Sunday, April 29, 2007

70-Year-Old Marathoner Nabs Alleged Shoplifter


WOLFEBORO, N.H. This shoplifter would have to do a lot of training before even thinking of escaping the grips of a 70-year-old liquor store clerk. Judy Brenner of Brookfield was working at the liquor store in Wolfeboro on Thursday when she thought a customer was trying get away with some liquor.You see, Judy ran the Boston Marathon earlier this month… and she finished in just over five hours. She also placed sixth among the women in her age bracket. "I have no problem running fast," she said. So when she saw a teen trying to get away with a half-gallon of whiskey under his jacket, Judy ran after him. She sprinted 100 feet and caught up with the teen. "He didn't run, but he walked faster, so I picked up my pace," Brenner said. "I wasn't going to let him go he didn't pay for that."
The 70-year-old marathoner grabbed the liquor from the teen while others on the street grabbed him. Judy and the others held the suspect until police could arrive.

Jason's snark: One tough grandma.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Putrid prank prompts complaints

From The Associated Press

TUCSON, Ariz. — A putrid prank went awry when authorities found a rental truck filled with rotting fish, cow parts and pig organs and evacuated residents of a Tucson neighborhood, police said. Four University of Arizona students had rented the truck and collected the smelly cargo intending to dump it on someone’s front lawn as a prank, said Sgt. Mark Robinson, a Tucson Police Department spokesman. Neighbors disgusted by the foul odor emanating from the vehicle called police Thursday and officers found the truck packed with 10 city trash cans, Robinson said. They also found ammonia and bleach, which prompted authorities to evacuate a square block and call in a hazardous materials team. After testing the air and finding oxygen levels were fine, police officers moved in and discovered the decomposing contents in the trash cans. The four students returned to the scene during the police search and confessed to renting the truck and filling it up, Robinson said. The students were released after questioning, but may later face charges, including theft of the trash cans, criminal damage and disturbing the peace.

Jason's snark: And they say U of A isn't a party school. Go Greek!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Man electrocuted while picking mangos


A 35-year-old man, trying to get fruit from a tree, was electrocuted Thursday afternoon in Pompano Beach, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office. Jose Angel Mejia-Pinto and three other men were gathering mangos from a tree in the yard at 116 NW 12th St. Mejia-Pinto was using a 21-foot long metal pole to knock the mangos from the tree.
At about 3:27 p.m., the pole touched an overhead power line, sending 7,000 volts into Mejia-Pinto and knocking him to the ground.Paramedics and BSO deputies responded to the scene where they pronounced Mejia-Pinto dead.BSO detectives are investigating the apparent accident.

Jason's snark: Holy flaming mangos, Bat Man!

Fla. doctor dressed as Capt. America accused of drug and battery charges after barroom groping

From The Associated Press

MELBOURNE, Fla. — A doctor dressed as Captain America was arrested after groping a woman at a bar and fighting with her boyfriend, authorities said. Patrons at the bar were dressed in costumes as part of a bar crawl Saturday night, police spokeswoman Jill Frederiksen said. A man carrying a burrito and dressed as Captain America approached her, began to say dirty things and touched her inappropriately, police said. He then brawled with her boyfriend, authorities said. Several patrons who had dressed as the super hero were asked to step outside so the woman could identify the suspect, Frederiksen said. She picked out Raymond Adamcik, 54, police said. After he was arrested, he tried to flush marijuana down a toilet at a police station, police said. Adamcik was released on a $2,500 bond and faces charges of possession of marijuana, destruction of evidence, disorderly conduct and battery. A secretary at Adamcik’s office said he was on leave and that the office was not accepting messages for him.

Jason's snark: How many Captain Americas does it take to hide a burrito?
Jason's snark update: One paragraph. Nine sentences. Eight "saids." There's some attribution for ya.

Drunken man parks horse in bank foyer to take snooze

From The Associated Press

BERLIN - An early-morning bank customer had a bit of a shock when he found a horse at the automatic teller machine. The horse's owner, identified only as Wolfgang H., had a bit too much to drink the night before and decided to sleep it off inside the bank's heated foyer, police said Tuesday. The 40-year-old machinist told Bild newspaper he had had "a few beers" with a friend in Wiesenburg, southwest of Berlin, and decided to hit the hay in the bank on his way home. Confronted with the lack of a hitching-post, he brought the 6-year-old horse, named Sammy, in with him. When a customer came across the horse and sleeping rider in the bank at 4:15 a.m. Monday, he called police, who then came and woke the owner up and sent him on his way. No charges were filed, but there might be some cleanup needed: Apparently Sammy made his own after-hours deposit on the carpet.

Jason's snark: The entire story is a snark. What can I possibly add? Your turn to comment.

Goat rides shotgun

From The Associated Press

SHERIDAN, Wyo. — Shirley Weidt says people should stop complaining about the goat in her minivan. After all, there’s plenty of room in the ba-a-a-ack with the seats removed. Despite protests from some residents, city animal control officer Ray Buhr said Weidt isn’t violating any laws or treating the animal cruelly. ‘‘The van is kept clean,’’ Buhr said. ‘‘We’ve checked several times. There’s really nothing in ordinances or state statutes that says she can’t do that. The goat is entirely happy in there.’’ Weidt said it’s ‘‘nobody’s business’’ if she keeps her goat in a van. The goat is in the van so it won’t escape, she said. Beverly Saxton, who lives near property Weidt owns, thinks keeping the goat in the minivan is cruel. ‘‘A farm animal should have the opportunity to graze and exercise,’’ Saxton said. ‘‘When it’s trapped in a van, it doesn’t have those possibilities. That’s not an environment for an animal. That’s hideous.’’ Other residents have voiced similar concerns about the goat. Buhr said he doesn’t like the goat being in the van either, but he said the animal has food and water, and the back seats have been removed for more room. Buhr said animal control officers will continue to check on the goat, noting that once summer arrives, it might be too hot for the goat to stay in the van.

