News of the Weird / Pro Edition (January 6, 2014)

News of the Weird Pro Edition
Angst, Confusion, Cynicism, Ridicule

Prime Cuts of Recent Underreported News, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
January 6, 2014
(datelines December 14-January 4) (links correct as of January 5)

Tevin Monroe, 31, seeking work at a Norfolk, Va., McD’s, requested an application from the manager, who told Tevin he could download the form online, whereupon Tevin, disappointed, allegedly pointed to his waistband--and his piece. Manager found him an application. WVEC-TV (Norfolk)

From the Athens-Clarke County (Ga.) police blotter, 9 a.m., 12-18-2013: Guy took a swing at a big-rig driver because . . driver had backed up and accidentally clipped a porta-john . . interrupting the guy, inside, who was being busy. Athens Banner-Herald

Kevin Cook told New York City police that an armed mugger snatched his phone [a flip-phone], looked at it, said “what the [f] is this?” and gave it back to him. Cook said, jeez, it wasn’t that old. New York Post

Do the Math: Two chicks at a Sydney, Australia, minimum-security prison hatched a tie-the-sheets-together escape plot, but guards busted it when they found the link (nearly 60 feet long). But Emu Plains Correctional is a 1-story facility; the outer perimeter is just a fence. Daily Telegraph (Sydney)

French Exceptionalism: A local social welfare office in Loemiquelic, Frawnts, notified the Mamm-Kounifl bar that it was being fined for its longstanding tradition whereby patrons voluntarily bussed their own tables. That would be “undeclared labor” benefiting Mamm-Kounifl, and the French will have none of that. The Local (Paris)

Here’s your proof . . that when dogs poop, they squat along the Earth’s north-south-axis magnetic field. Seriously, it says here. Frontiers in Zoology

Recurring: NOTW readers already know that when outside investors consider Iceland, they must be sensitive to the country’s hidden elves so as not to rile the believers (estimated to be as many as a third). The Associated Press reports now that environmentalists consider the elves allies when the tree-huggers need to stop some trampling of Iceland’s natural beauty. Apparently, the elves don't even need lobbyists or PACs. Associated Press via NBC News /// NOTW .M107 (4-26-2009)

Can’t Possibly Be True: A Facebook photo led police to an apartment in Greenville, S.C., to an extraordinarily lazy man named Tyler Smith, who was arrested. The photo showed Smith lowering his dog by rope from a second-story window, which Smith said was to, well, let the little mutt find the north-south axis. Associated Press via Spartanburg Herald-Journal

Words Picture. KDFW-TV (Dallas-Fort Worth) [enlarge photo on the right]

Update: Fuhrer-wannabe Heath Campbell, 40, had another Aryan urchin (his 9th, by 5 mommas), and as little Eva Braun Campbell was emerging, Pennsylvania child welfare officials snatched her up. New York Daily News /// NOTW .M098 (2-22-2009) /// NOTW .M246 (12-25-2011)

TMI: Newly-elected corruption-fighting minister Arvind Kejriwal of New Delhi, “true to [his] vow of transparency,” called in sick the first day--explaining that he had diarrhea. Agence France-Presse via South China Morning Post

Of Course: A handcuffed Douglas Lydic, 29, who fled a police cruiser in Commodore, Pa., was charged with escape, plus theft of handcuffs. Associated Press via

Too Clever By Half: Cops were called on two Los Angeles home-invaders, who were still on the scene when police arrived outside. The perps (who’ve seen the same movies you’ve seen) persuaded the victim-residents to tie them up, too, so that when cops entered, they’d think the perps were actually victims. Victims said, Sure. Perps appeared shocked that as soon as the cops walked through the door, the victims ratted them out (and by then of course the perps could not take off because . . they were tied up). Los Angeles Times

YouTube Video Converted to “News” by Gawker: It’s supposed to be a genuine South African video of indigenous Venda people doing “traditional” bare-knuckle “Musangwe” fighting. One guy knocks out another guy, who is revived by the traditional first-aid of . . genital massage.

Welshman Leon Humphreys, 60, spurning a plea on his traffic ticket, demanded his right to fistfight for his freedom (“trial by combat”) under ancient Welsh law. (Denied.) Daily Telegraph (London)

Can’t Possibly Be True: Homeland Security confiscated and destroyed 13 handmade wood flutes that Canadian-American virtuoso Boujemaa Razgui brought in through Logan Airport. (Officials: Ya can’t bring “agriculture” in without special permission.) Boston Globe

False Choice: Big Pharma needs to recoup its super-enormous research and testing costs for life-saving drugs, and therefore it’s fair that they charge whatever super-enormous price they come up with; to deny them that is to shut down life-saving-drug research. Ummmm . . well, just because the company says it needs X retail price (never dare showing the bookkeeping, of course) doesn’t mean all the incentives wouldn’t remain in place even if the price were somewhat, or a lot, lower than X. Say hello to Sovaldi, which can actually cure deadly Hep-C for 3 million Americans at a straight cost of about $250 per but for which Gilead Sciences figures it deserves $84,000 each (with discounts for some 3rd-worlders). (Reporter: Mightn’t you cut the price once you’ve recouped your costs? Gilead official: “That’s very unlikely we would do that. [However] I appreciate the thought.”) NPR

Newsrangers: Craig Cryer, Kent Harris, and David Wasley, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.
     Posted By: Chuck - Mon Jan 06, 2014

Norfolk, Va. Has always been an accommodating town, especially for sailors.

Athens-Clarke County Justifiable mayhem.

Flip-Phone NYers are getting better edumakated it seems.

Two Aussie Chicks So this mate is driving the outback when he spots another mate doing an auto-stop.....

Ribbit! Ribbit! Dho, Ribbit!

Dog Poop And when they walk a half a block while working one out, what's that mean?

Photo And the 1st line of the story goes, "Police believe alcohol was a factor".

Heath Campbell Sorry, I've got to side with this idiot.

LA Bad Guys Thanks to a new Mexafornia law they can now seek a member of the bar that is also an illegal alien who, being a felon himself, can understand their plight.

“Musangwe” He was faking it to get a hand-job.

Homeland Security What a fuckin' joke!

Big Pharma It's theirs, they own it, and if you want to talk about 'playing fair' then let's talk about a newly minted tax on medical equipment and tort laws that favor only the lawyers.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 01/06/14 at 10:59 AM
Big Pharma: There are other ways to pay for research than through patent laws, patent laws merely allow them to get a heck of a lot of money out of customers. Patent laws encourage such abuse of paying through the nose for drugs that could be much cheaper. And yes Expat47, they do own the patents that the government gave them to market for the next however many years. They did pay for it and they should reap a profit for it, but I think the whole system needs to be overhauled to make it in their interest to sell them without having to recoup their research costs in a market and not as a patent monopoly.
Posted by Fluffy Bunny Slippers on 01/06/14 at 08:02 PM
"I think the whole system needs to be overhauled", said FBS and I agree 100%.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 01/06/14 at 11:52 PM
The driver who hit the outhouse should be charged with failure to maintain control and a bunch of other things. Or maybe just left handcuffed on the ground so the guy who was inside to crap on him.

It turns out the hand-made flutes were actually bamboo. That justifies everything, I'm sure.

Hep C pills: does this explain the billboards I've seen on the highway urging my age group to get tested right away?
Posted by *daha* on 01/07/14 at 11:03 AM
applied logic- Does the guy really think they'd hire him after that??

big rig- Perhaps the port-a-potty was not in a very safe place to start with.

escape- Well if they were good at math and planning ect. then they probably wouldn't be in jail in the first place, ya think?

France- Polite behavior? Of course that is not tolerated in France.

dogs- Remember this fact when placing doggie Caganers On Christmas displays folks.

lowering dog outside- If the rope squeezes right the dog would only need to be lowered halfway down. "LOOK OUT BELOW!!"

wreck- I have seen vehicles through buildings and I have seen vehicles upside down, but never at the same time.

handcuffs- Come on now, he'd have returned the cuffs at his earliest convenience!

trial by combat- Drunk was he?

flutes- That is just a damn shame. Who ever made that decision should be made accountable for destruction of property and restitution.

Big Pharma- Deal with that greedfest and healthcare takes a large step towards affordability.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 01/07/14 at 11:07 AM
Greed is a huge motivating factor for tackling difficult problems. Cut the profits from drug research and say hello to affordable drugs, but also say good-bye to cures for cancer, HIV, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, etc.
Posted by RobK on 01/07/14 at 12:18 PM
There are many different ways to fund research RobK, some are better some are worse. For example: the patent holding tends to encourage different companies to find different drugs for diseases with proven market value. So instead of spending money on a different diseases they are spending money on a dozen different ways to cure the same disease. As helpful as it is to have drugs with differant interactions and side effects, there are more beneficial ways to spend that money.
Posted by Fluffy Bunny Slippers on 01/07/14 at 05:33 PM
But I should be the one to tell people how to run their businesses and spend their money, not you, FBS.
Posted by RobK on 01/08/14 at 11:44 AM
I grew up with the pharmaceutical industry. Childproof caps? I was one of the children they tested them on. The problem is, you have a staff of people, not minimum wage HS dropouts, but PhD's, using uber-expensive equipment to look at molecules. Find something that looks like it'll be of use, you have to patent it NOW so you don't get scooped.

But that's just the beginning, and you have 17 years to develop a manufacturing process, tests, human tests, FDA approval, etc, paying all the way, and at any point it could fall out. Once it becomes available, you pay for massive insurance coverage, your staff of lawyers takes over, and you still face ruinous lawsuits if some tiny percentage of the population has a bad side effect. Then some dork judge can come along and just decide it's time for your patent to run out.

Then the generic comes out and people are outraged that it goes from $300 to $4 for a month, but the generic guys are starting from a proven med that's passed all its hurdles, and all they have to do is make the stuff. These guys may be abusing the system, but probably not as much as it sounds.
Posted by Mr Evilwrench on 01/08/14 at 01:50 PM
How about we both tell businesses how to be run and if the money they spend is useful or not as customers, RobK? (hopefully not the pharmaceutical industry though as I don't think that is an industry that i want to be a part of if i can help it, being ill sucks)
Posted by Fluffy Bunny Slippers on 01/09/14 at 01:45 AM
Agreed FBS. If we don't like a company making boatloads of cash (or some other behavior), we don't buy their products, be it Allstate, Apple, Microsoft, Pfizer, Shell, Southwest, Toyota, Walmart, etc.
Posted by RobK on 01/09/14 at 03:11 PM
You do not have to fly with a particular airline or get gas at a particular gas station but if Pfizer is the only company that makes a life saving med you or a loved one needs then you are stuck.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 01/09/14 at 07:11 PM
Yes you are stuck. But you still have options: pay the price, get help in paying the price, convince Pfizer to sell it to you for less, or go without. Bad options IMO are: having the government force Pfizer to sell it to you for less, extorting it, or stealing it.
Posted by RobK on 01/10/14 at 12:23 PM
Actually, selling a drug that is a life or death necessity for 1000 x or more the cost is extortion as well in my opinion. The rich live and the poor die, "let them eat cake'.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 01/10/14 at 02:13 PM
As Mr Evilwrench points out above, there is more that goes into the "cost" than just raw materials and manufacturing. If those costs aren't rewarded, the rate of discovery will significantly decrease.
Posted by RobK on 01/10/14 at 04:25 PM
So we find a way to reward the costs of research without patents and actually sell the drugs at just the manufacturing cost
Posted by Fluffy Bunny Slippers on 01/10/14 at 10:53 PM
two words reasonable compromise.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 01/10/14 at 11:00 PM
The FDA's inadequacy and arcane rules cost major $$$ that could be easily avoided.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 01/10/14 at 11:45 PM
Are you kidding? Fucking crazy
Posted by Nuvet on 03/14/14 at 01:34 PM
Around her, that's a given!
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 03/14/14 at 01:35 PM
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