News of the Weird (August 2, 2015)

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M434, August 2, 2015
Copyright 2015 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Lead Story

Among the health and fitness “apps” for computers and smartphones are sex-tracking programs to document the variety of acts and positions, degrees of frenzy, and length of sessions (via an on-bed motion detector)--and menstrual trackers aimed at males (to help judge their partner’s fertility but also her predicted friskiness and likelihood of orgasm). Several have chart- and graph-making potential for data (noise level, average thrust frequency, duration, etc.), and of course, the highlight of many of the apps is their ability to create a “score” to rank performance--even encouraging comparisons across a range of populations and geography. (Sociologist Deborah Lupton’s app research was summarized in July Harper’s Magazine.) [Harper’s, July 2015]

We Are Not Alone

(1) Scientists from Australia’s James Cook University told reporters in June that they had spotted an aggressive fish that can walk on land making its way toward the country from Papua New Guinea. The native freshwater “climbing perch” can live out of water for days and has survived short saltwater treks from PNG toward Australia’s Queensland. (2) In July, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department posted a warning photo of a so-far-rare “Texas Redhead”--an eight-inch-long centipede with gangly white legs tipped with venom-delivering fangs and which eats lizards and toads. [Business Insider Australia, 6-3-2015] [Washington Post, 7-6-2015]

The Continuing Crisis

Reuters reported in early July that a big loser in the nuclear pact between Iran and six world powers was (since all negotiators have gone home to sell the deal) the brothel industry of Vienna, Austria, which hosted that final round. With so many (male, mostly) diplomats in town for two stressful months, business had been robust--especially compared to the previous round in notoriously expensive Lausanne, Switzerland. [Reuters, 7-5-2015]

The Undernews From Wimbledon: The All England Club, host of tennis’s most hallowed tournament, is, formally, the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, at which presumably Britain’s 11,900 croquet “regulars” aspire to play--although their British Open Championship is actually held at the nearby Surbiton Croquet Club, which this year hosted 50 competitors from four continents, according to a July New York Times dispatch. The leading U.S. player--Ben Rothman of Oakland, Calif., the “croquet pro” at Mission Hills Country Club near Palm Springs--is the reputed “world’s leader” in prize money (“$4,500"). [New York Times, 7-6-2015]

Profile in Leadership

Maryland state Delegate Ariana Kelly was charged with trespassing and indecent exposure in July after she arrived at her ex-husband’s home to drop off their kids and learned that his girlfriend was inside. According to police, she started banging on the door and ringing the bell repeatedly and, aware that her husband had a camera trained on the doorway, she faced it, exposed her breasts and shook them, one in each hand, toward the lens. Eventually, she dared an officer to arrest her. (The Washington Post reported that Kelly is a member of a legislative task force studying maternal mental health issues.) [Washington Post, 7-14-2015]


(1) An 87-year-old man, taking his license renewal driving test in Deerfield, Ill., in June, accidentally crashed into the driver’s license office (based on brake/accelerator confusion). Neither he nor the examiner was injured. (2) An 83-year-old man, driving around Cape Coral, Fla., in May, suffered a fatal heart attack at the wheel, and the uncontrolled car came to rest in shrubbery ringing the Florida Heart Associates building. [Chicago Tribune, 6-11-2015] [Fort Myers News-Press, 5-11-2015]

Wrong Place, Wrong Time: (1) A court in Lincoln, Neb., which had already sent Paul Boye to prison for at least 10 years for shooting his girlfriend, ordered him in June to cover her resulting medical bills. The woman had taken a .22-caliber bullet, which left a scar cutting right through her tattoo reading “Happiness Is A Warm Gun.” (2) A task force of Benton, Ark., police and U.S. Marshals tracked down Tieren Watson, 26, in June after he had spent several days on the lam as a suspect in a shooting. When arrested, he was wearing a t-shirt reading “You Can Run. But You Can’t Hide.” [Lincoln Journal Star, 6-13-2015] [The Smoking Gun, 6-18-2015]

Wait, What?

Mine worker Joshua Clay claimed in a lawsuit that a foreman had twice taunted him for complaining about conditions--by restraining him and spray-painting his testicles white. Clay filed against Kielty Mine in Mingo County, W.Va., in July, alleging that the company had forced him to work on the dirty side of a coal-dust conversion machine--a practice forbidden by federal regulations--and that when he complained, he was subjected to off-the-books discipline. [Courthouse News, 7-16-2015]


A KPHO-TV news story in Phoenix featured a local doctor advising expectant mothers against “tweaking” the result of home pregnancy tests. Some women, apparently, had discovered the magic of “Photoshopping” the pink reading on the home test’s strip--to take a faint pink line (not a certified pregnancy) to make it bold (pregnant!). Although the doctor warns of the general hazard of “false positives,” the 415-word news story does not explain how Photoshopping a not-positive reading into a positive one improves likelihood of conception. [KPHO-TV, 7-7-2015]

Mangoes in the News

(1) Josefina Tometich, 64, was arrested in Fort Myers, Fla., in June, charged with shooting out the back window of Christopher Richey’s pickup. Richey had fetched a “perfect-looking” mango from the street in front of Tometich’s house, but Tometich insisted it was hers since it had earlier fallen from her tree. (An attorney consulted by WBBH-TV said wind-blown mangoes landing on public property is a legal “grey area.”) (2) In one of the most successful redresses of grievance in history, the Venezuelan government gave Marleny Olivo a new apartment in April. Only days before, as President Nicolas Maduro toured her neighborhood in Aragua state, she had hurled a mango at him with her phone number on it, hitting him just below the ear. The new president (a “man of the people”) called her, listened to her story, and ordered a housing upgrade. [WBBH-TV, 6-30-2015] [BBC News, 4-25-2015]

Least Competent Criminals

Awkward: (1) A 26-year-old carpenter, trying to break open an ATM at an ICICI Bank in Delhi, India, at 2:30 a.m. on July 8th, accidentally locked himself in the tiny space behind it (used to service the machine safely) and had to phone police to come rescue him. (2) The carjacker in Omaha, Neb., on July 16th commandeered the car from a woman at gunpoint and climbed in. However, according to the woman, she is short, and he was very tall, and after fumbling a bit trying to adjust the seat, he gave up (having driven only a few feet), and ran off. [The Times of India, 7-9-2015] [Nebraska Radio Network (Omaha), 7-16-2015]


As News of the Weird has noted, some observant Jews are magnificently creative in devising workarounds to ancient ritual restraints. For instance, the KosherSwitch theoretically allows Jews to defeat the restriction on engaging electricity during the Sabbath. By employing a laser circuit that periodically malfunctions, or delays, in connecting a switch to a power flow, it permits the user technically to not be the direct cause of the electricity. (The KosherSwitch is currently the subject of a crowd-funding project sponsored by the device’s patent-holder.) (Less ingenious, as News of the Weird noted in 2010, is the Yom Kippur workaround for “fasting” coffee addicts: caffeine suppositories.) [Tablet Magazine, 7-6-2015]

A News of the Weird Classic (August 2010)

Time magazine reported in August [2010] that among the entries in "Detroit Hair Wars" (showcasing pieces by 34 stylists) were The Hummer (stylist: "Little Willie"), in which a mass of extensions is shaped to resemble the vehicle, including four large, rolled “tires”--with metallic hubcaps and front grid added; and Beautiful Butterfly (stylist: Niecy Hayes), featuring extensions thinned, teased, and stretched so that four angelic "wings" arise from the model’s head. Both stylings appear to be at least two feet long, dwarfing the models' heads. [Time, 8-2-2010]

Thanks This Week to Judith Cherry and Gerald Sacks, and to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.
     Posted By: Chuck - Sun Aug 02, 2015

Sex score: some of the more gratifying sex acts involve very little detectable movement.

False positive: so far as I can tell (not having children of my own) the purpose behind a falsely positive pregnancy test would be to persuade a reluctant boyfriend to stick around. A better idea might be to up your score on the sex app.

Maternal mental health: usually, there's a family reason for health practitioners choosing a particular branch of medicine. In this case, it would seem that the reason is herself.
Posted by TheCannyScot in Atlanta, GA on 08/02/15 at 09:00 AM
Climbing Perch Boy was Darwin wrong!! We evolved from fish. (Well, at least ½ of us did.)

Iran Negotiations So we're not the only ones that got f.....ed.

Croquet Pro Who know that so many illegals played the game?

Ariana Kelly And one wonders why we're going to hell in a handbasket.

Paul Boye At 10¢ an hour prison pay he should be debt free in a lifetime.

Whiteballs, KY Wait... I didn't read that right.

Preggers Test America's IQ is into the double digits.

Mango Shooting From the news report "a BB gun with a 22cal pellet". IQ -1

UnKosher If they were Catholics they could just pay for dispensation and get on with their lives. "Oy Vay! And this we couldn't think of?"
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 08/02/15 at 12:20 PM
@Expat47 -- I'm afraid I don't understand what you meant by: "From the news report "a BB gun with a 22cal pellet". IQ -1" You can typically shoot pellets in a BB gun (but not BBs in a pellet gun; they ruin the rifling). I can understand her using pellets -- in .20, .22, and .25 calibers, BBs can be more expensive and harder to find than pellets.
Posted by Phideaux on 08/02/15 at 02:48 PM
Sex scores- Taking all the romance out of sex this way ruins it. Scot, you sound knowledgeable on this subject, I like that. 😉

walking fish- Those who do not believe in evolution always say that if it was true then why don't we still see it happening. Well, I think these fish are a pretty good example of evolutionary changes in a species.

treaty negotiation- I think Expat said it all.

croquet- Its a thing?? Who knew???

delegate- Trying for a cure before she starts a family maybe?

87- But did he pass?

83- He was headed the right place.

happiness- Hey, tats are expensive yo!

task force- they must have checked every hen house, farm house, dog house...

coal mine- So they've added sexual assault to work place safety violations. Wanna bet they are in violation of EPA rules as well?

false pregnancy test- Sorry Scot, but I think those positive tests scare off more potential daddies that they keep around. Too many men still think that taking responsibility for their seed is optional. Not saying that lying about being pregnant isn't heinous just that a lot of heinous behavior goes around and in the end the poor, sweet little babies pay the price.

mangos- When a tree in one yard falls on the neighboring house who is responsible for the damage? That precedent will tell you who's mango it is. As for throwing anything at a leader for any reason, jail is where the thrower ends up over here.(don't taze me bro! ZAPPPP AHHHH)

ATM robber- He will just be locked in a slightly larger box now.

tall car jacker- Hey! Finally, a benefit to being short!!!

religious technicality- The technicality is; something that did not exist when the rules were written cannot be forbidden.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 08/02/15 at 04:44 PM
@Phideaux: A BB is 177cal and if one was to load one into a 22cal chamber it would just roll out the barrel. On the other hand stuffing a 22cal pellet into a 177cal hole would jam the barrel up to a fair the well. So, the woman couldn't have fired a 22cal pellet from a BB gun. It's just @#$#$ing impossible.

Now, my 177cal "air pistol" can be loaded with either BBs or pellets but the pellets aren't 22cal.

Anyhow, for that pistol to have the umph to make a pellet shatter the window of a truck this woman had to be putting way more than 4 or 5 pumps into it that that takes time! So either she was risking ruining her weapon by keeping it pumped up or we're not getting the whole story. People on Sanibel island are 115% past crazy anyhow so my $$s are on more that we're being presented with.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 08/02/15 at 11:57 PM
@Expat47 -- .177 is, by far, the most popular BB caliber, but it's not the only one.

Once you get above .25, most people call the ammunition 'round balls' instead of BBs, but since they're balls (as opposed to pellets) made for air rifles, technically, even Air Venturi's .50 caliber, 177 grain ammo is still a BB.
"Subsequently, the term 'BB' became generic, referring to round shot of various calibers and materials." --

I doubt she pumped at all. Toys (.177 caliber) are pumped -- those in larger calibers generally use CO2 cartridges.

Air rifles in .22 and .25 calibers are preferred by some people who want to protect their property with a minimum of legal fuss since they're not firearms and there's little risk of damage if you miss. Some prefer BB guns in those calibers rather than pellet guns because BBs lose energy faster over distance, which is important in residential neighborhoods. You can fire a pellet out of a BB gun (in calibers over 4.5mm), but a BB will likely damage the rifling of a pellet gun.
Posted by Phideaux on 08/03/15 at 03:57 AM
Yea, things may have moved on since I last hunted varment with my air guns, they may, even, have solved the problem the of CO2 slow leak, but BB is still a size and it ain't 22cal.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 08/03/15 at 04:18 AM
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