Monday, March 31, 2014

Wil Wheaton Explains What To Do When Accused Of Being A Nerd

An old video of Wil Wheaton at a Q&A during the 2013 Denver Comic Con has for inexplicable reasons waited until now to go viral.
Wil Wheaton  

But I can see why it's getting so popular. Wheaton is known for his star turn in 1986 as a kid in the movie "Stand By Me" and more recently in the TV show "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

He does a whole bunch of stuff in the film, television and online industries, and he proudly wears the label of being a nerd or a geek. He's got a popular blog that's worth a look, too.

At this Denver event, a young girl asked Wheaton how to respond when people call her a nerd. He gave the perfect answer to anyone who is the subject of name calling and similar abuse.

I can't improve on what he says, so take it away Wil!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Dog With Only Two Legs Runs On The Beach, Looks Happy

Duncan Lou Who, the Boxer with two legs
enjoys a recent frolic on the beach.  
Today's lesson in life comes from a dog, a boxer named Duncan Lou Who, a charming young guy who has no rear legs, just the two front ones.

Duncan was born with badly deformed rear legs that had to be amputated at the hip socket.

Removing the legs prevented Duncan from getting spinal damage and living his life in excruciating pain, something nobody wanted, least of all Duncan.

Some nice humans gave him a wheelchair to help him out, but he didn't care for the wheelchair all that much. Too confining.

Duncan was adopted by Amanda Giese of Panda Paws Rescue in Vancouver, Wash., and her daughter Jade, who was 9, when Duncan had his surgery as a four month old pup last fall, according to television station King5 in Seattle. 

Usually people coming into Panda Paws Rescue and adopt, but Amanda and Jade couldn't resist and brought him Duncan home.

Some people said Duncan should have been euthanized because of his condition, but Giese said that would have been totally wrong, according to King5.  

Shortly after the surgery, Amanda Giese said. "He's happy, painful, pain-free, joyful and a normal puppy in every other way."

She said many two-legged dogs have full, happy lives.  

Duncan seems to be Exhibit A in the kind of life such a dog can have. He makes do just fine with getting around on his two front legs.

Judging from the very viral video you'll see below, Duncan Lou Who seems quite happy, and quite agile as he runs around on the beach with his friend Miso.

Clever Scammers Are Making This Year's Tax Season Even Worse

Just in time for tax season, we have one of the biggest tax scams yet, and this time the criminals are so sophisticated they figure out things like the last four digits of your Social Security number, where you live, where you work, what your telephone number is, and all that stuff.  

Information is power, after all. If the scammers know a lot about you, you might be led into falling for the scam.

According to Politico, the scammers play hardball, calling people up, armed with the information and telling them if they don't send money -- lots of it -- you will be arrested, freeze your accounts and have your paycheck docked to pay them.

Halah Touryalai, A Forbes staff writer, got a call from somebody she thought was an Internal Revenue Service agent telling her to pay up $5,000 now if not sooner, or else, says Politico.

The financially sophisticated Touryalai caught on to the scam quickly enough and didn't part with any of her money. But many other people have fallen victim to this, losing a total of perhaps $1 million to the crooks, according to IRS investigators.

There've been at least 20,000 instances of this kind of fraud, according to Politico.

In addition to the last four digits of Social Security numbers and other hints at targets' identities, the scammers are able to spoof call ID systems so it looks like it's really the IRS calling. They use fake names and fake IRS badge numbers.

They even know what kind of car the victims drive and the color of their houses, details that trick victims into thinking it's really the IRS calling them. But the information probably came from Google Earth.

The IRS says that if were really in trouble with them, they'd send you letters and documents by snail mail, and not call or email you or anything like that. And there's a legal process involved if they think you're involved in tax fraud. They don't just take your paycheck away from you without a bit of a heads up.

Still, the whole scam, and the details the crooks know about their targets, is just more evidence that everyone can come up with a dossier about you, and use it for no good.

The scary thing is, we're powerless to stop it. Yes, they give us tips on how to protect our identities and all that, but that seems so stopgap. The crooks, the marketers, the governments all seem to find pretty easy ways around the roadblocks we throw up.

It's enough to make you just want to hide for the rest of our lives in a cave.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

It Was Too Quiet On The Home Front

At last report, my husband Jeff was en route home from a week long business trip out of town. He'll be home later today.
Jeff and Jackson enjoy an autumn
day in Vermont last October.  

Thank GAWD!! The house has been too quiet. Worse, because of my work schedule, I had to put Jackson the Cocker Spaniel/Weather Dog in the kennel for a few days.

You'd think I'd enjoy the brief peace and quiet, but no way. Uh-uh.

When I was single, I thought it was perfect, the fact that I lived alone and didn't have to answer to anybody.

Jeff never demands to know where I am, he's easy to live with. But I do always want to check in with him when I'm going somewhere, because it's common courtesy.

And I need to coordinate schedules with him, so we don't get in each other's way.  In other words, I have to be at least minimally considerate.

This past week, I would come and go whenever and not tell anybody. Not that I was doing anything a little sketchy. Mostly, I was working. But still, I miss having to tell somebody I have to leave for work at such and such a time.

I work in a home office for a good part of my days. At home, I just barely get on a roll writing something, and it always seems just then Jackson bounces into the office needing to go outside, needing to play, needing to eat, needing for me to go to the window and help him bark at the birds flitting around out there.

This week, none of that. No Jackson wanting to play when I need to work (and I would rather be playing with him. That guy is a temptster no question)

I used to enjoy the silence, when I was single, of no other voices in the house. Now I totally miss the little noises Jeff makes. His chortle when he's laughing at a bad sitcom, or when he starts singing (quite well!) along to Josh Groban as he's working at his drafting table downstairs.

At night, he'll snore a little bit. It'll stir me awake, and I'll listen for a couple minutes before falling back asleep. His snore is strangely comforting.

This past week, no snoring.  And that made me stay awake at night, rather than get any extra sleep, because I missed the snore, missed Jeff.

Yeah, marriage changes you all right. It's a responsibility, being married. And it's a lesser, but still big and real responsibility, to have a dog.

No, I take that back.

The word is not responsibility, but love. Love is why we ache when our partner, even our dog is gone for a few days. It's why the ache is there when they're gone,  even when you know that your husband and the dog are perfectly safe and happy and will be home in a few days and everything will be back to normal.

That's my new normal.  The new normal that officially arrived on August 26, 2012, the day we got married. A new normal I didn't think I'd ever achieve. Or even want. And now I crave it more than anything.

Welcome home, Jeff and Jackson!   I missed you. I'm so glad you're back. Make some noise for me, OK?

ANOTHER Awesome Narvaez Family Version of "Home"

Back in 2011, I blogged about Jorge Narvaez and his young daughter Alexa, who did an awesome cover of the already excellent song "Home" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes.   
Jorge, Eliana and Alexa Narvaez.  

Jorge and Alexa soared to viral video fame with their version of the song, and it even landed them a spot on the show "America's Got Talent," where Alexa proved to be the most charming young girl in America.

Now the Narvaez family is back, with an addition, younger sister Eliana, who joins the group.  They do another version of that same song.

This version has a new poignancy. According to Buzzfeed, Esther Alvarez, who is Jorge's mother, was deported recently because she came to the United States without papers in 1987.

Buzzfeed said she returned to Mexico a few years back so her husband and son, both U.S. citizens could sponsor her for permanent residency. But her application was deined and she has been away from the family since.

From Buzzfeed

"And so when Jorge, Eliana and Alexa sing: "Home, let me come home/Home is wherever I'm with you," they mean it.

The new video is part of a campaign that aims to reunite at least some of the thousands of families that have been separated by an unprecedent wave of deportations."

There's a Twitter campaign called #BringThemHome which is trying to support people who have crossed into the U.S. from Mexico and are seeking asylum.

Usually, you can't get asylum in the United States unless there are "credible threats" against that person in the country they're trying to leave.

The Narvaez family is circulating a petition to let their grandmother back into the United States.

No matter what you feel about the issue, you'll love the Narvaez family's updated version of "Home"


Friday, March 28, 2014

Instant Karma: Road Rager Gets What's Coming

When John Lennon released his song "Instant Karma" more than 40 years ago, he surely wasn't thinking about the yahoo you'll see in the video below.
Jeffrey White still looks angry in his
booking photo after becoming an
unwitting "star" in today's viral video  

But you do wish the song was playing on the car radio of the woman taking the video of what was going on along a Tampa, Florida highway.

She was on a highway, being tailgated by an angry man who thought she was driving too slowly.

True, she was in the left lane and could have been in the right lane, but she says in the notes she couldn't immediately cut over to the right because of traffic.

The guy gets impatient, finally blasts around her on the left. (Warning, middle finger alert from the angry yahoo at this point)

The guy looks so, SO angry at our woman who is taking the video. I bet he was even angrier at what happened next.

(Spoiler: Television station WTSP reports the mad guy, Jeffrey White, 33, of Tamp, was later charged with leaving the scene of an accident, careless driving and not wearing a seatbelt.

And if I had my druthers, I'd add the criminal charge of being incredibly dumb


Thursday, March 27, 2014

"Too Many Zooz" A Totally Fun Band: An Introduction If You Haven't Gotten One Already

There's a three member band called "Too Many Zooz" that has been playing in New York's Union Station for awhile now.

Thanks to those good ole' viral videos, they're recording music now, so you can go out and buy it. 

Too Many Zooz are a lot of fun to listen to, and watch. They're music isn't quite like anything I've heard before.

Here's a video of them in the subway station, just to make your Thursday a little better:

Small Bright Spot In Horrible Mudslide Tragedy: Dog Rescued. See Video

That mudslide in Washington state is about as bad a tragedy as you can get.
A dog is rescued from the debris of the Washington
State mudslide. Although he doesn't look
great in this photo, his family said he's already
pretty much made a full recovery.  

A hillside collapsed onto a neighborhood Saturday, killing at least 25 people. More people are missing, so we don't yet know what the final death toll will be.

When you get a big disaster like this, the natural tendency is to find any bright spot you can.

So, people are embracing a video that surfaced in which a family poking through the destroyed remains of their home find their dog buried in the debris and mud.

Miraculously, the dog is in good shape. He was covered in mud and terribly thirsty when rescued.  And it is a bit funny to watch him try to shake out the dirt caked into his fur.

And when the tail starts wagging, you know he's going to be OK.

Again, this isn't much, but it is just one small bright moment in a bad situation. Watch:

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Persistence: Guy Robs Store, Imprisoned 15 Years, Gets Out, Robs Same Store

When I was a kid, teachers kept telling me, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."
Christopher Miller, unsuccessful
twice now at robbing the
same N.J. shoe store.  

What they didn't tell me was if the very idea of trying something the first time is really dumb, then don't try, try again.

But I figured that out on my own.

But apparently Christopher Miller, now 40, didn't.

According to the New York Post, Miller robbed the Toms River Stride Rite shoe store in New Jersey in 1999. He was caught and went to prison for 15 years.

He got out recently, and there he was almost immediately, robbing the Toms River Stride Rite shoe store.

Says the Post:

"The manager of the Toms River Stride Rite, who happened to be on duty in 1999, thought she had deja vu when she saw Miller walk through the door again on Saturday.

"I knew who he was right away," said the 43-year-old worker. "I just think (he came back) because he didn't get anything the last time."

This time, Miller DID manage to snag  $389 in the robbery, but was caught with the loot a short time later.

As for a motive, the best we can come up with is this theory by anonymous New Jersey Corrections officials in the Post article:

"This guy is either really stupid or he just really likes it in jail." 

On Video: Incredible Rescue On Flaming Houston Building

I don't know what it is about large apartment buildings under construction lately.
A construction worker hangs Tuesday from an
unfinished balcony as a partly completed
Houston apartment building goes up in flames  

They all seem to be going up in flames.  There have been recent dramatic construction site apartment fires in San Francisco, in Pennsylvania, in which a neighboring, occupied apartment building was damaged, in Salt Lake City, and other places

There was another notable one back in December in which a construction worker trapped above and in the flames of a half finished apartment building Kingston, Ontario was rescued via helicopter.

The rescue yesterday in Houston was even scarier than the one in Ontario, as a midrise apartment complex under construction there roared into flames.

A construction worker was trapped in a top floor apartment as flames raced and roared through the structure toward him.

I know these buildings go up in flames so quickly because sprinkler systems aren't installed yet. But these seem like a huge safety hazard. In one of these construction site fires, construction workers are going to get trapped and die, or the fires will spread to occupied buildings and cause a disaster.

It's time OSHA find ways to make these situations safer so we don't get a tragedy. There must be a way to prevent this kind of thing.

In the Houston fire yesterday, horrified onlookers filmed from a building across the street. To be honest, as I was watching, I thought the worker was doomed. Things keep going from bad to worse, with some scary surprises as things moved along.

Spoiler alert: The construction worker ended up being rescued, uninjured. But that doesn't diminish the power of this heartstopping video. YIKES!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Happy Ending For Deer Stuck In Picket Fence

Ah... The American dream. A nice house. A nice yard surrounded by a nice perfect picket fence.
This deer got stuck while
trying to leap over a picket
fence in Attleboro, Mass.
Luckily the homeowner freed
the deer, which did not appear
to be seriously hurt.  

What could possibly go wrong?

Well, for an unfortunate deer in woodsy suburban Attleboro, Massachusetts, plenty.

Apparently, our deer was running through the neighborhood and tried to take a graceful leap over the Kelley family's picket fence.

Not so graceful.

The deer's hind legs got caught at the top of the fence, and the animal did a nice faceplant on the lawn. And he was stuck.

Yes, we're continuing with our theme of the day, clumsy animals. Earlier, you might have seen my post about penguins having trouble getting past a rope.

Anyway and luckily, 7 year old Grant Kelley noticed the problem with the deer in his backyard.  He told his mother, Kate Kelley who told her husband, Brian Kelley

Even more luckily, each board in the fence is removable. Dad Brian Kelley went out there and removed a couple of boards, which freed the deer.

The only problem is, since Kate Kelley was filming, the whole world gets to see the deer's humiliation.

Otherwise, though, the deer is fine. Watch the funny report from television station WCVB in Boston, which used the Kelley video to tell the story, which has a happy ending:

Random Video of Clumsy Penguins, Just Because

I most have a mean streak because I found myself laughing at a random video of penguins tripping over a rope.

They didn't get hurt, which helps, and I like the way they get back up and pretend the mishap never happened.

Watch and see if you laugh, too:

Monday, March 24, 2014

Giraffe's Goodbye Has The Whole World Getting Misty

A maintenance man at a Rotterdam zoo who is dying of cancer got a touching sendoff that has everybody on the Internet getting misty.
A giraffe appears to kiss a dying Mario goodbye.
Mario had worked at a Rotterdam zoo for years
and is dying of cancer. He was brought to the
zoo to say goodbye to his coworkers
and animal friends.  

The guy, identified only as Mario, worked a lot in the giraffe area of the zoon. Mario was brought to the zoo in his dying days to say goodbye to the people and the animals he cared for.

The group that facilitated Mario's goodbye put his hospital bed in the giraffe enclosure at the zoo.

In the most heartbreaking, beautiful photo, a giraffe appears to be kissing Mario goodbye.

Who know? Maybe the giraffe was just curious. Maybe the giraffe was just hoping Mario had a morsel of food.

But I like to think this is another example of the connection we have, or can have with animals.

In any event, is someone slicing onions in here? My eyes are watery....

Westboro Baptist Church Founder's Death Brings Out Class Acts

You probably heard that Fred Phelps, the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church died last week.  
Counter-protesters to the Westboro Baptist Church
offer a message of sympathy to the "religious" cult
 over the weekend.  

You probably also know the hideous group from their "God Hates Fags" signs and whatnot as they do their noisy, loathesome protests at military funeral, rock concerts, memorial services for gay people, where ever they can spread their, um, whatever you call it.

Their hate hurt, no doubt. But ultimately, nobody ever takes this group seriously, and the fun ways people have found to mock them are truly inspired, and always good for a laugh.

A lot of people have pointed out that Westboro has actually helped to advance the gay rights movement, because, fairly or not, it makes gay rights opponents look backwards, and a little hateful and a little dumb.

Plus the counterprotests tend to bring people together in solidarity.

I'm not dancing on Fred Phelps' grave, but I'm afraid I haven't been nearly as classy as some people in responding to his death, as you can tell by reading this blog post.

But I have to congratulate the classy ones, who show us how it's done.

Exhibit A is Judy Shepard.

Fred Phelps and Westboro first came to prominence when they protested at the funeral of Judy and Dennis Shepard's son's 1998 funeral in Wyoming.  The son, Matthew Shepard, was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime.

Judy Shepard was asked to comment on Phelps' passing last week. This is her perfect response:  "Regarding the passing of Fred helps, Dennis and I know how solemn these moments are for anyone who loses a loved one......Out of respect for all people and our desire to erase hate, we've decided not to comment further."

In Kansas City, Westboro held its first protest since Phelps' death outside a concert by the singer Lorde, said television station KSHB. 

As usual, a group of counter-protesters showed up. And in keeping with the classy response to the sad "religious" cult, the counter protesters held a big banner and aimed it in Westboro's direction. The banner said "Sorry For Your Loss."

The biggest loss for the Westboro group, and maybe our gain, is the fact they've drowned themselves in hate, which somehow transferred some measure of love to other groups.

The response by Westboro to the "Sorry For Your Loss" banner demonstrates how badly the sad group has lost touch with humanity.

Looking over at that Sorry For Your Loss banner, Westboro member Steve Drain said,  "I don't even know what they're saying."

Sunday, March 23, 2014

If You Had A Bad Day, Watch This Video To Feel Better

Some bad days are actually kind of cartoon-like.

Kind of like what you see in the video in this post. A car hit a fire hydrant, and the extreme flow of water from the broken hydrant is keeping the back end of the car lifted up in the air.

Nice rainbow, though.

I Never Get Tired Of These Gay Marriage Victories and Ceremonies

A Michigan judge struck down that state's gay marriage ban Friday and a number of couples in that state managed to get married before another court put the whole thing on hold. Which happened later Saturday when the Michigan Attorney General's appealed of the Friday ruling.
Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer react to the news
that a judge on Friday overturned a ban on same
sex marriage in Michigan. The couple were plaintiffs
in the case. Associated Press photo. 

Still, it seems that same gender marriage is spreading across the nation, whether you like it or not.

Gay marriage is kind of getting old hat now, at least in some parts of the world.

There's still a long way to go, of course, but I like that where gay marriage is established, it has sort of become just a routine part of the social landscape.

Still, I never fail to get a bit choked up when people somewhere obtain marriage equality.

And while the politicians still yell and scream that same sex marriage will bring about The End of Civilization, (without explaining exactly how that would happen), the actual marriages are small but intensely happy moments.

In Michigan, I love how many county clerks opened their doors for special Saturday hours to meet demand for same sex marriage licenses before Attorney General Bill Schuette (probably temporarily) shut the whole thing down.

Ingham County Michigan County Clerk Barb Byrum married 57 couples and performed 30 cermonies Saturday.  She said she opened the clerk's office for special Saturday hours because she couldn't sleep Friday night knowing so many couples wanted to get married, especially before the Attorney General stopped it all.

I know the religious folks don't like gay marriage, but these are civil ceremonies. Churches are still free to decide who they will marry and who they won't.

And I still haven't heard a convincing argument as to why gay marriage would be so damaging.

In the video below, the plaintiffs in the case watch as Friday's ruling in their favor pops up on their lawyer's laptop, and the lawyer reads what the judge has to say.

I love the reaction. You might need a tissue while watching this, though.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

"Thunder From Down Under" Male Strippers Rumble With Thief, Strip Him Of Dignity

OK boys and girls, here's today's latest lesson on who not to commit a crime against:
These guys made mincemeat out
of a guy who broke into their backstage
dressing room in Las Vegas and tried
to steal their costumes.

That lesson: Don't try to rob from a troupe of male strippers.

According to the Huffington Post and Associated Press, a man tried to steal a suitcase full of custumes and props belonging to the all-male revue Thunder From Down Under.

The guys in the revue were in  --where else? --- Las Vegas for a live, very live, performance. Meanwhile, the suspect went into the dressing rooms to steal the stuff.

He was later identified as Joey Kadmiri, 24, and officials said they --surprise!--- suspect Kadmiri was under the influence of meth, says the Los Vegas Journal-Review

The dancers, saw the thief and decided to give sort of an impromptu MMF fight sort of performance.

The thief actually tried to shoot one of the cast members with a .44 caliber Magnum, but one of the dancers got the gun away from the guy.  Then the members of Thunder From Down Under beat the crap out of Kadmiri.

Think about it:  Whatever you think of members of male dance revues like Thunder From Down Under, they have to be pretty athletic and strong. Those muscles they spend hours developing at the gym are actually good for something other than to drool over.

And all that dancing must make their endurance pretty good, too.
A not so good looking Joey Kadmiri after
police said Thunder From Down Under attacked
him for stealing their props and such.  

So, getting attacked by Thunder From Down Under can't be pleasant.  Our thief had to be treated for injuries before being hauled off to jail.

From the Huffington Post/Associated Press:

"A jailhouse booking photo shows a black eye and facial bruises from the backstage scuffle. "The suspect definitely got the worst of it," Las Vegas Police Officer Laura Meltzer said.

The suspect is charged with felony attempted murder, armed robbery and burglary with a weaon, police said. If convicted, he could be in jail for decades.

And our suspect is now even less pretty than our guys from Thunder From Down Under.

Dance on, boys!!

A New Zero Tolerance Low: Sixth Grader Threatened With Expulsion For Possibly Saving Classmate's Life

When I've complained about zero tolerance policies in the past, I've thought they could get no worse.
Most people would think 6th grader Adrionna Harris was heroic
for taking a razor blade away from a fellow student who
was harming himself. Her school, however, decided her actions
were criminal and tried to expel her, that is until the
media backlash set in.  

I was wrong.

According to television station WAVY, Adrionna Harris was suspended and threatened with expulsion for taking away a razor blade from a kid who was cutting himself, and immediately throwing the razer blade away.

Since she held the razor for an instant, in the stupid, ignorant dumb, shameful eyes of the Bayside Middle School in Virginia Beach  and their zero tolerance bullshit, she had a weapon in her hand. Time to get rid of her.

They suspended her for 10 days and were going to expel her permanently.

Of course, faced with an ENORMOUS backlash in social media after the WAVY report came out, the school is quickly backing down, and allowed Arionna to return to school Friday. But it's just a PR move. I'm betting Arionna's expulsion would have stuck had the media not gotten its hands on this news.

Almost all of the other zero tolerance overreaches I've complained about in the past involved students who actually didn't do things perfectly and might have actually deserved a minor punishment, like a lecture or even a half hour detention after school.

But here, Adrionna did everything right and was actually heroic.  She found a kid cutting himself with a razor. Really, the classmate was in immediate danger. Since nobody else was around at that moment, Adrionna had to think quickly on her feet.

She did and her parents are justifiably proud of her behavior. As would any parent or school. Except for the stupid people at Bayside Middle School, apparently.

To summarize Adrionna's actions:

1. She recognized a serious problem.
2. She took immediate action by taking the razor away.
3. She got rid of the razor immediately so it would not pose a continued danger
4. She quickly told an (allegedly) responsible adult what was going on, so everyone would be protected.

The only mistake Adrionna made wouldn't have been a mistake in a normal setting. Her "error" (read honesty)  was telling school administrators what happened. They would otherwise have never known she had that razor for a split second unless she'd told them.

Schools are supposed to places of learning. Here are the horrible lessons Bayside Middle School seems to be determined to teach students:

1. If you see somebody who needs help. Do nothing. It only causes trouble.
2. If you think somebody else could help a person in need, again, don't say anything. It's not worth the bother.
3. Rules are to be followed, even if it makes no sense to do so. For instance, if you're driving, we all know we should stay in our travel lane all the time. However, if there is a kid playing in the lane we're in, common sense is to swerve around the child if we can't stop. 
But the rules say we can't get out of our lane while driving so it's better just to run over the kid. But don't stop to help the kid once you've run him over. As I said that would only cause trouble. 
4. Lie to adults or at least withhold information from them to ensure you don't get in trouble. 
5. If people get wind of you following the rules no matter what and that you didn't help somebody in need, and these people criticize you, backtrack and pretend to be sorry or pretend to help, but only because that's good PR.  

I'm glad to report that these hideous, moronic lessons the school is trying to teach Adrionna are lost on her. The girl seems to be a bright, compassionate young woman.

A WAVY reporter asked Adrionna what she'd do if faced with the same situation.  She replied, "Even if I got in trouble, it' didn't matter because I was helping him...I would do it again even if I got suspended, yes."

But imagine the chilling effect this whole thing has on other students who might be faced with a dilemna on how or whether to help.

By the way, what about the boy who was cutting himself?  He needs help. But he was holding on to the razor, too. So instead of getting the kid counseling and medical help, I imagine the school will work really hard to get the boy in jail instead. That'll teach him!

School administrators said their hands were tied. The strict zero tolerance policy came down from the School Board, so the principal and others had no flexibility to consider the reality of Adrionna's situation without holding an expulsion hearing.

Yep, there we go again. Obey the rules even if it this case they cause much more harm than good.

A lot of people commenting on the WAVY article on their Web site want heads to roll at the school. Maybe they should hire people that have at least a hint of common sense.

But I bet that won't happen. They'll just let the bad PR wave wash past them, and go on with being stupid.

I hope most other schools aren't like Bayside. If any other school administrators act this moronically in any other school district, I fear for our nation's future.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Best Roman Catholic Nun EVER Rocks "The Voice"

Some of you might be old enough to remember that strange 1960s show, "The Flying Nun"    
Sister Cristina Scuccia knocks it out of the park
in Italy's version of "The Voice."  

I've got something better for you and it's (mostly) reality: The Singing Nun.  And it's a lot of fun. And surprising.

I'm a sucker for some of those competitive "reality" talent shows and my favorite is "The Voice" 

During the audition rounds, four celebrity judges, all singers and musicians sit in big chairs and listen to contestants perform with their backs to the performer, so the appearance of the singer doesn't influence their decisions.

If the judges like what they hear, they push a big button on their chair, their chair swings around 180 degrees and they get to see what the performer they enjoyed looks like.

Many nations have their own The Voice franchise, including Italy.

This week, all four judges on the Italian "The Voice" LOVED want a performance of Alicia Keys' "No One" as done by a 25 year old women.

All four judges hit their buttons, their chairs swung around and there was the performer, Sister Cristina Scuccia, a Roman Catholic nun. 

When more than one singer turns around, the contestant has to choose which singer will be her coach, to help with future battle rounds and face offs as the ultimate winner is chosen.

Sister Scuccia chose J-Ax, an Italian rapper to coach her, because he was the first to turn his chair around

J-Ax was visibly moved by Sister Scruccia and the fact that she chose him. He said: "If I had found you at Mass I would always be in church. You and me are like the devil and holy water."

I bet even Pope Francis really enjoyed this. Her performance certainly fits in with the Pope's outreach, in making Catholicism relatable to everybody and not just some rich, robed dudes being weird and pompous in the Vatican.

News of Sister Cristina Scuccia's success is going viral today, big time, so we haven't heard the last from her.

Here's the really fun video of the event. It's in Italian, of course, except for the song. But the language is no barrier to understand what is going on:

Here's A Prank Video That Is Actually Kind of Nice

I've complained here in the past about "prank videos," those YouTube hits in which some idiotic youth assaults or harasses people, gets it all on video for laughs and giggles and profitable viewer clicks.
The "waiter", a prank video maker, serves
a homeless woman a nice dinner in a rare
example of a nice prank video.  

Another form of trolls, basically.

But there are good prank video makers, too, like the one I found in which a young guy dressed up as a waiter in a decent restaurant,.

He showed up with a tray of food in public streets and served nice dinners, with cutlery to homeless people

The homeless people, as you can imagine, appear pretty perplexed, but grateful.

Nice gesture, and way to go!

Here's the good prank waiter video:

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Kleenex Alert! Wonderful, Touching Video By People With Down Syndrome To Soon-To-Be Mom

World Down Syndrome Day is tomorrow, March 21, and the people at Down Syndrome International put out this very sweet video that is one of the better advocacy PSA's I've seen.
A still from the World Down Syndrome Day video.  

In the video, the organizers say they got an email from  young woman who is pregnant and learned her baby has Down Syndrome.

The woman wrote: "I'm scared. What kind of life will my child have?"

Then the video goes on to have people with Down Syndrome from all over the world answer the young mother's question. Spoiler alert:  The answers are very reassuring.

I don't like to generalize about any particular group, but the people I've met in my life who have Down Syndrome tend to be the most interesting and fun individuals I've come across.  So the PSA definitely seems to meet Truth In Advertising standards.

Here's the video:  (Like I said, Kleenex alert!)

How Did That Guy Pull Off That Wheel Of Fortune Miracle?

I'm frankly not a big fan of the game show "Wheel of Fortune" where contestants guess the letters in a phrase until they can identify the phrase.
OK, Guess. What's this phrase?  

When "Wheel of Fortune" comes on after "Jeopardy!" Jeff and I usually switch the TV channel and settle for a tired rerun of "Big Bang Theory" or something.

This week, though, there was quite a moment on "Wheel of Fortune." A guy really had heads scratching when he figured out a phrase with precious few letters.  Everybody is perplexed.

As you'll see in the video, below, it's not a phrase that necessarily immediately pops into your head.

It is a pretty funny clip, though. A suspicious host Pat Sajak even jokingly pats the guy down for contraband or something.

So watch:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Today's Overreaction: Torch A Car In Retaliation For Denied McFlurry

You're not going to be at ALL surprised that this bit of news comes out of Florida.
A woman set this car ablaze in Florida
because her companion who had been driving
the car wouldn't buy her a McDonald's McFlurry.  

A woman was so angry that her companion at a McDonald's wouldn't buy her a McFlurry that she torched the car they couple came in. 

Witnesses said the woman stormed out of the McDonald's during the McFlurry argument that she went outside and poured alcohol and gasoline on the car and set it alight.

She then ran away.  Bystanders tried putting out the fire, but it got too large too quickly.

Presumably, there were not enough ice cold McFlurries on hand to put out the fire.

Here's the most amazing part. The whole car, almost seemed to go up in flames. But in the confusion after firefighters put out the blaze, the guy somehow drove the charred car away. It was found parked a few blocks away.

The car might have been stolen, since the license plate didn't match the vehicle.

At last check our McFlurry fighters are still at large.

And we wait, but not for long! for the next weird Florida crime story. It'll come in mere minutes, I'm sure.

Best Revenge EVER: Man Texts Entire Shakespeare Works To Scammer

Edd Joseph, 24, of Bristol, England was annoyed.
This guy got revenge on a scammer by
texting him Shakespeare plays, which cost him
nothing and tied up the scammer's
smart phone for days or weeks.  

He'd paid 80 British pounds or roughly $132 in U.S. dollars via the British equivalent of Craiglist to buy a PS3 games console.

The guy he paid the money to never delivered on the game. The police couldn't help and the way he paid the money meant he couldn't recover it.

But Joseph found the best possible way to get even. He just texted the crook entire works by Shakespeare, according to the Bristol Post.  The crook's phone buzzed and buzzed for hours and days and weeks with snippets of Shakespeare.

Here's how Joseph scammed the scammer using Shakespeare, according to the Post:

"Edd discovered he could copy the words from the Internet and paste them into a text message - without costing him a penny on his unlimited mobile phone package.

He sends it as one text but the victim can only receive them in 160 character chunks - meaning the 37 works of Shakespear will buzz through in 29,305 individual texts.

So far, Edd has sent 22 plays including Hamlet, Macbeth and Othello, whih have been delivered in 17,424 texts.

He reckons the remaining 15 works will take another few days to send - meaning his adversary's phone will have been constantly beeping for nearly a week.

Edd said he too revenge because he wanted to stop feeling powerless about losing his money.

The guy who is getting the constant barrage of Shakespeare texts has called Edd in anger several times, but he is not relenting, only asking the guy if he is enjoying the plays.

Maybe the guy getting the play will give up his life of scams and become a literary theater intellectual or something, but somehow I doubt it.

This Shakespeare revenge is a lot of fun, but the only thing I worry about is weirdos out there turning the tables. In the age of "revenge pornor phishing and all those trolls out there, it's just a matter of time before innocent people might get days worth of unstoppable porn texts or something.

Just another danger of our connected world, I guess.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Maybe We Can Get Our Beer and Other Supplies By Drones After All

Awhile back, toward the end of January, I bemoaned the fact that the Federal Aviation Administration put the stop to a brewery who was trying to deliver beer to ice fishing enthusiasts out on a Wisconsin lake.  
Flower deliveries via drone? So far, it looks
like it might be legal.  

Well, now, there's a glimmer of hope.

In a move similar to the beer drone enforcement, the FAA in February ordered, part of Wesley Berry Flowers, in Michigan to stop its experiment of delivery blooms via drone, CBS Detroit reported.

However, a federal administrative law judge, Patrick Geraghty, ruled that he could not accep the FAA's argument for regulating drones, which applies to flights below 400 feet.

Had he agreed with the FAA, the judge said, "a flight in the air of a paper airplane or a toy balsa wood glider could subject the operator" to FAA penalties.

The judge's ruling applies to fights under the ceiling of 400 feet. Drone flights above that are still definitely iffy in the legal department.

Geraghty wasn't ruling on the flower deliveries, but instead another guy who was fined $10,000 for reckless flying when he used a drone to film a 2011 University of Virginia promotional film, CBS Detroit said.

Official FAA rules about drones are due late this autumn, but those rules have already been delayed over and over again.

Judge Geraghty's ruling in favor of the Virginia photographer basically means there are currently no rules for drone flights that don't go above 400 feet. The Detroit florist said that means he'll resume testing his drone flower delivery system.

And presumably, beer can go out via drone to those Wisconsin ice fishing enthusiasts.

You know what would get really interesting is now that pot is legal in Colorado, will drones deliver that, too?

Monday, March 17, 2014

I Almost Forgot A St. Patrick's Day Tradition! Watch This Um, Interesting Version of "Danny Boy"

A groaner of a blog post, but I can't resist as St. Patrick's Day draws to a close.
Our (almost belated) St. Patrick's Day tradition. 

First, a joke: What's Irish and stays out all night?
Answer: Paddy O'Furniture.


But I almost forgot to post my annual St. Patrick's Day tradition: We all have to sing "Danny Boy"

Here's our annual three singers to help us out!

Check Out This Really Cool West Coast Sand Artist

So there's a guy on the West Coast named Andres Amador who gets up early in the morning, before anybody's been on the beach.  
Some really cool sand art by Andres Amador   

He tries to get there at low tide, armed with a couple of sticks and rakes of various sizes.

Amador then rushes to create these absolutely beautiful designs on the wet sand on the beach. He rushes because the rising tide will soon wash away his creations.

Talk about temporary art!

But it doesn't matter.  Amador, or other people, take photos and videos of these wonderful creation before the tide washes them away forever.

And we get to view the beautiful art that way.

Here's a video showing how he does it. Totally awesome!

Even David Brenner's Web Site Announces His Passing With Flair

Hat tip to Tom Bodett for noting on Twitter the home page of David Brenner's Web site.

Brenner, the longtime, popular comedian, died over the weekend at the age of 78.

If you visited Brenner's Web site last night, you get some words written against a stark black background, with a nice photo of Brenner.

Yes, that sounds appropriate for the Web site of a celebrity who just died.

But the words are priceless. Click on the image on this post to make it bigger so you can read what was on the Web site more easily.

A wonderful comic send off for a wonderful comic entertainer.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Crime Stoppers Guy Munches On Paperwork In Court to Avoid Revealing Tipster

You've heard the catch phrase from the Crime Stoppers Tip Line "We want your information, not your name."  
Richard Masten of a local Florida Crime Stoppers
chapter in Florida in court, snacking on a crime
tip so that the judge wouldn't learn the identity of
an anonymous tipster.  

And the idea makes a lot of sense. There might be people in a situation in which they know about a crime and want to report it, but are too fearful of what might happen if they end up having to testify in open court.

After all, court proceedings are usually open to the public, so it would be easy for a jerk to retaliate against somebody who offered evidence of a crime.

You can't use information from an anonymous source in court, but at least a Crime Stoppers tip can point police in the right direction, so they can eventually nab the bad guy or girl.

However, sometimes this gets complicated, like the recent incident in Florida where the local Crime Stoppers guy, named Richard Masten had a tip he received.

A judge ordered Masten to hand it over.

The paper that had the information didn't include the tipster, but Masten thought there was enough information for someone to deduce the identity of the tipster.

So, instead of turning the paper in to the court, he ate it, so nobody could look at it.

According to the Miami Herald:

"For disobeying the order - even as he chewed up potential evidence - Richard Masten was found in contempt of court Friday by Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Victoria R. Brenna. He has until next Thursday to turn over the information, or turn himself in and serve a 14-day sentence. He was fined $500.

That might be the least painful part of the whole thing. I imagine eating all that paper gave Masten a wicked stomach ache.

The best part of this whole episode is the video of Masten eating the paperwork in court. It looks like he's watching a ballgame on TV and munching on not-very-good potato chips.

It really is a sight to behold. Watch:

Dog REALLY Rebels Against The Stay Off The Bed Rule

Many households have a rule in which dogs must not get up on the bed.
Our dog Jackson, head resting on a pillow
settles down for an early Sunday afternoon
nap on our bed. At least he wasn't bouncing all
over the place.  

(In my house, we're totally lax in this regard. As I write this, Jackson the Cocker Spaniel is happily asleep on the comfy pillows on our bed)

Anyway, we have the inevitable video with the inevitable security camera that catches the inevitable dog getting on the inevitable bed.

We even have the inevitable "Yakity Sax" playing in the background

But the dog who gets on this bed really seems to be reveling in his rebellion. Bonus points to the vaguely annoyed cat looking on.

The video is definitely good for a Sunday laugh:

Dramatic Surveillance Camera Video of Harlem Explosion Is Beyond Scary

CBS News got its hands on surveillance video of that huge gas explosion that leveled two buildings in Harlem last week, killing at least eight people and injuring many more.    
The scene of last week's explosion in East Harlem.

As you'll see in the CBS report, below, a guy was walking down the street when the first concussion rained debris and broken glass very fast on top of him.

The debris came from the collapsing buildings, and windows blowing out in storefronts and apartments across the street from the blast

No word on who the guy is, but miraculously, it appears he's not hurt too bad.

It probably helped he was wearing a fairly heavy jacket, which maybe partly protected him from the rain of debris.

Here's the incredible CBS report and video. Hope THIS never happens again!


Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Few Texas Boobs Object To The Word "Haboob" Because Arabic Words Are Un-American. Or Something.

There was a haboob in Texas the other day. For the uninitiated, a haboob is a dust storm, one that shows up as towering wall of dust that sweeps into a town or city as one giant wall of dirt.
Great aerial view of the haboob, or maybe
God's Holy Dust or something, in Texas.  

These kinds of things happen in arid west Texas sometimes.

The only especially odd thing about the whole thing was the morons who so, so object to the word "haboob"

See, haboob is an Arabic word for a sudden, giant duststorm.  Lots of words are derived from other languages. For instance, if an earthquake struck off the California coast and generated a giant wave that swamped coastal locations, we'd say the Golden State got hit by a tsunami.

Of course, tsunami is a Japanese word.

Japanese words are OK, apparently, to some West Texans. But an Arabic word? They're spoken by those heathen Muslims, who of course are all terrorists bent on America's destruction.

According to Gawker, television station KCBD in Lubbuck duly reported on the haboob, since it was a pretty big local news event. There were lots of dramatic photos of it, too, so the television station, quite sensibly, posted many of the pictures on its Web site.

But KCBD accurately called the storm a haboob. That's where the trouble started.

The comments the station got are priceless. Let's share some!

Judy Sumpter offered this: "Since when do we need to apply Muslim vocabulary to a good ole AMERICAN dirt storm? Did we move the country or what. I take great offence (sic) to such terminology! 

She goes on:.   "......Arabic means Arabs, and they are wanting to wipe America off the map. Therefore, I am still offended by the use of the term "haboob." Service men and women have paid the ultimate price fighting these people, and in my opinion, it is a dishonor for them."

I hate to interject logic here, but I will anyway. Sumpter would beg to differ, but actually most Muslims really don't have major problems with the U.S. Yes, there are some Muslim terrrorists who hate America, but they're a minority and I don't see how banning Arabic sounding words will change the minds of anti-American terrorists.

But maybe I'm just dense.

Speaking of dense, it gets worse. Some people left some wild Facebook comments on the television station's wall. Most were quickly taken down, but  Americans Against The Tea Party saved some of Facebook comments on the haboob "controversy" Here's some examples:

A gentleman named Jeff Bertrand remarked, "Never had a haboob until we got that muslim boob for POTUS"

Oh, such  play on words, Jeff! You're quite the clever linguist aren't you?
Another great view of the Texas haboob
last week. A few people object
to the word haboob because of its
Arabic origins. Most Texans rolled
their eyes at these objections.  

Deborah Wheeler weighed in: "Give me a break. It's called a dust storm. Texas is not a rag head country."

Um, Texas is a country? I thought it was a state, despite some Texans wish to secede. Just what is a rag head country? A place where people put cloths reeking of lemon-fresh scented Pledge after they dusted the furniture?

Wouldn't you want somebody to come in and dust the furniture after a haboob, er, sorry, good ole' American dirt storm?

Of course, if some Texans wanted to purge the language of Arabic words, they have a long list. "Algebra" is one, but judging from the comments above, the people who want to ditch the word "haboob" probably can't handle algebra anyway, so no great loss.

"Pajamas" is another Arabic word.  So sorry, Texans, throw the stuff you wear to bed at night in the garbage. It's too un-American.

Other words for weather that have been known to hit Texas have to go, too, because they're un-American. "Hurricane"comes from the word "Hurakan," a Caribbean god of evil. "Hurakon" was some sort of Mayan god.

Can't have hurricanes, then. Only references to Christianity, since this is a Christian nation, thank you.

Texas gets lots of tornadoes. That word comes from the 15th century, from the Spanish word "tronada" or thunderstorm.  With all those illegal aliens supposedly flooding across the Texas border, I guess we have to honor America and always refer to tornadoes as twisters or something.

To be fair, the people who objected to "haboob" on the KCBD page were clearly in the minority, and the overwhelming majority of smarter Texans piled on these idiots with their own Facebook comments.

I particularly loved a guy named Matt Martinez, who mockingly "agreed" we have to get rid of the word "tornado" because of its Spanish origins. He wrote "Round here we call it 'Freedom wind with plentiful victory bits'"

I don't know. My only last thought on this great Texas Haboob Word Crisis of 2014 is, what's the Arabic word for "stupid people"?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Has This Been National Spectacularly Horrible Person Week

The news this week seems to have been dominated by people who came out of obscurity to demonstrate what horrible people they are.
Brian Cole Stone, the idiot
that caused the dramatic police
chase in Denver.  

Are people trying to break some Guiness Book of World Record mark for extreme awfulness?

We had that idiot in Denver, who spent an hour carjacking people, including stealing one car with a four year old kid inside and racing around the Denver metro area at speeds of up to 100 mph. It's a wonder nobody got killed.

The Denver Post said the carjacker, Brian Cole Stone, has an 11-page criminal record.

So the guy is a first class loser.  And the people he affected were so random. You just never know.

The Denver Post had this bit of the drama:

"Stacy Rader, 39, was on her way to work and listening to a radio broadcast of the chase when the suspect T-boned her 2008 Camry at the intersection of East Lincoln Avenue and South Peoria Street.

'That pushed me further into the intersection into eastbound traffic, and I got hit by two other cars,' she said in a telephone interview.

I sometimes complain about police brutality as authorities sometimes get a little too violent when making arrests. But to be honest, when I saw the video of police arresting Stone, I thought they handled him a bit too gently.

I hate to say it, but I would have wanted to rough him up.

Here's the video, then beneath that, we have an even worse person to contemplate:

Even worse is the drunk driver in Texas this week.

Actually, he's much worse than Stone.  Rashad Charjuan Owen, 21, of Killeen, Texas, who, early Thursday morning, decided it would be a spendid idea to try to evade cops who were after him for drunk driving and plow into crowds at the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas.

Two people died and 23 were injured. He faces two charges of capital murder and numerous aggravated assault charges.
Police said Rashad Charjuan Owens, 21, was
drunk and driving a stolen car when he plowed
into a crowd at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas
this week, killing two and injuring 23.  

Yeah, he'll rot in jail for a long time. This seems to happen all the time. People cause such chaos and pain, thinking they can get away from police and not get punished for any crime they committed. And if getting away from the police means killing a few people, so what?

Just goes to prove that one of the most dangerous combinations in the world is bravado and extreme stupidity.

Have fun on death row, Rashad!

Finally, remember Curtis Reeves the guy who shot and killed another man in a Florida movie theater because he was texting?  Turns out Reeves himself was texting in that very movie theatre moments before he shot the other guy for texting.

So Reeves is a bigger asshole than we first thought. Not only did he object to people texting during the previews in a movie theater, he apparently believes he can text during that time, but nobody else can.

This week, then, we have three strong nominees for Worst Person In the World.

Let's hope they're the last nominees. I think we all need a vacation from horrible people for a good long time.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Amazing Video As Drone Flies Into An Active Volcano Crater

I'm really getting sold on drones. Cameras attached to them can capture the most amazing things.
Magma and ash belch from the Yasur volcano.

The latest I found is a YouTube video uploaded in late January by Shaun O'Callahan.

It shows the view a camera on a drone had as it buzzed around inside the Yasur Volcano on Tanna Island in Vanuatu.

Yasur is one of the most active volcanos in the world, according to Volcano Discovery.

It's prone to frequent small to medium eruptions, not cataclysmic ones, so people do get fairly close to it.

Vanuatu is a collection of island way out in the South Pacific.

I found the music O'Callahan chose to accompany the video annoying, so turn the sound down (The video doesn't have the sound of the volcano.)

Still, this is one helluva fascinating video. It also made me extremely glad I wasn't there.

Here's the video:


Too Fat For Prison? Florida Judge Unimpressed With That Argument

It's true, nobody wants to go to jail.
Is this guy too fat for prison? He thinks he is.
A judge begs to differ.  

But if you commit the crime, you do the time, right?

So it is with James Olivos of Florida, who was convicted or running a big real estate scam.  He was sentenced to five years in jail and told to pay back $3 million in restitution.

According to television station WESH in Orlando, Olivos told a judge recently that he can't go to jail because he's too fat. And he's got ADHD. 

Sorry, James. You couldn't come up with anything better than that?

Magistrate Karla Spaulding was (surprise!) unimpressed and gave our buddy 48 hours to come up with medical records to prove he couldn't handle jail, says WESH. It sounds like she wasn't exactly holding her breath for that one.

You can't exactly use being fat as a get out of jail free card. And despite his ADHD, if he was focused enough to commit a scam, he is probably focused enough to sit through a five year jail sentence.

And just judging from the images from the WESH report, Olivos does indeed look like a pretty hefty dude, but it also seems there's lots of people fatter than him who are in jail. To me, he looks as if he can't be more than 300 pounds.

Like I said, big, but not a record breaker.

So let this be a lesson to anyone trying to avoid jail: You have to be super, super, duper fat to avoid a prison term. It's probably easier to just not commit a crime.

That way, you stay out of jail. And you're free to eat anything you want. Even if it's fattening.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Vermont Man Sets Fire To Car; Later Realizes It's The Wrong Car

I often do weird crime updates from Florida, which seems to be the World Headquarter for people who do strange,  creative lawbreaking.
Vermont man torches car to get back at somebody
he disliked. But oops, wrong car.  

But where I live in Vermont, we try to contribute to this phenomenon, especially up in the remote Northeast Kingdom part of the state.

After all, this is the part of the state where, in 2012, a mentally ill man ran over and crushed eight police cruisers in a parking lot with a tractor he was driving

It's the part of Vermont where last year,  a reporter for a small town newspaper didn't have to go far to get a crime story. He just looked out the window and watched his car get stolen.

Today, we introduce you to Cory Carpenter, 33, of Newport, Vermont. According to the Newport Dispatch, he was caught Saturday night after setting a Dodge Neon ablaze in Newport.

Asked by the arresting officer why he did it, according to the Dispatch, Carpenter replied, "I did it to be an asshole."

Well, no argument there.

Apparently, he wanted to set fire to a car owned by somebody with whom he was having a disagreement. The destroyed car, however, belonged to somebody else, somebody Carpenter apparently had no beef with.

