Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wednesday’s Creme de la Weird
Sometimes, the news is painful. The official clothing for this summer’s Republican Nat’l Convention in Minneapolis will include Zubaz. They’re not yet offered at the online store, but the Star Tribune ran the convention’s photo-opp yesterday, and there they are!

NOTW, The Blog
Yr Editor’s tinkering with the format here a bit because several people savvier than I have been glumly informing me that a certain percentage of Internetters do like to comment on stories, or offer additional information, and that I, almost alone among all "bloggers," have a format particularly unfriendly to that. So, I’m doing two things. This week, I’m transitioning to individual stories (but only the Creme) (if there’s no Creme that day, I’ll try hard not to force it), but with a roundup, in familiar style, after that. Step two, which is a harder step to take, is to actually open the page for Comments. That’s risky because, of course, I might find out that absolutely nobody gives a bloody hell about anything I write. Hence, I might not do that right away. (I’m so sensitive.) (Maybe if some of y’all volunteered to Comment for a while, whether you wanted to or not, I’d go easier on the Xanax.)

Creme de la Weird
Are you a $50m artist like Mark Rothko? What you do, see, is you get a yellow rectangular canvas, kinda dull yellow, and you put lots of red paint on it so that it covers most of the area, but with the sides all fluffy and the red inconsistent, and you don’t go all the way down with the red but rather double-coat the yellow at the bottom so that it mismatches, and then you put two broken horizontal lines in about the middle of the red so that the yellow shows through, and there’s your $50.4m, right there. N.Y. Times

"It means pets are even more a part of family life as they can enjoy a beer, too," said a guy from the British company importing a Dutch non-alcoholic, steak-flavored, nutrient-enriched, malt-barley-flavored beverage for dogs ("tail-wagging beer" in Dutch, "Dog Beer" in Britain). (About $3.85 for a bottle of about 12 fl. oz.) The Dutch original Kwispelbier got a big news splash in January 2007, and this is the British-import splash. Daily Mail (London)

Gee, you wouldn’t think that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents would have the personal discretion to detain a non-terrorism-related traveler from Italy, in secrecy, on a "hunch" that he came here to work illegally and then resist every attempt over 10 days for loved ones in the U.S. to challenge the "hunch" (including U.S. Sen. John Warner, who is not a loved one but apparently had no stroke with Customs). You may think all that’s fanciful, but you would be wrong, according to this morning’s NY Times. Hunches are powerful things at Customs.

How is the $300B farm bill Congress has put together, to give your tax dollars to well-off farmers, so nonsensical? The Wall Street Journal counts the ways. Several heads-they-win, tails-you-lose provisions remain, such as the "historical planting average" calculation, which pays farmers who "haven’t planted a seed in years" (or who are just rich people who bought farms to diversify investments). And you’re not a "rich farmer" until your income hits $750k (but not really, because you just sign up your spouse and get around it, along with other little tricks).

The website, which is affiliated with the Journal Sentinel of Milwaukee, Wis., reports from the suburbs that a mother and her sister were cited for supplying tobacco for a minor after a 2-yr-old kid was seen in a Ponderosa restaurant with a cigarette in his mouth, to the giggling delight of the ladies. When the child said "smoke, smoke," it meant he wanted one (unlit, but when the mother said "light, light," the kid knew to hand her a lighter). Then, this:
The aunt said the mother keeps a rolled-up dollar bill in the bedroom, which the child plays with. Any time the boy has the dollar bill he hold [sic] it up to his nose and says, "fix, fix" over and over again.
Er, and the story basically ends right there. Excuse me?

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Y’all can actually be useful, because the prosecutor here in Weird Central has not charged this man yet with a grisly murder spree because he’s still hospitalized, treated for some drug condition or other, but he was found hiding at the murder scene, which was his girlfriend’s house. Charge him? Edward Allen Covington.

The Human Condition Today
Their Votes Count Same as Yours in November: (1) Jorge Espinal, 44, reached for the first thing he could find to scratch his back, which was a revolver, and . . of course! (2) A 20-year-old man was fried, in critical condition, after scaling a power substation fence and tower, probably to steal eggs from a nest to resell to a pet store. (3) Hazmat officials were sent to Port Salerno, Fla., after a boater pumped 100 gallons of gasoline mistakenly into the hole where you stick your fishing rods (and on into the cellar, er, bilge, and the water).

Call me naive, but if I were thinking that having a gay rodeo would undermine those noxious sexual stereotypes, I don’t know whether I’d have a "goat dressing" event, "in which pairs of contestants try to put hot-pink underwear on the hind quarters of an uncooperative goat in the shortest time" (according to a Reuters report) . . . . . Julie Landry’s teaching career is apparently over after one year, following the decision to make that 7-yr-old kid unclog the toilet with his hands . . . . . Marijuana may raise your heart-attack and stroke risk, according to this research, provided that you cooperate with the findings’ parameters and smoke from 11 to 50 joints every single day.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
NOTE: Prof. Music’s been working, and Yr Editor’s been collecting, but this format-transition is getting in the way, temporarily.

Newsrangers: Bob Pert, Christopher Nalty, and a whole slew of people who would use something else to scratch their backs
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.