Exploding Chewing Gum Blows Off College Student's Jaw

From FOXNews.com:

A chemistry student in the Ukraine was found dead with his jaw blown off by what is believed to be exploding chewing gum, according to reports.

The 25-year-old's disfigured remains were discovered at his parent's home in the northern Ukrainian city of Konotop, reports in the Eastern European country said.

The young man, who studied at Kiev Polytechnic Institute, was working at a computer late on Saturday when the alleged explosion happened.

"A loud pop was heard from the student's room," the ukranews.com Web site said, citing an aide to the city's police chief.

"When his relatives entered the room, they saw that the lower part of the young man's face had been blown off."

A forensic examination established that the chewing gum was covered with an unidentified chemical substance, thought to be some type of explosive material.

The student apparently had a bizarre habit of chewing gum after dipping it into citric acid, Russian news agency Ria Novosti said.

Officers found both citric acid packets and a similar-looking unidentified substance, believed to be some kind of explosive material, on a table near the body, the agency continued.

Investigators suspect that the student simply confused the packets and put gum covered with explosive material into his mouth.

Forensic experts were to travel from Kiev to investigate the substance, as local authorities feared it may explode if transported.

The real Bazooka gum. *rimshot*


"December 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy".

The attack on Pearl Harbor (or Hawaii Operation, Operation Z, as it was called by the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters)[6] was an unannounced military strike conducted by the Japanese navy against the United States' naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of Sunday, December 7, 1941 (Hawaiian time, December 8 by Japan Standard Time), which resulted in the United States becoming militarily involved in World War II. It was intended as a preventive action to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from influencing the war the Empire of Japan was planning to wage in Southeast Asia against Britain, the Netherlands, and the United States. The attack consisted of two aerial attack waves totaling 353[7] aircraft, launched from six Japanese aircraft carriers.

The attack sank four U.S. Navy battleships (two of which were raised and returned to service later in the war) and damaged four more. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, and one minelayer, destroyed 188 aircraft, and caused personnel losses of 2,402 killed[8] and 1,282 wounded. The power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not hit. Japanese losses were minimal, with 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 65 servicemen killed or wounded. One Japanese sailor was captured.

The attack was a major engagement of World War II. It took place before a formal declaration of war by Japan and before the last part of a 14-part message had been delivered to the State Department in Washington, D.C. The Japanese Embassy in Washington had been instructed to deliver it immediately prior to the scheduled time of the attack in Hawaii. The attack, and especially the surprise nature of it, were both factors in changing U.S. public opinion from an isolationist position to support for direct participation in the war. Germany's prompt declaration of war, unforced by any treaty commitment to Japan, quickly brought the United States into the European Theater as well. Despite numerous historical precedents of unannounced military action, the lack of any formal declaration prior to the attack led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaim "December 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy".


Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 at TheOnion

Ultra-Realistic Modern Warfare Game Features Awaiting Orders, Repairing Trucks


To all who serve or have served. Thank you.

The Veterans Day National Ceremony is held on November 11th at Arlington National Cemetery. At 11:00 a.m., a color guard, made up of members from each of the military services, renders honors to America's war dead during a tradition-rich ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. The ceremony takes place inside the Memorial Amphitheater.


Man teaching gun safety shot in head, killed

An eastern Missouri man is dead after accidentally shooting himself while teaching firearms safety to his girlfriend.

KSDK-TV reports that 40-year-old James Looney of Imperial died of a gunshot wound to the head.

The shooting happened Friday. Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer told the station that according to witnesses, Looney was demonstrating how to use the different safety mechanisms on several guns. Witnesses told authorities that Looney would put the guns to his head, ask his girlfriend if she thought the gun would go off, then pull the trigger.

The safety mechanisms worked for the first two guns. But the third gun fired. Looney died Saturday at a hospital.

Rule #1. The Gun is always loaded. Broken.
Rule #2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. Broken.


What you say can (online) can will be used against you.

What are your rights as a blogger?
This privacy story has been making the rounds in New York this week. Someone anonymously created a blog called “Skanks in NYC” and used it primarily to bash model Liskula Cohen. The blogger called Cohen a skank, a ho, and an old hag, among other nasty things, and posted photos of her, taken from various websites.

Cohen was not pleased and wanted to pursue a defamation lawsuit. That’s hard though, when you don’t know the identity of the person defaming you. Her lawyer asked the judge to force Google to reveal the identity of the blogger, whose blog was hosted by Google-owned Blogger.

The blogger’s lawyer did not manage to convince the judge with that argument. On Monday, the judge ordered Google to turn the blogger in, or at least reveal her e-mail and IP address. Cohen was able to use that to figure out who the woman was. It turns out it’s someone Cohen knows socially.

According to the New York Post, it’s a classic girlfight. Port badmouthed Cohen online because Cohen had said nasty things about her to Port’s boyfriend. Gothamist hunted down Port’s photo on Facebook. It shows her lying naked in bed. It’s… well… it’s a bit skanky.

Privacy groups are concerned by the precedent set by the judge in forcing Google to reveal Port’s identity.

The San Francisco Chronicle has more experts weigh in on the case, who all agree that this is “a tough intersection of free speech and defamation.”

Interestingly, the model, Cohen, decided last night to drop her $3 million defamation suit against Port, which gives some credence to the claim that this may have been a ‘frivolous lawsuit just” to “issue a subpoena to the Web site or Internet Service Provider (ISP) involved, discover the identity of [an] anonymous critic, and intimidate” them.

I think the lesson is: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it on the Internet unless you’re okay with the fact that you might one day get outed.

It isn't about right and wrong. It's about having enough money to use the system to your own nefarious means.


