Monday, February 28, 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
February 28, 2011
(datelines February 19-February 26) (links correct as of February 28)
© 2011 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

The Septuagenarian Porn Star, Plus Breast-Milk Ice Cream and Shoplifting Made Easy

★ ★ ★ ★!

Let Us Honor America's Cultural Giants [ed.: The following item has been purged of dozens of cheap double entendres by Cheez-B-Gone™ software] The pseudonymous Dave Cummings (actually, Connors), 70, has been selected for the video porn industry's hall of fame, and it's not an emeritus award. He's still a working pro. Dave entered the business at 54 after an Army career (Lt. Col., 4th Infantry) and "pride[s] [him]self on never using Viagra," except that maybe he'll drop a tab if working with difficult directors or actresses. "Believe it or not," wrote AOL News's hard-working David Moye, "much of what he learned in the military for dealing with soldiers in the [midst] of battle is transferable to dealing with young actresses . . .." AOL News /// XRCO Hall of Fame

If Ya Got 'Em, Light 'Em Up You're Under Arrest: Honduras knows how to really discourage smoking. In addition to all the usual indoor restrictions (public accommodations, government buildings, etc.), nonsmokers get a required six-foot smoke-free zone outside, and citizens can actually call police to deal with excessive smoking inside the smoker's own home. Associated Press via Yahoo News

Hollywood's Most PW'd Star: Canadian authorities in Vancouver have granted asylum to Randy Quaid and his lovely wife Evi, who believe that unnamed Powers That Be in Hollywood want them dead. Actually, from this Vanity Fair piece two months ago, it very much looks like it's Evi who believes all this and that Randy is just trying to keep access to what must be thrilling Space-Mountain-quality conjugal rides. (The DSM-IV medical term for Evi's precise disorder is, I believe, whack job.) Canadian Broadcasting Corp. News /// Vanity Fair

If They Were Atheists, They'd Still Be Alive: In Bamako, Mali, 36 people were trampled to death at a Muslim holy week ceremony. In California (70 miles east of Los Angeles), one person was killed when a bus plunged off the highway while returning from a religious retreat. In Brooklyn, N.Y., a woman died when the candles for a voodoo ceremony set a fire in an apartment. And of course the four yachters murdered by Somalian pirates were on a religious mission ("We seek fertile ground for the Word and homes for our [crates of] Bibles" they carried on board). AlJazeera.net /// Associated Press via Pasadena Star News /// CNN /// USA Today

News of the Weird Goes All Tea-Party: How much does government suck? Let us pause. (1) Right after 9-11, the CIA was so technologically gullible that when this fella Dennis Montgomery came by to demonstrate how he (and he alone, using his super-triple-secret software) could intercept al-Qaeda messages hidden in the pixels of ordinary web pages, the Company couldn't shovel money to him fast enough. (2) Matt (Goldman Sachs/"vampire squid") Taibbi wonders why it is that the U.S. Department of Justice is more interested in whether Roger Clemens lied about taking steroids in the ass than whether even one single Wall Street playa ever has to so much as write a personal check for a fine (much less do hard time). (In fact, the post-2008 behavior of Securities and Exchange Commission "enforcement" lawyers has made it more likely, not less, that The Boys Are Back in Town.) (3) On a more boring note, President Obama says America must be about "winning the future," that innovation is our key to success in a tough world, that we must invent green technology so we won't have to buy it from China . . . to which the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office yawns, as backlogs are such (1.2 million applications pending) that an applicant can't expect an initial ruling until two years after filing. (Bonus: The Office actually pays its own way with its fees, but Congress regularly confiscates about $40 million or more a year that could go to hiring more examiners to help "win the future.") New York Times /// Rolling Stone /// New York Times

And Still More Things To Worry About

Fine Points of the Law: What defendant William Melchert-Dinkel did was "abhorrent," "sick," and "creepy," said the prosecutor Melchert-Dinkel's own lawyer. Nonetheless, he said, it's not illegal to inform a series of depressed people how cool suicide is. St. Paul Pioneer Press

Fine Points of Tax Law; Congress lets you tax-deduct expenses that are "necessary" to do your job. By logic, TV news anchor Anrieta Hamper, 38, then of WBNS-TV, must have assumed she was the ugliest, stupidest, fattest, smelliest woman in Columbus, Ohio, because she tried to tax-deduct almost everything she bought, on the ground that the station wanted news anchors to be smart, slim, fit, clever, beautiful babes. Daily Mail (London)

They're just a tad behind humans genetically, but still . . researchers found that male capuchin monkeys urinate all over themselves because it seems to be a turn-on for the ladies. (Bonus: Monkey-urine researchers do MRIs of monkeys' brains.) BBC News

You Do the Math: (a) The chain Prime Healthcare Services specializes in buying troubled hospitals and turning them around financially. Two PHS facilities in California, are being turned around. (b) The two report that elderly patients need treatments for a certain nutritional disorder found mostly in third-world countries (found in PHS hospitals at 70x and 39x, respectively, as frequently as the California average). (c) Medicare famously is chintzy with its payments . . (d) except that it reimburses well for exotic disorders (like this one, called "kwashiorkor"). SFGate.com (San Francisco)

(Recurring Theme) The Country Afraid of Its Own Shadow: Britain's Oxfordshire County Council has banned goggles for school swimming lessons because they could snap back hard against kids' faces. And a primary school in Huyton, Merseyside, now requires soccer (y'know, "football") to be played only with foam balls. Daily Telegraph /// BBC News

He said he didn't mean any harm, but it was the way he was taught in school, so James Hersey, a high school teacher in Crawley, England, is passing it on to his students: A good mnemonic for remembering the colors in an electric resistor (black, brown, red, orange, etc.) is "black boys rape our young girls, but virgins go without." (Umm, "v" is violet.) (Bonus: BBC News covered the story but wouldn't repeat the mnemonic.) Daily Mail

Ignorance Tax: We all pay to keep our courts open for people like Ms. Arjana Xexo. She is suing the maker of the iRenew energy bracelets ($19.90 plus $15.90 S&H) because hers didn't seem to make her feel any better. (Bonus: She wants $5 million.) Palm Beach Post

Troublemakers: (1) The student newspaper at Queen Mary College (of the University of London) published a handy how-to for shoplifting, for students have trouble making ends meet (e.g., if you get caught, act scared so cops will think it's your first time). (2) Texas State University student Colby Bohannon raised some money locally (San Marcos, Tex.) to offer five $500 scholarships for minorities and females white guys (but the fine print says merely 25 percent Caucasian will qualify). Metro (London) /// Austin American-Statesman

The ice-creamista in London's Covent Garden supposedly started selling on Friday his latest "organic, free-range" treat--ice cream made from breast milk (15 mothers contributed, price £14 [$23], flavor name of "Baby Gaga"). Reuters via Yahoo News

Losers

Let's Go to the Video! Two cops enter convenience store, joining two other cops for coffee in one aisle. Then, two "unobservant" men enter, swipe some stuff, dash out (followed, of course, by four dashing cops, who arrested the apparently severely ADHD'd Jacob Wallace, 29, and Robert Martin, 19). San Gabriel Valley (Calif.) Tribune

Redneck Chronicles: Drivers in Waterville, Maine, spotted Shelly Waddell, 36, driving a van with her two kids, 10 and 13, riding on the roof, perhaps tossing the morning newspapers she was delivering. (She denies everything.) WMTW-TV (Portland)

Amos Ashley was arrested in Lawrenceburg, Ind., on an outstanding warrant. The trooper intended first only a traffic stop, but routine questioning did Amos in. (Write full name: "Rorth Taylor") (Pronounce it: "Robert Taylor") (Spell it again: "Rerert Tayloer"). WLWT-TV (Cincinnati)

(Recurring Theme) Immortal Words: Rodney Gilbert had been hyper-critical of girlfriend Kimberly Gustafson's drinking (though apparently takes one to know one). In front of witnesses, she pulled a gun. They continued arguing. Mr. Gilbert's departing words (uttered "repeatedly"): "Go ahead and shoot me." South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The Pervo Community

Michael Lallana, 32, went to trial last week on assault charges, filed by the Orange County (Calif.) prosecutor based on Lallana's admission that he achieved a happy ending by rubbing himself against the water bottle of a pretty co-worker--because her lips had touched it. He never thought she'd actually drink from it, and therefore, the "assault" thing is too much a stretch for him to plead to. Daily Breeze (Torrance, Calif.)

If Tony Barnes ever has insomnia, he might think about removing the dirty diaper he said he always keeps under his pillow. (He's one of those people.) Daily Mail (London)

A recently filed FBI affidavit claimed that one target in a child-porn investigation had the subtle user name Pervymcperv. (No details, unfortunately) The Smoking Gun
[Note: Cite broken at press time; instead, go to TSG's Buster page and scroll down to February 18, 2011]

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


Attempting to abduct an 11-year-old girl? Apparently it's so simple that (according to this artist's sketch) even a cave man can do it. Tallahassee Democrat

Editor's Notes

Unfortunate Updates: Two News of the Weird staples may be in decline due to unexpected intelligent decision-making. New standards to go into effect in March limit "service animals" (animals allowed in no-animal establishments) to dogs (and trained miniature horses). No more "service iguanas," "service snakes," "service ferrets," etc. And Oregon legislators are moving to delete the "faith-healing" exception to its murder laws. Wall Street Journal /// The Oregonian

Time-Wasters: (1) From Drugs to Mugs, prepared by the county drug force in Portland, Ore., of how drugs really, really mess up your pretty face. (2) A series of photos from Mexico City's famous retirement home for prostitutes. [One of them looks so old, she could've been the one who gave Gen. Santa Anna his good-luck blowjob the night before the Alamo.]

Newsrangers: Geoff Egan, Gerald Sacks, Bruce Leiserowitz, Sandy Pearlman, and Jane Buttigieg, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors