and the Afternoon Edition of Chuck's News of the Weird Daily for Tuesday, December 16, 2008
SpiegelOnline.com continues its Weird Europe series of countries' Christmas icons with Italy's La Befana, the ugly ol' witch who keeps track of who's naughty (and in one version is rather Stephen-King-like in the way she does it). Spiegel Online
A South Korean mother and father were fined the equivalent of $60,000 for failing to bring up their 18-yr-old son properly, in that he's a rapist. BBC News
Arrested in Madison, Ind., for hitting a guy with a hammer: Mr. Jamel Nails, 29. Madison Courier
Recurring Theme: If ya find a bomb, ya really have to leave it where it lies and go report it (but two small-town Oregon cops thought the thing to do was bring it inside and call the bomb unit, and one of those cops is no longer with us). Associated Press via Houston Chronicle
Police say two armed men were arrested in Plant City, Fla., after breaking into a home early Sunday morning and, when confronted, one held a knife to the resident's neck and demanded . . an egg-beater. [That's all. Really. Check it out.]Tampa Tribune
Gregory Pike had to go to court in San Francisco on a dope-possession charge, and since he's the guy famous on the Internet for the "Dog Cat and Rat" video, and since he didn't know anyone to look after his little fellas, he was allowed to bring them into the courtroom (whereupon they reflexively formed their tower right there, i.e., rat sits on the tabby, which is sitting on the Rott-Lab dog). San Francisco Chronicle
Today's Newsrangers: Sandy Pearlman, David Melcher, Bryce Jackson, Ginger Katz, and Ed Chebret, and a thanks to a host of contributors of the Mexican kidnaping Comments on the Afternoon Edition of Chuck's News of the Weird Daily for Tuesday? Comments 'cycle_081216'
Miroslaw Magola calls himself Magnetic Man. According to his website:
Miroslaw Magola is a man with an unusual gift; he can lift objects off the floor, transport them through the air and force them to stick to his body - all using the power of his mind. The objects can be anything from metal pans to marble statues, and weight seems to be no problem.
Check out the videos of Miroslaw sticking pots to his forehead. They're comedy classics. I'm more inclined to attribute his ability to sticky skin than to magnetism. A bit of glue might also help.
and the Morning Edition of Chuck's News of the Weird Daily for Tuesday, December 16, 2008
The other major multiple-false-confession case Two weeks ago we reported the new U.S. one-case record for multiple false confessions (6), but there's still this one going on from Norfolk, Va. The parents of the murder victim listened to at least one direct, personal, unequivocal admission and understandingly can't get beyond that. On the other hand, there's only DNA from one of the five confessors, and he said he did it alone, and the "Norfolk 4" have become Hurricane-Carter-type celebrities. Anyone can understand a guy weary of police questioning who just, exasperated, says, Yeah, OK, I did it, Whatever, but then there are these four guys, who tell how they "did" it. Except that they probably didn't do it. Washington Post Comments 'norfolk_confessions'
Nikki Ebben is a handful
She's 31, kinda cute, husband stands by her even though she's maxed out 15 credit cards totaling $80k causing her parents not to speak to her for a while because she owed them so much money. Her story's the lede in the Wall Street Journal illustration of compulsive shopping in this time of steep retailer discounting. "I loved the high I got when I clicked the 'submit' button" when ordering clothes online (e.g., 17 pairs of $400 designer jeans). Big unopened inventory of stuff at home. Another victim of the disorder had 220 pairs of shoes. It's a coke habit sanctioned by the entire global economy. Wall Street Journal Comments 'nikki_ebben'
Can't possibly be true: underappreciated poets?
Twelve Seattle poets went for a polar-bear dip in Green Lake for the sole purpose of calling to public attention the fact that poets don't get no respect, y'know? Seattle Times Comments 'poets_swim'
Last 9-11 lawsuit holdouts may get the go-ahead today
Of the nearly infinite ways in which there can be "two kinds of people in the world": Some people grieve their loss of loved one on 9-11 over months or years, accept the generous gov't compensation, and move on. Some, like these three, won't give it up, creating a perpetuating, life-consuming level of grieving that also offers no guarantee that they'll ever learn anything useful that they didn't know seven Decembers ago. This week, a judge in New York may set a trial date. Boston Herald Comments '911_lawsuits'
A cyanide-spewing millipede, a spider bigger than a dinner plate
About 600 sq. km of land around the Mekong River that runs from through Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam has at least 1,000 species of plant and animal that no scientist had ever seen before. Rabbits with stripes, Laotian rock rat . . . mmmm, good eatin'. The Times (London) via The Australian Comments 'mekong_species'
People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Buying real estate is stressful, which might be why this client, doing a home walk-through with his broker, felt that he had to make himself feel good as he was talking to her. Fond du Lac (Wis.) Reporter Comments 'masturbating_client'
Your Daily Jury Duty [no fair examining the evidence; verdict must be based on mugshot only]
Jon Solnicka, 41, who might have done nothing more than invite some neighborhood girls to swim in his pool. KTAR Radio (Phoenix) Comments 'jon_solnicka'
More Things to Worry About on Tuesday
The sour economy hits Las Vegas hookers, but only the mid-rangers (not streetwalkers or top-shelvers) because, in economists' lingo, the business is a "Giffen good," and if you lower price, you bring on sleazier clients. Las Vegas Sun
Mayor Blanca Figueroa of South El Monte (a Los Angeles suburb) prefers the quiet of late night to get her office work done, but she's feuding with the city council, which has just retaliated by locking city hall at 11 p.m. and taking the mayor's key away. Seriously. New York Times
Kidnaped (probably for ransom) in Saltillo, Mex.: Felix Batista, 55, one of Latin America's foremost consultants on how to deal with kidnaping for ransom. New York Times
Sonia Ringoir, 31, was charged with selling her newborn twins to get money for liposuction, but she indignantly denied it, pointing out that she actually gave the babies away for free. The Sunday Times (London) via Fox News
Comments on More Things to Worry About on Tuesday? Comments 'worry_081216'
and the Afternoon Edition of Chuck's News of the Weird Daily for Monday
Man's best friend comes through again: One's implanted chip helps ID the owner, who was wandering around town disoriented, and another's DNA was found on caca on the rapist's shirt, helping to convict the guy. North Bay (Ontario) Nugget///KDFW-TV (Dallas-Fort Worth)
Mom with her two kids (on the run from Philadelphia child-welfare people who had ordered 'em taken away) hid them out for two weeks in a hollowed section of a plastic playground set in a Fort Lauderdale park that she had tunneled up into (and actually laid low while neighborhood children played on it). Miami Herald via McClatchy News
Fine Point of Australian law: illegal just to watch . . not just child porn . . but child-abuse "cruelty." Sydney Morning Herald
Minnesota Readers' Choice:(1) "Darnell Lewis," under St. Paul, Minn., police questioning, didn't have any ID cards on him but he did have "Frazier" tattooed on his neck, and "Darnell Frazier"'s got outstanding warrants. (2) A Willmar, Minn., victim of house-toilet-papering struck back against the teen vandals, with a SuperSoaker containing fox urine and water (and that might have been going too far, legally). Star Tribune///West Central Tribune (Willmar)
Complicated: Lawrenceville, Ga., police said they were looking for a man dressed as a woman as the person who had knocked off several local banks, but the culprit was finally ID'd as a teenage girl, they guess, dressed up to resemble what a man dressing as a woman would look like. WSB-TV (Atlanta)
Inadvertent British cheap shot: A London disk jockey said the failing economy would force him to sell off his trademark gold crowns to his fans and worried that "I don't know if I'll be noticed [if I have] white teeth." BBC News
Hooters is doing OK overseas, with 67 franchised, tight-topped, orange-shortsed hot spots in 26 countries, including Jim Li's five in China, where they're called the, er, American Owl. Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A Fayette County, Tex., dog hoarder (42 English fox terriers in a 5x9 trailer) (with the usual flooring appointments of feces and urine) has blamed their condition on the UFO's constantly circling her home. Houston Chronicle
Professor Music's Weird Link o' the Day
And speaking of UFO's, here's a nice compilation of all the smoking-gun photos of alien life forms (all dead, of course) recovered on Earth, along with the compelling explanations that they are in fact exactly what the UFO hunters say they are. Alien-UFO-Research.com
Today's Newsrangers: Ginger Katz, Sandy Pearlman, Stephen Taylor, Mindy Cohen, Jerry Whittle, and Tyler Hewitt, and a whole bunch of nice people on the Readers' Choice stories Comments on the Afternoon Edition of Chuck's News of the Weird Daily for Monday? Comments 'cycle_081215'
You probably won't want to watch all seventeen minutes of this cartoon, an episode of FREJ, a Dubai cartoon for adults, especially since there's no English translation. But the opening credits are awesome, and the whole thing provides a glimpse into a mysterious other world.
