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 ScienceBlogs.com]

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.