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

The Rich Africans So Callous They Make Wall Street Bankers Look Cuddly, plus More Things to Worry About

★ ★ ★ ★!

Leading African Economic Indicators: (1) In Abuja, Nigeria, men are being tricked out of their sperm, which is captured by prostitutes in condoms and sold to witch doctors serving up good fortune and health to rich Africans who buy into the juju shtik. (2) Even worse, in Kampala, Uganda, aid organizations say the past three years have been hell because several hundred children are murdered annually in sacrifices--a service purchased by the rich to procure, they believe, even greater fortune. (BBC News, posing as a client, interviewed one witch doctor, who explained "two ways of doing this . . bury the child alive on your construction site, or we cut them in different places and put their blood is a bottle of spiritual medicine." £250, please.) Codewit World News (Helsinki) /// BBC News

American Mexican Ingenuity on Display: The smugglers tunneled, from out of sight in Nogales, Mexico, to get under the fence guarding Nogales, Ariz., and figured out how to come up precisely in a certain parking space on International Street. A van parks there (25 cents an hour on the meter), removes its floor, breaks through the pavement to meet the tunnelers. Drugs are passed up to the van. Street is returned to almost-new condition. Van drives away. Fabulous. ABC News via Yahoo News

Saddam in the News: (1) A dead-on lookalike for Saddam Hussein said he was briefly kidnaped in Alexandria, Eqypt, last week after turning down the equivalent of $330,000 to star in a Saddam-themed porn video. (2) On the auction block in Britain: part of the iconic Saddam statue that was pulled down by joyous Iraqis in 2003 (back when Iraqis were joyous). The portion retrieved by the British soldier: a buttock. el-Ahram.org.eg via Huffington Post /// Al-Arabyia.net (Dubai)

Ultra-orthodox Jews in Israel are getting nastier. In the town of Beit Shemesh, Orthos built a girls' school too close to the Ultra neighborhood, and now the Ultras taunt and harass the Ortho children daily as they walk to class, mostly with slutty insults, stones, and tomatoes (Bonus: at least once with feces). Ortho children apparently dress quite modestly but not nearly modestly enough for the Ultras. BBC News

Absurdities

America Has Its Problems, But--: In the UK, a church can't replace a high-ceiling light bulb without scaffolding (ladders are too dangerous!), and kids under eight can't blow up balloons (might swallow them). Daily Telegraph /// Daily Telegraph

After all, German arm-wrestling champ Matthias Schlitte only uses his left arm for competition so no wonder his "pythons" are just one python and a garter snake. Daily Mail (London)

In Pennsylvania, if you rear-end another car, then flee the scene because you're "confused," State Troopers won't even give you a ticket! (Offer applies only if you're a police chief.) Philadelphia Inquirer

Government in Action: In a September 30th legal decision, a hapless hazardous-waste handler won $1.7 million in a malicious prosecution case against a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency operative who allegedly manufactured charges against the guy solely so the agent could re-hook-up with a certain female-agent sweetie. The Volokh Conspiracy blog [link via TechDirt.com]

Losers

Departed: (1) "Honest, Honey, it's not loaded, See?" said a 22-year-old, memory-challenged man in Seminole, Fla. (near St. Petersburg), before shooting himself in the head (critical condition). (2) Kenneth Fortson, 21, also shot himself (to death in his case). He and pals had just scored from a home-invasion and were fleeing in a pickup truck, when it crashed. Fortson happened to be holding the gun in his hand, and at some point in the rollover, it went off. Tampa Tribune /// Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Dr." Phillip Winikoff, 81, is in custody, but the Losers here are the two women who actually bought his pitch of being a free-lance door-to-door doctor performing life-saving breast exams. South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Miles Bennett accidentally dropped some marijuana outside a convenience store in Pittsburgh, Pa., and unfortunately, a cop saw it first and picked it up. No, Miles, he won't give it back to you, no matter how nicely you ask. Move along. WPXI-TV (Pittsburgh) via KSDK-TV (St. Louis, Mo.)

Oh! Dear!

Two of the ugliest things you'll see today: (1) a cyclops shark (seriously, one big, big eye), confirmed by a marine sciences center in La Paz, Mexico, and (2) a much-less-rare naked mole rat, pictured on NPR.com to illustrate the completion of the naked mole rat genetic code, which reveals some promising curative thingies. National Geographic /// NPR

A (two-eyed) shark headline: "Killer Sharks Invade Golf Course in [Australia]" Water hazards at the Carbrook Golf Club in Brisbane are the new home of a few (man-eating) bull sharks left over from the last time ocean floods swept inland. Sky News (London)

A video of a couple joining the mile-high club . . outside the plane, i.e., skydiving while hooked-up. Looks real. KGET-TV (Bakersfield, Calif.) /// VKMag.com [the actual NSFW video, dug up by a Newsranger]

A few male U.S. troops in Afghanistan thought they'd feel better about themselves if they had their Afghan barbers shape their eyebrows. And they do look fabulous! (The USMC wishes to inform you that "troops" in this case could not possibly refer to Marines.) Wall Street Journal

Fine Points of the Law: A federal judge in Detroit said his hands are tied--that federal law gives the government immunity from lawsuits over any loss of evidence they're holding for a criminal investigation . . such as that $750k Ferrari they totaled on a joyride. Sorry 'bout that. Associated Press via Fox News

The Pervo-American Community

The alleged perv arrested for sex with a 6-year-old child was a 50-year-old male social loser from the pathetic low caste of the U.S. female deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control. ABC News

Joseph Bartorillo, 60, was arrested--the most recent practitioner of the curious paraphilia of tricking others into eating or drinking products injected with the perv's semen. Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.)

The Aristocrat! Kenneth Sarsony was arrested in Gainesville, Fla., identified by police as the man who has taken dumps in front of a middle school classroom at least five times recently. Gainesville Sun

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


"Your mission, Ethan Hunt, should you choose to accept it, is to convince a jury that Delbert Huber didn't kill that man." WCCO-TV (Minneapolis)

Below The Fold

Another of those amazing X-rays: It says here that this 12-week-old puppy swallowed the 15-inch-long flagpole. NBC News via WPTV (West Palm Beach) [9-29-2011, but a better link than a Toronto Star story of 10-12-2011]

Great Moments in Mainstreaming: Among the August rioters in London was a wheelchair-bound man zipping himself away with his just-looted TV set in his lap. BBC News

In the traffic-anarchic Caracas district of Sucre, the mayor has enlisted volunteer mimes to wag their fingers at wayward drivers. (It's mostly working!) (Bonus: It's been done before!) Associated Press via CBS News /// Harvard Gazette [3-11-2004, link from Wikipedia]

Newsrangers: Perry Levin, Paul Langford, John Malvizzi, Gerald Sacks, and Sandy Pearlman, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors