News of the Weird M531, June 11, 2017

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Chuck Shepherd

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Jun 11, 2017, 9:29:39 AM6/11/17
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REMINDER:  I am retiring in three weeks (but in reality, all
the columns are in the can already).  My announcement is at
http://www.weirduniverse.net/blog/comments/note_from_chuck_s
hepherd

WEIRDNUZ.M531 (News of the Weird, June 11, 2017)
by Chuck Shepherd
                                       
Copyright 2017 by Chuck Shepherd.  All rights reserved.

Lead Story

* If high-schoolers seem stressed by active lifestyles and
competitive pressures, and consequently fail to sleep the
recommended 9 to 10 hours a day, it must be a good idea for the
federal government to give grants (including to Las Cruces High
School in New Mexico) to purchase comfy, $14,000 "nap pods"
that drive out the racket with soft music, for 20 minutes a shot
during those frenzied classroom days.  A May NPR report based on
Las Cruces's experience quoted favorable reviews by students,
backed by a doctor and a nurse practitioner who pointed to research
showing that adequate sleep "can" boost memory and attention and
thus "can" improve school performance (and therefore must be a
great use of federal education dollars).  [NPR Morning Edition, 5-
17-2017]

Unclear on the Concept

* Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam argues that his
"hands are tied" by "federal food laws" and that fresh, "all-natural"
milk with the cream skimmed off the top cannot be sold in Florida
as "milk" (or "skim milk") but must be labeled "imitation milk"--
unless the "all-natural" milk adds (artificial) Vitamin A to the
product. A family farm in the state's panhandle (Ocheesee
Creamery) decided to challenge the law, and Putnam, who recently
announced his candidacy for governor, said he would try to resolve
the issue soon.  [WTVT (Tampa), 5-12-2017]

News You Can Use

* (1) Briton Fred Whitelaw, 64, who has bowel cancer, recently
began working "therapeutic" breast milk into his diet (but only that
supplied by his daughter, Jill Turner, who recently gave birth and
said she is happy to double-pump to assure both Fred and baby
Llewyn adequate supplies (although husband Kyle is trying it out
for his eczema, as well).  (2) Scientists writing in the journal of the
American Society for Microbiology recently recommended that
parents not discourage children from picking their noses because
snot contains a "rich reservoir of good bacteria" beneficial to teeth
and overall health (fighting, for example, respiratory infections and
even HIV).  [Metro News (London), 5-2-2017] [Daily Telegraph
(London), 5-5-2017]

Inexplicable

* (1) It recently became necessary for Candace Frazee and Steve
Levinsky to acquire a bigger home in the Los Angeles area because
their 33,000 "bunny"-related items (stuffed bunnies, antique
bunnies, bunny paintings, bunny dinnerware, etc.) needed more
space.  (2) The world's only museum devoted to the "house cat"
allows self-guided tours in Sylva, N.C., where curator Harold Sims
displays 10,000 artifacts including a genuine petrified cat (with
whiskers!) pulled from a 16th-century English chimney.  (3)
Brantford, Ontario, realtor Kyle Jansink, speaking for unidentified
sellers, said he accepted the challenge of selling the meticulously-
maintained home "as is"--still packed with the sellers' clown-
related items (dolls, miniatures, porcelain statues, paintings).
[New York Post, 5-19-2017] [Charlotte Observer, 5-18-2017]
[Canadian Broadcasting Corp. News, 5-8-2017]

Compelling Explanations

* They're "therapists," not "strippers," argued New York City's
Penthouse Executive Club, creatively characterizing its dancers to
avoid $3 million in back taxes, but the state's appeals board ruled
against it in April.  Penthouse had insisted that its performers were
more akin to counselors for lonely men and that the club's "door
charge" was an untaxable fee for therapeutic health services.  [New
York Daily News, 5-12-2017]

* James Pelletier, 46, was arrested in Hollis, Maine in May after he
fired a BB gun point-blank at his two sons, ages 9 and 11--but
only, he said, as a "rite of passage" into maturity (perhaps thinking
the experience would help them become as mature as their father).
He said if the kids knew how it felt to get shot, perhaps they would
not be so quick to fire their own guns. [Portland Press Herald, 5-6-
2017]  

The Continuing Crisis

* You Mean Jethro and Abby, Too?  In contrast to the exciting
work of the TV series (near the top of broadcast ratings for the last
decade), real agents in the Naval Criminal Investigative Service
have labored over computer screens eight to 10 hours a day for two
months now employing their facial-recognition software--just to
scour websites to identify victims of nude-photo postings of
military personnel that came to light earlier this year.  "[Y]ou get
pretty burned out," said the NCIS director.  A simple word search
of "uniformed military nude" got nearly 80,000,000 hits, according
to a May Associated Press dispatch from the Quantico Marine
base, where the 20 investigators labor side-by-side. [Associated
Press via NBC News, 5-6-2017]

