Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Booze news from our least Moron-friendly state

If you enjoy sweet, fruity beverages like Smirnoff Ice or Zima, well, you're probably a douche or a girl. But if you live in Utah and you enjoy sweet, fruity beverages like Smirnoff Ice or Zima, you're about to be a thirsty, unsatisfied douche or girl:
On Wednesday, Utah will be the only state to ban the sale of fruity alcoholic drinks at grocery stores and convenience stores in an effort to keep them from minors. Those drinks also must have new state-approved labels on the front of the product that contain capitalized letters in bold type telling consumers the drinks contain alcohol and at what percentage.

So far, no new labels have been approved. Utah Department of Alcholic Beverage Control spokeswoman Sharon Mackay said the state's limited supply of those drinks will likely be gone in a few weeks.

Flavored malt beverages are already sold in state liquor stores, but they have a higher alcohol content than what has been allowed in grocery stores. They also have the same labels found in the rest of the country.

Some manufacturers have already decided it's not worth it to produce new labels just for Utah.

"Thanks to the Legislature, Smirnoff Ice is no longer available in Utah," said Zsoka McDonald, spokeswoman for Diageo, one of the world's largest multinational beer, wine and spirits firms. "It's just not cost effective."
What a tragedy. Now all those Utah residents who enjoy that swill are going to have to start drinking beer or wine or actual liquor. Or find a way to ferment Sprite, I guess. Yeah, that's the ticket. Someone could make a lot of money on black market bathtub Zima.

Reel weird

Some men (and women, I suppose), fish for sport. Others fish for a living. Leave it to a guy from Japan to fish for...underpants:
Akira Hino, 51, was arrested last week for stealing a pair of knickers from a laundry pole on a second-floor balcony, a police spokesman said.

He stretched out a three-metre (10-foot) rod and caught the underwear on a hook, the Mainichi Shimbun reported.

Called to his house, police found more than 500 pairs of women's underwear inside. He reportedly told investigators he had got into the habit of stealing undergarments when he was 18.
Well, I guess everybody's got to have a hobby. It's just that it's generally better if your hobby isn't illegal and/or creepy.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Edukashin is importent

It's fairly ordinary for a student to fail a spelling test, but when a school book fails, that's comedy gold:
The Toronto School District has reached a confidential settlement with a firm that misspelled the word grammar in an agenda sold to thousands of students.

The error was discovered by a parent who sent an e-mail message complaining that the heading "Grammer/Punctuation" on page 136 contained a misspelling, the Toronto Star reported Monday.
Seriously, though, the children are our future, and something like this could have an adverse effect on their learnding.

The very definition of frivolous

I'm not a big fan of modern feminism (or identity politics in general) but even I think this guy's idea was stupid and pointless, and it looks like a judge agreed:
It's closing time for a lawsuit alleging ladies' nights at nightclubs discriminate against men. Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum tossed the lawsuit out of federal court in Manhattan on Monday. She said nightclubs can price their products as they wish because they're not acting as representatives of the state.

The lawsuit was brought by attorney Roy Den Hollander, who has crusaded against feminism and recently sued a university over its women's studies program.

Hollander said ladies' nights at Manhattan nightclubs discriminate against men by offering women free or discounted admission and drinks. He tried to link the state to the discounts because it licenses the sale of alcohol at nightclubs.

[...]

Nightclub attorneys said Hollander's lawsuit was frivolous. It sought to represent men over the age of 21 who entered Lotus, the China Club and several other New York nightclubs on a ladies' night since June 21, 2004.

The nightclubs said the prices charged to men aren't so burdensome that they amount to denying them entry and male customers actually might benefit from ladies' nights because so many women attend.
See, dumbass, that's exactly why clubs host a ladies' night. So that women will show up, drink a lot of cheap booze, and, hopefully, have a lapse in judgment and go home with some dude. Maybe you're a big fan of the sausage fests, but the rest of us occasionally enjoy meeting drunk chicks.

Or so I'm told.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Who you gonna call?

It's probably pretty scary when you're sitting in your apartment and someone you don't know starts trying to get in the door. That said, if you happen to be illegally squatting in the apartment, you might not want to call the cops to help you out:
When police arrived, they discovered it was the apartment manager trying to get into the apartment, which was supposed to be vacant.

Police said someone had illegally changed the locks on the apartment, and the man arrested was illegally occupying it.

Police also found more than three pounds of marijuana, equipment used to grow marijuana and nearly $3,500 in cash in the apartment.
I'm not sure what the rental market is like in Lincoln, Nebraska, where this allegedly happened, but I'm pretty sure that with that kind of money, you could probably rent a decent apartment without drawing attention to all your weed. Dumbass.

Daddy's little girl

I wouldn't normally congratulate someone when their daughter ends up working at a strip joint, but in this case, I've got to say, good job, Omar!
A radical Islamic leader who moved to Lebanon after his exile from Britain three years ago was "shocked" to learn his daughter works as a pole dancer in London.

Yasmin Fostok, 27, daughter of radical Islamic cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed, said she works at bars in the West End of London to put food on the table for her and her 3-year-old son, The Daily Mail reported Friday.

"I don't get on with my dad. I don't agree with his views -- I just get on with my life and that is it," she said. "I don't normally do topless work but I'm willing to go topless if the venue is right."

Mohammed said from Lebanon he was "deeply shocked" to hear of his daughter's profession.
On a more serious note, let's all hope Ms. Fostok stays safe. Because I don't think it's much of a stretch to imagine he dad's shock turning into anger, and you've got to figure he still has plenty of Islamist buddies there in Londinistan who would be happy to do her some serious harm in the name of her family's "honor."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Good cause, meet bad idea

If you're the kind of person who has a phobia about clowns, you should really, really, (and I can't possibly stress this hard enough) really skip this story:
A group of San Francisco clown college graduates said they are raising money for victims of multiple sclerosis with a nude clown calendar.

Twenty-one members of the Clown Conservatory Class of 2008 posed for the 2009 Naked Clown Calendar, which is being sold to raise funds for a teacher who was paralyzed by MS and others afflicted with the disease, the Contra Costa (Calif.) Times reported Thursday.

"Our goal was to create this sort of craziness in your mind," said Chad Benjamin Potter, the clown who organized the project. "When you think of clowns you think of costumes and makeup and hair. When you think naked clowns, that's something else entirely."
Personally, I try not to ever "think naked clowns," but maybe that's just me. Normal, relatively well-adjusted me. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go drink until the idea of nude clowns is washed right out of my friggin' mind.

When Lady Luck files a restraining order

Man, talk about adding insult to injury:
A man who was hit by a truck near the city's downtown was also slapped with a citation. Boise police ticketed Ebrahim Balah, 62, for jaywalking shortly after the accident Wednesday.

Police said Balah suffered minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital as a precaution.
I guess maybe the cops thought he hadn't learned his lesson from the whole, you know, getting hit by a truck thing.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Criminal mastermind foiled by...himself

Teenage boys are stupid. I know, because I used to be one and my friends and I did a lot of stupid shit. But back when I was a teenager, we didn't have anything like MySpace, which seems to exist mainly as a means for amplifying that stupidity:
Steven Labore, 19, and Michael Naylor, 19, were charged with stealing two monkeys, named Gwendolyn and Lucy, from a Wild World of Animals greenhouse after determining a rumor about the greenhouse containing marijuana was false, The Washington Post (NYSE:WPO) reported Wednesday.

Chad Schneider, an assistant district attorney in Washington County, Pa., said the monkeys were returned to authorities by Labore's mother and Naylor pleaded guilty to burglary, yielding a prison sentence of two to five years.

Labore, however, missed his court date in March after being freed on $20,000 bond. Schneider said Labore's MySpace page led authorities straight to him in southern Maryland.

"I just punched it in," Schneider [said]. "He had his phone number and his address, so I figured I'd go get him."
I guess it could have been worse. At least he didn't post a video of himself stealing the monkey online. But still, classic dumbass move there, seeing as how the whole point to being a fugitive is that you don't want people to find out, you know, where you are.

I fart in your specific direction

While I wasn't aware that you could be charged with battery for something like this, I could've told the guy that it was probably a pretty bad idea:
A West Virginia man who police said passed gas and fanned it toward a patrolman has been charged with battery on a police officer.

Jose A. Cruz, 34, of Clarksburg, was pulled over early Tuesday for driving without headlights, police said. According to the criminal complaint, Cruz smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and failed three field sobriety tests before he was handcuffed and taken to a police station for a breathalyzer test.

As Patrolman T.E. Parsons prepared the machine, Cruz scooted his chair toward Parsons, lifted his leg and "passed gas loudly," the complaint said.

Cruz, according to complaint, then fanned the gas toward the officer.

"The gas was very odorous and created contact of an insulting or provoking nature with Patrolman Parsons," the complaint alleged.

He was also charged with driving under the influence, driving without headlights and two counts of obstruction.
The article goes on to say that he doesn't deny that he farted, but does deny that he farted at the cop. Man, I have a feeling that the judge who ends up hearing this case is going to have a tough time keeping a straight face.

