Friday, November 30, 2007

Life imitates teevee

In real time, apparently:
Italian police burst into the room of a suspected Mafia mobster in Sicily and arrested him as he watched a television show about the arrest of a Mafia boss, investigators said Friday.

Police said Michele Catalano was watching the concluding chapter late Thursday of the TV mini-series "The Boss of Bosses," recounting the arrest in 1993 of real-life Cosa Nostra leader Salvatore "Toto" Riina, when he was detained.

They [say] Catalano, 48, was suspected of being a senior commander serving under the latest "boss of bosses" Salvatore Lo Piccolo, who was arrested this month after nearly 25 years on the run.

Catalano faces charges of drug trafficking and extortion.
As far as I know, the arrested Michele Catalano has nothing to do with the lovely and talented writer behind this fine blog, which has little, if anything, to do with organized crime.

Guiness gone

I'd just like to assure Irish authorities that I have never been to Dublin:
Irish police were hunting for a beer bandit who stole 450 full kegs from the Guinness brewery — the largest heist ever at Ireland's largest brewer.

National police said a lone man drove into the brewery — a Dublin landmark and top tourist attraction — on Wednesday and hitched his truck to a fully loaded trailer awaiting delivery to city pubs.

Diageo PLC, the beverage company that owns Guinness, said the brewery had never suffered such a large-scale theft before in its 248-year history.

Police said the raider took 180 kegs of Guinness stout, 180 kegs of U.S. lager Budweiser and 90 kegs of Danish beer Carlsberg. Guinness brews both of those foreign brands under license for sale in Ireland.

Police declined to say whether the theft had been captured by closed-circuit surveillance cameras. No description of the suspect was issued, suggesting that nobody got a good look at him.

Each keg holds about 88 British-sized pints, the most common serving size in Ireland, equivalent to 20 ounces each. The total theft involves 39,600 pints with a retail value exceeding $235,000.
I'd be on the lookout for the biggest party in Irish history. Well, maybe the second or third biggest. This is Ireland we're talking about.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The "date" probably would have been worse

I guess the lesson to be learned here is that when a ginormous hooker approaches you, you should just keep going:
A 300-pound prostitute robbed a man of $100 before pedaling away on a blue bicycle, according to a police report.

The case of the hefty hooker happened about 1:10 a.m. Monday as the 32-year-old man rode his bicycle when the assailant came up to him.

"The female approached asking (the alleged victim) did he want a date, which meant she wanted him to pay for some sex," the report states.

The man told investigators he felt sorry for the woman and pulled $10 from his wallet to give to her. That's when she allegedly pushed him off his bicycle and wrestled him down. She snatched his wallet, stole $100 and then pedaled off.
What's this world coming to? You try to be nice to a colossally fat whore, and look where it gets you.

Anyway, they searched the area, but couldn't find her. Which seems a little hard to believe, since, you know, she's a 300-pound prostitute on a bike.

(Via FARK.)

What a little angel

Quick, somebody get this kid a medal:
A teenager says he held up a dozen businesses in part to get "gas money" but made sure the heists wouldn't make him miss curfew or church on Sundays with his mom.

Justin T. Veal, 18, was jailed on a felony robbery charge after being arrested last week in a liquor store holdup.

He told detectives he robbed about a dozen businesses of an estimated $10,000 this year for "money to fix his car, to buy jewelry, to keep up with everyone else," Indianapolis police Sgt. Kerry Buckner said.

Veal said in an interview at the Marion County Jail that he watched the clock, making sure he finished the robberies in time to make it home before the 1:30 a.m. curfew set by his mother.

"Curfew is 1:30. Her rules, her house. Make it in by 1:30," Veal told television station WTHR Wednesday.

Police say Veal stayed close to home for several of the robberies and that while he had a weapon in each of the holdups, no one was injured.

"He didn't do a robbery on Thanksgiving and he never did a robbery on Sunday because his mother made him go to church every Sunday," Buckner said.
Yeah, well I guess all that church didn't really take, did it? Or maybe he just wasn't paying attention when they went over the "Thou shall not steal" thingy.

I have no idea...

...whether or not this is a true story, but either way, it's funny as hell.

(Via it comes in pints?.)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Charity begins at hoe

Though this seems morally questionable, I guess it's for a good cause...
A Chilean prostitute has auctioned 27 hours of sex to raise money for the country's largest charity during an annual fund-raising campaign.

Maria Carolina became an overnight celebrity in the conservative Roman Catholic country, making news headlines and appearing on talk shows since she made her unusual donation to the televised charity event, which runs for 27 hours starting on Friday evening.

"I've already auctioned off the 27 hours of love," Maria Carolina told Reuters on Wednesday, saying she had raised about $4,000. "One of my clients already paid. It seemed like a good deed to him."
That comes down to about $150 per hour. Having never patronized any prostitutes, I don't know whether or not that's a good price. But I like the fact that her client feels like paying to get some strange is a good deed. And in a way, it kind of is.
Adult prostitution is legal in Chile. Chile's two-day Teleton fundraiser is endorsed by television stars and aims to raise funds for poor, disabled children.

Speaking about Maria Carolina's unusual donation, campaign organizer Mario Kreutzberger said he would not encourage "immoral" activities, but said he would accept her pledge.
Hey, I'm sure the poor, disabled kids aren't real picky about where the funds come from. You take what you can get.

Weed and speed don't mix

Man, you try to spread a little Christmas cheer, and look where it gets you:
A Montana man was arrested in Oregon's Klamath County after a state trooper found nearly two pounds of marijuana wrapped as a Christmas present in the man's car.

Oregon State Police said the trooper found about three pounds of marijuana and four firearms in Jimmie Cumbee's car after a traffic stop Monday night on U.S. 97 about 10 miles south of Klamath Falls.

Cumbee, 42, was stopped for driving 75 mph in a 55 mph speed zone. He was traveling with his 17-year-old son, who also was arrested. Both are from Highwood, Mont., east of Great Falls.

Trooper Dave Chambers also found a marijuana pipe, and said that one of the four weapons was loaded and concealed in a box next to the driver's seat.
I've said stuff like this before, but I'll say it again—I don't tend to drive around with large amounts of narcotics or a small arsenal, but if I did, I'd make damn sure to obey the rules of the road. When you're driving around with all of that in your car, it's probably best not to attract any extra attention to yourself.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Life imitates an old Sharon Stone movie

Hmmm...I wonder if this creepy German guy ever saw this piece of crap:
German police have arrested a 60-year-old landlord after discovering he used cameras and microphones to spy on his tenants for a decade while they bathed and slept.

The man had installed surveillance in the bedrooms, bathrooms and living areas of two flats 10 years ago in the southern city of Ingolstadt, Bavarian police said Tuesday.

He taped at least seven current and previous tenants -- and an unknown number of their guests.
Now, why would anyone do something like that?
The landlord admitted to police he had been watching and recording tenants and guests. Police suspect he had sexual motives.

"Why do you think someone would put a camera in the bathroom -- to see if it was being cleaned correctly?" asked Bavarian police spokesman Ulrich Poepsel.
Well, he was their landlord. That means he's got a vested interest in the condition of his property. You wouldn't want a bunch of slobs for tenants, would you? Get your mind out of the gutter, Ulrich.

Funny money

You know, when you're trying to pass an extremely large amount of counterfeit money, it might not be a good idea to make a scene:
A bank teller in Clearwater had a million reasons not to open an account for an Augusta, Ga., man Monday, authorities said. Alexander D. Smith, 31, was charged with disorderly conduct and two counts of forgery after he walked into the bank and tried to open an account by depositing a fake $1 million bill, said Aiken County Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Michael Frank.

The employee refused to open the account and called police while the man started to curse at bank workers, Frank said.
The article notes that the government never printed a million dollar bill, which was probably a red flag. But I'd imagine it's much easier than carrying around a thousand counterfeit $100 bills.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I'm guessing they won't rename it Hoe Street

I think that when you complain about something like this, you just end up looking childish.
If the Rev. David Baer has his way, the Whitewood City Council will change the name of one of the northern Black Hills town's streets.

Hooker Street doesn't quite lend itself to a family atmosphere and is offensive to some residents in the town of about 800 people, according to Baer.

It's actually named after a Union general from the Civil War, but Baer said that even renaming it to General Hooker Street might not be much better.
Okay, how about General Joseph Hooker Street? Is that specific enough? And am I the only one who thinks the Rev. has his mind in the gutter?

By the way, according to Wikipedia, the urban legend that the use of the word hooker when referring to a prostitute is tied to the General is apparently false.

We are all doomed

I just saw a Jack In The Box commercial where a guy was driving with one of these stuck to his forehead for some reason. Now, that's not why we're all doomed. The reason that we should just give up now is that they actually felt compelled to put a warning on the bottom of the screen telling you not to drive with a ball stuck to your forehead. Ugh.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

10 (more) random songs from my Windows Media Player

I did this once last month. I think I'll just do it once in a while so you can find out what I've been listening to.

Like you care. Jerks.

1. Yo La Tengo - "Center of Gravity"
2. The Clash - "Police on My Back"
3. Chet Baker - "My Funny Valentine"
4. Desmond Dekker and The Aces - "The Israelites"
5. Patsy Cline - "Crazy"
6. Elvis Costello & the Attractions - "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?"
7. The Ramones - "I Wanna Be Sedated"
8. The Smiths - "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now"
9. Dr. Dre and Ice Cube - "Natural Born Killaz"
10. David Bowie - "Ashes to Ashes"

I guess you could say I like a little bit of everything.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Fascism returns to Italy

Why, this is absolutely the worst news I've heard all day:
An Italian teacher has been suspended from school because of her extra-curricular activities as a porn star, local authorities announced Thursday.

The out-of-hours behavior of Anna Ciriani, who calls herself "Madameweb" in hard-core videos on the Internet and at erotic shows, was "not compatible with educational activity," the head of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia education authority said.

Ciriani, dubbed the "porno-prof" by Italy's main newspapers, said she never let her hobby get in the way of her teaching.

"My behavior at school has always been professional and irreproachable," she was quoted as saying by the AGI agency.

"I am a normal woman, with my family and my work as a teacher. I am (also) looking for transgression and sex."
This is so unfair. If she's really a good teacher and acts professionally at school, then they really shouldn't be penalizing her for her...um...extracurricular activities.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you're all enjoying the company of friends and family, and I hope you've had a lot to be thankful for this year.

The bird is in the oven here, and it's a good thing I like turkey, because the whole house is going to be smelling of it for days.

Update: I forgot to say how thankful I am for my mom, who was laid up last Thanksgiving after having back surgery. She cooked a fantastic dinner tonight, and I could tell she was genuinely touched when we all told her so. It's just so wonderful to see her back on her feet, free of the debilitating pain she'd been plagued with for so long. That's truly something to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Yeah, good luck with that

Um, somehow, I don't really see this actually happening.
An ethnic Indian in Malaysia is using an audacious strategy to highlight the plight of his mostly impoverished community by suing Britain, the country's former colonial ruler, for $4 trillion.

The Malaysian government dismisses the case as baseless, but lawyer Waytha Moorthy is determined to pursue it, even vowing to appeal to Britain's Queen Elizabeth to appoint lawyers for the Indian community, which he says is too poor to find its own.

Moorthy wants Britain to pay damages of 1 million sterling ($2.06 million) to each of Malaysia's 2 million ethnic Indians for rights abuses he traces to colonial-era labor schemes that brought their ancestors to Malaysia as indentured workers.
I'm going to go ahead and guess he ends up with a figure a lot closer to, say, zero.

They don't make a big enough can of Raid

If you're one of those people who are afraid of bugs, I'd urge you not to read this:
This was a bug you couldn't swat and definitely couldn't step on. British scientists have stumbled across a fossilized claw, part of an ancient sea scorpion, that is of such large proportion it would make the entire creature the biggest bug ever.

How big? Bigger than you, and at 8 feet long as big as some Smart cars.

The discovery in 390-million-year-old rocks suggests that spiders, insects, crabs and similar creatures were far larger in the past than previously thought, said Simon Braddy, a University of Bristol paleontologist and one of the study's three authors.

"This is an amazing discovery," he said Tuesday.

"We have known for some time that the fossil record yields monster millipedes, super-sized scorpions, colossal cockroaches, and jumbo dragonflies. But we never realized until now just how big some of these ancient creepy-crawlies were," he said.

The research found a type of sea scorpion that was almost half a yard longer than previous estimates and the largest one ever to have evolved.

The study, published online Tuesday in the Royal Society's journal Biology Letters, means that before this sea scorpion became extinct it was much longer than today's average man is tall.

Prof. Jeorg W. Schneider, a paleontologist at Freiberg Mining Academy in southeastern Germany, said the study provides valuable new information about "the last of the giant scorpions."

Schneider, who was not involved in the study, said these scorpions "were dominant for millions of years because they didn't have natural enemies. Eventually they were wiped out by large fish with jaws and teeth."
Thank you very much, large fish! Life is hard enough as it is without having to deal with eight foot long bug monsters.

The accidental nudist

I'm going to tweak Dean Wormer's famous advice and say that naked, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life.
A naked, drunk man was arrested after he caused three accidents by running into highway traffic, police said.

Two people stopped to try to help 26-year-old Ardonas Gilbert, who was running naked along the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 on Monday night, but he allegedly cursed at them and punched them, Delaware State Police said.

Gilbert then ran into traffic, causing three separate accidents as motorists tried to avoid him, police said. No one was seriously injured.

Gilbert, of Chester, Pa., was charged with two counts of assault and a single count of being drunk on a highway.
What, no indecent exposure charge? Maybe it's okay to run around naked in Delaware.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Mad dogs and Englishmen

Ugh. You people do realize that your dogs really, really hate you, right?
Darth Labrador. Dogzilla. Elvis the hound dog. No outfit is too outrageous for man's best friend.

The British do love a party animal -- they have gone crazy dressing up their dogs for costume parties.

Sales soared by 300 percent over Halloween. Now costumiers have lined up a festive big seller -- the one-size-fits-all Santa pet hat for the dog determined to have a great Christmas.

[...]

The costumes range in price from 10 to 20 pounds. Humans can hire outfits, canines are not allowed to. "Dogs can't put down a deposit," Webb explained.

At the Angels Fancy Dress shop in Shaftesbury Avenue, situated in the heart of London theaterland, proud pet owners bring in their dogs to pick a suitable outfit.

If the demand keeps soaring, the shop may consider putting in a special fitting room complete with mirrors.

Webb said "They use dressing up as an extension of their own personality. We have clients who have identical costumes for themselves and their dogs. It's the whole situation of -- Love me, love my dog."
No, it's more of the whole situation that these people are creepy weirdos who are coordinating outfits—no, strike that, costumes—with their pets. Yeah, that's more like it.

Bewildering

Okay, this is apparently from last month, but I hadn't seen it before tonight. What you're about to see is douchey, apparently drunk "musician" John Mayer arguing with the guy who plays the unbearably glib Apple guy in those Mac vs. PC commercials about...um, a certain presidential candidate whose name I won't mention lest his legion of zombie truther/Neo-Nazi morons show up here after a Google search. Anyway, well, "enjoy" doesn't seem to be the right word:


(I found this via Something Awful's Fashion SWAT, of all places.)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Fumare รจ proibito

I'm really not sure how I feel about this:
Naples brought in tough anti- smoking measures Monday, but not everyone was convinced Italians in a city famed for flouting the law would stop lighting up in parks or near pregnant women.

"However they try and enforce this, they will meet with laughter," local councilor Gennaro Capodanno commented on the ban on smoking at demonstrations, in parks, and near pregnant women or children under 12 in public.
I'm not usually in favor of nanny state regulations like this, but on the other hand, it's not cool to smoke around little kids and pregnant women. Maybe that's why I'm opposed to this sort of thing, though. Decent people avoid that sort of behavior on their own, anyway, without any coercion from the government. It's a matter of common sense and decency.

Also, that Capodanno guy has a good point:
One politician has proposed hiring special inspectors to enforce the new smoking ban but Capodanno was skeptical.

"How can they assess who's smoking too close? Do you need to use a tape measure? And how do we know if a kid is more than 12? Does he have to carry documents on him?" he said to La Stampa newspaper.
It probably would cost more to hire a whole squad of anti-smoking cops than the city would take in on the fines.

The improbable happens

I sure hope the owner of this Michigan carpet store has a good insurance policy.
Police said two men face drunken driving charges after losing control of their cars and simultaneously driving into the same business.

WDIV-TV said the 21-and 22-year-old drivers were heading north on Milford Road in western Oakland County's Highland Township, when both lost control of their vehicles and drove into the Carpet Classic Floor Studio.
That's some bad luck right there. I mean, what are the odds of two drunken idiots slamming into your business at the exact same time?

Friday, November 16, 2007

A father-son bonding experience

Normally, it's nice when a father and his son share common interests and can do things together. This time, not so much.
A police officer checking on a truck that got stuck in the mud at a city park was startled to find a 13-year-old boy behind the wheel. The boy's father, who was sitting in the passenger seat, told police he had had too much to drink and let his son drive. The boy had been drinking, too, police said.

"(The boy) even said he didn't want to drive because he was too drunk," McLellan told The Flint Journal for a story published Thursday.

Open containers of beer and liquor were found in the vehicle, said Clio Police Chief James McLellan.

The father, a 41-year-old Flint-area man, is facing several misdemeanor counts, including child endangerment, allowing an intoxicated person to drive his vehicle and allowing an unlicensed minor to drive, police said.
Getting a DUI is never a good thing, but when you get your first (God, I hope this was the kid's first!) at age thirteen, your life hasn't really gotten off to a promising start, has it?

Having trouble with the missus?

I guess there are some countries where the concept of marriage counseling hasn't really caught on.
A woman in Cyprus is on trial for sorcery after pledging to shake off a curse apparently plaguing a man's relationship with his wife and mother-in-law.

The suggested remedy consisted of an egg, a spoon, a nail, some pubic hairs and underpants, local media reported Friday.

"She cracked the egg into my underpants," the 37-year-old man told a district court in the capital Nicosia.

The elderly woman wanted some 5,000 Cyprus pounds ($12,195) for her efforts, the man said, so he went to police.
Now that you mention it, that price does seem a little steep. But isn't that really a matter better dealt with by the local Better Business Bureau?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The wheels of justice turn stupidly

Usually, it's a good idea to pay attention to the little details in life. This would be an excellent case in point:
A convicted pedophile sentenced to do community service in a German kindergarten will return to court next week to face charges of abusing two children there, a regional prosecutor's office said Thursday.

The man was allowed to work as a janitor at the Evangelical Kindergarten St Petri in Melle, near the northern city of Osnabrueck, because a court worker missed three prior pedophilia convictions on his record, said Alexander Retemeyer, spokesman for the Osnabrueck prosecutor's office.

The man, identified only as A.B., had been sentenced to 720 hours of community service earlier this year for working on the sly while collecting welfare payments.

"The colleague didn't pay attention and didn't see he had a sexual conviction, so she allowed him to serve in a kindergarten," Retemeyer said. "She didn't read the file."
The article doesn't mention whether or not the court worker who so thoroughly screwed the pooch in this case was fired. One would certainly hope so.

