Reality and Sanity

July 1, 2007

A Mind Sorely In Need of a Critical Thinking Lesson

Filed under: Stupid People Tricks — Paul @ 8:11 am

Sometimes, all you can ask is, “What the hell was he thinking?”

The headline of this story shows how far some minds are off the road: Man Beats Peacock He Says Was Vampire.

No, I’m not making this up.

NEW YORK (AP) – A peacock that roamed into a fast-food restaurant parking lot was attacked by man who vilified the bird as a vampire, animal-control authorities said.

Beaten so fiercely that most of his tail feathers fell out, the bird was euthanized, said Richard Gentles, a spokesman for the city’s Center for Animal Care and Control.

“It’s just unbelievable that someone would do something to a poor, defenseless animal and do it in such a cruel fashion,” he said.

The peacock, a male several years old, wandered into a Staten Island Burger King parking lot and perched on a car hood Thursday morning. Charmed employees had been feeding him bread when the man appeared.

He seized the iridescent bird by the neck, hurled it to the ground and started kicking and stomping the creature, said worker Felicia Finnegan, 19.

“He was going crazy,” she said.

Asked what he was doing, she said, the attacker explained, “‘I’m killing a vampire!'”

Is there an iota of logic here?

If the peacock really was a vampire (which it wasn’t) how about using the traditional defenses: a cross, garlic, wooden stake through the heart? If the peacock really was a vampire, would it assume human form and beat his ass to a pulp? The story doesn’t mention another factor that could be in play, like, say this happened in broad daylight?

“He was going crazy,” she said.

There was no ‘going’ about it. He is crazy.

I hope the cops do find that guy, not only to face the consequences of his actions, but to get his delusional ass off the street before he hurts himself, anyone else or anything else.


June 26, 2007

A Lack of Critical Thinking

Filed under: Stupid People Tricks — Paul @ 6:49 am

This is what happens when minds are not filled with the wonder of discovery paired with skepticism to keep brains from falling out: Buried ‘Aliens’ Are Really Tree Trunks.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – Malaysians in a northern village were alarmed by rumors that space aliens had been laid to rest in their neighborhood cemetery, but authorities learned the graves had merely been filled with banana tree trunks for a superstitious ritual, police said Tuesday.

Residents feared a local witch doctor had instructed grave diggers to bury extraterrestrials in the rural district of Pasir Mas on Sunday, causing police to detain the man for investigation, said district police chief Haliludin Rahim.

The man was freed after he explained that banana tree trunks, not aliens, had been buried in a ceremony for “medicinal purposes,” Haliludin told The Associated Press.

June 25, 2007

Was This On A Bet?

Filed under: Stupid People Tricks — Paul @ 12:38 pm

How else could you explain this guy: Nude bather arrested at Spanish Steps.

ROME (Reuters) – A 22-year-old American man was arrested on Sunday after an early morning naked bath in the historic Barcaccia fountain at the foot of Rome’s Spanish Steps, an Italian news agency reported.The man stripped and bathed in the 17th century Baroque fountain in front of a crowd of tourists, before being led away by police, AGI news agency said.

He faces charges of committing an obscene act, it said.

Wrong counntry, wrong fountain. He should have climbed into the Place de la Concorde fountain on the Champs-Élysées in France and declared himself a performance artist.

June 21, 2007

Headline of the Day

Filed under: General Nonsense, Stupid People Tricks — Paul @ 1:12 pm

Ugly Fish Is Seen As Aphrodisiac.

The hagfish is a bottom feeder so repulsive it had a cameo on TV’s “Fear Factor.” It slimes its enemies, has rows of teeth on its tongue, and feeds on the innards of rotting fish by penetrating any orifice. But cooked and served on a plate, it is considered an aphrodisiac in South Korea.

So how repulsive is it?

The 14- to 18-inch hagfish looks like an eel. In fact, there is debate over whether it is really a fish. The 300 million-year-old creature has no jaws and one nostril. Essentially blind, it dwells in the dark more than 1,000 feet down.

“The average person would be disgusted just by looking at them,” said Mark Crossland, a state Fish and Game warden. “The product is difficult to deal with and handle – it’s a little eel that once it gets stressed it excretes this slime.”

In mass quantities:

As if its looks weren’t enough of a turnoff, hagfish, when agitated, vomit and secrete a protein that reacts with seawater to create a thick mucus.

A single animal can turn a five-gallon bucket of seawater into a pool of goo in a matter of moments, said Eddie Kisfaludy of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. While the slime distracts predators, it also occasionally suffocates the hagfish.

And they use this as an aphrodisiac.

Makes me shrivel up. Gah.

June 18, 2007

Woman Wins $29,000 for Topless Stroll

Filed under: Stupid People Tricks — Paul @ 10:56 am

Just go read it and see the picture.

She’s not my type. How come no one I want to see topless in public supports this?

June 12, 2007

How Far The Bobbies Have Fallen

Filed under: Stupid People Tricks — Paul @ 5:50 pm

From Reason’s Brickbats, emphasis mine:

British car theft victims have been told they must pay the police at least £105 if they want them to actually check it for evidence. In theory, the charge is for storage after it is found, but only those who pay it are assured the police will dust it for fingerprints or check for DNA or other evidence.

Submitted with only this comment: The British police force, once the envy of the world, are now a disgrace, unwilling to prosecute entire classes of crime.

June 9, 2007

Brickbat Roundup

A few selected stories from Reason’s Brickbats, with my commentary and analysis:

Police in West Midlands, England, say they received numerous complaints about anti-social behavior in one neighborhood. The behavior in question: children playing hopscotch on the sidewalk.

Oh, come on.

Legislation expected to pass in Scotland would require shops selling swords, machetes, and other nondomestic knives to have a special license and to record all sales. The sale of swords—except to museums, historical re-enactors, fencers, and the like—will be banned.

Are they going to ban fabrication also? Swords and machetes, utilizing modern techniques, are not hard to make.

Police in Preston, England, are asking local officials to ban “vertical drinking” in bars. Drinking while standing, they say, contributes to violence and other anti-social behavior.

So sitting down makes all the difference. Apparently these people have never seen any of numerous movies where overturned bar chairs are a prelude to violence and other anti-social behavior.

The Board of Commissioners in Gwinnett County, Georgia, has banned mobile taco stands. Commissioners say the move is aimed at boosting business in shopping centers. “I’m all for capitalism,” Commissioner Bert Nasuti explained. “But there’s a right way and a wrong way.”

And the right way is lining the pockets of your biggest taxpayers. I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that some board members have a vested interest in the shopping malls as member business owners or as mall owners.

If you can’t beat ’em, outlaw them.

In Great Britain, government officials say hospitals are too efficient. At least six of the nation’s health trusts have forced hospitals to create minimum waiting times for patients to receive treatment. Officials say the hospitals have “gotten ahead” of what the National Health Service can afford.

And that, my friends, is why we don’t need HillaryCare.

“My husband’s appendix is about to explode!”

“Sorry. We have a mandatory three-day waiting period for new patients. Come back on Monday.”

Three NYPD officers have pleaded not guilty to breaking into a Brooklyn massage parlor, ripping out a surveillance camera, and stealing a videotape. They apparently were trying to destroy evidence that a previous prostitution bust at the massage parlor was based on lies by one of the officers. But a backup security system caught their break-in, and part of the massage parlor’s security system was reportedly found in the desk of Lt. Stephen Wong. Wong is the vice integrity control officer for the unit, responsible for keeping officers honest.

I smell a new Law and Order episode.

Security guards at the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Air Academy High School handcuffed and detained three cheerleaders before a football game. Guards had allegedly spotted the three putting paper over the first five letters of a sign reading “Douglassville Valley Elementary School.” The girls were released to their parents; no charges were filed.

Heh-heh-heh. To be 17 again…

Four eighth-grade girls in Marion, Indiana, were suspended from school for five days. They say it’s because they all wore matching outfits one day, and school officials thought that if they were dressed alike they must be in a gang. Principal Michael Shaffer told local media the girls were suspended for violating school rules, but he refused to say what rules they broke.

No profiling gong on here.

Margaret Lieder meant to dial 411 for information. She accidentally dialed 911, but she promptly hung up when she realized she’d made a mistake. A dispatcher called her back to say that police were on the way. When the North Vancouver, Canada, officers got there, Lieder tried to explain the mistake. Despite not having a warrant, they insisted on searching the house. Lieder refused, but the officers refused to take no for an answer; five officers broke down the door and arrested Lieder and her partner, Larry Pierce, for obstruction of justice. Pierce says that officers threw him to the floor, twisting his arm behind his back, and that one jumped on him and put a knee into his ribs, breaking two of them.

All this would probably have been avoided if Lieder had simply explained to the dispatcher her mistake before hanging up the first time. Cops have no idea who’s who or what’s what, so if someone dials and hangs up, that could be someone trying to dial for help that an assailant to working to prevent.

That said, the cops did overreact a tad. No warrant? Obstruction of justice arrests?

Early one morning in Newport, England, a speed camera snapped a photo of Tom Matthews’ 12-year-old cab. He later received a notice informing him he’d exceeded the 30-mile-per-hour speed limit—by about 390 miles per hour. “I drive an old Cavalier—not a jumbo jet,” Matthews told the London Sun. “According to this, I’ve broken the land speed record.”

I didn’t realize the Salt Flats were located in Newport, England.

The coaches of many women’s basketball teams believe that practicing against men makes women better competitors. But the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics says such practices violate the spirit of Title IX, the federal law that mandates equality for school athletics. The committee recommends that the NCAA ban all male practice players from women’s sports.

Title IX is was an idea that is good on paper, but proven disastrous in reality. Throw in the gaggle of fools that is the NCAA, and you get idiot rulings like this one.

One more story, submitted without comment because the jokes write themselves:

British police have almost 3 million DNA profiles on file, covering about 6 percent of the U.K.’s population. But that’s not enough for Dave Johnston, head of the Metropolitan Police’s Homicide and Serious Crimes unit. He wants samples taken from all babies. “We have 300,000 unsolved cases where we have taken a profile at a crime scene but have not yet matched it,” he said. Johnston did not say how many babies he suspects may have committed those crimes.

June 8, 2007

Cops Raid Wrong Place, Kick Man in Groin

Filed under: Stupid People Tricks — Paul @ 5:33 pm

Can you imagine if Dick Wolf uses this story as the latest Law and Order “Ripped From the Headlines?” Cops Raid Wrong Place, Kick Man in Groin.

I can see Lt. Anita Van Buren throwing a hissy fit. It. Would. Be. Hilarious.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) – Annapolis police raided the wrong apartment Wednesday night, using flash grenades and kicking a resident in the groin before they realized their mistake, police and the family said.

Police spokesman Hal Dalton said something must have gone amiss in the briefing beforehand. “We don’t know how the mistake was made,” Dalton said.

Silvia Bernal, 30, told The (Annapolis) Capital that about 15 officers burst through the front door of her apartment while she was cooking dinner about 8:20 p.m. She said the officers kicked her husband in the groin while she fled into a bedroom and barred the door with her body.

Then she said both of them were taken to the ground and handcuffed. The Capital said a police officer went outside and realized they had raided the wrong residence.

Dalton said they were supposed to have raided a different apartment and said the incident was regrettable.

Spa Cove apartment manager Latisha Marshall says there is a large dent in the front door. And she said there are two large black stains from the flash-bang grenades police deployed after entering the apartment.

And after all that, here’s the best part:

When officers and the city’s tactical squad went to the right unit, they said it was empty.

Not Again!

Filed under: Stupid People Tricks — Paul @ 5:26 pm

Some people just shouldn’t choose to be parents. Or, at least choose not to vicariously live through their offspring, and set such a bad example: Mom Accused of Attacking Baseball Coach.

PRINCETON, La. (AP) – A woman has been arrested for attacking a coach after finding out her daughter had not made the Little League all-star team, sheriff’s deputies said.Sherry Savage, 30, allegedly grabbed a baseball bat and started toward the female coach.

Someone snatched the bat away, but Savage is still accused of slapping coach Gina O’Neal in the face before the two wound up in a wrestling match, deputies said.

May 30, 2007

The Obligatory Allison Stokke Post

Filed under: Stupid People Tricks — Paul @ 5:21 pm

Until Dan Shanoff mentioned her, I had no idea she existed. (Scroll down to the bottom of the post.)

Dan probably wouldn’t have brought her up if the sports blogs hadn’t written about it…after she talked to the Washington Post.

So of course I had to research the big hullaballo by doing a Google search.

I agree with Deadspin: if Allison and her father don’t want the attention, I suggest in the future they not grant interviews to the second-largest paper in the country.

For aesthetic value, I prefer this Allison over this Allison.

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