You pay $9 for the privilege of spending an hour in a cafe begging some cats to pay attention to you. Apparently the concept has become very popular in Japan due to a combination of factors that make pet ownership difficult: people spend too much time at work, and many apartments have no-pets policies.
As someone who owns a 15-year-old cat that insists on spending a large portion of her time every day sleeping in my lap -- and instead of trying to move her I've just learned to work around this -- I'm not really in a position to make fun of anyone else's weird cat-related behavior. If I didn't own a cat, and I lived in Japan, I'd probably be one of the people hanging out at the local cat cafe. (Thanks to Cassie Sperry for the link!)
As we all know, Chuck has a recurring theme about how the Brits coddle their prisoners. Apparently, this motif goes back at least as far as 1960, the year that the Peter Sellers film TWO-WAY STRETCH premiered. In this film, Sellers and gang receive deliveries from the milkman and newsboy, keep a cat, steal the warden's ciggies, and generally make their stay quite enjoyable. Until the tough-guy guard known as "Sourkraut" shows up. See some moments below.
Little Rock's new River Church will hold its Good Friday and Easter services at downtown bars. KLRT-TV
A Cause Greater Than One's Self: At least Abdullah, 11, is a jihadi suicide bomber; all you can say about that Dillon, S.C., 11-yr-old is that he shot his little sister in the face with a shotgun because she took his potato chips. Daily Mail (London) ///WBTW-TV (Myrtle Beach)
A real-life tick-tock in Toronto: Infant Lillian, needing heart transplant, is sh_t-outta-luck because the arranged donor (terminally-ill Kaylee) is defying everyone by . . living. Globe & Mail
Best and the Brightest: Texas state Rep. Betty Brown, noting how difficult it is to verify voter registration of Asian-Americans with Anglicized names, suggested that they change 'em to names "easier for Americans to deal with." Houston Chronicle
An ex-NYPD officer, fighting to get his job back, said the only reason he could think of for testing positive for cocaine was that he used to go down on his cokehead girlfriend. New York Daily News
Peter Dennis sued the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. because its voluntary self-exclusion (from casino) program didn't work for him, letting him lose around $600k more (and he's suing on behalf of all the other gamblers it didn't work for) ($3.5B). Toronto Star
Brett Picciotti, 26, said even if he has been charged with throwing his girlfriend off of a second-floor balcony, that's no reason to kick him out of medical school. (Bonus statement by his lawyer: "He's an exemplary young man. This is an aberrational charge. I think there's an explanation. I'm just not prepared to give it to you right now.") Philadelphia Daily News
[Jury Duty] After a high-speed chase, police accused Sterling Devine, 25, of a home break-in, but he doesn't see it that way. KCTV (Kansas City)
Today's Newsrangers: Jessica McRorie, Stephen Taylor, Joe Pat Clayton, Jim Dukes, Sandy Pearlman
A gov't fire and rescue service in Britain requires firefighters to use long poles to test ceiling alarms . . because stepladders are dangerous. Daily Mail
Recurring: Vero Beach is the latest F State jurisdiction to use what has become the standard state definition of the area of the ass that must be covered in public (easier to understand if you're good at geometry). TCPalm.com
Sounds Like a Joke (just like other reality-show concepts once did): Someone's Gotta Go (in production at Fox), where employees of an actual small company decide which one of them actually gets laid off. Washington Post
Americorps volunteers in Denver fan out . . to help people with that analog-to-digital TV thing. KUSA-TV
Alfonso Rizzuto walked into the post office in Kingston, Pa., on business, not realizing that right there on the wall was a wanted poster for fugitive Alfonso Rizzuto. Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre)
$9/hour entertainment charge at one of 39 Tokyo "cat cafes," where trendy or lonely people get to pet the kitties while they sip tea. GlobalPost.com
The Pentagon has been dressing pigs in body armor, strapping them into Humvees, and setting off roadside bombs to see if armor helps/hurts with brain injuries (because pigs' brains are like ours!). USA Today
[Jury Duty] Daniel Alexander, 39, charged with killing his mobile-home roommate [top photo is the victim; Alexander's underneath]. Palm Beach Post
This article analyses portrayals of Scottish female herring workers on the covers of romance novels and investigates how far these representations conform to, or subvert, the genre of romantic fiction. Covers are analysed to establish whether they accurately portray Scottish female herring workers at their labour. If romanticisation of the women's working role is evident, the ways in which this manifests itself and the possible reasons for this romanticisation are examined. Composition of images and the mise-en-scene of covers are analysed, as well as aspects concerning the narratives of the novels, and elements of herring processing work that are noticeably absent in the depictions are also considered. These elements excluded from the covers are examined through theory relating to the abject in an attempt to ascertain whether the covers potentially provide models of female empowerment for the reader.
And here are some of the romance novel covers in question.
I'll spare you the trouble of reading the article by summarizing its findings. Gutting herrings is smelly, dirty work. This is not accurately portrayed on romance covers. (Thanks to Dave Monroe!)
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.
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.