News of the Weird (July 17, 2016)

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M484, July 17, 2016
Copyright 2016 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Lead Story

Fashion Challenges: Beautician Sarah Bryan, 28, of Wakefield, England, who garnered worldwide notoriety last year when she introduced a wearable dress made of 3,000 Skittles, returned this summer with a wearable skirt and bra made of donated human hair (a substantial amount, she said, pubic hair). She admits having had to work in eye mask, breathing mask, and thick gloves, out of fear of donors' hygiene habits. (More conventionally, Van Tran of Brooklyn, N.Y., won the 12th annual (wearable) Toilet Paper Wedding Dress design contest in New York City in June, with a $10,000 prize from sponsors Charmin and Ripley's Believe It Or Not.) [Metro News (London), 7-5-2016] [Washington Post, 6-20-2016]

World's Greatest Lawyers

Attorney Chris Dyer convinced a jury in La Crosse, Wis., in June that there was "reasonable doubt" about what his client was doing in a family's basement when he was discovered, pants down, perched ("doggy style") over the family's golden retriever Cooper. Client Daniel Reinsvold (a stranger in the house) told the jury that he has an "intestinal disorder" that makes him subject to "emergencies." What Reinsvold was doing was apparently perfectly clear to the resident's 17-year-old daughter, who discovered the scene and reported Reinsvold "screwing Cooper" (and a vet said later that Cooper showed signs of trauma). Nonetheless, Reinvold was convicted only of trespass and disorderly conduct. [La Crosse Tribune, 6-16-2016]

Attorney Lee Pearlman finally earned an acquittal in June (after two hung-jury trials) for his client Danielle Goeller--one of a seemingly increasing number of drivers who hit pedestrians but claim they were unaware of anybody being hit. Goeller, 28, a trauma-room nurse with no intoxicants in her system, had struck a 60-year-old man on a busy, heavily-lighted Tampa street at 11:45 p.m., cracking her windshield--but drove on without stopping. "What does she think she hit?" asked the prosecutor. "A deer? A bear?" Responded Pearlman, "She's a scared girl in the middle of the night who doesn't have the life experience other people do." [Tampa Bay Times, 7-1-2016]

Bright Ideas

Picturesque Torrelodones, Spain (pop. 22,000), has 6,000 pet dogs and apparently few conscientious dog owners, which town leaders say accounts for the nearly half-ton of "litter" that accumulates daily. The town's latest bright idea: installing a 7-foot-high, 10-foot by 10-foot brown, inflated plastic "swirly" in the center of town as a reminder to residents to pick up after their dogs. (Spain's The Local reported in June that other towns have begun to tackle the problem as well, such as with DNA testing of dogs and street-scrubbing punishment for guilty owners.) [The Local (Barcelona), 6-3-2016]

British student Joshua Browder, 19, created an easy-to-use computer app to help parking-ticketed drivers fight citations that they believe unjust--and now reports that users have won 160,000 cases (out of 250,000), all in London and New York City, by following his question-and-answer "chat" interface at Browder said he was motivated to develop the app (which as of now is still free of charge) after, himself, getting about 30 tickets he says he did not deserve. [Metro News (London), 6-28-2016]

The Passing Parade

(1) A bicycle thief was stopped on June 10th when the bike's owner and several other people chased him from the Walmart parking lot in Eagle Point, Ore., drawing the attention of a passing rider on horseback (Robert Borba), who joined the chase and moments later (according to a report in Portland's The Oregonian) lassoed the man and restrained him until police arrived. (2) A kite surfer on a Sussex beach south of London got into trouble on June 26th and was unable to float back to land--until he was rescued by two Samaritans in kayaks. The saviors happened to be dressed as Batman and Robin for participating in the Shoreham Beach Superhero Paddle. [The Oregonian, 6-10-2016] [Bognor Regis Observer, 6-27-2016]

Wait, What?

Not only are almost all federal employees above average, they are nearly all superior workers, according to a June Government Accountability Office review of agencies' personnel-rating results. (Yes, the review included the departments of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security.) Most agencies use a 1 ("unacceptable") through 5 ("outstanding") rating system, and GAO found that 99 percent were rated either 5 or 4 ("exceeds 'fully acceptable'"). [Washington Post, 6-13-2016]

Not many DUI stops result in attempts to locate the suspect's chastity-belt key, but the May 14th sobriety-checkpoint stop of Curtis Eidam, 35, in Clinton, Tenn., did. Eidam was outfited in "red mesh see-through hose," according to the police report, with a ribbon tied in his goatee, and also a "little skirt" (perhaps a tutu), when he told officers he needed his key, which happened to be on a necklace of his passenger (a "highly intoxicated" 44-year-old woman). Thus, Eidam was able to unlock and remove the chastity belt, which had been "attached to his penis." (There was also a handgun--illegal in Tennessee for an intoxicated person to carry.) [Knoxville News Sentinel, 6-7-2016]

Cognitive Failure

In a May journal article, biologists from the University of Florida and Oklahoma State University found that more than 80 percent of survey respondents want package labels on all foods that have "DNA" content (even though, yes, all meat and vegetables have DNA). The Oklahoma researcher found earlier that about the same number want such labels to be "mandatory." (Law professor Ilya Somin suggests playfully raising the fright level of those respondents by adding this "alarm" to the label they demand: "Warning: Pregnant women are at very high risk of passing on DNA to their children.") [, 5-24-2016] [Washington Post, 5-27-2016] [Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 5-18-2016]

Weird Japan

Client Partners is only one of several Japanese agencies that supply rental "friends" to the lonely, for hours or days of companionship tailored to needs of the socially-challenged client (with two rules, however: "no romance," "no lending money"). A writer for AFAR travel magazine interviewed several "friends" in June, one of whom explained, "Japan is all about face. We don't know how to talk from the gut. We can't ask for help." Said the female "friend" (who offered a good-bye handshake to the interviewer): "There are many people who haven't been touched for years . . . who start to cry when we shake hands with them." [ via The Week, 6-26-2016]

But It's Our "Policy"!

Samaritan Derrick Deanda is facing a $143 bill from paramedics in Elk Grove, Calif., after he, passing a car crash, jumped out to pull out a man and his three children (including a 2-year-old), who were trapped in the wreckage. A short time later the paramedics arrived, and noticing that Deanda had a cut on his arm (from breaking the car's window to free the family), bandaged him. Elk Grove has a policy charging "all patients" at a first-responder site $143 for the "rescue," and Deanda received his bill in June. [KOVR-TV (Sacramento), 6-20-2016]

Least Competent Criminals

Not Ready for Prime Time: In May, a 16-year-old boy in Lakewood, Wash., not only used Facebook to set up a marijuana-dealer robbery (one of many, lately, to incriminate themselves on social media), but during the robbery itself accidentally shot himself in the groin and femoral artery, requiring life-saving seven-hour surgery. [News Tribune (Tacoma), 5-2-2016]

A News of the Weird Classic (July 2012)

Slaved Over a Hot Stove: Delivering gourmet meals to customers' doors is a fast-growing business model, but so far, only London's brand-new [as of 2012] Housebites goes the extra step. According to its press release, cited by Huffington Post, Housebites not only home-delivers "restaurant quality" cuisine (at the equivalent of about $20 per entree) but offers an optional dirty-pans service (about $8 extra), lending out the containers in which the food was prepared--thus allowing clients to trick their dinner guests into believing the client actually prepared the meal. [Huffington Post, 6-14-2012]

Thanks This Week to Steven Lobejko, Kathryn Wood, Raan Young, Robin Daley, Larry B. King, Denise Sanabria, and Stephen Kreger, and to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.
     Posted By: Chuck - Sun Jul 17, 2016

Fashion: I assume that she got the idea from American Apparel.

Trauma-room nurse: Maybe she is paid by the piece?

Dog poo: Making the guilty scrub the pavement is great, but I still think the Parisian motocrottes were wonderful.

Parking ticket app: Sounds entirely reasonable to me. Although he may find response times if he calls the police for help will be rather slower than expected.

Bike thief: shades of Marshal McCloud.

Kite surfer: So, was the kite bat-shaped, perchance?

GAO survey: Did they ask the employees to rate themselves?

DNA warning: This is partly due to reporters using "DNA evidence" as a euphemism for semen or other bodily fluids. The rest (and vast majority, IMO) is the same sort of lunacy that leads to attempts to ban the dangerous chemical dihydrogen monoxide.

Facebook criminal: Please, please tell me he got a Darwin Award.
Posted by TheCannyScot in Atlanta, GA on 07/17/16 at 09:38 PM
Re: Facebook criminal: normally, the "hero" must kill himself to qualify for a Darwin Award. This guy might qualify for the special category if he sterilized himself with one of those shots to the groin, and thereby removed himself from the gene pool.

Pube hair clothing: you gotta be really hard up for attention to wear that. How absolutely gross.

The dirty pans service with the gourmet meal delivery is brilliant! How about if the service would credit you back the cost of this add-on if you got your dinner guests to wash them!
Posted by Virtual on 07/18/16 at 02:09 AM
Government Employee Ratings: While I was in the Navy if an officer was not rated in the top 1% they might as well forget getting promoted. Ridiculous right? Then there is the Captain who decides this is BS and grades closer to reality. Could hear careers circling the drain.
Posted by Billy on 07/18/16 at 10:53 AM
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