Facepalm newsoids #39 – Food in the News

Food, such as this oven-ready, brown-n-eat, taste-flavoured eating substance.

Dr. Pepper beats Pepsi. Earlier this month, in the fight for second place, the soft drink Dr. Pepper, owned by the food giant Keurig Dr. Pepper, is now leading a trend for unusual soft drinks to enter the market, and is now selling second only to Coca-Cola, putting Pepsi in third place. (3 June)

Pondering Pizza Prognostications. Domino’s Pizza has made a huge investment in Microsoft AI, betting on its ability to predict your order the minute before you place your order. When it thinks you are “ready to order”, the process of pizza making has already begun. This is based on a press release from Microsoft’s MSN website, released last week. (7 June)

Going hardcore for Grandma. MacDonald’s has figured out that your grandma liked ice cream treats with butterscotch and syrup mixed in, along with some crunchy stuff. This is apparently part of a trend started by TikTok influencers and Gen-Zers, known as “Grandmacore”. (21 May)

Popping Pringles. 40 year-old Adam Spencer, a resident of the county of Nottinghamshire in England, went on a shoplifting spree of grocery stores around the county and, among his booty, was 17 tubes of Pringles chips. He was arrested by officers in Nottinghamshire, and in his confession, offered his rationale for stealing Pringles: “Once you pop, you can’t stop”, borrowing the product slogan. (2 June)

Coffee for Giuliani. Because he can’t find accountants willing to care for his finances, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani has taken to peddling a brand of coffee bearing his name as a brand to reduce his debts which are now running north of $148m USD, not counting what he owes in court settlements. He has three flavours of coffee: Decaf, Bold, and Morning Coffee, selling for $29.99 USD, and he has put up a website advertising it. Giuliani himself has been unavailable for comment, and has in fact made himself invisible to law enforcement, who has been searching for him to serve him a summons for some months now. (21 May)

 

 

Views: 157

Facepalm Newsoids #38 – May ‘two-four’ edition

Facepalm Stout: Get your 2-4 of that today!

This week’s theme are getting a ‘two-four’, and some of the things that go with a long weekend spring break. In addition, you might have noticed that “May 2-4” occurs next Friday, 24 May. But the actual holiday is Monday, 20 May.

Brew your own. Anse Ghesquiere, a Belgian man, was acquitted of drunk driving charges after failing a breathalyzer. What acquitted him is that he has a rare medical condition called “auto-brewery syndrome”, where his body produces its own alcohol. As part of the syndrome, the person posessing the condition would have elevated blood-alcohol levels, but not feel any symptoms of intoxication. (22 Apr)

Weedin’ in Wisconsin. In a tulip garden outside the Wisconsin state Capitol, someone noticed what looked like marijuana plants growing. Spokeswoman Tatyana Warrick told the press that while workers removed the plants, it was not clear if they were marijuana or hemp plants. Only marijuana plants contain the chemical that gets people high. Warrick would not respond to questions as to who planted them. (17 May)

Judge declares tacos and burritos as a kind of sandwich. Martin Quintana had been trying to open a second location of his sandwich-bar style restaurant in Fort Wayne, Indiana, but had been denied the permit because his desire to make tacos and burritos is seen to run afoul of his committment to produce submarine sandwiches. Yesterday, after three years of legal wrangling, a judge ruled that indeed, tacos and burritos can be considered to be “a kind of sandwich”, allowing him to serve tacos at his new location. (17 May)

Drinking too much Tequila, that’s what that’s about. Last week, we heard news from across the border that Robert F. Kennedy Jr claimed that a worm ate part of his brain. After some surgery, the worm was found dead. He also was diagnosed with Minimata disease, also called mercury poisoning, from eating contaminated fish. He also has a heart condition. The 70 year-old Mr. Kennedy touts his athleticism and youth as giving him the edge over the other two candidates. (14 May)

Something else that goes with beer. New York City firefighters received free pizza about two weeks ago, hand-delivered by Donald Trump, after he spent a day in court. (2 May)

 

Views: 314

Facepalm Newsoids 37 – And how is that cure for cancer going?

Still/Meme from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”. He also hasn’t found a cure for cancer.

Toilets in the news (again). Researchers Dr. Liang, Dr. Ding, Dr. Wu, and Dr. Sun have concluded, after a meta-analysis of data from 4,915 papers published on the subject, that global warming can increase the incidence of infectious diarrhea (ID). ID can consist of dysentry, cholera, typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever, as well as foodborne infections. The general message to mankind here is that as global temperatures rise, we should prepare for more diarrhea (traces back to this paper from 2021).

Dinosaurs died maybe because they were on ‘shrooms. Dinosaurs died around 66 million years ago, around the time that the genus Psilocybe, or magic mushrooms evolved, according to genetic analyses. If dinosaurs died because of magic mushrooms, at least they died happy. (9 Jan)

This proves we can talk to aliens. Researchers from University of California at Davis sailed to the southeast coast of Alaska to talk to a humpback whale named Twain, in what they believe is the world’s first successful whale-human communication. But having a 20-minute conversation with a whale wasn’t the endgame for these researchers. What they really want to do is talk to aliens by interpreting signals from outer space by using whales for practice. (7 Mar)

They’re out there. Not having found aliens yet, frustrated astrophysicists from the University of Rochester have moved beyond looking for biological markers, and have begun looking for technological markers. They have decided that to accomplish this, they will look for the presence of oxygen, being convinced that it correlates with advanced technology. The thinking being: where there’s oxygen, there’s aliens; where there’s aliens, there’s fire; and where there’s fire, there’s someone setting that fire; and where someone is setting the fire, someone is using it to make something; and where there is something made, there is advanced technology. They are looking for a planet with an atmosphere of at least 18% oxygen, the same as that on Earth. The work is being partially funded by a grant from NASA. (2 Jan)

GMOs found in nature. It was found that under controlled conditions in the lab, that gene transfer could occur in 5% of zebrafish, provided they were near an electric eel that was discharging electricity at the time. Bodies of water are full of ambient DNA, known as environmental DNA (eDNA), which is what scientists have observed being transferred into the zebrafish. eDNA could come from plants, single-celled creatures or other animals. Scientists suspect that eels can contribute to biodiversity or even the creation of new species. (Dec 2023 1 2)

 

Views: 484

Facepalm Newsoids 36

facepalm_chimp04
Chimp facepalms never get old

Rumors of death were exaggerated. According to New York magazine, Russian media were spreading rumors of the death of King Charles III of England. But for a short time it caught on, and there was also a frantic search for Kate Middleton, who had not been seen since Christmas of 2023. By St. Patrick’s Day, flags were flying at half-mast. By 18 March, the King emerged, showing the rumors of death to have been exaggerated. According to the magazine, “The royal family is still a mess, and their flag remains high”. So we can all go back to sleep now. King Charles had been diagnosed with cancer back in February. He is 75 years old.

Monster in charge. Godzilla, the enormous giant mutant lizard from Japanese thriller movies of decades ago, has been made police chief of Tokyo for a day. This was in a campaign to raise consciousness about traffic safety. Other Japanese movie characters were used for related reasons regarding day-to-day law enforcement. (20 Mar)

The Croissant Bandit of Richmond. In Richmond, a suburb of Melbourne in the province of Victoria, Australia, a 44 year-old woman was charged with burglary of a bakery when she broke in wearing a catsuit. But she would not steal those almond croissants she craved before doing some yoga stretches, as shown on a CCTV camera recording. The woman was charged with theft, and burglary. This incident could be made part of an ad campaign for Phillippa’s Bakery, where she broke in. The name of the Croissant Bandit was not made public. (8 Mar)

Take your poop with you. Climbers in Mount Everest must take their poop with them back down the mountain, to address a growing waste problem, according to a new regulation passed down by the Nepalese government. Most people who climb Everest do so through Nepal, who sells climbing permits at $11,000 apiece. It takes another $25,000 when you factor in food, equipment, oxygen tanks, and Sherpa guides.  Last year, there were a record 478 permits issued to climbers, and on average they would produce 3.5 kg of excrement over the 2-week period climbing the mountain, and coming back down. For the 478 climbers, that’s 1.67 metric tonnes of excrement in one year, illustrating the extent of the problem. An initiative led by the Nepali Army has led to the removal of nearly 36 metric tonnes of excrement, which had not degraded in the frigid and oxygen-poor environment of Everest over the years. (25 Mar)

Men and turkeys look so much alike. A man in Bunnell, Florida was hunting turkeys, when, as he followed three female turkeys on the road, in the hope of finding a male turkey, and soon was shooting at what he thought was his prize, which turned out to be another man yelling in agony that he had been shot. The hunter called 911 and expressed remorse for the shooting. The victim was taken to hospital in Daytona Beach, where he had to have bird shot removed from his head and torso. Neither the hunter nor the victim have been identified to the public. (18 Mar)

Social media being sued by Ontario School Boards. In Ontario, four school boards in the GTA and Ottawa have sued Meta, Snap Inc. and ByteDance Ltd., over their apps which has been shown by research to stunt child brain development. The claim in the lawsuits is that social media are designed for compulsive use and have “rewired the way children think, behave and learn” (quoting the Toronto Star), leaving teachers and school boards to deal with the consequences. The school boards are seeking damages in excess of $4 billion for its disruption to learning and the school system itself. Premier Doug Ford has expressed shock that the boards are suing these companies, who violated no laws, because federal and provincial governments never created any to regulate these companies in the first place. Ford’s reasoning had a sliver of common sense: they are large companies with very deep pockets that could cost the government hundreds of millions of dollars to fight, and past court battles of a similar kind by hundreds of school boards in the states were not always successful. So, how would Ford feel instead about regulating these companies, which would cost them much less? (28 Mar)

Views: 663

Facepalm Newsoids 35 – Redneck News

This lady’s face is covered by her cell phone, which we’ll take as this week’s facepalm. This image of a mirror – yes, a mirror – connected to the internet (or, actually, failed to connect) just increases the cringe factor. Taken from Facebook.

The Beer Bandits of Nashville. In redneck news, WSMV News 4 in Nashville, Tenessee has been following the stories of various beer thieves as an annual event. Each year, they report on beer being stolen, such as the story last year about just such a theft from the outdoor patio of a Mexican restaurant. This year just ahead of St. Patrick’s Day, a more, uh, heroic and inspirational story about a Circle K clerk that put his life on the line for the safe return of four cases of Corona beer. The thief, 50 year-old Mitchell Brown was blocked at the exit by the clerk. Brown kicked the clerk’s leg, breaking it in two places, requiring surgery. He escaped, but was caught on surveillance cameras, identified and arrested for aggravated assault, trespassing, and theft, according to reporters at WSMV. The clerk was not named (27 Feb).

A Hard Drawing. A bush pilot flew his plane near Bellfontaine Regional Airport in Ohio whose path resembled a penis. He also air-drew the words “see ya” before breaking his pattern and moving on. “That’s nuts”, said a Twitter (X) user. The number of fans gained on social media probably stroked his ego. The drawing took 6 hours, leading some to wonder how he could last that long. Reporters did not give the name of the pilot, but the plane appears to have been registered to a flight school in Ohio. Some news stories just write themselves, don’t they? (25 Feb)

Your wrangling skills are not ba-a-ad. A heard of goats escaped a nature reserve and began to roam the streets of Arlington, Texas. The police were called, and goat herd wrangling instantly became part of their job description. The herd was guided back to the field they began wandering from. (1 Mar)

Chicken dumplings dumped. In the United States, the famous grocery chain Trader Joe’s has recalled more than 27 metric tons of chicken dumplings because of suspicion they may have been contaminated from plastics found in magic markers. (4 Mar)

Hogging money from workers. Tosh Farms, Tennessee’s biggest pork producer, retaliated against its employees when one of them asked about their wages, and was threatened with termination. In addition, the employee returned to his workstation to find a severed pig’s head on his desk. An investigation by the department of labour found the company owed five of its employees $39,375 in back wages, and a further $36,731 in civil money penalties. (6 Mar)

Views: 365

Facepalm Newsoids 34: The Mortality Edition

Skeleton facepalm
This skeleton Facepalm sticker is available at Redbubble.

Partier defies his own mortality with a hole in his head. In Brazil, 21 year-old Mateus Facio, a university student who had partied for four straight days, thought he was hit by a rock, but when he started losing control of his arms and fingers after waking up on the fifth day, he sought medical attention, and was told that he had a bullet lodged just under his skull. It was not serious enough to cause paralysis. The bullet has since been surgically removed and Mateus is expected to make a full recovery. (22 Jan)

The Fight For Less Government. Micheal Mohn, a federal employee working in Pennsylvania was beheaded with a machete at his home, with the murderer posting the aftermath including his decapitated head on YouTube, where the murderer had vowed to murder all government employees, and tried to appeal to right-wing extremists. The murderer happened to be his son, Justin Mohn, age 32, who has been in arrears with his student loans, but has been trying to sell a self-published book and some self-released music of his. Justin was charged with murder, the abuse of a corpse, and possession of an instrument of crime, and is being held without bail. The YouTube video was posted for 5 hours and received over 5000 views before it was taken down. (2 Feb)

News from Death Row. The state of Alabama executed Kenneth Smith on January 25 using nitrogen gas. While it was said by officials that death would come in a few seconds, it actually took several minutes for him to die, while he suffered in the meantime. The American Veterinary Association does not recommend nitrogen hypoxia for euthanising mammals except under anaethesia, but Smith was given no such anaesthetic. The Alabama government tried and failed last year to execute Smith by lethal injection. Smith was given life imprisonment by a jury for a murder committed in 1988, but a judge overruled the jury to place him on death row, where he had been for  nearly 40 years. (1 Feb)

Killer Airbags.   over 61,000 Toyota and GM cars are being recalled because the inflatable airbags will tend to hurl pieces of metal “shrapnel” into the driver and passengers. These are generally for cars made in the early 2000s. In the case of the Corolla and Matrix, the airbags can suddenly inflate without an accident. So far, over 30 people had died due to the faulty airbags worldwide. (29 Jan)

Views: 352

Facepalm Newsoids 33: Potty Edition

Facepalm-ASCII
ASCII Facepalm

Dodgy Democrats in the News: 1. By now you might have been aware of the Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, having had to spend several days in hospital without warning President Biden about it. While he was hospitalized he left much of his responsibilities to Kathleen Hicks, who herself was on vacation to Puerto Rico (8 Jan). 2. Calls for U. S. Democrat Senator Bob Menendez’s resignation have been growing since had to deny charges of accepting bribes from Egypt; he now has to defend himself from charges of accepting bribes from Qatar (2 Jan).

And by the way, how is that cure for cancer going? A team of just over a dozen scientists from the University of Maryland, working doggedly around the clock now know what makes your pee yellow. While it may not help in understanding cancer, it can lead to a better understanding of jaundice and inflammatory bowel disease. (4 Jan)

Toilets in the news. 1. Why I don’t vacation in Florida: An Orlando, Florida man named Paul Kerouac is suing Dunkin Donuts for more than $100,000 in injury claims after a toilet exploded in a Dunkin Donuts site in Winter Park, Florida a year ago. He emerged from the rest room that day, covered in feces, urine and other debris, but the employees there seemed pretty chill about it, and assured him that it happens all the time and that it was no big deal, according to the lawsuit. (4 Jan) 2. Why I don’t vacation in Australia: A spotted black snake, known to be venomous, was lurking inside a toilet in a rural town in Queensland, Australia. Snake expert Tennile Banks had to travel to the toilet stall in Goodiwindi where the snake was, to wrestle it into a bag, after which it was released into the wilderness. (4 Jan)

Just crashed in for a dip. A man from Leeds, Alabama named George Owens, crashed his car into a pole in a Bass Pro Shop parking lot, proceeded to undress naked, then run into the shop and take a cannonball dive into their large aquarium. Police arrived on the scene, and after a while he climbed out of the pool, falling about 12 feet on to a concrete floor, unconscious for a minute or two; long enough for the police to handcuff him. After he came to, he was uncooperative, and so they had to drag his naked body across a bare concrete floor by his handcuffs. He was found to be under the influence of drugs. His family has confirmed that he has been suffering from mental health issues. (5 Jan) (Video)

 

Views: 316

In Memoriam 2023

In memoriam 2023. This is a list of well-known celebrities and public figures that have passed away this year, in reverse chronological order. You might take note of the unusually high number of people in this list who lived to age 100 or older.

December 27. Gaston Glock (b. 1929), age 94. Austrian engineer and founder of the company that makes Glock pistols.

December 26. Tommy Smothers (b. 1937), age 86. Part of the Smothers Brothers comedy duo, alongside brother Richard. Also known for playing Guitar with John Lennon during the Montreal bed-in for the song “Give Peace a Chance”.

Laura_Lynch
Laura Lynch

Decenmber 22. Laura Lynch (b. 1958), age 65. One of the founding members of The Dixie Chicks.

December 16. Pete Lucas (b. 1950) age 73. Former singer and guitarist of the British group Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich. Also played with The Troggs.

December 16. Colin Burgess (b. 1946) age 77. Original drummer for AC/DC.

December 15. Bob Johnson (b. 1944) age 79. Former guitarist, singer and songwriter for Steeleye Span.

December 14. Joseph Wilson (b. 1996) age 27. YouTuber known as “Mitten Squad” with 1.4 million viewers and subscribers.

Norman_Lear
Norman Lear

December 6. Norman Lear (b. 1922), age 101. Producer of All In the Family, and a host of other highly-rated sitcoms in the 70s and 80s. Spinoff series included The Jeffersons and Maude. Lear was also the founder of the organization “People for the American Way”. Other sitcoms included Sanford and Son, One Day at a Time, and Good Times.

December 5. Denny Lane (b. 1944), age 79. Former band member with the Moody Blues, and later, Wings.

myles goodwin
Myles Goodwyn

December 3. Myles Goodwyn (b. 1948), age 75. Founding member and lead singer of April Wine. Also named to the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. Readers of my blog might remember my chiding April Wine for their crappy album covers, inside which had real gems of rock music, which contributed to earning the band a place on the Candian Walk of Fame, as well as the Canadian Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

December 3. Geordie Walker (b. 1958) age 64. One of the original guitarists of the post-punk band The Killing Joke.

chad allan
Chad Allan

December 2. Chad Allan (b. 1943), age 80. Founding member and lead singer of The Guess Who. The Vancouver Sun has him as passing about a week earlier, but a Facebook post from Burton Cummings and a CBC report are in agreement with December 2.

December 1. Sandra Day-O’Connor (b. 1930), age 93. Former chancellor of the College of William and Mary; retired American Supreme Court justice – the first woman to have ever served in the Supreme Court.

November 30. Shane MacGowan (b. 1958) age 65. Former songwriter and frontman for The Pogues.

November 29. Henry Kissinger (b. 1923), age 100. Served in the US governmentt as Secretary of State; Chairman of the 9/11 Commission; and was also chancellor of the College of William and Mary just before Sandra Day O’Connor.

Rosalynn_Carter
Rosalynn Carter

November 19. Rosalynn Carter (b. 1927), age 96. Former first lady to President Jimmy Carter; and before that first lady in Georgia when Jimmy Carter was governor there.

November 11. Peter Moore (b. 1956), age 67. Produced The Trinity Sessions, an album by The Cowboy Junkies, a popular album known for its sparse production and shoestring budget.

October 28. Matthew Perry (b. 1969), age 54. Actor appearing on Friends, and earlier on Ally McBeal.

October 25. Elizabeth Gray (b. 1937), age 86. Producer for CBC Radio and TV, producing for Cross-Country Checkup, The Journal, This Country in the Morning, and Morningside. Also guest hosted for As It Happens, replacing Barbara Frum.

Carla Bley
Carla Bley

October 17. Carla Bley (b. 1936) age 87. American Jazz musician best known for being part of the Free Jazz movement in the 1960s.

October 15. Suzanne Somers (b. 1947), age 76. Best known for her work as Chrissy Snow in the sitcom Three’s Company, but also played the hooker driving the Thunderbird in American Grafitti, who courted a naive Curt, played by a boyish Richard Dreyfuss.

Karthyayani Amma
Karthyayani Amma

October 10. Karthyayani Amma (b. 1922) age 101. Wikipedia refers to this native of India as a “mature student”, which is an understatement, having passed a literacy exam with top marks at age 96, five years before her death. She became a Commonwealth of Learning Goodwill Ambassador in 2019, and was awarded the Nari Shakti Puraskar award the following year, which is the highest civilian honor in India, when she was 98.

September 29. Diane Feinstein (b. 1933), age 90. American Senator, and before that, Mayor of San Francisco. She died while holding office as a Senator.

September 7. Peter C. Newman (b. 1929), age 94. Canadian journalist, editor and author. Wrote The Canadian Establishment in three volumes in 1975, which raised the bar on business reporting.

Gary Wright
Gary Wright

September 4. Gary Wright (b. 1943), age 80. American musician, wrote, composed and sung 70s hits Dreamweaver and Love is Alive.

September 1. Jimmy Buffet (b. 1946), age 76. Was the ‘roguish bard of island escapism’ (NYT). Grand Poobah of the Parrot Heads. Sang of the woes of tropical pirates, smugglers, beach bums and barflies that otherwise only they would know. Also, owner and CEO of the Maragritaville chain of restaurants and resorts.

August 28. Samuel Wurzelbacher (b. 1974), age 49. Known as Joe the Plumber, who became an icon of the middle class by politicians like John McCain who used his name in televised debates in 2008 against Barack Obama. I have written about him before.

Bob Barker
Bob Barker

August 26. Bob Barker (b. 1924), age 99. Host of The Price is Right, and for a time, Truth or Consequences. The Price is Right was the longest-running game show in television history.

August 18. James Buckley (b. 1923), age 100. U. S. Senator and son of William F. Buckley.

August 9. Robbie Robertson (b. 1943), age 80. Canadian solo artist and founding member of The Band.

July 31. Paul Reubens (b. 1953), age 70. Known as Pee Wee Herman.

Sinead O'Connor
Sinead O’Connor

July 26. Sinéad O’Connor (b. 1967), age 56. Famous Irish pop singer. But she wouldn’t be famous for singing Danny Boy.

July 25. Pat Carney (b. 1935), age 88. Was a Conservative MP under the Mulroney conservatives; later appointed to the Senate.

July 21. Tony Bennett (b. 1926), age 96. Successful singer and actor. Won 20 Grammies and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Daniel Ellsberg
Daniel Ellsberg

June 16. Daniel Ellsberg (b. 1931), age 92. Leaked the Pentagon Papers to the press, disclosing many American lies about Vietnam. He also was intricately involved in Watergate, since his psychiatrist’s office was being wiretapped.

June 12. Treat Williams (b. 1951), age 71. Played in scores of major films and television shows; winner of a Golden Globe.

June 8. Pat Robertson (b. 1930), age 93. Teleevangelist and one-time host of The 700 Club. Also held a job as chancellor of Regents University, whose campus is in Virginia.

Astrud Gilberto
Astrud Gilberto, looking straight ahead, not at the camera.

June 6. Astrud Gilberto (b. 1940), age 83. Brazilian vocalist, who sang the 1963 bossa nova hit The Girl From Ipanema, and is partly responsible for popularizing the bossa nova genre outside of Brazil. Made dozens of albums and compilations up until 2008, mostly all bossa nova.

May 24. Tina Turner (b. 1939), age 83. Had several hits since the 1960s with ex-husband Ike Turner. Hit her career peak as a soloist in the 1980s and later.

Gordon Lightfoot
Gordon Lightfoot

May 1. Gordon Lightfoot (b. 1939), age 84. Canadian Music Hal l of Famer, as well as a Canadian Country Music Hall of Famer, winner of 16 Juno awards for his contribution to folk, rock and pop music genres.

April 27. Jerry Springer (b. 1944) age 79. Had his heyday during the ’90s “tabloid talk show” craze. Before that he was mayor of Cincinati for two years.

Harry Belafonte
Harry Belafonte

April 25. Harry Belafonte (b. 1927), age 96. Had the first million selling album Calypso, on Billboard, and penned many chart-topping singles in the Calypso genre which crossed over into popular music. Had a high profile in the civil rights movement, having helped to get Rev. Martin Luther King out of Birmingham Prison. At age 32 he was the most highly paid black performer in the United States. I have written about him before. Here is another article.

April 25. Harry Potts (b. 1921), age 102. Oldest survivor of the sinking of the USS Arizona, which was part of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbour.

Al Jaffee
Al Jaffee, seen here holding the Eisner Award, also won a Reuben Award from the National Cartoonists Society.

April 10. Al Jaffee (b. 1921), age 102. Cartoonist for Mad Magazine in the 1970s and onward, and was known for the Mad Fold-In on the inside back cover of every issue of the magazine. Also known for his “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions” comics which sporadically appeard in many issues. All of his work for Mad was freelance. Despite that, he was a regular contributor that helped set the style for Mad. Winner of the Reuben award in 2007, which put him up there with Charles Schulz, Matt Groening, Gary Larson, Scott Adams, Garry Trudeau, and other cartooning bigwigs. He was inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 2013. The Eisner Awards are comic industry awards, comparable to the Academy Awards.

March 26. Paul Schmidt (b. 1986), age 37. Famous for being murdered in front of a Starbucks in Vancouver by Inderdeep Gosal, who chose to murder him rather than not vape in front of Paul’s toddler. Or was he famous because his bleeding to death from the neck after being stabbed was being filmed on cellphone by Alex Bodger, a clueless kid who uploaded it to TikTok for the lulz and didn’t call the police, choosing instead to stand there and watch him die? Not sure.

March 23. Tony Abbott (b. 1930), age 92. Former Canadian MP (Peel South, Lib.), holding several portfolios in Pierre Trudeau cabinet.

Jim Gordon
Jim Gordon

March 13. Jim Gordon (b. 1945), age 77. Drummer for Traffic and Derek and The Dominoes; wrote Layla; murdered his mother because “the voices told him to”. Was diagnosed with schizophrenia while in jail for murder. He died while still incarcerated, after 39 years in a California prison.

March 10. Jerrold Samuels (b. 1938), age 84. Famous for his 1966 one hit wonder They’re Coming to Take Me Away! Ha-Haaa!, which reached #3 on Billboard, under his pseudonym Napoleon XIV. He also wrote hits for other artists, including Sammy Davis Jr.

March 2. Wayne Shorter (b. 1933), age 89. Famous jazz saxophonist. Co-founder of the 1970s jazz-fusion band Weather Report. Before that, he played with the Miles Davis Quintet. Winner of 12 Grammy awards over his career.

Gordon Pinsent
Gordon Pinsent

February 25. Gordon Pinsent (b. 1930), age 92. Famous Canadian actor, playing in mostly Newfoundland-themed and Canadian-themed film, TV and theater. He was a recipient of The Order of Canada, as well as having been awarded several Genies, and Actra awards.

February 21. Paul Berg (b. 1927), age 96. Won the Nobel Prize for his work in genetic engineering. Invented the concept of “recombinant DNA”.

February 19. Richard Belzer (b. 1944), age 78. The recognizable face from Law and Order SVU was a former standup comic at an earlier time. He was the warm-up comedian for Saturday Night Live, between 1975 and 1980.

Raquel Welch,
Raquel Welch,

February 15. Raquel Welch (b. 1940), age 82. A successful actress who became an interenational sex symbol in the 1970s and 1980s.

February 8. Burt Bacharach (b. 1928), age 94. One of the most influential popular musical composers of the 20th century. Composed, wrote lyrics and produced songs for Marty Robbins, Perry Como, Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones, B. J. Thomas, The Carpenters and Dionne Warwick, often in collaboration with Hal David.

Cindy Williams
Cindy Williams, alongside Ron Howard, in the 1973 film American Grafitti.

January 30. Cindy Williams (b. 1947), age 75. Played Shirley Feeney in the sitcom Laverne and Shirley. Earlier roles were in the series Room 222, and Love, American Style. She also appeared in the 1973 film American Grafitti as Laurie Henderson, the date of character Steve Bolander, played by Ron Howard. She had also played in scores of other film and TV roles before and since.

January 30. Bobby Hull (b. 1939), age 84. Ontario-born player for the Chicago Black Hawks in the NHL. He had set many points records in the 1960s and 1970s. Joined the WHA and played for the Winnipeg Jets in 1972. After he retired, he was made Officer of the Order of Canada in 1978.

David Crosby
David Crosby

January 19. David Crosby (b. 1941), age 81. Member of The Byrds, and then the group Crosby, Stills and Nash. And he, like many, protested Vietnam. He also had 8 solo albums during his life. He also appeared as a guest musician on the albums of many other artists such as Joni Mitchell, Jefferson Airplane, Jackson Browne, Dave Mason, Art Garfunkel, Elton John, Bob Dylan, and dozens of others.

Gina Lollobrigida
Gina Lollobrigida, as she looked in 1956.

January 16. Gina Lollobrigida (actress) (b. 1927), age 95. Another international sex symbol with a high profile in Europe in the 1950s and 1960s, although she began her acting career working for Howard Hughes at RKO in America. She was later a photojournalist, and later, a politician. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

January 12. Lisa Marie Presley (b. 1968), age 54. American singer and songwriter; most famous for being the only daughter of Elvis Presley, although she did produce two studio albums that reached the top 10 on Billboard in the States between 2003 and 2005.

January 10. Jeff Beck (b. 1944) age 78. In 1965, he Replaced Eric Clapton in The Yardbirds, joining Keith Reif, Chris Dreja, Paul Samwell-Smith, Jim McCarty and later Jimmy Page to help release the only hits The Yardbirds had during his 20-month stay. In 1971, formed the Jeff Beck Group which lasted about 2 years; and went mostly solo or had brief collaborations with other major artists in the years since. He has reiceved 8 Grammy awards.

Views: 394

Facepalm Newsoids 32: Family Values, and More

family values
I see nothing! I hear nothing! I say NOTHING!

Family Values. In South Carolina, Serena Caldwell, age 56 and Ericka Jones, age 27, two day-care workers working for a day-care nursery called Kids Unlimited located in the small town of Prosperity, allegedly “encouraged and directed fourteen 3 and 4 year-olds to fight each other and allowing the violence to proceed without correction”, according to the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office.  Jones and Caldwell are each charged with multiple counts of “contributing to the delinquency of a minor”. Both have had their employment terminated. There were no serious injuries among the children (13 Nov).

Medical News.  A man is launching a medical malpractice lawsuit after doctors at the University of Washington Medical Centre appeared to be unable to find his appendix and removing part of his lower colon instead. The patient, George Piano, nearly died of sepsis due to a now-leaking lower colon caused by the mishap. Piano’s personal injury lawyer said “I have never heard of [a surgeon] who was unable to locate an appendix.” There were four additional surgeries and multiple hospitalizations needed to repair the original botched operation, and more are on the way to try to reverse the ileostomy and to reconstruct his abdominal wall, according to a spokesman from the University of Washingon. (2 Nov)

Bad Judgement.   A man in his 20s, while in the South Korean city of Jinju attacked a shop clerk with short hair, concluding she must be a feminist. Police say he was drunk and had been diagnosed and treated for schizophrenia. (6 Nov)

Government in Action.  The Canadian Department of Natural Resources had commissioned KPMG at the cost of nearly $670,000 so that their consultants could advise them on how to save money on consultants. Professional outsourcing generally has cost the government north of 15 billion dollars across the federal public service, and the current government has been seeking efforts to rein in costs. No other government department had hired consultants for this. (8 Nov)

Labour News 700 Obamacare and Medicare call centre workers across seven states who were contracted out to a firm called Maximus, have staged a strike, and are asking for, among other things, affordable health care. But also on the agenda was to be paid a living wage somewhat more than the $16 per hour they currently get (the federal minimum wage). They also want improvements in working conditions. Maximus currently has a $6.6 billion dollar contract over 9 years with the federal government. Maximus is the largest federal contractor concerned with call centres, and has been accused of union-busting. President Biden has called on Maximus to honor unions and to start providing improvements in working and living conditions for their employees. (10 Nov)

Advances in Technology  A factory robot programmed to handle boxes of food in the province of South Gyeonsang, South Korea, mistook a man for a box of bell peppers, and crushed him to death. The man, who was aged 40, was grabbed by the robot, which then pushed him on to a conveyor belt, crushing his face and chest. He later died in hospital. The man was testing the robot for defects in its sensors. The robot is mostly mechanical, and does not use AI, and would not be sophisticated enough to distinguish a box from a human. (9 Nov)

AI In the News.  Bad news for lonely hearts: Forever Voices, an AI alternative to those who have been spurned by a person in real life, has now gone dark on their real-life paramours. 28 year-old owner John Heirich Meyer, who has had a history of mental health problems, shut down the service after he had been arrested for arson to his own apartment in Austin, Texas. There is now a Forever Voices subreddit for the digitally jilted. (22 Oct)

Crime and the Law. ALPHV/BlackCat, a Russia-based criminal ransomware group tried to threaten the US-based company MeridianLink with ransomware attacks. But when MeridianLink refused to pay, ALPHV/BlackCat filed a complaint with the American Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC), citing the SEC rule breached by chapter and verse, specifically citing Meridian’s failure to disclose BlackCat’s security breach to its customers. This is the first threat of its kind, a departure from the usual denial-of service attacks we see normally from bad actors like these. (16 Nov, 17 Nov)

Views: 1329

Facepalm Newsoids 31

Innocent while black. In this recurring news topic, on October 18, CNN reports that a black Georgia man, Leonard Cure, who had been released from prison for a crime he didn’t commit, was returning home from visiting his mother, and was shot by a police deputy at a routine traffic stop, and later pronouced dead by medics. Cure was 56.

He actually has that much money? Self-proclaimed performance artist Alex Jones, host of the entertainment show Info Wars, was reminded that the 1.1 billion dollars he owes the families of the Sandy Hook victims was real, and not part of his performance. A Texas judge ruled that he can’t use Chapter 11 bankruptcy to avoid paying all or most of the money owed to the victim’s families that were named in the lawsuit. Jones also declared personal bankruptcy late in 2022. While his show is syndicated, he appears to make most of his money selling health products.

Mickey Mouse Parliament. A train carrying EU officials from Brussels and headed for Strasbourg, took a wrong turn and ended up about 12 km east of Paris, France, in Marne la Vallée Chessy, the location of a Disneyland resort. The officials on the train ride became known derisively as “Team Disneyland”. There was a 45 minute delay, before the train was re-routed. Mickey Mouse himself was unavailable for comment. (16 Oct)

Hallowe’en props. The half-naked body of 34 year-old Robert Owens was found on the lawn in front of an empty house in China Grove, North Carolina, after a groundskeeper had mowed grass around it, and who thought it was a Hallowe’en prop or a mannequin for K9 training, as the property had been previously used for dog training.  His remains had been lying there for at least a day before a construction worker made the grim discovery and later Robert’s family identified his body. (17 Oct)

Bomb threat, but it depends. A Copa flight en route to Tampa, Florida from Panama City was routed back to Panama and evacuated of all of its passengers on the tarmack following a suspected bomb in one of the bathrooms. After the bomb squad was called in to inspect the landed and emptied plane, the “bomb” they suspected turned out to be an adult diaper. (13 Oct)

Views: 640

Facepalm Newsoids 30: Conspiracy Theory Edition

Facepalm Downfall
Even this guy can’t believe these morons.

The latest news from the Scientologico-Illuminato-Skull-and-Boneso-Bohemian-Grovio Military industrial complex

The Queen of Canada is in it with Q-Anon. Romana Didulo, who calls herself the “Queen of Canada and leader of First Nations”, is the leader of a fringe Q-Anon group,  spreading anti-vax conspiracies, and have uttered threats against health care workers and firefighters. They showed up in a fleet of 8 vehicles including a touring bus, to the town of Kamsack, Saskatchewan, a town of less than 2000 people living near the Manitoba border, and 56 km northeast of Yorkton. By 18 September of 2023, 200 residents – a “conspiracy” of townsfolk and members of the Cote First Nation – drove them out of town, nonviolently.

Richmound, SK
Richmound is near the Alberta border, about 80km northeast of Medicine Hat, and about 450 km west of Regina.

They later showed up near the Alberta border in the village of Richmound (population 118, but on the west side of Saskatchewan), have occupied an abandoned school there, and now the townsfolk there are attempting to drive out her and her entourage after villagers began receiving threats of public execution. She has a reputation for stoking protests but abandoning her supporters, most of them poor and destitute, if the protestors get arrested or instigate violence. The RCMP has been investigating.
News of her escapades have been broadcast on CBC, CTV, CTV again, and has now gone international, being mentioned on BBC and The UK Guardian. According to the Guardian, Didulo immigrated to Canada from the Philippines as an orphan at age 15 (she spends a lot of space on her bio discussing losing both parents at age 11), according to her website, canada1stparty.ca. Much of her website, when it isn’t railing against “globalists” and “communists” (two of Q-Anon’s pet topics), appeared to be filler text such as Lorem Ipsum, as well as a promotion for her engineering consulting firm.  The candidates section had no names or photos of any candidates. The one photo that was visible appeared to be a stock photo from Getty Images. The website has since been taken down.

The New York City Top Brass are in it with the Freemasons. Eric Adams, Mayor of New York City, joined police commissioner Edward Caban, and Chief of Police Jeffrey Maddrey to become Freemasons this past weekend, as the city was recovering from prolonged rain leading to flash floods, affecting everything from roads, homes and businesses, to the subway system. Each of them received the highest honor in Freemasonry, that of “Master Mason”. This feeds into the conspiracy theory that Freemasons control the legal systems of many countries.

The Canadian Speaker of the House is in it with the Nazis. Speaker of the house Anthony Rota was forced to quit his job as speaker after apologizing for inviting to the parliamentary gallery, Yaroslav Hunka, a 98 year-old Ukranian veteran who fought for the Nazi Waffen SS in the Second World War, and introducing him to members of parliament to rounds of applause. While praising Rota for apologizing and stepping down, condemnation came from Jewish organizations such as the Simon Wiesenthal Center and B’nai Brith. (26 Sep)

 

Views: 666

Facepalm Newsoids 29

Ann Coulter Facepalm

Road sign hijacking.

NSFW. May be offensive to some.

In the Montrose neighbourhood of Houston, Texas, an electronic road sign was “hijacked” to read: “Due to Weather Go Fuck Yourself”. The road sign does not belong to Houston Public Works, and the owner has not been found. It has since been turned off by a city inspector. (11 Sep)

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AI In the News. This week, former NBA player for the Orlando Magic, Brandon Hunter, died at age 42 on September 12 following a collapse during a fitness class. MSN used an AI bot to write his obituary, stating “Brandon Hunter useless at 42” in the headline. The rest of the article was even more unintelligible, referring to him as an NBA “participant”, and that he was “handed away” at the age of 42. The bot “reports” that in high school he “acheived vital success as a ahead (sic) of the Bobcats” school team. He also apparently performed in “67 video games” over two seasons. The article was deleted the next day after MSN received complaints. All of these AI problems come on the heels of MSN firing much of its staff of human journalists this past December, to replace them with AI bots. (Sep 14) This is a recurring topic.