Champions Online is coming

A fierce warrior up for any challenge, you will never back down from a fight. You are an honorable combatant, but that does not mean you are above deriving pleasure from the defeat of your adversaries.

Take the quiz!


Sex for chips

From TheSmokingGun:
Meet Lahoma Sue Smith. The Oklahoma woman, 36, copped a plea last week to a prostitution charge for accepting a box of Frito-Lay chips in exchange for oral sex. According to the below Oklahoma City Police Department report, john Faron Jonhson told cops that he informed Smith that he did not have any money, but that she "agreed to give him a 'blow job' meaning oral sex, for a box of chips."

Johnson, a Frito-Lay employee, provided Smith with a case of chips he valued at $30. Following her February arrest, Smith, pictured in the mug shot at right, told police that she had a few prior prostitution busts. At her sentencing last week, Smith was ordered to pay a $1142 fine. Last July, with gasoline prices climbing, a Kentucky woman was arrested for accepting a $100 gasoline card in exchange for sexual favors.

Betcha can't eat just one...


Putting the Twit in Twitter.

From Gizmodo:
Two things here in what seems to be the world’s first Twittercide: don’t use your computer while taking a bath. And if for whatever reason you do, don’t be like this 17-year-old Romanian girl and risk your well-being to Tweet.

The Austrian times says that Maria Barbu was, in fact, in the tub while using Twitter when she likely reached to plug in her charger with a wet hand, electrocuting herself in the process. You smell that? Yeah, that’s a Darwin Award in the making.

I wonder if her last tweet was something like:
'Here may be found the last words of Joseph of Aramathea. He who is valiant and pure of spirit may find the Holy Grail in the Castle of uuggggggh'....


Jesse James is a fast dead man

From Spike TV:
Jesse James, American engineer, stuntman and all around lunatic successfully shattered the land speed record for a hydrogen powered vehicle for his latest show Jesse James Is A Dead Man – a show in which he cheats death every week by taking on a different challenge.

James, who is married to actress Sandra Bullock (who starred in Speed, somewhat fittingly), broke the world land-speed record for a hydrogen powered car yesterday in the Mojave desert. Jesse's new record speed of 199.7mph (321km/h) was documented by the Southern California Timing Association and beat the previous record holder, the BMW H2R, which previously held the land-speed record for an H2 car of 185mph (298km/h).

The vehicle he used was a 1960s relic that has been used for attempts on land-speed records before, most notably by Dees-Milodin Engineering, which named the contraption the Streamliner for fairly obvious reasons.

Now, James rebuilt the vehicle from the ground up, replacing its Chrysler engine with a twin-turbocharged 9.8L V8 engine from Chevrolet. The engine uses hydrogen gas, rather than liquid hydrogen, and considering the old 1960s Chrysler-engined Streamliner was able to hit 237mph at the Bonneville salt flats without hydrogen, yesterday’s record would have been easy going for the old girl.

James, who has done some amazingly dangerous stunts for his show already, told AutoWeek that he was not even scared of doing the run - but if it was us barrelling down a Southern Californian salt flat at world-record speeds with two tanks of hydrogen gas pressurized to 10,00psi sitting behind us we think we'd be just a little bit apprehensive.

The show was filmed yesterday and will air as the season one finale on Sunday, August 9 (10:00 PM, ET/PT) on Spike TV.


The sky is failing, the sky is failing

From ZDNet:
However, the convenience and utility of GPS may be impacted over the next year or two as the satellites circling our planet begin to expire while funding and management issues keep replacement satellites grounded.

GPS satellites are maintained by the US Air Force, but the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported in a 7 May 2009 study that lack of funds means that some satellites could start to fail in 2010. There are thirty one active GPS satellites in the system over the Earth and you need four satellites to get a decent fix on your position. I often see six to eight GPS satellites connected at one time on my devices so there is some redundancy that improves positional accuracy. If a few satellites fail, I doubt most consumers will be that affected and we may have to go back to relying more on maps without the GPS real-time positioning. However, the military uses GPS for much more vital functions where accuracy is very important to successful operations.

Replacement GPS satellites were scheduled for launch in 2007, but they have still not been launched. They are scheduled for a November 2009 launch, but we will have to see if continued funding and leadership issues affect this data as well.

A European-funded GPS satellite navigation system, Galileo, is scheduled for launch later in 2010. Russia, India, and China also have satellite navigation systems.

How will Ozzy navigate his mansion if GPS fails?


What's your Sin?

From the A.E.I.:
An excise tax on those goods that elected officials deem morally suspect has come roaring back. But the temptation to impose sin taxes is one that should be resisted for economic and moral reasons.

On May 18, Politico reported that the Senate Finance Committee was looking for ways to pay for President Barack Obama’s “sweeping health reform overhaul” by “slapping an excise tax on ‘sugar-sweetened beverages’ for the first time, and imposing a uniform tax across wine, beer, and liquor, which are currently taxed at different levels.” According to the Congressional Budget Office, a tax of 3 cents per 12-ounce serving of soft drink (like the 18 percent tax on sugary drinks that New York Gov. David Paterson recently failed to push through) would generate $24 billion over four years.

What’s behind this is the notion that sugary soft drinks are one of the chief culprits of a national epidemic of obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity rates doubled among adults between 1980 and 2000. About 60 million adults, or 30 percent of the adult population, are now obese.

Never mind if you have freely chosen to smoke a cigarette or drink a cold Coke on a hot summer’s day and, mirabile dictu, you take responsibility for your actions. The New Puritans who are ready to dramatically expand the welfare state and limit personal freedoms claim to know what’s best for you.

In “Blaming the Food Industry for Obesity,” BusinessWeek blogger Cathy Arnst recently reported that “two new studies conclude that the food industry is following the tobacco industry’s play book to ensure that we keep loading up on calories, and as a result virtually all of the weight gain in the U.S. over the last 30 years can be attributed to eating more, not moving less.”

Arnst also quotes a study by two university researchers who tipped their hand when they titled their work: “The Perils of Ignoring History: Big Tobacco Played Dirty and Millions Died. How Similar Is Big Food?” Researchers Kelly D. Brownell and Kenneth E. Warner concluded that although there are differences between tobacco and food (a startling insight for sure) there are “significant similarities in the actions that these industries have taken in response to concern that their products cause harm. Because obesity is now a major global problem, the world cannot afford a repeat of the tobacco history, in which industry talks about the moral high ground but does not occupy it.”

Brownell and Warner also grudgingly acknowledged that personal responsibility and freedom are values cherished by Americans, but “they obscure the reality that some of the most significant health advances have been made by population-based public health approaches in which the overall welfare of the citizenry trumps certain individual or industry freedoms.” In other words, the government knows better than you do how to feed and raise your children.


I'm a tool

I am just a worthless liar.
I am just an imbecile.
I will only complicate you.
Trust in me and fall as well.
I will find a center in you.
I will chew it up and leave,
I will work to elevate you
just enough to bring you down.


Good by Pa Pa. You will be missed...

From Jacksonville.com:
WALLACE Ernest C. Wallace, 83, of Yulee, FL passed away on Monday April 20, 2009. He was born on November 7, 1925 in Hialeah, FL and has lived most of his life in Jacksonville, FL. He was a member of the Iron Workers Local # 597 of Jacksonville and the Woodstock Masonic Lodge. He was a veteran and served in the U.S. Navy during WWII. Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Veneta Agnes Wallace; son, Ernest Wallace of Yulee, FL; daughter, Patty Wallace Dreggors of Yulee, FL; brothers, Frank S. Wallace (Betty) of Jacksonville, FL, Robert Wallace (Ollie) of Yulee, FL and Charles Swearingen; sister, Louise “Sis” Mathews (Matt); granddaughter, Melissa Paschal (Jim) Of Yulee, FL and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Funeral services with military honors will be held at the graveside in Evergreen Cemetery Thursday, April 23 at 2:00 PM with Rev. Jimmy Flanagan officiating. The family will receive fiends on Wednesday (Today) from 6-8 PM in the chapel of Cedar Bay Funeral Home, 405 New Berlin Road, Jacksonville, 714-1110. Please Sign the Guestbook @ Jacksonville.com


The B-AK

From some bacon lover:
The BA-K-47 is a full size replica of an AK-47 made out of bacon (and wire). Quick, put it in my mouth and pull the trigger! Mmmm, lardy!
We had our first annual Bacon Day this past Saturday. As a huge fan of bacon, and all the great bacon blogs out there, I decided it was time for me to make my own bacon creation. I came up with the BA-K-47, a 1:1 scale AK-47 made out of bacon. It took a total of eight hours to create, a lot of bacon, and a blowtorch... oh yeah, and our good friend beer helped too.

ZOMG -- you know beer too?! The trouble that guy and I used to get into! Like yesterday when he told me to steal my neighbor's car and drive it into a ravine! And right now when he told me to type that despite on ongoing investigation. Hold on, door.

The Bacon AK is the preferred food of your enemies. It makes a distinctive sound when fried at you.


World War Z is coming

Just when you thought you were full up on zombie films, a piece of art comes along to make you say, "Damn, I'd like to see that come to life." Case in point: The below image you see from artist Daniel LuVisi. He created the piece, entitled "The Battle of Yonkers," in an attempt to land a job on World War Z, Paramount Pictures' big-budget zombie epic based on the Max Brooks novel. Writer J. Michael Straczynski adapted the story for the screen.

Website io9 received the following message from LuVisi:

This is the image I did, to get on the film World War Z with Marc Forster, director of Quantum of Solace. Can't say whats going on or what the outcome is right now, but it's not in the negative zone :)

This was one of the most difficult images I've ever done. Incredibly challenging to the point where I wanted to quit. But through thick and thin I forced myself to complete it.

Old news, I know. However, JMS (of Babylon 5 and Spiderman fame) can pen some awesome stuff. I hope this lives up to the hype. Remember your carbine and machete.


Cop fire for passively injesting cocaine?

From NY Daily News:
A decorated ex-cop who claimed he tested positive for cocaine because he ingested the drug during oral sex with his girlfriend can't have his job back, a Manhattan judge has ruled.

Supreme Court Justice Eileen Rakower last month shot down helicopter pilot Jon Goldin's attempt to overturn his April 2008 dismissal from the NYPD.

Goldin, a 15-year veteran, tested positive for cocaine in October 2006 in a random drug test using hairs from his arm.

Goldin - an adherent of the "straight edge" lifestyle that rejects substance use - didn't challenge the drug test.

He sued last year after a state appeals court rejected the NYPD's use of hair to test cops for illegal drug use.

"This is a very special human being who devoted his entire life to being a police officer," said lawyer Paul Goldberger. "He would no more use drugs than the man on the moon."

Goldin's lawsuit said the cocaine in his system was the product of "passive ingestion" from performing oral sex on girlfriend Coreen McCarthy, who, once he tested positive, admitted to him that she was a regular cocaine user.

"She never told [Goldin] about her drug use," court records say.

The couple met at a punk concert and, according to court records, they "would often sweat" while having sex "three or four times per week."

They split immediately once Goldin tested positive for cocaine.

More than 70 friends went to bat for the ex-cop, saying they had never seen him take even a sip of coffee and that he abstained at bars while others drank booze.

"Clearly the wrong result was reached in this case," Goldberger said. "This guy should be a cop."

