Monday, October 26, 2009

News of the Weird/Pro Edition
October 26, 2009
(mordant and/or stupefying news from October 17-24)
by Chuck Shepherd
© 2009 by Chuck Shepherd. (All rights reserved. But please forward this issue to your pals.)

[Editor's Note to people reading this at the Blogspot website: This October 26th edition does not contain the usual coding that makes links open in a new window.]

Ow Ow Owwwww!
"You know any sport has gone off the rails when you have to remove body parts to do it." The New York Times reported that about one in 10 ultramarathoners (the 100-milers) has permanently removed his toenails, which some consider "useless appendages, remnants of claws from evolutionary times," anyway. They're "dead weight." But mainly, shoes give them fits. New York Times

Tex-Ass Justice (New!)
It turns out that at least six different Dallas cops (and their supervisors) wrote up at least 39 citations of drivers in the past three years for the "offense" of "driving while not speaking English." Seriously. The Chief went nuts when he found out. Dallas Morning News

Playing Their Hole Card
Two gay men from Bangladesh have been turned down now three times for asylum by Australian immigration officials who think the guys are faking gayness (and thus faking a fear of being oppressed if forced to return to Bangladesh). It's put-up-or-shut-up time. The men have now offered to prove their orientation once and for all, right there on the floor of the immigration office. Daily Telegraph (Sydney)

Your Weekly Lesson in Multiculturalism
According to Mr. Scott Zirus, 25, an Aussie visiting Texas, or rather, now visiting a jail cell near San Antonio, he's a "Shadoran" and thus has a special sexuality called "neltia (r'neltia for male and l'neltia for female)," he has written, and "neltia" "is unique because it has no boundries [sic]. You are open to love from any age, race, or gender." This may cause some trouble in Texas [Plus . . if the cops don't understand his Aussie accent, he won't be able to drive, either.] (Sydney)

People With Worse Sex Lives Than You

He just can't stop himself. James Tait was caught up in the 2005 Enumclaw, Wash., horse/sex classic, and you'd have thought that would be a wake-up call. (He was part of a group of bestialists who hung out at a farm and who came under the spotlight when one of them died of a perforated colon while being a bottom . . for a horse.) Tait moved to Kentucky and found another farm, which became yet another clubhouse until a visitor turned 'em in. Seattle Times /// Seattle Times [2005]

Jury Duty
[In America, you're presumed innocent . . . until the mug shot is released]

Pervs on Parade? Your call. Phillip Ortega, 56, Oklahoma City (She's lying, he said; I never showed my genitals). Joel Wooldridge, 31, Monroe, Va. (Maybe just innocently walked into the incorrect restroom). Ralph Surridge, 57, Winston-Salem, N.C. [Professional Query: Do perverts self-identify by their bad haircuts?] The Daily Oklahoman /// News-Advance (Danville) /// Greensboro News-Record

American Sub-Prime

This guy, whoever it is on the surveillance video, accidentally tipped over a barrel of grease behind Palumbo's Pizzeria in Stroudsburg, Pa., but his clumsiness started when he awkwardly tried to take a dump in the barrel. Pocono Record

Logging-truck driver Phillip Matthews, 73, caused a stir in northeastern Iowa after he forgot to lower the boom arm on his truck and started snagging (and snapping) power lines . . for 12 miles, until someone managed to flag him down. Associated Press via Des Moines Register

The human resources office at Nebraska's Tecumseh State Correctional Institute admitted that the background check on Michal Preclik to be a guard might not have been thorough enough, in that anyone Googling Preclik could have seen that he's currently wanted by Interpol for drug crimes. (He was a good guard, though; he recently got promoted.) Lincoln Journal Star

Below The Fold

A British health-care secret: 3,000 National Health Service staffers have enrolled in private health care at NHS's expense, which NHS is OK with because its staff can't have to wait in line to see doctors, like they make other Brits do. The Times

Recently, he was emptying bedpans at a Pennsylvania clinic; today, he's a Ugandan king, with 300,000 subjects. It's better to be king. The Guardian (London)

At a Ramadan academic tournament in Kismayo, Somalia, teams of students competed on science, culture, and the Koran, with the winners getting (courtesy of local jihadists) . . $1,000 worth of guns, grenades, and other stuff. Agence France-Presse via Sydney Morning Herald

Maine's Summit Springs Water Co. one-upped all the "natural water" crowd . . with "raw" water! Straight from the ground, into the bottles. None of those pesky "filters." Sun Journal (Lewiston)

Procter & Gamble once again is opening a special public restroom in New York City to promote Charmin but this time is hiring five "bloggers" at $10,000 each to "interact" with restroom-goers and blog about it. Seriously. Business Courier of Cincinnati via CNET News

The annual rabbit-carcass-tossing competition in Waiau, New Zealand, has been canceled this year (and maybe forever). Would you toss your dead grandmother around, asked an animal-protection activist. (Well, no, but in New Zealand, rabbits are major pests, ruining NZ$22m [US$16m] worth of crops every year.) Daily Telegraph (London)

Illinois's lawyer-regulation commission is after Samir Chowhan, Esq., of Chicago, for trying to hire a secretary for paralegal and office-sex duties. You should be ready, Samir told the applicant, to put out for him and his partner during the job interview. Chicago Tribune

How to tell whether your sommelier knows his stuff: Can he (like Gary Vaynerchuk, of Springfield, N.J.) recommend a wine to go with your breakfast cereal? Philadelphia Inquirer

Recurring Themes

The District of Calamity: Washington, D.C., has the highest rate of AIDS cases in the country and has been in public-health crisis mode for a quarter-century now. Yet a Washington Post investigation revealed that the D.C. government basically blew $25m in the last five years on grants to wasteful and/or scamming AIDS support organizations. Washington Post

Another recklessly-speeding drug runner: Andrew Lucas, 39, barreled through a New York construction zone though he had dope, cocaine, and 300 envelopes of heroin in the back seat. Journal-News (White Plains)

In the U.S., our paranoids blame social dislocation on our Kenyan-born Muslim President's cravings for socialism and one-world government. In India, the paranoids try to put society back on the right track by rooting out more "witches," and then they beat the women up in the street (and worse). BBC News [includes short smackdown video]

Eyewitness News

"Lady Lee," 24, shows off her Berlin, Germany, tricked-up S&M parlor on wheels. Austrian Times

Awesome, revolting photos from China, of actual scenes of air pollution, water pollution, toxic waste pollution. Whoa, nelly! [from Photo District News Online (New York)]

And why would Salvatore Dichiera, 27, of St. Petersburg, Fla., choose to look like this? The Smoking Gun

Readers' Choice

The authorities still don't know why Melissa Farris of Caldwell, Idaho, wanted to trick paramedics away from their station on a call. She phoned in a false report, and when they left, she tried to sneak into the empty station . . but got accidentally trapped under the station's garage door and is no longer with us. Idaho Statesman (Boise)

It's No Longer Weird, but lots of readers were impressed: Dennis Anderson, 61, of Proctor, Minn., pleaded guilty to DUI while driving an unconventional vehicle, in this case a La-Z-Boy recliner that he had outfitted with wheels, a motor, and stereo. But, odds are, you already knew about this story. USA Today

More Things to Worry About

Worrisome Medieval Covenants: A Welch [CORRECTION: Welsh] couple just auctioned off their historic farm because they couldn't afford the repairs . . on the 13th-century neighborhood church. Officials of St. John the Baptist's invoked a contract term in the farm's deed that requires the owner to pay for upkeep of the church . . which was built in the 13th century. BBC News

Worrisome Big Brother Winners: Recent season winner Adam Jacinski was arrested by DEA agents and charged with trying to invest the $500,000 he won from CBS . . into a major oxycodone trafficking ring. Jacinski's day job is publisher of an addiction-recovery magazine.

Worrisome Headlines: "Ice-Skating Bear Kills Circus Head." "60-Year-Old Running for Homecoming Queen Was Accused of Murder" The Times (London) /// KUSA-TV (Denver)


David Schnur, Bryce Moser, Michael Lawlor, Cindy Hildebrand, Sam Gaines, James Kalmadge, Hal Dunham, Perry Levin, Mike Miller, Alva Crom, Tom Gentry, Brian Bjolin, Craig Foley, and Jeff Hagge, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.

Monday, October 19, 2009

News of the Weird/Pro Edition
October 19, 2009
(bewildering and/or outrageous news from October 10-17)
by Chuck Shepherd
© 2009 by Chuck Shepherd. (All rights reserved. But please forward this issue to your pals.)

"Science" Imitates Science Fiction
How do people even think up these things? (1) University of Oxford researchers figured out that 12 specific brain cells of a fly are responsible for what it "learns," and now they're controlling a fly with lasers. Seriously. (2) That's maybe even beyond this DARPA project out of the University of California, Berkeley, where they implant electrodes in a beetle's larva so that when it gets bigger, you can fly it around the room using a laptop controller. (3) And don't even start about randy fruit flies. A University of Toronto team figured out that if they removed specific cells that produce hydrocarbons, the flies will be sexually irresistible to fruit flies of both sexes, and maybe even to different species. (4) An NIH team was given the task of figuring out how to control the norovirus (which creates havoc with acute gastroenteritis), and fortunately, they found just the rich research database they needed: a collection of old clinical infant stool samples back to 1974. What luck! (5) And the most pressing problem at Kellogg's is fighting knock-off corn flakes, but they've got a solution: A laser beam is focused on a flake, then mirror galvanometers are used to steer the beam across the flake's rough surface, allowing the beam to create precise, dark images on the flake . . in the exact "Kellogg's" logo. Holy sh*t. BBC News [Do not miss the spectacular close-up of the fly!] /// BBC News [beetle] /// BBC News [fruit flies] /// Science Daily /// Kellogg's UK press release

Dept. of Silly Names
In the news this week (test your knowledge): Mr. Raven Knickerbocker. Mr. Spiral Lightninghawk. The town of Humpty Doo. [And I won't even link to little Falcon Heene.] New York Times /// St. Paul Pioneer-Press /// Northern Territory News (Darwin, Australia)

Litigation That's Almost as Lucrative as Drug-Dealing
The East 21st Street Crew of Brooklyn probably makes OK money street-dealing crack, but we also know they've made over $500k by suing cops 20 times for "civil rights" violations and "winning" every time because New York City "aggressively" settles such lawsuits at the outset. Can't afford to risk a trial. New York Daily News

Government in Action
(1) It's eight yrs after 9-11, and the gov't still doesn't know how many "visitors" come into the country lawfully but don't leave. Homeland Security thinks there are 200,000 like that, not counting the ones who leave on time but just aren't recorded. (2) North Carolina must now release 20 murderers and rapists that judges once sentenced to life in prison — because somebody found a law on the books at the time of sentence that declared "80 yrs" as the value of a life sentence. So when the state legislature later mindlessly cut some sentences in half, that converted "life in prison" to 40 yrs (or less, with bonus credits), and time's up! New York Times /// News and Observer (Raleigh)

Maybe The Lord's Sayin' GTFO With That Large Hadron Collider
The U.S.'s Superconducting Supercollider and the Large Hadron Collider now under repair in Switzerland were both designed basically to recreate the moment of the Big Bang, but the U.S. shut its down in 1993 after a huge investment, and the LHC bang has already been postponed once. Two otherwise distinguished physicists believe the reason for the failures is obvious — the same as the reason you can't go back in time and kill your grandfather (because then you wouldn't exist). These big-time physicists have the theory all written up. New York Times

Leading Economic Indicators
The Pentagon slipped this number into a report the cost of gasoline for U.S. troops in Afghanistan (counting delivery by convoy through Pakistan): $400 a gallon. And up at the citadel of learning, Harvard's annual financial report disclosed not only that its endowment lost $11bn last year but that its operating-cash account lost $1.8bn (causing staff layoffs) because they invested so much of it in risky ventures instead of what you're supposed to do with operating cash, which is keep it handy for operating. Harvard should start a school to teach people such things. The Hill (Washington, D.C.) /// Boston Globe

Britain's Clumsiest Art Patron
More than 12,000 people visited London's Tate Modern gallery on opening day to "see" and walk through How It Is, a giant shipping-container-like box that's pitch black inside [yep, that's art]. However, only one of them managed to walk into a wall, bloodying his head. Daily Telegraph

The Secret to Achieving Bliss
"I experienced a feeling of total happiness," said Nina Tunney. "It is a feeling I would love to experience again. It was amazing. I felt marvelous." Turns out a fella in Dublin had predicted that if you show up at the Knock Shrine, at precisely 3 p.m. on October 11th, and stare into sun for a while, something will happen that will make you think that the famous Apparition of 1879 has returned, and Nina, bless her heart, is down with the program. Irish Times

People With Worse Sex Lives Than You

We men all have to relieve our procreative juices once in a while. According to the security camera in the busy hallway of the parish courthouse in Opelousas, La., Frank Lahay, 28, did his relieving while sitting on a bench in full view. KLFY-TV (Lafayette, La.)

Jury Duty
[In America, you're presumed innocent . . . until the mug shot is released]

Did Donald Fite III, 27, Portland, Ore., get railroaded, or is he the type who might take out his anger on an ex-girlfriend by stabbing her pet fish? The Oregonian

American Sub-Prime

Michael Spagnola, 38, was charged in a DUI traffic stop after clumsily trying to climb into the back seat as the cop was walking up (because being in the back seat would give credibility to Spagnola's contention that he wasn't the one driving). Problem: No one else was in the car. Buffalo News

New Jersey's Least-Street-Savvy Politician: Atlantic City Councilman Eugene Robinson, 67, admitted being caught receiving oral sex from a 24-yr-old woman, but, he said, he was with her only because he "was waiting for God to send me the one that's supposed to be my Christian wife." (Bonus Lack of Savvy: The woman was hired to set him up.) Associated Press via

For some reason, a Minnesota couple, ages 48 and 52, bought black powder and helped train seven teenagers on how to make pipe bombs . . because, the man said, "it would be a good educational tool for the kids to build pipe bombs." [Seriously. That's all the cops know.] Star Tribune

Lee Standberry's excellent adventure: Flee the deputies in a high-speed chase, get run into the ditch, run away, get bitten by a snake. America-Statesman (Austin)

Below The Fold

"No Toilet, No Bride": Indian women put their foot down to potential suitors: If you want marital privileges with me, I'm gonna need indoor plumbing. Washington Post

Facebook Jumps the Shark: (BBC News headline: "Auschwitz Launches Facebook Site") BBC News

Meet the winner in the shot-put category (age group: 100-104) at the recent World Masters Games in Sydney (training six days a week, bench-pressing 80 lbs): Ruth Frith. (Bonus: The Masters organizers seemed to anticipate that there might be 105-yr-old female shot-putters and that it would be unfair to lump them in with the 104-yr-olds.) Daily Telegraph (London)

Britain's Papworth Hospital made a booboo, failing to catch the fact that the donated lungs it had just implanted in a 31-yr-old war veteran were from . . a heavy smoker . . and the patient is no longer with us. The Guardian

Think of Italian mothers, who sometimes comically overprotect their sons, even into their 30s, and then try to imagine what you would have to do in Italy to be criminally charged, like this woman, with smother-mothering your 12-yr-old boy. The Independent (London)

Same Old Same Old

Another hardcore Sharia crackdown: A Somalian group is accosting women in public to check whether they're wearing bras. (The way this story is written up, what's troubling the Sharia nazis is the "deception" of having perky breasts underneath the robe; if they're perky without a bra, well, OK.) Reuters via Daily Mail (London)

First seasonal sighting of an actual dead body that neighbors think is just a Halloween decoration: Marina Del Rey, Calif. Los Angeles Times

Readers' Choice

Life imitates a Chris Farley movie: Tossed off of a train in Lauenbrueck, Germany, he managed to re-board, and basking in his cleverness, he dropped trou to moon officials as the train pulled out . . except his pants caught in the door, and he was half-in, half-out all the way down the platform until the train stopped. Reuters via MSNBC

A 29-yr-old man in a convenience store had just removed his baseball cap but didn't realize that the marijuana packet he had hidden in the cap's headband had remained stuck to his forehead. Lebanon (Pa.) Daily News

Good collision of interests: Stockholm periodically cull its many rabbits, and an energy plant in central Sweden is looking for biofuel. Voilà! The Local (Stockholm)

More Things to Worry About

There is such a thing as a skunk whisperer (1) . . . . . Headline: "Louisiana Couple Pleads Guilty in Bird-Children Swap" (although not just any bird, a cockatoo) (2) . . . . . Blind in one eye, he qualified for a truck driver's license by memorizing the eye chart, but now he's run over a pal he failed to see while turning (3) . . . . . Syrian-born driver-hustler Torkieh Sadagheh, convicted in New York City of rape, objected loudly as he was dragged from court, "In America, sex is legal!" (4). (1) Associated Press via WXII-TV (Winston-Salem, N.C.) /// (2) Associated Press via MSNBC /// (3) BBC News /// (4) New York Daily News

Eyewitness News

Fla. Championship Wrestling, live from a St. Petersburg City Council meeting, as two old coots square off over some overblown issue. St. Petersburg Times

Watch overalls-wearing Pastor Grizzard of the Amazing Grace Baptist Church take on the Rick Warren wing of Christianity and schedule a Halloween book-burning . . of all Bibles that are not the King James version. WLOS-TV (Asheville, N.C.)

Surveillance video of the October 8th shootout at the Route 66 Kitchen in Toledo, Ohio, featuring a bunch of guys who sorta look like gangbangers shooting it out, and who were ID'd as gangbangers shooting it out, but who missed with every single shot they took (unless they were purposely aiming at "wall"). CBS News

Finally, here's a real time-waster (irresistible, but still a time-waster), date-stamped October 6th, but I don't know where it's from. This is the drunkest conscious person I've ever seen. [Link from, which gave it the title "Drunk Man Fights Gravity"]


Sam Gaines, Stephen Taylor, Kathryn Wood, Mike Mendenhall, Steve Dunn, Heather Ross, Pete Kerezman, Jim Rehmann, Cathy Wojciechowski, Sasha Oberheim, Patricia Haggerty, H. Thompson, and Lyle Mariam, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.

Monday, October 12, 2009

News of the Weird/Pro Edition
October 12, 2009
(mystifying and/or derisory news from October 3-10)
by Chuck Shepherd
© 2009 by Chuck Shepherd. (All rights reserved. But please forward this issue to your pals.)

Politics for Keeps in the F State
In Broward County, Fla., the Republican Club held its meeting at a gun range, and one U.S. House candidate wrote the incumbent Democrat's initials on the target he was firing at. Then a Democratic former Broward official, who is also the father of the current county mayor, showed up at his daughter's home waving a gun (because he's running for office again, and his daughter had declined to endorse him). Pennsylvania has grim issues, also: Two mayors and a city councilman on November ballots aren't in danger . . but only because they're already dead. South Florida Sun-Sentinel /// Miami Herald /// Associated Press via

If 80-yr-olds Are Running Marathons, You're Gonna Need Some Catheters
An 81-yr-old runner in Minnesota made it to Mile 21 before his urethra totally failed him. As he lamented his condition at a race station, hating to quit but needing to get to a hospital before his bladder burst, a bystander said he just happened to have a catheter out in the car. Our man went off and self-administered, "evacuated," and finished the race. St. Paul Pioneer Press

Tattoos Are for Sissies; You Want to Show Commitment
Many of Cape Town (South Africa)'s ethnic "coloured" (mixed-race) teenagers have somehow convinced themselves that it's really cool to have their upper front teeth pulled. Identity, maybe. Community pride. (They're oppressed so it's politically incorrect to call them "idiots.") The rest of South Africa, who uncoolly retain their upper front teeth, started the rumor that coloureds do it to facilitate oral sex, so maybe they've got that going for them. Daily Telegraph (London)

All You Need to Know About Australia
Local residents, worried that visitors for the Bathurst 1000 auto race would get wasted and cause trouble, cracked down, imposing disturbingly onerous restrictions, such as a daily per-person maximum of 24 cans of beer. Reuters via Yahoo

GPS Comes of Age
Two more breakthroughs made possible by global satellite signals: (1) The cleanup of the Hanford (Wash.) nuclear reservation will go somewhat faster because now helicopters can pinpoint exact locations (among the site's 500-plus square miles) of radioactive rabbit poop that has to be scooped up from rabbits that have eaten contaminated plants. (2) Now, finally, at long last, copulators can upload the precise locations of their most recent sessions, forming a global database of . . what? Seattle Post-Intelligencer /// Daily Telegraph ///

UK Nat'l Health Service Follies
(1) Worried that you might get a staph infection if you have to go in the hospital? At Tayside Hospital in Scotland, the patients have to worry about bats. (2) Manchester Royal Infirmary sent this woman home five different times even though she had classic symptoms of ovarian cancer, which doctors had diagnosed as trapped flatus. (3) Mr. Torron Eeles says he's kinda got a problem and is gettin' stiffed by NHS. The Courier (Tayside) /// Daily Mail /// Daily Telegraph [disturbing photograph]

Freak Watch
There may or may not be such things as Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster, but here is one genuine oddity: a predatory female serial pedophile who works alone (i.e., not a love-struck schoolteacher or a woman who merely tags along on her husband's or boyfriend's perversions). Daily Telegraph (London)

The Mind Has Some Terribly Wasteful Things
UCLA researchers have happened upon neurons that appear to be activated by, and only by, references to certain celebrities. That is, this neuron or that, when exposed to almost any sort of representation of, say, Britney Spears, or Oprah, would perk up. It's different for all of us. Can't be explained and might get really embarrassing. Wall Street Journal

People With Worse Sex Lives Than You

Jeffrey Graybill, 40, at least found a good career match: He pretended to be a fertility doctor, apparently to make it easier to fondle men, in the guise of building up a sperm bank. KPHO-TV (Phoenix)

Jury Duty
[In America, you're presumed innocent . . . until the mug shot is released]

How does funeral director James Patton, 38, of Houston, Tex., look? Could he have been playing doctor-games with a couple of dead bodies, say, trawling his penis along their naked corpses? KRIV-TV (Houston)

American Sub-Prime

Visiting Jersey City, N.J., overnight? Park your Ferrari on the street? Leave your $100k Audemars Piguet wristwatch inside? (It was a 10-yr-old car so only the watch got boosted.) Jersey Journal

Four shots point-blank from a .357 magnum because . . the yard-weeder inadvertently sprayed grass cuttings on him. "I take pride in my appearance," said the shooter. "I did not appreciate that." Prosecutor: "He did nothing to you, did he?" Lankward Harrington, 25: "He got grass on me. That was something." Washington Post

Mikey Weinstein, a military lawyer from the Reagan White House, is suing Gordon Klingenschmitt, a former military chaplain, to get Rev. K to stop urging Jesus's wrath on Weinstein. Rev. K says he would never pray evil upon his enemies, but "I pray the Psalm that [Weinstein's] days are few." Dallas Morning News

Circular Economics: Psychics in the Phoenix area reported that, surprisingly, they are weathering the recession . . because of new customers . . seeking financial advice, e.g., "Do I need to do a short sale on my house?" Arizona Republic

Adam Manning, 30, took his pregnant girlfriend to the hospital as she went into labor, but then, as the mother of his child was being comforted through her moaning by a nurse, Adam hit on the nurse (compliments on looks, a neck massage, a feel-copping). He was arrested and missed the birth. Salt Lake Tribune

Below The Fold

Should've Been Carrying Wednesday Night: Meleanie Hain, 33, who made headlines last yr by open-carrying a loaded pistol at her daughter's soccer game (legal in Pennsylvania), fought Wednesday night with her husband, who apparently murdered her and then killed himself. Express-Times (Easton, Pa.)

A 13-yr-old boy in Manchester, England, became a poppa when his 16-yr-old girlfriend gave birth, which is not all that weird these days, but listen to the boy's dad: "[My son] is taking his responsibilities very seriously." "He is mature for a 13-yr-old and knows what he's about." "[He] will make a good father." Daily Telegraph

At the Strathendrick Golf Club in Drymen, Scotland, a duffer nailed his mother-in-law in the back of the head with his tee shot. She's on to that 19th Hole in the Sky. Daily Mail

"This is the last straw," said one art historian at the Louvre in Paris. "This is the pinnacle of . . . deficient gastronomy and very unpleasant odours . . .." A McDonald's will open in November a few yards from the art mecca's museum. Daily Telegraph

Reducing our dependence on foreign . . um . . marijuana: We now produce about half of what we consume, and los carteles don't like that a bit. Washington Post

Global warming is being blamed for the increasing size and frequency of the patches of snot-like . . um . . snot . . glazing several coasts in the Mediterranean. National Geographic News

Same Old Same Old

Yet another prostitution bust of an Asian woman named Mi Suk (Mi Suk Yang of Jonesboro, Ga.) Forsyth County News

Yet another gunshot deflected by, well, not a belt buckle, not a bra clasp, not a pocket Bible, but an implanted defibrillator. St. Paul Pioneer Press

Yet another clumsy man with a gun shoots himself (Timothy Davis, 22, Fort Myers, Fla.). (Bonus: bullet in the butt!) News-Press

Eyewitness News

Pets on Parade: pygmy hedgehogs and pygmy . . pigs. And Boomer the dog, with a glandular problem, drinking water out of the sink while standing on the floor on all fours. And speaking of accessory-pets, here's a Daily Mail spread on little Suri Cruise and her $2m wardrobe. Daily Mail (London) /// Daily Telegraph (London) /// Associated Press via St. Louis Post-Dispatch /// Daily Mail

Readers' Choice

Jackie Knott, 37, made all the papers last week when she was arrested for hauling her 13-yr-old in a cardboard box atop her van, but she stayed defiant: The box was too big for the van, she explained, so naturally it had to go on top, and---hel-lo!--someone had to be up there to hold it down. WAAY-TV (Huntsville, Ala.)

Air India announced that there was never a safety problem on that flight from Dubai to Delhi . . just because at least one flight attendant and one pilot were exchanging punches in-flight. BBC News

Two drunken yobs, participating in the Welsh bar sport of transvestite-bashing, started to beat up on two flamers, except they weren't flamers at all but cage fighters who happened to be costumed up for the evening, and the incident was over pretty quickly. (The nickname of one of the fighters is "Lights Out.") Daily Mail [with video] /// BBC News [follow-up video]


Sam Gaines, Amber Donges, Hal Dunham, Milford Sprecher, David Bonan, Michael Ravnitzky, Brandon Brown, Peter Hine, Judy Stevens, Mack Gafford, Jenny Aus, James Morris, Tom Barker, Brian Cunningham, Kathryn Wood, Chris Wheeler, and Perry Levin, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.

Monday, October 05, 2009

News of the Weird/Pro Edition
October 5, 2009
(ludicrous and/or disquieting news from September 26-October 3)
by Chuck Shepherd
© 2009 by Chuck Shepherd. (All rights reserved. But please forward this issue to your pals.)

Love Will Do These Things to You
Before Arthur David Horn met Lynette in 1988, he was a tenured professor at Colorado State, PhD in anthropology from Yale, teaching a mainstream course in human evolution. That was then. He has evolved. With Lynette's guidance (and hand in marriage), he has been learning that humans come from an alien race of shape-shifting reptilians that still control us via . . the Illuminati. (He lectured in Denver, along with people who say they've been tight with alien races they call, respectively, "Acturians," "Sirians," and "Pleidians." But the panels of speakers were sophisticated, said one in the audience, "not like a couple of yahoos sitting in their van.") Rocky Mountain Collegian

Latest on American-Style Health Care
(1) Under current hospital billing practices, Shands Jacksonville (Fla.) hospital figures it's out $150k because it had to shut down its MRI machine for 24 hrs after a cop forgot to remove her Glock before escorting her mom into the room for a scan. The gun flew into the machine. (2) A Honeybaked Ham manager in North Carolina was shot in the stomach in a holdup in April and can't return to work until December . . so . . Honeybaked fired him (and his health insurance). Honeybaked spun this as a good thing because it frees him up for Social Security disability! WJXT-TV (Jacksonville) /// WRAL-TV (Raleigh)

Latest on Canadian-Style Human Rights
(1) James Cedar, 18, was caught red-handed (well, infrared-handed, on video) peeping into neighbor Patricia Marshall's windows at night (and told police he did it frequently and with happy endings). The prosecutor ultimately dropped the charge (didn't want to ruin the poor kid's life), but James's lawyer doubled down on the good luck, sending Marshall a demand letter to turn off the camera, in that in the background of where it's pointing, Cedar's house is visible, and that violates the Cedars' privacy. (2) In 1984, Parminder Singh Saini, then 21, hijacked a plane in India, fired gunshots, made blood-curdling threats to the 270 on board, and demanded to be flown to Pakistan. Later, he was bluffed down on his threat to explode everything. He was sentenced to hang, then changed to to 10 yrs, then merely kicked out of Pakistan. He went to Canada, where he lied to get in and has been fighting deportation ever since they discovered who he was. He's been killing time by going to school, including law school, and now he repents ("I had no legitimate right to [hijack that plane]. It's not legal."), wants to practice law in Toronto, and this being Canada, he has some backers. /// The Star (Toronto)

"Freedom of Speech at Its Best"
That was Portsmouth, Ohio, mayor Jim Kalb's coda to his e-mail smackdown of his chief blogging critic, Robert Forrey. Kalb agreed to comply with any lawful requirement but, otherwise, don't even ask, since, Kalb wrote, you are "a worthless piece of [caca] and I wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire." You're a "lizard-looking thing" who writes on a "slobber stained keyboard." Columbus Dispatch /// [Kalb's full response]

Some Gods Are Sure Harder to Appease Than Others
(1) Ramveer Singh Baghet, 35, cut off his tongue last weekend and told temple visitors that he was offering it to the Hindu goddess Amba. (At least that's what they think he said; it's hard to talk without a tongue.) They didn't get him to the hospital for several hours because worshipers kept approaching, treating him as a deity because of his sacrifice. (2) The Hindu Dussera is a day of "joy" every year, celebrating Durga's whipping of the demon Mahishasura, but it's never joyful for this village's 2,000 women, teenagers, and girls, who were beaten relentlessly for five hours by priests as kind of a general punishment for having been imperfect during the previous year. Times of India /// (New Delhi)
Gov't Always = Bad, Entrepreneurs Always = Good
In fact, here are two award-winning entrepreneurs! (Well, one had the award pulled when they found out it was actually a very successful upscale topless bar). (And, well, the other, who had a "courage" (to stand up to gov't) award named for him, was de-named after it came out that he left a legacy of being a $300m IRS tax scofflaw.) Dallas Morning News /// Wall Street Journal

People With Worse Sex Lives Than You

Craig Gonser, now 41, was sitting at the computer, pantsless, with porn on the screen when his girlfriend walked in. And just what do you think you're doing, she asked. "I'm playing with it. Do you mind?" (It was also a crime, in that their 20-month-old daughter was in the room.) The Macomb Daily (Macomb, Mich.)

(On the other hand, many people were reported last week as having better sex lives than you. In fact, two couples in northern Australia were arrested for public sex in a car at a gas station and in a police paddy wagon, respectively. [Bonus: The gas station couple wouldn't stop, even when a cop showed up.]) Northern Territory News (Darwin) (9-15-2009) /// Northern Territory News (10-2-2009)

Jury Duty
[In America, you're presumed innocent . . . until the mug shot is released]

Patrick Leithead, 36, possibly trolling restrooms at Stone Mountain park in Georgia. "Something was off about him," said a state police agent, but that's for you jurors to decide. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

American Sub-Prime

Some values we cherish enough to die for, such as . . preserving our decrepit septic tanks from gov't meddling. Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

My story/Sticking to it: "I don't have nothing [he said to cops, meaning no drugs on him]." (Suddenly, baggie of cocaine shoots out through his distressed sphincter, falling to the floor. He kicks baggie away.) "I don't have nothing." (Stuart, Fla.)

That Miracle Drug (again): Robert Higgins, 21, wandered through the Stuart, Fla., neighborhood, nude, slathered in feces, and of course . . quite drunk . . and jumped into a backyard pool. (Stuart)

Low-Probability Strategy: Peter Reilly, 85, angry over a parking ticket, walked into a Chicagoland police station wielding a BB handgun, to straighten things out. WMAQ-TV

Below The Fold

A longstanding, entangling saga continues in Israeli's courts over the precise ownership of Franz Kafka's works, with Kafka's best friend's secretary-lover's elderly daughters hoarding them. It's convoluted and messy. In fact, there's got to be a better adjective to describe the whole thing. Reuters via ABC News

Confusion for Québécois: On the one hand, the Canadian military is earnestly teaching its soldiers French; on the other hand, the contract went to a U.S. company. Canadian Broadcasting Corp. News

Jacques Chirac's Maltese bichon, Sumo, has failed to adjust to non-presidential life, requiring treatment for depression, but then he bit Chirac, which naturally caused Chirac to immediately surrender (and give Sumo away). BBC News

Your weekly reassurance of Good News: New Zealand surfer Chris Nel and buddies actually survived the Samoan tsunami by riding the waves alternately in and out without getting crushed or swept to sea. Australian Associated Press via Yahoo

What more appropriate way to honor the birthday of the ascetic man of peace, Mahatma Gandhi, than by buying this commemorative fountain pen from Montblanc ($23,000)? Financial Times (London)

Same Old Same Old

Gov't bureaucrats surf porn at work! (Yawn.) Well, yeah, except the Nat'l Science Foundation is apparently going blind faster than other agencies. (Bonus: NSF'ers are smarter than you. For example, one of the agency's primo wankers came up with a "humanitarian" defense, that by surfing, he was actually helping immigrant women in porn make money to send back home to their impoverished families. It's just that brilliance that explains why their jobs are secure and you're still teetering month-to-month.) Washington Times

Another day, another Muslim fatwa (yawn) (well, not an official fatwa): A scholar at Egypt's al-Azhar University demanded death for sellers of a device that non-virgin women can use to simulate wedding-night bleeding, to fool their husbands. Death! BBC News

Another mother feeling under the weather let her 12yr-old daughter drive. (Yawn.) Except . . she told her to drive the three younger kids to daycare. Associated Press via Star Tribune

Another child agency caseworker doing great work: The mother's gone all day, but no problem, because the 6yr-old takes care of the 5yr-old and the 1-yr old. Nothing to see here, the caseworker said. (But now the 1-yr old is dead.) Dallas Morning News

Eyewitness News

The fattest skunk you've ever seen! Just can't lay off the bacon. Mother Nature Network via Yahoo

Some greenies might have gotten a little carried away creating "sustainable" toys: teddy bears made from placenta? Discover Magazine

Unimaginable ornamentation (an 18-slide show from the 2009 London Tattoo Convention).

You don't often get to see a courtroom defendant (accused of murder) head-butt his lawyer, and actually, you don't get to see it here, either, because the camera shot was sanitized, but you can see, on the far right, the lawyer (fat guy) huddling with the perp (blue shirt), and oliver sudden, blood. (Bonus: The fat guy says, sure, he's a pro, and he can continue to give the perp first-class lawyering.) Yakima (Wash.) Herald-Republic ///

More Things to Worry About

It's possible to use your handgun as a TV remote control, but only to turn the set off (and only once). Canadian Broadcasting Corp. News

It looks suspicious if cops arrive at your house to question you about child porn and catch you clubbing your computer with a crowbar. Bucks County (Pa.) Courier Times

Expensive on-the-job training: Deputy doesn't know he can't Taser a woman just because she won't sign the traffic ticket (cost: $40,000, to settle lawsuit). Associated Press via Houston Chronicle

What a public school system Detroit has! Free breakfast, free lunch, and raffles for a plasma TV, a laptop, five iPods, and 25 AmEx gift cards! (Must be "counting day" in Michigan, where max attendance means max state grant money.) Detroit Free Press

Three words: Syrian Masturbation Epidemic. Newsweek

Ted Williams's head was famously cryogenically frozen in 2002 at the Alcor lab in Scottsdale, Ariz., but now comes an insider's look at how the lab is run, including the revelation that, to free a Bumble Bee tuna fish can stuck to Ted's head (don't ask), a "technician" had to whack it with a monkey wrench. New York Daily News

Karma, Baby: (1) Plan: blow open ATM, steal money. Execution: blow up ATM, cause whole bank to collapse, you get crushed to death. (2) Plan: eliminate trial witness by killing family in fire. Execution: accidentally set self on fire, scream, awaken family, they escape, you don't. (Brussels) /// BBC News

Johnny Marlowe said the Holy Spirit got after him to circumcise his three boys (and himself) with a box-cutter, without anesthesia, and the jury in Caldwell County, N.C. (in some Blue Ridge hollow) cut him some slack: threw out the felony charges, awarded the prosecutor only 2-for-3 on misdemeanors. WCNC-TV (Charlotte)

"Just sentence me and let me go [about] my business," said two-time bank robber Trammel Bledsoe. Judge: I need to explain how I arrived at your sentence. Bledsoe: "Can you hurry this up? I don't have time for this." Judge: Yes, yes you do. 41 yrs. Morning Call (Allentown)


Kevin Dean, Stephen Taylor, Sam Gaines, Neil Gimon, Dave Trick, John Votel, Dennis Anderson, Charles Smaistrla, Peter Wardley, Paul Deguara, John Wriedt, Kathryn Wood, and Tom Barker, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.