Tuesday, May 22, 2012

News of the Weird 2.0
(Almost) Daily, Since May 21, 2012

Underreported News, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
May 22, 2012
(datelines from May 4 or later) (links correct as of May 22)
© 2012 by Chuck Shepherd.  All rights reserved.

Editor's Note (again):  Because I was away last week, the first two days of this grand, almost-daily experiment will consist of catching up with the backlog of news.  Starting tomorrow, just a few cites a day. 

★ ★ ★ ★!

Desmond Hatchell, 33, Knoxville, Tenn., has 30 kids that he can't support (by at least 11 women), including 9 conceived in the first several months after he last went to court asking for relief from child support.  (At that time, for his 21 spawn, he had shown the judge a whopping $400 and asked how to fairly apportion it to the baby mamas.)  Fortunately for Knoxville's women, babies, social service people, and taxpayers, Hatchell then went to prison on other-than-procreation charges, but the 11 or so baby mamas still want their money.   Los Angeles Times   ///   The Smoking Gun

Weird People

Meanwhile, Over on the Left Tail (of the Bell Curve):  Kenny "Boom" Smith could not decide whether he more wanted to pass counterfeit money for the real stuff . . or . . get himself on the cable show "Hardcore Pawn."  When he happened into Detroit's American Jewelry and Loan, where the show is shot, he kinda got caught up.  He wound up actually signing the TV show's release form.   ///   In Port Harcourt, Nigeria, at least three suspected robbers accidentally blew themselves up on a bus while on the way to their target.     WDIV-TV (Detroit)   ///   Reuters via Canoe.ca (Toronto)

Arni Johnson, a member of the parliament in Iceland, happened to survive an auto accident in 2010 and came to attribute his luck to a family of elves living in a nearby boulder.  He has now moved the 30-ton boulder onto property he owns in Hofoabol [Sic--I've left out the doo-hickeys over the vowels]io9.com

In Waukegan, Ill., dad Randy Swopes, 52, will avoid jail (just gets probation) for his home medical treatment of his 14-yr-old son's Crohn's disease.  The boy had a fistula.  Approved medical protocol for that is not covered in this article, but the judge was certain it's different than "sewing the boy's buttocks shut with needle and thread," which is what Dad did.  Chicago Sun-Times via KTLA-TV (Los Angeles)

The 9th-grade teacher at a San Benito, Tex., high school must've had an Rx malfunction, or maybe her motherboard needs rebooting.  Her re-write of the Holy Bible, in a 12-minute cellphone video performance, revealed that she's Mary Magdalene incarnate and that Jesus is hot for her, takes her to parties, and keeps her up all night talking, and that flying saucers are on the way, and that we've only got until 12-21-2012 to get our stuff together.  Houston Press

"U-S-A!  U-S-A!  U-S-A!"

The 24-hour news cycle relies heavily on public opinion polls, but one of the most prestigious (Pew Research Center) admits that 9 of every 10 people it calls don't even want to talk to them.  Think about that the next time you find interesting "what Americans believe."  Slate.com

Elisa Castillo, 56, a first-time offender, will be doing life without possibility of parole in Texas for conspiracy to move drugs, even though she looks positively bystander-ish compared to drug cartel honchos who get lesser sentences.  Those guys, of course, always have an angle:  shorter sentences in exchange for giving up inside information.  Poor Elisa.  Houston Chronicle

What Sec. of Transportation Ray LaHood called the worst-condition bridge of the 300 he's inspected so far--the I-74 bridge in Moline, Ill., is getting $10m paint job because they don't have a plan yet on how to raise the $72m they need for repairs.  Quad City Times

Funny Old World*

Why?  Because I Could:  A British technology engineer has developed a doodad that will auto-spray perfume in the air every time you get a social-network mention.  (He said he wanted to find a way to express Internet output through other than a screen.)   BBC News

It's the world's longest running experiment, reports the World's Greatest Newspaper.  Researchers have to believe, really believe, that "pitch" (tar) is "liquid," not "solid."  If they didn't really believe that, they would have given this up, oh, 84 years ago.  In this 85-yr-old, ongoing experiment, a total of eight drops of pitch have fallen.  World's Greatest Newspaper

UK prosecutors and the Greater Manchester Police have apologized for letting a probable pedophile ring operate, despite complaints--because, well, all the defendants are named "Mohammed" or "Abdul" or "Hamid," etc., and they were afraid they'd look like bigots if they made arrests.  (Bonus:  In fact, they'd be right--if they were in Brooklyn, N.Y.   Ultra-Orthodox Jewish sects seem to be protecting their home-grown sex-abusers, and next to those ultras, the Vatican looks like pedophilia vigilantes.)  Daily Telegraph   ///   New York Times

News of the Weird 1.0

Again:  Texas again finds itself needing to medicate a condemned man to get him sane enough to understand that he's about to die for a reason.  However, the condemned man (more likely, though, his lawyer) might already be sane enough . . to understand that his only chance of staying alive is to refuse the medication.  So Texas needs to force it on him.  Slate.com

(On a sorta-related matter in Kentucky, Robert Foley has been on death row since 1993, and still has a little time before the last mile, and meanwhile his hip is killing him, and he wants replacement surgery, and Kentucky taxpayers are, like, WTF, and in any event, his lawsuit for pain and suffering will, at least, delay his judgment day even more.   Associated Press via AzCentral.com (Phoenix)

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

It's possible that these three gents can beat their "assault" raps because, really, why would guys like this even want to get into fights?  The Smoking Gun 1   ///   The Smoking Gun 2 ///   The Smoking Gun 3
       
Editor's Notes

In case you and a pal get lost hiking and have to spend a cold night, it's apparently just an old wives' tale that you can keep warm by peeing on each other.   Times Union (Albany, N.Y.)

Thanks to Steve Dunn and John Kearney, and the mighty NOTW Board of Editorial Advisors.   (* stolen from Private Eye; [Chuck's editor.: Stolen? You're better than that.] [Chuck: I'm not.])