Saturday, January 20, 2018

BBC Reporter Mobbed By Lemurs

In our contining effort to distract you from the ills of the world, here's a BBC reporter struggling with lemurs.

You're welcome.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Latest Dumb Teen Trend: Eating Tide Detergent Pods

In their never ending quest to be as stupid as humanly
possible, some teens and adults are eating Tide Pods,
apparently because it's funny on YouTube, or something.
Teenagers and some adults are always finding creative ways to be stupid, get sick and endanger themselves.  

The latest seems to be the Tide Pod Challenge. Please don't be stupid enough to try this at home.

Tide Pods are those brightly colored little balls of concentrated laundry detergent Tide puts out. It's supposedly easier and less messy than pouring laundry powder or liquid into the washing machine.

Whatever.

First, there was the concern that little toddlers were starting to eat them because they look like candy. Understandable. A three year old doesn't know better, so best to keep the Tide pods up on the high shelf, away from curious little hands.

But teens, some of whom are always looking for fame and fortune and internet clicks on YouTube, have taken up the Tide Pod Challenge. On camera, they bite into and chew and grimmace eating these things.

In case  you don't already know this, laundry detergent is great if you want clean clothes. It's dangerous if you eat it. Duh!

Swallowing even a small amount of the detergent causes vomiting and diarrhea, and it can get into the lungs to really cause breathing difficulties. Plus, not everybody knows if they have underlying health problems, which can make illness from this worse.

Just this month the American Association of Poison Control Centers has reported 37 incidents of exposure to Tide Pods among teens, and at least half of those were intentional, says the Chicago Tribune. 

It might now be hard to find Tide Pod Challenges on YouTube, because YouTube is wisely pulling them off the internet. You don't want more copycats than there already are.

The Tide Pod Challenge has gotten so out of hand that New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, no stranger to exuberant behavior, has put out a PSA begging teens to not eat Tide Pods. "What the heck is going on, people!" the Gronk says.

When The Gronk has to reign in your behavior, you know things are out of control. Take it from Gronk in the video below:

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Corrupt Louisiana School District Arrests Teacher For Criticizing Superintendent's Pay

Photo shows a Louisiana teacher about to be arrested for
the high crime of asking why a superintendent is getting a
pay raise but not teachers. 
What seems to be a corrupt school district in Louisiana really stepped in it last week, and as always, that created its own even more intense firestorm on social media.

Let's back up here.

Recently, the school board in Vermillion Parish, Louisiana agreed to renew Superintendent Jerome Puyau's contract for three years. So far so good. But the school board also decided to give Puyau a pay raise, which didn't necessarily go over terrifically with everyone.

The trouble began when Deyshia Hargrave, a middle school English teacher spoke up during the public comment section of the meeting and asked why Puyau was getting a pay raise while teachers were not. 

Well, you'd think Hargrave was making some sort of terrorist threat by asking that simple question. I guess the question did strike terror into the hearts of the school board because they promptly had her arrested.

Just for asking questions and speaking up at a public meeting. She made no threats, she didn't yell, she didn't get violent.

I guess the public comment section a Vermillion Parish school board meeting can only involve opinions that the school board endorses.

School Board President Anthony Fontana is having none of the outcry. He says you're only supposed to express an opinion during the public comment section, not ask questions. (Every public comment period I've been at during public meetings, and I've been to a lot ot them, often involve lots of people asking lots of questions, so I don't know where Fontana is getting that.)

By the way, when ordered to do so, Hargrave left the room, but was still arrested and tackled to the floor outside the room. The school board later decided not to press charges against her.

Says Fontana "This is not about the board, it's about the teacher and everybody wants to side on the poor little woman who got thrown out.... Well, she made a choice. She could have walked out and nothing would have happened."

Yep, she could have walked out, and not ask any embarrasing questions of the school board, because really, why should a public school board be held accountable? I guess he thinks they should do whatever they want, huh?

I have a feeling that Fontana won't stick to his guns for long. This story took the familiar arc when it went viral. Many of the nation's major news media picked up the story, and it's been rocketing back and forth through social media for a few days now. 

Public opinion, unsurprisingly, has come down with the teacher and not the school board. What most people seem to object to, including me, is this apparent trend among people that have any power to freak out and overreact when somebody questions authority, like Hargrave did.

As Isaac Bailey wrote for CNN:

"She wasn't screaming hysterically or uttering a rapid-fire succession of four letter words. She didn't pull out a gun or knife. She didn't rush the board members or threaten them with bodily harm. In their eyes, and in the eyes of a police officer providing security, she did something worse -- she questioned the rightness of their decision making and the morality of their authority to their faces, for all to see. 

That willingness to question authority, more than anything else, seems to put fear in the hearts of those in power."

As Bailey points out, there's other examples of this mentality as well, the kind in which you question authority and they swat you down like somebody trying to kill a mosquito with a bazooka.

For instance, there was that case in Utah last year when a cop arrested and dragged out of a hospital a nurse who refused to draw blood from an unconscious patient. The cop was demanding it to see if there were drugs or alcohol in the patient's blood. The nurse was following the law, and hospital protocol by not drawing the blood without a warrant. But the cop took that as ignoring his authority, so he cuffed her.

Charges were later dropped, and thankfully, the cop was fired.

With every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction, so they say. About as ridiculous as public officials objecting to being held accountable by the, um, public, there's also what some people in the public do when they hear about the latest outrage.

Sure, it's OK to react. I sure as heck don't mind the outcry against this Louisiana  school board, it's totally warranted. What I don't like is, every time somebody does something stupid, or rude, or illegal or tasteless, the perpetrator gets death threats. As if every transgression deserves death. It happens every time. Somebody does something stupid. The response is a bunch of idiotic death threats.

People screw up all the time. Sometimes in small ways. Sometimes in big ways. But if we all deserved death for the times we've screwed up, there would be nobody left on Earth. Logic and proportion, of course, are lost on the legions of death threat trolls on this here internet thingy.

Could somebody explain what the thrill is of issuing death threats against somebody you don't like?  Because I surely don't get it. Maybe I'll get death threats for not understanding the logic of death threats? God forbid.

This school board in Lousiana definitely needs to be held to account. Wouldn't it be cool if for once, we did so without going nuts on the internet?

Can't we just all calm down? The answer to that question, in these divided and stupid times, is definitely not.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Worst Photo Portrait Photoshopping EVER Goes Viral

Photoshopping can be tough.

It can be especially tough if you're dealing with the harsh light of bright sunlight, and shadows if you're photographing in glorious sunny summer weather.

The Zaring family found that out first hand.

They hired a photographer to take family pictures on a bright, sunny day. It took forever to get the photos back, and when they did, Pam Dave Zaring burst out laughing.

You can see why in the photos in this post.     Click on the photos to make them bigger and easier to see.

The Zarings said their photographer, Lesa Hall, said the shadows were pretty extreme on that bright day the photos were taken, and that her professor never really taught her how to retouch photos. 

The worst part about this is the Zarings say the photographer won't return the $250 they paid her. Still, the Zarings say they hold no ill will against the photographer. My guess it was worth the laughs, and worth the traffic it got on social media.

The photographer might have started a trend, though. PetaPixel now has a tutorial on how to photoshop your portraits in the style that Hall seems to have perfected.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Saturday Night Live Cold Opening Awesome, But No Stranger Than Reality

The cold opening of SNL Saturday night, a parody of
the Morning Joe show, really had to try hard to outdo
the real life stuff that Trump is creating. 
I have to feel sorry for the writers at Saturday Night Live. 

Their forte is making fun and satirizing the news, but how in the world can you possibly top what's really going on in the world these days. Especially in Trump world.

SNL does a valient attempt, and in case you missed it, I share with you the cold opening of last night's episode.

It was a parody of Morning Joe, the a.m. news show on MSNBC.   Kate McKinnon did a wild, hilariously frustrated version of the Morning Joe co-host, Mika Brzezinski. Leslie Jones made an appearance as Oprah Winfrey, and the big hit was Bill Murray making a return engagement to SNL as Steve Bannon.

Worth the watch, below:

Friday, January 12, 2018

Anderson Cooper Gives Best Rebuttal To Shithole President Who Called Nations Shitholes

Anderson Cooper last night had a dignified but
devastatingtakedown of Donald Trump's shithole remake
Since yesterday, everybody has been flabbergasted and apoplectic over Donald Trump's comments about not wanting immigrants from what he called "shithole" countries like Haiti and African nations.

You have to hand it to Trump: He always manages to outdo himself with his outrages and his racism and his scumminess.

The sad part is that some Trump supporters, both in and outide the White House, are pleased as punch with Trump's remarks, because they will resonate with Trump's base. 

Yep, apparently, that's the most important part here, making sure Trump's small core of racist morons stay happy.

Like practically everybody else, I never thought Trump could actually hit a new low, but he did. Like practically everybody else, I could really get going on responding to this crap from Trump. Instead, I'll let Anderson Cooper do it. The CNN host had the most thoughtful, emotional and damning response to Trump I've heard so far.

Let's watch and listen:


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Check Out Jimmy Kimmel's Brief Mocumentary On Trump's 2,000 Lies (So Far)

Jimmy Kimmel last night unveiled a mockumentary
celebrating Donald Trump's greatest skill. 
Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel is no friend of Donald Trump. He, like many late night hosts, mocks Trump constantly. Actually, Kimmel is much gentler than many other late night people. Right, Seth Meyers?   

Last night Kimmel celebrated "Lie2K" marking Donald Trump's 2,000 public lie since taking office. (Apparently, the Washington Post has been keeping track.)

The fun part is Kimmel came up with a spoof on one of those dreadful C-Span documuntaries on public figures. This mockumentary chronicles the crowning achievement of the Trump White House: The sheer number of lies.

Watch: