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Home Owner's Associations suck

From FirstCoastNews:
It was supposed to be a very special homecoming. After being in Iraq 15 months, SPC Lauren Boitet was going to see her family.

"I'm just glad to be home," says SPC Lauren Boitet.

The family was rolling out the red carpet, so to speak, but the homecoming was dampened by the homeowner association rules.

"They removed the welcome home signs and balloons and flags," says Natalie Boitet.

Boitet says when they tried to recover the signs it turned into a confrontation with the association manager.

The Boitet family says the signs could have stayed up for a couple of hours. They say in the past the association had ignored other signs.

"There have been signs for birthdays and parties and they've never taken them down," says Dyan Boitet.

Boitet says there has to be exceptions to the rules.

Alan Williams is President of the Pace Island Homeowners Association. He said the problem is the signs and where they were located. Williams says flags are exempt from HOA rules.

Williams says the signs were in common areas and a resident complained that they could be viewed as political and supporting the war. Williams says that's why the signs were removed.

The association president says there are exceptions.

Williams says any resident can pick up the phone and call any board member for prior approval.

Williams says that did not happen.

Dyan Boitet says he will propose changes to the association rules at its next meeting.

Reason why I'll always own my own land and housing. I will never have some neighbor tell me what I can or can't do with my house or land. If you live under a HOA, it's your own damn fault.


Tragedy at gun show

From Yahoo News:
With an instructor watching, an 8-year-old boy at a gun fair aimed an Uzi at a pumpkin and pulled the trigger as his dad reached for a camera.

It was his first time shooting a fully automatic machine gun, and the recoil of the weapon was too much for him. He lost control and fatally shot himself in the head.

"The weapon was loaded and ready to fire," Westfield police Lt. Hipolito Nunez said. "The 8-year-old victim had the Uzi and as he was firing the weapon, the front end of the weapon went up with the backfire and he ended up receiving a round in his head."
Christopher, a third-grader, was attending the show with his father and sixth-grade brother, Colin. Christopher had fired handguns and rifles before, but Sunday was his first time firing an automatic weapon, said his father, Charles Bizilj.

Bizilj told the Boston Globe he was about 10 feet behind his son and reaching for his camera when the weapon fired. He said his family avoided the larger weapons, but he let his son try the Uzi because it's a small weapon with little recoil.

"This accident was truly a mystery to me," said Bizilj, director of emergency medicine at Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford, Conn. "This is a horrible event, a horrible travesty, and I really don't know why it happened."

Massachusetts has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. It is legal in Massachusetts for children to fire a weapon if they have permission from a parent or legal guardian and they are supervised by a properly certified and licensed instructor, Nunez said. The name of the instructor who was with the boy at the time was not released.

Too many unknowns to hazard a guess. Recoil, stance, grip, attention from the shooter, attention from those supervising. Too many unknowns.


Taking laying pipe to a whole new dimension.

From RecordOnline.Com:
A Newburgh firefighter became an ad hoc surgeon Friday, called upon to use a pneumatic saw to cut a piece of steel pipe off a 73-year-old man's penis.

Firefighters were dispatched to the Newburgh campus of St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital shortly after 9 p.m. for a public service call, Assistant Chief Scott Mandoske said. Hospital personnel asked them for tools to cut off a ring. The fire department has a ring cutter used to clip wedding bands from swollen fingers, but firefighters learned that wouldn't be enough. The pipe was an inch long, an inch in diameter and made of quarter-inch-thick steel.

Authorities said the pipe was apparently an erotic aid, but did not elaborate.

Medical personnel weren't able to perform typical medical procedures, such as forcing blood from one side of the penis to the other in order to pull the pipe off. The man's penis had swollen and turned purple.

Mandoske said firefighters chose a "wizzer saw" for the job. The wizzer saw is an automotive tool, powered with air bottles and adopted by emergency responders who frequently deal with car crashes. Firefighters use it more commonly to saw off mufflers.

This was to be a more delicate operation.

"Just don't cut it off," the senior citizen reportedly said.

For more than 90 minutes, the firefighter sawed bit by bit into the pipe, pausing occasionally to cool the saw. The time duration was critical, Mandoske said. Hospital staff worried the man could lose his penis if blood circulation was cut off too long.

The wizzer saw emptied the first bottle of air and then a second. Finally, after five air bottles, the saw clipped through the final bit of pipe, and they were able to free the man. He was apparently unharmed by the operation, Mandoske said, although the assistant chief didn't press for details.

Wow, I hope I don't become that dirty of an old man. And what an aptly named pneumatic device that wizzer saw is....heh.


Scotch tape used to perform X-rays

From News AU:
SCOTCH tape is not only see-through, it can also "see through", for the product can be used to take X-rays, bemused scientists say.

Peeling tape from a roll of Scotch releases tiny bursts of X-rays that are powerful enough to take images of bones in fingers and hands, researchers have found.

The core theory is something called "triboluminescence," which occurs when two contacting surfaces move relative to each other.

As the tape peels, the sticky acrylic adhesive, on the back of the tape, becomes positively charged, while the polyethylene roll becomes negatively charged, according to this hypothesis.

At a reduced atmospheric pressure, the mechanical act of pulling apart the two surfaces causes electric fields to build up that then trigger discharges of energy.

This accelerates electrons on the adhesive to very high speeds and when they whack into the positively-charged tape roll, X-rays result. The pulses last for a billionth of a second, with an intensity of 100 milliwatts.

SCOTCH tape might be able to diagnose the problem, but the only way to fix it is DUCT tape!


Rig of Playstations stolen.

From Local 6:
Melbourne police Officer Jesus M. Lopez told Local 6 News partner Florida Today that a driver for Brian Kurtz Trucking Ltd. in Breslau, Ontario, reported the truck missing just before 8 a.m. Monday.

The trailer was loaded with 28 pallets, each containing 250 PlayStation game consoles, Melbourne police said.

The rig was described as a royal blue 2007 Kenworth T2000 bearing Ontario registration, valued at $150,000, according to Brian Kurtz Trucking. The trailer is a white with blue trim Stoughton semi-rig valued at $50,000.

Grand Theft Auto indeed...


Halloween, destroyer of planets

And if memory serves me correctly, each year I also slid into a shiny pair of red plastic pants — plastic pants! Granted, it was the early 1980s, a period not known for its use of organic materials or colors, but all that plastic continues not only to clog up my recollection of Halloweens past, but it’s also most likely still sitting in a landfill waiting to biodegrade.

Halloween can be an especially eco-unfriendly holiday. There’s the single-use plastic of red devil costumes, countless candy wrappers (not to mention the refined sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and artificial color of the candies themselves) and disposable decorations. According to the National Retail Federation’s Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, Americans will spend more than $5 million on Halloween paraphernalia this year. That’s more than $5 million worth of stuff that ultimately ends up impacting the earth.

So this year I’m going to seize the opportunity to right my wrongs. As I get ready to introduce my child to his first Halloween, I’m making sure that I add a bit of earth awareness to the preparations.

TP is biodegradeable. So is a brown paper bag of poo. I'm sure she'll be enjoying both this season.


What's in a name?

From Fox 59:
The former Jennifer Thornburg — whose driver's license now reads Dissection.com, Cutout — wanted to do something to protest animal dissections in schools.

The 19-year-old's new name is also the Web address for an anti-dissection page of the site for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, where she is interning.

"I normally do have to repeat my name several times when I am introducing myself to someone new," she told The Asheville Citizen-Times. "Once they find out what my name is, they want to know more about what the Web site is about."

The Asheville High School graduate who's working in Virginia said she began opposing dissections in middle school after a class assignment to cut up a chicken wing made her uncomfortable. She helped create a policy at her high school that allows students who object to dissections to complete an alternative assignment.

Despite her legally changing the name, she said most of her family members still call her Jennifer.

Can't wait to see what she'd name the kids. I bet the wedding invitation will be a hoot as well.


Turn that crap down...

From Yahoo News:

The European Union told music lovers Monday to turn down the volume of MP3 players, saying they risk permanent hearing loss from listening too long at maximum levels.

EU scientists reported that between 2.5 million and 10 million Europeans could suffer hearing loss from listening to MP3 players at unsafe volumes — over 89 decibels — for more an hour daily for at least five years.

EU spokeswoman Helen Kearns said the EU executive was asking people, especially children and young people, "to turn it down" now because they may be damaging their hearing without noticing it.

"It's damage that may come back and haunt you later in life," she said at a news conference.

She said regulators would look next year at lowering the EU legal limit of 100 decibels for MP3 players.

Excuse me while I flash back to a day when "those that know" said were saying the exact damn thing....


No barbed wire...it might hurt the thieves

From Dailymail.uk
A gardener who fenced off his allotment with barbed wire after being targeted by thieves has been ordered to take it down – in case intruders scratch themselves.

Bill Malcolm erected the 3ft fence after thieves struck three times in just four months, stealing tools worth around £300 from his shed and ransacking his vegetable patch.

But Bromsgrove district council has ordered the 61-year-old to remove the waist-high fence on health and safety grounds

'The fence was just a single strand and ringing my property. It was only 3ft high – it wasn't as though I'd dug a moat filled with piranha fish and erected 6ft iron railings.

'The council said they were unhappy about the precautions I had made but my response was to tell them that only someone climbing over on to my allotment could possibly hurt themselves.

'They shouldn't be trespassing in the first place but the council apologised and said they didn't want to be sued by a wounded thief.

Dead thieves can't sue. Castle doctrine FTW!

Google to help stop drunk mailing

From FoxNews:
The Goggles can kick in late at night on weekends. The feature requires you to solve a few easy math problems in short order before hitting "send."

If your logical thinking skills are intact, Google is betting you're sober enough to work out the repercussions of sending that screed you just drafted.

And if you can't multiply two times five, you'll probably thank Google in the morning.

There's no shame in admitting that sometimes you need a little extra help. Gmail engineer Jon Perlow designed Goggles with his own weaknesses in mind.

"Sometimes I send messages I shouldn't send. Like the time I told that girl I had a crush on her over text message. Or the time I sent that late night e-mail to my ex-girlfriend that we should get back together," he wrote when announcing Mail Goggles on a company blog.

But sometimes I write my greatest works while drinking. 'Tis the only time I have the (liquid) courage to do so. :)


Sperm on the rampage

From FoxNews:
One of South Australia's foremost experts in reproductive technology - Andrew Dutney - said that in one reported case, about 30 lesbians were impregnated by sperm from one man, the Advertiser reported.

The mothers then organised picnics with all the children, raising the fear they might socialise with their half-siblings without realising they were related.

In another case, a man's sperm was used to produce 29 children, most of whom were living in Adelaide.

They did not know who their half-siblings are, raising concerns that in a "big country town" like Adelaide, they could accidentally commit incest.

Ah yes, the gift that keeps on giving. If it were in America, there would be accompanying banjo music right about now...


Cleansing your spirit

From Yahoo News:
A Zimbabwean soccer player drowned in a crocodile infested river during a ritual to cleanse his team of bad spirits before a match, a state newspaper said on Tuesday.

The Chronicle quoted unnamed sources as saying about 16 players from second division side Midland Portland Cement were told to swim in the Zambezi river in the resort town of Victoria Falls ahead of a soccer match on Sunday.

"The technical team told every player to get into the river so that they could be cleansed of bad spirits," it said.

The paper quoted local police commander Peter Rodzi as saying that after the swim, the other players had noticed that one of the team was missing.

"The area where the team was swimming is prohibited as the current is strong. The river is also infested with crocodiles and hippos," said Rodzi.

Cleansing the gene pool, one spirit at a time.


Introducing the 2010 Ford "Nanny".

From Comcast News:
So you think junior is a little too lead-footed when he drives the family car? Starting next year, Ford Motor Co. will give you the power to do something about it.

The company will roll out a new feature on many 2010 models that can limit teen drivers to 80 mph, using a computer chip in the key.

Parents also have the option of programming the teen's key to limit the audio system's volume, and to sound continuous alerts if the driver doesn't wear a seat belt.

"Our message to parents is, hey, we are providing you some conditions to give your new drivers that may allow you to feel a little more comfortable in giving them the car more often," said Jim Buczkowski, Ford's director of electronic and electrical systems engineering.

The feature, called "MyKey," will be standard on an unspecified number of Ford models when the 2010 cars and trucks come out late next summer. The feature will spread to the entire Ford, Lincoln and Mercury lineup as models are updated, spokesman Wes Sherwood said.

Ford arrived at the 80 mph limit even though freeway speed limits are lower in most states because it wanted to leave a margin in case an unusual situation arises, Buczkowski said. In some states, freeway speed limits are above 70 mph, Sherwood said.

In addition to speed limits, MyKey also will limit the volume of the audio system, and it will sound a six-second chime every minute if seat belts are not fastened. The chime sounds for adult drivers, too, but ends after five minutes to avoid annoying adults who adamantly don't want to wear seat belts, Buczkowski said.

Parents also have the option of having the car sound a chime if the teen exceeds 45, 55 or 65 mph.

Forget instructing them on personal responsibility and defensive driving. Instead, just annoy the piss out of them until they correct their ways....or cut the speaker wires and re-chip the car.


Trying to go out with a bang...

From The Smoking Gun:
Denied sex by his girlfriend, a Florida man yesterday responded by shooting himself, threatening the woman, and then passing out on the kitchen floor (after hitting the oven on the way down). Jonathon Guabello, 29, was apparently under the influence of booze and Xanax when he shot himself in the right shoulder with a rifle in the Fort Myers apartment he shared with his girlfriend of five months.

According to a Lee County Sheriff's Office report, the couple had returned home after fighting at a local bar and "Guabello wanted to have sex." Turned down by his girlfriend, Guabello... became irate. After the woman departed the couple's bedroom, Guabello shot himself. He has been charged with firing a weapon in an occupied dwelling and threatening to assault his girlfriend.

Talk about taking out your frustrations by wacking yourself...


Happy 50th NASA

From NASA and APOD:
October 1, 1958, the official start of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), was the beginning of a rich history of unique scientific and technological achievements in human space flight, aeronautics, space science, and space applications. Formed as a result of the Sputnik crisis of confidence, NASA inherited the earlier National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), and other government organizations, and almost immediately began working on options for human space flight. NASA's first high profile program was Project Mercury, an effort to learn if humans could survive in space, followed by Project Gemini, which built upon Mercury's successes and used spacecraft built for two astronauts. NASA's human space flight efforts then extended to the Moon with Project Apollo, culminating in 1969 when the Apollo 11 mission first put humans on the lunar surface. After the Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz Test Projects of the early and mid-1970s, NASA's human space flight efforts again resumed in 1981, with the Space Shuttle program that continues today to help build the International Space Station.

There can be only one...*swing, miss* ooops.

Attack with sword fails; neighbor's head intact
A Chalmette man swung a 4-foot metal sword at a neighbor's head during a fight, authorities said.

Leslie Wilson, 57, of 4019 Jupiter Drive, acknowledged using the sword in an attempt to cut off the man's head, the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office said in a news release. Wilson told deputies that his neighbor, Albert Estopinal III, 32, of 4021 Jupiter, threatened him first.

Both men were booked with disturbing the peace. Wilson was also booked with aggravated assault and attempted simple escape after he was able to get out of the back a deputy's squad car and started walking away, the news release said.

What's worse? Swing and a miss or being able to get out of the cop car and just walk away.