I love how women's veils have been depicted as these weird hockey-player faceguards.
and the Morning Edition of Chuck's News of the Weird Daily for Monday
Fine points of F State law: Jury: "Not guilty"; Judge: "OK, then, 55 yrs in prison"
Ms. Johnnie Miles, whose rap sheet takes quite a while to print out, was actually acquitted of the latest bad-check charge, but under Florida law, the judge is empowered to re-examine the facts, and he thought she was guilty as hell. Though he couldn't sentence her for that, he did sentence her to serve in full the eleven 5-yr sentences she was on probation for (and which she violated by passing the bad checks, for which she was acquitted). [Ed.: It helps to live in Florida if ya need to understand that.]TCPalm.com (Stuart, Fla.) Comments 'johnnie_miles'
Le Trungs's homemade female robot
A 33-yr-old Ontario man with a lifelong robot fascination has created Ms. Aiko for, he guesses, about $20k (Cdn) but still needs at least $7k in motors to get her to walk, but so far she can read newspapers, distinguish 300 faces per second, and speak 13,000 English and Japanese phrases. "If you talk dirty to her, she will talk dirty back." His goal is to make her clean his toilet and Q-tip his ears. (And, yes, she's genitally-correct, but, "Do I sleep with her? No.") CTV News Comments 'letrung_robot'
Latest advance in somnabulism: sending e-mail while asleep
Courts have decided that it's an act of nature if you talk in your sleep, force sex on someone while you're asleep, even kill someone while you're asleep, but in some ways, this is more complex: She logged onto her e-mail account (with password!) and composed and sent three e-mails (even though they didn't make much sense). Daily Telegraph (London) [reviewing article in the journal Sleep Medicine] Comments 'email_asleep'
What can be done, must be done?
