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

Refining the Boredom Art Form, Plus More Things to Worry About

★ ★ ★ ★!

James Ward's Boring conference in London sold out this year.  2010's inaugural ennui-a-palooza [NOTW M198, 1-23-2011] had such intellectual dynamite as a PowerPoint presentation of the color and materials of a man's neckwear collection from one year to the next and another sponsoring a milk-sampling, using wine glasses, measuring taste and smoothness.  This year's highlight:  a seminar on the square root of two.  The Independent

Need to be fashionable?  Fine.  Identify with sub-mainstream cultures?  Groovy.  Tell the world's squares you're not like them?  Check.  How about if all that involved building a three-inch-wide  three-eighths-inch-wide hole in your ear lobe to stick tokens in or hang stuff from?  In that case, perhaps it's time for you to give Saphris® a try.  In the UK, "ear-stretching" is on the rise, and while most open up just slightly more than with ordinary ear-piercing, there are "gauge-queens/kings." who keep widening the hole over time until . . well . . peek-a-boo!  Soon, of course, the Now-Why-Did-I-Do-That? industry will be coming to the rescue (the most complex ear surgeries of which can run up to £8,000 [$12,350]).  BBC News

That woman who climbed inside the dead horse [Pro Edition, 11-7-2011] has been outdone--sort of.  What if you did that sort of thing for a living?  An otherwise-upbeat Washington Post  dispatch from Kabul, on how U.S. contractors are helping Afghans to upgrade their businesses, mentioned the poor state of the country's slaughterhouses.  "Butchers wore sandals as they hacked away at animals . . just [cutting] off pieces with no rhyme or reason."  "One slaughterhouse employee, a dwarf, was responsible for climbing inside the water buffalo carcasses to cut out their colons."  Washington Post

The Area of His Expertise:  District of Columbia Councilman Marion Barry complained that it's not enough that job recruiters in the notoriously inefficient D.C. bureaucracy are forbidden to ask applicants about any criminal record they may have.  He has proposed extending the restriction to private employers, too, i.e., if you've done your time for those bank robberies, hey, that part of your life is none of the recruiter's damn business.  (Once a boss has made the bank robber an offer, then he can ask about a rap sheet.)  Washington Post

Absurdities

Sources told ABC News that a big CIA operation to keep up with Hezbollah in Lebanon was exposed because the Hezzes cracked the CIA's super-secret computer password for the project (a project whose "clandestine" meetings were held in a Pizza Hut in Beirut).  (The project-site password: "PIZZA")   ABC News [link from Wired.com Danger Room]

Brooklyn (N.Y.) pimp Andrew McCord, 29, acting as his own lawyer, thought he needed an "expert witness" to help the jury understand the rough business he's in, and, Your Honor, who better than me, Andrew McCord, to be that expert witness?  (Denied.)   New York Daily News

"My only dream now is to compete with [Mehmet] Yilmaz and beat him [for his Guinness Book record]."  That was Badr Al-Alyani of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, who told a local reporter that he was up to 90½ inches squirting milk out of his eye, short of Yilmaz's 106.  Emirates 24.7 (Dubai) [link from Nothing to Do with Arbroath]

The George H.W. Bush, the Navy's most technologically advanced aircraft carrier--a testament to America's leading-edge military superiority--is on its maiden combat voyage.  Aircraft, armaments, and complex computer systems are performing splendidly.  It's just that there is a lot of down time as sailors hunt and hunt for one of the few unclogged toilets. Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk)

Losers

The teenager dropped off a resume, and on his way out of the store, snatched an airsoft gun ($129).  Tracked down by KTLA-TV even before cops arrived, he told the reporter, "Honestly, I wasn't planning on stealing anything.  I was actually trying to get a job.  And, what can I say?  I'm a teenager, [I'm] stupid."   KTLA-TV (Los Angeles)

"It's going to sound kind of ridiculous, but we believed there was some kind of paranormal presence in the basement."  Thus, former Mount Gilead, Ohio, police officer Joseph Hughes explained the 20-something items (like air conditioners) apparently stolen from local government buildings, stored in the basement, unused, because he was afraid to go down there.  WBNS-TV (Columbus)

Too Soon!  On the heels of a "clothes horse" death inquest [Pro Edition, 9-12-2011] comes another, almost:  British college student Danielle Morgan was rescued after falling onto hers and having her every struggle actually tighten the device's grip on her.  BBC News

Too Soon!  Just as in Pro Edition, 10-31-2011, two more people brawled on the edge of a busy highway at night, with predictable results.  Associated Press via Palm Beach Post

David Foley had his heart set on vengeance against his landlord and thus sent WITI-TV a DVD of child porn with the landlord's name and address on it.  If he hadn't done that, police probably would never have discovered Foley's alleged sideline as a child molester with a big stash of child porn (from which to compile the "landlord" DVD).  WITI-TV (Milwaukee)

The Pervo-American Community

Lashawn Johnson, 25, was arrested in Albany, N.Y., after two women reported he was manually displaying himself and asking if they'd "help him out" with his arduous task.   Times Union [mugshot]

Oh! Dear!

[I'll take "Slang" for $100, Alex]  Answer:  "Waxing the crocodile" (Incorrect Jeopardy Question: What was Lashawn Johnson doing?)  (Correct Question:  What were skilled Brazilian-wax technicians doing to a live croc in a promotion video at a salon in Darwin, Australia?)   Daily Mail (London)

The mayor of Huarmey, Peru, warned his people that the water supply, which is piped in from Tabalosos (reputedly, a gay mecca) will convert them, too.  (He had a hormone-based explanation, but experts say he's just nuts.)   Daily Mail (London) [based on Perfil.com (Buenos Aires), 11-24-2011]

A 13-lb. boy was born naturally (no c-section!) in Berlin to a woman who is obviously a sturdy gal.  (Bonus:  She named him "Jihad.")   The Local (Berlin)

Officials in Calcutta, India, are scrambling to save the historic Howrah Bridge from fatal corrosion due to out-of-control spitting by pedestrians who routinely hock their betel leaf, areca nut, and slaked lime onto the steel beams.  Cops ticket some of the miscreants, but there are a half-million walkers a day.  (Alternate strategy:  Display drawings of the gods on the bridge so spitters will hold it in 'til they get to the other side.)  BBC News

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


Is Michelle Watson, 24, giddy because she has achieved the exalted state of being "super-DUI extreme"?   The Smoking Gun

Editor's Notes

By now nearly everyone on the planet has had a glimpse of Oneal Morris's humongous butt [Pro Edition, 11-21-2011].  Here is a sane plastic surgeon's best guess as to how Ms. Morris achieved that state.   MSNBC

No matter the occasion, there's always room for an Iron Crotch video (such as from Yang You-sin, who credits the power for righting his life after years of hard-labor pain).   WantChinaTimes.com

Newsrangers: Mark Heather, Kathleen Kelly, and Randy Mason, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors