Friday, January 31, 2014

Terrible Ice Fishing News: FAA Says No Drone Beer Deliveries Out To Lakes

It seemed like a stupendously brilliant idea. The Lakemaid Brewery in Stevens Point, Wisconsin thought it would be a fantastic idea to deliver 12-packs of its beer via drone to people ice fishing on nearby lakes.
A drone delivers beer to ice fishermen on a Wisconsin
lake. The FAA says no more deliveries are allowed.  

They did a test, which is in a video below, and it worked wonderfully.

However, all you ice fishing enthusiasts out on the lakes in the Great White North of this great nation, no drones are going to deliver beer to you, the Federal Aviation Administration has decreed.

If you want some refreshments you have to get off the ice and get it yourself.

Lakemaid Brewery Managing Partner Jack Supple said he was a bit surprised by the FAA's ruling, according to NPR:

"We were a little surprised at the FAA interest in this since we thought we were operating under the 400-foot limit....(we) figured a vast frozen lake was a lot safer that (what) Amazon was showing on 60 Minutes."

Supple was referring to a tentative plan by Amazon to deliver goods via drone that was highlighted on the CBS news show. 

It turns out commercial deliveries via drones are illegal in the United States. The Amazon drone demonstration was done in another country so they didn't break any laws.

Supple said he does understand the FAA's reasoning with it's ruling that ended the ice fishing beer deliveries before they really got off the ground.

"I understand their concern... Drones whizzing around piloted by any knucklehead is probably not the Jetsons future we all imagined."

Here's the beer deliver video. It really is quite cool:

Dumb, Mouthy Woman Manages To Get Judge To Increase Jail Sentence From 0 To 300 Days In Minutes

In what could be the ultimate instructional video on how not to behave in a courtroom, a woman finds herself getting a longer and longer jail sentence as she continues to mouth off at a judge.

You can hear the defense lawyer trying to shut her up, to no avail.

The first part of the court arraignment goes well enough, but the disaster comes in the second half.

I wonder if she will continue to mouth off in her jail cell

Watch the pathetic court proceeding here:

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Uintah: Worst Public School On The Planet Literally Snatches Food From Kids Because Parents Behind On Payments

Congratulations to Uintah Elementary School in Salt Lake City for being by far the worst public school on the planet.
Uintah Elementary School in Salt Lake City, where
the lunchroom bully is apparently the school's
so-called nutrition manager.  

I bestow this "honor" on Uintah because some food service managers there who were pissed off because some parents were behind on their kids' lunch payments, snatched the lunch trays away from the kids whose parents who hadn't paid, and threw them in the trash, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. 

This of course happened in front of the students' classmates, so the food managers bullied the kids, set the Worst. Possible. Example., wasted food, and are basically evil people.

I can't believe so far nobody has been brought up on child abuse charges over this. Nobody has been fired yet, either, which is amazing, though I'm sure that will happen. At least I hope so. A lot of heads need to roll here.

At first, the school offered a pretty weak apology.

"If students were humilated and upset...that's very unfortunate and not what we wanted to happen," said school district spokesman Jaosn Olsen said, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Oh, come on!  That's EXACTLY what whoever was responsible for this wanted to happen!  The idiots, who put new meaning into the word "vindictive" WANTED to humiliate the kids, it seems to me,  because they wanted to take it out on somebody. They couldn't reach the parents to humiliate them, so let's pick on the kids!

So I guess there's school sanctioned bullying and child abuse.   It does make me wonder if the idiots in charge of Uintah Elementary School let bullying go on unimpeded.

Another sad thing there are probably a number of educators and food workers and administrators at Uintah Elementary School who have the students' best interests at heart.  The Tribune article noted some employees in the school cafeteria wept when they saw what was going on, but were powerless to do anything about it.

By bullying these kids over really what was a pittance in lunch money, the people who did this surely demoralized the educators who do give a damn about the kids and want them to thrive.  So those good educators are probably less effective now.

Way to create an environment where kids learn!

Since then, after the initially weak "apology" and no doubt because there was a huge, building and understandably torrentially angry outcry among parents, the school put out a Facebook message.

The Facebook message said in part:

"We understand the feelings of upset parents and students who say this was an embarrassing and humiliating situation. We again apologize and commit to working with parents in rectifying this situation to ensuring students are never treated in this manner again."

Notice the careful language here, avoiding responsibility. It refers to upset parents and students who say  this was an embarrassing situation. The word say suggests an attitude of "Well, they SAY they were embarrassed but they're just trying to draw attention to themselves."

The rest of the Facebook post is full of excuses. Well, we tried to get ahold of the parents, we did give the affected students some fruit and milk, yada yada yada.

The school did concede this should have been handled in a different manner.

Ya think?

What in the world was the school trying to gain? They weren't recouping any money from parents who didn't pay because they threw the food out. The school said they threw the food out because it couldn't be served to other kids who did pay once it was placed on a tray.

THEN LET THE DAMN KID EAT HIS FOOD AND DEAL WITH HIS OR HER PARENTS LATER!!!!  I can't believe anybody is that stupid so as to just throw their food away.

Of course, they're not that stupid  As I said, somebody in that school really wanted to humiliate those kids.  Certainly not the majority of people who work there, but one or two people. It only takes one bully to really make a mess of things.

Now this story has gone viral, and the decent people of the world are sending terribly angry messages to the school from all over the world. You should read the comments on their non apology apology Facebook post! 

Feel free to go there and post your own thoughts. (Though please, no threats or ugly language please.)

ANOTHER Dumb Way To Die: Rooftop Skateboarding

Seems lately I'm constantly finding people who find new ways to die weird, violent deaths.
Yeah, this looks perfectly safe.  

Though nobody died in the video you'll see below, some people have decided that skateboarding high up on rooftops is a really cool idea.

Don't try this at home, kiddies!

Some idiot will see this video and try it anyway, then tumble off a roof and kill him or her self, but that's why we have the Darwin Awards, right?

Stay safe, and live dangerously, vicariously, by watching the video. Your health insurer will thank you if you do it that way.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

New Clydesdale/Puppy/Superbowl Ad Tugs On Heartstrings For Very Good Reasons

The traditional, annual Budweiser Clydesdale Superbowl ad was released today to an adoring America.
A still from the wildly popular and adorable
new Budweiser Clydesdale Superbowl ad.  

The ad, is usually the case, has little if anything to do with selling beer, other than giving us warm fuzzy feeling that we vaguely associate with Budweiser, thereby, in theory, making us want to buy the stuff.

I'm not sure if that theory works, but one thing's for sure: If the makers of this year's Clydesdale Superbowl ad wanted to tug at our heartstrings, they succeeded superbly.

After something like one day, the ad already got 2.5 million hits on YouTube within the first six hours of its release. The ad has been a staple on news and talk shows (Free advertising for Budweiser! Yippee!!!)

But as I said, they hit all the right buttons with this ad. I was among the zillions of people moved by it.

The video of this ad is at the bottom of this post but to summarize: Some extremely cute puppies are up for adoption at the Warm Springs Farm.  One of the puppies -- that little scamp-- keeps escaping from its kennel and trotting down to the Clydesdale barn, where it has become close buddies with one of the horses.

Finally, the cute little puppy that is such close friends with the Clydesdale is adopted, and the new owners start driving away with him, much to the distress of our little puppy, who is being taken away from his best friends.

But the Clydesdale, and his posse of fellow Clydesdales, stop the car, surround it, and the motorist has no choice but to surrender the puppy, which happily goes back to the barn with the horses. The people involved succumb to the inevitable and the puppy and the horse live happily ever after together.

That the ad is cute is only a small part of the reason why it is so compelling, as most dog owners understand.  Many of us can relate to that Clydesdale and the puppy, who want to remain each others' besties.
My bestie Jackson, ready for me to play
Frisbee with him.  

I hadn't had a dog in decades until the summer of 2010, when my husband Jeff came home with Jackson, a black cocker spaniel puppy.

I CANNOT believe how attached I have become to Jackson.  I can't live without the little routines he forces me into.

At certain times of day, I have to chase him around the house with his toys, or give him a backrub as he sits on my lap as I watch TV, and I feed him at the exact hour he wants it.

I'm reading too much into it, but I just get such a kick out of the love and trust I see in Jackson's eyes and his furiously wagging tail when we're together.

Scientists are beginning to be able to do MRIs on dog brains and they're starting to show what I and many people who have canine companions know: Dogs love us. 

Scientist Gregory Berns, who's doing a lot of these studies, says dogs have friendships akin to human ones and they are capable of empathy and understanding.

When Jackson's not home, I miss him. Last night, Jeff and I boarded Jackson in a kennel because we had plans that would mean he'd be home alone for too long.

When Jeff's gone away on business for a few days, I feel kind of lost. I felt a somewhat smaller pang of that loneliness and drift when Jackson was away late last night and this morning.

And I was relieved when my bestie came home today. So was Jackson. And we both like the new puppy/Clydesdale ad

Here it is:

Photobomb Storm: Weather Channel's Jim Cantore Stirs Up His Own High Pressure System

Lots of people are talking today about The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore's deft kick to the idiot who tried to photobomb him during a live broadcast in ice storm struck Charleston, South Carolina.
Jim Cantore, left, gives a moron a swift,
well deserved knee to the crotch.

It's so common, so cliched, so annoying to see morons try to gain attention during a reporter's live broadcast.

So it was nice to see Cantore's nonchalant but well aimed microburst of a knee to the kid's nether regions when the kid ran screaming into the live shot.

The forecast for this photobombing jerk: Dense brain fog, a wind chill advisory for the cold glance Cantore also gave him, and a tornado warning for the storm of media attention this idiot will get if he's identified. 

The kid didn't appear to get hurt, which is kind of too bad.  I wonder what his parents think of this national exposure of their idiot kid.

They must be so proud. 

Had he wanted to, Cantore is probably capable of doing some physical damage to somebody if he wanted to.

When I knew him in college he was a weight training and fitness buff, and judging from the tight shirts he sometimes wears on air, Cantore, at age 49, still finds his way into the gym now and then, to put it mildly. 

People call Cantore a bad ass anyway, because he always positions himself in the worst storms you can get. Everyone knows that if he shows up in your town, you're screwed. Because it means you are about to get the Storm From Hell. 

Cantore's arrival means you should be prepared for a 300 mph tornado in the middle of a hurricane that drops a blizzard with ten feet of snow, with the temperature plummeting to 200 below zero in the morning and rising to a high of 350 degrees in the afternoon. Throw in a dust storm, too. And locusts. 

We do need to make reporters' live shots more interesting. Especially when they're outside in terrible weather telling us the obvious: That's it's raining. Or windy. Or snowing. Or there's a tornado coming. 

So I think most television reporters and meteorologists should get training in mixed martial arts. Wouldn't it have been fun if Cantore, instead of just kneeing the idiot kid and letting it be, really went after him, in a supercell thunderstorm kind of way? With the kid returning the blows?

The fight would have been particularly fun to watch with all that ice underfoot from the storm Cantore was reporting on.  A combination of Olympic ice dancing figure skating with World Wrestling Entertainment. 

For what it's worth, here's the video clip of Cantore's debut as an MME champ:

Throwing Reporters Off Balconies To Outshine The President

Usually, the day after the President delivers his State of the Union Address all the newsies and pundits and such yak about the speech, whether it was effective, whether he's a bozo, yada, yada, yada.
Congrats to Michael Grimm, R-NY for outshining
Obama with his manly toughness.  

So congratulations go out this morning to Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y. for outshining President Obama after Tuesday evening's State of the Union Address.

Yeah, I'd never heard of Grimm either, but last night, he threatened to throw a reporter off a U.S. Capitol balcony. Live! on TV! It was quite a moment.

The problem was, Grimm only wanted to discuss his reaction to Obama's speech, but NY1 reporter Michael Sotto decided to thrown in a question about allegations that Grimm might have broken some campaign finance rules.

As a former reporter, I know that sources don't like it when you ask questions that they don't want to discuss, and the sources get angry, but that's part of the job. Reporters know that. I know that. Sotto knows that.

This was kind of over the top, though. Not exactly good PR, though my guess Sotto was trying to telegraph to constituents how tough he allegedly is.

Sotto had this to say, according to Talking Points Memo: 

"I was taken aback. I have never --- you know I'm used to people giving me pushback for questions but I was not used to something like that. "

Grimm told Sotto during the confrontation: "No, no you're not man enough, you're not man enough. I'll break you in half. Like a boy."

OK, that's a little confusing.  Man enough for what? And break him in half like a boy? Grimm breaks boys in half? Isn't that extreme?

So far, Grimm is not backing down, according to NPR: 

"'I was extremely annoyed because I was doing NY1 a favor by rushing to do their interview first in lieu of several other requests. He also accused the reporter of 'taking a disrespectful and cheap shot at the end of the interview.'"

The part Grimm is referring to is when Sotto accurate reported that Grimm would not comment on the campaign finance question.  God, don't you HATE reporters when they're accurate?

Anyway, Kudos to Michael Grimm for being the tough guy who outshone President Obama, who, during the State of the Union Address,  failed to even once threaten to beat somebody up.

Maybe Grimm can go home now to his constituents and take a cue from the other tough guy, Chris Christie, and maybe close down a heavily traveled bridge.

Here's the video of Grimm's tough guy antics:

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Today's Random Video: Fun, Talented Bartender Performs

This video apparently came out way back in 2007, but I stumbled upon it today.

A fun time waster, especially if you're in the mood for a drink. Not sure about the money pasted to his scalp, though.

Ultimate DYI Guy: Shark Bites Man, Man Stabs Shark, Stitches Up His Wound, Goes Out For A Beer

I've always liked the kind of guy who takes care of his own problems, just solves the issues that comes up and moves on.
James Grant recovering nicely
from the shark bite that he fixed up on his own.  

Which is why New Zealander James Grant, 24, is my kind of guy.

According to the Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald, Grant was spearfishing along the coast of New Zealand, in maybe about six feet of water when he felt a shark bite his leg.