Photographer Yeon Lee opened a London show on how women "are categorized in male-dominated societies," featuring one woman in a full-body burqa, apparently with only four holes cut out (two for the eyes, two for the nipples). The Union of Muslim Organizations of the UK and Ireland is kinda opposed to that. The London Paper Comments 'yeonlee_burqa'
How to enrage PETA in Germany
A reality-show farmer got caught on camera recommending that chickens' genitals be fingered, so they'd get "orgasms." The program is "Farmer Wants a Wife," where various women drop by to audition to be Hansi's beloved, and obviously, Hansi's destined to be single for a long, long time. Bild[Ed.: I know, I warned you that Bild's new English-language site was gonna cause trouble for me, but this story is dressed up enough that I think it's real] Comments 'chicken_orgasms'
At last! A commercial opportunity for News of the Weird [Ed.: I'm already dreaming of how I'll spend that fat gov't mental-health grant!] Australian researchers say that a key indicator for frontotemporal dementia in seniors is whether they can respond properly to sarcasm. If they don't realize you're being sarcastic, they're on their way down. [Ed.: Note to researchers: I can write content for you, cheap; I know how researchers always ask governments and foundations for the absolute-least amount of money possible.]Daily Telegraph (Sydney) [reviewing article in the journal Brain] Comments 'sarcasm_dementia'
Your Daily Losers
Three women, ages 21, 19, and 18, were busted, and among the evidence on them was a printed guide from the Internet, How to Commit Armed Robbery in Six Easy Steps, which was written sorta-jokey (only the gals appeared not to realize that, which as we all know now, is a sign of frontotemporal dementia). Plus, their choice of crime scene was a Dollar Tree store. The Smoking Gun Comments 'dollartree_robbery'
People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
He was apparently making himself at home in a men's room stall at the Milwaukee Public Museum, moaning and with porn magazines scattered on the floor, and of course a guard came and escorted him out, but one witness recounted, "He said to the security guard . . . that he comes in here every day and it doesn't seem to be a problem and why is it a problem today?" WTMJ-TV Comments 'milwaukee_museum'
Your Daily Jury Duty [no fair examining the evidence; verdict must be based on mugshot only]
OK, make yourselves useful. The formal, legal-schmegal jury will be deliberating starting today on whether Wayne Bent, 67, is guilty of molesting two girls, age 14 and 16, and here he is on the witness stand saying that he really had no choice in the matter, in that God told him that he had to lie down with the girls. One supports him; one doesn't. I'll bet you can reach a decision more quickly. (Bonus: He says he only fondled them on the "sternum.") KRQE-TV (Albuquerque) Comments 'wayne_bent'
More Things to Worry About on Monday
Texas prisoners, acting as their own lawyers, try to point out to the judge that there is a Constitutional right to watch TV. Beaumont Enterprise
Heath Campbell and his wife are all upset that the ShopRite supermarket in Greenwich Twp, Pa., won't make them a personalized birthday cake for their little 3-yr-old, Adolf Hitler Campbell (who by the way has a sister, age 1, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell). Express-Times (Easton, Pa.)
Dr. Richard Demir is a cutting-edge ob-gyn and now wants you to know that he removed, by laparoscopic surgery, a record-breaking uterus (over 7 lbs., vs. the usual uterus of less than 1 lb.). WMAQ–TV (Chicago)
Ambitious: Jason Prince, 27, looking for a good Christmas gift for his two kids, allegedly unbolted a seesaw from a neighborhood playground and took it home in his truck. Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Rioting Version 2.0 in Greece: Protesters complained to the media that police in the current riots aren't playing fair, that they're using out-of-date tear-gas canisters, from 1981, and that the aged chemicals "make us sick, people have fainted and have trouble breathing." The Times (London)
Comments on More Things to Worry About on Monday? Comments 'worry_081215'
Roadside Resort offers a collection of cemeteries located in parking lots: patches of grass in seas of asphalt. I believe in every case the cemetery predates the parking lot. The graves simply had the misfortune of being surrounded by strip malls.
The Sensation Seeking Scale was developed by Prof. Marvin Zuckerman almost forty years ago. It measures four psychological tendencies: thrill and adventure seeking; experience seeking; disinhibition; and susceptibility to boredom.
"Thrill seekers" get a kick out of activities or sports that provide unusual sensations and experiences-- even if they involve risk. Motorcycle racing or water-skiing, for example, might appeal to this category of sensation seekers... "Experience seekers" enjoy novel experiences--say, travel to exotic locations, listening to unusual or exciting music, experimenting with drugs or living a "non-conformist" lifestyle... "Disinhibitors" are constantly searching for opportunities to lose their inhibitions at "wild" parties involving heavy drinking and sexual activities with strangers... Finally, sensation seekers are very easily bored by repetitious, predictable experiences and people, or by routine work assignments.
Take the test over at the BBC to find out how much (and what kind) of a sensation seeker you are.
I scored very high as an "experience seeker." Makes sense for someone who's addicted to weird.