Back in 1948, Norman Robert Kolreg of Lewiston, Maine, became famous when he was able to walk upright (with some help from his mother) at the tender age of 5 days. Soon Mrs. Kolreg began exhibiting him to any curiosity seeker who showed up at her door. She even took out an ad in the paper, listing his scheduled performances. She didn't charge an admission fee, but she did accept donations. Which led to criminal charges being brought against her, alleging that being exhibited was injurious to the child's "life, limb and health." The charges were dropped, but only after she agreed to stop making him perform. [The Day - Apr 2, 1948]
Reportedly, little Norman kept on walking — soon without any help from Mom. I have no idea what become of him later in life.
Backstage (in the Weird News Community) [Chuck Talks Shop]
May 7, 2013
The Classic Middle Name: No, "Dwayne" doesn’t count, and manslaughter doesn’t count, nor attempted murder, and it doesn’t even count when your own daddy (Russell Staley, talking about his son Daniel W. Staley) tells police, “Danny is going to kill someone. It’s just a matter of time.” WFAA-TV (Dallas-Fort Worth)
Baghdad's "Bomb Detectors": NOTW made a big deal back in 2009 (.M137) that a British scam artist had convinced Iraqi military officials to buy 1,600 each of what were basically dowsing rods that detected bombs moving through Baghdad and that despite repeated U.S. warnings, the lead Iraqi general would not give it up, spending $100 million of our money on them, even though when they inevitably failed to reveal bombs entering neighborhood checkpoints, Iraqis got blown up. The Brit, James McCormick, was finally convicted last week, but The Guardian rounded up some scientists who explained that the Iraqi general was only human, that the “ideomotor effect” is kinda hard to resist if the scene is set right. Whether it's dead spirits moving the table at a seance or a wand moving over potential bombs, a bystander-victim's experience can be wholly involuntary. The Guardian
One Weird News Evergreen Goes Full-Circle: A long line of entry-level news editors has been newly fascinated upon learning that an Indonesian company once thought to run coffee beans through a digestive tract, wash them off, and sell them upscale as an exquisite-tasting gourmet java treat (Kopi Luwak). And not just any digestive tract. It must be the digestive tract of the Asian Palm civet (cat). Yr Editor came a little late to the game, in 1993, but has mostly resisted the fresh-faced editors who seemed to discover it at least once a year and splash it all over the Internet. Originally, farmers would scour the forests checking piles of civet caca. Now, Kopi Luwak is so lucrative that several civet species are threatened by farmers’ caging and feeding them to assure that no bowel movement is ever beanless. Wikipedia /// Mongabay.com (San Francisco)
Errorors: In News of the Weird .M316 (4-28-2013), Yr Editor described a British flapjack as a “pancake,” but it’s more a sorta-biscuit shaped thingy. I’m told that you get the wrong impression of the story if you imagine “pancake.” (At the link, scroll way down to see the original.)
Skipper was a doll made by Mattel. "Growing Up Skipper" was one version of this doll, with a twist. From wikipedia:
In 1975 Growing Up Skipper was released. The gimmick of the doll, which led to much controversy in the newspapers, was that if Skipper's arm was rotated, the doll would become an inch taller and small breasts would appear on her rubber torso.
If you want to buy one, Growing Up Skipper dolls are available on eBay. Prices range from $8 to $135.
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★ ★ ★ ★!
Y'all already know this, but I'm not sure it has sunk in to America yet, so let me go over it once more. Last Monday, the New York Times reported (since wholly verified) that while Uncle Sam’s left hand (Pentagon) was sending U.S. freedom fighters to risk their lives for Afghanis, its right hand (the CIA) was empowering President Karzai with at least $36 million in greenbacks so he could keep allied troops from winning by paying off his warlords to stay corrupt--so corrupt that Gen. Petraeus had already famously labeled them as tied with the Taliban for being our biggest roadblocks to victory. Translation: We ask troops to die at the same time we stack the deck against them. Worse: Nobody seems much to care. Slate.com
No wonder the insufferable Tsarnaevs hated America: According to the Boston Herald, the family members (Dad, Mom, the bros) received only about $100k in welfare benefits from this wretched country since 2002. Boston Herald
Face It--The Terrorists Have Won: Kiera Wilmot, 16, has been expelled from school and indicted on felony terrorism charges in Bartow, Fla. In a fit of curiosity for a science fair project, she by herself mixed toilet bowl cleaner and aluminum foil in a plastic jug, and the resulting explosion and smoke was declared by her principal to be a "bomb," which students are allowed to set off only under supervision of a teacher. The principal said he’s sympathetic, knows exactly what's going on here, that she's a good kid, totally honest, moved by scientific inquiry, etc., but that his hands are tied. WTSP-TV (St. Petersburg)
Can’t Possibly Be True: In 4 of the country’s largest cities (NYC, Miami, LA, Denver), almost 1 home out of 100 keeps pet chickens. They make messes, especially when brought inside to cuddle. Consequently, the Entrepreneurial Spirit yields MyPetChicken.com and competitors, who sell little-bitty diapers and little-bitty saddles (for roosters) (because roosters apparently like rough sex, leaving hens featherless when cocks ride bareback). NPR