News of the Weird / Pro Edition (April 26, 2010)

News of the Weird/Pro Edition
"You're Still Not Cynical Enough"

Exceptionally Inexplicable Dispatches from Last Week
April 26, 2010
(datelines April 17-April 24) (links correct as of April 26, 2010)

Urchins' Inherent Wisdom, Plus Boobquake, Rectal Beepers, and Assault by Nostril

Are there any people more fatuous than parents who "unschool" their kids (as opposed to home-schooling, in which parents genuinely believe they can "lesson-plan" better than teachers can)? ABC's Good Morning America brought in a Massachusetts couple who took turns condescendingly telling other parents that they should "trust [the] kids," that kids need no structure, no rules–that they'll surely learn on their own everything that's important to them. Just what society needs: even more kids growing up to think they're the center of the universe. ABC News

Fabulous Concierge Service: Britain's Rodney Morgan family, intending to drop major dollars for a stay at the 5-star Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Fla., wanted assurance that he and his party would not be served by "people of colour" or people with "foreign accents." (Bonus: According to this lawsuit, the Ritz said, Yes, of course! Will do!) The Times (London)

Democrat Gregg Kravitz, running for a Pennsylvania state legislative seat, was sexually "outed" by his primary opponent, who accused Kravitz of being straight, and in the 182nd district, being straight is a liability. Kravitz said he's "bi," which set off a cacaphony of gaydar detectors. (And the organization sponsoring the Gay Softball World Series disqualified a team called "D2," which finished second in 2008, because it violated the maximum-ringers rule. A team can have only two straights, not two straights and a bi. That team needs to go find a Bi Softball World Series.) Philadelphia Inquirer /// Seattle Times

Will today (Monday) pass without a major earthquake? The week before last, a senior Iranian cleric blamed the 'quakes in Haiti and Chile, among others, on the creeping Western fashion sense of Muslim women. Jennifer McCreight then launched a Facebook page, seeking commitments from women worldwide to don their best cleavageware outfits on Monday, April 26th, to empirically test the cleric's theory. /// Agence France-Presse via Courier Mail (Brisbane)

Testifying for a Georgia bill to ban unconsensual microchip-implanting in humans was a very helpful citizen complaining about her own plight. "Just imagine, if you will, having a beeper in your rectum or genital area . . . and your beeper numbers displayed on billboards throughout the city." (By this time, the bill's supporters in the room are averting their eyes, staring at the crown molding, imagining the Georgia Bulldogs' 2010 prospects.) "This microchip was put in my vaginal-rectum area . . . by researchers with the . . . Department of Defense." Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The too-big-for-his-britches former state Republican Party chairman in Florida, Jim Greer, was outed by a fellow GOP official for ordering an assistant to walk into a Republican National Committee meeting every few minutes with urgent messages from Gov. Crist. Turns out the messages were just blank pieces of paper. (It's important to look important.). Orlando Sentinel

Meanwhile, Over on the Left Tail of the Bell Curve . . .

Cops caught the pharmacy burglar Jacob Collins making off with a stash of Oxy, but they think he meant to steal "Oxycontin" and not the "Oxybutynin" he actually took [ed.: It's for "overactive bladder," but maybe Jacob has a problem like Sean Almond has. Sean robbed the Kangaroo Mart in Suffolk, Va., but had to delay his getaway by stopping off behind the store to take a leak.] Press of Atlantic City /// Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.)

AWI: Middletown, Ohio, police, checking out a domestic disturbance, found a man bleeding from the ear and his wife lying in bed with a parrot standing on her face. Reported the Dayton Daily News, she was "unable to remove the bird from her face." Dayton Daily News

Ridiculous . . or Ingenious? Thomas Hovis Jr., 52, fleeing deputies in Albion, Ind., thought he had found a nifty hiding place where they'd never think of looking. He was wrong. They found Hovis standing neck-deep in a manure pit in the outbuilding of a farm. WANE-TV (Fort Wayne)

The Aristocrats! (1) Alfred Needham, 50, was arrested for allegedly running over the boyfriend of a woman who was riding with Needham. The boyfriend had come to his gal's defense after Needham and the woman traded punches in a fight over which of the two had worse B.O. (2) In Crestview, Fla., a 44-year-old man was charged with assault on his girlfriend (i.e., In a fight, he "sealed off one nostril and [blew] the contents of the other nostril all over her"). WBZ-TV (Boston) /// Northwest Florida Daily News

Below The Fold

If you are a man thinking of applying to the police force in the Indonesian province of Papua, better not have had enlargement procedures for your you-know-what. (The unnatural size causes "hindrance during training," said a spokesman.) However, it's Indonesia, so they're probably more concerned with the not-empirically-tested enlargement technique of "wrapping the penis with leaves from the 'gatal-gatal' tree so that it swells up 'like it has been stung by a bee,'" according to a local expert.. Reuters via MSNBC

Hugo Chavez's 2nd-favorite South American president (after himself), Bolivia's Evo Morales, has warned countrymen that eating "European food" will make them bald and that munching on chicken (because farmers feed them female hormones) will turn macho males into girly men. (Also not empirically tested: whether, if farmers switch to male hormones, chicken will turn gay men straight.) Agence France-Presse via Australian Broadcasting Corp.

There's an active surfing community (n=about 40) in Gaza. The waves aren't as high as Huntington Beach's, but the surfers must expertly navigate the patches of untreated sewage flushed into the Mediterranean. (Bonus: A Jewish U.S. surf enthusiast, sympathizing with the Palestinians' lack of equipment, tried to donate 15 surfboards in person, but Israeli border guards said GTFO.) BBC News

Coal? Nuclear? Windmills? William Taylor in Northern Ireland said he can provide 6 percent of the world's power needs . . if only farmers would buy his treadmills for cows. (Seriously.) Popular Science via

The Pervo-American Community

(1) Andrew Wildman, 28, became a former civics teacher at Cedar Cliff High School, Camp Hill, Pa., after at least eight students reported that he generously gave extra credit for things like getting girls to lick the chalk dust off his fingers. (2) Daniel DuPuis, also 28, is an elementary and middle-school music teacher who admitted to at least five instances of masturbating into the trash can in his classroom. A janitor reported him because the trash can "smelled like semen." Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.) /// Holland Sentinel (Holland, Mich.)

Your Weekly Jury Duty
[In America, you're presumed innocent . . . until the mug shot is released]

Steven Ferrini, 60, doesn't look like the kind of guy who would drive around wearing a vibrating butt plug, with the control switch wired to his pants pocket. Or does he? Tahoe Daily Tribune (South Lake Tahoe, Calif.) /// The Smoking Gun

But Erica Dillon, 31, looks capable of anything you can think of. The charge is sexual assault on a 14-year-old boy, and if the kid didn't know before this that guys should always carry around an emergency paper bag, he knows now. Philadelphia Inquirer

More Things To Worry About

Wozniak and those guys in the 1970s and 1980s did it all wrong. The better way, according to a University of Michigan researcher, is to design supercomputers based on the way a cat's brain works, which engineer Wei Lu says is "83" times faster than a computer. [ed.: I demand a recalculation! Not of the "83." Of the "1." I think it's actually "0."] New York Daily News

Kayla Gerdes, 18, high on painkillers, careened off the road and through a yard, killing the 69-year-old homeowner. When Gerdes came down from her high, she was suitably remorseful, except: "The thing that made me feel not so had was [that] she was old. I mean, 70 years is a long time to live." Associated Press via WINS Radio (New York City)

Felony Gardening: Attorney Sandra McFeeley, 67, said she was just trying to beautify some vegetation in Dallas's Wynnewood Parkway Park, but the city has a harsh get-off-our-lawn policy. Conservationists backed the city, lauding the wild, unkempt flora. Since McFeeley wouldn't stop, she was arrested. "I met some neat people [in jail]," she said. "I'd never been in a perp walk before. It was cool." Dallas Morning News

Paula Wolf, 41, was finally identified and detained as the person wreaking havoc in Stevens Point, Wis., with her blowgun. According to the Associated Press, she told a cop that she shot strangers on the street just because she "liked to hear people say ouch." Wausau Daily Herald

Sounds Like a Joke: Ricardo West, 22, who performs as a Michael Jackson impersonator, was arrested in Allen Park, Mich., and charged with 12 counts of sexual abuse of an 11-year-old boy. WXYZ-TV (Detroit)

The long arm of British law came down on Paul (I'm a "complete twit") Hutton, 40, who was stopped for DUI while "driving" an electric "Barbie car," marketed to toddlers and whose max speed is about 4. (He is taking a car repair course, and was fixing the Barbie as a project, and after he finished, he decided to take it out for a spin.) Daily Telegraph

Breast cancer gets no break in WellPoint health insurance policies–even though its CEO has a pair, herself. Just as Assurant Health (formerly Fortis) was revealed to be targeting HIV treatments as Step One in a road to reneging on insurance policies (known as "rescission"), WellPoint apparently targets breast cancer treatments. When WellPoint's (and Assurant's [NOTW/Pro (Weird 2.0), 3-23-2010]) algorithms find a new diagnosis, an emergency package of magnifying glasses drops down from the ceiling, and company goons begin perusing the policies for any undotted i's and uncrossed t's that will justify canceling the policies. Reuters

Based on federal indictments of mobsters in New Jersey, several things are apparent: (1) The glass ceiling to Gambino family upper management has been shattered. All hail Suzanne Porcelli, 43. (2) The Gambino family's farm system was weak, because ever since the experienced capos and lieutenants got sent to the slammer, bad decisions have been made. (3) Among the poor decisions was getting the Gambino family into child prostitution–which everyone knows was way beneath the dignity of the most vicious of dons, who famously kept hands off of women and children. CNN

Courtroom testimony by "expert witnesses" is such a charade [ed.: I guess "kabuki theater" is the current in-vogue metaphor]. Carlos Simon-Timmerman was looking at 20 years in the Big House for bringing a "child porn" DVD into Puerto Rico from a trip to Venezuela. The girl was a teenager, and how do they know she was underage? The border agents in San Juan said they thought she was under 18, and prosecutors found an "expert witness" who said, yep, underage. Remember: Each element of a crime must be proven "beyond reasonable doubt." Luckily, the star of the video, Ms. Lupe Fuentes, agreed to fly to Puerto Rico at her own expense to testify that, while she looks young, she was 19 when she made that damned video. One of life's delicious slam-dunk moments. New York Post

And For Further Review . . .

If you're thinking of opening a bar, think mainstream design. Otherwise, you might hire an architect like the Dutch artist Atelier Van Lieshout, who gave us BarRectum, a long and winding rendition of the human digestive system, with the "tongue" at one end and the "sphincter" at the other. It is/was open for business outside a Vienna museum. Problem: Most patrons have to sit in the "rectum" area. Problem: The emergency exit is the poop chute. [ed.: Authentication Alert: This might have been opened in 2005, or maybe just recently. They need a real reporter on this; I'm not that.] Boing Boing

Newsrangers: Dale Ireland, Gerald Sacks, Adam Stein, Bruce Leiserowitz, Jon Doughtie, Sandy Pearlman, Peter Swank, Hal Dunham, Steve Dunn, Rahima Schwenkbeck, Rob Snyder, Sarah Stephens, Michael Bellesiles, Peter Hine, Beth Biggs, Andrew Davis, Kathryn Wood, Neb Rodgers, and Debra Taylor, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors

     Posted By: Chuck - Mon Apr 26, 2010

I don't get the paper bag reference
Posted by MNIceLady on 04/26/10 at 10:54 AM
If you design a computer after a cat's brain, it may compute very quickly, but you'll have to give it lots of attention or it will get sulky and dump the contents of its RAM in your shoe.
Posted by venomlash on 04/26/10 at 11:11 AM
ritz- how dumb of the hotel to agree to it in the first place. it is illegal here, what if they asked the concierge to proccure some weed for them? ah well, whatever the guest wants! i doubt it.

no earthquakes? girls everbody jump up and down for 1 minute...ready 1...2...3

messages- a self important prick for a politician what a suprise!(especially in the f state.)

wrong oxy-lmao!!!!!

bird- no wonder the bird was chomping on her, birds eat nut after all.

hiding from cops- wow, he's really in deep stit now!

blows nose on girlfriend- they say its assult but really its snot.

surfing- wonder if they'll add sewage surfing to the olympics.

vibe in butt- if he eats enough beans and broccoli it will become a bomb. guilty

14 yr old- guilty mnice lady the bag is to cover her face because she's ugly. some guys also say throw a flag over her face and f (have sex) for glory. not nice, but very funny!

catputer- it might be faster, but it will never do what you want it to when you want it to.

gardening- i don't know whats funnier, that the arrested and jailed her for gardening or that she loved the experience.

mj impersonator- he's just a method actor.

barbie car- how does repairing a barbie car help prepare one to repair real ones?

insurance- anybody see saw6? but that was just a plot device right?

butt bar- look at the pucker, i think the bar has herpes!

great week chuck!!!
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 04/26/10 at 03:03 PM
Thanks Patty. I thought paper bags were GREAT halloween costumes. You're only limited to your imagination.
Posted by MNIceLady on 04/26/10 at 03:36 PM
Ri-ight, a person who is criticising a blanket judgement of homeschooling, but calls state education "government brainwashing academies". :roll:

Also a 2003 survey reported that 29.8% of parents put "religious and moral instruction" as the primary reason for choosing to homeschool and 36.5% of homeschooled children use material obtained from religious sources (link). That's nearly twice as many as cited dissatisfaction with academic standards (16.5%).
Posted by Dumbfounded on 04/27/10 at 08:09 AM
I had a PowerWheels car when I was a kid, and if I am understanding the story correctly that's essentially identical to the Barbie Car they are talking about. There is no way anything learned from fixing one of those toys could be used on a full size car. Even if you plan on working on electric cars (since they don't have real engines), a PowerWheels/Barbie Car is closer to a wagon than an automobile, with no axles, a steering system that is as primitive as they come, and a small electric motor on one wheel, operated by a foot pedal that can only turn the motor on or off. On top of that, I am really surprised that an adult was able to fit into it. Looks like this guy needs to come up with a new excuse.
Posted by Salamander Sam in Chicago on 04/30/10 at 06:31 PM
By the way, according to the article you linked to the cat brain computer "performs 83 times more slowly than a cat’s brain," and on top of that this is basically a theoretical computer. I'm not sure why he chose a cat's brain, but most people agree that in order to make progress towards real artificial intelligence (specifically learning), computers will need to simulate a brain, not just traditional computer programming.
Posted by Salamander Sam in Chicago on 04/30/10 at 06:38 PM
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