News of the Weird (February 7, 2016)

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M461, February 7, 2016
Copyright 2016 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Lead Story

* Even though concealed-carry gun permit-holders in Texas can
now "open carry," pistol-packing women concerned with fashion
are not limited to traditional firearms in ordinary cowboy holsters.
An online company, A Well Armed Woman, offers such carry
options as stylish leggings, lace waistbands, and an array of
underarm and bra holsters (even an in-cup model, the "Marilyn") in
leopard-print and pastel colors. However, a woman's body shape
and size may be more important shopping considerations,
according to the company's founder. "A 32A bust could not
conceal a Glock 19 very well--nor would a 42DD-or-larger [front]
allow for effective cross-draw carry." [Star-Telegram (Fort
Worth), 12-22-2016] [NPR, 1-28-2016]

Democracy Blues

* In January, Robert Battle took the oath of office for his second
term as a city councilman in East Chicago, Ind.--administered at
the county lockup, where he is being held without bail, charged
with a cold-blooded murder during a drug deal. The crime made
news in October (i.e., before election day), yet Battle still won his
race. According to law, he cannot be forced out of office unless he
is convicted or admits the crimes, and he had the right to vote for
himself in the election (except that he failed to request an absentee
ballot). [Chicago Tribune, 1-25-2016]

Canonical Marijuana

* (1) The Albany, N.Y., company Vireo Health told reporters it
would soon offer the world's first certified Kosher marijuana,
announcing that the Orthodox Union of New York had
authenticated it as having met Jewish dietary laws (e.g., grown
with insect-free plants). (Other Kosher-validating officials
complained that the approval should apply only to marijuana that is
eaten, not smoked.) (2) Two habit-wearing nuns were scheduled to
ask the Merced (Calif.) City Council in January to decline its
prerogative under state law to ban dispensing or cultivating of
medical marijuana. The nun's order makes and sells salves and
tonics for pain management, using a strain of cannabis containing
only a trace of psychoactive material. [Haaretz (Tel Aviv), 1-7-
2016] [San Francisco Chronicle, 1-4-2016]

Bright Ideas

* Since the (naturally insulated) uterus can be a lonely space,
Institute Marques of Barcelona, Spain, recently demonstrated a
tampon-like "speaker" to carry soothing, specially-selected, 54-
decibel ("hushed tone") rhythms that supposedly improve fetal
growth. In the "Babypod"'s first "concert," the singer Soraya
performing Christmas carols. (However, documented evidence for
such a device was limited to success of in-vitro fertilization when
music was wafted through during the first 48 hours of sperm-egg
union) [New York Times Live, 1-1-2016]

* The Job of the Researcher: Taiwanese scientists recently
announced the availability of their Infant Cries Translator (iPhone
and Android app) that they say can, with "77 percent" accuracy
("92 percent" for those under two weeks old), tell what a baby
wants by its screeches and wailings. The National Taiwan
University Hospital Yunlin doctors first had to create a database of
200,000 crying sounds. [Reuters, 12-30-2016]

Compelling Explanations

* The Latest in Corruption News: (1) Italy's highest court freed a
man in January because the bribe he offered a cop to avoid a DUI
ticket was "too small" to be serious--100 euros (about $108). (2)
Lawyers for John Bills (former Chicago city commissioner on trial
for taking bribes on a traffic-camera contract) said Bills was
obviously innocent because everyone knows that, in Chicago, only
bribing the mayor (or at least an alderman) will get anything done.
(3) A security guard in Nairobi, Kenya, despairingly told a New
York Times reporter in November (detailing corruption so rampant
that, for example, ball-point pens were being sold to the
government for $85 each) that "If [people]'re going to steal, please,
just steal a little." [The Local (Rome), 1-21-2016] [Chicago Sun-
Times, 1-13-2016] [New York Times, 11-5-2016]

The Continuing Crisis

* A former lecturer for Spanish classes at the liberal arts Amherst
College near Northampton, Mass., sued the school in December
after it failed to renew her contract--leading the lecturer to charge
that the Spanish department had tried to solicit student course
enrollment by prostitution. Lecturer Dimaris Barrios-Beltran
accused her supervisor, Victoria Maillo, of hiring only attractive
"teaching assistants" and encouraging them to "date" Amherst
students with the ulterior motive of signing them up for Spanish
classes--to boost the department's profile. (College officials said
they could not corroborate the accusation, but apparently Maillo is
no longer employed at Amherst.) [Washington Post, 12-29-2016]

* William Bendorf, 38, filed a lawsuit in December against the
Funny Bone comedy club in Omaha, Neb., and comedian-hypnotist
Doug Thompson after plunging off the stage and breaking his leg
following Thompson's having hypnotized him during his act.
Thompson claimed that he had "snapped" Bendorf out of the
trance, but the lawsuit claims that Bendorf, instead of exiting via
the stairs as Thompson instructed, wandered directly toward his
stage-side table because he was still "under" Thompson's spell.
[Omaha World-Herald, 12-28-2016]

* A patient who had been blind for a decade (a condition thought
to have been brought on by brain damage from an auto accident)
suddenly "regained" her sight, according to a research report in the
latest PsyCh Journal--but only in one of the 10 identities (a teenage
boy) populating her Dissociative Identity Disorder. Doctors have
since ruled out organic damage and (through EEG testing)
"malingering" and are now coaxing her eyesight back by treating
the disorder. [Washington Post, 11-24-2015]

Least Competent Criminals

* Chutzpah! (1) Michael Leonard, 53, was charged in December
with stealing a package that moments earlier had been dropped off
by a courier. The delivery was to a Prince George's County, Md.,
police station, and Leonard, hanging around in the station (to
register as a sex offender) walked out with the package when no
one was looking. (However, a station surveillance camera caught
his face.) (2) Sean Lyons, 23, wanted on an Upper Darby, Pa.,
arrest warrant since October as a drug dealer, was arrested in
January--at the police station, where officers recognized him when
he came to give information as a victim of an unrelated hit-and-run
accident. [Capital Gazette (Annapolis), 12-23-2015] [,
1-21-2016] bruce.strickland

The Aristocrats!

* (1) David Newman, a prominent emergency-room doctor at New
York City's Mount Sinai Hospital, was recently charged with
sexual abuse of two female patients, including one of drugging,
groping, and masturbating onto the woman's unconscious body
(one incident in September and another four months later). (2)
Well-known restaurateur Dan Hoyt, 53, was arrested in January
and charged with exposing (and "pleasuring") himself to two
women, repeatedly, at a New York City subway station--and to one
he had blatantly asked, "Can I masturbate to you?" Hoyt is the
owner-chef at Quintessence in the East Village and gained
notoriety in 2005 when a subway passenger photographed him "in
action" during a previous weak moment. [New York Times, 1-20-
2016] [New York Post, 1-13-2016]

Recurring Themes

* (1) Kopi Luwak (the gourmet coffee beans roasted only after
having been flavored by a trip through the digestive tracts of Asian
civet cats) has been a staple of weird news stories for a quarter
century, but a New York startup ("Afineur") will soon bring to
market a synthetic process mimicking the flavoring effects of the
civets' gut bacteria. (2) From time to time, when people worry
excessively about their stations in life, entrepreneurs create
"destruction rooms," where, for a fee, customers get some time
with a sledgehammer or baseball bat and pound on junked
furniture. The most recent, Tantrums LLC, of Houston, Tex.,
opened in January, charging $35 for 10 minutes. [Business Week,
7-21-2016] [KHOU-TV, 7-22-2016]

A News of the Weird Classic (July 2011)

* Toshihiko Mizuno, 55, was arrested in Tokyo in June [2011]
after three girls, ages 9 and 10, reported that he had talked them
into spitting for him so that he could record it on video, to assist
with "research" he was doing on "saliva." Police later discovered
26 videotapes, featuring about 400 young girls spitting. According
to local media sources, Mizuno has had the obsession for 17 years,
successfully getting at least 500 girls to spit, among the estimated
4,000 he propositioned. [NDTV (New Delhi, India)-Agence
France-Presse, 6-14-2011]

Thanks This Week to Bruce Strickland, and to the News of
the Weird Board Editorial Advisors.
Posted By: Chuck - Sun Feb 07, 2016

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