News of the Weird (July 12, 2015)

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M431, July 12, 2015
Copyright 2015 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Lead Story

The enormous compensation large-corporation CEOs receive is justified in part by their bringing prosperity to their shareholders, but last year (an excellent one for most investors), two of the nation’s best-paid chief executives “earned” handsome raises despite presiding over losses: Philippe Dauman of Viacom Inc. (paid $44.3 million, stock lost 6.6 percent) and Jeffrey Immelt of General Electric (an 88 percent raise, to $37.3 million, stock lost 6.7 percent). CEO Steven Newman of Transocean earned only $14.2 million, according to a June Wall Street Journal report, but that was a 2.2 percent boost--for stewardship that resulted in one of 2014's biggest flops--Transocean’s 59.9 percent loss for its shareholders. [Wall Street Journal, 6-25-2015]

The Entrepreneurial Spirit

The Japanese, especially, report a decline of intimacy (for instance, a recent estimate found that about a quarter of 30-year-olds had never had sex with another person)--convenient for a Kyoto research institute’s announcement in June that it had developed a huggable, human-sized, featureless pillow (resembling “Casper The Friendly Ghost”), with skin-like texture, to serve as an embraceable intimacy substitute. For people with actual lovers, the “Hugvie” (retailing for the equivalent of $80) has a mouth slot for a cell phone to enable running sweet talk with a remote “companion.” [, 6-5-2015]

Redneck Marketing Challenges: (1) Scotty and Beverly Franklin of Springfield, Mo., are trying to tempt cowboys to actually wear leather boots retrofitted to be open-toed sandals. KHOU-TV (Houston, Tex.) reported that the Franklins would sandal-up your favorite pair for $75. (2) One of the more reviled consumer products of 2015 is a gun-shaped iPhone case, which so alarms police that it suddenly in early July became hard to find, even at the online Japan Trend Shop, which previously offered models from $5 to $49. Asked one officer, “Why would you want to make yourself look like a threat [to cops]?” [KHOU-TV (Houston, Tex.), 6-23-2015] [CNN Money, 7-1-2015]

Family Values

In a recent BBC documentary, the son of renowned cosmologist Stephen Hawking (Tim, now 36) revealed that his dad is “hugely competitive” and showed him “no compassion at all” when he was growing up. Tim said two of his few avenues of coping with such a famous, oblivious father were when he used to race around in his dad’s specialized (and expensive) wheelchair (pretending it was a go-kart) and, for those deliciously awkward moments, adding cuss words to his father’s synthesized speech software. [Mother Nature Network, 6-17-2015]

Latest Religious Messages

Jihadists governing ISIS’s Euphrates province recently outlawed the popular hobby of breeding pigeons and threatened violators with flogging and imprisonment. The ban was initially thought aimed at frustrating pigeon-messaging to the outside world, but the published prohibition mentions other justifications--the hobby’s frivolity (wasting time that could better be spent praying) and the special offense to God (because pigeons are “uncovered,” with exposed genitals). [Daily Mail, 6-2-2015]

God Is Love: (1) In a June YouTube video reported by various news sites, Tempe, Ariz., pastor Steven Anderson (Faithful Word Baptist Church) prayed for God to “rip out the heart” of Caitlyn Jenner, for whom Anderson expresses “a perfect hatred” for announcing she was no longer Bruce. (2) On his “700 Club” TV program in June, Pat Robertson patiently explained to a grieving mother why God could have allowed her 3-year-old son to die of illness--that God saw the big picture and knew, for instance, that the kid could have become a serial killer or contracted a hideous disease, and that she should be relieved that God took him early. [YouTube via RawStory, 6-10-2015] [Mediate, 6-9-2015]

Can’t Stop Myself

Esteban Rocha, 51, was arrested in June in Placerville, Calif., and charged with exposing himself to a woman--about 25 minutes after Rocha had left the Placerville Police Department, where he had dutifully gone to register his location as a sex offender so that police could keep track of him. [Sacramento Bee, 6-23-2015]

Leading Economic Indicators

Sweden has unemployment issues, like most countries, but, still, the Oliver & Eva sex shop was not prepared for the deluge when the nation’s Employment Service website posted its opening to hire a “sex toy tester.” Until the Service was forced to pull the announcement, applications were coming in at the rate of one every 20 seconds, with 14,000 e-mails greeting the employer the first morning. The sex shop emphasized that the tester must be “driven,” “methodical,” and “with patience” and a knowledge of Microsoft Excel. [The Local (Stockholm), 6-25-2015]

Recurring Themes

News of the Weird tracks the “armed and clumsy,” who can’t avoid shooting themselves accidentally, but then there are these guys: (1) Adam Hirtle, 30, of Colorado Springs checked into a hospital on June 10th after intentionally shooting himself in the foot with a .22-caliber handgun--twice, “curious” to see how it felt (with and without his boot, to compare pain levels). (2) Jeremiah Raber, 38, recently commenced a crowdfunding campaign for a kids’ sports version of his “Nutshellz” jockstrap--according to Raber the strongest such apparel in the world, made from breakthrough “Dyneema” (supposedly half the weight of Kevlar but twice as strong). Recently, using a “.22 long rifle,” Raber had business partner Matt Heck shoot him directly in the delicate area, but according to Raber, he felt just a “tap.” [Denver Post, 6-11-2015] [Riverfront Times (St. Louis), 5-11-2015]