Update: Battery charge dropped.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Trouser trouble

You know what's stupid? Wearing your saggy pants so low that your underwear sticks out for everyone to see. You know what's stupider than that? Passing a law that would ban people from doing so
A city in Southern California is considering a proposal to ban saggy pants.

The Gardena City Council debated the ordinance Tuesday night before deciding to postpone the vote.

Patty Yanaga, a recording secretary from the city clerk's office, says some council members felt the ordinance was too broad and unstructured and wanted more time to reach a consensus.

Councilman Steve Bradford argues that wearing pants that hang below the waist and expose skin or underwear is indecent exposure. Critics of the proposal say they are concerned about law enforcement playing fashion police.
I don't know anything about the crime rate in Gardena, but it must not be that bad if this is their most pressing public safety concern.

Oopsie

My late grandfather was always there for me with common-sense advice. "Sean," he'd tell me, "never break into a tank car on a freight train unless you're damn sure what's inside." It's too bad that these guys apparently didn't have anyone to dispense such homespun wisdom:
At least 15 Indian train robbers looking to steal diesel from a freight carriage died Saturday after inhaling poison gas stored in another tank they accidentally broke open, police said.

A police patrol party said they found 30 other people lying unconscious on both sides of a forested train track in India's Assam state.

"We found many empty drums which they must have brought with them to fill with oil," a local police officer said by phone.
Yeah, well I guess that didn't really work out for them, now did it?

Monday, September 22, 2008

School for scandal

We all love pornography, of course, but there are some places where it's not appropriate. Like, say, at a school assembly:
Superintendent Terry Arbogast said in a letter sent home with parents and posted on the district Web site that pornography was downloaded "in the summer time, off school grounds, during non-school hours," and that the accused teacher, Students Against Destructive Decisions adviser Stan Hawkins, "did not have any knowledge of this occurring," the Roanoke (Va.) Times reported Monday.

Hawkins was found not to be at fault for the incident during the Sept. 15 assembly. Students Against Drunk Driving members were supposed to have viewed a film on drunken driving but instead viewed the pornographic video "by default" when the DVD malfunctioned, Arbogast said. The video played for about five seconds.
Okay, I'm not sure how a DVD can "malfunction" and show porn. Either there's porn on the DVD or there isn't. Or so I've been told.

Burning rage

Nobody likes getting their car towed, but I don't really think this is the proper response:
The driver offered to release the car for $150, but police said the woman threatened to set the truck on fire if he didn't release the car.

The driver locked himself in the cab and called 911 and was told soon after that his truck was ablaze. He put it out with a fire extinguisher.

The woman's bond was set at $225,000. Her next court date is Thursday.
I would imagine that in hindsight, that 150 bucks looks like a pretty sweet bargain in comparison, huh?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Business arrangements

I don't see what the big deal is here. I mean, all we're talking about here is a couple of professionals using each others' services, right?
An attorney was suspended for more than a year for accepting nude dances from a stripper as partial payment for the legal fees she owed him. The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission on Thursday said Scott Robert Erwin will begin serving a 15-month suspension for misconduct next month.

Erwin, who practices in the northern Illinois city of DeKalb, and his client mutually agreed that she'd perform nude dances for him in his office as a way to reduce her legal fees, the commission's report said. He credited her for $534 toward his bill for services of various legal matters, the report said.
The problem seems to have happened when Erwin got a little bit "handsy" with the stripper, who ended up complaining about it to the cops.

Oh, great

My laptop, which is six years old, isn't in the best of shape. This week, the hinges gave out. I called a guy my dad recommended to find out how much it would cost to repair the problem, figuring it would be between sixty and eighty bucks. I was in for a shock. $150 for labor, and $75 to replace each hinge.

Three. Hundred. Bucks.

On a six-year-old laptop? I don't fucking think so. I guess I'll be leaving it propped open against the wall for the time being, until I can find an inexpensive replacement. Any suggestions on quick home-fixes?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sounds fishy

Assuming the following story is true, I'm not exactly sure how it's physically possible:
A tiny fish found its way into a teenage boy's body in Britain by traveling up the teen's penis into his urethra, doctors say.

[...]

The medical experts, who treated the boy for complaints of pain and urinary retention, said in a paper that the young man made the regrettable mistake of urinating while holding the tiny fish.

"While he was cleaning the fish tank in his house, he was holding a fish in his hand and went to the toilet for passing urine," they wrote.

"When he was passing urine, the fish slipped from his hand and entered his urethra and then he developed all these symptoms."
Now, there are a lot of aspects of this that don't really add up. First of all, even if he really, really had to take a leak, why would you take the fish with him into the bathroom in his hand, instead of putting it into some kind of a container with some water? And how does a fish simply "slip" from one's hand and into one's urethra?

No, I think it's a little more likely that maybe we're dealing with a creepy little weirdo who got curious about what it would feel like to stick a fish up his pee-hole and then developed a serious (and understandable) case of buyer's remorse. Then, he concocted a story about what had happened to spare himself the embarrassment of admitting to the doctors that he's a...fishophile, I guess.

Update: While this story sounds outlandish, it should be noted that it's not completely unheard of for a fish to swim up someone's junk, though it's doubtful that anybody would keep one of these nasty little fuckers as a pet. The article said the fish in question was a betta.

Things are tough all over

It seems like you can't turn on the news these days without hearing about how the price of gas is also driving up the cost of this or that product, like milk, bread, or...cocaine?
An Indiana dealer asked a customer to pay him an extra 25 dollars "for gas money to deliver the cocaine," court documents showed.

They were meeting about 20 miles (32 kilometers) away from the dealer's home in Hammond, Indiana, according to documents posted on The Smoking Gun website Thursday.

With gas (petrol) retailing at about four dollars a gallon (3.79 liters), the dealer likely made a small profit on the fuel charge.
Jeez, I would hope so. I don't think those 30-foot Cadillac land-yachts from the '70s got gas mileage bad enough to eat up $25 worth of gas in 20 miles.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Returning to the scene of the crime

Yes, the title is a cliche, but even cliches occasionally pop up in real life:
A Craighead County man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of bank robbery — only one month after he was acquitted of robbing the same bank, court records showed.

Oscar Reynolds, 35, Jonesboro, was arrested for allegedly robbing Liberty Bank, 765 East Matthews Ave., about 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, police said.

Reynolds also was scheduled to appear in Craighead County Circuit Court on Tuesday to answer to charges of aggravated assault and aggravated robbery in the beating of an elderly Jonesboro woman inside the downtown post office last fall. Reynolds is accused of stealing the woman’s purse and her car.

A spokeswoman for the Craighead County Deputy Prosecutor’s Office in Jonesboro said Reynolds failed to appear in court Tuesday.
That's because, apparently, he was busy making a "withdrawal" from his favorite bank.
Circuit Court Judge Cindy Thyer acquitted Reynolds of bank robbery on Aug. 21 after bank employees could not positively identify Reynolds as the person who robbed them in October.

Jonesboro Police Detective Todd Nelson said Reynolds went inside the bank Tuesday and asked to open an account.

“During the transaction [Reynolds] demanded money and produced a weapon,” Nelson said, adding that the suspect robbed the clerk of an undisclosed amount of money.
I don't know a lot about robbing banks, but I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to rob the same one twice, especially after you got lucky and got away with it the first time. Unless that was what he was thinking—"Hey, this is my lucky bank, why not hit it again?"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

When nude dancing is outlawed, only outlaws will dance nude

I'm not generally the kind of person who goes to protests, but this one sounds like it's for a good cause:
Hundreds of disco workers protested in Kathmandu on Monday against a government crackdown on "nude dancing" in its bid to improve the deteriorating law and order.

Police have raided scores of discos, nightclubs and dance bars in the past two weeks and detained 1,500 people saying many were running bars where "nude dances" were performed, not allowed by law in the Hindu majority society.

There are hundreds of such night spots in the Kathmandu valley, although the country has no specific law to regulate them.
Wait, I'm confused. The "nude dances" aren't allowed by law, but there's no law regulating nude dance establishments? How does that work?
Police official Sarbendra Khanal said those dancing nude in bars as well as their clients would be charged under the public offence act.

If found guilty they could be sentenced to up to one year in jail and fined $400.
I guess it's more of a broad stroke kind of thing. And hells yeah, the pun was intended.

Anger issues

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Or, in this case, a woman who really, really wants you to do the dishes:
The 21-year-old man told police that he became involved in an argument because the woman was upset that the dishes were not clean. Police Lt. Paul Henderson said the woman told the man to leave the apartment, but he refused.

Henderson said the woman then tried to physically remove the man. During the ensuing struggle, the woman bit the man's right shoulder and broke a picture frame across his face, causing visible cuts, Henderson said.

The woman then grabbed an approximately 2-foot sword and swung it at him, but missed, police said.

The woman was released from a Mansfield jail after posting a $10,000 bond, jail officials said.

Henderson said the man and woman had lived together for four months.
Something tells me they may not be living together any more. Or, if they do stay together, he'll be more diligent about his chores. And keep the swords hidden.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Light posting alert

Sorry, but a number of factors have converged to make me absolutely miserable. I have a cold, the weather is hotter than it's been in at least a week, and I have a stupid (but lucrative) project for work due tomorrow morning.

TTLB Ecosystem question

Am I the only one who's noticed a bunch of wild jumps between "organisms" in The Truth Laid Bear Ecosystem" as of late? I've gone way up and way down and up again over the past few days. Have any of you other bloggers also noticed this? And does it have anything to do with the recent Sitemeter debacle?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

One for the record books

Francisco Rodriguez just got his 58th save, breaking the record held for 18 years by Bobby Thigpen. Man, this has been an amazing season.

Friday, September 12, 2008

For when you really don't care if you never get back

My parents, both of whom were born in Illinois, are long-suffering (is this finally the year?) Cubs fans, but I don't think they would go for this:
Ground was broken Friday for a burial site at a Chicago cemetery modeled after a portion of landmark Wrigley Field to accommodate die-hard Chicago Cubs fans.

Dennis Mascari said he chose to create "Beyond the Vines" at Bohemian National Cemetery for extremely loyal fans of the National League baseball team, whose stadium has an ivy-covered brick center field wall, the Chicago Tribune said Friday.

[...]

The 35-foot-long, 14-foot-high memorial wall will have a piece of stained glass modeled after Wrigley Field's iconic hand-operated scoreboard, the Tribune said.
The article notes that you can buy "eternal skyboxes" in the memorial wall, which is kind of funny, since Wrigley Field doesn't actually have skyboxes.

Congratulations...

...to Francisco Rodriguez who, a day after the Angels clinched the AL West, tied the single-season record for saves. I hadn't even thought about the fact that the record he tied, at 57 saves, matches his uniform number. Sweet.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seven years ago today



My brother and I were house-sitting for my parents while they were down in Mexico. I will never forget the moment when my brother burst in and woke me, telling me to turn on the television. We watched, among millions who could not believe what was happening. Let us all hope it will never happen again. And let every decent soul hope that the monsters who perpetrated this horror burn in hell. Because they deserve it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Love and marriage and marriage and marriage and...

I've never been married. I'd like to meet a nice girl and settle down someday, the operative part of that phrase being a nice girl. That's apparently not enough for this guy, not by a longshot:
A Nigerian court has granted temporary reprieve to an 84-year-old Muslim preacher with 86 wives after local leaders threatened to force him to leave the area unless he divorced all but four of them.

Mohammed Bello launched a legal challenge after local chiefs and Muslim leaders in Bida, a town in central Niger state where he lives with his wives and some 170 children, gave him until Sept 7 to comply with Islamic sharia law, which allows a man to have no more than four wives at a time.

The Islamic preacher said in his petition that the threats violated his right to life and personal liberty.

"Leave is hereby granted to the applicant to enforce his fundamental human right to personal liberty, life and to freedom of movement," state news agency NAN quoted Abuja High Court judge G. Kolawole as saying.

The ruling gives Bello temporary protection from banishment while the court decides whether his rights have indeed been violated. The judge adjourned the case to September 18.
The dude isn't done, either. His spokesman said that he plans on marrying more women. Some people just have a lot of love to give. Or are crazy old serial polygamists. Six of one, half dozen of the other, I guess.

We are the champions

The Angels clinched their fourth AL West title in the last five seasons today. Congratulations to a great team for a great season. Now, let's work on making it into the World Series. Let's not have a repeat of last year's post-season, m'kay?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Driven to distraction

Yeah, I can see how that might draw one's attention away from the road:
A man with four previous drunken driving convictions who was stopped for weaving in and out of traffic on Interstate 40 was ready with an excuse for his poor driving: his passenger spilled his beer.

Not surprisingly, the man was arrested just before midnight Saturday, said state police officer Kurtis Ward, who said he initially thought the driver was joking.

"He was so matter of fact about it, like it wasn't a big deal," Ward said.

The 31-year-old man was allegedly too drunk to perform field sobriety tests and was arrested on aggravated drunken driving charges, court records said.
See, that's why you should only drink hard liquor while driving, never beer. You know, because you can put the cap back on your bottle of Val-U-Rite vodka.

That's why people keep coming back to this crapblog. It's because I'm so damn helpful.

The naked break-in

Being nude in someone else's house can lead to some pretty exciting stuff (or so I'm told) but it's usually best if they invite you in first:
Police said a Nixa, Mo., man has been arrested after he allegedly entered his neighbor's house without permission and walked around the empty home in the nude.

Shane Thomas Cargle, 21, was charged with first-degree burglary and resisting arrest after he allegedly entered the house, which his neighbors had recently vacated, and walked around nude before officers arrived to investigate, the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader reported Tuesday.

Court documents said witnesses dialed 911 and "told dispatch that they did not know how Cargle gained access to the house, but that he was inside the house walking around naked."

Officer Chad Hansen wrote in a probable cause statement that he heard Cargle opening a window in the master bedroom after officers announced themselves outside an unlocked back door.

"I entered in through the rear door to see Cargle running naked through the house, enter into the master bedroom, and close the door behind him," Hansen wrote.
He then shimmied out a window and ran into his house, next door, where the cops later found him hiding in his attic. Shockingly enough, drugs and alcohol were involved.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The end of an era

They say pimpin' ain't easy. That's especially true if you're dead:
Authorities in central Taiwan have turned off the red light at the county's last legal brothel after the death of its pimp aged 87, newspapers said on Friday.

Ai-Le was the last legal brothel in Nantou county in central Taiwan, and police revoked its permit because the 48-year-old business could not be transferred, the Liberty Times reported.

Prostitution has been illegal in Taiwan since 1997, and licensing of new brothels stopped in 1974, but isolated illegal brothels can be found all over the island. Brothels licensed prior to 1974 were allowed to keep operating.

The closure effectively leaves Ai-Le's two prostitutes, aged 40 and 50, jobless, the paper added.
Wow. For a couple of middle-age prostitutes, that's got to be a pretty devastating loss. For the rest of us? Eh, not so much.

Dress to impress

I've never had to go to court for anything other than jury duty, but it's always been my understanding that if you have to appear before a judge—especially as a defendant—you want to dress to make a good impression. I guess that idea is lost on some people:
Two Texas judges, struck by how people dress these days, have posted signs outside their Austin courtrooms advising defendants what not to wear.

District Judges Melissa Goodwin and Brenda Kennedy have had first-hand experience with wardrobe failures in their courtrooms, the Austin American-Statesman reported Monday.

Goodwin says she was convinced a dress code was needed when a female defendant appeared before her wearing a skirt that revealed her underwear -- from the bottom.

As for Kennedy, she says she knew rules were in order after a male defendant's low-slung pants fell to the floor as he walked away.

"It's gotten progressively worse the last two years," Kennedy told the American-Statesman. "I don't know if there's no common sense left, or if people just don't care anymore."
You know, Judge Kennedy, if I had to guess, I'd say it's probably a little bit of both. No, scratch that. A lot of both.

Spice up your life of crime

Okay, this one is somewhat...different:
Authorities say they've arrested a man who broke into the home of two California farmworkers, stole money, rubbed one with spices and whacked the other with a sausage before fleeing.

Fresno County sheriff's Lt. Ian Burrimond says 22-year-old Antonio Vasquez was found hiding in a field wearing only a T-shirt, boxers and socks after the Saturday morning attack.

He says deputies arrested Vasquez after finding a wallet containing his ID in the ransacked house.
I get stealing the money, but what the hell was he doing with the spices and the sausage?

Oh, and the article doesn't mention whether alcohol or drugs were a factor in this incident, but I think we can all draw our own conclusions on that score.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

A fantastic weekend for Cal football fans

The team from my Alma Mater beat up on Washington State today, 66-3, Stanfurd is losing pretty badly to Arizona State as I write this, and, perhaps best of all, the University has begun cutting down the trees that are currently standing in the way of their new athletic training facility. Why is that the best part? Because it's making filthy hippies cry:
The University of California moved quickly Friday to begin cutting trees in a grove on campus where tree-sitters have staged a protest for the last 21 months in a bid to block construction of an athletic facility.

Four tree-sitters perched in a 90-foot redwood found themselves increasingly isolated as workers began cutting the trees around them. University officials said they expect all of the grove's trees to be chopped down by Monday except the one the four men are occupying.

The university had been stymied for months by the tree-sitters and by a lawsuit filed by neighbors and the city. Over time, hundreds of protesters have climbed up into the trees to protest.

The university finally won approval to begin construction late Thursday when a state appeals court declined to issue a stay blocking the project. The campus wasted no time in getting to work; crews began cutting limbs at 8:30 a.m.

[...]

