Friday, February 29, 2008

Things To Worry About On Friday
The $8,000-an-inch wheelchair ramp / Waterboarding in Utah / Disrespecting your oven / the peg-legged parrot / And more!

Civilization in Decline
America may be rich in teachers who provide 1-to-1 sex tutoring, but (if this report on Illinois is generalizable) the actual instructors for sex-education classes may not be that great . . . . . Michele Barile of Parma, Ohio, is absolutely, like never, changing little Bryan’s hair style (a sorta Mohawk) because, by God, what a 6-yr-old wants is always more important than any damned school rule! . . . . . The New Charity: Here’s a success story from that long-time website MyFreeImplants.com, where mammary-challenged women solicit donations (“Obviously,” she said, “this is not as important as helping starving kids in Africa, but it’s the same basis. They [the men] want to help us out”) . . . . . It’s fashion week in Frawnts, and the Los Angeles Times has marvelous photos of what’s hot this season to feed women’s adornment compulsions [click the slide show link on the page] . . . . San Francisco Chronicle columnists totaled up the cost of the wheelchair ramp in the Board of Supervisors meeting room, 10 ft long, and it'll be, er, a million bucks [Ed.: that ol’ bureaucratic strategy for hard decisions: keep putting it off, and someday, the decision may make itself].

The Human Condition Today
She made up the carjacking claim because she was out late, despite her mom ‘n’ dad's having her on a strict curfew (even though she’s 27 and strips for a living) . . . . . Smooth: The mayor of La Mesa, Calif., and a female city employee were found by police about 10:30 p.m., the mayor lying on the sidewalk by the open car door, she sprawled in the driver’s seat, vomit and the fragrance of alcohol in abundance . . . . . He was driving a stolen truck, it looks like, and so ran from police and hid, nearly submerged, in the river, which is an escape strategy that would work better on, say, August 27th than it did on February 27th (Knoxville, Tenn., high temperature that day: 36F) . . . . . A 50-yr-old Welsh woman [well, possibly a woman; see photo] seriously cannot stop making bogus calls to 999 (UK equivalent of 911), even when she had electrodes attached to her fingers to give her a sharp surge if she dialed that third “9" in a row . . . . . Even if you have a small house, there must be a better place to store your fireworks than the oven . . . . . Can’t Possibly Be True: Parents in Northfleet, Kent, England, are OK with letting their 16-yr-old daughter’s 36-yr-old boyfriend come live with her . . like, in her bedroom . . . . . A Provo, Utah, man filed a lawsuit against his ex-employer for messing up his mind with workplace “team-building” exercises (Bonus: such as waterboarding) . . . . . What to do if you lose your job: a home-based casino (with the missus as topless card dealer) . . . . . Readers’ Choice: Balaclavaed, machete-wielding robbers hit a club in Sydney, Australia, but then they didn’t know about a bikers’ group meeting there, and “Bear,” “Jester,” and “Bulldog,” among others, brought the bandits to justice.

Your Daily Loser
Despite numerous Hollywood movies emphasizing the need for speed in a bank robbery, this kid dawdled inside the CIBC branch in Toronto, collecting cash not only from the vault and tellers’ drawers but from customers. The silent alarm had been pressed when he walked in (10:15 a.m.), and by the time he walked out (11 a.m.) with $150k (Cdn), the whole place was surrounded by cops.

NOTW Lite
Fine Points of the Law: Officially, now, you can’t grab your stuff in public in Italy, even if you’re wearing clothes (and even though it’s only for good luck) . . . . . NBC Universal in Los Angeles, which has recently gone mega-enviro, is nonetheless opposed to the bike path adjacent to its property (because, supposedly, that would permit people close enough to the NBC grounds that they could pitch [literally] unsolicited scripts over the fence) . . . . . A UK animal prosthetics firm said it will give a one-legged parrot a peg leg and eye patch [no, no, just a peg leg!] so he’ll stop falling off his perch (Bonus: Every time he falls, he squawks, “Bloody hell!”).

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Eric Gahagen, 27, who hitched a ride from Pennsylvania to Texas just, apparently, to have sex with a 14-yr-old girl (and, wait, here’s another tough one I’m having trouble with: Robert Lewis, 52, who said it was “the wind” that was responsible for scattering around all those nude pictures of himself)
[Bonus: See Professor Music’s recommendation, below!]

Things That Seem Wrong
“U.S. Imprisons One in 100 Adults, Report Finds” [Yr Editor is ashamed of America for this; from where I sit, the number should be around ten in a hundred]

Professor Music’s Weird Links
It had to happen, and someone did it (since January): a blog that challenges you to guess the crime, based on the goofy mugshot!

Newsrangers: Sam Gaines, Ian Pert, Joe Littrell, Emmitt Dove, Tim Aumann, Peter Hine, Bob Pert, Stephen Taylor, Paul Music (and a lot of folks on the Readers’ Choice story)
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Things To Worry About On Wednesday
Job openings for inbreds / R.I.P., world’s clumsiest monk / Hillary Clinton’s crossover appeal to Republicans / Suicidal parrots / And more!

Civilization in Decline
Kivalina, Alaska, and its native tribe filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil and 9 other companies for speeding up that global-warming Big Melt that they say is coming . . . . . An Atlanta dad pleaded guilty to punching his son, 13, out cold for checking in with less than all A’s on his report card . . . . . The FCC fined 13 TV stations for airing nude strippers even with their breasts and buttocks blurred [Ed.: but only the stations about which someone complained, meaning, literally, that in America one person determines what an entire city can legally watch!] . . . . . You’ve wondered about this all your life, and here you go: Birds get seriously depressed sittin’ on that stupid perch all day long when nobody’s around (but that’s why parrots are now being given Prozac) (Bonus: It doesn’t work any better than it does for humans.)

The Human Condition Today
Producers of a Julianne Moore-starring thriller put out a casting call for odd-looking actors to play inbreds from a West Virginia holler (“Unusual facial features, especially eyes”); the Holler Anti-Defamation League is hopping mad [No, no, there’s not an actual HADL, but there are protesters, who are offended! Offended!] . . . . . “Computer genius” Hans Reiser is on trial for murdering his wife, but his lawyer says the circumstantial evidence is just a function of Hans’s semi-Asperger’s social eccentricity (His brother: Sure, absolutely, Hans’d clean the inside of his car with a garden hose! Sure, absolutely, Hans and I have both removed the passenger seats from our cars! What’s the big deal?) . . . . . Good news/Bad news for Hillary Clinton, from Norristown, Pa.: She has “crossover appeal” for at least one registered Republican, but on the other hand, that guy’s now in jail for stabbing his Obama-loving brother-in-law, and will probably miss the rest of this election season . . . . . Ray Reed and Sheila Chapman staged a fabulous b-day party (pony rides, etc.) for their son, who’s, er, 1, Clayburn (aka Prince), because they just love him soooo much and want him to have great “memories” from when he was 1, like we all have from age 1, and, said Sheila, “I want him to know how important and special I think he is” [Ed.: And, oh, jeez, they live in Tampa, and so yet another kid around here’ll someday turn 16 having never ever heard the word “no”] . . . . . Some guy went nuts at a showing of the horror movie The Signal and stabbed (a) the seat in front of him, (b) the guy in the seat, and (c) another guy while running out the door (Bonus: the next scene in the movie, when it was resumed following the melee: a stabbin’!) . . . . . An inquest was held for the world’s clumsiest monk (He lost most of three fingers in a lawn mower accident at the temple 10 yrs ago, then last yr was sliced to death when he slipped under the blades while chasing his mower.)

Your Daily Loser
Justin MacGiffrey, 19, was tracked down by police in Daytona Beach after trying to rob a Circle K by pointing his naked finger, with thumb sticking up, at a clerk. [Ed.: The clerk started toward MacGiffrey, causing him to flee, but the easier thing would have been for the clerk to point his own finger at MacGiffrey and hold him there for the cops]

NOTW Lite
Here’s some good anthro on mass hysterical trances (this, among factory workers in Indonesia, and it turns out there may be an angle to them) . . . . . More global warming? The director of the Tortoise Sanctuary in Britain, since temperatures are too high for hibernation this yr, has taken to letting the darlings (n=75) crash for the winter in her refrigerator, right there with the wine and the mayo [yes, there’s a photo!] . . . . . Australian Lauryn Edwards, age 9, has been booted from competition at her local tennis club because, as a prodigy, she’s grunting at a shriek-level more appropriate for older girls . . . . . The headline, from Papua New Guinea: “Accused Witch Gives Birth in Tree” (of course).

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
David Anthony Faboo, 37 (charged with contacting a 16-yr-old girl on MySpace, meeting up with her, and taking her away to do improper things)

Update
Our old friend Michelle Kosilek, serving life in a Massachusetts pen for killing her wife back when she was Robert Kosilek, complained again that the warden’s dragging on the estrogen supplements, meaning that Michelle’s ta-tas are getting smaller and her junk larger, and “I would not want to continue existing like this,” but possibly she’s just ornerier at this time of the month.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
“The worst part about shooting home invaders is having to get out of bed to grab the shotgun,” reports the Core77 Design Blog, “Well, that’s no longer a problem with The Back-Up Gun Rack,” linking to what is purportedly an actual TV ad for the bed-mounted shotgun rack (but you’ll have to check that out for yourself).

NOTW, The Blog
From Drudge comes word that Gennifer Flowers has decided to put the notorious 1992 answering-machine tapes from Gov. Bill Clinton up for auction. Yr Editor listened to the tapes back then, while most of you readers and the rest of the world were intimidated by James Carville and George Stephanopoulos into thinking they were (1) floozy-cheap and (2) doctored. One tape, especially, provided Yr Editor will all I needed to know to follow the Monica Lewinsky deal 6 yrs later: It was Clinton’s tutorial, in patient detail, on just how Gennifer should lie about their relationship when asked by the media, i.e., this kind of denial will work, but that kind of denial will just cause more trouble. In other words, Yr Editor has understood, since 1992, that W. J. Clinton is . . . The Absolute Master.

Newsrangers: Steve Dunn, Paul Di Filippo, Paul Music, Jeffrey Lant, Brian Wilson, Peter Smagorinsky, Joe Littrell, Tom Preston, Christopher Nalty, Ray Reigadas, Kathryn Wood, Gil Nelson
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Things To Worry About On Monday
Orgasmic childbirth! / Gary Larson returns, in Azusa, California / The cockroach that ate the newsroom / Florida’s flatulent child porn fiend / And more!

Civilization in Decline
Georgia state Rep. Jeanette Jamieson: “Sometimes when you are so busy looking after everybody else’s business, you don’t pay as much attention to your own as you should,” and that’s why I’m 8 yrs behind, or so, in state income taxes (Bonus: She’s an accountant, has run a tax service, is on the legislature’s tax committee) . . . . . Just so you don’t panic about all the R&D money being pissed away on medical breakthroughs: 600 new lab-engineered perfumes hit the market every yr: “There are no new colors to see and very few new sounds, but we are actually creating new, unique smells no one has ever smelled before” . . . . . The Riyadh religious police have 57 men in their crosshairs for flirting (But wait: the “flirting” includes playing “pop music blaring from their cars” . . so what’s the fuss about lashing those guys?) . . . . . What Goes Around Comes Around: Turns out there’s another felicitous consequence in the mortgage meltdown: Many of the mortgages were sold, re-sold, and packaged so fast and so mindlessly in the dash for riches that nobody knows where the original documents went, and more and more judges are demanding that any foreclosure on the mortgage be accompanied by the actual mortgage papers (Result: homeowner spared; lender screwed).

The Human Condition Today
How to brilliantly create buzz for unglamorous natural-birth midwifery: possible orgasms during labor! . . . . . Plan B was to hire a killer to do her husband; Plan A was by herself to give hubby a soda can full of wasps . . . . . A rejected suitor crashed a wedding, held the groom at gunpoint, lined up a shot to his ‘nads, and fired (but missed, hitting the leg) . . . . . Yikes! The Photoshopping of nude pictures with little kids’ heads is now being done by, gasp, a girl’s mother . . . . . A 39-yr-old New Zealander, with a history of defying mandatory-seat-belt laws, and who had rigged a fake “seat belt” so cops would think he was wearing one, was killed in a low-impact crash when his body was slammed into the steering wheel.

Your Daily Loser
Felipe Medina, 18, suspected from the surveillance video of taking clothes from a Kohl’s Dept Store, is asked to come to the station for an interview and arrives helpfully wearing a jacket seen in the video going out the door with Medina.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Mark Hotuyek, 46, Joliet, Ill., gets his kicks from driving alongside a school bus, naked, having a good ol’ time with himself (But Bonus/Sounds Like a Joke: The school bus was full of kids from Wood View Elementary) (Seriously)

NOTW Lite
Win-Win: A homeless man in Port St. Lucie, Fla., called 911 to get cops to come arrest him so he could sleep in jail, but no can do, they said, and don’t call 911 for stupid things like that; the man called 911 again minutes later, was arrested for abusing 911, and is in jail . . . . . The president of Turkmenistan fired 30 TV station personnel after a cockroach kinda co-anchored the nightly newscast, undetected (except by viewers) . . . . . Readers’ Choice: In Azusa, Calif., they say the boxer (dog) bumped the idling, empty truck into gear in a convenience store parking lot and that pretty soon, the truck was in another store’s parking lot across the busy street . . . . . Our Tough ‘n’ Tested Far-Eastern Allies: A South Korean soldier won a disability payment because, following his mandatory military service, his hair fell out.

Update
The severely flatulent Brian Wilcox was sentenced in Tampa to 45 yrs, for child porn. They'll be 45 long ones because Wilcox is this guy [NOTW M032, 11-18-2007]:
[B]rian Wilcox . . . complained [to a federal magistrate] that he was suffering from a series of medical problems. He said that his back hurt from a four-year-old injury; that he has problems with his eyes; that his feet and groin area are numb as if they are “asleep”; that there is a bulge on the left side of his groin; that he is worried about a mole on his nose because of his family history of cancer; that all of his remaining 16 teeth are either decaying or cracking (keeping him from eating, and he’s lost 40 pounds); and that he has “severe flatulence at all times.”
Professor Music’s Weird Links
Another feature from Oddee.com: the 10 Most Bizarre Scientific Papers (includes NOTW’s staple on foreign objects in the rectum, but also a 1998 case study of a development-stunted boy who farted to keep people at bay so they couldn’t put him in difficult positions), but you may have to work hard to find 8 of the 10 online.

Newsrangers: Mike Mendenhall, Eli Christman, Larry Ellis Reed, Michael Lewyn, John Holsinger
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

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.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Things To Worry About On Wednesday
The human pelican / The importance of dung / Pilot and co-pilot miss their wake-up call / The remarkable comeback of Jim Bakker / And more!

Civilization in Decline
Señor Israel Robles-Gaytan, 22, of Mexico, was arrested in Colorado with a vanful of illegals and will no doubt be deported, for the, er, 15th time . . . . . All hail Britain, where a newspaper that reports how two women accuse a Catholic Church official of impregnating them and then urging abortion can be sued for libel by the poor fella even though he did impregnate them out of wedlock and even paid half the abortion fee for one (The newspaper’s story, he said, robbed him of his moral authority and destroyed his credibility!) . . . . . Israeli researchers found that breast cancer is more prevalent in cities that light up at night (corollaries: [1] night-shift work is carcinogenic; [2] it’s good to be blind) . . . . . When you buy life / health / casualty insurance, the first thing you want, number one, bottom line, is for the company to be there when you need a payout, that if you bought the policy from a well-known, trusted company, you won’t find out later that it’s been transferred to “Fred’s Bar & Grill and Insurance Company,” but that’s the way one of the many obscure finance games of the last three decades has been played (only it’s not consumer insurance, but banks’ insurance against credit defaults) . . . . . Once more, the courts/police cannot seem to save a battered woman who asks for protection from her homicidal lover; in fact, police in Deland, Fla., threatened her with arrest for calling them so often (but she won’t be calling them again, ever).

The Human Condition Today
Uphill defense: Scottish driver William Harvey blew a high alcohol reading because he has this thing in his throat, kinda like a pelican’s, that stores his recent intakes . . . . . He’s not so dumb, after all: Sure, he tried to remove a bullet from a rifle by drilling it loose (result: exactly what you’d expect), but he told an inquiring reporter, “I’d kind of like to drop [the subject] right here, but I know that’s not going to happen” . . . . . Jim Bakker has returned, in a TV ministry that uncomfortably resembles the one he looted in the 1980s, but some of his biggest supporters are that venture’s screw-ees (some even signing their bankruptcy checks [$6.54 back on their $1,000 investment] over to the new ministry) . . . . . Sucking from the tax-supported-charity teat in Birmingham: a former gay porn sta—no, check that, “self-taught computer repairman” . . . . . They’re investigating whether, on an airline flight in Hawaii, both the pilot and co-pilot fell asleep and overshot the arrival city (Bonus: The flight was only 45 minutes long).

Your Daily Loser
You’re Frederick Watson, 57, caught pushing a safe in a cart through the lobby of a hotel. The best you can do is, “I found it.” But then you volunteer that you had nothing to do with breaking into that fourth-floor office. (But the cops haven’t mentioned that yet.)

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Mark Dixie, 37, denies killing that 18-yr-old model but admits he had sex with the bloody, 7-times-stabbed woman. Said his lawyer, “He did not know she was dead until intercourse was concluded.”

NOTW Lite
Science Daily profiled paleontologist Jim Mead of Northern Arizona University, who, proudly, is the world’s foremost authority on dung (which he praises for its versatility, in uses like carbon-dating).

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
James Hopkins, on the lam for failure to register as a sex offender

Things That Seem Wrong
According to Ron Kuby, the go-to criminal-defense lawyer for New York’s ne’er-do-wells, “[I]n the state of New York, you can be extremely crazy without being legally insane. You can hear voices, you can operate under intermittent delusions, you can see rabbits in the road that aren’t there, and still be legally sane” (as long as you also do at least one thing that a sane person would have done under the circumstances).

Updates
The report on Sister Lucia’s fast-track sainthood [NOTW Daily, 2-18-2008] was only the latest, but now, once again, some entity delivers a blow to the NOTW franchise: The Vatican announced that some of these fast-track glorifications have probably been kinda silly and that more rigor will be required in the future (i.e., fewer NOTW stories) . . . . . The guy who got the silicone implant on his buxom-woman tattoo [NOTW Daily, 2-8-2008] revealed that it went kaput about two weeks later and that she’s thus back to being flat-chested.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
The 25 strangest college courses (includes the classics, like Mount Holyoke’s on “Whiteness” and Occidental College’s “The Phallus” but also Carnegie Mellon’s on golf history, Centre College’s on walking, and the University of Iowa’s on vacationing).

Newsrangers: Gale Walters, Emory Kimbrough, Ginger Katz, Paul Music, Mark Whybird, Charles Walker
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Things To Worry About On Monday
The stressed-out carbon footprinter / Cloning Cujo / More blind obedience to SatNav / Can you hear me now? (Woof!) / And a note from Yr Editor on The Blog!

Civilization in Decline
An unofficial U.S. Marine Corps study says “hundreds of deaths and injuries” of Marines in Iraq could have been prevented if a 2005 requisition for armored trucks hadn’t gotten waylaid in a bureaucratic maze in Washington . . . . . The Saudi legal system is bad, maybe even worse than Texas’s: An illiterate woman allegedly confessed (she thumb-printed a document she couldn’t read) to doing witch-like stuff, and was sentenced to die, over the objection of a supposedly higher court, with one victim’s complaint being that her witchiness sapped the strength from his Mister Happy . . . . . A new psychiatric specialty in the “anxiety” career field: for patients worried sick over how they’re ruining the environment.

The Human Condition Today
$150k is what one U.S. customer is paying the South Korean lab touting a “25 percent” likelihood of success cloning a dead pet dog (Bonus: a pit bull!) . . . . . British gambler to legal bookie: I told you not to take any more bets from me (including that time I made the biggest bet in the history of golf) so it’s your fault I’m out £2 million, and I want it back . . . . . Warren Robinson arrived in court in Jacksonville, Fla., on a domestic abuse case and, in blissful optimism, handed the judge an envelope with a $100 bill inside suggesting that he take his wife out on Valentine’s Day . . . . . A British rail company said that, unexpectedly, three of its covered bridges were damaged a total of 62 times last yr by trucks, with drivers explaining that they were using navigation software and not paying much attention to road signs such as “Low Bridge Ahead” . . . . . Religious Oppressors at Work: (1) These Amish say they ought to be able to do what they want with their outhouse contents (and they’ll go to jail rather than chemically treat it); (2) Sikh motorcyclists can’t obey helmet laws because of those turbans . . . . . A ghostbuster was called to a water treatment plant in East Sussex, England, because of a “humanoid figure” patrolling the sewers . . . . . A female prison shrink fell in love with her schizophrenic patient and said she hopes some day to raise a family with him if he’s ever declared sane enough to get out . . . . . Sister Lucia is up for fast-track sainthood, with her main claim apparently that she attended a 1917 personal appearance by the Virgin Mary in Fatima, Portugal . . . . . Least Competent Pupils: At Denny High School in Falkirk, Scotland, a girl bent down in a busy hallway to pick up a pencil, and 25 kids were injured crashing into her (several needing hospital treatment) . . . . . How embarrassing! Brockton, Mass., judge Charles Grabau announced the verdict of guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, right before the defense lawyer reminded him that there was still that pesky “closing argument” that he wanted to deliver . . . . . Instant Karma: Mr. Mundo Lara, 25, is no longer with us; he first drove toward his girlfriend during a spat, to run her down, but then got out of the car and sprinted through traffic on I-45 near Houston but didn’t quite make it . . . . . Instant Karma II: Quenton Green, 16, in a friend’s car and on his way to take his big driver’s test, skidded off the road, smashed into a house, and flipped the car over.

Your Daily Loser
Nearing the very end of his 12-yr sentence (he was on early-release parole), Augustine Salazar was arrested for several crimes including having 10g of cocaine, and now he’s headed back for 50 more big ones.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
The drunk driver in her black cocktail dress, fish-net stockings, and high heels, alas, was going home alone from a night out in Manchester, N.H., and besides, she had trouble finding the driver’s license in her purse. Bonus: It was actually federal bankruptcy judge Robert Somma, cattin’ around while his wife was out of town. He has resigned.

NOTW Lite
The first-ever photo (wildlife experts say) of gorillas doin’ it in the missionary position [No, there’s no photo link! Jeez. You people!] [Oh, all right, if you insist!] . . . . . The latest software in tech-crazy South Korea: It’ll measure your voice patterns to tell you whether you’re faking sincerity well enough to fool anybody . . . . . In New Zealand, they say a song that nobody can hear . . is now a best-seller (It’s music for dogs, and dogs’ ears supposedly perk up when it’s played, but they’ll have to take dogs’ word for it that there’s anything on the recording.) . . . . . The Daily Mail profiled Simon Allison, Marks & Spencer’s chief food tester . . of pet food, and he loves his job, and no, he doesn’t swallow . . . . . Generation Gap: Richard Edmond, 15, editor of the newspaper at Cleveland High School, Reseda, Calif., shrugged with bemusement. after the principal had a sh*tfit at the Feb. 14th, front-page illustration of a hoo-hah (“Have a happy Vagina Day!” the headline screamed).

Updates
Thanks to the U.S. Court of Appeals, dildos can once again be sold legally in Texas . . . . . The NY Times updated us on Yucca Mountain, where “2020" is the earliest year that the “final solution” to the nuclear-reactor waste issue can begin, but by then the costs will be as much as $35B just on the delays since the late 1980s (mostly caused by the insistence of otherwise-sensible people that Yucca Mountain should be made safe for “a million years,” which, for Creationists, is about 160 times longer than the world has existed).

Professor Music’s Weird Links
You will never look at a feather duster the same way again. Not Safe For Work™ and Not Safe For Mature Audiences (but if you were all that mature, you wouldn’t be reading NOTW Daily, anyway).

NOTW, The Blog
Yr Editor, like most writers, has energy spells of variable lengths and intensity, but their cycling in and out recently has taken on bipolar-disorder dimensions. Doing NOTW Daily requires me, for my own (ahem!) standards of quality, to bring energy to every sentence, or at least every second, or every third sentence, something like that, and when I lack that, even I am not very interested in reading what I write. I can usually gin up the endorphins for a weekly ride at the News of the Weird column, but the daily showdown has become a problem. So, let’s just go back to the three-day-a-week thing and see what happens.

Newsrangers: Sam Schwarz, Steve Miller, Emory Kimbrough, Joe Littrell, Bob Pert, Paul Di Filippo, Mindy Cohen, Scott Schrier, Stephen Taylor, Paul Music, Jerry Whittle, John Smith
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Things To Worry About On Friday
Nothing. Yr Editor’s taking sick leave. (This is another example of Yr Editor’s canniness in not commercializing NOTW Daily because, if some company were paying me for posting, and I had to take off a sick day, I wouldn’t get paid that day! Not a penny! I’m much too smart to commercialize NOTW Daily!)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Things To Worry About On Thursday
Copycat dry-cleaning lawsuit / Another dead woman springs to life / World’s clumsiest violinist / Revisiting U.S. Rep. Dan Burton / And more!

The Human Condition Today
In Washington, D.C., Raelyn Campbell sued Best Buy for losing her laptop computer that she had brought in for repairs; she thinks “$54 million” will about cover it because that’s the amount the guy sued the dry cleaner for last yr for losing his pants . . . . . A Minnesota woman, Rae Kupferschmidt, had a massive cerebral hemorrhage, and doctors said it was all over for her, and family members OK'd the shutdown and prepared for the funeral, but, ta-daaaa, there she is (the result, naturally, of a divine miracle rather than an imperfect diagnosis) . . . . . Violin virtuoso David Garrett, 26, having just finished a London concert, tripped walking down stairs and smashed his 1718 Stradivarius into pieces (with a spare on the way from Milan but accompanied by a three-person “security” team to be training wheels for Garrett’s legs) . . . . . A woman in Stuttgart, Germany, went to court to get the names of the six men who won an Internet auction and thus enjoyed the first prize of shtupping her, because she’s now pregnant and wants to know which is the daddy, confidentiality-contract or not (and the court said OK) (Yeah, some prostitution is legal in Germany) . . . . . Peeping-tom Donei Zabedra-Ilario, 20, got a beatdown the other night in Greensboro, N.C. (and is under arrest), because he decided to try peeping from inside, hiding under a woman’s bed, but then her boyfriend caught him. Said the arresting cop, “[Sneaking under the bed] was almost something he was proud of, like someone would covet a trophy.”

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Yr Editor doesn’t usually keep up with the news out of Bahrain, but this guy showed up at Salmaniya Medical Complex with a two-inch nail in his urethra, which he said [of course!] was inserted by a gang of guys who rolled him right before he blacked out [Ed.: But had he enough money to afford Rusty Hardin as his lawyer, Rusty would’ve had him pay courtesy calls on the doctors first before actually trying to convince them that he didn’t insert the nail himself in a fit of masturbatory experimentation].

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

NOTW, The Blog
The House Committee man toughest on Roger Clemens’s ex-trainer Brian McNamee yesterday was Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana, who was beside himself that someone would save bloody gauze and a beer can for seven yrs. Here’s Rep. Burton’s News of the Weird appearance, from NOTW 573, 1-29-1999:
According to a December report in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, U. S. Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana brings his own utensils to a Capitol barber shop (scissors, comb, electric razor) to have his hair cut. Though no one would say for sure, reporters speculated that Burton does this for the same reason (fear of AIDS) that he has stopped ordering soup in restaurants and stopped going to the House gym around the time that colleague and gym regular Barney Frank revealed he is gay. [Chicago Tribune-Roll Call, 12-15-98]
By the way, Yr Editor finds McNamee’s artifacts-saving absolutely plausible. It was almost a standing joke in federal gov’t office politics of Yr Editor’s era that survivalist bureaucrats saved documents here and there, to bury in plastic bags in the back yard, in case the caca hit the fan. Keister-covering maestros will never enjoy total job security without standby evidence to freeze potential rivals or accusers. Had I been Brian McNamee, pushing illegal drugs to a celebrity vastly more-admired, better connected, and richer than I, you’re damn right I would have buried lots of bloody gauze and beer cans in my back yard. When push comes to shove, when the subpoenas arrive, when the 60 Minutes camera crew is in the outer office, when it’s every man for himself, you don’t want to be the last one around to come up with Plan B. (Yr Editor’s favorite awesome bureaucrat-god: Richard Clarke, who loyally sucked up to various game plans in the Clinton and Bush administrations before heading out to the back yard and digging up memos of State Department terrorism dissenters, which he proceeded to convert into a book that made him a multimillionaire after the Iraq invasion turned sour.)

This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Things To Worry About On Wednesday
Guantanamo for sexual deviates / Booze, sex, and softball among the prison wardens / World’s most courageous divorcé / Bite-mark mania / And more!

Civilization in Decline
Compassion! No, Security! No, Compassion! No, wait, Security! No, no, Compassion! That’s it, Compassion: So if Immigration gets behind in processing 47,000 green cards because of security concerns, let compassion prevail, and the cards go out, anyway, because, after all, surely 90 percent of the 47,000 aren’t up to no-good . . . . . Churches can’t stop priests from stealing by appealing to the, y’know, Commandments, so they opt for a supply-side solution, with college courses on detecting embezzlement . . . . . Gov’t in Action: A local council in County Durham, England, paid out £60 ($117) for medium Suzanne Hadwin after a subsidized-housing resident saw a nightgown come flying down the stairs.

The Human Condition Today
Ingenious golf-ball diver William Stoner (scuba-fishing 3,000 balls at a time from water hazards to sell back to the golf course) was arrested for importing out-of-control Asian grass carp to dump in the hazards to denude them of vegetation and make his job easier! . . . . . Who Knew? The almost-cartoon-like corruption of the Florida prison system under since-convicted James Crosby was organized around booze (check!), sex (check!), and, er, softball (Said his successor: “People were promoted on the spot after a softball game . . to high positions in the [corrections] department because they were able to hit a softball out of the park a couple of times”) . . . . . She took the break-up badly: 10,843 text messages to his cell phone in two months, plus landline calls and personal sightings . . . . . Who Knew II: A couple of Austin, Tex., Bangladeshis, fed up with what a couple of other Austin, Tex., Bangladeshis are doing, formed their own Bangladeshi support group but are now being sued by the first group, which is, allegedly, “a collection of a few egotistical individuals whose sole purpose is to undermine . . the Austin Bangladeshi community” (of 150).

Your Daily Losers
(1) She accidentally stuck her meth stash in the bank envelope that she dropped in the ATM slot while making a deposit. (2) A local Virginia guy drove a Hummer (with Michigan plates; stolen in Tennessee) to the welfare office to apply for benefits.

NOTW Lite
Anton Popazov and wife Nataliya are divorcing, but they have a year-long performance contract with the Moscow State Circus and must carry it out, even though their act is . . that Anton stands with an apple on his head, and Nataliya shoots it off with a crossbow (Seriously). (“I still trust her because Nataliya is very professional”)

Things That Seem Wrong
The att’y gen’l of Mississippi announced the arrest of a much more likely perp in the brutal rape/murder of two little girls in the 1990s (but who was not pursued at that time because DA Forrest Allgood was damned certain another guy did it, based on evidence produced by two doctors who had come up with this revolutionary ability to see bite-mark patterns that no one else could see. The hapless victim of the “technology,” who was eventually freed from death row based on that wild, newfangled, space-age thing called “DNA,” is expected to be completely exonerated, which he hasn’t been yet, due to Allgood’s insistence that the bite-mark thingie (fluorescent lights, yellow goggles) doesn’t lie. [Link to Radley Balko’s post on Reason.com]

Updates
(1) The 1950s wave of young Chinese immigrants is moving into death season, which means more business for funeral homes and emporiums that cater to that tradition of burning/burying “joss” paper replicas of things the deceased will need in the afterlife [NOTW M001, 4-15-2007], such as telephones, TV sets, laptops, and (seriously) credit cards. (2) The Nutcracker Suite hanger [NOTW Daily, 2-12-2008] has been ID’d by the NY Post, but the Daily News is still withholding; he’s 64, a retired math teacher. (Bonus: The Daily News, interviewing other residents of Nutcracker’s building, found one to say, about the clients that came in, “It was like Guantanamo for sexual deviants. It was Abu Ghraib in Manhattan, but for pleasure.” [Give that neighbor a PR contract!] (3) Here’s a better description of that lacrosse-team-less Duke strip show on Super Bowl Sunday [NOTW Daily, 2-7-2008], with Stuart Taylor Jr’s conclusion: “If only the lacrosse players had understood [the PC game], they could have lined up university funding to hire a better class of strippers: college-educated white people spouting vacuous political bromides and sporting dollar bills and sparklers [in their asses].”

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

Newsrangers: Paul Music, H.Thompson, Scott Schrier, Stephen Taylor, Gil Nelson
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Things To Worry About On Tuesday
Beer cheaper than water / Assault by handshake / The illiterate schoolteacher / I had to hit her because she wouldn’t punch me in the mouth / And more!

Civilization in Decline
Behold the “variable prepaid forward contract,” which rich people use to save more just in taxes in a year than you make in several yrs. And understand: This scheme has zero to do with jobs and growth and productivity; it’s just about rich cats who think, Damned if I’m gonna pay my fair share of taxes the way ordinary people do! So, you want to sell a stock, but not pay tax on the gain for yrs to come. Make a “variable prepaid forward contract” to sell it to a bank, say, five yrs from now, which the bank pays you for today and which the bank then insures itself against loss by borrowing the stock from you now and selling it short in case the stock is worth less five yrs down the road when it has agreed to formally buy it. And IRS now knows what it didn’t know in 2003: Lots and lots of rich people do these contracts. Now, why would a society’s financial system be set up to allow ridiculous diversions like that? (Answer: because it can be set up to allow ridiculous diversions like that)

The Human Condition Today
The adoring wife of a Pentagon official told reporters her husband is “absolutely innocent” of espionage charges brought yesterday, thus disagreeing with her husband, whom prosecutors say they have on tape admitting to the Chinese guy that he’ll go to jail for showing him these-here papers he’s showing him . . . . . In Alaska, Mark Fulmer was arrested for jumping bad on a woman because she refused to punch him in the mouth (to loosen his abscessed tooth) . . . . . A fun-loving nursing-home head nurse in Wales was fired because she left her patients so she could go play in the staff water fights outside . . . . . At an oil rig off the coast of Scotland, a 500-person evacuation (“complete madness”) was ordered because, well, one of the workers (a 23-yr-old woman) said she had a dream about a bomb on the platform . . . . . Least Mature Lawyer in Florida: Kathy Brewer Rentas was charged with assault for doing one of those let's “shake on it” things that boys do in the 5th grade, y’know, where you pretend to shake hands all-friendly-like and then try earnestly to rip the other guy’s arm out of its socket, except Kathy (allegedly) did this to a federal prosecutor . . . . . And in the strangest story of the day, it says here that a fella named John Corcoran, who’s about 70, a high school grad, college grad, who went on to a job as high school teacher for (it looks like) 40 yrs, was “illiterate” until he was 48 yrs old. Bless KGTV (San Diego) reporters’ hearts, ‘cause they apparently accepted everything he told them. (On the other hand, Yr Editor himself can feel quite illiterate at times, so maybe I feel Corcoran’s wildly-exaggerated pain.)

NOTW Lite
In Yr Editor’s youth, a screw-up meant a loss of TV privileges, and now, in Australia’s Northern Territory, it’s proposed to be gov’t policy except there, it’ll be the parents who lose their TV sets if they can’t curb their unruly children . . . . . Once again, it is pointed out that, depending on fluctuating price points, department-store house-brand beer in the UK is sometimes cheaper than bottled water.

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Look at the photos, but not the caption. These three men are accused in the murder of a convenience-store owner in Northport, Ala., but only one of them has the middle name of Wayne. [Yep, you got it right; that’s the one.]

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

NOTW, The Blog
(1) The British press is now covering the shocking gov’t policy whereby dependents’ unemployment benefits can be paid to each of the multiple wives of Muslims, even though polygamy is illegal in Britain. That is shocking. Now, London’s Daily Mail is not a world-class newspaper, journalism-wise, but Yr Editor notes that the Mail had this story exactly right 10 months ago (and News of the Weird reported that in NOTW M019, 8-19-2007). (2) New York City was abuzz last week with the near-death experience of a customer of the well-known Nutcracker Suite S&M parlor in Manhattan. He was apparently left hanging, without “supervision” until he started to turn blue, but is recovering at St. Vincent’s Hospital. Many are critical of the S&M house’s personnel, but you Pro Weirdos understand the dilemma: Many prudent practitioners do need “safe” words so they can get out of danger if need be, but for others, and M is an M and not an M-lite. The customer was apparently very well known to the staff and liked to hang, for hours, alone, as in, "Get y’all’s asses outta here and leave me be." But the damned PC police will probably come out of this telling masochists that it’s improper for them to feel too crappy about themselves.

Newsrangers: Emory Kimbrough, Paul Di Filippo, Steve Miller, Mike Wilson, Joe Littrell
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Monday, February 11, 2008

POST-POST NOTE: No, Yr Editor does not know why the Google Groups e-mail apparatus sent out two posts today. I'm pretty sure it was a glitch rather than a new Google feature.
Things To Worry About On Monday
“Satan Town” in Poland / Would Gandhi have worn a Prada loincloth? / More amateur circumcisions / Garlic chocolate / The Bible as a Manga novel / And more!

Civilization in Decline
PetSmart soon opens its 100th PetsHotel, featuring filtered water and phone calls from your little angel. Says the CEO:
We have a morning snack, which is dairy-free frozen yogurt. An afternoon Yappy Hour. We’re testing what we refer to as Pawsidential services, which can include bedtime stories, belly rubs, and other services that allow pet guests added one-on-one time with our associates.
. . . . . Keith Brown was arrested at Dubai Int’l Airport and seems likely to do a mandatory 4-yr prison sentence because the high-tech detection equipment Dubai uses to enforce its zero-tolerance drug laws discovered a speck of cannabis in the tread of his shoe (Seriously) . . . . . Why would anyone now want to live in Poczernin, Poland, where a priest is setting up a European center for exorcisms, and whose city will thus be a haven for all the continent’s possessed people bringing Satan with them? . . . . . More than half of India lives in “abject poverty,” and Gandhi wore a loincloth, but the hotshot class is ablaze with “brand freaks” who gotta wear Tommy, Prada, Louis, et al [says a Washington Post dispatch]:
Along a main highway [in Ahmadabad], Tag Heuer billboards jockey for space with towering posters of Mont Blanc pens; below, barefoot children in ragged clothes tap on car windows, begging bowls in hand. Meanwhile, a new Gucci store in New Delhi sells fancy dog bowls . . . all in a country that has more stray dogs roaming the streets than almost any other in the world, according to animal rights activists.
The Human Condition Today
The best minds in the F State’s Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, and Gulf counties labored for 13 months to find a unifying and strengthening theme for the areas’s [Ed.: Trust me] fantastically gorgeous beaches, and so, ta-daaaa: an orange square with the words “The Beach” in white letters . . . . . Johnny Marlowe, 32, Dallas County, N.C., has 12 kids by two concurrent “wives” but is now in trouble because he’s taken to circumcising the boys as they get pumped out—with his trusty utility knife . . . . . It’s No Longer Weird, but still—Alan Derrick, 70-something, was detained in Bristol, England, because his roommate, a fella named Denis Pring, had died at least 5 yrs earlier, and Derrick had not yet gotten around to doing anything about it . . . . . In New Zealand, a 45-yr-old man was convicted of trying to run down his son with his car (like chasing him up on a curb) because his son had gotten pissed at him, because, well, dad stole the kid’s girlfriend, and now she’s pregnant, and dad’s going to marry her, but dad (apparently between cycles of his bipolar-ness) said, “I wish we could all just get [along].”

Your Daily Loser
Kendall Thomas was arrested in Houston, Tex., for relentlessly tracking down and then shooting at a school bus driver, which is what he thought the driver deserved because he had declined to let Thomas’s girlfriend’s daughter board the bus while still eating from her bowl of oatmeal.

NOTW Lite
Bridgett Donahue had a severe allergic reaction to her meds, leaving her face as though she’d gone 15 rounds with Mike Tyson, and naturally, when she called Macon, Ga., 911 for an ambulance, cops came and cuffed her husband for domestic abuse . . . . . Pompano Beach, Fla., police are looking for the remarkably nimble fella who can boost big-screen TVs, lickety-split, despite the fact (sez the surveillance video) that his pants keep falling down . . . . . The Japanese are different (continued): This company has produced a Valentine’s Day treat of chocolate laced with garlic (“If both people eat them, there’ll be no problem”) . . . . . Newspapers always refuse to name the victims of sex crimes, unless they consent, and this guy (alleged victim of a Russian Orthodox priest in Alaska) consented, but why a guy named Paul Sidebottom wouldn’t want his name withheld is beyond Yr Editor’s comprehension . . . . . The Holy Bible as a Manga graphic novel, written by a true believer but all elbows and attitude (but with this passage, the all-too-mortal Noah counting animals on the Ark: “That’s 11,344 animals? Arggh! I’ve lost count again. I’m going to have to start from scratch!”).

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Tina Burkett, 40 (though the years have not been kind), charged with robbery (with her son as co-perp) in Fort Pierce, Fla.

Things That Seem Wrong
Colorado may finally crack down on those “payday loans” because it costs $544 in interest just to borrow the average $343 loan, e.g., $60 interest to borrow $300 for two weeks, and e.g., average APR being, er, 350 percent . . . . . The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is often good for a laugh, appears onto something serious: that 1993 settlement IRS made with the Church of Scientology; some Orthodox Jews want the same deal IRS cut the thetan-fighters, but IRS says, We’re not telling you what we agreed to because it’s private!

Professor Music’s Weird Links
London’s Daily Mail was a showcase last week of the versatility of horses: pulling a surfer and, er, being ridden by a, uh, lion.

NOTW, The Blog
Errorors and such, from last week: (1) The “school newsletter” of that middle school in Maine that informed us that “intentional farting” is now a detentionable offense was not an official newsletter (even though the Knox County Times seems still not to understand that that might be an important element to the story); (2) The third-grade boy who wants to be a third-grade girl is really a second-grade boy wanting to be a second-grade girl; (3) The Italian judge who swooned at the construction worker’s affair of the heart with the 13-yr-old did not give him just “4 months,” but “one year and four months” [That’ll teach him!]; (4) The breast implant thingies on the tattoo of the buxom woman concerned a tattoo on the guy’s leg, not his arm; (5) The D.C. Tax office computer servers discarded behind the Ruby Tuesday were innocuous after all.

Newsrangers: Stefan Creaser, John Ellwood, Joe Littrell, Paul Music, Nancy Hackett, Charlie Rovner, Karl Olson, David Merritt, Mindy Cohen, Stephen Taylor, Gerald Sacks, Mark Neunder, Jenny Beatty
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Things To Worry About On Friday
Cross-dressing traffic hazard / Komodos by immaculate conception / It’s good to be a British prisoner / Little Johnny thinks he’s really Little Mary / Jackie the Nose and pals, goin’ down / And more!

Civilization in Decline
They’re going nuts in Italy this very minute because a judge in Vicenza ignored a 12-yr max and sentenced a 34-yr-old construction worker to 4 months, for an affair with a 13-yr-old girl because the judge thinks there was "real love" and "tenderness" there (Bonus: Italy’s current amnesty for short sentences means the prison population will get no chance at all to welcome the lover boy) . . . . . The District of Calamity: Two three-ft-high computer servers with owner tags reading "Property of D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue" were found out back behind a Ruby Tuesday restaurant (and are being checked for personal tax information and for whether they’re evidence in that tax fraud case [NOTW M035, 12-8-2007; News of the Weird Daily, 11-8-2007, 11-13-2007]) . . . . . It’s Good to Be a British Prisoner (cont’d): Britain’s Universities Secretary said the gov’t will stop giving educational "support" grants (e.g., room and board expenses) to inmates taking classes, seein’ as how, y’know, room and board are already taken care of (Gov’t payouts for it, since 1998: £250,000 [$490k]) . . . . . Yikes: Child-protection people in Virginia asked for $32m to crack down on the people who have child porn on their computers, as identified from peer-to-peer networks, and we’re talking about, er, 215,000 file folders housed on, er, 19,000 computers (in Virginia) (just one of the 50 united states).

The Human Condition Today
Recurring (but barely): A 3rd-grade boy in Highlands Ranch, Colo., is making plans to transfer soon to a new school but as a, uh, 3rd-grade girl (a topic that has come up before [NOTW 958, 6-18-2006], but of course, America needs to air this out, for the sake of all those other 8-yr-olds who are ready to make the Big Switch) . . . . . Continued thanks to other states for relieving Florida of its electoral-burlesque duties: (1) At least 10 people were milling around a polling station a half-hour before "opening" time on Tuesday in Milwaukee (Wisconsin primary: Feb. 19th); (2) About 1,000 people called Dallas, Tex., officials on Tuesday asking where that day’s voting stations are (Texas primary: March 4) [Links from BestOfTheWebToday] [Remember: When they all vote on November 4th . . same as yours] . . . . . In Cumberland County, Maine, the 6th report in about 10 months of a young guy frightening the ladies by parading around in women’s lingerie and boots, with the latest incident a traffic hazard, just stopping his car in front of a woman, getting out, and giving her a little street theater . . . . . A guy with a grievance against the local gov’t left various threatening notes around Tempe and Phoenix, Ariz., that he was mad and was gonna wipe out a lot of people, especially the "scum" and "villainy" in Scottsdale, mainly because officials wouldn’t recommend a liquor license for him, but he turned out to be all bluster, just like all those gov’t-hating blowhards (Oh, wait, sorry ‘bout that) . . . . . Bless his heart, that young Martin Gonzalez, 19. He got caught stealing some vinyl foam from his employer in Las Cruces, N.M.: "It was my first time. I thought it was going to be easy."

Your Daily Loser
According to police, Javier Martinez, 31, started to sexually assault the woman in her apartment in Frederick, Md., then said he had to step out but would be back within the hour, and he was right on time, but obviously . . ..

NOTW Lite
Two male Komodo dragons were born without benefit of sperm (experts believe that, anyway, though they’re checking all over for how wild sperm may have actually gotten past them to the eggs, in that, well, Komodos are known for "storing" sperm) (Seriously) . . . . . More punchline-friendly news: Israel is considering giving therapeutic doses of Viagra to its military pilots because it reportedly helps high-up mountain-climbers to perform better . . . . . TheSmokingGun.com has the federal indictment cover sheet for those 61 Gambino family people, er, alleged Gambino family people, including Tommy Sneakers, Joe Rackets, Dom from 18th Avenue, The Greaseball, Joe Marco Polo, Miserable, The Doctor, Jackie the Nose, Vinny Hot, The Conductor, Fatso, Marbles, Bobby the Jew, Eyes, One Eye, Dead Eye, Buckwheat, Cheeks, Treetop, Johnny Red Rose, and Mike the Electrician.

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Matthew Silberzweig, on trial in New York City for soliciting his business partner’s murder (bottom photo is Silberzweig) (News You Can Use, especially when you're in NYC: According to the prosecutor, "Barry Weisman [Silberzweig’s target] is an annoying guy, but you can’t kill someone because they’re annoying").

Update
Yesterday Yr Editor attempted to solve for you why that big-oaf high school football player would gratuitously carry out a formal "commitment" press conference, naming the college he had finally decided to accept a scholarship from. The only explanation that made any sense was that the kid was easily duped and that someone he named as "Kevin Riley" talked the talk of representing a college or two and that the oaf, Kevin Hart, believed him. It turns out that Yr Editor gave Hart way too much credit. In reality, Hart actually did the completely inexplicable: He knew no one had recruited him; he desperately wanted to be recruited; recruited kids have commitment ceremonies; hence, he staged a commitment ceremony.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
If you’re totally into body-mod, and you’ve got a tat of a buxom woman on your arm, the next step is to get her "implants" to up her buxomity [LINK corrected] (if you don’t mind the permanent swollen spot on your arm).

Newsrangers: Jeff Berg, Paul Di Filippo, Bob Pert, Sue Clark, Jenny Aus
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Things To Worry About On Thursday
The sucker-punching judge / Crime up, no cops / Text-to-pee service in Finland / The $80,000 light bulb / "Facial Yoga" / And more!

Civilization in Decline
Crime is up in the remotest villages in Alaska, with the nearest cop 150 miles away, and the residents are demanding state action [Yr Editor refers them to the late Mr. Kinison: "Moooooove! Food doesn’t groooow in the desert! It’s saaaand!] . . . . . Coos Bay, Ore., police survey panhandlers outside Wal-Mart and learn they’re making a lot more money than the employees inside . . . . . At a gathering at Duke Univ. on Sunday night, a big gala sponsored by campus organizations such as the Women’s Center, Women’s Studies Department, and Sexual Assault Support Services included these performances, according to the Raleigh News & Observer:
There was a transvestite whose privates were covered with tape who crouched on all fours in a kiddie pool of glitter and stuck a lit sparkler in his bum while America the Beautiful played. There was an overweight stripper who pretended to eat a bunch of dollar bills, then left nothing to the imagination as to the results of the digestion of such a meal. The next performer came out, picked up the string of bills onstage and waved it under his nose.
But, fortunately, the lacrosse team wasn’t there, so the show was well-received.

The Human Condition Today
Glad to know that other states are stepping up this election year to relieve the F State of its burden of entertaining the nation: (1) "About 400" people called the Virginia State Bd of Elections on Tuesday to complain that their polling stations weren’t open, and were politely informed that, er, the primary is next Tuesday. (2) At a polling station in Chicago, a "misinformed" pollworker told about 20 people that a ballot-marking pen that was out of ink was OK to use because the "invisible ink" markings would be picked up by the machine, anyway. (3) At another Chicago precinct, one lady judge cold-cocked another lady judge to end a dispute over unreported "procedures" . . . . . A 67-yr-old Arizona woman somehow thinks that her daughter and granddaughter will be stalker prey if she removes that obnoxious light bulb outside her house, and so far, fighting the homeowners’ ass’n over it is worth every penny of the $80k it’s gonna cost her . . . . . Recurring Theme: Seminole County, Fla., adopts Yr Editor’s long-ago suggestion for instant cash infusions to local gov’ts everywhere: Stand at the exit of nearby parking lots and arrest the drivers who have just had their licenses taken away in court cases.

Your Daily Loser
A big-oaf high school football player near Reno, Nev., staged all the hoopla that thousands of guys staged this week, to announce which college’s scholarship they’d commit to, and this guy (with his coach alongside and local media buzzing) dramatically chose Univ. of California over Univ. of Oregon, and only follow-up phone calls to the schools revealed that neither was recruiting him (Most likely explanation: He got conned big-time, big-time, by some jock-sniffing hanger-on). [UPDATE: Yr Editor gave him too much credit: Turns out that he knew he hadn't been recruited, yet he thought the way out was to pretend that he was! Breathtaking!]

NOTW Lite
Tale of two spills: A chocolate tanker in Chicago and in rural Maine, a, uh, well, no one knows how it got there, actually, but it’s four miles long by the side of the road, extends through three villages, and smells like, uh, agriculture . . . . . If you get in trouble with police in Austin, Tex., the judge you want is Charlie Baird, because (at least with defendant Trent Stewart) he takes a personal interest in your case and demands that the prosecutor personally give you back your wallet aka "evidence against you" . . . . . KOMO-TV (Seattle) interviewed the principals in a 2½-yr-old case of a woman falling, eye-socket-first, onto a knife blade, having it go deep into her brain (but missing the eyeball, brain stem, and artery) [Yes, there’s video—if you insist, but Not Safe For Stomachs] . . . . . Much safer, at least, is the brainchild of New York yoga teacher-to-the-stars, Annelise Hagen, whose "face yoga" lets you tamp down wrinkles with a regimen of just, well, making faces . . . . . The agency that manages roadside restrooms in Finland is experimenting with locking them, to curb vandalism, and requiring a needy traveler to patiently send a text message to a central computer to have the stall opened (and hurry up about it!).

Update
Canada’s sexsomnia case goes to the Ontario Court of Appeal today, with the gov’t protesting that sex assault while the perp’s asleep is still sex assault, but doctors saying that, medically, there’s no way that Mr. Jan Luedecke could be faking his lack of control that night.

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

Newsrangers: Steve Passen, Bob Pert, Jan Lewis, H.Thompson, Ken Berkun, Jeff Ledford, Larry Ellis Reed
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.