Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Elections: Abigael Captures the Mood of a Nation

The video in this post EXPLODED across the Internet today, because four year old Abigael has perfectly captured the mood of a nation. We feel her pain, with the election nonsense continuing nonstop:

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Inevitable: Reporters in Sandy Floods, Weirdos in Background

As always when a hurricane or other big storm makes big news, you get the inevitable scene of reporters standing in the wind and rain and waves, struggling to stay on their feet as they get battered and yell uninteligibly into the gale

I've said this before, but why do they do this? I know it's more dramatic than a mere scene of wind and waves and destruction without a reporter in it, but still.

Also inevitable is the wackos who dance their ways into the shots of the reporters in the storm. They prance around, do stupid things, all to get on TV. It always works, as this video proves:

Monday, October 29, 2012

Before Sandy, Late Fall Bliss in Vermont

Last week, as all eyes turned toward Hurricane Sandy menacing the eastern U.S., including Vermont, we had a spell of blissful late autumn weather, the calm before the storm.
Autumn colored ivy on a brick
house brightens a neighborhood
in Winoosk, Vermont

Late, lingering autumn color adorned a few spots especially in urban areas where the air is a little warmer and trees cling to their leaves a while longer.

Yesterday and the day before, most of the remaining leaves fell off the trees in a light northerly breeze, which was the first hint that Sandy was lurking off the coast.

It's mostly winter grey now. But here are some photos I took last week, as fall let loose with some last minute color.
People enjoy a canopy and carpet
of yellow leaves on Burlington,
Vermont's waterfront.
People linger under golden trees on Burlington, Vermont's
Church Street Marketplace.  

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sandy: It's Obama's Fault, Say the Theorists

I knew as soon as they said Hurricane Sandy would be a very huge, very weird, very destructive storm for the U.S. that the conspiracies would start flying immediately.

And they have.
As this comic from Infowars shows, a number of
people think Obama is controlling the
weather for his politcal gain

The inevitable theory is this: U.S. military intelligence has figured out how to control the weather. Obama has ordered a massive storm so that it causes widespread chaos, and now right before the election he can grandstand and say what a great job he does marshalling FEMA and other forces to help our citizens.

Then he would be a shoo-in for reelection.


Yes, I know all the conspiracy minded people out there are going to blast away at me and say I'm part of the coverup for scoffing. I'm sure I'll get trolled mercilessly but so be it.  People all hate it when their belief systems are criticized. Everyone. Including me. Including people who embrace, um, unusual theories.

There's tons of Web sites like Infowars that have lots of conspiracy theories. Some make sense and might actually be true.  Some stories on these sites actually are true.  A few are wayyy over the top

Here's my response to the Obama and Sandy theory:  There's got to be at least a few Romney partisans in military intelligence. And it would take quite a team to help Obama steer a deadly storm into the U.S.

Someone from that team, the Romney guy, surely,  would be outraged at Obama's efforts to control the weather and unleash a deadly storm on the U.S. This outraged person would find and steal some proof that Obama is doing this and mention it to the press.

Yes, yes, the press is part of the coverup, say the conspiratorial types. But I know how the media operates. If anybody got a bombshell like this, they would broadcast it so big. It would be beyond the story of a lifetime.

And when the story got out, do you think people would vote for Obama knowing he created a storm that killed a bunch of people and wrecked half the East Coast? The mildest thing that would happen to Obama in that situation is he'd be tried for treason and executed.

Even if Obama got away with it initially and nobody found out about his evil storm deed before the election, it would come out later. And he'd be impeached quicker than you could say "John Boehner."

And I'm surprised, if weather modification really existed, that nobody's proven it to the public. For years, the suspicious ones have been talking about HAARP, which supposedly is the Pentagon's High Prequency Active Auroral Research Program, which, under the theory, has been causing all those weird storms that have been hitting the U.S. and elsewhere for years.

 I know the conspiracists say they have proof and the main stream media is once again  covering it up.  However I don't think Fox News, for example, would keep their mouths shut.

I know I'm spelling this all out too much, but it's fun to do so. Say what you want about Obama. Love him or hate him. But no, he didn't cause Hurricane Sandy.

But go ahead and write out the evil Obama/Sandy narrative. It might make for a profitable screenplay or something.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Really Awesome Sandy View From Space

Here's a fascinating YouTube video that just popped up for you weather geeks out there.

The people in the International Space Station took a video of Hurricane Sandy as it passed overhead Thursday. The hurricane was in the Bahamas at the time.

Often, the more horrible the storm, the more beautiful it looks from space.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

More Obnoxiousness from Abercrombie and Fitch

An A&B model relaxes and protects his abs, in case
he's called upon to help out on the company plane.

Like something created by a self-entitled rock star, the rules are just an obnoxious to do list to ensure the employees know that the Boss, namely CEO Mike Jeffries, is in control. Like they don't know that already.

Who in the world could remember these rules, anyway? I wouldn't last a minute, because I'd be so busy trying to subvert the rules I wouldn't get any work done.

For those of you who aren't into retail, Abercrombie & Fitch is a clothing store catering to young people. The store tries to sell an atmosphere of being for Beautiful People only. (Anyone over 27 and having imperfect looks need not apply) Abercrombie & Fitch stores are dark, so you can't actually see what you're buying, so I guess it doesn't matter what the clothes look like.

They pump in very loud club music, and I'm surprised the overwhelming fumes of cologne wafting through the stores hasn't caught the attention of the EPA or the World Health Organization.

Anyway, some of the rules on the company airplane include:

The models (and they're all models) working in the plane must always respond to Jeffries and Smith with "no problem."  Nothing like "Yes, sir" or "Sure" are permitted. I would have responded by saying "Whatever you moronic highness."

The "no problem" response could be well, problematic. Imagine this conversation:
"Hey, the plane engines are on fire and we're going to crash. We're all going to die!
"No problem."

Well, geez, a deadly crash is a problem, no?

The models must wear Abercrombie & Fitch clothes, which makes perfect sense, but they must be in jeans, polo shirts, flip flops and boxer briefs. Uh, who does the inspection to make sure they are wearing boxer briefs. On second thought, I don't want to know.

Male staff, and they're all males, should spritz their uniforms with Abercrombie & Fitch #41 cologne during the duration of the shift.

Great, the planes smell as bad as the retail stores. And wouldn't all those fumes cause some sort of in air explosion if it mixes with hot jet exhaust somehow?  I'm surprised I haven't heard about a series of Abercrombie & Fitch airline disasters.

