Friday, August 29, 2008

paranoid adults making life safer for kids

This week brought us two news stories of paranoid adults who want to make life safe for kids:

An Australian school recently put a ban on all cartwheels, handstands, somersaults and other gymnastic tumbles during recess.

Why? School administrators say that a child might get hurt performing these gymnastics without proper supervision. (It is a wonder how any of us survived recess as kids.) Fortunately, some parents have raised such a stink about this, that the rule is under review.

Meanwhile, in New Haven, CT, some parents are upset by a 9-year-old baseball player named Jericho Scott. Jericho is not being allowed to play baseball in the local league because his pitches are too fast. Even though his pitches are accurate and have never hurt anyone, parents insist that Jericho should not be allowed to play.

Why? Parents say that their children might become frightened or get discouraged by facing pitches that they can't hit.

I apparently lived a very dangerous childhood.

vote early. vote often.

painful even to watch

Thursday, August 28, 2008

wasting time 101

Do you think that subjects like English, Psychology, Anthropology and Calculus are just plain boring? The CollegeOTR website has searched the country and found these real college courses that are being offered this year:

  • The Joy of Garbage (Santa Clara University)
students get to root through garbage
  • Archaeology of Roman Baths (Santa Clara University)
  • The Final Four Experience (Lynn University)
students learn what it was like to go to the Final Four tournament
  • Zombies in Popular Media (Columbia College)
  • A History of the Pig in America (Xavier University)
  • The Art of Walking (Centre College)
  • Philosophy and Star Trek (Georgetown University)
  • The Science of Superheros (UC Irvine)
The course description says, “Have you ever wondered if Superman could really bend steel bars? Would a ‘gamma ray’ accident turn you into the Hulk? What is a ‘spidey-sense’? And just who did think of all these superheroes and their powers? In this seminar, we discuss the science (or lack of science) behind many of the most famous superheroes. Even more amazing, we will discuss what kind of superheroes might be imagined using our current scientific understanding.”

yet more from the police blotter

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

hello. this is the thief speaking.

Christopher Kron just doesn't get the whole idea behind burglary. I suppose that is a good thing, but still, pretty stupid. Most burglars understand that the idea is to take something without being caught.

Not Christopher.

Last week, Christopher broke into the Junkanoo Bar on Fort Meyer's Beach, FL. When he entered the building, the security system sent an alert to the alarm company. The company, in turn, called the bar to make sure it was not a false alarm.

The phone rang at the bar and Christopher (in the middle of a burgulary) picked up the phone. The alarm company asked for his name. Christopher complied by giving them his full correct name.

When the alarm company asked Christopher for the password, he was unable to give it. So, the police were contacted.

By the time the police arrived, Christopher was gone. However, he left behind some dandy surveillance footage of his theft.

After seeing the tape, police were able to find Christopher pretty easily... of course, it really helped when he walked into the bar that day for a drink.

the onion: Miley Cyrus will be depleted by 2013

for those of us who notice that Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus is, um, somewhat overexposed these days...

Monday, August 25, 2008

daylight thief captures self

John Pearce figured no one would catch him if he broke into a house in broad daylight. So, last week, he took a hammer and smashed a window in a Victorian home in Dartford, Kent (UK).

Unfortunately for John, when he tried to enter the home, he somehow got his foot caught in the window casing... and was left dangling for everyone to see for more than an hour.

The harder he tried to get himself free, the worse it got. Neighbors passed by and made fun of him. A small crowd gathered to see monumental ineptitude in action. The owner of the house arrived and the police were called in.

The home owner is quoted as saying, "He was hanging upside down. His body was inside the house and he was stuck in the window with his foot outside.

"When I got home, he still had the hammer in his hand which he had used to smash the main window and get some leverage.

'...He was screaming to get him down and we were all saying, "I don't think so".

'He kept saying, "I haven't done anything. I was stopping the burglars".'

Later, Pearce, 32, admitted that he was not "stopping the burglars" but was breaking into the home with intent to steal. He has an appointment in court coming up in early September.

breakfast food on the police blotter

Friday, August 22, 2008

memo: measure twice, build tunnel once.

Nothing could beat the engineering incompetence of "Big Dig" (tunnel construction) in Boston, but workers in Poland are trying.

Recently, a new railroad tunnel in Warsaw was completed... only to find that it was too short for the trains to actually get through.

One official said, "During work on the tunnel, tracks were laid down on newly-raised ground which meant the distance between the tracks and roof of the tunnel became shorter."