Aerobatic Drivers

(1) A 79-year-old woman in Markgroeningen, Germany, hit a ditch coming down a hill and flipped through a wall into the second floor of a storage depot, resulting in only minor injuries (June). (2) A woman driving 100 mph on a freeway near Leicester, England, lost control of her car, which somehow wound up in a tree about 20 feet above the roadway. She and a passenger climbed down and walked away (May). (3) A car speeding over a ramp sailed off a road in Durban, South Africa, crashing back-end- first through the roof of a one-story home, resting with the front end pointing straight up. Neither driver nor resident was hurt (July). [NBC News, 6-1-2015] [Leicester Mercury, 5-26-2015] [ER24 via BBC News, 7-2-2015]

Least Competent Criminals

One Flaw in the Game Plan: Gary Elliott, 19, was arrested shortly after someone had ripped a hole in the ceiling of Al’s Army Navy store in Orlando and--expertly shimmying down a rope, then back up--made off with about 70 guns in a bag. (“It must be Spider-Man,” was proprietor Neal Crasnow’s first thought.) However, minutes after the burglary, Elliott came to a police officer’s attention on the street, bleeding, carrying the large bag--and pedaling away on his “getaway” vehicle, which was a genuine tricycle (yes--three wheels!). [Orlando Sentinel, 7-1-2015]

Also, Recently . . .

(1) While a custom fitting is being prepared, Alyeska Pipeline is “servicing” a leak in the trans-Alaska Pipeline by sending an employee twice a day in June to mop up the oil with rags. (2) A man was spotted and photographed on a riverbank in Nanyang, China, carefully (and oblivious to onlookers) bathing his inflatable doll. (3) In May, at the very moment police in Akron, Ohio, had begun (with a warrant) searching the home of Andrew Palmer, 46, for evidence of drug-dealing, a UPS driver appeared at the door to make a routine delivery--of four pounds of marijuana. [Alaska Dispatch News, 6-23-2015] [Shanghaiist, 5-14-2015] [, 5-16-2015]

A News of the Weird Classic (July 2010)

Fine Points of the Law: Things looked grim for Carlos Simon-Timmerman, arrested by U.S. border agents in Puerto Rico for bringing a child-sex video home from a holiday in Mexico. The star of "Little Lupe the Innocent" looked very young, and federal prosecutors in April [2010] called an "expert witness" pediatrician, who assured the jury, based on the girl's underdevelopment, that she was a minor. However, Simon-Timmerman's lawyer had located "Lupe" via her website, and she cheerfully agreed to fly in from her home in Spain with her passport and other documents to prove, at a dramatic point in the trial, that she was 19 (and “legal”) when the video was made. Simon-Timmerman was acquitted. [New York Post, 4-24-2010]

Thanks This Week to Josh Levin and Steve Sidell and to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.
     Posted By: Chuck - Sun Jul 12, 2015

I hope you are feeling better Chuck!
Posted by Miles on 07/12/15 at 04:15 PM
Regarding the ISIS pigeon story, here's an update: "A previous version of this article made reference to the phrase "revealing the genitals" in relation to the pigeons. It has since been claimed that the use of the phrase was idiomatic and our article has been updated accordingly."
Posted by ges on 07/12/15 at 06:07 PM
ges, did you mean 'idiotic'?? 😉

Money for nothing- At least part of the problem has to be having corporations (and government as well for that matter) run by people that out of touch with reality. Or the reality the rest of us live in any way.

Japanese intimacy- Send some of those 30 something virgins on over to China, they know how to populate over there.

Gun shaped Phone cases- Perhaps a law making them legal only in neon colors?

Hawking's son- Yes, and John-John played in the oval office under Daddy's desk. We all grow up in the environment our parents provide for us, and every child get into mischief sometimes.

Preachers- All kinds of preachers and religions out there. The 2 mentioned just fall a little closer to the Fred Phelps side of the spectrum.

Perfect job- Some jobs just appeal to a larger cross section of the population, this is one of them.

Drivers- Sometimes luck just trumps skill.(never ever for me though)

Gun thief- Usually our mantra here on WU is- One crime at a time! But perhaps this guy should have stolen a car first.

Drugs- I wonder how many drug dealers would get caught if UPS, FedEx, and USPS voluntarily allowed drug sniffing dogs to go through their loaded delivery trucks from time to time.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 07/12/15 at 09:51 PM
The Japanese, (the country that brought us Pearl Harbor and made suicide popular along with the transistor radio and crotch rocket motorcycles.) have sunk to the level of a phone equipped soft sex doll for a bunch of 30 year old virgins? I wonder if you can get interchangeable sex organs for them and voice activated dial to the cellphone. It must drive the Japanese branch of NSA crazy listening to all that sex talk.

God is Love: Mr. Anderson has sort of forgotten the definition of love. Perhaps he is angry that Bruce/Caitlyn did not send him the money he used to become a woman. Pat Robertson has been slipping over the edge for a long time. I'm surprised his handlers have not sent him off for a extended,(forever) period of solitary prayers and bible study. Guys like theses why I gave up organized religion so long ago. But I do have my Universal Life Ministers card.

Armed and clumsy: These people need either more powerful guns or aim for other parts of the body. A .22 LR is usually just not powerful enough to qualify for the Darwin Awards. Years ago the inventor of the first practical bullet resistant vest would demonstrate on himself in front of a crowd with a .357mag. Saw it myself, very impressive. He quit after discovering he was bruising his heart. Performance testing a armored jock on your own gonads seems way beyond insane. Besides, if the shooter misses he might get the femoral artery. That will result in a most spectacular blood spurting wound and perhaps a trip to the morgue, even with a .22. Besides on all the police targets it not even rated as a crippling shot. Perhaps in the annoying zone.

Flaw in the Plan: He should have gotten the model with a noisy two stroke engine. A faster get-away.
Posted by Gator Guy on 07/13/15 at 07:43 PM
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