I get it that Jeffries wants to keep things clean in the plane.  Who wants to jet around the world in a dump?  But everything, including cabin, galley and cabinet doors and seat belts should always be free of fingerprints, according to the rules.

How the hell do you use all that stuff if you can never touch it?

Here's one rule I actually like and would demand if I were in charge: All loose advertising and inserts in the 13 specific magazines that are stocked in the airplane must be removed. I hate it when I pick up a magazine and a blizzard of advertising cards and papers falls to the floor. Who wants to pick up piles of paper when you really want to sit down and read a magazine?

Bathrooms must have eight washcloths, no more, no less, and they must be "tri-folded," whatever that means.

Before any guests go to sleep on beds that are apparently in the company jet, the crew should "spray the bedding with sleep spray."

What the hell is "sleep spray?"  Is it Raid, to kill the nonexistent insects? I hope it's not Abercrombie & Fitch #41 cologne. I'd rather be sprayed with Raid before going to bed. At least it smells better.

All these rules  came to light after Michael Bustin, a former pilot, sued Abercrombie & Fitch for age discrimination.

The pilot that replaced Bustin was reportedly 32 years old. Which I guess is better than what I would expect. Imagine a teenage model with no brains but awesome abs piloting the plane.

Cleanliness would be the least of Jeffries' problems.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Horror House Photos are Funny for Halloween

I found a series of photos on Buzzfeed of people in a Buffalo, New York haunted house that are too funny. 

The Haunted House, the Nightmares Fear Factory in Niagra Falls, Canada, snaps photos of a particularly scary corner of the haunted house.

People look funny when suddenly spooked, don't they? I just had to show a few of the photos to get you in the proper Halloween mood.

If nothing else, the faces on these people might give you ideas as you carve your Jack 'O Lanterns.

Why I Won't Ever Get an e-Book

News about Amazon cutting a woman off from her Kindle library, permanently, without explanation confirms why I'll stick to old fashioned paper books.

Beware the Kindle.
Amazon wiped away her library, and when she asked for an explanation, Amazon said she violated the terms of service.

She didn't realize she did, or how she performed such violation, so she asked what she did wrong. They wouldn't tell her. She did get this:

"We have found your account is directly related to another which has been previously closed for abuse of our policies. As such, yoru account has been closed and any open orders have been cancelled."

The woman responded: "I am very surprised to read your email. What do you mean by "directly related to another which as been previously closed for abuse of our policies"? I can only remember ever having this one account, and I use it quite regularly to buy books for my Kindle, as you can probably see by my purchase history. How can there suddenly be a problem now? I use and no couk for my Kindle, does that make any difference?"

Her questions seem reasonable enough, but the response from Amazon was basically "f*** you." They refused to give her any more information.

Even if she inadvertently did something wrong, is that any way to treat a customer? Apparently it is.

Now, if you buy a traditional non computerized book at a bookstore, as long as you pay for the book, the person who owns the store won't come to your house and take back the book if he doesn't like what you're doing with it.

Amazon, and presumably all e-book sellers, have no problem with taking back whatever you bought. Because you didn't really buy the book, as Wired points out.  In the e-book world, you just bought permission to read it on your device. The book isn't actually one of your posessions like it would be had you purchaased it from your neighborhood book store.  .

If you do something illegal, like shoplift from the bookstore, the cops get involved. You get due process. Unless you plead guilty, you get a trial where prosecutors have to prove your guilt in a courthouse, open to the public, before you are punished.

With the ebooks, there's no due process. A private corporation decides whether you are guilty or innocent, and that's that. Nobody has to prove anything. It's the corporation's way or the highway.

I suppose with ebooks, there's the risk somebody can illegally sell multiple copies of the publication, which violates copyright laws and screws over authors, publishers and others.

But, that's illegal, as I said.  Somebody can press charges and whoever is doing the illegal selling of ebooks goes to court and if found guilty, is probably punished. At least in a world that makes sense.

In the case of the Norwegian woman who had her library wiped away, there's apparently some complicated issue over territorial rights between different publishers in different countries that's involved in this, according to Forbes.

But how is the nice Norwegian woman supposed to know the intricasies of international publishing law? Couldn't they just tell her she was screwing up, and how she was doing it, in plain English, and make her promise not to do it again?

However, explaining this would make too much sense, and besides, cost a small amount of money better made available to billionaire CEOs.

I'm sure there's something in the terms of service verbiage that explains all that. But my theory is the companies that put out these long, complicated terms of service written in incomprehesible legalease that way so we're confusesd, we don't read them, and they can get away with murder. "Well, you agreed to the terms of service," they could say.

As if anybody in their right mind could read, much less understand that garbage.

When the media started poking around this case, Amazon responded with this:

"We would like to clarify our policy on this topic. Account status should not affect any customer's ability to access their library. If any customer has trouble accessing their content, he or she should contact customer service for help."

She did contact customer service and got no help, people!  No more details. Apparently, the media has no business asking Amazon about this, according to the brain trust there.

I know this type of incident doesn't happen too often, but it's enough for me to decide that my decision to keep buying traditional books is a good one.

People complain about government over-regulation taking away our freedoms. And there certainly is the potential for that. But why doesn't anyone complain about corporations coming up with dense incomprehensible rules. Doesn't that diminish our freedoms, too?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Really Interesting Lesley Gore Political Ad

One of my favorite songs from the 1960s is Lesley Gore's "You Don't Own Me." It came out in the early part of that decade, and it's quite a feminist statement for that early era.

I love the forboding melody, the warning to the guys out there. Don't mess with her. And the way Gore belts out the song. Definitely the best song from 1964, or at least close to it. 

Now, of course, the sentiment in the song is just the way things are. Everybody understands women are not to be owned, controlled.

Gore, now 66, is still recording, touring and being active out in the business.

Gore has just put out a video, a political anti-Romney ad. I try to be nonpartisan in this blog, but I'm showing the video because I just think it's interesting. I won't say whether I agree with any or all the sentiments in the video. I know fans of Romney won't be pleased by the video, but bear with me.

What Gore did for the video is  the original "You Don't Own Me" plays throughout the video as a wide variety of women lip sync the song. There are written political messages that pop up now and then. But to me, the cool part of the video is how many of the women in it embrace the song as their own, and do so in such a variety of ways.

I love any kind of media that show how different and quirky our personalities are.

The vid is below. And in the interest of nonpartisanship, if anybody knows of a cool pro Romney video, I'll consider posting that too. Only if it's cool, though.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Only in Burlington, Vermont: Weird Sign, Again

You always see notices taped to utility poles, advertising the latest hot band coming to town, the latest lost cat needing to be found, the latest garage sale with bargains bargains bargains!!

