Monday, June 26, 2017

Some Countries Have Much Cooler Leaders Than Others

Once again, I am jealous of Canada.

Here is a photo of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over the weekend, at a Pride parade, wearing rainbow socks, high-fiving a little girl dressed as Wonder Woman.

Bet you won't see Donald Trump doing anything like this, or even doing anything fun, the damn sourpuss.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Another Example Of Why You Should Not Road Rage

A stupid road rage incident caught on camera injured
an elderly man who was not involved in the road rage
The video in this post was captured on a California freeway recently.

In it, we see a motorcyclist and a car going at it. The motorcyclist kicks the car, which then intentionally swerves into the motorcycle.

The motorcyclist somehow stays upright, but the car goes out of control, swerves across some lanes of traffic and collides with a pickup truck, overturning it.

The occupant of the pickup truck was injured, and of course that person was the only innocent party in that collision.

The motorcyclist took off, and has not been found yet, though police are looking for him. The driver of the sedan involved in causing the crash has not been charged yet, mostly because police want to talk to the motorcyclist first bfore deciding what to do.

Here's the video:


Friday, June 23, 2017

Whirling Gorilla Is Just What You Need To Improve Your Mood

This video went totally viral today.  

It's Zola the gorilla having a blast in a kiddie pool at the Dallas Zoo. Looks like he's breakdancing.

I'm showing you the one without sound effects, but it's also fun to watch the other one in which Zola is choregraphed to the song "Maniac" from the movie "Flashdance."

For the purests, like me, here's the version without a soundtrack.

Enjoy!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Boy George Has Great New Take On YMCA

Boy George does a terrific, quieter version of the Village
People classic "Y.M.C.A"
I know, I know, you're all sick of that Village People ditty "Y.M.C.A"

It's a staple at every bad wedding reception, and karaoke bar you've ever seen.

And aren't you tired of forming the letters YMCA with your arms?

"Y.M.C.A" was, however, a daring - for the era, anyway - of acceptance toward LGBTQ people everywhere.

Was the Y.M.C.A. of the Village People's imagination a wholesome place for young men to grow up? Or a gay nirvana? Or both? Probably both.

"They have everything for young men to enjoy
You can hang out with all the boys."

As The Daily Telegraph notes, Boy George started thinking about marriage equality, and other issues like mental health and youth unemployment when he was approached by the Y.M.C.A. to do a cover of the song.

At first, Boy George said no way. But he got to thinking about it, and thought it would resonate.

It does. He does a toned-down, quieter version of "Y.M.C.A." and it's actually pretty terrific.

Judge for yourself:

 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tale Of Rabid Raccoon And Murderous Vegetarian Jogger Wows Journalism World.

A Bangor, Maine Daily News article about a rabid
raccoon attacking a jogger is a literary masterpiece.
By all accounts Bangor (Maine) Daily News reporter Alex Acquisto hit it out of the ballpark recently when she wrote a local story about a jogger being attacked by a rabid raccoon.

Rabid raccoons happen all the time but the first two paragraphs of Acquisto's excellently-written piece is something I will always cherish:  

Here it is:

HOPE, Maine - While jogging on a familiar, overgrown wooded trail near her home on a recent warm afternoon, Rachel Borch thought to herself, 'what a beautiful day.'

Little did she know she was about to be attacked by a rabid raccoon she would end up killing with her bare hands."

The story goes on to tell us about our normally mild-mannered vegetarian jogger drowning the offending raccoon in a puddle.

It's a grim but absolutely glorious read, so you ought to get past the survey you have to answer at the Bangor Daily News and read Acquisto's article.

Bangor Daily News reporter Alex Acquisto proved herself
as one of the best writers and journalists out there.
The raccoon bit Borch on the thumb and wouldn't let go. "Imagine the Tasmanian devil," Borch told Acquisto.

Acquisto's article has sentences like this: "Connecting the dots quickly, Borch, then on her knees, dragged the still biting raccoon, which was scratching frantically at her hands and arms, into the puddle."

In any event, Acquisto's story went viral. Esquire magazine called it "a literary masterpiece."  Someone else tweeted that the lede of her story belongs in every journalism textbook.

By the way, Esquire's analysis of Acquisto's piece is also very much worth a read.

For the record, Acquisto tells us Borch has had rabies and tetanus shots and is doing well.

Even better, a journalistic, literary star is born.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Be An International Citizen By Buying House In 2 Countries: Vermont/Quebec

This apartment building straddles the U.S./Canadian
border in Vermont and Quebec. If you want it, it's for sale. 
Imagine waking up in Canada walking just a few feet to the bathroom to brush your teeth in the United States.

You can do that if you buy a 3,000 square foot apartment house in the fine village of Beebe Plain,  Vermont.  The same house is also in Stanstead, Quebec, Canada.  (Beebe Plain is a village within the town of Derby Line, Vermont.)  

Confused? Don't be. It's a rare building that straddles the international border Vermont and Quebec. The building is for sale for a low, low price of $109,000, but it's a major fixer-upper that probably needs three times that much money to renovate.

Plus, there's the whole international border thing. Border officials, especially on the United States side, have gotten a lot more pickier over the years about who crosses the border and when and why.

"In the day it wa a normal and natural thing,' Brian DuMoulin told the Associated Press. He grew up in this house. When he was a kid, nobody thought twice about crossing the border over and over again in one day. "Now it stresses everybody out," DuMoulin said.

This is the state of affairs now in Beebe Plain, Vermont/Stanstead, Quebec, according to the AP:

"Residential streets that used to be open were blocked by gates. The back doors of an apartment building straddling the border iin Derby Line village have been locked shut. The street next to the Haskell Free Library and the Opera House, deliberately built in both countries, is blocked by flower pots, although Canadians are still allowed to wak ot the library's U.S. entrance without going through a border post."

Plus, as you can imagine, border agents might be suspicious of people who want to move into the apartment house that staddles the border. (The current owners are in their 70s and inherited the building, but now want to move to Ontario to be closer to their grandchildren.)

The apartment building, currently vacant while it awaits a buyer, is monitored.

Border agents try to know the people who live in the house and let them move back and forth across the border if they stay in the house or its tiny yard. So no need to show your passport if you really, really have to urgently move from the kitchen in the United States to the bathroom in Canada.

Despite the renovation costs and the border stickiness, several would-be buyers have expressed interest in the building. So if you want it, better hurry up and make an offer.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Week Before Alex Jones NBC Interview, Everybody Up In Arms

NBC is set to air Megyn Kelly's interview with this nut
case, Alex Jones on Sunday, triggering a debate on whether
we should give destructive people like this additional exposure. 
To understate the matter, Alex Jones is a big fat nutcase.

He's the impresario of InfoWars, an oddly popular conspiracy theory media empire whose fans seem to include Donald Trump.  

Normally, I wouldn't waste my time filling this blog thingy with Alex Jones stuff, except to laugh at him and mock him, which I have occasionally done.

But everybody's talking about him this week because an NBC interview of him by Megyn Kelly will run on Father's Day.

Jones is famous for, among other things, saying the Sept 11 terrorist attacks were an inside job and the Sandy Hook school shooting, which took the lives of 26 people, mostly young kids,  was fake.

I get the instinct to not give the likes of Jones the national showcase NBC and Kelly offers.

But as Entertainment Weekly notes:

"Kelly herself actually responded to the criticism. When someone tweeted at her that the coverage risks legitimizing Jones and his conspiracies, Kelly responded that Jones has already been legitimized by President Donald Trump, who appeared on Jones' show as a candidate back in December, 2014 and recently granted InfoWars a White House press credential.

'Many don't know him, our job is 2 shine a light,' Kelly tweeted."

So I'll reserve judgement on the interview until I see and hear it.  Then again, I'm not sure I want to listen to anything Alex Jones says, so I'll probably end up skipping it.

The truly scary thing is that a whack job like Jones has been legitimized by the President, who can't seem to handle the concept that fake is not the same thing as true.

Predictably, Jones melted down after his interview with Kelly in a way that would make Trump proud. Jones is a real student of Trump's methods, that's for sure!

As Media Matters reports, here's what Jones is thinking after being interviewed by Kelly, if you can stand it:

"Jones is now suggesting Kelly is aligned with the 'New World Order' globalist conspiracy theory, complaining that she is producing 'fake news' and declaring that she is 'not feminine' but is 'cold, robotic, dead.'"

Alrighty then!

Will Megyn Kelly's interview make America really rebel against Alex Jones, who has made a career of harassing, and encouraging his moron followers, to threaten people who are the subject ofJones' bizarro world view?

Or, will the interview give Jones a wider platform, when he's really just a bug who should be ignored as it crawls back under its rock?

Who knows?

In any event, advertisers are fleeing NBC and its planned Alex Jones interview. Kelly and NBC are getting hammered on social media, and Kelly was dropped from a Sandy Hook fundraiser.

Maybe all this criticism is justified, but we really ought to be constantly piling on that creep Alex Jones.

 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Dangerous Rescue of Two Bucks Stuck Together Amid Tangled Barbed Wire

I video is going viral of two deer bucks who got their antlers entangled with each other and in a bunch of barbed wires.

Two farmers found the problem and conducted a dangerous rescue with wire cutters.

Here's the dramatic video:

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Bulldog Really Is Into This Horror Movie

I really can't watch horror movies. My dreams afterwards are too vivid.

But in this viral video, watch this bulldog get really into a horror movie as the scene in the film gets more and more intense.

The people who uploaded the video said the dog, named Kaleesi, loves watching horror movies and tries to protect potential victims in the films. Kaleesi is especially vocal when children are endangered.

Pretty wild:


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Another Reason To Hate The Computerization Of Cars: Ransomware

Is ransomware in your car next?
A lot of us live in fear of  ransomware

You've probably heard of it. Hackers get into your computer and shut it down, deny you access to all your files, unless you pay a ransom to the hackers.

Often, if you get hit by ransomware, it's because you opened a safe looking email attachment, a fake email you thought was from a friend, and you're screwed.

Technically, that's partly your fault for not being careful, but we all get scammed every once in awhile, and fooled into doing something you thought was innocent. The scammers are crafty.

Now, there's other ransomware to worry about. As Consumer Reports tells us, the threat is in your car.

Says Consumer Reports:

"The reason cars are such inviting targets for ransomware hacjers is that they're increasingly computerized. And as automakers have transferred more and more functions to processors, they've neglected to install the same levels of security found in other modern devices - such as phones and laptops.

'Once you connect the car to the internet, the entire vehicle becomes a threat surface. If the auto industry doesn't adapt, we'll continue to see mistakes and potential vulnerabilities for things like ransomware to take place,' said Craig Hurst, executive director of the Future of Automotic Security Technology."

There's much more interesting things to read about this topic at in the Consumer Reports article.

One thing they don't get into, though, is this:  Unlike your laptop or phone, you don't get to install the hacking safety features in your car. The automaker does.

But if your car should get hacked one day and you get a demand for ransomware, I guarantee the car companies will not be held responsible.

It'll be all on you, because big corporations have all the rights these days, not you.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Comey Testimony Will Be Must-See TV; Groups Try To Discredit Him, Though

Oh, joy! Another train wreck. Donald Trump
says he's going to live tweet the Comey hearings.
You know Donald Trump and his minions are extremely frightened by former FBI Director James Comey's expected Thursday testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

If the Trumpsters had little to worry about, they'd let him testify without comment safe in the knowledge they did anything wrong, so there would be no awful bombshells or worse.

We have no idea whether Comey will drop any of these bombshells and  make Trump's already crippled, incompetent and deranged presidency any worse with new revelations of how the Trump campaign did or did not collude with the Russians.

The signs are, though, they are scared shitless. That's because Trump's tried and true attempts at defanging his "enemies" is to erode their credibility. Whether these attempts to do so will involve any truth telling or not remains to be seen.

I'm not counting on the truth, though.

Trump has reportedly said he will live tweet the Comey hearings, which will be an interesting side show. I'm sure anything that Comey says that The Donald doesn't like will be met with the usual fact-free responses and charges that will make Trump look dumber than he already is, except of course to his shrinking core base of true believers.

Donald Trump always gets in trouble with his tweets. He thinks the tweets help him get his message out, but they just destroy his credibility, as if the credility could be ruined any further.

Just this week, Trump has made a diplomatic crisis worse among several Mideastern countries by sending inflammatory tweets that are completely at odds with what his foreign policy team has been doing.

He's undermined his efforts to overturn his wannabe ban on Muslim countries in the courts with tweets that totally undermine his legal case.

And Trump picked a completely unnecessary fight with the mayor of London, England after last weekend's terrorist attack there, instead of just sending his condolences and moving on.

As the Guardian editorialized:

"How long can we keep watching this endless car crash that is Donald Trump's presidency? The world has pressing problems to solve, from climate change to global terrorism, but instead of contributing resources and wisdom from the United States, Trump relentlessly gets in the way of solutions and exacerbates problems, all the while turning our shared tragedies into his own spectacles."

And he's got helpers, and his tiny group of fans will "help' Trump during Thursday's Comey hearings.

The Associated Press is reporting a group called the Great America Alliance will air television ads Thursday calling Comey, as Trump did, a "showboat" who "put politics over protecting America" even as "terror attacks were on the rise."

Sure, you can debate Comey's past job performance, but a substance-free negative ad in Trump's behalf proves he never stopped campaigning. He'll never be a real president.

As the president drags the United States and the rest of the world down with it, we still have too many Congressional Republican who will stand by Trump in the off-chance of getting their small, cruel agendas made into law.

That's where the real blame is. Too many members of the GOP have elevated their careers over the national interest.

And that's even more narcisstic than even Trump's enormous ego.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Terrorists Don't Understand They're Making Us Embrace More Of What They Hate

Defiance: Crowds at a London vigil Sunday, basically
telling terrorists to piss offf.
UPDATE: See John Oliver take on this below the video of the guy reacting to the attacks.

Oliver cites this guy and notes that he returned to the restaurant to pay his bill and leave the staff a tip.

I agree with John that this guy is out on the town in London tonight guzzling gin and toniscs and  flirting with every handsome guy he sees.

PREVIOUS DISCUSSION:  According to the Islamic jihadists that conduct those awful and stupid and tragic terrorist attacks, like the one in London over the weekend, is that their efforts are backfiring spectacularly.

The extremists think that fun, and music and independent women and free expression and independent thought are all items that must be wiped from the face of the Earth.

Very few people think this way, of course, which is why there are (thank goodness!) relatively few terrorists.

One attack is too many, but the fact that this kind of thing doesn't go on every hour is a sign that the numbers of whacked out jihadists are small.

Jihadists tried to shut down free spirited teen girls by bombing an Ariana Grande concert? Pfft. Grande goes ahead and hosts another mega-concert in Manchester, England, where the original bombing took place.  The concert raised tons of money for bombin victims.

The headline in The Guardian was "Manchester Uplifted By Ariana Grande's Colossal Empathy."

By that we mean, the defiance is not devoid of real emotion and hurt for the victims of the attacks. Want a sample? Just check out Grande's rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" she sang near the conclusion of the benefit concert.

The jihadists apparently hate joy more than anything, so the videos that surfaced of police officers gleefully dancing with youths at the Manchester concert last night must have galled them terribly.

Boo-hoo.

Frankly, the only person I see cowering in the face of these terrorists is Donald Trump, who gets all alarmist, probably for imagined political gain, when something like London happens. He just ends up looking shrill and fearful. What a snowflake!

My favorite reaction to the London tragedy is this guy, in the BBC interview below. He's got it just right. Let's hope the rest of us follow his lead.



John Oliver's take on why Britain is not "reeling."