A Wasilla, Alaska distillery is producing a smoked salmon flavored vodka. It was made with use in Bloody Marys in mind, but is being used in other drinks as well. One of the distillery owners says the successful formula was number 48. Some of the other 47, he says, were disgusting. Only the first 47?
This campy spectacular was long unavailable in the USA. I watched it last night and can report that it is full of prime-grade weirdness. If you have ever wanted to see Caesar Romero transplant a woman's brain into the body of a winged lion, now is your chance!
News of the Weird/Pro Edition/Weird 2.0 You're Still Not Cynical Enough
A Few More Prime Cuts of Underreported News from Last Week, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
June 29, 2010
(datelines June 19-26) (links correct as of June 28)
Weird 2.0 "To see what is in front of one's nose requires a constant struggle"—George Orwell
"That's close enough for government work"—unknown
"Nero Fiddles While Rome Burns"—Rome Daily Inquirer, 7-18-64A.D.
Close Enough: One of the U.S. Treasury Department's inspectors general reported that 14,000 "home buyers" have wrongly gotten tax credits under the 2008 real-estate-panic law. Now, there were bound to be slip-ups, but 1,300 of the 14,000 questionable "home buyers" were in prison at the time, including 241 serving life sentences, and 67 others bought the same house. (IRS sniffed that only a tiny few payouts appear to have been fraudulent [ed. likely because only a tiny number of scammers are cynical enough to understand that IRS can actually be defrauded from a prison cell].) CNN Money
The Pentagon says it can't "buy American" choppers for Afghanistan, thus enraging all the Senators and Congressmen from military-industrial districts. In fact, DoD feels it must buy Russian choppers because by the time most Afghan airmen, who have limited attention spans and who learned to fly on Russian choppers learn to fly U.S. craft, Gen. Petraeus'll be playing shuffleboard at the Old Soldiers' Home. Washington Post
"If you or I did what the Diocese of San Diego did in [its recent] bankruptcy [to stanch the flow of lawsuit damages arising from priests' sexual-abuse cases], we'd be charged with bankruptcy fraud, and we'd probably be in prison." That was attorney John Manly, who said he's found lots of wealth-hiding, obstruction-of-justice schemes by both the Diocese and the Vatican, itself. Star Tribune
The week saw the publication of the 2010 Eden Wildlife Report, which tracks the numbers of foreign species introduced to the UK over the past century. Compiled by Dr. Toni Bunnell and a team from the University of Hull, the report mentions wallabies thriving in Scotland, scorpions setting up home in Kent and aardvarks that have somehow emigrated from Brazil to Cumbria (Telegraph).
Of course, this won’t be news to one member of Britain’s thriving rod-fishing community, who this week caught a piranha in his local pond (Guardian).
Another place you might not expect to see exotic creatures is on your lunch menu, but that didn’t stop one restaurant owner in Mesa, AZ from putting “lion burgers” on the menu to celebrate soccer’s World Cup. Cameron Selogie of the Il Vinaio makes his “mane course” with genuine lion meat imported from South Africa, earning him the ire of local animal rights groups and several death threats, but not a reprimand from health officials. According to an FDA spokesman serving lion meat is perfectly legal, as long as it’s not roar (Scotsman).
Slightly luckier than the lions, one cat who has fallen on his feet is Oscar, a housecat from the Isle of Jersey in the UK, widely billed as the “bionic cat” after successfully receiving two artificial hind legs to replace the ones he lost in an altercation with a combine harvester (BBC News).
You might think pitting a rodent like mammal against a 12 tonne Triceratops makes for an equally one-sided match up, but evidence emerged recently that our primitive ancestors occasionally feasted upon dinosaurs. Seventy-five million year old “gnaw marks” of a kind characteristic of early mammals, and belonging to a creature not much bigger than a squirrel, have been found on the fossil bones both of Tricerotops and the crocodile-like predator Champsosaurus (LiveScience).
Sadly today the nearest we get to dinosaur flesh is turkey or chicken, but not all birds were prized solely for their meat. The huia bird of New Zealand for example, was once used to make the feathered head-dresses of Maori chiefs, until predation from accidentally introduced species drove it to extinction around 1907. But if the bird has gone its feathers have not, and one recently became the most expensive feather ever when it sold at auction for NZ$8000, i.e. $4000 American (Telegraph).
News of the Weird/Pro Edition You're Still Not Cynical Enough
Prime Cuts of Underreported News from Last Week, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
June 28, 2010
(datelines June 19-26) (links correct as of June 28)
Where 5th-Graders Get Laid, Plus Tasering Granny, Maple Syrup Pee, and Birth Tourism
★ ★ ★ ★ ★!
Condoms for All: The Provincetown, Mass., School Committee voted, obstinately, to give out free condoms, but of course only for high sch– . . no, wait, for any student who wants one. Said one supporter, "It's very possible that a fifth- or sixth-grader would be getting involved in sexual activity." As official policy, parental objections are deemed useless. "The intent is to protect kids," said the superintendent. Boston Globe
Because We're Lawyers and We Can–That's Why: In July, Loyola Law School of Los Angeles will jack up all students' grade-point averages by 0.333 for the sole announced purpose of making the grades look better to future employers. At least 10 other law schools are also attacking the "competitiveness" thing through the back door, by strategically softening grades. Said a Duke professor who studies grade-inflation, "If somebody's paying $150,000 for a law school degree, you don't want to call them a loser at the end." New York Times
You're Ugly, But Not to Worry: The dating site for us cuties (BeautifulPeople.com, 600,000 members worldwide) has started up fertility banks for sperm 'n' eggs, and in a fit of egalitarianism are opening it up to all you uglies. Explained founder Robert Hintze, "Initially, we hesitated to widen the offering to non-beautiful people. But everyone–including ugly people–would like to bring good looking children into the world, and we can't be selfish with our attractive gene pool." Newsweek
The Food Chain, Re-Established: The owner of the Mesa, Ariz., restaurant Il Vinaio got all upset that people were questioning his decision to sell burgers made with lion meat. CNN Money
Primary Locus of Weird: the Medial Prefrontal Cortex: Researchers writing in the Journal of Neuroscience have anticipated the behavior of people better than the people, themselves, anticipated it–simply by looking at which parts of the brain juice up during a thought. This means that "self-awareness" is tied to the MPC and that our category of PFOTs (People Full Of Themselves) actually consists of people who have weak relationships with their MPCs. Reuters via ABC News
. . . And in the PFOT Trial of the Century: The leading surreal moment (so far) in the Rod Blagojevich trial: Last Thursday, the courtroom heard a wiretap from December 5, 2008 (enabled by a trusted Blago associate who flipped on Rod), in which Blago is doubting that that trusted associate would ever flip on him. Key wiretapped Blago quote: "[There is] scrutiny going on and lawyers to pay. How in the hell am I going to send my kid to college?" Chicago Tribune
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.