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News of the Weird 5/24/11

Tonya McDowell, 33, an off-and-on homeless person in Bridgeport, Conn., was arrested in April by police in nearby Norwalk and charged with felony theft — of $15,686 worth of “services” from the city. McDowell’s crime was enrolling her 6-year-old son in Norwalk’s Brookside Elementary School when she actually “resided” (as much as a sporadically “homeless” […]

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News of the Weird

By Chuck Shepherd The cure for emphysema is cigarette smoke piped directly into the lungs, according to chemist Gretha Zahar, whose clinic has treated 60,000 people in Jakarta, Indonesia, in the past decade. Zahar modifies the tobacco smoke with “nanotechnology” to remove “free radicals” and adjust the mercury levels – and touts her “divine cigarettes” […]

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News of the Weird 5/10/11

Equal justice under the law might just depend simply on whether a judge’s stomach is growling when he pronounces sentence, according to a study of 1,000 parole decisions during 50 courtroom days observed by students from Columbia University and Israel’s Ben Gurion University for an April journal article. The students found that, day after day, […]

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News of the Weird 5/3/11

Businesses typically resist government regulation but in March, Florida’s interior designers begged the state House of Representatives to continue controlling them with a theatrically ham-handed lobbying campaign challenging a deregulation bill. Designers righteously insisted that only “licensed professionals” (with a minimum six years of college and experience) could prevent the nausea Floridians would suffer from […]

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News of the Weird, 4/19/11

By Chuck Shepherd Laney Wallace, 16, won the beauty contest at the 53rd Rattlesnake Roundup in Sweetwater, Texas, in March and the next day fulfilled the first duty of her reign: to behead and skin a western diamondback. “You have to make sure you don’t pop the bladder,” the 2011 Miss Snake Charmer said shortly […]

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News of the Weird

By Chuck Shepherd A 200-exhibit installation on the history of dirt and filth and their importance in our lives opened in a London gallery in March, featuring the ordinary (dust), the educational (a video tribute to New York’s Fresh Kills landfill, at one time the world’s largest), the medical (vials of historic, nasty-looking secretions from […]

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News of the Weird

Gen. Than Shwe of Myanmar, leader of Asia’s most authoritarian regime, made a rare public appearance in February but dressed in a women’s sarong. Most likely, according to a report on AOL News, he was challenging the country’s increasingly successful “panty protests” in which females opposed to the regime toss their underwear at the leaders […]

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News of the Weird

By Chuck Shepherd The Feral Professor: Tihomir Petrov, 43, a mathematics professor at California State University Northridge, was charged in January with misdemeanors for allegedly urinating twice on the office door of a colleague with whom he had been feuding. (Petrov was identified by a hidden camera installed after the original puddles turned up.) Petrov […]

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News of the Weird

New York University arts professor Wafaa Bilal had his camera surgically removed in February — the one that was implanted in the back of his skull in November to record, at 60-second intervals, the places he had left behind (beamed to and archived by a museum in Qatar). The camera had been mounted under his […]

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News of the Weird 3/15/11

21st-Century American Exports? In strife-torn Sudan (land of the Darfur murder and rape atrocities and a per-capita annual income of $2,200), an epic, year-long Ponzi scheme engineered by a lowly former police officer has enticed nearly 50,000 victims to invest an estimated $180 million (according to a March dispatch on Slate.com). At the height of […]

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News of the Weird

By Chuck Shepherd Tombstone, Ariz., which was the site of the legendary 1881 Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (made into a 1957 movie), is about 70 miles from the Tucson shopping center where a U.S. congresswoman, a federal judge and others were shot in January. A Los Angeles Times dispatch later that month noted that […]

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News of the Weird

CHUCK SHEPHERD’S NEWS OF THE WEIRD by Chuck Shepherd “Tall, slim, facial symmetry,” “good teeth,” along with classic makeup and dress and graceful movement, might comprise the inventory list for any beauty contest winner, and they are also the criteria for victors in Niger’s traditional “Gerewol” festival — except that the contestants are all males […]

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News of the Weird

CHUCK SHEPHERD’S NEWS OF THE WEIRD by Chuck Shepherd The ear has a “G-spot,” explained the Santa Clara, Calif., ear-nose-and-throat surgeon, and thus the moans of ecstasy that Vietnamese “ear pickers” reportedly elicit from their clients might well be justified. A San Jose Mercury News reporter, dispatched to Ho Chi Minh City in January to […]

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News of the Weird

News of the Weird By Chuck Shepherd Those Ingenious Western Spies! In January, Saudi officials detained a vulture from Tel Aviv University (part of endangered-species research), calling it a spy and alarming its Israeli handlers that the bird might face a gruesome execution as an espionage agent. Then, a day later, Iran reportedly detained an […]

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News of the Weird – 02/02/11

News of the Weird By Chuck Shepherd Do Ask, Must Tell (and Show): The Turkish military’s legendary homophobia (rare among NATO countries) comprises both zero-tolerance for homosexuality by service personnel and the requirement of rigorous proof by anyone applying for exemption from service by claiming to be gay. (Homosexuality is the only disqualifier from compulsory […]

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News of the Weird – 01/26/11

News of the Weird By Chuck Shepherd Two hundred boredom “activists” gathered in London in December at James Ward’s annual banal-apalooza conference, “Boring 2010,” to listen to ennui-stricken speakers glorify all things dreary, including a demonstration of milk-tasting (in wine glasses, describing flavor and smoothness), charts breaking down the characteristics of a man’s sneezes for […]

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Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/19

L&D

Major key Last weekend a local couple was watching TV in their living room, having a relaxing evening, when suddenly […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/12

L&D

Jesus take the wheel A local couple recently decided to visit their church on a particularly warm and muggy Sunday […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/5

L&D

Flightless In a local park, police were dispatched to the crime scene. A woman called the police when she realized […]

The Docket: 8/29

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Stolen in a nanosecond Just last week a woman visited her local sheriff’s office to place a tip on a […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 8/22

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Totally secure knot …not In a local home a garage door was broken into. This garage door was perfectly secured […]