Friday, December 19, 2014


News of the Weird

9/25/2013

First Amendment blues

In the public libraries of Seattle (as in most public libraries), patrons are not allowed to eat or sleep (or even appear to be sleeping) or be shirtless or barefoot or have bad body odor or talk too loudly — because other patrons might be disturbed. However, in Seattle, as the Post-Intelligencer reported in September, librarians do permit patrons to watch hard-core pornography on public computers, without apparent restriction, no matter who (adult or child) is walking by or sitting inches away at the next screen (although librarians politely ask porn-watchers to consider their neighbors). Said a library spokesperson: “(P)atrons have a right to view constitutionally protected material no matter where they are in the building, and the library does not censor.”

 

Cultural diversity

Japan and Korea seem to be the birthplaces in the quest for youthful and beautiful skin, with the latest “elixir” (as usual, based on traditional, centuries-old beliefs) being snail mucus — applied by specially bred live snails that slither across customers’ faces. The Clinical Salon in central Tokyo sells the 60-minute Celebrity Escargot Course session for the equivalent of about $250 and even convinced a London Daily Telegraph reporter to try one in July. (Previously, News of the Weird has informed readers of Asian nightingale-feces facials and live-fish pedicures.)

DM Art Center

 

Unclear on the concept

Among people earnestly devoted to palmistry (the foretelling of the future by “expert” examination of the inner surface of the hand), a few in Japan have resorted to what seems like cheating: altering their palm lines with cosmetic surgery. According to a July Daily Beast dispatch from Tokyo, Dr. Takaaki Matsuoka is a leading practitioner, preferring an electric scalpel over laser surgery in that the latter more often eventually heals over, obviously defeating the purpose. He must be careful to add or move only the lines requested by the patient (e.g., “marriage” line, “romance” line, “money-luck” line, “financial” success line). …

Outraged Jewish leaders complain periodically about Mormons who, in the name of their church, posthumously baptize deceased Jews (even Holocaust victims) — beneficently, of course, to help them qualify for heaven. Church officials promised to stop, but in 2012 reports still surfaced that not all Mormons got the memo. Thus inspired, a “religious” order called the Satanic Temple conducted a July “pink mass” over the Meridian, Miss., grave of the mother of the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, Rev. Fred Phelps Jr. — posthumously “turning” her gay. (Westboro infamously stages small, hate-saturated demonstrations denouncing homosexuals and American tolerance.) Ten days later, Meridian prosecutors charged a Satanic Temple official with misdemeanor desecration of a grave.

                 

Questionable judgments

Australia’s chief diplomat in Taipei, Taiwan, said in August that he was suing local veterinarian Yang Dong-sheng for fraud because Dr. Yang backed out of euthanizing the diplomat Kevin Magee’s sick, 10-year-old dog. Instead, Dr. Yang “rescued” the dog, which is now thriving after he patiently treated her. Magee’s lawsuit claims, in essence, that his family vet recommended euthanization, that he had paid for euthanization, and that “Benji” should have been put down. Dr. Yang said the fee Magee paid was for “medical care” and not necessarily euthanization. (Benji, frolicking outside when a reporter visited and was not available for comment.) …

In August, a prosecutor in Houston filed aggravated rape charges against a 10-year-old girl (“Ashley”) who had been arrested in June and held for four days in a juvenile detention center. A neighbor had seen Ashley touching a 4-year-old boy “in his private area,” according to a KRIV-TV report — in other words, apparently playing the time-honored, rite-of-passage game of “doctor.”

 

The pervo-American community

He Had a Different Dream: Barely two months before the 50-year commemoration of the March on Washington, Park Police arrested Christopher H. Cleveland and charged him with shooting “upskirt” photos of unsuspecting women lounging on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. According to the officers, Cleveland (who said he was unaware that the photos were illegal) had a computer in his car that contained at least 150 PowerPoint slide presentations of at least 30 images each of his multitude of female photo victims. CV

Best of DM