Monday, January 11, 2010

News of the Weird/Pro Edition
"You're Still Not Cynical Enough"
January 11, 2010
(datelines January 2-9)
by Chuck Shepherd
© 2010 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Heroin for Dummies, Plus Cop Milks Woman, the Coke Machine Wrangler, and a Bag of Teeth

New York City has taken an unequivocal position against smoking cigarettes (and has even banned trans fats in restaurants). Heroin, not so much. Its Department of Health's 16-page pamphlet actually suggests ways to find a vein and recommends the "safer" way if you miss the vein slightly (pull out and try again!). (But, there are various admonitions in the booklet urging junkies to just say no, so . . problem solved!) New York Post /// "Take Charge, Take Care" [pdf]

Australian Olympic hurdler Jana Rawlinson has made the ultimate sacrifice for her country. To improve her speed for the 2012 games in London, she had her breast implants removed. Agence France-Presse: She "said she enjoyed having larger breasts but did not want to 'short-change Australia.'" Agence France-Presse via Yahoo News

Leading Economic Indicator: In Tokyo, the equivalent of $640 will let you rent a nice-sized piece of real estate: 32½ square feet (even worse, 130 cubic feet). Seriously. It's an "apartment" house of lie-down lockers with thin mattresses, tiny TV sets, flimsy walls, and bathroom and kitchen down the hall (free wi-fi, though). For Japan's unemployed who need convenient downtown access to job interviews, it's big. New York Times [with slideshow]

The War Will Be Over Sooner Than You Think: In Afghanistan's Kunduz province on Tuesday night, 14 terrorists riding to their target were killed when their bombs blew up prematurely. And in Karachi, Pakistan, on Friday, an explosion at a terrorist "safe house" killed 8 terrorists. [Ed.: So, if we assume there are 10,000 super-rabid jihadi terrorists in the Afghan-Pakistan theater, at this rate, they'll have completely wiped themselves out by December 2014.] CNN /// Associated Press via Voice of America

More People Who Can't Connect Dots: After several years of bits and pieces of accusations, some by patients' parents, some by colleagues (one openly calling Dr. Earl Bradley a pedophile), pediatrician Bradley, 56, of Lewes, Del., was finally charged with sexually assaulting patients. According to a probable-cause affidavit, when one 12-year-old girl went in with a sore throat and pink eye, he didn't take her temperature, nor a urine sample, nor a throat culture—just gave her a vaginal exam. New York Times

People Different From Us

Unclear on the Concept: Donald Koranek, 80, was yanked out of the courthouse security line in Tampa because he had a pocket knife. Guards made him take it back to his car. He returned and tried to walk through the machine again. Beep! He had taken his knife back to the car but thought the handgun in his waistband was still OK. St. Petersburg Times

Not Lovin' It: First, Melodi Dushane, 24, went nuts at a McD's in Toledo, Ohio, because she wanted early-morning Chicken McNuggets. (No can do; everybody knows that!) She punched an employee in the mouth and knocked out the drive-thru window. And police in Kansas City, Mo., are still looking for the woman who went nuts because her McD's burger wasn't tasty enough (threw a water dispenser, pushed cash registers off the counter). WNWO-TV (Toledo) /// Kansas City Star

Never Overestimate Fraternity Boys: Even Yalies are basically primal. Filmmaker Richard Mosse created a short piece (Fraternity) consisting of solo shots of Delta Kappa Epsilon's finest yelling into the camera for the reward of a keg and bragging rights for the loudest and longest scream. ("The triumphant, longest lasting bro screams as if giving birth, his face turning beet-red, and sweat [tears?] beading down his cheeks. Snuff-film associations abound, as well as a discomfiting sense of visual assault.") (Bonus: Five U.S. Presidents were DKEs.) [with video]

Recurring Themes: (1) People still smoke while siphoning gasoline. (2) Parents still stick their babies out in front of them when they're about to be Tasered. (3) Men still celebrate New Year's by firing into the air, and the bullets still come down (in Decatur, Ga., girl, 4, dead; in Florida, boy, 6, hit in chest). KOMO-TV (Seattle) /// WOFL-TV (Orlando) /// Atlanta Journal-Constitution /// Miami Herald

Angst, Confusion, Crisis

World's Clumsiest Hypnotist: Helmut Kichmeier, who works with Britain's Circus of Horrors, was practicing in front of a mirror and accidentally put himself under. His wife called Kichmeier's mentor, Ray Roberts, who un-tranced him. Daily Telegraph /// Circus of Horrors

The Subtleties of Government Regulation: (1) Ten days after Umar The Nigerian almost took down the airliner over Detroit, the State Department announced it was revoking his visa. (2) Eight days after Minneapolis's historic Fjelde House was demolished as a fire hazard by the city's Regulatory Services Division, the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission extended the site "interim protection." Associated Press via Detroit News /// Star Tribune

The District of Calamity: (1) Safety inspectors were examining the tracks at a station on Washington, D.C.,'s Metrorail, but one operator didn't get the memo. His train barreled right at them at full speed, forcing a Three Stooges-like dive for cover. (2) In 2006 D.C. Fire Department ambulance driver Selena Walker was fired for (in all likelihood) causing the death of a beating victim by taking the long way around to the hospital. Last week, D.C.'s local appeals court reinstated her, with $156,000 in back pay, because the Department, basically, failed to say "May I?" (They can only fire within a 90-day window and missed, largely because of Walker's own stonewalling of the investigation.) Washington Post /// Washington Post

Also Known as the Rosie O'Donnell Countermove: Research in the latest issue of Biology Letters shows that female frogs and toads prevent rape with their ability to puff themselves up to gargantuan size so that aggressor males lose their grip and fall off before inseminating the eggs. (Bonus story element: "toad necrophilia"!) Agence France-Presse via Sydney Morning Herald

Below The Fold

Bag of Teeth Links Man to Seattle-Area Dental Burglaries Seattle Times

Iowa Man Spells Out Wife's Birthday Message in Manure WRSP-TV (Springfield, Ill.)

Midwest City Man Uses Buttocks to Smash Ex's 72-inch TV, Oklahoma City Police Say Daily Oklahoman [mug shot!]

Denver Pot Dispensaries: 390; Colorado Starbucks: 208 KMGH-TV (Denver)

Eyewitness News

People hard up for money have surely considered a Coke machine's coin box, but Nicholas Nunley did it the hard way, dragging the whole thing off with his truck, sparks flying. WRCB-TV (Chattanooga, Tenn.) via WBBH-TV (Fort Myers, Fla.) [with video from police chase]

Someone With a Worse Sex Life Than You

Jared Walker, 22, is the man Portland, Ore., prosecutors believe has been riding municipal buses cutting locks from unsuspecting females. He has one sex-crime conviction as well as an arrest for hair-gluing. The Oregonian

Need your sexual schadenfreude a little more explicit? A man (name not disclosed) was released from Britain's Southampton General Hospital after the local fire department was summoned to cut the steel pipe off of his penis. Took about a half-hour, using a 4½-inch grinder. Didn't ask, didn't tell. Daily Telegraph

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

Donald Kruger, 35, has been charged with murdering his childhood friend in Billings, Mont. He might be genuinely insane, with Exhibit A being his hairstyle ("Mullet 2.0") Billings Gazette

Guilty? Keith Luke might possibly have assaulted his jailhouse-visiting psychiatrist, whom Luke's lawyer brought in to assist in Luke's defense. Complicated. That's why we have mugshots. Boston Herald

More Things To Worry About

Orlando cop Brandon Loverde, 31, working off-duty in uniform at a nightclub, was arrested after he escorted an unruly young woman out to the parking lot, then put on a blue latex glove and allegedly squeezed one of her lactating breasts. Said the police report, "Officer Loverde told her he wanted to 'Suck on them.'" Orlando Sentinel

All Men Do It: Mark Zachary, 51, of Orangeburg, S.C., nabbed by store security with a huge slab of shoplifted meat under his coat, denied he was "stealing" it, insisting instead that he was "massaging" it. Associated Press via WSPA-TV (Spartanburg)

St. Louis Cardinals' minor leaguer Tyler Bighames, already facing a drug-test suspension, was arrested for DUI in Fort Myers, Fla., with blood-alcohol readings of .234 and .223, both figures being higher than his batting average last season (.216). Naples Daily News

And For Further Review . . .

Behold (especially you fraternity boys!) a selection of sex education videos going around the Internet last week: Giant tortoises mating. Another turtle coupling, with male in especially who's-your-daddy mode. A walrus auto-fellating (Seriously). [Links from and] Tortoises /// Turtles /// Walrus

Newsrangers: Gary Davidson, Don Tyler, Sandy Pearlman, Cindy Hildebrand, Margaret Musgrove, John Connell, Rahima Schwenkbeck, and Doug Dollemore, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors