Friday, February 22, 2008

Things To Worry About On Friday
Are hair extensions holy? / Think the FBI's database keeps guns away from crazies? / So what does cause those earthquakes in Israel? / Can you run a re-election campaign effectively from jail? / And more!

Civilization in Decline
The FBI’s database to check gun-buyers for felons and mental cases has been rapidly augmented since the Virginia Tech killings but still contains only 10-20 percent of the court-declared lunatics . . . . A member of the Israeli parliament did not blame the recent earthquakes on global warming; no, the earthquakes were obviously caused by, er, gays . . . . . Gov’t computer systems are famously not coordinated with each other, which is especially bad for people like Laura Todd, who worked hard to prove to one computer system that she’s not dead, only to be still dead according to IRS (which often would be a good thing, but not in a year of rebate checks) . . . . . By the way, what century is it? A Wake County, N.C., middle school principal, aiming to defuse potential/imagined violence, ordered all the black kids to attend one assembly, and all the Hispanic kids to attend a separate assembly, and all the white kids, er, well, they didn’t have an assembly because, y’know, white kids aren’t like that . . . . . Runaway blockbuster movie opening in Ukraine: Jessica Simpson’s Blonde Ambition (compared to Texas, where it pulled in only $1,771 on opening weekend in eight theaters) . . . . . The U.S.-NATO forces apparently are successful in Afghanistan ‘cause the country’s now safe enough for the bloody "sport" of camel-fighting.

The Human Condition Today
Milwaukee Alderman Michael McGee won his primary last week, and now his next public appearance will be week after next when he goes on trial for conspiracy to beat up a teenager (Bonus: He ran his campaign from jail) . . . . . A genuine neighborhood shootout in Orange County, Fla., like, two guys in a road-rage thing who wouldn’t give it up.

Your Daily Loser
Eric Livers, 20, walked away from a corrections center in Cheyenne, Wyo., fled to Portsmouth, N.H., but then had the bright idea to call the auto shop in Cheyenne and ask them to send him that final paycheck he never picked up after the arrest. Busted.

NOTW Lite
Republicans’ major platform complaint is expected to be (once again) that taxes are too high; well, here’s Exhibit A for that proposition: The Oregon Republican party is nearly bankrupt, and IRS has a lien on it . . . . . Maybe Elmo needs a little Zoloft for his dark side: This talking Elmo doll makes death threats . . . . . Punchline-Friendly News from New York: Emotiv Systems Inc. introduces a brain-reading headset ($299); put it on, and it signals when you’re angry, excited, tense . . . . . A Virginia Civil War buff who noted on his website that he’s disarmed “approx. 500 artillery projectiles and still have all my fingers (I must be doing something right),” er, did something wrong and is no longer with us.

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Meet convicted sex offender Gregory Ray Brooks (and though Yr Editor tries to keep “bias” out of this by not giving you any backstory, the charge is that Gregory, 25, tried to take a 14-yr-old girl to her middle-school dance by posing as a high school kid).

Things That Seem Wrong
Germany’s Der Spiegel ran a fascinating piece following human hair from India to a salon in Munich. Turns out that, if you get hair extensions (e.g., Celine Dion spends $6k/month to have fresh ones flown in), a lot of the hair comes from devout Hindu women who donate it to their temple’s god in hopes of acquiring good luck (and have no inkling that the temples then broker the hair [globalization!] for up to $270/lb.).

Updates
And speaking of fascinating, a Washington Post follow-up on that Washington, D.C., tax-office scam [NOTW Daily, 11-8-2007, 11-13-2007] (a scam previously estimated at something over $20 million worth) now finds that it tops out near $50 million (but still counting!) and that the head scammer had been submitting false tax refunds for maybe 25 yrs because she had discovered ways to make the paper trails dead-end. It wasn’t just she and a few of her friends who profited; the Post said she’d routinely hand out wads of cash to all kinds of people around town. [And did I mention “25 yrs”? 25 yrs with no controls whatsoever, until the scheme was busted by an employee of a bank’s branch located inside a grocery store!] The District of Calamity! . . . . . Writer Radley Balko had a follow-up piece on Slate.com Wednesday on the Mississippi district attorney, and his medical examiner buddy, who appear to have been perverting justice for quite a while with that “bite-mark” “technology” [NOTW Daily, 2-13-2008] that nobody else in the world seems to understand (Bonus: The Mississippi Attorney General supports ‘em).

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Here’s a serious patent application for “a training system which enables a human being to acquire sufficient hyperspace energy in order to pull the body out of dimension so that the person can walk through,” er, “solid objects such as wooden doors.” So, the patent hasn't been granted yet; go rip off this technology and start walking through the doors yourself!

Newsrangers: Ginger Katz, Karl Olson, Paul Music, Mark Neunder, Emory Kimbrough, Jan Lewis, Sam Gaines, Patty Hutchison, Larry Ellis Reed, Michael Ravnitzky
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.