News of the Weird 2.0 (September 30, 2013)

News of the Weird 2.0 / Pro Edition
Angst, Confusion, Cynicism, Ridicule

Prime Cuts of Underreported News from Last Week, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
September 30, 2013
(datelines September 21-September 28) (links correct as of September 29)

Least Competent Child: Age not known, but this North London gal got trapped on a swing in a public park, and so entangled herself that it took firefighters 15 minutes to figure it out. (Bonus: Due to communications problems, three trucks and a total of 15 emergency personnel responded to the “distress” call.) World’s Greatest Newspaper

The Power of “One Person”: Check these two instances from last week (but there’ll be more) where public officials have decided something, but then, reportedly, one person complains, and the officials shrivel up. (1) A set of nicely-designed traffic barriers, blending with the street, will now be redone because some lady in the Pittsburgh suburb said they reminded her of a row of penii. (2) Officials at Hendersonville (Tenn.) High School, in the heart of Christian America, thought they had a duty to expose the kids to other views, via inspirational field trips to synagogues and mosques, but of course one parent objected that it would turn the kids into terrorists, and that was the end of that. U-S-A! U-S-A! Pittsburgh Post-Gazette /// Times Free Press (Chattanooga)

What does a lawyer do when his landlord-client is caught red-handed spying on his tenant-babes via peepholes? Well, the lawyer examines the applicable statute, fixates on the requirement that peeping is only illegal if for “sexual gratification,” and then whines indignantly that there is no evidence the client was “aroused” when he was caught perving. (Actually, Yr Editor noticed that the crawl space for the peeping would appear to make it very difficult, if not painful, for the landlord to be aroused while peeping.) Des Moines Register

Update: Yr Editor made a big deal in NOTW M336 [9-15-2013; WU, 7-15-2013] about our ridiculous tolerance for high-frequency investment trading, as if it’s a national treasure. And now: On September 18th, the Federal Reserve announced an about-face of sorts of its plans to stop goosing the economy. For most investors, the about-face would be a “buy” signal but only at a price that were low (to reflect prevailing pessimism about goosing). The Fed’s news was scheduled for a 2 p.m. release, and the Fed has made it clear that 2 p.m. means 2:00:000000000, period. Somehow, thousands of computer-driven “buy” trades were executed in Chicago within 4 milliseconds after 2 p.m. (actually, 1 p.m. in Chicago). People who calculate these things believe it would take at least 7 milliseconds for the Fed’s announcement to have moved electronically from the New York Fed’s office to Chicago. (1) Who cheated? (2) How’d they cheat? (3) Maybe they didn’t cheat, but just willed a new law of physics to get electronic blips to Chicago faster. (4) Why is 4 milliseconds so damned important? [Oh, right, money! I forgot.] (5) In what possible way is “society” [i.e., U-S-A! U-S-A!] benefiting from this steroidal version of algorithm-driven trading? (6) Why don’t we just track down these quants and give them a series of bloody, deep-vein, bone-rattling wedgies so they’ll go do other things--more socially-productive things? Mother Jones /// CNBC

Can’t Possibly Be True: Sheriff’s deputy / Piece of Work Darrell Mathis of Newton County, Ga., close to Atlanta, was busted for calmly running a dope-selling business . . while in uniform . . from his squad car . . after bragging that he does it all the time. CNN

“Patrick,” 23, a Western lowland gorilla, was finally ushered out of the Dallas (Tex.) Zoo, and on to a zoo in Columbia, S.C., because he wanted only to be alone or hang with his human handlers and visitors and not with “his own kind”--and especially not with horny females of his own kind. Associated Press via WHTM-TV (Harrisburg, Pa.)

A University of Florida veterinary school professor was arrested for taking upskirt photos with a camera-pen. His initial explanation implied that he felt a duty to document that female students were arriving in class without proper underwear, but then had no explanation for the other prolonged close-ups of coeds’ chests. The Smoking Gun

Pretty good research shows that people who attend church regularly are, in general, happier, more optimistic, healthier, than non-church-goers. That partly reflects the what-me-worry? attitude produced by all-in reliance on an omnipotent spirit [OS], but it also reflects just hanging around a social group of happy, optimistic, healthy people. Hence, a UK social invention--the full-service church that offers everything a church-church does . . except that pesky OS app. “Sunday Assembly Everywhere”’s Credo: “[L[ive better, help often, and wonder more.” (In fact, the atheists are complaining that SAE isn’t negative enough in denouncing the OS, presumably because SAE is too busy being joyous.) [Yr Editor’s Deep Thought of the Week: I thought I was SAE material, but maybe I’m just Patrick.] SAE may be coming soon to your town, too. The Week

Editor's Note

Yeah, I’ll be back tomorrow, and yeah, I’m still futzing with format. The fact is, obviously, I’m not really a “blogger.” I’m still a “newspaper columnist.” I write 800-1100 words, in a selection of news summaries, crafted to entertain a “reader” (not necessarily a “browser” or a “scanner”). Obviously, unlike Alex and Paul and our guest bloggers, I have never taken advantage of two primary characteristics of the “blog”: images and commentability. Nonetheless, I work hard and seek to continue whatever I was doing before Alex, Paul, and I started this thingie, which was to reach a particular audience that prefers the product I’m good at. (I’ll still post to Weird Universe, but I keep thinking another audience is reachable if I weren’t so “bloggish.” If anyone knows WTF I’m saying to myself has any reaction, please e-mail me at Weirdnuz at Earthlink dot net or Chuck at WeirdUniverse dot net, both of which I monitor more frequently than I do the Comments.)

Your Weekly Jury Duty
[In America, you're presumed innocent . . . until the mug shot is released]

Mr. Bee O’Brien, 49, has given up on finding work so it’s no wonder he’d trash the Job Centre site in Manchester, England, when his benefits spigot froze up, even temporarily. Nonetheless, can y’all think of any reason off the top of your head why Bee might not have employers begging to hire him? Manchester Evening News

Newsrangers: Cindy Hildebrand and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.
     Posted By: Chuck - Mon Sep 30, 2013

Fed's FTL comms: If the news release was scheduled for 2 p.m., there's nothing precluding a bunch of activity being queued for that time, and then executed without regard to the substance of the release. BTW, the 7 mS in question includes the time to encode and decode the data, plus the time it takes to serialize the bits for transmission. So, if the computer in Chicago were waiting, not on the actual release, but on the start of any data flow from the right source address, it could release the sales orders without having to do the decoding part of the task, thus saving some of the 7 mS.
Posted by TheCannyScot in Atlanta, GA on 09/30/13 at 09:36 AM
London FD Ah.... cut the chain?

The Power of 1 Sorry, have to disagree... It's the stupidity of many.

Fed's FTL comms What Scottie said. (That saved 382.7mS)

Go-Rilla So not everyone goes ape over horny pus females?

Editor's Note You're doing just fine by me. You have been since I 'discovered' you. I've not read any negative comments about your format(s), past or present.

HeShe Bee Dho! (Welcome season 25!)
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 09/30/13 at 10:08 AM
about mr. bee. if he has a pony tail on his forehead, what does that make his face?
Posted by s on 09/30/13 at 05:20 PM
Re: Editor's Note

Some of us have been reading your column since the eighties and are just glad that you're still around, doing what you do, regardless of format. 😊
Posted by Cindy on 09/30/13 at 10:16 PM
swing girl- Communication problems? More like the guys calling each other saying, "Dude you GOTTA see this!"

the power of one- Didn't you know? Political correctness has morphed into minority rule on everything. No one may ever be offended or else.

peeper- Then why was he peeping??

trading- Track them down and stick them in jail like Martha Stewart was.

Patrick- That seems uncomfortably like deliberate punishment because the animal does not act the way zoo officials want him to in spite of the fact that visitors love him.

atheists- They do a whole lot of complaining about what other people choose to do.(not all, just the loud whiny ones)

Honey I prefer what you are good at! Any way you choose to present it is great by me.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 09/30/13 at 10:58 PM
patty, power of one: that offends me! I demand the right to be politically incorrect, or I'll threaten vaguely to sue!
Posted by Richard Bos on 10/01/13 at 06:17 AM
Richard :lol: :lol:
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 10/01/13 at 12:02 PM
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