Monday, January 09, 2012

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
January 9, 2012
(datelines December 30-January 7) (links correct as of January 9)
© 2012 by Chuck Shepherd.  All rights reserved.

Warren Jeffs Prescribes Hell on Earth (Rather Than Kool-Aid), plus Other Things to Worry About

★ ★ ★ ★!

Sex Alert for Texas, Utah, Arizona! Horny, Mormonish Women Increasingly Climbing Walls! Prophet Warren Jeffs has issued an encyclical from his prison cell: no sex for anybody . . because all marriages are void until he can return to "seal" them (which won't be for a while because his sentence is life plus 20). (Bonus: Jeffs has so far filed two kinda-amicus petitions in court from the Lord, himself, commanding that Jeffs be set free, but the judge has failed to grant them. Must be that they, y'know, were mis-formatted or in the wrong font, something like that.) (Double Bonus: Reportedly, many followers have fled the sect, but many continue to observe his every word.) World's Greatest Newspaper

NPR's Robert Krulwich possesses a perpetual supply of fascination about ordinary but complicated things, for example, how scientists learn about famously reclusive pandas. He has a screen shot of researcher Robert Schaller's notes on a particular panda in the wild and the tracking of its every bowel movement. Lots of bowel movements. Of course, the samples must be collected, catalogued, and analyzed, and inferences made. Yr Editor stands in awe of Krulwich's level of fascination, but Schaller's is more worrisome. NPR blog

Sweden's Missionary Church of Kopimism (whose mission, mainly, is to encourage computer file-sharing irrespective of things like "copyright") issued a press release last week, uncontradicted so far, announcing that it had fulfilled the legal requirements to be a religion and had been granted that status by the government. Torrent Freak via NPR


Arrested in Madison, Wis., on weapons and drug charges: Mr. (legal name) Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-Bop-Bop, age 30. WISC-TV (Madison)

A gull was trapped in a tree in Norwich, England, and a fire engine crew was . . two fire engine crews were . . three fire engine crews were sent to rescue it. BBC News

Jakadrien Turner, 14, ran away from home in Dallas over a year ago, and authorities finally found her . . in Colombia, via deportation (even though she is a U.S. citizen, speaks no Spanish, is 8 years younger than the woman Immigration thought she was--and has different fingerprints than that woman, if only Immigration had bothered to check them before shipping her off). Officially, Immigration is "studying" its boo-boo. WFAA-TV (Dallas-Fort Worth)

The U.S. Treasury Department's inspector general revealed that IRS last year granted 331 currently-serving prison inmates status as federal tax preparers, including the estimated one-fourth who actually mentioned that, by the way, they are in prison. USA Today via ABC News

The city of Pittsburgh, Pa., issued a $287,000 tax assessment valuation for Richard Milesky Jr.'s choice downtown riverview condominium apartment parking space. KDKA-TV (Pittsburgh)


Dan Johnson Jr. and two others allegedly burglarized a home in Corbett, Ore., making off with silver and jewelry, and also a coin collection worth at least "several thousand" dollars . . which they promptly turned into $450 by mindlessly dropping the coins into a store's automatic sorting machine. (Bonus: Owner of the coins: Dan Johnson Sr.) KPTV (Portland) [with explanatory mugshot]

Not Ready for Prime Time: The man robbing the Halifax bank in London last week apparently got flustered. The robbery ended when the suspect, intending to hand the teller the bag to fill up with money, instead absent-mindedly handed him his gun. Daily Telegraph

Funny Old World*

The owner of a two-story house in Chelmsford, England, was having a tough time selling it. Perhaps it was the fact that it was completely covered in ivy, like a Chia-house. Gave it a haircut. Before-and-after photos. Daily Telegraph

A Scottish trust announced it would build a statue honoring a six-foot bear that "fought alongside" Polish freedom fighters in World War II. "Wojtek" was valuable in transporting ammunition. He lived out his days in an Edinburgh zoo and died in 1963. (London)

Also in Scotland: Feuding (but still cohabiting) spouses Anthony and Dorothy Cameron were in court in Perth, where Dorothy complained that Anthony had called her a "prostitute." His felicitous punishment: He is banned from talking to her for six months. Daily Record (Glasgow)

The orang minyak ("oily man") is back in the area around Kampung, Malaysia--a "human black magic practitioner who rapes virgins to increase his evil powers," wearing "nothing but underwear and a thick coating of black oil," according to the io9 blog's rendition of reports from The Star. There were two recent sightings, but one was of a bald oily man and the other a curly-haired oily man. [citing The Star (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia)]

Updates & Recurring Themes

Update: Sarah "The Human Barbie" Burge, 51, is once more in the news with the latest bit of mothering, which consisted of a Christmas gift to her daughter, Poppy, 7: a £7,000 ($10,780) liposuction voucher. After all, she had already given Poppy a voucher for (whenever she's ready) her first gazonga-augmentation. (Sarah has already spent £500,000 sculpting her own self.) World's Greatest Newspaper

Recurring: It's time for the annual bluefin tuna auction in Japan (whose economy is evidently in fine shape). A 593-lb. fishy sold for the equivalent of $736,000, which works out to $1,238 a pound. Associated Press via WXIA-TV (Atlanta)

Update [from Pro Edition, 6-6-2011]: In a check-up, high school student Rain Prince reports that still, still, his embarrassing dad Dale accompanies him to his American Fork, Utah, school bus stop and waits with him so that all of Rain's friends can see them together . . with dad always dressed in his goofy costume-du-jour. Several examples. (Surely Rain got beat up at first, but obviously they've cut him some slack lately.) World's Greatest Newspaper

Below The Fold

Fine Points of the Law: Can there be cat litter that, within 24 hours, totally dissipates the caca smell? Some marketing genii working for Clorox "proved," in a formal "test" involving scientists with degrees that the company's Fresh Step did the trick. A competitor sued on the ground of, well, impossibility, and a federal judge agreed. (Bonus: The adjudicator is the famous New York judge now renowned for, almost single-handedly, giving Bank of America, Citibank, and the Securities and Exchange Commission recent grief.) New York Times

Cry for Help: A 28-year-old man in a Uniontown, Pa., parking lot chained himself to himself (looped around his car seat) while dressed and made-up as a woman, because he was suffering anxiety at the thought of getting out of the car and going inside to shop. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Weird 2.0
"To see what is in front of one's nose requires a constant struggle"—George Orwell
"That's good enough for government work"—unknown
"Nero Fiddles While Rome Burns"—Rome Daily Inquirer, 7-18-64A.D.

If you have a job that leaves you with $654 a week to spend after taxes, kudos! You're in the 1 percent! . . of the world, not of the U.S. (That's per capita, not per family or even per adult.) CNN

Secretary Gates said no, Secretary Panetta says no. The Joint Chiefs say no. But that doesn't matter. If Lockheed-Martin says we need F-22 fighter jets, then, by God, we need F-22 fighter jets.

Catch-22 in Medical Expenses: Until "Obamacare" kicks in, hospitals are still only required to perform life-saving procedures on uninsured people (especially, undocumented uninsured people. However, various state laws also say that, once a hospital "admits" someone, it cannot discharge him unless he has a safe place to go. Thus, Yu Kang Fu, 58, a visa-overstayer in New York City, was dropped off by his employer at a hospital five years ago and treated in the intensive care unit, and he recovered in a few days, but was released only last year . . when various government agencies finally exaggerated some legal and contractual fine print to place him at a private facility. New York Times

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

Rudy White, 48, charged in Nelson Township, Ohio, with using a high-powered pistol to threaten a man. Innocent? Akron Beacon Journal

Mr. Exulam Holman, 32, charged in Joliet Township, Ill., with, umm, gouging out his uncle's eyes during a spat over control of the remote control. Couldn't be true. Herald News (Plainfield, Ill.)

Scott Crawley, Palm Bay, Fla., charged with running off-the-books medical testing of synthetic marijuana, i.e., forcing his two autistic kids to show they do better stoned. CFNews13 (Bright House Cable News Orlando)

Alleged machete-ist Ricky Leer, 53, charged with getting riled up and beheading a man who might have knocked over the grill at a homeless camp near Sarasota, Fla. Awesome. Associated Press via Orlando Sentinel

Jose Correa, charged with car theft and attempting to ruin a cop's Christmas morning. Can he possibly be innocent? Connecticut Post

Editor's Notes

Everyone knows that old people "fall" but that buses "plunge." Here is an actual bus plunge in Bolivia along the 38-mile Camino de la Muerte), and may the driver r.i.p. The passengers had already off-loaded and walked along the ridge to safety. World's Greatest Newspaper

Do not even pretend that you're sociopathic enough to shrug your shoulders at this Not Safe For Stomachs report. Do Not Click. It's none of your business what a 200-lb. tumor looks like. Australian Associated Press via Evil Empire (

Newsrangers: Sasha Oberheim, Jim Scott, Peter Smagorinsky, and Gerald Sacks, and the News of the Weird Senior Advisors (Jenny T. Beatty, Paul Di Filippo, Ginger Katz, Joe Littrell, Matt Mirapaul, Paul Music, Karl Olson, and Jim Sweeney) and Board of Editorial Advisors (Tom Barker, Paul Blumstein, Harry Farkas, Sam Gaines, Herb Jue, Emory Kimbrough, Scott Langill, Steve Miller, Christopher Nalty, Mark Neunder, Bob Pert, Larry Ellis Reed, Rob Snyder, Stephen Taylor, Bruce Townley, and Jerry Whittle).

(* stolen from Private Eye; [ed.: Stolen? Chuck, you're better than that] [Chuck: No, I'm not]