Two New Zealanders came up with a unique way to trim the hedges. On Sunday when someone who was to trim one of the men's hedges did not show up the guys came up with a plan to get the job done. Simple really, they just needed a crane and a riding mower. Using the crane to lift the mower allowed them to trim away. People passing by were bemused and the wife of one of the men, upon coming home to the spectacle, just laughed.
News of the Weird/Pro Edition (Extra)
November 16, 2009
Still More Things to Worry About
Latest Religious Message: Lufkin, Tex., school teacher Pam McLaurin says the government can give her a reaming-out background check if they want, but no way will she submit her fingerprints, which the Book of Revelation says would be a bad thing. KLTV (Tyler)
Update: The Italian heavy-metal Franciscan monk, Cesare Bonizzi [celebrated in News of the Weird M070, 8-10-2008], is retiring as front man for Fratello Metallo, acknowledging that Satan made him too much of a celebrity. Reuters via Canada.com /// YouTube performance video
A turtle turned up at a Hindu temple in India's Orissa state, supposedly with markings of Lord Jagannath, meaning it's now humbly worshiped by villagers — except it might just be that whoever found the turtle made up the part about the markings so he wouldn't have to give up the rare, endangered animal. BBC News
A 12-year-old girl in Chesapeake, Va., sneezes 12,000 times a day, and neurologists are mostly stumped (with the only available remedy, apparently, being the standard, "Appear on morning network news show"). WAVY-TV (Hampton Roads, Va.)
"A man whose bowel was damaged in a motorcycle crash has been fitted with a bionic bottom that enables him to go to the toilet using a remote control," writes London's Daily Mail. The remote acts as a sphincter, opening and closing by sensor. (But, asks an NOTW Board Member, what if the remote falls into the wrong hands? Plus, he asks, can't they make a remote that'll just scratch your butt?) Daily Telegraph
Update: Michael G. Dick, 47, the man arrested in December [NOTW Daily, 1-2-2009] while naked, menacing the 88-year-old Oregon woman, until she grabbed him by the handiest appendage at her disposal and yanked, was sentenced to 16 months in prison. Gresham Outlook
Our new generation of leaders (continued): Blake Hall, 56, a St. Anthony, Idaho, deputy prosecutor and member of the national committee of one of our two major political parties, lost both posts after charges that he took a romantic break-up especially hard . . by, for example, tossing his used condoms onto his ex's lawn (19 condoms collected on 10 different dates). AlterNet.org
Without a mug shot, how can we possibly decide guilt or innocence? The Winnipeg, Manitoba, woman admitted raking her disabled boyfriend's credit card for $21,000, but she said she only did it to make him dump her because she couldn't bear to do the dumping, herself, because of his disability. As evidence, she quickly gave back all the money, which she said she had saved in order to return. As other evidence, though, she had just been on probation for stealing from another boyfriend to pay gambling debts. Winnipeg Sun
The government of the Extremadura region of Spain is the latest to take the creative approach to sex education by touting teenage (14 to 17) masturbation. "[P]leasure is in your own hands." BBC News
How to respect the spread of H1N1 virus while allowing Catholics to properly bless themselves with holy water: Instead of dipping their fingers in the church's communal pool, parishioners can run their hands under Luciano Marabese's holy water dispenser, which operates, hands-free, like a sensored restroom faucet. New York Daily News
One Minute: Wake Forest's Institute of Regenerative Medicine grows functional organs in the lab by extracting cells and doing the equivalent of putting them under a grow lamp. So far, they do rabbit organs, like bladders, but now they've had success with penises. (But, Chuck, what's the "one minute" reference to?) (Oh, that. "All rabbits with bioengineered [penises] attempted copulation within one minute of introduction [to a female rabbit.") Wired.com
Anyone vacationing in Berlin, Germany would be well advised to skip amusement park rides. Fourteen unfortunate people who were stuck 50 feet in the air for almost an hour last summer have now been billed the equivalent of $420 each by the local Fire brigade for their rescue. The ride operators have refused to pay as they claim they did not call emergency services and did not need help rescuing the trapped riders. One would think if the operators had everything under control it would not have taken so long to get the people down. Also, shouldn't they have refused the service if they did not need it? Instead they allowed the fire brigade to step in and rescue the people, but now claim no responsibility. One family one the ride is being charged 3 times because husband, wife and child were all trapped. Nothing quite like being traumatised and then billed for the privilege. Stefan Fleischer, spokesman for the fire brigade, has said they are looking at the decision to charge the riders again. But he also feels it was fair because the riders could make an insurance claim or sue the operators of the ride. All I can say is welcome to the beginning of the path that leads to the litigious society we have over here folks, maybe you better think about it first. http://www.thelocal.de/society/20091116-23303.html
