July 2011 - Posts

Flash mobs have become a craze thanks to social media and people's willingness to perform. But they've now taken a sinister turn. A new trend has emerged.


Flash robs has dozens of people showing up at retail and convenience stores not to dance, but to commit a crime.


The planned thefts are organized through Facebook or some other social media, and sometimes dozens of young people show up and rob the store. The startling thing is that none of them conceal their identities, and many casually peruse the items in the store, carefully choosing what they will steal, in full view of surveillance cameras. The videos are popping up all over YouTube, and the robberies are occurring all over the country.


Retailers are understandably concerned about losing merchandise and employee safety. In one flash rob, in a convenience store, one of those robbing the store took a few swings at an employee as he was leaving with the rest of the mob of thieves. 


Police say the incidents can quickly turn violent because of "mob mentality" and are thus concerned. But they also say it's not that difficult to catch most of the culprits, since they don't seem concerned about hiding their identities from the cameras.


That people would stoop to this type of behavior for a "rush" or for a little camera time is disgusting. People are going to get hurt, and money is going to be lost for the retailers who are hit. And guess who will be paying for their losses – the honest consumer, struggling already with paying the bills and providing for the family.


Here's a video about this disturbing trend: http://tempuri.org/tempuri.html

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The Advertising Standards Authority in Britain struck a blow for facially-challenged women everywhere this week when they banned two makeup advertisements that the group found overly airbrushed and misleading.


An ad featuring actress Julia Roberts, along with one featuring model Christy Turlington, exaggerated the results women could expect from using those particular products, so sayeth the authority. The photographs show Roberts and Turlington promoting foundation sold by Lancome and Maybelline, two L'Oreal brands.


The move was seen as a step forward in an ongoing battle against retouching of photos in beauty-related ads in Britain.


OK. Let's think this thing through. Women buy makeup to cover up their flaws. When women look at the photographs of models wearing the makeup, they expect the models to look beyond good. The models better be glowing and downright gorgeous, or no woman in her right mind is going to go out and buy the makeup. That is the way it has worked since dinosaurs roamed the L'Oreal factory.


If women start to see images of models with zits, red patches and other skin imperfections, it will impact sales, don't you think?


Sure, the images of stick-thin models have impacted women in a negative way. But leave the perfect images of those makeup models alone. No matter how big your backside is, you can still be a Cover Girl. Let the women dream. 



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There are no words...except maybe, poor guy.

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Americans need hobbies. Real ones that take skill and time to master. Ones that take the average person away from the Internet and television, and make them want to put down the smartphones and tablets.


A few months ago, the trend was planking, which involves lying on your stomach, face down, arms stiffly at your side and legs stretched out. The idea is to "plank" somewhere unusual, take a picture and post it online. The craze was everywhere. For a while.


These days, it's owling. Why owling? Because planking is so two months ago.


Owling is just about crouching in odd locations and acting like an owl for a photograph. This phenomenon even has a Facebook page, which currently has more than 16,500 likes, and has posts from around the world. 


Both trends are all over YouTube and Twitter. 


But wait…there's more. There's a new twist in which people act like teapots. Yep. Here is my handle, here is my spout. Snap that photo and post it online. 


Then there's coning. This one involves going through a drive-thru at your favorite place that serves ice cream cones and ordering a cone. The trick here is that when the cone is handed to you, you grab it by the ice cream and not the cone. 


If none of those appeal to you, you can go balling (posing while curled up like a ball, face in your lap, arms around your knees), pillaring (standing like a pillar, nose up in the air), or toothpicking (standing on your head and pointing your toes to look like a toothpick, arms by your side). 


May we suggest a new trend? We'd love to see people monkeying. Yep. Monkeying. Hang from trees and tire swings. Pick unseen insects off each other. Fling poo.


Yes, that's it. Act like a monkey, take pictures of yourself and post them online. Oh, wait…that's so two months ago.


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The music industry was rocked with the news in recent days that 27-year-old Amy Winehouse was found dead in her apartment. No drugs were found near her, and it was announced today that there was no foul play involved.


When news broke of the singer's death, it was immediately assumed that drugs had been involved, since Winehouse's issues with drugs and alcohol have received about the same amount of press as her two albums.


Winehouse was found dead on July 23 at 4 p.m. at her home in London, and reports indicate that she was dead up to six hours before her body was found. She had last been heard from at about 10 a.m. that day, when she spoke to her security team. 


Although the results of an autopsy were inconclusive, drugs are listed as an unlikely cause of death, since Winehouse was seen by her doctor the day before she died, and was given the all-clear. There was no evidence of any drugs present in her home at the time of her death. But past battles with drugs and alcohol had left the singer frail, and she had been regularly checking in with her physician. Toxicology results are not expected for two to four weeks.


Winehouse is the latest addition to the 27 Club, which includes Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain. All died at the age of 27. All were addicts, just like Winehouse. 


The Twitterverse has been full of speculation about the cause of Winehouse's death, with rumors rampant that she died of a cocktail of alcohol and Ecstasy. Her mother said she'd seen her the day before and the singer seemed "out of it." There have also been rampant jokes that Winehouse should have gone to rehab, a reference to one of her more famous recordings.


Regardless of how she died, you can't deny Winehouse's talent. She won five Grammys and three Ivor Novello awards, among many others. She sold thousands of records, and did so by seamlessly blending old R&B with the music of jazz crooners, all while making it sound fresh and classic.


Whether you liked Winehouse and her music or not, you have to admire the fact that everything she did, she did without compromise. Pop stars come a dime a dozen, all cut from the same mold. But there will always be only one Amy Winehouse. 




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We don't know about you, but knowing there are criminals like this out there, well, it just makes us feel a wee bit safer.


• A woman faces DUI charges after police said she was riding her motorized wheelchair in a mobile home part while intoxicated. 


• A 32-year-old manned was arrested on charges of drug and drug paraphernalia possession. He was originally pulled over for not wearing his seat belt. During a search, the man told deputies, "Let me show you where the needles are. I don't want anyone getting stuck." Officers found a backpack that held marijuana, four pills and 28 syringes.


• A mailman stashed more than 31,000 undelivered parcels and letters at his home because he was too drunk to complete his rounds. The man was put under surveillance by the post office because of complaints, and once post office officials saw his behavior – starting work at noon and ending at 2, already drunk with many pieces of mail left to deliver – the police were called in. He admitted he hadn't delivered the mail, but said he had every intention of delivering it – once he sobered up.


And perhaps our favorite of the week…


• A pair of robbers entered a smoke shop in Altadena, Calif, guns drawn, demanding cash. Video taken at the store clearly shows the pair, one wearing a ski mask and the other wearing a hooded sweatshirt with the hood up, were met by one very angry chihuahua. The dog barked at the men and chased them out of the store, after the men received only a small amount of cash from the clerk. The dog continued to chase them down the street. No one was injured, and police in the area are still looking for the men. 


The chihuahua expects to receive his medal of honor any day now. Well…we don't really know this. But he should get a medal. That's one gutsy pooch.

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The nominations for MTV's Video Music Awards 2011 have been announced, and the list gives us the chance to do a couple of things: First, we get to dust off our Kanye West jokes (Imma let you finish…) and second, we get to wonder what kind of confectionary delight Katy Perry will use to cover her breasts for this performance.


Personally, we're hoping she tries to top Lady Gaga's rump steak ensemble. Here is a partial list of the nominees:


VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Adele, 'Rolling in the Deep'
Tyler, The Creator, 'Yonkers'
Katy Perry, 'Firework'
Bruno Mars, 'Grenade'
Beastie Boys, 'Make Some Noise'


BEST FEMALE VIDEO
Adele, 'Rolling in the Deep'
Katy Perry, 'Firework'
Beyonce, 'Run the World (Girls)'
Nicki Minaj, 'Super Bass'
Lady Gaga, 'Born This Way'


BEST MALE VIDEO
Cee Lo Green, 'F**k You'
Eminem feat. Rihanna, 'Love the Way You Lie'
Bruno Mars, 'Grenade'
Kanye West feat. Rihanna & Kid Cudi, 'All of the Lights'
Justin Bieber, 'U Smile'


BEST HIP HOP VIDEO
Lil Wayne feat. Cory Gunz,  '6’7’'
Kanye West feat. Rihanna & Kid Cudi, 'All of the Lights'
Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes, 'Look at Me Now'
Nicki Minaj, 'Super Bass'
Lupe Fiasco, 'The Show Goes On'


BEST NEW ARTIST
Foster the People, 'Pumped Up Kicks'
Wiz Khalifa, 'Black and Yellow'
Tyler, The Creator, 'Yonkers'
Big Sean feat. Chris Brown, 'My Last'
Kreayshawn, 'Gucci Gucci'


BEST POP VIDEO
Adele, 'Rolling in the Deep'
Bruno Mars, 'Grenade'
Pitbull feat. NE-YO, Nayer & Afrojack, 'Give Me Everything'
Katy Perry, 'Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)'
Britney Spears, 'Till the World Ends'


BEST ROCK VIDEO
The Black Keys, 'Howlin for You'
Foo Fighters, 'Walk'
Foster the People, 'Pumped Up Kicks'
Mumford & Sons, 'The Cave'
Cage the Elephant, 'Shake Me Down'


BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
Beyonce, 'Run the World (Girls)'
Britney Spears, 'Till the World Ends'
Lady Gaga, 'Judas'
Bruno Mars, 'The Lazy Song'
LMFAO feat. Lauren Bennett & GoonRock, 'Party Rock Anthem'


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First, there was the receipt from Walmart. You know, the one the couple from Anderson, SC got that bears an image that reportedly looks like Jesus?


Haven't heard about that one? Well, the couple did a little shopping at their neighborhood Walmart, and three days later, one of them picked up the receipt from that day from the floor of their apartment, and on it was the face of Jesus. 


The couple was so struck by it that they called the store to ask how the image could have gotten there. They were told the only way the receipt paper could have become discolored like that was if it was heated.


Cue the angels.


Now a couple in Moore, Okla. has discovered an image of the Virgin Mary. In their bathroom.


You see, the couple recently installed new tiles in their shower, and after the job was all finished, they noticed the image on one of the tiles. But they're not removing it for fame and glory. They're leaving it in place, so it won't be damaged.


Images of both the tile and the receipt have made the rounds on the Internet. 


We're expecting to hear from someone else in a southern state very soon, that has seen the face of Jesus in a grilled cheese sandwich. Grilled Cheesus…?


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There are just no words...

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OK…let us make sure we understand this one. 


A woman in Bonner Springs, Kan. threw tea bottles into her neighbor's yard every day for two years. The guy takes pictures of it and submits them to the local sheriff's office. The woman is arrested and she was charged with four counts of misdemeanor littering, which each had a fine of $250. 


That's it?! Really??


If you think she should have gotten a more harsh punishment, here's why it didn't happen – the judge read a letter she submitted, which stated she has a problem with "impulse control." He took that into consideration when imposing the fines.


Seriously? This woman obviously has an issue with impulse control…as do most people who commit crimes. Hello!


We can't believe this judge even spent a second considering this cockamamy excuse. The dude had proof that his neighbor was purposely littering on his property. The judge should have just looked at the case as one of those cut-and-dry things. But instead, he got all sympathetic. 


The neighbor said he was happy with the outcome, but just didn't understand why he was targeted or why she littered on Earth Day and Easter, along with every other day of the year, for two years. 


We don't get it either, dude. We really don't. 

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A few years ago, it was widely reported that redheads were going extinct. This sent panic through the ginger universe. Genetic scientists claimed there would be no more redheads as early as 2060.


The idea behind the rumor which, by the way, isn't true, is that the recessive gene that causes red hair will eventually die out. This story has made the rounds before, but the idea that a recessive gene can die out is bogus. Recessive genes can become rare, but don't disappear completely unless everyone carrying that gene dies or fails to reproduce. 


So while being a redhead may be a rarity, barring global catastrophe, redheads aren't going anywhere.


Red hair is caused by a mutation in the melanocortin 1 receptor gene. It's a recessive trait, so it takes both parents passing on a mutated version of the MC1R gene to produce a redheaded child. Because it's a recessive trait, red hair can easily skip a generation. It can then reappear after skipping one or more generations if both parents, no matter their hair color, carry the red hair gene.


Red hair is found in all ethnic backgrounds, but is most commonly associated with people of Celtic descent. One of the common myths about redheads is that they come equipped with bad tempers. So the so-called scientists better watch out when they speak of ginger extinction. 


Patricia Monaghan, a Celtic myth expert, wrote, "She has no name, the red-haired girl from the bog, but she is easy enough to identify, for old legends declare than anything red and white is fairy born. Her dancing partners should have recognized their danger, for red-haired girls with milky skin, and anyone resembling them, are omens of ill fortune. A mere glance from a red-haired girl can kill a horse or a man."


Watch what you predict, ye scientific types. Redheads are rare, but they stick together.



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In just a few days, the world will say good by to The Boy Who Lived, as the final Harry Potter movie hits theaters worldwide. The wildly popular series of books became movies that allowed the world to see the characters grow and develop, as well as the actors who played them.


Over the years, fans of the series have become more and more fanatical, often dressing like their favorite characters and standing in line for hours to experience the latest adventures of Harry, Hermione and Ron as they attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.


MTV News, in celebration of the last film's release this week, held a Harry Potter World Cup, asking fans to determine who is the greatest Harry Potter character of all time. Sixty-four characters were pitted against one another and, in the end, 7.4 million votes were cast.


Think Harry Potter won? Think again.


The man all Gryffindors love to hate – Professor Severus Snape – was crowned the winner. Alan Rickman, who played Snape throughout the films, said he won't miss anything about playing the character because Snape was such a complete character to play.


"To go back, I don't know what the scenario would be. It's been so much about he appears to be one thing and then you find out a bit more about him as time goes on," Rickman said.


The final round of the contest came down to Snape and Ron Weasley, which would surprise most people. We would have guessed Headmaster Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter would have dueled in the final round. 


Rickman was presented a silver trophy on the red carpet at the U.S. screening of the film. 


Severus Snape…our new celebrity.

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A judge in Daytona Beach has ordered the city to pay a $195,000 settlement to four exotic dancers and to female bartenders who claim they were illegally strip-searched during a drug raid in September 2009.


The six were employees at Biggens Gentleman's Club. One of the dancers was found to be carrying a marijuana cigarette, but the charges were later dropped. No drugs were found on any of the others.


Each of the women will receive $5,000, and the rest of the money will go to pay attorney's fees. 


The women were searched in front of 20 male officers, despite strip-search law that states that observers of a strip-search must be the same gender as the arrestee.


When we first read this story, we wanted to ask the obvious snarky question: Exactly where would a stripper hide a marijuana cigarette? Then there's the obvious comment, "Define 'strip' search, please."


But after reading the entire story, we were angry that these women were subjected to this. It's highly likely that the reason they were subjected to this type of strip-search was simply because they are strippers. And was it really necessary for 20 officers to watch? This is a blatant disregard for the humanity of these women and a complete violation of their rights.


There's only one thing that would make us feel better about the whole situation. While we are glad the women won their case, we feel the cops should all be hauled into the strip club and made to work that pole for a night. That ought to give them a good taste of what it feels like to have people staring at you while you're in a humiliating situation.


That would make even Lady Justice grin a little.

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This week's edition of dumb criminals isn't dedicated to the exploits of the dumb criminal – but instead to the stupid cops out there. 


Before we do so, however, we want to emphasize that we appreciate what our law enforcement personnel do for us each day, and we recognize that those among them who are labeled as less than the brightest crayon in the box are certainly among the minority.


• First up, three cops were caught smoking confiscated pot in a police van. They were parked in the parking lot of a softball field where their police department was holding a softball tournament. The stoned cops even tried to run, but were caught up with by their peers, who quickly placed them under arrest.


• A cop in Denver ordered some fast food at a drive-thru, but didn't receive his order as quickly as he wanted. So he pulled a gun on the clerk. He was charged with prohibited use of a weapon, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct. And he didn't get his burger.


• An officer in Indiana was stopped on his boat by another officer because he didn't have the proper lighting on his boat. Instead of paying the fine and following the law, the officer decided revenge was the better way to go. He got drunk, put on his uniform, got in a squad car and tracked down the officer who cited him. Needless to say, he got more than a fine.


• A cop in Georgia was charged with burglary when he was caught breaking into a neighbor's home for a PlayStation, which he said was his. The officer was wearing his uniform at the time of the burglary.


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Topics specific to the Casey Anthony verdict were at the top of the trending list this week. One of the most used was "#notguilty." A Pennsylvania cake maker is now in hot water because it used the hash tag.


A person representing Entenmann's cake makers Bimbo Bakeries, based in Horsham, Pa., posted a tweet that read, "Who's #notguilty about eating all the tasty treats they want?" It appeared to evoke the not guilty verdict of Anthony's trial, which caused the Twitterverse to blow up after the verdict was announced. 


After a lot of negative response, the company removed the posting, and posted an apology to its Twitter account, saying the person who posted it didn't realize that a connection would be made between the post and the Anthony verdict.


Who are these people kidding? Didn't realize there would be a connection? Come on. Really??


The person that wrote that post knew exactly what he or she was doing. The verdict was out, and the person decided to get a little attention for the Entenmann's brand. But the thing is, the post got a lot of attention – and the attention was negative. In other words, the person's little ploy backfired.


To the good people at Bimbo (interesting name, by the way) Bakeries, we implore you to make another apology. Only this time, please apologize for insulting our intelligence. You knew what you were doing. You're just sorry you got caught.

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