In Burlington, Vermont, sometimes you get signs like this one here. (Click and make it bigger and easier to see)  Somebody was clearly having a bad day, and not necessarily thinking clearly.

I hope whoever it was is OK.

But, happily, this person regrets throwing some sort of flag away, or stomping on it or something.

And "Sado-Mass-ichism?" Does that mean doing something kinky, but only in Massachusetts? I'm confused. I probably ought to stay that way.

This is just yet another mystery in the big city of Burlington, Vermont.

Vermont Weekend Skies Delight

A double rainbow over Charlotte, Vermont
Saturday afternoon
Saturday was an awesome weather day in Vermont. It was warm and sunny, but then in the late afternoon, some billowing clouds, showers, thunder and big rainbows made an appearance.

I always appreciate days when the sky puts on a show, and the weather changes minute to minute.

As always, click on the pics to get a bigger, better view of them.
Roiling storm clouds invade
Georgia, Vermont after a warm
sunny day.
A big autumn rainbow rises above a
St. Albans, Vermont hillside
Saturday evening

Don't Take Heroin to a Murder Trial

A New York teacher has gotten in trouble for bringing refreshments to a murder trial, a proceeding in which he was a juror.

The reason he is in trouble is said refreshments consisted of 18 small bags of heroin, according to New York authorities.

Teacher Damien Esteban looks glum after
being caught with a bit of heroin when
he reported to jury duty. Oops
I've covered enough trials as a journalist to understand that court trials can get pretty tedious, even if the alleged crime in question is spectacular.

So I don't blame him for wanting help to get through the day. But heroin? Isn't that, um a bit illegal?  Jeez, they would have probably forgiven you for bringing a Diet Coke or two with you to perk you up.

I've never taken heroin (Honest! I'm deathly afraid of the stuff) so I had to look up what heroin does to you. Apparently, people use it to feel a warm and safe feeling, and euphoria.

Do you really want to feel euphoric at a murder trial?

And it's easy to get caught, since in his case the heroin was in a cigarette box and set off  the metal detectors.

The teacher was kicked off the jury, of course,  and if he was looking for another court proceeding in his future, like his own trial, he'll be disappointed. He was charged with a misdemeanor, and if he keeps his nose clean and his mind out of the junk for six months, he'll be free without a criminal record.

Of course, his school is reviewing his future, so he may or may not have a job down the line.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Butterfly and the Confused Rhododendron

I took at walk the other day in Burlington, Vermont's Waterfront Park because it was such a nice, mild afternoon.

The park has a lot of rhododendrens, and I saw they were confused. They had bloomed riotously back in May, as they normally do, then the shrubs spent the summer being nice and green, like they're supposed to.

Now, their leaves were turning autumn red, as usual, but something else was going on. The spring rhododendren blooms were back. Very odd. I guess the shrubs were  just pining for spring already.

A migrating monarch butterfly wasn't so confused. He stopped on the shrubs to fuel up for his or her long trip south. I caught the moment.

It was certainly worth taking my lunchtime walk that day.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Songs to Make Funerals More Pleasant

I don't want to judge what people choose to play at funerals. OK, I do, but the disclaimer is that I fully realize everybody is entitled to arrange a funeral however they like, and if I don't like it, too freaking bad.

However, I would suggest that people who plan funerals and think a certain song would be appropriate should at least pay attention to the lyrics.
Maybe playing inappropriate music would
cheer this group up

I say this because of the news that Adele's "Someone Like You" is now a frequent hit at funerals, according to the publication NME.

Yes, the song is terrific. And mournful sounding, too. But are the lyrics really a fitting sendoff for the dearly departed?
The song opens with these words:

I heard that you're settled down
That you found a girl and you're married now.
I heard that your dreams came true.
Guess she gave you things I didn't give to you.

So our deceased person  died to find the girl of his or her dreams, got married in the afterlife and is having a better time than when he or she  had to hang around with idiots like you? 

OK, so maybe I'm being too literal. But still.

Then there's the song's chorus:

Never mind, I'll find someone like you
I wish nothing but the best for you, too.
 Don't forget me, I begged, I remember you said.
 Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead.  
So you're saying to the deceased: Yeah, I'll miss you, but I'll find somebody just as good as you, so I get over your death. Quickly. Time to party now, bye."

The list of most popular funeral titles has some other winners it it. My favorite is  Number 13 on the list of songs at funerals: The Monty Python hit "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life."
These lyrics will get the mourners into a party mood:

"If life seems jolly rotten, there's something you've forgotten
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing
When you're feeling in the dumps, don't be silly, chumps
 Just purse your lips and whistle, that's the thing"

It certainly would  help alleviate some of the gloom that funerals generally entail.

There's "Unchained Melody", another popular choice with people who arrange funerals, with these lyrics:

Oh my love my darling
I've hungered hungered for your touch
A long lonely time
And time goes by so slowly
And time can do so much
Are you still mine
I need your love
I need your love

God speed your love to me

It's a little late to hunger for the dead person's touch, since that ain't gonna happen.

At least  Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" sort of fits, lyrically:

Near, far, wherever you are
I believe that the heart does go on
Once more you open the door
And you're here in my heart

And my heart will go on and on

If the person in the casket still has a beating heart, time to call 911 and call off the funeral. It's a miracle!!!

I do love the song "Enjoy the Silence" by Depeche Mode, another suggestion for the Funeral Top 40:
Here are some lyrics:

All I ever wanted
All I ever needed
Is here in my arms
Words are very unnecessary
They can only do harm

To be overly literal, once again, "All I ever needed is here in my arms? You're hugging the dead person?! I'm not sure I'd go that far.

If you think about it, there's so many other songs that could work as funeral dirges, if you have a mean, sick, weird sense of humor, like I do. There's Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" and Elton John's "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" whose lyrics go:

"Oh it kills me to think of you with another man
I was playing rock and roll and you were just a fan
My guitar couldn't hold you so I split the band
Love lies bleeding in my hands."

That would sure raise some questions among fellow mourners.

Authorities to Lunch Lady: Make Crummier Food

The stereotype is that school lunch ladies do not have a flair for, um, preparing lunch.

Well, there's one Swedish lunch  lady whose food was so good, she was ordered to make her dishes less appetizing.
A Swedish lunch lady got in trouble for making
lunch more appetizing than this one.

It seems Annica Eriksson made the mistake of serving 15 kinds of vegetables and offering fresh bread to the school's contingent of fourth graders.

Not good, according to municipal officials in the town of Falun, Sweden. Eriksson's cooking talents were unfair to students in other schools, who at lunches that weren't quite p to Eriksson's standards.

Um, why not just leave Eriksson alone and figure out how to make lunches at other schools better? Especially since Eriksson was staying within budget, so she wasn't throwing public money out the window. Or into kids' stomachs.

The town fathers and mothers also say that Ericsson's food doesn't meet new health standards. Since when are vegetables unhealthy? She's not serving french fries.

Well, now the town has changed its mind.  Ericksson can continue with her veggies and freshly baked bread after all.  The whole dispute was nothing but a misunderstanding, and the change of heart has nothing to do with all the negative publicity, they insist. Of course not!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Heartwarming Elephant Rescue to Make You Weepy

I'm a sucker for animal rescues.

In a world where humans too often are cruel to animals, or at best, indifferent, I love it when people go out of the way to help just one animal in need.

Like many people, I need the good stories. Especially since there's all kinds of awful animal stories, like the report on NBC's Today this morning on oragutans being killed by deforestation in Sumatra. (Though the report did discuss a man working to save the animals.)

So I loved the video that has popped up on YouTube over the past week. People with the Amboseli Trust for Elephants learned an eight month old baby calf had become trapped in a shallow well in Kenya, and its mother, Zombe, couldn't get her little one out.

A crew from Amboseli raced to the scene, and you can see their incredibly difficult and frantic work in the video. Stay with the video until the end for the reward.  You might get weepy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Brothel Trip by 14-year Old Financed by Selling Mom's Jewels

Oh, oh, oh, is this 14-year old in BIG TROUBLE over in Germany

According to Reuters (and you know you're in trouble if a major news organization picks up the story) The boy took two trips to brothels and financed the trip by hawking about $3,000 worth of his mother's jewelry for a little over a tenth of its assessed worth.

Did a 14 year old boy steal mom's jewels to go to
this scary city brothel district?
I guess this adds some logic to the viewpoint of that Arkansas politician who earlier this month said a death penalty for rebellious kids isn't such a bad idea.

You have to admit the kid was pretty brazen. Not especially truthworthy, though. Will this go on his permanent record? His mother is pressing charges, I noticed. I bet dinnertime conversation in this kid's home is a bit awkward at this point.

I wonder if the trip to the brothel was worth it. Did he at least get what he paid for? Or did they decide he was underage and he spent his money on nothing.

I guess the world's oldest profession inspires one of the world's oldest crimes: Theft.

Some Incredibly Messy Offices

I admit it and everyone who knows me knows it. My office space, both at work and my home office are pigsties. I can't seem to bring myself to clean things up properly.

Oh, sure, every once in awhile I go into a frenzy and do some cleaning and it looks better, briefly. Then, it falls into disarray with seconds, it seems.

Did someone say that a messy office is a sign of an active mind? That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Anyway, I'm not as bad an office housekeeper as some people, as a series of pictures I found on Buzzfeed demonstrate. Some of these offices look like dungeons, others like a municipal landfill on a particularly hectic day.

I have enough trouble finding stuff in my office. How do these people find anything? And what do some of these offices smell like?

I like the one within the link with the soda cans. I collect them, too. But after just a few accumulate, it's off to the recycling center I go. I bet one of these offices has close to $100 in cans.

So, while I can continue to work in my office pigpen, I can take pleasure in the knowledge that at least somebody is worse than  me.

Fall Begins to Fade in Vermont

We had a good, hard freeze last weekend, some rain Sunday, some wind Monday.

 It all means that Vermont's fall foliage season is fading fast.  Last week, I was near Mount Mansfield, the state's highest mountain. The foliage was just past peak, but still beautiful. But the cold, blue clouds and shadows on the slopes told me winter is almost here.

You can see it all in the photos I took. (As always, click on each photo to make them bigger and more viewable.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Best TV Reporter EVER!

On Reddit, probably the best television reporter out there was featured, Charlie LeDuff of Fox 2 in Detroit.

In the news segment cited, LeDuff reported on a long running story concerning Wayne County, Michigan Executive Robert Ficano and a money/political scandal.

LeDuff is a highly regarded writer, film maker and was a multi-media reporter for the Detroit News, according to his Web site. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his past work for the New York Times. He apparently works for the local Fox 2 station.

At first glance, the story LeDuff covered for Fox 2 is pretty standard stuff. Did Ficano mis-spend money, get a friend of his a job, and does a resulting budget shortfall cut services to needy residents?

It's almost a cliche. More mid level big city corruption. Until LeDuff got his hands on it. He comically, but passionate and angrily offers a window into what the budget cuts mean for recipients of Meals on Wheels and others.

The video is almost a year old, but it is still great to watch this reporter at work. I would be glued to local television newscasts every single night if I was able to watch something like this:

Yes, LeDuff's report is theatrical with a show business flair. As you can see in the video, he demonstrates, at length, on the incredibly scary poor quality of food from Meals on Wheels new, cheaper supplier, a prison food company in Mississsippi. Basically giving inedible rot to seniors. Real classy, Wayne County!

LeDuff even eats some cat food to demonstrate what seniors and the disabled are going through.

His report is advocacy journalism, for sure. But why not? It's OK as long  as his report is accurate and gives all sides the opportunity to speak. And he does.  Plus, it gets people fired up about an injustice, which is what the best journalism should do.

It's true, leDuff's freewheeling style of journalism has its risks. You can be entertaining and not careful enough. There were some allegations of plagarism or misreporting in his otherwise successful career.

Sometimes, news agencies are a little too careful to appear "balanced," giving equal weight between something that makes sense and something totally loony.  Sure, you need to hear everyone out in case they have a good point. You can't dismiss anybody. Until and unless you verify what they have to say isn't worth much.

That's what made LeDuff's report so refreshing. He wasn't afraid to go there to inform the public.

Porsche in Cement

The video in this post has been up and out there for a good eight months, but it's getting traction, so to speak, as major sites like Huffington Post pick it up.

The video's popularity stems from the fact we all love a good case of schadenfreude. In this case, the driver of a Porsche got impatient waiting in traffic at a construction site. So he zoomed around the queue of cars and hit......a lot of wet cement.

Lots of people like the sense of karma in this.

Reportedly, the guy had to pretty much get the entire undercarriage and break system replaced on the car. Oh well, he can afford it. I would enjoy being a fly on the wall during a conversation with the car insurance company, though.

Watch the video for yourself. The best part is the comments from bystanders.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Vermont Sky Proves Fall Color Not Just in Trees

The sky over Vermont this evening was a perfect counter point to the fall foliage, was just beginning to fade to past peak.
Sunset over Lake Champlain, taken from St. Albans, Vermont
Oct. 15, 2012

As the sun set, the clouds lit up to the same tone of orange and red and yellow that graced Vermont's hillsides this month.

Even before the sun entirely set, the clouds took on a odd pattern and color. It looked fake, like a badly painted theatrical backdrop. And the trees below were the "wrong" color, orange and yellow, making the surroundings look like a different world.
Another view of Oct. 15, 2012
sunset as viewed from a
St. Albans, Vermont hill
A bit earlier in the evening, fall foliage on the ground
and a setting sun helped create "fake" looking colors and
textures in the clouds in this view from Georgia, Vermont
For the record, no photoshopping here.  

Ducks Will Take Over the World, And It's My Fault

I just learned I did a terrible thing in August.

It turns out, I made it more possible that ducks will take over the world, and become lords over humans.

How do I know? A 14-year old in New Zealand broke this story. According to the teen, same sex marriage could make it easier for ducks to conquer the world.  I got this from the deliciously sarcastic Gawker web site, who got the letter from the Canterbury, New Zealand Northern Outlook.
The fateful "ducks will take over the
world" letter from a New Zealand teen

Here's the logic, I think, but it's hard to follow our writer, Jasmin, 14 as she explains it. . "Ducks always nest in pairs, and if we allow same sex marriage, then the ducks will have evolved further than we have. Ipso facto, an Orwellian dystopia will emerge, with ducks more equal than us."

Meanwhile, the teen says, homosexuality will spread, and that will stop us from evolving like ducks are.

Well, at least Jasmin is getting a partial good education. The kid has heard of Orwell, and uses words like "dystopia," so that's a start.

Jasmin says, quite reasonable, that "I don't want my children to compete with ducks."

That would be terrible. Everybody knows ducks swim and fly much better than children.

The impeding takeover of the world by ducks is partly my fault, because, as regular readers of this blog know, I married the man of my dreams in August. I'm a guy, too, so I'm in one of those gay marriages that will lead to the ascendency of ducks.

I've been married nearly two months now, and so far, I have noticed few indications that ducks are plotting a world takeover. They seem to float around in ponds like they always do, quacking merrily. Then again, those dastardly ducks can be sneaky. They could be plotting the takeover while just playing stupid.

Come to think of it, are ducks behind the trend in recent years of "duck face?" Are they encouraging us to look like them as part of their evil plot?

Duck face, to the unitiated, is the tendency of some women to pump their lips so full of collagen that they end up resembling ducks. Or, failing the collagen, it's a practice by some young women to push their lips forward as much as possible to suggest, uh, suggestive pouting. It rarely works, is my guess.

Luckily there are rays of hope in Jasmin's letter. For one, it's inconsistent. The kid worries about ducks evolving ahead of us humans, but later in the letter she says she doesn't believe in evolution. So if evolution doesn't exist, how can those awful ducks evolve ahead of us? Jasmin leaves that question unanswered. Maybe we'll get a follow up from her to clear that up.

Of course, this letter might have just been a joke. Somebody writing something so off the wall it was bound to get attention. So in that regard, it succeeded.

Jasmin, the letter writer, says she is homeschooled, which raises that stereotypical red flag about homeschoolers being wacko cranks who want to prevent their  kids from being "exposed" to evil things like truth and science and inquiry and facts.

Facts are evil, after all. Satan invented them. Look it up.

It's too bad, really. My understanding is that homeschooling actually works great for some people and homeschooled kids often turn out well balanced and highly educated.  But the people who homeschool kids like Jasmin kill thatr reputation, don't they?

I did like this response to Jasmin's letter. The guy took the time to explain things, and not be too nasty. Like I'm being, for instance. 

The guy who wrote Jasmin points out that there are gay ducks. Or at least ducks who engage in homosexual behavior from time to time.

Now we're really in trouble, if you live in Jasmin's world. Imagine being ruled by tyrannical gay ducks?

Is Canada a Food Crime Hot Spot?

What is it about Canada, that crime in general seems to be less sordid than in the United States. And lately, Canadian crime seems particularly centered around food.

In today's Burlington (Vt.) Free Press, I wrote about a major heist in August of Quebec's strategic maple syrup reserve. There really is such a thing. Apparently, they have stockpiles of syrup in Quebec to get them through lean years when not much syrup is produced because of bad weather. Kind of like the United States has a strategic oil reserve to get us through shortages.
Maple syrup: Now a major factor in Canadian crime?

Anyway, somebody stole something like $30 million worth of the stuff from a Quebec warehouse. Apparently, a lot of it was recently found in New Brunswick but as far as I know, there've been no arrests.

Luckily, the maple heist seems to have had no major effect on maple syrup availability or prices. Which is good, since I could live without maple syrup about as well as I could live without air. And at prices that are around $40 per gallon,  maple syrup could definitely push the budget.

This isn't the only major Canadian food crime recently. Earlier this month, Canadian investigators made arrests in a cheese smuggling ring that involved Canadian police.

That's right, cheese smuggling. Not drug smuggling. Not human trafficking. Cheese.

It seems cheese from the United States is much less expensive than cheese from Canada. So, cheese was smuggled across the border, at which taxes and duties were evaded, and brought into the Great White North.

According to a press release from Niagara Regional Police,   the two suspects were police officers who made about $165,000 from the enterprise.
Is this another scary subject of international

Who'd of thought cheese smuggling could be so lucrative. I wonder what other products could be smuggled across the Canadian border for fun and profit?

Hmm. I could use a pay boost. Maybe I'll become a cheese smuggler. Or something like that. I live only 10 minutes south of the Canadian border, so my location is good.

While I'm at it, I can take a crack at the Canadian Strategic Maple Reserve, too. Because there's nothing better than maple syrup for breakfast, and some nice sharp cheddar for a midday snack.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Tricia Paytas: Ditziest, Most Top Heavy Political Commentator

Lots of smart and well informed people will vote for Barack Obama. And lots of smart and well informed people will vote for Mitt Romney.

The woman in this post is a Romney supporter, but let's just say she's not necessarily the smartest and most well informed of his Republican's backers.

Listen to this woman's reasoning for voting for Mitt
Romney. She is memorable.
I wondered at first if this video is an act, a fake, but people who've watched it say no, she's the real deal. Even if her chest isn't.

She's Trisha Paytas, something of a YouTube star with her videos on makeup application. She even was a brief and extremely bad contestant on America's Got Talent, though judge Howard Stern certainly loved her chest.

