Happy New Year 2015!

It’s a brand spanking new year! A time for hope, optimism, and resolutions to be better people that we’ll break before the month is over. I stopped making new year resolutions long ago because I’m a terrible person and have little hope of ever maintaining them, but when I did try to make promises I knew I couldn’t keep I’d often resolve to have a higher opinion of my fellow man.

Then I’d go on Twitter and see tweets like this:

And my resolution would be broken instantly. You can’t have a worldwide population of 7,285,099,800 (as of two seconds ago) and not have a few folks out there who are, to put it politely, clueless about certain things like the age of the world. In case you thought David was an isolated case, well, nope:

There’s tons more of these tweets out there and it’s clear that many of them are meant to be jokes or are simply attempts at getting retweeted for the attention it’ll garner them. (Some folks will take whatever Twitter fame they can get no matter how stupid it makes them look.) The ones I posted above I couldn’t confirm for certain weren’t jokes, but there wasn’t anything to indicate that they were. Indubitably there are certainly some folks out there who are this clueless and the fact that it’s often difficult to tell the jokers from the serious ones makes the number of folks who really think this is true uncomfortably large for maintaining faith in mankind.

In short, my cynicism is pumped up yet again. There’s a part of me that hopes that all of these folks are just yanking our collective chain and no one really thinks the Earth is a mere 2015 years old, but given how common lazy thinking is I’m sure that there are some out there who do. On the bright side, it gives me something to blog about in the new year.

Kid kicked out of high school and arrested for writing about shooting his neighbor’s pet dinosaur.

OK this is just getting stupid now:

High school student says he was arrested for killing dinosaur in class assignment – NBC12.com – Richmond, VA News

Alex Stone said he and his classmates were told in class to write a few sentences about themselves, and a “status” as if it was a Facebook page.

Stone said in his “status” he wrote a fictional story that involved the words “gun” and “take care of business.”

“I killed my neighbor’s pet dinosaur, and, then, in the next status I said I bought the gun to take care of the business,” Stone said.

Holy Sweet Flying Fuck!I wouldn’t make it through high school these days if this is the norm. As a freshman I once wrote a short story about an unnamed student who might have shot himself in the head in the boy’s bathroom (the ending is somewhat vague) one afternoon because I was bored. It wasn’t even part of an assignment, I just was struck with inspiration and wrote it. Showed it to a couple of friends and it got handed off to a teacher.

Do you know what that teacher did? She encouraged me to submit it along with a couple of other creative efforts I had done to the school district’s creative writing contest. I won a bronze medal for that bit and a gold one for a short reimagining of the fairy tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

In my version of the tale, Goldilocks stumbles upon the cabin of the Three U.S. Government workers where she tries all three computer terminals until she finds one that’s “just right” and ends up launching our nuclear payload at Russia setting off WWIII. The story ends with one of the government workers shooting her in the head just as the missiles scream out of their silos. The moral of the story was: “Just because a terminal is just right, doesn’t mean it’s just right. It could be terminal.”

Yeah, I thought that was clever at the ripe old age of 14.

Anyway, I can only imagine the trouble I’d be in if I were in high school and wrote something like that today. It’s bad enough he was suspended for a week, but did he really have to be arrested too?

According to police, when Stone was asked by school officials about the comment written on the assignment, he said it was a joke.

Summerville police officials say Stone was disruptive and was told that he was being detained for disturbing schools.

Stone was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. District officials say the student has been suspended.

You can be arrested for being disruptive at school? Holy shit! Had this been the practice back in the day I’d have a criminal record a mile long now. Probably be on death row for multiple counts of brutal character assassination* too!

*Get it? Character assassination? Because I killed off a couple of fictional characters? Ha ha! I kill myself!

The sad part is…

… I probably know some folks who would actually try this:

funny-cinnamon-spoon-fake-fact-cold

SEB Safety Tip: Don’t use gasoline to rid your child of head lice.

People like this mother are the reason why signs like this exist.

People like this mother are the reason why signs like this exist.

And if you do decide that gasoline is the only appropriate way to get rid of head lice, don’t do it next to a space heater. Because bad things may happen:

According to an affidavit filed in the case, the incident happened in January. The affidavit says a space heater ignited the gasoline and burned the 5-year-old girl and Suggs.

Haileyville Police said the child suffered second- and third-degree burns over 60 percent of her body.

The mind boggles at what possible thought process could have concluded this was a good idea. The article doesn’t say if the mother was drunk or high as a kite, but it’s the only thing I can think of that would explain such abject stupidity. In fact there’s a part of me that hopes either alcohol or drugs played a role in this because the thought that anyone could be that stupid without being impaired is too frightening to consider. 

I know times are tough and all and I could maybe, sorta see the logic behind trying to use gasoline to kill head lice if you can’t afford a proper licecide treatment because (amazingly enough) the idea actually shows up in medical journals as far back as 1917. That said, you can find decent over-the-counter treatments at your local CVS for under $20, but perhaps they didn’t have $20 and did have a container of gasoline in the garage. Assuming for the moment that is the case that still doesn’t explain why you would use the gasoline anywhere near a running space heater. Granted it was January so maybe they couldn’t afford their heating bill and the space heater was the only thing keeping them from freezing, but you’d still think that common sense would dictate that gas near a heat source is a bad idea.

I’m not the world’s greatest parent and I’ve made my fair share of mistakes over the years, but this sort of thing isn’t rocket science. Just a little time spent thinking your cunning plan through would avoid an awful lot of pain for both you and your kids.

Man dies after competing in a roach eating contest to win a snake.

I understand the appeal of pet ownership and I also understand that the more exotic a pet the more it can cost to acquire. Snakes aren’t my thing, but some folks like keeping them and some of them can cost a pretty penny. So it’s not entirely surprising to me that some folks would engage in silly competitions for the chance to win an expensive snake. What I can’t understand is why anyone would consider snakes, or any other expensive pet, worth eating cockroaches over.

But apparently I’m in the minority in that opinion as a contest held at Ben Siegel Reptiles in West Palm Beach required contestants to do just that and several people signed up to participate.

Alas, for contestant Edward Archbold it would be the last meal he’d ever consume:

Edward Archbold, 32, collapsed after winning the repulsive contest at Ben Siegel Reptile Store. Archbold, who was competing for a free python, was stricken outside the Deerfield Beach business, according to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators reported that Archbold “wasn’t feeling well and began to regurgitate” shortly after the contest’s conclusion. “He had consumed dozens of roaches and worms,” a sheriff’s spokesman noted.

Archbold was pronounced dead after being transported to an area hospital. An autopsy was conducted, and the Broward County medical examiner is awaiting test results to determined Archbold’s cause of death.

On the positive side, he won the contest.

If I had to guess I suspect he may have had an allergic reaction. Eating bugs isn’t particularly dangerous in itself if they’re cleaned and cooked, but live insects can carry a number of potentially problematic diseases (read: e. coli and salmonella, among others) not to mention possibly pesticides.

Knowing all of that, I still wouldn’t eat cockroaches — live or otherwise — unless I was starving and had nothing else at hand. Certainly not for an expensive pet. Very few bugs, uh, bug me, but roaches are at the top of that short list. I couldn’t tell you why. I’ve never had to live in a roach infested home and my encounters with them over the years have been few and very far between, but they give me the heebie jeebies.

Friends help you move. Real friends grant your request for them to shoot you.

Pic of hurr dog.They say curiosity killed the cat and it’s true that too much inquisitiveness can be deadly, or at least very very painful. One young man with more curiosity than common sense decided he wanted to know what it felt like to be shot with a gun.

So he pestered his best friend until the friend finally complied:

Cops: NY man shoots friend in leg at his request – Yahoo! News.

State police in St. Lawrence County say the shooting occurred around 5 p.m. Sunday in the rural town of Stockholm when 25-year-old Shawn Mossow of neighboring Norfolk relented to his friend’s repeated requests and shot him once in the right leg with a .22-caliber rifle.

Normally I’m all about encouraging a healthy sense of curiosity, but the key word is “healthy”. There are some things in life that you probably don’t really need to experience if you can at all avoid it and being shot with a gun is one of those things. I can tell you what it feels like even though I’ve never been shot myself:

It really hurts. Even worse than that time you stubbed your pinkie toe in the dark while trying to walk from your bedroom to the bathroom with a massive hangover and ended up pissing all over yourself and the floor while screaming obscenities that would make a sailor blush. It’s the kind of pain that you really don’t want to know first hand. Or so I’ve been told because, as I said, I’ve never actually been shot myself.

Turns out all’s well that ends well. The shootee is in the hospital expected to make a full recovery and the shooter is in jail for reckless endangerment and hoping that the shootee is a good enough friend to loan him the 10K he needs to make bail.

Dumbass counterfeiter wants to be on “Hardcore Pawn” so badly he gets himself busted.

Pic of Charlie Brown.

I'm right there with you on that one, Chuck.

Some folks will do anything for their brief moment in the spotlight. Take for example Detroit area counterfeiter Kenny “Boom” Smith who is a big fan of the reality show Hardcore Pawn which is filmed in Detroit at American Jewelry and Loan. He wanted to be on the show soooo badly that he offered to sell Les Gold, the owner and star, his counterfeit making machine and a bunch of counterfeit money:

So Gold didn’t bat an eyelash when Smith showed up and wanted to sell him his counterfeit money and machine. He wanted to be on the show. Smith told Gold he would bring his counterfeiting equipment to the store. A short time later the Secret Service showed up at American Jewelry and Loan. They had been tracing Smith’s activities since he had been passing his fake bills.

Gold filled them in on what Smith had told him and the agents found out Smith’s counterfeiting claims had been captured on camera for the show.

So now, Smith has been busted by the Secret Service and charged in federal court. This isn’t his first counterfeiting case either. He has done a stint in prison for the same thing and if convicted he is going back again.

As Gold says, “All because he wanted his five minutes of fame on TV.”

via Counterfeiter caught selling to famous Detroit pawn shop of ‘Hardcore Pawn’ | News – Home.

Obviously Mr. Smith isn’t the brightest bulb, but his quest for TV infamy still prompts a couple of questions. What, exactly, did he expect the pawn shop to do with the phony money? Sell it as a novelty? REAL FAKE MONEY! FOOL YOUR FRIENDS! GET YOUR ENEMIES ARRESTED!  Did he not understand that he was being filmed admitting to a crime? He signed the waiver allowing them to use the footage on the show and it’s not like they use hidden cameras. Did he just think it wouldn’t be admissible in court?

If nothing else I suppose he deserves credit for putting his own stupid add back into a jail cell. That’s one less source of fake money doing business in Detroit.

What the fuck, PayPal?

Does this make any sense to anyone who isn’t A) a PayPal employee or B) brain damaged? I think the seller has decent grounds for a lawsuit.

PayPal: if you don’t like the violin you bought, smash it and we’ll give you your money back

Just when you thought PayPal couldn’t get any stupider, well, they get stupider. Erica sold an antique violin to someone who paid $2500 for it over PayPal. The buyer disputed the authenticity of the violin — which had been authenticated by a top luthier — and PayPal instructed him that he could have his money back if he destroyed the violin. He did, and sent the photo of the destroyed, one-of-a-kind, precious instrument to the seller and PayPal. PayPal took the $2500 back from Erica, gave i…

Arizona’s Birther bill goes from stupid to batshit crazy.

Pic of hurr dog.

The average Arizonian legislator. *NotMeantToBeAFactualStatement.

The whole birth certificate horse has been beaten beyond death into a pulpy pile of unrecognizable gore, but that doesn’t mean the Republicans are going to stop whacking at it anytime soon. Over in Arizona they just passed what they’re calling the Birther Bill, which is pretty stupid to begin with, but they’re cranking up the crazy with a novel exemption:

Apparently, requiring presidential candidates to provide a long-form birth certificate before allowing their names on the ballot in Arizona — despite it already being a federal requirement to run for president — was a bit too much for a few GOP lawmakers. So they made some amendments: if you can’t find your birth certificate, and you have a penis, a document describing your lack of foreskin will suffice.

A circumcision certificate — a document given to the parents of a male Jewish child after his foreskin is snipped off during a circumcision ceremony — is not a legal document but if you have one, under the amended bill, it’s apparently enough to prove you’re a U.S. citizen and your name can be permitted on the ballot in Arizona.

via Arizona’s Senate-Approved Birther Bill Could Force Presidential Candidates to Provide Documentation Describing What Their Penis Looks Like to Get on Ballot – Phoenix News – Valley Fever.

What the fuck? Seriously, what the fuck?? Do they really think circumcision is a America-only phenomena that no one else in the world partakes in? How is that supposed to be proof of American citizenship? Every observant Jew in the world, and a good number of Christians and Muslims as well, just became eligible for the Presidential ballot in Arizona regardless of where they were actually born.

You really have to wonder what’s in the drinking water of that state to make people so moronic.

 

April Fools prank goes badly for local woman.

FacepalmI generally don’t care for commercial radio, but NPR has been on a Libya kick the past few days and I was, frankly, sick of hearing about it so today was one of those rare days that I voluntarily turned on a commercial station.

Just as I was pulling into a parking spot at work they had a lady call in about an April Fools prank she played on her husband that ended up backfiring on her. It seems her best friend is a lawyer so the two of them hatched a plan to present the lady’s husband with fake divorce papers as a joke for today. So the lawyer friend has the papers delivered to the husband at work and, naturally, he calls his wife to talk about it. The first words out of his mouth are “I’m glad you made the first move because I’ve felt this is a long time in coming.”

Oops.

The wife doesn’t actually want a divorce and hasn’t told her husband yet that it was just meant as a joke. She and her lawyer friend are freaking out because they don’t know what to do. So, naturally, she turns to a major pop radio station morning crew for advice. I mean, if the local radio DJ can’t solve your marital problems then who can?

Yeah, I think I’ll go back to listening about Libya on the way home.