Grant said he thought, "Bugger, now I have to try and get this thing off my leg."

Let's stop there for a second. Notice the lack of panic. I love it. He sounded about as alarmed as when us normal people would like to remove a non-biting fly that landed on our arm.

Grant had a knife, for his spearfishing, so he stabbed the offending shark, which then let go of its grip. Grant said his friends didn't notice, so he waded to shore and used the first aid kit he uses for his pig hunting dogs (!!!)  to stitch up the bite on his lower leg.

Eventually, his friends returned, and after their fun day retired to Colac Bay Tavern for a beer. The people at the tavern like Grant, but were slightly annoyed by the blood dripping on the floor, so they gave him a bandage to help contain the mess.

After his beer, he went to a nearby hospital where he works so they could improve upon his stitching a bit.

And so, after another enjoyable but routine weekend, he went back to work the following Monday.

I really do have to wonder what in the world, if anything, would alarm Grant. If an army of space aliens tried to kidnap him, would he just fend them off, while yawning, with his spearfishing knife?

If somebody decided to try dropping a nuclear bomb on Grant's head, would he just swat it away like a picnicker dispatching a vaguely annoying mosquito?

The Morning Herald article says Grant is a junior doctor. Maybe his real calling is to be some sort of superhero.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Tree Must Go. Don't Cut It Down, Blow It Up!!!!

My husband Jeff is no fun.
This is the FUN way to get rid of unwanted trees.  

See, there's some trees on our St. Albans, Vermont property that have to come down.

Some of the trees are dead, others are leaning toward the house, a couple of them are shading the garden or just plain too ugly.

I like loud things with lots of booms, smoke, drama. Which makes blowing the trees up, as I've seen in quite a few videos on YouTube.

The ever-sensible Jeff has a problem with this. He would prefer that we call a tree surgeon to carefully get rid of the larger dead trees closest to the house and shed.

Jeff is fine with me taking a chain saw to any tree that needs to go that won't cause major damage no matter which way it falls. And really, I do find chainsaws fun, so that's OK.

Yes, yes, I know Jeff is absolutely right about hiring the tree surgeon and his distaste for the explosion idea. I'm sure my property insurer is also pleased that Jeff's common sense is prevailing.

But man, wouldn't it be fun to blow up those offending trees? I could advertise it in advance and charge  spectators admission. That income from the spectators would take care of some of the repair bills and maybe some of the insurance deductable.

However, I'll go along with Jeff. Because I'd rather live in a house with its roof and walls intact, with no broken tree branches protruding into the living room and interfering with our view of the television.

I'll just fantasize about the explosions. A man can dream, can't he. And watch fun videos, like the one below:

ve been enamored by the idea of

Don't Bring Your Mother In Law! Buck's Furniture Is Closing

I've just heard the alarming news: Buck's Furniture, a Vermont institution because of its zany, shouty television ads, is closing forever.    
Part of the Buck's Furniture complex in Wolcott, Vermont  

For people outside Vermont and unfamiliar with Buck's Furniture, it's in a little Vermont town called Wolcott.

It consists of several buildings that pretty much make up the whole town of Wolcott. The furniture store has been there since 1957.

The furniture store is know for its ads with catch phrases like from this cash and carry ad: "Bring your truck! Bring your rope! Bring your mother-in-law to Buck's Furniture in Wolcott!!!

Where will we go to without Buck's Furniture alarming wordplay? For a Thanksgiving sale, Buck's informed us that their prices "stuff the competition" and implored us to come up to Wolcott to "gobble up the furniture."

During a mattress sale, Buck's urged us to run as fast as we can to Wolcott to get our bargains. The television ad was an LSD-trip visage of mattresses running back and forth across the screen. Buck's said we needed to buy the mattresses because they were "stacking 'em deep and selling 'em cheap."

What will we in Vermont do without the low-rent television ads that are disappearing from our television screens and radios. (Sorry, the car dealerships just aren't cutting it)

We also no longer hear on the radio from "Nina, the jewelry storah in Manchestah Vahmont." The low, gravely voice of "Ray, husband of Nina" sounded like Bernie Sanders if Sanders were a harsh right-wing capitalist.
A Buck's Furniture truck in Wolcott, Vermont.
I wonder if rope and someone's mother in law is in there.  

We still have the radio ads from Lamoille Valley Ford, but the guy who narrates the ad, presumably the owner, sounds too much like a way, way overenthusiastic member of the local Rotary Club, and I find myself turning off the radio station when I hear his voice. Sorry, guy.

So, I'll miss Buck's Furniture and they're ads. Too bad I only got married a couple years ago. I didn't have time to bring my mother in law to Buck's Furniture, like their ad suggested.

Then again, my mother in law, an extremely sweet, tasteful woman in South Dakota who is not prone to yelling like the people at Bucks, probably has no interest in Buck's Furniture anyway.  

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Vine Compilation To Waste More Time

Supposedly, this is maybe the most popular Vine compilation on YouTube, for whatever that's worth.

But watching these little six second snippets of people being a bit odd is strangely entertaining.'

A good time waster on a cold January day:

Clueless Rich Guy's "Kristallnact" Comparison Makes Him Famous For Being Dumb

I'd never heard of Thomas Perkins until Saturday.
Thomas Perkins, a billionaire is
distraught that anyone would dare
criticize anyone who is super rich. 

Supposedly his some rich fat cat that was once married to romance novelist Danielle Steel. He thinks he's important, anyway.

Now, lots of people are hearing about him. That's because of his classic letter to the editor in the Wall Street Journal that popped up in the past couple of days.

Apparently, in Perkins mind, criticism of the very rich, and income inequality and the wish among some circled to increase taxes on the rich is every bit as horrible as the Nazi persecution of Jews starting in the 1930s.

That's right, he compared the criticism of the rich to Kristallnacht, that night in the 1930s when Nazis smashed out the shop windows and attacked Jews, which was the start of the process that led to the Holocaust.

Kristallnacht was pretty extreme. More than 30,000 Jews were arrested and imprisoned that night. About 1,000 synagogues were burned. Many thousands of Jewish owned businesses were ransacked and destroyed.

In Perkin's mind, raising the taxes a bit on the rich, along with some moron who damaged a bus transporting Google workers to their job, is just as bad as the kristallnacht nightmare.

Here's what our buddy Perkins writes:

"From the Occupy movement to the demonization of the rich embedded in virtually every wordd of our local newspaper the San Francisco Chronicle, I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent."

He goes on to complain about public protests of the buses Google uses to take technology workers from their (expensive) San Francisco homes to their jobs in Silicon Valley. He complains about people calling his ex, Danielle, a snob. He complains about complaints that the very rich are helping create rising real estate prices that are making San Francisco unaffordable for everyone except the very rich.

Perkins concludes: "This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descedent "progressive" radicalism unthinkable now?"

Poor widdle Perkins got his feelings hurt. Awww...

Everybody is supposed to worship the richest 1 percent and if any particular person doesn't hold the rich in the highest esteem, then that person is apparently just as bad as a Nazi.

Uh, Perkins? Just because we don't like you doesn't mean we're going to burn down your house and throw you in a concentration camp. Take a chill pill, will ya?

So, what are you going to do to me, Perkins, for not worshipping you and your money?  Maybe you should just take a voyage on your super yacht to get over your bruised ego.

Needless to say, the rest of us, you know, the people who don't have zillions of dollars,  are pretty amazed at how wrong, clueless, tone deaf and audaciously insulting Perkins is, but what do we know? We're not wading through billions of dollars in our mansions every day.

The fumes from all that money probably really goes to your head.

Perkins is part of a continuing parade of apparently very clueless rich people who, in their zillion dollar mansions, have gotten a super inflated sense of their importance, who think because they've acquired money they need to be worshipped and the only thing we peons should do is give them more money.

I think that's what led to billionaire Kennth Langone to threaten to stop donating to the Catholic Church because the Pope made some mild criticisms about the adoration of wealth.

It's probably what led to Justin Bieber yelling at a cop, "Why the fuck are you doing this?!?!?" when said cop had the audacity to arrest the High and Mighty Bieber on suspicion of him breaking the law by drag racing in his Lamborghini while under the influence.

I know most rich people aren't like these buffoons. A lot of them got rich through hard work and talent. But some of the most priviledged and arrogant among them can't take even the mildest critcism or pay even the slightest consequences for their actions without going off the deep end.

Which tells me it's worth it to keep poking at rising income inequality, the cheaters who steal millions with the stroke of a pen, who are much worse than a guy with a gun on a street corner, the people who think they are above the law because they can throw around tons of cash.

So, no Perkins, we're not headed toward another Kristalnacht, aimed at the rich. We just want you to shut up. You're not adding any value to anything.

How the hell did you get rich anyway? You obviously didn't do it through intelligence or talent.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Slow News Week, So Here's Some People Who Had A Worse Week Than You

If you've been all Justin Biebered out, and want some other failures to look at, you're in luck.

The ever-ready go to default when nothing is going on and you want to waste time is here.

This week's Fails! (Don't worry the woman hit by the wave escaped with minor cuts and bruises)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Skier Sets Off Avalanche: Cool Video, And He Survives!

A guy skiing in Colorado this week picked the wrong hill to zoom down and triggered an avalanche.

Luckily for him,  he managed to stay on top of the snow and didn't get hurt. Luckily for us, he had a GoPro camera attached to his helmet. So we get to see the cool result of skiing into an avalanche.

Skip the first 3o seconds or so, kind of boring. The rest is really cool:

How To Humiliate Those Jerks Who Blame Disasters On Gay Marriage

A weird conservative politician in Britain named David Silverster attempted a tried and true response to the recent passage of gay marriage legislation in that country.
A storm slams Britain in December. A local
politician blames the bad weather on the
gays, as always, which has led to some
hilarious mocking. 

Silverster said devastating December storms and floods in Britain were God's wrath for gay marriage. Religious wackos have used that line in the United States for years.

In the United States, we just roll our eyes at such stupidity. But we should take a page from Britain, where comics and wiseguys invented their own weather forecasts to mock Silvester.

On person Tweeted:

Tonight for the first time
Just about half-past ten
For the first time in history
It's gonna start raining men. 

Of course, that's lyrics from the 1980s song "It's Raining Men" by the Weather Girls, which is particularly popular among many gay people. 

So many people have latched on to this song since Silvester made his dumb comments that the tune might once again reach Number 1 on the charts in Britain next week. 

Martha Wash, who was a vocalist for the Weather Girls, is not surprisingly, just fine with this.

"I'm flattered that after all these years, the song is still relevant (event if it is for storms and floods)" she wrote in an email  

Dean Burnett, writing in The Guardian, wrote a mock science article that indicated Sylvester had a point, because maybe gay marriage was disrupting local weather patterns and worsening global warming, which in turn was causing weather extremes:

"Logically, same sex marriage leads to an increase in the number of wedding. Weddings invariably involve a large number of people congregating in one place, which leads to a lot of body heat and warming, and this heat enters the atmosphere, increasing the air temperature and producing more warm fronts.

People also cry a lot at weddings. This likely to be even more pronounced at same sex weddings, with the added element of recently achieved equality making the events even more poignant. 

Tears are basically water, which quickly evaporate, thus adding to the water content of the atmosphere.

Weddings also typically involve a lot of alcohol, which makes people colder, meaning they're more likely to turn on heating systems when they arrive home, releasing more heat and CO2 into the atmosphere."

Finally, actor Nicholas Pegg did a deadpan mockup of a Serious Official Shipping Forecast that the BBC regularly broadcasts to a large audience in Britain.

In Pegg's high seas forecast, he warned of "Gays at Viking, Southeast Iceland and Bongo Bongo land" and alerted mariners to the risk of "homophobic outbursts, back peddling westerly and becoming untenable."

So, the next time some right wing wacko in the United States blames the gays for the inevitable spring tornado outbreak in the Midwest, we should be ready with our own forecasts.

I suggest using the song "Tornado" by Little Big Town, with the lyric, "I'm a tornado looking for a soul to take."  

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bieber And Toronto Mayor Would Make AWESOME Comedy Duo

Ok, I have to go with celebrity news today since that's all anyone is talking about, and apparently, it's national Discuss Justin Bieber's Antics Day.
The Biebs looking pretty happy in his
mug shot photo last night.  

As you surely heard, Justin Bieber, that bad singer who looks like an undernourished, not terribly with-it drag queen, faces DUI and other charges for drag racing in a Lamborghini in Florida. 

Since Bieber is Canadian, and he's overstayed his welcome in the United States, what with all his egg throwing and pathetic pseudo thuggery posing, he should go back to his native land.

This could be a good thing, since his singing career is crashing. Really, how many screaming teen and tween girls are honestly Bielebers anymore?

So Biebs, you've still got money, so throw me a bit because I'm about to give you some career advice that will keep you rolling in the cash and in the public spotlight.

Form a comedy duo with buffoonish Toronto Mayor Rob Ford! It will be the most awesome comedy pairing since Abbott and Costello, let me tell you!

Granted, Abbott and Costello were much less erratic that The Biebs and Ford and their comedy was well done, but we're used to substandard things nowadays, aren't we?

The physical comedy between Bieber and Ford  would be awesome. Biebs, according to his Florida arrest report weights 140 pounds. (I thought it was less than that, but what do I know?)

Ford, that galump, is, well, portly, to say the least. Can you imagine an oil wrestling skit between Bieber and Ford? I'd pay good money to see that!

Judging from the videos, Ford sings (as witnessed by that Jamaican little performance the other night) and dances (another of his famous videos) so this would work well with Biebs, who also seems into singing and dancing. (though not particularly well)
Rob Ford and Justin Bieber would be
boffo as a comedy duo.  

Abbott and Costello's most famous routine was "Who's On First" which was hilarious take on confusion about the names of people on a fictional baseball team.

Biebs and Ford can do their own "Who's On First" by doing some sort of routine on the confusion brought on by the substances they are on. Booze? Crack? Sizzurp? Prescription drugs? Oh, the possibilities!

Biebs and Ford could also play up their Canadian roots, eh?  I imagine some sort of comedy routine between them involving poutine, Royal Mounted Police and hockey.

I think they just have to somehow play with their most famous quotes. Bieber will be forever remembered for telling a cop during his arrest last night, "Why the fuck are you doing this?"

And Ford will always be remembered for his crack cocaine quote: "Yes I have smoked crack cocaine. But do I? Am I an addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors."

They should also do a road trip buddy movie together. Biebs and Ford, in a yellow Lamborghini, traveling cross country, drag racing bros and finding the best crack houses in every major North American city.

And in the end, they can pull off a Thelma and Louise ending and zoom off the edge of a cliff, so we never have to endure the antics of Biebs and Ford ever again.

Booby Trap: Most Ridiculous Self-Inflicted Medical Crisis Ever

Elizabeth Starr wanted to make it big. Really big.
The sad case of Elizabeth Starr, a big porn star.  

To do that, Starr became a star in the porn, or at least the porn-ish world, of having the biggest fake boobs ever.

(Note: If you click to her web site in the hyperlink above, do realize its NSFW)

Yes, her breasts are humongous. Two heavy beach balls affixed to her chest. Yes, she looks ridiculous.  But who cares, she figures, they're her money maker.

The bizarre fake boobs are from these weird procedure in which they absorb water, and get bigger and bigger over time, over years. It looks like she's going to flop over any minute now.

And she might. Possibly not from top heavyness.

Anytime you alter your body to some extreme, there's health risks. Doctors have told her  she must have a double mastectomy or be at great risk of losing her life.

According to the Daily Mirror, this type of breast enhancement, if you want to call it that, is pretty much never seen outside the porn industry. It has over the years been banned by the United States and the European Union because of the obvious danger.

But she says she's not going through with the mastectomy because the enormous boobs are her livelihood.

What'a poor, top heavy girl to do?

Said Starr:

"It's hard when you have been a victim of something and it's even harder when you choose a path in life where people might look down on you and think, 'She deserved it.' But I wouldn't wish this on anyone and I hope my story will act as a warning. 

I won't pretend to be an expert on what would lead someone to do this to their body, or feel like they have to.

Her quote to me is a little cryptic. She hopes her story will act as a warning. Against what? Abusing your body to make extreme fetish enthusiasts happy? Choose this kind of odd career path?

All I know is Starr looks cartoonish and people probably laugh at her. And she probably knows that.

I feel sad for her. I wonder what her life would have been like if it had not been dominated by boobs and porn, but rather her brain, or talent or whatever else she would have had to offer.

And I really have to wonder if there's a lot of people who are into porn who like boobs that big. If there is a sizable (ha!) number of people who admire Starr's boobs, I definitely have reason to worry.

I, along with a lot of other people, are making a joke of this situation, but honestly, I hope Starr finds health and better chapters for the rest of her life.

Big Brother Is A Marketer: Creepy Junk Mail Goes To A Dad, And His Deceased Daughter

One of the most disconcerting things about marketers, and using the Internet, and social media and everything else on line and in technology is the stuff these marketers know about you,
A mourning father, and the junk mail
addressed to him and his late daughter. Icky.  

They know everything about you. Stuff that you don't know they know about you. Stuff you might not know about yourself.

Recently, an extremely creepy window of what marketers know really freaked out and angered an Illinois dad.

Junk mail from OfficeMax was addressed to Mike Seay and his daughter who was killed in a car crash a year or so ago.

Now, people often get junk mail addressed to somebody who has passed away. They're on a mailing list or a database, and the people who run the database might not have any way of knowing the person has died.


But, according to the Los Angeles Times, this is way creepy.  Because the junk mail was addressed, and I'm directly quoting here, "Mike Seay, Daughter Killed in Car Crash."

Seay said he is only an occasional customer of OfficeMax and would never have told anyone there such personal details of his daughter dying, and how she passed away.

OfficeMax says it gets its mailing list from a third party provider. But that third party provider seems to know a lot about Seay and his personal life. Which means that provider, and so many other marketers, know all the details of our lives, too.

In this case, it looks to me like some computers figured out the circumstances of Seay's daugther's death, and some idiot just put in a note, never intending for it to get out. But it did.

Just how the marketer found out about the death, and how it happened, is unknown to us. They're not talking. But it feels invasive to say the least, no?

I know it's just for marketing purposes, and I don't mind strangers knowing things about me, but I'd like to be the one to choose what is known about me and what isn't.

I also know that ship has sailed, and people, marketers know much about me and a lot of other people.

Another problem is some of this "knowledge" about us is incorrect. The algorithms that computers use also allow the programs, and/or people to make incorrect assumptions about us. Or there's just wrong information about us that gets thrown into the data.

Garbage in, garbage out.

A small example: The other day I blogged about a crazy Ukranian guy who hangs off of buildngs by his fingertips for fun and jollies. Suddenly, I got spam alleging that Ukranian girls were interested in meeting me and I should go to their website to find them.

Since I looked up something referencing the Ukraine, the advertisers guessed I might be interested in picking up Hot Ukrainian Women. (For the record, dear marketers who are surely reading this, I have no interest in Ukranian women)

But it gets more serious than my sad lack of a relationship with Ukranian women.  According to the L.A. Times:

"Retail giant Target reportedly knows how to use its data to identify pregnant customers, and it recently lost tens of millions of customers credit and debit card information to hackers, among other data. Gatherings of consumer data are also reportedly sellling off lists of rape victims and AIDS and HIV patients, a privacy group told Congress in December."

I routinely look up all kinds of strange things, either as fodder for my blog and other writings, or just goofy curiosity. Will this come back to haunt me. Will banks say I'm too big a risk somehow because I'm looking up financial problems that aren't my own?

My elderly father has a serious heart problem and I looked up treatment options for him. I know I can't be left uninsured for pre-existing conditions, but will insurers somehow screw me over because they think I'm the one with the heart problem, and not my dad?

I'm contemplating a blog post on police brutality and have looked up some items on that subject. Will police get ahold of this data and perhaps take action.

That's a very paranoid thought, I realize, and I doubt any police agency will look at me askance for looking up instances of police brutality.

But if criminals can steal identities through big data breaches like the one Target experienced, can more sophisticated criminals put together a data-based dossier on me or anybody else and assume my identity, or yours?

Could they then commit further crimes in your name? And get you in trouble?

The ways that data can be mined is dizzying. Many cars come equipped with GPS. People can track where you've been in your car. 

So, if I was going down the wrong street, realized it, and turned around in drug treatment center parking lot so I can get back on the road to my intended destination, where the Internet brand me as a drug addict.

I'd hate to go through life being super careful about what I look up, where I go, what I see, because it'll go on my (incorrect) permanent record.

I'm still in the realm of being paranoid here. But will this paranoia become reality some day?

People have long worried about Big Brother watching you. They were thinking about the government. Which is a possibility. But a bigger threat seems to be that Big Brother is a marketer. Or worse, a criminal.

I think I want new relatives.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Kid On "India's Got Talent" Is Most Fun Person So Far This Year

It seems I'm always coming up with interesting finds in the "X Country's Got Talent" franchise.
This eight year old kid wows 'em on
"India's Got Talent"  

As I've noted, I think every place in the universe has a "This Place's Got Talent" show, including Pluto.

Of course, there's an "India's Got Talent" where the most fun person so far in 2014 showed up. It's an 8-year old boy who dances rather spectacularly.

The kid's name is Akshat Singh, and I don't think this is the last we'll see of him.

At first glance, he doesn't seem to have the body for a lot of athleticism, but you'd be wrong.

Plus, his enthusiasm is out of this world. It's another one of those videos to put you in a good mood.

 (But hurry, the video might disappear. This performance keeps getting taken down for some sort of copywright infringement. If India's Got Talent had any talent, they'd post the video themselves and do away with that sort of problem.)

Anyway, enjoy!

Wednesday Charmer: Dog Plays Patty Cake

I'm only posting this because it's a charming way to warm your heart on a cold January morning.

Dog plays Patty Cake. Quite well, actually. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Did Late 1970s Rock Band Supertramp Forecast the 9/11 Attacks?

There's a lot of crazy conspiracy theories about every major news event and tragedy we've ever had.
Does this goofy album cover from 1979 foretell
the 9/11 terror attacks? One wacko in Britain
seems to think so. 

That certainly includes the terrible terrorist attacks on New York's World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

Some theories are nuttier than others. I don't mean to make comedy out of a national tragedy, but here's a 9/11 conspiracy theory that is the nuttiest ever.

Apparently to at least one person, the cover of Supertramp's 1979 album "Breakfast In America" foretold the terror attack, according to the UK Mirror. 

As you can see, the album cover is pretty goofy to begin with. It's a view out a plane window of the lower Manhattan sky line, rendered mostly in white diner supplies.

On the wing is a matronly, happy waitress, hoisting a glass of orange juice like some low brow Statue of Liberty.

Now, the theory about Supertramp was posted by somebody on David Icke's web site. Icke promotes all kinds of out there conspiracy theories

I'm not sure if Icke endorsed the Supertramp theory, but like I said, it's doozy.

I am not making this up. So here goes;

The fact that the album came out in 1979 is somehow a reference to 9/11. I'm not sure how.

The planes that flew into the World Trade Center had breakfast served on them, and the name of the album is "Breakfast in America."

Also, breakfast in American is somehow equated with a fight for freedom. I'm not sure how.

And notice the position of the glass of orange juice in front of the twin towers on the album cover. See? That's a fireball!

The goofy waitress is showing the terrorists precisely where the target is!

Also, a mirror image of the album cover makes the "U" and "P" in "Supertramp" look like "9/11"

I guess. If you say so.

For fun,  we ought to investigate this conspiracy further, beyond the superficial stuff that appeared in the Icke web site. In other words, now I WILL make stuff up.

If you use your imagination enough, you can come up with all kinds of connections. Let's try, shall we?

One of the tunes on "Breakfast in America" was called "The Logical Song"  And these conspiracy theories are logical, right? Um, no?

And the lyrics of "The Logical Song" go something like this:

"I said now, watch what you say
Now we're calling you a radical
a liberal, fanatical, criminal
Won't you sign up your name
We'd like to feel you're acceptable,
respectable, presentable, a vegetable."

See, The New World Order, or whoever supposedly attacked the Twin Towers in Conspiracy World were signalling in 1979, through Supertramp, that we needed to obey these overlords or else!

Another song on "Breakfast In America" was called "Goodbye Stranger" an obvious reference to the people the terrorists were planning to kill.  Or something like that.

The point of this exercise is to prove how easy it is to create half baked, super duper crazy conspiracy theories that people will actually believe. Not many people, but some.

I'm just afraid now that I've analyzed "Breakfast in America" further, the conspiracy wackos will turn to me for more proof that one of the worst attacks on innocent civilians was at least partly the work of a half-forgotten British rock band.

Hey, you want more proof Supertramp was behind this horrible terrorist attack?  In 1974, the band released an album called "Crime Of The Century"

Big Earthquake? No Worries, Continue The Greyhound Dog Race

This week, there was an earthquake in New Zealand, reaching 6.2 on the Richter scale.
Items were knocked off shelves at this
New Zealand store during an earthquake this
week, but the folks and dogs at a racetrack
barely noticed it.  

It caused relatively minor damage, cut power to a few thousand people and gave the region quite a scare.

Except at the dog track. As you can see in the video, a greyhound dog race went off without a hitch even though things were shaking like mad.

The announcer got a little excited, but the dogs just did their job and ran their race.

It looks like bystanders watching the race were pretty much unperturbed, too.

The rest of the day's races were called off because of fears of road and other damage around. But still. I guess earthquakes are no big deal at the dog track.


Monday, January 20, 2014

On MLK Day Wisconsin Basketball Brothers Almost In Trouble For Having Fun While Black

A happy little newspaper photo got three Wisconsin brothers in trouble because, well, they're basketball players, they're black, so the automatic assumption is they're up to no good.
To the school and police, their hand gestures were gang signs
To everybody involved in basketball, the hand gestures
celebrate a three-pointer.  Photo by Steve
Ottmann, Sheboygan Falls News  

The problem was the way they gesturing in the photo.

Incidents like this, when they hit around the time of MLK Day as this one has, kind of makes me depressed about race relations in the United States.

The Sheboygan Falls News recently ran a feature about the three brothers, Jordan, Juwaun and Jamal Jackson, who are on the local high school basketball team.

It was a light, seemingly noncontroversial story, with a photo of the three teens showing them making the kind of hand gestures professional players, and their fans often make during successful moments on the court.

But these kids are black, you understand. They were making hand gestures, so they had to be making gang signals, said many readers, the school and local police, who began an hardboiled investigation into the matter. Two of the boys were suspended from their next game after the photo appeared in the paper, according to Jim Romenesko's journalism web site 

Never mind that the hand gestures in questions are now a staple, a cliche, really, at many basketball games.

"Gangsters" like U.S. House Speaker John Boehner has made similar gestures while he enjoys ball games. After all, as Think Progress notes, there's been plenty of media attention and several trend stories about the gesture, which celebrates successful three point shots in basketball. 

If anyone at the school or the police department was confused about the gestures in the newspaper photo, it would have been so easy to quietly ask the kidswhat the hand gesture meant, look it up, confirm what they said and go on.

But no, everybody, including the police, which should have known better, went into full bore panic about gangs in Sheboygan Falls. After all, if an uppity black kid makes a gesture for a newspaper story,  no matter how innocent, said black kid will go on to just gang bang and shoot up the whole town, right?

There was a quick reversal after people started pointing out how ridiculous the school and police were being. According to WHBL, the local radio station:

"The suspension was handed down after a school liaison officer noticed the two brothers had made hand gestures that looked like gang symbols in the picture. After Sheboygan Falls Police confirmed the gestures were gang symboos, the school followed their athletic code and suspended the two for the team's game against Plymouth.

