The Australian behemoth News.com.au has a report from a restaurant in Riga with a challenging business plan: It's owned by doctors who've made its ambience all-things-medical. Sit at OR tables, have food served on gurneys, have tweezers and scalpels laid out beside forks and spoons, drink cocktails from test tubes and beakers, etc., and the things on that tray over there that look like tongues, well, they're food designed to look like tongues (and noses, and ears). (Bonus: For "entertainment," deranged-looking "patients" in straitjackets are wheeled around.)
The news is better out of Pyongyang, according to a Tokyo newspaper that has connections inside: Dear Leader finally allowed the first Italian restaurant to open after several years' fits and starts, involving hands-on lessons on pizza prep by some of Italy's best chefs (who had to be basically scanned like astronauts are to make it past North Korean security). But here's the moment of zen, from The Guardian: K.Jay apparently dropped by the kitchen one day to observe an Italian coaching a Korean. The Italian said later that he couldn't be sure it was actually K.Jay and not a stand-in, but the Korean chef, "who had no reason to fib, was, for the space of several minutes, utterly speechless. He said he felt as if he had seen God, and I still envy him this experience." News.com.au///The Guardian
Today's Newsrangers: David Stratford, Jenny Beatty, Karl Olson
Because its raison d'étre is the intense, mindless fondling of women's genitals, it becomes a quasi-political, near-spiritual statement, at least according to the editors of the New York Times, which featured on Sunday a full take-out on the San Francisco commune that practices "orgasmic meditation" (of females only) every morning at 7 a.m. sharp. (Men can contribute their fingers to the process, but their personal orgasms are on their own time and presumably more vulgar than women's.) The founder of the One Taste Urban Retreat Center, Nicole Daedone, 41, is revered/obeyed by the dozen or more in residence at any one time, with a maniacal power to convince women to improve their sense of self via climactic ferocity. (Bonus: A 50-yr-old male communer, who is a Silicon Valley engineer, according to the Times, credited "the practice of manually fixing his attention on a tiny spot of a woman's body" with "improv[ing] his own concentration at work.") New York Times///OneTaste.us
But This Time It Worked (according to this-here newspaper, anyway): In Witbank, South Africa (pop. 60,000), three women strapped a corpse into a wheelchair, rolled it inside the post office, and begged the clerk to give them the man's pension money (equivalent to US$97). South African Press Association via news24.com
A union filed unfair-labor-practice charges against management, alleging union-avoiding activities such as laying off members by contracting out work. But "management" is the leadership of the huge Service Employees Int'l Union, and the "union" is own its feeling-screwed workers. Washington Post
Home buyers sued Edina Realty (Edina, Minn.) for selling them an amityville-horror house without disclosing the murder (but according to state statute, that's not a "material" fact that needs to be disclosed). Star Tribune
A Blackburn, England, couple and their two lovely daughters subsist on gov't handouts totaling £22k (taxable equivalent: £30k) (US equivalents, $30k, $42k) because they're either too sick or too fat to work, and now they complain that they're starving (combined family weight: 1,134 lbs). Daily Telegraph
Your Daily Loser: Clever enough to figure out how to rig a peeping camera in a restroom stall but not clever enough to rig it without staring into the lens. Daily Freeman (Kingston, N.Y.)
For some reason, the video below reminded me of the under-appreciated song by Walter Becker, "Hat Too Flat." You can hear a sample of that track at the Amazon page for the Becker album, via the link at right.
Most sources I've looked at maintain their capacity is five meters, or sixteen feet.
The performance in the video below is posted twice on YouTube, by different folks. And one poster claimed the rope was set at twenty meters. That would be over sixty feet, or as high as a five-story building.
I don't think so. They might have meant twenty feet.
But if we look at the photo to the right (from the Life archives of a Marineland performance from 1958), we see that the dolphin has jumped about three body-lengths out of the water for its treat. (Unless of course it's been lifted up there by humans and nailed by the snout to the pole.) According to Wikipedia, dolphin species vary from four feet to thirty feet long. If we assume this dolphin is ten feet long, then it's jumped thirty feet straight up!
Sun Yaoting died in 1996 at age 93, but evidently his biographer Jia Yinghua is gearing up for English-language book promos (though it's not out yet, Mr. Amazon says), like yesterday's story from Reuters. "Eunuch" was a career path for centuries in imperial China, in which good executive jobs were available to down-and-out men only if they were dickless, because a regular man couldn't be trusted in the emperor's inner sanctum. So little Sun's dad was feuding with the local chief, and dad figured the only way to get back at the chief was if little Sun grew up to be a power broker so that he could crush the chief. So dad castrated him, and it was gruesome. (Bonus: When little Sun finally regained consciousness, dad discovered that the emperor had abdicated. Punk'd!) (But the new guy let the old emperor continue to live in the city, and he hired Sun, anyway, so things worked out.) There's more, especially about how legs-crossingly "gruesome" that procedure was. Reuters via Yahoo///New York Times archive
Mary Gorsuch, 48, on probation for armed bank robbery, knocked off Paul's Variety in Biddeford, Maine, but then walked across the street and ordered a pepperoni pizza; cops arrived before the pizza. WLBZ-TV (Bangor)
Mohammad, dude, it's just a game: Late in a soccer match in Hilla, Iraq, as a player had broken away and was set to attempt a game-tying kick, a spectator shot him dead. Reuters via Yahoo
Needs to lower his profile: Carlos Hoskins III was arrested in Kentwood, La., for growing dope, like from the nine potted pot plants he kept on his front porch. Times-Picayune
Always Low Prices: Two guys tried to shoplift a bucket of chicken and a package of socks from a Wal-Mart near Austin, Tex. (total retail, $6.83). American-Statesman
Awesome: A couple (reported via different news sources as Brennan Cunningham and Tabatha Carlson) were having sex in a car on the railroad tracks near Minot, N.D., and a train nudged 'em (not very hard, apparently but enough to cause a scene), and when police arrived, they were still going at it. Gotta meet this Tabatha! KFYR-TV (Bismarck) ///KXMC-TV (Minot)
Your Daily Jury Duty ["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"] Mr. Orion Kent Mitchell Stoltman, 19, might have been the "adult" who along with two younger teens committed aggravated assault on two pet pygmy goats in an apparent demonstration of the forces of darkness last Halloween in Tooele, Utah. Tooele Transcript
Having encountered for the first time the phrase "giant bubonic-plague-carrying gerbil of Kazakhstan," (16 inches from nose to tail) I am so stupefied that all I can do is point people to this article and to this one, and then stand back while WU readers have fun with the notion of substituting a giant gerbil for a traditional one in this urban legend.
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.