Archive for January, 2011

Another Month of Fails and Foolish People

January 31, 2011

What will probably be a monthly feature in this blog appears now:

A video compilation of mishaps and dumb accidents that appeared in January.

A few of the crashes are just dumb luck, nobody’s fault really. But that’s the tiny minority.

Skateboard disasters are a staple of fail video compilations. Will these people never learn?

It’s amazing how many people do the same thing month after month, doing face plants while trying and failing to do bicycle, ski, skateboard and burnout tricks. Do people never learn?

They’ve surely seen the videos of people doing the exact same thing they’re doing, with disasterous results? How do they think they’re experience will turn out better?

Anyway, just think as you’re watching this  how much smarter you are than the people features in the video:

Annoying Advertiser Thwarts Terrorism

January 31, 2011

According to The Telegraph, a suicide bomber wanted to cause carnage in Moscow’s Red Square during New Years Eve celebrations.

Like in many suicide bombings, a cell phone signal would have set off the detonation. But the “black widow” suicide bomber was still in a safe house getting ready for her bombing when the wireless service sent her a very nice message, saying, “Happy New Year!”

For her, it wasn’t so happy. The Happy New Year message set off the bomb, killing the woman but harming nobody else. The terrorist attack was thwarted.

So, the next time your wireless carrier sends you an inane text message saying how wonderful they are, just write it off as another salvo in the War Against Terrorism.

Don’t Take Me Shopping

January 31, 2011

This little item that appeared on the JoeMyGod blog this morning is giving me ideas, which makes me dangerous.

The image is purportedly from a store complaining about a shopper’s husband. His behavior is remarkably creative, but I understand how the store could be annoyed.

I hate shopping, too, so I might try some of the ideas in the note. Or come up with some of my own.

Anybody out there have other ideas on how I can make shopping more fun, or at least more weird? I’ll take any and all suggestions

Gay Respect? Two Snapshots

January 30, 2011

The world is changing for gay people, but in some tragic cases, not fast enough.

Two news stories caught my attention in the past couple of days. One illustrates how much work has to be done to overcome bigots and those consumed by archaic “religious” beliefs.

The other story illustrates common human goodness and decency, something that hypocritical, holier-than-thou,  negative anti-gay losers could learn some great lessons from.

I’ll get the nasty story out of the way first. It’s about the reaction of one Massachusetts “pastor” to the death of a guy named David Kato in Uganda.

Scott Lively didn't seem too upset by the death of a gay activist in Uganda.

Kato was a gay activist who was found murdered last week. There’s proposed legislation in Uganda that would make it a capital offense to just be gay, and Kato was bravely fighting that. Police there said the death was part of a robbery, but pretty much everybody thinks Kato was killed because a bunch of people in Uganda think “faggots” ought to all die.

The “pastor” Scott Lively, is involved because he was one of several evangelicals to travel to Uganda a year or so ago to talk about how awful gay people allegedly are. The evangelicals are blamed, fairly or not, for inciting the public opinion in Uganda in favor of the “kill gays” bill.

According to a Boston Globe editorial, Lively had an awfully strange reaction to Kato’s murder.

Unlike the other evangelicals involved, who at least condemned the fact that Kato was killed, Lively posited that it must have been another gay person that killed him.

His logic? In New York last week, one gay man killed his gay companion. See, all gay people are evil, so of course they murder each other. At least that seems to be Lively’s “logic.”

Lively has bizarre theories, anyway. He blames Nazi violence in 1930s and 1940s Germany on gays. I guess he thinks butch type gays were all Nazis who killed a bunch of people. Again, in his mindset, it seems all gay people are evil beings bent on taking over the world and killing all decent minded people.

Scott, are we a little paranoid?

Lively’s reputation isn’t that great to begin with. His sort of evangelical coffee shop in Springfield Mass. got in a bit of trouble because the school district compained truant kids would hang out there instead of going to school. And he had a convicted sex offender working for him.

To be fair, Lively said he didn’t know the guy was a sex offender, but isn’t that why God created employee background checks?

Now onto the story that tells how decency toward everybody works. John Fliszar and Mark Ketterson got married when gay marriage became legal in Iowa.

Fliszar died in July. He wished to be buried at the U.S. Naval Academy cemetery, as he was a graduate of the academy.

Officials with the U.S. Naval Academy upheld a reputation for fairness and decency recently when dealing with the death of a gay Academy graduate.

Widower Ketterson got ahold of the Academy and provided proof he’d been married to Fliszar. According to the Chicago Sun Times, Ketterson said Naval Academy officials treated him with the utmost compassion and respect.

The U.S. Naval Academy isn’t exactly a hotbed of liberal Kayumba thought, so it is something that personnel treated Ketterson and the death of Fliszar with such respect.

So kudos to the Academy for doing the right thing. See, it wasn’t so hard. People like Scott Lively could use Ketterson’s example to realize instead of killing gays the best thing to do is to treat any innocent person who dies with respect.

 

Signs On the Road To Nowhere

January 30, 2011

I’m feeling kind of aimless this morning, so I will bring you a couple signs on buses and roads to give you a minor, but shiftless chuckle over your morning coffee:

 

 

Tiny, Frozen Bubbles: Winter Fun

January 29, 2011

Last week, I whined about the cold when the temperature went down t0 25 below.

Mount Washington from a distance in a photo I took in New Hampshire on a bright day in January, 2010.

I’m whining in a minor way now because another cold snap is coming. But not as bad, just 1o below is in the forecast, hence the smaller whine.

I guess my mistake was just not having enough fun with the frigid temperatures.

Up on the summit of Mount Washington, where a meteorological station records just about the worst weather in the world, people endured temperatures as low as 33 below.

Their reaction? They just blew soap bubbles. But of course, the bubbles froze, resulting in the following really neat video:

Hilarious Clumsy Thief

January 29, 2011

I CANNOT tire of highlighting incredible dumb criminals. There seems to be an endless supply of them. Thank goodness so many are stupid. It makes solving the crimes a breeze.

Yet another example of a stupid thief: Accordiing to the London Daily Mail, this guy stole a necklace, then showed up his haul in front of a surveillance camera. Yeah, bud you're lovely.

We take you this time to Brazil, where a really, really, really clumsy guy breaks into some sort of office.

This guy’s performance rivals that of the famous YouTube clumsy liquor store thief from four years ago, which is still the gold standard of dumb criminal videos.

A more fatal version of a clumsy criminal came in Takoma Park, Maryland this week, when a bank robber grabbed a woman as a human shield. He brought her outside to ward off the cops. But he tripped over a snow bank, giving the woman time to run. It also gave the cops time to fatally shoot the robber.

For our Brazil guy, it does not go well, but he does get away, momentarily.

But reports say he was caught not long after the surveillance cameras caught him. The fact there was that and a zillion witnesses helped. Plus, he probably tripped over something.

Watch how our Brazil thief does in the video:

So kiddies, if you’re planning to commit a crime, you might want to head to the gym first, and work on your balance, coordination, athleticism and wits.

Or better yet, just stay home, watch TV and forget about stealing anything.

The Squirrel Must Have Been Hungry

January 29, 2011

People with bird feeders know how annoying squirrels can be, eating all the food meant for the chickedees and other feathered friends.

The squirrels always seem to find a way to the bird feeder, too, no matter how difficult you make it for them.

So, somebody decided to at least make the situation fun, by setting up a few obstacles for the squirrel to figure out before getting to the exalted food.

Did the squirrel succeed? Watch the video and find out for yourself. (and the video has a bonus section at the end on an encounter with a vending machine)

Power to the Beagles!

January 28, 2011

Tear-jerk warning: I stumbled on this story a couple of weeks ago, and was reluctant to post, because it’s sad, and involves abused dogs. But I’m posting it anyway, because it largely has a happy ending. Especially for the beagles in the the accompanying video.

Groups to rescue beagles are proliferating. The breed is often used in product testing labs, and their existance in these labs is grim at best.

It turns out beagles are often used in drug and product testing laboratories because they are docile and forgiving.

Companies test the toxicity of products on the beagles. Activists are trying to encourage, and find new ways to test products that won’t put beagles and any other animals in harm’s way.

I mean, should a beagle suffer in the name of finding a fabulous new mascara shade?

In the laboratories, activists say the beagles spend their entire lives in cages, never being able to roam and play like all dogs should.

That’s the tragic part of this story.

There is a California group that rescues these dogs, nurses them back to health and gets friendly, loving people and families to adopt the beagles.

The new group, founded a month or two ago, called the Beagle Freedom Project, is behind the rescues.

They put out a video which shows two of the rescued beagles, named Freedom and Bigsley. The two dogs are initially afraid to even see the sun, but with some coaxing from the very nice couple in the video, the beagles discover their inner dog. Gradually, the tails start wagging, and eventually, they discover the joy of play.

The video is a tear jerker, so again, you’ve been forwarned. Meet beagles Freedom and Bigsley:

The video shows Freedom and Bigsley before they were adopted. They apparently  have since been adopted. They’re doing well, though Bigsley is still afraid of loud or unfamiliar noises.

The lab also cut the vocal cords of Freedom and Bigsley, so they can’t bark.(Apparently, lab workers, poor babies,  couldn’t be bothered by the dogs barking)

Freedom and Bigsley’s companions have rigged bells on the doors that the two have learned to ring when they want to go outside.

Apparently, there are a large number of beagle rescue organizations Beagles aren’t for everybody. (they need to be around people a lot and tend to wander off). There are a zillion rescue organizations for other dog breeds, too, if you want a dog that better suits your personality.

Or, go to your local Humane Society to talk about adopting a nice companion.

Vermont More Awesome Than South

January 28, 2011

I’m going to gloat,  unfairly maybe, but too bad.

There’s a map making the rounds on the Internet, showing what the makers of the map say what each state is best at.

This map shows what each state is most awesome at. I dunno, the South seems a little less impressive than the north.

I’m biased, but we here in New England have better bests than some southern states. I know, I’m restarting the War Between the States, but there you go.

As you can see on the map (click on it to make it bigger and easier to read), Vermont is the healthiest state, New Hamphire has the lowest poverty rate, and Maine has the least violent crime.

That’s pretty impressive. I have to say, it’s more impressive than Oklahoma, which has the best license plates in the nation.

It is true that Vermont license plates are kind of boring. Green with white lettering. If you pay a little extra, you can get a drawing of a bird on the license plate if you support the environment, so I suppose that’s a plus.

South Carolina has the most golf holes per capita of any state in the country, according to the map. I initially misread it and thought South Carolina had the “most gopher holes”, so it’s a relief we’re talking about golf.

Still, golf holes? There must be something more impressive than that down there.

Then there’s Arizona, which the map says is the sunniest state. Being in winter-weary Vermont, that sounds absolutely terrific. But, and this is a quibble, I don’t think humans are causing all of Arizona’s sunshine, so is that really what they do best? Does everybody in Arizona do sun dances to bring on the bright skies? Should we be doing that in Vermont?

Anyway, southerners, if you have rebuttals fire them away at me. Meantime, I’ll just keep gloating.