Last Week in Weird
datelines 8/15/2014--8/23/2014 (this week, in 1 Part)
[Links, chronological, on Extended page]
Copyright 2014 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.
[Ed. Note: There’s no coding here. I hate to code. However, Links to each story are on the Extended page, in chronological order. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s failing to exploit the blogging technology. Tough.]
The Money Fact that teaches
South Carolina’s fascination with rehabbing domestic-violent relationships (i.e., with few exceptions, men beat down women): (1) Maximum penalty, first offense, 30 days; beating a dog, though, maximum, first offense, 5 yrs. (2) State Sen. Tom Corbin’s solution to domestic violence: “There needs to be a lot more love for Jesus [to] curb a lot of violence.”
sentenced in 2000 to 98 yrs in prison in Colorado for crimes that sound worth about 10 yrs’ max, was mistakenly released after 8, lived productively and in plain sight for 6 yrs, then the error was discovered. They dragged him back in, with a new release date of 2104.
“Herbert O,” 54,
willingly embraced mega-embarrassment (wife, testifying in court: “I’m sorry, darling, but your penis is too short to hang out of your trousers”) (“willingly” because a woman had accused him of flashing her, and this was his best defense). (The judge says he wants photo evidence.)
Meet Rolf Buchholz,
a German with the Guinness Book record for most body piercings. (You can either click the link or take Yr Editor’s word for it that Rolf makes Danny Trejo look like Brad Pitt.) They won’t let him into the United Arab Emirates because of over-piercing--either that or because of his implanted forehead horns. (Bonus: In Hampden, Mass., the vowel-intensive Mr. Caius Veiovis, 33, is preparing for trial with a similar burden, striving for reasonable doubt that he is a vicious triple murderer. Horns!)
The local council in the north London town of Barnet
cracked down on a landlord, who after two yrs’ warning, was still offering to rent out an apartment that could only be entered by crawling through a dog-door-type opening (well, almost--28 inches’ clearance). (Bonus: London hipsters still showed interest in the place.)
So a car with three people hit a man, leaving him bleeding, then drove over him 3x in an effort to dislodge his caught-clothing from the axle, then split, but neighborhood surveillance video capture the driver yelling at the victim, “Look what you did to my car!”
N’awlins judge Yolanda King is already under indictment for lying on her election papers about where she actually lives, but, reported the Times-Picayune
, when she filed papers last week for re-election, she swore to three different addresses on three forms. She was confused, said a member of her entourage.
Even America may not be ready
for the new reality TV show Sex Box
(but then that’s what everyone said about [fill in any of a couple dozen shows]. Rundown: Couple has sex in a box (on stage, but obscured), then emerge, pre-cigarette, to discuss their feelings with a panel of Simon Cowell wannabes. America still has several months to prepare before it debuts on the We cable channel.
A Human Zoo!
The town of Te Kuiti, New Zealand (on the North Island, south of Hamilton), is too small for spending on a new municipal building, apparently. Thus, the waiting room for everyone booked for any crime or any regulatory violation is a large, open-air barred pen--ideal for people-watching.
More in extended >>
The BBC News reports
that the rat meat industry is becoming increasingly lucrative in Cambodia because of a fondness for rat meat in neighboring Vietnam where wild, rural rats are considered a healthy delicacy "due to their free-range lifestyle and largely organic diet." The wild rats primarily eat rice stalks, vegetables from farmer's fields, and plant roots.
At the peak of the rat-catching season, in June and July, as much as 2 tons of rat meat is exported from Cambodia to Vietnam daily.
And what does rat meat taste like? Apparently "a bit like pork."
I wonder if it would be possible to make rat bacon?
News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M385, August 24, 2014
Copyright 2014 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.
[ED. NOTE: Last Week in Weird will be published this week in only one Part, tomorrow. I blame the summer malaise. Probably only one Part next week, too.]
CORRECTION: Last week’s column cited a London Daily Mirror compilation of foods from around the world. It appears not only that “Squeeze Bacon” was merely an April Fool’s joke from 2009 but that, sadly, in the ensuing five years food science has not yet been able to make a real squeezed bacon.
It’s Facebook’s World Now: (1) Up-and-coming Sicilian mobster Domenico Palazzotto, 28, was outed in August by Italy's L'Espresso magazine as the owner of an ineffectively-pseudonymous Facebook page showing off his muscled, bare-chested body and perhaps recruiting members. One fan asked, "Do I need to send a [resume]?" "Yes, brother," came the reply. "We need to consider your criminal record. We do not take people with clean records." Palazzotto operates out of Palermo and listed among his "likes" as the singer Kenny Loggins. (2) Similarly young, body-obsessed Egyptian jihadist/gym member Islam Yaken, according to his postings on Facebook-type social media sites, is a law school graduate fluent in English, French, and Arabic, allowing him to describe the particular viciousness that he and his brothers and sisters will wreak upon infidels. [Daily Telegraph (London), 8-3-2014
] [Daily Telegraph (London), 8-6-2014
Can't Possibly Be True
A jury's murder conviction, and the 15-to-life sentence it carried against Daniel Floyd in Brooklyn, N.Y., for a 2008 killing went for naught in July when the state's highest court ordered a retrial (with witnesses forced to testify all over again). The sole reason the court cited was a decision by the trial judge on the first day--to seat the potential jury pool and not Floyd's mother, who, because she was temporarily left standing that first day, argued successfully that her son's right to a "public" trial had been violated. [New York Post, 7-28-2014
I (Heart) Strangers: Two age-30ish men knocked on the door of a Raymondville, Tex., woman at 12:30 a.m. on August 3rd, asking for water and if they could please come inside to charge their cellphone--and the woman apparently cheerfully invited them in, and later offered them use of her backyard shed to grab some sleep. She did not learn until a short time later, when a law enforcement manhunt widened into her neighborhood, that they were wanted for murdering a U.S. Border Patrol agent. Officers arrested the pair inside the shed. [KRGV-TV (Weslaco, Tex.), 8-5-2014
A team of researchers from the University of Texas at Arlington announced recently that they had developed a prototype of a wind turbine that might deliver electricity in tiny bursts to devices like smartphones--since it is about half the size of a grain of rice. (Tiny solar backpacks already exist.) [National Geographic, 6-19-2014
The New Normal
(1) The ubiquitous "sexting" phenomenon continues to flourish. A Washington state agency suspended the license of anesthesiologist Arthur Zilberstein in June after finding that he had exchanged sexually explicit text messages--during surgeries. (2) One of the emerging occupational skills for Emergency Medical Technicians, according to first responders interviewed in a June Wall Street Journal feature, is merely holding up blankets at accident scenes--to block onlookers from their apparently uncontrollable urge to take gruesome photos to send to their friends. [KIRO-TV (Seattle), 6-9-2014
] [Wall Street Journal, 6-24-2014
Anger Management Needed
(1) A 40-year-old man's throat was fatally slashed in August in Billings, Mont., in a fight with an acquaintance over which military service--Army or Marines--is better. (News reports failed to identify the "winning" branch.) (2) A 37-year-old man survived, but with five bullet wounds, in New York City in August after a 1 a.m. dispute during the making of a rap music video. (The dispute was over who, exactly, would be the "star.") (3) Roger Harris, 63, and Bryan Bandes, 42, brawled in August on 7th tee at the Springdale Golf Course near Uniontown, Pa., while arguing the rule for playing a ball in a rain puddle. Harris apparently 3-wooded Bandes in the head; Bandes landed punches causing a swollen jaw, a fat lip, and a scratched eye. [Billings Gazette, 8-4-2014
] [New York Daily News, 8-2-2014
] [KDKA-TV (Pittsburgh), 8-7-2014
