October 24, 2008
is the term for people whose last names have apparently influenced their destiny. One of the most famous instances is Cardinal Sin of the Phillipines.
But the obituary pages this week bring perhaps the supreme example. Please go read about the death of William Headline
, news editor for CNN.
Here at WEIRD UNIVERSE, we're all aware of the danger to humanity that killer cows represent. Is it smart then, I ask, that these ravening beasts should be coddled with Cozy Cow Mattresses
? Just look at the smug, even seductive expression on that evil creature's face!
and the Morning Edition of Chuck's News of the Weird Daily for Friday
Facts of life, about sex, explained to abstinence group
The Atlanta-area Marriage Appreciation Training Uplifting Relationship Education program ("MATURE," get it?) is sponsoring a $10k wedding giveaway, and all you have to do is not have had premarital sex, but with the October 31 deadline for entries approaching, no one has signed up. (Bonus: The contest organizer hinted that she might even relax the rules, down to, Busted cherries are acceptable, as long as you acknowledge it was wrong.) (Seriously.) Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Another great newspaper lede (describing a campaigning trend)
"In his recent stump speech, Thomas Fleming took a stand against nuclear power, violence, weapons, and war. He told voters there was no greater honor than serving them and requested their support. 'I ask nothing in return except a better America,' he said. Then the 8-year-old candidate . . . waved his fists over his head . . ." (He was running earnestly for student council sergeant-at-arms at Altruria Elementary in Bartlett, Tenn.) Wall Street Journal
Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict must be based on mugshot only]
Travis Rhodes, 87, and Olivia Jordan, 55, ticket-takers at the North Carolina State Fair, are suspected of palming some of the tickets collected (Rhodes) and re-selling them, personally, at the window (Jordan). News & Observer
More Things to Worry About on Friday
Eduardo Arrocha, 45, better known as the severely-tattooed Eak The Geek
, who has lain on a bed of nails for 15 yrs with Coney Island Circus Sideshow, retired and is now, er, enrolled in law school in Michigan (from "one freakshow to another," he said). Bizarre magazine
Readers' Choice: A Japanese woman, angry that her avatar was abruptly divorced in an online game, hacked into her "husband"'s computer and killed his avatar
(and was arrested, in the flesh, though not for the murder but for the hacking). Associated Press via Star Tribune
Research (Lund University, Sweden) you can use (well, the half of all women who have a certain gene): Drink too much coffee, and your boobs shrink
. Daily Mail
Uncontrollable inspiration: Passing a church in Bridgeport, Conn., he spotted a set of drums
through the window and just had to break in and lose himself in a "spirited solo," which is how cops found him. Associated Press via Boston Globe
The value of SBD's
: The really toxic ones also relieve blood pressure, according to a Johns Hopkins neuroscientist. [Buried lede: They study farts at Johns Hopkins.] LiveScience via MSNBC
More British gov't work-safety guidelines: 16-yr-old employees are too young to use hot water or operate vacuum cleaners
(but still OK at 16: getting married, joining the military, consenting to sex). Daily Telegraph
UCLA scientists showed that unpeeling Scotch tape
produces not only light (you can see that, yourself) but X-rays (not enough to be dangerous around the office but enough to get physicists all aroused, wondering what would happen if they could maybe direct that energy toward some tape-embedded hydrogen ions . . .). Nature via New York Times
The chief assistant to the governor of New York did not screw up when he failed to file income tax returns from 2001 to 2005 but rather was suffering from "late-filing syndrome,"
which was just a matter of being under-medicated. New York Times
Comments on More Things to Worry About on Friday?
October 23, 2008
Courtesy of Jenny, another "Name that list" challenge. What is this a list of? The answer is in extended (and on the comments page):
Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber handle, R2D2’s plastic handle, a lead cargo tag unearthed from the Jamestown colony, a stuffed teddy bear, fabric and a wooden strut piece from the Wright Flyer, a dead WWII pilot’s medal, a sheet of music from the repertoire of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”), a golf ball, a small aluminum sculpture, signatures in the form of computer codes imprinted on compact discs, badges, wedding rings, jewelry, patches, flags, medallions, coins, currency, flags, stamps, charms, pennants, postal covers, unauthorized postal covers, and unauthorized timepieces (a wristwatch and a stop watch).
More in extended >>
and the Afternoon Edition of Chuck's News of the Weird Daily for Thursday
Rice University researchers hard at work on a genetically modified strain of yeast to make beer a cancer-fighter
, just like red wine. Computerworld
The outgoing Miss Teen Louisiana
and some pals skipped out of their $46 tab at Posados restaurant in Bossier City, and police know that because she accidentally left her purse there (with her ID) (and her marijuana). News Star
A local council in Britain says a guy in a two-person small business office has to buy a regular weekly environmental disposal contract
after an inspector saw them toss out cling film (they wrapped their lunch from home with) and used tea bags. Daily Telegraph
In Fort Pierce, Fla., police arrested Ms. Ermith Emonfils, 27, for shoplifting, and also brandishing her "well-used" sanitary napkin
Not just a "white supremacist," but an "Aryan sorcerer"
! And he's now in trouble for leaving his girlfriend's son with 13 bite marks, and for telephoning in "black magic spell" threats to high school teachers. The Star Press
Professor Music's Weird Link
Here is the go-to site for the obese who read with envy that people infected with tapeworm "suffer" rapid weight-loss and wonder, Hmmm, maybe I need to get me one of those tapeworm larvae. TapewormDiet.net
Today's Newsrangers: Mark Neunder, Sandy Pearlman, Taylor Mack, Grant Crawford, Lee Strickler, Candy Clouston, Perry Levin, Eli Christman
Comments on the Afternoon Edition of Chuck's News of the Weird Daily for Thursday?
Talk of bugs that eat their mates automatically reminded me of Don Dixon's one hit, the great "Praying Mantis." If you click here
, you should be able to hear the song for free. Warning for those at work or in a quiet zone of some sort: it will start playing automatically.
Continuing our series of weird auto-safety films, we now examine one told completely through the medium of toys. This looks like it was a lot of fun for the creators to make.
Alert and loyal WU-vie Figgy Floradell
found this item
in the Drs. Foster and Smith Catalog.
and the Morning Edition of Chuck's News of the Weird Daily for Thursday
Explained: What that spideress's eating her mate is all about
It used to awaken us boys from our 9th-grade biology class slumber: In a few species, females, right after sex, devour the males. Spanish researchers studying Mediterranean tarantulas now conclude that it's mostly a nutrition thing, that some females even eat males before mating, but only because they're already carrying sperm from a previous hookup. It's not so much that the man-eaters are genetically more aggressive; it's that they're genetically more nurturing. Whatever. Men still fail to see the intelligent design in this. Reuters via Yahoo
People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Apparently a big part of F Stater Michael McDonnell's sex life is glimpsing the woman in the highway booth as he stops to pay the toll but with his pants down to his knees (twice recently). WFTV
Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict must be based on mugshot only]
Mark Farwell, a North Carolina firefighter, could be a guy needy enough to fall for a 10-month-long chat room sex sting about meeting a "mother" and her "7-yr-old daughter" for a threesome. Orlando Sentinel
More Things to Worry About on Thursday
Dr. Parker Griffith, running for Congress in Huntsville, Ala., was revealed to have had a stretch in the 1980s of "here's how to suck as an oncologist
." (Bonus: He was eased out quietly; consequently, he still has his [dormant] license!) Huntsville Times
Barrier down: Geisha
officials in Kyoto accept their first transsexual woman into the crew (and it's a retired official from Britain's defense ministry). Daily Mail
ABC News's medical unit has uncovered another one of those WTF? conditions: It's a serious, lifelong communication disorder, masked by the fact that sufferers laugh all the time ("happy puppet syndrome"
). ABC News
He paid $100k for a piece of land, sight unseen
, closing the deal during a visit to the Synn City Strip Club, and of course it was bogus, but, in a fit of misplaced priorities, the state is prosecuting the seller for fraud (instead of locking up the buyer to protect him from further harming himself). South Florida Sun-Sentinel
A 62-yr-old Cleveland, Ohio, man died, and neighbors say the main reason might be that they would see him tossing mercury around
like it was a ball. Plain Dealer
The school board in Jacksonville, Fla., will vote next Monday on un-naming a high school that honored a Confederate general and KKK leader
(but, said a current supporter, he was "nice" to his slaves; "they loved him"). Florida Times-Union
Katrina Clemente, 26, was charged with beating up a man because he declined her offer to kiss
(Stuart, Fla.) [with mug shot, indicating the beating was probably worth it]
Comments on More Things to Worry About on Thursday?
October 22, 2008
From the 1930s to the 1970s Lar "America First" Daly ran for just about every elective office, including Senator, President, Governor, and Mayor. He never won. This may have had something to do with his campaign slogan: "America First -- or Death."
He campaigned wearing an Uncle Sam suit. He would promote his candidacy by driving around Chicago in a sound truck. (Is this where the Blues Brothers got the idea?) When not campaigning, he earned a living by operating a chair and stool company out of the garage behind his house.
Some of the issues he supported:
• Any witness who invokes the 5th amendment to the constitution should be sent to prison.
• Known dope peddlers should be shot on sight (after first receiving a seven day warning to get out of town).
He described himself as "known throughout America as Sen. Douglas MacArthur's greatest supporter." He filed MacArthur's name for President in every election from 1936 onwards.
In the 1950s he boasted that he was the only candidate "100 per cent behind" Sen. McCarthy's investigations into domestic Communist activities.
He told President Truman that he wanted to accompany the crew of the first American plane to fly over Moscow so that he could release the atomic bomb over the Kremlin.
But his real claim to fame came from his constant demands to be given equal time whenever a mainstream candidate appeared on air, citing Section 315 of the Communications Act, the so-called "equal time" provision. Because of him, Congress amended the law so that broadcasters didn't always have to give equal time.
Once he was effectively barred from free air time, he began buying ads in newspapers. An example of one is reproduced below. He died in 1978.
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