Sunday, July 22, 2012

Dear Weirdo,

I regret to announce that I'm going on semi-Leave of Absence.  I have modest health problems that are limiting my productivity.  There may come a time in the near future when I regain my full energy.  There may even come a time in the more-near future when I can contribute once again to my blogs (and thus to the Google Group mailing list that is producing the message you're now reading).  It's just that right now, I can't.

The weekly syndicated News of the Weird newspaper column (which some of you read by being on the Google Group newsoftheweird) will continue on schedule.  In fact, having to struggle so hard now on that column is the main reason I am insecure about my ability to produce other work.

Please resist the urge to send me condolences.  I'm definitely not malingering, but on the other hand, I'm not so bad off that I need to read condolences.  It's just a Leave of Absence.

If you are now so disappointed that you need to say good-bye to this Group, please click the Unsubscribe link at the bottom of this message.  Otherwise, stay put, and you'll hear from me from time to time (at least, from time to time; perhaps more frequently).

Thankya, thankyavermuch.
Chuck Shepherd               
July 22, 2012

Monday, July 09, 2012

News of the Weird 2.0
Two or Three Times a Week, Since May 21, 2012

Underreported News, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
July 9, 2012
(datelines from June 10 or later) (links correct as of July 9)
© 2012 by Chuck Shepherd.  All rights reserved.

Editor's Note

Miss me yet?  I'm fine, thank you, but I now have to read almost everything three times (versus two before that, provoked by my advancing age), and I must reserve my most brilliant spells for my weekly News of the Weird column, which still provides a bit of income.  So, I'm back to merely guiding you upon a cite-seeing tour, at least for a while longer.

★ ★ ★ ★!

Somewhere:  "Nick" and "Ethan" have formed Virtuous Pedophiles, "many" of whom pose no danger to kids, they say.  Just admire 'em at a distance, like art gallery patrons.  Sez Ethan:  "Almost any group in the world can hold a convention, look out on a sea of faces, and say, 'These are people like me.'  We can't."  Salon

Raleigh, N.C.:  The governor vetoed a pro-fracking bill, but pro-frackers worked to override it.  However, governor's allies, led by Rep. Becky Carney, had the veto beat, by one vote--except that when it came time to actually vote, Carney pushed the wrong button, and the veto won.  Carney:  "Oh my gosh."   ABC News (tip: The Atlantic)

Chicago:  Win-Win!  Chicago has a sky-high murder rate this summer.  So, do-gooders sponsored a $100 buy-back for every gun turned in (regardless of condition).  Winners:  People get $100 a gun.  Criminals know that fewer victims will be armed.  Pro-gun group organizes hand-ins of rusty guns to fund a youth camp to encourage gun ownership.   Chicago Sun-Times

Las Vegas:  Can't Possibly Be True!  Prof. Tom Kubistant of Western Nevada College ran his Human Sexuality course about like a spittle-encrusted, bottom-feeding pervert would have run it, with minimal academic overlay--at least if Karen Royce's lawsuit is to be believed.  (Karen, at age 60, balked at the "required" number of masturbations she had to journalize in order to pass.)  Courthouse News Service
New York City:  July Special at the Uni K Waxing salon--50% off!  (Umm, it's for girls 15 and under.)  "If she's going to [bunk] with all these girls [at camp], and she feels insecure because she hasn't taken care of the hair on her lip or her legs . . .."   Huffington Post

More Things to Worry About

Miami, Fla.:  Quartavious Davis, 20, is still shell-shocked.  No prior record, fired a gun only twice, 162 yrs in prison, no parole.  (Bonus: Not in Texas!)   Reuters via Huffington Post

Myrtle Beach, S.C.:  Motorcyclists claim that a county law against doing "burnouts" is an unconstitutional curtailment of their first-amendment right of macho.  (Seriously.)   The Sun News (Myrtle Beach, S.C.)

Jacksonville, Fla.:  The Aristocrat.  He buys enema 6-packs at a CVS, uses them, sticks the squirters back in the box, re-seals it, and takes it in for a refund.   The Smoking Gun

Abingdon, England:  Ever see the movie Snatch?  (Spoiler:  Two crooks in that movie, just like these guys last week, kept pushing the "pull" door to get away, until they finally just smashed the door open to flee.)   World's Greatest Newspaper

Boston:  Suspicions Confirmed (though it sounds a little low);  A Harvard Medical School study found that about 1 teenager in 12 has Intermittent Explosive Disorder.   Boston Globe

London:  Once in a while, a magical new research funding magnet comes along.  A June article in BMC Medical Genetics ID'd seven genetic markers that contribute to fixing a woman's breast size, and two of them also mark for breast cancer.  The money should be rolling in soon!  Fox News

Amman, Jordan:  Coming Soon to America!  Muhammed Shawabka, a Member of Parliament, was TV-debating the Syrian uprising with some guy when name-calling started, then a shoe went flying, then the MP pulled out a gun and started waving it around.  (Bonus: This is what's already here in America:  Glenn Beck's website treated the news of Andy Griffith's death straight-up.  The Comments section, though, reveals that a few of Glenn's fans, wish they could, among other things, spit, tinkle, and vomit on Griffith's grave--for no reason other than that he appeared in a pro-Obamacare ad.  And again, this is Andy Griffith they're talking about, not Obama/Biden/Pelosi. )   Los Angeles Times   /// (tip:

Thanks to Scott Huber and to the mighty NOTW Board of Editorial Advisors.

Monday, July 02, 2012

News of the Weird 2.0
Two or Three Times a Week, Since May 21, 2012

Underreported News, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
July 2, 2012
(datelines from June 1 or later) (links correct as of July 2)
© 2012 by Chuck Shepherd.  All rights reserved.

★ ★ ★ ★!

Somkul Village, Cambodia:  Finally, a slam-dunk victory for Christianity:  The Jurai indigenous people have given up on spirit-worship and turned to Jesus.  Reason:  The spirits demand too many cows, buffaloes, and trinkets.  Phnom Penh Post

"U-S-A!  U-S-A!  U-S-A!"

Washington, D.C.:  Miniature golf was a simple game . . until Americans With Disabilities Act bureaucrats got hold of it.  New rules govern the slopes of the "fairways," length of fibers for artificial turf, and more.

Washington, D.C.:  Forget tomato-pickers and lawn maintenance people for a minute.  America needs immigrant "geniuses" and those with special skills and has given them line-jumping visas.  That's why Playboy's Miss November 2010 got one.   Reuters

Alexandria, Va.:  Pity the head of the poor Flight Safety Foundation.  The U.S. hasn't had a large jetliner crash in 11 years, which, William Voss says, is terrible.  "If anyone wants to advance safety through regulation, it can't be done without further loss of life [to get the public frightened again]."   Bloomberg News

Mesa, Ariz.:  Sarah Robles is the strongest woman in America.  She could probably juggle two of your scrawny asses.  But Nike and Gatorade and those guys don't return her calls (sending her at times to food stamps) because she's un-svelte, looking like you imagine she looks.

Baton Rouge, La.:  Finally, U.S. job stimulus . . in Scotland.  Loch Ness attractions are expecting a surge now that Louisiana has adopted public funding of Christian fundamentalist schools, whose texts use Nessie as lock-down evidence that evolution is hooey.  The Herald (Glasgow)

New York City:  In monthly gatherings of the Innard Circle, food adventurers explore restaurants that serve body parts you wouldn't dare eat (except the uterus, which they admit they haven't gotten around to).  (Bonus:  The Circle is another pastime of Daniel Okrent, who basically invented fantasy sports.)   Wall Street Journal

New York City:  Bad enough that The 1 Percent have enough money to build mansionettes in their back yards for their dogs.  Worse than that:  Their dogs never go near them; they're just for show.  New York Times

Funny Old World*

Mumbai, India:  A new world record (maybe):  A 5-inch worm, wriggling around the eyeball.  New York Daily News

Sao Paulo, Brazil:  Anything to improve drinkers' aim is good, such as a portable fretboard to lay in a urinal so that, if your stream is strong enough, musical notes are played.  (Yr Editor, at age 67, plays only dirges.)  (Bonus:  In several Michigan counties, federally funded talking urinal cakes were distributed to bars in the run-up to July 4th, with chips telling wasted drinkers to call a taxi . . or an ambulance, considering that you're probably hammered and yet you believe you're being lectured to by a urinal cake.)    The Atlantic   ///   Associated Press via Detroit Free Press  

More Things to Worry About

Vaughn, N.Mex.:  500 residents, two police officers . . neither of whom can legally carry a gun.  KOB-TV (Albuquerque)

Port St. Lucie, Fla.:  A neighborhood confrontation ended with this sentiment (according to the police report):  Robert Gernot, 54, angry that the neighbor had called his mother "a dirty whore," said he'd deal with the man shortly, but unfortunately, right that moment, he had to go take a dump.  (Bonus:  Reporter's Super-Explanatory Journalism:  "Mothers typically do not like being called dirty whores.") (Stuart, Fla.)

Thanks to Sam Dillon, Mark Claxton, and Peter Smagorinsky and to the mighty NOTW Board of Editorial Advisors.  (* stolen from Private Eye)