Kicking out the ladder from underneath you. American billionaire tycoon and kid at the debating table vying for running mate to Donald Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy, has promised to “gut” the H-1B visa program, dismissing it as a form of “indentured servitude that only benefits the company”. This is after he, himself the child of immigrants, has used that same program 29 times to hire immigrants to enrich his own pharmaceutical company. He has been previously criticized for his restrictionist immigration views. (Sep 16)

Names for your baby. Australian journalist Kirsten Drysdale recently gave birth to a young boy, and named him “Methamphetamine Rules”. It was either that or “Nangs Rule”, she said to reporters. This was part of a stunt to test the naming regulations of the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages in her home province of New South Wales for an article on legal baby names which was aired by the Australian Broadcasting Company on September 20. The stunt backfired, since the name was actually approved, and she is now petitioning to have her son’s name changed into something more normal.  It appears as if the approval of the name was in error, saying that it “slipped through”, and is considered to be a “highly unusual event” that it was approved. Unfortunately, her son’s birth record will now permanently have his first-assigned name, as well as any subsequent name change. (19 Sep)

Wanting to get in on a good thing. After a successful legal battle which resulted in the overpaid Board of Directors of Tesla having to return $700 million in excess compensation to shareholders, the winning lawyers now want $10,ooo per hour in return for their legal services, for a total of $229 million in legal fees, which if appproved, would be the largest legal payout ever in a shareholder lawsuit. There will be a hearing in Deleware set in October to approve this new settlement. Corporate star attorneys typically request a maximum of $2000 per hour, by way of contrast. (21 Sep)

Fight for your right to eviction party. In Berkeley, California, the Property Owners Association (BPOA) there threw a cocktail party at Freehouse Bar, next to Berkeley university campus, in celibration of the end of the eviction moratorium in honor of landlords in the area. It drew protestors, which then resulted in fisticuffs on both sides. Protestors left the venue shortly after the fights broke out. The BPOA says that there were many that could have paid rent but chose not to during the moratorium. But if that were true, that would be fraudulent, and there were few or no convictions of tenants due to fraud to anyone’s knowledge. Berkeley and the surrounding San Francisco Bay area have suffered from high rents and property values for some decades. (13 Sep)

Fined and jailed for eating redneck food. Indonesian food influencer Lina Lutfiawati had garnered thousands of followers on Tik Tok, showcasing food of many  kinds from many cultures. But her most recent consuming of pork rinds on video was too much for the Indonesian Muslim clerics, and she was arrested. Touching pigs is taboo in Indonesian Muslim culture, and is in violation of blasphemy laws. Muslims make up almost 90% of the Indonesian population. (21 Sep)

Boebert steals the show, gets bad reviews.

NSFW. Has sexual content.

Republican congressperson Lauren Boebert, previously known for her verbal catfight in a ladies’ room with her fellow flaky colleague Marjorie Taylor-Greene, among other notable congressional lunacy, has recently been ejected from a theatre showing of the musical Beetlejuice in Denver with her date, a 46 year-old bar owner named Quinn Gallagher – 10 years her senior, for vaping, singing, using her phone to record the show, and mutual masturbation (over the clothes), all caught on surveillance camera, which also showed complaining nearby patrons. Their ejection from the theatre by threat of police being called was accompanied by such hubristic parlance as “Do you know who I am?” and “I’m going to contact the mayor!” Her most recent apology regarding this incident was for her “maybe overtly animated” behaviour at the theatre that day. Political pundit and occasional drama critic Ann Coulter gave the Boebert performance 1 star. (17 Sep)

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Views: 648

Facepalm Newsoids XXVIII

Facepalm Newsoids 28
from Giphy.com

Women’s Bill of Rights. Nebraska is the second state, after Oklahoma, to issue a “Women’s Bill of Rights”. The Nebraska Examiner makes it unclear if any actual women were consulted for this bill, and it does not appear that any actual “rights” are being declared. Govenor Pillen presented this bill more as a way of limiting transgender rights, and appears to mention women only when defining their reproductive anatomy. (Aug 30)

Looks like murder to me. An incident attracted five police cruisers to The North Sea Observatory in Lincolnshire, England on September 8, according to the BBC. Two dog walkers peered into the window of the cafe there, and walked off in a panic, thinking they were seeing a mass ritual murder. It turned out to be a regular, weekly yoga class led by 22 year-old teacher Millie Laws, who liked to turn the lights down, and light candles while her students learned to relax. Police made no arrests.

Robbers rob reporters reporting on a robbery spree. In Chicago, a TV crew was robbed while reporting on a spate of robbery sprees, where 30 victims were targeted within 12 hours. The robbers, wearing ski masks and brandishing guns, got out of a sedan and broke into the work vehicle of the reporters and stole their TV camera. The reporters for CWB Chicago did not say if they were robbed during their reporting of the robberies of the crew that were reporting the robberies. (28 Aug)

The entrepreneurial spirit. San Francisco city commissioner Alex Ludlum sold out his tours, billed as the “Doom Loop Walking Tour”, which sold at $30.00 per person, offering tourists a chance to “get close and personal to the doom and squalor of downtown San Francisco.” While his latest tour was sold out, it was cancelled days later, followed by Ludlum’s resignation. Free tours of the same district had been in existence for some time to those who are curious. (28 Aug)

Man bites testicles. A recurring Newsoids feature are news items of the “man bites dog” variety. 19 year-old Gino Hearn from Ann Arbor, Michigan was refused entrance to a night club, because it was too close to midnight. He assaulted the bouncer, and at one point, grabbed his testicles and bit them.  He has been jailed for multiple other counts of assault, and also for resisting arrest. (29 Aug)

Views: 593

Facepalm Newsoids XXVII

Facepalm Panda. Image from tenor.com

Putin Thinks he’s Milli Vanilli. Putin was asked by the South African government that when attending the BRICS Summit, that he simply attend by videoconference. The reason is that, because South Africa is a member of the World Court, they would be obligated to arrest Putin for war crimes should he turn up on their soil. So six days ago, he shows up on video conference, but he was lip-synching his speech to that of a voice actor, who spoke with a much deeper voice which drew associations to 70s soul singer Barry White. (Aug 22)

Penis Squeezing Not Penalogically Appropriate in a Penal Institution.  Minnesota prisoner Wilbert Glover accused prison guard Richard Paul of squeezing his penis during a strip search. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals determined in its 9 pages of findings that squeezing his penis was not “penalogically necessary”, and constitute an “unreasonable use of force”. A possible interpretation of this ruling is that he should be more gentle next time. (25 Aug)

Latest Findings in Medicine.  According to the UK Daily Mail, doctors are now saying that you shouldn’t toss your kid or ride a child on your shoulders in a room with a ceiling fan. In a recent 8-year period, there were over 20,000 ceiling fan related injuries involving children, according to the medical journal Pediatrics. (18 Aug)

Latest Florida Headlines.  5 young women arrested for intentionally clogging a toilet with toilet paper at a wing joint, leading to a chaotic brawl with employees. (24 Aug) Grade 3 teacher shows up drunk on the first day of school. (24 Aug) Jealous spat leads to girlfriend’s head being dunked in a bucket of tar. (31 Jul) Woman uses cockroach spray to poison man’s drink. (18 Aug) Man arrested in Ocala, Fla., for stuffing $300 worth of Wal-Mart meachandise down his pants. (17 Aug)

Police Blotter. In Daytona Beach, Fla., 38 year-old Nicole Maks murdered her male roommate, and was covered with his blood. She doused herself in Diet Moutain Dew, thinking it would erase the DNA evidence, but she only ended up being covered in blood and a sticky soft drink. She was charged with first-degree murder. (16 Aug) An 83 year-old man in Chester County, Pa, has been charged with murder after fatally shooting his 61 year-old roommate over an argument about a dog. (22 Aug) The Porch Bandit of Georgia. Robin Swinger is being charged with a felony theft of an entire $3000 porch sitting on private property, but not attached to a house. (23 Aug)

Views: 648

Facepalm Newsoids XXVI: AI in the News and other topics

See no BS

AI In the News. Pak ‘n Save is a discount food chain headquartered in Wellington, New Zealand, which has now implemented an AI chatbot, called the “Savey meal bot”, which can purportedly produce recipes. But because the bot can’t tell the difference between what is and isn’t food, it was putting together recipes that were as hilarious as they were dangerous. For example, one person who tried to get it to mix water, bleach and ammonia (the ingredients for producing chlorine gas, a poison), obtained  what the Savey bot offered as an “aromatic water mix”. Other fine recipes Savey invented using user input was “bleach-infused rice surprise”, “mysterious meat stew” (containing human flesh), “ant jelly delight”, made with ant poison, and “methanol bliss”, a french toast concoction that tastes like turpentine. (11 August)

Our trauma-inducing culture. Trustee Melissa Dungan of the Conroe Independent School District in Conroe, Texas showed up at a trustee meeting claiming that a poster showing a black and white child holding hands was a “political display” of the teacher’s “personal ideologies” not relevant to the school curriculum, and that it should be removed. The trustee claimed to have received complaints from a parent that their child was so traumatized by the poster, that he had to switch classrooms. The trustee didn’t seem to know that there were already rules in place to prohibit political posters, and also appeared flummoxed when asked if various Bible verses were also in violation of policy. “I don’t know”, Dungan replied. (10 August)

Innocent while black. Because of a glitch in facial recognition technology, Detroit police knocked on the door and arrested 32 year-old Porcha Woodruff, a woman eight months pregnant, for carjacking, on February 16. Since her arrest, she had been released on $100K bond, and then had the case dismissed by a judge. On August 7, she sued the City of Detroit police services for making a false arrest. There have been six false identificatiions of people based on facial recognition in Detroit, and all of them were of black people.

The Bank is now your landlord. According to the Toronto Star, amortization periods for some mortgages have gone to infinity as the negotiated monthly mortgage payments are no longer enough to cover the increased debt from rising interest rates over time. This means that homeowners, who have made down-payments to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars in a city where property values average over a million dollars, are essentially paying rent, to a bank or a loan company to cover a debt that will go on in perpetuity. Other mortgages have amortization periods of 75 to 90 years, causing owners to have to  pass their debt-ridden homes to their offspring, leaving  their children with unsupportable debt to begin their adult lives (12 August).

Wait, what? American evangelicals are now rejecting the teachings of Jesus, such as “love thy neighbour”, or “turn the other cheek”, as “liberal talking points”. Russel Moore, the former head of the Southern Baptist Convention spoke of how Christianity is in a crisis due to the state of right-wing politics in United States, who now appear to be actually rejecting the teachings of Jesus. Moore called on his evangelical brethren to not go along with the current “church culture” of their ministers. (9 August)

So redneck it hurts. In Sevierville, Tennessee, a suspect named Shawn White, has been taken into custody for stealing a garbage truck which crashed into a store called Tennessee Hot Tubs, located on the Dolly Parton Parkway. White is also a suspect in a stabbing. (7 August)

Which one is the brake? A newly-hired driving instructor in Lakewood, Colorado, working for the “Community Driving School” drove through the window of the driving school, resulting in one minor injury. Police photos show the car, a Hyundai Tucson, embedded in the building underneath a large sign which says “Learn to Drive”. The driver, who was still undergoing instructor training and had not yet taught students, was un-named. (8 August)

Views: 627

Facepalm Newsoids XXV

Facepalm Newsoids XXV
Triple Facepalm. Another one found on KnowYourMeme, with unknown attribution.

Hardcore Barbie, carried to its ultimate futility.  Barbie makes film history as it surpasses $1 billion in revenue at the box office after only 17 days (7 Aug). Over the weekend, I noticed two new words to our lingo that I am aware of: Barbenheimer and Barbiecore. Barbenheimer reflects the oddity that a movie, Oppenheimer, about an atomic bomb and another about a blonde bombshell could be released on the same day, which they were. Barbiecore is the name of the fashion trend which the big money media organs are telling every female to wear now, consisting of a lot of hot pink. And  if you want to Barbiecore (can it be a verb too?) all the way to the core of your being, you can go to Brazil, where you can eat a Burger King hamburger with some pink substance oozing out of the patty, the colour of pink bubblegum. It is Burger King’s Barbie Combo, and the pink sauce appears to be their smoke sauce with some hot pink food coloring. With the combo, you also get a pink milk shake and a pink frosted doughnut. And if you die an early death by consuming those combos with that dodgy day-glo pink sauce, according to NBC News, a funeral home in  Ahuachapán, El Salvador has now jumped on the bandwagon by offering Barbie-themed pink coffins, with images of Barbie under the lid. (14 Jul)

An outbreak of exam violence. Students at Federal University in Dutse, Nigeria threw bottles at the head of a student who refused to let his classmates copy his exam answers which he wrote for environmental management and toxicology. The student hiding the answers, who was never named, was bleeding from his head, and had to be taken to hospital. Eyewitnesses blamed the student for hiding his answers, saying that he had failed to do “the reasonable thing” expected of him. Many more, however, are taking up his cause and are questioning the academic standards and integrity in that institution. The victim has since been released from hospital in stable condition. (29 Jul)

Mea culpa. The FBI began an investigation into which unknown federal agency purchased, against White House orders, spyware from the NSO Group, headquartered in Herzliya, Israel. NSO are the makers of Pegasus “zero click” spyware, which, after allegations of the spyware being sold to authoritarian regimes, as well as other spying scandals, began to scare away investors, and they are now strapped for cash. The US government has blacklisted NSO for quite some time. The government agency, whoever it was, seemed to know that it was doing something wrong, because it set up fake companies to make the purchase. With the investigation going on since at least April, the FBI finally concluded, that the troublesome agency was actually the FBI itself. (31 Jul)

Overheating the southern hemisphere. This blog is written in a northern country, and it is often easy to forget that while I am baking here in the Greater Toronto Area, it is winter south of the equator. I imagine snow in the southern reaches of Argentina and Chile and people skiing in the Andes. But in large swaths of this region, it is far from the case. For example, in Bolivia and Paraguay, where winter is normal this time of year, people are being hit with the hottest start to August in 114 years, with temperatures reaching 39ºC. In Chile, temperatures even broke 40ºC. The southern part of Brazil is also affected by this winter heat dome. Temperatures have been climbing in the region since mid-July. (3 Aug)

 

Views: 199

Facepalm Newsoids XXIV

Clicking on image will take you to the Media Matters website, where this graphic was taken from. This week is choc-a-bloc with political stories.

Confused people fighting for what they want. In Irvine, California, two factions of the Republican Party nearly came to fisticuffs after the Californnia Republican Party changed its rules to award all of its delegates – the most of any state in the country – to any presidential candidate who had more than 50% support in the polls – which in this case nearly guarntees that all of the California delegates will be given over to Donald Trump. The protesting faction, not understanding that they were getting what they wanted, felt that these same rules were being deceptively designed to “screw Donald Trump”, using the words of one of the far-right leaders of the protest, Laura Loomer, who seemed to think that the party was playing some kind of 3-D chess game by giving them everything they wanted. The police had to be called in to break up the protest. (29 Jul)

The sunglasses bandit of Norway. Left-wing party leader Bjørnar Moxnes has resigned his leadership of the Norwegian Red Party after admitting he shoplifted a pair of Hugo Boss sunglasses from a duty-free kiosk in a Norwegian airport, and after being caught on security film. He says he has no explanation.  The party, with 8 seats in the Norwegian government, will now be led by Marie Martinussen as interim leader until 2024. (24 Jul)

I can’t go to China because I tripped and hurt my head. Fijian Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says that, just as he was entering his office in the Fijian Parliament building, he dropped his cell phone, then banged his head on the door as he stooped to pick it up. He had to get bandages and ointment for the bleeding, with the bandage replaced daily until the bleeding subsides, but he admits that people from outside the country have trouble taking him seriously. Over the past few years, China has been trying to increase its influence over Pacific island nations. (26 Jul)

Seniors in the news. 90 year-old senator Diane Feinstein became confused and disoriented during an Appropriations Committee meeting and had to be prodded to make a vote on funding to the Department of Defense. She had been in frail health since her shingles diagnosis back in early March (27 Jul). 81 year-old Senator Mitch McConnel became nearly catatonic for 19 seconds during a routine press conference, after which he had to be escorted away by his doctor who was constantly by his side before and after. He has been Senator for 39 years, serving since 1985, longer than any other Senator in U.S. history. He has served as either the minority leader or majority leader since 2007. (26 Jul)

Dog bites men. Commander, President Joe Biden’s pet german shepherd, has bitten more than 10 Secret Service agents, 7 of them in the past four months. At least one of them had to be hospitalized after receiving bites to his arm and thighs. Secret service is working with the President’s office to change “leashing protocols”, and to change rules for when Commander can run around un-leashed. (25 Jul)

Views: 513

Facepalm Newsoids XXIII

I don’t want to look at your selfie. I have family and kids. Leave me alone.

Cell phones bad for gorillas. The Toronto Star reports that the Toronto Zoo had put a sign up warning patrons not to show any cell phone images to the gorillas, as it appears to be unusually distracting, affecting their relationships with their primate families. They seem to be too enthralled with the cell phones and videos to pay attention to important things around them. Of course, humans don’t have that problem, do they? Do they? (19 Jul)

Look, uh, … I don’t want to invite you to my summit, uh, because I don’t want to have to arrest you, and, like, y’know, that would suck. Russian President Vladamir Putin wants to attend a BRICS economic summit in South Africa. Trouble is, The Republic of South Africa is a signatory to the International Criminal Court, and if Putin shows up on their soil, they are obliged to arrest him for war crimes involving ordering the abduction of children from Ukraine. South Africa’s inaction will strain relations with western and European nations. (14 Jul)

Heat Wave Nomenclature. Heat waves, like hurricanes, are starting to have names, now. Cerebrus is the name given to the heat dome spanning Greece, Italy, Spain, and other countries. Like the names currently being chosen, Cerebrus, a name taken from Dante’s Inferno, is the name given to the multi-headed dog whose role is to prevent the dead from leaving the Third Circle of Hell. In the Spanish city of Seville, Xenia is the second named heat wave for them: last year it was Zoe. (9 Jul)

The price of Tomatoes in India. Due to the heat waves and monsoons happening out of sync with normality, supplies of tomatoes in India have been shrinking, with some stores hiring security guards to prevent haggling. Tomatoes are a staple of the Indian diet, used in butter chicken and tomato chutney, among a host of other dishes. In some parts of India, the shortage has caused prices to shoot up as high as 500%. Other areas are hit worse, seeing a rise from 13 cents per pound to 91 cents. Restaurants have been removing tomatoes as an ingredient from their menus and salads. Even McDonald’s across the northern part of India has dropped tomatoes from its burgers. In India, when comparing kilos to litres, 1 kg of tomatoes are double the price of 1L of gasoline, on average. (21 Jul)

The Surfboard Bandit of Santa Cruz.  In California, a 5 year-old female sea otter has been growing agressive around humans, and stealing their surfboards, riding on top of them to catch a few waves, and sometimes damaging them by biting chunks out of them. Wildlife officials are trying to place her somewhere away from humans. California sea otters are currently an endangered species. (12 July)

Views: 564

Facepalm Newsoids XXII

Turbo facepalm. This meme has been around for years, but has no attribution that I can find. Knowyourmeme.com is where this graphic originated, and they give no history.

Giving one the thumbs-up is enough. The Saskatchewan Court of King’s Bench has ruled in favour of Kent Micklebourough, a grain purchaser working on behalf of South West Terminal (SWT), a grain operator based in Gull Lake, Saskatchewan, in a dispute over a shipment of flax. Justice J. T. Keene ordered Chris Achter, a farmer from Swift Current, to pay SWT $82,000 for failure to deliver 86 metric tonnes of flax before a target date after which prices rose. Achter asserted that after a negotiation over text messaging, he acknowledged he received a contract, by way of a “thumbs-up” emoji (👍). However Justice Keene had a different opinion. The thumbs-up emoji, according to Keene, met signature requirements, and he thus ordered Achter to pay the $82,000, citing a “new reality in Canadian Society”, where we communicate with emojis even when discussions get serious, businesslike, or personal. Acheter’s lawyers argued that this could open a Pandora’s box, but Acheter has not yet announced his next move. (5 July) (court record)

Poor Judgement for a Side Hustle. New Jersey superior court judge Gary N. Wilcox is under investigation after being seen on various Tik Tok videos lip-synching to rap tunes, while dressed in his judge robes. Many of these tunes contained profanity, racist terms, and misogynist lyrics. What is at issue here is that he appears to “demonstrate disrespect for the judiciary and an inability to conform to the high standards of conduct expected of judges.” (5 July)

Fight over a duck, but we don’t want to talk about it. In Poole, England, a man and a woman were seen fighting for possession of a duck, with the struggle leading to both wrestling each other to the ground in the middle of the road, trying to get the duck from each other. It is not known who the two people are, and fellow residents of Poole who spoke to reporters requested anonymity. (7 July)

The worst 4 hours of her life. On Sunday 2 June, Mitchelville, IA resident Wendy Hansen received a notification that her house was on fire. She raced to her home by motorcycle, but got into an accident and suffered from broken bones and bruises. After she arrived in hospital by ambulance, a doctor in emergency noticed something unusual, and ultimately had to diagnose her with kidney cancer. Hansen’s only ray of hope shone when she was told it was an early diagnosis, and the cancer was treatable, but would require the removal of a kidney.

Man Shoots Horse. We have had a number of headlines in our early installments of Facepalm Newsoids, such as “man bites dog”, “dog bites man”, “man bites man”, and the like, and now to our collection we add “man shoots horse”. John Victor Russell, age 75, a prizewinning horse breeder, and well-known in North Carolina, got into an argument with his son. While they were outdoors in their horse ranch, the son got on a horse, and while the father intended to shoot his son, he instead fatally shot the horse. It is not clear what the argument was about, and the son was unharmed. Nevertheless, Russell’s ranch became a crime scene. Police are investigating. (11 July)

Woman Punches Bear. A woman form Porter, Maine, 64 year-old Lynn Kelly, was working in her backyard when her dog ran into the woods, and came back being chased by a bear. The bear bit Kelly, and she punched the bear in the nose, after which the bear let go and ran back into the woods, leaving puncture wounds on her wrist. (2 July) This is likely an annual event, since at least 2022. The Huffington Post reports on October 23, 2022 that another woman, this time from Washington state, was knocked down by another bear and it too ran off after being punched in the nose. The woman was un-named, but sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The bear was later killed by wildlife authorities. The bear was the mother of two cubs, which were taken to a rehabilitation facility. The last fatal bear attack in Washington was 49 years ago.

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Facepalm Newsoids XXI: Old for high school

Facepalmbook. Click on graphic to go to the source of this week’s graphic.

Re-living High School. Former social worker, 32 year-old Shelby Hewitt forged documents to enroll in three different high schools in the Boston area. A woman shrouded in mystery, the New York Times was not able to get officials from the Massachusetts Department of Families where Shelby worked from 2016 to this year, to say why she was no longer employed. She was charged with three counts of forging sets of documents for three different high schools. According to the Times, “At English High School, she went by Ellie. At Jeremiah E. Burke High School, she introduced herself as Daniella.” She had also registered at Brighton High School, also in the Boston area. The police have not been able to determine a motive. Of concern to administrators and superintendents is that, by being in high-school, she would be in many age-inappropriate settings with cohorts some decades her junior. WCVB News in Boston spoke to her father, and he mentioned that Shelby is working through some mental health issues. Investigations and interviews of staff and students by administrators are on-going. (29 June)

Mom Influencers in the News. Instagram “Mom Influencer” Katie Sorenson, age 30, reported to Sonoma County Police about how a couple tried to kidnap her two kids while at a store in Petaluma, California, back in 2020; and then later, making a “vlog” about it on Instagram. The whole story was a fabrication. She was convicted at Sonoma county court yesterday on a misdemeanour of making a false report. She gets 90 days in jail, but must refrain from social media for 12 months, and must submit to warantless search and seizure of her electronic devices. The video in question has since been deleted. (30 June)

The Cage Match of the Year Week Moment. In the spirit of getting in a fight after school, Zuck and Musk have agreed to duke it out in a cage match, possibly in Las Vegas. Mark Zuckerberg, head of Facebook, is 39 years old; while Elon Musk is age 52 and who is not known for his interest in sports or regular training. The two tech billionaires are in different weight classes, as well, with Musk being about 70 pounds heavier than his rival Zuck. Some in both organizations had felt that this wouldn’t exactly be the best use of their time. (1 July)

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