SEB Pro Tip: Don’t use your Facebook profile to solicit for a hit man.

Pic of Charlie Brown.

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

It says something about the depths of human stupidity that I can still be surprised by the depths of some people’s stupidity. Take, for example, the Philadelphia woman who decided that she’d had enough of her ex-boyfriend (and father of her child) and decided to do something about it:

Police say London Eley, his ex-girlfriend and the mother of his 1-year-old daughter, allegedly solicited to have him murdered.

According to authorities, Eley posted this message on her Facebook wall: “I will pay somebody a stack to kill my baby father.”

That’s some Grade-A quality stupid right there, but that’s just the start of the stupidity. Someone actually took her up on the offer:

Investigators say Timothy Bynum took up the offer.

“Clearly, if he would have received the money, he would have carried this out,” Philadelphia Police Lt. John Walker said.In fact, Bynum allegedly responded to Eley on Facebook: “say no more,” “what he look like?” “where he be at,” “need dat stack 1st,” and “ima mop that bull.”

You can tell what a high-level thinker Bynum is just by the quality of his responses. Clearly he had given his replies careful and thoughtful consideration.

The intended target found out about the posting shortly after they hit Facebook and he went to police who acquired a search warrant and promptly arrested both of these idiots for crimes of stupidity against humanity. At the trial the defense lawyers will argue that they are not guilty because they’re obviously too stupid to tie their own shoelaces let alone competently arrange an assassination.

 

Skeptic busts psychic’s “evil money” scam.

This is a dual purpose story. First, it’s about dumbasses who believe psychics are real and end up allowing themselves to be scammed out of their money. Secondly, it’s about how a little skepticism can make all the difference.

It takes place in ***Dave’s neck of the woods and it involves a Denver-area psychic named Nancy D. Marks:

Lafayette police say the investigation began after receiving complaints about possible fraudulent activity. The accusations involved the loss of large amounts of money that police say were given to Marks for “psychic readings” and other psychic services.

Marks was arrested on three charges including two counts of Theft Over $20,000 and one count of Criminal Impersonation. She was being held in the Boulder County Jail on $250,000 bond.

It seems Ms. Marks, which is a surprisingly apt name in some ways, was telling folks that their money was possessed by evil spirits which was the cause of their suffering. I bet you’ll be able to guess what her solution to that problem was. That’s right, they needed to give her their money so that she could make the money suffer instead of the idiots clients.

Amazingly enough, more than one person actually bought into this bullshit. One gave her $50,000 and another upwards of $240,000.

It all came to an end, however, when someone with just a bit of skepticism decided to visit the psychic on a lark. You’ll have to watch the news report to get the full details:

Kudos to Linda, who’s last name wasn’t given for some odd reason, for her skepticism and dedication to getting this fraud busted. I especially liked how she rolled her eyes when recounting how Marks told her she had a number of evil spirits around her that required a butt load of money to banish.

For the record I am not a psychic, but if you are stunningly credulous and are troubled by evil money spirits then I would be more than happy to accept your money and make it suffer so you don’t have to. I have come up with a number of ways I will punish the evil money spirits by forcing them to do good by buying food with it and paying my rent. Being that I am already evil the evil money spirits will have no power over me so my safety is insured. I will also further my evil by forcing evil spirits to do good things which is the ultimate in suffering for them which insures my evilness will be maintained.

See? It all makes sense. So long as you have the brains of a grapefruit.

SEB Mailbag: Just an observation about the Teslar Watch edition.

This edition of the mailbag references an entry from way back in the archives – some 7 years ago – in which I wrote about the Teslar Watch which is an overpriced timepiece that supposedly has health benefits. Back in the day the claim was that it would protect you from harmful “electronic pollution” such as the sort emitted by your cell phones.  These days the claims are that it’ll help you sleep better.

Over the years there have been a few people who have stepped up to defend the watch – I suspect they were all involved in selling the watch to some degree – and it’s been awhile since I’ve heard from anyone about it. Well the long dry drought of inanity is over as I present you the following missive from one Ron St. John:

From: Ron and Norma St. John

Subject: Teslar Watch

Les,

This is just an observation.

Firstly, I want for you to know that I don’t have a dog in this fight regarding your comments about the Teslar Watch.  I have nothing to do with the makers, distributors and I don’t own one.  I was looking into them, myself, when I came across your article on the web.

Secondly, my education is in nuclear engineering.  So I have a pretty good understanding of nano-technology and the effects of various frequencies that move at the speed of light, such as radio frequencies, alpha particles, radiation, microwaves, ultraviolet, infrared, and the many other names that are given for such energy.  I also understand electrical fields and how they can effect various frequencies of energy.

Such as:  Did you know that the electrical field that surrounds the Earth actually protects the Earth from various harmful radiation frequencies that come from our own Sun?  Yep, it’s not news.  This is true.

I can tell that you are very heart-felt about your opinion regarding the Teslar Watch and I can appreciate your well meaning comments and your desire to exercise good-will toward mankind.  I want for you to have my opinion so that you can decide for yourself if you may be mistaken in your assessment of the Teslar Watch.

So, here is my opinion:

The Teslar Watch does advertize that it uses a battery and a coil to create an electric field which collapses a certain range of energy frequencies.

The Teslar Watch does not advertize that it emits any sort of frequency, as you have stated.

The Teslar Watch does not advertize that it neutralizes electromagnetic fields, as you have stated.

Now, I have not analyzed this watch to see for myself exactly what function that it does perform.  I only want for you to know that your website accuses the Teslar Watch of doing exactly the opposite of what it advertizes itself to do.

It is my suggestion to you that you make an opportunity, soon, to apologize to Philip Stein for the apparent (well intentioned) but misplaced things that you have said about his product.

And Les, a lesson that I learned in life from my grandfather, also an engineer (I want to be careful that I don’t offend you when I say this) (Well, I didn’t say it, my grandfather did) (I am simply sharing granddaddy’s words with you)  “Anything is possible if you don’t know what you are talking about.”

So, Les, take care of yourself.  For your sake and for the sake of ‘TRUTH’ I hope that you will reconsider the continuation of your derogatory statements on the web.  Very respectfully, I feel embarrassed for you.

Very kind regards,
Ron St. John

I think this has got to be one of the more polite messages of this sort I’ve ever received. Though it follows a common pattern such as the claiming of having knowledge which I do not. In terms of actually laying out any reasons as to why I should give up my skepticism of the watch, however, it’s a tad bit lacking.

I’ll post my reply after the jump.

Continue reading

Proof the human race is probably doomed.

This one broke my irony meter:

16 arrested in fight at nonviolence concert – Houston Chronicle

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Montgomery County police say 16 people were arrested after a fight broke out during a concert held to promote nonviolence and to remember a Silver Spring teen killed last year.

The free Stop the Violence youth concert was held Saturday night on Ellsworth Street in downtown Silver Spring in memory of 14-year-old Montgomery Blair High School student Tai Lam, who was shot to death in November.

Which just goes to show that free concerts aren’t a cure for anything other than not having money to go to a concert…

Two year old refuses to say “amen” after meals. Is starved to death as punishment.

Another child dies thanks to a mother so deluded she follows the instructions of her religious leader and lets the child starve to death for the crime of not saying the word “amen” at the end of a meal:

Police say the five suspects belonged to a small group of adults and children who operated for a time in East and West Baltimore. Police allege that the victim’s mother, Ria Ramkissoon, 21, the first to be charged with murder, and others neglected Javon and allowed the boy to starve to death because they thought he was a demon for not saying amen after he was fed, according to police charging documents.

[…] In court documents charging Ramkissoon, Parker, the homicide detective, recounts eyewitness accounts from a source within the religious group. The source said the group’s leader, Queen Antoinette, “had a problem with baby Javon, who would not comply with mealtime ritual by saying ‘Amen’ after meals,” Parker wrote. “The more the Queen pressed Javon, the more resistant he became.”

The child stopped getting food and water, and he became thin with dark circles under his eyes, according to the document. Javon stopped breathing and was placed in a back room of a house in the 3200 block of Auchentoroly Terrace. At one point everyone was instructed to pray around the boy’s body, the document said.

“The Queen told everyone that ‘God was going to raise Javon from the dead,’” according to Parker’s statement of charges. “That resurrection never took place.”

The kid was two years old. He died in December of 2006. The members of “1 Mind Ministries” have been carting him around in a suitcase from place to place until May of this year when police got a tip and recovered the body. It was still wearing a diaper.

It’s hard to imagine how someone can be so caught up in their beliefs that they watch their own child slowly starve to death. And then, after the child’s suffering has finally ended, to believe that a bunch of people praying will bring him back to life? And when that didn’t work she still didn’t recognize that she had been had and seek out the authorities? Too much faith will make you stupid.

Hat tip to Unscrewing the Inscrutable.

SEB Safety Tip of the Day: Don’t drink Tiki Torch fuel.

In what is yet another example of the sort of thing I wouldn’t have thought people would have to be told not to do comes the following news story out of West Virginia:

The West Virginia Poison Center reports that so far this year four people have been treated for drinking the refillable liquid that fuels the tropical-themed torches, popular as patio décor and a favorite for backyard parties.

The yellowish oil frequently is left sitting out and mistaken for a beverage, said Dr. Elizabeth Scharman, director of the poison center.

“People were at a picnic and thought it was apple juice and swallowed it,” Scharman said of one call the center received this year.

Folks, don’t drink the Tiki Torch fuel. It’ll make you sick and ruin your BBQ. Granted a couple of these incidents were children who probably don’t know any better, though I don’t recall my parents ever having to teach me not to drink the stuff, but if they’re sufficiently young then I can understand. I don’t understand the adults who are doing this.

And while you’re at it, don’t drink the fluid in those damn glow sticks either. Apparently a shit load of you people have been doing that as well:

[M]ore than 193 people in the state—many of them children—reported ingesting glow products, the liquid used to light children’s toys and the necklaces and bracelets that are sold at many fairs, festivals and fireworks displays.

That number rose from 143 glow-related calls in 2006, according to data from the poison center’s annual reports.

[…] “They used to be novelty items,” she said. “Now you can go into any store around the holidays and buy them.”

Many makers of glow products say the materials are non-toxic. Typically, they are made from a combination of hydrogen peroxide, a dye and various chemicals that cause the glow.

The West Virginia Poison Center receives most of its calls about glow products from worried parents whose toddlers have chewed through the plastic and ingested the liquid inside.

Even some pet owners have called the poison center after animals turned the glow sticks or jewelry into chew toys.

Which reminds us to remind you not to give glow sticks to toddlers or your pets. Fortunately for the clueless people who are drinking their glow sticks the amount of fluid involved probably means they won’t die from it, but it will burn your mouth and hopefully teach you to be careful of what you put into it.

Seriously, 193 people in West Virginia alone tried to drink those things? Makes some of the jokes about that state seem a little more believable…