News of the Weird, December 21, 2014

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M402, December 21, 2014
Copyright 2014 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Lead Story

People advertising for love interests via online dating sites have apparently become picky about how they describe their sexuality. To the usuals (male, female, gay, heterosexual) have been added recently (as reported by NPR in December after surveying “asexual,” “androgynous,” “genderqueer” (evidently not the same as “gay”), “queer” (not quite “gay,” either), “questioning,” “trans man,” “transsexual,” “transmasculine,” “heteroflexible,” and the NPR reporter’s favorite, “sapiosexual” (turned on by “intelligence”). Still, some users of the site found the choices inadequate. One young woman described her sexual orientation as “squiggly,” and the reporter cited others who thought highly of that term. [NPR, 12-4-2014]

Bright Ideas

Britain’s Home Office revealed in November (by releasing archived documents from 1982) that among the contingency suggestions for worst-case nuclear attack on the country was commissioning “psychopaths” to help keep order. They are “very good in crises,” an advocate wrote, because “they have no feelings for others, nor moral code [yet] tend to be very intelligent and logical,” and thus could do quite well at containing the vigilante survivalist enclaves that might develop in the event parts of the kingdom became lawless. (After an apparently thoughtful debate, the suggestion was not agreed to.) [The Independent, 11-1-2014]

Great Art! At a recent art show at Paris’s Palais de Tokyo, Italian artist Sven Sachsalber, for his provocative piece, brought in a large haystack on November 13th, dropped a needle into it, and gave himself two days to find it. Late the next day, he picked it up. (Palais de Tokyo calls itself an “anti-museum par excellence.”) [Daily Mail (London), 11-14-2014]


(1) Three homes on the Pacific Ocean near Grayland, Wash., were washed away by the violent rainstorms in early December, but the residents had seen it coming. The longtime local name for the area is “Washaway Beach.” Said one, “I knew it was going to happen sooner or later, but I had hoped it wasn’t this soon.” (2) In November, an airline’s advertising staff created the catchy slogan (to attract impulse travelers), “Want to go somewhere, but don’t know where?” and convinced management to send it, via Twitter, to the airline’s thousands of followers. (Spoiler: The airline was Malaysia Airlines, whose Flight 370 still has not been found.) [KOMO-TV (Seattle), 12-11-2014] [Malta Independent, 11-28-2014]

Hide the Show Program Inside the Porn: A theatrical producer in Madrid found a way around Spain’s recent steep sales tax increase on certain entertainment venues (sports, movies, live theater): It sold back issues of vintage pornographic magazines for the equivalent of $20--with a “free” ($20) ticket to its latest stage production by noted director Pedro Calderon de la Barca. (A show ticket would carry a 21 percent tax, but a pornographic magazine is still taxed at 4 percent.) [Bloomberg Business Week, 12-1-2014]

Compelling Explanations

Creative: Eric Opitz, 45, who was indicted on 13 counts of fraud in Philadelphia in October, had explained that the reason he needed Human Growth Hormone (that he would resell) despite being 6-foot-3, 450 pounds, was that he was really a dwarf and feared he would recede if he stopped the medication. [, 10-10-2014]

Bungling Cinematographers: Zak Hardy, 18, and Terrill Stoltz, 41, were arrested recently in separate incidents and charged with photographing women in bathrooms without their permission. Hardy, caught in a public restroom in June in Exeter, England, pointing his phone from one stall to another, explained that he was just trying to see whether his phone was waterproof. Stoltz professed his innocence, as well, claiming the camera he set up in his ex-girlfriend’s bathroom in Billings, Mont., was solely to have a photographic record of him when he cleaned his chickens in the bathtub. [Exeter Press and Echo, 10-27-2014] [Billings Gazette, 11-25-2014]

The New Normal

An Oceanside, Calif., couple were surprised in November to discover that buying a purebred bichon frise on credit meant they were actually only leasing the dog for 27 months and would have to make a 28th payment to actually “own” “Tresor.” Furthermore, the lease, under a “repo” threat, required “daily exercise,” “regular bathing and grooming,” and “immediate” disposal of Tresor’s “waste.” A spokesperson for the store, Oceanside Puppy (which works with four finance companies), told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the arrangement is fairly standard now for expensive pets. [San Diego Union-Tribune, 11-28-2014]

First-World Problems

(1) NBC’s “Today” show reported in December the “heartbreak” parents are feeling when they learn that the supposedly unique name (“wonderful, distinctive, rarely-heard”) they had given their infant in the last year or two (e.g., “Mason,” “Liam,” “Lily”) actually appeared on Baby Center’s annual list of most popular names of 2014 (6th, 3rd, and 8th, respectively). (2) After hearing tenants’ complaints, the New York City Council is now considering a regulation requiring landlords to post notices if a common area or amenity is unusable for 24 hours or more--which applies of course to elevators and laundry rooms, but would also extend to any “air hockey” or “foosball” facilities in the building. [NBC News, 12-2-2014] [Crain’s New York, 12-8-2014]


Although elephants, rhesus monkeys, cobras, cows, and water buffalos are regarded as sacred by many of India’s Hindus, the animals most certainly do not live idyllic lives, according to a November BBC News dispatch. As “growing populations are swallowing up habitat,” the divine symbols are forced to the cities, where they must dodge traffic, forage garbage for food, and endanger themselves encountering people less certain of their holiness (such as in the November report of the cobra harassing customers at an ATM in Delhi). As representatives of Lord Ganesh, elephants live well only during religious festivals, but otherwise must navigate asphalt and potholes that tear up their hooves. In another November incident, some Hindu leaders protested a drive to kill rats that had infested the Maharaja Yeshwantrao hospital in Indore--because Ganesh was depicted riding a mouse. [BBC News, 11-15-2014, 11-6-2014]

Police Report

In a 2012 incident in Cleveland, Ohio (where a white officer recently shot to death a black teenager holding a toy gun), 13 officers high-speed-chased two unarmed black homeless drug users and fired 137 shots at the pair, killing them. (A car had supposedly backfired, suggesting a gunshot at the cops.) As a result of “communication” failure, the 13 were placed on limited “desk duty” for 16 months and subjected to continuing investigation. Recently, nine non-black officers of the 13 sued the city, charging that white officers are historically and illegally disciplined more harshly for mistakes when victims are black. [The Daily Beast, 12-2-2014]

Big Crime: (1) Four officers responded in Tayport, Scotland, in November to arrest Irene Clark, 65, who spent 48 hours in jail--after committing the crime of swatting her husband with a magazine while arguing over TV programs (causing a paper cut). (2) Christopher Saunders, 38, pleaded guilty in North Devon, England, in July to possession of 0.09 grams of marijuana (value: 14 cents). (3) Keith Shannon, 44, was sentenced (2 years’ probation) in Letterkenny, Ireland, in November for twice being caught swiping “tester” packets of aftershave at a Boots store (value: 2 cents each). [The Scotsman (Edinburgh), 11-24-2014] [North Devon Journal, 11-16-2014] [Highland Radio (Letterkenny), 11-27-2014]

A News of the Weird Classic (February 2011)

* The ear has a "G-spot," explained Santa Clara, Calif., ear-nose-and-throat surgeon Todd Dray, and thus the moans of ecstasy that Vietnamese "ear pickers" reportedly elicit from their clients might well be justified. A San Jose Mercury News reporter, dispatched to Ho Chi Minh City in January [2011] to check it out, learned that barber shop technicians could sometimes coax "eargasms" (as they removed wax) by tickling a certain spot next to the ear drum served by multiple nerve endings and tissue-paper-thin skin. Said one female client, "Everybody is afraid the first time, but after, it's, 'Oh my God!'" Said one Vietnamese man, returning home after a trip abroad, and who went immediately from the airport to a "hot toc" parlor for a picking, "[This] brings a lot of happiness." [San Jose Mercury News, 1-23-2011]

Thanks This Week to Kev of, and Christine Van Lenten, and to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.
     Posted By: Chuck - Sun Dec 21, 2014

NPR reporter Your tax dollars at "work".

The Psychopath to Order Sure they'd not be the ones trying to survive at all cost.... Oh, wait, they don't weigh the cost.

Anti-museum I can thin of a few other "anti's" that would fit too. Like... anti-intelligence for example.

Ironies 1 & 2 I took away "Washed Away Airlines" from those two... now... on to the next.

21% Tax It's 23% here and that even covers toothpaste! Vote for more socialism if you like those numbers.

Eric Opitz I think Peter Dinklage's position on Game of Throwns is safe (at least for the nonce).

Bungling Cinematographers This stuff pales beside Sony's recent (double) 'oopsy'.

Lease-a-Pet $450 -> $1500 for a poodle wannabe?

