Tuesday, September 07, 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
September 6, 2010
(datelines August 28-September 4) (links correct as of September 6)
© 2010 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Our Imminent Squid Overlords, Plus U.S.-Sanctioned Pedophilia and Porcelain Muses of the Rich and Famous

★ ★ ★ ★!

Humboldt Squid Are Gettin' Restless: Let's go to the stats--up to 8 ft. long, up to 100 lbs., 40,000 or more teeth, 8 swim/hold tentacles plus 2 "attack tentacles," darting along at 15 miles an hour, migrating up the Pacific coast, with females capable of laying 30 million eggs. "Two Mexican fishermen were recently dragged from their boats and chewed so badly that their bodies could not be identified even by their own families." Daily Express (London)

The Jolly, Perky Numerary: The articulate Ms. Sarah Cassidy, 43, granted a cheerful interview to London's Daily Mail about how cool it is not only to be celibate but to bring the pain to herself for two hours every night to be reminded that God is love. [Yr Editor dislikes articulate weird people because, well, now that she explains herself, she appears wise and penetrating.] "[Our materialistic, hedonistic society]'ll understand [pain] if you go jogging and pounding the streets . . . just because you want to be thinner"--or Botox injections or leg-waxing or cramming your toes into tiny shoes, "but they won't understand" Sarah's wrapping the tight-spiked "cilice" around her leg nightly for God. Sarah is upper-level Opus Dei. Daily Mail

For Ahmadinejad, the Time Has Come . . to Wipe Out Iranian Blue Balls (update): One of the many loose laws that Shi'ites accept but that Sunnis get ticked off about is this "temporary" marriage thing, where depending on local custom, men can shack up with gals for from an hour to 99 years, as long as they go through Islam to do it, and some imams are quite liberal, i.e., prostitutes acceptable. Ahmadinejad, looking for some catnip to toss to Iran's disaffected progressives, has once again introduced legislation to permit, and regulate, temporary marriages. Women's activists went nuts. Haaretz (Tel Aviv)

News of the Overprivileged: "The first day of school is like a movie premiere," said Mia Lin, 16, of Framingham, Mass., speaking for all her BFFs and competitors trying to "redefine [their] style[s]," to achieve the necessary "swagger" (which Mia does with the help of her inventory of 90 pairs of shoes, which is one problem, at least, that Pakistani and Haitian teenagers don't have right now). Boston Globe

Dirty Little Secrets of the Week: (1) U.S. soldiers and Marines are getting creeped out by Afghan Pashtun men in the south who routinely walk around displaying, hand-in-hand, their little pretty boys (ages 9-15). It's (a) tradition and (b) one way around all that burqa business where men can't even glance at their own pre-betrothed females, much less anyone else's. President Karzai, a Pashtun, hasn't been caught yet. (2) Russia's finance minister publicly urged people to step up their already-legendary intake of vodka and nicotine--because those products are heavily taxed. [ed. More Dirty Little Secrets in Weird 2.0, Below] San Francisco Chronicle /// Agence France-Presse via CBS News

And Still More Things To Worry About

(Non-Virtual) Second Life: Joshua Gessler (big-time Washington lawyer AND alleged producer of child pornography). Sgt. Jeffrey Pelo (decorated cop, devoted husband AND methodical serial rapist, sentenced to 400 years in prison). Rodney Stewart (evangelical pastor AND seeker of sexual threesome with "mother" and "her 15-year-old daughter," i.e., cops). Charles Cook (Platte City, Mo., Alderman AND pants-dropping driver offering woman a ride home). TBD.com (Washington, D.C.) /// ABC News /// WJW-TV (Cleveland) /// KCTV (Kansas City)

Add "Jews" to the list of infidel-lashers (39 times, to Mr. Erez Yechiel, for singing to mixed company, which Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak says is especially bad because music provokes male-female shenanigans). (Bonus: Here's the Prophet Muhammad: "[O]n the Day of Resurrection, Allah will pour molten lead into the ears of whoever sits listening to a songstress.") Jerusalem Post /// Wall Street Journal


Let's Go to the Video: Sherin Brown, 23, was crushed by a falling light pole after a tractor-trailer hit it on the street in Brooklyn, N.Y. No, wait! There's surveillance video of that block! The light pole missed her, but there's Sherin, crawling under it and starting to moan. New York Daily News

Recurring Theme: Man usually wins any life-or-death battle with an ordinary house spider. Almost lost this one, though. Daily Telegraph (London)

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

Alcohol, That Miracle Drug: Arrested for vandalism and disorderly conduct, in Anderson Township, Ohio, Mr. Forrest V. Frankenstein Jr. Cincinnati Enquirer

Actually, somewhat more Frankensteinian-looking is Juanita Byars, 72, who allegedly molested a 7-year-old boy in her care and then threatened to kill him for squealing on her. Salisbury (Md.) Post

Below The Fold

"[New Hampshire] Teen Who Zapped Nipples During Shop Class Sues" New York Daily News

"California Doctor Gets Stuck in Chimney, Dies" (Back story: She, a respected M.D.; boyfriend described relationship as "on/off," lately "off"; she, wanted it "on," tried to come in the hard way.) (Fark.com submitter: "This is why he never gave her a key.") CNN

"Man Replaces Ex-Girlfriend with Custom-Made Sex Doll" (The Italian toymaker Diego Bortolin usually charges around $5,000, but this one was $18,000 since the man wanted it exact . . except, of course, for bigger boobs.) News.com.au (Sydney)

Speaking of which, Kermit Butts of Madisonburg, Pa., goes on trial in October as accused aider-and-abettor in the murder of . . Samuel Boob. Centre Daily Times (State College, Pa.)

"Ve Heff Rules!": Here at the Quik Fill, if you show your pistol and demand cigarettes, you'll still have to show picture ID that you're over 18 (and take off that ski mask). Post-Standard (Syracuse)

More Brits at the Trough: Donna Harrison has six kids (one new), along with four more she takes care of, and for all that she deserves government housing--but not just any government housing. She demands that it be just so, meaning two separate houses next door to each other. Daily Mail

Just like the battle over the "ground zero mosque," there's the "right" to do something, and there's the "desirability": "Pensioner [age 74] in Battle for the Right to Go Topless [in his apartment house]" The News (Portsmouth, England)

Celebrity Toilets in the News: Consider what great thoughts must have been produced on these authentic commodes from residences of J.D. Salinger and John Lennon (just off the auction block). Imagine! AOL News /// Reuters via Yahoo 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.

The Ol' Three-First-Names Hypothesis: James Jay Lee, 43, the "Discovery Channel madman," thought the only way to give large swaths of America the benefit of his wisdom on imminent calamity was to take hostages in Silver Spring, Md., until a police sharpshooter put him out of his misery. On the merits, Lee makes a formidable case: Earth indeed contains more people than it can support under the present arrangements, and, yes, "civilization is filth." Agreed. Let's move on. ABC News

Dirty Little Secrets Uncovered Last Week:

(1) Secret life on a commercial egg farm: In a major coincidence, FDA officials conducting previously scheduled inspections over the last three weeks just happened to be present on the very days that two massive egg farms experienced, out of the blue, totally unexpected excretory avalanches. Manure was "four to eight feet" high in pits underneath the hen houses making it impossible to close door latches, and I'm sure the operators of Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms were shocked--shocked--to learn that from inspectors. And gaping holes in the wall giving rodents all-access passes probably materialized only minutes before the inspectors arrived. The hens tracking manure through the pens, right in front of inspectors, were rogue chickens bent on embarrassing their masters! Nothing to see here, move along . . .. (Bonus: By the way, that salmonella outbreak? That's your fault.) New York Times /// USA Today I /// USA Today II

(Extra Bonus: This guy in Australia is on the case--although his intent was to help the many, many people who would like their pet roosters to be able to roam their homes. Behold, chicken diapers.) Courier Mail (Brisbane)

(2) What a copper/zinc mine (near Redding, Calif.) that closed in 1966 looks like today: (First, consider that it used to dump a ton of the metals into the Sacramento River every day--that's "day" as in 24 hours, every day.) Through creative, persistent EPA vigilance, it's all cleaned up! . . . um, except for the acid that's still there and so strong that one droplet burns through jeans and exfoliates skin. Total discharge is down to a mere 40 lbs. a day, but, like the infinitely bouncing ball, acid will be seeping into the river forever. It's perhaps the most toxic hole in the ground on Planet Earth.) U-S-A! U-S-A! San Francisco Chronicle

(3) After years of the U.S.'s embarrassingly exporting surplus high-tech stuff to buyers who shouldn't have it, the White House decided that not all Pentagon equipment is merely off-the-shelf hardware, i.e., that it needs to divide exports into (a) "sensitive" military "crown jewels" (e.g., stealth-aircraft technology) and (b) mundane items like vehicle parts. Currently, there's just a "munitions list" guarded by the State Department and an "I Don't Know, What Do You Think?" list monitored by the Commerce Department. Wall Street Journal

(4) More than a half-million children and adolescents in the U.S. now take antipsychotic medicines, only one of which has been approved (though heavily restricted) for kids. "Even the most reluctant prescribers encounter a marketing juggernaut that has made antipsychotics the nation's top-selling class of drugs by revenue, $14.6 billion last year, with prominent promotions aimed at treating children. In the waiting room of Kyle's original child psychiatrist, children played with Legos stamped with the word Risperdal, made by Johnson & Johnson. (It has since lost its patent on the drug and stopped handing out the toys.)" New York Times

(5) One more essential, crucial, common-sense government database that has been mishandled into almost total uselessness (like the notorious "no-fly" list) is Georgia's Sex Crimes Registry. It's so far out of date that that pervert listed on your block has probably already moved (and the guy who moved into his house after him is totally clean) . . or . . a new pervert down the block isn't on the list because he was never processed. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

(6) The U.S. war on drugs is such a finely-tuned operation! In fact, the Mexican and Colombian cartels are having considerable difficulty getting their money into the U.S. to be laundered . . um, that is, difficulty getting one percent of their money into the country, because the other 99 percent crosses the border with impunity. And, y'know, your local Radio Shack pays a higher percentage to get money from Visa and Mastercard than the cartels pay to the American federales. U-S-A! U-S-A! Washington Post

Editor's Notes

Yr Editor still thinks it's physiologically and ergonomically impossible, but once again, here it is in the news. "Girl Trips, Swallows Toothbrush." I have known a few really uncoordinated people in my time, but still . . .. New Zealand Herald

Internet Phenom: First, there was supposed to be a tree in Thailand resembling a naked woman with her legs spread, but AOL News pretty much debunked that, but then there's this tree, in Brooklyn, that's real. (NSFW™, depending on where you W; after all, it's just a tree) AOL News /// NewYorkShitty.com

Newsrangers: Gerald Sacks, Kyle Dubois, Geoff Egan, Wayne Hall, Peter Hine, T.C. Kraemer, Brent Hunter, Bruce Leiserowitz, Jeff Carrick, Joe Weckbacher, and Steve Dunn, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors