News of the Weird Daily Thursday, February 5, 2009
Things to Worry About
The basketball coach at St. John (Kan.) High School, with a championship heritage to protect but only a 7-6 record this season, sent all but one player through two 45-minute hypnosis sessions . . until the school board found out (and went nuts). Wichita Eagle via Kansas City Star
Jose Rivera, on trial for murder, said he never saw "The Fugitive," said it really was a "one-armed man," not he, who killed that woman (except that when the prosecutor informed him that the woman's neck had two-handed choke marks, he said, Oh, wait, I forgot, yeah, there was another guy with him). San Antonio Express-News
Loo Choon Yong, a member of the Singapore Parliament, pretty much summed up his country's low birth rate: "We should accept that as a people, our procreation talent is not our forte." (Bonus: and since apparently nobody's having sex on Saturdays, Loo is sponsoring a move to a six-day work week) Agence France-Presse via Yahoo
Fine Point of New Zealand law: Telling the boss to "stick this job up your arse" and walking away is not officially a "resignation" (and a gov't agency said the boss should have followed up for clarification). The Press (Christchurch)
Awesome: Fifteen illegals from the Netherlands were smuggled into Britain in a 37-ton tanker filled to half-capacity with chocolate powder destined for a Mars Candy factory. Daily Telegraph
Austrian anti-discrimination law is being tested by a Salzburg insurance company, which advertised recent job openings by limiting them to Capricorn, Taurus, Aquarius, Aries, and Leo (who are supposed to be way-high-performing). [Ed.: A good editor'd be checking the signs of Madoff, Fuld, Thain, et al, but I'm busy today. Sorry]Daily Mail (London)
Alcohol Was Involved: A 22-yr-old soccer fanatic, returning by bus from a big Manchester United match, apparently mistook the bus's exit door for the restroom door and fell onto the highway, where he was run over. United Press International
Comments on Things to Worry About? Comments 'worry_090205'
Your Daily Loser
A 68-yr-old South Korean woman, Ms. Cha, was just reported to have failed the written portion of her driver's test for the 771st time. Agence France-Presse via Yahoo Comments 'driver_test'
People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
George Bartusek Jr., 51, Cape Coral, Fla., was arrested in the parking lot of a Publix grocery store doing what a police report termed "distateful" things to a blow-up doll. Fort Myers News-Press[yep, mug shot!] Comments 'george_bartusek'
Your Daily Jury Duty ["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
And of course that's true in Iraq, too! For a change of pace, let's judge the guilt or innocence of a woman arrested in Diyala province. Ms. Samira Jassam, 51, was charged in January with recruiting maybe 80 women to be suicide bombers. (Background: Allegedly, her m.o. was to have them raped, thus making it easier to persuade them toward martyrdom since Muslim rape victims have dismal lives, anyway.) Agence France-Presse via Herald Sun (Melbourne) Comments 'samira_jassam'
Today's Newsrangers: Terry Summers, James Wicht, Stephen Taylor, Mark Neunder, Scott Langill, Robert Waters
Alex raised the topic of navels earlier, little knowing I had something of a similar nature in store!
This is of course a famous and admittedly effective commercial. But we'll include it in our series of oddities for one trivial reason: no navels shown! In a commercial focusing on several bare stomachs!
It was all part of television broadcast standards back then, just as with the famous I Dream of Jennie prohibition against showing Barbara Eden's navel.
I've posted previously about mechaphilia, which is the term for people who like to have sex with cars. But apparently mechaphilia is just a subset of the larger phenomenon of Objectum Sexuality (OS), which describes people who fall in love with inanimate objects.
The Jezebel blog has an interesting post (and video) on this subject. A sample:
Amy Wolf is in love with a fairground ride called 1001 Nacht, for which she writes poetry. Based on appearances, she seems like an out-and-proud lesbian, but has no interest in humans. She also loves a church banister, a banister in her home, and the Empire State building. Having connected through an OS people forum on the internet, Erika goes to visit Amy. (Both women are said to have Asperger's and share a history of abuse.) They go to the fairground to see 1001 Nacht. In the clip above, Amy is left alone to have an intimate moment with the ride, while Erika goes for a walk. She happens upon a picket fence and feels an immediate attraction.
You have never experienced the wonders of the cinema until you have seen Vampire Quetzalcoatl in THE FLYING SERPENT. Thanks goodness our radio-star mystery writer is on hand to solve the crime--after allowing several pals to die needlessly in what can only be a bid to boost his show's ratings.
News of the Weird Daily Wednesday, February 4, 2009 [part one]
Root cause: "principles"
Why would a guy go nuts on a state trooper he was tailgating on Interstate 4 in the F State? Without benefit of alcohol, Kevin Allen boisterously challenged the traffic stop (video available), including calling 911 while physically resisting, enough that two troopers called for backup (12 cars arrived!). Said one, "[Allen] told the troopers afterwards, it was a matter of principle, that he felt he did nothing wrong" and therefore had to rough up those first two officers "to prove a point." WFTV (Orlando) Comments 'kevin_allen'
Root cause: need for cool
Markham, Ill., is one of the still-few jurisdictions that take seriously enough judges' orders of driver's license suspensions that they actually watch defendants when they leave the courthouse, to see if they try to drive home. David B. Johnson, 31, is a local legend for dressing pimp-like, in purple, with an immaculate, tricked-up, purple 1988 Caddy (with back cover reading "Mister Oldskool") and had just been sentenced to 10 days in jail (starting Friday) for driving on his 13th suspension. The judge noted (when Johnson was hauled right back into court) that it was "22 minutes" between the first court hearing and Mister Oldskool's resumption of giving the people of Markham the privilege of seeing him behind the wheel. Chicago Sun-Times Comments 'mister_oldskool'
Root cause: inexplicable social manias
The latest Japanese craze is to determine everything one needs to know about people by which of the four blood types they are (A, B, AB, O), and professional exploiters are raking in money feeding the craze. The data suggest that, as usual, the practitioners of crazes are of two minds: In situations requiring intellectual sobriety, they say, of course, it's all light fun. But then, in the next breath, it's inescapable that they form important impressions of people based on their new-found, clear-cut knowledge of human nature. Associated Press via Seattle Times Comments 'japan_bloodtype'
Root cause: being Zimbabwe
"Our national currency is a fundamental economic pillar of our sovereignty," said the country's chief finance officer. Hence, the country is now acknowledging its inflation rate of roughly a billion percent, which is roughly a billion minus 3 higher than the U.S.'s, and remedial action now includes taking Z's currency in the denomination of "one trillion dollars" and re-naming it "one dollar." Presto! (On the open market, $1 U.S. is going for Z$300 [which used to be Z$300 trillion] [but that was yesterday, so it's probably more than Z$300 now].) You know about people who do the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. CNN Comments 'zimbabwe_zeros1'
Recurring theme: God's will
A house burned down (probably a faulty heater) in Port Charlotte, Fla., Sunday while a devout family was at church. When he returned, he had things partly figured out, anyway: "God works in mysterious ways. We don't know why things happen, but they happen for a reason." WWSB-TV (Sarasota) Comments 'gods_will'
Fine Points of the Law: Former car owners find out they still own them
Only some of the 50 states protect ya if ya trade in to a dealer a car that ya still owe money on. The dealer "agrees" to pay off your loan and then resells the car. In the states without protective laws (California!), if the dealer hasn't yet paid it off and then files for bankruptcy, the owner of the car is still you, and the lienholder expects you to continue your payments you thought the dealer had bought your way out of (along with your payments on the new car that the trade-in was part of). Sur-prise! Associated Press via KOVR-TV (Sacramento) Comments 'car_liens'
The secret desire of all referees and umpires
Your Editor, a former high school basketball referee, can speak for all my colleagues at all levels about how sweet the game would be if we, like Indiana high school referee Glen Fifield, simply had the power to make arrests of people abusing the officials. Of course Fifield's day job is state trooper so when the 64-yr-old man came down from the stands to berate him and then tried to choke him with his whistle neckstrap, Fifield 'cuffed him. Yes! Associated Press via Yahoo Comments 'referees_desire'
Your Daily Jury Duty ["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
Bradford Sheldon, 44, Gainesville, Fla., must be innocent because why would anyone want to challenge a traffic stop so violently (attempted murder of the cop) just because he had a headlight out? Ocala Star-Banner Comments 'bradford_sheldon'
If you decide to shop for books at LifeWay Christian Stores, you may notice that some of the books are marked Read with Discernment. This label is to warn you that these books "may have espoused thoughts, ideas, or concepts that could be considered inconsistent with historical evangelical theology."
Presumably, if a book hasn't been so tagged, everything in it can be accepted blindly without discernment.