NYC After DeBlasio threw his police force under the bus last week this is pretty low on the list. Of course, how dumb do you have to be to insult your body guards on national TV?

India's Holy Critters Yo! PETA.... You're needed over there.

Cleveland, Ohio Cops Racism ain't a one way street regardless of what Al, Jessie, and Hussain say.

Big Crime If it costs more to prosecute...

The G-Spot Love is Where You Find It (Actually, this clip could have a page of it's own here!)
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 12/22/14 at 05:47 AM
Lead: I'm turned on by intelligence. That's why I would never use a word like "sapiosexual".

Palais de Tokyo: at least they're up-front about it.

Washaway Beach: is hardly unique. Coasts wash away all over the world, and people still build houses near them all over the world, mainly because they're well-placed for fishing.

Eric Opitz: is an insult to Carrots.

Leased pet: actually, not that bad an idea. If you can't keep up the duties required from a responsible pet owner, it should be taken away.

Baby names: if you want your baby to be unique, name it Sahaneeqa or Roxqfordhe. It'll never get a job, but then again, if you feel "heartbreak" over not having a unique baby name (and that after choosing something as old-fashionedly Celtic as Liam), neither, in all probability, do you.

Eargasm: don't know about a G-spot, but certainly the earlobe is quite sensitive and in many people, when handled well, can be used in foreplay.
Posted by Richard Bos on 12/22/14 at 06:30 AM
sexuality- Wow, when did it become a multiple choice question!?

psychos- That is probably still top secret here because our Gov., no doubt, still uses them.

Needle in a haystack- Brain cell in a head full of rocks.

Washed away- And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. Matthew 7:26 (never plagiarize God)

Malaysia Air- Is that their slogan or their regular flight plan??

entertainment tax- Hey, recycle-reuse-reduce, that's why you should always use a a sock instead of tissues after.

doggie scam- For goodness sakes, next it will be the doggie bubble. Adopt from the pound you rich, pretentious idiots!

baby names- I can't make fun right now as my niece is looking for a unique baby name for the baby she is carrying.(number 3, 1&2 are the cutest, smartest, sweetest little ones! No, I am not at all biased!) 😉

common areas- Some people are inconsiderate so these problems arise. A friend was just telling me that, some time ago, someone in their over 55 community had to be told they could not use a common rec area to conduct business everyday.

Holy animals- I heard once that giving a white elephant (extremely rare and considered sacred) to someone as a gift was a way to ruin them because care and feeding is prohibitively expensive and the recipient is just stuck with it. Elephants live a looong time.

SWAT for swatted hubby- I wonder what the response would have been if HE hit HER.

Over there- OH, so that's what its like when there is no more real crime, or when cops are unarmed and can not defend themselves.

Eargasms- Sign me up!! Richard, it sounds like you know your way around a lady sweetie. :coolsmile:
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 12/22/14 at 06:45 PM
The most interesting adjective I have ever seen used to describe 'sexuality' is "negotiable."

Does the Home Office realize that a nuclear attack would in all likelihood be initiated by 'psychopaths'?

The Mythbusters crew did the 'needle-in-a-haystack' bit in 2004 - with MUCH more imagination and creativity. Performance art par excellance...

About the only way to get homeowners' insurance in 'Washaway Beach' would be to convince the insurance company that it is an old Native American name. The settlement could buy you a plane ticket to anywhere.

How many tickets to a Disney movie could you move by burying them in porn mags?

Erik Opitz is either the World's Largest Dwarf or the World's Smallest Giant.

I think the 'cinematographers' don't know enough to type the word 'porn' into a search engine.

Anybody who would make 27 payments of $95.99 (total $2591.73) for a $495 dog needs the dog for a brain transplant.

Folks around here are experts at contriving unique names; it comes from not being able to spell.

India's Karni Mata Temple is the sacred home of 20,000 rats. India taught us to count, but the Greeks gave us the word 'hygiene'.

Police might get a little more leniency from the press and the courts if they dressed in Black Panther uniforms.

Mr. Clark is probably very fortunate the magazine wasn't loaded into a gun. Mr. Saunders is relieved they never found his main stash. Mr. Shannon is one of those people who should never try to even steal a peek.

The secret to the eargasm is not in the ear but in the 'tool' you use.
Posted by tdachem on 12/23/14 at 01:38 PM
Could you be a tad more specific about the appropriate tool honey?
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 12/23/14 at 03:37 PM
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