The error was ultimately blamed upon the fact that the workers who laid the track never talked to the team that built the tunnel.

This incident was the third major engineering screw-up in Poland in recent months. Earlier this year, another tunnel was built and found to be too low for trucks.

Last year, engineers produced plans that, had they been implemented, would have created two sections of the same road that would have missed each other by 5 miles.

The plan called for the two ends of the road to be built toward the middle. Unfortunately, each section of road would have come to a dead-end in the countryside.

unfortunate article titles

thanks to my friend Jan at Just a girl... and her dogs blog for sending me a one of these clips and several others... which will appear later..

world record: most t-shirts worn at one time

Thursday, August 21, 2008

very cool Lego Bejing Olympics (slideshow)

via Visual Fun House

Pizza Hut thief trapped by his own cell phone

Jess Jay Long had a creative plan to extort money from the Pizza Hut in Elko, Nevada. Jess stole 5 delivery-car roof signs. Then he called the manager of Pizza Hut and demanded $500 or the signs would not be returned.

The manager didn't want to fork over $500 without proof that Jess actually had the signs. So, wanting to accommodate, Jess sent the Pizza Hut manager a picture of the signs from his cell phone.

What great thinking. Not only was the picture traceable to his phone but in addition, the cars in the background of the picture had license plates that were registered to Jess Jay Long.

He was arrested and charged with extortion, possession of stolen property and grand larceny. He is currently being held on bail.

Does Pizza Hut deliver to prison?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

teenager quits school to become a Guitar Hero

Last week, a North Carolina teenager dropped out of high school so that he could chase his dream to become a famous rock star.

Well, kind of.

Actually, Blake Peebles dropped out of school so that he could devote all of his time to playing Guitar Hero. For those who are unschooled in this sort of thing, Guitar Hero is a video game in which the player pushes colored buttons on a fake guitar, imitating a rock star. (see picture)

So far, Peebles has won some gift certificates, game equipment and 52 Chick-fil-A meals in his newly acquired occupation. He hopes to become a professional gamer.

Want to know what is sadder than a kid who drops out of school to become a professional fake guitar player? The fact that, if all goes well, he could actually earn up to $80,000 per year if he wins all the competitions.

"Don't be afraid of failure. Be afraid of succeeding at something that doesn't matter."

guitar hero: will it blend?

another in the famous "Will it Blend" series...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

brilliant moments in computer tech support

much worse than a computer virus or a bug... a compusnake

the user wanted to make an online purchase and apparently thought the disk drive was a card reader...

the wire for the new drive wasn't quite long enough... so, the user installed it with duct tape.


world's worst Olympic swimming trial (from Sydney)

you have to admire the lone swimmer... but the announcers become pretty funny :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

police get a two-fer of stupid recyclers

Last week, a man in Miami, FL was arrested for stealing an unusual item: a 40-foot street light that was owned by the Florida Department of Transportation.

Elio Valero, 42, said that the light pole was laying next to the road. So, of course, he strapped it to the roof of his mini-van, tied red flags on each end of it and drove it 40 blocks to a recycling plant.

Unfortunately for Elio, a minivan driving down the road with a 40-foot long light pole attached to the roof is not very inconspicuous. The police pulled Elio over just a few feet in front of the recycling station... and placed him under arrest for grand theft.

Elio defended his actions by saying, "Hey, if I'm doing this to recycle, everybody else should do what they #&@% need to."

Interestingly, while the police were outside the recycling plant placing Elio under arrest, another man, Joseph Moniz, was caught wandering into the plant trying to sell a manhole cover. He was also arrested.

it is going to hurt in just one second

Friday, August 15, 2008

more animals on the police blotter

see part one

one great mystery of life solved

Finally. One of the great mysteries of nature has been definitively answered-- does an octopus have 8 arms or 8 legs?

The answer: neither. A whole battery of scientists has determined that an octopus has two legs and six arms. Scientists from 20 science centers collected data from 2,000 observations of common octopuses to gain this astounding insight.

Scientists found that an octopus generally uses its back two tentacles to push itself. There is no anatomical difference between the limbs. The difference is found in the way the appendages are used.

Claire Little, from the Weymouth Sea Life Centre, said, "We've found that octopuses effectively have six arms and two legs."

Wow. Now I can push the button on Jeopardy when that fact arises.

But I wonder.

Does an octopus really have two legs and 6 arms or could it simply be that the two long-thingys in the rear are simply in the most suitable place for pushing? (Using their logic, I might say that my Scotty dog has two arms and two legs, since she pushes herself off with the rear legs more than the front legs).

But heck. Who am I to question? I sure am glad that scientists are hard at work investing time, money and energy to make these cutting-edge contributions to science.

Pilobolus: amazing shadow dancers

performed at the Academy Awards...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

restaurants you won't want to miss

In contrast to my "restaurants you might want to avoid" post, here are some restaurants that won't want to miss....

truck driver makes poor choice

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

flying feces wreaks havoc

This week, a giant piece of "art" wreaked havoc near a museum in Berne, Switzerland.

The "art" was a large inflatable dog turd that was made by American artist Paul McCarthy. It was described as nearly the "size of a house." It was on display at the Paul Klee Centre in Berne (pictured) as part of the "East of Eden: A Garden Show" exhibit.

The art was supposed to have a safety feature that would cause it to deflate in the event of high wind. However, the system failed and the huge poop sailed.

After breaking free from its mooring, house-sized poop broke a power line and sailed nearly 220 yards before it broke a window of a nearby children's home.

I did not really want to post a picture of the "art" work here. (IMHO, it is pretty disgusting looking) :) However, for the curious, here is a link that will show you the actual picture. On the other hand, if you take your dog out for a walk... you may get a good miniature representation of the "art" that flew away.

less-than-gold Olympic performances

from the 2000 Olympics

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

my groom, my convict. my husband, my felon.

It is going to be a pretty tough honeymoon.

This weekend, Timothy Cole, of Batavia, NY got married for the second time to the same woman.

At the reception, Cole, 45, got into an argument with a wedding guest and the police were called to the scene.

When they arrived at the party, the officers recognized Cole from previous arrests. They also remembered that his bride had an outstanding order of protection against him.

Cole was arrested and charged with first-degree criminal contempt and was thrown in jail without bail.

yet more from the police blotter

for more, click "police blotter" label

Monday, August 11, 2008

KCCI newsman gets snake up his shorts

A reporter from KCCI TV in Iowa gets a python up his pants at the fair (two part video... if you are going to watch one, watch the second one. :)

restaurants you might want to avoid

Friday, August 8, 2008

grandma drives around with granddaughter on roof

She couldn't understand what all the fuss was about. She just didn't grasp why the police would want to arrest her.

This week, a 54-year-old grandmother was arrested for driving around the parking lot of a Publix supermarket in Marathon, Florida.

She kept her speed down. She wasn't drunk. She wasn't on her cell phone. As she drove, she kept one arm out the driver's side window.

Why did she have her arm out the window? She was holding on to her 3-year-old granddaughter's leg.

It seems that grandma wanted to give her granddaughter some fresh air and good old-fashioned fun. What better way to have fun than letting her ride on the roof of the car while she took a spin or two around the parking lot?

The woman explained to police that she would never allow anything to happen to her granddaughter. The police didn't agree. They arrested her for child abuse and put her in jail for 15 hours. She now faces charges.

The child is back with her mother.

animals on the police blotter

Thursday, August 7, 2008

man with head stuck in boot

I have posted lots of stories about cognitively impaired (a.k.a. stupid) people on this blog. In my book, this guy rates as one of the truly amazing ones.

The picture, which came to me with the title "man with head stuck in boot", speaks for itself... thanks Janine.

more bad before and after


for more, click "before and after" label

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

landlord finds way to double his losses

It was an unusual and costly method of debt collection.

Early Thursday morning, a 30-year-old man intentionally rammed his Hummer into a home near Newark, NJ. The married couple who were sleeping inside were suddenly awakened by the loud crash, but unharmed.

The couple knew the driver-- it was their landlord. He apparently was upset because the couple was behind on their rent.

When police went to arrest the landlord, they found his Hummer was damaged and had a pine branch stuck in the bumper. He faces criminal charges for reckless endangerment.

Here's a great idea: get your revenge by ruining your own property AND your over-priced car... and then face legal issues.

classic: elevator behavior

This clip came from the old "Candid Camera" show. Styles have changed. Film has changed. TV has changed. People have not.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

it is what I said, but it is not what I meant

Sometimes, people follow instructions too well.
Please print "best wishes Suzanne" and underneath that, "We will miss you."

This reminded me of a similar problem a man had with his tattoo.

trying to learn the Engrish