Thursday, May 31, 2012

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

Underreported News, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
May 31, 2012
(datelines from May 27 or later) (links correct as of May 31)
Copyright 2012 by Chuck Shepherd.  All rights reserved.

★ ★ ★ ★!

Some North Carolina legislators, tired of all this "climate change" nonsense, seek to curb discussion once and for all.  The general science says that seas will rise enough to engulf the state's lucrative coast properties so they introduced legislation to prohibit that particular bit of science.  According to Replacement Bill 819, future flooding will be limited to 8 inches because that's what the historical tables show when only "linearly" extrapolated.  What about if weather gets worse and worse?  Do we have to use the same baselines as we did back to 1900, even if our eyes tell us they're not good baselines anymore?   Exactly, said the legislators; from now on, it'll illegal to do it your way . . in North Carolina.   Scientific American

Leading Economic Indicators

Times are tough.  Manuel Orvalle, 35, was charged with burglary in Mesa, Ariz., after allegedly taking a man's Playstation 3 and two bags of water from the man's swimming pool.  (Orvalle said there's no running water at home.)   ///   In Missoula, Mont., someone stole the '76 Ford Pinto from a man's back yard--a '76 Ford Pinto with four flat tires and that didn't run.  KPHO-TV (Phoenix)   ///   The Missoulian

No, Times Aren't Tough:  Allison Havir of Phoenix is offering $10,000 for return of her lost dog DiiDii, a 2-1/2 yr old German Shepherd mix.  She could go higher:  "No amount is too much for her."  KCTV (Kansas City)

Over on the Left Tail (of the Bell Curve)

A 61-yr-old man in Decatur, Ala., was hospitalized with a toothache, or rather hospitalized for shooting himself in the jaw with a .25-caliber pistol to alleviate the toothache.   Decatur Daily

Funny Old World*

(Well, not funny funny, but, y'know . . .):  UK coroner's inquests ruled that Dr. Martin Rowe, 47, had checked himself out early in Southampton (found fully clothed in a bathtub after taking a "massive" dose of Viagra)--and that James Lockless, 50, died accidentally in Carshalton as a result of a sexual "misadventure" involving a nylon sheet and three layers of cling film wrapped around his neck and ankles.  (Bonus: Lockless was alone the whole time.)   World's Greatest Newspaper   ///   World's Greatest Newspaper

"U-S-A!  U-S-A!  U-S-A!"

Gwinnett County, Ga.:  A jury awarded $3m to the estate of a man who had a fatal heart attack "in the saddle."  He was in a threesome with a woman not his wife, plus another man, and the money was because his cardiologist apparently didn't urge him strongly enough not to do exciting things since he had been scheduled for a stress test a few days later.  Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Pervo-American Community

Police in Harvard, Idaho, picked up a 36-yr-old man who allegedly exposed himself at a residence, leaning into a fence and "enticing" the family dog to come lick his genitals.  Moscow-Pullman Daily News

Inexplicable

Been to the mailbox lately?  Police in Canada say the suspected murderer they're looking for claims he has dispatched four more body parts from his victim (after sending a hand to the Liberal Party headquarters and a foot to the Conservative Party's).  Luke Rocco Magnotta (his latest alias) is being sought, but he once wrote a book on how to go completely off the grid.  The Globe and Mail

Pittsburgh, Pa.:  No, no one knows the story, but Yes, indeed, that was a pig wearing a scarf scurrying down a lane on the city's Parkway West on Wednesday.   WPXI-TV (Pittsburgh)

Thanks to Geoff Egan, John Beyrau, Sandy Pearlman, Michael Tubbs, and Tony Pappas, and the mighty NOTW Board of Editorial Advisors.  (* stolen from Private Eye)


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

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

Underreported News, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
May 30, 2012
(datelines from May 26 or later) (links correct as of May 30)
Copyright 2012 by Chuck Shepherd.  All rights reserved.

★ ★ ★ ★!

In a incident not weird at all but bound to vibrate Christopher Walken fans, Jim Schweickert drove from his home in Walnut, Calif., to Albany, N.Y., to give Frank Cook his gold watch back.  Schweickert and Cook had met briefly in the Vietnam War, and Cook had given Schweickert his watch for safekeeping.  Schweickert was so despondent after the war that he ignored his Vietnam belongings for a long time but has since done an amazing bit of detective work to find the near-stranger who had given him the watch.  (No evidence that the watch had ever been safekept as in "Pulp Fiction.")  Albany Times Union

Challenged People

Low-Tech:  Zachariah Garrett, 17, is the most recent street thief to snatch a cell phone, get chased by cops, but make a poor choice of hideout (inside a Dumpster) when he's busted for his unfamiliarity with the "ringer" setting on the phone.   ///   And don't even wonder whether this iPhone thief knows about Apple's iCloud, that sends the victim all of the photos the thief has been taking.  Athens Banner-Herald   ///  Time.com

"U-S-A!  U-S-A!  U-S-A!"

Idaho liquor regulators rejected selling Ogden's Own Distillery's "Five Wives Vodka" at state liquor stores because it might insult Mormons in Idaho (about 1/4 of the population), even though Ogden, of course, is in Utah.  The label has five women fixing their skirts. Associated Press via OregonLive.com

News of the Weird 1.0

Again:  Snake-handling pastor Mack Wolford, 44, of the Church of the Lord Jesus in Matoaka, W.Va., died Sunday of a rattlesnake bite.  The Washington Post Magazine had profiled him in November.  He's going to hell, according to Mark 16:17-18, where he'll run into his dad, who died of a bite in 1983.  Mack:  "Praise the Lord and pass the rattlesnakes, brother."  Washington Post   ///   Washington Post Magazine

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

Jersey City, N.J.:  Patrick Homer, 49, was arrested on weapons charges after a street fight with another man, but it may look like Muslim-profiling.  (Bonus: or profiling the disabled!)   The Jersey Journal

This one isn't fair because Roger Berget is already dead.  He was guilty.  You're supposed to wonder if the jury made a mistake.  (The news story is of his brother Rodney, who has been sentenced to death, in South Dakota, 12 years after Roger was executed in Oklahoma.)  USA Today

Editor's Notes

Yeah, I know there was an incident over the weekend in Miami, but I can't write about it.  I do "underreported" news.  The naked man high on drugs who was eating the face off another naked man (the "zombie apocalypse" is here!) has not been underreported.  But way up the state in Palm Coast, Angel Roman, 28, was arrested on suspicion of strangling one cat and biting the lips off another cat.   WKMG-TV (Orlando)

Thanks to Peter Smagorinsky and Sandy Pearlman, and the mighty NOTW Board of Editorial Advisors.  (* stolen from Private Eye)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

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

Underreported News, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
May 29, 2012
(datelines from May 24 or later) (links correct as of May 29)
Copyright 2012 by Chuck Shepherd.  All rights reserved.

★ ★ ★ ★!

It's all right that y'all probably don't read National Enquirer because that's my job.  It says here in the May 28th issue that ol' Jim Bakker still owes IRS $6m and is now pitching big-ticket apocalypse survival gear to his God-fearing followers, including the Silver Solution Total Body Cleanse Kit ($100), which has an enema element.  National Enquirer

Weird People

Naples, Fla.:  Steve Carr, aiming for a surprise pop-the-questioning, buried the engagement ring in the sand on a beach vacation with girlfriend Mary Naam, but then forgot where.  He hired a professional sand-digger.  (Bonus:  Steve is "Dr." Steve Carr, a real-life brain surgeon from Denver.)    WZVN-TV (Fort Myers)

Fremont, Neb.:  Mr. Mel and Ms. Joey Schwanke, married 65 yrs, attribute their "success" to the matching outfits they always wear in public (167 sets of his tie custom-matching her dress).  He also wears a badge with "Somebody Please Shoot Me" on it.   KETV-TV
                       
"U-S-A!  U-S-A!  U-S-A!"
                   
