Monday, September 30, 2013

Some Heroes As Antidote To Clearly Non-Heroic Congress

With the looming government shutdown, and threat of an economic disaster caused by the Congressional debt ceiling fight, we could use some heroes. We're certainly not getting any in Washington.

But, humans are capable of heroics, of course.  Here's a video compilation of people going way, way, way beyond the call of duty to do what's right. If only certain members of Congress had a tenth of the backbone of the people in this video.......


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Tobias Bass, 10, Is The Perfect Antidote To Those Horrible N.Y. Kids Who Trashed House In Illegal Party

Last week, I told you about that former NFL player whose vacation home was trashed by a few hundred teenagers who decided to have a huge party there.
Awesome kid Tobias Bass, 10, is the perfect antidote
to all those jerky partying kids in New York
who trashed a house.  

Six of the teenagers have now been charged, and more arrests are likely. 

Brian Holloway had put Tweets, photos, Instagrams and such the teens posted from the party on line in hopes of identifying them and getting them to apologize and maybe help clean up.

You'd think that might make the kids and their parents a bit remorseful and make some amends. Instead, some of the parents threatened Holloway with lawsuits or worse for putting the photos on line, instead of, say, getting the kids to take responsibility for their actions.

Few, if any did, so he authorized the sheriff's department to start making arrests. One of the people arrested was a kid Holloway had taken in at times because of a lousy home life.

That's the thanks he gets, I guess.

The whole thing has made me and many others depressed about the youth in this country. And their parents.

Before things got too hopeless, though, we get this brilliant ray of sunshine from Oklahoma.  There's an athletic little kid, Tobias Bass 10, who felt bad that his brother Titus 11, can't go out and play because he has cerebral palsy.

So, the enterprising Tobias wrote a letter to the Oklahoma News9, the local TV station, and asked for a favor.  Tobias wanted to run a 5K race and push his brother in a jogger pusher so the two could participate together. But his mother couldn't afford an adequate jogger pusher.

In his letter to the News9 anchors he wrote: "Can you go to the news and not ask Oklahomas to give me anything, but can someone loan me a jogger pusher so I can pus Titus in the 5K?"

Notice Tobias didn't ask people to donate a jogger pusher. He just wanted to borrow one. He didn't want a hand out. In his letter, he also offered to push other disabled kids in events like the 5K, as a means of paying it forward.

The reporters at News9 were only too happy to report on a perfect story that came to them, instead of having to hunt for one. So they did.  Here's the video of News9's report on Tobias (Warning: Kleenex alert, you might need some)

And as you can tell by the report, News9 also got an outfit called Oklahoma Able Tech to give Tobias and Titus a pusher stroller.

News9 was also there last night when Tobias and Titus ran the 5K. They finished strong. The money quote after the race from Tobias was this, regarding his brother: "He actually gets to be like all these kids around me. He actually gets to live life."

If only the kids, and their parents from that party at the ex-NFL players vacation house had just a billionth of the moral fiber of Tobias Bass

Friday, September 27, 2013

Even Willie Nelson Is Not Safe From Cruel Thefts, Crimes

Somebody stole Ol' Dillo, and Willie Nelson is NOT happy about it.
The woman suspected of stealing
Willie Nelson's mascot, Ol' Dillo, a stuffed
toy armadillo. Photo from a Capitol Theatre
security camera.  

Ol' Dillo is a stuffed toy armadillo which has become a mascot for him and his touring band. It belongs to sound engineer Aaron Foye and you can usually see Ol' Dillo on a console on the left side of the stage during a Willie Nelson concert.

But recently, during a sound check before a concert at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York, somebody stole Ol' Dillo. 

Security camera footage from the theatre shows a woman with short dark hair picking up Ol' Dillo and walking away with him, so investigators, not to mention Willie Nelson, are trying to identify the thief.

The photos of the woman are pretty clear, so somebody must know her and can narc on her. At least we hope.

Also, Texas Roadhouse, the restaurant chain, is offering a $1,000 gift card for information on the return  of Ol' Dillo.

The Capitol Theatre is asking anyone to contact them with info on the theft of Ol' Dillo. People can return him to the Theatre too, and no questions asked.   We hope Ol' Dillo is hanging in there as he's being held hostage, and we hope he returns to Willie Nelson soon.

So at least everyone is working together so we can have the safe return of Ol' Dillo.

The timing of this isn't good either, as Nelson, 80,  is having a rough week. He's has to cancel some concert dates due to a shoulder injury. 

So, on the off chance anybody here knows what's going on, you can reach the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester at or 914-934-9362.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Guy Tweets Comedian He's Watching Is Bad. Comedian Punches Tweeter

You hear so much about the perils of social media, how you shouldn't put provocative, too personal stuff on Facebook and Twitter and such because it could damage your career or make you lose friends.
Did comedian Dan Nainan punch a guy
in the audience who was heckling via Twitter?  

Apparently, it can also get you punched in the face by a comedian in a club. 

According to the Washington Post, journalist Josh Rogin, a foreign policy writer for the Daily Beast,  was in the audience as comedian Dan Nainan performed his act.

Rogin wasn't impressed and Tweeted from his spot in the Washington DC comedy club.

Rogin's criticism wasn't all that brutal.  Here's a couple of his Tweets:

"Dan Nainan was funny until he dusted off his 2005 Katrina jokes in a gratingly bad GWB impression.

"Dan Nainan makes his umpteenth joke about how Asians can't distinguish between letters "L" and "R". Election, erection, we get it."

Nainan saw the Tweets, went into the audience, and punched Rogin, according to the Washington Post.  Nainan's charged with simple assault.

Rogin, and me for that matter,  are surprised that a comedian would go to such lengths to punch somebody heckling via Twitter. Rogin wasn't even yelling out his barbs, as is customary in comedy clubs.

Does this mean if somebody doesn't like this post and Tweets his disappointment, I should track him down and punch him? Probably not. Besides, my feelings aren't as easily bruised as Nainan's apparently are.

What's Nainan thinking? "Sticks and stones may break my bones but nasty Tweets hurt my feelings to the point of making me want to commit an assault?"

I'm also struck by the fact somebody watching a performance, Rogin, would live Tweet while the performer monitors the Tweets to the point of tracking down the culprit. (Granted, there were several performers that night, and Nainan must have found Rogin's Tweets shortly after he left the stage)

Where will it lead us? Will we go to live performances of anything, not to watch a performer do his or her thing, but live Tweet about the performance. And the performance won't consist of acting, comedy or music, but somebody sitting on stage with an iPhone responding to Tweets from the audience?

Sounds a little boring to me. But if you disagree, please don't punch me, OK? I might not be too sensitive, but my nose sure is.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Marital Spat: Photogs, Minister Go At It During Wedding Ceremony

A viral video is making the rounds that shows what might be the ultimate awkward moment at a wedding ceremony.
Bride and groom look mortified as the pastor
lectures the photogs in a video that has
gone viral.  

The video starts off looking nice. The handsome groom and the lovely bride are at a pleasant outdoor setting.

The pastor is about to administer the vows, when he turns to the photographer, the guy shooting the video we are watching.

In to uncertain terms, he tells the photographer to scram.  "This is not about photography. This is about God," our angry pastor thunders.

The bride and groom both look aghast. In fact the word "aghast" in the dictionary now has their photo.

Here's the video, with more commentary below it.

Somebody who identified himself as Michael Borrielllo uploaded the video. There's no background information as to how this got going, so context is lacking.

But jeez, couldn't this have been handled better. As many have pointed out, couldn't the photographers and the minister had a conversation beforehand as to where the photos should be and what they should and shouldn't do?

And the minister is an ungodly jerk here. Yes, he was annoyed at the photographers, and maybe he was justified. But did he have to stop the entire ceremony to lecture the photogs?  Maybe he could have had a nasty private word with them afterward?

Yes, he thinks the whole ceremony is about God and everything else is secondary.

But maybe God would have liked a more dignified ceremony? And the event is about the bride and groom, too. Don't they account for anything. After all, presumably they or their families were paying for the minister's work here.

The incident also prompted a lot of conversation at The conversation kind of goes along with  my line of thinking that there really indicates there was plenty of blame to go around.

Thank goodness when Jeff and I got married, we enlisted our niece Staci Stengle to perform the ceremony. No muss, no fuss. She was beyond awesome. Staci even stayed cool when in the middle of the ceremony, I absentmindly handed her a Kleenex I'd used when I got emotional. Now that's awesome!

I'd hate to think how the pastor in the video in this post would have managed our ceremony. But I bet he won't get hired to do many more in the near future!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

World's Best Parents Find Best Solution When Daughter's Wedding Cancelled

Forty days before Willie and Carol Fowler's daughter was to have an elaborate wedding ceremony, the wedding was canceled.
Willie and Carol Fowler are awesome  

The couple has already paid for the entertainment, food, reception, all that stuff. So they'd have to call the caterers and all those people and lose their deposits.

Just as Carol Fowler started calling, Willie had an idea. Let's not cancel the reception. In a stroke of genius, he suggested just giving the reception away to the homeless, says ABC News via Gawker

So on the day the couple's daugher was to have married, they helped the Atlanta-based charity Hosea Feed The Hungry bus 200 homeless people to the pretty swanky reception hall, where the adults dined on salmon and chicken while the 50 or so kids has chicken fingers, french fries, fruit and chocolate chip cookies.

"All the plates were empty and there wasn't any leftover food at all. It was an eye-opening experience," said Quisa Foster of Hosea, according to ABC. "You go to weddings sometimes and you see a lot of people really waste food. We take so many things for granted. These clients or guests, as we call the, they don't."

The Fowlers have declined to say why the wedding was cancelled in the first place.

So the Fowlers are classy on a number of levels. They're taking the high road on the purient questions about why the wedding didn't happen. It's none of our business, and they didn't make it our business. Perfect!

Then, instead of just dropping everything, they took action. Let's face it, it had to take a lot of work rearranging the catering and everything else, working with Hosea and doing everything else to pull the event off.  And they couldn't have felt like putting much effort into things after learning the big wedding was off.

So kudos to the Fowlers, who know how to take a bout of bad news and turn it into terrific news.

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Siberian Husky Named Butch Tells You How To Behave During Autumn

Today is the first full day of official autumn, so you're probably figuring out how to enjoy this time of year.

Fortunately, we have a very helpful Siberian Husky named Butch, who gained YouTube fame in showing us how it's done. Here's his instructional video. Enjoy!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Parents Of Brats Who Trashed Ex-NFL Players House At Party Now Ready To Sue Him For Good Measure

So now we're learning how the 300 or so mostly teenage kids who trashed a New York vacation house decided it was their right to break into the building and have their big bash.
Exterior view of the house kids in New York State
trashed at a party there  

The owner of the house started a web site called Help Me Save 300 and posted a whole bunch of Tweets from the partygoers as they trashed the house to identify them.

The police are finding this helpful and the owner hopes it prompts some apologies, not necessarily severe punishment. He's hoping the teens involved become ambassadors for accountability and respectability


Instead, parents of the identified brats are threatening to sue the owner of the house. 

Let's start from the beginning. A guy named Brian Holloway, an ex-NFL player has a nice vacation house in Rensselaer County, New York, not far from Albany.

While at his year round house in Florida on August 31, Holloway's son discovered through Tweets that a bunch of kids broke into the New York vacation house and were having a HUGE party.

They punched holes in walls, urinated everywhere, sprayed graffiti everywhere, broke windows and basically caused more than $20,000 in damage to the place.   Holloway, as you can imagine, wasn't happy.

As it became apparent his house, through Twitter and Instagram, was getting trashed, Holloway called the cops and they busted the party. No arrests have been made yet.
Allegedly, some of the 'guests'
at a party inside a New York
vacation home that had
been broken into.  

But there is plenty of evidence of whodunit. The kids who were stupid enough to break into the house and party were also stupid enough to Tweet photos of themselves far and wide as they overran Holloway's vacation house.

By the way, when you post a selfie or whatever out on social media, it becomes part of the public domain. You can pretty much do anything you want with it. Except use the information to commit a crime.

Judging from the photos and the Tweets on Holloway's Help Me Save 300 site, the kids involved seemed to be those obnoxious, self-entitled, Abercrombie & Fitch wearing, arrogant, I can get away with anything twits that drive me the most crazy.

Here's some sample Tweets from the partiers. Each Tweet begins with the Tweet name of the person involved:

ChrisWarren: "So glad my parents don't give a fuck what I do."

MaddieKennedy: "I wish the party didn't get busted cause that shit coulda got so much bigger."

CodyBlain: "We got a solid 4 or 5 hours  of partying before the pigs came anyway. So fuck all y'all haters."

The sad thing is they obnoxious kids will get away with it. True, the sheriff's department is investigating, and using the Tweets to help guide them. But as I noted, the parents are threatening to sue, or even have Holloway arrest. On what grounds, I'm not sure.

The parents are clearly as obnoxious as the kids. It does run in families, apparently. According to the New York Post, quoting Holloway:

"You would not believe the calls that have come in, threatening to firebomb me or hurt or sue me --any number of things," the stunned Holloway told The Post Thursday as he toiled away cleaning up the damage at his 200-acre spread in Rensselaer county.

"Some complained that this will ruin their kids' college plans. Others have threatened me, saying 'Take my kids name down or I'm gonna press charges against you.'
Some of the damage inside Holloway's vacation
home after the break in and illegal bash.  

I was willing to give many of the kids the benefit of the doubt. It just got out of hand. They weren't thinking about the consequences of breaking into a house, trashing it and partying.

If they got caught, they would have probably gotten a slap on the wrist, maybe be ordered to do a bit of community service, then have any record of the incident expunged from their record. On to a successful college career.

Now that some of the kids and their parents are being so obnoxious toward Holloway, I hope the kids really get busted. I hope their college plans evaporate. It wouldn't hurt if some of them ended up in jail.

It seems like most people agree with me, judging from the comments sections on all the news stories about this on the Web

Of course, some of the people who are backing the kids say the house was for sale anyway and was already damaged and might be in foreclosure, at least according to TMZ

Well, fine. But does that give them the right to make things worse?

I'm not too worried about Holloway's house. It will get repaired, sold, whatever. What I am worried about is what happens when these horrible kids get older. Will they be those horrible cheats that rob people blind, not at gunpoint, but by the click of a computer key at some financial institution, tech business, or some other outfit that regularly victimizes the rest of us.

So maybe it would be good if these people are convicted of crimes, and have their "lives ruined" now. It could save us all from a world of hurt a decade or two from now.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Xenophobic Stupid Troll People Are Very Inconsistent

As any reader of this blog knows, I am absolutely fascinated by stupid people.
Everybody except a few trolls was
happy the lovely Nina Davuluri won
the Miss America pageant last week.  

In that spirit, we bring you Miss America and America's Got Talent. Or at least the stupid trolls' reaction, or lack of reaction to both events.

Much has been made over the newly crowned Miss America, the lovely Nina Davuluri of New York.

Like all of the other fresh-faced contestants, Davuluri is an all-American young woman. Born in Syracuse, New York (which is, um, in America) she is beautiful, smart, ambitious and nice.

What's not to like about her, even if you, like me, don't follow the Miss America pageant slavishly?

As always, people felt pretty good about Miss America.

Except in Xenophobic Stupid Troll World. There, Davuluri is an Arab terrorist. Apparently there's no difference between people of Indian and Arab descent in Xenophobic Stupid Troll World, XSTW for short.

And in XSTW,  all people of Arab descent are going to blow up your building and shoot you in about five minutes.

Davuluri isn't blonde, did a sort of Bollywood dance number for her talent sketch, and has a "weird" last name. So not American, and definitely a terrorist in XSTW.

Much was made of the reaction in XSTW, but they are only noticeable because they are loud and obnoxious. I don't think, and I hope, there's not many of them.

The trolls are also inconsistent. Over on America's Got Talent this week, a guy named Kenichi Ebina won the annual talent competition.

Ebina isn't even from America. He's Japanese. So how did he win America's Got Talent? With, um, talent, but maybe the Xenophobes are mad about this too?
Dancer and performance artist Kenichi Ebina
won "America's Got Talent" last week. 

Not really. So far, there hasn't been the kind of backlash against Ebina that there has been against Duvuluri.

America's Got Talent hasn't been around long enough, and hasn't yet gotten the all-American cache, apparently, to piss of the denizens of Xenophobic Stupid Troll World like when in the Miss America contest.

For the record, Ebina deserved the win in my book. The performance artist's skills at dance, video projection, art, mime, computer technology, storytelling and more is beyond astounding.  I'd pay damn good money to see his show. I hope he has a long, successful career.

And let's hope the so-called people who live in Xenophobic Stupid Troll World don't discover that Ebina won "America's Got Talent" and is performing in America.

They'll start talking about some stupid Japanese invasion or something.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Burning Man Time Lapse Is Awesome

Burning Man is quite the event.
Aerial view of the crowd at this year's Burning Man  

For the uninitiated, it's a week long festival deep in the Nevada desert that attracts about 50,000 people for art, exhibitions, avant garde events and just a generally alternative-type good time.

Burning Man culminates when a huge wooden statue is set ablaze, hence the name Burning Man.

Some day, I want to go to this.

After this year's Burning Man, someone posted a time lapse video of the entire Burning Man event, taken from a distant mountain. It really shows how a remote desert is converted into an odd city. It also is a very beautiful video.

Here's the time lapse from Burning Man:

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Rare Case: Man Gets Drunk Every Time He Eats Starchy Food

For those of you out there who love to get drunk but hate the expense and trouble of buying booze to feed your habit, you've to meet this guy.
A Texas home brewer accidentally
established a brewery in his stomach.  

He's a 61-year-old Texan. Privacy rules prohibit health officials from giving out his name, but he'd always seem to get drunk at the drop of a hat.

He denied boozing it up, but people were unconvinced. He was probably a closet drinker, taking nips in the back room or whatever when nobody was looking. His wife was fed up.

Finally, they isolated the man in a hospital room and made sure he had no access to alcohol. And he got drunk anyway.

It turns out the man, a home brewer, had an overabundance of brewer's yeast in his gut. Combined with some of the usual bugs everybody has in their system, he'd get drunk when he ate carbohydrate-heavy food. The yeast in his gut combined with the carbohydrates was, in effect, a brewery in his stomach.

And he'd get drunk.

Before you go out and start consuming brewer's yeast, be warned this is a very rare condition and probably won't get you tipsy. And it probably isn't good for your health to do this.

Really, you'll be happier if you're not drunk all the time anyway. Maybe have a glass of wine with dinner and call it a day.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

With Tonight's Harvest Moon Shining Bright, I Bring You "Harvest Moon."

Tonight's beautiful full moon aftere a picture perfect clear day in Vermont is called the Harvest Moon.

With that in mind, I give you "Harvest Moon" since tonight's sky reminded me of the song by Neil Young

It's a great, romantic song.  So cuddle up with your lover, gaze at the moon, listen to the song, and have a beautiful night.


An Even BETTER Political Ad Than The One I Gave You Earlier

Maybe we're getting too much into politics here, given the bizarre ad I gave you from a Minneapolis mayoral candidate the other day.  
Tea Party Republican Carl Sciortino Sr. reacts
to his son Carl Sciortino Jr's  liberalism in the younger
Sciortino's wonderful campaign ad.  

But another campaign ad really made the rounds yesterday and it is even better than the weird one from earlier this week. And this one is  actually kind of hopeful.

Carl Sciotino Jr. is running for Congress from the Massachusetts 5th District. He's a gay Massachusetts liberal and proud of it. (Well, what do you expect from Massachusetts?)

Sciotino's dad is a total Tea Party Republican. You'd think the Sciotinos would hate each other.

After all, when we watch the news, the Tea Party people seem to want liberals dead, and vice versa. They hate, hate HATE!!!! each other.

This political ad, however, uses the differences between the son and father to promote the Sciortino campaign, and show that people can love each other even if there are severe differences of opinion.

The ad has the younger Sciortino recalling the moment he came out to his father. Not as gay. But as a liberal. (GASP!!)

It might help that the elder Sciortino can't vote for or against his son. They don't live in the same Congressional district. 

Maybe if Sciortino is elected, he can help prove that differing political parties can work together. That's probably too much to ask for, though.

Here's the ad. It's wonderful. Enjoy:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Singer Rion Paige Is My New Favorite Reality Show Contestant

I know it's a cliche on those dime-a-dozen talent reality shows on TV but I'm a sucker for them anyway.
Rion Paige, 13, singer and future star.  

It's the meme in which a person who has had disadvantages in life goes up on stage and nobody is expecting all that much out of them and then they bring the house down.

Think Susan Boyle as the most famous example.

The latest person in this parade is Rion Paige, 13, who appeared on The X Factor last week.

She has a condition with an alphabet soup name that has left her wrist joints deformed and pretty much useless. She's also blind in one eye.

But on stage, Rion was as vibrant as a ticker tape parade. The cloud of frizzy blonde hair that surrounded her face glowed almost as much as she did.

Then she sang a Carrie Underwood tune called "Blown Away"  She owned the stage as she performed. The girl has star power.

Simon Cowell, the most famous of the talent show judges out there, is on the X Factor panel. He said watching Rion's performance reminded him of the time he first met Carrie Underwood and predicted she would be a star.

"I will say the same thing about you," Cowell told Rion.

We shall see, but I do hope we hear a lot from Rion over the years. Watch the video and judge for yourself:

Monday, September 16, 2013

Mayoral Candidate Emerges From Lake In His Underwear, Promises Not To Visit Strip Clubs

The fine citizens of Minneapolis have about 30 people to chose from to be their next mayor.
A still from Wagner's epic campaign ad.  

The candidate who has made the biggest splash, so to speak, is a guy named Jeffrey Alan Wagner.

He's a long shot, but has gotten TONS of free publicity lately over his unique campaign ad, in which he  emerges from a lake in his underwear, tells viewers to wake the @#$*& up and assures us that as mayor, he will no longer go to strip clubs.

I haven't found much else regarding his platform, other than he's for renter's rights. His Facebook page is pretty thin.   Wagner says his campaign web site will go live on October 1, so I can't wait for that.

But his ad has already gotten close to 400,000 hits on YouTube, so it's safe to say he's gone viral.

Here's the amazing ad:

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Perfect Patagonian Photobomb

Photographer Richard Evans was lucky enough to be trekking through Patagonia.

At one point, he encountered a spectacular scene of snow capped, dramatic mountains and rocky scenery.

It was the perfect setting for a photograph and he busied himself setting up his tripod to shoot.

The result is in this post, via Huffington Post.

 Drama turned to humor as he got totally photobombed by some animals called guanacos, which are similar to llamas.

The photobomb made the picture so much better. (As usual click on the image to make it bigger and more easily viewed)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Indiana Radio Station Loses A Listener Over Macklemore, Radio Station Is Thrilled

I'm not a big fan of Top 40 radio station deejay chatter, but it was fun to listen in on a station in Indiana, via YouTube video.
One radio listener in Indiana, hilariously, stupidly
hates Ryan Lewis, left, and Macklemore.  

Like many hit radio stations, the Artimis Radio 92.9 has been playing "Same Love" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis to death. It's a huge hit, and resonates with many people for its positive outlook on same sex relationships and marriage.

"Same Love" has been praised by a lot of critics, but one caller to Artimis Radio, named Craig, hates, hates, hates "Same Love" because of its pro-gay slant.

Craig is entitled to his opinion, of course, but I just love it when idiots speak out, and how easy it is for a nice, simple radio deejay to swat the ignorance away.  I just feel sorry for Craig's kid. The video will explain why I say that.

Craig says he will never listen to the radio station again, and the deejay said he and his general manager are  thrilled by that bit of news. Who could blame them?

Here's the really funny video of the "conversation" between the deejay and Craig about "Same Love:"

Two Awesome Ads Prove All Of Them Don't Have To Be Bad

I rail against the constant barrage of terrible television ads all the time, but occasionally, since good behavior is to be rewarded, I praise and highlight the good ones.

My favorite in recent months continues to be the "Graffitti" from Pfizer, one I highlighted earlier this year, as the filmmaking for the ad was absolutely brilliant.

But two more are making the rounds this week that are almost as good as "Graffiti"

One, from Thailand, is about payback for good deeds. It's from a Thai telecommunications company called True. The ad is in a different language, but the subtitles will get you through it.

See, you can tell a complete, engrossing and moving story in three minutes. Watch:

The next ad, even better than the one above, comes from Chipotle. It's a companion film for their app-based game.

Here's how Chipotle sets up and explains the ad:

"In a dystopian fantasy world, all food production is controlled by fictional industrial giant Crow Foods. Scarecrows have been displaced from their traditional role of protecting food, and are now servants to the crows and their evil plans to dominate the food system. Dreaming of something better, a lone scarecrow sets out to provide an alternative to the unsustainable processed food from the factory."

Chipotle has said it is removing all genetically engineered food from its menu, so they do strike a blow against what I call "factory food."

The animation in the ad is haunting, beautiful and dreamlike. I'd watch a feature length version of this, though it's probably better and more powerful as a three-minute short.

The song in the video, which really makes it complete, is "Pure Imagination" performed by Fiona  Apple.

Watch the incredible ad:  

Friday, September 13, 2013

Dire Hazards You Never Knew Existed: Nasty Frostbite From Deodorant?

Sorry, but we have to talk about your underarms for a minute. And your feet.
Extra cold, too, if
you misuse this stuff.  

You get ready for work in the morning, and after your shower, you spray a little deodorant under your arms so you don't stink up your coworkers. The spray initially feels quite cold, and good there.

Then you get to thinking. Well, what if my socks and shoes and feet get sweaty and gross? Maybe I could give my socks and the insides of my shoes a good soaking with Right Guard or something like that.

Don't do that! A guy in Scotland learned the hard way. He soaked his socks in deodorant and went on his way, but soon he was in agony. The skin on his feet was black and peeling off and gross.

It turned out he had severe frostbite, according to the Daily Mail of UK.

How did this happen?  It turns out when the spray comes out of the can, it immediately cools to just a few degrees above zero fahrenheit. When sprayed into the air into your underarms that's not a big deal, as long as you don't hold the spray too close to your skin.

Confined inside your shoes, the deodorant will give you frostbite, just as if you walked around barefood outside in Vermont in January.

Who knew? The thought has even crossed my mind in the past to spray deodorant onto my socks.

I guess I'll forever have to ensure my socks are clean and my feet can breathe. Or something.

What scares me is, what other seemingly perfectly safe and harmless products are out there that will kill me if I get creative using them?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

ANOTHER Reason Why Dogs Are Awesome

A couple down in Charleston, South Carolina hired a woman to take care of their infant son because they had to work.
The happy dog who saved the baby from
an abusive babysitter.  

The woman they hired, Alexis Kahn, seemed fine. She passed her background checks and all.

But soon, the couple's friendly dog started being very, very unfriendly toward Kahn. When she'd come to the door, he'd get all aggressive and want to attack her.

The dog would also try to form a protective barrier between Kahn and the baby, according to television station WCSC in Charleston. 

That was enough to get the parents, Benjamin and Hope Jordan suspicious. So one day, when they left for work they left an iPhone on and hid it under the couch, to see if it would pick up any signs something was amiss.

Well, it was. The iPhone caught the sounds of Kahn slapping and abusing the baby. She was fired, faces up to three years in prison and won't be babysitting, hopefully ever again.

Unfortunately, the WCSC report doesn't give us the name of the dog, but well done doggie!  As Gawker put it, that's a real Lassie moment for ya. 

Do you have any Lassie moments with any of your dogs you want to share? Please do.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dumb Idea: Setting BBQ Fire Among Cars Parked On Dry, Windy Field

So a bunch of people went to a stunt  show somewhere in France. Motorcycles performing loop de loops or something like that. Sounds fun.
The results of a French  barbecue gone badly awry.  

As is often the case in events like this, people arriving were told to park their cars on a grassy field.

That wasn't a problem until two drunk guys (It's always drunk guys) decided to have themselves a little barbecue. In the dry, grassy field.

They "thought" they put out the fire when they were done, but the started themselves a fire that tore through the parking lot in the field, destroying at least 64 cars

It caused quite a little blaze, as you can see in the video below. Authorities also had to stop people from approaching the flames to rescue their cars. (People could have gotten hurt or killed, obviously)

The two guys responsible are reportedly might get up to two years in prison and might have to pay restitution to some very, very pissed off car owners. 

Here's the vid:

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ma And Baby Deer Pay A Visit, Thankful Jackson The Dog Not Around

This apparent mother/offspring pair paid a visit to the edge of my yard in St. Albans, Vermont the other evening.

Jackson the Cocker Spaniel wasn't home at the time, which is a good thing, because I can imagine the uproar, the chasing, the yelling, the beseeching, the disaster that would have ensued.

The two ate some grass, then, apparently annoyed with me standing on the driveway taking paparrazi pictures of the two of them, took off into the woods. Hope they had a full meal.

As always, click on the photos to make them bigger and easier to see.

Yep, That Twerking Video In My Screed Last Week Was Fake, As I Said

Some of you might remember my screed last week declaring twerking a dead fad.

I stand by that, but not by a vow I made to myself to never talk about twerking again.
Jimmy Kimmel fessing up with
the stunt woman who helped him make
the fake twerking video that went viral last week.  

In last week's screed, I said a video of a twerking disaster that went viral was probably fake.

I was right again. Just for the record, the fiery twerking disaster was a sketch produced by Jimmy Kimmel. 

He 'fessed up to the "deception" last night on his show.

The woman who twerked, fell and burst into flames in the video was a professional stuntwoman.

Kimmel said he just put the video out there without promoting it, to see if it would go viral. It did. He and I are amazed at how many media outlets reported on the video at face value, without even mentioning that it could be a fake.

Um, you can't believe everything you read on the Internet, folks.

Yeah. I'm twerking madly right now as I type this. It's true! It's on the Internet, so it's true!

Kimmel said he hopes his fake twerking disaster video will end twerking forever.

I can't agree with you more, Jimmy!

But it turns out twerking isn't a new fad. I found this great video on BoingBoing of a woman twerking in 1910. Seriously!  To be honest, it's probably the only twerking video I'll ever like

Watch and see if you agree:

Monday, September 9, 2013

The World's Most Sea Sick Cars and Trucks

Ever bought a used vehicle and found out it didn't work as well as you'd hoped? That maybe it turned out to be a lemon?
A still from the video of an ill-fated
overseas trip from Japan that didn't go well
for some auctioned cars.  

Maybe it was shipped overseas aboard a Russian freighter. If the video in this post is any indication, it's better to buy a local car.

This Russian freighter, bound from Japan and loaded with used cars for resale, hit a big huge storm in the North Pacific.

Some of the cars are now deep down at the bottom of the ocean. The ones that didn't sink didn't exactly make it intact, having taken some  unique and bumpy rides across the deck of the ship.

Somebody didn't tie things down well, did they? It's always fun to watch someone else's disaster, right?

Watch the video before you buy your next car. You'll be happy you did.

Was Yesterday National Car Breakdown Day?

Yesterday afternoon, just a few miles before the odometer would click over to 200,000 miles, my old truck died.
This car burst into flames in Richmond, Vermont yesterday.
The guys with the fire extinguishers managed to put
it out and it looks like nobody got hurt.
But yesterday really seemed like National Car
Breakdown Day.  

Without warning, the battery conked out. The truck had been starting fine all day.

Then, the next time I tried to start it, it didn't. All I heard was the whiny whimper of death from the truck engine.

It was not that big a deal as car repairs go. Just a pain in the butt and an unexpected expense.

It was almost as if the truck decided to celebrate its milestone odometer reading in a memorable way.

Or something else was going on.

Maybe it was just me, but it seemed yesterday was National Car Breakdown Day.

After I got a jump start, I limped over to Sears for a new battery. I found the place hopping. They were busy! And on the way there, I saw two disabled cars on the side of the road.

A couple hours later, revving it up with my new battery, I went back to the business at hand. And I saw three more broken down cars on a 20-mile stretch of road.

Finally, on the way back home, I found guys frantically spraying a heavily smoking car with fire extinguishers. Inside the car were a woman and two big dogs. None looked particularly happy, but for some reason they weren't getting out of the burning car, either.

My guess: An electrical fire in the car disabled the locks, trapping the woman and the dogs.

Luckily, our heroes with the fire extinguishers got the fire out, and the woman, and her dogs, survived another day. Which will also probably yield another car disaster.

Was karma bad in Vermont yesterday, causing cars to malfunction? Was the Evil Car Death Spirit having a lousy day?  Inquiring minds want to know.

I'm just glad my truck started this morning.

Outrage: Elephants Poisoned, Killed So Morons Can Make Male Sex Pills That Don't Work

Worst person on earth nominees now include at least six people in Zimbabwe who poisoned a watering hole with cyanide so that elephants would drink the water and die.
Why are there so many people in the world who
think the only thing these beautiful animals are
good for is ugly jewelry and fake sex pills
for stupid, horny old men?  

And die they did. At least 41 elephants died, and many more animals that came in contact with the water, or the elephants also died. 

Why did these idiots kill the elephants, especially in such an awful way? The usual illegal trade in ivory from the elephants' tusks.

A lot of that ivory ends up in "medication," mostly in Asia, where some men think the stuff makes them virile and manly men.

Of course, the people taking these pills likely know on some level the ivory came from elephants that had been killed brutally and illegally. With that knowledge, I can't fathom how these guys can be called real men in any sense of the word.

The ivory is also made into jewelry and knick knacks. So scummy women wear the ivory jewelry too, or have the stuff in their houses, even though they know the background on the ivory. They deserve a place in hell, too.

I can hear people asking me why I'm so outraged about elephants being gassed and poisoned while I'm silent on how the Syrian government has apparently been busily gassing its own citizens.

Yep, the Syrian attacks on its citizens are indeed even worse than the elephant slaughter in Zimbabwe. But the two tragedies are cut from exactly the same cloth. They reflect the deepest possible disdain for life in trying to achieve some of the dumbest, most selfish goals humanly possible.

The Syrian leadership's struggle to stay in power, even if it means gassing its own citizen, to me is just as dumb and just as arrogant as killing elephants to make ugly jewelry and fake sex pills for narcisstic, self-entitled scumbags.

I'm not holier than thou, and I'm sure many of my consumer buying decisions hurt people or animals all over the world. I'm just the same as most people in that regard. My hands aren't clean.

But I'm amazed that the arrogant and the power hungry never stop to consider the enormous crimes they commit -- the families they're wiping out, or the majestic, fascinating and smart animals they're killing for their unimportant personal satisfaction.

Hey, if I can live in a palace and buy ugly, rare jewelry, so what if a few hundred people or elephants die?

I don't have a good solution for either the Syrian problem or the elephant slaughter in Africa. Syria has got worldwide politics in tangles, and has inspired petty arguments over what to do. It seems hopeless to me.

In regards to the elephants, I don't have any good ideas, either. According to the Mail and Guardian of Africa, about 25,000 elephants were killed for their tusks in the past year. 

Governments around the world are trying to combat the poaching trade, but there are not enough resources, not enough effort to stop it, and make the purchase of ivory toxic to anyone attempting it.

Salon reported that even things like the sequestration budget cuts in the United States are hurting enforcement, since U.S. Fish and Wildlife now can't afford to fill vacant positions for investigation into illegal worldwide elephant and rhino tusk trade.  

Of course, we'll never be able to stamp out greedy, stupid people in the world, I know that. But the nasty side of my brain wishes we could force the poachers to drink cyanide, or gas the people gassing citizens in Syria.

But that would just bring us down to their miserable level, won't it?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

No Lie: Obits Can Be Fun, Insightful

A lot of people think obituaries are depressing. I can see why. A loved one has died, people are mourning. Where's the joy?
Mary "Pink" Mullaney, with grandkids.  

But if the writers of the obituary really know how to celebrate the person's life, they can be brilliant, instructive and fun.

A perfect example is this obituary that has been circulating around the Internet today. I wish I knew this woman, named Mary "Pink" Mullaney, who died at age 85 in Wisconsin.

Here's her obituary in its entirety. It's  good guide on how to lead a successful life:

If you're about to throw away an old pair of pantyhose, stop. Consider: Mary Agnes Mullaney (you probably knew her as "Pink") who entered eternal life on Sunday, September 1, 2013. Her spirit is carried on by her six children, 17 grandchildren, three surviving siblings in New "Joisey", and an extended family of relations and friends from every walk of life. We were blessed to learn many valuable lessons from Pink during her 85 years, among them: Never throw away old pantyhose. Use the old ones to tie gutters, child-proof cabinets, tie toilet flappers, or hang Christmas ornaments.

Also: If a possum takes up residence in your shed, grab a barbecue brush to coax him out. If he doesn't leave, brush him for twenty minutes and let him stay.
Let a dog (or two or three) share your bed. Say the rosary while you walk them.
Go to church with a chicken sandwich in your purse. Cry at the consecration, every time. Give the chicken sandwich to your homeless friend after mass.
Go to a nursing home and kiss everyone. When you learn someone's name, share their patron saint's story, and their feast day, so they can celebrate. Invite new friends to Thanksgiving dinner. If they are from another country and you have trouble understanding them, learn to "listen with an accent."

Never say mean things about anybody; they are "poor souls to pray for."
Put picky-eating children in the box at the bottom of the laundry chute, tell them they are hungry lions in a cage, and feed them veggies through the slats.
Correspond with the imprisoned and have lunch with the cognitively challenged.
Do the Jumble every morning.

Keep the car keys under the front seat so they don't get lost.
Make the car dance by lightly tapping the brakes to the beat of songs on the radio.
Offer rides to people carrying a big load or caught in the rain or summer heat. Believe the hitchhiker you pick up who says he is a landscaper and his name is "Peat Moss."
Help anyone struggling to get their kids into a car or shopping cart or across a parking lot.
Give to every charity that asks. Choose to believe the best about what they do with your money, no matter what your children say they discovered online.

Allow the homeless to keep warm in your car while you are at Mass.
Take magazines you've already read to your doctors' office for others to enjoy. Do not tear off the mailing label, "Because if someone wants to contact me, that would be nice."
In her lifetime, Pink made contact time after time. Those who've taken her lessons to heart will continue to ensure that a cold drink will be left for the overheated garbage collector and mail carrier, every baby will be kissed, every nursing home resident will be visited, the hungry will have a sandwich, the guest will have a warm bed and soft nightlight, and the encroaching possum will know the soothing sensation of a barbecue brush upon its back.

Above all, Pink wrote -- to everyone, about everything. You may read this and recall a letter from her that touched your heart, tickled your funny bone, or maybe made you say "huh?"

She is survived by her children and grandchildren whose photos she would share with prospective friends in the checkout line: Tim (wife Janice, children Timmy, Joey, T.J., Miki and Danny); Kevin (wife Kathy, children Kacey, Ryan, Jordan and Kevin); Jerry (wife Gita, children Nisha and Cathan); MaryAnne; Peter (wife Maria Jose, children Rodrigo and Paulo); and Meg (husband David Vartanian, children Peter, Lily, Jerry and Blase); siblings Anne, Helen, and Robert; and many in-laws, nieces, nephews, friends and family too numerous to list but not forgotten.
Pink is reunited with her husband and favorite dance and political debate partner, Dr. Gerald L. Mullaney, and is predeceased by six siblings.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Can't Get Enough Of Flowers From My Garden

With summer ending, it's time for another installment of photos I took of flowers in my garden in St. Albans, Vermont.

The photos were taken over the past couple of weeks. It's probably even better to display the photos in the dead of winter, when we're craving such things. But you can never get too many flowers.

So here you go. As always click on the photos to make them bigger and easier to see.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Twerking is SO Over, And I Have All the Proof You Need

Unfortunately, I fear the word "Twerk" is going to be the word of the year for 2013.
A still from the video that (I hope) signals the
end of the twerking fad, thank Gawd!  

It has jumped the shark on so many levels that I think anyone who now dares to twerk in public is going to be forever branded as the ultimate moron.

For the three people in the world who still don't know what twerking is, it's bending over and bouncing your butt to the music.

It's supposed to be sexy, I guess, but in my mind twerking is as sexy as an epileptic seizure and looks like one, too.

But what do I know?

The world entered Peak Twerk a couple weeks back during the Great Miley Cyrus Twerking Crisis of 2013, when the former Hannah Montana twerked her way into history during the Video Music Awards show.

She should be so excited. It now appears her biggest claim to fame, the first sentence in her some-day obituary, will be the day Miley did a Twerk heard around the world.

A video out this week, that I suspect is a set up and wasn't a pure accident, brings us the ultimate low in twerking. It was purportedly done by  young woman twerking on video to turn her boyfriend on.

Note to her boyfriend: Run, man, run! Don't look back!  A girl twerking like that, for the "benefit" of viewers around the nation is no good. You'd probably do better with a depressed heroin addict. It's that bad.

Anyway, the young woman twerks against a door. (Don't ask), and somebody opens the door, the twerking woman falls over onto a table full of candles and catches fire.

If only all twerkers could meet a similar fate.

If the video is real, why is the fiery young twerking victim putting it out there for the world to see? I guess hits on YouTube, and the money it generates, makes worldwide public humiliation worth it.

Again, the video is probably just a comedy sketch, but it's an important milestone: Twerking is now officially passe. On to the next stupid craze. For the record, here's the girl twerking, catching fire video, if you can stand it:

Crickets Bury Oklahoma! At Least They're Not Locusts

This time of year in the evening, the sound of crickets fills the Vermont air where I live. I really kind of like it.

They make sort of a concert, with a quiet "chirp, chirp, chirp" from some, others are louder and faster, and some varieties interject a loud Zizzizz-ZIT!! into the equation.

There can always be too much of a good thing, however.

Which takes us to Oklahoma, where the right combination of drought, heat, then rain brought on more crickets than anyone can handle, as you can tell by the photos in this post.

They've gotten into everyone's house, businesses, and dead ones pile up everywhere, making the atmosphere stink of rotting bugs. Lovely.

So, I'll hope the crickets here don't get too numerous. It's bad enough I'll be shoveling snow in a few months. I don't want to shovel dead crickets off my deck now.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Singer Martha Wash Is Back And You Must Listen To Her

Many of you probably have never heard of Martha Wash but you'd know her voice instantly.
The incredible Martha Wash  

She was half of the duo The Weather Girls who had that iconic novelty hit "It's Raining Men" back in 1982.

She was also the distinctive voice on the 1991 smash by C+C Music Factory you've all heard, "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)"

The music video to the song is a total scandal because it has an attractive woman mouthing the words Wash sings.

The makers of the video wanted a sex bomb, not the Rubenesque Wash to appear, which is totally insulting to Wash, if you ask me. It misled people into thinking Wash wasn't a part of the record.

Wash was not given credit or royalities for "Gonna Make You Sweat", even though her awesome voice was the centerpiece of the hit. She sued and got her credit and her royalties, and changed the rules of the record industry so that anybody who sings on a record gets royalties and credit.

Her solo career has not featured any enormous smash hits, but she's been out there.  Her music and singing are always big on the dance club circuit, for sure.

Wash, now 59, has got  new music out and it's so worth listening to. The single, "It's My Time," is lyricially nothing special, to be honest. It's platitudes about giving it your all, how you deserve to make your dreams come true so keep trying!!

Those lyrics, though, are well worth listening to. We all need the encouragement, trust me.

Especially when they come from Martha Wash. She's got the best voice since Aretha Franklin. Hell, to me, her voice is as good as Aretha, and that's saying something.

Here's the official video for "It's My Time" by Martha Wash. You really should play it to make your day.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hilarious Fenway Park Foul Ball Pic Might Be Best Ever

Foul balls going into the stands are a routine, almost boring part of baseball season.

Except when a photographer catches the moment just right.

So it is as a photograph by Jim Davis of the Boston Globe is getting tons of attention this week. It happened recently at a Red Sox-Orioles game at Fenway Park in Boston.

Mashable calls the photo not only the funniest foul ball photo in sports history, but possibly the funniest baseball photo ever taken,

You have to study the photo a bit and gaze at the expressions on peoples' faces. There's just so many wonderful reactions to the incoming baseball. So click on the Jim Davis' photograph and gaze away. It's totally worth it.

Better Than You: This Guy Flips Out

In our occasional series I informally call people who are better than you, we meet Ozell Williams, a guy who certainly does better gymnastic tumbles and flips and twirls an jumps better than anybody I've seen.

My knees and ankles hurt just watching his highlight real, as you can see, below.  Watch and be amazed.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Mug Shots Show Why You Have To Pick Your Victims Correctly

It was a routine robbery attempt in Charlottesville, Virginia. Two teens decided to rob two guys.

The two guys who were targets of the robbery were not enthusiastic about being victims, says television station WVIR in Charlottesville.

 So they weren't, as you can see by the mug shots in this post. The two suspects, Gerald Allen nd Johnny Calderon, were taken to a hospital for treatment, then arrested.

The two would-be victims were not injured, according to WVIR

Let this be a lesson to you, robbers.

"Monster" Wasp Nest In Milton, Vermont Tree

I just love this photo I took last Saturday  of a large wasp nest in a maple tree along a road in Milton, Vermont.

It looks like a sneering monster, mouth agape, and if you click on the picture to make it larger, you can almost see cold, mean eyes staring at you.

Fitting, considered the number of dangerous wasps I saw flying in and out of the nest. Really cool! But don't get stung!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Strange Sounds Around World Apocalypse? Hoax? Normal?

YouTube  has filled up recently with weird videos of loud, trumpet like sounds coming from the skies in various parts of the world, especially Canada.
Back country skiers in near Conklin Alberta, Canada
puzzle over loud, strange sounds in the sky in 2012.  

The latest comes from Terrace, British Colombia and was taken early in the morning of August 29.

Listen as you watch the video. More commentary (explanations? fear?) below the video

 Surely, some of the videos with these sounds are hoaxes.

And a  Terrace, British Columbia, official said in the video above, the sounds came from a city worker grinding a blade on a grader, but it does seem awfully loud for that.

Plus, how do you explain the almost identical sounds in places like Queens, New York, Tammela, Finland,  Allen, Texas  Conklin, Alberta, and a bunch of other places.    

I doubt all these places had city workers obnoxiously griding blades on a grader.

It's definitely true this could be a part of a big trend on YouTube, like planking or something. It would be pretty easy to dub these sounds into routine videos. But apparently, some of the videos aren't fake.

So what's going on? None of the explanations, like solar rays hitting the earth, make sense.

It does scare me to listen to these sounds, though the logical side of my brain (which is the one that is almost always right) says there must be a reasonable explanation for these loud, weird noises from the sky.  Maybe it's fracking?

It would comfort me to know what they are, though. Even if the noises are caused by something that isn't good for us.

I just hope I don't hear these sounds where I live. Then I'll really freak out. And Jackson the Cocker Spaniel will really go off the deep end.

Silence in the skies, please.