Sunday, September 30, 2007

Science proves older brothers do suck ...

It's bad enough a recent study has shown that having older brothers can actually make you shorter (one might think it's from all the pbysical pounding on your head, but it's apparently because those born last "appear to grow up in an environment where parents are more stretched for time, money and the ability to lavish attention."

Now, a new UC Davis study shows that children who have older brothers tend to become more aggressive than those with older sisters. The study, published in the September/October 2007 issue of the journal Child Development, had the following findings:
  • Having a brother or a highly aggressive sibling of either gender can lead to greater increases in aggression over time.

  • Older siblings with younger sisters tend to end up less aggressive.

  • Older siblings who were aggressive tended to have younger siblings who were also aggressive, and vice versa.'
Combined with the above study on height, and combined with another study that concluded that older siblings have higher IQs (meaning younger ones have lower ones!), one can only conclude that older brothers suck. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Vanessa Hudgens Tops Yahoo! Buzz List

Interest in Vanessa Hudgens hasn't tailed off at all since the release of her nude photo, as well as other embarrassing photos. In fact, a check of the Yahoo! Buzz list today shows her at the top of the list (click photo for Yahoo! Buzz list image).

At the same time, she's #2 this week on Lycos' Top 50.

However, Google's Hot Trends list doesn't show Hudgens at all at the time of this writing. I'm guessing Google users are less lascivious than others. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Guess how many countries don't use the metric system ...

It's amazing what you can learn on Jeopardy. There are only three countries in the world that don't officially use the metric system ... one of them (naturally) is the United States. I do recall at one time the U.S. was very close to converting (they even put dual metric / English measurements on car speedometers), but they never followed through.

It shows how far behind the U.S. is when you consider the only other two countries that don't use the metric system: Myanmar and Liberia. Hardly two world powers. Of course, the U.S. always goes its own way.

Airline exec accidentally erases company data while cleaning porn off his computer

Mesa Air Group, the parent of go! airlines, said its CFO Peter Murnane accidentally erased data related to an upcoming court case while trying to cover up his porn habit.

Hawaiian Airlines is suing Mesa Air Group for allegedly using confidential Hawaiian Airlines business information to launch go! airlines last year. Murnane, according to Mesa, has a long-standing habit of cruising porn sites, and he was trying to erase that information when he accidentally deleted hundreds of pages of computer records that allegedly would have shown that Mesa misappropriated the Hawaiian Airlines information.

In its defense Mesa presented evidence that Murnane had a long standing interest in porn; a Mesa executive testified Wednesday that he once saw Murnane looking at pornography on his work computer.

Mesa also stated that they have copies of the deleted files, so no harm was done.

However, it sure was convenient, wasn't it?

Large percentage of workers admit to sleeping, kissing on the job: poll

Note that when I said sleep, I meant sleep ... not sleeping "with." Don't let the kissing part go to your head. What's strange, knowing techies as I do, is that IT workers outscored the average in the kissing category.

A Harris Interactive poll, done for, showed which workplace taboos are more "popular" with workers:
Falling asleep at work (45%)
Kissing a co-worker (39%)
Stealing from the office (22%)
Spreading a rumor about a co-worker (22%)
Consuming alcoholic beverages while on the job (21%)
Snooping after hours (18%)
Lying about an academic background (4%)
Taking credit for someone else’s work (2%)
Unsurprisingly, men admit to more of these no-nos.
Men report that they engage in all of these workplace taboos more than women. For instance, nearly half (49%) of men have fallen asleep on the job compared to 35% of women. When it comes to kissing co-workers, 44% of men and 34% of women admitted to puckering up.
As I said, IT workers outdid their brethren in the kissing category with 47% admitting to that taboo, vs. the 39% average. They also fall asleep more, with 49% doing so vs. the 45% average.

On the other hand, kings of the sleep category are the government workers, as 64% admitted to falling asleep on the job. I wonder if this includes our President?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Boy charged after shooting paper at another with a rubber band

I remember doing this in school. You take a rubber band, a piece of paper rolled up, and shoot it at each other. It's all schoolyard fun / pranks. In this case, an English boy was charged with grevious bodily harm after shooting another boy in the eye.

The charges were eventually dropped, but only after the boy was arrested and fingerprinted,
had his DNA taken --- and after he and his family went through three court appearances.

