If there's a special stunt you claim to be able to perform, at least be able to do it. Otherwise you'll end up on TV with people watching in horror as you desperately slam your head against a watermelon.
More Things to Worry About from News of the Weird Daily Friday, January 2, 2009
2 British EMTs were arrested, captured on audio debating whether to help the heart-attack victim or to report him as DOA (because the victim's phone was still open back to the 999  dispatcher). The Times
Washington state presses a bold, innovative gov't strategy: If an illegal alien commits a crime, deport him instead of buying him room and board in jail. Bold. Who could object to that? Oh. Associated Press via MSNBC
Washington, D.C., presses a bold, innovative, cost-cutting gov't strategy: If someone goes to the public library to sleep, kick 'em out. Who could object to that? Oh. (Said an advocate for the homeless, it'll "be hard on people.") Washington Post
Yes, the lawyer fell asleep during his client's robbery trial, but nothing to see here, says a federal appeals court (since even a caffeine-addled Type A personality lawyer couldn't have saved this guy). Tampa Tribune
Matthew Peverada tried to rob Dipietro's Market twice, but there was no money either time, so he said he'd be back at 11 p.m. and that there better be money (unclear about money at 11, but there were definitely cops at 11). Portland Press Herald
It's tough being the $150,000 clone of your owner's beloved dog Missy and having the owner sarcastically dogging you, "Hrmmph! Missy was housebroken." New York Times
Comments on Things to Worry About? Comments 'worry_090102'
Your Daily Loser
Roy Harris, 44, lost his hand in a fireworks accident, and it wasn't even New Year's Eve. It was 3 days before. He had just left his AA meeting, was in the parking lot, and somehow (not a part of the 12 steps) got convinced to hold 50 sparklers together in his hand. Associated Press via KWCH-TV (Wichita, Kan.) Comments 'roy_harris'
People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Michael Dick, 46 and dressed like the day he was born, allegedly broke into the home of an 88-yr-old woman and tried to dry-hump her several times before she grabbed his jewels and gave 'em a yank, sending him fleeing. KPTV (Portland, Ore.) Comments 'michael_dick'
Today's Newsrangers: Sue Clark, Tom Barker, Mark Neunder, Keith Yearman, Scott Langill
The creative folks at Marvel Comics pride themselves on the fact that their fictional universe closely mirrors the real one--with the addition of superheroes, natch.
For instance, Spider-Man operates in New York City, not some imaginary "Metropolis."
And when the President of the USA is depicted, it's not Lex Luthor, but the real office-holder of the moment.
But the recent issue number four of the miniseries Foolkiller reveals a startling incongruity between the Marvelverse and ours.
Either that, or scripter Gregg Hurwitz and editor Axel Alonso have never ridden in an actual airplane before.
You see in this page the fat victim of the trained assassin enter a lavatory on a commercial flight. We'll give Hurwitz and Alonso props for mentioning that it's a tight fit. Nonetheless, enormous victim and killer somehow squeeze in together, whereupon the lav suddenly enlarges like a Tardis.
And then the killer drowns his victim in the potty.
Airline toilets simply do not feature basins of standing water. They operate with the push of a button and a sparse rinse of famous blue chemicals.
This killing, then, requires a larger suspension of disbelief than the existence of the entire Avengers, and will surely jolt any half-awake reader completely out of the attempt at realism.
News of the Weird Daily Friday, January 2, 2009 (part one)
"Jumping Frenchmen of Maine Disorder"
The Wall Street Journal reviews odd medical syndromes, mostly familiar to News of the Weird readers (Capgras Delusion, Foreign Accent Syndrome, Alien Hand Syndrome). The rarer ones, also mentioned in NOTW, include Stendhal Syndrome (swooning upon exposure to great art in museums) and Jerusalem Syndrome (similar behavior, except that there are 7 agreed-upon symptoms). But the Jumping Frenchman thing, named for its first sighting among lumberjacks in Maine in 1878 is, well, weird. "Sufferers jump, twitch, flail their limbs and obey commands given suddenly, even if it means hurting themselves or a loved one. It's also been observed in factory workers in Siberia and Malaysia." Genes or environment? Uh, yes. Wall Street Journal Comments 'medical_disorders'
Can't possibly be true (but it's Georgia, so maybe that "right to an attorney" stuff is just optional)
Accused murderer Jamie Weis, 31, was arrested 8 months ago but as yet has no lawyer because of bureaucracy, negligence, and the stinginess of the state's funds for indigents. Since witnesses' memories fade, and evidence gets lost, he's already screwed, basically. Four outraged lawyers have filed a lawsuit against the state on Weis's behalf. New York Times Comments 'jamie_weis'
The land of opportunity!
What a country! A man can grow up on a farm, dirt-poor, get a job in a factory, and through hard work and perseverance rise up to become . . the wealthiest man in mightiest industrial engine in the world! What a country, indeed! Of course, I'm speaking of Mr. Liu Yongxing, the richest man in China. New York Times Comments 'richest_liu'
It's hard work getting Asians to smile
China, Japan, and Singapore notoriously set up gov't or industry programs to teach "smiling" calisthenics so that their people wouldn't be seen as dour by Westerners. Thais, on the other hand, smile easily, but gov't turmoil, and now the economy, have them in lock-step dourness. One remedy: During this first week of 2009, motorcycle cops in Bangkok will wear white smiley-face masks with eyeholes as they go about their patrols. This is supposed to make people more comfortable with police. However, as you can see by the photo, it more conjures up Scream, Jason, and the rogue cops in Magnum Force. International Herald Tribune Comments 'thaicops_smile'
Latest Lysistrata strategy
A women's movement was picking up steam around Naples, Italy, a few days ago: If their men won't refrain from setting off dangerous New Year's fireworks, no sex! BBC News Comments 'naples_nosex'
Good ideas gone way-bad
Police set up a random DUI checkpoint for New Year's at the only parking-lot exit from an all-night festival, to keep drunks off the road. But that meant that the line to get out was hours-long. The tally: 31 drunk, 956 sober. The Mercury (Hobart, Australia) Comments 'dui_checkpoint'
Your Daily Jury Duty ["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
Charles Armstrong, Sarasota, Fla., accused of making a bogus 911 call to divert the cops chasing him for a traffic violation. Sarasota Herald-Tribune Comments 'charles_armstrong'
A "nose bidet" (also known as a neti pot) is a device used for nasal irrigation. I'm not really sure how it works, but I think it involves pouring water into one nostril so that it comes out the other. Wikipedia reports that in some parts of India, this practice is as common as brushing one's teeth.
But even better is the yogic nasal cleansing practice of Sutra Neti:
One end of a cord, or rubber catheter, is passed from the nose into the back of the throat where it is grabbed by the fingers and pulled out of the mouth. Holding the nose end of the cord with one hand and the mouth end with the other, the cord is gently pulled to and fro.
I already floss my teeth once a day. I don't think I need to floss my nose.
From Popular Science, Oct 1931. A woman baking fish-flour cookies. Mmmmm.
Tests of fish flour, a new food high in mineral content, obtained as a by-product of the packaged fish industry, are now in progress at a public institution in Washington, D.C. Here eighty children have been selected for the first large-scale test of the food, under Government supervision, to determine its value. The experiment is expected to last a year. The subjects eat samples disguised as ginger cookies, containing as much as fifteen perfect of fish flour.
Fish Flour is basically a powder made from ground-up fish. From the 1930s to the 1960s the fish industry pushed hard to convince people that fish flour was a) palatable, and b) a possible solution to world hunger (because of its high protein content). But I guess it never caught on. There was a last high-visibility pr effort in 1968, when U.N. officials were given fish-flour cookies as a snack, but after that fish flour fell off the map.
It's the New Year. Time to get a new calendar. But John Walkenbach has a good idea. Don't buy a new one. Recycle an old one:
If you think about it, only 14 different calendars exist. January 1 can occur on any of seven days -- but some years are leap years and have an additional day...
you can use any of the following calendars for a 2009 calendar: 1903, 1914, 1925, 1931, 1942, 1953, 1959, 1970, 1981, 1987, or 1998.
By the way, if you start saving calendars in 2009, you will have a complete set of 14 different calendars in 2036.