One tree-sitter, who goes by the name of Huck, vowed in a cellphone interview that the four will continue their protest and remain aloft indefinitely. As he watched the workers cut down the 85-year-old trees, Huck said he was devastated to see the university -- a public institution -- destroying the grove.

"It's appalling, it's criminal, it's beyond criminal," said Huck, 27, who joined the tree-sit six weeks ago. "It's beyond words how horrifying it is."
Oh. That's delicious. The anguish of smelly, stupid hippies is just So. Fucking. Delicious. Suck it, you idiotic hippie scum.

Oh, and Go Bears!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Bear finds pot, but no "hunny"

Hey, look, it's another heartwarming story about a large mammal and illicit drugs:
One Utah community is cheering a special bear — but don't call him Smokey. Investigators say a large black bear raided a clandestine marijuana growing operation so often that it chased the grower away.

"This bear is definitely law-enforcement minded," said Garfield County Sheriff Danny Perkins. "If I can find this bear I'm going to deputize him."

Deputies found food containers ripped apart and strewn everywhere, cans with bear teeth marks, claw marks and bear prints across the Garfield County camp on Tuesday.
I don't know, it sounds to me like the bear just really likes weed. I mean, they found food containers and cans all over. Does that kind of thing sound somewhat familiar?

That seems counterproductive

I can see how commuters could be frustrated by trains that don't run on time, but this doesn't really sound like the best way to go about expressing that frustration:
Furious rail commuters in Argentina set fire to a train on Thursday in anger over delays during the morning rush hour.

Television images showed black smoke and flames engulfing the train at the station of Merlo, in the western suburbs of the capital, Buenos Aires. At nearby Castelar, passengers hurled stones at the ticket office and blocked the rails.

"We understand that people get angry when the service is delayed or canceled, but they absolutely can't attack a public service in this way," Gustavo Gago, a spokesman for rail company TBA, told local television.

Many passengers said the delays, caused by a broken down train, had cost them a day's work.
And setting fire to a train? It's not like that could possibly cause, you know, more delays, right?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Read the fine print

I'm the kind of person who absolutely hates paying bills, so I can kind of empathize with these people...up to a point:
An Oregon family unwittingly racked up a $19,370 cell phone bill in international charges, they say.

The Terry family's 200-page AT&T cell phone bill mostly lists fees for sending e-mail messages and photos, which are otherwise covered in their unlimited plan, KPTV of Portland, Ore., reported Thursday.

But because a laptop using an AirCard was used in Canada to send e-mails back home, fees began to add up.
Okay, that sucks. But their response to the whole thing is kind of weak, especially because international use isn't included in their plan.
"(We) have a bill that runs normally $250 to $300 for our cell phones," Dave Terry said. "When AT&T saw the numbers getting over $1,000, I would think it's their responsibility to inform us that something was amiss because that card could have been stolen."
No, dumbass, it's your responsibility to understand the terms of your contract. Their son, who apparently felt the need to send a boatload of e-mails from Canada, ran up the charges. I can hardly see how that's AT&T's fault.

Giant junkie

Okay, this is a new one:
An elephant has kicked his heroin habit after a three-year stint on an island rehab in southern China, an official and state media said Thursday.

The four-year-old Asian elephant, called Xiguang, has now being transported to a wildlife reserve in southwest China after being cured of his addiction with some clean living on Hainan island, Xinhua said.

Xiguang became hooked on the narcotic after animal smugglers captured him and other elephants by luring them with bananas laced with heroin in 2005, the official news agency said.

[...]

Police caught the smugglers in May 2005 on the border between China and Myanmar, and noticed that Xiguang was acting strangely, the Beijing News website reported.

His eyes kept streaming, he made continuous trumpeting noises, and was finally diagnosed with withdrawal symptoms from the drug, the report said.
Damn. I don't think I'd want to be anywhere near an elephant going through heroin withdrawal. I've seen Trainspotting, and it looked unpleasant enough with skinny Scots rather than elephants.

Oh, and how did they get him to kick?
Xiguang was sent to a wild animal protection centre in Hainan, where rehabilitation experts and vets gave him injections of methadone -- five times the dose needed for a human being -- for a year, Xinhua said.

After a year, he had started to recover, and the dose of medicine was progressively reduced.
Where do you even find that much methadone? The elephant methadone clinic?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Mistaken identity theft

These days you see lots of stories on the evening news about how identity theft is a huge problem in this country. Things probably wouldn't be quite so bad, though, if all of the thieves were as dumb as this one:
Iowa City police say they didn't have much trouble finding a man accused of using a stolen credit card — he signed his own name to the receipts.

Police said the man used the stolen credit card to buy a latte at a coffee house and to buy cigarettes at a tobacco store. Police said the credit card was reported stolen from an unlocked apartment last month.
You see, the thing is, when you steal someone's credit card and use it, it helps to, you know, sign the name on the card. Dumbass.

What a difference a digit makes

I've never really gotten into the whole fantasy football thing, but I'm pretty sure this isn't how it's done:
University of Central Florida officials said they accidentally gave members of the media the number of a phone sex line instead of the number for a teleconference by university football coach, George O'Leary, The Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel said.

"Hi, sexy, you've reached the one-on-one fantasy line," a woman on the incorrect phone line was quoted as saying.

Central Florida Director of Athletic Communications Leigh Torbin said Monday's communications snafu was due to one misplaced digit on the conference's phone number, the Sentinel reported.
The article goes on to say that they rescheduled the conference call, though it doesn't mention whether or not any of the reporters decided to stay on the line.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Making a big stink about crime

Compared to the treatment this dumbass got at the hands of his victims, jail may not seem so bad:
According to Tampa Police, 22 year Lorenzo Knight broke into a 1999 Ford F-150 in the parking lot of the International Mall and stole a digital camera as well as the truck's instruction manual. He then punched the door of another Ford F-150 parked right next to it, police said.

That's when Knight's troubles began.

Investigators say that car's owner and his friends saw Knight and chased him to a nearby construction site. Knight tried to hide in a portable toilet, but the men spotted him.

And then they pushed it over, police said, and held him inside until cops arrived.

He was covered in human waste when officers arrested him, according to police.
Boy, I bet that was the highlight of the day for the arresting officers, huh? Especially since they probably couldn't roll all of the windows down on the ride back to jail. Gah.

FAIL, Brittannia!

You know, when your country's military is knuckling under to PETA, maybe you should just preemptively surrender. To everyone.
After meeting with animal rights activists, the British military said Tuesday that it will study alternative materials to replace the bearskin hats worn by the soldiers who guard Buckingham Palace.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, supported by some members of Parliament, says killing Canadian black bears to make the headgear is cruel. PETA says it will ask clothes designers to draw up a new hat using synthetic materials.

Although Canadian black bears are not an endangered species, sentiment has grown in Britain against using the fur for headgear that has no military purpose other than as a ceremonial adornment.

The Defense Ministry has said it is open to using synthetics but has yet to find a high-quality, weather-resistant replacement for the fur. It said Tuesday it will discuss the issue further in October.
You know, if it was a matter of synthetics being better materials, I don't think this would bother me. But since the fucking PETArds are involved, this really gets my goat. You're going to throw away hundreds of years of military tradition away because a bunch of scrawny vegan assholes think that killing a few non-endangered wild animals (they buy between 50 and 100 pelts each year to make and maintain the hats, which last for forty years or so) is cruel? Great.

Winston Churchill must be spinning in his grave.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Habeas corpses

A few minutes ago, I wrote about what I thought might be "the creepiest transaction of the decade," but I think I've found something to give that a run for its money:
Chinese police have arrested members of a gang suspected of murdering more than 100 disabled or elderly people and selling their corpses in a bizarre scheme to avoid cremations, a newspaper said on Tuesday.

Burials have traditionally been seen as the most respectful way to handle the dead in China, but were discouraged after the Communists came to power in 1949 to conserve farmland and eradicate superstition.

The bodies were bought by wealthy families and sent for cremation in lieu of deceased relatives who were then secretly buried, the South China Morning Post reported.

The killers would trail their victims, usually mentally disabled or elderly people, "drag them into vehicles in remote areas and either strangle or poison them", the newspaper said.
Interestingly, the article doesn't mention whether or not the people who bought the corpses are also being arrested. I don't know anything about Chinese law, but it sounds to me like they're complicit in the murders, especially if they knew where these bodies were coming from.

It's a buyer's market

Well, now, this may just be the creepiest transaction of the decade:
A Swiss man has sold an elaborate Virgin Mary tattoo on his back to a German collector, with the understanding it can be exhibited three times yearly, a Zurich gallery said Monday.

The extraordinary transaction -- which gallery owner Jutta Nexdorf claims is the first of its kind -- fetched 150,000 euros (219,000 dollars), with the other main stipulation being that the 35-hour work can be removed from the bearer's skin upon death and handed to its owner.
Well, I guess it would certainly be a conversation piece. "Oh, that? Lovely piece of artwork, no? I find ink on human skin to be a very compelling medium."

Yeesh.