News of the Weird
Jacko Impersonator Pervs and Korean Comedy
May 12, 2010 | 01:42 PM
In mid-April, senior Iranian cleric Ayatollah Kazem Sedighi issued a warning that recent earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and elsewhere were caused by women's loose sex and immodest dress. Immediately, Jennifer McCreight responded on Facebook by urging women worldwide to dress provocatively on April 26 to create "boobquake" and test the cleric's theory, and at least 90,000 women promised they would reveal serious cleavage on that date. On April 26, following a several-day drought of earthquakes, a Richter-scale-measuring 6.5 quake hit just south of Taiwan. (Slight advantage to the ayatollah, since a Purdue University seismologist observed that a 6.5 quake was not uncommon for that region.)
One of the world's longest-running TV comedy shows (according to an April Reuters dispatch from South Korea) is the weekly North Korean production It's So Funny, with its undynamic format of a man and a woman in military uniforms talking to each other (though they sometimes sing and dance). The latest episode "extolled the virtue of beans," wrote the Reuters stringer, "while avoiding any flatulence humor." "If we soldiers see beans, we become happy," said the man, leading both hosts to laugh. According to Reuters, "The two talk about how bean-fed North Korean soldiers were able to fight off U.S. imperialist troops during the Korean war."
OILING HIS PLOT
John Ridgeway, 45, filed a federal false-imprisonment lawsuit in March based on his 2005 trial over a traffic charge. According to a report in Michigan's Bay City Times, just before the jury returned with a verdict, Ridgeway opened a vial of oil, rubbed some on his fingers and then around the defense table, and he later shook hands with court personnel. Ridgeway was arrested when the prosecutor, a bailiff and the ticketing police officer became ill. Ridgeway explained that the virgin olive oil had been blessed by a Colorado pastor, specifically to "cast evil" from government facilities.
SPEAK NO EVIL
In March, leaders of the St. John's Lutheran Church in Baraboo, Wisconsin, voted to fire the principal of its elementary and middle school because of his "question[ing] the church's teachings." The church had held a contentious meeting of members on March 21, but few spoke out for the principal, largely because female members were banned from speaking at all. (According to the Baraboo News Republic, women cannot vote on the church's business but generally were allowed to talk at meetings until now.)
JUST SAY YES
Under Britain's Department of Health guidelines, prisoners about to be released, and who had previously taken drugs but cured their addiction while incarcerated, are being purposely re-addicted by wardens, using methadone. According to researchers, the former addicts will then be less likely to overdose when they get back on the street. Reportedly, more than 460 prisoners have thus been "retoxified" in the last five years.
FATHER OF THE YEAR
Judge Robert Benjamin of the Hobart branch of Australia's Family Courts ruled in a March custody case that sisters, aged 10 and 8, must spend weekends with their father, even though he is a convicted sex offender with a child-porn habit. The judge attached some restrictions: Dad must install a lock on the girls' bedroom door that he cannot control and, if the girls stay overnight, the father must have "an adult friend" spend the night, too, so that Dad will be less likely to offend.
GETTING A LITTLE TOO INTO CHARACTER
Ricardo West, 22, who performs as a Michael Jackson impersonator, was arrested in April in Allen Park, Mich., on 12 counts of sexual misconduct with an 11-year-old boy.
SICK AND SICKER
A 27-year-old man reported to Oklahoma City police in April that he was sexually assaulted by a man who had perhaps misunderstood the first man's intentions. According to a story in The Oklahoman, the first man had fully disclosed his "fetish for flatulence," but when the two met, the hijinks were interrupted by the second man's tying up and sexually assaulting the first man. The first man said he wanted only for the second man to "fart for me." The first man's name was not disclosed because he claimed to be the victim of a sex crime.
INSULT TO INJURY
The Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, famously pickets targets around the country with explicit anti-homosexuality signs and recently chose as venues the funerals of deceased U.S. soldiers and Marines (calling such deaths God's punishment for America's acceptance of gays and lesbians). One grieving Marine family in York, Pennsylvania, filed a lawsuit accusing Westboro of "intentional infliction of emotional distress" by picketing their son's 2006 funeral, but a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in March that such protests are protected by the First Amendment. Piling on, the Court added that the grieving family must also pay Westboro $16,510 to cover its costs in having to defend the lawsuit.
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