September 2011 - Posts

It's Freaky Friday once again, and today we celebrate the, um, "special talents" of those less-than-intelligent crooks out there.


• A Pennsylvania couple desperate for money for their wedding concocted what they thought was a no-fail plan. They cut copper wire from more than a dozen utility poles and stole it. But they didn't count on the fact that the wire they stole would only net them about $18. 


• Police don't get to yell "Drop that sauce pan!" very often. Well, they never do. But some cops were recently able to do so when a suspect was breaking windows at several residences. Why a sauce pan? Maybe a sledge hammer is a little hard to come by – but a sauce pan…well, everyone has those, right?


• Three police officers are under investigation in Houston, Texas after claims they were getting high while on duty. Who reported them? Well, the officers turned themselves in…while high.


• A drunk woman in Florida tried to rob a convenience store with a toy gun. But she was faked out by a clerk, who tricked her into believing the police had arrived and had the place surrounded. The clerk, who was stocking shelves and wasn't seen by the woman, yelled, "Palm Bay police, get on the ground!" The woman complied, and the two clerks held the woman until the police really did arrive.


• Police in Louisiana were baffled by a string of vacuum thefts. Until the thieves practically turned themselves in by stopping to get their getaway car washed. A deputy saw the vehicle that was reported as being seen at previous theft locations. The thieves were breaking into vacuums at car washes and stealing the coins inside. When they decided their ride was a little too dirty for theft, the deputy spotted them at a car wash washing their own vehicle, and the duo was arrested.

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Like Jennifer Lopez and Heidi Klum before her, former playgirl next door Holly Madison has insured her, um, assets.


Lopez insured her butt, while Klum insured her legs, and now Madison has insured her moneymakers – her boobs. Her big ol', fake boobs. To the tune of a $1 million policy with Lloyd's of London.


According to Madison, her jugs are her primary moneymakers right now, since she appears topless in the Vegas show, "Peepshow." She said she figures if anything happened to her chesticles, she'd be out of work for a few months and about a million. 


Seriously? People, please. We use our fingers to earn a living, but should we run out and get a million dollar policy on them? Wait…we can't afford that kind of protection.


Seems funny that the very people who could afford to be out of work for a period of time are the ones making sure they'd get paid very well if they were. And not ha-ha funny…strange funny.


And unfair. Yeah. That sums it up. It's not fair some people's body parts get insured while the rest of us do without. We think we will contact President Obama and ask for a federal healthcare plan to take care of…wait…


Nah….

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All sorts of people flock to New York, and Feng Luoyu is no different. The 27-year-old China native moved to the city to escape persecution in her own country. But the persecution she suffered was not due to typical reasons.


Luoyu shot to fame in China two years ago when she handed out flyers in Shanghai, bearing specific demands for potential suitors. The demands included that Mr. Right had to be around 6 feet tall, a native of eastern coastal China, a graduate of one of the country's top universities, and he should have studied economics or a similar subject. 


But she didn't stop there. She also requires that he should not be an employee of state companies, but "it's OK if he works for PetroChina, Sinopec or top banks." 


Luoyu became known as "Sister Phoenix" or "Sister Feng" on the Web, and she was targeted because of her own plain looks and the fact that at the time, she worked as a cashier at a local supermarket. 


She also rented billboards bearing the information, and photos of herself dressed as a bride. Pretty soon, Luoyu couldn't walk down the street without being barraged by people yelling insults. That's when she decided to flee to the United States, a country she knew to be more accepting and where she felt she could succeed in all areas of her life.


She's now working as a nail technician in a Brooklyn salon, and is hoping to marry a "real American" with a degree from an Ivy League school. She say she is asked out all the time, but she turns them down because none of them are suitable. 


Sounds to us like no one ever will be.

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Buddy won his fifth surfing contest this past Sunday. This wouldn't be such a big deal, except for the fact that Buddy is a Jack Russell terrier. He was also inducted into the Surf Dog Hall of Fame. 


The 14-year-old terrier was one of 80 dogs who competed in the annual event, which was sponsored by Eukanuba, and raised more than $100,000 for the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. 


Buddy, who lives in Ventura, Calif. with his favorite humans, won a year's worth of free dog food. This year may be his last to compete, said his owner, Bruce Hooker.


Buddy has been surfing California beaches since he was about 2. Bruce says his daughter put Buddy on a boogie board and when the dog got his balance and rode the wave, the family knew he was something extra special. 


Since then, Buddy has continued to practice riding the waves and compete on the beaches between Ventura and Santa Barbara. He's appeared in the book, "The Dog's Guide to Surfing," Sports Illustrated for kids, Pet Star television show, the New York Times, the London Sun, the Santa Cruz Sentinel, and two sanctioned surf dog demonstrations at Doheny Beach. 


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A 19-year-old man in Hobe Sound, Fla., caught a 12-foot, 3-inch alligator while hunting with his parents. The reptile weighed in at about 800 pounds.


Tim Stroh said he and his parents, Steve and Rachel Stroh, went hunting last Friday night after hearing reports of a large gator near the locks of the St. Lucie River. 


It took the trio less than an hour to locate the animal. Stroh said he wasn't afraid of the gator, despite its size – he was just afraid they'd lose it because of the small size of the rod they were using.


Hmmm…a large gator is caught in Florida. 


In other news, water is wet.

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We are huge fans of Jane Lynch. We fell in love with her as Charlie Sheen's character's therapist on "Two and a Half Men" – back before it was obvious Sheen needed a therapist himself. Her biting and deliciously sarcastic quips on that show won us over.


Then along came Sue Sylvester. Oh, we didn't want to watch "Glee" at first. The premise of a show centered around an underdog high school glee club originally made us throw up in our mouths a little bit. But then we experienced the evil genius that is Sue Sylvester, played to perfection by Lynch. And we were hooked.


And last night, the 63rd Emmy Awards was hosted by one Miz Lynch. And no surprise, she not only brought the funny, but she brought the class as well.


Lynch opened the show in an elaborate musical number that took her on a journey through the sets and with some iconic characters of some of today's biggest TV shows. Lynch sang and danced her way through the number, doing a fantastic job of singing – pay attention Ryan Murphy. You may want to give Sue some more song time next season.


Throughout the show, Lynch demonstrated her playful but biting sense of humor. She even picked on the darling of Hollywood, Betty White. But it was all in good fun, and tastefully done. 


The highlight of the night for us was seeing Lynch decked out in a black wig and skin tight clothes, complete with orange spray tan becoming, for the night, a guidette, a la Jersey Shore. As Donatella Albeghetti, Lynch warned Hollywood: "Watch out Hollywood, 'cause Jersey is taking over."


All in all, Lynch gets about two dozen thumbs up from us for her hosting. She brought refined funny to a show that desperately needed it, after the fiasco that was Ricky Gervais' stint as host last year.


So…we'd like to be the first to propose…bring Lynch back next year. We will anticipate great things.

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It's Freaky Friday once again. Enjoy the weirdness.


• A Swedish man was arrested in July after a raid in his home. 


Richard Handl, 31, was arrested when he contacted the authorities after an attempt to set up a nuclear reactor in his kitchen resulted in a meltdown on his stove. Handl mixed americium, tritium and beryllium and got the toxic reaction, and it then occurred to him that what he was doing might be illegal. 


It was. He was arrested for unauthorized possession of nuclear materials.


• A surgeon deemed incompetent is still on the payroll in California.


Jeffrey Rohlfing is a paid surgeon in the state's prison system, and receives a base pay of $235,740, despite having been barred from treating inmates for the last six years because experts deemed him incompetent. He even earned an additional $541,000 in back pay last year after he appealed his firing to the state's personnel board. 


His current position? He's been assigned record keeping duties.


• A Michigan man was arrested for doing his best Fred Flintstone.


The 24-year-old roofer was charged with reckless driving after he hit four cars. His brakes had apparently failed, but he decided to try and continue driving, but to brake using his left leg out of the driver's side door. 


And he was completely sober at the time, according to police reports.


• Deputies in Monroe County, Tenn. arrested a woman for theft in August, and discovered a 150-year-old Vatican-certified holy relic in her stash.


The relic was a painting based on the Veil of Veronica, which was supposedly used to wipe the face of Jesus before the crucifixion. 


But the relic itself wasn't the headline. Where it was found, however, was. The painting had been stolen from a back closet in the trailer home of a 73-year-old man named Frosty, who had kept it in his home in the Tennessee mountains for 20 years. 


He had no idea what it was. Must have looked better than a Velvet Elvis. 


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You may have read reports featuring the little girl dressed as Julia Roberts' hooker-with-a-heart character in "Pretty Woman." The little girl wore the costume as part of the competition for one of the pageants featured on the show, "Toddlers & Tiaras."


The controversy centered around the fact that the child was dressed as a streetwalker, and many saw that as inappropriate. Then there was the kid who was dressed as Dolly Parton, complete with large breasts. Many people also saw this as not appropriate for a small child. Both girls are under 5 years old. 


The hit show on TLC has become a phenomenon itself. It captures the drama behind the scenes as mothers and often even fathers become engaged in the competitive world of child beauty pageants. To compete, the girls often wear lots of makeup, hair pieces, fake nails and teeth, and over-the-top dresses and costumes. And oh, the spray tanning that goes on. Lots of spray tanning.


Perhaps the biggest complaint from those opposed to the show is the "sexualizing" of these little girls. Critics say the little girls grow up confused as to why the fake teeth, called flippers, and spray tans make them somehow better.


There are those who say the pageant circuit teaches the girls to be confident, and develops poise. Proponents of the show say that for the girls who participate, pageants are their sport – and they argue that if the girls were playing a sport like soccer, no one would question it.


The show has been on the air for about three years now, so it's too early to tell the effects of being a toddler with a tiara. So any assessment, at this point, would be more opinion than anything else.


So, in our humble opinion, let's look at what we do know. We know that many young teen girls these days are obsessed with body image. Where do they get their twisted views? Hollywood, movies, magazines, television, etc. Case in point, the recent issues suffered through by Disney darling Demi Lovato. 


In the years to come, we would imagine there will be tons of young ladies in rehab, blaming their pageant years. Their issues will not only include body image, but self esteem, parent/child issues, warped self image, etc. The list could go on and on. How do you deal with feeling like you're just not good enough if you can't win all the time? These girls will need help dealing with this.


One of the biggest issues we saw on the TLC show was that the mothers seemed to be living out their fantasies through their children. Shouldn't this type of thing be about what the kids want? Over and over, moms said that if their children didn't want to "do pageants" any more, they'd quit. But would they really? The children in this case, are probably doing the pageants more for parental approval than anything else.


Mamas, don't let your children grow up to enter pageants. They're just not all they're cracked up to be – at least not in our humble opinion. Invest in your children and in their potential – but let them decide what's right for them. Let them dream and help them fulfill their dreams – not yours.

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Where were you on 9/11? That seems to be the question on everyone's mind the past couple of days. With the tenth anniversary of that tragic day looming this weekend, here's a place where you can read the stories others have shared, or perhaps share your own story.

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Officials at the Federal Reserve Bank in Baltimore, Md. say they are running out of room to store the $1 coins they are "forced" to order.


Bank vaults all over the country are filling up with the coins because a 2005 law requires the reserve bank to continue to order the coins, despite a lack of public demand. So the coins just sit in storage.


It's not known how many coins are held at the Baltimore branch, but a June report to Congress by the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors stated that $1.2 billion in coins is being held at 28 reserve facilities across the nation. That number is expected to reach $2 billion by 2016.


So, let's wrap our brains around this, shall we? Our country is expected to set a record federal deficit, in which the government's overall debt is expected to surpass the size of the total U.S. economy by the end of this month. In his budget earlier this year, President Barack Obama projected that the debt would reach $15.476 trillion by Sept. 30.


And our government still upholds a law that requires the ordering of $1 coins that nobody wants or uses. Those coins just sit around collecting dust, while our country is further mired in its own waste.


In late July, America's credit rating took a hit, and was downgraded by Standard & Poor's.  S&P made it very clear that the government should reduce spending, and that the only way to restore the nation's credit rating is to make the serious cuts that are needed – just like the American people have been doing for the past couple of years.


Press reports echoed each other: "Barack Obama will go down in history as the first president to watch our country's credit rating fall below AAA. But the rest of us will have to live in the aftermath of his failed stimulus spending plan, failed economic policies, and complete lack of leadership."


There are no easy answers, and the problems won't be fixed overnight. But S&P did hit the nail on the head. Spending cuts. Big ones. That's what the government now must do. MUST do.


And perhaps the Federal Reserve could truck those coins they're "forced" to order over to the White House or to Congress for storage. Maybe then we'd see some real action on the budget issue. 


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It's been 10 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the question that still lingers on the minds of every American is this: Are we still vulnerable?


A report card issued this week by the 9/11 Commission reveal that U.S. security scored a few A's, lots of C's and incomplete, and even a few F's. Despite billions of dollars spent on aviation security, the report found that the U.S. still can't reliably detect explosives that could bring down a plane. This is one of nine unfinished recommendations the Commission cited in the report card. 


TSA spokesperson Greg Soule said transportation systems have improved.


"As we approach the tenth anniversary of 9/11, there is no question that America's transportation systems are stronger and more secure than they were a decade ago," he said. 


One of the biggest issues in the glaring spotlight of the report card is the failure to remedy the communications breakdown that took place on 9/11 when emergency fire units and police in New York were on different radio frequencies and couldn't communicate. This inability to communicate cost lives. 


According to the report, the recommendation to improve radio interoperability for first responders has stalled because of a political fight over whether to allocate 10 MHz of radio spectrum directly to public safety for a nationwide network.


Security experts say that a terror plot similar to 9/11 is very unlikely, but the U.S. does have huge vulnerabilities, even 10 years later. 


Perhaps the biggest vulnerability we have is lack of cooperation. Here's hoping the terrorists don't figure that out.

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Planning a trip to the moon in the near future? Never fear. If you can't live without pizza, you're in luck. There's a Domino's Pizza coming soon – on the moon.


Domino's celebrated the 25th anniversary of its first Japanese store by announcing its plan to open an eatery on the moon. Scott K. Oelkers, president of the eatery in Japan, made a recent appearance in an astronaut costume in a video, calling the move to open the moon location a "giant leap for all of mankind."


The website, www.moon.dominos.jp, outlines the plans for the eatery, including a breakdown of the $21.7 billion cost and a mock-up of the proposed restaurant, which will include a playroom and gym.


Can you believe it? The Jetsons would be stoked.


We feel the need, however, to inform you the whole thing's a joke. And one heck of a publicity stunt.

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It's official – summer is over.


It's Labor Day weekend, which means you can pack up your shorts, T-shirts, swimsuits and flip flops. You also can't wear white shoes or pants again until Easter. Those are, after all, the rules. 


But this weekend is also your last chance at a last hurrah – time to break out the grill, put a sizzle on some burgers, and celebrate before cooler temperatures take over. Many people take the opportunity to have one last fling…one last weekend trip. Statistics show, however, that the majority of people keep it local, choosing instead to stay at home or in the area. This is because the cost of travel is so high right now. 


Labor Day isn't a random holiday designed to keep people from working. The first Labor Day was held on Sept. 5, 1882. Historians credit Peter McGuire, the general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners an co-founder of the American Foundation of Labor. 

 

Thank you, Peter!


Still not sure what to do with your long weekend? Here are some great ideas.


Take a road trip. You can grab some friends and hit the road – even keep it a day trip to keep costs low. Hit up an event or location in your area that you've always wanted to see or attend, but just never did. 


Home improvement. Spend some time this weekend painting your living room, getting your utility room or garage in order, or rearrange the furniture in a room. You could even take advantage of the cooler temperatures and spend some time getting your yard ready for the cooler weather ahead.


A little R&R. When's the last time you just sat around and did nothing? If it's been a while, settle in with a great cup of coffee and a good book, and just enjoy some peace and quiet. The holiday season is just around the corner, and you'd better take the time now to relax.


Host a get-together. Why not host your friends for a party? it can be something small and intimate, or as big as you want. Just have some friends over and have a ball. It may be the last time you can do so before the holiday season kicks into full swing.


Whatever you do, make it fun and loose. It's the last weekend of the summer – make it count.


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We've all heard about it by now. Beyonce and Jay Z are expecting their first child. How we found out is making as many headlines as the fact that she's pregnant.


If you've been under a rock, or if you missed MTV's 2011 Video Music Awards, Queen B gave a rousing rendition of her song "Love on Top," and at the end she unbuttoned her jacket and rubbed her tummy, revealing to the world that, well, there's a little Sasha Fetus. 


Not only did everyone in the Nokia Theater in LA jump to their feet after the reveal, but so did the normally uber-cool Jay Z, who's famous for not showing emotions. 


Within minutes, Twitter was blowing up. At a rate of 8,868 tweets per second, the world began to hear about the pregnancy and/or comment on it. This beat the news of Osama bin Laden's death, which in May drew in 5,106 tweets per second, and the Super Bowl, which got 4,064 tweets per second.


Why? Why did this pregnancy garner so much buzz? It's obvious that Beyonce and Jay Z are both famous in their own right, and together, they're downright infamous. And since they married, the world has wondered when they would spawn offspring. 


Maybe people got so excited because this is one celebrity couple that has kept private matters, well, private. They haven't discussed each other much, and don't flaunt their relationship. They have done projects together, but they haven't made a big deal out of it. They've worked hard to keep their relationship sacred. To see them let the cat out of the bag, so to speak, in such a public manner, caused quite the stir.


Sure, the couple could have sent out a quiet and tasteful press release, saying they are expecting their first child together. But somehow, that just doesn't seem to fit. It seems right that they would announce their latest "project" together in a very public forum. 


After all…Jay Z may have 99 problems, but telling the world he's about to be a daddy isn't one of them.

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