Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Blog Post Full of Really Bad Words

The ever-helpful New York Department of Education has alerted us about some really bad words that offend people. They want them banned, at least from standardized test. But let's go for broke and ban them altogether.

Here are some of the nasty words dinosaur, Halloween,  birthday, dancing, homes with swimming pools, running away, rap music, rock music, and disasters such as tsunamis and hurricanes
A kid dressed as a dinosaur for Halloween, thereby
offending the N.Y. Dept. of Education in two ways.

There's a "logic" to the Ed Department's wish to scrub the words from standardized test. "Dinosaur" suggests evolution, which would offend some religious types who don't believe in it. "Birthday" is bad because Jehovah's Witnesses would be offended because they don't celebrate birthdays.

"Halloween" is bad because it suggests paganism. The house with the swimming pool is a no-no because it suggests rich people, which could inspire jealousy. And people are afraid of disasters, so keep those out, too.

CNN reached out to Stanford Professor Sam Wineburg, who thinks the N.Y. Ed. Department is being stupid. (By the way, "stupid" is probably a banned word too. Says Wineburg:

"The purpose of education is to create unpleasant experiences in us. ... The Latin meaning if education is 'to go out.'  Education is not about making us feel warm and fuzzy inside."
Wineburg questioned the idea that the New York City Department of Education would want to "shield kids from these types of encounters."  He said the goal of education is to "prepare them," adding "this is how we dumb down public schools."

Geez, though, I think any word can offend anybody out there.  Maybe we should ban all kinds of words. I have some suggestions.   The word "the" offends me, since it's used so much and I'm sick of it. I have the same problem with words like "and" "it," "a" and "of."

So we just ban words completely, just so we don't offend anybody.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Bohemian Rhapsody Arrested Guy is New YouTube sensation

The latest big celebrity to come out of nowhere via YouTube is one Robert Wilkinson of Edson, Alberta, Canada.

The name doesn't yet ring a bell yet, I'm sure, but you'd recognize him even if you saw the slightest snippet of news over the past day or so.

He's the guy sitting in the back of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police cruiser after his arrest for public intoxication. He belts out the famous Queen song "Bohemian Rhapsody" on his way to the police station in, um, memorable fashion. See for yourself, with more thoughts on this below the vid:

The charge against Wilkinson is public intoxication.  He might have a case strong enough to get acquited, as far as I  can tell.

True, screaming the song "Bohemian Rhapsody" in its entirety after an arrest and while sitting in a police cruiser doesn't exactly strengthen Wilkinson's case. And, not to be negative, but I'm afraid Wilkinson can't really match Freddie Mercury's awesome vocal pyrotechnics as he sings the song.

But, in Wilkinson's favor, he remembers all the lyrics to "Bohemian Rhapsody." If you've seen any drunken driving arrest videos, most arrestees can't even manage to recite the ABCs. Which proves there is some cognitivie function there.

According to the Edmonton Journal, Wilkinson received the video of him singing in the cruiser when he obtained arrest records from the RCMP so he could defend himself in court. He decided to post the video onto YouTube and the rest is history, according the Edmonton Journal report.

Even of Wilkenson is ultimately convicted, he still stands to gain from this experience. Other colorful personalities have gotten fame and fortune from YouTube after their, um, unique perspectives went viral.
Chris Crocker urging us, via YouTube to Leave Britney Alone!!

There's Chris Crocker, the "Leave Britney Alone" guy, who came to the defense of Britney Spears, in a rather dramatic, loud, tearful manner, when Britney was being hounded by the press. And he proved that fans could be bigger drama queens than celebrity drama queens.

He says he's a singer songwriter whose sold 100,000 downloads of his music. He also put an obnoxious self-promoting advertising overlay over his famous video, which has gotten 43 million hits. So Crocker's making money, it seems.

Then there's the double rainbow guy, who was so taken by an admittably awesome double rainbow over Yosemite that he was reduced to a long bout of babbling and tears over the beautiful sight. I guess nature can do that to people. Or pot. Or both.

His video has 33 million hits, and he's selling merchandise from the notoriety, including t-shirts and some sort of double rainbow iPhone download.

Then there's Antoine Dodson, who a couple years ago had what was certainly one of the most memorable interviews on a local television station. He was understandably annoyed at the guy who broke into his home and tried to attack his sister. He was trying to frighten the attacker via the TV news and I'm sure he succeeded.

The news clip video has gotten 41 million hits, and Dodson has had gotten some money and attention from that, so he's good to go.

I think it's my turn to win fame and fortune via YouTube. I've got to find a way to be arrested for public drunkeness while tearfully defending Britney Spears, while simultaneously telling a local television reporter how much I hate an attacker, while marveling at a double rainbow and singing "Bohemian Rhapsody" badly.

Gotta go. Time to practice for my upcoming Internet fame!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Another Elderly Woman Isn't Really Old

I don't know why I have been obsessing in this blog about older people who do remarkable things. Maybe it's because I want hope that when I get really old, I'm still functional. You know, just be coherent, mobile, sort of alive.

Then we get people like Johanna Quaas, 86, who is a gymnast. See for yourself if she's still got it:

Yep, she's still got it. Especially since almost everyone who is 60 years younger than Quaas can't do any gymnastics better than her.

How many of you can even bend over and touch your toes while keeping your legs straight, never mind rolling around a gym floor like a lithe nymph?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bike Wizard Give Us Inferiority Complex

In our continuing efforts to make readers here feel inadequate and inferior, I offer you the following vidoe of one Andrew Dickey, a fearless Australian who does amazing things on a bicycle, involving major drops, bounces and leaps.

I'm sure none of you can do the things Dickey does. I bet you don't even dare to try. I don't.

Don't try this at home, kiddies!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tearjerky Dog Rescue Video Offers Lessons on Humanity

With this viral video, sales of Kleenex are going to go through the roof, people will weep so much.
Fiona the suddenly famous dog being rescued by
Paws for Hope. Video of the rescue has gone viral.

A group called Paws For Hope, puts out a lot of YouTube videos showing volunteers rescuing dogs from harrowing situations, getting the dogs back to good health, and putting them up for adoption in homes where all those Fidos will live out their lives loved, well fed, safe and cared for.

One of their latest videos is probably their most effective, as it has a perfect alchemy of tragedy, redemption and a happy ending. The video is all over the blogosphere, and is now invading he MSM.

The group rescued a dog named Fiona from squalor near what looks like abandoned buildings. Fiona was hungry, blind and scared out of her mind.

A veterinarian performed surgery to restore vision in one of Fiona's eyes. They cleaned Fiona up, helped her trust people again, brought her back to tail wagging, playful happiness  and found a nice loving home for her, all against a backdrop of emotional music. It's classic storytelling.

Here's the video, if you have your Kleenex handy:

Meanwhile, here in St. Albans, Vermont, our cocker spaniel Jackson has now lived with us for nearly nine months, and of course living with a dog for the first time in decades changes your perspective on dogs and their lovability.

I'd always been horrified at how people can abuse and abandon dogs like Fiona, but even more so now that I've had Jackson in my life. The little guy lives to play, and he'll be damned if you do anything else besides play and be happy.

When Jackson knows I'm getting ready to leave to go to work, he gets more insistent. "No,!" he seems to say. You have to keep having fun. (By the way, the ever inquisitive, troublemaking Jackson is very familiar with the word 'No.')

So you have to be a pretty miserable person to want to try to erase the natural happiness in dogs. And Jackson has turned me into a more playful person, which is always a good thing.

I've long complained that people get more upset when animals are abused and killed than when people are abused and killed.

I still feel that way, but maybe stories like Fiona's can inspire just a couple awful people to not hurt any animals, and extend that little bit of compassion toward our fellow humans.

With all the nastiness in the world, we need dogs like Fiona and Jackson to put humanity on a peaceful, playful path.

Painfully Lazy: Man Chops Off Foot to Avoid Work.

I love my job, and find my feet incredibly useful. I offer these random thoughts to reassure people I will not chop off either of my feet to avoid going to work.
Please keep your feet attached
if you want to stay employable

That would make me different from an Austrian man. He was unemployed, and didn't want to find a job or go back to work. So he chopped off one of his feet and threw it in the stove to render himself unable to work. 

Um, I would think that anyone willing to chop off his foot to avoid work is unfit for employment anyway. And I wonder if he really thought this through. If you want a life of leisure, wouldn't you want both feet to, I don't know, wander out to the veranda with a nice afternoon cocktail?

Then there are the medical bills. The national health care system in Austria is probably pretty good, but still, there must be out of pocket expenses for his missing foot. Don't you need a job to pay for the care?

By the way, and this is gross, but apparently rescuers retrieved the severed foot from the stove to see if doctors could reattach it to our strange man, but the foot was too badly burned to be of any use.  Maybe this guy was using symbolism. He didn't want to work, because bosses kept holding his feet to the fire. That'll show 'em!

So anyway, it's off to work for me right now. And luckily, I have two feet, so I should be able to get from my truck to the office pretty quickly.

Monday, March 26, 2012

No, Employer, You Can't Root Through Our Private Messages

If in the future I look for another job, this post might turn into a strike against me, but I congratulate Facebook for threatening to sue would be employers who insist job applicants show them the private pages of their Facebook accounts.

According to the Associated Press, some employers are now requiring applicants to hand over Facebook passwords or "friend" HR managers. 
Should employers  be able to access private pages
on job applicants' Facebook accounts?

On Sunday, U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. and Richard Blumenthal, D-Ct. asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to see whether such demands for Facebook passwords violate federal law.

Of course, any employer should conduct due diligence when hiring somebody. That means combing through public records,  and looking at anything publicly available to see if the prospective employee is a good match. Anything on public Facebook pages, or obtained through Google, is fair game, as far as I'm concerned.

After all, it's probably a good idea to know if the applicant for Chief Financial Officer has three embezzlement convictions. And it's probably useful to know the prospective nanny has a side business producing child pornography.

It's also necessary for job applicants to tell the truth and be open to questions. That's the way it's always worked. And it should.

But really, going through the private pages of Facebook. What's next? Demanding to see every email you've ever written? Turning over those love letters you wrote in college to the HR Department? Wearing a listening device for the rest of your life so your employer knows what you are doing, where you are and what you're saying all the time?

Sorry, pal.  I'm all for giving 110 percent to your employer, but our personal life is our personal life. Yeah, we'll behave, obey the law and not do anything to hurt the companies we work for. That's the employee's end of the bargain.

Employers: If we want to have legal fun, say what we want, do what we want, go where we want on our own time and our own dime, then we will, and you'd better not make that affect our jobs.

Some conservative and libertarian critics say the government has too much power over the public. Others disagree, but in any even, that's a debate definitely worth having.

Another worthwhile debate is to discuss how much control employers should have over us as well. I know, it varies widely. Many employers are great at respecting boundaries, a few are not. We need to set minimum standards on this.

Let the discussion begin.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Gay British Romantics Have Talent

I found a clip of the sweetest moment in the Britain's Got Talent franchise since Susan Boyle famously wowed the world with her debut in 2009

In the audition show, a middle aged gay couple appeared on stage and said they would do a ballroom dance.
The Sugar Dandies, ballroom dancers, charmed
the audience on "Britain's Got Talent."

A lot of people aren't used to that, and you could see a bit of skepticism on Simon Cowell's face, and many people in the audience.

But the pair, calling themselves the Sugar Dandies,  soon had the audience and the judges falling in love with them.  And why not? The couple, who said they have been together for 16 years and married for five, gave a highly romantic performance.

I have to say I'm glad that people embraced the couple for what they were. Nice and romantic. I'm not sure people would have been so supportive just a few years ago. It's great to see we're evolving.

 I can't embedded this clip of their performance, because they've blocked the embedding, but it's still worth watching it by clicking HERE.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Geriatric Dancing Queen

Wanna feel old? As the Joe My God blog notes, the iconic disco song "Dancing Queen" by ABBA hit number one on the charts 35 years ago this week. 

So dig out the polyester '70s outfits from the back of your closet and become the young dancing queen again.
ABBA, shown here, don their tinfoil outfits to
sing "Dancing Queen."

You can dance! You can jive! Having the time of your life! That is until you pull that back muscle again as ABBA guides you around the dance floor. Nurse!

"You are the dancing queen, young and sweet only seventeen," er, maybe more like seventy.

Everybody is still into the Dancing Queen all these years later. Last year, it was revealed that the ring tone on Newt Gingrich's cell phone was Dancing Queen.  Yes, Newt. you're a teaser, you turn then on,  leave them burning and then you're gone.

Picture Newt twirling around the dance floor as Dancing Queen plays, a nice little tiara on Newt's head. Maybe he's wearing a pink and lavender taffeta prom dress too?

I hope you weren't eating when you read that.

A random Dancing Queen thought: I was bored one night and watching just a small part of a documentary about a terrible blizzard in Buffalo, New York in 1977. They played a recording of an announcer on radio station WKBW in Buffalo, talking about how rescuers were trying to find occupants of hundreds of cars buried beneath snow drifts. It was a race to find these people before they froze to death.

The announcer told those people trapped to hang in there. Then, the familiar piano roll marking the start of "Dancing Queen" starts, and these blizzard victims were treated to ABBA's iconic song. So you're freezing to death in a snowbank in the dark, and the last thing you hear before you die is "Dancing Queen?" Is that really the most dignified way to go?

So, enjoy this week's anniversary of "Dancing Queen"'s success, by watching the video below. I hope you're still there to see that girl, watch that scene, diggin' the dancing queen."

Friday, March 23, 2012

Musicians Have Bad Hair Days, Too.

Was mindlessly touring that there Internet thingy on a boring Friday night looking for stupid stuff and was not disappointed.

The best find was a Buzzfeed list of the 12 best hairdos on music album covers. You can see a couple examples of the photos in this post, but feel free to look at all the covers to get fresh ideas on nice spring hairstyles. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What It's Like to Be in a Burning House

Gawd, there's cameras everywhere these days. We're getting inside looks at everything. I posted a few days ago about security cameras inside tornadoes, for example.

People have web cams attached to everything. I found a fascinating video taken from a camera attached to a firefighter's helmet as he went into a burning home with hoses spraying.  It's pretty disorienting, but interesting. A bit like a video game. This house was really blazing, too.

Actually there's a lot of these firefighter camera videos taken from inside burning buildings.  For a wide selection, just go to YouTube and search "firefighter helmet cam interior attack."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Summer in March a Thrill and a Chill in Vermont

Now that most of the country is having summer weather in March, maybe it's time to rethink my northern Vermont garden in light of global warming.

It's time to dispense with cold climate crops like snap peas, early lettuce and spinach. And who needs asparagus in May?
Some of my daffodils this morning, ready to bloom
five weeks earlier than normal.

So, it's time to rip out the crabapple trees and plant a nice little orange grove. That woodsy area out back would make a lovely little coffee plantation. And would the palm tree look better out by the road? Or should a line the driveway with rows of palm trees, to make my place resemble Beverly Hills?

Of course, I worry about tropical critters getting into my yard, now that St. Albans, Vermont is apparently the new South Florida? Would alligators make a grab for my sweet little dog Jackson? Should I check the sheets for tarantulas before going to bed in the evening?

Like much of the rest of the nation, Vermont is in the grips of a spell of summer like weather. Record highs are being shattered day after day amid temperatures typical of June or July.

It was 80 degrees yesterday in Burlington Vermont, the earliest it's ever been so warm. We've had two other "earliest ever" records this month. Today and tomorrow are forecast to be even warmer than yesterday.

I've been lucky enough to have this week off from my regular job. This summer weather is allowing me to get some outdoor work done, and it is beautiful out. But the weather being this far out of whack is a bit chilling, even if I'm a puddle of sweat out there every day.  Is global warming really going beyond expectations?  It makes me wonder, since. bizarre, sometimes disastrous weather keeps coming on fast and furious here in Vermont.
My lilac bush, ready to leaf out this morning.

There's a complicated mix of reasons why the weather is so hot. It' seems to have to do with La Nina, some weather patterns in the Arctic screwing around with the jet streatm and other science that's too dense to get into here. But the experts say global warming is adding more power to the heat wave. What might have otherwise been a odd spell of very warm weather has by far exceeded anything anyone has ever seen.

We all adjust our routines daily to take weather into consideration, but the changes I'm making to my routine seem startling for March.

Sunday, I was with family in Rutland, on another hot winter day. Jackson, our cocker spaniel,  panted in the heat, and chased away some of the mosquitoes that were harassing us. By the way, I've never seen mosquitoes before earlier than the beginning of May.  Normally, this time of year, when I visit my sister Lynn, we keep the beer and wine on the porch to keep it cold. This time, it was us humans on the porch, trying to stay cool.

Monday, the last day of winter, I was helping an elderly woman clean out her barn. We stopped shortly after noon. "It's too hot," she said. True, I was sweating in the humid winter heat.

We decided to finish another day. As I was driving away, the windows rolled down I peered through the muggy haze to see thunderheads rising over the mountains, another thing I've never seen in March.

Radio stations here are caught in the spirit of the March summer. Up pops up "Boys of Summer," then it's "Summer In The City," with the Lovin' Spoonful singing about the "people looking half dead, walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head."

As the song was playing I glanced over at a bicyclist slumped against a wall in a bit of shade, guzzling water out of a bottle.

Yesterday, a bright sun shone through a blue summer haze shrouding the mountains. I could catch whiffs of burning grass and leaves. It's so hot, so dry, that the dead detritus of last fall on the ground is catching fire in the fields and forests around Vermont.  An early spring routine is to round up all the fallen branches from the winter, mound them up into brush piles and burn them. Not this year. It's too risky. One ember and the whole forest nearby could go up in flames.

The heat wave is forecast to peak today and tomorrow in Vermont, with readings in the low 80s.  We might have the hottest March day on record.
My crocuses, seen here blooming this past Sunday, have
come and gone for the season already.

Forsythias are blooming, the daffodils are ready to. All the trees are budding. Spring growth is five weeks ahead of schedule. It almost looks like the first of May out there. Maply syrup season has been cut short by the heat, which makes me wonder if there will be shortages of the stuff.

It will be cooler this weekend, but still mild for March. But with everything budding as if we were headed into May,  will a normal shot of frigid air hit, and kill everything? A leafless, brown summer, with foliage killed by frost? Or a drought? A big turn around, with more destructive floods, like last year?

Weather was never predictable in Vermont. The old saw here is "Wait a minute and the weather will change."

But the weather used to change in semi-predictable ways. Yes, you'd get warm spells in March, followed by snow in April, followed by dry weather, then torrential rains. You just dealt with it, and the weather almost never made you worry too much.

Now, as I write this, a warm breeze is making its way through an open Vermont window at the crack of dawn. Sure, like everybody else, I'm enjoying the early summer. But part of me worries.  If the weather can get this far out of whack in a nice way, could it bite us in a very bad way? It already might be starting to, with the record floods last spring, Tropical Storm Irene's floods last August, this year's winter that wasn't.

Global warming won't make the world end. I also very much doubt it will end civilization in a few centuries. But as the extremes get more extreme, climate change might make the weather hurt some of us humans in small and big ways we can't yet imagine.


The other day, in International Falls, Minnesota, the "Ice Box of the Nation," the low temperature was a record high for the date. The afternoon was the hottest March day on record, and about normal for this time of year in Tampa, Florida.

It was also 94 degrees in a town called Winner, South Dakota.

All this climate change is getting confusing. But of course, now that I'm in a tropical mood, we'll surely have a three-foot blizzard in April. Vermont does tend to slap you in the face like that, you know.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

How Not To Cut Down A Tree

Some people love trying to save money. Why hire a tree surgeon to chop down a huge, unstable tree right next to your house?  Cut it down yourself, what could possibly go wrong?

Well, um, watch, below. I hope the insurance company was sympathetic.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Politically Incorrect: "She Left Me For Jesus"

For extreme silliness, and very politically and religiously incorrect fun at that, my brother in law alerted me to the following song and video.
Singer/songwriter Hayes Carll can be polticially
and religiously incorrect.

It's called "She Left Me For Jesus," by Hayes Carll. The lyrics are hysterical, in a lowbrow sort of way and the the video is tawdry, the way I like them the most. The country swangy song shambles along and just steps in religious sensitivities.  When the song came out, evangelicals and conservative radio stations were outraged.

But, for what it's worth, Don Imus called "She Left Me For Jesus" the, quote "greatest country song ever written."

Carll is critically acclaimed for his songwriting, so I'm really going to look into more of his music. Tell me what you think.

The video takes the form of an hilariously awful reality TV show.

If you take your religion seriously, skip this song and video. Otherwise, enjoy!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ah, Spring! The Season of Bizarre Naked Mental Breakdowns

Boy, getting naked and having a mental breakdown sure is the hottest trend lately! Must be the strange, warm weather we've been having across much of the country.

A lot of you have probably already heard of Jason Russell, a co-founder of the organization called   Invisible Children. They've been in the news because of a YouTube video they put out called "Kony 2012" which calls for the capture of a horrible Ugandan warlord/rebel who does nice things like kidnap and torture children.
Jason Russell of Invisible Children had an
unfortunate, public mental breakdown last week.

Of course, one would want to capture somebody like that. The problem is a lot of critics have been pounding the video and Invisible Children because the video is inaccurate, out of date and patronizing. Critics also say that Invisible Children is anti-gay, and has other issues.

Anyway, against this swirl of attention and controversy, Russell got (briefly) naked and ranted in the streets of the San Diego area before being taken into custody and hospitalized.

Russell's wife and Invisible Children spokespeople said that Russell was super tired, dehydrated and was deeply hurt and pressured by public criticism of the group's video.  So let's hope he recovers and has no further public breakdowns.

To be fair, as The Atlantic points out, a psychotic episode like Russell's  is a medical problem, as serious as a heart attack, really.  So we hope he gets better. Even if that means TMZ doesn't get its hands on more strange videos.

Next we go to the fine community of Upper Darby, Pa., where a woman, her adult daughter and teenage son showed up to get the older woman's son out of the high school. The woman does not have custody of the kid in the high school, so school administrators, logically enough, said no and told her to leave, pronto.

She did, but came back. She, the daughter and the son took off their clothes, ranted about Jesus and God and generally ran around and were obnoxious, police said.  I suppose that's one way of complaining about a school administrator's decision. The older woman in particular is getting a mental evaluation, officials said.

Now, we all hope people with mental illness do get help, but let's also hope these naked public breakdowns are just a coincidence and not a trend.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Beware The Copyright Troll

If you write a book, record a song, make a great movie, you want to get paid for your work.  You don't want someone using your material to make money, and by extenstion, denying you profits for your work. That's why we have copywrite laws. To ensure you own your work and get paid for it. Love it.

Like everything else though, the laws can be abused, often by companies claiming to represent copyright holders, to tragicomic lengths. The worst example I saw came from Belgium, where a copyright collecting company is going after libraries where volunteers read to children, according to an on line report by writer Robin Wauters.

Apparently, the company wants to charge the libraries fees for reading the books to kids. Somehow I bet the agency, not the authors of the books the volunteers are reading, would get the fees.

The kids wouldn't immediately buy the books anyway, since they're so young, so nobody is losing out if they are read to. And as Wauters points out, reading to kids often ends up making them readers. Meaning they turn into the type of people who would buy books. Which would enrich the authors (hopefully!) and the agencies dealing the the copyrights

But logic doesn't matter too much here, I guess.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Love Train Super Cut to Perk Up Your Day

Where I'm at, it's a slow, blah, rainy March Friday. Not much going on, so on days like this you've got to create a little bit of your own fun.

With the windshield wipers keeping time on the way in to work during a morning downpour, the radio station played the O'Jay's classic old gem "Love Train."

I'd forgotten what a fantastic pop song that was. To me, great pop songs don't have to be complicated, deep, or full of bells and whistles. They're pop songs. They're supposed to be light and fluffy, at least most of the time.

"Love Train" was released in 1972, but it doesn't feel old to me. The O'Jays, by the way are still around, and have a few concert dates scheduled this year.

So, to give you a Friday fun time waster that's worth it, I found a movie super cut video featuring trains and the O'Jays giving their delicious rendition of "Love Train." Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Get A Life, Long, Boring YouTubers!

Not long ago, YouTube changed their rules, eliminating a requirement that videos uploaded to the site last ten minutes or less.

So now, you can watch entire shows on YouTube, which is mostly a good thing. Except when you run into somebody with too much time on their hands.
Breaking news: Now you can watch ten consecutive hours of
this cat playing the keyboards!

Among the many hours long features you can now watch on YouTube are ten full hours of Darth Vader breathing, 24 hours of ambient engine noise from the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek, the infamous Keyboard Cat in a seemingly endless loop lasting ten hours, (the original 55-second long Keyboard Cat segment was torturous enough) and ten hours of the Pink Panther Theme.

Is this a new form of torture sanctioned by the Department of Homeland Security? Force a suspect in a cell and subject him to ten, twenty hours of Darth Vader or Keyboard Cat, and they spill the beans, thereby theoretically preventing a terrorist attack?

Has anyone watched these boring videos in their entirety?  And who are the people who uploaded this? The National Association of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Survivors?

Am I being too cynical? After all, everything on line is precious, smart, enlightening and entertaining, right.  (Snark!)

Real Housewives of South Boston Strike Again

I never had patience with the "Real Housewives" franchise, you know, the rich, pampered, cranky, childish, selfish Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Atlanta, etc.

There is an exception. A Web series called the "Real Housewives of South Boston" delights with a group of downmarket ladies from Southie. Trust me, they're much more fun that the official real housewives. Invite the to your next party, they're sure to liven things up.
Those hot, sexy real houswives of Southie

I still wish there were Real Housewives of Enosburg Falls Vermont, but I'll settle for the Southie Girls, especially Jackie, the proprietor of Jackie's Packie, with the catchphrase "We got ciggys and beeyah, what the f**k moah do ya want."

A new installment of Real Housewives of South Boston has just hit this Internet thingy, just in time for St. Paddy's Day. Watch and Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Turning Homeless People Into Just Another WiFi Hot Spot

Just when you think humanity can't sink any lower, we go to South by Southwest, or what the people in the know call SXSW, and find they've turned homeless people into WiFi hot spots.

SXSW is annual music, film and social media confab in Austin, Texas where all the cool people go. Which is why I'm not there, but that's another story.
A human WiFi hot spot at SXSW, Austin, Texas

But if you were there, wouldn't you need a quick Internet connection if you wanted to do the things that all those tech savvy SXSW people must do?

Problem solved!   Just cozy up to one of those nice homeless people at the conference with a bit of equipment strapped to them and a t-shirt advertising their 4G availability and fire up your laptop or mobile device or whatever is the hot new techie thing out there now.

How nice, the homeless can help you view that cat playing the piano video on YouTube, or check out that kinky new porn site.

So this is what we've come down to? Hey, those stupid homeless people are just in way. So let's put that detritus to good use and help us further pave the way toward technological revolution.

The organizers of this arrangement say it's helping the homeless by giving them an income. (They suggesst you donate some money to them every time you log on)

The company that organized this, an outfit called BBH New York, said the model for this stems from a practice in some cities of having homeless people work on newspapers and sell them on the streets, so they can make money

According to BBH, the difference is explained this way:

As digital media proliferates, these newspapers face increased pressure. Our hope is to create a modern version of this successful model, offering homeless individuals an opportunity to sell a digital service instead of a material commodity. SxSW Interactive attendees can pay what they like to access 4G networks carried by our homeless collaborators. This service is intended to deliver on the demand for better transit connectivity during the conference.

 A lot of people have problems with this model, though, though, as the Web site BoingBoing points out. the street newspapers were at least largely written by the homeless so it was them selling a product. True, not many people read the papers, but still, it was a product.

In the SXSW homeless hot spot project, the homeless people are just reduced to another utility. No difference between them and say, a modem, a light fixture, a fiber cable. A little dehumanizing, don't you think?

The Read Write Web site makes this point.  "Homeless Hotspots are helpless pieces of privilege-extending human infrastructure," RWW writer Jon Mitchell notes.

The RWW site does note that some of the homeless hotspot guys say that at least the arrangement gives them a chance to meet people and make a few extra bucks. 
Still, as Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite writes in the Washington Post, isn't it dehumanizing to treat homeless people as really just another mechanical service portal?  

What next? Will we turn everyone not rich and tech savvy into a commodity? Will shmucks like you and me get wired up to become some semi-human robot so the Tech Kings can pave the way to their complete on line future?

I'm being facetious, yes, but it's still worth it to point out it's not such a bad thing to keep humans human.

Cat Organ Goes Over Something Other Than a Rainbow

Now for something completely different: A guy plays "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" using an organ made entirely out of stuffed toy cats that squeak when you squeeze them.

Somebody had wayyyyy too much time on their hands to learn this trick, but the guy in the video below did. It's worth the few minutes of strangeness to watch. I'll bet you'll laugh:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Really? Assaulted by a Justin Beiber Doll?

I might be missing some crucial information here, but a Denver cop's defense against a domestic abuse charge is that the woman involved assaulted him.

Which of course is definitely possible. But she injured him with a Justin Bieber doll. Really?
Should this Bieber doll be classified
as a dangerous weapon, kind of
like an AK-47?

According to an article in The Smoking Gun:

Michael Nuanes, 37, described his girlfriend as the aggressor in the January incident, according to anAdams County Sheriff’s Office affidavit. Nuanes, a Denver Police Department officer, told deputies that his girlfriend had “thrown things, pushed him, shoved him, grabbed him, bit him, slapped him with an open hand, attempted to strangle him and beat him up.”

Well, if the attempted strangling, beating, etc. is true, that might be an issue. But Nuances undercuts his case with his Bieber doll victimization.  

Nuanes, investigators reported, “pointed out a ‘Justin Beiber’ doll which was the item used to injure him.” He claimed that the thrown Bieber doll--the size of a standard Barbie doll--left him with a “bruise on the outside middle part” of his left foot.

So a Bieber doll bruised his foot? That's it?  Should she be charged with assault with a dangerous Bieber doll? Should the Consumer Safety Division recall Bieber dolls, as they are a safety hazard, because they are apparently used as weapons? Or should we just ban Justin Bieber, since he had the unmitigated gall to inspire the dangerous doll.

What was this couple doing with a Bieber doll anyway. Actually, never mind, I don't think we want to know. So in any event, don't buy your little Tween a Justin Beiber doll. You might just turn her into  homicidal maniac, and the subsequent criminal charges would surely interfere with cheerleading practice.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Security Camera Tornado Footage

Over the weekend, some dramatic footage of one of those awful tornadoes early this month in the Midwest came out.

We're used to videos of dramatic tornadoes rampaging through towns and across the countryside, but in recent years, we've gotten inside views of the fascinating chaos inside these storms thanks to the proliferation of security cameras.
A tornado begins to dismantle a Kentucky neighborhood
in this still from  a home security camera.

Seen from the outside, the giant funnel clouds are graceful, in their violent way as they tear through. The security footage shows just how terrifying they are, because these "eyes" can stay put through the tornado, unlike humans would.

In the past few years, we've borne awestruck witness to: (Click on the hyperlinks to view the videos:  a tornado laying waste to the inside and outside of a bank in Parkersburg, Iowa, 2008; a view from that same bank's ATM surveillance camera of a house blowing apart; cars being tossed by an Alabama tornado,  and inside a middle school last year in Joplin, Missouri, among others.

I wonder if these videos help people understand the dynamics of tornadoes, and how to build structures to resist them better, or are they just weather porn, the term I use to describe exciting storm videos that give you a bit of an adrenaline rush.

In any event, they're fascinating. The home security videos of the tornado in West Liberty, Kentucky earlier this month are really telling. The tornado, or at least the edges of it, didn't have that dense funnel cloud that obscures visibility. The sun appears to be even shining into the chaos, giving us a clear view of a neighborhood, the house and surrounding woods disintegrating in the chaos. Fascinating, but sad. Watch:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Seven Year Old Kid Does Rube Goldberg, Enthusiastically

On BoingBoing, I found a video of a seven year old boy named Andri who, well, be careful if he asks you to borrow some household items.

Andri is nothing if not patient. He took a bunch of household items and created an elaborate Rube Goldberg set up, it looks like in his house.

He walks us through the process in the video, and his enthusiasm makes the video. He walks us through his mistakes setting it up, and how he solved them. And when success hits, wow!

I wouldn't have this kid's patience, but hey, maybe he'll be one of the world's top engineers one of these days.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Darwin Award Nominee Target Practices, But Lives

Here's something you kiddies shouldn't try at home:

What if you found a discarded propane tank floating in a random pond somewhere?

The answer that doesn't come to mind immediately is shoot it. But, as this video shows, such an answer occurs to some people. I think you can get clues to the intelligence of these people by the title on the video you'll see below. Apparently, the tank contained "popane."

Well, it's a spectcular video in the end, but people, just to be safe: Hide your propane tanks from some of the dumber gun totin' folk out there:

Friday, March 9, 2012

Warmth Means Freedom After Winter

We didn't have much of a winter in Vermont this year, but yesterday, the first really, truly spring day here, still felt like being unleashed from prison.
Moody clouds and sun over Winooski, Vermont
yesterday, as temperatures climbed to the 60s for
the first time since November. 

The temperature reached the lows 60s, setting some record highs for the date. It was the first time since November I was free to walk around without a coat, not struggle with putting on layers of clothes. I was able to cruise down the road in my truck with the windows open. Ahhh.

It wasn't a classically bright, spring day. The clouds were dark and low, scudding along the mountains, sometimes parting to let in a glimpse of sun, only to close in again.

A strong, gusty south wind stirred up dead leaves, dust, paper, litter. March is the least pretty month of the year in Vermont, and that was true yesterday.

It's back to winter today, as I woke up to an inch of fresh snow on the ground and a chilly northwest wind. We've got a couple cold days coming but forecasters are promising a nice big warm spell again starting Sunday and lasting a few days.

So the slow motion jail break from winter will continue, and I'll look for the green outside I've been craving since the onset of winter. Crocuses by Monday, anyone? My gardening finger is itching big time

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Herd the Beer Drinkers, the Guinness Way

It seems like there's a law that all beer commercial must be as STOOPID as possible. They must feature juvenile, dumb men,  half naked, pneumatic, artificial women gyrating as if having a slow motion epileptic seizure and unlikely situations involving slapstick pratfalls that are so lowbrow, said brows fall to the floor.
Guinness manages to make a advertisement
as tasty as their beer.

Apparently, if you drive people crazy with stupidity, they will drink your beer.

So it was refreshing when I saw an advertisement for beer on Copyranter via Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish blog,  that was humorous and actually a bit clever.

The ad is for Guinness, and depicts a quintessentially British sporting competition, or at least a competition from the goofy imagination of ad agency Abbott Mead Vickers/BBDO of London.

Watch and enjoy, especially if you're a dog lover:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Praying Amid The Tornadoes

Can you pray a tornado away? Prevent them in the first place by praying? Doubtful, but some people think so.
One of the huge tornadoes in Indiana last week

But it's probably a great idea to pray like hell when a tornado is bearing down on you, just in case.  

We've seen the whole range of prayers during last week's bout of tornadoes in the Midwest and South.

To make this doubly religious, the storms hit mostly in the Bible Belt of the Ohio Valley and the South. There seemed to be different qualities and poignancies of the prayers.

I guess I'll start with the worst example, with our old friend Pat Robertson. He said the tornadoes came because there is a lack of prayer in this country. Which is insulting, because many of the people hit the hardest by the storms are devout, and surely prayed for salvation amid the terrible winds.

Would God really randomly kill devout people because less-than-devout people elsewhere in the country don't pray enough?  God spared the people who don't pray and instead gave the devout terrifying, painful deaths in the tornadoes?

I wonder if Robertson thinks that family of five who died in Indiana during the tornado deserved to die in the tornado. The family was last seen, huddled in the hallway of their mobile home, praying as the tornado bore down on them.

There's also an interesting video that's gone viral on YouTube that shows scary, whirling clouds that appear to be turning into a tornado with a woman praying in major explanation points, urging Jesus to steer the tornado away. Watch it:

The tornado indeed misses the praying woman, but to be honest, it looked like it was on a trajectory to miss her anyway.

Even if she was able to pray away the tornado, it looks like the prayer  veered off and hit her neighbor's house. Is that what God intended?  Maybe the neighbors were heathens anyway.

Lastly, there are a number of people who believe it wasn't God creating and controlling the tornadoes. It was the U.S. government, which apparently has nothing better to do than create repeated weather disasters it has to spend billions of dollars cleaning up after.

The people who blame the government say there's something called HAARP that is behind every bad storm. 

It's unclear why these people think the U.S. Government is creating all these expensive, deadly disasters. It would seem to be counterproductive to me to unleash these storms, but what do I know?

I dunno. My own theory as to why these tornadoes happened is probably too mundane to excite people. What I think is a storm, the jet stream, moist unstable air and cold air happened to mix in just the right way to cause this tornado disaster. In other words, it was a random, natural tragedy. I know, boring as hell.

Deal with it.

A Great Way to Fund a New Library

It was Town Meeting Day in Vermont yesterday, the annual ritual in which people gather in communities throught the state to debate and vote on local budgets, town issues and other miscellaneous topics.
A still from the charming Shutesbury, Ma. library
fundraising video.

Of course, library funding comprises parts of these local budgets, and libraries are always looking for creative ways to win funding.

Nobody can beat the effort in Shutesbury, Massachusettts, though. Their library is tiny and they need a bigger one. The state will pay for much of the new library in that town, but the community also must come up with a large local match for the project.

Shutesbury chose to take the charm your socks off route. They made a little video, amateurish, but charmingly so, of course, to entice people to donate to the library fund. The video is so sweet, genuine and welcoming, I have no doubt Shutesbury will get their new library. It doesn't hurt that the video is showing signs of going viral.

If nothing else, the video will put a smile on your face, which you might need, so watch:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Jackson Kills The Drunk Snowman

Jackson the cocker spaniel, who is the head of the household that Jeff and I share, decided to have a little fun this past weekend in our St. Albans, Vermont yard.
On Saturday, Jackson the cocker
spaniel dances with our goofy snoman.

Saturday, as snow rapidly got soggy on a nice 50 degree, sunny afternoon, Jackson and I  ended up building a rough snowman with soda can eyes. The snowman clung to a beer bottle with his    broken stick left hand.

You can see the snowman had a rough time of it, what with Jackson tearing at the snowman's stick arms. I think the snowman was drunk, too, as he toppled over by evening, broken and defeated.

It turned much colder by Sunday, and all the slush from Saturday froze. Our snowman was hung over,  terribly broken and battered on his back, frozen to the ground, waiting to fade away in the oncoming March thaw.

For good measure, Jackson grabbed a stick arm from the broken snowman and played with that for the rest of the day. A sure cure for a slow weekend.
Jackson, on Sunday, inspects the
broken wreckage of the snowman
we made on Saturday.

Don't Own the House, Tough! Maintain it Anyway, Texas City Says.

A guy named David Englett lost his house to foreclosure in Texas a couple years ago. Which you would think means he has nothing to do with the house, right? He was evicted, he's gone, time to move on wityh his life in another house or apartment, a right?
David Englett lost this house to foreclosure two
years ago, but the city of Arlington, Texas said he
still has to maintain it. 

According to local CBS affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth, Englett  must still mow the lawn and maintain the property at the house, say the wise city leaders of Arlington, Texas, where the house in located.

Englett was fined for not doing so, and he had to pay up in order to make a living. He had warrants out for not paying the fines, which meant they would not allow him to renew his driver's license. Which is a problem, since he makes his living as a truck driver.

He was also fined for not getting a permit to turn on the house alarm, even though the bank was the one that turned it on.

According to the Consumerist, one thing that might be going on is cash strapped towns like Arlington can't easily get revenue from banks that own foreclosed homes, so they go after former owners like Englett, who is easier to bully.

As a legal expert for the CBS station said:

If it's foreclosed, it's not his... You have to remember cities are all about grabbing money from you I mean they try anyway they can."
Arlington's excuse is Englett's name is still on the deed because the bank didn't sell the house to someone else, but that doesn't make sense because they have to know the bank owns it.

I imagine the negative publicity might prompt Arlington to reverse what they're doing with Englett, but I wonder if they are doing this to other people who don't have the benefit of publicity. And in how many other cities is this going on?

Yes, I know municipalities need revenue, but collecting money possibly illegally and definitely immorally and in an unfair manner is infuriating. Time to clean house in Arlington? And I don't mean Englett's house.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Pine Tree Tries to Kill People in the Park

Enjoying the day in the park can be so hazardous. There's mosquitoes, bees, too much sun, the threat of rain, winos peeing on your picnic blanket. You know, the usual.
A homicidal pine cone in Australia.

One doesn't need additional threats in your average city park, but one in Austraia invented another scary menace. A pine tree in a town with the great name of Warragul  has been dropping watermelon sized pine cones weighing more than 20 pounds. 

Jeez, that's one mean tree.  So, if you ever walk through a park in Australia, wear a hard hat, please.

Million Moms' Marvelous Moves

I hope One Million Moms actually has one million members, because they'll need that many moms to keep up with the seemingly zillions of things they find objectionable. Even Liquid Plumr is a problem for this bunch.

The problem is we're drowning in all these vaguely distasteful and cheaply sexy advertisements, products and media out there. Thank Gawd One Million Moms is there to protect us from this onslaught.

However as Ellen Degeneres pointed out, One Million Moms has only maybe 30,000 members, so maybe they rounded up their membership numbers a little bit.  Degeneres, one of the group's many targets, says she gets that. In any event, the sinful things out there are going to be a handful for One Million Moms, because there are so many of them.
A woman gets some hot help with her drain clog
problems in a Liquid Plumr ad, to the
irritation of One Million Moms.

We had the Schweddy Ball crisis from Ben and Jerry's a couple months back.  There was the   aforementioned Degeneres for having the gall to be both gay and a spokeswoman for JC Penney, a Liquid Plumr commercial featuring two hot guys and some double entendres, Archie Comics because two guys got married to each other in Riverdale, where our buddy Archie lives;  Toys R Us because they sell Archie Comics, and a Carl's Jr.'s ad that features model Kate Upton getting wayyyyy too excited about the restaurant's food.

The poor One Million Moms have had to keep track of all these outrages and warn us to avoid these products. Go through their Web site, and seemingly every retailer in the world has done something wrong, or advertised on the wrong show, or has some sort of wrong corporate policy.  Pretty soon we'll have to boycott every single product and source of entertainment that's out there.  If we can't shop at any store whatsoever because they all support something morally wrong, what do we do?

Clothing for example. I need to go to a store to buy clothing.  Or else I would have to walk around naked, which believe me, NOBODY wants. And wouldn't One Million Moms think it's morally wrong to walk around naked. Not to mention cold, since I live in Vermont, after all.

What's worse for One Million Moms, the targets of their criticism are laughing all the way to the bank.  Nobody probably would have seen or cared about the Liquid Plumr ad until the media picked up on One Millon Moms' objection to it.

Now Liquid Plumr seems to be the unlikely hit of YouTube, with more than 1.3 million hits as of Sunday,  and those two hunk and the hot and bothered woman in the ad, have probably seen their careers take off.

Kate Upton might get more jobs, because so many frat boys had to be excited over her, um excitement, and might even go to Carl's Jr's  to celebrate.  Oh, and that Archie Comics gay marriage issue? Sorry, you can't have it. It's sold out.

So, maybe One Milion Moms failed at stopping all these moral outrages in the media, but they can take comfort in giving so much attention to these ads and whatnot. More people will be buying things, and maybe we should give One Million Moms credit for reviving the economy.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Great Idea for Your Next Party!

Found this on BoingBoing. Call and make a reservation for your next party! I'm sure demand is high, so call early!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Wyoming Fails To Protect Itself from the Apocalypse.

I haven't been disappointed with a state as much lately as I am with Wyoming.  They had such a great legislative idea, only to abandon it, those jerks.

The state's House of Representatives was considering a bill that would have set up all kinds of defenses, including an army, weapons and even an aircraft carrier to protect Wyoming from the inevitable collapse of civilization, no doubt brought on by the supposed socialistic, pro-Muslim policies of Barack Obama.
Every state could use one of these. Buy one for yourself
if your state doesn't.

I know questions are being raised by readers right away. For instance: An aircraft carrier? In Wyoming?  I know what you're saying. An aircraft carrier might be a little impractical in a mountainous state with Wyoming, with few bodies of water and certainly no oceans.

But such negative attitudes toward aircraft carriers in Wyoming reflect a terrible lack of imagination that will surely be the ruin of this country, if the New World Order or something doesn't get us first.

As an aside, what exactly is the New World Order?  There was sort of a disco-ey, electronic band called New Order back in the 1980s? Is that band plotting world dominence? Seems odd to be ruled despotically by a disco band but what do I know?

Anyway, back to Wyoming and the aircraft carrier. People who criticize should realize: What if the the end of the nation through liberalism or whatever results in an ocean in Wyoming? The state was just trying to be proactive, covering all possibilities to keep it citizenry safe. What's wrong with that?

Sadly, however, the legislature rejected its preparation for the apocalype, so Wyoming residents are on their own if space aliens attack or something.

Worse, the aircraft carrier piece of the legislation was an amendment made by a Wyoming House member as a means of ridiculing the Wyoming Defense Bill.

Still, local defense in the face of the United States' collapse is probably a great idea. I think I'll lobby my local representative to the Vermont legislature to buy an entire army from some other country to defend us against, I don't know, another Phish concert

a band in 1980s and 1990s called New Order.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Dramatic Chinese Cop Makes a Great Save

China isn't exactly known for its human rights and tolerance, but when those in positions of authority put their, well, authority to good use, things come out just great.

The evidence of this is caught on a surveillance camera. (Those damn things are everywhere, aren't they?)

Anyway, the video shows a suicidal woman just starting to jump off a bridge with her baby. Published reports say that family trouble drove the woman toward suicise.

Just before she goes over the bridge, a cop runs up and makes quite a grab. He ends up making the save. Very nicely. Watch below:

A Cain Ad As Horror Flick?

Wow, Herman Cain might be long gone from the presidential race, but he's still putting out ads, and they are, well, creepy.

The dying goldfish in the scary new Cain ad.
The latest one, "This Is the Economy on Stimulus" is all over the blogosphere this morning.  To illustrate how lousy Cain thinks the Obama stimulus package is, we are presented with what appears to be a psychopathic little girl standing in a post-apocalyptic landscape.

She dumps a goldfish out of a bowl onto the ground and says that's the economy. Then she splashes the dying fish with water and mud, to symbolize the stimulus. Then the crazy little girl demands to know if we have any questions, and we'd better say no, or she'll bludgeon us to death, I'm sure.

I haven't seen a scarier little girl since "The Exorcist"

I also have to wonder about the idea of torturing little animals to make a political point. The liner notes at the bottom of the YouTube video, which you can view if you dare at the bottom of this post, say the fish is fine. But I don't think so.

What's next? Will the frightening little girl stick nails into puppies to demonstrate Cain's disdain for Obama's education policy? Toss kittens off tall bridges to demonstrate Cain's view that the nation is experiencing freefall under Obama?

Cain's advertising was made famous last year, when his team produced one featuring his chain smoking campaign manager standing menacingly in a doorway singing the praises of Cain. The ad ended with Cain with a chilling smile.

I don't know whether Cain is a scary guy or the most wonderful person in the world.  But boy, his ads are enough to give people nightmares. Maybe his team can create second careers for themselves by making dark, bitter horror movies. They do have an audience after all.

See the goldfish ad for yourself, below,  and tell us what you think.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Rush Limbaugh: "Funny" Man or Libelous?

Yep, I know, shock jocks and schlock jokes are supposed to be, well, shocking and schlocky, so you have to expect them to say outrageous things. It pays their bills, it keeps them employed. It makes them happy, even if a lot of other people don't end up happy.

So it was this week with Rush Limbaugh, who really outdid himself.  His comments seem to be making a much bigger stir than usual, as he's all over the blogosphere with this, and the outrage is hot enough to make the snow melt all the way to Minsk.
Rush Limbaugh does not seem to like
Sandra Fluke

Rush was talking about Sandra Fluke, that young woman who wanted  to testify before a Congressional committee run by Republicans on who should cover contraception through insurance plans and who need not.  She was not allowed to, outraging some Democrats and pleasing some Republicans.

Fine, or not fine, that's politics. I won't get into that contraception debate. It's too much work, frankly. But Limbaugh had this charming thing to say about the young woman in question:

"What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke [sic] who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex -- what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. ... Ok, so she's not a slut. She's round-heeled."

What a comedian. Maybe Rush was just trying to mimic that old Saturday Night Live sketch fron the 1970s, You know, the one that goes "Jane, you ignorant slut."

Anyway, readers, when does one cross the line from being shocky and schlocky and being libelous?  Yes, Fluke did put herself in the spotlight, which makes it harder to pursue a libel charge, but whaddaya think, was Fluke libeled anyway?  I imagine if confronted, Rush would say he was joking, but there's also obviously no evidence that Fluke is a prostitute. Rush technically accused Fluke of doing something illegal. 

So what should Fluke do? Sue or let it go? Of course, I'd better be careful talking about this.  If Rush finds out I'm questioning his judgement, maybe he'll accuse me of having sex with a honey badger, or something.

In any event, feel free to offer your opinion. Just don't call anybody a slut if you do.  

The Monthly Fail Review

As I do every month, I bring you a compilation of fails from the month just passing. This time, we look at February.

Not surprisingly, given we're talking about February, this month's review has a bit of a winter theme, as several bad sledding, skiing and icy road mishaps appear, as do a couple weirder winter whoopsies.

In this video, my favorite is the old guy at the car wash and what happened to the guy who copped a feel of a woman's butt.

Here's the video, so you can feel better about yourself for not being quite this stupid: