Thursday, January 31, 2008

Britney Back in Hospital on "Mental Evaluation Hold"

Britney Spears has been taken to UCLA Medical Center and has been placed (again) on 5150 or "mental health evaluation hold" -- meaning she is a danger to herself and others. According to TMZ her psychiatrist called the police, citing her reckless driving and driving and erratic behavior.

The erratic behavior is evident to just about everyone except Britney, but reckless driving? Half of California or more would fit that category.

At any rate, last night shortly before 1 AM police and fire department crew arrived and at 1:08 a.m., officers inside the home radioed to commanders that "the package is on the way out." Brit has a new nickname, I guess.

The LA Times reported the "convoy" of emergency vehicles was more than 100 yards long.

This is the second mental health hold for Spears in less than a month. You're recall her earlier hospitalization on the night of Jan. 3 after an hours-long standoff with police over a child custody dispute with ex-husband Kevin Federline.

A short clip of the "motorcade":


Britney's father arriving at the hospital:

Drugs Reportedly Led to Ledger, Williams Split

Although the reasons for Heath Ledger's death are still unknown, drugs are still suspected. And, according to Access Hollywood, drugs led to the split between Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams.

People Senior Editor J.D. Heyman spoke to Access Hollywood, and said,

"Well, certainly Heath Ledger was a partier. He liked to go out, he was a known user of drugs, he used cocaine. He had a lifestyle that really wasn't — at least in Michelle William's eyes — compatible with raising a child and continuing in that relationship. Even though their relationship did not work out, she did love Heath — she loved him very much."

Williams reportedly didn't want Ledger's partying and drug use around their child, Mathilda. At the same time as Access Hollywood's story, US Weekly reports that in 2006 Williams drove Ledger to Promises Treatment Center, but he refused to get out of the car and instead convinced her he would change.

Ledger will be laid to rest in his native Australia in just a few days.

Puppy Chews Off Paralyzed Man's Toes

Lexington, KY resident Terry Smith wound up in the hospital Tuesday after his pit bull puppy "China," chewed off parts of four of his toes. Smith is paralyzed from the waist down and apparently didn't feel the dog chewing on his feet while he was asleep.

He was found by his friend Tim Cantrell, who had stayed the night, in a bed full of blood. Cantrell said, "I want to say the dog's not a bad dog. It's just a puppy. It's that guy's pride and joy, you know. I don't know what happened. I guess it was just playing and just kept playing."

China is being quarantined at animal control, where he will stay for at least 10 days. Despite it all Smith wants his puppy back.

Recall Election Forced for Oregon Mayor with Hot MySpace Photo

The good thing about this story not flaming out is I get to post the hot photo of Arlington, Oregon mayor Carmen Kontur-Gronquist again. I mean, come on, those are some fabulous abs!

Seriously though, the story continues, with opponents having collected enough signatures to force a recall election.

While the picture is part of it, opponents also disagree with the mayor on water issues and what to do with the local golf course.

Under Oregon's constitution, Kontur-Gronquist will be given five days to resign or submit a statement explaining her record in office. A recall election would be scheduled after the five days have elapse, to be held within 35 days.

According to an interview Kortur-Gronquist gave to 20/ABC's "20/20," broadcast earlier, Kontur-Gronquist said she had permission from the fire chief to use the engine and had intended to use the photos in a contest about fitness in women.

Uh huh. On the other hand, she also said that a relative set up the MySpace page in hopes it would jump-start her social life. And it hasn't, with that picture?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Lonely Man Calls Directory Assistance More than 10,000 Times

A lonely Japanese man has been arrested for allegedly calling directory assistance thousands of times since 2004.

Takahiro Fujinuma, 37, reportedly would whisper "darling" when he called, pleading with operators not to hang up. He allegedly like to be "scolded" by the operators.

He was arrested yesterday in Tokyo on charges of obstructing the business of NTT. According to Japanese media he called 104 - directory assistance - more than 10,000 times since 2004, and 2,600 times between early June and mid-November of 2007.

Sounds like he needed more than a conversation. Fujinuma is single and unemployed. Get this man a job and a date - and likely a psychologist!

Miley Changes Her Name - to Miley

At least this Miley Cyrus story doesn't involve a disrobed Miley.

In case you didn't know, not only is Miley Cyrus not Hannah Montana, she's not Miley Cyrus either. Or at least she wasn't. Her birth name is - or was - Destiny Hope Cyrus

Miley was her nickname. Since she was little, her dad called her "Smiley," which morphed into "Miley," according to IMDB.

According to ET, she's changed her name legally to Miley Cyrus. Miley Ray Cyrus, to be exact. Three guesses as to where the "Ray" came from.

Vermont Town to Vote on Indicting Bush, Cheney for War Crimes

Brattleboro, Vermont calls itself the place "Where It Can ALL Happen!" That appears to include a possible indictment of Bush and Cheney on war crimes. A petition with the required number of signatures was presented to the Brattleboro Selectboard on January 25th, and they voted 3-2 to place the measure on the ballot.

If passed by popular vote, the indictment would allow Bush and Cheney to be arrested if they entered the town. I'd like to see how the Secret Service would react to that. Voting will take place March 4.

News of the decision has led to some nasty crank calls from around the country, including one that said he'd like to see terrorists cut off the heads of Brattleboro officials.

The likelihood of an arrest would be small anyway as, according to NPR, neither Bush nor Cheney has been to Vermont during their terms.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Jell-o Lawsuit Breaks the Mold

I've said it before and I'll say it again: too many people won't take responsibility for their own actions.

Take the case of this former New York University student, Avram Wisnia. In 2004 his dormitory organized a party called "Beach Bash." According to his lawsuit, while goofing around in a kiddie pool filled with Jell-o, Wisnia was pushed and shattered his hip.

The lawsuit, filed in 2005 lawsuit blamed NYU for allowing the event and for having the school's food service provide the Jell-o. I'm guessing the person who pushed Wisnia, likely another student, didn't have the deep pockets of NYU.

But a Manhattan judge, Carol Robinson Edmead threw the case out of court, ruling that Wisnia knew what he was doing (yah).

Tongue planted firmly in cheek, NYU spokesman John Beckman said "This case broke the mold but in the end justice was served sweetly."

Man Attacked, Killed by Amorous Crocodiles

Viillagers on the Papua New Guinea island of Manus are having problems - problems with amorous crocodiles.

Authorities formed a hunting party with licensed firearm holders after mating crocodiles killed one man last week. They decided to thin out the crocodiles, as they are breeding in great numbers and attacking villagers.

Authorities said the crocodiles become agitated when humans venture into their breeding grounds during mating season.

Well, yeah, crocodile orgies get a little rough - even for the crocodiles.

Man Who Admitted Shooting, Dismembering, and Cooking His Girlfriend Wins Appeal

A New Jersey man who testified that he had in fact shot, dismembered, and boiled his girlfriend's head - but in self-defense - won an appeal of his murder conviction Monday.

George Jenewicz testified at his 2002 trial that he shot Eunice Gillens in self-defense following a fight and after panicking, dismembered her. He then put her head in a pot to boil away her features.

Jenewicz asserted that the trial judge improperly barred testimony from two proposed defense witnesses, including Gillens' mother, and that the prosecution improperly cross-examined a defense expert.

Gillens' mother was to testify that her daughter had said she chased Jenewicz with a shotgun, and one occasion had kicked him down a staircase because he had tied her up. Of course, tying her up - that might deserve kicking him down the stairs.

The New Jersey Supreme Court, in a 5-2 decision, ruled that those errors "prejudiced the fairness of defendant's trial and, therefore, casts doubt on the propriety of the jury verdict that was the product of that trial."

Of course, the Supreme Court also said "that the state presented powerful evidence to undermine defendant's self defense claim," but who cares, let's spend some more of the state's money on a new trial.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Man on Way to Pick Up DUI ex-Wife Arrested - for DUI

This isn't what they mean by "designated driver." In Vermont, 33-year-old Tanya Laporte was involved in an auto accident, and was arrested and processed for DUI and drug possession.

She called her ex-husband, 47-year-old Michael Laporte, to pick her up. On his way to the station, he rolled his car. He was arrested for DUI and driving on a suspended license.

I'm not sure why they ever divorced; they seem made for each other.

Curious Cat Uncovers Child Porn Stash

You know what they say about curiosity and cats don't you? In this case, the cat is just fine, but after it found a stash of child pornography, 24-year-old Luis Jimenez is in jail.

When Amy Spencer says she had just moved into her South Texas apartment and she noticed her cat, Sophie, clawing at something on top of a cabinet. What they found was a stack of DVDs, which contained video of girls aged 5 to 11 performing sexual acts with adult men.

"It was horrible," Spencer said. "At first I thought it was just like a home video because there was nothing on it, and then it became apparent within the first seven seconds, actually, that we watched that what it was. I've never seen anything like that in my whole life."

Apartment management gave the police the names of prior occupants, and they used that info to track down Jimenez. He faces a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years behind bars and a fine of up to $10,000.

All the Gum Sculpture That's Fit to Chew

Pastificio Cerere is a foundation whose focus is to promote contemporary art. Located in Italy, they are also, according to their home page, opening a gallery in Second Life soon.

This particular artist, Maurizio Savini, produces his sculptures in chewing gum. Yes, chewing gum. And no, I'm not sure if he chews it himself. As they say on his webpage:
The sensual act of chewing, the voluptuous warmth of rebelling saliva, the artificial and secretly aseptic fragrance which spreads from the mouth as a promise and missed kiss. The synthetic fleshliness of the pink color, the obsessive square shape of the product unwrapped and ready to be shred to pieces by the power of the tongue, all compete in crashing on the senses.
Whew. Kind of creepy, to be honest. Take a look at the full gallery at the link above.

Adnan Shopping Nutty Home Vids of Britney?

With friends like Adnan, does Brit need any enemies?

According to News of the World, Adnan Ghalib, Britney's latest ex-, is shopping some pretty nutty-sounding video diaries around to the highest bidder. Not that NOTW is a rock-solid source, but with Adnan's mercenary reasons for being with her the subject of intense speculation, why not?

NOTW dishes the details:
CLIP No1 shows Britney sitting on her bed wearing a nightie. She talks about herself in the third person and rambles about her childhood. She's heard saying:

"When Britney was a child, she had to work really hard. When she was 13 years old, she won all the beauty pageants."

CLIP No2 shows Brit wrapped in a white bath towel, again perched on the edge of the bed. Talking to thin air, she mumbles:

"Britney has an angel looking out for her, don't you, angel?"

CLIP No3 sees a Britney talking to Adnan, who's holding the camera, and calling him by his pet name Bubba.

She smiles: "I'm really happy. Bubba's here for me now. It's all good."

Adnan is still withholding CLIP No4 and CLIP No5 but CLIP No6, filmed last week, shows Britney crying hysterically after a night out.

Mascara stains her cheeks as she wails: "Britney wants to live. I'm not crazy. I miss the kids and I did love Kevin."

As hard as it is to admit, I'd like to see if these tapes are real - though to redeem myself I must say that I continue to wish Spears would get some real help instead of partying as though nothing is wrong.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hundreds of Prosthetic Legs Found Under Floor Now on Way to Help Pakistan Quake Victims

Here's something most people don't find under their floorboards: a pile of prosthetic legs.

Mike Sutton and his wife Teresa found hundreds of false legs under their floorboards when they had some plumbing work done last year on their house in Dorset, England. Since then they have been trying to find a new home for the legs, to no avail.

However, Adrian Wheeler, a member of the Limbless Association heard about the legs and suggested the association would have a use for them. They are now being taken to Kashmir to help victims of the 2005 earthquake.

Oh, and where did the legs come from in the first place? The Dorset Echo said that they were told by David Park that the legs were originally collected to be sent for use by the physically handicapped in Africa, but that when the airline found out how much the shipment weighed they refused to ship them.

So they stayed in his home, stored under the floorboards, and he completely forgot about them 12 years later when he retired to Portugal - and the home ended being the Suttons'.

The World's Hairiest Man is Back on The Market

Yu Zhenhuan, 29, named as the world's hairiest man in 2002 by the Guinness Book of World Records, is back on the market. Yu has hair on 96.5% of his body. He had been in a 3-year relationship, but it has ended.

Yu is now looking for love with an online dating agency.

Yu's body hair is a result of a severe case of hypertrichosis. He has tried waxing but it was too painful;. He tried having, but that didn't work either.

Regarding his love life and his last relationship, Yu said, "We got to know each other through the internet, and had been seeing each other for three years. Unfortunately our relationship has come to an end. My whole body is covered with hair, and my parents are worried I won't be able to find a wife. Many girls are shocked when they see me in person. I feel like King Kong, hideous, but with a soft and tender heart."

More "Scandalous" Miley Cyrus Pics Surface

First, I don't necessarily think these pics are all that bad, but Miley Cyrus needs to remember a few things.

One, she works for Disney.
Two, remember what happened to Vanessa Hudgens?
Three, she may not like it, but she's a role model for teens and tweens.

These supposedly were leaked from her MySpace page. Like I said, it just seems like normal goofy teenage behavior - for now anyway. Let's hope we're not seeing another Lindsay Lohan / Britney Spears on the rise. All the fame at such a young age; it's hard to imagine it not corrupting her at least some.

Click the above image for more, including the infamous bathtub pic.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Kindergarten Temper Tantrum Leads to Handcuffing

Questions abound in the case of a 5-year-old boy who was handcuffed at a New York public school after a temper tantrum.

The child, Dennis Rivera, a kindergartener at Public School 81 in Ridgewood, was put in a chair and handcuffed behind his back by a school safety agent after acting up. His mother, Jasmina Vazquez, said "I think it was excessive force. It was unnecessary what they did to my son."

She also indicated that her son suffers from asthma, has speech problems, and may have ADD.

Not only that, they eventually transported Rivera to Elmhurst Hospital by EMS for psychiatric evaluation. For a tantrum?

The incident allegedly occurred on Jan. 17th and Rivera has since been moved to a private school.

The police disagree with Vazquez, in a report saying the child was "punching his teacher and swinging wildly at school aides, that he smacked the assistant principal in the face, ran into a corner, and began to throw things on the floor."

Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said "The situation with school discipline is out of control," and that the incident is another example of what the union calls the "criminalization of the classroom."

Negotiating with Muggers: Usually Not a Good Idea

Tom Leonetti, 51, of Des Moines, Iowa, got away with a risky move when he negotiated with his mugger over how much he would give him.

Leonetti told police he was taking out the trash from his apartment around 1 a.m. Thursday when a white male armed with brass knuckles and a gun approached and demanded his money.

First Leonetti tried the old "that gun's not real" tactic. The mugger basically said it was and asked if Leonetti wanted a demonstration.

Next Leonetti pretending he knew the mugger, calling him "Matt" and talking about his father. Another failed ruse and the mugger didn't fall for it (why would he?).

Leonetti then asked the suspect why he was robbing him. Perhaps he was hoping to talk the mugger to death. The mugger said he was homeless and that all the shelters in Des Moines were full. I suspect he needed it for something snortable or injectable, rather than a shelter.

Leonetti then said he only had $10 on him, but the suspect saw that Leonetti had more than that and demanded all of it. Leonetti agreed to give him $15.

The suspect grabbed the money and fled on foot.

Although Leonetti managed to keep an extra $10, was it really worth the risk? If this crook had been really cutthroat, Leonetti would have been shot and perhaps killed.

Bush Imagines Himself a Horse Thief

Personally I might compare Bush to a part of a horse, somewhere in the posterior region, but if Bush wants to compare himself to a horse thief, that works for me too.

This is a hilarious anecdote about Bush, outlined in the book The Bush Tragedy, a new book by Jacob Weisberg. In the book, Weisberg describes Bush and the painting (above) that he put up in his office in Texas when he was governor.

In an April 1995 memo, Bush invited his staff to come to his office to look at the painting.

I thought I would share with you a recent bit of Texas history which epitomizes our mission.

My very close personal friend from Midland, Joe. J. O'Neill, III, recently loaned me a portrait entitled "A Charge to Keep" by W.H.D. Koerner. This beautiful painting will hang on my wall for the next four years.

The reason I bring this up is that the painting is based upon the Charles Wesley hymn "A Charge to Keep I Have". I am particularly impressed by the second verse of this hymn. The second verse goes like this:

"To serve the present age, my calling to fulfill;
O may it all my powers engage to do my Master's will"

This is our mission. This verse captures our spirit.

Only Bush was oh-so-wrong about the painting. As Weisberg says in his book:

He came to believe that the picture depicted the circuit-riders who spread Methodism across the Alleghenies in the nineteenth century. In other words, the cowboy who looked like Bush was a missionary of his own denomination.

Only that is not the title, message, or meaning of the painting. The artist, W.H.D. Koerner, executed it to illustrate a Western short story entitled "The Slipper Tongue," published in The Saturday Evening Post in 1916. The story is about a smooth-talking horse thief who is caught, and then escapes a lynch mob in the Sand Hills of Nebraska. The illustration depicts the thief fleeing his captors. In the magazine, the illustration bears the caption: "Had His Start Been Fifteen Minutes Longer He Would Not Have Been Caught."
A smooth-talking thief, eh? Now I think I see the resemblance.

LiLo to Write Her Memoirs?

According to MSNBC and OK! Magazine, Lindsay Lohan is short on money and thinks that penning her memoirs might be the solution to her cash-flow problem.

At first thought, you'd wonder who'd want to read the memoirs of a drug- and alcohol-addicted, sex-addicted, multiple-rehab spoiled brat who says things like "I can't get in trouble. I'm a celebrity. I can do whatever the f*** I want." Oh, wait, everyone (except me).

I guess she plans to do this while sitting in the morgue doing her community service work. Actually, she probably has a lot of time on her hands right now since it seems many are shying away from her in terms of new projects.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Driver Kills Cyclist, Then Sues Cyclist's Family for Damages

Not only did a Spanish driver fatally injure a cyclist in a collision, he was also judged to be at least partially at fault because of excessive speed (it was night and the cyclist was not wearing reflective clothing or a helmet). Tomas Delgado's insurance company paid 17-year-old Enaitz Iriondo's family 33,000 because of this.

However, now Delgade is suing for 20,000 from the family because of damage to his Audi A8 as well as the cost of renting another car during the repair period.

"I'm also a victim in all of this, you can't fix the lad's problems, but you can fix mine," Delgado said.

Previously the family said they had felt sorry for Delgado over the guilt he must have felt. Obviously he's not feeling much, and the family is now disgusted at his obvious concern for money and only money.

"This was the final straw, a kick in the teeth," the youth's mother Rosa Trinidad said.

The final decision on the lawsuit is scheduled for January 30th.

Angelina Pregnant with Twins

According to both X17 and Star Magazine, Angelina Jolie is pregnant with twins. According to a source close to Jolie, she only found out about the twins this week.

This would bring the Jolie - Pitt clan up to six children total. Rumors of pregnancy have run rampant since Jolie appeared at the Critics' Choice awards on January 7 looking "weightier" than normal. At the same time, while others drank champagne and beer, she drank only water.

It's possible she knew she was pregnant but only discovered the twins this week, per the source.

According to Star, a second source said, "Brad and Angelina are absolutely ecstatic. But I still think there will be more adoptions to come."

Hmmm, wonder if they're trying for a baseball team.

Fox News Mocks Heath Ledger's Death - Twice

Fox News radio host John Gibson mocked Heath Ledger's death yesterday. On his radio show, he played a clip of the quote, "I wish I knew how to quit you" from Ledger's movie Brokeback Mountain, adding, "Well, he found out how to quit you."

Mocking him further, Gibson played another clip from Brokeback Mountain in which Ledger said, "We’re dead," followed by Gibson's own mocking version of "We’re dead" before playing the audio clip again.

Further, Gibson went back and forth with Tom Sullivan, implying Ledger committed suicide over an issue such as the stock market and the Democratic debate.

GIBSON: Maybe he had a serious position in the market.

TOM SULLIVAN: And possibly today, he looked at the window and said ...

GIBSON: And said, "Oh my God."

SULLIVAN: His name’s not Keith Bledger, right?

GIBSON: He was depressed about yesterday’s downturn in the world stock markets.

Later he said, "I think he watched the Clinton / Obama debate last night. I think he was an Edwards guy, because he saw his Edwards guy was just completely irrelevant. Good looking, wears a suit well, but should just leave the stage."

Listen to the first audio clip here.
If I run out of bandwidth (and I probably will) download from here.

Today Gibson defended himself from criticism over yesterday's show, saying:

GIBSON: I mean, I feel bad about his death, but that's no, that's no point ...

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN CLIP: I wish I knew how to quit you.

GIBSON: There's no point in passing up a good joke. I mean, how many months did we live off that line, Brokeback Mountain?

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN CLIP: I wish I knew how to quit you.

ANGRY RICH: Several.

GIBSON: I mean, it was going on for months and months and months.

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN CLIP: Wooee, yeah!

GIBSON: I’m not giving that up.

Later, after being told by Angry Rich that he was accused of being a "closet homosexual," Gibson added, "Well, I'm still breathing; there's a difference right there."

Listen to the second audio clip here.
If I run out of bandwidth (and I probably will) download from here.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hooters to Celebrate 25th Anniversary - Every Month

Yesterday Hooters announced a promotion to celebrate its 25th anniversary - one that will include a party at every Hooters worldwide on the 25th of every month this year. Hey, that's tomorrow! Yep, and it'll start at 11AM tomorrow. Prizes, too!

According to a press release:
On the 25th of every month this year, guests who come into Hooters will have a chance to instantly win $25,000 or be 1 of 25 guaranteed $1,000 winners around the country. Every customer can also obtain a Hooters Passport to complete by the end of the year. After all 25 spots on the passport have been stamped from different Hooters restaurants around the world, guests will automatically receive a wing party certificate and be entered into a $25,000 drawing.
Here's the best part: a video announcement. Watch it.

Ann Coulter Defends Use of Confederate Flag With Eisenhower, Nimitz

Wow, I can't believe that people still defend the Confederate flag, and I certainly can't believe the way Coulter defends it. This exchange occurred on the 1/18/08 Hannity & Colmes.

Coulter said: "This really isn’t a liberal/conservative thing tonight. It’s a Northern/Southern thing (giggles)."

Coulter also said the flag was considered a symbol of heritage in the South. She added:

"The majority of military bases in this country are named after Confederate officers. Eisenhower, Nimitz, ummmmm, the list of southerners in our military is legion. That is what it stands for."

They are? Hmmm, last time I looked, Eisenhower and Nimitz weren't around during the Civil War.

Watch the video.

Bug Foggers Cause Explosion, Blow Roof Off House

Honestly, I didn't know this myself, and I tend to try to keep house explosions at a minimum. It never occurred to me, although now it makes sense. A house being "fogged" with bug foggers that you might buy at Target had its roof blasted off when the foggers exploded - due to a pilot light.

According to Fire Batallion Chief B. Streck, the vapor from the foggers ignited when they reached the kitchen stove's pilot light. Although the roof did indeed get blasted off (a few inches), it reset itself on top of the house, held on only by gravity.

Naturally no one was in the Galveston, Texas house, as most people tend to leave when they fog a house.

Streck said said anyone using a fogger should put out all pilot lights before activating them. So now we know. Photobucket

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Heath Ledger Funeral to be Picketed by "Church"

Westboro Baptist Church, which strikes many as a gay hate group or a cult more than a church, has announced its intention to picket and protest at Heath Ledger's funeral. This is obviously over Brokeback Mountain, which gave WBC fits when it was released.

Simply amazing, as that funeral will be attended by all sorts of people, including a lot of press and many celebrities. I guess, however, they will get what they want: publicity.

Uh, hey, WBC: it was a movie! Heath Ledger wasn't gay!

Click the above image to see the PDF from their site (their site is SLOW, though, so I also uploaded it here).

Octopus, Mr. Potato Head Make Strange Pals

Remember that earlier story about a swan who had "mated" with a swan-shaped pedal boat in Germany? Well, Blue Reef Aquarium in the U.K. can top that, with an octopus seemingly enamored of - Mr. Potato Head.

It was a gag Christmas present, but Louis the giant Pacific octopus, has fallen for - Mr. Potato Head Opti-Mash Prime.

This version of Mr. Potato Head comes dressed as Optimus Prime, the fictional commander of the heroic Autobots in the Transformers movie from 2007.

According to Blue Reef Curator Matt Slater, "Its bright colours, strange shape and moveable parts make it fascinating for Louis. There's even a secret space within Mr Potato Head that allows us to hide tasty treats inside and that perhaps more than anything has resulted in him becoming such a hit."

"Louis is well known for his curiosity and intelligence. We've devised a series of puzzles, games and toys to ensure he's getting the mental stimulation he needs but Mr Potato Head is definitely his favourite at the moment."

Well, now I've seen everything - although that's what I thought when I heard about the swan.

Florida Street Closed Due to "Cookie Scare"

Florida seems to have issues with street closures over mundane items. Earlier it was a typewriter, and now an empty cookie tin. Last time it was Sarasota; this time Orlando.

The intersection of Orange Avenue and South Street was closed because of a "suspicious package" 911 call. The fire department responded and shut down the streets.

I'm wondering just how bad things have become in our "society of fear" that we can't recognize a cookie tin for what it is? I suppose it could have been a cookie tin with explosives in it -- at least, that's what the fear-mongerers would want us to believe.

At any rate, I hope they didn't have to detonate it, as they did with the typewriter, to determine it was nothing.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"Too Old for the Presidency," McCain Threatens to Sic His Mom on Norris

After actor Chuck Norris, a Mike Huckabee supporter, said that John McCain was too old to withstand the stress of being president, McCain threatened to call in the big guns: his mother.

At a fundraiser for Huckabee on Sunday, Chuck Norris said, "I didn't pick John to support because I'm just afraid that the vice president would wind up taking over his job in that four-year presidency."

It should be noted that while McCain is 71, Norris is 67.

On Monday McCain said at a news conference, "I'm going to send my 95-year-old mother to just go over and wash Chuck Norris' mouth out with soap."

This isn't the first time McCain's age has been brought up during the campaign. In September a high school age questioner brought it up, to which McCain replied, "Thanks for the question, you little jerk. You're drafted."

Bill Clinton Nods Off During MLK Award Presentation: Video

Since Bill Clinton was positioned directly behind the speaker, this probably wasn't a good time for him to fall alseep. Unfortunately, he needed a few zzz's.

We shouldn't blame Clinton, though. After all, as long ago as 1993, he admitted to Dan Rather that he enjoyed the occasional nap.
If I can take a nap, even 15 or 20 minutes in the middle of the day, it is really invigorating to me. On the days when I'm a little short of sleep, I try to work it out so that I can sneak off and just lie down for 15 minutes, a half an hour, and it really makes all the difference in the world.
Watch the video:

Moynahan Masks to Throw Tom Brady Off

It's probably not as good as having a Jessica Simpson look-alike show up for a DAL game to jinx Tony Romo - or maybe it's better? A local radio station wants listeners to download and wear a Bridget Moynahan mask to psyche out Tom Brady during the Super Bowl. They want a sea of Moynahan's to really mess with his mind.

Of course, the history of Moynahan and Brady is well-known, with her getting pregnant right around the time they broke up -- which was also very close to when he started dating Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen.

Q1043 wants listeners to:

1.) Download from Q1043.com
2.) Print out Bridget Moynahan mask
3.) Cut along dotted lines
4.) Psyche out Tom Brady

They don't have permalinks to their site, but you should be able to get the mask from the link above, at any rate. They did customize Moynahan a little by giving her Q1043 earrings.

Cell Phone Sale Results in Jail Time

What do they say about donating or selling computers? Wipe the hard drive. The same thing applies to cell phones and videos and photos you might take, as an Ocala, Florida woman learned the hard way.

Aisha Bowen, 18, is a day care worker in Ocala. She was arrested after selling her cell phone; the phone contained video, taken by Bowen's roommate of her striking a 10-month-old baby several times.

The new owner turned the phone over to police after finding the video.

BTW, since most people have to have some sort of storage card to record any meaningful amount of video on a cell phone, another tip: remove the card if you sell or donate the phone! Of course, I'm concerned about this for honest, law-abiding folks; this person got what she deserved.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Video: Britney on Adnan: "Never Met Him"

Looks like the stories of Britney moving on from Adnan Ghalib and even filing a restraining order against him are correct.

When asked on Sunday night, "You have something to tell Adnan right now?"

Britney replied (in her faux British accent): "I don't know who that is."

"You don't know who that is. That's awesome."

Britney: "I've never met him before."

The exchange is about 2:50 into the clip. The story is that Britney, finally waking up I suppose (or perhaps, with Sam Lutfi's influence), realized that Adnan was using her to get exclusive photos, nothing more.

Also, when asked to help a homeless man, Spears said "You are better off being homeless than being me, sir."

Watch the video:

Jesus Taken Hostage Over Dog Droppings

Originally, it seemed that neighbors of Jean Mansel had stolen her cement statue of Jesus, holding it ransom because they felt she wasn't picking up after her dogs. Now it's not so clear.

Thursday Jean and her husband discovered the statue missing. She considers the statue, given to her by her late uncle, an heirloom.

Jean said, "My husband got a phone call and a real graspy voice over the phone said 'check your mailbox'." In the mailbox was a ransom note.

The note read:
“We are holding Jesus ransom until you clean up the poopie from your wieners and trust us we see you take your wieners for long walks w/out picking up their poopie in our yards. This has upset us dearly so please clean up all the weiner poopie, if you want to see Jesus unharmed. Sincerely, Lindy Lane Residents.”
The reference to weiners is because Jean has dachshunds. She admitted there was a complaint last year over her four dogs, but that she has cleaned up after them ever since.

Strangely, the tale ends with the statue returned, not by neighbors, but by family members. Jean declined to explain further, explaining it was now a family matter.

Huh. A simple prank? Who knows?

Under Pressure, Canada to Remove U.S. From Torture List

Last week CTV revealed that the United States and Israel had been put on a list that they give to their diplomats during a "torture awareness workshop," warning of countries in which they may face torture.

The aim of the workshop: to teach diplomats who visit Canadians in foreign jails how to tell if they've been tortured. It also listed countries and places with greater risks of torture. The list includes Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, and China. But surprisingly, it also included the United States, Guantanamo Bay, and Israel.

It notes specific "U.S. interrogation techniquies (sic)," which include "forced nudity, isolation, and sleep deprivation." The U.S. has repeatedly denied allegations by international groups that it tortures prisoners captured in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. However, U.S. officials have refused to comment on the Canadian list.

The feedback from some groups, such as Amnesty International, was positive, because it's calling a spade a spade, after all. Alex Neve of Amnesty International said:

"These are countries where, sadly, the record is clear -- torture and ill treatment happens."

Apparently feedback from some powerful sources was not quite so positive, as Canada's foreign minister, Maxime Bernier, apologized and said Canada would remove the "offending entries" from the manual in question. He said,

"It contains a list that wrongly includes some of our closest allies. I have directed that the manual be reviewed and rewritten. The manual is neither a policy document nor a statement of policy. As such, it does not convey the government's views or positions."

In other words, Canada caved. Amnesty International Canada criticized the move, stating,
"When it comes to an issue like torture, the government’s main concern should not be embarrassing allies."

Bill O' Reilly's "No Homeless Vets" Claim Disproved: Video

On January 4th, Bill O' Reilly denied the existence of any homeless vets in the United States. Brave New Films visited Homeless Vets – a non-profit organization dedicated to helping homeless and at-risk veterans – so that they could speak with some homeless veterans themselves, on camera.

Anyone who lives in a city with a large homeless population will know just how uninformed O'Reilly's comment was. In fact, a study last year showed that although veterans comprise 11% of the U.S. population, they make up over 25% of the homeless population.

On Brave New Films' FoxAttacks website, the video’s co-producer Jonathan Kim says:
I talked to over a dozen homeless vets, some who had served as far back as the Korean War, and showed them the clips of BOR denying or dismissing their existence. The reactions to the clips were quite similar — a shaking of the head in disbelief, a derisive chuckle or snort, and a deep sigh when the videos were over.
If you'd like you can sign the letter demanding that O'Reilly apologize here.

Watch the video.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Britney Filing Restraining Order Against Adnan?

The news about Britney and Adnan is both conflicting and confusing. Some say Spears has added him to her will, while X17 Online says they have an exclusive: two of their photographers spent four hours with Spears and Sam Lutfi, and Sam showed them a restraining order against Adnan Ghalib.

According to X17, after a few hours chatting up the photographers, Sam pulled a paper out of his pocket (strange place to keep it, no?) and showeed it to some X17ers.
At one point in the discussion, Sam took a paper out of his pocket -- it was a restraining order against Adnan Ghalib. He said, "Look at this!"

Britney expressed disappointment and anger toward Adnan for being "set-up" in photographs that Adnan and his agency have sold of Britney and Adnan together.

Strange how Britney seems to freely spend time with paparazzi, but whatever. Meanwhile TMZ was in touch with Adnan, who said he knew nothing about the restraining order.

Let's say both stories are true. Considering that according to psychologist Lillian Glass Spears is suffering from cyclothymia, which is a similar to bipolar disorder (actually considered a less severe form) in which the mood swings are less severe but more rapid, this actually might make sense.

A period of mania in which he was put into her will, and then a period of depression in which he was removed. It could in fact be true. Still, with Spears, there is undoubtedly more to come.

Mark the Date: One More Year of Bush

In case you've noticed one of the bumper stickers with 1/20/2009 on them, yet aren't sure what they are all about, that will be the Inauguration Day of Bush's successor. In other words, one year from today, "The End."

Just a reminder, though, for those who'd like to see him leave sooner rather than later, let's not forget, this is a Leap Year, right, so he gets 366 days of power.

At any rate, as we close into the end of his Presidency, we also close in on his "end of term" pardons ("Scooter" Libby?) and possibly a strike against Iran, if they (Bush and Cheney) choose to ignore the NIE report before they leave office.

