Tuesday, November 03, 2009

News of the Weird/Pro Edition (Extra)
November 2, 2009
by Chuck Shepherd
© 2009 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Still More Things to Worry About

He just knocked off his fourth southern California bank in two months: a 70-ish gentleman, well-dressed . . . and on oxygen, carrying his tank around with him. KSWB-TV (San Diego)

Venezuelan Mega-Church: As many as 30 percent of the country's paisanos have gone to meetin' at a Maria Lionza event, which a New York Times dispatch calls a "malleable" religion (creating new, useful spirits and rituals, meaning if one thing doesn't work, think of another one). Some of the devout "lie within [elaborate chalk designs on the ground] awaiting cleansing before spirits possess them. Then they prick their faces with razor blades" or "writhe in apparent agony, or ecstasy . . ." And they dance on burning embers and put them in their mouths. New York Times

The Casket Store in Hamilton, Ontario, has vowed to seal up those lockets customers bought (to carry around their loved ones' ashes) but which started leaking specks into the mashed potatoes. Hamilton Spectator

Where we're headed: Britain's Watford Borough Council has banned parents from the playground (unless they have "play ranger" licenses). They have to watch their urchins play from behind a fence. Daily Telegraph

A delightful story of Poland's court system: It took a year and a half, but a man convicted of damaging a neighbor's plastic bucket (value €3) ($4.40) has been exonerated. Along the way, he "proved" his innocense with video of the neighbor continuing to use the bucket as before, but the neighbor "proved" his own case by bringing in an "expert" to examine the bucket (and he said it was quite possible that the bucket was damaged). In the end, justice. Polskieradio.pl [link from Arbroath.blogspot.com]

A free-lance feminist avenger is loose in British Columbia, to the dismay of Anthony Clark, 22, the latest victim, who is minus one testicle from a random kick. The Province (Vancouver) via Calgary Herald

It says here, anyway, that a woman in Madison County, N.C., tried to burn down her ex's house, and got the fire started, but she didn't count on his plastic spittoon being full, and melting, dousing the flames. News-Record & Sentinel (Marshall, N.C.)

In Somalia, where the average male's life expectancy is 47, Ahmed Mohamed Dhore is not an average man, being age 112. He recently married a 17-yr-old girl. It was his sixth marriage (but the first in about 75 yrs). "I believe that I can give her the kind of love that not any young man can offer." Agence France-Presse via Google News

Update: For the fourth time, Florida investigators have shown that a forensic dog-handler from the 1990s was probably just making up his testimony that put a couple dozen people away. This is the guy from News of the Weird in August, who claimed his dog had miracle smelling ability — until a judge actually tested the mutt in court and found it a disgrace to dogs everywhere (olfactorily speaking). This fourth poor schnook has been in lockup for 25 years. Orlando Sentinel /// News of the Weird M122 [lead story]

Florida's Vampire-American community is apparently no more dangerous than a bunch of furries, taking only "energy" (no blood) from others, and then only with their permission. [Actually, Yr Editor is perpetually a quart low on energy and maybe needs to attend the monthly Vampire gathering in Tampa.] Dentist Julio Hernandez of Miami is cleaning up, though, at $150 a pop implanting serviceable fangs (even though they're hardly strong enough to break skin). Miami Herald