Monday, July 18, 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
July 18, 2011
(datelines July 9-July 16) (links correct as of July 18)
© 2011 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Prescient German Engineering, Plus Mac & Mag & Cheese and Fun with Corpses

★ ★ ★ ★!

Love Dolls, the Early Years: A mainstream British historian, peeling through records on the history of the Barbie doll, learned of the Borghild Project, in which Adolf Hitler, wary that STDs (especially syphilis) were disabling more soldiers than munitions were, ordered production of the forerunner of life-sized anatomically-correct female dolls, to encourage, umm, stress relief. Turned out that the allied bombing of Dresden in 1945 wiped out the factory and the project. Thus, Mattel and Doc Johnson had to start elsewhere. (Bonus: And don't forget the talking dogs!) Daily Mail (London) /// Mother Nature Network

Citizen-Legislators: How refreshing, the narrative goes, that from time to time in America, we elect ordinary people (yay!) in place of professional politicians (boo!). Enter Tennessee state Rep. Julia Hurley, newly-elected following a stint as a Hooters gal. Turns out that, in the lege's first late-night session, featuring complicated budget issues, the bored-silly Rep. Hurley carved her initials in her lege chamber desk. Associated Press via Knoxville News Sentinel

Fine Points of the Law: Marc Gilbert, in Tacoma, Wash., is likely the only U.S. prisoner allowed child porn in his cell . . in fact, quite a stash (100 DVDs). (The videos depict him molesting boys--the centerpiece of the case against him--and since he has permission to be his own lawyer at trial, he gets access to the evidence.) KOMO-TV (Seattle)

Out of Order!: Melissa Hartwick lodged an informal objection to the judge's ruling ("contempt of court," 10 days' lockup), and by "informal objection," I mean she tried to climb over the judge's bench and take Her Honor out. Of course there's video. WLEX-TV (Lexington, Ky.)

Absurdities

Frances Ragusa threatened her ex-husband: No more delays on that $14,000 child support! (Bonus: It's 34 years overdue, the kids are way-grown, Frances is 75.) New York Post

Julia Sullivan, 16, of Aurora High (Aurora, Neb.), keeps getting passed over for the cheerleader squad and is now suing. The squad ought to "accommodate" Julia's disability, she says, and develop some cheers that can be done by a girl like her, born with (a) arms only down to her elbows and (b) no legs. Omaha World-Herald

At an international food products show in Washington, D.C., a Welsh company offered Illanllyr brand, er, organic water. (Organic water?) (Yes.) It is pumped from underneath certified organic fields, which is one way to look at it (but another way to look at it is that "water" cannot possibly be "organic"). NPR

Government in Action: (1) Air Canada was fined $12,000 for speaking English instead of Francais with a customer in 2009. (It's the law.) (2) Omaha Public Schools was revealed to have spent $130,000 of federal stimulus money . . . to buy copies of a touchy-feely self-help book for every single employee (8,000) in the system. (3) NYPD's latest pension absurdity: Cop retired on "disability"; he was malingering; got caught; ordered back to work; failed drug test and was fired; Pension Board saved his job, but NYPD won't put a druggie cop back to work--leaving his stream of pension payments intact. Ta-daaa! (4) The highest-paid state employee in California last year was Jeffrey Rohlfing, M.D., prison surgeon, $777,423, but he's so incompetent, the prison won't even let him operate on murderers. Toronto Sun /// Omaha World-Herald /// New York Post /// Los Angeles Times

Oh! Dear!

William Chambliss, 69, Huntington, Tex., picked a bad time to get caught for DUI--just after putting his two grandkids up on the roof of his SUV for a little thrill ride. KTRE-TV (Lufkin, Tex.)

School Spirit: Ohio State fan Roy Miracle, 80, died, and his daughter Juli conceived the perfect send-off: photo of dad and some relatives contorting their bodies to spell out letters O, H, I, and another O--but this time with Roy's corpse as the "I." Columbus Dispatch

Oops! Indianapolis police officials intended only to alert officers who had had irregular-fit problems with their protective vests, but somehow that translated into releasing names and chest sizes of 13 female cops. Gannett News Service via WTSP-TV (St. Petersburg, Fla.)

This Summer's State Fair Food: Chocolate-covered bacon, fried butter, Krispy Kreme-encased cheeseburgers . . and this year's big discovery (at the California State Fair) . . the maggot melt (which is just what it sounds like). KCCI-TV (Des Moines, Iowa) /// Sacramento Bee

Life can't have been all pleasant so far for this fella (who's now in the hospital after his DUI collision in Buffalo, N.Y.)--Mr. Jack Goff. Buffalo News

The Pervo-American Community

Prominent exotic animal collector-daredevil-neckpain Sam Mazzola was found dead in Columbia Station, Ohio, under undignified circumstances ("bound to the bed with handcuffs, chains and padlocks," face down, ball-gag, etc., the usual). Plain Dealer

According to NYPD, Darnell Hardware, 26, has had many happy endings in the past "nearly a decade," but achieved by rubbing against women in crowded NYC subway cars. Lots of DNA around. Metro (New York)

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


Charles Gurin, 66, charmer? Or a guy with a need to perv women up first? WJW-TV (Cleveland)

Patrick Brooks, 21, was arrested for burglary and forgery in Redding, Calif. Tough call. [mugshot Not Safe For Work] The Smoking Gun

Ivan Charles, 23, was charged with severely roughing up his 4-week-old kid (who's now on a ventilator), but he couldn't possibly be guilty because, if he were, why would he be laughing in the mug shot? Orlando Sentinel

Editor's Notes

Yr Editor is busily embroiled this summer in trying to correct earlier mistakes in his life, mainly dealing with Packratism Syndrome. I've had a rich and varied life (good), but it has left a rich and varied paper trail (bad). Thus (through August, I'm afraid), Pro Edition won't quite be as important to me. (Hey, but it's free of charge!. That's something, right?)

Newsrangers: Mackenzie Aylesworth, Gerald Thomason, Dale Ireland, Robert Schwartz, Dave Shepardson, Patrick Larson, Ken Wilder, Phil Helms, Dean Ferro, and Bruce Leiserowitz, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors