Monday, January 17, 2011

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
January 17, 2011
(datelines January 8-January 15) (links correct as of January 17)
© 2011 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Working in the Medium of "Laundry" (Not "Belly"), Plus Electrified Booze and the F State Gets Its Learnin' On

★ ★ ★ ★!

But Did She Do The Code? Laura Bell of Roscommon, Mich., spent 800 hours far too much time on her masterpiece: a 14-foot-by-4-foot recreation of "The Last Supper" . . done entirely in laundry lint. (Bonus: She actually bought colored towels and washed and dryer-ed them to produce the specific hues of lint necessary for DaVinci's work.) [Laura, Yr Editor, who knows of what he speaks, recommends either Luvox or Anafranil (clomipramine).] Associated Press via Detroit News

Parents Call For Greater Respect For Vaginas: Jacqulyn Levin, a high school health/phys ed teacher in Crystal Lake, Ill., intending to make sex education class more interesting [ed.: What's wrong with those kids, anyway?], designed the Vagina Dance, which she defended with uptown reasoning, as opposed to the kids' downtown version, described as (according to suburban Chicago's Daily Herald) "pointing to and singing about reproductive parts while prancing around the room" with the rhythm "set to the tune of the Hokey Pokey." (Naturally, moms and dads practicing Selective Micro-Parenting were outraged.) Daily Herald

Brain Leak: David Pitchford of Key West, Fla., has filed a lawsuit against WikiLeaks because he's a high-level U.S. diplomat exposed in State Department cables he's an ordinary citizen and WikiLeaks's document dump makes him really nervous . . $150 million nervous ("hyper tention," "fear of being on the brink of Nucliar WAR"). (Bonus: Ever wondered how close you could come to Total Spelling Failure--maybe even "random placement of letters"--and still be fairly readable? Have a look.) MSNBC Technolog

Truth in Advertising: Indiana candy-seller Circle City clearly understands how to sell candy: What kid wouldn't get excited about a "Toxic Waste Nuclear Sludge Chew Bar"? Last week, the Food and Drug Administration issued a recall. The bars are, naturally . . toxic (2½ times the allowable lead). Agence France-Presse via Ottawa Citizen

Nobody's More Fun Than Superconductor Researchers: Late nights at Japan's National Institute for Materials Science led some of the crew to expand testing beyond just lowering the metals' temperatures (conductivity of electricity is greater at lower temperatures) . . but soaking them first in beer, whiskey, sake, and other beverages. Red wine (62% more conductive) worked best. Good to know.

And Still More Things To Worry About

Humble University of Oklahoma researcher Ralf Jankecht, appealing publicly for the return of his stolen laptop computer: Hey, I'm a cancer researcher, he said, and . . maybe, just maybe . . I've got, uhhhh, the cure right there on the hard drive . . who knows? KRMG-TV (Tulsa)

End of Days in America: In the annual "Quality Counts" report by Education Week on national educational quality, "Florida" beat out 45 other states in school-system performance. [ed.: A-ha-ha-ha. Florida! A-ha-ha-ha-ha!] Orlando Sentinel

Death and Taxes–Inseparable Again! The fee for dying in Seattle is $50. (Actually, this is sensible. The county requires that every death be reviewed by the medical examiner, to guard against coverups as to cause, and the reviews cost money. So it's actually a User Fee!) KING-TV (Seattle)

Fine Points of Chinese Law: A farmer was sentenced to life in prison for . . evading highway tolls. (Well, not just like a few trips down the turnpike; he wound up owing the equivalent of $560,000.) (Update: The court, in Henan province, decided maybe they'll give him a new trial.) Global Times (Beijing)

Bad: Stephanie Moreland shoplifted a (short) mink coat from Alaskan Fur in Bloomington, Minn. Worse: She's 270 lbs. and concealed it inside her unmentionable. Worst: She was detained in jail for three days, but never patted down and thus never removed the coat. [And after three days, the dead minks in the coat couldn't take it anymore, sprang back to life, and made a run for it--bada bada boom!] WCCO-TV (Minneapolis)

C'mon--A Lawyer Can Make That in One Small-Time Class Action: The Ohio Supreme Court's professional certification board ruled that recent grad Hassan Jonathan Griffin lacks "character and fitness" for the bar association, specifically, that he owes too much money ($186,000) (because of law school). American Bar Association Journal

Leading Chinese Economic Indicator: Beijing traffic is so bad, and anyone who owns a car is so well-off, that drivers will pay to get out of traffic jams. If stuck, call. A motorbike is dispatched to weave through the chaos. Result: You ride motorbike to wherever you need to be; the motorbike operator takes the wheel of your car and delivers it to its destination when the jam clears. Agence France-Presse via Yahoo News

Marcel Walldorf won an award at the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden, Germany, for a silicone sculpture of a female riot police officer taking a leak. Agence France-Presse via Google News

Unclear on the Concept: "God, I hate the liberal media," said Harrisburg, Pa., radio talker Bob Durgin, ranting about how unfair the liberals' ranting is (after the Arizona shootings) when they blame conservatives for political viciousness. In fact, concerning the unfair New York Times: "Somebody ought to burn that paper down. Just go to New York and blow that sucker right out of the water." Patriot-News (Harrisburg)

And now, a word about smoking in Bhutan . . No-o-o-o-o! In order to enforce the brand-new 2011 ban on tobacco sales, police can roam neighborhoods with trained dogs to sniff 'em out, and then raid the homes! Reuters


Justin Leibowitz, 34, was arrested in Waterville, Maine, while casually strolling down the street . . pushing his "Bloombox" (a portable marijuana greenhouse, 4'x2'x4') on wheels (and making a lot of noise). It was empty, he thought, but he forgot about the residue at the bottom. Kennebec Journal

Obviously-ex-nerd Darren Hope, 40, learned the hard way that a doctor had punked him 19 years ago. A hair-transplant surgeon had given him new locks but only after removing hair plugs in the design of the word "wanker." Hope recently changed to a short-hair style and voilĂ ! The Sun (London)

Recurring Theme: Here are two more people with lingering arrest warrants who, stopped by cops, gave bogus names . . but who inadvertently choose the names of people who also had arrest warrants outstanding. Great Falls Tribune /// Dallas Morning News

At This Stage, He Should Be All-Elephant: At a small-claims court in Quebec, a brave but unsatisfied (and unendowed) customer filed against HotGVibe of Montreal, makers of the X4 Extender Deluxe Edition because his penis isn't any longer after using the product . . for 500 hours! Winnipeg Free Press [scroll down]

The Pervo-American Community

Another perv we're disappointed about: the city manager of Hudson, Mich. ("Hey, that was just a sandwich in my lap!") Jackson Citizen Patriot

Update: The New York Post continues to pile on to alleged foot fetishist Rex Ryan, head coach of the Jets [NOTW/Pro, 1-3-2011], who was saluted on page one Sunday morning as encouragement for the Jets to beat the New England Patriots. See the salute. New York Post [click link, then select January 16, 2011, from the drop-down menu]

Editor's Notes

And finally, here's this Time Waster: a Cleveland-area personal ad on Craigslist. Hoax? Maybe. But there's such a thing as too much cynicism, which disrespects the, umm, psycho-social diversity of our great planet Earth. Cleveland Scene

Newsrangers: Sue Clark, Bruce Gosling, Sandy Pearlman, Jennifer Rogers, Alan Magid, Sara Scharf, and Perry Levin, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors