Tag: 40yrs

It’s a Hoax

I’d Be Smiling Too

The reports that a Lottery winner was arrested for dumping $200,000 of manure on ex-boss’ lawn is a hoax:

A man from Illinois was arrested for getting $224,000 worth of manure dumped on his former employer’s property, only two weeks after he won $125 million at the lottery and quit his job.

54-year old Brian Morris, from the small town of Clarendon Hills in Dupage County, bought over 20,000 tons of manure and asked for it to be dumped on his former boss’ property, pretending it was his residence.

Dozens of trucks filled with manure showed up in front of the house around 6:00 this morning and began dumping their smelly cargo over the property’s lawn.

It’s not true, and I wish that it was.

I has a sad.

Tweet of the Day

Just imagine, if the Nixon burglary had been at somewhere other than the Watergate Hotel, we might be calling political scandals “Holiday Inns” to this day, or like “He got embroiled in a real Doubletree situation last year.”

— Nicole Cliffe (@Nicole_Cliffe) May 13, 2018

I challenge my reader(s) to create a stand-up bit of comedy lasting at least 3 minutes based on this.

If you have problems riffing on this, , I would note that the Charles Street Jail in Boston is now a luxury hotel, and there is likely comedic material aplenty there.

Social Engineering 101

A man in Chicago had a novel way to make some money, he used a US Post office change of address form to redirect mail to UPS headquarters, and then he cashed the checks that came in the mail:

As federal crimes go, this one seems to have been ridiculously easy to pull off.

Dushaun Henderson-Spruce submitted a U.S. Postal Service change of address form on Oct. 26, 2017, according to court documents. He requested changing a corporation’s mailing address from an address in Atlanta to the address of his apartment on Chicago’s North Side.

The post office duly updated the address, and Henderson-Spruce allegedly began receiving the company’s mail — including checks. It went on for months. Prosecutors say he deposited some $58,000 in checks improperly forwarded to his address.

The corporation isn’t named in the court documents, but the Chicago Tribune reports that it’s the shipping company UPS.

Note to self:  Check and see if there is a way to place a lock on my forwarding addresses.

Epic Troll

In celebration of the 200th anniversary of his birth, the Peoples Republic of China sent a statue of Karl Marx to his home town:

With Germany unsure about how to mark 200 years since Karl Marx was born, a giant bronze statue of the philosopher given by China to the town of his birth is adding to the unease.

The small town of Trier near Luxembourg in western Germany eventually decided to accept the 4.5m (15ft) statue created by China’s most famous sculptor – but only after years of wrangling over whether taking it would appear to condone rights abuses in China.

Marx co-wrote the Communist Manifesto, which said that all of human history had been based on class struggle. China’s capitalist government presents his work as central to its way of governing.

But Marx also remains a controversial figure among Germans, many of whom lived under the Soviet Union’s communist government his work inspired.

Somewhere in Beijing, a mid-level bureaucrat is having a laugh at this whole thing.

More Cowbell!!!!

A vegan nut-job* activist in Switzerland has been denied citizenship in for a campaign against cowbells:

A longtime resident of Switzerland has been refused a passport because of her outspoken campaign against cowbells. Vegan animal rights activist Nancy Holten, who was born in the Netherlands but has lived in Switzerland since she was eight years old, has been labelled a “big mouth” by the resident committee in her village that has rejected her citizenship application twice.

Holten’s argument? Wearing heavy metal bells around their necks is causing Switzerland’s roaming cows physical pain and distress. Switzerland’s argument? Cows look damn good in bells, especially when they’re roaming around in the picturesque alps. Also, tourists are charmed by them.

In Switzerland, citizenship applications are partially assessed by a committee of residents who live in the same district as the applicant. It would appear that Holten is unpopular among some in her village of Gipf-Oberfrick, with a local representative of the Swiss People’s Party Tanja Suter telling the Swiss media that she “annoys us and doesn’t respect our traditions.”

Cow bells aren’t the only cause on Holten’s mind. The self-described freelance journalist, author, model and drama student has staged multiple campaigns against other beloved national pastimes like hunting and piglet racing. According to Swiss news site The Local, the sounds of church bells irritate her too. Does this woman even eat Lindt balls?

You know, cow bells would not be my choice for a hill to die on, but whatever.

*The nut job has nothing to do with being a vegan, and everything to do with freaking out over f%$#ing cowbells.

Brazil Shows Us What We Need for Good Healthcare

It appears that all you need is a community minded hyper-violent drug lord:

Thomaz Vieira Gomes, also known as 2N, is considered one of the most dangerous criminals in Rio de Janeiro, but recently he actually did something decent, albeit still illegal, for once.

He and his gang kidnapped two male nurses and made them vaccinate the poor people of his favela against yellow fever.

For months, Brazil has been dealing with a yellow fever epidemic that has already left dozens dead. Despite the Health Ministry’s plans to vaccinate millions of people in the hopes of containing the outbreak, immunisation centres struggle to keep up with the high number of patients, and, as always, the poorest communities are usually ignored.


On January 27th, the young gang leader and a few of his cronies descended on a local state-run clinic in two black cars, took as many syringes and vaccine doses as they could find, and kidnapped two of the male nurses on duty that night.

They then drove to the Amarelinho bar in Salgueiro where the two nurses spent hours administering yellow fever vaccines to members of the local community.


After doing their job, the two victims were reportedly taken back to their workplace.


Even the country’s former Minister of Environment took to Twitter to comment on this bizarre story, saying that while 2N is still an “a-hole” his actions were a “public service”.

I’m not entirely sure WHAT the lesson to be learned here, but I am sure that there IS a lesson to be learned here.

Tweet of the Day

Just received my ticket for the State of the Union. Looks like @BetsyDeVosEd was in charge of spell checking… #SOTUniom pic.twitter.com/ZgFTGtTkzv

— Raul M. Grijalva (@RepRaulGrijalva) January 29, 2018

I’ve verified this on Snopes, it is true.

I swear, the Trump administration couldn’t organize a piss-up in a brewery, but this is probably a good thing, because it makes them less effective at prosecuting their agenda.

Retro Technology Geeking

For the reader(s) who read my blog, you know that I like getting my geek on historical tech.

Well, we are now seeing a return of archaic technology, with shipping firms looking to using LORAN to deal with potential GPS hacks:

Digitalization, wireless networks, and the Internet of Things (IOT) have allowed the 21st century supply chain to achieve levels of efficiency and visibility that were unimaginable a generation ago. But sometimes that progress comes at a price. For instance, in June, logistics professionals around the globe discovered that for all its benefits, that hyperconnectivity also opened up new vulnerabilities when the “Petya” ransomware attack crippled operations at shipping giant Maersk Line.

Now, some ocean carriers are turning to an old-school remedy to reduce their exposure to certain cyber attacks. Out of concern that hackers could jam the global positioning system (GPS) signals used by cargo ships to navigate, several nations are considering replacing modern satellite-based systems with legacy World War II-era radio technology, according to Reuters.

LORAN first saw service in the 2nd World War.

This is seriously old school, and I am seriously amused.

Death Wears Fuzzy Bunny Slippers

It turns out that while waiting for the literal end of the world, nuclear crews spend a lot of time waiting ……… and waiting ……… and waiting ……… and waiting ……… and waiting.

Two guys a hundred feet underground for 24+ hours waiting for the call that they hope never comes.

One is watching the dials, and the other one gets comfortable and relaxed so that they will be sharp when his turn comes to watch the dials.

Snuggies and fuzzy bunny slippers are a not infrequent part of the latter regime, hence the most awesome unit patch ever.

Midvale School for the Gifted

I was going to Maariv* at the local Kollel, so that I could say Kaddish for her.

Charlie came with me, because we studied some Gemara before services.

Charlie walked into the study area, and pushed the door open (it swings both ways) despite the large signs taped to it marked “Pull.”

I said, “Midvale School for the Gifted,” and Charlie gave me a blank look.

I had to remind him that it was a Gary Larson cartoon.

*Evening services.
Community religious study center.
A memorial prayer, it is the 41st anniversary of her death.
A companion work of the Mishna, together they constitute the Talmud.

This May Be the Worst Thing That I Have Ever Said

We just had a workplace shooting in Maryland and Delaware yesterday.

3 dead and 6 wounded. Just another day at the office.

My wife and I were discussing this as I was getting ready to go to work, and I said, “My advice is always to shoot the boss, not your co-workers.”

Sharon,* ever the optimist, asked a very wise question, “How about not shooting anyone.”

Without thinking, I replied:

This is America, that’s not an option.

That was literally the first thought in my head, like some kind of like a Rorschach test.

That may have been the worst thing that I have ever said in my entire life.

I’m not sure if it reflects poorly on me, on our society, on my understanding of our society, or the universe.

*Love of my life, light of the cosmos, she who must be obeyed, my wife.

I Have a Script Treatment for the Sharknado XIX

It appears that scientists have discovered that sometimes, alligators hunt and kill sharks:

American alligators are frequently seen ambling around golf courses in Florida as players warily compete their rounds. But new research suggests the reptiles partake in a far more outlandish habit when away from the greens – eating sharks.

US researchers have documented instances of alligators preying upon small sharks along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. A study, published in the journal Southeastern Naturalist, claims to be the first scientific study of the largely unseen struggle between the two feared predators.

“The frequency of one predator eating the other is really about size dynamic,” said James Nifong, a researcher at Kansas State University. “If a small shark swims by an alligator and the alligator feels like it can take the shark down, it will, but we also reviewed some old stories about larger sharks eating smaller alligators.”

Nature in all its glory.

The Swedes are the Greatest People on the Face of the Earth

Swedish passenger operator MTR Express opened up a new line between Stockholm and Gothenburg, and they held an online contest to name it, the obvious happened, but unlike the killjoys at the Natural Environment Research Council, they decided to name the line Trainy McTrainface:

A Swedish rail operator has vowed to name one of its trains Trainy McTrainface after a public vote, saying it would bring joy to people disappointed when Britain rejected the name Boaty McBoatface for a polar research ship following a similar poll.

Trainy McTrainface won 49% of the votes in the naming competition, conducted online by train operator MTR Express and Swedish newspaper Metro, beating choices such as Hakan, Miriam and Poseidon.

“[This is] news that will be received with joy by many, not just in Sweden,” MTR wrote in a statement.

The train will run between the Swedish capital Stockholm and Gothenburg, the country’s second-biggest city.

MTR said another train had been voted to be named “Glenn”, an apparent tribute to an IFK Gothenburg soccer team of the 1980s that featured four players of that name – uncommon in Sweden – including Glenn Hysen, who later captained Liverpool.

This is so cool.

Not The Onion

Real headline from the Los Angeles Times:

Nevada Has a Drug Problem: Shops Are Running out of Marijuana

Nevada is running out of pot, and the Department of Taxation is freaking out, because they have been making serious bank from this new industry.

Basically, it’s an artifact of lobbying from (you guessed it) liquor distributors, who were opposed to competition for chemically induced stupid:

Nevada officials have declared a state of emergency over marijuana: There’s not enough of it.

Since recreational pot became legal two weeks ago, retail dispensaries have struggled to keep their shelves stocked and say they will soon run out if nothing is done to fix a broken supply chain.

“We didn’t know the demand would be this intense,” Al Fasano, cofounder of Las Vegas ReLeaf, said Tuesday. “All of a sudden you have like a thousand people at the door.…We have to tell people we’re limited in our products.”

In declaring a state of emergency late last week, the state Department of Taxation warned that “this nascent industry could grind to a halt.”

As bad as that would be for marijuana consumers and the pot shops, the state has another concern: tax revenue. A 10% tax on sales of recreational pot — along with a 15% tax on growers — is expected to generate tens of millions of dollars a year for schools and the state’s general fund reserves.


In the run-up to last year’s state referendum over legalization — which was overwhelmingly approved by voters, allowing people aged 21 and over to buy or possess up to an ounce of marijuana — the state’s powerful alcohol lobby worried that legalized weed would cut into liquor store sales.

So in a concession to the the alcohol industry, the ballot measure stipulated that for the first 18 months of pot sales only wholesale alcohol distributors would be allowed to transport marijuana from cultivation facilities to the dispensaries.

When legalization took effect July 1, nearly 50 dispensaries — all of them already in the medical marijuana business — had been licensed to sell recreational pot. But no alcohol distributors had been approved to transport it.

The state Department of Taxation, which regulates legal marijuana, said it had received about half a dozen applications from alcohol distributors but that none had so far met the state licensing requirements, which include background checks and security protocols.

As a result, the dispensaries have had to rely on marijuana already in stock.

Dispensaries and state officials had anticipated the problem, and in late June the Department of Taxation attempted to loosen the licensing rules to allow dispensaries to transport their own marijuana.

But a District Court judge blocked the request, arguing that the state needed to go through the regulatory process to determine how many distributors were needed. The state appealed the decision to the Nevada Supreme Court.

Needless to say the juxtaposition of legislative cowardice and regulatory and judicial missteps has created a complete clusterf%$#, which has the state of Nevada scrambling to secure a reliable supply of weed.

Under normal circumstances, I’d be asking, “What the f%$# were they smoking when they came up with this?” but in this case, I think that we actually know what they were smoking.


I was driving to pick up the kids from a graduation party, and I got rear ended on the Outer Loop of the Baltimore Beltway.

I could drive home, and the EMTs took a look at me and took vitals, but this is a royal pain in the ass.

The rear bumper and lower rear window (It’s a Prius) is trashed, and I was pushed into the truck in front of me.

On the bright side, the car was driveable, and I took it home over local streets.

Right now, I have a sore neck, a headache, and a bruise on my arm, and I am on hold with the insurance company.  (The last one is most painful).

I will need to stay awake for the next few hours just to be safe.