Musclehead indicted

Ah, I love it when bad things happen to bad people.
Barry Bonds, baseball's home run king, was indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice Thursday and could face prison instead of the Hall of Fame for telling a federal grand jury he did not knowingly use performance-enhancing drugs.

The indictment, culminating a four-year investigation into steroid use by elite athletes, charged Bonds with four counts of perjury and one of obstruction of justice. If convicted, he could be sentenced to a maximum of 30 years in prison.
Something tells me his value on the free agent market just took a pretty precipitous drop.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sex scenes are a "consumer right," damnit

Huh. Who knew that you could sue a branch of the Chinese Communist government?
A Chinese moviegoer is suing China's film watchdog in frustration with the censored version of Ang Lee's steamy World War Two drama "Lust, Caution," Beijing media reported Wednesday.

The Golden Lion award-winning film opened in China last month minus much of the on-screen sex and other scenes that Taiwan-born director Lee cut himself at the behest of local censors.

Dong Yanbin, a Ph.D student at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, had filed a suit against the nation's film censor, the State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT), for infringing upon his "consumer rights," the Beijing Times said.

"I felt greatly disappointed after seeing the movie," the paper quoted Dong as saying.

"Compared to Eileen Chang's original, the incomplete structure of 'Lust, Caution' and fragmented portrayal of the female lead's psyche makes it hard for the audience to appreciate the movie's art," Dong said.
Well, yeah, there's that, and I'm sure the female lead's psyche and the art are important, but I have a feeling the dude really wanted to see the sex scenes because, well, he's a guy. And speaking as a person who sports a Y chromosome, we likes our movies what has a little slap-and-tickle action.

Oh, and "Dong." Heh.

Bad day at the bank

If I worked at this bank branch, I might consider calling in sick tomorrow.
The TCF Bank in a Cub Foods was held up twice in one day — by different robbers. Kyle Loven, a supervisory special agent at the FBI's Minneapolis office, said the first robbery happened around 9 a.m. Tuesday, when a man presented a demand note to a bank teller and implied he had a gun.

The man got an undisclosed amount of cash, then left the grocery store and ran away to a wooded area. Police West St. Paul police officers, FBI and a canine team searched the area but could not find the suspect, West St. Paul police Chief Bud Shaver said.

The law enforcement officers left after the first robbery, except for one West St. Paul investigators [sic] who stayed to gather more witness statements. He left the bank about 1:50 p.m. to get more paperwork out of his unmarked car.

That's when the second robber struck.

"I kid you not," Shaver said. "When he got back a few minutes later, a bank employee said, 'We've just been robbed. Again.' "

The second suspect showed bank employees a handgun tucked into his waistband, then also ran away into the nearby woods with an undisclosed amount of cash.

He also wasn't caught.
One FBI agent is quoted as saying that he'd never seen the same bank robbed twice in the same day before. Which is a good thing, considering the fact that they couldn't catch either of the bad guys.

I know, I know, that's a tad unfair. After all, all they had was a team of FBI tracking dogs to work with.

Sean M. sells out

So, yeah, there will be some Google ads on my blog from now on. Although their terms of use prohibit their use by people who post "adult content" on their websites, apparently that term is somewhat fungible, since I was approved. So, yay me!

Uh, maybe I shouldn't be saying that. Oh well.

Anyway, they're currently running on the top left hand of my sidebar. Apparently, I'm not supposed to ask you to click on them, so I guess you should just...notice or admire them, or something. Yeah.

I'm sure the blind orphans will be satisfied with that. I mean, it's not like they could get any blinder, right?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Yeah, "silly"

There's something deeply, profoundly unsurprising about this story:
A 54-year-old woman was recovering in the hospital after being hit by a Union Pacific freight train south of Marysville.

Deborah Thompson told authorities afterward that she drank a bottle of whiskey before she wandered to the railroad tracks and tried to wave the train to a stop. When asked why, she told Yuba County sheriff's deputies she was just being silly.
You mean she was drunk? The hell, you say!

A noble calling: keeping Norwegian pervs safe

Wow, it sounds like being a food safety inspector in Norway is really exciting. Well, not really:
Norway's largest erotic chain store was forced to change the labeling on products such as penis pasta, candy cuffs and chocolate body painting, to comply with Norwegian food regulations.
I'm not sure I want to know what penis pasta is. Actually, I'm positive that I don't want to know what it is.
The Norwegian food safety authority, whose goal it is to make sure consumers have healthy and safe food, conducted a surprise inspection at one of the chain's stores and found that several products violated food labeling regulations, top-selling tabloid VG reported on Tuesday.

"We were a bit surprised to have the food safety authority on inspection. Food is not really our core product," Kjersti Antonsen, a sexual adviser in the store, told VG.

Products containing food must be marked with a Norwegian label, listing all ingredients.

[...]

The food safety authority also said the store also breached rules of importing erotic candy, which should be reported to authorities at least 24 hours before arrival.
Um, does that 24 hour rule apply to all imported candy, or just the erotic stuff?

Monday, November 12, 2007

I'd vote for none of the above

Well, it looks like one of the most important questions of our age has finally been answered:
More Australian voters would like to see Labor Opposition leader Kevin Rudd naked than their current prime minister, John Howard, a poll showed on Sunday just two weeks out from a hard-fought general election.

The question was posed in a Galaxy poll of 1,200 voters and published in Zoo magazine, the Australian Associated Press reported.

The survey found 34 percent of respondents wanted to see Rudd, 50, with his gear off, more than double the 16 percent who said the same thing about Howard, 68.

Even Howard's usually strong following among the over 50s slipped, with the poll showing just 16 percent wanted to see him naked compared with 27 percent for Rudd.

"No one wants a prime minister who doesn't look good naked," Zoo editor Paul Merrill was quoted as saying.
Now, I'm no expert on Australian politics, but somehow I doubt that sort of thing comes up very often. At least not in public.

I hope not, anyway.

Stay classy, Mr. Walker

When they started putting teevees in cars, I figured it was only a matter of time before this started happening:
Police issued a citation for a man accused of watching pornography on his car DVD player. Cameron J. Walker, 24, of Irving, was issued misdemeanor citations for obscene display or distribution, not having a driver's license and having an open container of alcohol, Fort Worth police said.
It never ceases to amaze me how, when people are doing illegal stuff in their cars, they invariably do something to attract the attention of police.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veterans Day

I want to simply say thank you to all of the brave men and women who have honorably served our country in uniform over the years. And if you know a vet, take a minute to thank them in person.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Have a ham and a smile

I don't know anything about running a beverage company, but this doesn't really sound like a good way to make money:
Coming soon next to the Coke and Pepsi in a store near you: ham-and latke-flavored soda to make your holiday feast complete. It even will be kosher, the company making it says — including the ham.

Jones Soda Co., the Seattle-based purveyor of offbeat fizzy water, is selling holiday-themed limited-edition packs of flavored sodas.

The Christmas pack will feature such flavors as Sugar Plum, Christmas Tree, Egg Nog and Christmas Ham. The Hanukkah pack will have Jelly Doughnut, Apple Sauce, Chocolate Coins and Latkes sodas.

"As always, both packs are kosher and contain zero caffeine," Jones said in a statement.

[...]

Jones' products feature original label art and frequently odd flavors. Last year's seasonal pack was Thanksgiving-themed, with Green Pea, Sweet Potato, Dinner Roll, Turkey and Gravy, and Antacid sodas.
Those don't really sound like great flavors for sodas (especially the last) but, if you can believe it, they've made some that sound infinitely worse:
For its contract to supply soda to Qwest Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks, Jones came up with Perspiration, Dirt, Sports Cream and Natural Field Turf. The company — fortunately or unfortunately — prides itself on the accuracy of the taste.
Something tells me none of those have been really big sellers.

Why am I not surprised?

I'm watching a PBS show called Social Studies in Action, which seems to focus solely on the ways in which teachers can indoctrinate their students to be good little lefties. For example, there was a classroom demonstration where the students were representing various parts of the world and those regions' food resources as compared to their populations.

Suddenly, the discussion shifted to energy resources and consumption, and the teacher was asking her students if they could think of a country that had invaded another country "for oil." The kids (they appeared to be junior high students) didn't offer an answer, so she helpfully suggested: "The Persian Gulf?"

Some of the other social studies teachers suggested that their job included a responsibility to turn their students toward "activism."

I may be a quaint relic of days gone by, but when I was in high school, "social studies" included American and world history, civics (where we learned about the structure of the three branches of the federal government, and not ways in which we should protest against some of those branches which the civics teacher disagreed with), and economics. I honestly don't remember much about the latter, but I don't think it had much to do with making me feel guilty about living in a country where we have the freedom to vote and spend our money in ways which we felt were fit.

But I guess that doesn't "speak truth to power," now does it?

And would it surprise anybody that one of the classrooms highlighted was in Berkeley? It certainly didn't surprise me.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Something in the air

Man, am I glad I was nowhere near Redkey, Indiana yesterday. Or today, or, probably any time in the near future:
A semitractor tanker hauling about 6,000 gallons of liquefied hog manure tipped over, spilling half of the waste along an eastern Indiana highway, police said.

An estimated 2,500 gallons of the hog waste spilled from the truck in Wednesday's accident but the environmental impact appears to have been minimal, said Steve Polston, a spokesman for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

"Mostly, the environmental impact is to the soil at the site of the incident. About 100 gallons might have spilled into a ditch," Polston said.
Um, how about the environmental impact of the stench of 2,500 gallons of pig shit in the air. I've got to believe that's the sort of unpleasantness that tends to linger for a while.

