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.