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November 29, 2001

Penis panic continues in Benin
BBC | Submitted by: Soylent
Over the last two years a number of attacks have occurred against people accused of being "witches" who cause men's penises to shorten or vanish. Ten of these attacks have come in the last few days, ending in five deaths. Note to all men: The witch doctor cannot steal your penis. And when it gets cold outside, some shrinkage is to be expected. Thank you.

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Jurors force fed porno marathon
Associated Press | Submitted by: Daoloth
In a scene reminiscent of A Clockwork Orange, jurors were forced to watch eleven hours of explicit XXX video, complete with the typical XXX video soundtrack. What's even worse is, the jurors were not provided with private booths in which to do this. Oddly the store being prosecuted for obscenity has complied fully with an earlier plea agreement with the county specifying what may or may not be sold.

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Robbery in Blackface!
Pittsburgh Live | Submitted by: Lord Action
Bank robbery with a new twist: "Police said Mazziotti, who is white, dressed up as a black man and used a pillow to make himself appear obese before walking into the Mellon Bank branch inside the store, located on Craigdell Road."

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Networks sue ReplayTV
Reuters | Submitted by: anonymous
The various networks are scared shitless of digital home recording technology, because it allows a viewer to skip commercials and potentially share content. Most "egregious" of these is ReplayTV, which not only has this feature, but it holds 320 hours of TV and lets you swap with your friends over the Internet. Networks are claming "copyright violation" in their suits, which is nonsense as time shifting of television is protected by law. [Just about everyone on the Rotten Staff has a TiVo, and if you watch any TV at all, these devices are worth every penny.]

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Fecal highway robbery
Agence France Presse | Submitted by: Soylent
"An elderly Singaporean messenger lost almost 30,000 US dollars in cash after pickpockets smeared faeces on his pants and stole the money while pretending to help him, a newspaper reported Thursday."

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Neck ring tourism
Cultural Survival | Submitted by: Useless
Visit Thailand and see a longneck! Girls from Burma are brought to Thailand and kept as tourist attractions, and foreigners are made to feel as if they are seeing something special indigenous to Thailand. But these girls are essentially property and have no right to vote. The longneck "look", while perhaps extraordinarily sexy, comes at the cost of permanent deformity; removal of the rings generally leads to eventual suffocation due to atrophied muscle tissues.

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Photographer threatened with treason charge
Barre Montpelier Times-Argus | Submitted by: Mark Porter
A charge a treason was threatened against newspaper reporter Jason Henske of the Brattleboro Reformer, after he took pictures of a nuclear power plant in Vermont with his digital camera. Apparently such plants fall under this code because power companies are under "supervision of the Public Service Board". Note that this makes it possible to be charged for treason because you took a picture of a telephone pole.

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U.S. decides against invading Spain
Cybercast News | Submitted by: Soylent
When it was pointed out that Spain was "harboring terrorists" by not permitting their extradition to the United States based on death penalty issues, the White House was asked about any plans to invade Spain. Press Secretary Ari Fleischer's answer, "I'm not aware that we are invading Spain."

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American extravagance on the dead
Guardian | Submitted by: Soylent
"This is the largest attempt to identify the dead through DNA sampling. In the application of technology to grief, up to a million tissue samples will be examined by forensic pathologists, radiologists, anthropologists and dentists trying to match DNA material from victims' toothbrushes or relatives' mouths with fragments recovered from the twin towers."

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How news has and hasn't changed
Project for Excellence in Journalism | Submitted by: Soylent
The events of 9/11 have changed journalism somewhat, for instance: celebrity news is down, international news is up, and viewership of news programs is up. But still, for morning "news" shows in particular, a whopping 32% of the programming is devoted to selling you things. That is in addition to the 20 minutes of commercials out of every hour. Don't we have enough crap?

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