News of the Weird / Pro Edition (June 27, 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
June 27, 2011
(datelines June 18-June 25) (links correct as of June 27)

The Eighth Continent, Plus Barf Bag Professional

From Yr Editor

This is the 4th of 4 consecutive relaxed-fit editions. Next Monday (which is some sort of holiday in America), I will resume taking full responsibility for your proper cynicalization.

★ ★ ★ ★!

World Tour Announced: When disaster hits the U.S., we tend to tarry in cleaning it up (e.g., government turf fighting, contractor battles, the permit process), but a lot of (most of?) the 25 million tons of debris created when the March 11th tsunami came ashore in Japan has been nicely dealt with [Take these scenes, for example] . . except for that debris that washed back out to sea. Well, thanks to the miracle of ocean currents, we who never made it to Japan can catch live performances of the debris for the next several decades, at least, and researchers have already predicted the playdates for the next 10 years, in some places featuring Tsunami Debris's joint concerts jamming with the incumbent groups, the Great Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch and the Great Western Pacific Garbage Patch. Mother Nature Network

Rationed Health Care Outrage! No Hysterectomies for Men!: Alec Esquivel is suing the health insurance provider for the Oregon state government, which denied him a hysterectomy. (Well, he's a female-to-male transgender, and his remaining useless girl parts are at risk for ovarian and uterine cancer.) The quasi-"death panel" list of benefits says hysterectomies are only for ladies. Statesman-Journal (Salem)

Recurring Theme: Luke Chrisco, 30, was arrested in Vail, Colo., for a traffic offense--and also because had been sought several days earlier in Boulder after being ID'ed as the man peering up through the hole in the portable toilet at a Boulder yoga festival. (Bonus: The Smoking Gun ran down his Facebook page, including an April entry in which he recounted spending the night in a cardboard box in a Dumpster at a construction site . . rather than the Greyhound bus station . . because the station "smelled weird.") (Double Bonus: He's also "Skye Oryan, the biggest jackass on earth," it says.) Daily Camera (Boulder) /// The Smoking Gun


Another brand-new, student-ready school ($105 million worth!) will have to go unopened for 2011-12 . . because California doesn't have enough money to operate it. USA Today

"Your Honor, please, I need to change my name" . . from the extremely embarrassing (might have been drunk at the time) [ed.: Everything in brackets is Yr Editor, censoring] "Mister(I) Radical [F-word] Censorship [N-word with prefix "Super"] [N-word]." "I want to change it to "David [N-word] means human [N-word with prefix "Super"]." Weekly Alibi (Albuquerque) [6-15-2011] [This was a Legal Notice and not available online. Geeks can look it up by going to, selecting Search by Case Number, and entering D 202 CV 201105486]

What People Believe: (1) Greece's national debt of $500 billion? Let God take care of it, says a prominent Greek Orthodox bishop. (After all, we've confessed that that $500 billion was a sin.) (2) Joan Baker and Nancy Faith Anello are Brooklyn's "psychic credit chicks," able to divine the financial trustworthiness of clients by "interacting" with them and their credit applications (and in Nancy's case, with tarot cards and candles). (Bonus: better track record than Moody's and Standard & Poors!) Agence France-Presse via Yahoo News /// New York Times

The China's Got Talent TV show auditioned hundreds of contestants, including the fella, age 68, who dazzled by clobbering himself in the cojones with a hammer (which is supposedly endurance training by Shaolin monks). (Bonus: He didn't make the cut but mainly because judge Annie Yi screamed.) CNN

Civilization in Decline: Major League Baseball and Steiner Sports are arranging to dig up five gallons of infield clay from whichever ballpark Derek Jeter gets the 3,000th hit of his career in, later this season. The sand will be divided into tablespoon-sized parcels that will be authenticated (witnessed! chain of custody!) and marketed as the actual dirt stepped upon by the legendary Jeter on the night or day he gets number 3,000. It is anticipated that some Americans (including many with above-average intelligence) will purchase these items. New York Times


Down-Market Criminals: (1) Jamie Coleman was arrested in Houma, La., running from cops with a cocaine baggie hanging out of a bodily orifice. (2) Stephen Kirkbride, before a judge in Kendal, England, on a theft charge, forgot and wore the shoplifted coat into the courtroom. (3) Thomas Done, 33, shucked-and-jived the judge for 20 minutes, finally talking him out of jail time for his (latest) car theft, but as he was led toward the door for processing, he threatened the estranged girlfriend who turned him in . . and will now get jail time. (4) Hapless Arlis Dempsey Jr., 32, saw the flood of police cruisers, dropped his toddlers, and took off running. Turns out that cops were after someone else, plus, Arlis wasn't wanted for anything. (Bonus: He is now charged with child endangerment and obstruction of police.) WWL-TV (New Orleans) /// Westmorland Gazette (Kendal) /// Standard-Examiner (Ogden, Utah) /// Bluefield Daily Telegraph (Bluefield, W.Va.)

The Aristocrat! Twice in two weeks, an employee of the Bed, Bath and Beyond in Radnor Twp, Pa., said he's tired of finding 35-lb. sacks of vomit out behind the store. Radnor Patch

The Pervo-American Community

The indecent-exposer picked up in the McDonald's drive-thru in Howe Twp, Pa., in May was charged last week. It's the conveniently named Mr. Handy H. Wood. Patriot-News (Harrisburg)

Innocent-faced James Hulgan, 40, might have been driving around naked, but that was only because he was looking for a nude beach, which maybe those two young girls over there might know about. (Bonus: His day job is manager of a Christian radio station.) Birmingham News

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

Levon Sarkisyan, 27, vandalized that home, all right, but the question is whether he did it on orders from God. Hartford Courant

Anthony Burdeshaw, 33, is being held on meth-making charges in Bay County, Fla. Your call. (Ignore that text message he sent his mom, in which he urges her to go find the glass bowl in his bedroom and wash it out.) News Herald (Panama City)

Erica Huerta, 21, either is innocent, or was blind drunk, or is just not very picky. She was arrested for having sex on a public beach with that other guy, Steven Perry. WTSP-TV (St. Petersburg)

Weird 0.0 (The Zone)

[Owing to the recent spurt of poorly-sourced stories making the rounds (and to my own limited time these past few weeks in checking them out), I've decided to quarantine the questionable ones right here.]

A Russian woman came back to life at her own funeral, got shocked that she had been declared dead, and promptly re-died, of a heart attack. Daily Mail (London)

A farm worker in India, 65, has not bathed in 37 years because a priest told him that was the way to ensure his next child would be a male. (Since then: 7 girls, no boys) Daily Mail (London)

The popular new beverage among women at an annual beer and "wild food" festival in Wellington, New Zealand, is a drink infused with . . horse semen. Dominion Post (Wellington)

Editor's Notes

It was a rough fortnight of poorly-sourced stories. I already addressed, in updates, the likelihood that a rabbinical court in Israel did not "sentence" a dog to a capital stoning. (See this Christian Science Monitor story.) It also now appears (despite last week's Pro Edition lede) that Mr. Mitsuyuki Ikeda either might not have invented a way to make beef from poop--or that he invented such a technology in 1993. (See this story on As Yr Editor returns to full-time duty for the next four weeks, he promises more turbo-brainpower to steer you properly to the news you need to know.

As an aside to the point Yr Editor made last week lauding Belgium for the failure to establish a central government for an entire year (thus ensuring that Belgium will not be inventing any new ridiculous policies but merely dealing with the existing ridiculous policies), I point to this post from Talking Points Memo. If the U.S. government does nothing to "respond" to our serious federal deficit crisis, it will, over the next 10 years, be better off than if it adopted any of the leading solutions being offered. Mostly, that's because of three things: (1) The "Bush tax cuts" will automatically expire in 18 months, bringing in beaucoup revenue; (2) The medium-range benefits of so-called ObamaCare (which are now in abeyance to give medical markets a chance to adapt) will begin to kick in; and (3) There will be no annual "doctor fixes" to the Medicare reimbursement fee schedules (written 15 years ago but always augmented). [Another significant benefit, Yr Editor suspects, would be the prospect of keeping lobbyists away from the "Hey, how does this new tax loophole sound?" trough.] Talking Points Memo

Newsrangers: Russell Bell, Ted Snow, Lynn Willis, Eric Lindinger, Pete Randall, Sandy Pearlman, and Tim Baer, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors

     Posted By: Chuck - Mon Jun 27, 2011

The meth kid article was poorly written. Really? Just because texting played a key role in the story doesn't mean you need to refer to it as a "LOL arrest", guys.
Posted by venomlash on 06/27/11 at 09:45 AM
Home vandal: the article went to great lengths to point out he's a UConn grad. At least he didn't hike his leg in the house.

Meth son: 33yo and living w/Mom. Sounds like Mom can get that bedroom back, now. Several good remarks on the original article, of which my favorite is "Momma says, 'Stupid is as stupid does.'"

Hysterectomy guy: I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Shouldn't he have thought of that *before* having his gender changed? OTOH, it sounds like a typically sleazy move by the insurance company.
Posted by TheCannyScot in Atlanta, GA on 06/27/11 at 09:52 AM
I got an 84.85% on the civics exam 23 out of 28 correct. 😊
I'll comment on the news later, gotta go to work.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 06/27/11 at 01:56 PM
32/33 - but then I'm an immigrant. I had a deal more riding on passing Civics that your average US high-schooler does.
Posted by TheCannyScot in Atlanta, GA on 06/27/11 at 07:26 PM
tranny hysterectomy- I would hav thought that was done with the gender reassignment surgery.

new school- That is not just a CA thing, they built big new schools here they can't afford to heat in the winter.

name change- "That's my legal name, I swear!"

Hey Expat!- Good news, God is gonna pay Greece's national debt!

psychic loan officers- Its a matter of reading people, some are good at it some aren't.

tv show- No wonder he was eliminated, a hammer to the nuts is so last season.

Handy Wood- Now there's a guy who should change his name.

sex on the beach- Hey, its not just a mixed drink!

dead/alive/dead- They say wommen can't make up their minds.

Horse beer- Well there is a Moose Head beer.

do nothing gov.- They should take a page from the hippocratic
oath, 'first do no harm'
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 06/27/11 at 09:14 PM
I guess he got his a$$ kicked enough times for just saying his name. How about Deranged McNutty for the next one?
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 06/28/11 at 09:28 AM
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