This image comes from Bulgaria. The story behind it, as far as I can figure out from the Bulgarian site offnews.bg (with help from Google Translate), is that the pole can be found on a road in the municipality of Tran. The road was recently expanded, but since the pole was owned by the electrical company, the municipality didn't have the right to remove it. So they simply poured the road around it. However, the municipality notes that they have now filed the necessary paperwork to remove the pole, and they hope all the documents will be processed promptly.
News of the Weird / Plus
May 4, 2015 (Part 1 of 2) [weird stuff that made me excited (frightened) (ROTFL) (appalled) last week, some of which will appear in News of the Weird soon] [Part 1 on Monday, Part 2 on Tuesday]
There’s now overwhelming circumstantial evidence that Oklahoma is causing its own earthquakes (in a state represented by the only U.S. Senator absolutely certain that humans don’t add to global temperature rises) Bloomberg Business Week
If you’re wanted on 37 charges, and the only thing you’ve got to escape cops in is your RV, then RV, it is. Alaska Dispatch News
John Deere told the U.S. Copyright office that even if you bought and paid for your tractor, you still don’t own it. (Deere does, because of all the electronic stuff that makes it work; you just get a license to use it.) Wired.com
The delta smelt are approaching extinction, and California is using 233 billion gallons of water a year to save them. Who knew Calif had 233 bn gallons lying around? (Bonus: Smelt’s still getting scarcer.) Wall Street Journal
At least one UK council is standing firm on what “restitution” means; you tear down a pub they told you not to, and you have to put it back, brick by brick. London Evening Standard
Japan may have its high-tech toilet expos, and South Korea its toilet-themed park, but an entrepreneur in Italy’s Piacenza province has just opened the Museo Della Merde (a “poo-seum”) with TMI about number due. United Press International
An artist-designed robot, programed to buy things randomly on the “dark” Internet, was . . “arrested” . . by Swiss police when it happened to buy 10 ecstasy pills. The Guardian (London)
Only 17 states have specific laws to protect against “revenge porn” (exposing ex-lovers’ goodies), and if the vic tries a “takedown” notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, she has to file images of her gazongas with the U.S. Copyright office (and it still doesn’t work very well legally). CNN
The joy of neighbors! Police gave 91-year-old Yvette Vachon of Quebec a ticket for $148 after her neighbors downstairs complained she was making too much noise. Apparently her la-z-boy style rocking chair was too loud.
However, after reviewing the complaint (and possibly swayed by all the media attention the case was getting in Canada) the city cancelled the fine. [National Post]
Posted By: Alex - Mon May 04, 2015 -
Now this is how you encourage young girls to study engineering: by showing them refrigerators! I think it's time we brought back this neologism. "The Army Corps of Femineers!" Can you imagine the uniforms? Who wouldn't want to belong?
News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M421, May 3, 2015
Copyright 2015 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.
Saudi Arabia’s very first sex-accessory shop (in the holy city of Mecca) should be opening soon, according to news reports--operated by a Moroccan Muslim, backed by the German adult-shop mega-retailer Beate Uhse, and supposedly fully compliant with Islamic law. Owner Abdelaziz Aouragh told Agence France-Presse he would stock 18 different Islam-appropriate toys for married couples, along with oils and fragrances that he said would enhance the marital experience. (He did not actually describe the toys but ruled out U.S. mainstays such as inflatable dolls and vibrators.) One such “halal” sex shop opened in Turkey in 2013, and Aouragh’s financial partner runs a similar enterprise online. [UPDATE: Story Withdrawn. Explanation: WeirdUniverse, 5-6-2015] [International Business Times (New York), 4-20-2015]
The Continuing Crisis
The February gun-and-baby-carrying workshop in Johnston, Iowa, was so successful that instructor Melody Lauer and CrossRoads Shooting Sports owner Tom Hudson plan more. Lauer insisted that she does not necessarily encourage a baby-holding mother to arm herself but that if she chooses to, safety would of course require that she be familiar with the tricky procedure of drawing, aiming, and firing even though she might be “wearing” a baby in a sling in front of her body. Hudson, noting the fast-growing market of gun sales to women, said scheduling the workshop “was a no-brainer.” [Yahoo News, 3-4-2015]
What is believed to be America’s only hard-nosed “gang” composed only of gay and transgendered African-Americans hopes to have its story told soon by filmmakers--who emphasize the group’s transition from fighters to entrepreneurs working to establish their own clothing line (according to a March report on advocate.com). The gang, originally organized for protection (“We gonna get our respect one way or another,” said one) hails from the violent Washington, D.C., “Trinidad” neighborhood, yet some of the 200 members (in their teens or early 20s) insist on stilettos, lipstick, and mascara (while carrying knives, brass knuckles, and mace). [Advocate.com, 3-9-2015]
Pioneering British facial surgeon Ninian Peckitt, 63, facing a Medical Practices Tribunal in Manchester in April, was accused by a witness of “repeatedly” having punched one patient in the face during a procedure in order to straighten a fracture. Dr. Peckitt acknowledged having used his hands to “manipulate” bones in the patient’s face, calling it a routine surgery-avoiding procedure sometimes required for extensive injuries. [Daily Mail (London), 4-8-2015]
Suspicions Confirmed: Two airport screeners at Denver International collaborated in an ongoing ploy in which one, a male, signaled to a female colleague that he had spotted an attractive male passenger in line that he might like to grope. The female would then suddenly notice an “anomaly” in the screening and ask that passenger to stand aside so the male agent could “inspect” him further--by genital and posterior fondling (over his clothing). The two agents were fired in February after a Transportation Security Administration investigator, having been alerted to the scheme, observed it in action. [KCNC-TV (Denver), 4-13-2015]
From Recent Florida Crime Reports: (1) Mohammed Almarri, 21, was arrested on multiple charges in Tampa on April 12th after illegally entering a neighbor’s apartment in a high-rise and forcing the owner onto the balcony. For reasons undisclosed in the police report, Almarri then allegedly microwaved the man’s wallet in his oven. (2) Joseph Williams, 35 (and with several pending warrants), was arrested on April 5th in Fort Pierce, Fla., after entering the emergency room at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute, demanding an enema, and refusing to leave until he got one. [Bay News 9 (St. Petersburg, 4-12-2015] [TCPalm.com (Stuart, Fla.), 4-14-2015]
Leading Economic Indicators
In the face of jokes about proliferating airline charges, the British economy line easyJet added another fee recently. If easyJet, on its own, cancels a flight, it charges a fee of 10 British pounds (about $15) to notify third parties. The airline said that even though its own decision created the issue, it must nonetheless cover its costs to provide cancellation notices to passengers who miss connections or who need to provide verification to collect on private travel-interruption insurance. [Daily Mail (London), 4-21-2015]
Is This a Great Country Or What? Counting only the pool of bonus money (not the regular salaries), employees of New York securities industries in 2014 earned roughly twice as much as the total income paid to all employees in the United States who worked full time at the federal minimum wage ($7.25 an hour). (The statistic, from a report by the Institute for Policy Studies and reinforced by a University of Michigan professor using figures from the New York State Comptroller and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was featured in a March New York Times analysis.) [New York Times, 3-13-2015]
In April, a court in Munich, Germany, ordered a dentist (identified only as “K”) to pay the equivalent of about $21,250 to patient “Alex S” for pulling all of his teeth (19) over four weeks of treatments--as the remedy for his schizophrenia and erectile dysfunction. The dentist had testified that Alex had too much bone inflammation for ordinary fillings. “K” made his own claim for the equivalent of about $54,675 for the damage to his professional reputation that the trial had caused, but the court rejected it. [The Local (Berlin) via Daily Mail (London), 4-17-2015]
The Redneck Chronicles
(1) Austin Hatfield, 18, reported to an emergency room in April after being bitten on the lip by a venomous cottonmouth moccasin viper in Wimauma, Fla. According to a Fish and Wildlife spokesman, Hatfield had been keeping the recently-caught snake in an ordinary pillowcase on his bed, and when it got out, Hatfield (ungracefully) recaptured it. (The bite was not fatal.) (2) According to witnesses questioned by the Jacksonville (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office (on the scene after shots had been reported at Murphy’s Express Gas Station in April), one customer had fired at another, hitting him in the foot, because he felt that the customer was staring at him while he pumped gas. [Tampa Tribune, 4-21-2015] [WJAX-TV, 3-31-2015]
Least Competent Criminals
Nikko Jenkins, convicted of murder in a 2013 spree and trying to avoid a scheduled sentencing hearing, recently self-mutilated (for the second time), which he told a judge in Omaha, Neb., was evidence of his mental disorder that should render him ineligible for death row. Jenkins told the judge that a “serpent god” had ordered him to carve the “number of the beast” into his forehead, but apparently because Jenkins was looking into a mirror as he carved, his forehead display more resembled an upside-down 999 (or a lower-case ddd) than it did 666. [Omaha World-Herald, 4-17-2015]
Animals in the News
(1) Tidiest Animal: In a February science journal report, a University of Regensburg (Germany) professor noted that ants seem particularly orderly--with “toilet” facilities arranged in far corners of the nests. The researcher speculated that ants keep feces on hand in order to mine nutrients. (2) Least Competent Beaver: A local logger telephoned the Agder Natural History museum in Kristiansand, Norway, in April to report that he had encountered a beaver crushed to death because it was unable to judge which way the tree it was gnawing would fall. (Usually, beavers have an uncanny ability to avoid the tree, but some stragglers still populate their gene pool.) [Los Angeles Times, 2-18-2015] [The Local (Oslo), 4-16-2015]
A News of the Weird Classic (November 2011)
Enterprising reporters get stories by earning the confidence of their sources, which Simon Eroro of the Post-Courier (Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea) obviously did. At a banquet in November , the News Corporation (Rupert Murdoch's empire) awarded Eroro its "Scoop of the Year" honor for reporting on militant tribal fighters of the Free West Papua movement--and all Eroro had to do to earn the scoop was undergo a ritual circumcision, with bamboo sticks, to prove his trustworthiness. (Some of the rebels still wear penis gourds whose size varies with the status of the wearer.) [Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 11-7-2011]
Thanks This Week to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.
Posted By: Chuck - Sun May 03, 2015 -
The era of "drone graffiti" was ushered in on Wednesday when graffiti-artist KATSU used a drone to spray red lines on a Calvin Klein billboard in New York City. Wired says, "By all accounts, it is the first time that a drone has been deployed for a major act of public vandalism." KATSU says, "It turned out surprisingly well. It’s exciting to see its first potential use as a device for vandalism."
Posted By: Alex - Sun May 03, 2015 -
Is there anyone else here on WU doing the Windows 10 beta testing ? Whether or not post your comments about it.
Windows 8 and 8.1 (thinking of you Expat) are gonna be like ME or Vista. Today they released build 10074.
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.