A.J. and Lisa Demaree of Peoria, Arizona have been through hell. It all started with taking a memory stick to the local Walmart for photo prints. Some of the pictures of the Demaree's three children, all girls under the age of five, were taken at bath time. Most of us have a picture or two of our children in the tub. Apparently a Walmart employee was so troubled by these pictures that they called the police. The Demarees house was searched and their children taken by Child Protective Services. After screening the family videos, in some of which the girls are playing nude, the couple was charged with child pornography and put on a sex offender list. Now after Lisa has been suspended from her job at a school for a year and she and her husband have spent $75,000 in legal fees the state has cleared them of all charges. All this for childhood photos most of us have both appeared in as children and taken of our own kids as adults. What happened to innocent till proven guilty. The pendulum has definitely swung too far. Story and sample picture here: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfmoms/detail?entry_id=48024
News of the Weird / Pro Edition
September 21, 2009
(juicy and/or disturbing news from September 12-19)
Has Anyone Composed The Ballad of Janet Jackson's Nipple Yet?
It has grown into a watershed moment for American culture: monumentally inexplicable and embarrassing yet almost perfectly representative of our roiled values: How in the world can we tolerate a several-billion-dollar annual hard-core porn industry yet flinch mightily at a micro-second's worth of aureola on a dark-skinned woman? We're now in Year Six of this saga (Year Seven of NYPD Blue's bare-buttness that was at least recognizable as a butt, and a quite attractive butt). (No, not Sipowitz's butt; that was different.) From the FCC to the U.S. Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court back to the Court of Appeals and now back to the FCC and surely back to the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court again. Broadcasting & Cable
A Brand-New Paraphilia?
There's a guy who says his name is Dale, who hangs around Bonney Lake (Wash.) High School and seems taken with the athletes. For instance, he offered to help one with a term paper, but when the guy politely walked away, "['Dale'] jumped on the student's back and asked for a piggy back ride," according to police. Cops said they'd heard stories before about this "Dale." News Tribune (Tacoma)
Romell Broom Signs On as a Nurse's Assistant in Ohio
He couldn't have been more helpful to the medics, and what did he get for it? Why, they're gonna kill him this week. He was scheduled for a lethal injection last Tuesday, but no one could find a vein. Romell helped them in every way he could . . for two solid hours . . flexing his arm, changing positions, enduring so much pain that he needed a roll of toilet paper to wipe the tears. Finally, the governor stayed the execution . . for a week. Well, OK, he did rape and murder a teenager 25 yrs ago, but still ---. (Update: A federal court has extended him 10 more days.) Associated Press via Dayton Daily News
Real Lawsuit Over Make-Believe Sex Toys
SexGen, the makers of sex-accessory make-believe "products" (i.e., graphic symbols of products) used in the online game SecondLife, is suing Linden Lab (SL creator) for not somehow prohibiting other companies from making knock-off make-believe products, which include your usual array of sex toys, plus things like a make-believe "cuddle rug" and a make-believe coffin that's apparently good for having sex in . . if you're make-believe. Threat Level blog (Wired.com)
Tax Law Is Pretty Complicated, But Still . . .
New York lawyer William Halby was turned down by the U.S. Tax Court in his quest to deduct $100,000, as "medical expenses" in 2004 and 2005, for prostitutes and pornography. (Who knew? Halby had only been practicing tax law for 40 yrs. Besides, he was defiant: "It's a holistic approach to medicine," he told Forbes magazine.) Now, Prof. Robin Magee hasn't been at it for 40, but she does teach at Minnesota's Hamline Univ. law school, had a tax law practice, and did her own taxes — well, not really. According to prosecutors, she didn't file at all for several yrs and missed a lot of obvious stuff in the yrs she did file. So far, she has offered up only "severe attention deficit disorder" as an excuse. Forbes /// ABA Journal (9-10-2009)
Update on "Diaper Man"
Two weeks ago (NOTW M126, 9-6-2009), I reported the guy who appeared set for a free pass from police despite having tricked a woman into giving him near-total-care for three weeks on the false claim that he was disabled. Florida Today (Melbourne) had the police saying that, since the woman knew diaper-changing was part of the service, and since she agreed on the price, there was no crime. It turns out that either the police or Florida Today erred—that, in fact, the man had skipped out on the bill. Hence, Sean Kelly, 39, has been arrested and charged with "organized fraud." And there might be another victim, too. Florida Today
A lot of people would remember back on their eighth birthday (or younger) that they wanted a remote control car and when they got it, they realized after five minutes this isn't as good as the commercial made it look. Now you can buy a remote control Ramen Noodle Cart which in real life doesn't move unless it's being towed. It's only for sale in Japan so here's the link for the people that live there.
A Sandusky, Ohio couple had a really bad day Monday. Gregory and Judith Moses were hit by a car while crossing the street. His knee was injured and she was bruised. That alone would be bad enough, but while they were being treated at the hospital their son arrived home to find his parents' car gone as well. Two teens were later arrested driving the car in Cleveland and charged with receiving stolen property. Now that's a lousy day! http://www.philly.com/philly/news/weird_news/20090918_ap_ohiocouplegetscarstolenafterautoaccident.html
A freak coincidence, that's what a spokesperson for the Bulgarian national lottery is calling it. It being the drawing of the same 6 numbers, in different order, on September 6th and again on the 10th. The Sports Minister, Svilen Neikov called for an investigation. The chairman of the lottery commission, Konstantin Simeonov, states that the resulting investigation found no wrong doing. The Bulgarian lottery has been drawn for 52 years this being the first time for repeat numbers. The numbers are picked by machine on live television. A mathematician was quoted as saying that the chance of the same 6 numbers being picked on consecutive drawings is more than 1 in 4 million, but not impossible. No one won the first time, but 18 people had the winning numbers on the second drawing. Each received the equivalent of $7,700. At least 18 people expected the same numbers to come up, and lucky them, they were right. http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090918/od_nm/us_lottery
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.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.