In Look magazine for September 9 1969, there's an article about an aspiring young singer named Lotti Golden, who wanted to be just like Dylan. Never having heard of her before, I got curious and did some research.
Neil Keller is "obsessed with Jews." He claims to have "one of the largest collections of Jewish memorabilia on the planet with over 15,000 items." Some trivia from his site:
Elvis Presley's mother, Gladys Love Presley, has a Star of David at her tombstone. Many people consider Elvis is Jewish. There is evidence that Abraham Lincoln and Christopher Columbus are Jewish and I am currently researching them.
Strangely, Neil doesn't say if he himself is Jewish.
An interesting statistic: "Two-thirds of all District [of Columbia] parking meters reported broken turn out to be operational when a repair crew arrives on-site."
One reason is that people falsely report meters as broken when they're not, but another explanation, according to the DC Department of Transportation, is that the meters are designed to be "self-correcting". They're not really broken. The evil little things are just pretending:
a person who parks at a meter displaying a “fail” message may return an hour later to find a working meter flashing zero time and a ticket on the windshield — a process that may repeat several times a day.
Basically, the parking cops are going to get your money, one way or another. Just resign yourself to that truth.
It's only March, but here's a finalist for the year's greatest achievement in irony
Angel Galvan-Hernandez, 26 and diminutive, has pleaded guilty to raping (and roughing up) two women and last week was in court for sentencing. Please, judge, give me the death penalty, he said. "I prefer death a thousand times," he said, over the fate that awaits him in prison. "I want to pay for the act of cowardice. I admit it, but I just don't want to be raped [in prison]" since he had been raped various times as a youth in Mexico. (He got 20 yrs.) Seattle Post-Intelligencer Comments 'angel_galvanhernandez'
A touching story of family intimacy
Hartford, Conn., police arrested Elizabeth Russell and her 13-yr-old daughter for shoplifting at a Kohl's, and husband Daryll Russell, along with the couple's 19-yr-old son, rushed down to bail them out. Turns out both men have outstanding warrants for probation violation. Said a lieutenant, "I don't ever recall having four related people in lockup at the same time." Hartford Courant Comments 'russell_family'
Readers' Choice: DWBF
A Kettering, Ohio, police officer stopped Genine Compton, 39, after a motorist reported her driving while (a) on the phone and (b) breastfeeding her young 'un (with three other kids in the car). (Bonus: She was indignant toward the male cop: "You want to pop your titty [sic] out and breastfeed this kid?") (But last week, a Member of Britain's House of Lords got a rather light reckless-driving sentence for killing a motorist around the time he was texting while driving; the judge thought the texting had ended by the time the crash occurred.) Dayton Daily News///New York Times Comments 'driving_breastfeeding'
Life is too long: the fine points of navel lint
After studying 503 pieces of whatever from his own belly button, chemist Dr. Georg Steinhauser of Vienna, Austria, has demonstrated that it's not just cotton fiber but that stomach hair traps flecks of dead skin, fat, sweat, and dust, too. To eliminate the fluff, either shave your stomach or pierce your navel. (Bonus: a mention for Graham Barker, the Guinness Book notable who has saved his daily navel output since 1984) Daily Telegraph (London) Comments 'navel_lint'
More Things to Worry About
Meddlesome United Nations peacekeepers, wreaking havoc with Cyprus's asparagus-pickers! Reuters via Yahoo
Since banks have stopped lending in Italy, businessmen turn to the country's only viable source of liquidity: the Mafia (to see Mauro, knock three times on the shipping container) Washington Post
Police in Chula Vista, Calif., sought Romeo Montillano, 40, for robbing a Kmart in December and were pleasantly surprised to learn that he had signed up to take the police officers' exam last week. (Bonus: Yes, he asked the arresting officers if this meant he couldn't take the exam.) Associated Press via Seattle Post-Intelligencer
McKay Hatch, age 15, South Pasadena, Calif., damn sure better learn how to fight, quickly, because he's the now-notorious sponsor of his school's, and now Los Angeles County's, "No Cussing Week."Associated Press via Yahoo
"Clowns of the World, Unite" was the call in Dresden, Germany, on Friday, when organizers tried to cheer up the world from its economic doldrums. [Ed.: Good to have 'em all isolated in one place!]Reuters via Yahoo
Comments on Things to Worry About? Comments 'worry_090302'
Your Daily Loser
"So I killed somebody. That makes me a bad guy?" That was Keith Phoenix, 28, who confessed to New York City cops that, yep, he fatally beat (with a baseball bat) that immigrant guy he saw gaily walking arm-in-arm with his brother (and 19 minutes later was caught on surveillance video laughing about it). Say g'night, Keith. New York Daily News Comments 'keith_phoenix'
Your Daily Jury Duty ["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
"My [step]father is not some kind of predator or . . . freak. He is a really nice, sweet guy who got caught up in something that got out of hand." The speaker is the 29-yr-old stepdaughter whom Kenneth Taylor was secretly video'ing while she was naked. We'll be the judge of whether he's a freak, Danielle, OK? Beaumont Enterprise Comments 'kenneth_taylor'
Today's Newsrangers: Paul Music, Brad Howard, Kathleen Purcell, Michael Ravnitzky, Jessica McRorie, Stephen Taylor, Martin Prior, Hal Dunham, Bruce Alter
I believe that the social psychologist Leon Mann was one of the first to describe the phenomenon of the "baiting crowd." He did so in a 1981 article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology:
We assume that most people are concerned for the life and well-being of others. It comes as a surprise to learn that crowds gathered at the site of a suicide threat have been known to taunt and urge the victim to jump... In my examination of the baiting phenomenon, I searched all listings for suicides and suicide attempts in the New York Times Index for 1964-1979... The following extract from the New York Times for June 8, 1964, is an example of the data source: A Puerto Rican handyman perched on a 10th floor ledge for an hour yesterday morning as many persons in a crowd of 500 on upper Broadway shouted at him in Spanish and English to jump. Even as cries of "Jump!" and "Brinca!" rang out, policemen pulled the man to safety from the narrow ledge at 3495 Broadway, the north-west corner of 143rd Street.
Mann identified five factors that contribute to the phenomenon: 1) the anonymity of being in a large crowd; 2) cover of darkness; 3) distance from the victim (but being close enough so that the person threatening suicide can still hear the cries urging him to jump); 4) duration of episode (people get bored and restless waiting too long); and 5) hot temperatures.
My theory is that people are okay until you gather them together into a crowd, at which point they transform into the lowest form of life imaginable.
This must have been what people used back in the days before the invention of toilet paper. You just wipe and then throw the soiled cloth into a bag, ready to be taken out to the laundry. One benefit is that it allows you to wipe with a wet cloth, which gets you a lot cleaner. However, it would seem to me that it's going to substantially increase the amount of laundry you've got to do (since you want to keep the soiled wipes separate from the rest of your laundry). So would they really save you money, or be any better for the environment?
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.