News of the Weird

Weirdo-American Community

A 22-year-old Los Angeles makeup artist who calls himself Vinny Ohh has, according to his several TV and YouTube appearances and much social media presence, transformed himself into a “genderless,” extraterrestrial-looking person via around 110 bodily procedures (so far), costing him at least $50,000. He says his appearance is merely an “all-in” representation of how he feels inside. (The “genderless” Vinny has yet to specify a pronoun preference.) [Metro News (London), 3-6-2017]

The genderless extraterrestrial Vinnie Ohh

Breaking News (Rare Fetish!)

Jordan Haskins, 26, was sentenced to probation and sex counseling in May after pleading guilty to eight charges arising from two auto accidents in Saginaw, Michigan. Prosecutors said Haskins described “cranking,” in which he would remove a vehicle’s spark-plug wires to make it “run rough,” which supposedly improves his chances for a self-service happy ending. Haskins’s lawyer added, “(Cranking) is something I don’t think we understand as attorneys.” [MLive.com, 5-9-2017]

Entrepreneurial Spirit!

— The Twisted Ranch restaurant in the Soulard neighborhood of St. Louis, saw crowds swell in March after it revamped its menu with more than two dozen items made with ranch dressing (including ranch-infused Bloody Marys). As one satisfied visitor put it, “Ranch is everyone’s guilty pleasure.” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3-29-2017

— Goldman Sachs analyst Noah Poponak’s 98-page paper (leaked to Business Insider in April) touted the wealth obtainable by capturing the platinum reputed to be in asteroids. The costs to mine the stone (rockets, launch expenses, etc.) might have dropped recently to about $3 billion — a trifle next to the $50 billion worth of platinum Poponak said a single asteroid might contain. (On the other hand, experts point out, such abundance of platinum might crash the worldwide price.) [Business Insider, 4-6-2017]

Smooth Reactions

(1) Police in Cleveland are searching for the woman whose patience ran out on April 14 awaiting her young son’s slow haircut at Allstate Barber College. She pulled out a pistol, took aim at the barber and warned: “I got two clips! I’ll pop you.” (She allowed him to finish up — more purposefully, obviously — and left without further incident.) (2) Barbara Lowery, 24, was arrested for disorderly conduct in Cullman, Alabama, in May after police spotted her standing on a car, stomping out the windshield and smashing the sun roof. She said it was a boyfriend’s car, that she thought he was cheating on her, and that she had spent the previous night “thinking” about what to do, “pray(ing) about it and stuff.” (However, she said, “I did it anyway.”) [WOIO-TV (Cleveland), 4-28-2017] [AL.com (Birmingham), 5-2-2017]

New World Order

— The Drone Economy: (1) A Netherlands startup company announced in March its readiness to release drones capable of tracking freshly deposited dog poop (via an infrared glow from the pile) and, eventually, be guided (perhaps via GPS and artificial intelligence) to scoop up the deposits and carry them away. (2) Potentially Unemployed Bees: Researcher-inventor Eijiro Miyako announced in the journal Chem in March that he had created a drone that pollinates flowers (though requiring human guidance until GPS and AI can be enabled). Miyako’s adhesive gel lightly brushes pollen grains, collecting just enough to touch down successfully onto another flower to pollinate it. [The Register (London), 3-29-2017] [CNN, 3-9-2017]

— Social critics and futurists suggest that the next great market for computerization (already underway) will be selling “human improvement” (alas, perhaps merely helping already successful people to even greater heights). Some sports teams are experimenting with “transcranial direct current stimulation” as a way to put athletes’ brains into constant alert, and KQED Radio reported in May that about a third of the San Francisco Giants players have donned weak-current headsets that cover the motor cortex at the top of the head. The team’s sports scientist (bonus name: Geoff Head!) said players performed slightly better on some drills after the stimulation. (On the other hand, at press time, the Giants were still next-to-last in the National League West.) [KQED, 5-8-2017]

The Aristocrats!

(1) Recent alarming headlines: “UK woman who urinated on Trump golf course loses case” (London). “Fish thief on unicycle busted by DNR (Department of Natural Resources)” (Battle Creek, Michigan). And, from the Northwest Florida Daily News (Fort Walton Beach), all on the same day (5-16-2017): (1) “Man throws fork at woman in fight over dog poop.” (2) “Senior citizen punches husband for taking Lord’s name in vain.” (3) “Two people busted for creating fake football league, lawmen say.” (4) “Man denies defecating in parking lot despite officer witnessing deed.” [Associated Press (London) via U.S. News & World Report, 4-5-2017] [MLive.com (Battle Creek, Michigan), 5-5-2017] [via Orlando Sentinel, 5-17-2017]


Clearing the Conscience: (1) In February, a 52-year-old man who, arrested for DUI and taken to a police station in Germany’s Lower Saxony state, wound up spontaneously confessing to a 1991 cold-case murder in Bonn. Police confirmed that, after reopening the files, they found details matching the man’s account, though the man himself was “not quite clear” why he had confessed. (2) A game warden in Titus County, Texas, reported in December arresting a man for possessing a shotgun (the man’s third arrest as a convicted felon with a firearm). The warden had spotted the weapon only because the man “out of the blue” approached him and asked if he wanted to inspect his hunting license (which, it turns out, was in order). [The Local (Berlin), 3-2-2017] [Beaumont Business Journal, 12-16-2016]