berating her adult son as a total loser, even chiding him when he screwed up a suicide try, was very efficiently smothered to death in her sleep by said failure.

Your Daily Loser
Motorist Steven J. King, 40, ran the table, according to police in Monticello, N.Y.: drunk, un-seat-belted, driving against traffic, with unrestrained toddler in the car, with an open container, without insurance, expired safety inspection, wrong license plates.

NOTW Lite
Russia announced 33 cockroach births, stemming from ribaldry aboard an unmanned space flight in September (the first-ever creature conceptions in space, er, that we know of) . . . . . Female Japanese train grope-ees now have a remedy (since shouting in public is out of the question for their demure souls): A cell-phone program can put messages on the screen that the women can flash at the pervs ("Groping is a crime" and "Shall we head to the police?").

Professor Music’s Weird Links
The 6 Most Terrifying Foods in the World (and, hey, pufferfish doesn’t even qualify) (like, pacha, from Iraq, which is basically boiled, undisguised sheep’s face, and casu marzu, from Italy, which is a sheep milk cheese that’s not authentic unless it’s moving around on your plate, i.e., maggots).

NOTW, The Blog
Now, remember, Yr Editor is hard at work on other business until at least mid-November and will not be publishing on Saturdays (and also, will be thinning out the Monday through Friday posts a little, as you may have noticed). Thank you for bearing with me.

Newsrangers: Scott Langill, Sam Gaines, Mark Neunder
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Civilization in Decline
Singapore’s parliament voted to legalize oral and anal sex, er, for straights, not gays . . . . . Alabaman Daniel Siebert got a stay of execution, with this winning argument: Er, the lethal-injection drugs might interact with my pancreatic cancer medication (Bonus: The cancer’ll take him before the U.S. Supreme Court gets around to deciding) . . . . . USA Today found that, since 2000, more than 55,000 people have moved into the neighborhoods on fire this week in California [Ed.: Yeah, yeah, the F State builds homes on the coast, but we don’t ask thousands of emergency workers to put their lives on the line to save 'em] . . . . . Sandhurst Junior School in south London lined up its 100 kids for a photo, lightest-skinned on the left, working up to the darkest on the right (Seriously).

The Human Condition Today
A lawyer on People magazine’s list of most-eligible bachelors for 2001 apparently only wants it if he can grab it: He was just accused, for the third time, of sexual assault . . . . . You can egg a house; you can TP a house; and in Iowa, I guess, you ought to be able to corn a house . . . . . Deterrence works: An Oregonian, fleeing police on several charges, crossed into Idaho, causing the police to stand down, but then turned around and drove back into Oregon because he fears Idaho jails . . . . . He’s either a kinder/gentler pervert, or a man with verrrrry specific turn-ons: A convicted sex offender found a wandering 3-yr-old boy on the street and returned him unharmed (but his crime was assaulting a 4-year-old boy) . . . . . Someone vandalized the Atlanta "peace garden" statue of that iconic man of peace, Dr. Martin Lu—uh, no, actually, it was the Tupak Shakur peace statue.

Your Daily Loser
An 18-yr-old woman started the whole thing when she tried to shave her cat, which she thought was the best solution to the cat’s flea problem, and brother Nicholas Palmer, 22, heroically rescued it, which caused the sister to call the police claiming Nicholas pushed her down, and now there’s an all-out dragnet around Swanville, Maine, looking for the poor guy.

NOTW Lite
It’s apparently a YouTube hit, so you’ve probably seen it, but it’s years-old footage of Kevin Rudd (whose party is favored in the November parliamentary elections in Australia and who would thus be prime minister), in the background at his seat in the parliament, excavating an ear and tasting the results . . . . . "The State Department with great fanfare on Tuesday," wrote the Associated Press, announced an agreement allowing the U.S. to board another country’s ships to look for WMD’s, and in this case "another country" refers to that maritime super-power, Mongolia (as in Gobi Desert).

Professor Music’s Weird Links
It seems that the artist Paddy Hartley wanted to make a point or two about facial beauty and thus created Facial Corsets to render himself, temporarily, as ugly as he possibly could. Point taken.

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

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Civilization in Decline
The imminently deadly drought in Georgia up to the Carolinas gets serious: (1) A Tennessee Jack Daniel’s distillery is threatened, and (2) The Int’l [Field] Hockey Federation still requires that its artificial-turf fields get heavily watered down every day (for practice, too), and Duke and UNC are in compliance! . . . . . New Jersey will vote in November on whether to adopt euphemistic language in its constitution for the provision denying suffrage to "idiots" . . . . . Families with Too Much Money: Susan Henken’s, of Dover, Mass., after the Washington Post reported that she and her two teenagers (13 and 15) each gave the maximum $2,300 to Mitt Romney’s campaign, which Susan said represented (for the kids) not illegal parental contributions but the kids' baby- and dog-sitting money.

The Human Condition Today
West Virginia women lead the nation . . in pregnant smokers (but it’s not a bug, it’s a feature, in that some of them say they do it on purpose to have small babies so it won’t hurt so much) . . . . . It’s illegal in the state of Western Australia for a woman to crush empty beer cans between her breasts (well, if you’ve got a hotelier’s license, it is) . . . . . In this corner, a convenience store robber; in that corner, Ms. Hafize Sahin, 5-feet, 90 lbs., and the outcome was not even close (Bonus: surveillance video).

Your Daily Loser
Timothy Short allegedly stole a fancy printer from a Missouri state office, to make his own driver’s licenses, but was busted when he had to call up tech support to order a printer driver.

NOTW Lite
In Stuttgart, Germany, a lobster prison break! . . . . . Starbuck’s, massages, pallets of fresh fruit, people making sandwiches for you—ahhh, it’s good to be in an emergency evacuation shelter in southern California!

