Ideal Navels, Ludicrous Signs and The Great Fatberg Crisis of 2013

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A NERD’S RHAPSODY Nicholas Felton’s latest annual recap of his personal communications data is now available, for just $30. Key findings, graphically presented, of Nicholas’ busy 2013 (according to a report by FiveThirtyEight.com): He received 44,041 texts and 31,769 emails, had 12,464 face-to-face conversations and 320 phone calls (all detailed by communicatee, from where, at what time, in what language). He reported 385 conversations, for … [Read more...]

News of the Weird: Forehead Horns, Austrian Porn and TV Pundit Violence

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HORNY NEWS German Rolf Buchholz, who owns the Guinness Book world record for most body piercings (453), said he was upset to be denied entrance into United Arab Emirates in August to fulfill a performance of sorts at Dubai's Fairmont Hotel. Buchholz said officials gave no explanation, although in addition to the piercings (example: at least 50 beads stuck to his lips), he has also implanted horns in his forehead. And Caius Veiovis, 33, is … [Read more...]

ISIS Absurdity, Voyeurism Defenses and People Who Sign Opera To Mountain Lions

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ALL WAR IS WEIRD As summed up by a Vox.com writer: "The absurdity runs deep." America uses American military equipment to bomb American military equipment that ISIS captured (from inept Iraqi soldiers, inept in part since America disbanded Iraq's professional military in 2003). America's Kurdish allies, fighting ISIS, use inferior Russian weapons they captured in the 1980s. ISIS has a so-far-safer haven in Syria because America declined to arm … [Read more...]

Sexting During Surgery, Inquisitive Tortoises and Epically Inept Crime Sprees

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IT’S FACEBOOK’S WORLD NOW Up-and-coming Sicilian mobster Domenico Palazzotto, 28, was outed in August by Italy's L'Espresso magazine as the owner of an ineffectively pseudonymous Facebook page showing off his muscled, bare-chested body and perhaps recruiting members. One fan asked, "Do I need to send a [resume]?" "Yes, brother," came the reply. "We need to consider your criminal record. We do not take people with clean records." Palazzotto … [Read more...]

Crappy Flights, Pheromone Parties and Elephant Dung Beer

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CRAPPY FLIGHTS The May 28 US Airways flight from Los Angeles to Philadelphia had to be diverted to Kansas City after a passenger's service dog did what dogs do, in the aisle, twice (an hour apart). One passenger used the terms "lingering smell," "dry heaving" and "throwing up" in describing the situation. And on a recent (perhaps July) Delta flight from Beijing to Detroit, a Chinese couple apparently nonchalantly laid down paper on their … [Read more...]

Unconventional Food Prep, Silent Disco and How Dexter Nearly Killed A Woman For Real

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PERSPECTIVE Jeff Mizanskey, 61, is a poster child for one well-known criticism of mandatory-minimum sentencing laws–that nonviolent marijuana users (and small-time sellers) may wind up doing decades of hard time and in fact more time than some sociopathic offenders serve for heinous offenses. Mizanskey is 20 years into a life sentence with no possibility of parole for several violations of Missouri's "prior and persistent drug offender" law, … [Read more...]

Cat Apps, EPA Follies and Nude Art

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CAT NANNY Facial recognition software, increasingly important to global anti-terrorism operations, is being brought to... cats. Taiwanese developer Mu-Chi Sung announced in July plans for marketing the software as part of a cat health device so that owners, especially those with multiple cats, can better monitor their cats' eating habits. Sung first had to overcome the problem of how to get the cat to stick its head through a slot in the … [Read more...]

Modern Warfare, Human Cannons & The Coke Hippo Time Bomb

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MODERN WARFARE The leader of the devout Sunni jihadist group Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, making a rare, solemn appearance in July, wore a flashy silver wristwatch that various video analysts described as either a Rolex or an Omega Seafarer or a feature-laden Saudi Arabian-made timepiece that sells for only about $560. A week earlier, a Syrian anti-government rebel leader was shown in a video exhorting his troops from notes he had made … [Read more...]

Toilet Training, Scary Nana Mizuki Fans and Banning Pet Tattoos

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TOILET TRAINING Enric Girona recently donated his prototype pet commode to the town of El Vendrell, Spain, hoping to spark worldwide interest. Conscientious owners would train their dogs on the station–a hole in the ground with a flush handle–which is connected to the sewer system, as is the drain grid next to it (for tinkling). The platform, which appears to occupy about 20 square feet of surface, is self- cleaning (although not too clean, said … [Read more...]

Rocking Messiahs, Cranking Candidates and Cartwheel-Free Zones

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ROCKING “MESSIAH” Prominent theoretical chemist David Glowacki was ejected from a classical music concert at England's Bristol Old Vic in June for disrupting a performance of Handel's "Messiah" by attempting to crowd-surf in front of the stage. Dr. Glowacki, an expert in non-equilibrium molecular reaction dynamics and who is presently a visiting scientist at Stanford University, was attending a special "informal" performance at which audience … [Read more...]