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News of the Weird 5/1/14

by Chuck Shepherd

“Oooooo! Aaaaahhh! Eh?” The Canadian Radio-television & Telecommunications Commission in March reprimanded three pornography broadcast stations—not for excessively erotic fare, but for violating Canada’s protectionist, patriotic rules requiring that at least 35 percent of all content be of Canadian origin. According to its notice, the 24-hour AOV Adult Movie Channel, XXX Action Clips and Maleflixxx were falling short of the 8 1/2 hours a day of north-of-the-border sex action (and, in an additional charge, were failing to provide enough closed captioning to accompany the “Yeah’s” and “Oh, baby’s”).

Ironies England’s Stockport magistrates’ court levied the equivalent of a $13,000 fine in March against Lorraine White, 41, who runs a part-time service as a dominatrix (chaining up and whipping “bad” men) in a “sex dungeon.” Her business is apparently perfectly legal; the citation was for violating fire codes because inspectors could not see how a client, being properly disciplined (handcuffed and chained), might escape the dungeon in the event of fire.

• Sounds Like a Joke: The Food and Drug Administration has had run-ins with “homeopathic” products that subtly market themselves as health remedies without ever having sought the required FDA approval. However, in March, a different problem arose, requiring the agency to order a recall of 56 different batches of homeopathic remedies made by the Ferndale, Washington, company Terra-Medica—because they may have (accidentally) been genuine medicine. A variety of the firm’s capsules, tablets and suppositories, said the FDA, might have contained actual penicillin, inadvertently produced as a by-product of fermentation.

• Tiffany Austin called a KTVU reporter in March after being dismissed as a member of the Planet Fitness Gym in Richmond, California, after only one 15-minute workout—because she was “too fit” and therefore making other members uncomfortable. Planet Fitness apparently takes seriously its business slogan guaranteeing “no gymtimidation,” designed to keep out-of-shape women from feeling bad about themselves. Said another member, to the reporter, “It’s unfair to show off your body.”

Least Competent Criminals Genres That Never Get Old: (1) Evelyn Hamilton, 37, was arrested in Lufkin, Texas, in April as merely the most recent person to complain to police that in a recent street transaction, she had been sold inferior marijuana. “Seeds and residue,” she whined to the nearest officer, as she pulled a stash from her bra. (2) Though many people are remorseful about their first tattoos, Jeffrey Chapman is apparently more so. His ultra-cool inking (the word “murder” on his neck in reverse image, clearly readable only in a mirror) is now awkward as he prepares, at press time, to stand trial for first-degree murder for a 2011 killing in Great Bend, Kansas.

Armed and Clumsy (all-new!) Americans (mostly men) continue to accidentally shoot themselves. Several men from law enforcement did: a cop in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in the leg at a bagel shop (December); a former police officer and firearms instructor in Glenwood, Nebraska (January); a sheriff’s deputy, in the leg while defending himself against an aggressive dog in Riverside, California (April); and the police chief in Connersville, Indiana, in the leg (January), but—over 14 years had passed since the previous time he accidentally shot himself! Some familiar (recurring) incidents: the accidental testicle shot (holstering his weapon into his pants, Portland, Oregon, January); the motorist looking to intimidate in a road rage incident (but shooting his own leg, Orlando, Florida, January); the man demonstrating gun safety to his girlfriend by pointing the “unloaded” gun to his head and firing (fatally) (Oakland County, Michigan, February); and the butt shot, while reaching for his wallet at a Home Depot (Brighton, Michigan, December).