News of the Weird (September 14, 2014)

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M388, September 14, 2014
Copyright 2014 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Lead Story

A Nerd’s Rhapsody: Nicholas Felton's latest annual recap of his personal communications data is now available, for just $30. Key findings, graphically presented, of Nicholas's busy 2013 (according to a report by He received 44,041 texts and 31,769 e-mails, had 12,464 face-to-face conversations and 320 phone calls (all detailed by communicatee, from where, at what time, in what language). He reported 385 conversations, for example, with female cashiers, and that 54,963 exclamation points were used across all methods of written communication. (The 2012, 2011, and 2010 reports sold out, according to [, 8-24-2014]

Can't Possibly Be True

The UK's Barnet Council got aggressive in August against a landlord in Hendon, in north London, who had defied an earlier order to stop offering a too-small apartment for residential rental. Landlord Yaakov Marom said tenants were still eager for the room even though the entry way required most people to drop to all fours, since it was only 28 inches high (and therefore a fire-code violation). Council officers checking on the earlier order against Marom found a couple still residing there, paying the equivalent of $685 a month. [The Guardian, 8-22-2014]

When he was 19, Rene Lima-Marin (with a pal) robbed two Aurora, Colo., video stores at gunpoint and, winning no favors from the judge, received back-to-back sentences totaling 98 years. In 2008, eight years into the sentence, Lima-Marin was mistakenly released and until this year was a model citizen, employed, married with a son, on good terms with his parole officer. However, the mistake was found in January, and he was returned to prison, and according to his lawyers in their August appeal, the original sentence has been reimposed, thus moving his release date to the year 2104. [KMGH-TV (Denver), 8-22-2014]

Among the more than 350 convicted violent felons whose right to carry guns has been restored over the past six years by the state of Georgia were 32 who had killed another person and 44 who were sex offenders, according to an August report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. As pointed out by, among those who once again can carry is Dennis Krauss, a former Glynn County, Ga., police officer convicted of raping a woman after a traffic stop. According to the 2003 Georgia Court of Appeals decision affirming his conviction, Officer Krauss had drawn his service weapon and said he wanted to anally penetrate the woman with it. (However, he was convicted only for his extortionate demand for sex.) [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 8-23-2014]

On August 21st and 22nd, in front of Linwood Howe Elementary School in Culver City, Calif., traffic officials posted a towering parking-regulation sign pole (reportedly, 15 feet high) with at least nine large white signs, one on top of the other--in familiar red or green lettering, restricting access to the school’s curb lane. Each sign contains orders either to not park or to park only under certain conditions, each with its specific hours or other fine-print limitations. The mayor ordered the sign replaced on August 22nd. [KABC-TV (Los Angeles), 8-22-2014]

Close Enough for Government Work

Florida was one of 26 states to decline billions in federal funding under the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") to establish their own state insurance “exchanges” (including expanding their states’ Medicaid programs). Florida legislators chose instead to offer a separate state program, funded at less than $1 million, to provide a small level of assistance, including help to the 764,000 whose low income qualified neither for Medicaid nor Obamacare subsidies. The Tampa Bay Times reported in August that according to the most recent tally, the nine private plans under Florida Health Choices had registered 30 people (26 of whom receive only discount plans for prescription drugs or vision care). [Tampa Bay Times, 8-28-2014]


Guests at the May wedding of Shona Carter-Brooks in Ripley, Tenn., reported that the bride's idea for integrating her month-old daughter into the ceremony consisted of tying her (“well-secured,” she said later) to the long train of her wedding dress, dragging the child as the bride walked the aisle. Carter-Brooks was forced to take to her Facebook page in defense: People always “have something negative to say,” she wrote, but her wedding was “exclusive and epic.” [, 6-2-2014]

For their first anniversary as sweethearts in August, Londoners Dan MacIntyre and Dunya Kalantery decided on an odd marital commemoration: their outsized fascination with their city’s notorious 2013 crisis over the 15-ton “fatberg” that clogged a sewer line. They giddily donned wetsuits and went exploring for more masses of the congealed-oil-and-sanitary-wipes, but told The Guardian that they mostly encountered only smaller chunks. (Update: Their timing was off; a “fatberg” “as long as a 747" was spotted in a sewer in west London about a week later.) [The Guardian, 8-19-2014] [Sky News, 9-1-2014]

First-World Dilemmas

Plastic surgeons, first in University of Missouri research in 2000 and recently in a study by Singapore doctors in the journal of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, have postulated that the “ideal” navel is basically vertically-shaped with slight hooding--and, of course, an “innie.” The earlier study “analyzed” photos of 147 females aged 18-62, while the Singapore surgeons gazed at shots of 37 Playboy playmates and used a computerized tool to measure “vertical ratio,” “midline horizontal position,” length “from the xiphoid process . . . to the lower limit of the vulvar cleft,” and how nearly oval-shaped the belly buttons were. [ (NBC News), 8-22-2014]

The Aristocrats!

(1) Inmate Corey McQueary, 33, passed away in Jessamine County, Ky., lockup in August, of a methadone overdose. According to state police, another inmate had soaked a pair of underwear in methadone when he was out on release, then brought the item to the jail for McQueary, who tore off piece after piece and swallowed them. (2) Ten years ago, New York City skyscraper heir Robert Durst beat a murder charge by claiming self-defense, and now lives more quietly in Houston. However, police in that city accused Durst in July of, “without provocation,” urinating on a cash register in a CVS store, “drenching” a candy rack. [News4SanAntonio, 8-26-2014] [Houston Chronicle, 7-23-2014]

Least Competent Criminals

Unclear on the Concept: A 20-year-old woman was arrested in Seattle in August after calling police to complain that she was being harassed by a man who was following her. Police arrived to find that the "stalker" was simply trying to get his phone back after the woman stole it from him while he was napping on a bus. [KOMO-TV (Seattle), 8-12-2014]

Recent American Scenes

(1) A Washington State Patrol lieutenant pulled over a 28-year-old drunk driver on August 9th in a logistically impressive arrest. The lieutenant, when he spotted the driver, happened to be in the 36-foot-long motor home converted to the department’s mobile unit for processing DUIs but nonetheless maneuvered the vehicle well enough to pursue and stop the driver. (2) Sarah Espinosa, 22, crashed into a fire station in New Hyde Park, N.Y., on August 4th, notable for the involvement of two factors--alcohol and the presence of a python draped around her neck. (She was charged with having just stolen the snake from a Petco store.) [KOMO-TV (Seattle), 8-18-2014] [Wall Street Journal, 8-5-2014]

A News of the Weird Classic (August 2010)

They Don't Make "Drug Lords" Like They Used to: (1) Widely-feared Jamaican drug kingpin Christopher "Dudus" Coke was arrested in June [2010] and extradited to New York City after being picked up wearing women's clothes and a too-small 1970s style Afro wig. The Jamaica Observer reported that Coke wet his pants as he was arrested. (2) Longtime South African drug lord Fadwaan "Fat" Murphy, speaking at a bail hearing in January [2010] in Cape Town, disclosed that he was born a hermaphrodite and has a separate identity ("Hilary"), which puzzled arresting officers, who had discovered that Murphy was wearing a strap-on penis. Murphy was insistent. "I look like a man. I talk like a man. I am a man." [Daily Mail, 6-24-10; Jamaica Observer, 6-27-10] [Sunday Times (Johannesburg), 1-10-10]

Thanks This Week to Kat Alessi, Kyle Gray, and Perry Levin, and to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.
     Posted By: Chuck - Sun Sep 14, 2014

Georgia- Brilliant! 😕

Parking- Glad they had to take it down, we have enough fine print in life.

Florida- Who is surprised by this? Anyone? Anyone?

sewer- That is just disgusting!

eats underwear- Reminds me of Cartman on South Park.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 09/14/14 at 09:36 PM
Rene Lima-Marin - So who still thinks prison is about rehabilitating?

Culver traffic sign - I had to find a photo, and it's every bit as bad as I imagined.

Ideal navel - So really, what they're wanting is a facsimile of what's about 20cm further south.
Posted by Sebastian on 09/14/14 at 10:37 PM
Ah, come on! It's still zero-dark-thirty and I've not had my coffee yet! Can't we get Chuck to post these things later in the day when humans walk the earth? 😕

Nerd’s Rhapsody I'm going to wait till he sells out again this year before buying my copy.

28 inches Seems like folks will pay big money for 28 inches. Who'd'a thunk it?

98 years Reverse recidivism. (Remember, you read that term here first!)

Krauss's Pistol Sounds like the error was made the in the 1st trial.

Road Signs I feel a new reality show coming on; "Obfuscating for Dollars". It will be a big hit with city councils.

Flo-Ridda vs ObummerCare Trust me... Socialized medicine DOES NOT WORK!

Ripley, Tenn. Home of 'The Ripley' maybe?

Fatburg Hunting And we wonder about the declining birth rate in white folks.

Belly Buttons She said, "Hay! That's not my belly button!" and he said, "That's OK, it's not my finger either!"

Durst vs CVS That's what they get for banning smokes from their stores!

WA DUI The cop needs to give lessons.

Thanks, Chuck!
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 09/15/14 at 12:46 AM
Conversations: so, if I read this book, does he have to count that? And if he does, how does he know who I am?

Georgia Carry: yeah, well, what did you really expect? FYI, Glynn County is also the home of FLETC.

Parking: thanks for the pic, Sebastian. I think. I wonder how many tickets by the time you finished reading it.
Posted by TheCannyScot in Atlanta, GA on 09/15/14 at 12:47 AM
Expat puts the "mean" in Greenwich Mean Time... Patty puts in the Green Witch... hehehehe
Posted by BrokeDad in Midwest US on 09/15/14 at 08:48 AM
The ideal belly button should be lint free.
As for chasing a drunk driver, I only remember the main point. A cop in england on his bicycle chased and arrested a drunk driver after a chase of several kilometers.
Posted by BMN on 09/15/14 at 07:48 PM
Florida: and, of course, this is all the Kenyan's fault.

London: hey, whatever turns you on...

Plastic surgeons: lemme guess... the least common, and the most expensive to "create"?

Mobile home cop: good driving, that.
Posted by Richard Bos on 09/16/14 at 09:08 AM
For some reason this week's NOTW isn't showing up in the regular link. When you go to current column you still get last week's!
Posted by Boyd from NL on 09/16/14 at 09:51 AM
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