It's the light at the end of the tunnel, but let's remember: the next President could be worse than what we have now (though it's hard to imagine), and depending on who's elected, I might just be moving to Canada.

Love and Sex with Robots: Author Speaks to Stephen Colbert

As Stephen says, "Great, now I'll need a restraining order against my 4-slice toaster."

The book is Love and Sex with Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships. The author, David Levy, believes that within the next few decades robots will be developed that people will not have sex with, but fall in love with and even marry.

Stephen: "Why would people establish a relationship with a machine?"

Levy: "The most common reason, I think, at the beginning will be that there are millions of people out there in the world who for one reason or another can't establish a normal relationship with humans. They're lonely, they're miserable, and robots, when they're sophisticated enough will be an excellent alternative."

Stephen: "Are these people who can't establish a relationship with other human beings, are they by any chance people who write about Love and Sex with Robots?"

Levy: "No, no."

Stephen: "So this isn't for you, this is for the other people."

Hilarious. Watch the video:

Smoke-Free Means Customer-Free in China

It was a nice idea, but apparently China isn't ready to admit that smoking is bad for your health.

Meizhou Dongpo is Beijing's first smoke-free restaurant chain, and while it has less ashtrays around than other restaurants, it also has less customers.

"We figure that, if we're going to die, at least we're going to die honorably," said Guo Xiaodong, the deputy director of the restaurant chain.

"We are happy to be the first Chinese restaurant in Beijing to ban smoking, but we may not be able to afford the drop in customers," he added. "At least we'll be remembered for championing the cause."

"For the past three months, our occupancy rate has dropped to about 80 percent of that enjoyed by other restaurants across the street," Manager Li Yanmei told China Daily last week.

On Monday the the 200-day countdown to the Olympics starts, and though Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has promised a "smoke-free Olympics," there have been no clear rules issued.

Beijing sent letters asking 30,000 restaurents to ban smoking, but so far only Meizhou Dongpo has complied - and is suffering for it.

Typical Person Lies 88,000 Times in a Lifetime

A survey conducted by U.K. flavored vodka firm WKD shows that each of us ... or at least, those in the U.K. ... lie an average of 4 times a day, 1460 times a year, and 88,000 times in a lifetime. These are, of course, the little white lies or fibs we often tell.

Assorted tidbits from the survey,

1) "There's nothing wrong with me. I'm fine." (28%)
2) "It's nice to see you."
3) “I haven’t got any cash on me.”
8) “No, your bum doesn’t look big in that”.
10) What text?”
12) "Of course I love you."
13) “Our server was down”
16) "My battery died”.

And men lie more often than women, 5 times a day to women's three (as if we needed a study to figure this out).

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Dirty Tricks in Nevada? Calls Target "Barack Hussein Obama"

The Obama campaign has released a recording of a phone call which they claim went out to numerous people in Nevada. The recording says Obama's rarely used middle name "Hussein" four times, emphasizing it.

It's hard to understand, but what I can make out is:
"I'm calling with some important information about Barack Hussein Obama. Barack Hussein Obama says he doesn't take money from Washington lobbyists or special interest groups but the record is clear that he does. In fact, Barack Hussein Obama has taken millions of dollars from federal lobbying firms, Wall Street garbled and Big Oil and pharmaceutical companies. It's all there on the record, the facts are clear; you just can't take a chance on Barack Hussein Obama.
Whew. Is the intent obvious enough? Listen to the MP3 here.

Arrest Britney: Dr. Drew

Dr. Drew Pinsky (and I'm sure you've heard of him or seen him) is an American board-certified physician and addiction medicine specialist. He told Page Six that although some are critical of Britney's family for not getting her the help she obviously needs, they can't simply get her committed.

In fact, he said that California law makes getting her involuntarily committed nearly impossible.

His solution: arrest her.
She needs to be arrested and have the judicial system order her into a mandated treatment program. If her family or her friends know she is engaging in illegal activities, they need to call the police and have her arrested. This is probably the only way she will ever get the help that she obviously so needs.

As we saw with Britney's brief hospital stay, she was let out early because she was determined to not be a harm to herself or others. She would have to have a severe medical condition such as dementia in order for her family to have any power over her medical treatment.
Dementia? Based on her recent activity with British accents and nude shopping tantrums - she may not be far from that.

Man Beats DWI Rap: "Too Cheap to Get Drunk"

A Canadian man won a challenge of his breathalyzer test, telling the judge he was too cheap to get drunk.

According to the test, Thomas Wood had a BAC of 0.13, which exceeded the legal limit 0.08. However, a blood-alcohol expert from Vancouver testified that he would have needed to drink nearly four bottles of beer in order for him to have a high enough blood alcohol level to fail the breathalyzer test.

Yet Wood said that although he drank a pint and a glass of draft beer over the course of 2½ hours, he was too cheap to drink the necessary amount of alcohol in one night to fail the BAC test.

Territorial court Judge Cunliffe Barnett dismissed the charges in a written decision, writing:
"Mr. Wood says that he is 'quite cheap,' and that for that and other reasons, it is his custom to restrict his drinking, as he says he did that evening. When I consider all the remaining relevant evidence and testimony, I cannot say that I am convinced by Mr. Wood's testimony; far from it, but Mr. Wood does not bear the burden of proving his innocence. He is required only to raise a reasonable doubt, and I find that he has done that."
While of course the prosecutors could appeal, I have a "reasonable doubt" that they will.

Congressional Candidate Cuts the Fat with Photoshop

A picture is worth 1,000 words, at at least a few pounds. A mailer that Congressional candidate and former Sugar Land, TX mayor Dean Hrbacek sent to voters this week says, "Dean's record speaks for itself."

The doctored photo speaks well, too. The picture on the mailer is actually a Photoshopped image of Hrbacek's head on a thinner man's body.

According to his campaign manager, Scott Broschart (who admitted the fakery), Hrbacek has been too busy meeting voters in the 22nd Congressional District to sit for a photo session. So they took a photo of his head and slapped it on the thinner body.

"He may appreciate that we took a few pounds off him," Broschart said. "I think the voters ... are more concerned with the issues as opposed to pretty photo shoots," he added.

On the other hand, you'll recall what a big deal was made over the pictures of Hillary Clinton looking "really old." Looks earn a lot in campaigns.

Britney Gets Canned from Film

A few weeks ago, it was reported that Britney was in talks to work on a low-budget thriller called Memoirs of a Medicated Child. Well that's all over, as thankfully, we no longer have to worry about being subjected to her on film again (as in Crossroads).

Sources on the film told Extra that "Even with an accepted $3 million offer on the table and negotiations being finalized, producers decided to can Brit."

Those same sources said that Peter Falk’s niece, Samantha Falk, will replace Spears (Falk indicates her selection on her MySpace page); production is scheduled to begin in early spring.

Esteban Colberto (Stephen Colbert) vs. Lou Dobbs

No writers? No problem.

It's no secret how Lou Dobbs feels about illegal immigrants, and although Stephen Colbert couldn't get Lou Dobbs on his show Thursday night, he did get a tape of an interview of Dobbs by Stephen's good friend, Esteban Colberto on sister station Unamundo, on his show Colberto Reporto Gigante.

Hilarity ensued, including Colberto having to cut through a border fence to get to the interview. Colberto conducted the entire interview in Spanish, while Dobbs answered in English.

Before you give credit to Lou Dobbs for having a good sense of humor and going through with this, it should be noted that the answers from Dobbs were dubbed in from a prior Colbert report interview. Well, still, anyone going on Colbert's show has to have a good sense of humor.

Part of the giveaway was the plug for Dobbs' book, "War on the Middle Class," which came out quite some time ago. Still, the dubbing was pretty seamless.

Quite honestly, it's hilarious. Watch and laugh out loud (I did).

Friday, January 18, 2008

Obama's SF Office Converted from Bong Shop

You rent whatever real estate space you can get, I suppose. It turns out Barack Obama's San Francisco office is a former bong shop.

While the Northern California headquarters is in Oakland, volunteers raised enough cash to open a San Francisco branch. According to a Huffington Post tipster, he overheard the following exchange while registering to vote:
"Hey, didn't this used to be West Coast Growers?"

Response: Yes.

Skateboarders: Oh man, what happened to West Coast Growers?

Response: I don't know, they shut down.

If you Google for West Coast Growers in San Francisco, they're still listed there at 1874 Market St, though. The linked website, however, is in Grass Valley, which seems appropriate, no? Photobucket

Zoo Victim Admits Taunting Tiger: Police Documents

Time for Mark Geragos to bail, I think. According to court documents filed Thursday and obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle, not only did the victims in the Christmas Day attack at the San Francisco Zoo taunt the tiger, they all had alcohol in their systems and one was legally intoxicated.

Carlos Sousa, Jr.'s father was quoted in the affidavit as saying he spoke with 19-year-old victim Paul Dhaliwal by telephone after the attack. Dhaliwal told him that the three yelled and waved at the tiger while standing atop the railing of the tiger's exhibit, but insisted they never threw anything at the tiger.

Dhaliwal told Sousa that "when they got down they heard a noise in the bushes, and the tiger was jumping out of the bushes on him."

Meanwhile, test results for Dhaliwal showed that his BAC was 0.16. The legal limit for in California is .08. Kulbir Dhaliwal, his 24-year-old brother, had a BAC of 0.04 while Carlos Sousa Jr. had a BAC of 0.02.

All three also had marijuana in their systems. Kulbir Dhaliwal told police that the three had smoked pot and each had "a couple shots of vodka" before going to the zoo that day.

Police were seeking a search warrant to examine the 2002 BMW belonging to Kulbir and the brothers' cell phones.

Although many will say taunting is irrelevant, standing on top of the railing? That's just asking for it. On the other hand, the fence was too low, and the Zoo has had one near-escape and one escape since the incident.

Still, with all this evidence, I hope any sort of lawsuit the brothers may have been planning is derailed. Based on this, although I definitely feel for the victim and his family, I also feel for the tiger, who likely deserved a better fate, as she was acting like a wild animal, which she was.

Boomerangs Do Come Back --- Some Just Take 25 Years

Well, they're designed to come back, aren't they? Officials in Mount Isa, an Australian Outback town, were surprised to receive a package containing a boomerang, along with a note saying he had stolen it 25 years earlier from a museum in Mount Isa.

The package was sent to the Frank Aston Underground Museum, now closed. Besides the note and boomerang, there was a donation to the museum enclosed.

The note said:
"I removed this back in 1983 when I was younger and dumber. It was the wrong thing to do. I'm sorry, and I'm going to send it back."

Mount Isa's Mayor, Ron McCullough, said the envelope included the full name and address of the guilt-ridden thief. "We might write a letter to the gentleman thanking him for his pang of conscience," he said.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Britney's Obituary Already Penned by AP - Just in Case

Frequently obituaries are pre-written by media, and kept on hand in case of a death. Usually those obituaries are written for people older, when you would expect there is a real chance of them dying. In this case, despite her youth, AP has admitted they already have an obituary written for Britney Spears.

AP Entertainment Editor Jesse Washington told US Magazine:
"I think one would agree that Britney seems at risk right now. Of course, we would never wish any type of misfortune on anybody and hope that we would never have to use it until 50 years from now…but if something were to happen, we would have to be prepared."

She added that AP has a "pretty extensive obituary operation," and that staffers are "constantly adding people."

Well yes, as I said that's typical, but certainly not for someone of Spears' age. But then what about her is normal or typical?

On the other hand I wonder if they have one pre-written for Lindsay Lohan, too?