News of the Weird/Pro Edition
November 16, 2009
(curious and/or absurd news from November 7-14)
If you were a California lifer, why wouldn't you want to be on Death Row? The condemned get individual cells, better telephone access, nicer contact-visit arrangements, more personal-property privileges — and in fact, the state budget for each is $138,000 a year (compared to $49,000 a year for all other inmates). California now has 685 on death row but has only executed 13 in the last 32 years (versus 71 who have died of causes other than execution). (As reported here two weeks ago [NOTW/Pro, 11-2-2009], one just-convicted murderer is so anxious to get there that he volunteered confessions to two more murders that no one knew about.) Los Angeles Times
More Inconsistencies About U.S. Health Insurance: (1) A Harvard Medical School study revealed that, of all the Americans who passed away last year without health insurance, 2,200 were military veterans who had served their country but did not qualify for free veterans' benefits. (2) An analyst for the pet marketing industry told the Washington Times that "hundreds" of companies now offer supplementary pet health insurance for their employees. More than a million people pay about $400 a year for coverage. (3) As part of the new labor pact agreed to by Pennsylvania Gov. Rendell to keep the trains and buses operating in Philadelphia: If the Rx is for one Viagra a day, workers' insurance will pay for one Viagra a day, no longer just the stingy "10 per month" allowance. New American Media (Pacific News Service) /// Washington Times /// Daily Finance[link from Salon.com]
Chicago firefighter-turned-arsonist Jeffrey "Matches" Boyle (so nicknamed by Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass), who was sentenced to six years in prison in 2006 (served less than two) after pleading guilty to setting eight fires, was officially approved for his $50,000/year pension from the Chicago Fire Dept. Cook County Judge LeRoy Martin Jr. (euphemistically referred to as a "veteran" of "Chicago politics") concluded that Matches was off the clock when he set the fires. Chicago Tribune
The animal kingdom's most underrated intellect is . . the pig. With the completion of the pig genome, scientists who study that kind of thing remark on human-pig similarities: We're both quick learners, slow to forget things, have similar hearts, similar teeth, metabolize drugs the same way, stare at ourselves in the mirror (though for the pig, it appears to be curiosity more than vanity). Said one biologist, "I look at the pig as a great animal model for human lifestyle diseases. Pigs like to lie around, they like to drink if given a chance [and] smoke and watch TV." New York Times
A New Jersey judge overruled the police chief in the town of Manville and said prospective hunter James Cap, 46, was indeed qualified for a firearms license. Cap had last hunted while in his teens, but then had his neck broken in a high school football game and has been a quadriplegic for 30 years. His gun will be wheelchair-mounted, fired by Cap's blowing into a tube. Associated Press via Philly.com
"It is better to have loved and lost..." ...well, maybe not. At least not for the 180 pound buck Mark Brye of Viroqua, Wisconsin found lying dead on his lawn in early November. In the deer breeding season bucks will defend their territory by fighting other bucks who enter it. These fights can be quite violent and sometimes deadly. Apparently the buck decided that the 640 pound cement elk lawn ornament in Mark's yard was trespassing on his turf and went to battle. This was obvious due to the heavy statue being knocked over as well as the deer having a shattered skull. He fought the elk and the elk won. Now the buck is in Mark's freezer and Mark is thinking of replacing the elk's broken antlers with the buck's 7 point rack. That's if Mark can get a few guys together to set the lawn statue upright. http://lacrossetribune.com/news/local/article_9ee5d1bc-cdbc-11de-a418-001cc4c002e0.html
Posted By: patty - Sun Nov 15, 2009 -
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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