Monday, March 03, 2008

Things To Worry About On Monday
Australia's new pussified prison / The World Taxidermy Championships / The Bluetooth Burqa, for clandestine flirting / An Arizona school's written no-hugging policy / And more!

Civilization in Decline
The United Nations World Food Program complained that shortages of corn and soybeans (diverted so Iowa farmers can get rich making ethanol) will seriously increase world hunger . . . . . The Canberra (Australia) federal district’s new “humane” prison (flat-screen TVs, etc.) may improve prisoner rehab rates [but it may also increase demand for general subsidized housing, in that, well, we can’t let prisoners live better than low-wage earners, now, can we?] . . . . . Sounds Like a Joke: The U.S. military says the suicide-bomber instructor it just caught was busy grooming women to be martyrs, including Mrs. instructor . . . . . The problem with Abu Ghraib was just the feng-shui of the place, says renowned Prof. Philip Zimbardo, a principal advocate of the “there are no bad people, just bad circumstances” school . . . . . Massachusetts officials are pretty sure there was rampant cheating by Boston firefighters on a promotion exam, and thus, a do-over . . . . . Fallout from the economy: A Montana contractor told the Wall Street Journal that $100/barrel oil is one thing, but the price of sawdust has quadrupled in 2 yrs, to $100/ton, and yes, we need sawdust.

The Human Condition Today
Passes for “art” in the F State: Brian Feldman leaped off a 12-ft perch every 3 mins, 56 secs on February 29 to make the point that [Ed.: Special interactive feature! Whatever answer you supply will make more sense than Brian’s!] . . . . . Also in the F State: 2 women steal railroad spikes, right off the tracks [plus, and the TV station missed this: They’re obviously witches!] . . . . . A Canadian woman serving time for murdering her 4-yr-old daughter is embroiled in a legal challenge; she says she was wrongfully denied a gov’t child-support benefit in the months leading up to when she smothered the kid (Seriously) . . . . . Almost a cliche: Only 2 couples are left in a dead, isolated Quebec fishing village, and at least one of them is just not leaving, period, because, y’know, things were so good in the early 1990s . . . . . James Jay Lee, 40, trying to convince the Discovery Channel that it needs to air programs on the “real [environmental] problems” of the planet, scheduled a demonstration in front of the company’s Silver Spring, Md., building and unsubtly threw out “thousands” of dollar bills, to attract a crowd, so that Discovery would see how important his environment demands are . . . . . Of course: The guy with the ricin in Las Vegas also “appears to have a lengthy history involving pets and animals. The police also found three cats and an emaciated dog in his hotel room,” reported the NY Times.

Your Daily Loser
It wasn’t a drive-by shooting (in Pasco, Wash.), after all, police said. Daniel Kuch had gotten a buddy to shoot him in the shoulder so he wouldn’t have to take that drug test at work.

German designer Marcus Kison says Islam is just fine with his electronic burqa, but Yr Imam doubts it: Kison’s face-covering robe sends a Bluetooth-friendly, flirtable image of the wearer’s face, receivable by various devices in the immediate area . . . . . Another Sounds Like a Joke: Woman says her research has shown that women are cleverer liars than men [but . . ..] . . . . . Entry-Level Editor on Duty (, Detroit): “Man Drove Car After Being Fatally Shot” . . . . . Salzburg, Austria, hosted the World Taxidermy Championships this yr (140 participants from 25 countries, wrote Der Spiegel, “to find out who could best preserve the nostril of a stag, most perfectly model the lips of a hyena, or color the anal opening of a common pipistrelle the rosiest shade possible”).

Things That Seem Wrong
A junior high school in Mesa, Ariz., has a formal, written, no-hugging policy but with exceptions, e.g., can hug for “no longer than 2 seconds,” or give a “hook hug” or a “man hug.”

Yr Editor has reported before on the prolific South Carolina inmate Jonathan Lee Riches, most recently linking to his entire caseload [NOTW Daily, 12-28-2007], but if you were too lazy to check that out, here’s a brief list of his whimsical tabloid-type lawsuits against celebrity-athletes (courtesy of London’s Observer) (e.g., apparently Barry Bonds “bench-pressed [Riches] against his will”; Tom Brady put “a recording device in rival quarterback Donovan McNabb’s soup”).

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Not today. Maybe next time.™

Newsrangers: Ginger Katz, Kelvin Norton, John Witherspoon, Christopher Nalty, Steve Miller, Barry Rose, George Foreman, John Connell
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.