Monday, November 21, 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
November 21, 2011
(datelines November 12-November 19) (links correct as of November 21)
© 2011 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

The Spider as Cad, Derrière Dreams, and More Things to Worry About

★ ★ ★ ★!

All hail the male nursery web spider (inspiration for all slut-rascal men everywhere!).  According to a journal article by researchers in Denmark and Uruguay, the spiders have a good idea what their chances are of scoring, and the ungifted use two deceptions:  Since only gift-givers of live protein (bugs) get to hit it, the losers (1) wrap worthless "gifts" to the female in silk and nail her while she's unwrapping them, and/or (2) engage in a tug-of-war with her over the gift and surprise her by hopping on. [ed. Note to gentlemen living in your parents' basement and who can't get a date:  These are spiders who are smarter than you.] via Yahoo News

Made-up, Sensationalist Tabloid News:  Real News:  House cats can be trained to do tricks and even do competitions running obstacle courses.  Both the International Cat Association and the Cat Fanciers' Association run contests in which cats "climb stairs, weave around poles, and leap through hoops" in a timed event (reported the New York Times).  There's even a Kobe-LeBron-type dominant player, Twyla Mooner, a Bengal from Reston, Va.   New York Times   ///   [And then there's the Moscow Cat Theater, which News of the Weird has been on top of since 1998]  New York Times

It was a bad week for the butt-enhancement industry.  Kimberly Smedley assured the authorities after her arrest in Washington, D.C., that she had been using only "medical" silicone when she injected her customers at $1,000 a pop, but she seemed to have a lot of receipts from Home Depot and Lowe's, and her medical dispensing facility consisted of a water jug.  But even more dangerous was Ms. (formerly Mr.) Oneal Ron Morris, 30, of Miami Gardens, Fla., who didn't even bother with industrial silicone.  He used actual cement and "Fix a Flat" and then super-glued the entrance wound.  (Seriously.  There are Can't-Possibly-Be-True photos at the link.)  The Smoking Gun   ///   Miami Herald via South Florida Sun-Sentinel


The European Union may, seriously, soon collapse over its economy.  However, it issued an important directive last Wednesday ordering bottled-water producers not to say that their product can help prevent dehydration.  [ed.: For some people, that's true, if the body faultily misdirects the water received, but many other people simply need to drink more water.]   Daily Telegraph (London)

The Saudi Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice cracked down on niqabs (face-hiders except the eyes) if the eyes are too alluring.  Those women should stay home or move to the burqa.   Daily Mail (London)

Four times a year (coming and going, twice, for school terms), 80 kids in a remote Chinese mountaintop village make a several-day, spine-tingling journey on foot, including down 1,000-ft cliffs with narrow ledges.  (The government is building a safe road . . for the year after next.)   Daily Telegraph (London)

It appears that the Justice Department, in its zeal to use all the tools available to fight "terrorism," would make it a federal crime to lie about yourself on, say, Match dot com.  (You could still lie at a party, but just not online.  Nursery web spiders aren't covered.)

Follow the logic:  (1) Kids love to play with balls.  (2) A parent gets hurt by a ball while at school.  (3) Therefore, the school bans balls for kids (except sponge balls.)   Canadian Press via

The airline fee to trump all airline fees:  When a Comtel flight from India to Birmingham, England, had to land in Vienna, the couple of hundred on board were hit up for supplemental fuel costs totaling £20,000 ($31,000).  Some scrambled for ATMs.  BBC News


The lawyer's cardinal rule of cross-examination is Don't Ask a Question You Don't Already Know the Answer to).  Mr. Philome Cesar, charged with many robberies and acting as his own lawyer, asked the first two witness-victims, "Describe what the robber sounded like."  After both answered, "He sounded like you," Cesar stopped asking that question.  Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)

Unclear on the Concept:  The Ku Klux Klan has used burning crosses to get blacks to leave neighborhoods.  For some reason, this Klan wanted black man L.B. Williams's wife (white) to stay in the neighborhood.  (Yes, "the Klan" was really L.B. Williams, who was facing divorce, and somehow thought the burning cross would scare the missus into staying.)  Panama City (Fla.) News Herald

KNXV-TV (Phoenix) reported that Mr. Cary Dolego, a former gubernatorial candidate in Arizona, is now in the Ukraine and, despite being rebuffed at least once, is determined to stay until he meets the future Mrs. Dolego and to bring her back to Phoenix.  (He traveled there because he no longer trusted   (Nursery web spiders do better than Cary.)   KNXV-TV

Oh! Dear!

British insurers that write policies for pets reported writing a four-fold increase in that line of business from 2009 to 2010--along with, as times got tough for the pet owners, widespread fraud-- including some instances of . . killing the little darlings for the money.   Daily Telegraph

A north Georgia plastics company fired man-of-faith Billy Hyatt in 2009 for causing trouble by not wearing the de rigueur company sticker on his shirt (noting how many consecutive days the workplace has been accident-free).  Thus, lawsuit!  Hyatt wore the stickers faithfully, right up until the 666th day.  Associated Press via CBS News

Can't Stop Themselves:  Just because Tina Arie and Howard Windham were being driven in a squad car back to the station on charges of illegal drug possession is no reason for her not to service him sexually in the back seat during the ride.   Montgomery County (Tex.) Police Reporter

The Pakistan government has created a list of cool words and phrases to learn for those studying English or Urdu as a second language (coming soon: Punjabi).  (Oh, wait.  They're 1,500 words that telecom companies have to censor out of text messages.)  Lots of F-word combos, but some are a little far-fetched:  lavender, mango, deposit, fondle, quickie, flogging the dolphin . . ..   The Guardian (London)

The Pervo-American Community

Police in Pueblo, Colo., say that Kenneth Milosavich, 55, was having sex with a pit bull and in more ways than one.   KCNC-TV (Denver)

Teacher Paul LaDuke, 75, was fired and arrested on November 11th after he once again monitored class at Schaumburg (Ill.) Christian School by standing behind a podium, unhitching his trousers, and, um, well, flogging the dolphin.  He'd been a teacher there for 25 years.  WFLD-TV (Chicago)

Updates & Recurring Themes

No, no, no, not again!  A carpenter's assistant is charged with the prank of playfully jamming an air compressor hose up a colleague's back door.  This time, it was in Nicosia, Cyprus. [via]

The huggin' Divine Mother, Indian spiritual leader Amma, from Kerala state, India, was in the UK last week and added to her lifetime record of (reportedly) 30,000,000 hugs.   Metro (London)

Below The Fold

Bright Ideas:  What if you're, like, outside at night in the cold, and all you, like, have to work with are raccoons?  Could they keep you warm?  One way to find out.  Get a cold night.  Duct-tape baguettes to your body.  Try to get comfortable.

Another bad idea:  An editor (me) offering a reader (you) proof that a person can survive a hereditary condition in which dozens and dozens of surface tumors grow all over the body.  No, you don't want to see.   News Limited (Sydney)

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

Well, is Steven Knox guilty of molesting the kid he was babysitting?  Close call.   Houston Chronicle

A selection from this week's The Smoking Gun collection:
Burglary and drug possession   ///   Drug and paraphernalia possession [not even a misdemeanor for that beard, though]   ///  Felonious assault

Editor's Notes

Speaking of compressed air hoses, you might be interested in this "medical"-type book of  the best x-rays three doctors could find of various items found inserted in people's you-know-where (and other bodily orifices).  Huffington Post

Newsrangers: Valerie Jones, Cassidy Hunter, Jay Scott, Gerald Sacks, Gale Walters, and Kathryn Wood, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors