Pensacola, Florida
Sunday October 26th 2014

Follow the Blog

On Sale:

Archives

News of the Weird 6/6/13

by Chuck Shepherd

THE MITES ATE THE CHEESE The Food and Drug Administration proposed recently to limit the quantity of tiny “mites” that could occupy imported cheese, even though living, crawling mites are a feature desired by aficionados. (“Cheese is absolutely alive!” proclaimed microbiologist Rachel Dutton, who runs the “cheese laboratory” at Harvard University.) In fact, cheese is home to various molds, bacteria and yeasts, which give it flavor, and sellers routinely use blowers to expel excessive critters, but the FDA now wants to limit them to 6 bugs per square inch. However, according to a May report on NPR, lovers of some cheeses, especially the French Mimolette, object, asserting both an indifference to the sight of mites creeping around—and a fear of taste-loss (since the mites burrow into the hunk, aerating it and extending the flavor).

The Litigious Society Keith Judd filed a lawsuit in Iowa in May, in essence to invalidate the 2012 election by having President Obama officially declared a Kenyan and not an American. Judd filed the papers from a federal penitentiary in Texas, where he is serving 17 years for threatening a woman he believed to be a “clone” of the singer Stevie Nicks, because Nicks (or the clone) had tried to sabotage his home improvement company. (Bonus Fact: In the 2012 Democratic presidential primary in West Virginia, Judd, a write-in candidate, defeated President Obama in nine counties and lost the state by only 33,000 votes.)
• Edward Kramer, co-founder of the annual Atlanta fantasy-character convention Dragon*Con, was arrested in 2000 for allegedly having sex with underage boys, but has yet to stand trial in Georgia because he has engineered a never-ending set of legal delays—if not because of his version of Orthodox Judaism that limits his diet and activities, then it his allegedly poor health. (“As soon as he puts on an orange jumpsuit,” said prosecutor Danny Porter, “he becomes an invalid,” requiring a wheelchair and oxygen tank.) In 2011, after managing to get “house arrest,” he violated it by being caught with an underage boy. Lately, according to a May Atlanta Journal-Constitution report, he files an average of three demands per day from his Gwinnett County, Ga., lockup, each requiring painstaking review before being rejected. Kramer still owns about one-third of Dragon*Con, whose current officials are mortified that they cannot expel a man they consider a child molester.

Perspective In May, the Florida House of Representatives adjourned for the year without assessing themselves even a nominal increase in health insurance premiums for their own taxpayer-funded deluxe coverage, which will remain at $8.34 per month for individuals ($30 for families). Several days earlier, the House had voted to reject several billion dollars in federal grants for extending health insurance coverage to about a million more poor people in the state’s Medicaid program. The House premiums are even lower than those of state senators and rank-and-file state employees, and lower than the premiums of Medicaid recipients who have the ability to pay.

People Different From Us Apparently running out of space on his body (which is two-thirds tattooed), Brazilian Rodrigo Fernando dos Santos has moved on to his eyeballs. According to the body-modification website BME.com, eyeball-tattooing is safe if done correctly, which involves the artist injecting the ink precisely between the conjunctiva and the sclera layers –with the main risk, of course, that the client can go blind. In April, Sao Paulo tattoo artist Rafael Leao Dias, who said he had studied eyeball work for two years, successfully turned dos Santos’s eyes into pools of dark ink. “I cried ink for two days,” he told a local blogger. BME.com said eyeball tattoos have been reported for nearly 2,000 years.

Least Competent Criminals Paul Gardener and Chad Leakey were arrested in Tempe, Ariz., in May and charged with a spree of car burglaries. According to police, the men were trying various cars’ doors, looking for any that were unlocked, when they inadvertently opened the back door of an unmarked police car. The men had apparently not noticed (until too late) that two uniformed officers were sitting in the front seat and had also failed to notice that cage wiring separated the back seat from the front seat.

• Timothy Adams, 24, was charged with home invasion in May in Gardner, Mass., but only after resident Michael Salame slammed him into the floor. Salame is 70 years old, has had eight heart stents, and is forced to wear special coverings on his arms at night because of nerve damage—yet Adams apparently went down easily and at one point offered Salame “thousands of dollars” to let him up before police arrived. [WBZ-TV (Boston), 5-9-2013]

Recurring Themes Dogs Gone Wild: (1) Oscar, a Lawrence, Mass., K-9, accidentally fired a gun into an occupied home during a police chase in March. He had pawed the trigger while digging into snow where a fleeing suspect had tossed his gun. (No one was injured.) (2) In March, a dog left inside an otherwise unattended, engine-running car accidentally kicked it into gear and pinned an unidentified pedestrian, knocking him unconscious. He was taken to a hospital in York, Pa., and revived. (3) Gregory Lanier, 35, driving his dog in a truck in Sebring, Fla., in February, was shot in the leg when the dog stepped on a .380 caliber pistol. He was not seriously hurt. {in}