Rakower ruled that even though the appeals court put a stop to hair tests in December 2007, Goldin's firing must stand because he voluntarily cooperated with the drug test and allowed hair samples to be taken from his arm.

The state's highest court Tuesday agreed to hear an appeal from the NYPD in favor of hair testing, which the city began using in 2005.

So, his excuse wasn't the only thing that didn't pass the sniff test.


Lonely? Feeling Randy? Try a pine cone.

From The Sun:

A SEX-STARVED woman has undergone a painful two-hour op to remove a giant PINE CONE.

Surgeons have revealed embarrassed spinster Mirjana Gavaric is recovering after getting steamy with the seedy item in the Serbian capital, Belgrade.

Dr Sava Bojovic explained: “She was lonely and she took a pine cone from a tree and unfortunately it got stuck and she needed surgery to get it out.”

By all accounts, she did have a TREE-mendous time with it though.


Enjoy your automobile, comrade citizen.

From Yahoo, straight from the old USSR:
President Barack Obama's extraordinary auto industry intervention is assertive and coldly pragmatic, with a dose of caution and a sentimental nod to the automobile's place in the American psyche.

Obama's curt rejection of General Motors' and Chrysler's restructuring plans and his abrupt move to muscle out GM's CEO set the stage for a major realignment of the U.S. auto industry. He bluntly raised the prospect of a "prepackaged bankruptcy" that would reorganize the companies quickly under court protection.

But Obama did not upend Detroit in one single swoop. He gave each company a second chance at a federal bailout — 60 days for GM and 30 for Chrysler — though it was evident that from now on little would remain the same.

"We've reached the end of that road," Obama declared Monday.

Yet Obama also conceded the intangible nature of the auto industry as a national symbol, and made it clear he would not let it succumb under his watch. He called the industry an emblem of the American spirit and a pillar of the economy.

"We cannot, and must not, and we will not let our auto industry simply vanish," he said.

The forced ouster of GM CEO Richard Wagoner, the detailed review of the companies' business models and the overt threat of bankruptcy represented an increasingly hands-on approach by the government to institutions receiving federal assistance in the midst of the economic crisis.

On Tuesday, Sen. Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican whose state is home to auto manufacturing plants, said the administration's aggressive intervention in the industry sets "a very dangerous precedent."

It wasn't just the forced ouster of Wagoner that causes him concern, Corker said on CBS's "The Early Show." He accused the administration of taking a "we know best" attitude in connection with the problems in the domestic industry and said that should "send a chill throughout the country."

The president was hardly ambiguous about his desire to use the beleaguered state of the industry to press one of his top policy agendas — an energy policy that emphasizes the manufacture of fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly cars.

"The United States will lead the world in building the next generation of clean cars," he said.

Obama's restructuring conditions include concessions from bondholders, the investors who hold GM and Chrysler debt, as well as from the United Auto Workers, which represents the industry work force. "It will require unions and workers who have already made extraordinarily painful concessions to do more," Obama said.

Welcome to the new world.

Hey, while you're at it, check out the history behind goverment cars:


Waxing ban in New Jersey

From New Jersey:
It looks like bikini season will come to New Jersey after all.

Perhaps realizing how silly they looked, Garden State officials on Friday scrapped plans for a ban on "Brazilian" bikini waxes.

The ban was being considered by the state's Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling because two women had been hospitalized in the last year for infections following a bare-it-all Brazilian-style treatment.

But in a letter to the board on Friday, New Jersey Consumer Affairs Director David Szuchman wrote: "I cannot agree to the complete prohibition ... banning removal of hair in the genital area."

For the uninitiated, a Brazilian-style bikini wax involves the full removal of hair from what can euphemistically be called the "bikini region." Jeannette Abou-Mourad, owner of Sisters Skin Care and Waxing on Michigan Avenue, explained that despite its South American name the practice began thousands of years ago in the Middle East, a tradition considered routine and hygienic.

"It's pure cleanliness," she said. "It began in the Middle East, then traveled to Brazil and around other parts of the world before it wound up in America."

Salon owners in New Jersey cried out when they heard about the potential ban, fearing the economic impact it might have with bikini season on the horizon.

Szuchman, in his letter to the cosmetology board, wrote that he believes there are "alternate means to address any public health issues" and he encouraged the board to begin a review of the training needed to safely provide Brazilian bikini waxes.

Because in Jersey, it is camaro hair everywhere!


Mom of the year....so far...

From Schenectady:
The 14-year-old girl who jumped onto the trunk of her mother's car then fell off after the woman refused to take her and her younger sister for ice cream is on the road to recovery, city police said.

The incident, which unfolded outside the family's Foster Avenue home Tuesday night, has lead to felony charges against city resident La Tasha Daniels, 38. The county has also taken her three other children.

Police say the older girl suffered brain injuries after tumbling to the ground when Daniels slammed on the brakes after driving her Honda Accord about 200 feet away, police spokesman Sgt. Eric Clifford said.

Moments earlier, Daniels' other daughter, 12, had been thrown off the roof but was unhurt, Clifford said. She hopped onto the roof because she was upset that her mother wasn't taking them to the Stewart's store on Van Vranken Avenue for ice cream. Daniels had locked the doors before the girls jumped on the car.


Clean out that recycle bin, dog-gone-it

From The Smoking Gun:
Concerned that an ex-boyfriend had used her laptop to search for child pornography, the Indiana woman asked police to search the computer for illegal images, but had her plan backfire when cops discovered two videos of her engaged in illicit acts with a dog. Owen, 24, was charged last week with two felony bestiality counts in connection with the video files, which a detective found in the laptop's "recycle bin."