In Multnomah County, Ore., in July, a Romanian princess pleaded guilty to cockfighting. Irina Walker, 61, was born in Switzerland where her father, King Michael I, lived after abdicating the throne, and came to Oregon in 1983, where, in a second marriage in 2007, she fell in with former deputy sheriff John Walker, who had moved on to the gambling and cockfighting business, and, according to a USA Today report, she was assisting him. [USA Today, 7-16-2014
Solutions to Non-Problems
(1) Chung-Ang University in South Korea announced in April that its traditional-sport Department of Sport Science would begin accepting--as legitimate “student athletes”--video gamers. (2) Also in April, Berlin’s Lutheran Georgen Parochial cemetery inaugurated a 4,300-square-foot area of its grounds as reserved exclusively for lesbians--for women who, said the cemetery’s spokesman, “want to be buried among other lesbians.” [AsiaOne (Singapore), 4-3-2014
] [Associated Press, 4-1-2014
New World Order
Japan is noted (as News of the Weird has reported in 1997 and 2008) for several traditional fertility festivals and theme parks at which explicit, oversized male genitalia are revered by joyous visitors, including children. In July, on the other hand, police quickly arrested the artist Megumi Igarashi after she scanned her vulva and then distributed the data online to allow others to create 3-D printed reproductions. That effort was the most conspicuous of several attempts she has made as an artist/designer to call attention, she said, to the underrepresentation of female genitals in Japanese society compared to males’. [TheWeek.co.uk, 7-15-2014
Who Knew? Researchers from England’s University of Lincoln revealed in July that red-footed tortoises are not only “inquisitive” but make decisions in their brain’s “medial cortex” region, associated with “complex cognitive behavior” (because they have no “hippocampus,” which is a typical decision-making area). The tortoises thus pecked-out (and learned) touch-screen decisions (for rewards of strawberries), and in fact, said researcher Anna Wilkinson, learned as quickly as rats and pigeons and faster, actually, than dogs. [LiveScience.com, 8-1-2014
Movies Come to Life
(1) In July, officials at the Djanogly City Academy in Nottingham, England, broke up an attempt by five students (aged 11-14) attending a daytime-locked-down school to escape by tunneling under a security fence. They had discovered the boys’ metal cutlery hidden at the scene. (A World War II tunneling escape from a Nazi prison was partially successful and became the story for the 1963 movie “The Great Escape” starring Steve McQueen.) (2) In a deadly ending reminiscent of scenes in several crime movies, a 22-year-old man fleeing police in Brooklyn, N.Y., in June crashed his car at a high speed into the back of a flatbed truck and was decapitated as the body of the car (but not the part above the dashboard) continued on under the truck. [BBC News, 7-7-2014
] [New York Daily News, 6-25-2014
Least Competent Criminals
Not Ready for Prime Time: (1) A 40-year-old man (not named by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer) was arrested in that city on July 31st after a several-hour, epically inept, crime spree. Attempting to rob a restaurant, he was turned down by employees and customers, then turned down by two potential carjack victims (the latter of whom added insult by pulling out her cellphone camera and shooting video), and then failing to swipe another woman’s car keys, before giving up just as police arrived. (His only take was the $15 he had swiped from the restaurant’s tip jar.) (2) Joshua Pawlak, 27, entered a total of four businesses in Woodbridge, N.J., on July 27th and similarly met resistance and/or indifference to his money demands--and came away from the four with only $2, also from a tip jar. [Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 8-1-2014
] [NJ.com (Newark), 8-6-2014
Ironies: (1) An airborne banner being towed by an airplane came loose in Fremont, Calif., in July and floated down, landing on a house, frightening the residents. The sign advertised GEICO insurance. (2) A 10-foot-tall pine tree in Los Angeles’s Griffith Park, dedicated in 2004 with a plaque to the late musician George Harrison, was recently destroyed by an infestation, and another will be planted in its place, according to a city councilman. The infestation was by beetles. [KNTV (San Francisco), 7-23-2014
] [CBS News, 7-22-2014
Thanks This Week to Kyle Payton, Gerald Sacks, Ron Weir, Mel Birge, Robin Daley, and Kathryn Wood, and to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.