News of the Weird (February 14, 2016)

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M462, February 14, 2016
Copyright 2016 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Lead Story

Intelligent Design:’s most recent “Absurd Creature” feature shows a toad devouring a larva of a much-smaller beetle, but the “absurdity” is that the larva is in charge and that the toad will soon be beetle food. The larva’s Darwinian advantage is that, inside the toad, it paralyzes the hapless “predator” with its hooked jaws and then secretes enzymes to begin decomposing the toad’s tissue (making it edible)--and provoking it to vomit the still-alive larva. [, 1-29-2016]

Great Achievements in Laziness

An 80-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman were ticketed in separate incidents in Canada the week of January 18th when police spotted them driving cars completely caked in snow except for a small portion of the windshield. The man, from Brussels, Ontario, was driving a car resembling a “pile of snow on the road.” The Halifax, Nova Scotia, woman’s car was, a police statement said, “a snowbank on four wheels.” [Globe and Mail, 1-21-2016] [Associated Press via WMUR-TV (Manchester, N.H.), 1-21-2016]

Great Art!

Fed up with the “pretense” of the art world, performer (and radio personality) Lisa Levy of Brooklyn, N.Y., sat on a toilet, naked and motionless, at the Christopher Stout Gallery in January to protest artists’ “BS” by presenting herself in the “humblest” way she could imagine. Visitors were invited to sit on a facing toilet (clothed or not) and interact with her in any way except for touching. Levy told the Bushwick Daily website that too much “ego,” “like a drug,” “distorts your reality.” [Bushwick Daily, 1-20-2016]

Wait, What?

In January, the U.S. Department of Justice’s inspector general recommended closing down a program of the Department’s Drug Enforcement Administration that paid employees of other federal agencies (Amtrak and the beloved Transportation Security Administration) for tips on suspicious passengers. (The program apparently ignored that federal employees have such a duty even without a bounty.) DEA was apparently interested in passengers traveling with large amounts of cash--which DEA could potentially seize if it suspected the money came from illegal activity (and also, of course, then keep the money under federal forfeiture law). According to the inspector general, the tipping TSA agent was to be rewarded with a cut of any forfeited money. [USA Today, 1-7-2016]

Chiropractor William DeAngelo of Stratford, Conn., was charged with assault in January after an employee complained that she was ordered to lie down on a table and let DeAngelo apply electrical shocks to her back--as punishment for being the office gossiper, spreading rumors about colleagues. DeAngelo said he was reacting to complaints from patients and staff but seemed to suggest in a statement to police that he was only “re-edcat[ing]” the woman on how to use the electrical stimulator in the office’s practice (though she felt the need to report to a hospital afterward). [Connecticut Post, 1-29-2016]

The Continuing Crisis

Britain’s North Yorkshire Police successfully applied to a judge in January for a “sexual risk order” against a man whose name was not disclosed publicly and whose alleged behavior was not revealed. Whoever he is and whatever he did, he is forbidden to enter into any sexual situation with anyone without providing at least 24 hours’ notice to York magistrates--nor is he allowed to look at or possess any sexually oriented materials. According to the York Press, the order is temporary until May 19th, at which time the magistrates may extend it. [York Press, 1-21-2016]

Bright Ideas

Christopher Lemek, Jr., was arrested in Palmer, Mass., in January and charged in a New Year’s Eve hit-and-run accident that took a pedestrian’s life. Lemek emerged as a suspect a few days after the collision when police, visiting his home, noticed freshly-disturbed earth in his backyard. Eventually Lemek confessed to literally burying the evidence--using a construction vehicle to crush his truck and an excavator to dig up his back yard and drop the truck into it. [The Republican (Springfield), 1-8-2016]

No Need for a Pre-Nup: The 20-year New York marriage of Gabriel Villa, now 90, and Cristina Carta Villa, now 59, apparently had its happy moments, but as Cristina found out when things went bad recently, Gabriel had attempted to protect himself shortly after the wedding--by obtaining a Dominican Republic divorce and keeping it secret. Cristina found out only when she realized in a property accounting that her name was not on the deed to their Manhattan apartment. (She is challenging that divorce as improper even under Dominican law.) [New York Post, 1-24-2016]

Suspicions Confirmed

Several Connecticut state troopers involved in a DUI checkpoint in September were apparently caught on video deliberating whether to make up charges against a (perhaps obnoxious) checkpoint monitor. Veteran protester Michael Picard, 27, posted the videos on his YouTube page in January, showing troopers (illegally) confiscating Picard’s camera and suggesting among themselves various charges they could write up (at least some not warranted by evidence) to, as one trooper was heard imploring, “cover our asses.” (The troopers returned the camera after deliberating but seemed unaware that it had been running during the entire incident.) State police internal affairs officers are investigating. [Hartford Courant, 1-26-2016]


Private Parts: (1) A middle-aged woman reported to a firehouse in Padua, Italy, in January to ask for help opening a lock for which she had misplaced the key. It turned out that the lock was to the iron chastity belt she was wearing--of her own free will, she said (because she had recently begun a romantic relationship that she wanted not to become too quickly sexual). (2) Firefighers in Osnabruck, Germany, told Berlin’s The Local that in two separate incidents in December, men had come to their stations asking for help removing iron rings they had placed on their penises to help retain erections. (The Local, as a public service, quoted a prominent European sexual-aid manufacturer’s recommendation--to instead use silicone rings, which usually do not require professional removal.) [Daily Telegraph (London), 1-17-2016] [The Local (Berlin), 12-8-2015]

Recurring Themes

Few matters in life are weirder than the Scottish love of haggis (sheep’s liver, heart, tongue, and fat, blended with oats and seasonings, boiled inside sheep’s stomach to its enticing gray color!), and in January, in honor of the Scottish poet-icon Robert Burns, prominent Peruvian chef Mitsuhara Tsumura joined Scotland’s Paul Wedgwood to create haggis from, instead of sheep, guinea pig. Wedgwood said he was “proud” to raise haggis “to new gastronomic levels.” [Daily Telegraph (London), 1-21-2016]

Least Competent Criminals

(1) Briton Jacqueline Patrick, 55, was sentenced to 15 years in prison in December for the 2013 murder of her husband, accomplished by spiking his wine with anti-freeze. To cover her crime, she handed over a note the husband had supposedly written, requesting that if tragedy struck him, he wished not to be resuscitated, preferring to die with “dignerty” [sic]. Suspicious, police asked Patrick to spell “dignity,” which, of course, came out “dignerty.” (2) Kristina Green, 19, and Gary Withers, 38, both already on probation, were arrested in Encinitas, Calif., in December after an driver reported them following his delivery truck and scooping up packages as soon as he dropped them off. Inside the pair’s car, officers found numerous parcels and mail addressed to others plus a “To Do” list that read, “steal mail and shoplift.” [Reuters, 11-23-2015] [San Diego Union-Tribune, 12-15-2015]

A News of the Weird Classic (December 2011)

In October [2011], the super-enthusiastic winners of a Kingston, Ontario, radio station contest claimed their prize: the chance to don gloves and dig for free Buffalo Bills' football tickets (value $320), buried in buffalo manure in a wading pool. The show's host, Sarah Crosbie, reported the digging live (but, overcome by the smell, vomited on the air). More curious was a runner-up contestant, who continued to muck around for the second prize even though it was only tickets to a local zoo. [Yahoo Canada Sports, 10-21-2011]

Thanks This Week to Patty Lively, Phyllis Sensenig, Ann Lloyd, and Jeff Brown, and to the News of the Weird Board Editorial Advisors.
     Posted By: Chuck - Sun Feb 14, 2016

Levy: Too late. R. Mutt tried that, and nobody understood him, either.

Haggis: is actually quite edible. Not something you'ld have every day or even every month, but were I Scots I wouldn't fear Burns night.
Posted by Richard Bos on 02/15/16 at 06:57 AM
"...which DEA could potentially seize if it suspected the money came from illegal activity..."

That should read:

"...which DEA would seize whether or not they suspected the money came from illegal activity..."
Posted by sudon't on 02/15/16 at 01:18 PM
Art: Is she also publicly using the toilet for it's intended purpose as part of the performance?

Oops: My fire fighter friends have a endless series of stories concerning sexual organ bondage devices that need removal and of fen occur as walk-ins at the stations.
Posted by Gator Guy on 02/15/16 at 06:09 PM
frog vs larva- Being dissolved from the inside while still alive is a horrible way to die, even for a frog.

snow on cars- Peek-a-boo driving, what could go possibly go wrong?

Potty art- Clever, protesting absurdity with absurdity, I actuall approve of this display. (wouldn't pay to see it though)

$ for doing their job- Government employees already get that, its called a paycheck. I bet they make more than I do and have good insurance to boot.

zap the gossip- The doc is an ass and deserves what he gets. That said, if she was gossiping about patients' information she broke the HIPPA law and that should be addressed too.

24 hr notice for sex- Us old folks might be able to schedule such things but if the guy is young...well, they are much more spontaneous.

buried truck- I read a book where a murderer buried a truck with his wife and her lover in it after killing them. He got caught too.

90 vs 59- Age 1 Beauty 0

lost key- should have a keypad on those things, after all most of us are used to using our fingers there.

iron cock rings- Saw this on Untold Stories of the ER. They had to call the fire department and use a giant bolt cutter, twice.

Haggis- Gaggis!

dignerty- Shoulda used spell check.

to do list- Of course steal mail first. Then you know what you didn't get for when you go shoplifting.

tickets in poo- No.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 02/15/16 at 06:55 PM
As for shovelling poo, I've done it for basic room and board. It's called doing chores as a farm kid. It would take much, MUCH more than tickets to dive in.
Posted by BMN on 02/15/16 at 08:24 PM
DEA and cash: sudon't is quite correct.

Haggis: Guinea pig sounds icky and not big enough to be worth the hassle. Maybe, instead of grey, it turns Wedgwood blue?

Toilet art: and yet, if I went to the bathroom in public or if I tried to take a photo of a woman on a toilet, I'd be arrested and locked up.

Chastity belt: sounds like the ending to Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Call the locksmith!

Oops: If they tell you about the remedies for this sort of thing (bolt cutters and/or hypodermics to the affected area) and it doesn't fix the problem immediately, I'd say that you're exactly where you need to be.

Tickets in BS: I'd pay a lot more than $320 to avoid having to do that. BMN, David Truscott gets a lot more than mere tickets. NOTW 7/20/14

Electrical stimulation: I'm torn. Should the punishment be an eye for an eye, or should he be used as a galvanometer? I think the latter, and see if his pith balls fly apart.
Posted by TheCannyScot in Atlanta, GA on 02/16/16 at 10:17 AM
Don't forget Scot, if you took that picture or went in public you would also spend the rest of your life on a sex offender registry.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 02/16/16 at 01:52 PM
It would be interesting to know how the beetle evolved its arsenal of anti-toad weaponry. What were all the intermediate states that occurred between frog food and frog predator, given that mutations typically occur one gene at a time?
Posted by RobK on 02/17/16 at 12:14 PM
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