Police said while in custody, he penned this note to the person whose car he torched: "I apologize for setting fire to your car. Wasn't my intention. Peace be with you. Truly sorry, Cory L. Carpenter Jr."

Well, at least he's sorry. But he's still facing charges. Which goes to prove, revenge isn't necessarily sweet.

25th Anniversary Of Internet, And

There's much ado today about the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web, which we can all agree has changed our lives immensely.

The World Wide Web has also exposed incredible boatloads of stupidity, given what people say and do on the Internet. But again, we knew that, too.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of stupidity on the Internet, I give you the image in this post. (click on it to make it bigger and more readable)

I can't verify if a person really wrote it and really believes the things he or she said. But rejoice! You're smarter than this person!

And happy 25th Birthday, World Wide Web!!  Time for me to go off and watch more cat videos.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Worst Start To A Marriage EVER

We don't know they're names, but the happy couple left Atlanta recently for their honeymoon in Costa Rica.
In what might prove to be a very, very short
marriage, a groom got drunk argued with his bride
on their honeymoon flight. He got kicked off the plane.  

Sounds so, so romantic, doesn't it? Launching a marriage in a beautiful, natural tropical paradise. Ahhh..

Well, maybe not. In what might go down as the worst start to a marriage on record, the groom got drunk and argued with his bride on the plane.

Our groom got so disruptive that the Delta flight made an emergency landing in Grand Cayman, according to Reuters.

Our drunk argumentative groom was kicked off the plane and faces drunk and disorderly charges there, Reuters said. He might face even more harsh charges under international law because the airline industry and law enforcement tend to frown on forcing flights to make emergency landings.

As for the (surely) blushing bride, after the groom left the plane joined the rest of the passengers in continuing on to Costa Rica.

She'll probably have a better time without her obnoxious groom anyway.

Watch A Not So Merry Prankster Get Exactly What He Deserved

Some people make prank videos these days because, I guess they're pretty good at generating clicks, and that means some revenue.

Many of the pranksters, as I've noted before are extremely stupid, not funny and risk getting people hurt.

And sometimes, they hurt themselves, and deserve it.

That's the case with the moron in the video below. He and his co-conspirator faked ATM robberies, to see how people would react.

Finally, one person, convinced it was a real robbery, punched the prankster in the nose, causing a rather grotesque injury. (Don't watch if you're eating)

I am reluctant to post the video because Lord knows I don't want to generate publicity or revenue for this idiot, but I do think it's a good warning for other would-be pranksters out there.

That warning is: You'll eventually get what you deserve, and what you get could well be unpleasant.

I have no sympathy for the guy in the video and judging from the comments on his YouTube page, nobody else does, either.

Judge for yourself and watch:

Monday, March 10, 2014

Odd Gay Discrimination Lawsuit Roils Small Vermont Town

Here where I live in Vermont, people are pretty good dealing with gay people like me and my husband Jeff.
From WPTZ: The two Barbaras involved in
an anti-discrimination lawsuit against the
town of Addison, Vermont.  

I rarely hear people act in a bigoted way toward us, and while I'm sure some people don't like our orientation, we don't hear from them often.

We know a few homophobes could make things ugly for us, but so far, knock on wood, things are pretty good.

But it can get ugly even in gay-friendly Vermont.  A sad, surprising lawsuit, filed last week, is a case in point, if the allegations in the lawsuit prove true.

The couple, Barbara Ernst and Barbara Supeno, live in the incredibly scenic, little town of Addison, Vermont.

The area is gorgeous. It's in the southern Champlain Valley, with a landscape of rolling farmlands and patches of woods. The Green Mountains rise to the east, the Adirondacks to the west. In between is Lake Champlain, and the Barbaras, as their friends call them have a place on the shore of the lake.

It sounds absolutely idyllic, but for them, not really, apparently.

According to television station WPTZ in Plattsburgh, N.Y/Burlington, Vermont, the Barbaras have filed a lawsuit against some of their neighbors and some town officials, saying there's been a concerted effort to drive them out of town because they are gay. 

The couple's attorney, David Bond, said some neighbors, and town leadership are trying to run them out of town.

According to WPTZ:

"It's entirely based on their sexual orientation," Bond said. "Neighbors insulted them, made obscene gestures to them. There were dead animals left on their property.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, Bond claims town leadership tried to push the women out of town."

Part of the problem might be that the chairman of the town selectboard is Jeff Kaufmann. (In small Vermont towns, the chairman of the selectboard is kind of like the position of mayor) Kaufmann is also Addison's zoning and planning administrator, which is the go-to guy to get a permit to say, add a porch onto the house, or build a fence or a handicapped accessibility ramp.

Kaufmann is also a Baptist minister. Some Baptist ministers are pretty hostile toward gay people, but I don't know if Kaufmann is. He declined to comment on the lawsuit, according to WPTZ and other media sources.

In any event, a lot of people might be surprised to see such a lawsuit come out of Vermont.

The state has a reputation as being quite liberal, and has been in the forefront of granting gays rights such as marriage and anti-discrimination laws.

But, like everywhere, Vermont has subsets of religious evangelicals, closed minded souls and a scattering of simple, homophobic bigots.

Life in Vermont for the LBGT community, then, isn't always a Nirvana of acceptance good friendly vibes.

Most Vermont towns are small.  They often have cliques, and some of those cliques basically run everything in town.  And it's amazing what damage or disruption a clique in a small Vermont village can cause if said group is incompetent, stupid, mean-spirited, ignorant or comprised of bullies.

That kind of ridiculousness doesn't happen too, too often, but it does happen.

And that might be what's going on with the Barbaras of Addison.

I don't know the selectboard or zoning administrators in Addison. I don't know whether this lawsuit has merit. We'll find that out eventually. Part of it could be the Barbaras' personalities somehow rubbed people in Addison the wrong way, that kind of thing happens.

Then again, the Barbaras might be the sweetest people in the world, and some people in the town of Addison are homophobic trolls.  Given the allegations in the Barbaras' lawsuit, homophobic trolls in Addison seem like they might be the culprits.

Mere personal dislike of the Barbaras probably wouldn't lead to the following, as alleged in the lawsuit:

  • The town wouldn't response to grievances they filed about the neighbors' harassment.
  • The Barbaras tried to apply for a permit to install a handicap ramp for Supreno's mother. The couple need to get the permit to avoid a $100 fine, but the town clerk refused to accept the application.
  • A weird letter, written by someone who is grammatically and spelling challenged,  circulated in town that said the Barbaras are scam artists and that they pretended to be nice, involved people to cover up their "devious and vicious behavior." 
  • An attorney got a weird letter that was purported to be from the Barbaras (it wasn't) that said the couple love screwing around with lawyers by obtaining attorney's services, then never paying up.

  • The couple needed to have a hearing to get permission to put up a fence around their property to fend off their offensive neighbors. Two public hearings were held regarding the fence, but nobody from the town bothered to tell the Barbaras when and where the hearings were. 

So the bottom line is, homophobia ain't dead, and bigots find ways around anti-discrimination laws, and if this lawsuit has merit, there goes your proof.

The LBGT community has made lots of strides toward equality, but it'll take a lot more work to change everybody's minds.