What gets me is it was just a bunch of friends shooting paper at each other. There were eight boys total, but one was hit in the eye. His eye began to bleed, but he has since fully recovered.

The other parents, however, went to the police. The mother of the "attacker" said: "What happened was absolutely ridiculous and a complete overreaction by the police. It was a stupid thing for him and his friends to do but they were all playing a game and it was just a bit of horseplay."

Good thing it didn't happen in the U.S. or there might have been a lawsuit filed, despite the fact the other boy had no lasting injuries. What about psychological damage and trauma, right? I'd better keep my mouth shut or I might give them some ideas.

Nickelodeon shows good PR with "Go Dark" plan -- but it's parents that will make the difference

Mainstream media seems very enamored with Nickelodeon for its plan to cut off programming Saturday at noon, but besides being a good PR move, it's not going to accomplish much --- unless parents get the message.

Let's be honest, there are so many other channels that cater to kids (like Toon Disney, Disney, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, etc. etc.) all they have to do is flip channels. And if their service provider supplies both East Coast and West Coast feeds (like DirecTV, for example), they won't even have to change from Nick, just from NickE to NickW or whatever.

The only way kids will get out and play is if parents encourage them to do so. Perhaps the word "force" needs to be used instead of "encourage." And perhaps parents need get outdoors themselves. Maybe what Viacom, the parent company of Nickelodeon needs to do, is cut off some adult programming, like Comedy Central, so that'll happen.

Roadway pavement writer needs to go to "Scohol"; misspells warning

In Oviedo, Florida, a roadway warning sign needs a little spell correction, as the worker who painted it on the pavement either needs a refresher course, or a little less booze. Though since it was at least painted straight, probably not the booze part.

Obviously the sign is a "School Zone" warning sign -- -and officials are scrambling to get it fixed. Wait, did I spell anything wrong in this post?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fire hydrant tribute removed from dog park for obvious reasons

If you build it, they will go -- and we all know where dogs will go if given a chance. And that's why this tribute is being removed.

A fire hydrant in a Hillsboro, Oregon dog park, which had been placed there and painted with the colors of the American flag in tribute to a heroic police dog, was removed, for obvious reasons.

Actually, the hydrant, planted in honor of Hondo, a police dog who was killed 10 years ago in the line of duty, had been surrounded by "dog-unfriendly" prickly shrubs. But people were still concerned, although there had been no reports of dogs urinating on the hydrant.

They're going to move the tribute somewhere else, but it has not yet been decided where.

Bush: "I is so arti-coo-lit"

All right, all right, he never said that -- or tried to. But he might as well have. It was revealed Tuesday that he needed a phonetic cheat sheet to make sure he didn't pronounce any names incorrectly in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly.

A draft copy of the speech, full of phonetic hints, accidentally turned up on the U.N. website briefly. Examples of his "hints" were French President Nicolas Sarkozy (sar-KO-zee) and Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe (moo-GAH-bee). Tips were also provided for Kyrgyzstan (KEYR-geez-stan), Mauritania (moor-EH-tain-ee-a) and the Zimbabwe capital Harare (hah-RAR-ray).

And that's not all. Wednesday, in an event Bush used to campaign for the reauthorization of his controversial "No Child Left Behind" law, Bush gave us the key reason it should be renewed:

"Childrens do learn."

Too bad our President doesn't.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mozambique bishop believes European condoms tainted by HIV virus

I may be willing to at least be open to certain conspiracy theories but this one is over the top. Archbishop Francisco Chimoio said in a statement to Reuters that he believes that some European-made condoms have been tainted with the HIV virus in an effort to "finish with African people."
He said, "I know of two countries in Europe who are making condoms with (the) virus on purpose, they want to finish with African people as part of their program to colonize the continent."
Not only that, but some anti-retroviral drugs are also tainted, according to him.

"I also know some companies who are manufacturing anti-retroviral drugs already infected with the virus, also in order to finish quickly the African people."
On the other hand, since this is a Catholic bishop, and the use of condoms is not favored by the Church, could this be a scare tactic?

Vick tests positive for marijuana

Michael Vick, already facing federal dogfighting charges, was hit with state indictments for dogfighting yesterday -- and things got worse today. A urine sample submitted on Sept. 13th tested positive for marijuana (no! a high-profile mega-athlete using recreational drugs!?) and because of that, U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson placed additional conditions on Vick, including restricting him to his home between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. with electronic monitoring and ordering him to submit to random drug testing.

The date of the test was 17 days after his plea agreement, so this definitely doesn't sit well with the judge. In fact, as part of his pretrial release, Vick agreed to "refrain from use or unlawful possession of a narcotic drug or other controlled substance."

I don't feel sorry for the guy. He was involved in something particularly heinous in the first place, then he went and did something that can only be called brain-dead stupid.

Larry Craig tries for his "do-over" today

Today's the day. As we previously wrote, Larry Craig is trying to withdraw his prior guilty plea in an airport sex sting. The focus will be if Craig's attorneys can convince Judge Charles Porter that the Idaho senator's plea was a mistake.

I'm not sure how you make a mistake when you plead guilty, though I have seen people coerced into confessions.

You may recall that Craig reportedly used the types of gestures and foot taps that are used to signal such bathroom, er, encounters. Craig himself said they were misinterpreted by the police officer, and that he plead guilty to avoid triggering a story by an Idaho newspaper that had been investigating his sexual orientation.

Update: the judge said he probably wouldn't rule until late next week. Craig also indicated he will stay in office, for now, apparently rescinding his prior "resignation."

The fans have spoken: Bonds' record HR ball to be branded with *; sent to Hall of Fame

The public has spoken. If you recall my prior story about the poll being run by the new owner of Barry Bonds' record-breaking 756th HR ball, Marc Ecko.

There were three choices:
  1. Give the ball to Cooperstown.
  2. Brand it with an asterisk. Then give it to Cooperstown.
  3. Shoot it into space.
The poll ended last night just before midnight, and the winner is:

Brand it with an asterisk and send it to Cooperstown.

The Baseball Hall of Fame said they wanted it in any way, shape or form, so they're going to get it branded. Ecko said on the Today Show this morning he is going to work with the HoF on the transfer of the ball to them.

Speeding costs driver over $276,000

Drivers in Virginia have been complaining about the speeding fines in that state, since the fines have been raised to up to $1000. They should talk to this guy, though. He lost a lot more than that -- at least until and unless his story checks out.

A Washington State Patrol trooper pulled over Honda Accord speeding southbound on Interstate 5 last Friday. The driver acted nervous, prompting the trooper to search the car.

In the trunk the trooper found a suitcase filled with $276,640 in cash. The driver claimed he won the stacks of dollar bills at 23 casinos in Washington, California and Nevada. Since he also didn't have much of a poker face (see the above paragraph ) -- and because he was unable to produce any receipts, authorities figured that might be a bogus excuse.

The money is currently under lock-and-key while an investigation is conducted. If they can confirm his story, the money will be returned to him. If not, he might be in even more trouble.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Yahoo! News shows Bush's true colors ...

All right, all right, this is such a great picture, I can't believe Yahoo! actually posted it to their main news page without noticing it. Or did they? Take a look. Click on the picture to enlarge.

Even more hilarious when taken in the context of the headline. Admittedly, a Reuters picture, but Yahoo! was the one who front-paged it.

In case you're wondering (or even care), the story the picture was linked to is this one.

NO, YouTube isn't going to put ads before each video ...

Gizmodo posted a story today where they said YouTube was going to add advertising before each video. The problem with the story, is that if you check the story they linked to ... it was from April of this year. Since then, in August, YouTube decided to go with an embedded ad format, similar to those ones you frequently see roll across the bottom of your TV screen.

Although the story's been made popular on Digg, it's also been marked as inaccurate.

Someone needs to check the date before linking to a post.

More advertising for a captive audience: huge ads near airport runways

When my wife flies, takeoff and landing are adventures. That's because she's deathly afraid of flying. She definitely wouldn't fit into the targeted audience of Ad-Air, because she will never look at the runway.

Ad-Air is a new company (their website did not open until 9/25) which plans to offer companies the chance to place huge advertisements near the runways of some of the world's busiest runways.

And there you have a captive audience, right? The first such ad will debut in Dubai next month.

The ads will be 20,000 square meters in size, will be illuminated where permitted, and could develop in the future to have a moving image that starts each time a plane comes into sight. The picture above is from a video clip on their site, by the way.

And here we go, just what we all need: more ads.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Lesson to be learned: when texting your mistress, make sure you don't text your wife

Ah, technology can be a curse as well as a boon. Former Australian cricket champion Shane Warne broke up his own marriage by texting his wife, instead of his mistress. The couple had reconciled last December (Warne is a reputed womanizer).

"Hey beautiful, I'm just talking to my kids, the back door's open," the message from Warne said.

"You loser, you sent the message to the wrong person," Callahan replied.

Personally, why reconcile with a cheater? If he's cheated before, he will cheat again.

After all those tax cuts, the Bush adminstration says we need Social Security cuts, tax increases

Today the Bush administration said the only way to permanently fix Social Security is through some combination of benefit cuts and tax increases. You can read the full story here, that's not my rant.

My rant is that after the series of tax cuts that Bush pushed (and of course, greedy and gullible people that we are, we fell for it), here we are with huge deficits and the need to cut back on Social Security benefits.

The tax cuts Bush pushed ended up helping the wealthy more than anyone else; now with tax increases proposed (no specification in the above story as to who would be affected, but take a guess) and Social Security cuts, who do you think will take the hit?

That's right, John and Jane Q. Public, the middle-class. After all, do you really think truly rich people even care about Social Security, or even bother filing for it? The rest of us, the common U.S. citizen, depend on this in our old age. The rich will just loll around with their big piles of cash, while "just plain folk" will end up working until their mid-70s or longer.

BTW, one thing it says in the story is that "delaying needed reforms is not fair to younger workers." I would ask, what about older workers? Younger workers can ... well, work; older ones cannot.

And, speaking of fairness, let's not forget how long the older workers have been putting money into Social Security, with past assurances of a certain payout. How is that fair to them?

Dimwit thief uploads picture of himself to Flickr

An idiot thief stole a number of computers from an office in Vancouver, B.C. One of those was an iMac with Flickrbooth installed. This is a plug-in for Apple's Photo Booth that automatically uploads photo booth shots to a Flickr account. Well, apparently the dimwit managed to get photos of himself uploaded to the company's Flickr stream.

That's his picture above (click to enlarge and get the full tattoo effect), and you can view the Flickr picture and comments here.

Boing Boing has a message from a member of the company, Dane Brown:
Last week a number of computers were stolen from our office in Vancouver, BC. One of those computers was a shared iMac with Flickrbooth, an app that automatically uploads photo booth shots to our flickr account, installed on it. Just this morning a friend called to tell us that there are photos of whoever has the computer now in our flickr stream! Obviously the guy didn't know he was uploading images of himself and his awesome tattoos.
As I've always said, thieves aren't generally the brightest people in the world!

Report: NRA audience calls for protester to be "Tased"

Unless you subscribe to "Roll Call" you'll probably miss this, so here it is here. At the National Rifle Association's "Celebration of American Values" conference Friday, during Sen. John Thune's (R-SD) opening remarks, a female protester stood up and began yelling. Free speech, right?

Well, many in the audience started shouting, "Tase her! Tase her!" and it wasn't like she had starting violently protesting or anything.

According to Roll Call:

Alas, security personnel just quietly walked the offender out the door, sans the 50,000 volts of electricity and — as NRA members might appreciate — 'more stopping power than a .357 Magnum' that Taser claims to provide. Maybe next time.

Protester or no, I'd say this would have been a little overkill, don't you? (And before people bring up the Kerry incident, in that case it definitely looks like security went overboard, but bystanders were not egging them on, which is where the NRA members erred -- or shall we say, made themselves look like thugs?)

Drunken man rips head off hotel's pet duck

In the Embassy Suites Hotel in St. Paul, Minnesota, a drunken man ripped the head off of one of the hotel's pet ducks, saying, "I'm hungry. I'm gonna eat it" to horrified onlookers.

The hotel has an ornamental pond in the lobby, and
Scott D. Clark, 26, a Denver businessman, ran across a public area of the hotel, cornered one of the ducks, then grabbed the bird and "ripped its head from its body," according to the police report.

Clark is currently in custody o
n suspicion of felony animal cruelty charges.

I really hope he gets the book thrown at him, but I can already hear people saying "it was just a duck." People may not know this, but serial killers often start on pets and animals first (I'm not saying this guy is going to become one, but whenever someone says "it's just an animal" I always think of that fact).

Cancer charity recalls lead-laced bracelets

The Friends of Mel, a cancer charity based in Massachusetts, is recalling 200,000 bracelets it sold as a fundraiser after discovering they contained lead.