Jason's snark: Cook on low heat for 2-3 weeks. Serve warm.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Man burned when vacuum catches fire

From The Moultrie Observer

Celious White, 34, of 720 Fourth Ave. S.W., was taken to Colquitt Regional Medical Center for burns to both his arms, his mouth and his nose. He was transferred to the Joseph Still Burn Center in Augusta, but his condition there was not known Tuesday evening.
The Moultrie Fire Department was called to a car on fire that was threatening a structure on Fourth Avenue Southwest at 8:03 p.m. Monday. When firefighters arrived, they found a vacuum on fire that was near a Chevrolet Tahoe. The vehicle was parked in the back yard and was near a shop area.
The fire was brought under control at 8:12 p.m.
White stated he was replacing a fuel pump on the Tahoe and was removing gasoline with the vacuum when it caught fire. The fire damaged the vehicle’s rear driver’s side and a tail light.

Jason's snark: I guess "Celious" is French for "Cleetus."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

12 charged with illegally selling caviar from paddlefish caught in Ind. streams

From The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — An illegal caviar ring has been broken up with the arrest of a dozen people accused of dealing in the ill-gotten fish eggs, conservation officials said. Indiana conservation officers spent more than a year infiltrating the fishing ring, Sgt. Dean Shadley said after Monday’s arrests. ‘‘It’s just like a drug dealer, you’ve got to hang out where they hang out and talk the talk and walk the walk,’’ he said. Members of the ring caught paddlefish — distant cousins of caviar-producing sturgeon — in Ohio River tributaries and sold their eggs as caviar, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. One paddlefish can yield as much as $800 worth of eggs, and annual income for those who catch them can range from $100,000 to $400,000. ‘‘It’s easy money, it’s just like picking cherries,’’ Shadley said. ‘‘And I’m sure that was tax free. I can’t imagine they reported it.’’ Commercial fishermen can catch paddlefish in the Ohio River, but tributaries are off limits because that is where the fish spawn. Paddlefish are edible, but their real value lies in the eggs. A shortage of sturgeon eggs from Asia’s Caspian Sea has created a lucrative market for paddlefish eggs, which have a similar taste, look and consistency, according to state officials. Each person arrested faces a felony charge of illegal sale of a wild animal. Other charges include money laundering and commercial fishing in closed water.

Jason's snark: These guys need to learn when to fish and when not to eat bait.

Man arrested for butchering alligator says he just wanted a new belt

From The Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. — Police arrested a man who picked up a dead alligator and tried to butcher it on his front lawn, saying he only wanted a new belt. Benjamin Hodges, 35, said he found the dead gator floating in the Hillsborough River on Sunday and took it home in a shopping cart. He figures it was 4 feet or 5 feet long. Just as Hodges flopped the carcass on the ground and started to cut it open, officers showed up and arrested him. An anonymous caller had reported him to the state wildlife agency. He is charged with killing or possessing an alligator, a felony punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. Although their numbers are growing, American alligators are still protected in Florida as a species of special concern. Hodges said he knew of a man at a flea market who might be able to craft a belt for him. ‘‘I didn’t think there was anything illegal about skinning a dead gator,’’ he told The Tampa Tribune. He was freed on $2,000 bail.

Jason's snark: In other news, an alligator was seen skinning a Floridian for shoes.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Burglar targets charity

From Columbia Tribune

A Columbia man faces burglary charges after police suspect he broke into a charity three times last week.
Selvyn A. McMillan, 44, was arrested after police were dispatched Saturday night to Big Brothers Big Sisters, 806 N. Providence Road, in reference to a burglary in progress. It was the third burglary at the charity’s office in four nights.
McMillan was arrested after he made incriminating statements to police indicating he was also involved in the second burglary. He is charged with second-degree burglary and remained in the Boone County Jail today on $4,500 bond.
Georgalu Swoboda, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters, said the charity installed an alarm system Friday after burglaries the two previous nights. The charity also reversed the front doors so they opened outward, making it harder for them to be kicked in.
Two personal computers, a laptop and a DVD player were stolen during the first burglary, Swoboda said. Bottles of wine disappeared after the second incident.
"We had five bottles of wine, and they only took four. That’s all they took," she said. "We thought it was kids at that point."
Swoboda said McMillan entered through a window Saturday night and was taking apart a computer when police arrived. He tried to climb through the ceiling tiles to escape, she said, and a police K-9 unit found him hiding underneath a desk.
Swoboda said it appears everything except the laptop will be covered by insurance. The string of burglaries hit the charity as it prepared to kick off its Children of Promise campaign.
"We have a couple hundred kids that need mentors, and that’ll slow us down," she said of the crimes.
Police Sgt. Ken Hammond with the Major Crimes Unit said investigators are trying to connect McMillan with the first burglary as well.
"We have no indications that a second person was involved," Hammond said. "We’re still trying to tie him to the first burglary. We haven’t been able to do that yet, but he is a strong suspect in that."
Swoboda said the charity never was victimized by crime before, and she was surprised the office was targeted because it is on Providence Road and is lit well.
"You’d think they’d go to a bank or something that had something to take," she said. "Other than equipment - computers and printers - there’s nothing to take. There’s no money. This man came three times. I wouldn’t think that is too smart to do."

Jason's snark: OK folks, I'm snarkless on this one. Any suggestions? (Bonus points for anyone who can tell me what "Swoboda" means.)

Man toasts toes on torched tannenbaum

From The Star-Ledger

A Frankford Township man who accidentally started a small brush fire in his backyard this afternoon and then tried to stomp it out while wearing flipflops was taken to a nearby hospital with burns on his feet, a fire official said.
The unidentified man, who is in his 20s, had lit an old Christmas tree on fire around noon, said firefighter Scott Klosterhoff of the Frankford Fire Department in Sussex County.
Flames jumped to nearby trees at the Clymiss Road home, burning an area approximately 100 feet by 100 feet, Klosterhoff said.
The fire was brought under control about 15 minutes later with the help of two neighboring departments.
The victim was taken to St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston with minor burns. It was unclear why he was burning the tree.

Jason's snark: Genius. Pure genius. It's the Christmas gift that keeps on giving. I don't think Santa likes BBQ foot.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

One tough beauty queen

From The Cincinnati Enquirer

Venus Ramey has earned lots of fame in her 82 years.
She was Miss America 1944 and later a candidate for Cincinnati City Council and worked to save Over-the-Rhine's historic buildings. She performed on Broadway and in movies.
Now, though, she's in the news for another reason.
After confronting a man she said was stealing from her Kentucky farm, Ramey pulled out a gun and shot out a tire on his truck so he couldn't leave, allowing police to arrest him and two others.
"He was probably wetting his pants," Ramey said Thursday from her home in Waynesburg, about 140 miles south of Cincinnati.
Ramey was on her Lincoln County farm last week - "Friday the 13th, apropos date, isn't it?" she noted Thursday - feeding a horse when she saw her dog run to a nearby building where she stores old steel-shaping machines, lathes and other equipment.
"This stuff is over 100 years old," she said.
For some time, thieves had been breaking into the building to steal the machines to sell for scrap. She hadn't been able to catch anyone in the act until last week.
She drove over to the building and blocked the truck sitting there.
When she asked a man what he was doing, he replied "scrapping," and said he would leave.
"I said, 'Oh, no you won't,' and I shot their tires so they couldn't leave," Ramey said.
She had to balance on her walking stick as she pulled out a snub-nosed .38-caliber handgun.
"I didn't even think twice. I just went and did it. If they'd even dared come close to me, they'd be 6 feet under by now."
Ramey then tried to flag down people driving by. When one stopped, she asked them to call 911. Eventually, three people were arrested - one at the scene and two others walking on a nearby road.
"They've been stealing from me for years. Those good-for-nothing slobs," she said.
Ramey, who lived in Cincinnati on and off for about 30 years, admitted that she is known for taking chances for what she believes in.
After moving to Cincinnati from Kentucky when she was 14, she went to Withrow High before returning to Kentucky.
She wanted to be in show business, so she moved back to Cincinnati and took different jobs before working as a showgirl at the Beverly Hills Supper Club. That led to other work that got her discovered.
Eventually, she found her way to Washington, D.C., where she won a beauty contest and, in 1944, was crowned Miss America, representing the District of Columbia.

Jason's snark: Now that's one tough grandma. Go granny go!

Friday, April 20, 2007

In dispute about donkey doo and noise, man brings animal to testify

From The Associated Press

DALLAS — Faced with complaints that his donkey was too loud, attorney Gregory Shamoun decided to bring his case directly to the court: He had the donkey testify. Buddy the donkey appeared in court Wednesday. He walked to the bench and stared at the jury, the picture of a gentle, well-mannered creature and not the loud, aggressive animal he had been accused of being. Shamoun was in a dispute with oilman John Cantrell, who had complained to the city about a storage shed Shamoun was building in his backyard in Dallas. Cantrell said Shamoun retaliated by bringing the donkey from his ranch and putting him in the backyard. Cantrell complained of donkey noise and manure piles. ‘‘They bray a lot any time day or night. You never know when they’re going to cut loose,’’ he testified. Despite the donkey’s appearance, neither jurors or Buddy had the last say — the neighbors settled their dispute while jurors deliberated.

Jason's snark: Another jackass put on the stand. Sounds kinda like a senate committee hearing.

Mystery animals roaming northeast Ohio woods

From The Associated Press

CHESTERLAND, Ohio — Is it a goat? Is it a sheep? No, it’s a ... what is that thing? Wildlife experts haven’t been able to positively identify at least three animals spotted roaming the woods in Chester Township, about 20 miles east of Cleveland, over the past few months. ‘‘We’re not exactly sure what they are,’’ said Allen Lea of the Ohio Division of Wildlife, which has reviewed photos taken by a resident. ‘‘But they’re definitely not a native species. They’re not where they belong.’’ Police have received calls from residents offering varying descriptions, with possible IDs including bighorn sheep and wild goat. Sal LaPuma, an avid outdoorsman, said he recently got within 30 feet of one of the animals before it ran away. ‘‘The moment I saw it, I knew it was out of place,’’ he said. Sgt. Debbie Davis said her Internet searches have failed to identify the ‘‘half deer, half ram’’ she has seen while on patrol. Experts at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo reviewed the photos and speculated the animals could be tahrs (a wild goat indigenous to Asia) or mouflons (a wild sheep found in Europe and Asia). Officials believe the animals could have been dumped by their owner or escaped from captivity, although nobody has filed a missing-animal report, township police Chief Mark Purchase said. He said there were no plans to trap the animals. ‘‘We’re not looking to run them out,’’ Purchase said. ‘‘But we would like to know what they are.’’

Jason's snark: Great, now Ohio is importing our chupacabras. Next they'll want our jackalopes. I blame Drew Carey.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Stumpy the duck loses one of his four legs

From The Daily Echo

Stumpy, the Hampshire duck which became famous around the world after being born with four legs, has lost one of its extra limbs after getting caught in its pen.
Stumpy caught the media's attention worldwide after it was born at the Warrawee Duck Farm in the New Forest on February 7. After catching one of its extra limbs in its special pen, the duck is now down to only three legs. However, the accident has led to a positive outcome for Stumpy, because now it can roam the farm free with the other ducks because it is no longer at risk of being caught in hedges, which could have put its life in danger.
Farm owner Nicky Janaway said: "He's now only got three legs and a stump which means he's Stumpy by name and stumpy by nature.
"He got the leg caught in the pen fencing, he clean snapped it but he had no idea anything had happened so he may not have had any sensation in it.
"We whisked him off to the vet who finished off what he had started and cleaned it up.
"The good thing that has come out of it is that he can now roam the farm and he and his girlfriend duck Alice are harassing the others.
"It has given him his freedom because if he had got his leg stuck in a hedge like he did in the pen, I would never have found him. The other leg is tucked up so it has no chance of getting stuck."
Mrs. Janaway said she was gobsmacked when she first turned Stumpy over after it hatched to find out its sex and was confronted by all those legs.
She said: "It was absolutely bizarre. I was thinking 'he's got too many legs' and I kept counting '1,2,3,4'."
The mutation is rare but cases have been recorded across the world.
One duckling called Jake was born in Queensland in Australia in 2002 with four legs but he died soon after.

Jason's snark: Dang dang dang, I asked you guys where I left that orange sauce and no one has found it yet! Oh, yeah, and by the way, what the heck is "gobsmacked?"

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cigs save lives

From The Associated Press

ROCK HILL, S.C. — Smoking just might have saved Brenda Comer’s life. She said she had just finished washing dishes Monday and stepped outside to smoke a cigarette when an 80-foot oak tree crashed through her roof, landing across the sink where she had been standing just seconds before.
‘‘Honey, I know you fuss at me for smoking,’’ Comer said she told her husband. ‘‘But today it saved my life.’’ The tree, felled by strong wind, also missed the couple’s adult daughter, who was at the other end of the house. The family’s insurance agent said they could not live there after the tree cut the kitchen and living room in half, scattering the contents of the kitchen cabinets.
‘‘I looked down and saw a bottle with two pills,’’ Comer said. ‘‘I thought, ’Well, I have a headache, and there’s two Excedrin.’’’

Jason's snark: See? I told you those warnings were blown all out of proportion! I'll be back in five minutes.

Belgrade horses to be drugged for Stones gig

From Reuters via The Associated Press

BELGRADE - A plan to sedate more than 300 horses stabled at Belgrade's racecourse to keep them calm during a Rolling Stones concert there has enraged Serb animal lovers who are lobbying to have the gig moved to another venue.
The concert is expected to draw more than 100,000 people to the Hippodrome, Belgrade's largest fenced space. The horses will be only a few meters from the stage.
"Horses differ, the same as people. Some are more nervous, more skittish," said hostler Jovanka Prelic. "If they get too nervous or start to panic during the concert, they'll get sedatives."
Serbia's biggest animal protection society, ORCA, says holding the concert there would be extremely harmful to the horses, and sedating them is not the answer.
"Research has shown that noise and vibrations are the strongest causes of stress to animals," Elvir Burazerovic, head of ORCA, told Reuters.
"Surely our big city has enough open spaces where even 150,000 people can fit in. We think the Hippodrome should be left to horses," he said.
The sedative would be diazepam. In Serbia it trades under the name Bensedin, a very popular drug during the 78 days of NATO air strikes in 1999, when much of Belgrade's adult population was on tranquilizers.
ORCA said that if it failed to convince the organizers to change the concert venue, it would contact the Rolling Stones directly and ask them to use their influence.
"I believe we'll succeed since such a reputable band will not allow such a stain on its record," Burazerovic said.

Jason's snark: Hey, man, it's a 'Stones concert. The horses should be sedated. You know the band's gonna be.

Arizona man sentenced for shooting at firefighters who refused to remove his cat from a tree

From The Associated Press

KINGMAN, Ariz. -- A man who shot at firefighters after they refused to get his cat out of a tree has been sentenced to five months in jail. Jeffrey Francis Cullen, 59, of Kingman, reported a tree fire on Aug. 17. Once the three-person crew arrived, Cullen told them he wanted his cat rescued from the tree. Hualapai Valley Fire Department spokeswoman Sandy Edwards said a battalion chief told Cullen to call animal control or to wait for the cat to get hungry and come down. The response apparently incensed Cullen, who retrieved a small handgun from his home and came out shooting. The firefighters fled, taking with them a 12-year-old boy who had come to see their fire truck. Nobody was shot. Cullen admitted to deputies after his arrest that he had been drinking. Cullen was ordered on intensive probation for five years as part of his sentence, handed down Friday. He had faced up to three years and six months on each count, which would have been served concurrently.

Jason's snark: In other news, somewhere in Arizona a very smug kitty is laughing so hard he's horking up a fur ball. That'll teach the owner to clean out the litter box.

Coyote caught in downtown Detroit pregnant

From The Associated Press

A cagey urban coyote that eluded authorities in a nearly hourlong foot chase through downtown Detroit is expecting. An animal rehabilitator licensed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources discovered the pregnancy while running medical tests for the Michigan Humane Society, the Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday. The female coyote led two animal protection officials and Detroit police on a chase past a federal courthouse and beneath parked cars before heading toward the Detroit River. The coyote was spared euthanasia April 11 when the Humane Society took custody of the animal. On Monday, the coyote was released into the wilds of northeast Oakland County to give birth. Coyotes are found throughout Michigan but are most abundant in the northern parts of the state.

Jason's snark: Yeah, but was the coyote carrying a one ton anvil from ACME?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Seattle Man Charged in Bizarre Duck Case

From 1010 WINS

A Seattle man has been charged with a slew of crimes that involved an alleged shoplifting, assaults and a pet duck named Mr. Peepers. Snohomish County Deputy Prosecutor Paul Stern on Thursday charged Kenneth Blaine Quinlan, 35, with two counts of third-degree assault and one count each of vehicular assault and hit-and-run.
Authorities say that on March 23, Quinlan and his 39-year-old girlfriend drove to a Lynnwood shopping center, where he entered a Linens 'n Things outlet and she went into a Petco store, taking the duck with her.
Stern wrote in court papers that a security guard thought he saw Quinlan shoplift an iPod speaker system, and a scuffle ensued.
Police say the guard chased Quinlan to the Petco store, where Quinlan got the car keys from his girlfriend and tried to escape.
The man jumped into the driver's seat of the car as the woman walked out of the store with her duck. Not knowing what was going on, she tried to stop him from driving away and was knocked down by the open car door as it backed up. She dropped the duck.
A Petco employee saw what was happening and "ran to save Peepers from the front of the car" just as Quinlan drove forward, Stern wrote. The car ran over the woman, inflicting serious injuries including broken bones in her foot and ankle, he said.
Charging papers say Quinlan continued driving and didn't stop until his vehicle struck another car nearby.
The girlfriend and guard were not seriously hurt. Mr. Peepers was OK.
Quinlan was being held in the Snohomish County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail. A convicted felon and former heroin addict, he told officers that he'd just received a dose of methadone at a Lynnwood clinic and had used cocaine a few days earlier, according to court papers.

Jason's snark: Brought to you just because we love ducks. Now where'd I leave that orange sauce.

Fla. man picks jail lot for smash-and-grab

From Florida Today

A West Palm Beach man really wanted to go to jail, and he got his wish after he broke into a van in the jail's parking lot and stole a deputy's purse, authorities said.Bradley Charles Barbier, 23, called the Martin County jail Thursday evening to say he was coming in to serve a weekend sentence, sheriff's spokeswoman Jenell Atlas said.Jail officials told him he wasn't scheduled to turn himself in, but he showed up anyway.Barbier was being "loud and rude," Atlas said. The man left after jail officials threatened to lock him up.A deputy reported seeing Barbier outside the jail about three hours later, according to a report. He appeared to be intoxicated. The deputy told him to leave, but he said he was waiting for a ride, the report stated.Barbier later told another deputy that he was waiting for his girlfriend, who was in the jail visiting someone. He said he needed to get into her car because she had locked the keys inside.He pointed to a white van, and the deputy noticed that the passenger window had been smashed out. The glove box was empty, and a purse was sitting under a tree where Barbier had been, according to the report.The purse and vehicle belonged to a deputy. Barbier was charged with burglary, theft and criminal mischief. He still was being held today on a $10,750 bond."We always appreciate when they come right to us," Atlas said.

Jason's snark: Someone needs to tell this guy there are easier ways to get a date with a 300 pound biker named "Bubbles."

Monday, April 16, 2007

Firestation in flames while firefighters out


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville firefighters returned from an emergency call on Saturday to find a blaze in their own station, according to authorities.
District Fire Chief Randy Wyse said the firefighters left a stove on in Station 17 when they rushed out to answer a call Saturday night.
The fire damaged the kitchen and parts of the firefighters' sleeping quarters.
Officials said they were not sure how much the damage would cost.
The station is now temporarily closed.

Jason's Snark: Oops. Wasn't this an episode of King of the Hill?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Afternoon snack sets driver on fire


A lorry driver from Germany set fire to his cab after deciding to cook himself some sausages while driving.Walter Reckling, 46, kept the small gas cooker for roadside use but because he was late for a delivery he decided to use it on the road.He was cooking two sausages while travelling past Niederwuerschnitz in Saxony, Germany, when the cooker toppled over.It set fire to the seat which in turn set fire to the cab of the vehicle.Reckling was treated for smoke inhalation at a local hospital where he was also found to have been three times over the legal alcohol limit.

Jason's snark: That's the last time I get hacked off at someone talking on a cell phone while driving.

DIY nailgun injuries rise


Take a nation of do-it-yourselfers, add a ready supply of cheap nailguns and what do you get? About 37,000 nailgun injuries a year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Since 1991, nailgun injuries have risen about 200 percent, the CDC said in its weekly report on death and disease.
"This increase likely corresponds to an increase in availability during the 1990s of inexpensive pneumatic nail guns and air compressors (to power the nail guns) in home hardware stores; however, no sales data are available for confirmation," the CDC reported.
But when the CDC looked at who was getting injured, it became clear that the number of work-related nailgun injuries had stayed stable since 1998. It was consumer-related injuries that had soared.
"During the 5-year period 2001-2005, an average of approximately 37,000 patients with injuries related to nail-gun use were treated annually in emergency departments, with 40 percent of injuries occurring among consumers," the report read.
Emergency departments treated three times as many consumers with nail-gun injuries in 2005 as they did in 1991, the report noted.
The CDC said more needs to be done to make consumers aware of the dangers.

Jason's snark: Dangers? What dangers? Heck, I'm using a nailgun right now to get the wax out of my earAGGGGGHHHHHHH!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Minnesota jail guard suspended after inmate is hit with a Bible

From The Associated Press

MANKATO, Minn. — A jail guard has been suspended after allegedly thumping an inmate with a Bible. James Lee Sheppard, 56, has been charged with two gross misdemeanors for allegedly swatting a Blue Earth County Jail inmate with the book, grabbing him by the throat and slamming him against steel bars on Feb. 8, according to the criminal complaint. A video shows a guard entering the cell of inmate Jeremy Hansen, 26. The guard then takes Hansen’s Bible and strikes him in the side of the face with the book. The two exchange words as the guard walks away, said Mankato Police Officer Allen Schmidt who watched the video. The rest of the confrontation was not captured on video because of an object obstructing the camera. But the complaint states that Sheppard walked back toward Hansen, grabbed him and pushed him into the cell bars. Dennis McCoy, Blue Earth County administrator, said Sheppard was the first to report the confrontation. ‘‘He knew he violated policy and, to his credit, he turned himself in,’’ McCoy said. Sheppard declined to comment to The Associated Press. He referred calls to St. Paul attorney Brent LaSalle, who said Thursday that he had not been retained by Sheppard and so couldn’t speak on the guard’s behalf. Sheppard, who was not jailed, is on leave pending further investigation. He is scheduled to appear in Brown County court April 26 on charges of mistreatment of an inmate and misconduct by a public officer.

Jason's snark: Divine intervention? Hmmmmm.

Police: Purse snatching suspect caught hiding in portable toilet

From The Associated Press

MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. — Police looking for a purse snatcher were able to flush the suspect out from the portable toilet where he was hiding. ‘‘A Port-A-Potty is not a good place to hide,’’ police Chief James Kudlak said Wednesday. ‘‘There’s only one way out.’’ Johnny Snodgrass, 21, apparently matched the description of a man caught on videotape at a store where an 89-year-old woman’s purse was stolen in March and from a nearby video poker establishment where her wallet was found, police said. The thief got away with about $45. Acting on a tip, police went to a construction site where Snodgrass was working on Monday to question him, but he ran into the portable restroom. Officers yelled for him to come out and he soon complied, police said. Snodgrass was being in jail on $5,000 bond on Wednesday. He’s scheduled to appear before a magistrate on April 25. Kudlak said Snodgrass claims he is innocent. Court officials said Snodgrass did not yet have an attorney.

Jason's snark: Way to wipe up the competition, bro.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Suspect loses leg trying to escape from police

From The Associated Press

POMONA, Calif. — A man accused of using a chain and pickup truck to yank a 1,500-pound ATM from a market failed to escape police when his prosthetic leg fell off during the getaway. Gregory Daniels, 48, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of burglary for the attempted heist from Pomona Ranch Market, police said. Authorities say Daniels and another man drove up to the market about 3 a.m., smashed a window, wrapped a chain around the ATM and used the pickup to rip it from the floor. After loading the cash machine into the truck, the pair drove off. Officers chased the truck into a residential neighborhood, where the men drove into a dead-end street. Daniels’ alleged accomplice fled, but police said Daniels wasn’t able to escape. ‘‘Daniels was on the ground near the vehicle in an attempt to flee from officers,’’ Sgt. E. Vazquez said. ‘‘However, he was unsuccessful, as his prosthetic leg fell off.’’ The ATM and its cash were recovered. The assistant manager of the Pomona Ranch Market, Tom Zvoda, said he didn’t know how much money was inside.

Jason's snark: This guy could use a leg up on his criminal career.

Settlement paid in pennies

From The Associated Press

HOWELL TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A penny saved is a penny earned, but one man believes 33,500 pennies won are best donated to a worthy cause. Bob Wilson, who won a small claims court case last month, will donate the pennies to the Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency, which has helped him with heating bills. Wilson was given the pennies by Karl Stepen, owner of NSK Motorsports in Fowlerville, after a judge ruled in Wilson’s favor and awarded him $335. Stepen said he paid Wilson in pennies to show his contempt for Wilson. ‘‘We paid him in legal U.S. currency,’’ Stepen said. Wilson said he bought a dirt bike for his 13-year-old son and took it NSK in May to get it running. He didn’t get the bike back until October, and he said it stopped working almost immediately. He took the bike back to NSK and it sat unfixed for a few more months. He picked it up and took it to another shop, which charged him $900, he said. Stepen said he had the bike ‘‘for some time,’’ but he’s a one-man operation with as many as 70 motorcycles waiting to be repaired. He said he did everything he could to help Wilson with the 30-year-old bike and offered to fix a second problem for free. District Judge Theresa Brennan, who handled the appeal for Wilson’s claim, said she’s never heard of someone paying the court in pennies in her 22 years of practicing law. Still, she said, it’s legal: ‘‘We don’t dictate the form of payment.’’

Jason's snark: Find a penny, pick it up, get a hernia, buy a truck!

Woman: Police pot-shot my precious porkers

From The Associated Press

TULAROSA, N.M. — Leanne Barkemeyer has taken care of pigs nearly all her life, but she has a few less now that Otero County sheriff’s deputies shot eight pigs that were on her property.
Barkemeyer said the deputies didn’t have permission to shoot the animals, but authorities said Barkemeyer was having trouble keeping the pigs in line. She had more than 20 pigs on her land in Tularosa.
‘‘She stated that she could no longer take care of the animals, that we needed to do what we needed to do with them,’’ Undersheriff Norbert Sanchez told Albuquerque television station KOAT.
Authorities said one of the pigs charged at a deputy last Thursday, sparking the shooting. Sanchez said the sheriff’s office has since learned about an out-of-state sanctuary where people can send pigs they can no longer care for. He added that deputies don’t want a repeat of last week’s incident.
‘‘I hope it helps,’’ Barkemeyer said, referring to the sanctuary. Barkemeyer had faced charges for having the pigs on her property, but she said a judge has dismissed the case.

Jason's snark: You know, pig-on-pig violence just demeans us all. So, I guess we're having pork chops at the policemen's ball this year? I'll bring the applesauce!

Pipe fitter comes armed with funeral plans

From The Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Retired pipefitter, Army veteran and cancer survivor Russell Parsons says he’s not afraid to die — and he’s got the tattoo to prove it.
Inside the yellow and orange flaming tattoo on his right arm are instructions to the funeral home where he has a prepaid cremation: ‘‘Barlow Bonsall cook 1700-1800 for 2 to 3 hours.’’
‘‘It’s a recipe,’’ the 67-year-old widower from Hurricane said. ‘‘It’s a recipe for cremation.’’ Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home and Crematorium manager Linda Wilson said she thought Parsons was joking several weeks ago when he said he was going to have his final wishes tattooed on his arm.
‘‘I never thought he would actually do it,’’ she said Tuesday. She wasn’t the only one. Parsons said the tattoo artist who gave him his first and only tattoo said his request was among the craziest he’d ever received in 22 years.
‘‘I told him, ’Well, take a look because I’m one of a kind.’’’ Parsons, who survived a brush with cancer in 1999 and still deals with injuries from his Army service, said not everyone understands his attitudes about life and death.
‘‘I’m not afraid of death. I’m afraid of life,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m afraid of living and not being able to take care of myself.’’

Guest snark from co-worker and good buddy Tracy: "People are so strange." True dat, Tracy, true dat.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Naked woman shot by cop

From Santa Cruz

A woman who was shot by a Watsonville police officer Saturday morning is in County Jail facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon, hit-and-run and auto theft.
Lisa Isidro, 35, of Miles Lane in Watsonville, was arrested about 6:45 a.m. Saturday after a struggle with police officer Randy Pecse that ended in her being shot in the left biceps and then crashing the officer's patrol car into another car and a fence.
Police came upon Isidro when they responded to a call of a couple arguing after an all-night party. While an officer talked with Isidro's boyfriend, she ran out into the street naked, swinging her purse, and confronted Pecse, according to police Capt. Manny Solano.
"She went out into the street in a crazed state," Solano said. "She had a lit cigarette, which she began to chew on the burning end. [Pecse] knew then he was dealing with someone who was possibly under the influence of a controlled substance"
In an attempt to subdue the woman, Pecse used pepper spray, but she slipped his grasp and slid into his patrol car, which was nearby with the door open. She began gunning the engine and drove the car toward Pecse, who fired one round into her bicep, Solano said.
Isidro drove about a block before she drove the car into another vehicle and into a fence. She was treated for her injuries and released and booked in County Jail.

Jason's snark: Wow, nekkid lady, chawing on the business end of a lit cig, stealing a cop car after an all-night party, and the officer realized he was dealing with a druggie? That's some fine detective work there! Promote that man to chief!

Text impulse leads to marriage


A British man has met and married a 22-year-old woman after, by his own account, dreaming of her phone number and then sending her a text message.
David Brown, 24, said he woke up one morning after a night out with friends with a telephone number constantly running through his head. He decided to contact it, sending a message saying "Did I meet you last night?" Random recipient Michelle Kitson was confused and wary at first but decided to reply and the two began exchanging messages. Eventually they met and fell in love. "It was really weird but I was absolutely hooked," Kitson told the Daily Mail newspaper. "My mum and dad kept saying 'But he could be an axe murderer', but I knew there was something special about it." After a long courtship, the oddly matched couple - he's six foot seven inches tall and she's five foot four - have just returned from their honeymoon in the Indian resort of Goa. A love-struck Brown said: "I've no idea how I ended up with her number in my head - it's only a few digits different from mine."

Jason's snark: I wonder how long until sleep stalking is a crime?

Stampede over magic amulet turns deadly

From The Washington Post

BANGKOK, Thailand -- A crowd of thousands waiting to buy purportedly magical amulets erupted into a stampede that killed one woman and injured dozens Monday, police said.
More than 10,000 people had camped overnight outside a school to buy the Jatukam Ramathep amulets, which have gained a huge following in recent months for what are believed to be their magical qualities.
Thais crowd at the stairs of an auditorium at a school as they compete to buy amulets in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, southern Thailand Monday, April 9, 2007. A 50-year-old woman was killed and dozens of people injured when the crowd stampeded during a sale of a popular talisman supposed to bring good fortune.
The 50-year-old woman was trampled when the crowd rushed the school gates Monday morning, said police Lt. Suriyon Kaemthong, a police lieutenant in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, 360 miles south of Bangkok.
Many Thais carry or wear amulets for good luck. The amulets usually show images associated with Buddhism - the religion of most Thais - though amulets are not formally part of its doctrine. There is a large collectors' market, and rare amulets reportedly command prices of more than $30,000.
The Jatukam Ramathep amulets are round, ranging in size from a penny to a silver dollar, and come in a variety of colors, including bronze, silver and clay.
They're named after a Brahmin deity, the skilled warrior prince of an ancient Southern Thai kingdom who is depicted on the amulet in a seated position. People believe the amulet can bring good luck, and protect them from evil and violent attacks including gunshots and knife wounds.

Jason's snark: Harry Potter is wanted for questioning, evades arrest with cloak of invisibility.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Ex-IRS employee charged in store scam

From The Associate Press via Portland Press Herald/Maine Today

BOSTON - Federal prosecutors say Robert Dooley had an unusual way of persuading Home Depot clerks that he could be trusted when returning stolen merchandise for store credit cards: He flashed his Internal Revenue Service identification badge.
Over the course of three years, Dooley allegedly stole more than $330,000 from the home improvement chain by returning stolen goods for the credit cards, then selling the cards at a discount, court documents said. He was charged Thursday with 12 counts of wire fraud in connection with the scam.
Dooley has been serving a state sentence in connection with the Home Depot thefts since October 2005.
In court documents, prosecutors allege that between May 2002 and October 2005, Dooley stole more than 300 items from Home Depot stores in nine states and returned them for store credit. Dooley, 47, formerly of Salem, worked as a clerk at the IRS service center in Andover from February 2001 to September 2002.
Typically, prosecutors said, Dooley would visit a store, put several items in a shopping cart and take them to the return desk. He would tell the clerk he wanted to return the items, but didn't have a sales receipt.
Although Home Depot allowed people to return items without receipts, clerks required customers to show photo identification when doing so. Prosecutors said Dooley would show his IRS badge as proof of his identity and would sometimes tell the clerk that he was "trustworthy" because he worked for the IRS.
A spokesman for Atlanta-based Home Depot, Jerry Shields, said the company worked closely with law enforcement.
"The Home Depot is appreciative of the efficient work of the United States Attorney's Office, the Department of Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and the various other law enforcement agencies," Shields said in a statement.
The wire fraud charges stem from the fact that each time Dooley returned an item he had not purchased, store credit information was transmitted by wire and stored electronically in a Home Depot computer server.
Dooley is accused of stealing merchandise from Home Depot stores in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont, New York, Rhode Island, Texas and Oklahoma. He was apprehended in October 2005 while attempting to return items he allegedly had stolen from a Home Depot store in Reading.
If convicted of the federal charges, Dooley faces up to 20 years in prison.

Jason's snark: Hmmmm, yeah. Our tax dollars at work.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Hatfield-McCoy feud blamed on ‘rage’ disease


A rare, genetic condition may have fueled violent tempers across generations. “The McCoy temperament is legendary. Whether or not we can blame it on genes, I don’t know,” said Ron McCoy, 43, of Durham, N.C., one of the organizers of the annual Hatfield-McCoy reunion. “There are a lot of underpinnings that are probably a more legitimate source of conflict.”
“There was a lot of inter-marrying” that could have played havoc with the gene pool, he conceded.
Another relative, Bo McCoy, of Waverly, Ohio, said he had never heard talk of the disease although he has been diagnosed with a different adrenal gland problem — Cushing’s syndrome. Even Reo Hatfield, who drafted the “truce” the two families famously signed in 2003 to officially end hostilities, doubted the role of the McCoys’ disease in the feud.
“I would be shocked” if doctors blamed it on illness, he said.

Jason's snark: "Now hold my jug o' corn-squeezins and hands me muh gun, sister-wife. We'll fix this here feud right up smart-like. May takes me a scatter shot at that doctorfied feller whilst I'm a-shootin."

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Kitty saves the day

From The Associated Press

An Indiana cat helped spare a family from death by carbon monoxide poisoning by jumping on the bed and meowing wildly as fumes filled the home, the owners said. Eric and Cathy Keesling said their 14-year-old cat, Winnie, played a crucial role in saving their lives March 24 after a gasoline-powered water pump in their basement caused the odorless but deadly gas to build up. About 1 a.m., the domestic shorthair began nudging Cathy’s ear and meowing loudly. ‘‘It was a crazy meow, almost like she was screaming,’’ said Cathy, who hesitated to get up until Winnie’s caterwauling and jumping persisted. When she finally climbed from bed, she realized she was nauseous and dizzy and couldn’t awaken her husband. Because he had undergone minor neck surgery the previous day, she decided to call 911 but was so disoriented she had trouble dialing. Paramedics found the couple’s 14-year-old son, Michael, unconscious on the floor near his bedroom. The Keeslings were taken from the home in oxygen masks, treated for carbon monoxide poisoning and soon recovered. Cathy Keesling said Winnie acted similarly last summer when tornadoes tore through the area, 45 miles east of Indianapolis. ‘‘I really believe cats can sense these kind of things,’’ she said.

Jason's snark: Tornadoes, carbon monoxide and the sound of a tuna can opening, three things sure to get a cat riled.

