News of the Weird / Pro Edition (January 31, 2011)

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

Prime Cuts of Underreported News from Last Week, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
January 31, 2011
(datelines January 22-January 29) (links correct as of January 31)

Men of Tears, plus Ear Ecstasy, Beatle-ology, and Vacations with Dolls

★ ★ ★ ★!

Girly Men: The objective of Men of Tears (part of a public-speaker self-help group) is to get males in touch with their Inner Boehners and just cry if we need to (♪ cry if we need to! ♫). At this-here meeting of Californians in (of course!) mega-sensitive Marin County, newly-freed stress hormones flooded the room, calming the previously stoic. President Obama almost cried at the Tucson Shootings memorial service, they say, and should follow through on that promising start. [Full Disclosure: Yr Editor was once a crier, but in the early 1970s, at a time when male sensitivity was routinely rewarded with easy sex from progressive females.] San Francisco Chronicle

Always Thinking of the Children! Adolescents' skin is more delicate than adults' so Wal-Mart announced it will carry a line of GeoGirl beautifying makeup specially made for 8-year-old girls (cleanser, blush, shadow, mascara, face shimmer, body mist, etc.). Houston Chronicle

Nowhere Woman: Meanwhile, as Chinese and South Korean students waste their time with that difficult, confusing "science" and "engineering," Canadian Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy became the first graduate of Liverpool Hope University's masters degree program in Beatles studies. Society will surely benefit by her "fresh and thought-provoking insights" because there's not nearly enough being written about the influence of the Beatles. Reuters via Yahoo News

A Society That Awards Masters Degrees for Studying the Beatles Obviously Has Time to Play with Its Food: Beef Salad Water (along with German Sauerbraten Water and Barbecued Chicken Wings Water!) . . . the Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Martini (at the Chateau Victoria Hotel in Victoria, B.C.) . . a Lemon Tart and other food consumed by, um, breathing (by a kinda-asthma-inhaler invented by Harvard professor David Edwards). AOL News /// New York Times Magazine /// Daily Mail (London)

And Still More Things To Worry About

College Professor Imitates Dog: California State University Northridge math professor Tihomir Petrov (author, Elliptic Surfaces, Monodromy Groups, and Structures of Moduli), feuding with a colleague, was charged with repeatedly peeing on the colleague's office door. Associated Press via Los Angeles Daily News

The School District in Lancaster, Pa., has come up with an idea that apparently, for some reason, no one else in America entertains: Why not put 11th-graders with black skin in one classroom . . and 11th-graders with brown skin in another classroom . . and maybe 11th-graders with white skin will all wind up in another classroom? It's just an experiment, they say, limited to 11th-graders this year. (Officials had read somewhere that kids might learn better if they have "mentors" who look like them.) WGAL-TV (Lancaster)

They say the suicide bombstress actually intended to blow up thousands of celebrants in Moscow's Red Square on New Year's Eve but didn't get the chance--because her mobile phone company unexpectedly sent her a spam text ahead of time that inadvertently triggered her bomb and blew up her and her handlers. Daily Telegraph (London)

Don't knock Vietnamese ear-picking if you haven't tried it. Some return customers are so hot to have their ear canal fondled that they actually race from the Saigon airport to their favorite "hot toc" parlor, where "ear-gasms" abound. U.S. physician Todd Dray told the San Jose Mercury News that the ear has a "G-spot" of sorts, with very thin skin and bundles of nerve endings, and that any moans of ecstasy from customers might well be deserved. San Jose Mercury News

Irony: Does "wild, gun-totin' West" better characterize Tombstone, Ariz., in (a) the 1880s (e.g., the famous gunfight at OK Corral) or (b) the 2010s? Answer: In the 1880s, "carrying" in Tombstone was illegal; in the 2010s, almost any adult can legally pack heat. (The OK Corral shootout happened when the marshal came to enforce the no-carry law.) Los Angeles Times

Unclear on the Concept: British police officers in Cambridgeshire were ordered not to patrol in a certain park in Wisbech because it's too dark in there. Said a police inspector, "I'm not going to put my staff into an area where they can't see what's going on." Cambridge News

State Legislators Respond to Obama's Demand That Government Make Sense! "Texting while driving" is a problem, so how about outlawing bicycling while texting? How about making it illegal to cross a street talking while on the phone or listening to music players? How about making it illegal even to be on a sidewalk while wearing earphones? [While people operating two-ton death machines need to be regulated, Yr Editor reminds lawmakers that people who challenge two-ton death machines are already well-regulated . . by traditional Darwinian principles.] /// CBS News


A van exploded in Bellevue, Wash., after its DIY fueling system caught fire as the three occupants were feeding the carburetor directly from inside the van, from a water bottle that they had filled with gasoline (yes, while they were driving). [Did I mention that they were just sitting there pouring this gasoline directly into the engine as they were tooling along?] Bellevue Reporter

In Blanchard, Okla., Gary Albertson started several fires en route as he towed his truck home behind his car even though the reason he had to tow the truck was that the truck happened not to have any tires. KWTV (Oklahoma City)

Yes, he was only 15, but he was on the high school golf team so you'd think that, when he went to a local golf range to practice his drives inside a tent during a rainstorm that he would have noticed a metal bar right in front of his tee, holding the tent up, and that if his ball hit it, it might ricochet and hit him in the eye. Iit did, and that of course is the driving range's fault. KATU-TV (Portland)

World's Clumsiest Arsonist: Ismael Ortiz was hired to burn down a house, and he knew to wear gloves but wasn't quick enough to get his glove-clad hand out of the way of a closing door. Cops ID'd him by his fingerprint--from the fingertip found in the glove that came off as Ortiz was fleeing. Orlando Sentinel

The Pervo-American Community

Jon Dupuy, 60, was charged with indecent exposure in Wallingford, Wash., after annoying neighbors by lying naked just inside his front window with his junk specially lighted. Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Here now, representing "the doll community," is Nova Scotia filmmaker Dave Hockey, cheating on his wife with getaways accompanied by his girlfriend Bianca . . who is, of course, made of high-tech plastic, very well dressed and partaking of various everyday (non-sexual) adventures (e.g., skydiving) with Dave. "[T]hey're just dolls, not people," he insists. Metro (London) /// [Not Safe For Work] [yeah, I know they're made out of plastic . . but still not safe]

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

They say Evan Salas, 19, and Brandon Smith, 18, were bored and that that's why they may have done $100,000 worth of damage by shooting 275 cars with their turbo-charged BB guns. (They live in the F State, so boredom as an unlimited explanation is highly plausible.) The Smoking Gun

In an era when families tend to drift apart, become estranged, or fight with each other, it's touching to see a close-knit family like the Vanvoltenburgs . . four adults . . ages 23-49 . . still highly functional . . running their family meth lab. Galesburg (Ill.) Register-Mail

Editor's Notes

And finally, several time-wasters for your viewing pleasure: (1) Many people have storage lockers for their stuff, but Barbra Streisand's built a mall in her basement to store her stuff. (2) A fella you need to run away from fast in a lightning storm. (3) They say it's the gaudiest house in Houston--a bold intersection of new money and new poor taste. (4) A photographic stream (not a slide show!) of scenes from creepy Russian playgrounds [link from]. Harper's Bazaar /// KSAT-TV (San Antonio) /// ///

Newsrangers: Bruce Leiserowitz, Gerald Sacks, Brian Wilson, Pete Randall, and Steve Dunn, and the News of the Weird Senior Advisors (Jenny T. Beatty, Paul Di Filippo, Ginger Katz, Joe Littrell, Matt Mirapaul, Paul Music, Karl Olson, and Jim Sweeney) and Board of Editorial Advisors (Tom Barker, Paul Blumstein, Harry Farkas, Sam Gaines, Herb Jue, Emory Kimbrough, Scott Langill, Steve Miller, Christopher Nalty, Mark Neunder, Bob Pert, Larry Ellis Reed, Rob Snyder, Stephen Taylor, Bruce Townley, and Jerry Whittle)

     Posted By: Chuck - Mon Jan 31, 2011

men crying- to get laid or cuz you didn't?

kiddie make up- the play stuff is one thing but serious product for everyday use? sad, children don't get to be children anymore.

beetles degree- more proof that higher education has become rife with scams that put kids deep in debt without giving them a financially useful degree.

11th graders- segregation by any other name...

spam kills- hahahahahahahaha! saw this on 'a thousand ways to die'

eargasms- never put anything smaller than a ????? in your ear!

guns- see, there IS more violence when guns are denied to law abiding citizens! (that should set someone off)

dark- the uk has really gone 'round the bend.

texting dangers- if everyone on foot and bike is aware they can get out of the way of texting drivers.

diy gas- more darwin contenders.

finger in door- call me ishmaowowowow!

window decoration- call it art and he can get a government grant to display it.

Jury duty- a resounding guilty all around.

peircings- omg! look at those people! ahhh!

house- wow that is really some mansion.

play grounds- creepy is right! were they built by stalin?

great week chuck!
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 01/31/11 at 08:55 AM
Wal-Mart Didn't they also try to sell stripper poles for girls? Get'em while they're young and train'em up right!

Nowhere Woman That sheep-skin and $12 will get you a half-caff-decaff-double-makiato-grande (with sprinkles) most anywhere yuppies are stupid enough to pay that much.

Beef Salad Water Becker went to Harvard too!

Prof Imitates Dog I'll have you know my dog is smarter than that!

Lancaster, Pa. Witness, the CIRCLE OF LIFE.

Ear-Picking ♪ Love is where you find it ♫ (Chuck started this!)

Arizona Apropos to nothing here; Kudo's to the great state of Arizona for leading the way!

British Police Yo! Bobby! It's called a TORCH!

Jury Duty #1 Shouldn't they be posted on The Smokeless Gun?
#2 Those ?girls? were going to need some mondo dowries if they were ever to marry well.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 01/31/11 at 10:35 AM
Makeup - The Daily Mail calls it "anti-aging" makeup.

Warning: there is a picture of Katie Price's (aka Jordan) daughter with makeup that you shouldn't see while eating. Just saying...

But don't forget, the packaging is recyclable, so we're teaching our young girls to be responsible for the earth!
Posted by Leshka on 01/31/11 at 11:37 PM
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