Updates
The District of Calamity’s committee that hires administrative law judges will not renew the contract (the Washington Post reports, based on a leak) of the $54m-dry-cleaning-lawsuit judge Roy Pearson (prompting Pearson, perhaps, to ask, er, What comes after "gazillion"?) . . . . . The latest of those crazy Japanese ice cream flavors: ramen.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
And another ingenious Japanese product: the portable crosswalk mat that you carry, rolled up, until you need to lay it down in the street to get traffic to come to a stop while you cross.

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

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Civilization in Decline
The Associated Press uncovered details of a consciously-hidden 2005 NASA survey of pilots about the safeness of commercial air travel, and, basically, you’d soil your pants if you knew . . . . . The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is out there somewhere between California and Hawaii, still growing (3m tons of mostly-plastic trash, 2x the size of Texas).

The Human Condition Today
The Taiwanese military officially abandoned its Theory Y experiment in management style: No more hugging the draftees . . . . . A super-conscientious sex offender in Springfield, Ill., feeling the urge coming on again, doused the desire with a, uh, fillet knife.

NOTW Lite
A Michigan physician and his teenage son figured out a chemical test to bust smokers who lie about it (which is a good thing, I suppose, but the story’s here mainly because the smoking-test kid’s name is "Ashray") . . . . . Awesome in Norfolk, Va.: pillows spill on the Interstate, trucks drive over them, popping them open, feathers all over the place!

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
This looked at first glance like a hack of the CIA website, but, no, it's apparently what the Counterterrorist Center thinks is a good idea: a Ghostbusters-type logo to, y'know, make Americans feel more secure. [link from Wonkette.com, via Copyranter blog]

Professor Music’s Weird Links
It’s supposedly a new-age-type technique for helping the mentally-imbalanced by "re-setting the brain," but despite the quasi-medical backstory, it looks to Yr Editor like a glorified Three Stooges punch (not that there's anything wrong with that). But y’all let me know if it works for you.

Erroror
The Bogota dog owners did not actually pay the $350k ransom, which completely removes the reason for including the story in NOTW Daily yesterday. Sometimes, Yr Editor reads a story in one place (not online, or online from an inconvenient source), writes it up, and then grabs a link to give you guys, assuming that the linked story’s details will match the details that I already "knew," but occasionally they don’t.

Newsrangers: Steve Passen, Gerald Sacks, Steve Miller, Scott Langill, Mark Swofford
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Civilization in Decline
Macaques, as, er, descendants of the Hindu monkey god, are allowed to roam free in India, and in their latest foray, a pack attacked the deputy mayor of Delhi, knocking him off his balcony to a fatal landing below (By the way, Delhi and New Delhi have separate gov’ts, so the late deputy mayor was not a part of the New Delhi nat’l gov’t, whose Chief Minister is, of course, the lovely Sheila Dikshit) . . . . . In Ampthill, Bedfordshire, England, firefighters were banned from climbing ladders (safety, you know) to help remove the town’s decorations . . . . . The Associated Press tallied nationwide sex abuse by teachers (2,570 cases from 2001-2005, with about 14,500 [CORRECTION: uh, 1,450] being classic teacher-underage student).

The Human Condition Today
Univ. of Calif., Riverside recruits science students by running a cockroach petting zoo . . . . . The couple in Bogota paid the ransom (equivalent of $350k) [CORRECTION: They didn't pay it, and Yr Editor regrets the story] and got back their, er, dog . . . . . The teenager from Taunton, Mass., gave his secret to growing that award-winning pumpkin: "You spend all your time with it. No sports. You just come home and be with the pumpkin" . . . . . A new high-water mark in stashing: A man anticipating a prison sentence showed up in court in Cork, Ireland, with a cell phone, charger, and SIM card wrapped separately in foil in his rectum and five tiny packets of heroin under his foreskin . . . . . Speaking of which, sorta, it says here, on a South African website, that surgeons in Kenya removed a 10-inch-long, empty half-liter beer bottle from a guy’s rectum and concluded that it was so far in that it couldn’t have been one of those auto-erotic things . . . . . Juan Arreola, 20, will go down hard in Easton, Pa., after he told the judge that he smacked his girlfriend’s 2-yr-old because he himself is "not a morning person" . . . . . A Missouri baby was born with a 0.17 blood-alcohol reading, and lived to the age of 15 minutes, and thus mom’s charged with involuntary manslaughter . . . . . From a NY Times correction [scroll down at the link]: "Because of an editing error, an obituary . . misidentified the person . . arm in arm with Elvis Presley at a Memphis club in 1956. It was B.B. King, not the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr."

NOTW Lite
PETA alert: The "Mythbusters" TV show announced it will soon put 200 cockroaches into chambers with progressively more radiation, to see when they die, to help determine whether they’d really survive a nuclear attack.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Braille tattoos, ouch, designed by Klara Jirkova of the University of the Arts Berlin

Newsrangers: Joe Littrell, Roger Gulbransen, Sam Gaines, John Ayer, Paul Music
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Saturday’s 5-Star Special
"Experimental fashion designer" Aya Tsukioka introduces $800-and-up clothing items to protect Tokyo women fearful of crime, e.g., unwrap the skirt, and it converts into a full-size fabric rendition of a vending machine, to fool the perp (Seriously) (Of course there's a photo).

Civilization in Decline
It says here that, though the Myanmar generals ignore United Nations pressure, they won’t ignore women sending in their panties (which legend has it pussifies he-men) (Bonus: Prostitutes in Bolivia revolt against the shutdown of brothels in a La Paz suburb by threatening to march in their work clothes, i.e., naked) . . . . . Patty Cooper of Vermont sure enough needs a service animal, but . . a horse? (Bonus: with Patty’s apartment-remodeling suggestions to her landlord, e.g., in-room stable, hay, pee-proof flooring).

The Human Condition Today
Tajuan Bullock got caught burglarizing a house, and the homeowner made him clean up the mess to pass time before cops arrived (and Tajuan got attitude about it!) . . . . . Mona Shaw, repeatedly dissed by her cable company Comcast, lives the American Dream (with a claw hammer) . . . . . Scammer to the Accounts Payable dept. at SuperValu (one of America’s largest grocery chains): Start sending our payments to this-here address instead of the one you’ve been using, OK? (SuperValu: Sure, will do!) (SuperValu’s loss: $10.1M) . . . . . The mother of Atlanta Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph complained about her baby boy’s harsh conditions at Supermax [Ed.: Hey, mom, when he was on the run, dude lived in a cave and ate out of Dumpsters] . . . . . George Dallas Jr., 29, was arrested in Orlando, for the, er, 108th time.

Your Daily Loser
Still seething, after all these yrs: Thomas McGriff served his mandatory sentence for domestic abuse, got out, immediately opened up more abuse, and 12 hrs later was back in the hole.

NOTW Lite
Sounds Like a Joke: The respected Rotterdam Natural History Museum put out a call for a species long missing from its collection: pubic hair lice . . . . . Urban Legend Come to Life: Squirrel bites into power line, catches fire, falls underneath Camry, sets it on fire, ta-daaaaa!

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
Gee, thanks for catching that error! The Pentagon made a big deal Thursday, announcing the richest single contract in its history ($24B to Boeing). Friday: Actually, it was $24M, sorry about that.

Update
Here’s one thing that Transportation Security Administration, IRS, the VA, Homeland Security, et al, might consider doing about all those laptop thefts.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Wired’s 10 Most Curious Canned Goods Found Online, including canned haggis and things that sound like jokes, such as reindeer pâté and silkworm pupae.

NOTW, The Blog
This is a make-up post from yesterday. My current schedule, until mid-November, at least, is to publish somewhat-shorter posts Monday through Friday, with none Saturdays. There is nothing bad happening to Yr Editor these days, but when you’re a one-man show (except for your news tips!), and other projects come along that have to be attended to, I have to cut back.

Newsrangers: Bill Becker, Emory Kimbrough, Steve Miller, Bob Pert, Hudson Dean, John Witherspoon, Karen Kuras, Karl Olson
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 19, 2007

NOTE: Today's post, which would normally be made by 12 noon Eastern time, will be posted by 4 p.m. UPDATE: As the minutes turned into hours, the pall of today's weariness was slowly replaced by the joy of tomorrow's renewal . . . so . . . well . . . next post, Saturday morning.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Civilization in Decline
This massive, UK-gov’t-funded report says it’s society’s fault that people are fat, and it does little good to tell individuals to push the plate back.

The Human Condition Today
The Vatican announced two new Cardinals yesterday, but surely not making the cut was San Francisco’s Archbishop George Niederauer, who just apologized for giving Communion Sunday before last to two street-theater gay men dressed as nuns . . . . . The old senior-driver/gas-brake problem took out a highly respected oncologist in Brockton, Mass., who happened to be standing by the front window when 76-yr-old Jane Berghold came through it . . . . . It doesn’t happen often, but, wait, why does it happen at all, i.e., how can someone drive onto railroad tracks, precisely to the middle of the track, and then suddenly, mysteriously, be unable to move the car either forward or backward, as happened to Betsy DeVall in Greer, S.C.? . . . . . A proposal is on the table to dedicate new public toilets in a London neighborhood to late gay playwright Joe Orton, who apparently spent much time in that area toe-tapping.

Your Daily Loser
Kingsport, Tenn., police took away Christopher Dougherty, who despite numerous efforts by the people at a Hardee’s to keep him conscious, was found passed-out, face-down in a gravy plate (AWI) (Bonus: Reporter's name is Kacie Dingus Breeding, hehheh, hehheh, hehhehheh).

NOTW Lite
A sorta-paranoid Dallas, Tex., man, who has a ridiculously high-tech security system, had to rely on his low-tech parrot to warn him of an intruder (who is no longer with us) . . . . . A gov’t report, the Campbelltown (Australia) Sex Industry Development Control Plan, refers to gay "sex-on-premises establishments" as "suckatoria" (Seriously).

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
Transportation Security Administration again: Two of its contractors’ laptops are missing, containing personnel information (not to be confused with the previous TSA computers with personnel information that have been lost or stolen). Meanwhile, USA Today found a classified report from 2005 revealing that TSA screeners at LAX and O’Hare missed 75% and 60% respectively of test bomb parts in passenger clothes and carry-ons (but the rate at SFO, where screening is by a private company, was only 20%).

Updates
The German cannibal Armin Meiwes just sat for his first TV interview, and Der Spiegel has it (including, yes, it "tastes like pork") . . . . . Another thing besides humans that’s not supposed to be food, according the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, is artist Cosimo Cavallaro’s chocolate Jesus (life-size, naked, anatomically-correct), but it’ll be on display in NYC next week.

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

Newsrangers: Rae Augenstein, Paul Di Filippo, Steve Miller.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Civilization in Decline
Cemetery workers in Najaf, Iraq, say "the surge" must be working because their incomes are down by a third . . . . . The city of Vienna, Austria, with a 66% divorce rate, will hold a two-day "divorce fair" with 20 vendors of divorce and post-divorce services . . . . . Fine Point of the Law: Philly judge Teresa Carr Deni ignored the gunpoint-gang-rape charges and set the five men to trial for "theft of services" because the prostitute had already agreed to sex but merely failed to get paid for it.

The Human Condition Today
The human condition was on display all over Pennsylvania, and not just in Judge Deni’s courtroom: (1) "Baby boy" Jones, 29, snatched a cell phone in Lancaster and then asked a ransom for it, of, er, $185,000; (2) A Scranton woman was criminally charged for cussing out her own toilet in her own home; (3) a Pittsburgh woman had to be rescued when she crawled under an SUV to spy on her husband’s alleged affair and couldn’t get up . . . . . A West Virginia man was stopped by police as he was tooling around the streets of Beckley in a motorboat (with his four grandkids) pulled by a lawn mower . . . . . At least two people in the audience of a hypnotist in Logan, Utah, had trouble coming out of their trances, and panic ensued . . . . . Son, 57, wanted to put dad, 81, into a nursing home in San Francisco but mistakenly thought admission had to be via a hospital and so bashed dad over the head with a hammer . . . . . How to guarantee a spot in NOTW Daily: be a Catholic parish priest and worship Elvis on the side (Bonus: sermons sprinkled with lyrics of Celine Dion).

Your Daily Loser
The robber of a bank in Miami Springs, Fla., ran back inside as police closed in on him and yelled at the tellers: "You ruined my life! I told you not to call [the] police!"

NOTW Lite
The Quebec legislature banned members’ use of the word "weathervane" (meaning, one who shifts his opinions easily) because the people so described were feeling hurt by the term . . . . . Weird on Several Levels: To reduce crime in Le Havre, Frawnts (crime which often germinates when thugs gather in entry halls to apartment houses), the gov’t built a make-believe entry hall into a non-existent building, and somehow, they believe, the project is working.

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

Newsrangers: Joe Littrell, Tom Wilson, Eli Christman, Larry Seltzer, Roger Gulbransen
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

NOTW, The Blog
Listen up: Yr Editor has some business to attend to, and I figure it’ll take about 30 days (maybe a bit longer). The only effects on NOTW Daily will be: (1) I won’t post on Saturdays until at least mid-November, and (2) each daily post will have less of my sardonic commentary, in favor of sort of a lightly annotated collection of story links (as you can plainly see, below). I’ll still be doing business, and I’ll still be doing the same amount of collecting stories, but I just won’t be able to write up as much every day, and I hope to be out of this-here chair by 9 a.m and on to other things. I didn’t want to drop this on you without explanation.


Civilization in Decline
Manassas, Va., fired a longtime employee because, well, she came down with cancer, and employment law experts muddle around and say that might be OK . . . . . Can’t Possibly Be True: A Marine assigned to fight in a stateside role-playing demonstration was roughed up and shot by the Lebanese actor hired to be the enemy . . . . . A Utah water district hands out bottles of purified water as promotions, but to scare everyone, the labels list these ingredients of typical sewer water.

The Human Condition Today

He put a penny on a railroad track to show how a train would flatten it, but then he didn’t get himself off the track in time . . . . . The man wanted worldwide for that child-rape video was arrested in Nevada while driving a car around with no license plate . . . . . Merely Quasi-Weird: an attempted baby-snatching in Westbury, Conn., and police are looking for a "hunchbacked" woman.

Your Daily Loser

Suave pick-up con man was done in by failing to keep straight whether he was a "doctor" or a "lawyer."

NOTW Lite
Scientists now know why some fish get insomnia.


Updates
Rev. Fred Phelps and family are being sued in Pennsylvania for one of those GI-deaths-are-God’s-punishing-fag-America demonstrations, but the judge said the "defamation" count is out because saying that Satan is after you is not a credible insult anymore . . . . . The wife of Oral Roberts Univ.’s president proclaimed her purity against charges [NOTW Daily, 10-6-2007], but three fired professors say they’ve got time-stamped photos of her hanging out in the middle of the night with a teen hunk.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
In honor of Rev. Phelps, here is his website (which is earnest), and here is Yr Editor's favorite parody site, Landover Baptist (well, besides FSM, Church of the SubGenius, and, er, Scientology).


Newsrangers: Bob Pert, Karl Olson, Tim Trewhella, Roger Katz, Luke Gardner
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday’s 5-Star Special
The Vatican ID’d Msgr. Tommaso Stenico (a high-ranking Church bureaucrat) on a TV's hidden camera telling a man that gay sex is not a sin, and even that he’s gay, himself, and so the Church suspended him, but he now says, well, of course it’s a sin, and besides he’s never had gay sex but was just pretending to be gay (and he’s obviously very good at that, according to the video).

Civilization in Decline
The NY Post audited the green-preaching Mayor Bloomberg’s carbon footprint and found it the same size as the footprint of 18 avg Americans, 53 Europeans, or 404 Guatemalans . . . . . Texas’s state police have refused, over 2 yrs now and $165k in private attorney fees, to give up a specific surveillance tape of the area just off the floor of the Legislature, allegedly because it would show a favored lobbyist breaking the law (or maybe worse?) (Bonus: the official excuse? homeland security!) . . . . . In Halifax, Nova Scotia, the union got its teachers excluded from duty monitoring the lunchroom (in 1970, they got that!), and now parents have to pay C$200 a yr for monitors unless their kids can go home, eat, and get back within the 50 minutes allotted for lunch . . . . . London’s The Sun interviews shop owners and town officials, who say gov’t safety rules, plus insurance company admonitions, mean there’ll be fewer Christmas decorations this yr (but they’re still OK, provided you put them up via a hydraulic lift rather than climbing a ladder) . . . . . UK Headline: "Patients Pull Own Teeth as [Nat’l Health Service] Dental Contract Falters."

The Human Condition Today
Mr. Gao, newly arrived in Shanghai (where he saw a train for the first time), played chicken on the tracks as one approached, just to test his nerves (and he got away with it) . . . . . Alarmed citizens called police when a guy walked by the courthouse in Oklahoma City wearing one handcuff on his wrist, but it was just part of his goth fashion for the day . . . . . South Korean Sim Jae-Duck did not win the Nobel Peace Prize, but give him time: He’s started a World Toilet Ass’n to raise consciousness about sanitation (the competition is the World Toilet Organization, in Singapore), and he’ll actually live in a huge toilet monument (Bonus: He was born in a latrine, part of some tradition or other) . . . . . Fine Point of Anti-Discrimination Law: So, your mother is 88 and needs assisted-living, including help with bodily stuff, and so insists on a female nurse, and who shows up but "Sue," a 6-ft, rough-edged, square-jawed person in one of her first jobs after the operation . . . . . Inglewood, New Zealand, priest Father Gary volunteered to make regular runs to the closest town last yr to buy women underwear after the one emporium in Inglewood stopped carrying them, but he proudly announces that the trips will stop now that there's bus service and people can go buy their own damned knickers.

Your Daily Loser
A woman was about to run from a bounty hunter in Oklahoma City, and facing Tasering, smartly stuck her infant in front of her as a shield (and it partially worked, as the tot caught one of the Taser needles, breaking the current)

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Police in a Washington, D.C., suburb in Virginia suspect it’s the same man, over 2 yrs, who’s too cool, apparently, to flash teenage girls his own package and so whips out a laptop with porn on it [second item] before running off.

NOTW Lite
Sounds Like a Joke: From German artist Marcus Kison, a ring for the finger, with a digital display that will note your running total of Google hits, in real time, on the market next yr . . . . . Terrye Cheathem is about to introduce her prison line of greeting cards (e.g., "Sorry to Hear About Your Arrest," "I know that I have not visited you. But I still care about you.").

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
An Asst U.S. Atty Gen’l said last week that at least 108 countries work through front companies to procure Pentagon equipment and parts, much of it because to buy upfront would have broken U.S. law (including F-14 parts to Iran!).

Update
Sri Chinmoy passed away on Thursday, he of the alleged superhuman endurance feats [NOTW 564, 11-27-2000], which he employed to call attention to his world-peace calmatives; he was widely lauded (by Al Gore, Mikhail Gorbachev, Muhammad Ali), but he also was famously nasty to those who ultimately decided that he was full of crap.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
According to this website, a company that hired the soothingly-credible Gary Coleman as a hawker will lend you $2,600 if only you’ll promise to pay them back $216 a month for the next 3½ yrs ($9,095).

NOTW, The Blog
A reader advises that the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Armenian genocide vote [NOTW Daily, 10-12-2007] was born of an attempt by Democrats to pressure Turkey to cut off access across its border for U.S. war supplies into Iraq. But things sorta got away from them and are now way, way out of control.

Newsrangers: Dave Null, Matthew McGill, Mark Neunder, Bob Pert, Edward Ingram, Emmitt Dove, Gary Goldberg, H.Thompson, Scott Langill, Nancy Hackett
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Saturday’s 5-Star Special
Rabid white nationalist Kevin Strom (Wikipedia says his National Vanguard org’n has disbanded) was acquitted of sexual enticement of an 11-yr-old girl last week in Charlottesville, Va., and apparently the original episodes were good readin’. He was married at the time to another white supremacist, who had a fierier temper even than Kevin’s. She happened to walk in one day to catch Kevin naked and pounding his pud to photos of "young white nationalist-movement singers the couple both knew, superimposed onto a picture of nude and entwined women," according to C’ville’s weekly The Hook. Turns out that he had a fascination with a certain 10-yr-old local girl, sent her presents, drove by her house, and expressed his feelings for her to his shrink, but in the end, a federal judge said those actions were not enough to amount to a crime. His now-ex-wife took no prisoners in the divorce. (Now, though, he’ll stand trial for all the other child porn he had.)

Civilization in Decline
Zero Tolerance Is Only for the Students (cont’d): President Glenn Poshard of Southern Illiniois Univ. will keep his job and merely has to make some corrections in his dissertation, which was found to have three dozen "citation problems" that could or could not amount to plagiarism (depending on whose definition is used) . . . . . Three aldermen in Dover, N.J., got a wild hair on homeland security and have begun exhaustively studying the city’s vulnerability to terrorists’ poisoning all the gumballs in town (with a report due January 1!) . . . . . Residents of an Orlando neighborhood seem to believe that there are still-live bombs, from a World War II munitions farm, buried under about 50 of their homes.

The Human Condition Today
Brazilian sculptor Doris Salcedo gave it her best effort for a piece on "racial divisions," and it’s perched on a platfor—uh, no, it’s perched on a stage—uh, no, actually, it’s a crevasse 548 feet long occupying a whole floor in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern in London (Bonus: 3 visitors have fallen in so far while taking it in) . . . . . A Greenpeace official in Australia said our meat-eating society should be raising kangaroos instead of cows, in that, since ‘roos fart less, global warming could be slowed . . . . . 60 Minutes will report on Sunday that 1993 World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef has become a Christian (shaved, eats pork, doesn’t do Muslim prayer), but, jeez, trying to take down the WTC surely banked him some goodwill with Allah (even though Allah couldn't have been too happy with the gang's capture, especially since it came in part because one of them tried to get his deposit back on the bomb-carrying rental van).

Your Daily Loser
F Stater Christina Adams (not a bad-looking mom) was arrested for dangling her 5-yr-old out the window of a speeding SUV. AWI.

NOTW Lite
At a Pennsylvania Wal-Mart, and following some bantering back and forth, a Pepsi route man cold-cocked a Coke route man . . . . . A man in a St. Louis suburb is suing Walgreen’s because he has kidney stones, er, because Walgreen’s filled his liquid Oxycodone Rx (with generous spoonfuls called for) with an industrial-strength laxative (which seriously dehydrated him).

Erroror
Actually, the guy who ran naked (for our sins) through downtown Miami [NOTW Daily, 10-10-2007] wasn’t an out-of-stater, as I wrote. He’s home-grown. Ouch.

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

NOTW, The Blog
Yr Editor linked to Nat’l Enquirer’s John Edwards scandal story on Thursday [NOTW Daily, 10-10-2007, The Blog], and Edwards has denied that report, but it’s a weaselly denial. (Yr Editor wrote extensively on how and why to weaselly deny, during the Clinton escapades, and maybe I’ll try to find those brilliant lectures.) Reporter Sam Stein at Huffington Post was the first to suspect that something fishy was going on between Edwards and a hot number who renamed herself Rielle Hunter and who ran a video production company under contract to the Edwards campaign. Reason: A short while back, abruptly, all the company’s work quickly disappeared from Edwards’s wesbite, with little plausible explanation. Slate.com blogger Mickey Kaus has tied Stein’s and Nat’l Enquirer’s work together [entries of Oct. 12, 11, 10], plus Kaus is a Shepherdist on weaselly denials. Now, apparently, Ms. Hunter has issued a denial [via blogger Jerome Armstrong, via Kaus] more nearly complete than Edwards’s, though Yr Editor’s Weaselity Theory only applies to high office-holders who have been around for a while and not to (apparently) former party gals who change their names. A Ladies Home Journal poll this week, by the way, said the Edwardses seem to have the happiest marriage of all the presidential candidates. [Statement for the record: Yr Editor is politically and professionally indifferent to John Edwards for President, but watching public figures squirm when they’re (probably) guilty is my artistic duty. OK, OK, and my passion.]

Newsrangers: Scott Langill, Peter Hine, Josh Fisher, Becky Nelson, Jerry Whittle, Richard Gaitens, Paul Music, Jim McNally
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Friday’s 5-Star Special
Arbitrators in New York City are trying to work through hedge-fund trader Andrew Tong’s charges that his $150m/yr boss at SAC Capital made him take female hormones so he’d tone down his aggressiveness in trading. He complied, and, he says, the hormones made him effeminate, and Wall Street is agog (Bonus: He started wearing dresses).

Civilization in Decline
Coming to America soon, a reality TV show that dares contestants to admit embarrassing things in front of family and friends (in exchange for the big bucks), but it’s just been closed down in Colombia after a woman confessed to hiring a hit man to take out her husband . . . . . Sounds Like a Joke: OK, genocide is not a joke, and it’s bad bad bad, but still, where in the world did this come from? The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs (like, can you think of any, er, more crucial issues that such a committee ought to be fighting over these days?) has voted out a contentious resolution condemning genocide in Armenia in 1915, thus embarrassing a valuable U.S. secular Muslim ally (Turkey) that has so far resisted going extremist . . . . . The House Homeland Security Committee, too, acted sorta quixotic, telling the four staffers it sent to two NASCAR races that they needed to get vaccinated (but it turns out there was a good reason) . . . . . IRS reported this ridiculous fact based on the latest (2005) adjusted gross incomes: The wealthiest 1% of Americans earned 21.2% of all our income; the bottom 50% earned 12.8% (and there must be inequality within inequality because the Chicago Sun-Times did a catch-up on that 2005 website where, on a lark, a guy let some women post their photos and ask for public donations to get breast implants, and y’know, it was a hot site for a while, and a few guys here and there sent in, oh, $5 and $10, etc., and—wait, it’s still up, and it’s huge, and 2500 women have raised $250k, and if America’s got enough money to fund breast implants for strangers, well . . ..).

The Human Condition Today
A Woodland, Calif., dentist, under investigation, said his chest massages are completely legit, and he may be right, naaah, well, maybe . . . . . Cypriot-born artist Stelios Arcadious actually has, courtesy of British surgeons, an ear growing in his arm (and wants to mic it and Bluetooth it so he’ll be able to "hear" with it) . . . . . The L.A. Times went to the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (a literal-text college), where women can take a concentration in homemaking (cooking, laundering, sewing, etc.) not because they necessarily want to but because the Bible demands that they serve their (future) husbands . . . . . The perils of the incompletely written story: On the same day as the Ohio Columbine-wannabe struck this week, cops busted the arsenal of another potential Columbiner, 14-yr-old in Pennsylvania who said he was feeling "bullied"—but he’s home-schooled! (but I’m pretty sure that referred to taking out bullies from where he went to school before, only that’s not in the story) . . . . . Would-be Mexican horror novelist Jose Luis Calva certainly walked the walk of a cannibal, i.e., his tasty girlfriend and maybe three more women . . . . . In Poland, it says in today’s subscriber-only Wall Street Journal, the dubbing for any American TV program (including all the characters in "Desperate Housewives," for example) is done by one man, and the huskier the voice, the better the Poles like it.

Your Daily Loser
Jose Jimenez was arrested in Hobart, Ind., done in by demon rum that caused him to shoot holes in his ceiling because he thought that’s where his wife’s presumed lover was hiding, but the gun was stolen and besides, he’s a convicted felon who can’t possess one.

NOTW Lite
Too bad you’re not in the British military because you might have the tingly pleasure of serving under an Air Chief Marshal fabulously named Jock Stirrup . . . . . A train hit a, well, somewhat-inebriated man and woman in Delray Beach, Fla. ("What happened?" the woman asked the paramedic / "You were hit by a train" / "Oh . . Can I get a beer?") . . . . . A New Mexico researcher found a way to get world headlines (including in The Economist, for heaven’s sake!) while hanging out at strip clubs: He learned what Yr Editor has known for years: that ovulation begets horniness (but the professor added, it also begets bigger tips).

Updates
Illinois lawyer Gary Peel [NOTW 950, 4-23-2006], who was too smart for own his britches in trying to blackmail his ex-wife into not ratting him out at his bankruptcy hearing (by threatening to show her parents NSFW photos of her younger sister) (but, since young sis was way too young, he was convicted of possessing child porn), has now said his case was lost because of his three lawyers (for a total of four working on the case), and a judge gave him a new one, at $94/hr, on taxpayers.

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

NOTW, The Blog
It’s been ten yrs since Yr Editor introduced you to Matt McMullen’s creation of the lifelike silicone-doll industry [NOTW 508. 10-31-1997]:
New York City special-effects artist Matt McMullen, 28, has been offering his lifesize, authentically detailed, steel-skeletoned, silicone dolls, under the name "Real Dolls," for several months on the Internet, for around $4,000 each plus options. So far, Stacy, Natasha, Nina, and Leah are available, with choice of hair color, skin color, and height (either "supermodel" or short and voluptuous). His original doll was intended as sculpture until lonely men bombarded him with price inquiries. Said McMullen, "There is no way this can compete with the real thing, but it can fill a deep void in someone's life."

McMullen moved to California; the price has gone up; and the varieties and sophistication of features have progressed, but only now is Hollywood getting to the "deep void" stuff. The movie Lars and the Real Girl opens this weekend, and even though Lars supposedly has a top-of-the-line doll (who according to the reviews, is a major character in the story), there’s no sex, just some deep psychological void-filling.

Newsrangers: Steve Miller, James Wicht, Emory Kimbrough, Karl Olson, Matt Mirapaul, Daniel Wiesenfeld, Mark Neunder, Gerald Sacks
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thursday’s 5-Star Special
Well . . . not really a busy day . . .

Civilization in Decline
Here in Weird Central, a sheriff’s deputy (or his machine) botched a field test for methamphetamine, resulting in a woman’s sitting in jail for 50 days before they finally realized the substance was what she told them it was: cat urine (for her son’s science project) . . . . . The Russian chessboard murderer Alexander Pichushkin turned sentimental: "A first killing is like your first love. You never forget it."

The Human Condition Today
In the current Kansas City trial for that 2004 womb-robbery, it looks once again like it was one woman’s compulsion to have a baby (though she couldn’t) that caused her to slice one out of another’s belly, but the womb-robber’s husband testified that he didn’t think it was strange that day when the wife called and said, Uh, dear, I’ve had the baby, and I’m fine, and I’ll meet you with it in the parking lot of Long John Silver’s . . . . . More alert than that hubby were the tellers at a St. Paul, Minn., credit union, who ratted out an employee of the city’s parking meter department when he kept depositing hundreds of dollars in coins into his account . . . . . Sound sleeper: Pedro Brito, 26, fell asleep while driving his truck and failed to awaken even when a cop jumped on the running board and tried to stop it . . . . . When a lawyer describes his client this way ("never intended to kill," "just wanted to scare," "just someone who can’t control his rage real well"), you know he’s a monster (He allegedly doused his ex-girlfriend in gasoline and lit her up, along with her kids).

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Mr. Klutzo the Clown, of Springfield, Ill., said the reason he had all those photos of nekkid boys on his computer when he returned from "entertaining" the kids at a Philippines orphanage, was to demonstrate to people back home how poor they are (They can't even afford clothes!). (His wife and entertainment partner, Smilee the Clown, almost immediately filed for divorce.)

NOTW Lite
Guinness Book fever: He’s blessed with the world’s longest leg hair (4.88 inches), to which he applies conditioner to keep it in shape.

Updates
The Mexican marathoner from yesterday denied that he cheated in Berlin (Why, he never intended to run the entire race, he said!) (even though he might have failed to mention that fact when he posted the fastest time in his age group) . . . . . Remember the "best friend" of Hulk Hogan’s son (who was in the front seat when Little Hulk smashed up his car [NOTW Daily, 8-28-2007])? The official prognosis is possibly a lifelong coma, with the best to hope for his being able to communicate by eye-blinks.

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

NOTW, The Blog
Several commentors on the website of London’s Daily Mail doubt the bona fides of the story Yr Editor ran yesterday about the husband with a tattoo of his wife’s face on his back, pointing out that the couple appear to be quite jovial in photographs and that the "other man" was present in the same photo shoot with the divorcing couple. Yr Editor agrees that that’s somewhat fishy, but on the other hand, it was obvious in the original that the cuckold-husband initiated the story (the tattoo was on his back), rather than a reporter’s having outed him, so Yr Editor still gives the Daily Mail the benefit of the doubt . . . . . The following political news doesn’t quite fit NOTW, but Yr Editor wants you to be well-informed and ahead of the curve, and, left to your own prejudices, you would underregard news from National Enquirer. However, Yr Editor has been crusading on behalf of the Enquirer ever since it shockingly got mostly everything exactly right in its lurid O.J. Simpson stories in 1994 and 1995. So, as a public service to you prisoners of the mainstream, pseudo-highbrow news, Yr Editor informs you that, according to the Enquirer, John Edwards’s political career will soon be toast because of a recent hide-the-salami relationship.

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

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wednesday’s 5-Star Special
Drum roll, please, for the super-fertile Ms. Amelia Spence of Scotland, apparently the world’s most powerful procreator: Not only did she force her birth-control pills to tap out, but then she got pregnant again three weeks after that first conception (and both babies were born on the same day and are officially not twins).

Civilization in Decline
A stringer for London’s Guardian thinks the villagers along the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua look on the bales that periodically drift ashore as mysterious, God-sent cargo (as in "cargo cults"); because of the currents, they are cocaine shipments ditched overboard by Miami drug runners, who will eventually browse the villages and offer the big bucks for their return (and God will have thus blessed) . . . . . Uh-oh: The Washington Post quotes law-abiding Americans who say they’ve been spied on by dragonflies buzzing around but which aren’t dragonflies at all but robo-bugs.

The Human Condition Today
Michael Tisdale, 44, one of those men who clearly ought not to be wearing an Old Glory-design thong swimsuit, jogged in one through downtown Miami protesting, second, the conspiracy of higher-ups that is allegedly sending us to hell, but first, us, because we are so dumb that we tolerate it (and, sorry to disappoint, but he’s from out-of-state!) . . . . . A.J. Jacobs, the guy who famously read the Encyclopedia Britannica word for word, has completed (for a new book) a year living according to the Bible, and wearing robe and sandals and herding sheep were no big deals, but he struggled with that "covet" and "bear false witness" stuff . . . . . "I never wanted Alan to have my [life-sized] face tattooed on his back in the first place," said Lisa Jenkins as she prepared for her new life with a young hunk after walking out on Alan after 15 yrs, but he still has the faces of their two daughters on his back to console him . . . . . Univ. of Missouri-Columbia researchers have given us rich background on the Newfoundland Mummers (which, if you hurry, you can put all this in a so-far sparse entry in Wikipedia!): They visit their neighbors around Xmas-time in disguise and actually threaten them, and the neighbors (1) try to guess who they really are and (2) practice restraining themselves from a violent defense, and this whole thing has allegedly made sense for hundreds of years and adds to "community" and "trust" (but you can see why the Wikipedia entry is sparse) . . . . . Least Competent Marathoner: Former Mexican presidential candidate Roberto Madrazo finished first in the age-55 group in Berlin, but that was because he disrespected the computer chip check-ups, which busted him for shorting the circuit, and it didn’t help that he aroused suspicion by running in a windbreaker and long pants ("There’s no windbreakers in marathoning" [sic]).

Your Daily Loser
He’s in custody in Pittsburgh, Pa., but hasn’t identified himself yet, and no wonder: He walked into a grocery store and seriously asked for change of his $1 million bill.

NOTW Lite
Headline from Marion, Iowa: "Clown Kicks in Door, Punches Resident" . . . . . Something to look forward to if you mistakenly ingest antifreeze: One approved remedy is a three-day vodka drip.

Update
OK, the medical examiner told y’all not to speculate about that Alabama minister found dead dressed in two rubber suits [NOTW Daily, 10-8-2007], but apparently the Montgomery Advertiser had partly sanitized his autopsy report. Fortunately, TheSmokingGun.com was on the case. Y’all are now officially free to speculate because the coroner also found a dildo covered with a condom up the reverend’s wazoo.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Body-Philosophy.net is kinda all-purpose. There’s a lot of medical quasi-advice plus stuff for learned discussion on surgeries, on obesity, on anorexia, etc., so you can always keep a serious-type page on your screen at work . . and open tabs for, e.g., the world’s fattest people, or largest tumors, or largest breasts,
or people who get surgery to look like celebrities.

Newsrangers: John Wriedt, Gary Miller, Mark Neunder, Paul Blumstein, Paul Music, Justin Warner, Mara Levy, Steve Dunn.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

NOTE: Yr Editor is taking the day off (from posting, not from working, oh, no, not from working, are you kidding me?). Furthermore, the posts for the rest of the week will likely not be done until two or three hours after the usual 12 noon (Eastern) deadline.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Monday’s 5-Star Special
Can’t Possibly Be True: Canada’s Mint assessed the city of Toronto C$47,680 [US$48,354—ouch!] for using the phrase "one cent" and a photograph of a penny in its political campaign to get voters to raise their taxes. Said a Mint spokesman, "They are registered trademarks of the Royal Canadian Mint."

Civilization in Decline
Leading Economic Indicators: (1) A new condominium under development on West 24th Street in New York City (units start at $6.75m) will have a special place in each unit for the owner to stash his bicyc—no, check that, stash his car, i.e., a garage in each apartment (with special elevator, obviously) (2) It’s good to be a blue-collar teenager: Apparently, Jessica Springsteen, 14, was almost the recipient of a horse worth $850,000 from her sweat-it-out-in-the-streets parents (or, so says this lawsuit) . . . . . More and more churches are so desperate for young fannies in the pews that they’re sucking them in with video game sessions, including Halo 3 ("thou shalt kill") (Said Tim, 12: "It’s just fun blowing people up") . . . . . A NY Times writer this morning points out a deadly discrepancy in SCOTUS policies: It only takes 4 justices to put a case on the docket for consideration, but it takes 5 for a stay of execution, even if the very issue raised by the stay has already been accepted onto the docket, i.e., you can be executed while the justices are preparing to decide the issue you raised (Seriously).

The Human Condition Today
And another meta-question examined by the NY Times: If a lot of people get fortune cookies that are downers, shouldn't the company check up on the guy writing the fortunes? . . . . . It looks like the key to Mother Teresa’s sainthood rests with a mineral deposit, er, an Indian priest’s kidney stone . . . . . In Houston, Tex., a deadly fight that started because one of the two men had really stinky feet . . . . . The prosecutor in Farmington, Mo., is sticking by his conclusion that if you push someone out of the way while dashing out the door with a shoplifted 52-cent donut, that’s a "strong-arm robbery" (and if you’ve already got a rap sheet, you’re looking at 30-to-life).

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
A 51-yr-old Baptist minister in Montgomery, Ala., died alone and without foul play but was bound hand and foot and dressed in two rubberized suits, but the medical examiner cautioned the public not to engage in speculation until his investigation was complete [Ed.: You heard him! Cut that out! No speculation!]

NOTW Lite
Yeah, it’s all over the news: A defendant in Indianapolis did have his charges dismissed after he dropped down and gave the prosecutor 50 pushups, but there was less to that than meets the eye . . . . . The St. Petersburg Times managed to locate a retired, 78-yr-old black man in central Florida who is a proud historian of, and true believer in, the Confederate States of America (to the reporter, "You’ve never seen nothing like me, have you?" and "Black is nothing other than a darker shade of rebel gray") . . . . . Wonderful mixture of words and images, from an F State lawsuit: A woman sued a club called the . . Coco . . Bongo . . because a . . disco ball . . fell on her . . head.

Updates
The Virginia schoolteacher-artist (who paints not with a brush but by smearing paint on his cheeks and wiggling around) ("I’m certainly proud of my ass-painting") [NOTW 989, 1-21-2007] has, predictably, sued for his firing, in that he swears that he made great efforts to keep his avocation away from his students.

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

Erroror
This story, which appeared in NOTW M025, 9-30-2007, appears to be way wrong, based entirely on a piece in London’s Daily Telegraph, 8-31-2007:

Oral-B’s Triumph SmartGuide toothbrush, available in the UK for the equivalent of about $280, uses navigation technology to transmit the exact location of the toothbrush to a base unit so that the user can see which areas in his mouth the brush might have missed. The wireless LCD mouth display can be mounted on a mirror or held in the free hand.
Thanks to reader-engineer Jim Furman, who surmises that the Daily Telegraph reporter merely looked at the promotional photos and jumped to the conclusion that "navigation technology" was involved. Nope. The toothbrush does not track the inside of your mouth; it merely reminds you that your mouth can be thought of as four quadrants, upper-left, upper-right, lower-left, lower-right, and that it’s time to move on to another quadrant. And it doesn’t cost £140 ($280), either; it sells for $150. Ouch.

Newsrangers: Matt Mirapaul, Bob Pert, Joe Pat Clayton, H.Thompson, Joe Littrell
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.