News of the Weird

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for News of the Weird

Some woo I can almost support

Apparently, our President brings “bad energy” wherever he goes, requiring some strong woo to cleanse the area after he leaves: Maya leaders are to perform a special cleaning ceremony at ancient ruins to clear bad energy after a visit by President Bush. Mr Bush is due at the Mayan ruins of Iximche in Guatemala as…

With nearly 20 months to go before the election itself and 10 months before even the first primaries, I’m already bored with the Presidential election of 2008. None of the current candidates does anything for me. One’s a total lightweight who’s in no way ready to be President, and I utterly loathe two others. My…

How does one do this?

This driver should win some sort of award for bad driving: A Bergen County woman was charged with driving under the influence after police said she mistook the landmark Boardwalk in Atlantic City for a road. Capt. Bill McKnight said he was on patrol when the vehicle sped by him Wednesday night. McKnight had given…

It’s Friday, which means that it’s time once again to delve deeply into the world of woo, all for your edification and (I hope) education. Even though I started out with less motivation than usual for tending to the blog, it actually turned out to be yet another rather eventful and surprisingly productive week on…

More clowns for Christ?

I’m not sure if the group above, Clowns for Christ, Inc. (complete with Gideon the Parrot, Precious the Super Dog, and illustrated Bible messages, songs, and clown tricks), is the group responsible for the training videos that I posted yesterday. If it’s not, though, apparently clowning for Christ is more widespread than I thought, because…

Elder abuse by Christian clowns?

In which Christian “clowns” are being trained to invade a nursing home to “entertain” the unfortunate residents trapped within. Money quote: “If people are in need of touch, you touch them.” Coming from clowns, that just sounds a bit creepy to me. Or maybe, “Clowns can look a bit intimidating if you see a lot…

Well, this is useful….

In case you didn’t know, here are instructions for opening your bowels (via Clusterfock, Kottke, and Kevin, MD): I wonder if I’ve been doing it wrong all these years. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever used a footrest…

Surgeons gone wild

At least this time the surgeons aren’t disgracing my profession by making ignorant statments about evolution. Well, actually, I almost wish they were, because puffed up idiots pontificating about evolution at least don’t put patients in immediate danger like this: A routine appendix operation in Belgrade went badly wrong when two surgeons started fighting and…

Conservapedia?

Fellow ScienceBloggers Ed, PZ, Afarensis, Tim, and John have all been having loads of fun beating up on a rather amusing and pathetic project known as Conservapedia, which, according to its creators, is designed to “combat the liberal bias” in Wikipedia. There’s not much for me to add, except that I noticed one particularly amusing…

Apparently some librarians and parents are upset that a children’s book (which happens to have won the Newberry Medal, the most prestigious award in children’s literature) has, within its pages, the use of the word “scrotum.” The book, The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patronhas, been banned in some school libraries, mostly in the…

24: Jack Bauer versus Aqua Teen Hunger Force

I have to admit, I don’t quite “get” the whole Aqua Teen Hunger Force thing (I’m either too old or too uncool, I guess), but, as a certified 24 addict, I found this to be a rather amusing take on the terror scare caused by an ill-fated ad campaign in Boston a couple of weeks…

It’s my last day in sunny Phoenix, and all I’ve done thus far is to go to conferences, work on a grant, and do a little blogging, usually late at night because I often have trouble falling asleep in hotel rooms, particularly given that the air conditioning always seems to be such that it’s either…

Donnie Davies “outed”?

Remember Donnie Davies, the “youth pastor” that I wrote about a couple of days ago, who posted a list of gay bands, plus a homophobic video proclaiming that “God hates a fag” that led to a prolonged debate over whether he was for real or some sort of elaborate Borat-like prank? Two sources tell me…

Oh, no! The gay bands are here! Hide your children, and keep them away from this corruption! So sayeth Donnie Davies, an evangelical preacher who runs a website called Love God’s Way: One of the most dangerous ways homosexuality invades family life is through popular music. Parents should keep careful watch over their children’s listening…

Flat to fem?

I had originally intended to use this one for a segment of Your Friday Dose of Woo. Unfortunately, when I tried to start writing, I realized it was unsuitable. No, it wasn’t unsuitable because the content wasn’t delightfully loopy enough to deserve targeting. The problem was that it was an insufficient–shall we say?–target-rich environment. Again,…

A truly pointless way to die, part 2

The other day, I commented on the very sad death of a young woman named Jennifer Strange. In essence, Ms. Strange died after a radio contest to see who could drink the most water without urinating. The prize? A Wii. This was pretty clearly a case of water intoxication leading to hyponatremia, an impression that…

Update on water intoxication death

A couple of days ago, I commented on the sad case of Jennifer Strange, the woman who entered a water drinking contest and died, apparently of water intoxication. While listening to the radio this morning as I got ready for work, I heard pundits discussing the case, and one of them stated that she had…

You be the judge. I find it odd, though, that the name of the bride and groom are not mentioned in the story.

You know, like the namesake of my nom de blog, I’m not immune to a little vanity. Indeed, I daresay that no human is. What differs among humans are two things: the level of vanity and what we’re vain about. Given that I don’t have all that much in the looks department going on, it’s…

The Jesus Lizard

Sure, I know The Jesus Lizard is a band, but scientists have now found a lizard worthy of the name. Well, not exactly. Perhaps this particular lizard would be better considered the Mary Lizard.

It’s that time of year again: Santarchy

Too bad I can’t make it back to Detroit this weekend. In fact, it’s worse than that; I’m on call. Why? Because Saturday is Santarchy night. Basically a bunch of people dress up like Santa and go barhopping. Much drinking and debauchery ensue. If you happen to live in the Detroit area, here’s a little…

Insanity in my old stomping grounds

Strangely enough, even though I lived in Cleveland for eight years and my wife lived there for eleven years before we left in 1996, I don’t recall ever hearing about this. I wonder if it’s a new thing that somehow the New York Times just happened to notice today: CLEVELAND, Dec. 9 — They surf…

A Nazi Santa?

As much as I detest Holocaust denial, neo-Nazis, and all they stand for, I can still understand why there is a certain sensitivity to emblems of Nazi-ism in Germany and Austria, although I have pointed out that sometimes Germans and Austrians go a bit too far, all too often stomping on free speech in the…

A newfound respect for David Copperfield

I always thought that David Copperfield was a bit cheesy. Heck, I still do. But this incident gives me a bit of respect for him: WEST PALM BEACH, Florida (AP) — One of three teenagers charged with attempting to rob illusionist David Copperfield as he left a performance has pleaded guilty. Terrance Riley, 17, was…

A Hooters on Big Beaver?

As a native Detroiter, I couldn’t help but find this little story amusing (sorry, it’s just the adolescent in me): Hooters of America Inc. is moving ahead full throttle with a campaign to pressure the Troy City Council into granting a liquor license transfer for the chain’s new Troy location on Rochester Road near Big…