District of Calamity: A high-volume alarm screeched out Tuesday morning in an upscale northwest Washington, D.C., 'hood, and, literally, no one knew what it was . . until much later. (It was an emergency gov't alarm installed in the 1970s, and no one is around now who remembers anything about it.) WRC-TV (Washington)
It was no different than having breast augmentation, said the local-gov't official in Australia, but she was describing how her career had gotten a boost from that paaaainful bone-lengthening procedure, where surgeons break your legs on purpose, separate them a bit, and encourage the bones to fuse back, just to gain maybe an inch or two of height. Reuters via Yahoo
Update: Our ol' friend Akinwale Arobieke, 47, Liverpool, England, has apparently violated the terms of his court order—the one that forbids him from approaching strangers and feeling up their biceps. BBC News
A Minnesota emergency-response agency kids' coloring book (endorsed by FEMA on its website and distributed widely across America) actually featured a colorable illustration of a plane about to hit the World Trade Center (but now FEMA has re-thought it). Albert Lea Tribune (Albert Lea, Minn.) ///WKMG-TV (Orlando) [the illustration]
All over the news today is the annual Wacky Warning Label contest winners, e.g., instructions for a wart-removal kit that includes this disclaimer: "Do not use if you cannot see clearly to read the information in the information booklet." Associated Press via Yahoo///Foundation for Fair Civil Justice
Leaders of Kenya's Women's Development Organization, riled up that men can't seem to get together on a national unity gov't, have called for women to refrain from giving it up for at least seven days (and even paying prostitutes to shut down during that time). BBC News
In Thailand, a senior Buddhist monk said he'd issue a book of guidelines for proper priest behavior, mainly, none of that gay stuff like lipstick and tight robes, but also against flaunting wealth and using the toilet improperly. BBC News
[Jury Duty] Elizabeth Grube and her sister Elaine Volkert, Stroudsburg, Pa., accused of moving $10k/week worth of heroin and found with an inventory of more than 1,000 bags in their homes. BTW, Elizabeth's 70, and Elaine's 65. WNEP-TV (Scranton)
Alex's post today of tiny man with big cat brings up the topic of Tilt Shift Miniature Faking, by which odd camera angles can render real-world scenes toylike. (And didn't the LORD OF THE RINGS films use a similar technique to turn normal-sized actors into hobbits?)
But how much is a whole state worth? All the land, natural resources, and structures?
That's what James Addison Reavis stole--almost getting away with the theft too.
Last night I watched THE BARON OF ARIZONA, a 1950 film by Samuel Fuller and starring Vincent Price. It tells the true story of Reavis, who cooked up an incredible con job to lay claim to the entire territory of Arizona in the year 1883.
Sounds Like a Joke: Malaysian Airlines demanded a huge excess-baggage fee from a traveling group (the Malaysian national bowling team headed to Italy for the world championships, i.e., they don't use balls off the rack). Reuters via Yahoo
Palm Beach County prepares for the iguana-invasion season, e.g., ya can decapitate them but ya can't beat 'em up, and yes, Florida has Nile Monitor lizards, which can reach 7½ feet in length, and even the smaller green iguanas poop out a pound a day. TCPalm.com
There was an Int'l Fantasy Hair Competition in Manchester, N.H., last week, and here you go with the indescribable, in a slideshow. Associated Press via Yahoo
Preferred strategy in Nakuru, Kenya, for a wife to get the neighbors' attention to a domestic beating: Scream that you're being beaten by . . an uncircumcised man (uncut being an embarrassment in Kenya). East African Standard (Nairobi)
It says here that two men were arrested in Pine Bluff, Ark., for stealing a truck . . that wouldn't start . . because it was just there for cannibalizing parts . . and so the men were caught pushing the truck down the road. Associated Press via Yahoo
Britain bids to gross out Octomom-conscious America: A 420-lb. Coventry woman gave birth to triplets (took a hospital team of 68, at a cost of £200k ($295k) and a specially-built operating table for her Caesarean) and started feeding 'em McD's at six months of age. Daily Mail
Today's Newsrangers: Wade Johnson, Barry Rose, Paul Pruitt
Look magazine for August 20, 1968, contained this image, with a small bit of text detailing how famed illustrator Norman Rockwell licensed his images to a firm called Sterling Paper Fashions to produce these election-year paper dresses. How much do you imagine they'd be worth today on the vintage fashion market or elections collectible market?
This election commission in India is using the ol' indelible-ink-fingertip to prevent double-voting, but they chose the left middle finger to ink, which presents interesting photo images of voters showing their pride in just having cast their ballots. The Times of India
The Power of Beer: Motorist John Woodward, 23, was arrested with a .134 reading in Silver Springs, Fla., but sped away from deputies because "he didn't think they needed to be involved and that the whole incident was 'the most fun' he'd had in two yrs,'" according to the police report. Star-Banner (Ocala)
Shoe-throwing is becoming the expression of choice for protesting in India, and it is especially significant among the poor because where they have to hang out assures their shoes are way-less sanitary than even a pair of your ol' Cons. Washington Post
Shoe-protesters are sissies: In Novi Pazar, Serbia, union official Zoran Bulatovic, complaining that some of his colleagues hadn't been paid at their textile factory "in years," chopped off his left pinkie and ate it. Reuters via Yahoo
There are gun fights, and knife fights, and sword fights, even, and in Myrtle Beach, S.C., an estranged couple had a glue fight. The Sun News (Myrtle Beach)
A mobile masturbation van. Garrett Scheg, 37, was arrested in West Seneca, N.Y., in a parked van, with pornography spread out over the dashboard and front seat and Garrett wearing only a sock. Buffalo News
Life Imitates the Sci-Fi Channel: Tens of millions of crickets march through remote towns in northern Nevada and Utah in May, hunting for food and sex, and there's nothing that can be done about them . . except laying out lots of boomboxes and playing rock music at max volume, which seems to work. Wall Street Journal
[Jury Duty] Josephine Gatchell, 57, was accused of stabbing a priest in the confessional at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Vero Beach, Fla., but the charge is ridiculous because that sort of thing couldn't really happen in a church, could it? WFLX-TV (West Palm Beach)
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.