Every so often you come across an article in the news that leaves you shaking your head and wondering what the world is coming to. This is one of those stories. Joan Higgens, aged 66, a pet shop owner in northern England has been fined, given a curfew and electronically tagged, because she sold a goldfish to a fourteen year old. Apparently it is illegal to sell pets to anyone under the age of sixteen, as minors are deemed incapable of taking care of the animals.
Are you as grossed out as I am by the thought of rivers of cow's milk running through the countryside? What if you fell into one?!? Yuck! And what's at the source of these streams? A giant cow being perpetually milked? Double yuck!
"To see what is in front of one's nose requires a constant struggle"—George Orwell
"A little learning is a dangerous thing"—Alexander Pope
"Nero Fiddles While Rome Burns"—Rome Daily Inquirer, 7-18-64A.D.
The FBI, charged in 2001 with saving America from impending overrun by terrorists, set out to build a computer system that would at the least allow agents access to whatever is already known by federal and state governments agencies about potential suspects. You won't be surprised to learn that last week Director Mueller said the system is still not ready and won't be ready until 2011 at the earliest. As of 2008, for instance, the Bureau still could not pull up many suspects by ethnicity or religion. Now imagine a unit at Google or Microsoft or Apple telling its bosses in, say, 2005, that a system they had been working on for four years wouldn't be ready for another two years at the earliest. New York Times
Religious grift–er, I mean, preachers Anthony and Harriet Jinwright of Charlotte, N.C., will go on trial next week for tax evasion. The government fears they are conspiring with each other to align their explanations and wants them jailed pre-trial, to keep them apart. The judge acknowledged the problem but declined to jail them. However, he did tell them, Now, Y'all don't be talking to each other. Charlotte Observer
Like many states, Florida is running huge budget deficits–but not so huge that it can't sympathize with yacht-buyers. For them, the state's 6% sales tax is proposed to be capped at $18,000 (the amount due on a $300,000 boat). This bill is touted by its sponsors, of course, not as a gift to the rich but as something that will ease unemployment in the all-important yacht-building industry. Miami Herald
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.