Christian stand-up comedian Brad Stine says his muscular GodMen revivals are a reaction to the “wuss-ification” of the Promise Keepers movement and encourage spiritual men to “cowboy-up” and “thank God for testosterone!” According to a December Los Angeles Times report, GodMen celebrates traditional male excesses, such as cussing, raucousness and sexuality. Added a Stine associate, “[F]or heaven’s sake, don’t ask the guys to take the hand of the guys next to them.” “Do not think Sunday morning worship. Think Saturday afternoon tailgate.” And tell your wife the rules, Stine says: “Learn to work the toilet seat. [I]f it’s up, put it down.”
THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT!
The Oklahoma City company Skulls Unlimited International is, it claims, the world’s leading supplier of bones—cleaning and polishing human and animal heads by picking off the tissue by hand and then using dermestid beetles to eat what’s left. Said owner Jay Villemarette, on the greasiness of the human head: “I am not exaggerating. It is nasty.” But, said an employee, you get used to the work: “I’ve been waist-deep in a dead hippopotamus, and I’d rather do that than change diapers.”
South African inventor Willem van Rensburg has begun to market the Pronto condom, which he promised can be applied directly from wrapper to penis in three seconds (with practice, one second). It’s available now only in South Africa, but he has obtained a U.S. patent. And on display at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis., in October was a $250,000, self-service milking machine (introduced in Europe in 2005) in which the cow wanders in, and lasers and video cameras guide the rubber cups to her teats, with a computer directing the actual milking.
LEADING ECONOMIC INDICATORS
An appeals court in Florida finally applied the brakes to the so-called “contingency fee multiplier” available under state law for lawyers who assist mistreated insurance customers. In extraordinary cases, a lawyer is permitted to recover up to two and a half times the customary fee, which supposedly helps customers with smaller claims to find legal representation. But the court said the fee is being granted too routinely, and in one October case, a client won a $1,315 claim while his lawyer got $193,750.
A Georgetown University student, whose dad bought him a $2.4 million off-campus house and who wants his eight best friends to live and party with him, ran up against a Washington, D.C., zoning law permitting no more than six unrelated people per house. In October, after researching the issue, the students filed papers declaring themselves a “church”—The Apostles of O’Neill, after owner Brian O’Neill—because churches are allowed to house up to 15 unrelated people.
Christine Marmolejo, 39, of Downers Grove, Ill., pleaded guilty in October to a plot in which she had her 14-year-old son plant marijuana and prescription drugs in the backpack of another boy to embarrass that boy’s mother, with whom Marmolejo had been feuding for years. Marmolejo’s son eventually confessed, and now Marmolejo faces an enhanced penalty since she involved a 14-year-old in drug possession. MTW