According to their website (note that this is their main page, and thus may change in the future):
When we learned that there may be lead in the bracelets, we took the proactive step of hiring an independent lab and sending random samples for testing. These tests confirmed that, though the beads contain no lead, the small rings have a high lead content. The Foundation had a written assurance from a foreign supplier that the bracelets did not contain lead.
The bracelet is pictured above. Since the above statement says "foreign supplier" I'm wondering if it's China (naturally). The foundation first found out about the problem after receiving an e-mail that a 9-month-old boy apparently ingested lead from a bracelet. If you have a bracelet, you can return it to:
The Friends of Mel Foundation
Post Office Box 1660
Wakefield, MA 01880
They will send you a new one and reimburse you for your postage.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Man drowns in vat of sulfuric acid

Wow, this sounds horrific. It brings up images of horror movies like "Darkman."

The 18-year-old was working at a PC board manufacturer in Redwood City, California, when he was overcome with fumes, passed out, and fell into the vat. He was not wearing facial protection, as he should have been.

Initial reports say he drowned, but I can imagine all sorts of horror film scenarious of melting flesh, etc. I just hope he stayed unconscious after falling in.

The Coastal Circuits Factory will remain closed while Cal-OSHA conducts an investigation.

Seniors protest lack of donuts

Haven't these seniors heard about Type 2 Diabetes? I mean, donuts would be one of the worst things for Type 2, with the simple carbohydrates and sugar spiking their blood glucose levels sky-high. That said, in Putnam County, north of New York City, senior citizens are protesting, even picketing a change in policy which means donated donuts, pies, and breads are now refused.

To put things in proper perspective, the seniors aren't protesting the lack of donuts so much as the perceived lack of respect -- they were not consulted about the decision.

"Lack of respect is what it's all about," said Joe Hajkowski, 75, a former labor union official who organized the demonstration. He said officials had implied that seniors were gorging themselves on jelly doughnuts and were too senile to make the choice for themselves.

On the other hand, some say gorging was indeed taking place. "It was disgusting the way people went after them," said 80-year-old Rita Jorgensen. "I think the senior center did them a favor by taking it away."

Hey, frees stuff, and loads of it, is hard to turn down. I can see why they might pig out. And based on the obesity problem around the U.S., which you can confirm just by taking a look around you, no one needs an excuse to eat more. What do you readers think?

Would you buy from these guys? "Stiff Nipples Air Conditioning Service"

And I'm not making it up. In fact, from London Online, here's their profile (so you can see their address if you want to check out some of their saleswomen, er, salespeople).

Yes, and I find it so clever and hilarious, I'd most likely at least give them a call.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Dwntwn Miami logo: "more creative without the O's"

Miami's Downtown Development Authority Friday approved a new logo for the area, one which beat out a number of other logos (you can see a poll here). The "controversy" is over the lack of O's, which you can see in the logo to the left.

According to Oscar Rodriquez, a board member with the DDA,"Not having the O's makes it more creative."

Critics it will project an image of Miami as a city of illiterates, and might also go over the heads of foreign tourists, confusing them, but I look at it this way: you really want the young people to go downtown, and they are definitely used to missing vowels from text messaging, so why not?

"Finger in Chili" woman wins appeal

What the heck am I talking about, right? Unless the Wendy's logo sparks your memory. On March 22, 2005, Anna Ayala claimed she found a finger in her bowl of Wendy's chili. Subsequent investigations found a history of lawsuits in her past, and eventually it was discovered that the severed finger belonged to an associate of her husband's, Brian Paul Rossiter, and had been planted in the chili. Both Ayala and her husband Jaime Placencia received nine year prison terms.

Ayala won an appeal based on the January U.S. Supreme Court ruling which stated that California's sentencing law violates the right to a trial by jury because it allows judges to adjust a prison term based on facts that were not presented to the jury.

The Sixth District Court of Appeal's decision will require re-sentencing of Ayala on one of the three felony counts she had been sentenced on, and could cut two years or more off her jail time.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Is Lindsay Lohan a sex addict?

Wouldn't surprise me. A person with her tendencies, per my psychologist wife, is prone to substituting one addiction for another. Much like someone trying to kick cigarettes will frequently gain weight.

Accordiing to The Metro, Lohan has been dreaming about her old boyfriends while in rehab.
"She's been having erotic dreams about her former lovers, like Calum Best, Wilmer Valderrama, and Jared Leto. Her counsellors are trying to get her to understand that she's substituting one addiction for another."
Well, duh. To top it off, according to Star Magazine, Lindsay is praying for Britney to get her act together. Well, in reality her father said, "Lindsay and I both pray Britney can turn her life around too." Imagine if Lindsay was actually saying that. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

We (Mattel) apologize to China for China's manufacturing screw-ups

No secret here: there have been tons of recalls lately - centered around Chinese goods. Some of the recalls have been toys, but not all of them (don't forget toothpaste, lunchboxes, etc. etc.). Mattel has been central to the toy recalls, and today it offered a huge olive branch to China.

Thomas A. Debrowski, Mattel’s executive vice president for worldwide operations, in a meeting with Chinese product safety chief Li Changjiang, said the following:

"Our reputation has been damaged lately by these recalls. And Mattel takes full responsibility for these recalls and apologizes personally to you, the Chinese people, and all of our customers who received the toys."

He also said that the "vast majority of those products that were recalled were the result of a design flaw in Mattel’s design, not through a manufacturing flaw in China’s manufacturers."

I'm not a toy manufacturer, nor do I work for a toy company, but I'm not sure if the specifications for the toys would actually say, "go ahead and use this amount of lead in your paint" as opposed to the common sense (which, being common sense, I would figure wouldn't need to be explicitly stated) "check our product safety standards before you make stuff for us, OK?"

Maybe I'm wrong, but this seems more like a PR move to make us, the consumers, feel safe about Chinese products. Which I don't ... I mean, you get what you pay for, right? We Americans want cheap, cheap, cheap, and corners are cut to meet our always high demand for the latest gizmo.

God responds to Nebraska State Senator's Lawsuit

Remember Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers' lawsuit against God? He said he filed the lawsuit in response to what he considered to be another example of how easy it is to file frivolous lawsuits in America. God, all-knowing and all-seeing, apparent has been "served" with the papers and has responded, leaving a mysterious court filing.

According to John Friend, clerk of the Douglas County District Court in Omaha, "This one miraculously appeared on the counter. It just all of a sudden was here _ poof!" Friend read God's response to the lawsuit to reporters.

His response argues that the defendant is immune from some earthly laws and the court lacks jurisdiction. Also, his response said, "I created man and woman with free will and next to the promise of immortal life, free will is my greatest gift to you."

I wonder if God fails to appear physically for the hearing, could he be held in contempt of court? After all he's omnipresent, so he would be there even if he wasn't.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Vanessa Hudgens to bare all again?

I was staying away from these because they are strictly rumor, but there are too many of them for me to continue to be silent ...

Several rumors abound about Vanessa Hudgens. First, there's the rumor that she and boyfriend Zac Efron have split. OK! Magazine says sources close to the couple said that they've gone their separate ways. Of course, this has been denied by their representatives.

Next, apparently Hudgens would, given the right magazine, agree to do a sexy layout for them. Hudgens said, "I think being a woman and being able to show a sexy side is empowering. Being able to show we are comfortable in our skin is a good thing. I totally would pose for a sexy magazine. But not Playboy."

Also, there is also the rumor (or I guess, another instance of the same old rumor) that she actually leaked the shots herself, to rid herself of her girl-next-door image.

Finally, two non-rumors. She is being sued for $150,000 in unpaid lawyer fees by her former attorney, Brian Schall.

Also, Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis has apparently offered Disney star Vanessa Hudgens $500,000 to join his band of amateur porn stars. As Francis said, "Vanessa Hudgens is the classic girl next door gone wild. Being sexual is not a crime."

When it rains, it pours, I guess. On the other hand, considering her future earning potential, I should be so unlucky.

Ohio man arrested after photographing his crop of pot

An Ohio man faces marijuana cultivation charges. The mastermind was growing plants in a field and took pictures of them -- then had them developed at a pharmacy.

First of all, who doesn't use a digital camera these days? Second of all, why was he taking pictures of them? To post fliers?

Anyway, he was turned in by the employees that developed the pictures; his name has not been released in hopes he can lead the police to "bigger fish."

Woman pleads "not guilty" in "lack of lawn watering" case

A brown lawn is a crime? Heck, look down my street will you? Is this some crazy Utah law?

Betty Perry, 70, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday. Her attorney, Gloria Allred said, "I ask the citizens of Orem: How many of you would like to have your great-grandmother taken from her home with bruises and blood and placed in handcuffs for failing to water her lawn?"

In addition to failing to maintain her landscaping, Perry is charged with resisting arrest. Both are misdemeanors.

This just goes to show we made the right decision when we tore out our lawn and replaced it with native plants and landscaping.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Giuliani thinks he's among the "four or five best known Americans"

Oh, come on. Someone's ego is just a little too big. Rudy Giuliani is on a trans-Atlantic campaign trip. He made the statement that "I'm probably one of the four or five best known Americans in the world," to a small group of reporters at a posh London hotel. Meanwhile onlookers gathered in the lobby to gawk at actor Dustin Hoffman who was on a separate visit.

When asked who the other three or four Americans were, "Bill Clinton ... Hillary," he started, but then he was whisked away to another engagement before he completed his thought.

Sorry, Rudy, it's easy to think of a ton of people more famous than you. Apparently Dustin Hoffman is one. Let's be honest: George W. Bush (bleh).

I would definitely say people would recognize Angelina Jolie before they recognize you. Madonna? Britney Spears? Fred Thompson (remember those Law & Order episodes)?

Tone it down a little, will ya, Rudy?

Man calls cops when backpacks full of cocaine are lost ...

... but he had a good reason (I suppose!), unlike the woman who called the police when she thought the drugs she had purchased were fake.

In this case, Leroy Carr, 46, called Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on August 7 to report that two backpacks he had stashed near the Canadian border containing 31 kg. of cocaine were missing.

He was only protecting himself, though. He wanted the agents to put out a press release saying the drugs had been seized (not lost) so that his employers would know he hadn't double-crossed them. Makes sense, right? I mean, otherwise the guy might end up on a missing-persons report one day. 'Course that would have been lying on their part - and the cops never lie, do they?

Needless to say, he was arrested and about two weeks later, a Boy Scout ranger called the Northwest Regional Drug Task Force to report finding the two backpacks full of drugs.

Random drug, alcohol testing ordered for Britney

I doubt anyone would say that Britney Spears (or for that matter, Kevin Federline) are model parents, and it appears a judge has concerns in that area as well. Access Hollywood has obtained court documents in which a judge ordered the twice-weekly random tests for the Spears, stating in the document:
Based on the Evidence presented, the Court finds that there is a habitual, frequent and continuous use of controlled substances and alcohol by the Petitioner.
Yep, the Petitioner is Spears.

Additionally in the document:
The Petitioner is ordered to meet with a Parenting Coach for a minimum of eight hours each week, in at least two sessions per week. The Parenting Coach is to observe the Petitioner's interaction with the minor children and her parenting skills.
Oh, that's not going to turn out well, I think.

The coach will file a written progress report to the courts on October 22 and appear on November 26 (the date of the next hearing).

Finally, you can see Kevin doesn't escape unscathed, as the document also says:
Neither party shall consume alcohol, or other non-prescription controlled substance during or for the 12 hours immediately preceding any period such party is responsible for the health and safety of the minor children.
Finally, in the ruling, the Court declined to modify the current custodial agreement.

Couple divorces after online affair - with each other

A couple in Bosnia is getting a divorce after each had an online affair -- with each other. Sana Klaric, 27, and husband Adnan, 32 met in an online chat room. Her handle was Sweetie and his was Prince of Joy.

Amazingly, they discovered they were both in unhappy marriages. They eventually met, and you can guess what happened. Now they are getting a divorce (which they probably should have been considering in the first place).

Sana said, "I thought I had found the love of my life. The way this Prince of Joy spoke to me, the things he wrote, the tenderness in every expression was something I had never had in my marriage."

Adnan said, "To be honest I still find it hard to believe that the person, Sweetie, who wrote such wonderful things to me on the internet, is actually the same woman I married and who has not said a nice word to me for years."

This actually brought back memories for me of an old song (I'll date myself) called "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)" by Rupert Holmes. In that song, a man, unhappy in his current relationship, finds an ad in the personals for a woman looking for a man who must like Piña Coladas (among other things, like getting caught in the rain).

He wrote back, and they met, at a "bar called O'Malley's, where we'll plan our Escape." (Memory coming back now?)

Anyway, unlike this couple, the couple in the song realized they had more in common than they knew and stayed together. Ah, fantasy, right?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

O.J. to face 10 felony charges, including kidnapping

O.J. Simpson has been charged with 10 felonies in the aftermath of the Las Vegas break-in incident late last week. At the same time, one of this friends, also involved in the incident, indicated he felt Simpson had been set up.

Walter Alexander, 46, of Mesa, Ariz., said Tuesday that he felt Simpson may have been tricked.

“It sounds like a setup to me,” Alexander told ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He said Simpson had thought the memorabilia belonged to him after getting a call from the dealer, Tom Riccio.

Simpson and the other three men are charged with two counts of first-degree kidnapping; two counts of robbery with use of a deadly weapon; burglary while in possession of a deadly weapon; two counts of assault with a deadly weapon; conspiracy to commit kidnapping; conspiracy to commit robbery; and a misdemeanor, conspiracy to commit a crime.

Simpson also faces one charge of coercion with use of a deadly weapon, a felony. Source: MSNBC

Hmmm ... the problem for O.J. now is he doesn't have sufficient funds for a new "Dream Team." Despite the fact that my wife is one of those who believes he "got away with murder," she thinks he's being railroaded in this case. She said, "As hard as it is to believe, I'm actually starting to be on O.J.'s side."

Mother sues doctor after having twins

It sounds like a lawsuit that should be filed in the United States (see my earlier story), but it's not. It's in Australia. A woman who underwent in-vitro fertilization (IVF) is suing her doctor for the estimated expense of raising a child until age 21 because she gave birth to twins, not one baby.

Testifying in the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory on Tuesday, the 40-year-old mother said she told her doctor that she only wanted one child. However, an embryologist under the doctor's supervision implanted two embryos in her uterus, resulting in the birth of non-identical twin girls.

The woman and her female partner even considered putting the second baby up for adoption. The lawsuit is for $329,000.

I hate to say this, but this is the usual case in IVF, especially with older women. Doctors usually implant multiple embryos because the success rate is so low. In fact, above 40, the success rate falls off dramatically, to a rate of only 4% at age 42. I realize there is an expense associated with the second child, but still ...

So, my questions would be: didn't he discuss this with her (I would assume he did)? Also, didn't he tell her when he put the second embryo in? Was she suddenly surprised when the sonogram came back with two fetuses instead of one? I just don't get it. I also don't get why this case wasn't thrown out.

What would you do with Bonds' HR ball? Tell the owner

Marc Ecko, the winner of the auction for Barry Bonds' record-setting 756th HR ball, has just that question for you. He paid $752,467 for the ball at an online auction that wrapped up Saturday, and he wants to know what you - yes, you - want him to do with it.

At the website, you can tell him just what to do with it. Now, now, clean up that mind of yours. You can tell him to:
  1. Give the ball to Cooperstown.
  2. Brand it with an asterisk. Then give it to Cooperstown.
  3. Shoot it into space.
According to the site, "Final voting results will be audited and certified by an independent, third-party auditor. Promosis Inc." Voting ends at 11:59PM EST on September 25th, so vote now!

Nebraska State Senator Sues God

Before you get all upset, there's a method to his madness. Yes, Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers is suing God. But he's doing to to show how many frivolous lawsuits are filed in the United States.

He's right, in a country where people can sue over their coffee being too hot (burning themselves because they were stupid enough to hold it in their lap), where people can sue when they attempt to break into a house and fall through a skylight - yes, our society it too litigious.

This, I find hilarious, and I agree with his point about too many lawsuits.

Chambers says in his lawsuit that God has made terroristic threats against he and his constituents, inspired fear and caused "widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth's inhabitants." He also said that God has caused "fearsome floods ... horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornadoes" ... and he's seeking a permanent injunction against the Almighty.

As humorous as you and I may find this, I like the point he makes, and hope some people take it to heart, though I may be sued for saying so.

On the other hand, he's bound to be raked over the coals for this.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Want a country? Belgium for auction on eBay

Currently an auction is running on the U.S. eBay site for Belgium, much to the chagrin of Belgians who may not want to move. Note that eBay shut the same auction down on the Belgian eBay site, but they apparently didn't get around to shutting this one down.

However, knowing eBay, the auction will probably be gone before you can take a look, so I have an image to the right (click on it for a larger one). There are 26 bids as of this writing, with the current high bid 10,000,000 Euros.

The seller, dekaesstecker is from (where else), Belgium, and has 100% positive feedback based on one auction in May of this year.

According to the auction, the country is a "Kingdom in several (3) parts, can be bought as a whole (not recommended), can be bought in parts."

The three parts are Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia. Note that the country is used; the seller does take PayPal, at least.