Bathroom humor not appreciated

Gee, who would have guessed that the Chinese Communist Party doesn't have much of a sense of humor?
Beijing authorities have scolded a local Communist revolution-themed restaurant for harming national sentiment by painting a sign "liberation zone" pointing the way to its toilets.

"Times Gone Past," a restaurant featuring waiting staff clad in People's Liberation Army uniforms and decorated with photos of revolutionary heroes and maps of military battles, had taken the "red" theme too far and had been ordered to remove the sign, Thursday's Beijing News said.

"Many customers had expressed their dissatisfaction, believing that putting 'liberation zone' on par with a toilet was akin to blaspheming the revolution and was an overly-casual use of the term," the paper said.

China's Communist Party referred to regions captured from occupying Japanese troops during World War Two as "liberation zones" and later applied the term to territory seized from U.S.-backed Nationalist forces during the 1945-1949 civil war.

[...]

A restaurant spokesman said the sign was "just a joke in keeping with the restaurant's 'red' theme."

But the local commerce bureau failed to see the humor, saying the sign's "creativity was inappropriate" and constituted a "malicious satire detrimental to culture" in a notice ordering the restaurant to change the name.
I'm pretty sure this blog also counts as a "malicious satire detrimental to culture."

A couple of questions for my (few) regular readers

Actually, it's a question for anybody who wants to chime in, so please respond in the comments to this post...

I've been thinking about signing up for AdSense ads here on my blog. I could honestly use a few extra bucks, and it's not like I could set up a tip jar or anything, seeing as how I don't do anything important here. After all, I'd be a real cretin if I thought I deserved any of your hard-earned money for posting stuff about dumb criminals and people who have bizarre sex fetishes. But some ads would, hopefully, provide me with a few bucks each month to spend on beer and smokes (and my charity work with blind orphans...yeah, the blind orphans...very important, that). I think the way the ads work is based on the content of the website and its popularity, so I'm probably not going to be pulling down any substantial sums of cold, hard cash.

So, what do you think? If the ads are really obtrusive (like at the very top of the page) I probably wouldn't do it. But if they're out of the way, I might. And would you bother to click on them?

Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Shock: Germans do something creepy

Once again, the holiday season is rapidly approaching, and soon we'll be seeing all the traditional trappings—Christmas trees, mistletoe, stockings hung by the fire, and, appaerntly, an infamous serial killer:
A German advent calendar for children has become a hot seller since word got out it has a picture of a notorious serial killer on it.

The cartoon calendar shows Fritz Haarmann, who murdered 24 young men and boys in the 1920s, lurking under a tree with a hatchet next to the door for December 1. Below him, Santa Claus hands out presents to children in a festive-looking Hanover.

A local tourism office included the serial killer alongside 23 other celebrities in the northern city, including philosopher Gottfried Leibniz and hard rock band The Scorpions.
What the hell kind of creepy children's advent calendar features a picture of The Scorpions?

Love bites

I've heard a lot of people say that it's a bad idea to get back together with your ex. This guy learned that lesson the hard way:
A woman bit off her ex-boyfriend's lower lip as they were kissing in bed, likely disfiguring him permanently, authorities said. The 49-year-old man and the woman kissed several times Monday night when, without provocation, she bit off his lip and spat it out, he told King County sheriff's deputies.

Deputies were called to the house in White Center, an unincorporated suburb south of Seattle, and found the man bleeding on the porch.

"There was quite a bit of blood," sheriff's Sgt. John Urquhart said. "He could talk, but just barely."

Deputies reported finding the man's lip on the bedroom floor, covered with cat hair. Doctors at a hospital were unable to reattach the lip, and deputies said he was likely to remain disfigured.

Authorities said a 44-year-old woman in the house cursed and attacked one of the deputies with a pillow before being arrested. She was jailed on investigation of domestic violence but had not been charged.
Surprisingly, the article goes on to say that the police had been called to the same residence an hour earlier because the woman was "drunk and disruptive." Oh, wait, that's not really surprising at all.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Who you gonna call?

Hey, when armed robbers bust into your place and steal stuff from you, you'd better call the cops, right? Well, not always:
A man was arrested for drug possession after telling authorities that two masked gunmen had stolen 150 pounds of marijuana from his home.

Hidalgo County sheriff's deputies arrived at the home near Penitas in South Texas to find the door kicked in and nearly 15 pounds of pot lying on the floor, Sheriff Lupe Trevino said.
You know, I'm sure he was feeling stressed after the holdup, but it probably would have been a good idea to clean that up. On the other hand, we don't seem to be dealing with a real genius here.
Jose Guadalupe Flores, 35, escaped while the men ransacked the house but returned later and told the deputies he had been wrapping the drugs for shipment when the intruders arrived.

"The guy walked right up and said the drugs were his," Trevino said. "That's not the smartest move."

Flores, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, was charged with felony possession of marijuana at an arraignment hearing Monday. Because of his immigration status, Flores will be jailed until his case is heard.
I don't know a whole lot about the Mexican justice system, but that may have something to do with why the guy called the cops. Perhaps, south of the border, it's okay to call the police if someone steals your drugs, so long as they get to wet their beaks. That might also explain why he left fifteen pounds of the stuff lying around.

That, or maybe he's just a huge dumbass.

No smoking

Why on Earth would anyone do something like this?
A man is facing drug charges after he allegedly walked into the Danbury police station puffing on a marijuana-filled cigar.

Capt. Robert Myles says Scott Snow walked into the station early Saturday and blew smoke from his cigar into a small opening in the bullet-resistant glass separating desk officers from the public.

Myles says the 24-year-old man was told there's no smoking inside the building and he allegedly stubbed out the cigar on the counter.

Officers came out and smelled the distinctive odor of marijuana and arrested Snow.
I'm going to go ahead and guess that he was probably really, really high.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Religious experience

Wow, this may be the most inspirational story I've read all year:
What man taketh away, modern technology helps giveth back. The Subway sandwich shop at the True Bethel Baptist Church in Buffalo was robbed at gunpoint on Friday night, but the crime was recorded on the store's surveillance video.

During Sunday church services, Rev. Darius Pridgen gave a sermon about the harm people do to one another. Pridgen included footage from the robbery and it was showed on two large video screens. His sermon also offered a $3,000 reward for the arrest of the suspect.

Within minutes after the service ended, four anonymous tips identifying the robber were received. A few hours later, police arrested David Glass, 45, and charged him with robbery and petit larceny.
A church with its own Subway! That's amazing! It's like a one-stop destination for all your sammiches and salvation needs.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The age of innocence

Man, am I really glad I don't have any teenage kids after reading this:
Is your teenager a virgin? That depends on your teen's definition of "is" - as well as a few other words that parents might want to run past their kids.

A study suggests 70 percent of kids 12 to 16 believe they're virgins even if they've had oral sex - and 16 percent believe anal sex doesn't count either.
Uhhhhh...the oral sex thing is kind of a gray area, but I'm pretty sure the ol' squeakhole counts double. At least.

Sheesh.

(Via Fark.)

Dead man walking

Man, if anything like this happened to me, it would freak me the hell out:
Police said Friday they had begun an investigation after a woman oversaw the cremation of a body she believed was her son — who turned up alive the next day.

Greater Manchester Police said the mix-up began when the body of a man in his 30s was discovered in Manchester, northwest England, on Oct. 12. He was identified as Thomas Dennison, 39, by a care worker who knew him. Officials contacted Dennison's mother, Gina Partington, 58, who identified the dead man as her son.

"Following normal procedures, the body was released to the family of the missing person and cremated on Oct. 30," a police spokesman said, on condition of anonymity in keeping with force policy.

The next day, Dennison was discovered alive in Nottingham, 80 miles away.

Police said they believed they knew the identity of the dead man, who had been living on the streets, and were trying to contact his relatives in Ireland.

Partington said the resemblance between the dead man and her son was remarkable.

"I held his hand and kissed his head. I stayed with him for about 40 minutes and would have sworn he was my son," she was quoted as saying by the Manchester Evening News.

"We held his funeral on Tuesday this week at Southern Cemetery and there were genuine tears, because Tommy is a lovely lad."
That must have been one hell of a close resemblance. But you'd think she would have known that her son wasn't a homeless guy. Maybe they weren't that close.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Web of lies

Bug bites are unpleasant, sure, but they don't lead most of us to kidnap and rape anybody:
An Australian man who kidnapped and raped a woman blamed his actions on a spider, local media reported on Thursday.

Philip Spiers pleaded guilty to the kidnap and rape, but told a court that the poison from a funnel-web spider bite had left him with a viral illness which led to his actions.

But a toxicologist told the New South Wales state District Court there was no medical evidence to suggest a spider bite could be responsible for anger and hatred.
Nope. That sort of thing is usually caused by being exposed to gamma radiation, not spider bites.

(See what I did there? I made a joke about the Incredible Hulk. And, by doing so, I also made a joke about Spiderman. You know, because he got his powers after he got bit by a spider. And he didn't rape anybody as a result. But I guess the Hulk wasn't a rapist, either, as far as I know. He just smashed things. You know, "HULK SMASH!" And then, there was that sad piano theme where Dr. Bruce Banner hitchhiked to the next episode without raping anybody, even after he had turned into a green Lou Ferrigno. Damn it, I lost where I was going with this.)

Ugh

I know it's a cliche to complain about how early they start advertising the Christmas season every year, but I saw my first Christmas commercial last night, before the last trick-or-treaters came to the door. And it was a godawful commercial that Ross feels the need to show every year. C'mon, people, let's at least wait until the jack-o-lanterns are cold before we start commercializing the holiday season.