News of the Weird/Pro Edition
February 22, 2010 Exceptionally Inexplicable Dispatches from Last Week
(datelines February 13-February 20) (links correct as of February 22)
Every Child Left Behind, plus Free-Range Urination, the Other White Meat, and Professor Courtney Love
“For Only $8 a Month . . .” (We’ll Feed This Kid $1.84 Worth of Food”)
CBS News busted the “Feed The Children” charity (and its “for only $8 a month” TV ads) that has been bleeding the bleeding hearts for years but whose chutzpah on the Haiti crisis has been particularly strong, bringing in $1 million to feed “12,000" kids. If FTC performs as usual, it will keep $770,000 of that $1 million for “administrative expenses.” “12,000" kids? CBS found that FTC’s Haiti operation consisted of three doctors working on several dozen kids but no one at all being fed. (Bonus: CEO Larry Jones and his adult daughter both live the high life and are involved in a premium family feud.) CBS News
The Sacred Institution of Marriage
Susan Zirkin, 73, got divorced in 1962, but because of Orthodox Jewish law, she could not remarry or have children. Her ex-husband wouldn’t let her, and under the laws, it’s his call until the day he dies (which just happened last week, so she’s finally free). The problem is not only with the divorcee’s own sense of spiritual commitment but that of the community as well, in that she and any subsequent children she had would be shunned as long as Mr. Israel Elias refused to grant her the get, and few rabbis even try to buck tradition. The Independent (London)
Life Is Too Long
Apparently, some people actually gourmet-cook for their dogs. The St. Petersburg Times exposed this practice, likely having been pitched by a local magazine, New Barker, and a local restaurant, La Maison Gourmet, whose principals believe that a “growing number” of dog owners spend their time this way. For example, there’s a 12-step-or-so recipe for “veggie cookies for dogs,” which posits that dogs will appreciate it if you make them a certain treat with whole-wheat flour, dried basil, dried cilantro, dried oregano, chopped carrot, green beans, tomato paste, canola oil, and garlic. [How ever did dogs evolve so successfully until now without basil in their whole-wheat flour?]St. Petersburg Times
And What Was Blake Robbins Doing, Anyway?
Lower Merion School District near Philadelphia now admits it screwed up in its well-intentioned program to provide all students with free notebook computers. Administrators activated webcam software in the machines, supposedly, they say, in case the computer were lost or stolen, in which case, the cam could help locate it, and if stolen, ID the perp. But then Blake and his parents filed a lawsuit because one administrator at his high school disclosed in passing that Blake had been spotted “in his home” engaged in “improper behavior.” Normally, there’s not much that can be seen from the webcam if the operator is sitting right in front of it . . . unless . . .. Philadelphia Daily News [Feb. 18] /// Philadelphia Inquirer [Feb. 20]
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
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