Monday, July 19, 2010

News of the Weird/Pro Edition
You're Still Not Cynical Enough

Prime Cuts of Underreported News from Last Week, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
July 19, 2010
(datelines July 10-July 17) (links correct as of July 19)
© 2010 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

"We're Number One, Baby!" Plus Fatal Acne-Picking, Shoveling Out Fat, and Poor "Christie Brinkley"

★ ★ ★ ★ ★!

New World Leader (Among People with "Camel Sex" on Their Minds): Googlistas have tallied search terms per ip-address location and concluded that since 2007, by one measure, the leading country for that (also, "donkey sex") is Pakistan . . which also leads in "rape pictures," "rape sex," "child sex," "dog sex," and so forth. Associated Press via Fox News

(Update) The Market Responds: Alvin Greene Action Toys! That South Carolina U.S. Senate candidate whose out-of-the-box thinking about jobs (e.g., sell "action figures of me") got his wish, sorta. The out-of-the-box Charleston RiverDogs minor league baseball team (proprietor, M. Veeck, a special name in baseball lore) was scheduled, over the weekend, to give away Statue of Liberty toys with Greene's photo pasted on. Associated Press via Business Week

Suspicion Confirmed: Why, of course Allah still heard y'all's prayers, said the highest Islamic authority in Indonesia, even though y'all have not been facing Mecca when you pray for a long time now--ever since we told you wrong. Our bad. From now on, y'all need to nudge over a little to your right. Reuters

Manuel "Lefty" Hernandez, 28, Springfield, Mass., was charged with snatching a man's wallet (probably with his left hand, as that's the only one he has). Police could have charged him with a felony if he had had a weapon, but they said he was unarmed. The Republican (Springfield)

British Ninnies (continued): The Exchange mall in Rochdale, England, caved in to local Asian-immigrant activists and announced it'd convert two of its deluxe toilet stalls to . . "squat toilets," i.e., deluxe holes in the floor. Don't want local Pakistanis and Bangladeshis getting constipated by having to sit down! Daily Mail

Overcoming Adversity, Aspiring to Greatness! A man believed to be in his 70s, with cane and gun and carrying his oxygen tank, failed in an attempt to rob an upscale clothing store in New York City, firing shots in frustration ("You want one? [bam!] You want another one?") (Update: Turns out he was only 63 and, after a police chase, he is no longer with us, anyway.) New York Post /// CNN

The State of Academic Research: (1) A study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reported that women with big hips ("pear-shaped" bodies) have worse memories than women who are round overall ("apple-shaped"). (2) Researchers from Britain's Manchester University have helpfully produced, via mathematical formula, "the perfect handshake." The lead guy said he was surprised to find that there were no such guides before now. BBC News /// Agence France-Presse via Google News /// Newspress.co.uk [longer version; link from Nothing to Do with Arbroath]

Losers

Police in Cinnaminson, N.J., said Ronald White, 35, made some really bad counterfeit $20's, really bad, but on the other hand, when he bonded out of the police station that night, the cashier accepted a few of his $20's stuffed among the real $20's he put down. (Bonus: That doesn't make White a Loser, in itself, but then he came back to the station later to complain that he was overcharged, and they discovered the bogus bills.) Philadelphia Inquirer

Thinning the Herd: The plan of Dwayne Moten, 20, was for his buddy to shoot him so he could blame it on his wife's boyfriend and get custody again of his son, but the friend apparently aimed badly, and Mr. Moten is on to the next life. KDFI-TV (Dallas-Fort Worth)

A 47-year-old man from Las Cruces, N.M., got torched, but it was fair-and-square. He lost a drinking bet with his buddies, meaning they got to set him on fire . . . well, set his prosthetic leg on fire, but it spread. El Paso Times

Sara Blasse, of Camden County, N.J., wrecked her car and was thus called upon for an excuse, and the winner was that the car was hijacked . . until cops saw right through that . . so second-place excuse went to . . doing oral sex on her boyfriend in the front seat . . but that didn't work, either. She finally confessed. She was, indeed trying to hurry away after stealing a laptop computer. (Bonus: Mugshot!) Philadelphia Daily News /// KSAZ-TV (Phoenix)

Strange World

Potential Game-Changers: (1) An administrative court in Munster, Germany, has agreed with cop Martin Schauder, 44, that he deserves overtime pay (with years of back pay!) for all the time it takes him to get in and out of his bulky uniform. (2) Australian schoolteacher Valissa Bauer, 39, filed a lawsuit worth about $765,000 (U.S.) because the school system, north of Brisbane, stuck her in a class of 31 special needs kids, causing her to wreck her larynx yelling at them. Daily Telegraph (London) /// The Sunday Mail (Brisbane) via Herald Sun (Melbourne)

The Most Effective Way Yet (to Make Sure You Get HIV): Health officials in several African cities told the New York Times that they know of heroin addicts who are injecting a small amount of their own (heroin-laced) blood into their addicted pals (What are friends for?) who need a quick fix. New York Times

The brave, death-wish journalists at China's Zhejiang Daily shouted out at the "Detention Center Management Bureau" of the "Public Security Ministry." Those are prison officials who had reported (with straight faces) certain inmate deaths as coming from: "bumping into a wall" (while playing blind man's buff with other inmates), "picking at his acne" too much, "showering" (probably meaning beaten to death for refusing to shower), and "improper" sleeping position. (At press time, the journalists were still in business.) The Australian

What happens when London's "restaurant district" gets a fat-clogging sewer backup? Workers have to shovel out the fat like miners. The Independent [photo!]

The Pervo-American Community

Registered sex offender Michael Light, 40, in Fairborn, Ohio, was arrested after asking a fire marshal (and ultimately cops) directions to the Little Miss Fairborn pageant he was on his way to photograph. ("Little miss"-type activities are exactly what got him in trouble in the first place.) (Bonus: He actually would've been on his way to pedophilic bliss had he just left the attitude at home.) Dayton Daily News

Armand Pacher, 64, was arrested in Aventura, Fla. (just north of Miami Beach), and charged with having sex with his dog (named "Christie Brinkley"). Allegedly, he told a vet's receptionist, "She doesn't seem to enjoy it as much when we have sex." (Hoax Code Yellow: Pacher's lawyer said that was just a joke and that Aventura police are way behind the curve on hip humor.) Miami Herald

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


It's up to you to decide: When Ms. Aset Magomadova of Calgary, Alberta, strangled her 14-year-old daughter, was it murder or self-defense? CNews.canoe.ca

Jesse Thornhill, 28, and who obviously has spent quite some time thinking about how to present himself to the world, was charged in Tulsa, Okla., with trying to run down his landlord. The Smoking Gun

That's Messed Up

Uncompelling Explanation: Lawyer James Mason, defending a murder client in Atlanta, told an "NBC Dateline" reporter that his man could not have done what the prosecutor said because it is physically impossible for a person to travel from the Atlanta airport to the La Quinta Inn three miles away within the 28-minute crime timeline. "I challenge anybody to show me," he said on national TV. "I'll pay them $1 million if they can do so." Enter Dustin Kolodziej of San Antonio, Tex., who, documenting everything, made it in 19 minutes. Mason: Ehhhh . . . that was just a figure of speech. Now in federal court in Atlanta: Kolodziej v. Mason. Texas Lawyer

God's Will: At the Rock Lake Methodist Church Bible Camp in Montcalm County, Mich., four teenagers were hospitalized after lightning struck their tent. WWTV (Cadillac, Mich.)

Kenneth Hoknes, 44, of Edmonton, Alberta, outsmarted himself, beating the rap for some "bizarre break-ins" on the ground of "Not Criminally Responsible," i.e., nuts. But then it dawned on him that that "NCR" thing would follow him around for a while and thus sought to have a court overturn it. Denied. Toronto Sun

Police in Beatrice, Neb. (pop. 12,400), acting on . . a . . complaint, made some adjustments to the front window of a store because the pants of an ordinary clothing-store mannequin had fallen down. In Beatrice, this constitutes at least a close call on whether the U.S. Supreme Court's "community standards" test for "obscenity" is met. Beatrice Daily Sun [link from Obscure Store]

U.S. Immigration Policy, Explained: Jose Madrigal-Lopez, 46, an illegal immigrant, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor sexual exposure charge in Seattle (it had been for rape, but the prosecutors said they lacked enough evidence), and was released to go on about his business. Deport him? He's already been deported 10 times. Keeps coming back. Seattle Times

Updates & Recurring Themes

Update: That $1.25 million for Arizona to build road crossings to save the Mount Graham red squirrels [NOTW M170, 7-11-2010]? Canceled. Apparently, officials actually got around to reading the public comments (required on federal projects), i.e., too many "WTF?"s. Eastern Arizona Courier (Safford, Ariz.)

Update: Luck ran out for Sheyla Hershey of Houston, Tex. [NOTW Daily, 2-9-2009], who says she's on about Plastic Surgery #30, a number which includes several breast augmentations in ever-increasing sizes, with her most recent (done in Brazil because no licensed doc in Texas would touch her) to "M" cups. She finally got a life-threatening staph infection. KRIV-TV (Houston)

Recurring: In other breast news, the issue of how long mom breastsfeeds is on the table again, this time in Melbourne, Australia, where biological parents are trying to wrest custody of their almost-age-7 son from the caregiver who has raised him. The biological mom is evidently trying every trick in the book during visitation, including pressuring him to suckle, and the kid doesn't like it a bit. Herald Sun

Recurring: Stuff still happens: Another dog shoots his owner. Someone else gets run over by his own car. A perp making a getaway accidentally runs into a police training class. Somebody gets screwed because he can't spell. New Zealand Herald /// Houston Chronicle /// KIRO-TV (Seattle) /// Naples Daily News

Weird 2.0
"To see what is in front of one's nose requires a constant struggle"—George Orwell
"That's close enough for government work"—unknown
"Nero Fiddles While Rome Burns"—Rome Daily Inquirer, 7-18-64A.D.


Bell, Calif. (pop. 36,000, mostly working-class Latinos, about 7 miles south of Dodger Stadium), runs the city on the cheap--except for executive salaries (city manager, nearly $800,000 a year, police chief, $457,000, council members, $100,000 each). (Council members for a typical California town that size: $400/month) (Police chief of Los Angeles, with 280 times more officers, makes $307,000). (Bonus: The city manager was defiant because . . he's not paying himself any more than he could be making on the outside.) Los Angeles Times

"In fact, given the [Fourth, of the First Armored Division] brigade's record at Fort Bliss [Texas] of suicide, murder, assault, drunken driving, and drug use, its troops are statistically at greater risk at home than while deployed in Iraq." Past year: 1 combat death. In last year of stats (2008) stateside, 7 died, 6 others committed crimes that took the lives of 4 more. New York Times

It's a good thing that the International Red Cross, the Clinton Foundation, Doctors Without Borders, etc., are providing relief to Haiti because the nations of the world, who pledged $5.3 billion in March, have come through with practically bupkis. Only four pledgers have actually given even a dime: Brazil, Norway, Estonia, and Australia. The U.S.'s $1.15 billion is, y'know, tied up in some Congressional committee. CNN

About that "Barefoot Bandit" that so captured the nation's headline writers last week: In the last three years, he stole five planes from airports in the U.S., which is five of the estimated 100 or so that have been stolen at U.S. airports since September 11, 2001. (But . . . Heyyyy, what's in that shampoo bottle?) AOL News

Tex-Ass Justice (continued): The good news is that a hotshot public defender is finally on the case, and hope reigns. The bad news is that deaf petty criminal Stephen Brodie is still in prison for sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl--a crime he almost certainly did not commit. Said the late-learning Brodie, "If they find me not guilty, and I'm exonerated, I'm getting out of Texas." Associated Press via Washington Post

The Man with 100-Pound Balls: "But Leonard Jones, director of marketing at Lorillard Tobacco Company, said that 'ethnicity does not play a role' in marketing strategies for the Newport menthol cigarette [popular among black smokers, since forever]. 'We don't collect or retain information on ethnicity in our marketing data base.'" CNN

And for Further Review . . .

Lorraine Johnson of Toronto hardly seemed to mind the notoriety she's surely in for. Somehow, Toronto Star reporter Amy Dempsey got Johnson to go on the record in identifying the plentiful shade trees at Christie Pits Park. They're called "stink trees," "ghetto palms," or . . . "semen trees." Why is that, Lorraine? "There's no doubt. It smells like semen." Toronto Star

Newsrangers: Mitch Marcus, Gil Nelson, Russell Bell, Sid Sidner, Bruce Leiserowitz, Mark Dubbin, Daryl Bevivino, Gerald Sacks, Steve Dunn, Wes Jones, Mike Briggs, Don Tyler, Debra Taylor, and Eliza Strode, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors