Monday, September 19, 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
September 19, 2011
(datelines September 10-September 17) (links correct as of September 19)
© 2011 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Fat-Hoarding (Because You Never Know) and the Elegance of Bacterial Symmetry, Plus Other Things to Worry About

★ ★ ★ ★!

Questionable Business Models: (1) Orlando-area cosmetic surgeon Jeffrey Hartog opened a side venture: Liquid Gold, a depositary bank for liposuctioned fat, just in case patients ever need it back (like for plumping up facial wrinkles). (A surgeon at Massachusetts General said there's a good reason why nobody's done this before.) (2) Who knew that we haven't enough social networks? Biochemist Peer Bork and partners opened MyMicrobes.com so that people with similar gut bacteria profiles can get together. (There is some evidence that like bacterial inventories might be copacetic. At least, you may get sympathy for your diarrheal attacks.) Orlando Sentinel via South Florida Sun-Sentinel /// Mother Nature Network

Germany's Federal Patent Court upset the oddsmakers and granted trademark protection to the liquor manufacturer EFAG for its schnapps with the brand name "Ficken," which translates to the English F word, too. "[T]he name is unquestionably in poor taste," explained the court, but "is not 'sexually discriminatory' and does not violate public morals" (citing the many colloquial uses of the word throughout German society). Spiegel Online

The return of Michael Wyatt? The most famous toe-sucker of the News of the Weird era, who operated out of the Conway, Ark., area [NOTW 131, 8-11-1990; NOTW 179, 7-12-1991; NOTW 259, 1-22-1993; NOTW 604, 9-3-1999], might have re-surfaced, though officials are still looking for the man who recently, unconsensually, slurped one woman's toes and talked nasty (foot-wise) to another. Reuters

The parents of "Tay" Cook, 15, obviously did not receive the memo about the importance of instilling self-esteem in children. When Tay was charged (as an adult) with first-degree murder in Decatur, Ill., last week, it was revealed that his given name is Shitavious Cook. Herald & Review (Decatur)

Absurdities

These two women were charged in a big art heist in Johnson City, Tenn., well, $1,200 worth . . a piece of metal wall art and a wood-framed picture of some pears . . right off the wall from "the lobby area" at the local Arby's. Johnson City Press

Megalomaniacs: The memorial plaque dedicated last week in Washington Township, N.J., honoring 9-11 victims had to be hastily retro-designed. Since no one from Washington Twp perished on 9-11, the mayor and five committeemen decided to put their own names on it. (Mayor: "If I offended anyone, I apologize." [If?].) WCBS-TV (New York City)

North Korean Cruise Ship!: It's about what you'd think it is except that the North Koreans are actually counting on attracting cash-laden upscale Chinese tourists. Relevant descriptions from the New York Times dispatch: "40-year-old vessel," "tramp steamer," "cut-rate cuisine," "foul, water-deprived bathrooms," "dim and musty cabins," "floor mattresses," and, as on-board entertainment, "a deck of cards" and "karaoke song glorifying Kim Il-sung." New York Times

Redneck Chronicles: At a hearing last week, a panel of judges had occasion to examine surveillance video from the year 2000 from the Kounty Line convenience store in Asheville, N.C., and were reminded why the video was nearly useless to police at the time of the crime. Despite the fact that the store had just been a murder scene, someone had (innocently) taped the next day's episode of The Guiding Light over it. Citizen-Times (Asheville)

An Edmonton, Alberta, radio station is sponsoring one of those contests to increase its listener base except that the prize is not concert tickets or even a new car. It's a Russian mail-order bride (and they'll fly you over to pick her up). Huffington Post

Losers

Last week, a jury in San Antonio, Tex., found Terry "T.J." Newman guilty of a 2009 home invasion, putting the finishing touch on that miserable February night for Newman. A resident of the home had shot Newman during the invasion; another resident had shot him again 15 minutes later when he returned for his car. And shortly after that, a police officer had shot Newman while apprehending him. Express-News

The excessively-clever inmate Anthony Watson was sentenced in Largo, Fla., to four consecutive life terms for a 1992 crime spree that included rape and robbery. Back then, he had been sentenced to 160 years but had neatly challenged that down, via jailhouse lawyering, to a guaranteed 2018 release date. He went one step too far. At his new trial on the 2018 date, he was re-convicted and got quadruple-life. St. Petersburg Times

The Pervo-American Community

Could They Be Any Ruder? If you can't even be safe from free-lance masturbateurs in your own home while your cable TV is being installed, where can you be safe? Maybe during church services--oops, sorry, I guess not. WTSP-TV (St. Petersburg, Fla.) /// The Smoking Gun

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


It takes quite a man to (allegedly) pull packages of raw meat from the freezer at Walmart, eat some, and put the rest back. Is Scott Shover that man? WHTM-TV (Harrisburg, Pa.)

But Hell's Angels Have a Right to Look Like That: Caius Veiovis, 31, one of three men charged with a revenge murder in Pittsfield, Mass. New York Daily News

And from this week's The Smoking Gun collection: something to do with your ears while you wait to answer charges of marijuana possession and furnishing alcohol to a minor. The Smoking Gun

Oh! Dear!

Apparently Mr. Zhang Nan assumed he could get away with disrobing for an "unorthodox" pedicure, submerging his body in uninspected water. It says here that the urologists who removed the six-inch-long "eel" from his bladder beg to differ. Metro (London) via Los Angeles Times

Cornholing Comes to New York: From its roots of being misunderstood altogether on the East Coast [NOTW 878 (12-5-2004)] to being the latest hipster/fad in NYC. New York Times

Betcha Yr Editor Can Gross You Out! (1) "The Dutchess" settles the whose-fingernails-are-longest debate. (2) In fact, East London's Nailphilia Exhibition explores the, um, length, women will go to to make their fingernails creepy lovely. (3) It might be just my skin crawling here [I admit to being grossed out by ordinary photos of ordinary whole morel mushrooms], but here's a color imaging screen taken of an Irishman's gut by authorities at Sao Paulo airport after they found him with just short of a kilo of cocaine, distributed into 72 thimble baggies. (4) Still with me? You need to see the outside of this 2- or 4-unit condominium in Ypsilanti Township, Mich., first (handsome, well-kept), but Yr Editor is too lazy to rearrange the photos so you'll have to see the inside first--a worse-than-average level of hoarding and filthiness. AOL News /// Daily Mail (London) /// Irish Independent (Dublin) /// AnnArbor.com

America In Decline

Not to worry, said the super-competent, super-wise U.S. agency known as the Department of Energy, but a GAO report last week added up all the weapons-grade uranium and plutonium America has sold overseas supposedly under strict, verifiable standards, and then added up all of it that we've strictly verified. A minus B equals 5,900 lbs. It's probably all secure from rogue terrorists. (That seems to be the DOE position, anyway, according to GAO.) OK, that's that. Move on. Wired.com/DangerRoom/

According to this lawsuit filed in San Antonio, Tex., a local school board (Northside Independent SD) hired, and then retained, and retained, and retained yada yada yada, retained again, a cop whose record now reads 16 reprimands in four years (including seven for failure to obey a supervisor), including five without-pay suspensions, at least one recommendation for firing (rejected, without even a fallback of "remedial training"), and now, according to the plaintiffs, the near-cold-blooded murder of a scared 14-year-old boy (which would be failure-to-obey-supervisor number eight). Courthouse News Service

Below The Fold

A Rapture-surviving bunker for 2012, courtesy of the L.A. porn industry. LA Weekly

The super-relentless stalker: A Rotterdam woman's 65,000 phone calls. BBC News

A story worthy of the headline? Gordon Ramsay's Porn Dwarf Double Eaten by Badger (That was the Gawker.com headline, anyway, referring to the UK TV chef. That doesn't mean it happened) News.com.au (Sydney)

Things momentarily looked bright for accused murderer Derrick Smith in Schenectady, N.Y., when he received a summons for jury duty and found out it was for the trial in People v. Derrick Smith. Times Union (Albany)

Editor's Notes

News of the Weird Editor Undergoes E-Mail Bankruptcy (Once Again), Pledges It Will Be the Last Time (Once Again): Yr Editor drops to one knee for those tagged "blue" in my Inbox as deserving of a short personal note from me. Please forgive me. Yr Editor drops to both knees for those tagged "red" as who actually asked me something, or actively awaited a comment or answer from me and for which there is no excuse for my rudeness. I am so sorry. I have mastered neither the science of efficiency nor the art of not caring about my lack of masterfulness. Please forgive me. Thankya. Thankyavermuch. Really.

Newsrangers: Emily Lehrer and Kathryn Wood and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors