Monday, June 30, 2008

Monday’s Creme de la Weird

While the rest of the Middle East re-embraces Islam, Iran embraces . . . the New-Age motivational movement
Iran’s well-educated youth go ga-ga over feng shui, books like The Secret (now in its 10th printing in Farsi), and Tony-Robbins-type motivational speaker Alireza Azmandian. Who knew that peace with Iran would be achieved through our common infatuation with bull*hit? Wall Street Journal

They’re American, except in the Olympics
From Sunday’s Los Angeles Times: “Giovanni Lanaro was born in Los Angeles, grew up [in a suburb], attended Cal State Fullerton, and coaches and trains [at a local college]. Yet, when the torch is lighted during opening ceremonies this summer at the Beijing Olympics, the world’s sixth-ranked pole vaulter will be with Mexico, not the United States. ‘I will always compete for Mexico,’ said Lanaro, whose mother was born there. ‘I will never compete for any other country.’” Los Angeles Times

Bottled water, again
It’s almost No Longer Weird, but the Washington Post engineers a complete takedown this morning. Water sommeliers in Tokyo and Paris. Desalinated sea water from Hawaii, sold as “concentrate,” which means, er, you have to add water before you drink it. BlingH2O selling for $40 a bottle. Humanity spends trillions of dollars to make its tap water clean and cheap, and people buy bottled at markups of 1,000 percent and higher. All the while, third-worlders die daily from lack of access to clean water. Huge carbon footprint in transporting bottled water “from Place A to Place B, when an identical product is already available in Place B in a form that is typically much cheaper, rigorously tested and sometimes safer. And afterward, millions of plastic bottles end up in landfills.” Washington Post

San Francisco’s illegal-immigrant-sheltering policy now includes not only not prosecuting drug-running Honduran kids but buying them plane tickets home
It’s one thing to officially not cooperate with the feds in turning in illegal immigrants, but apparently now drug lords know that kids (or adults who look like kids) are the way to do it because San Fran, as a matter of policy, feels sorry for said kids being exploited. (Bonus: Supposedly, as soon as they land in Honduras, they’re headed back to San Fran). San Francisco Chronicle

Florida, like many states, has tax-relief provisions that people rip off with enthusiasm, including this guy, who’s the Supervisor of Elections in Tampa
You get a tax break if you’re a farmer, with cattle, so his renter has 11 head, and because of that, the S of E’s tax bill dropped from $10,856 to $2,820, which works out to state support of $987 per cow. Tampa Tribune

Civilization in Decline
It says here that an elementary school in Lund, Sweden, confiscated a kid’s birthday-party invitations because he failed to invite everybody (though the two he didn’t invite were one bully and one guy who hadn’t invited him to his own party) . . . . . And in Britain (the home of things like birthday-party anti-discrimination), the Daily Mail has counted six local councils that spend taxpayers’ money to buy salt-shakers, to be distributed through town, that have 5 holes instead of the current 17 or so, because that theoretically might reduce, y’know, blood pressure problems or diabetes.

The Human Condition Today
Australia’s Treasury Secretary: hard-core conservationist or just a wuss who can’t take the heat of a bad economy? (He’s taking 5 weeks off to go take care of 115 wombats) . . . . . Awesome! Teen taking The Only Way Out drives off top of Pikes Peak in a 1985 Nissan Maxima, falls the equivalent height of the Empire State Building before crashing, and he still failed in his mission . . . . . It’s good to see that there are still people unconcerned about the economy and world tensions, like Mr. Variable of New Mexico, who is spending time pressing his lawsuit to legally change his name to Fu*k Censorship [Yr Editor censored the first word, for e-mail filters] . . . . . A medical journal reported the case of a 10-yr-old boy with obsessive-compulsive disorder who had to step on a particular white mark in the road every day, and he forgot to do that on September 11, 2001, and now he feels terrible about what he caused . . . . . Juan Manuel Alvarez might get his wish, after all, if he was telling the truth about why he parked on the railroad tracks (suicide), causing a train wreck that killed 11 and wounded 180 in 2005; a jury convicted him of murder Thursday and meets this week to decide whether he gets the death penalty.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Donald Siegfried, 55, and his gal pal Diane Whalen, 54, were charged in Tulsa with multiple felonies for running a video business featuring Whalen doin’ it with three dogs (193 CDs and DVDs, 67 videotapes, and more). The dogs were also taken into custody and may be put down [Ed: which is messed up, giving the dogs the death penalty while Donald and Diane are just going to jail]. The Oklahoman

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
In fact, you’re invited to judge whether Donald and Diane (see previous item) are guilty or not. KTUL-TV (Tulsa)

The Texas Supreme Court ruled that a church’s exorcism, apparently no matter how sloppily carried out, is exempt from a lawsuit for injuries to the possessed . . . . . Yr Editor missed this earlier, but apparently Ireland has been trying for 2 yrs now to pass a law to deter people from setting off nuclear weapons in that great country, by threatening them with 12 months in jail and a €5,000 fine! A new version is being proposed.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Some photos of Macaca monkeys who have just let themselves go, hittin’ the Entenmann’s and Haagen-Dazs at the Ohama wildlife park in Sakai, Japan. Note to visitors: No enabling!

Newsrangers: Wes Jones, Frank Reynolds, Ron Phillips, H.Thompson, Mark Neunder, Bruce Leiserowitz, Linda Anderson, Steve Dunn, Pete Randall
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday’s Creme de la Weird

European Union stoogin’ up again: gotta toss out 5,000 kiwis because they’re 4g (1/4 oz.) too light
Apparently, it’s very important that Europeans be able to get exactly the same-looking produce every time they shop. (This is known as the “no straight bananas” rule.) Daily Mail (London)

Most prostitutes are street-wise, but then there’s Ms. Mercedes Green
It was an unmarked car, and the driver was wearing a suit, but his police radio was blaring away, and he had emergency lights on the dash, but she hopped right in. “You’re not the police, are you?” “What do you think,” he said. “I didn’t think so,” she screamed to be heard over the radio. “$100.” After the bust, “You wear glasses, and I didn’t think police could wear them.” Reno Gazette-Journal

Canada: where, if you heckle a stand-up comic, and he’s got a better comeback, you just go file a human-rights complaint against him
Oh, you Americans, Canadians say, and your obsession about that “free speech” thingy; what’s really important is, you can't hurt people’s feelings. National Post (Toronto)

The Human Condition Today
Drunk-driver not guilty in the death of the pedestrian—because the pedestrian was even drunker . . . . . Another F State female teacher in trouble for sex with a teen boy, but, um, she’s 60.

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
They say Shawn Harmon raped a woman at knifepoint, possibly. WKRC-TV (Cincinnati)

Next week a smoking ban takes effect in Amsterdam coffee shops, but that’s only for tobacco; you can still light up inside if you’re just doing marijuana or hashish . . . . . Demolition derbies for the hardcore: farmers doing battle with their (two-story-high, 13-ton) combines . . . . . IBM and Mars Inc. announced a joint project of (for some people) humanitarian dimensions: mapping the cocoa tree genome to help assure a continuing supply of chocolate.

The New York Times catches us up on a country whose progressive, enlightened response to drug addictions puts the U.S. (mandatory-minimums for possession) to shame, and by “progressive” and “enlightened,” I can only be referring to, er, Iran [NOTW M059, 5-25-2008] . . . . . Dr. Jayant Patel, whose specialty apparently is “accidental mortality,” has finally agreed to be extradited to Australia to stand trial for maybe 17 patient-deaths in the two yrs he worked there (after being de-licensed in New York and Oregon) [NOTW Daily, 3-12-2008] (Favorite money quote from Patel, on hygiene: “Doctors’ hands don’t get dirty”).

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

Newsrangers: Bob Pert, Josh Levin, Terry McCarthy, Joe Weckbacher
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thursday’s Creme de la Weird

Supreme Court upholds the right to confront a witness against you, even if you might have killed her
He was on trial for murdering his ex-girlfriend, and the prosecutor wanted to present a damning statement she had supposedly made against him, but no can do because she’s not available for the defendant to cross-examine. USA Today

The Romanian senate passed a law requiring that half the reported news be happy, positive news
But let’s look on the bright side: It’s the only country in the world where, by force of law, half the news has to be negative. Agence France-Presse

Saudi “marriage official” rules that even 1-yr old girls can get nuptialated up
That’s just as long as there’s no sex, because 1-yr-olds aren’t ready for that. Age 9, now, that’s different. Fox News // Memri

Ozark doctor gets off the hook after punching his daughter in the head
He’s of African heritage, he told the judge, and the “konk” is a type of punishment common in his home country, and besides, it’s just a a little knuckle tap “to get the attention of a child.” Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader

“Did you see me take my thing out and urinate?”
That was Michael Hoppe, 56, acting as his own lawyer and cross-examining the cop who had ticketed him for relieving himself in public. “Did you test DNA [in the pee puddle] to see if it was my urine?” Verdict: Not guilty Portsmouth (N.H.) Herald

The Human Condition Today
His best friend was hospitalized with a gunshot wound, and Zachary Enloe, 20, explained that, well, they had been practicing their quick draws with empty guns, and he had simply forgotten that he had subsequently loaded his (a few minutes earlier) . . . . . People Different From Us: Yes, judge, I went to see my boyfriend in jail despite the stayaway order against him, but look, judge, we both assault each other all the time, she said (That night, in fact, “I picked him up three or four times and slammed him on the ground.”) . . . . . Yr Editor fears senior-moment gas-brake confusions, but on the other hand, Yr Editor never met Roberta McCain, the potential First Mother, who at age 96 still collects her share of speeding tickets . . . . . The Italian architect getting reams of publicity this week for his planned, super-challenging, 80-story revolving tower in Dubai says, Trust me, We can build this (even though he claims an honorary doctorate from Columbia University, which has officially never heard of him) . . . . . A teenager got a judicial restraining order against, er, the mayor of Greeley, Colo.

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
These are suspects in a pretty gross murder in Richardson, Tex., so evaluate them very carefully in that they could get the needle. WFAA-TV (Dallas-Fort Worth)

The only clever criminals are smugglers: Brazilian inmates run drugs and cell phones via carrier pigeons (but with heavy loads, some birds were struggling to get airborne) . . . . . United Fire Casualty’s headquarters (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) is under three feet of water, and, guess what, they’ve got a little bit of flood insurance coverage, but not much . . . . . Quite a scene at the Eagle Trace Golf Course in Broomfield, Colo., what with scheduling that junior tournament (ages 7-12) to end about the start time of the charity tournament populated with dancers from a local strip club (“Mom, why is she only wearing underwear?”) . . . . . If you’re one of the 10,000 holders of North Carolina license plates containing the letter group “WTF,” you can swap it out because the state admits it was clueless in issuing them.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Admit it: You’re not surprised, are you, to find out that some artist paints using his nutsack as a brush (Safe for Work).

Newsrangers: Mark Neunder, Sam Gaines, Derek Costello, Rick Matz
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday’s Creme de la Weird

Class-action lawsuit as farce (Grand Theft Auto)
Coupla people were offended that they had gifted their kids a game with embedded sex scenes, and lawyers sniffed out a big payday, and finally, there's a settlement that stands to pay out less than $30k total to the victims but a requested $1.3m to their lawyers. And, for the most part, the victors had to endure with a straight face not being bothered by gifting their kids a game where killing cops is not as bad as watching sex. (Bonus: At least one was OK with killing but seemed puzzled that GTA also involved “stealing.”) New York Times

Dancing and breasts: the quest for powering up your iPod
UK cell-phone company Orange said it would test out this weekend a thingy to re-charge your phone while you’re dancing. That news hit the day after a Slate writer reported on the distinct possibilities of running an iPod by harnessing the energy of ordinary breast-jiggling. An exercise-science expert told Slate that breasts “move on three different axes: from side to side, front to back, and up and down. The most motion is generated on the vertical axis.” (Well, not, y’know, double-A’s, but D’s, in a low-support bra, move as much as 35 inches during a workout.) Reuters // Slate

New end-of-the-world date is sometime in 2012
“Thousands” in the Netherlands have signed on, even though they seem to be stocking up on supplies, which, well, y’know, if the world is ending, it’s ending. Anyway, one said, “I don’t like it here anymore. Take immigration, for example. They keep letting people in. And then we have to build more houses, which makes the Netherlands even heavier. The country will sink even lower, which will make the flooding worse.” United Press International via Fox News

Update: The N. Y. Times catches us up on those Albanian “sworn virgins” who live their lives as men
Said one of the 40 or so remaining: “Back then, it was better to be a man because before, a woman and an animal were considered the same thing.” “I think today it would be fun to be a woman.” New York Times // NOTW M028 (10-21-2007) // NOTW 456 (11-1-1996)

Update: And the Washington Post catches us up on Japan’s obsession with the smart toilet
“For hygiene-conscious Japanese, the romance with these toilets is equivalent to the American romance with the Hummer.” That’s because, though Japan has run circles around the rest of the industrialized world in going green, the one exception is these contraptions, which use about 4 percent of all household energy, mainly through keeping the water in the tank at just the correct warmth so that it’ll splash your butt comfortably when you’re done. (But they’re working on that; a smart thermostat will warm the water in cycles, provided that your throne visits stay on schedule.) Washington Post // NOTW 703 (7-11-2001) // NOTW 102 (1-19-1990)

At least 30 percent of those Ground Zero workers who filed money claims over 9-11 cleanup illnesses were likely exaggerating
As usual, it’s one thing when the headlines hit and another once ya actually get down to their individual medical records. New York Times

The Human Condition Today
A Salina, Kan., man, celebrating his pal’s victory in a barroom fight, evidently miscounted bullets [Ed.: news account is poorly written] and shot himself in the head with the “empty” gun (but not fatally; he could still breed) . . . . . A window cleaner in Australia survived a nine-story drop with only minor injuries, thanks to his harness (but on the other hand, he landed on the harness, which gave him, he said, a “big wedgie”).

Your Daily Loser
How embarrassing! Two guys in lockup in Alton, Tex., climbed up through the air-conditioner vent and crawled away, but the shaft broke open, and they landed on the floor of the police chief’s office. Associated Press via Alton (Ill.) Telegraph

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Are these the types of fellas who might run a meth lab out of a Colorado trailer home? Denver Post

Professor Music’s Weird Links
A nice collection of citations for out-of-the-box thinking on taking The Only Way Out (like, y’know, ramming a ball-point pen through your skull, or strangulation by tying four rubber bands together) [from A Good Poop blog, via]

NOTW, The Blog
(1) Yr Editor has been following Zimbabwe’s inflation rates for a couple of yrs, but this blogger "Josh" has more, having inferred the latest weekend rate (since the gov’t no longer publishes an official rate). The value of a U.S. dollar last Friday was Z$17 billion, and by Monday it had climbed to Z$35 billion. 100 percent in three days, which would be a progressive daily rate of 26 percent, which works out to an annual percentage of, er, 430 followed by 36 zeroes. (2) Mainichi Daily News announced that it has closed its notorious waiwai page, citing the number of straight news readers who were offended by the raunch. The waiwai page reported the juiciest of the weekly Japanese sex tabloids (but always carried a disclaimer about legitimacy), and since it came from the respected MDN, Yr Editor was often tipped to its stories. I’d make a perfunctory effort to find mainstream Japanese papers’ coverage of the same thing, but I never found a single one and had to let go of some really delightful stories, like the idea that there might be brothels in Tokyo where you rent inflatable dolls by the hour.

Newsrangers: Emory Kimbrough, Jeanette Curtis, Stephen Taylor, Steve Miller, Joe Littrell, Sam Gaines
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday’s Creme de la Weird

You’d think America’s about had enough of those no-money-down mortgages, but one enabler is still pushing them: the federal gov’t
The Federal Housing Administration still has a program to guarantee those loans, based on the seller’s laundering the down payment to the buyer through a nonprofit third party. Of course, if the buyer defaults, that’s FHA’s problem, not yours and mine! Wall Street Journal

Almost 20 percent of Christians say they pray in tongues
62% of Americans say at least some of their prayers have been answered. (Yr Editor’s doing something wrong.)
Washington Post

Scottish elementary schools ban “father’s day” so not to offend kids from “nontraditional” families
This isn’t the first such report from the UK. Yr Editor did one on a Welsh school banning mother’s day cards [NOTW Daily, 2-7-2008], but I seem to recall others, limited to individual schools. Daily Telegraph (London)

Update: The Gloucester Daily Times has fingered Time magazine as the one that first called that town’s high school mass pregnancies a “pact”
The real evidence so far is that several girls shared the same attitude about getting pregnant while in school, but it could just as well have been that they came to those decisions independently (or informally, following the leader). Gloucester Daily Times

Update: The “primitive, indigenous” tribe in Brazil that Yr Editor referred you to, with arrows pointed toward the photographer on the circling airplane, isn’t quite so primitive
The photographer exaggerated a bit, on behalf of a land-preservation campaign. The tribe may technically been been “noncontacted,” as the photographer told reporters, but it had been discovered previously, like, almost 100 yrs ago. The photographer knew exactly where to look to get a provocative photo. But they're still way-primitive. The Guardian (London) [Link via BoingBoing] // NOTW Daily, 6-2-2008

The Human Condition Today
Arrested in Tampa on coke-selling charges: Mr. God L. Howard (L is for Lucky) (Bonus: He stated that his occupation is “mortgage broker,” which is arguably more disreputable these days than “coke dealer”) . . . . . People Different From Us: Scott Sullivan, 35, was arrested in Van Buren, Ark., for allegedly kidnaping his mother and tying her up because he was angry that her dog killed his pet skunk.

Your Daily Loser
Briton James Milson, 21, was arrested four months ago for breaking into a car and swiping the navigation device; turns out it was a police bait car, and the hidden camera caught his face perfectly. Then, six weeks ago, he did it again. And it was another bait car, and another perfect photo. Last week, once more, another bait car, another perfect shot. Daily Telegraph (London)

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Jeffrey Barrier, 41, arrested for video peeping over the transom at a tanning booth, even though it looked for a while like the charges wouldn’t stick because cops couldn’t find a camera, but then they looked up his butt. Cincinnati Enquirer //

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
John Arthur Grawey, 53, accused of onanic behavior in front of a kid. Cheboygan (Mich.) Daily Tribune

How to find out whether a city has a drug problem: give it a urinalysis (testing its raw sewage) (and learning, for example, that Las Vegas has 5x the per capita meth use as Omaha, and that London’s a heroin king and Los Angeles does coke) . . . . . An F State lawyer, fighting his Pensacola client’s federal obscenity charges, said he’ll try to use Pensacola computers’ Google search results to show that “community standards” are actually pretty raunchy . . . . . Uh-Oh! TV producers have created Faith Off, a quiz show on religious trivia featuring teams of Muslims, Jews, Christians, etc., battling each other, in good fun, of course, of course (on the Islam Channel, available in 30 countries). Of course. Good fun.

The great Mineola (Tex.) kiddie sex club trials continue down the road from Tyler, Tex., to bring justice to six adults who trained kids as young as 5 to stage sexual performances for about 100 grownups at a day care facility. Shauntel Mayo was convicted in May [NOTW Daily, 5-12-2008], as was Jamie Pittman (each after jury deliberations of five minutes or less). Still on the dock: four others, including, this week, Patrick “Booger Red” Kelly, 41. Tyler Morning Telegraph

Professor Music’s Weird Links
How the world’s 6 tiniest countries came to be

NOTW, The Blog
Yr Editor obsessively followed George Carlin’s career, even when he was just doing straight stand-up with short hair and narrow ties. Then, in 1990, he became the first really big shot to write me a fan letter, scrawling in his own pen that he loved News of the Weird in the weekly Los Angeles Reader. We even pen-palled a bit after that. Holy jeez, George Carlin wrote me a fan letter! George Carlin! [sigh] Damn.

Newsrangers: Tom Barker, Stephen Taylor, John Votel, Jerry Whittle, Bobby Straka, Wes Simpson, Bryce Jackson, Joe Littrell, Sam Gaines, Grant Crawford
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday’s Creme de la Weird

A ventilation problem last year at a Centers for Disease Control infectious research lab was remedied by, uh, putting duct tape around the door (and the tape’s still there!)
Oh, the public was never at risk, an official said; the duct tape is just an “enhancement.” Said a critic, “I do not believe the CDC would approve this arrangement in a laboratory other than their own.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Police in a Minneapolis suburb, trying to be helpful, walked into a home at 3 a.m., scaring the bejeezus out of the kids and the parents, just to tell them, Hey, be sure to lock your doors at night
St Paul Pioneer-Press

Can’t Possibly Be True: A high school honor student was suspended for 2 yrs for giving his teacher a playful noogie
On appeal, the school reduced it to 10 months. The teacher was well-known to playfully endure noogies. Classmates can’t believe this is happening. [Ed.: Neither can I; something’s missing here] WCBS-TV (New York City)

Caged boy “skinned, eaten by family”
It’s a story from the Czech Republic, but it’s being widely circulated, meaning lots of editors think it’ll stand up [and it looks good to Yr Editor]. A mother and her friend continually abused, sexually and otherwise, her two adolescent sons. They were forced to cut themselves. Then, the women munched on the flesh, all at the direction of the mysterious text-messager, “the Doctor.” When arrested, mom said she was brainwashed by the friend and the Doctor, as part of a cult called the Grail Movement. When the news broke, said Grail Movement said, Not us; it was a breakaway cult of Joseph Skria, whom we kicked out in 1996. (Bonus: Mom’s kinda cute, actually) (Double bonus: The abuse was exposed when the women set up a remote video feed so they could watch the kids suffer but didn’t encrypt the signal, and the next-door neighbor accidentally picked it up) Daily Mail (London) / Daily Telegraph (Sydney) [“kinda cute”] / message from Grail Movement

A delightfully complicated murder trial is underway in Atlanta
A Louisiana grocer from India asked a pal to find a hit man to get rid of the grocer’s black daughter-in-law in Atlanta so the son could find a nice Indian girl, instead. The pal engaged a broker, who found the hit man. It’ll be tough to pull off because the couple are always together, the hit man said. I could do the job easier if I killed both of them (a 2-for-1 special!). No, no, not the son, just the daughter-in-law. Hit man did the job, but had a witness with him. He trusted the witness because she made a “pinky promise” with him (hooking pinky fingers) not to squeal. The half-clever grocer and his broker are on tape: “Remember,” said the broker, “I did that murder for you.” “You did it for me,” said the grocer, “but the problem is [thinking on his feet, though it’s too late for that now] I don’t know anything about that. Am I right or wrong? I don’t know nothing about that.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Cliche come to life: British town council actually outlaws use of the word “brainstorming” as offensive to epileptics
When people meet to think creatively, they’ll be having “thought showers” now. The epileptics’ association says, Seriously? Daily Mail (London)

When (and why) did junior high schools in Houston stop making boys strip naked for swimming class?
YMCAs were notorious for that as late as the 1950s, Yr Editor knows. A Houston Chronicle columnist posits that it started in the 19th century when swim suits were full-body and would shed fibers freely, clogging pool drains, and nobody bothered to change the policy until some time in the 1950s or later. Houston Chronicle

Modern jousting: like ultimate fighting but with horses, lances, and body armor
There are a couple hundred competitive jousters in the world, who take no prisoners (“It’s not about the prize you win. It’s about hearing your rivals’ wives weep”). This is altogether different from those renaissance-fair weekend revivals, which are for costumes and camaraderie. These cats are serious. Ya can get hurt here (and spend a lot of money). Wall Street Journal

The Human Condition Today
The 1980s Kansas City serial rapist-murderer was convicted on Thursday, and draw your own conclusions about why he turned bad, but maybe it was his inability to get a date, what with his real name being Mr. Shy Bland . . . . . This F State dentist has a 35-yr career and sparkling reputation–except for that one patient where the dentist accidentally dropped the screwdriver down his throat while putting in an implant, and then, when the patient went back for the job, six months later, the dentist accidentally dropped a torque wrench down his throat . . . . . Middle-school teacher-student sex in Jefferson County, Ala., which is unremarkable except it involves at least 8 boys, which might violate the state’s bag limit.

Your Daily Loser
He seeks police help in getting his car back after lending it to an acquaintance for an errand, and no, he didn’t quite get the actual name or address of the acquaintance, but he does know a guy who knows the acquaintance, and the guy said the acquaintance goes by “Weasel.” Las Cruces Sun-News

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Carol Blair, 63, and her daughter Brigit Moore, 36, were arrested in Rocklin, Calif., for lots o’ car vandalism in a neighborhood (though police said they were just trashing Blair’s ex-husband’s car and then did the others as cover. KOVR-TV (Sacramento)

Duke Univ. is a basketball powerhouse, but they really suck at football, and in fact, according to their lawyers, their football team is a lot lousier even than people think, which is why the school wins this lawsuit . . . . . Some say Bhutan has the world’s awfulest cuisine, but it’ll be showcased on the Washington, D.C., Mall this week at a Smithsonian festival (e.g., chili peppers in yak cheese, yak-butter tea, ferns boiled to slime)

The mayor of Gloucester, Mass., said the sourcing is mighty thin for that alleged pregnancy pact by those 17 high school girls [NOTW Daily, 6-20-2008], i.e., just the school principal’s word for it, based on someone’s telling him. Yr Editor guesses, then, that the story is back in play.

Professor Music’s Weird Links has updated its Master List of female teachers caught fooling around with students (with details), but don’t go here unless you’ve got some time on your hands ‘cause, well, it’s a master list.

Newsrangers: Steve Miller, Joe Littrell, Paul Music, Alan Magid, Mark Neunder, Paul Bruesch, Scott Langill, Emory Kimbrough, Jeff Berg, Sam Gaines, Jenny Beatty
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday’s Creme de la Weird

TV news that Can’t Possibly Be True
Premiering on the G4 cable network on July 15th will be the reality show, uh, Hurl, which is as it appears: Contestants gorge themselves, then get strapped onto a big spinner, and the one to throw up last wins. Seriously. ABC News

With straight faces, the people of Zheleznovodsk, Russia, dedicated a town monument to the, er, enema
The region’s spas do big business including, apparently, mineral-water colonics, so here’s an 800-lb. syringe bulb, held aloft by three men. A banner reads “Let’s beat constipation.” Said a local artist, “This device is eternal. It will never change.” Associated Press via Yahoo

U.S. contractor in Afghanistan, being sued by GIs’ families for wrongful death, invokes Sharia law
Nat’l Transportation Safety Board said the deaths were the fault of the contractor (a sister corporation of those charming Blackwater folks), but Sharia holds only the individual employees liable. Raleigh News and Observer

“God willing” is becoming Egypt’s linguistic equivalent of “like” and “y’know”
It’s not just headscarves, or the “raisin” bumps on the head from enthusiastic praying [NOTW M042, 1-27-2008]. Now pious Egyptians toss “inshallah” around with their every word. ([What’s your name?] Fezzik, God willing. [Will you have onions on your sandwich?] Yes, God willing.) New York Times
[Ed.: Er, Blogger is acting funny right here, and I can't get the link to stick so if you want this story, you'll have to copy and paste]

Evidently, even the “seventh most genetically valuable horse in the North American breeding program” can be vasectomized if for the convenience of whichever zoo he’s being kept at
The zoo may have to house him with fillies who aren’t, y’know, qualified to receive his immortal sperm. Fortunately, vets can now do vasectomy-reversals on horses! Science Daily

Busy day at Washington’s National Press Club
First, a guy named Gary W. Sinclair rented a room Wednesday to publicize his unsubstantiated charge that he did sex ‘n’ cocaine with state senator Obama in 1999, which he’s had a tough time getting anyone to believe, since he’s got a long rap sheet for frauds, but then apparently some bloggers tipped police, and Sinclair was arrested at the scene based on a Delaware warrant he’s been running from, and it turns out Sinclair’s lawyer is our old friend Montgomery Blair Sibley, the attorney of last resort who brings instant discredit to any client (in those states where he hasn’t been disbarred). Sibley showed up Wednesday in a kilt. One reporter: “I don’t mean to be impudent, but why are you wearing a kilt?” Sibley: “It has to do with genitalia. If you are on the smaller side, then pants are not uncomfortable [sic].” blog / Sydney Morning Herald

The Human Condition Today
Manuel Douglas set his house on fire when he fell asleep while deep-frying a pork chop (Bonus: “Douglas told investigators he kept [the] deep-fryer next to his sofa”) . . . . . They’re looking for Marcel Perrot in Edmonton, Alberta, for robbing a bank while test-driving a truck from a dealership (Bonus: The salesman was innocently waiting in the truck outside the bank the whole time) . . . . . Readers’ Choice: From Grand Prairie, Tex., the latest "used his waistband as a holster" mishap, and he won’t be doing that again, ever . . . . . It appears that 17 girls at Gloucester (Mass.) High made a pact to get pregnant by any means necessary because they were desperate to have someone to love them unconditionally.

Your Daily Loser
Gelando Olivieri, who was arrested after he got chased out of an F State liquor store by the clerk he was robbing (which he was trying to do by being armed with a palm frond) (but it was one with sharp leaves!) (Of course there’s a surveillance photo!) WKMG-TV (Orlando)

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
William Moser, 26 (who, technically, is a gunshot “victim,” but even his mom admits it’s just a matter of time before he perps up once again) Dominion Post (Wellington, New Zealand)

A high school in rural Thailand broke down and built a third-sex bathroom with a half-man, half-woman image on the door, dictated by the fact that almost 8 percent of the entire student body claim to be transvestites . . . . . It’s only fair: Chinese South Africans, who were “colored” under apartheid, have been officially classified now as “black” and entitled to all the anti-white gov’t bennies . . . . . It looks like a judge in Quebec has overruled one parent’s grounding of a 12-yr-old girl, which would be sorta big news, but from the reports Yr Editor can’t be sure the decision wasn’t simply based on the judge’s empowering the other parent (who didn’t ground her) (the parents are divorced).

(1) The problem’s worse than Yr Editor reported this week [NOTW M062, 6-15-2008]: 27,000 doctors, hospitals, and other Medicare providers owe more than $2B in back taxes, and the gov’t could be docking each Medicare reimbursement 15 percent to recoup taxes, but isn’t. (2) So now somebody punked out the people around Vancouver, B.C., by planting a washed-ashore shoe with a “foot” inside it! (So the total of real ones remains at 5.)

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

NOTW, The Blog
The this week reminded us that the Phabulous Phelpses of Topeka, Kan., actually had a local history of representing blacks in civil rights challenges and only after that commenced their holy war against homosexuality.

Newsrangers: Bruce Townley, Bob Pert, Scott Schrier, Karl Olson, Maggie Morgan, Catherine May, Emory Kimbrough, and a lot of people on the enema and waistband and parental-grounding beats.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday’s Creme de la Weird

A tic from his past haunts an F State candidate for sheriff
Current Sarasota Chief Deputy Larry Dunklee had this problem, 8 yrs ago, anyway, in that four female co-workers complains that he had roving hands, on their bodies and on his own. Of the latter, he explained that (according to a Herald-Tribune columnist) “touching himself [uh, down there, through his clothes] was a nervous habit he picked up as a kid, and said his mother had once sought medical advice to help him stop.” Well, maybe. But back then, when given the opportunity to apologize to one offended lady, he then ripped her a new one for noticing that particular area of his body and blamed her for embarrassing him. Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Recurring Theme: I got glued to the toilet seat at Wal-Mart
Haywood Rosales, 31, said he had to call his wife to come help him because the throne had some sort of adhesive, and he got cuts and abrasions when the seat was finally pulled off. (A similar November 2005 lawsuit against Home Depot was dismissed on the ground that the store had no way of knowing that one customer would try to punk another customer, but Rosales’s lawyer said stores should thereafter have been on the lookout for copycats.) [Actually, Yr Editor NLW’d the story in 2006 after, I recall, two more in-store pranks, the last of which I reported in NOTW 965 [8-6-2006] involving a Wal-Mart in North Salisbury, Md.] / AP via MSNBC (2005 lawsuit)

Man sics his pet snake on cops
Nothing happened. Bad snake! Connecticut Post

Child welfare officials threatened to take a diligent mother’s autistic child away because, uh, her teacher’s assistant’s psychic said the kid was being sexually abused
Seriously. City News (Toronto)

Virginia’s back-assward protection of sensitive data
Betty Ostergren campaigns to have the state cover up all those Social Security numbers it has incidentally left on Internet public records. State no-like criticism. Betty starts publishing the SSN’s, herself, to dramatize the problem. State now embarrassed. Legislature leaps into action. Result: State records still up, intact, but next month a law will kick in criminalizing Betty’s spreading the numbers around. PC World

British janitor sues the school for £50,000 because he fell off a stepladder, which was their fault for not “training” him
He told first-responders to the accident that it was his own fault but now disclaims that, saying, well, he was dazed at the time, being “in and out of consciousness.” Daily Telegraph (London)

Update: Our favorite semi-nude protester
Jennifer Moss was last seen on these pages upsetting some people in Ojai, Calif., by tooling around town in g-string and pasties [NOTW Daily, 4-29-2008] but has moved to Ashland, Ore., based on the town’s ordinance that prohibits only genital nudity (and not nipple nudity). She has announced she’ll do the 4th of July parade topless. Town officials said that’s a family affair and that she can parade topless the other 365 days this yr, but not then, please. Associated Press via Yahoo

Gangs of New York do formal “blessings” of their babies, like baptisms into gang life
“‘It’s like a christening,’ he said. ‘The [Episcopal] priest holds the baby, and we say our prayer at the same time. We have to have the window open and the baby pointed to the sun.’ Once blessed, the child is given yellow beads, the [Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation] gang’s color.” New York Daily News

F State man hates payday ‘cause he has to send his ex-wife alimony to support her current life as a man
“He says he doesn’t wish Julio [formerly, Julia] any ill will, but is afraid he might bump into his ex-wife in the men’s room someday.” WTSP-TV (St. Petersburg)

A British police department coughed up £100,000 worth of expense trying to find protective gear that would fit a Sikh cop over his turban
They couldn’t find anything so the cop immediately went on sick leave for stress. Daily Telegraph (London)

The Human Condition Today
In a fiery, three-vehicle crash in Dallas, one person was hospitalized, but the only death was a rubbernecker who got out to take pictures from the adjacent lane and was, well– . . . . . A schoolteacher in China’s earthquake area is being publicly pilloried because he apparently outran all of his students for cover when the quake hit (“I would only consider sacrificing my life for my daughter [and not] for anyone else, even my mother”) . . . . . Says here a guy in Genoa, Italy, kidnaped his ex-girlfriend and brought her home because some dishes needed washing and some ironing done.

Your Daily Losers
There was a stabbing at a house in Wichita, Kan., after a commotion started when two young men were arguing over which of them more deserved the nickname “C-Thug.” Wichita Eagle

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Is Betty Neumar your retired high school English teacher or a woman who has killed each of her five husbands? ABC News

Good to know: French scientists learn which part of the brain lights up when we look at porn . . . . . The Vatican has blessed the idea of a musical based on the Virgin Mary and are seeking a lyricist, having already selected the composer, whose credits include Pirhana Part 2: The Spawning and Black Orgasm . . . . . Sounds Like a Joke: France announced it was reducing its military by 54,000 jobs . . . . . Let’s see, gasoline, $4.09 a gallon, whoa, no way, crime, outrage, and Evian, $6.76 a gallon, yeah, well, uh, hey, wait a minute . . ..

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

NOTW, The Blog
Reminder: Yr Editor is tending to chores tomorrow and will post next on Friday.

Newsrangers: Paul Music, John Holsinger, Shawna-Lin Hamel, Jon Meccarello, Mindy Cohen, Matt Mirapaul, Ken Vermette, Josh Levin, Scott Langill, Justin Warner
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday's Creme de la Weird

Charles Hood is to meet his maker tomorrow morning, convicted by a judge who allegedly was being humped by the prosecutor during the trial
Hood’s lawyers do not have a smoking gun although it’s one of those things where “everybody” in the courthouse “knew” about it. Salon’s been on this since 2005, but without a smoking gun, Texas’s appeals judges don’t even have to open their usual blind eyes to this. Salon

Exorcist for vice president! (God knows we could use one)
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a McCain favorite for VP, wrote an essay in 1994 for New Oxford Review, a Catholic journal, narrating a story of “a personal encounter with a demon, in which he participated in an exorcism with a group of college friends. And not only did they cast out the supernatural spirit that had possessed his friend, Jindal wrote that he believes that their ritual may well have cured her cancer.” [passage from Talking Points Memo blog] New Oxford Review / TalkingPointsMemo

(Punchline-friendly news) Grand jury indicts guy’s DNA
Four women were raped around the Univ. of Cincinnati area in 1995-96, and cops still don’t have a suspect, but they do have the DNA. It’s not clear where the DNA came from, but most likely it was the “rape kit,” meaning, well . . .. WCPO-TV (Cincinnati)

Love those insurance contracts
(1) In Midwest flooding, a Wisconsin lake breached its barrier and spilled into the Wisconsin River, and the whole damn lake drained out. So a lakefront resort filed a claim for “loss of income” because who wants to spend vacation time relaxing alongside mud? No can do, said the insurance company, because the loss was due to flood, and you don’t have flood insurance. Flood? We're not flooded. (2) Tonya Riley’s trailer home in Kingston, Okla., got filled last week with 780 gallons of raw sewer-backup and is a total loss (Yep, there’s video!). Her insurance is useless because she failed to buy the sewer-backup coverage, and state law usually exempts the town from liability for these things. Capital Times (Madison) / KXII-TV (Sherman, Tex.)

Recurring Theme: I couldn’t have raped that child because, er, I’m too damn big
The girl had no genital abrasion, yet my client is a “vary large” man, said his lawyer, and if the court will just allow us to make a plaster cast of his stuff, we can show the jury. If it can’t fit, you must acquit. WCAU-TV (Philadelphia) via MSNBC

Bush administration’s proposed disabled-access proposals are generally applauded, but one thing is clear: no “assistance monkeys” (or assistance horses)
New York Times / NOTW 973 (10-1-2006) (monkeys) / NOTW M034 (12-2-2007) (horses)

The name is We Trust . . . In God We Trust
A judge in Illinois shrugged and said, hey, what can ya do? Guy wants to legally change his name from Steve Kruescher to In God We Trust. “I feel fantastic,” said We Trust. “I’ve been praying for this.” Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, Ill.)

Update: The fascinating Darius McCollum is back
He’s the basically harmless guy who literally cannot stop hanging around train yards and pretending to be a transit worker. They used to release him after the trespassing arrests, to get treatment, but the last time, they hauled him off to prison. He’s out and right back at it. / Wikipedia

Your Daily Loser
Stuart Gardner dropped by the house and went around back to where Peter Diamond was tending his garden (following a break-in at his home that week). Gardner walked up to Diamond, held out Diamond’s house keys, and said, er, “I’m the person who broke in. Can I have my mobile phone back?” Daily Telegraph (London)

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Anna Godinas, 24, arrested in Immokalee, Fla., when she left her three filthy toddlers out in the rain while she was inside buying beer (and then, when criticized, supposedly said, “I don’t want them anymore, anyway”) Naples Daily News

ABC-TV’s “20/20" did a full take-out last Friday on the 2-yr-old girl who had been born with 8 limbs (of course, exactly matching the 8 limbs of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, which makes all the neighbors reverent in the girl’s presence, and of course, the parents named her Lakshmi Tatma) . . . . . According to this lawsuit, ya can get “significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function, disability, disfigurement,” and all sorts of other anguish if you go to a bird sanctuary and don’t watch out for the bird doo . . . . . Rescue workers trying to put a neck brace on an auto-accident victim (to, y’know, stabilize his body in case of nerve injury) were resisted by the victim, so, naturally, sheriff’s deputies had to Taser the guy “several times” so they could get the brace on . . . . . A New Orleans grand jury indicted Frank Keys Jr, 38, on heroin possession (257g that he was carrying in his, um, diaper).

In this week’s News of the Weird [M062, 6-15-2008], Yr Editor stuck in the item about sculptor Takashi Murakama earning $15.2m at the auction of his Lonesome Cowboy (nude man, holding his stuff, creating a circular “lasso” of his ejaculate). Turns out this was only one piece during Murakama’s Bodily Fluids Period. Here’s more stuff, including a similar circular “lasso” of milk from way-large breasts. (None of this is safe for work, by the way.) Wired Blogs / Village Voice

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Cops in Madison, Wis., busted a burglary ring last week, which they claim was sorta operating out of this crack house, but as you can plainly see from this breathtaking slide show, ain’t nothin’ operating out of this place. It’s a rain forest for bacteria.

NOTW, The Blog
NOTE: Yr Editor has some property-hygiene issues to attend to this week and thus will not be publishing on Tuesday or Thursday. See ya Wednesday.

Newsrangers: Joe Littrell, Ed Tucciarone, Paul Di Filippo, Kurt Knochel, Keith Yearman, Nicole Johnson, Larry Ellis Reed, Josh Levin, Kent Cooper
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday’s Creme de la Weird

Britain’s Royal Air Force blew up, er, 237 tons of marijuana confiscated in Afghanistan
Two football fields’ worth, street value of almost a half a billion dollars, using 1,000-lb. bombs. The Sun (London)

Oregon man accused of nancy-kerriganing his daughter with a hammer so she’d get pain pills that he could swipe
KIRO-TV (Seattle)

America’s immigration-policy shame
The problem is that only 349 H-1B visas (out of 85,000 available) went to fashion models, but U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner introduced a bill calling for at least 1,000, since, as everybody knows, America somehow lacks homegrown beautiful people. CBS News

Pennsylvania restaurant inspector said he was speechless when he looked in the sink and saw a snapping turtle
The Panda Chinese Kitchen in York, er, failed inspection. They had plenty of other violations, but Panda’s owner said he was just trying to save the turtle’s life after finding it outside. York Daily Record

A madrassa in Virginia
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, examining the textbooks used by the Islamic Saudi Academy (campuses in Alexandria and Fairfax, Va.), found references to hardline Wahabi Muslim preachings, e.g., OK to murder Jews and other infidels. Associated Press via Star Tribune

North Carolina judge censured for delay in deciding a case (nearly 4 yrs, after a 6-day trial)
Greensboro News-Record

Dallas-area high school coach with a pawnshop habit
He hocked 270 items over a 15-month period, including school property (though apparently he went back and got those out). So far, there is no explanation because he was given the chance to quietly retire. Dallas Morning News

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
A 36-year-old man in Singapore was sentenced to 14 yrs in the slammer (but only after receiving 18 lashes) after a conviction for assaulting 23 women by sniffing their armpits without permission. Reuters

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Robert Turecek, arrested for setting his own house on fire, twice, because he figured that would “get back” at his ex-wife (even though she had already moved out) KDVR-TV (Denver)

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Behold the Reptoids Research Center: We are not alone, John Rhodes says, but the strangers are not from up there but from down there. Reptilian-Humanoid beings, native to Earth, retreated to underground caverns during environmental cataclysms long ago and continue to thrive and evolve (and are secretly interacting with humans!).

NOTW, The Blog
(1) A woman in Valley City, N.D., said the storm was so bad Wednesday morning that she’s sure she "seen" a cow fly past her window. (One cow had to be put down from injury after the storm passed, so maybe . . ..) Yr Editor loves stories of flying cows, though usually only cows falling from the sky are involved, most recently NOTW 956, 6-4-2006, and NOTW M012, 7-1-2007. (2) Doctors in Bangladesh removed a 93-lb. benign tumor from a man, thus making lots of world news. This genre, of course, has been No Longer Weirded since 2001. The world record, as far as Yr Editor can determine, remains the 303-lb. tumor removed at Stanford Medical Center in 1991 [NOTW 205, 1-10-1992]. (The patient weighed 513 lbs. when she was wheeled into the O/R, 210 coming out; the gurney bringing out the tumor was heavier than the gurney bringing out the patient.) Before it achieved NLW status, the big-tumor/cyst problem was reported in NOTW 583, 4-9-1999 (80 lbs., size of a beach ball, in Baltimore) and NOTW 698, 6-24-2001 (100-lb. job in Cairo, Egypt).

Newsrangers: Maxine Uhlir, Bruce Townley, Stephen Taylor, Sam Gaines, Ann McFarlane, Tim Callahan
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thursday’s Creme de la Weird

Hot chick wins Miss Headscarf title on Copenhagen TV
Denmark stirs the pot one more time. It was a fashion show, not a beauty contest, they said, and Ms. Huda Falah, 18, won for her scarf’s kinda Carolina blue color. (This explanation will not be widely accepted in the Muslim world.) Daily Telegraph (London)

Evan Ramsey swears that, when he was 16, he didn’t realize the people he shot would be killed
He’s the guy who opened fire in his Alaska school in 1997 and killed two people (and is now serving 210 yrs). “Ramsey said his naivete left him unable to grasp that firing a gun in the real world is different from firing one in a video game,” wrote ABC News. “I didn’t realize that you shoot somebody, they die,” he said. ABC News

“Plants have a secret social life.”
That was from researcher Susan Dudley of McMaster University (Hamilton, Ont.), who found that the Great Lakes sea rocket plant identifies nearby plants and doesn’t fight for nutrition as much if the plant is related to it as it does if it’s a stranger. New York Times

And Judge Alex Kozinski has a secret life, too
The high-ranking federal judge about to conduct the extreme-porno trial in Los Angeles was found to have naughty pictures on a then-publicly-accessible website and will have to withdraw from the case. He also had accessible mp3 files on it (potentially illegal). The pages are no longer public so we may not be able to know how gross the photos were. A Los Angeles Times reporter, who broke the story, described a couple of them, but Yr Editor thinks they can’t be the worst. Kozinski says to chill out, that they were just jokes and things. Los Angeles Times

The Aristocrat!
All the elements: the F State, road rage, redneck, “bitch,” Faith Independent Baptist Church, crotch-wiping. Northwest Florida Daily News

Man in three-vehicle crash told police he was just driving around until he sobered up enough to go home
Asbury Park Press

“Cold, Wet Spring Threatens British Columbia Pot Crop”
There are of course no “official” crop figures, but one “farmer” said it might be a billion dollars’ worth of dope that’s rotting in the ground. Canadian Broadcasting Corp. News

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Benjamin Baker, 27, was arrested in Corio, Australia, for sexually harassing a woman by sending her video mail of himself wanking, including the last one he sent, which was received on the woman’s phone while she was in the police station making her complaint. Daily Telegraph (Sydney)

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Randy Stanaford, 31, charged with trying to abduct a little girl (and remember, in the U.S. justice system, a person is innocent until his mugshot is posted) Kentucky Post

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

Newsrangers: Jim Bishop, Perry Levin
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wednesday’s Creme de la Weird

Update: NY Times, Wall St Journal report the French court decision to grant a Muslim man an annulment when he discovered his wife was not a virgin
News of the May court ruling [NOTW Daily, 6-2-2008] has not only stirred up French secularists but rejuvenated the hymen-restoration surgery market, so that brides get a kinda certificate of virginity. New York Times / Wall Street Journal

“People have no idea how graphic the images are”
An ACLU technology guy said the new generation of high-tech body scanners (now going into 10 major U.S. airports) can see sex organ and breast size, colostomy bags, penile implants, etc. All faces are blurred, and the images can’t be copied or stored because, well, that’s the protocol, protocols are always followed! Agence France-Presse

Just as U.S. ISP’s agree to block child porn websites, France ups the ante by agreeing to block “hate” sites, too
Ya pretty much know what “child porn” is, and it has no positive social value, but deciding what kind of “hate” is “offensive” depends on who’s asking and who’s answering. (Bonus: Hamas announced that Gaza’s only ISP would start blocking all porn, but there’s now widespread unrest because the filter they’re using drags down the connect time) AP via San Francisco Chronicle / Agence France-Presse

Still more on the pornography front: The Tampa jury that convicted producer Max Hardcore last week told reporters they plan to write a book on the trial
This is otherwise known as “begging an appeals court for a new trial for Max” (on the ground of conflict of interest, since it was well-known to the judge that the jurors were badly split for a couple of days before agreeing on the conviction). Tampa Tribune

The Human Condition Today

Sydney District Court just wasted about A$1m on a 66-day trial because several jurors were playing sudoku during testimony
Jury miscondict, new trial. Observers at first assumed they were merely taking notes, but then, why would they be writing vertically? Australian Associated Press via

Couple in throes of passion knock cellphone on floor, where it auto-dials the woman’s other boyfriend
He has a temper, and it didn’t take him long to get there. Daily Telegraph (London)

British policeman accidentally shot dead during training exercise
No wonder bobbies don’t carry guns. The Times (London)

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
He invited two male friends over to watch him have sex with his advanced-stage-dementia wife, but, he said, he was confident that if she had been of sound mind, she wouldn’t have minded.

A Shawnee, Kan., man is feeling great after a nail-gun accident because a Johnson County Med-Act medic, rushing him to the hospital, pulled the nail out with a claw hammer (“It went in like that. We can pull it out like that.”) . . . . . For the exceptionally lazy Brit, a £5.75 ($11.27) rotating ice-cream cup, which is like a cone that you don’t have to lick but rather just hold out your tongue for, and the ice cream rotates on its own . . . . . Readers’ Choice: In Simsbury, Conn., they found a pipe bomb on the side of the road, stuffed into a grocery-store whole chicken . . . . . And here’s your story of the day, from Britain’s The Sun: “Baby Born with Penis on Back,” in rural China (er, no, I don't think so).

That kid in Yemen who marched into the courthouse by herself to demand a divorce from her arranged, much-older husband [NOTW Daily, 4-16-2008] gets a full takeout on the front page of the Los Angeles Times this morning.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
The original Warner Bros. studio made hundreds of short cartoon features to run just before the feature film in theaters, from 1935 to 1964, and apparently every time a specific product had to be drawn for the story (that wasn’t obviously identifiable by its mere image), its brand name was “Acme,” e.g., “Acme Indestructible Steel Ball.” This guy, for some reason, decided to compile all the products into a browsable catalog.

NOTW, The Blog
The news from Weird Central is that “Colbert Report” staffers hung around for a couple of days asking teachers and administrators, on camera, where were the “wizards.” That refers to the wholly bogus news story, NOTW Daily, 5-6-2008, in which a teacher who got canned called up the press and termed the reason for his dismissal that he did a magic trick in class and that the administrators thought that made him a “wizard.” And once a version gets out on the series of tubes, it just doesn’t matter what really happened (i.e., that he was a screw-up). Yr Editor tries to protect you from things like that because for, well, almost 30 yrs, it’s been about the faith that true things are more interesting than made-up things.

Newsrangers: Sam Gaines, Bob Pert, Ann Killheffer, Gerard Zavaski, Ed Michaelson, Anthony Jeswald, Jan Wolitzky, Glen Eichenblatt
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tuesday’s Creme de la Weird

Somebody in China is selling little bags of goldfish as (unofficial) Olympics souvenir keyrings
Daily Telegraph (London)

Makes $82k, has $54 savings, somehow can’t figure out why
They don’t make accountants like they used to. It’s not Wi-Fi waves that rot yer brain; it’s cooties from those plastic cards ya carry around, and the Debtors Anonymous groups are proliferating. Wall Street Journal

The Americanization of Japan (continued): Previously humble parents now jump up teachers’ asses
At a recent school performance of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, there were 25 Snow Whites, no dwarfs, no wicked witch. “After a relentless campaign of bullying, hectoring, and nuisance phone calls, the monster parents had cowered the teachers into submission, forcing the school to admit to the injustice of selecting just one girl to play the title role.” The Times (London)

Y’all watch out on Thursday: The House of Yahweh says nuclear world war will start then
His holiness Yisrayl Hawkins has been wrong before, though, and has lost a few of his humiliated followers around the world. On the other hand (according to the story’s Commenters), House of Yahweh conveniently sells all the survival supplies you’ll need during those dark days ahead. (Bonus: If he’s wrong again, his trial in Texas on bigamy charges [30 wives!] will start in September.) Abilene Reporter News / Wikipedia entry

Church of Sweden priest, sacked for committing adultery with a parishioner, sued the Church, gets his job back
(Bonus: In Quebec, an appeals court just affirmed an arbitrator’s 2006 decision giving a convicted murderer his job back as a public school teacher.) (Stockholm) / The Globe and Mail

South Korea’s hardcore virtual-golf obsession
It’s one thing to play, another for a society like the U.S. to devote so much grass and water to it, another to develop virtual golf so you can play indoors, and another to create “tournaments” out of virtual golf, but now . . they put those virtual tournaments on television. (Bonus: People watch!) New York Times

The lonely vigil of a lathered-up 9-11 “truth” guy
Arizona Republic

Your Daily Loser
They don’t know his name, but he left his torn-up t-shirt behind, after he tried to burglarize the house where Cromwell, the 300-lb. mastiff, lives. Daily Mail (London)

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Vernon Weiske, accused of animal cruelty and domestic violence

Think your local gov’t has budget problems? A 100-yr-old school in Scotland [CORRECTION: Ireland] still uses “outside toilet facilities” . . . . . In Ontario now, porn’s on the open shelves, but cigarettes have to be kept under the counter . . . . . Inexplicable: “The head of one of [Australia’s] elite private schools has questioned whether English should be compulsory for the senior years, saying the courses being taught are beyond the intellectual ability of most students” [from The Australian].

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

Newsrangers: Tom Barker, Kate Gladstone, Stephen Taylor, Bob Pert
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.