Police chief Steve Riffel said their investigation also determined the boys' actions were not intended to be a gesture supporting crime or a certain gang, but rather a gesture made when a shot was made."

The two brothers who had been suspended from the game were allowed to play. But the damage had been done, really.
House Speaker John Boehner does a variation
of the "gang sign" that got the kids in Sheboygan Falls
in trouble. m

Why couldn't the liasson officer and the police done a quiet, easy search at the beginning on this to prove that indeed this was just harmless game signals?

Common sense would dictate the kids probably wouldn't be in a gang if they were that accomplished in school, and wouldn't be dumb enough to do it in a publication that would be seen all over the community.

Yeah, some teens are dumb, but most aren't that dumb.

And how are these three boys supposed to trust the school liaison officer and town police after this?  Apparently, the school and the police always view them with suspicion, so no matter what they do, they can assume the authorities are assuming they are up to no good.

What kind of way is that to enjoy your high school years?

The quotes in the Sheboygan Press newspaper from Sheboygan Falls School Administrator Jean Born sure are rich:

 "This decision that was made here or these students has absolutely nothing, nothing to do with race, she said. "We balance a bunch of factors" when looking at student discipline, Born said. She noted the district's top priority is student safety, and that officials sought "a balanced approach" to the situation.

"You knowk we're challenged all the time with keeping our schools safe," Born said. "Part of our ob is to make sure that everybody that comes here feels safe."

Yep, that's her job. Making sure everyone who goes to the school feel safe. Why not apply that to the Jackson brothers, too. Make them feel safe instead of suggesting they are members of a gang, to make everyone afraid or angry at them. That's not a safe situation for a high school kid, is it?

Meanwhile, Jeff Pederson, the editor of the paper which had the original photos, told Romenesko that he is shaken by the whole incident.

"What has happened with what I still believe is a perfectly fine photo that fit well with the story is disgusting and will stay with me for the rest of my life. I am struggling to understand this entire situation, but I do know that I can't allow the people we photograph to be put up to this very serious level of scrutiny ever again."

"I firmly believe that a fun photo with personality catched the eye and  an even bring a smile to someone's face even if they don't know the people in the photo. That is the kind of photo I have always tried to search for, but obviously things will change with this very ugly event, which should have never been an issue, let alone a national controversy and even a joke to some.

Honestly, that is unacceptable and it will force me to change my approach to make sure that never happens again."

So in other words, Pederson, because he has found that ugly streak in society, will now have to think twice about putting in a fun photo in his paper. Especially if it involves minorities.

It's true, some black kids are scumbags. Just like some white kids are. Asians and everybody else too, have their bad apples.

However, in the minds of some people in our society, if a young black kid is doing something admirable or just fun, he's up to no good unless proven otherwise.

I'm a white guy, so I don't claim to have all the deep insights into race relations.  I do believe, like most Americans do, that we've come a long way from the days of Martin Luther King Jr., whose birthday we're celebrating today.

But as the Jackson brothers in Sheboygan Falls know, we've still got a ways to go.

ANOTHER Awesome Ad: There's Hope For The Ad Industry Yet

For the third time in a week, I found a really good television advertisement.
In an awesome ad, look what a dog does
 to help this guy.  

That's a rare trifecta in a sea of terrible TV commercials.

This one is well done, and promotes an awesome cause. (Especially if you, like me, are a dog lover)

It's from the Royal Dutch Guide Dog Foundation, which brings service dogs to veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

The tag line is guide dogs have traditionally helped people who cannot see,  but these dogs help people who have seen too much.

I also like how the ad really portrays the dog as the veteran's comrade in arms.

As much of the commentary on this ad says, it does make you want to hug the dog nearest and dearest to you.

Here's the great ad:

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Low Paid, Put-Upon Airport Workers A Security List

OK: Now I've got yet another thing to worry about.

I'm guessing the NSA, in its relentless combing of phone and database records, is probably looking for some Middle Eastern terrorists who might be a threat to our country.
Could bad airport working conditions and wages
lead to crime or terrorism? Workers want
higher wages. Photo by Dave Sanders/SEIU  

That threat might be real, but the New York Times and other news agencies might have indirectly uncovered another threat to our security, especially at airports.

Airports have substantially cut the pay of already low paid airport workers, deny them vacation time or days off, all in the name of cost cutting, according to the Times.

Upon reading this Dan Savage in his blog   raised a good point. The Powers That Be, who slash airport workers' wages, who make them work without breaks or time off, who willfully lower there standards of living because, Profits! might be opening the door to a domestic attack.

Some of these workers will get so resentful, goes Savage's reasoning, that they might resort to illegal activities. Drug running, even helping terrorists.

I think Savage is right.

Of course the airport workers, no matter how lousy their pay and working conditions, have a moral responsibility to not help criminals or terrorists.  But resentment sometimes overcomes morals, like it or not.

Airlines might be saving some cash for their bottom lines (not to mention their executive pay) But are they increasing the threats to our security at the same time?

Yeah, we can't all be millionaires, but maybe treat the workers a teensy, tiny bit better, and maybe give them an occasional pay raise, especially if they do a good job?

It could be a better investment than you'd think.

OK, Kids. You Sit In This Frigid Cold Car While I Go Hog Hunting

The ever-reliable Florida has given us yet another in the world's longest string of dumb criminals.
Intrepid hog hunter Kayla Shavers is
in hot water because she left her
kids in a cold car during the hunt.
according to Florida police officials.  

Meet Kayla Marie Shavers, 31, who decided one recent, unusually chilly Florida morning to go hog hunting.

Well, that's fine. Lots of people, OK, not lots of people, but some people enjoy that sort of thing. Why not?

Only she left her nine year old son and eight month old kid alone in a car in 38-degree weather while she did her hog hunting, according to WFTS-TV in Tampa. 

At least the nine year old was smarter than his mom. After getting colder and colder, he called 911 because he reasoned, "A police car would be warmer."

Right he was! So the cops showed up, put the kids in their nice toasty police cruiser and waited 40 minutes or so from Shavers to emerge from her (apparently unsuccessful) hog hunt.

She said she was hunting said hogs because they were tearing up her property. There's nothing worse than hogs making a mess of your flower bed, I guess.

Shaver said she left the keys in the car for the nine year old to start it up if he got cold, according to the WFTS report.

Well, that sounds safe!  Turns out he wasn't quite able to figure out how to start the car, which is probably a good thing. Because what if he put the vehicle in drive?

With any luck, the kid would have run over a hog, which doubtless would have made his mama proud.

But in the end, Shaver faces two counts of child neglect according to authorities.

Medical Device Scammers Steal $13 Million From Elderly, Deserve Worst Place In Hell

All criminals deserve punishment. We know that.
The FTC is cracking down on
robocall scams, but if
you get such a call, hang up
right away.  

For some reason, I have a special, extra hate for those outfits who scam elderly and/or defenseless people of their life savings through fraud, and out of horrible greed.

According to the Federal Trade Commission and the Florida Attorney General's Office, some horrible medical device fraudsters did the following: 

"A U.S. District Court has temporarily halted and frozen the assets of an Orlando-based operation that used pre-recorded telephone calls, commonly known as robocalls, to pitch purportedly "free" medical alert devices to senior citizens by falsely representing that the devices had been purchased for them by a relative or friend.

The defendents also allegedly led consumers to believe that the devices were endorsed by various health organizations and that they would not be charged anything before the devices were activated."

If the person receiving the call was duped into wanting more information, they were told to press "1" on their phone where the deception continued.

The FTC says the Orlando ompany operated under several names, including Worldwide Info Services, Absolute Solutions Group Inc, and Global Service Providers Inc.

So the people at those so-called corporations ought to just have a torturous death or something.

Instead, the FTC is planning on trying to recover money from these outfits and return it to defrauded people. Which is great, but doesn't go far enough.

Why doesn't the FTC put the names, photos, and addresses of the chief fraudsters at these companies on line. Yes, I know vigilante justice isn't a great solution, but this makes my blood boil so much I can't help myself.

Some of the names have surfaced. Courthouse News Service published some of the federal complaint against the company, and they list officers associated with the fraud scam. 

The three named defendents, Michael Hilgar, Gary Martin and Joseph Settecase, are of course innocent unless proven guilty, but I hope if they are found guilty, they don't just get fines, but a sentence in some horrible jail somewhere.

This isn't the first time scammers have targeted the elderly on a large scale

According to Consumerist:

'"On June 2013, the FTC scolded a Brooklyn-based company for using deception and threats to trick the elderly ito paying for unordered medical alert systems. Around the same time, the Better Business Bureau warned seniors of deceptive telemarketing calls offering free medical alert devices." 

So this type of scam is pretty common.

Of course, anyone who gets a call out of the blue from one of these outfits should just hang up, but that's hard to tell a desperate, lonely, or adled elderly person to do.

Buyer beware!!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Crazy Ukrainian Guy Hangs By His Fingertips From Tall Buildings. Seems OK With That

There's this crazy Ukrainian dude who goes by the name of Mustang Wanted who's made viral video splashes this week by doing this like dangling off the edges of towers and skyscrapers with his fingertips, with no safety harnesses or anything.
Mustang Wanted hangs off the top of a tall
apartment block in Moscow, Russia.  

Just watching his video, as you can at the bottom of this post, makes me woozy.

Meanwhile, our friend Mustang, when he's hanging on by his fingertips, ready to drop to his death, looks as nonchalant as I usually do when I'm doing something daredevilish like, say, watching "Jeopardy!" on TV.

I suppose there's a chance Mustang Wanted
found a way to do photoshopping and other computer tricks to depict what he's doing, but still, if this is indeed real, YIKES!

He says he goes around cities in Ukraine and Russia, looking for daredevil opportunities, and hopes to make a career out of it through sponsorships.

Here's what Mustang, 26, a former legal advisor says about himself, according to the Daily Mail of Britain:

"Sometimes I think that I'm a robot. I do not feel anything."

I guess that's why he's not afraid, but then again, that's troubling, in my opinion.

Mustang goes on: "Death is not the worst thing that can happen. Everyone dies, but no everyone lives the way they want. If you are afraid of everything you must live in a sterile laboratory."

OK, Mustang has a good point buried in there. You can't live in fear, and you have to take risks, take chances, get out of your comfort zone to live a happy life. I totally buy that.

However, that doesn't mean I'll be dangling off the edge of a skyscraper by my fingertips anytime soon. I might find something more daring to do than watching "Jeopardy!" but I'll let Mustang do his thing without any competition from me.

Or you for that matter, please.

Here's his video.

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Beautiful, Excellent Ad From Axe Body Wash, Of All Things

In my quest to find those few advertisements out there that are not annoying, but are well-crafted, get-you-in-the-gut emotional, artistic and memorable, you'd never guess where I found one this week.
Why is this "North Korean leader" smirking?
Watch the ad below and find out. 

It came from Axe.

Yep, Axe bodywash and cleaning products for men, that sometimes maligned product that supposedly appeals to Bros, young guys who think they are Hot Shit.

The ad, which you can see at the bottom of this post,  doesn't explicitly promote Axe. Instead the company appears to be participating in a project that promotes world peace.  They ask that you "Share Kiss For Peace."

The ad is apparently going to be Axe's Super Bowl offering.

The ad, with its artful cinemetography and simple musical score, shows us scenes that evoke the worst of the world's hatred, war and oppression. You watch it and think Chechnya. Vietnam. North Korea. Middle Eastern terrorists.

The tension builds as things appear headed toward a violent head. The "North Korean leader" is rallying his troops. A tank takes aim at a lone, brave young woman in "Chechnya." Helicopters, with soldiers bearing assault weapons, swoop down on scared families in "Vietnam." The "Middle Eastern terrorist leader" is about to detonate a huge bomb, or so it seems.

Then....well, watch the ad (Which frankly brought tears to my eyes) and marvel:

Jason Brown Might Be Really The Person To Watch At The Winter Olympics

Last week, at the U.S. Figure Skating Championship, which pretty much determined who goes to the Winter Olympics next month in Sochi, figure skating women seemed to take center stage in the media, like they usually do.
Jason Brown, accurately it turns out,
seemed pleased with his free skate
performance last week at the U.S. Championships.  

Which is fine.

But judging from the video, below, I think one of the men, Jason Brown, was overlooked. He's on the team and headed for Sochi, obviously, since he put on such a good show.

He's also young and somewhat untested, but judging from Brown's free skate at last week's championship, all I can say is Wow.

And I'm not a big fan of figure skating. But between Brown's performance and is OMG smile at the end of the routine, I'm hooked and want to keep watching him.

You will, too. Here's the video:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

If Taste Were Visual, This Is How It Would Look: Incredible Video

There's a British spice company called Schwartz that wanted to promote its new line of "Flavour Shots" spices and did so brilliantly.
A still from a brilliant British spice advertisement 

They put explosions of spices in sinc with piano music to just wonderful, mesmerizing effect in their ad.

The awesome video is below:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"Non-Newtonian Fluid" Lets You Walk On Water

If any of you have a Jesus complex out there, have I got a product for you!
Like walking on water: A person plays on something
called non-Newtonian fluid.  

It's called "non-Newtonian fluid." (The things you discover when you're bored and wandering aimlessly around the Internet!)

Apparently, non-Newtonian fluid is a fluid that changes its viscosity whe you apply force to it, like hitting, shaking or jumping on it. This sudden application of stress makes the fluid get thicker and act like a solid.

This knowledge is not new. Scientists and others have pretty much been familiar with this phenomenon forever, practically.

What is new, at least new to me, is that people have now been using non-Newtonian fluid for fun and games.  People fill pools with stuff, it mixes with water and becomes non-Newtonian fluid.

I wonder if it's cheap to buy this stuff.  Apparently you can mix water and cornstarch to make a non-Newtonian fluid but you need a lot of it to get enough to have any fun.

It would certainly make a backyard swimming pool more interesting in the summer.

It looks really cool and fun, quite frankly, as the video below indicates: