News of the Weird (September 21, 2014)

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M389, September 21, 2014
Copyright 2014 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Lead Story

New Frontiers in American Vacuousness: The WE cable network disclosed in August that it had ordered a nine-episode adaptation of a British series, "Sex Box," in which a couple enters a large opaque chamber on stage and has intercourse. The pair, pre- and post-coitally, are clothed and seated before a panel of probably-D-List celebrities, and will respond to questions and comment on their feelings and techniques (likely enduring praise and criticisms about their “work”). The series will debut sometime in 2015. (However, as the Daily Beast website pointed out, it might also be true that, still, in 2015, even a split-second’s glimpse, on any broadcast-TV show, of a female nipple would create a national scandal.) [The Daily Beast, 8-21-2014]

The Entrepreneurial Spirit

The "trendy" 25Hours Hotel Bikini Berlin, located adjacent to the Berlin Zoo and offering some of the best views of the city from its floor-to-ceiling windows, has famously positioned the rest rooms of its Monkey Bar in front of the windows, also, and those heeding nature’s call are clearly visible to gawkers. Guests are merely warned, by the Trip Advisor website, and by the hotel itself (with the admonition, "Please be careful. Not only the monkeys are watching.”). [Daily Mail (London), 7-30-2014]

London designer Gigi Barker recently unveiled the Skin chair (priced at the equivalent of about $2,500), made of leather but with a "pheromone-impregnated silicone base" that makes it feel (and smell, perhaps) like one is "lounging in the fleshy, comforting folds of a man's belly.” The Skin was scheduled for exhibition this month at the London Design Festival. [Quartz, 7-25-2014]

China’s insurance companies offer some of the world’s quirkiest policies, according to a September Reuters dispatch from Hong Kong. People’s Insurance Group, for example, will pay out in case a customer’s children display disappointingly “mischievous and destructive” habits. The Ancheng company offers a policy protecting a customer in case of having his mouth burned eating “hotpot.” Ping An Insurance Group (actually, the world’s second-largest by market value) has recently offered an “accidental pregnancy before honeymoon” policy, and is one of three companies that competed to sell couples compensation in case a marriage is disrupted by a “concubine.” [Reuters via Business Insider, 9-1-2014]

Unclear on the Concept

New Orleans Juvenile Court Judge Yolanda King, already indicted for falsifying her home address in her 2013 campaign for office, was spotted by a Times-Picayune reporter on August 20th filing three registration papers for the November 4th election in which she swore (under oath) to three different addresses--two of which appeared to be clearly erroneous. Her lawyer told the newspaper that the judge, who was suspended by the Louisiana Supreme Court following her indictment, had merely "misinterpreted" the instructions. [Times-Picayune, 8-21-2014]

As part of a nationwide distribution of surplus military equipment, ten Texas school districts eagerly acquired a total of 64 M-16 rifles, 18 M-14s, 25 automatic pistols, and magazines capable of holding 4,500 rounds of ammunition. District officials referred generally to the need to protect against school attacks such as the notorious incidents in Colorado and Connecticut, but a local Houston area police chief, seeking to reassure a nervous public, promised that his equipment would be used only by tactically-trained officers and that, otherwise, would be locked in the department’s armory. A critic of the program told KHOU-TV that statistically, the typical active-shooter school situation lasts 12 minutes, hardly enough time to get to the armory and load up. [KHOU-TV, 9-5-2014]

Fine Points of the Law

In July, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Detroit, ruling on a judicial corruption complaint, managed to describe the actions of a Michigan state judge, “Hon.” Wade McCree, as "often reprehensible"--in that he had been carrying on a romantic affair with a woman involved in a child custody case he was judging. (The woman, of course, received favorable rulings.) However, the Court of Appeals judges told the unlucky father that Judge McCree cannot be sued because judges are generally immune from lawsuit. (Subsequently, Judge McCree was removed from office by the state Supreme Court.) [Detroit Free Press, 7-26-2014]

Nick Olivas, 24, is a rare American. At age 14 (an age that, in Arizona, makes him legally incapable of consenting to sex), he fathered a daughter with a 20-year-old woman--paternity that he learned of only two years ago. The mother filed against Olivas for child support that now totals $15,000. Olivas is rare in that most states exempt rape victims from child-support orders--except that, since Olivas never made a police report of the incident, Arizona Child Support Services will not exempt him, and instead has obtained an order garnisheeing his wages at $380 a month. [Arizona Republic, 9-2-2014]

According to legal scholars consulted by the Associated Press, it is conceivable that Nicole Diggs, of Yonkers, N.Y., even if convicted of negligent homicide in the upcoming trial in the death of her severely disabled 8-year-old daughter, could nevertheless inherit the remains of the child's $2 million trust fund originally established for her care. Evidence is strong that Diggs had neglected the child's hygiene and diet for stretches at a time and overtrusted her less-caring new husband with the girl's well-being, but New York law uniquely still allows, in principle, a convicted mother to inherit from the child as long as she did not "intentionally" harm her. [Associated Press via, 9-1-2014]

Least Competent Criminals

(1) Clearwater, Fla., police pulled over a "suspicious" car on July 24th and ultimately arrested the driver and his passenger. The back seat was loaded with potted plants--in fact, potted pot plants (i.e., marijuana)--so crowded that the leaves and branches of some plants were sticking out of the car’s windows. (2) Daniel Warn, 28, was arrested in July in Costa Mesa, Calif., and charged with the burglary of an El Pollo Loco restaurant--a caper that was captured on surveillance video. Police were notified later that day when Warn--wearing the same distinctive hat and bright green shirt worn by the burglar--came to the restaurant to order a meal. [WTSP-TV (St. Petersburg), 8-6-2014] [KCBS-TV (Los Angeles), 7-18-2014]

Of Course!

Jonathan Thomas, 50, was charged with DUI and disorderly conduct in Washington Township, Ind., in August after driving through two backyards one Friday evening and getting his vehicle stuck in the second. Police reported that Thomas “show[ed] his teeth to officers” and later “growled” at hospital security staff. Thomas’s day job is director of the Porter County Animal Shelter. [Times of Northwest Indiana (Valparaiso), 8-4-2014]

Just Like the Script: (1) In August, a Bradenton, Fla., deputy sheriff was forced to duplicate a classic scene from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” when he was advanced upon by a menacing-looking, samurai-sword-swinging, 31-year-old man. The deputy, perhaps as nonplussed as Indiana Jones was, shot him dead. (2) Rule Number 9: The 15-year-old granddaughter of Cliven Bundy (the Nevada rancher whose dispute with the federal government caused a notorious standoff in March) told Las Vegas’s KSNV-TV that her dad (Bundy’s son) was withdrawing her from her high school because officials would not allow her to carry a knife on campus. She said her dad has taught his kids (just like “NCIS”’s Leroy Jethro Gibbs) to “always” carry a knife. [Bay News 9 (St. Petersburg), 8-28-2014] [KSNV-TV, 8-28-2014]

Undignified Deaths

(1) Annual Bunyola “fiestas” on the Spanish island of Mallorca were canceled in September out of respect for an 18-year-old man who fatally hit his head after receiving an electric shock on a lamp post he was leaning against as he urinated at a street corner. (2) A 23-year-old medical student suffered a fatal heart attack in September while perusing a sex magazine as he attempted his fourth sperm donation in a week at a clinic at China’s Wuhan University. (3) A 15-year-old boy driving a “skid loader” on a farm near Lancaster, Pa., suffocated in August when the machine accidentally flipped him directly into a manure pit (the sixth such death locally since 1989, according to the Lancaster Intelligencer-Journal). [The Local (Madrid), 9-1-2014] [Daily Mail (London), 9-12-2014] [Associated Press, 8-9-2014]

Thanks This Week to Russell Bell, Craig Cryer, and Terry Young, and to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.
     Posted By: Chuck - Sun Sep 21, 2014

Vacuousness Definition: A state where one's cranium has been vacumed clean by watching reality shows.

Poopin' With a View It looks like they're, at least, located on the first ah no... second ah @#[email protected][email protected]# the floor just above the ground floor.

Skin Chair Gigi's welcome to use my belly as her next inspiration.

Yolanda King Corruption in the Big Easy??? Nah....

Texas Shools They may become our first line of defence against ISIS if "SOMEBODY" doesn't close the @#[email protected]#[email protected] border. (Or is it already too late?)

Judge McCree Judges are immune from the law? Now, who could have went and passed that piece of paper?

Nick Olivas Sue for total custody as the mother is a rapist.

Ind Dog Catcher Too much OJT.

Miss Bundy I, and most everyone I knew, carried (and still do) a knife most of our years growing up.

The 4th & Fatal Shot Can we get a copy of that magazine on AliBaba?

A Sihtty Death Once you're knee deep in doo-doo you need help to get out. I KNOW this as a fact! Where do you think the experssion "That's some sticky sh1t!" comes from?

Note to Chuck: If your readers don't know what 'pot' is by now 'marijuana' isn't going to mean much either.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 09/21/14 at 10:38 AM
Thanks Chuck for a great week!
Posted by grlgeniusNYC on 09/21/14 at 12:13 PM
Sex Box TV- They should film that hotel in Berlin. They could call it 'must pee tv'

skin chair- ewwwww...

3 addresses- Don't a lot of rich people have multiple homes??

armed schools- Not a surprise, hell, churches are armed in Texas.

judge affair- Rules are for the little people.

child support- Great point Expat.

neglect- If she gets the money then she doesn't get a free lawyer so with any luck she will spend it all on her defense and still be found guilty.

Dr. Jones- Never bring a sword to a gun fight.

ZAP!- I went to school with a couple of geniuses who talked about how they peed on an electric fence. They did not graduate at the top of the class, obviously.

sperm donor- How many strokes to get to a heart attack? Ah 1, ah 2, ah 3, ah...

manure pit- OMG!! Its the rise of the machines!
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 09/21/14 at 12:34 PM
Don't whiz on the electric fence:
Posted by BrokeDad in Midwest US on 09/21/14 at 01:34 PM
Raiders of the Lost Arc: I might not be so skeptical if the Manatee County/Bradenton police didn't report incidents like this seemingly all the time in order to justify killing people. I would like to believe some crazy guy charged at the officers and they had to gun him down in self-defense, but knowing the extent of local corruption the true story is probably much different. It was only last January that a college student being pursued by cops "suddenly killed himself" while lying on the ground on his back. Two years ago a cop shot a physical education teacher during a traffic stop.

The problem comes down to there not being a way to contradict an officer's account of incidents such as these. In the Rodney Mitchell case, the FBI had to accept the officer's account that he believed his life was in danger, even though the evidence suggested that Mitchell had only tried to drive away from the cop. Ironically, for most of us residents of the 'bad' part of the Sarasota-Bradenton, encounters with police are as feared as those with muggers.
Posted by FLresident on 09/22/14 at 03:17 AM
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