Kentucky has become the second state (after Illinois!) to have a state high school championship in, um, bass-fishing.  Yahoo Sports

According to the report by WDAY-TV in Fargo, Chad Lindley, 40, has become the first person ever arrested in North Dakota on the charge of pimping.  WDAY-TV

Florida's death toll from child neglect dropped precipitously from 2009 to 2010, a sure sign that child-welfare people are doing a better job state bureaucrats have changed the rules for counting "neglect" deaths.  Sure enough!  Now, when kids die in front of drunk caregivers, it's not "neglect" because "neglect" requires "willfulness."   Miami Herald

Transportation Security Administration reports that by 2006 (five years after 9-11), it was still confiscating 500 guns a year from airline travelers.  Five years after that, 2011, at least 1,200 travelers didn't get the memo.   New York Times

Judgment-Challenged

Gothenburg, Sweden:  A supposedly disabled-friendly organization, trying to make a point, began selling dolls labeled with a phrase that it says here is roughly the equivalent of "retard."  "So much better than a normal retard," this doll is.  Maybe the Swedes will get the point.  (Bonus:  Marion Barry did not get the point.  Caught denouncing Asian shopkeepers in his District of Calamity ward, he sorta-apologized, pointing out that the Irish caught hell when they came here, the Jews caught hell, "the Polacks caught hell.")  The Local (Stockholm)   ///   WTOP Radio (Washington, D.C.)

Funny Old World*

Vicar Nick Davis of Cheltenham, England, gets God's message across by breathing fire halfway through his sermons.  (It's a gift.)  The church is marking Pentecost, where the Holy Spirit descends on Jesus's disciples and "appearing as tongues of flame."   BBC News

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

Skiatook, Okla.:  Do you really think Leonard White is capable of burglary at his age?   Tulsa World

Editor's Notes

Note:  It says here this is illegal, and you are warned (no matter how nonsensical this is).  A man in Kent, Wash., learned that when noisy brat kids sit behind you in a movie, laugh at you, and throw popcorn, you cannot turn around and slap one in the mouth, knocking out a tooth.  It's illegal.  Go figure.  Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Thanks to Gary Goldberg, and the mighty NOTW Board of Editorial Advisors.  (* stolen from Private Eye)

Monday, May 28, 2012


Dear Weirdo Once More,

A week ago, I offered all y'all a chance to limit your exposure to me (since I was about to go from weekly posting of Chuck's Weekly Cite-Seeing Tour, formerly News of the Weird / Pro Edition, to a several-times-weekly posting).

It turns out that not that many people want off the list.  Thus, and out of laziness, I'm not going to create a separate list for limited-exposure people who would prefer weekly mailings.

Consequently, your new choice is either to stay on the list (and get several-times-weekly posts) or leave the list altogether.  If you want off altogether, please follow the link at the bottom of any post mailing, including this one. 

You're also getting this-here mailing if you've already asked off the daily, but not the weekly. Now that there won't be a weekly, your new choice is either to stay off altogether or to rejoin (and get the several-times-weekly posts).  If you still have a Google ID, you can rejoin the list at this link:
https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/proweird
(I hope that works; Mr. Google has recently remodeled his Groups page, and I'm so Googled up, myself, that I wonder if I have access to certain links that other people don't get.)

TO SUMMARIZE:  (1) If you didn't try to get off last week, but you still want off, follow the link at the bottom of any post.  (2) If you've already written me to get off, you're off.  (3) If you've already written me to get off, but you want to get back on, use that-there link, above.

Happy Trails,
Chuck Shepherd

Saturday, May 26, 2012

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

Underreported News, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
May 26, 2012
(datelines from May 21 or later) (links correct as of May 26)
Copyright 2012 by Chuck Shepherd.  All rights reserved.



★ ★ ★ ★!

Chilean-born artist Sebastian Errazuriz has created "Christian Popsicles" featuring actual priest-blessed (sneakily so) wine, i.e., "the blood of Christ."  After sucking down the 'sicle, you're left with a stick figure of Jesus on the cross.  Particularly harsh, but on the other hand, he set off the Catholic League's apoplectic Bill Donohue, which is always entertaining.   CNN   ///   Secular News Daily

Weird People

Chutzpah!:  Ms. Stormy Moody didn't even try hard to cover up the massive burglary of her next-door neighbor.  She emptied closet and dressers and then flaunted one of the outfits in front of the victim.  WBBJ-TV (Jackson, Tenn.)

Denver:  Late-blooming Steve Crecelius learned at age 57 that he was from the other team.  He went in the ER for a kidney stone problem, and they told him that, by the way, you have both boy and girl parts, and suddenly all those lifelong urges became an A-ha Moment.  He's now Stevie, and his wife and kids still love him.   WGHP-TV (Greensboro, N.C.)

Funny Old World*

U.S.-Style Perfectionism in India:  It says in this rant that a TV ad for Clean & Dry Intimate Wash (using animation) convinces Indian women that what they really need is a lightening of their vulva skin.   The Age (Melbourne, Australia)

Cologne, Germany:  The survey firm Rheingold found that sometime after the 2006 World Cup, Germans turned more dour than usual, with 55% now feeling they've lost their ability to feel good at all (including in sex, worried as they are about looking bad or performing poorly).  Plus, these days, y'know, they're totally responsible for all of Europe.  Spiegel Online

Redditch, England:  Andy Kelso retired as a Church of England vicar.  God told him one day (said Andy) to go forth and spread the word as Elvis Prayersley.  So he's a full-time impersonator doing gospel songs.  World's Greatest Newspaper

News of the Weird 1.0

Again:  Here's a patient so obese that she couldn't fit through the doors of her own home to be taken to the hospital.  Firefighters and carpenters had to take out walls, erect scaffolding, etc.  What's Different This Time:  The 784-lb. patient is still a teenager and once went through a U.S. fat farm to get down to 250, but let herself go again.  Wales Online

Again:  Awwww, MOM!  Chicago drug dealer Jesus "Pepe" Fuentes, 27, had tickets for a Scarface concert scheduled at the same time that a 10-kilo shipment of heroin was due in and so dispatched his trusted mother to pick it up for him.  She got it, and everything would've been fine if she hadn't gotten traffic-stopped for failing to signal a turn.   Chicago Tribune

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

Thursday, May 24, 2012

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

Underreported News, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
May 24, 2012
(datelines from May 21 or later) (links correct as of May 24)
Copyright 2012 by Chuck Shepherd.  All rights reserved.

★ ★ ★ ★!

Enforcement will will be a bear, but Beijing's new municipal clean-restroom regulation is at least precise:  Public toilets are permitted only one housefly per stall.  Say, three stalls, four flies, violation!  Beijing Evening News via China Daily

Weird People

Brit Gary Connery wanted to survive his jump out of a plane without a parachute (2,400 feet, landing on setup of cardboard boxes).  On the other hand, a suicider, in his 30s, was looking for a Fail going over Niagara's Horseshoe Falls (150 ft drop).  Connery was overjoyed; the suicider was probably pissed and/or further distraught as he waded ashore (the third person to make it without safety gear).  Daily Telegraph (London)   ///   Associated Press via Chronicle Herald (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Challenging Career Fields:  Justin Schmidt, a U. of Arizona entomologist, decided at some point to study bugs full-time and then that he could best serve science by letting insects bite him, on purpose, and then describing how much it hurt (Meh / Ow, Jeez! / Owwww, Hey! / Owwww, Motherfu--!).  Hence, the Schmidt Sting Pain Index.  World's Greatest Newspaper   ///   Schmidt Pain Index

"U-S-A!  U-S-A!  U-S-A!"

USA Today helpfully calculated the federal deficit based on real rules and not the make-believe, low-ball ones Congress uses.  For 2011, it meant we owed almost 4x what Congress said ($5 trillion instead of $1.3 trillion).  Congress of course doesn't think it "owes" the money because, presto!, it always has the power to change the law.  (Bonus:  Our Chinese creditors have bought into this reasoning.  LOL!)  USA Today

Cleveland:   John Davis, exiting Interstate 90, handed a couple of bucks to a wheelchaired beggar, who fumbled it, then picked it up.  A cop, following Davis's car, stopped him a block or two later and ticketed him for . . littering.  (Well, he coulda been ticketed for feeding a panhandler too close to the Interstate . . but he wasn't.)   WJW-TV (Cleveland)

Funny Old World*

The Mafia hardly appears more efficient than the rhesus monkeys of India.  They work in teams to intimidate, distract, and rob passersby of food, and so many people feed them voluntarily that the shakedowns are now almost impossible to stop--at least without causing grief to devout Hindus.  New York Times

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

Houston:  Edward Montgomery was charged with punching a police dog in the face (and perhaps will be charged with robbing an Advanced Auto Shop), but I envision a defense!   KPRC-TV (Houston)

Thanks to Mike Wolcott and Tim Allen, 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.])

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

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

Underreported News, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
May 23, 2012
(datelines from May 18 or later) (links correct as of May 23)
© 2012 by Chuck Shepherd.  All rights reserved.

★ ★ ★ ★!

London:  Great Art plays itself out on June 12th, when a Hayward Gallery show opens featuring 50 "invisible" works, by Warhol and others, i.e., some of the works are just, y'know, blanks with descriptions, and you're supposed to conjure up something.  One was actually drawn (they say), but with invisible ink.  Said a Gallery source, art is about "firing the imagination."   Daily Telegraph

Weird People

Michael McShane, 55, with nearly 300 flasher-related arrests on his sheet, thought he had a solution.  This last time he went carousing, he thought to wear two pairs of pants so that he'd still be unexposed if he dropped trou.  However, even though he was drunk, he got 'em both down over his buttocks before he passed out.  Carlisle News & Star (Carlisle, England)

"U-S-A!  U-S-A!  U-S-A!"

New York City:  An indoor parking space on East 11th Street in Manhattan (12x23x15 feet high), with its own deed, will go on the market soon for $1m.  New York Post

Fine Points of U.S. Law:  The U.S. Court of Appeals (San Francisco) ruled that Minute Maid can continue to call one of its beverages "Pomegranate Blueberry" even though it's 99.5 percent  apple and grape juice.  Mmmm!  The Law!  San Francisco Chronicle

Perspective:  What's it worth to two workers for an aviation company not to have a convenient restroom for an isolated runway job (i.e., gotta pee in a bucket)?  A Portland, Ore., jury decided on Monday:  $332,000.  And then here we are in Zinder, Niger, where a New York Times dispatch describes how valuable it is for villagers to have kids because they can always skip school and walk the hours necessary to fill up their water cans for the family's next-day survival.  The Oregonian   ///   New York Times

Funny Old World*

Johannesburg:  Artist Brett Murray and the Goodman Gallery showed their ballz by hanging Murray's painting of President Jacob Zuma with his junk hanging out.  (Update:  Goodman closed for a while as they think this through.)  BBC News   ///   3News.co.nz [Not Safe For Work]

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

Jerald Reiter, 55, arrested for DUI in Dubuque, Iowa, on Sunday night.  Telltale sign alerting cops:  His pals (a parrot and a zebra) were along for the ride.  WQAD-TV (Moline, Ill.)

Thanks to Gerald Sacks and Cindy Hildebrand, 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.])

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.])


Monday, May 21, 2012

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

Underreported News, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
May 21, 2012
(datelines from May 4 or later) (links correct as of May 21)
© 2012 by Chuck Shepherd.  All rights reserved.

Editor's Note (I):  This format change, of course, represents about News of the Weird 8.0 because I've promised so much this and so much that over the years.  I'm optimistic.  People evolve.  Business models evolve.  Writers free themselves.  (But eventually, "Freedom's just another word for . . ..")   Fair enough.

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

★ ★ ★ ★!

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To:  Donnell Battie filed a $1m lawsuit against Walmart because a kid commandeered the store's loudspeaker and made an "all black people must leave the store" prank broadcast.  Battie, presumably in the affected class, said listening to that announcement drove him to a doctor's care, for "severe and disabling emotional and psychological harm"  Associated Press via ABC News

Weird People

Meanwhile, over on the Left Tail (of the Bell Curve):  Keithan Manuel, 18, was arrested after allegedly trying to rob the dispatcher's desk at the Wilmer, Tex., police station.   ///    Calvin Hill, 54, was arrested after allegedly stabbing a 41-yr-old man in a fight over which one was getting more sex.   ///   A woman, threatened by a man while she was walking her dog in a Seattle park, started swinging her pooper scooper, and then he grabbed one, too, and they dueled until he ran away.  KRLD-TV (Dallas)   ///   The Smoking Gun   ///   KOMO-TV (Seattle) via KVAL-TV (Eugene, Ore.)

"U-S-A!  U-S-A!  U-S-A!"

A Tennessee law took effect extending "abstinence" sex education by also scorning "gateway" activity that might possibly lead to sex, like hugging and kissing.  MSNBC

A CNN investigation showed that Disabled Veterans National Foundation is like the ol' Roach Motel.  Money comes in (up to $2bn) but doesn't go out--except in oh-so-useful "donations" like hand sanitizers, aprons, and cough drops.  CNN

Take one part "Surplus of dental school grads with loans to repay"; add "Medicaid bump-ups as several states liberalize children's dental benefits"; add "Bain Capital-like private-equity firms trying to game the system practice capitalism by putting dentists on salary to set up in schools."  Voila!  You get Isaac Gagnon, 4, with two unnecessary baby root canals and steel crowns, plus 10 X-rays.  And many more.   Bloomberg News

Funny Old World*

A prestigious private boys' school in Bonn came under investigation for its longstanding practice of administering painkillers by suppository (but only in severe cases, the director said).   Der Spiegel via The Local (Berlin)

There is still some bullfighting going on in the world, but Aproz, Switzerland, is the only place where you can see cows fight.  (They take it seriously; they have anti-doping rules, for instance.)   Wall Street Journal

From a Chinese blog, photos of a high school cram-session classroom with everyone hooked up to IV drips of amino acids, to help with the National College Entrance Exam.  Without the drips, kids would lose too much time running to the infirmary for injections.  Boing Boing

Touchingly, they still remember Josef Stalin in the Ukraine--but with a monument in which his pants are down, and he's shooting a stream at the nation.   RIA Novasti (Moscow) [Link has an Agence France-Presse photo of the monument]
                           
Medical Marvel:  [It's been done before, famously, but I'm not No-Longer-Weirding it until I see it with my own eyes.  It just can't be true.]  Ms. Bat-El Panker "accidentally" swallowed (whole) her toothbrush, and it took a gastro-intestinal specialist at Carmel Hospital in Haifa, Israel, to remove it.  YNet News (Tel Aviv)

News of the Weird 1.0

Again:  This time, it was a 24-yr-old man in Stockholm, N.Y., who got a buddy to shoot him (in the leg) so he could find out what it felt like.  Associated Press via WSYR-TV (Syracuse)

Again:  Guys with illegal drugs sometimes hide them in their personal chute.  A Rockingham, Vt., traffic stop nailed Alex Boulet, whose rectum was soon inventoried of 84 rocks of crack cocaine plus 218 Oxycodone pills plus 11 grams of marijuana.   The Smoking Gun

Again:  A grown man (Lyle Moodie, 53) insisted that the 16-yr-old girl he sexually assaulted was actually the aggressor.  ("I pulled back and said [to her], 'No, stop.'")  Canoe.ca (Toronto)

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

If you're thinking of running a puppy mill, public opinion is already against you, and if you look like Cheri or George Burke, you might want to consider makeovers before you face the jurors.   MLive.com

Editor's Notes

Journalism 2.0:  Example of how Germany's Bild plans to survive the newspaper downturn:  a world map, color-coded by country according to the average size of women's breasts (though it likely overstates Germany).  Business Insider

Capo Di Tutto Tack-o:  When police raided this Italian mobster, they found "a temple to the Scarface school of grandiose design."  (Photos include the "headache-inducing" tiny-tile-mosaic bathroom.)  The Guardian (London)   ///   gallery

Thanks to Jay Scott, Esteban Bazan, and Perry Levin, 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.])


Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Note from Chuck

Dear Weirdo,

I fear that I'm about to mess with you, and I feel bad about it.  I feel so bad, I'm willing to get down and dirty to make things somewhat easier for you.

Effective Monday morning, May 21, I'll be blogging News of the Weird 2.0 on most weekdays instead of doing the little Chuck's Cite-Seeing Tour (formerly Pro Edition) that I've been doing once a week on Monday mornings. 

It might well be that hearing from me by e-mail once a week is enough for you and that you do not want e-mail from me on "most weekdays."

If that's the case, I feel guilty, and let me do it this way.  DO NOT REPLY to this e-mail.  Send me a separate e-mail to WeirdNews at earthlink dot net, using your address that you receive my e-mails on.  Just say, Weekly OK, Not Daily.  I'll delete you within a couple of days.

Again, please DO NOT REPLY to this message.  (It'll go to Google, and increase my workload.)  Send me a separate message to WeirdNews at earthlink dot net.

THIS NOTE APPLIES ONLY to the e-mails you usually get from me on Mondays, currently entitled Chuck's Weekly Cite-Seeing Tour.  THIS NOTE DOES NOT APPLY to the e-mails I send on Sunday with the regular, weekly News of the Weird column.  (The column continues as always.  If you wish to unsubscribe that column, please follow the instruction at the bottom of any regular, weekly News of the Weird column e-mail.)

Happy Trails,
Chuck

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Chuck's Weekly Cite-Seeing Tour will be out of service tomorrow.  I'm on the road and don't perform well on the road.  (It's been a while.  The last time I was on the road was so long ago, Saddam Hussein was still in power.)  So I'll see ya next Monday, May 21.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Chuck's Weekly Cite-Seeing Tour
The Crème de la Crème, Every Monday

Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
May 7, 2012
(datelines from April 27 or later) (links correct as of May 7)
© 2012 by Chuck Shepherd.  All rights reserved.

Newtown Township, Pa.:  A man "between 35 and 45" reportedly flashed a woman . . in the bookstore of the Bucks County Association for the Blind.  Unclear on the Concept.  Phillyburbs.com

Seattle:  Attorney Andrew Basiago renewed his claim that he time-traveled as part of a DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) project from the time he was 7 until age 12.  He said he and his colleagues would jump through a field of radiant energy into a vortal tunnel and "when the tunnel closed, we found ourselves at our destination."  (Bonus:  The project had issues, he admits, e.g., twice, while back in time, he ran into himself.)  Huffington Post

San Francisco:  Henry Wolf filed a lawsuit against BMW for its "ridged" motorcycle seat, which he said gave him priapism during a four-hour ride, and he still suffers from it.  SFGate.com

Port St. Lucie, Fla.:  High school staff member Robert Van Wagner was arrested after he allegedly tried to convince girls aged 12 and 13 to please put on these-here socks and run around that field for him.  TCPalm.com (Stuart, Fla.)

New York City:  It was "Weekend at Bernie's" but where a lawyer got to cross-examine the hoaxer, who pretended to be his own mom.  (Thomas Parkin gambled away his real estate inheritance and thought the only way to get it back was to pretend his now-dead mom never gave it to him and thus still owned it, but that required him to be both himself and the now-still-alive mom.)  (Q: "You speak with her, correct?  How does she respond?")  (A: "It's one-sided.")  Daily Beast

Wakefield, England:  From London's Daily Star, the fabulous Lede sentence:  "A double killer who had a sex swap and was moved to a women's jail is divorcing the lesbian murderess he wed behind bars."  Daily Star

Hamburg, Germany:  Police are about to pin 96 burglaries on a 33-yr-old man on the basis of his, um, earprint.  (He had a habit of pressing his ear to the front door to listen whether anyone was home.)   Spiegel Online (Hamburg)

Bucharest, Romania:  The U.S. has the Statue of Liberty, and now Romania will have the statue representing the birth of the nation, fusing the Roman empire with the ancient tribes of Dacia.  It's a naked guy holding a pit bull by appearing to cradle the dog's nuts.  (It's supposed to be something else, but . . ..)   BBC News

Stamford, Conn.:  A trove of Hitler documents is up for bid (ends tomorrow), including reports that he used cocaine extensively, injected extract of bull testicles for virility, and had a bad case of flatus [ed.: Insert politically incorrect gas joke here]  New York Daily News

Kathmandu:  Government-run Nepal Airlines's Boeing 757 lifted off, but only after a successful two-goat sacrifice to appease the Hindu sky god.  In other sacrifice news, a camel was killed in Kazakhstan to end a wave of suicides after village elders said, well, it worked once before.  And a dad was arrested for attempting to sacrifice his 8-yr-old son in another Third World coun--actually, in San Diego.  Metro (London)  ///  RIA Novasti (Moscow)  ///  KNSD-TV (San Diego) 

Nutley, N.J.:  And if you missed Saturday Night Live, here's the lady charged with endangering her sunburned 5-yr-old daughter by letting her into a tanning booth.  Turns out she's hardly an authority on UV-ray safety.  CBS News

Bonus "Good News" Story:  At a Tulsa, Okla., animal hospital, a black Labrador brought in with a gunshot wound befriended a blind Golden Retriever and has become his seeing-eye assistance dog.  [ed.: OK, That's enough.  Kindly resume being cynical.]  New York Daily News

Thanks to the mighty NOTW Board of Editorial Advisors.