Anyway, Paytas  has some interesting things to say about why she thinks Romney ought to be our president. For those who can't bear to watch the whole video, below (but it really is worth watching).

I worried that the spiked bracelet on her wrist as she waved her arms around would suddenly deflate her like the Goodyear Blimp hitting a radio tower, but things turned out safely.

Here are some choice quotes from this, um interesting person, Trisha Paytas, that explain why she is voting for Romney:

"I have Twitter so I sort of watched the debate. There was something about Big Bird and Romney won, Yay!"

 "Mitt Romney is super hot....He is super gorgeous and hot and we really haven't had a hot president since, like, Kennedy, but we all know how that ended."

There's 20 to 30 second period in the video where our Trisha stops and looks confused. Apparently, planes were flying over her house and distracting her. And we all know how distant planes always make us stop in our tracks. Or, as she says, "Ewwwww! Plane, go away!"

Other reasons she's voting for Ronmney is "My kitten is named Mitts so Yay!, like it's a sign, I think."

Also: "Mitt rhymes with tit and I have two of those."

Yes, Trish, you sure do.

Trisha invites us to go to Romney's campaign Web site because "you can buy some of his really cool t-shirts." She sees some good in Obama but ultimately can't vote for him. "I could use some Obamacare but I can't vote for him because he's going to take away my right to be a Catholic.."

All these quotes are fun to read, of course, but you've got to see how she delivers them in her um, hot video:

More power to her. She's laughing all the way to the bank.  If she can figure out where it is.  Her video had 1.6 million hits as of Sunday and counting. And good for her for putting herself out there and exercising her First Amendment rights.  Even if she doesn't know what the First Amendment is. Still, I always admire people who stand up and speak out for what they believe in.

I'm sure Mitt Romney is glad to have Trisha's support, but somehow I doubt she will be making any campaign appearances with him.  Especially if Mrs. Romney has anything to say about it.

 I've already highlighted some of her quotes, but to get the full effect, and to see some other quite memorable moments, you have to watch the video.  It is a gem:

Friday, October 12, 2012

Barrier Gate Really Hates a Certain Car

Have you ever had one of those days where you disliked something so much you wanted to repeatedly bash it into oblivion?

Who knew parking lot barriers have those days, too? You know those barriers. When you leave a parking lot and have to pay, it lifts out of your way when you've handed over the case.

A particular barrier seemed to notice a car parked near it that it Just. Absolutely. Hated.

Watch what the barrier did. No word on what the car did to annoy the barrier.

Poop On the Grass

You never know what you'll see on the grass as you're walking along sidewalks in Burlington, Vermont.

As I passed some recycling and other debris waiting for garbage pickup,  I had to sidestep some poop on the grass. As you can see by the pic, it was not traditional poop, the kind left by a dog.

I haven't seen a 45 rpm record in a long time. And the record is called "Poop." I'm unclear who sang it. I almost grabbed the 45 so I could play it and hear what the song was. But then I realized it's been decades since I had access to a record turntable.

So, like all smart people, I didn't touch the poop on the lawn, and walked away.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Roach Eating Death Mystery Merits Analysis

I hate to make fun of a death, but the passing of a man in Florida who had just completed a live roach eating contest merits some discussion, don't you think?

Luckily, there's a great Associated Press analysis of the situation by writers Suzette Laboy and Tamara Lush.
Edward Archbold at the roach eating contest.
He passed away not long after the contest ended. 

As an aside, I mentioned earlier this month  in a post about alligators swimming with kids during pool parties,  how Lush, formerly a Vermont reporter, now has such a great job  reporting for the weird, weird news out of Florida.

Anyway, Laboy and Lush open their article with some of the most logical questions that you'd never thought you'd find yourself asking about people, like the guy who died, Edward Archbold, 32,  who eat live roaches for fun and profit:

"Why would anyone eat a live cockroach? Why did he die when several others in the contest ate the same bugs without incident? What inspired Archbold - who was described by the snake store owner as "the life of the party" - to shovel handfuls of crickets, worms and cockroaches into his mouth?"

As for why people participate in these contests, we get this:

"Lou Manza, a psychology professor at Lebanon Valley College, said folks who participate in extreme events like bug eating "are looking for things to make life interesting."
"At a certain level we're all looking for things to break up the monotony," said Manza, who participates in extreme marathons and says some people think that is odd. "We're striving for something that gives life meaning, something beyond the ordinary. The older you get, you start looking for something else."

The article goes on to say that such odd contests like roach eating are inspired by the Jackass movies, in which people in the films performed very odd stunts. I guess people apsire to what they see in the movies.

I might aspire to be like Woodward and Bernstein in "All the President's Men" (fat chance of that) Others aspire to be the world's best roach eater. More power to them!

Autopsy reports on Archbold won't be available for another week or so, but theories are he was allergic to roaches and he had enough in his system to go into shock and die. Or the bugs had some sort of bacteria that killed Archbold.

As always, I have questions not covered in the awesome Laboy/Lush AP article. What do roaches taste like? I need someone to describe it to me since I'm never going to try them myself. I guess I'm not "striving for something that gives life meaning," at least via the roach eating method.

Had Archbold survived, he would have won a python for his efforts. I'm not sure if a python is quite the prize I'd want to win in a contest, but to each his own.

But, as the AP story points out, people who participate in these weird contests are after the fame, not acquiring material wealth

If you consider material wealth being the proud owner of a python.

Guy With Cocaine Nose Makes Headlines

Given the fact that I never snort cocaine, I was unaware the drug could practically wipe your nose right off your face. 

Some millionaire from Britain blew most of his money on blow -- snorting coke every day. His nose collapsed, Leading to a very embarrassing mug shots, to say the least, and an awesome headline from the Daily Mail:

The resulting disaster to the guy's face has been all over this Internet thingy for a couple weeks now.  .

Apparently, cocaine eats away at the cartilage in the septum, which causes one's nose to collapse. Well, if this guy hasn't managed to lose all his money on drugs, I wonder if plastic surgery will help.

If this guy keeps snoring coke, will his entire face collapse?

It's amazing so many people abuse drugs that wreck your looks, not to mention your mind and your legal record. To wit: There's a famous series of photographs that shows how meth ages people damn quickly. The photos use mug shots taken of meth addicts. Not much time has elapsed between each set of photos.

The say crack is whack. I guess almost every popular drug has its drawbacks.

The only drug of choice that I consume is beer. Too much could lead to a beer belly, of course, so I'll need to stay moderate on my consumption, definitely.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I Could Star in A Late Night Infomercial

Routine tasks usually end badly for me. When I put down bottom heavy bottles on a flat surface so their contents won't spill, they still end up upside down, causing flash floods of whatever was in the bottles.

When I dig holes, they get smaller. I trip over everything. Things fly out of drawers when I open them. I can't open simple packages. My shirt is on inside out.

So I could really relate to a series of awesome GIFs on Buzzfeed, which shows the people on those late night infomercials who struggle with everything, that is before they buy the miracle product the infomercial is shilling.

These people trip over hoses in their backyard. Shelves collapse around them. They have hissy fits as things tumble out of closets. Their lives are one big bad slapstick comedy.

For a better look at what Buzzfeed was talking about, watch this video: It's kind of a documentary on my life:

But there's hope for people like that! Late night infomercials solve all of their problems! The only problem is, none of the hapless people in the world, like myself can stay up late and watch these infomercials. We're too exhausted from trying to manage the hell of getting through the day without destroying everything in our paths.

It's a wonder any of these items on late night infomercials get sold. It doesn't help that some of them don't work and break easily. Especially in the clumsy hands of the people that need the products in the first place.

Maybe I could win fame and fortune as the clumsy person in these infomercials. Then I can afford the products.

Slavery and Death Penalty: What is UP with Crazy Arkansas Politicians?

Slavery wasn't such a bad thing. It wouldn't be such a bad idea to impose the death penalty on rebellious children.

These sure as hell aren't my opinions. They are the wisdom, so to speak, of recent statements by Arkansas policititians that came to light recently.

The Arkansas Times is having a field day with all this. First they reported on Rep. Jon  Hubbard, the guy who said slavery might have actually been a good thing.

Jon Hubbard of Arkansas says slavery might
not have been such a bad idea.
Said Hubbard: “… the institution of slavery that the black race has long believed to be an abomination upon its people may actually have been a blessing in disguise. The blacks who could endure those conditions and circumstances would someday be rewarded with citizenship in the greatest nation ever established upon the face of the Earth.”

Hubbard also opines: “Wouldn’t life for blacks in America today be more enjoyable and successful if they would only learn to appreciate the value of a good education?”

Actually, he's partly got a point there. Only the blacks in question don't need to learn to appreciate the value of a good education. They just need to have access to such education. You know, in buildings that aren't crumbling, with up to date technology and textbooks, and teachers who know what they're doing. Something new like that, not the substandard schools many minorities are subject to.

Hubbard has thoughts on other subjects as well, oh yes he does. Take immigration. He doesn't like it. He says: .."the immigration issue, both legal and illegal... will lead to planned wars or extermination. Although now this seems to be barbaric and uncivilized, it will at some point become as necessary as eating and breathing."

The Arkansas Times article doubtless leaves some details out. Or Hubbard is. Who's idea is it to have these planned wars and exterminations? And why? I don't know, Hubbard seems a bit pessimitic to me.

This all gets better when you check out the writings of Charles Fuqua, a Republican running for a seat in the Arkansas legislature. Fuqua says,  that several things, including the entire U.S. economy,.violate the 10 Commandments. I'm not sure how, but I'm not an expert like Fuqua.
Charles Fuqua says a viable option for parents of
rebellious kids is to kill the little brats

A major highlight of Fuqua's philosophy is his idea that imposing the death penalty on rebellious children isn't such a bad idea.

"The maintenance of civil order in society rests on the foundation of family discipline. Therefore, a child who disrespects his parents must be permanently removed from society in a way that gives an example to all other children of the importance of respect for parents. The death penalty for rebellioius children is not something to be taken lightly."

Of course, a parent can't just off his kid the first time the little brat mouths off.  The courts should carefully decide which rebellious kid should die, and which should not, which adds a welcome sense of orderliness and legal heft to the pratice of getting rid of annoying kids.

And happily, parents wouldn't be compelled to kill their rebellious kids. It's just an option.

Fuqua is certainly not afraid of using death in other instances. For instance, he notes it's so expensive to keep prisoners in jail for a long time. Needless to say, Fuqua's got an elegant solution:

"We cannot continue to sustain the percentage of our population that is in prison. No prison term should be longer than two years. Prison should be unpleasant and rehabilitative. Anyone that cannot be rehabilitated in two years should be executed."   

So even if you're jailed for two years on a nonviolent crime, they can say "off with your head" in Fuqua's world. I guess that goes along with keeping rebellious kids in check.
Other thoughts from Fuqua:
"The minimum wage should be set at zero. It is simply a lie that raising the minimum wage helps people at the low end of the pay scale."

Yeah, make them work for free. Kind of like they did in the days of slavery. Which means Fuqua would find kindred spirits in Hubbard, the first guy in this post, and another Arkansas pol, Roy Mauch.

Mauch doesn't have much of a problem with slavery, either.

".. If slavery were so God-awful, why didn’t Jesus or Paul condemn it, why was it in the Constitution and why wasn’t there a war before 1861?
The South has always stood by the Constitution and limited government. When one attacks the Confederate Battle Flag, he is certainly denouncing these principles of government as well as Christianity."

I guess the civil war continues to rage, at least in Mauch's mind.

And Mauch had this to say about the 14th amendment, which among other things, granted U.S. citizenship to recently released slaves after the Civil War:

Says Mauch:  "The 14th Amendment completely destroyed the Founders’ concept of limited government and was coerced on this nation by radical people and in my opinion was never legally ratified as required by Article V of the Constitution. It was essentially a Karl Marx concept and would have never come from the pen of Madison or any of the patriots from Virginia."

Who knew Karl Marx was so interested in former slaves and freeing slaves would unleash the scourge of worldwide socialism?   Gee, what right does the government have to say slavery is a bad thing.

All these wacko viewpoints from Arkansas pols are funny, but there's a serious undercurrent. The Arkansas Times notes Fuqua is running for office with help from the Arkansas Republican Party. All of them have supporters in the Republican Party, and in some circles among the Arkansas electorate. And from people in other states as well.

The weird Arkansas politicians seem really into the Constitution, which is nice. In that spirit, I will say they have the First Amendment right to spout their stupidity. But it's still shocking that in this day in age, people in (minor) positions of power could be so ignorant, so bigoted, so whacked out.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A $100,000 Chicken Coop. Buy Now!

Seems everybody these days is getting back to the farm, growing vegetables in their yard, keeping chickens for fresh eggs in a shed out back.

This chicken coop comes with
raised garden beds and sells for
only $100,000.
The point of these home grown egg is, of course, their freshness tastes awesome, and you can save a little money.

Unless you rely on Neiman Marcus for all your chicken coop needs. Their new Christmas catalog is out, replete with their usual over the top fantasy gifts. From this catalog,  you can buy a nice chicken coop for your hens for the bargain basement price of $100,000.

Yes, I know the chicken coop is the price of a fair number of houses for people, but your chickens deserve only the best. Even better than what many people live in.

The Neiman Marcus chicken coop is inspired by a French Versailles palace, and has raised beds attached to it. I guess so you can do your gardening while waiting for the eggs to appear.

I suppose this chicken coop is worth it, if you want to coddle your goose that lays the golden eggs.

If you're not into chicken coops, there's other items in the Needless Markup  Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog. You can buy a walk on role in "Annie: The Musical for $30,000.

My mom loves owls and owl art, so there is a painting called "Snowy Owl" by Robert Wilson that goes for the rock bottom price of $70,000.

Or, you could get a dinner for 10 cooked by four top chefs for $250,000.

Cash and  credit cards accepted.

Host Faints, but QVC Sales Must, MUST Continue!

QVC, the network whose existence is all about merchandising and selling, selling, selling! proved again there's nothing more important than, well, making the sale.

Not even a medical emergency.

They were selling some kids' Android gizmo or something recently when one of the hosts, Cassie Slane, fainted, live on the air.

But co-host Dan Wheeler was there to save the day! Well, sort of. He did ask Slane if she was OK as she was collapsing to the floor. But the quick thinking cameraman quickly cut to an image of the product while Wheeler kept singing the praises of the gizmo and why you should buy it at its low, low, price.

As he's talking, you could hear the clunk and bang of Slane hitting the floor. Hey, sales have got to continue, even if part of the sales force dies, right. Commerce and capitalism above all else!

On the bright side, Slane is fine. She collapsed because she was suffering from low blood sugar but has reportedly recovered. But Russell could not have known that when she fell. She could have died of a heart attack for all he knew.

But, maybe they would have given him a bigger sales commission if Slane was out of the picture, who knows?

Anyway, here's the disturbing video so you can see for yourself:

A Cloudy But Awesome Vermont Autumn

The fall colors in Vermont this year are above average, in my estimation.  The colors are brighter and more varied than they have been in recent years. The foliage season has also hit about on schedule, not late like last year.

The sky is a different story,  however. There's been a lot of gloom, fog, drizzle, clouds, mist, rain. Luckily the sun has broken through from time to time, and this week is forecast to be sunnier than last.

The cloudiness and gloom has proven, though, that you don't need bright sun to create lots of wonderful foliage pictures. The photos this year tend to be different from the dazzling light you see in the tourist brochures, but that's OK. It's nice to have something different.

I took all these photos in Franklin County, Vermont, in the northwestern part of the state. Click on each pic for a bigger, better view.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Roadkill Cafe Found Not Appetizing

A Kentucky Chinese restaurant is apparently in trouble because its employees brought in roadkill for to satisfy their appetite.

Restaurant personnel insist the roadkill wasn't meant for customers. It was meant for familyt.  But some customers were alarmed by what appeared to be a bloody carcass being brought into the kitchen in a bin, dripping blood on the floor behind it.
Health officials say there will be no roadkill
on this restaurant's menu

The name of the eatery is "Red Flower Chinese Restaurant." I wonder if they should change the name to "Red, Icky Smears on the Kitchen Floor Restaurant."

Meat is expensive these days, and one way to save money, I suppose, is to see what's been run over out on the highway.

The people who run the restaurant say they didn't know they were doing anything illegal.

Still, didn't they worry about getting sick off the meat? How long had the animal been out there, squished by a truck or something and baking on the pavement in the sun?

What else are they finding out there they consider "edible?"  I hope they don't make dinner out of whatever the dog finds in the woods and drags home.

I always hear of people feasting on road kill, or donating it to somebody who needs food. I suppose it might be OK if the meat is immediately refrigerated upon the animal's death. Then thoroughly cooked afterward.

I really hope this is an isolated incident, and we're not eating roadkill at our favorite diner.

Health officials said the Red Flower could reopen after a thorough sanitizing. Several patrons said they wouldn't eat there, though. I guess they weren't enthused by daily special, "Smeared Bambi with Car Tire Glaze."

Just kidding, people.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Two of the Latest, Greatest Stupid Criminals

I got wind of two more stupid criminals today. This is certainly a growth industry isn't it?  An endess supply.

The first guy punched the heck out of his public defender in South Carolina, according to television station WCNC. . I guess the puncher, Lamarcus Williamson, 30, was displeased that he'd just been sentenced to 15 years behind bars. Apparently, Williamson has a pretty long rap sheet. Which just got longer, with that punch. defense attorney.
Larmarcus Williamson, channeling his inner
boxer, seen here lengthening his prison term.

They tacked on another six months to his sentence, and he might face assault charges, which would lengthen his prison term even more. But, I'm sure it felt good in the moment, even if it was that wrong.  I dunno. A minute of feeling good gets you at least six additional months in prison? Not sure that's so hot.

The second guy case is even more stupid, since it wasn't just one moment of idiocy but apparnetly a lifestyle of dumb.

Peter Rosello made a 35 second piece of cinema for YouTube called "Hobo gets NutChecked!!!!"

In it, you see the loser sneak up on an apparently homeless guy and punch him in the balls. That's all over in a few seconds. Then you just have blurry images of the pavement as Rosello runs to his car to get away. It's cinematic history folks.

Or not.

Maybe film school would help.

Of course, it was pretty easy for the police to figure out who Rosello hit, get a statement and figure out Rosello was the guy who did it.  Asked via Facebook why he punched the guy in the nuts, Rosello replied, "it's funnyyyyyyyy"

Rosello really likes his extra exclamation points and letters, doesn't he?

He want on to say he was just screwing around, wants to help the homeless yada yada yada.
Peter Rosello likes punching guys in the nuts, apparently. 

Rosello is the son of one of the Real Housewives of Miami. Oh great.  Maybe we can add a spinoff. "Real Housewives of Miami, or At Least Their Kids, Assault People and Think it's Funnyyyyyyyy"

Meanwhile, his stepfather, Herman Eschevarria said, "It's an unfortunate thing. But it just looks like kids playing. It's not really violent."

No, sucker punching unsuspecting people in the balls is sweet and light and innocent, like a morning kiss. Or something.

The guy who was assaulted isn't amused. He'll press charges, police are investigating and Rosello could be arrested at any time. Arresting officers killed the video star, maybe?