Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Things To Worry About On Wednesday
Not much, actually (Rule of Thumb: If the news is either so light or so heavy that Yr Editor’s total Xanax intake for Tuesday exceeds 1 mg, readers aren’t seeing a whole lot Wednesday).

Creme de la Weird
Ya gotta fight to get noticed in New York City, which is why Shizuka Bernstein offers the Geisha Facial, with “geisha” in this case having the secondary (or lower) meaning, “bird-poop.” Only $216 for 50 minutes of guana-slathering (though it has theoretically been sterilized, and kabuki dancers have been using it for centuries to wash off make-up). (Customer: “I figure if poop was good for the soil, it’s good for your face.”)

Civilization in Decline
Our Litigious Society says (unfairly, according to the producer of the “Girls Gone Wild” videos) that ex-Gov. Spitzer’s gal gets 2 thousand dollars for going all the way but 10 million dollars for showcasing her chest . . . . . No flirting with chicks in Saudi Arabia, under penalty of . . a forced haircut (in Islam, they say, only women should have the long hair).

The Human Condition Today
All hail the retiring Nebraska state Sen. Ernie Chambers, whose total absence of a Give-A-Sh*t gene makes ol’ James Traficant look like a boring establishmentarian; Chambers only made NOTW once in his 37-yr career. [NOTW Daily, 9-18-2007], where he announced he was suing God for all the “natural”-disaster stuff and implored The Guy (to reduce the costs of serving Him notice of the lawsuit) to “come out, come out, wherever You are.” On Monday, the NY Times gave Chambers a nice prospective send-off . . . . . Most Convoluted Business Plan: Two guys can’t think of any better way to make money than this: Buy a bunch of Domino’s pizzas with a phony check, then put on Pizza Hut shirts and try to sell the pizzas on the street, quickly (while they’re warm), even though the pies are still in Domino’s boxes (Seriously).

Your Daily Loser
Marshall Hugo Grant, 73, would be one of those losers who actually turned winner, in that he had a dispute with a grocery store owner in West Palm Beach, Fla., pulled his gun to settle things, and fired off three rounds, but the owner, who had also pulled a gun and was ready to pump his own hot steel into Grant, said later that Grant had missed so badly on those first three shots that he didn’t think he had anything to worry about. (He was right.)

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Jason Davis, 21, arrested on bomb-threat charges (but he might be “the devil,” he says, even though that in itself is not illegal)

NOTW Lite
People with Better Sex Lives: senior men in Lo Prado, Chile, where the mayor is thrusting his fingers into the town budget to give ‘em all 4 Viagras a month . . . . . Not exactly “lite,” but this Chicago Tribune report says there’s a split in the fat community about whether “civil rights” for the enlarged is a good thing or an enabling thing . . . . . New, useful definition of the “genetically gifted” super-athlete: A guy who lacks the gene that makes testosterone drip into the urine (meaning, yep, he's home free).

Update
Kasey Kazee, 25, pleaded guilty to robbing a liquor store and faces up to 10 yrs in the slammer; reporting this mundane news gives us another chance to review the perp’s arrest photograph and not-to-be-missed posturing video, which made the big time last August.

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

Newsrangers: Paul Blumstein, Ken Vermette, Jeff Berg, Jessica McRorie, Mark Neunder
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Things To Worry About On Tuesday
The artistic merit of lice-infestation / Florida’s randiest school teacher / The wisdom of shooting at bees / Traveling light to a resort vacation (very, very light) / And more!

Creme de la Weird
Painter Liu Xiaodong is apparently a big deal in China, and his series Three Gorges has raked in the big bucks, with the latest going for the equivalent of $8.1 million; it’s on regular canvas (not velvet), but it’s just several guys sitting around in their underwear playing cards.

Civilization in Decline
“Art is no longer just a painting on the wall,” said the curator of a museum in Tel Aviv. Well, duh, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be seven German artists with lice in their hair camping for three weeks in an Israeli museum, provoking such deep thoughts as the extent of the relationships between host and parasite. (No, before you think it, they said they weren’t specifically evoking the Holocaust.) “The group acknowledged that living with lice was uncomfortable,” wrote Reuters, “but said it was worth it for the sake of art.”

The Human Condition Today
The Japanese must love candor because a 44-yr-old woman, who beat her sister to death with a rock, explained, “I figured I’d be happier if I killed her, so I killed her” . . . . . We, too, would like to know the deal with Prof. Kent Gramm and his wife (Since he works at super-Christian Wheaton College, he loses his job if he doesn’t reveal exactly why they’re getting divorced, and he so far won’t do it) . . . . . The batting Wielechowskis celebrated their wedding night with a hotel hall brawl that ended with an HBK-type superkick to the missus, but when another couple came to rescue her, the Wielechowskis suddenly became a tag-team and worked over the Samaritans . . . . . An Australian state premier-in-waiting, Troy Buswell, is fighting off career-derailment after it came out that he once approached the chair just vacated by a female staff member . . and sniffed it.

Your Daily Loser
Is being chased by bees something you can take care of with a gun? Bee casualties unknown, but David Walls, 57, did manage to wing himself.

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Preston Clardy, 59, might be innocent of selling dope (alternative choice: he’s straight from central casting)

NOTW Lite
Police in one of those free-enterprise zones in China found a factory making Tibet flags, but the no-longer-bright-futured manager said, Oh, gee, he had no idea that that colorful cloth represented Tibet . . . . . . In even liberal, sunny Ojai, Calif., the lithe Jennifer Moss, 32, is getting on people's nerves because she’s a social activist who makes her statements around town wearing just pasties and a g-string (Said one admirer, “She’s got a great body, but she’s crazy as a loon”) . . . . . The NY Times travel section says a growing segment of our “clothing optional” market is way-upscale, fond of resort vacations (but that they’re mostly couples-only, no “families”; “Mom,” said one guy after his mother suggested a family holiday, “I don’t want to see you naked”)

The F State
Stephanie Ragusa is a young Tampa-area middle-school teacher whose apparent hormone level makes Debra LaFave look like a corpse . . . . . Latarian Milton, 7, is a problem-in-training, judging from this video interview (“It’s fun to do bad things,” which to this point only means [a] way too many french fries and [b] stealing his grandmother’s car).

Updates
A couple of better action shots from one of those Crying Sumo matches mentioned here recently (where big lugs hold little babies in front of them, with first crier [first baby, not first sumo] wins, with loudness the tiebreaker . . . . . In honor of making NOTW Daily’s Jury Duty yesterday, Mr. Gil Duff was arrested again yesterday morning, same portajohn, same posture.

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

NOTW, The Blog
Erroror: Yr Editor fell asleep at the wheel yesterday and informed you of 10-month-old Bubba’s gun license, which was indeed big news when it happened, er, about a year ago, and thanks to Zach Anderson for doing a better job on it than I [and better than NOTW Daily ombudsman Buddy, too; where was Buddy?] [Buddy: “What? I have to follow you around all day? Gimme a break”] . . . . . Stories Yr Editor Hates: (1) “Was Woman Raped on Telephone?” ran on the UPI wire Sunday, from Tunisia, citing al Arabiya (Dubai’s fairly secular TV channel) and informing us that the victim of unwanted phone sex had maybe been persuaded to, y’know, make herself bleed and become therefore a non-virgin, and boy, is this sensational, but we haven’t the slightest idea whether the journalism would hold up. (2) The journalism is clearly fine on Austria’s Evil-That-Men-Do Josef Fritzl, who’s all over the world today, with pictures, of how he managed to keep his daughter prisoner in the basement for 24 yrs and father 7 kids with her. Unfortunately, not enough space will be devoted to the very bizarre Mrs. Josef Fritzl, who so far has claimed that she had not the slightest idea that any of that was going on.

Newsrangers: Tom Headley, John Pushkar-Pasewicz, Eric Gibbs, Mark Neunder, Paul Music, Scott Schrier, John Westra, Karl Olson, Kathryn Wood, Stefan Creaser, Mary Foo
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Things To Worry About On Monday
Glock-carrying Illinois babies? / The street-racing garbage truck / High gas prices? You’re not praying hard enough / Eyeglasses that won’t help you see, and watches that won’t help you tell time / And more!

Creme de la Weird
Health authorities in Rochester, Wash., raided a hoarder’s house and found it “heavily infested” with rats, which “rodent enthusiasts” around the state are trying furiously to put up for adoption. [Seattle Times (AP)]:
Rodent enthusiasts . . . constitute “a huge rat community,” said [one]. As of Thursday the group had captured 29 live rats, including 10 babies. “They’re very smart, they’re very clean, they can do tricks,” [she] said. “They’re like little miniature dogs.” [also see note below in The Blog]
Civilization in Decline
WWL-TV (N’awlins) found an important part of a flood wall repaired after Katrina to be, er, stuffed with newspaper (and that the Army Corps pronounced itself “satisfied” with that) . . . . . Illinois probably needs to tighten its gun-carry permit law, since it’s loose enough that this 10-month-old just got his license (Bonus: His name was already Bubba) . . . . . Two of the nine Baltimore-area middle-schoolers who participated in a potentially-fatal beatdown of a young couple on a transit bus in December said they’ll file $10m lawsuits against their school for suspending them and the transit company for barring their asses from future rides, because they don’t think they got due process [link from Overlawyered.com].

The Human Condition Today
Poor Dear: Arkansas inmate Broderick Laswell is suing because the food’s so bad that he’s lost one-fourth of his body weight (now down to 308) . . . . . People Whose Votes in November Count Just as Much as Yours: A hyphen man (PR man hyphen community organizer hyphen choir director) from Washington, D.C., is traveling to several cities to gather people to pray at gas stations (“God deliver us from these high gas prices”) . . . . . KUTV-TV, Salt Lake City, surveillance-cam’ed a young local woman who’s been panhandling for an estimated $50/day minimum (“homeless,” “need a ticket to Seattle”) yet won’t give up her ruse when they catch her on camera (but her mom did!) . . . . . Let’s Talk About You/What Do You Think of Me? (Cont’d): The miracle of Lasik surgery may improve your vision, but it just gets in the way of being able to wear cool, expensive eyeglasses, so get the surgery, and wear plain-glass glasses! [W$J, pay-per-view, and as of this morning, it hasn’t been Digg’d up to a free URL] . . . . . Street-racing is still a problem in Goderich, Ontario, despite a strict new law; if it’s not a garbage truck racing you (clocked at 112 km [67 mph]), it’s a car passing a marked patrol car at 178 (106 mph).

Your Daily Loser
From the great Kitsap County, Wash., Kitsap Sun: A 20-yr-old driver who stopped along the road to take a leak told the approaching officer that, well, he had to since he had consumed so much beer. But, he said, he wasn’t drunk and that the only reason he might be slurring his words was that, as his dentist had told him, “his mouth was too big for his tongue.” (.089) [That’s the blood-alcohol reading, not the percentage likelihood that he knows what he’s talking about]

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Jeremy Pope, 26, Madison, Wis., is out on bond until his June hearing but in the meantime has been banned from ShopKo stores, and now Target stores, because he can’t stop urinating on the clothing. “Yeah, I have a problem,” he told police. “I feel sexually attracted to urine.”

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Gil Duff, 45, Cincinnati area, charged with trespassing [from TheSmokingGun.com]

NOTW Lite
So, if people are buying eyeglasses (non-Rx) that won’t help ‘em see, why not buy a watch that won’t help ‘em tell time? “Anybody can buy a watch that tells time; only a truly discerning customer can [pay $300k for one] that doesn’t,” says the Wall Street Journal (Bonus: It does, however, use a gravity-activated mechanism to tell “night” from “day”) [skip the W$J; here’s an older Reuters piece] . . . . . God’s Will: 40 people would not have been hurt Friday night if they had just stayed away from the Central Heights Church in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where the floor collapsed during a dance . . . . . Of course! If you fire your chef Xian Ming Wang, count on him challenging you to a duel with meat cleavers . . . . . Now you’re talking! $45 for not having sex! But that’s just if you’re part of a study of Tanzanians.

The F State
The NY Times this morning busts Florida’s various efforts to keep fraud-minded/really-stupid people from voting, including one technicality on the registration form: Ya have to certify, by checkmarking a box, that you’re not nuts, or that if you were nuts, you’re no longer nuts. If you leave the box blank, you’re not registered. The Times writer implies that the “3 percent” who have handed in their forms without checking the box constitutes an unfair suppression of those voters. Or, Yr Editor suggests, it might constitute a baseline number for “honest Floridians.”

Updates
So much of the weird news these days is simply newbie reporters’ fascination with things Yr Editor helped you learn years ago. Here we have Reuters reporting yesterday from the Greek island of Chios, where the Greek Orthodox celebrate Easter somewhat later than do we Bunny Rabbit People, and yesterday was their “bomb the churches” day [NOTW 849, 5-16-2004]. [Reuters]:
The goal of the ritual is to hit the bell tower of the rival church in the village during midnight mass with homemade rockets, made from the ingredients of gunpowder. You would think the parishioners inside the church would run for cover, but instead the service continues, and they watch as the rockets strike. The tradition goes back to the 19th century . . ..
NOTW, The Blog
Yr Editor led today with the adopt-a-rat story because of, ahhhh, loneliness. I sometimes miss hearing from readers, and any time in the past that I have run a story that seemed to disrespect the glorious Rattus norvegicus, at least one reader has tried to set me straight. OK: WeirdNews at the domain earthlink dot net.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
And speaking of lagomorphs, this site ratchets way down the notion that one can communicate effectively with his or her dog, or cat, or horse, etc. Far, far too much thought went into RabbitSpeak.com

Newsrangers: Bob Pert, Larry Ellis Reed, Kurt Knochel, Christopher Nalty, Joe Littrell
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Things To Worry About On Friday
Detergent-based suicides in Japan / Lawyers are brought into the tug-of-war over a Beckham jersey / Teacher’s problem is that she bruises too easily / Border Patrol gets tough / And more!

Creme de la Weird
It’s Good to Be a British Prisoner (continued): An official of the prison guards’ union said conditions are so lax that at one prison, a drug dealer climbs over the wall at night to get into the prison so he can sell (and also that no one goes back out with him because, among other favorable conditions, drugs are more accessible than on the street) (but prison officials say the guards’ official’s claim that prisoners get “breakfast in bed” is an exaggeration, saying it’s only that they can carry their hot “breakfast packs” back to their cells if they want)

Civilization in Decline
Kinder, Gentler Border Patrol: BP just purchased 1,000 paintball guns . . . . . The city gov’t of Seoul identified its 88 worst employees (out of almost 10,000) and sent them away for some attitude-adjustment work in factories or on farms (and of course for some obscure reason there were complaints) . . . . . An FAA official said that if you flew into or out of Dallas between November 2005 and July 2007, and you’re here to read this, you’re luckier than you thought.

The Human Condition Today
Yr Editor calls the genre “The Only Way Out,” but in Japan, with a sky-high suicide rate, there are apparently many Ways Out, and the latest fad seems to be detergent-based . . . . . An F State grandmother added a requirement for being a third-grade teacher: gotta be able to take a punch (because when the grandson popped the teacher in the face, the teacher bruised up so easily it made the kid look like a bad boy, which of course, he’s not) . . . . . Why we have lawyers: Parents of best-friend 9- and 10-yr-olds drew lines in the sand over ownership of that Beckham jersey that Beckham handed them (because they didn’t grab the jersey from him simultaneously, and possession being 9/10ths of the law) . . . . . Here’s a pretty serious “Munchausen by proxy” case from Houston (mother set up 500 doctor visits for 3 little kids; one wound up with a feeding valve) . . . . . Travis McNeece finally pleaded guilty to molesting that little girl after claiming, for weeks, that (1) he took her shorts off only because he was so worried that she wasn’t wearing underwear and wanted to find some to put on her and (2) his own stuff was exposed only because, of course, as always, his zipper broke . . . . . Don’t you realize how much skill is required, especially if you’re drunk, to get your SUV off of the street, through a yard, around to the back, and smack into a swimming pool?

Your Daily Loser
It’s almost No Longer Weird, but here’s yet another home invader, Alvaro Castro, 25 and presumably spry, who gets the crap beat out of him by the resident, who is nearly blind.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Former elementary school teacher Kenneth Fire, 50, got 5 yrs in prison for child porn, even though he had a perfectly good reason for it, to wit, he acknowledges that he’s emotionally stunted and had to take refuge in an online fantasy world in which grownups like him all pretended to be kids, and if they sent naked pictures of themselves, why, they couldn’t well send pictures of 50-yr-olds, could they?

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Denise Ann Dean, 36, charged with abuse of the 911 line

Updates
Padre Pio [NOTW M051, 3-30-2008] went on display in his parish, all restored after 40 yrs of being dead, and according to this report, there are still 3,000 Pio Prayer Groups out there, comprising 3m people (even though some observers still think he was a fraud and a cutter) . . . . . The former south Texas mayor, Grace Saenz-Lopez, in the absolute-final judicial disposition of that tacky dognaping case [NOTW M043, 2-3-2008], is now officially poochless.

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

Newsrangers: Jerry Whittle, Paul Edmond, Scott Schrier
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Things To Worry About On Thursday
What a faith-based science teacher teaches middle-schoolers / A theme park for Baghdad / It's natural for yogurt makers to say it's natural / Contractors love working for the gov't (except for that tax thing) / And more!

Creme de la Weird
Moorestown, N.J., cop Robert Melia Jr., 38, is on leave, checking job listings, after it came out that he would be charged with molesting 3 young girls, but then, in addition, also doin’ it with a cow, which led to a police search of Melia’s computer, which turned up some bizarre web pages visited, including one containing a fictionalized scene in which the protagonist is a recently-retired cop talking about one applicant to the force that he remembers well. From The Trentonian:
The officer in the story tells his sergeant that the applicant offered “an extremely detailed explanation [of getting a heifer to go down on him]. Including [sic] how to select the right cow, what ‘lure’ to use, how to keep from getting stomped on, or kicked, or bitten, and so on, to the point where I was ready to throw up,” the story reads. “I’m telling you, Sergeant, I don’t think I can ever enjoy a cheeseburger again, and I know I will never drink another milkshake.”
Civilization in Decline
Three 18-yr-olds were busted for commandeering an 85-yr-old, off-and-on-senile woman to wear a hood and talk extra-dirty for their gang-banger video . . . . . Suspicions Confirmed: “All-natural” Pinkberry frozen yogurt isn’t quite, but the founder of the firm thought he could legally say it that way because the “yogurt” part was all-natural, even if the dozen-or-so additives weren’t . . . . . Mount Vernon, Ohio, middle-school science teacher John Freshwater is in trouble for teaching science by tossing Legos into a pile to see if the pile will build itself, like they say life on Earth built itself, and demonstrating electricity by electrostatically burning a cross on a student’s arm . . . . . Gov’t Accountability Office estimates that 60,000 federal contractors owe back federal taxes totaling almost $8B, including one company that got $1m while owing nearly $10m, and another owing $400k in taxes but which just doesn't do filings . . . . . U.S. farmers and their farm-state-Senator fellators are about to agree on renewing for 5 yrs the charming direct-payment system, in which big-farm owners enjoy sky-high prices, plus subsidies originally designed for when prices were low, paid to them not on what they produce but on how big their farms are, so that they can take their subsidy payments and buy even bigger farms to get even bigger subsidy payments next time around, and that’s how Big Farm gets treated, so how’s the Senate treating y’all readers?

The Human Condition Today
It’s No Longer Weird to show up drunk for your DUI court hearing, but Yr Editor hadn’t heard before of a member of the jury pool for a DUI case showing up drunk for morning roll call . . . . . Of course! If you’re one of those animal hoarders, and you happen to live in Idaho, you have not only dogs and cats but also five bobcats and 19 wolves . . . . . Tempe, Ariz., motorist David Lopez grabbed his gun to threaten an allegedly lousy driver in a Road Rage Moment, but then, while waving it around, Lopez accidentally shot himself.

Your Daily Loser
Robert Horsley Jr, 46, was charged with attempted home invasion in Bartlesville, Okla., and it turns out he tried to reach through the window of a 95-yr-old, wheelchair-confined woman, but she stabbed his arm with a screwdriver. So then he tried again, and she did it again. And so on. Blood and glass everywhere. After an hour and a half of that kinda whack-a-mole, he finally passed out, from loss of blood, and she called 911. Seriously, that’s what it says here.

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
So, does Dwayne Smith, Jr., 18, look like the kind of kid who would burglarize his own dad’s house and steal a jar of pennies?

NOTW Lite
Too Soon! California investor Llewellyn Werner said he’ll pour $500m into a Disneyland-style theme park located, er, adjacent to the Green Zone in Baghdad (first phase: a skateboard park, opening in July) . . . . . Here’s news of interest to that Mount Vernon, Ohio, teacher: Nat’l Geographic reports on inadvertent evidence of that yucky “theory of evolution” from an island off Croatia, where five pairs of odd lizards improbably, drastically reshaped themselves over 30 lizard generations in 30 yrs and now are thriving.

Updates
Did you know that taxman Wesley Snipes is a “mighty oak” and a “true citizen of the world” who has “influenced [Woody Harrelson’s] thoughts and emotions”? Federal prosecutors want New Jack to serve 3 yrs, but Denzel and Woody asked the judge to go easy . . . . . They’ve found the balloon-riding priest’s balloons, in the Atlantic, but not the priest, who presumably is now nearer, his God, to Thee.

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

Newsrangers: Joe Littrell, Paul Music, Vic McDonald, John Morgan, Becky Nelson, Ken Vermette, Michelle Jensen, Diane Gunnels-Rowley, Stephen Taylor
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Things To Worry About On Wednesday
It’s another slow news day, but Yr Editor is fighting for you, and I’ll continue to fight for you, all the way to the convention!

Creme de la Weird
A choice NOTW evergreen: the latest story on hysteria over African sorcerers (this time, in Congo) who steal (or, alternatively, shrink) men’s stuff [which goes something like this, Yr Editor imagines: Yes, officer, he shrunk my privates; I can prove it; why, I used to have 12 inches and now, look, 3]

Civilization in Decline
Yr Editor, for one, is proud of the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, like this report showing us way ahead of the rest of the world in acknowledging our miscreants and locking their butts up (less than 5 percent of the world’s population, but we have almost 25 percent of the world’s prisoners!), and . . oh, wait, I think the point of the story is that it’s bad for America to be doing this, so, never mind . . . . . Update on University of Buffalo professor Steven Kurtz, whose 2004 indictment for possession of some dangerous stuff that was obviously, obviously, for an art-cum-political project but which the feds pretended to think was for an actual terrorist attack, was ridiculous at the time, and, sure enough, a federal judge this week threw out the indictment as “insufficient on its face” after deliberating on it for, let’s see, 40-some months.

The Human Condition Today
A trucker in Toronto reported that someone made off with his big rig and the cargo, which was 30 pallets of broccoli . . . . .Of course! Three teenage girls practicing holding their breath as members of a local synchronized swim team in Seattle, all fainted at precisely the same time and had to be pulled from the pool . . . . . Expected to plead “mentally ill, but creative”: A woman in Waterbury, Conn., stole hundreds of paintings last year but said it was for the purpose of showing God she was good enough to be saved in the Apocalypse . . . . . There’s a Catholic school in Mackay, Queensland, Australia, in the news because the hot-chicks clique is somewhat more advanced than those in U.S. schools: a specific ranking of girls from number 1 to 21 (anything above that is officially ugly) . . . . . Robert Dee, 21, a British tennis pro, won a first-round match in Spain to bring his three-year record to 1-54. (Bonus: Every loss was in straight sets)

Your Daily Loser
Here in Weird Central, it appears that Mr. Leonard Levy is facing life in prison as a habitual offender, caught this week after having broken in to a café at 4 a.m. to go through the cash drawer. The owner, who had been asleep in the back room, noticed that Levy had left his truck beside the back door with the engine running. The owner jumped in, drove it away, leaving Levy standing there with a well-founded sense of doom.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
A 51-yr-old man was arrested in Fort Pierce, Fla., charged with hitting on women in a restaurant by walking up to them, removing his dress (yep!), showing his underwear, and flashing a fistful of money. Apparently, this is not a good way to score. (Bonus: His name is Mr. Nanu Banu.) (Seriously)

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Michael Stock, 19, the top-pictured man of the four alleged trespassers

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Flash! It’s dangerous to have receptive anal intercourse with a pig, but I know there are skeptics out there. It’s a detailed summary of a journal article, from http://ScienceBlogs.com

NOTW, The Blog
(1) Another set of researchers intent on putting Yr Editor out of business: A Norwegian professor studying brain activity that just precedes a "brain fart" screw-up says we actually have about 30 seconds’ warning that the screw-up may be upon us, instead of just a couple of seconds. He is therefore hopeful of finding such-and-such part of the brain responsible, sending it a message, and preventing the screw-up. Yes, that may save lives and stuff, but how is Yr Editor to put food on the table if there are no screw-ups? (2) Your Daily Jury Duty galore! The entire criminal class of Dekalb County, Ga. (hint: They’re all guilty!) [link from Fark.com] (3) From the other NOTW (London’s News of the World) (journalism not guaranteed) last week: photos from the junior version of the Fight Club, with urchins kick-boxing!

Newsrangers: Bruce Alter, Al Sayre, Roger Gulbransen, John Holsinger, Mark Neunder, Bob Pert, Allen Barnett, Emory Kimbrough, Peter Harrison
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Things To Worry About On Tuesday
The main thing to worry about, if you’re writing the Pro Edition of News of the Weird, is what to do the day after a slow weird-news day? Oh, yeah, there was the usual run of stupid people, like the home invader who got beaten up by a blind guy, and the girl who was carrying on a phone conversation while crossing the railroad tracks at 11:44 a.m. (just when the 11:44 went by), and so forth. But all that tickled Yr Editor’s fancy were: the VA official caught stone-cold lying to CBS News about veterans’ suicide attempts; the Brazilian priest trying to raise money for his church by floating up in helium-filled balloons and who may be by now in a Better Place; the German who thinks it’d be high art to exhibit somebody dying in his gallery; the poorly-reported report of the doper caught “pumping gas” into an “imaginary” car; and the update on the lawsuit against the hospital [NOTW M048, 3-9-2008] for administering the unwanted, uncalled-for rectal exam (verdict for defendants). I’m pretty sure yesterday was just a statistical blip, and I’m back in the trenches today. [NOTW Daily ombudsman Buddy: I agree that it's probably a blip, Chuck; I don't buy those rumors that the reason you can't find weird news is because you're all washed up; no way.]

Newsrangers: Elijah Christman, Aaron Geiger, Scott Loflin, Caroline Lawler
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Things To Worry About On Monday
Your honor, my client is a genetic mistake, a platypus! / Doctor, my navel is ugly and I want it gone / What was that rope for? / Jonathan Lee Riches files again / And more!

Creme de la Weird
Mr. LaVern Jordan, who founded the Parkway Christian School in Houston, got busted about as completely as a tacky dirty old man can be, trying to “do something” with a mother who needs to get her underachieving daughter into his school. “Excuse me and I don’t mean to be so blunt but I am talking about f------ you,” he says to the hidden microphone. Before she decides yes or no, he suggests, maybe “we could do some t–ty play.” Oh, how embarrassing! [Here’s the follow-up story, announcing Mr. Jordan’s retirement (Bonus: It appears that Mrs. Jordan wrote KTRK-TV a comment attacking the victim [since withdrawn, though other commentors’ comments on that comment remain up], and hers wasn’t the only attack on the victim)]

Civilization in Decline
Turns out that one enabler of Warren Jeffs and the Texas/Utah polygamists over the last 10 yrs has been, the, er, Pentagon, which has paid $1.7m for aircraft parts to companies owned by a major funder of the church, and that was only one of the companies’ customers (claims of $25k to $50k a week funneled to the church, which over time would buy you a pretty tall temple and a lot of gingham).

The Human Condition Today
MSNBC summarizes extreme plastic surgeries, like “vaginal rejuvenations” [yawn!], but what about ankle liposuction, forehead implants, toe-shortening, jaw-reshaping, and umbilicoplasty (er, removal of the belly button)? . . . . . Police Blotter from just across the Sound from our favorite Kitsap County: “At 4:02 p.m., April 10, two women went into the Federal Way [Wash.] police station claiming that over the past two years, a paranormal person has been placing sensors on their bodies and . . having sexual intercourse with them” . . . . . Mayberry in Crestview: A judge issued a domestic abuse restraining order against the police chief in Crestview, Fla., meaning that if he goes out on call, he turns into Sheriff Andy Taylor (unarmed) . . . . . Patrick Kilkenny Jr., accidentally crashed his car but thank goodness had the good sense to realize that if he didn’t quickly make a tourniquet with the seat belt and . . inject some of that heroin before the cops arrived, it’d just go to waste.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
CNN anchor Richard Quest was busted for violating the curfew in NYC’s Central Park last week, with a little meth in his pocket, but the NY Post said he also had “a rope around his neck that was tied to his genitals, and a sex toy in his boot.” [Ed.: Actually, Yr Editor pleads ignorance here; the rope could be part of a better sex life than a lot of us have.]

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Stewart Otto, 31, charged with counterfeiting [or, rather, charged with being a guy you wouldn’t expect to be carrying legitimate $100 bills]

NOTW Lite
Unique trial strategy if you’re defending an accused wife murderer: My client reminds me of a platypus, and a platypus that’s gettin’ screwed! . . . . . The European Union further enraged another couple of UK groups: Health and safety rules require restrictions on the incredibly, unavoidably noisy bagpipe-playing, whose decibels come in ahead of a pneumatic drill and just behind a Boeing 747 take-off, and consumer-protection requirements mean spiritual healers and psychics might actually have to prove their effectiveness.

Updates
The videogame press is reporting that the all-time litigiousness giant Jonathan Lee Riches [NOTW M053, 4-13-2008] has filed for an injunction against some new games, claiming that inmates will play them, be overcome, and beat him up and steal his “gold Jesus cross” . . . . . There was another Christian-on-Christian brawl at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem yesterday [NOTW M004, 5-6-2007]; Armenians tossed a Greek priest out, and as usual, Muslim police had to come restore order . . . . . Gene Theory Lives: Freddie Johnson, the subway frottomaniac [NOTW Daily, 4-11-2008] has, it turns out, a twin brother Teddy who does the same damned thing (only he does it better dressed and not as frequently) (Freddie’s last interview with police yielded the indignant defense of, y’know, don’t beautiful women know they’re gonna get felt up if they ride the subway?) . . . . . Follow-up on the Loser/Bus Driver on Friday [NOTW Daily, 4-18-2008]: DUI was not involved, nor senior gas/braking, nor cell-phone driving, but the other of our Four Major Contemporary Highway Fear Inducers was involved: blind obedience to GPS navigators . . . . . The ABC News Medical Unit visited the same Sneeze Fetish Forum that Yr Editor commended to you on Thursday and wrote it up pretty good, with interviews of researchers on why people fetishize certain things.

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

NOTW, The Blog
Yr Editor has always envied paraphiliacs who get off on things like sneezing because they get to engage in all sorts of erotic play that haven’t been frowned against like the mainstream paraphilias have. If I got off on fashionably-dressed women smiling with braces on their teeth, I could have all sorts of orgasm-inducing “pornography” lying around without being arrested or grossing anyone out. The equation changes, of course, if a real victim is included, and even my “pornography” involves taking the legal photograph of a person who might not have wanted it taken, especially if she knew I was going to have a happy ending with it. The issue has surfaced several times in recent weeks in the F State, involving Photoshopping legally-taken pictures of women’s or children’s faces onto legal adult pornography, with the latest involving Danny Parker (who, by the way, has not yet joined the digital revolution, in that his treasures are still done with scissors and paste, in a scrapbook).

Newsrangers: Ginger Katz, Christopher Nalty, Larry Ellis Reed, Chris Douthitt, Wendy Palm, Paul Di Filippo, Mark Neunder, Pierre Langenegger
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Things To Worry About On Friday
The main thing that Yr Editor is worrying about is whether he can get back to a normal work day while swapping out computers; you’ll know by Monday

Creme de la Weird
In Baghdad, where “traffic law enforcement” should be devoted to stopping car bombs and preventing street-corner kidnaping, the police are starting to enforce, er, seat-belt laws. (Seriously)

Civilization in Decline
Researchers in Mexico City found that Mexicans paid $2.5B in bribes last yr, at a rate of nearly 2 for every living person, but also that bribery is not that big a deal, though the gov’t’s trying to convince people to report it (Bonus: One of the top bribery categories is, ya have to bribe gov’t workers to take your crime reports) . . . . . The feds swooped down on the Boston Fire Dept. this week, investigating corruption in the filing of disability claims; worst case: 102 people filed for career-ending disabilities precisely while they had temp jobs filling in for absent workers in higher pay grades, i.e., their lifetime disability pay would be at the higher grade . . . . . Now, an 8th-grader doing a science-fair project has proven that “Chinese water torture” (drip-drip-drip) works, even in a play-like setting, in that it jacks up the body’s fear mechanisms.

The Human Condition Today
Aliza Shvarts advanced our understanding of “performance art” yesterday by punking almost the entire MSM and blog communities with a claim in Yale Daily News that she inseminated herself repeatedly, then induced abortions, so she’d have some sheets of artwork for all of us to stand around contemplating, but then, hours later, she admitted, Naah, she only pretended to have done that, i.e., it was performance art! [Upcoming in NOTW M055, 4-27-2008, the performance art of Matthew Feeney [CORRECTION: Keeney], one of whose pieces is that he stands on the street and waits for someone to come ask him WTF he’s doing, whereupon he’ll say he’s doing performance art] . . . . . Age 18 is much too young to be calling yourself “the master thief” around Madison, Wis., unless you can deliver, and Garrett Haselton obviously can’t (although his pre-crime research instincts are good) (Nerd!).

Your Daily Loser
Brad the Bus Driver, in Seattle on Wednesday, chauffeuring a charter that was 11 ft, 8 inches high, underneath an overpass that’s 9 ft, 0 inches high [with photos]

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Daniel Ramirez, 54, who might have accidentally left nine baggies of meth (and his driver’s license) on a counter at Wal-Mart when buying something

NOTW Lite
Wrong place, wrong time: Richard Szymanski, using the john in his son’s house, was slammed against a shower wall when the toilet exploded.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Five links to journal articles about the consequences when teeth meet men’s genitalia

Newsrangers: Eric Gibbs, Emory Kimbrough, Peter Steele, Jan Wolitzky
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Things To Worry About On Thursday
The happiest person in Singapore / Girl scouts against cookies / The ever-dangerous Stopped Escalator / Stalked by a midget robber / And more!

Creme de la Weird
Another decrying of the YouTube-ization Culture: The Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City, Philippines, said it most certainly did not approve of the six doctors and their helpers, who laughed continuously at a patient during surgery. And it sure as hell did not approve putting said video on YouTube. Highly unprofessional, said Medical Center officials, even if the surgery did involve removal of a perfume canister from the patient’s rectum.

Civilization in Decline
So, what would happen if a state like California cross-checked its licensed day-cares with its sex offenders’ residences? Answer: Uh, 49 matches . . . . . So few of y’all readers are volunteering to pick up that M-16 and go help establish freedom in Iraq that people like James Raymond have to be re-called into service, even though Raymond had been discharged in 2004 with no hearing at all in one ear and a 10 percent-disability bad knee . . . . . Going Too Far: Two Ann Arbor, Mich., girl scouts boycotted the cookie drive this yr because the harvesting of transfat-less palm oil to make them harms the habitats of orangutans.

The Human Condition Today
According to polite news reports on the death of the father who accidentally plunged two stories after a New York Mets game, in front of his two young daughters, it’s exceeding dangerous to walk down a stopped escalator because you never know if, like this guy, you’ll be mysteriously hurled over the side (or, on the other hand, alcohol might have been involved, or at least showing off) . . . . . A private conference in grimness-intensive Singapore will soon select the city’s “happiest person” [a little like trying to find the most effeminate member of the Pittsburgh Steelers] . . . . . David Whyte, 42, was convicted of telephoning brides (from newspaper wedding announcements) and calling them all sorts of vile names (Whyte’s lawyer: My client had never been in a serious relationship, himself) [Photographic proof of that].

Your Daily Loser
From the Police Blotter of the Daily Record (Hackensack, N.J.) [scroll down to Rockaway listings]: “Louis Rolstad, 46, of Wharton , , , was renting a room and made claims that a midget was hiding in the curtains of his room trying to steal his money.”

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
A 59-yr-old registered sex offender was arrested in West Valley City, Utah, after allegedly standing on his apartment balcony taking pictures of himself dressed in women’s clothing, with two underage kids nearby, watching.

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Carla Scharbach, 46, who might have punched school officials who thought she was too drunk to take her own daughter home from kindergarten

NOTW Lite
Copy editor working without supervision (describing softball pitcher Tristan Dykes’s dominating performance): “Eastern’s Dykes plugs up Lady Zebras’ offense.”

Updates
Well, now, NASA is denying that it ever agreed with the calculations of the German 13-yr-old, as reported here yesterday. In fact, NASA says its original calculation was good and that we’re likely not facing doom 15 yrs from now, after all.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
http://www.SneezeFetishForum.org/ (‘nuff said)

Newsrangers: Tim Farley, Kathryn Wood, Kurt Knochel, Paul Blumstein, Grant Crawford
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Things To Worry About On Wednesday
Britain’s mad tunneler gets his comeuppance / More kids in dryers / The 8-yr-old divorcee / NASA flunks arithmetic / And more!

Creme de la Weird
Update from NOTW 969, 9-3-2006:
In 2001, News of the Weird mentioned William Lyttle, then age 71, of North London, England, who was notorious for obsessively digging tunnels underneath his 20-room home. That year, he had dug past the property line for the first time and created a 15-foot hole in the street. Earlier in 2006, Lyttle was temporarily evicted when his tunneling threatened the integrity of the entire street, and building inspectors feared that his accumulation of junk would cause the house itself to sink into the ground already weakened by 40 years worth of burrowing. Engineers are considering cementing in all the tunnels.
This week, the judge decided the damage was about £293,000 ($579,000), but apparently Lyttle did not go quietly, vigorously contesting in court his right to dig because, uh, because . . well, he never really got around to that.

Civilization in Decline
Economic ministers from poorer countries, meeting in Washington, trashed effete U.S. tree-huggers for human-rights violations, i.e., for diverting so much corn and sugar cane into energy substitutes, thus driving up the world prices for the staples that poor people subsist on . . . . . An 8-yr-old girl heroically marched into a courtroom in Sana’a, Yemen, and demanded a divorce from the 30-yr-old man who had married her on parental contract, and the judge said yes, but contract marriages are nonetheless legal . . . . . It’s not rocket science, but still, NASA shouldn’t have screwed up the probability that Earth will take a major asteroid hit in the year 2029, especially since a 13-yr-old German boy is the one who discovered they were off by a multiple of 100 [UPDATE: No, maybe Agence France-Presse got the story wrong, and NASA was correct] . . . . . Yr Editor’s home county was exposed yesterday as having treated work-release inmates, for 15 yrs now, as regular gov’t employees, meaning a few actually acquired pension benefits while working off their sentences (and the F State legislature naturally went nuts) . . . . . Amnesty Int’l had its annual cow deploring the number of executions in the world the year before, with China number one (and growing, i.e., number one with a bullet), Iran second, and the U.S. slipping to 5th. [Ed.: But America executed 42 people last year, out of 305 million; to conclude that only one of every 7.2 million of us is a worthless t*rd seems charmingly short-sighted.]

The Human Condition Today
Again [see also NOTW Daily, 3-7-2008], parents use the clothes dryer as a substitute for getting their kids, y’know, a swing set . . . . . A Salt Lake City woman, pretending to be a man, was arrested for using someone else’s urine to try to pass a drug test (Bonus: It was the urine of a 5-yr-old boy) (Double Bonus: The kid tested positive for cocaine) . . . . . Instant karma: Willie Thomas III fled in a stolen U-Haul truck, but then jumped out, and somehow the truck did a Phil Leotardo on him . . . . . Cross-dresser Jeremy McIntosh, 27, who was turned down for a job at the Intimate Ideas lingerie store, did the manly thing and smashed his Geo Tracker into the store, 7 times (Bonus: For his day in court, he showed up in blue Capri pants, red flip flops, a flowery blouse, and matching bra) . . . . . The Unavoidable Human Condition: Al-Qaeda documents the U.S. has finally, finally processed from Afghanistan and Iraq, most dated from 9-11 and before, are said by a Los Angeles Times reporter to describe an organization rife with bureaucratic rules and petty feuds.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Scott Fuchs, 41, got off on a technicality in Port Orchard, Wash., but still, it looks like his thing was making tapes through holes in restroom walls at a golf driving range.

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Speaking of restrooms, Edward Fladung III, 44, has been charged with groping a man against his will in a rest room.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
This made the rounds on the ‘net last week, but maybe you didn’t see it. Or maybe you saw it and wished you hadn’t. Or maybe you saw it and haven’t been able to get it out of your mind since. [Ed.: Do not write Yr Editor for an explanation.]

NOTW, The Blog
(1) Erroror: In this week’s NOTW M053, 4-13-2008, I wrote that the scrapbooking critics had called the tarnished Hall of Famer “labelwhore,” but on closer reading, thanks to the prodding of a close-reader, I see that “labelwhore” is her own User Name, not a pejorative. Ouch. (2) A probably very nice lady from Wisconsin wrote me a note politely backing Mr. Leo Hill, who is the 81-yr-old in NOTW this week who made a big deal about counting the toilet paper sheets. She said her experience is the same as Leo’s, i.e., the TP companies are crooks! Readers should therefore know that there is more to this toilet-paper-gate than meets the eye. There are people like this lady who are mad as hell and won’t take it anymore! Companies are warned! (3) For those following Yr Editor’s equipment soap opera, this post is being written on the main machine, which Yr Editor managed to coax “on” after 429 pushes of the “on” button.[*] It appears that the problem lies inside the mysterious “power supply” box. Yr Editor has a replacement machine en route and will not turn this one off until it arrives. [* Just in the nick of time: An iron rule is that one should not perform the same futile act, and expect a different result, more than 430 times.]

Newsrangers: Mark Neunder, Roger Gulbransen, Matt Mirapaul, Leo Steffens, Gary Davidson, Amy Saxton, Jerry Whittle
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Things to Worry About on Tuesday
Little Andrew, the Nose / America’s clumsiest judge / Netherlands’s solution to unemployment: reincarnation / Padded bras for little girls / And more!

Creme de la Weird
Update, from NOTW M035, 12-9-2007:
An Indonesian fisherman, Dede, age 35, is in reasonably good health except that his hands and feet resemble something out of the “Alien” movie series, with huge root-like growths that render his arms and legs useless, according to a November Discovery Channel TV program, “Half Man, Half Tree,” reported on by London’s Daily Telegraph. Dermatologist Anthony Gaspari of the University of Maryland flew to Indonesia and determined that Dede’s condition was caused by a genetic inability to restrain the growth of warts (“cutaneous horns”) produced by the human papilloma virus. Gaspari prescribed a regimen of vitamin A, which he said should reduce the size of the warts enough so that, with surgery, Dede could eventually use his hands again.
The Daily Telegraph reports back this week that Dede is improving, with about 4 lbs. of warts surgically removed from his legs and feet so far and a few more from his hands, allowing him to indulge his sudoko habit, and there is a range of before-and-after photos [with, as usual, Yr Editor’s Not Safe for Stomachs warning].

Civilization in Decline
It’s the Age of the New Age: (1) In Maastricht, Netherlands, the local gov’t, trying out a new strategy for the long-term unemployed, paid the equivalent of almost $1,500 to send one woman on a 10-week psychotherapy session to visit her “past lives,” to help enlighten her as to why she can’t get a job. [Supply own punch line] (2) At Mab Lane Primary school in Liverpool, they claim great success in sending kids (and their parents, if they wish) to twice-weekly shoulder/back-massage sessions, which they promise will “boost their emotional well-being, self-esteem, and working on [sic] giving the children the ‘I Can’ factor.” (3) Britain’s Tesco supermarket (which last yr sold a pole-dancing kit for little girls) is back with padded bras for girls as young as 7 (“very low bridge connecting the cups,” “the shape and position is lower to expose the breast tissue,” says a critic). (4) Switzerland’s federal Ethics Committee on non-human Gene Technology condemned the “arbitrary” killing of plants.

The Human Condition Today
Brooklyn, N.Y., judge Jack Battaglia said he’s about to file a $1m lawsuit against the city (and the cleaning lady in his building) because he slipped on a wet floor and busted his knee last November.

Your Daily Loser
Australian Ahmed Jalloul, 20, was convicted of robbing a post office in Adelaide (done in by the fact that he had nervously hurled on the floor during the job, thus leaving his DNA behind).

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Danny Shelton, 55, who might have had a video on his computer of a young relative undressing

NOTW Lite
Andrew Dahl, 13, Pasco, Wash., wants the Guinness Book record: 213 balloons inflated in one hour, blown up without benefit of his mouth, just his nose . . . . . Just added to the Orlando theme parks (for your next visit): Colon-land, a 20-ft-long replica of the human you-know-what, sponsored by a cancer research foundation . . . . . A couple dozen German dope smokers got punked by a dealer who had added 10 percent lead to the product, (a) increasing the weight, (b) endangering the smokers’ lives, and most important, c) ruining their innocence.

Updates
The Washington Post’s crack weird-news reporter Karl Vick paid a visit to Provo, Utah, to check out that waterboarding lawsuit [NOTW Daily, 2-29-2008], where the company was trying to pressure its sales force to sell, sell, sell, and in a “team-building” exercise, almost drowned Chad Hudgens. “I don’t know if this would even be an issue if it weren’t for Guantanamo bay,” said the company’s lawyer. From what we know so far, Hudgens took it better than Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

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

NOTW, The Blog
(1) Erroror: “Stephenson,” Tex., in yesterday’s Creme [4-14-2008], does not exist; “Stephenville,” Tex., though, now, there’s a town for ya. (2) Admin. Note: Yr Editor’s regular computer, with all the unanswered recent e-mail on it and with the only current file of Prof. Music’s goodies, is inaccessible until I figure out how to change the battery so I can turn it on again, but I should figure that out in a week or two. [It’s a desktop; I have to find the damned battery first.]

Newsrangers: Bryce Jackson, Jamie Anderson, George Ronczy, Stephen Taylor
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Things To Worry About On Monday
UK to take it easy on pirates / The strip-club owners’ go-to intellectual / Damn those complicated flagpoles / Milwaukee’s jailhouse alderman leaves “office” / And more!

Creme de la Weird
At the 20th Ozark UFO Conference over the weekend, a warning was issued, from reps of the “143,999" alien races, offering salvation from the imminent black hole that Earth’s solar system will become at some point over the next four years (no matter who wins the presidency!), with the only requirements, apparently, that you be “willing” and “ready” to be saved, i.e., nothing about Jesus. Author Don Ray Walton said this information came directly to him when he was abducted briefly just outside of Stephenson, Tex., [CORRECTION: Stephenville] earlier this year, and that dad-gummed new information made him have to go back and revise one of his chapters.

Civilization in Decline
Britain’s Foreign Office has advised the Royal Navy to go easy on pirates, like the ones off the coast of Somalia, because, one, we don’t want to deprive them of their “human rights,” and two, if you capture them, they might claim asylum . . . . . Recession, what recession? 71 NYC apartments selling for $10M or more have already closed out this yr, versus 17 during all of last yr, and according to this Guardian report, companies selling customized baby strollers are still getting $3,500 for their buggies . . . . . The Catholic Archdiocese of Denver has agreed with a man who was fondled (only fondled) by a priest on two occasions, when he was 16 or 17, that a fair price for those feel-ups is $150,000 each.

The Human Condition Today
A Birmingham (Ala.) News columnist said Mayor Langford’s new anti-crime strategy involves 2,000 burlap bags, to somehow shame would-be criminals (provided the criminals understand the Biblical imagery) . . . . . Once again, U. of Maryland anthropologist Dr. Judith Hanna comes to the rescue of strip clubs, testifying that stripping and lap-dancing are serious artistic performances for such-and-such reasons based on such-and-such research . . . . . A 50-yr-old Southbury, Conn., man was killed in a mid-afternoon one-car collision as he was backing out of his driveway (Seriously) . . . . . The executive director of the TIZA Academy, a Minnesota charter school run by an Islamic organization, said he really wants to be a good American citizen and that the only reason he never flew the U.S. flag out front was because he couldn't figure out how to do that flagpole thingy . . . . . The lovely Kira Kashie Brooks’s aspiring pageant career (as well as her electability as governor of the F State) is on hold following her sentencing for charging the pageant entrance fee (plus some diva supplies) to her gov’t-job credit card (Bonus: the “gov’t job” she had was with the police department).

Your Daily Loser
Cyheam Forney, 31, Melville, N.Y., managed to pump up an illegal left turn citation into a felony by offering as bail a counterfeit $50 bill.

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Larry Smallwood, 52, and Brenda Ivey, 46, charged with elderly abuse, neglecting Larry’s mother (she died)

NOTW Lite
The criminal suspect most in need of a name change: Austin, Tex., alleged parole-violator, 24-yr-old Don Henry Truevillain [may need to scroll down, to SWAT story, 4-13-2008; Note: Name also spelled "Truevillian" in the story] . . . . . Italy votes today for lots of offices, but we’ll be watching the Rome city council elections, where porn star Milly D’Abbraccio has been putting her background in voters’ faces . . . . . Brilliant: An F-state sheriff’s deputy concluded that the graffiti at an elementary school, of stick figures with schlongs (i.e., maximum age of artist is, like, 8), appeared to be just regular graffiti “and not gang-related.”

Updates
Milwaukee Alderman Michael McGee [NOTW Daily, 2-22-2008] lost his seat in the April 1 election, and today’s his last day in office, and by “in office,” I mean “in Waukesha County Jail,” where he’s been since the middle of last year, drawing his paycheck (“innocent until proven guilty,” you know), and has thus cashed out $67k in jail pay. His trials (state and federal) start next month on shaking down businesses for city licenses and conspiracy to beat up a guy who wouldn’t play.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
A Turkish designer’s punchline-friendly combination, er, toilet and washing machine, for recycling wash water into the toilet tank, but visually it’d take some getting used to. [Link from Gizmodo].

NOTW, The Blog
Clarification from NOTWD ombudsman Buddy: A link in Prof. Music’s Weird Links on 4-10-2008 (the second of the two, http://LoveBugz.net/) might be a hoax, says reader Marti Walters, who tracked down the domain owner as far as she could take it and still ended up unsatisfied: “Whoever did that site is really trying to hide.” And, logically, why in the world would someone be trying to hide if he were intending to glorify the cultivating of crab lice? Extra note: That particular link was not supplied by Prof. Music, himself.

Newsrangers: Andy Gallien, Linda Ofshe, Jodi Lipsitz
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Things To Worry About On Friday
Prosecutors bring the D.C. Madam to her knees / England’s spitting vicar gets the door / The state of the poop-scooping business / Yr Editor’s gas-pedal, brake-pedal ethical dilemma / And more!

Creme de la Weird
A parenting dispute turns violent in Commerce City, Colo.: Mom wants one thing for their tot, estranged dad wants another. The issue: Should the kid wear the colors of her street gang, or his?

Your Daily Loser
Darryl Copeland: How to turn a court summons for a petty assault into 30 yrs for aggravated heroin trafficking.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Freddie Johnson, back at Riker’s Island after his 30th arrest for non-consensual sex (53rd overall) (preferred scene: frottage on a crowded No. 6 train).

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Careful, now: Bruce Mendenhall, 56, might be a serial killer

NOTW Lite
An excellent way to make the point about America’s excesses: a German production of Verdi’s A Masked Ball opera, with, er, 35 old people frolicking naked among the ruins of the World Trade Center, wearing Mickey Mouse masks . . . . . The Chicago Tribune catches us up on the state of the poop-scooping-service business (trade ass’n [APAWS], a McD’s-type franchiser [Pet Butler] with 100 outlets in 27 states, serving a pet-dog census that’s about one-fourth our human population) . . . . . This week’s trial of the D.C. Madam, Deborah Palfrey, featured a few Washington-B-list clients forced to testify (under immunity), along with some of the service-providers (SSP’s), to establish that Palfrey lies when she says it was a no-sex escort biz. The best SSP’s: suburban mom Fauzia Mack, 46, very persuasive that she thought it was merely a “social companionship” service for elderly men until her first client asked for a blow job (whereupon Palfrey fired her for refusing and called her a “nitwit”) and Rhona Reiss, Ph.D., age 63 (56 when she turned 100 tricks), who re-taught Palfrey attorney Preston Burton the classic trial-lawyer rule of “Don’t ask a witness a question you don’t already know the answer to.”

Updates
The best evidence that there is regular turnover in the journalism profession: Every year or so, a fresh-faced reporter and fresh-faced editor seem absolutely astonished to find out there is such a thing as Kopi Luwak (coffee from beans that have made it through the digestive tracts of Asian civet cats). Here’s this year’s story . . . . . Uppity Church of England vicar Tom Ambrose got written up here earlier because parishioners were quite upset that he gave his 2006 Christmas sermon on Microsoft PowerPoint [NOTW M024, 9-23-2007]. Well, he was just sacked for that and a range of other offenses, including twice spitting on parishioners.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Something else Yr Editor would have never thought of, much less have done with such passion: “The Sublime, Nihilistic Elegance of Assquatch Art,” y’know, fixing up dead deer butts.

NOTW, The Blog
(1) Among Yr Editor’s specialties is the growing parade of seniors who confuse the gas pedal for the brake, and wreak various versions of havoc, including death. This phenomenon strikes Yr Editor as odd for several reasons: (a) We as a society overlook that, per mile driven, seniors’ “accident” rates are higher than teenagers’ (depending on how one defines “senior”); (b) Gas-brake crashes happen in otherwise-low-profile places, such as parking lots (or even farmers’ markets), where potential victims aren’t so vigilant; (c) Society continues to unreasonably protect its seniors because (c-1) seniors notoriously vote, thus terrifying politicians and (c-2) society has bought the bogus argument that we must be fair to the few seniors who remain as sharp as tacks, and thus can’t impose restrictions unless we perfectly pre-identity all seniors who are not so sharp. But here’s a dilemma for Buddy, NOTWD’s new ombudsman: What if the senior tries to explain the boo-boo by claiming the accelerator “stuck” (Actually, mechanically, that almost never happens) or, in a story this week, blaming a new pair of shoes (“wider” than my old ones!). Can Yr Editor move past this b.s. and call it what it surely was: confusing the gas pedal with the brake? [Buddy: You have to stick with how the story was reported.] [Ed.: But the only witness to the actual cause is a confused coot! It’s not like the reporter observed the wide shoe getting tangled with the gas pedal.] [Buddy: Still . . ..] [Ed.: Ehh, we'll talk next week.] (2) Erroror: Thanks to readers who pointed out that “free reign” yesterday should have been “free rein.” [Ed.: So, Buddy, is that an error that I have go fix?] [Buddy: No; it’s just errors of fact in reportage that you have to fix. Leaving up bad word usage merely invites ridicule, and I figure you should be used to that by now.]

Newsrangers: John Whisenhunt, Bob Pert, Matt Mirapaul, Steve Miller, Perry Levin, Paul Di Filippo
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.