At the time Owen asked cops to search the computer, she was locked up in the Johnson County Jail on a public intoxication charge (which violated the terms of her release in a prior drunk driving case). According to a police affidavit, a copy of which you'll find here, a cop told Owen that he had found videos of her on the laptop and asked if she "knew what those files might be." Owen, pictured in the below mug shot, replied, "The one with the dog." Cops believe that the dog in question, Toby, is a beagle. After asking if she was "going to be charged with this," Owen said that the videos "were just something she did when she was drunk and barely remembers it," adding that she tried to "delete them the next day when she was sober."

This quack has gone to the dogs...


Proving the adage "a fool and his money"...

From New Jersey:
A Green Brook resident who owns a 2008 Porsche 911 Turbo has filed suit against Circuit City and an employee for causing $50,000 in damage to the car, which had been brought to the store for a stereo installation.

In the suit filed in the Civil Division of state Superior Court, Luke Liang said he brought the vehicle valued at $185,000 to Circuit City on Route 28 in Bridgewater on Oct. 18, 2008 for an audio installation.

After he handed over the car for the work, Brian Murphy, a store employee, drove the car without permission in the parking lot and struck a curb, the suit states.

The "joyride,'' as the suit characterizes the action, resulted in $50,000 in damage, including the "destruction'' of a wheel and tire, scratches and a broken suspension system.

The suit notes that Circuit City's rules prohibit employees for taking vehicles for test rides after audio installations.

Liang claims in the suit that the incident lowered the car's value by $50,000.

The Circuit City store closed earlier this month after its parent company filed for bankruptcy.

Good luck getting money from a bankrupt store and an out-of-work install tech.


St. Patrick's Day. It isn't about the green beer ya heathens.

Saint Patrick's Day (Irish: Lá ’le Pádraig or Lá Fhéile Pádraig), colloquially St. Paddy's Day or Paddy's Day, is an annual feast day which celebrates Saint Patrick (circa AD 385–461), one of the patron saints of Ireland, and is generally celebrated on March 17.

Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated worldwide by the those of Irish descent and increasingly by non-Irish people (usually in New Zealand, Australia, and North America). Celebrations are generally themed around all things Irish and, by association, the colour green. Both Christians and non-Christians celebrate the secular version of the holiday by wearing green, eating Irish food and/or green foods, imbibing Irish drink (such as Irish stout, Irish Whiskey or Irish Cream) and attending parades.

St. Patrick's Blue, not green, was the colour long-associated with St. Patrick. Green, the colour most widely associated with Ireland, with Irish people, and with St. Patrick's Day in modern times, may have gained its prominence through the phrase "the wearing of the green" meaning to wear a shamrock on one's clothing. At many times in Irish history, to do so was seen as a sign of Irish nationalism or loyalty to the Roman Catholic faith. St. Patrick used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish. The wearing of and display of shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs have become a ubiquitous feature of the saint's holiday. The change to Ireland's association with green rather than blue probably began around the 1750's.

In the past, Saint Patrick's Day was celebrated as a religious holiday. It became a public holiday in 1903, by the Money Bank. (Ireland) Act 1903, an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament introduced by the Irish MP James O'Mara.[14] O'Mara later introduced the law which required that pubs be closed on 17 March, a provision which was repealed only in the 1970s. The first St. Patrick's Day parade held in the Irish Free State was held in Dublin in 1931 and was reviewed by the then Minister of Defence Desmond Fitzgerald. Although secular celebrations now exist, the holiday remains a religious observance in Ireland, for both the Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic Church.

It was only in the mid-1990s that the Irish government began a campaign to use Saint Patrick's Day to showcase Ireland and its culture. The government set up a group called St. Patrick's Festival, with the aim to:

—Offer a national festival that ranks amongst all of the greatest celebrations in the world and promote excitement throughout Ireland via innovation, creativity, grassroots involvement, and marketing activity.
—Provide the opportunity and motivation for people of Irish descent, (and those who sometimes wish they were Irish) to attend and join in the imaginative and expressive celebrations.
—Project, internationally, an accurate image of Ireland as a creative, professional and sophisticated country with wide appeal, as we approach the new millennium.

Christian leaders in Ireland have expressed concern about the secularisation of St Patrick's Day. Writing in the Word magazine (March 2007), Fr. Vincent Twomey stated that, "it is time to reclaim St Patrick's Day as a church festival". He questioned the need for "mindless alcohol-fuelled revelry" and concluded that, "it is time to bring the piety and the fun together".

It isn't about green beer and getting shit-faced, ya heathens.


All Tapped Out.

From FOXNews:
A $300,000 Ferrari collided with a Porsche, crashed and broke in half on an Orange County roadway Saturday, killing one person and injuring another, police said. The driver of the Porsche was later arrested.

The martial arts clothing company TapouT confirmed that co-founder Charles "Mask" Lewis died in the car wreck shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday in Newport Beach. Police say the Ferrari apparently collided with a Porsche and spun out of control

Lewis was a co-founder of the company and was known for signature facepaint stripes on his face. The firm says in a statement that a memorial is being planned.

The two cars were speeding north on Jamboree Road in this wealthy city when the crash occurred shortly before 1 a.m., Lt. Craig Fox said.

A patrol officer saw the red 2004 Ferrari Modena and a white 1977 Porsche coupe swerve out of control, Craig said.

"We believe they were going fast based on the skids and the damage to the vehicle," Fox told KABC-TV. "But we can't speculate at this point if they were racing or not."

"Apparently they had collided and this was the aftermath of the collision," Fox said.



From Yahoo News:
This March 1, 2009, booking photo provided by the Lancaster County Sheriff's Dept., shows Acea Schomaker of Lincoln, Neb. He was booked Sunday on suspicion of animal cruelty, after deputies caught him smoking marijuana from a bong contraption that had a cat stuffed inside its 12-inch by 6-inch base. Schomaker told Lancaster County sheriff's deputies the 6-month-old female cat named Shadow had been hyper and that he was trying to calm her. Shadow was taken to the Capital Humane Society, where she appeared to be in good condition.


OGRE: A Lego Tank

Two comments:

Steve Jackson called. He wants his board game back.

Sarah Connor called. She wants your Skynet...er, Lego experiment stopped.


And the ban is averted for now thanks to ... Pelosi?!?!

From The Hill:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tossed cold water on the prospect of reinstating the assault weapons ban, highlighting Democrats’ reluctance to take on gun issues.

Attorney General Eric Holder raised the prospect Wednesday that the administration would push to bring back the ban. But Pelosi (D-Calif.) indicated on Thursday that he never talked to her. The Speaker gave a flat “no” when asked if she had talked to administration officials about the ban.

“On that score, I think we need to enforce the laws we have right now,” Pelosi said at her weekly news conference. “I think it's clear the Bush administration didn’t do that.”

Outside of the dig at the recent Republican president, that phrase is the stock line of those who don’t want to pass new gun control laws, such as the National Rifle Association.

The White House declined to comment on Holder's remarks, referring reporters to the Department of Justice. The DoJ did not respond to The Hill's request for comment.

He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious. - Sun Tzu, The Art of War.

The Ban is Back

From ABC News:
The Obama administration will seek to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 during the Bush administration, Attorney General Eric Holder said today.

"As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons," Holder told reporters.

Holder said that putting the ban back in place would not only be a positive move by the United States, it would help cut down on the flow of guns going across the border into Mexico, which is struggling with heavy violence among drug cartels along the border.

Mexican government officials have complained that the availability of sophisticated guns from the United States have emboldened drug traffickers to fight over access routes into the U.S.

A State Department travel warning issued Feb. 20, 2009, reflected government concerns about the violence.

"Some recent Mexican army and police confrontations with drug cartels have resembled small-unit combat, with cartels employing automatic weapons and grenades," the warning said. "Large firefights have taken place in many towns and cities across Mexico, but most recently in northern Mexico, including Tijuana, Chihuahua City and Ciudad Juarez."

Because, you know, we can just run out to Wal-Mart to grab automatic weapons and grenades. Hey, maybe if the border was a bit more secured...


New ISS module needs a name.

From NASA:
Help us to name another important addition to the station - Node 3 and its cupola!
Vote using the poll on the right.

Voting will be open until March 20th, 2009. NASA will announce the winning name in April 2009.

NASA wants your opinion in naming the International Space Station’s Node 3 – a connecting module and its cupola – before the two segments travel to space and are installed on the orbiting laboratory. The name should reflect the spirit of exploration and cooperation embodied by the space station, and follow in the tradition set by Node 1- Unity- and Node 2- Harmony.

Space shuttle Endeavour will deliver the Node 3 components during the STS-130 mission targeted for December 2009. Once the cupola is attached to one of the module’s six ports, it will offer astronauts a spectacular view of both their home planet and their home in space. The cupola’s six rectangular windows and one circular window overhead will show a panoramic view that will be unrivaled by any other spacecraft ever flown. Aside from providing a perfect location to observe and photograph the Earth, the cupola also will contain a robotics workstation, where astronauts will be able to control the station’s giant robotic arm.

Serenity is in the lead. Shiny! Let's be bad guys.


Rectum?!?! It Killed 'Em!

From Gizmodo:
Well, stories don't get much worse than this. A 14-year-old boy in China was killed when his chair exploded, sending chunks of metal into his rectum. The bleeding this caused killed him.

The alleged explosion came from the gas cylinder that was in the base of the chair, the part that allowed the user to adjust the seat up and down. The canister gets compressed when you sit on it, but can it actually create enough energy to make the seat cushion explode like that and kill a man? I doubt it, but this is what people are reporting.

I wonder if it was made in China.


Check the skies for Lulin

From the CSM:
Over the next three nights, skywatchers should expect their best views yet of Comet Lulin. It makes its closest approach to Earth — some 38 million miles away — on Tuesday, Feb. 24.

To the naked eye, the comet looks like a fuzzy patch of hazy light against the night sky. Use binoculars or telescopes, and you’ll be able to pick out its brighter center, along with its dual tail — a brighter tail of dust, and a dimmer one of ionized gases the comet sheds as its sun-warmed ices change directly from a solid to a gas.

Lulin, formally known as C/2007 N3, will dim quickly through March, thanks to the kick it’s gotten from the sun’s gravity. Then it’s Oort-a here — heading back out to its kin in the Oort Cloud, a vast collection of icy construction debris left over from the formation of the solar system some 4.6 billion years ago.

Comet Lulin will make its closest approach to Earth on Monday night. The circled X shows the comet's position at seen from Boston at 10 p.m. local time. It appears in the southeastern sky near Saturn, at the tip of Leo the Lion's hind leg.


When chimps go bad

From The AP:
Travis the chimpanzee, a veteran of TV commercials, was the constant companion of a lonely Connecticut widow who fed him steak, lobster and ice cream. He could eat at the table, drink wine from a stemmed glass, use the toilet, and dress and bathe himself.

He brushed his teeth with a Water Pik, logged on to a computer to look at photos and channel-surfed television with the remote control.

But on Monday, the wild animal in him came out with a vengeance.

The 200-pound animal viciously mauled a friend of his owner before being shot to death by police.

Investigators are trying to figure out why — whether it was a bout of Lyme disease, a reaction to drugs, or a case of instinct taking over.

In recordings of calls to 911 dispatchers released Tuesday, Travis' grunts can be heard as a frantic Herold cries that her pet is "eating" Nash and must be killed. The attack lasted about 12 minutes.

"The chimp killed my friend!" says a sobbing Herold, who was hiding in her vehicle. "Send the police with a gun. With a gun!"

The dispatcher later asks, "Who's killing your friend?"

"My chimpanzee!" she cries. "He ripped her apart! Shoot him, shoot him!"

After police arrive, one officer radios back: "There's a man down. He doesn't look good," he says, referring to Nash. "We've got to get this guy out of here. He's got no face."

Police said that Travis was agitated earlier Monday and that Herold had given him the anti-anxiety drug Xanax in some tea. Police said the drug had not been prescribed for the 14-year-old chimp.

In humans, Xanax can cause memory loss, lack of coordination, reduced sex drive and other side effects. It can also lead to aggression in people who were unstable to begin with, said Dr. Emil Coccaro, chief of psychiatry at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

"Xanax could have made him worse," if human studies are any indication, Coccaro said.

Stephen Rene Tello, executive director of Primarily Primates, a sanctuary for chimps in Texas, said it is difficult to say what effect Xanax would have on a chimp, but he noted that chimps and humans have similar physiology.

Investigators said they were also told that Travis had Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness with flu-like symptoms that can lead to arthritis and meningitis in humans.

"Maybe from the medications he was out of sorts," Stamford police Capt. Richard Conklin said.


Teaching the oldest profession

From The AP:
Authorities say an Ohio fourth-grade teacher had a side job as a prostitute, and even skipped class after using a school computer to arrange an afternoon tryst at a motel.

Logan County sheriff's officials say 35-year-old Amber Carter was arrested Tuesday at a motel parking lot in Bellefontaine (behl-FOWN'-tin) in central Ohio. She's charged with misdemeanor prostitution and a felony, unauthorized use of property, regarding the computer.

Bellefontaine City Schools Superintendent Larry Anderson says officials are shocked. He says Carter never received a reprimand in 13 years at the district.

She's now on administrative leave.

Gives a new meaning to social networking. Wonder if she was on Facebook.


Forget the gun, grab the calzone

A former Brooklyn mobster turned pizza proprietor under federal witness protection has blown his cover because he couldn’t take criticism for a bad calzone, the Daily News reported.

Joseph Milano, aka Joey Calco, aka Crazy Joe of the Bonanno crime family in Brooklyn has been arrested in Florida for assault and firearm possession by a convicted felon, officials said.

On Jan. 23, a camera caught Calco jumping over the counter of his pizza shop, Goombas, to attack two customers who had complained about their calzone, they said.

Afterward, local newspapers investigating the incident discovered Calco’s true identity. Calco was spared a life sentence for turning on his boss Anthony Spero, but he served a total of nearly eight years for crimes, that included two years for admitting to a pair of murders in 2004.

U.S. marshals and New York prosecutors are said to be determining whether to keep Calco under witness protection or lock him up again.

You can take a goombah out of...aw, nevermind...


Woman assaulted after blocking video game

From DesMoines Register:
Officers arrested Isac Benjamin Pettinger, 21, of 1221 E. 28th St., on charges of domestic abuse with injury, false imprisonment and obstruction of emergency communications.

Police said it all started with a video game. Here's the report:

Lacey Proctor, a 20-year-old massage therapy student, "reported that she was assaulted tonight (Monday) by her former live-in boyfriend, Isac Pettinger. Proctor said they had lived together at 1221 E. 28th St., until approximately a month ago when she moved out. Proctor said that tonight Pettinger invited her over to the house so that they could spend some time together.

"Proctor said she became frustrated with Pettinger as he would not stop playing video games. Proctor said she stood in front of Pettinger, blocking his view of the screen. At that point Pettinger's video game character died and he became very angry."

Police said he pushed her into a chair and straddled her, preventing her from getting up. He allegedly punched her in the side of the head with a closed fist. The victim yelled for him to get off but he refused.

She eventually escaped ran to a bathroom, police said. Pettinger reportedly followed her and attacked her again, beating her head against a wall. When she tried to get away, Pettinger allegedly said, 'You're not going anywhere."

Proctor reached for a cell phone and called 911. Police said Pettinger grabbed the phone and disconnected it. He called her a "cop-calling (expletive deleted)."

Police said Proctor grabbed her phone and finally was able to leave the house. Police dispatchers called her back and she met with officers at a nearby convenience store.

Must have been a raid night. *shrug* If she really wanted his attention, she should have stood in front of him nekkid. Sex > Games (most of the time).


Boot to the head

Via UPI:
A footprint imprinted onto the face of an assault victim in Salford, England, may lead to the capture of the victim's assailants, police say.

Police said Wednesday the injury to 33-year-old Johnathan Robinson's forehead clearly shows the imprint of a shoe or boot worn by one of the men who attacked the bar owner this week, The Daily Mail said.

Robinson was attacked Monday by four assailants while leaving his Golden Lion bar and robbed of nearly $3,600 of his bar's earnings. One of the assailants stomped on Robinson's face during the robbery, prompting the bar owner to lose consciousness.

After Robinson's body was discovered, he was taken to an area hospital for treatment for various injuries including a broken leg.

While police are treating the attack as an attempted homicide, Robinson says he is simply ready to put the entire incident behind him.


25 random things about me.

From Ken via Facebook:
Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

(By the way I'm not expecting any of you to do this. You poor souls were the ones I decided to torture. I blame Allison and Linda for this shi.. mess...)

1) I'm an only child, and I'm spoiled rotten.
2) I've grown to be a very self-centric person. What’s in it for me?
3) I don't really like to be around people I don't already know. Makes getting to know new people a bitch, but I don't mind.
4) I enjoy watching bad 'B' movies from the Sci-Fi channel that are usually on at 3am.
5) Continuing from above, thank goodness for DVRs.
6) I watched professional wrasslin since the Championship Wrestling from Florida with Gordon Solie.
7) I suck at melee fighting, even though I've studied martial arts.
8) I used to play paper RPGs in high-school and college, even though it was frowned upon by other family members.
9) I've been in one wreck in my life, and it was do to me avoiding a cyclist.
10) I enjoy cable tv more than network tv, especially the Discovery channel.
11) I enjoy breakfast for dinner.
12) I enjoy cold pizza for breakfast. However, it has to be take-out/delivery pizza, because frozen pizzas don't re-heat as well.
13) I've planned trips around food stops.
14) I'm fat. I was born fat. I grew up fat. I stayed fat. Diet doesn't work. Exercise doesn't work. If I have to go out large, damn it, I’m gonna at least go out eating and doing what I want.
15) I hate discussing religion and politics, because no matter how good your debate and facts are, you aren't changing someone's mind once it has been made. All you are doing is expelling hot air.
16) I've paid off every car I've owned.
17) I enjoy playing MMO games for the game content, not the people. Kinda like hating people but loving gatherings.
18) I tend to quote movies I've seen..
19) One of my inherent skills is being able to analyze a person and say the things that will cut them to the core.
20) I am prepared for the impending zombie apocalypse.
21) Never smoked and have no desire to.
22) I don’t really care for professional sports. I mean I’ll watch it, but I don’t become emotionally invested.
23) I don’t practice organized religion. I prefer my time with my God to be one-on-one, not dictated by convention.
24) I don’t really enjoy my job anymore, even though I’m damn good at it.
25) I don't dance. Don't ask.


Somebody's Watching Me

Kick ass remake of Rockwell's 80's hit "Somebody's Watching Me" by Mysto & Pizzi. It is now being heard in the Geico "cash" commercials. Download the mp3 here.


A new president


Ever feel like you are just an inanimate object floating through a void of nothingness, getting pounded by debris, never moving on your own, held in the same motion or place by an invisible hand? No? Just Me? Figures. *shrug*


Hello from Mars. Pull my finger.

From Houston Chronicle:
Scientists using Earth-based telescopes have taken detailed measurements of the gas methane on Mars, a finding that supports the possibility of underground life on the Red Planet.

The concentrations found by scientists from NASA and other U.S. institutions are consistent with methane plumes produced by underground microbes on Earth.

“It might be evidence of biology below the surface,” said Michael Mumma, director of the Center for Astrobiology at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and lead author of the methane study published today in the journal Science.

The new study found that concentrations of the gas varied greatly by location and season on Mars.

The largest plume found by the scientists contained about 19,000 metric tons of methane, which is comparable to the methane produced at the large hydrocarbon seep Coal Oil Point in California, where underwater bacteria produce methane by processing hydrocarbons.



RIP Ricardo Montalban

May there be much soft, corinthian leather for you in your heavenly Cordoba!


The perils of hair styling

From Metro UK:
It's a medical mystery that surgeons never got to the bottom of in a hospital casualty room - how a woman patient ended up with a can of hairspray up her backside.

Mirela Gradinaru, 37, turned up at the clinic in Arad, western Romania, in agony begging doctors to help her.

But she refused to say just how the can came to be there even after a successful, delicate operation to remove the aerosol.

Doctor Mirandolina Prisca explained: "We had X-rays done to localise the object and then we carried out the operation. The patient was fine after it."

"She was very embarrassed. She was clearly in a lot of pain, however it got there.

"This was not just a little can of deodorant, this was a massive can of hairspray," said one hospital worker.

So, there was this can of hairspray, and I tripped while hair styling, and it just went right on in. Yup, that's the story.


Gimme back my kidney, biatch!

From NY Daily News:
Richard Batista can live with his broken heart. He just can't bear his cheating wife living with his healthy kidney.

The Long Island doctor wants the one-time love of his life to pay $1.5 million for the organ he bestowed on her eight years ago in a gift meant to save her life and their foundering marriage.

Batista charged his wife, Dawnell, repaid his gesture by first sleeping with her physical therapist - and then denying him access to their three kids in an increasingly bitter divorce.

Adding to his anguish, Batista insists his decision to donate his kidney in 2001 was in part a failed effort to rescue their troubled relationship.

"My first priority was to save her life," the 49-year-old doctor said. "The second bonus was to turn our marriage around."

Successful surgery followed at a Minnesota hospital on June 28, 2001. Batista said he was looking forward to happier times with his now-healthy bride - but his hopes proved futile.

"Nothing changed," he said.

Batista insisted his cash-for-kidney claim was a direct result of his wife's behavior. He said he hasn't seen his three daughters - ages 14, 11 and 8 - in months.

"This is my last resort," Batista said. "I didn't want to be in the public eye."

Despite the animosity, Batista insisted he would donate the kidney all over again to his hopefully soon-to-be-ex. He fondly recalls a visit to her room on the day after surgery.


Asking your boss for time off to see the big game.

A veteran Florida congressman wants a break after only two days back on the job. Republican Cliff Stearns says he wants to go to a football game in Miami on Thursday.

Stearns has written to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking her to move votes scheduled for Thursday evening and Friday so House members from Florida and Oklahoma can go to the Bowl Championship Series national title game between No. 2 Florida and No. 1 Oklahoma.

Pelosi's office says she won't agree to the request. Among the votes to be considered Thursday afternoon is certification of the Electoral College vote that gives Barack Obama the presidency.

Stearns didn't attend the University of Florida in Gainesville but it's in his district. The game is being played in Miami.

That congressional job getting you down? That's okay, nothing important to do there. Are you ready for some football?