Military Allies in Odd Places

* (1) In April, three days after ISIS fighters reportedly executed 25
villagers about 50 miles south of Kirkuk, Iraq, the three murderers
were themselves killed (and eight more wounded) when a pack of
wild boars overran their position and gnawed them into
martyrdom.  (2) In April, a Russian naval reconnaissance ship sank
in the Black Sea off of Turkey (likely op:  Syria-related) when it
collided with a livestock barge flying the flag of Togo.  All aboard
the Russian ship were rescued; the much-heavier Togolese vessel
suffered barely a scratch.  [USA Today, 4-25-2017] [New York
Times, 4-27-2017]

Perspective

* Rights in Conflict:  An elderly German man, unnamed in news
reports, was fined the equivalent of $110 in May for "terrorizing"
neighbors in the town of Hannef by violating a 2015 agreement to
lower the sound of his pornographic videos.  He demanded
sympathy because of his hearing disability, arguing that if he wore
headphones, he could not hear the doorbell, or burglars, and
therefore would feel unsafe.  (At his May hearing, he objected to
the characterization that the "sex sounds" were from videos; on the
day in question, he said, he had a prostitute in the room.  "It was
not porn," he insisted, confusingly.  "It was live!")  [Metro News
(London), 5-6-2017]

Oops!

* In May Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley apparently mindlessly
signed the proclamation designating a special day for the late Tre
Hummons (submitted by his grieving father, to honor the son's
"sacrifice").  Tre Hummons was killed in 2015 by a police officer--
but only after Tre had just shot and killed another Cincinnati police
officer.   [WXIX-TV (Cleveland), 5-19-2017]

* Winneshiek County Engineer Lee Bjerke said he had no idea
how the driver of the loaded 18-wheeler had missed the "Load
Limit 3 Tons" sign at the entrance of the small, rickety bridge near
Cresco in May, but in seconds, the span was wiped out, and the
tractor-trailer had become part of the Turkey River.  The loaded
grain truck weighed more than 30 tons. [KCCI-TV (Des Moines),
5-5-2017]

Armed & Clumsy (all-new!)

* Still more incidents in which people (make that, "men")
accidentally shoot themselves:  a National Rifle Association staff
member, 46, training on a firing range (Fairfax County, Va., April);
a fleeing robber, run over by his victim, with the collision causing
the robber's gun to fire into his own mouth (Hawthorne, Calif.,
March); two boys, 17 and 19, "practicing" loading and unloading a
handgun, managing to hit each other (Houston, Tex., March); a
homeless man, 45, in a now-classic waistband-holster-crotch
malfunction (Lake Panasoffee, Fla., Oct.); U.S. Park Police officer,
shot his foot in a confrontation with a raccoon (Washington, D.C.,
Nov.); man, 48, shot himself, then, apparently angry at how it
happened and perhaps re-enacting his movements, shot himself
again (Oceana County, Mich., July).[Burke Patch, 4-7-2017] [Daily
Breeze (Torrance), 3-15-2017] [Houston Chronicle, 3-22-2017]
[Citrus County Chronicle (Crystal River), 10-10-2016]
[Washingtonian, 11-3-2016] [MLive.com, 7-5-2016]

A News of the Weird Classic (December 2013)

* Just another October [2013] day in Kelso, Wash.:  At the
courthouse, a woman carrying a cake was approached by Robert
Fredrickson, a stranger who was also in the building on business.
Without warning, Fredrickson attacked--not the woman, the cake--
grabbing it with both hands and stuffing his face.  As he washed up
a minute later at a drinking fountain, a deputy who witnessed the
scene attempted to bring Fredrickson to justice, yelling, "[S]tand
right there.  Don't move."  As soon as the officer looked away,
however, Fredrickson returned to the cake and clawed at it again. 
Finally, several deputies subdued him and charged him with theft
and resisting arrest.  [KATU-TV (Portland, Ore.), 10-3-2013]
 
     Thanks This Week to Laurel Bender, Michael Isquidsrus,
Kathryn Vinson, William Carter, Michael Brozyna, Steve Passen,
and Bruce Leiserowitz, and to the News of the Weird Board of
Editorial Advisors.

                     ****
NewsoftheWeird.com, weirdnews at earthlink dot net, and P. O.
Box 18737, Tampa FL 33629

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