Wig-wearing firefighter nabbed in bikini

From The Associated Press

A man wearing a woman’s wig and a string bikini was charged with taking a drunken afternoon romp through a park, officials said. Steven S. Cole, a 46-year-old volunteer firefighter, told an officer he was on his way to a Dayton. Ohio bar to perform as a woman in a contest offering a $10,000 prize, the arrest report said. He pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of drunken driving, public indecency and disorderly conduct. Cole was arrested Tuesday after police received a report that an intoxicated man was walking and driving around Heritage Oak Park in Mason. Police said Cole was wearing a blond wig, pink flip-flops and a red-black-and-white striped bikini with the top filled out by tan water balloons. Cole’s blood-alcohol test registered 0.174, more than twice Ohio’s legal driving limit of 0.08, the arrest report said. ‘‘He is obviously humiliated and embarrassed by the entire situation,’’ said Cole’s lawyer, Charlie Rittgers, who added that he is investigating the circumstances that led to the arrest. Cole did not return a call seeking comment. He remained free on his own recognizance until trial, set for May 24. Cole has been a Wayne Township firefighter since 2000. Township officials said he will be placed on administrative leave.

Jason's snark: I didn't know Dolly Parton was volunteer fire fighter. And as a special treat, The Smoking Gun has some don't-miss pictures. Enjoy.

Big bunny baked for birthday banquet

From Times Online

The offspring of the 12 giant rabbits were supposed to help to feed starving North Koreans. Now doubts about their fate have brought an abrupt halt to one of the more unlikely hunger-alleviating projects.
Karl Szmolinsky sold the rabbits to Pyongyang so that they could be used to set up a breeding program to boost meat production in North Korea.
However, amid concerns that they have been eaten by the country’s leaders, Szmolinsky will not be sending any more.
The 68-year-old German rabbit breeder had been due to travel to North Korea after Easter to provide advice on setting up a rabbit farm. A North Korean official called him last week to say that the trip had been cancelled. Mr Szmolinsky said he suspected that his rabbits, which grow to the size of dogs and can weigh over 22 pounds were eaten at a birthday banquet for Kim Jong Il, the North Korean leader, although he emphasised that he had no evidence of this.
“It’s an assumption, not an assertion,” Mr Szmolinsky said. “But I don’t think the animals are alive anymore, I think they’ve been eaten. North Korea won’t be getting any more rabbits from me, they don’t even need to bother asking."
The North Korean Embassy in Berlin denied that the rabbits were dead. A spokesman said that they were being used for a breeding program, and had not been eaten. He added that no one at the embassy had contacted Szmolinsky.
His rabbits can yield up to 15 pounds of meat each. In January Szmolinsk said that the rabbits were being kept in a petting zoo in Pyongyang pending his arrival and that he would be prepared to deliver some more to North Korea.

Jason's snark: You've got to click the link to see this big ol' bunny. Happy Easter. Now hand over all the salad and step away from those carrots if you know what's good for you.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Sub-loving coyote moves to 'burbs

From The Chicago Tribune

Shoes and shirt not required in this lunchtime grazing spot.
The coyote that walked into a downtown Chicago sandwich shop Tuesday afternoon was released today onto a nine-acre private property in northwest suburban Barrington Hills where rabbits and mice – not subs and chips – will be his daily fare.
Officials were fairly confident he won't return downtown, but no one can be really sure. They named the animal "Adrian" after the employee of the city's Animal Care and Control department who watched him overnight. The animal spent the night quietly in the back of his cage, dining on cat food. This morning, he was taken to the Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation refuge in Barrington, where he was examined before being released.
Adrian had startled customers of a Quiznos restaurant by walking in, past an open door, and plopping himself down in an open soda pop cooler. No humans were injured during the incident.
This morning, employees of the Quiznos visited the coyote, bringing him a prime rib sandwich on garlic bread. But Animal Care and Control veterinarians rejected the offering.
"I understand," Bina Patel, manager of the sandwich shop, said today. "There are no prime ribs out in the wild. It was nice having him as a guest. He just decided to walk in. He hung out in the refrigerator. We had two regular customers who just kept on eating."

Jason's snark: Yo, Adrian, toss me a sub. Yeah, one of those toasted roadrunner ones. Meep meep.

Zombie rocker just kidding

From Starpulse News Blog

Rolling Stones rocker Keith Richards insists he never snorted his father's ashes - his recent comments were made in "jest." Richards can't believe people took him seriously after he told British music magazine NME he once snorted his dad Bert's ashes mixed with cocaine.
He said, "He was cremated and I couldn't resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow. My dad wouldn't have cared. "It went down pretty well, and I'm still alive."
However, Richard's manager Jane Rose tells MTV that the hellraiser's comments were "said in jest. Can't believe anyone took (it) seriously."

Jason's snark: Yeah, 'cause sniffing paternal cremains is just so funny. Take your Geritol, Keith. Maybe with a Metamucil back.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Legendary rock zombie did what?

From The Associated Press

Keith Richards has acknowledged consuming a raft of illegal substances in his time, but this may top them all. In comments published Tuesday, the 63-year-old Rolling Stones guitarist said he had snorted his father’s ashes mixed with cocaine.
‘‘The strangest thing I’ve tried to snort? My father. I snorted my father,’’ Richards was quoted as saying by British music magazine NME.
‘‘He was cremated and I couldn’t resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow. My dad wouldn’t have cared,’’ he said. ‘‘... It went down pretty well, and I’m still alive.’’
Richards’ father, Bert, died in 2002, at 84. Richards, one of rock’s legendary wild men, told the magazine that his survival was the result of luck, and advised young musicians against trying to emulate him.

Jason's snark: Sorry folks, this one just left me speechless. Snark amongst yourselves, if you're able.

What to do when a snake goes missing at Google? Search, of course!

From The Associated Press

This was one search that you couldn’t just Google. An employee’s python went missing over the weekend in Google’s sprawling Manhattan office, sending search teams on an all-out snake hunt. The searchers scoured the complex for the 3-foot-long snake and finally found the serpent, known as Kaiser, on Monday night.
‘‘A snake was lost; it was not an April Fool’s joke. It was found last night,’’ Google spokeswoman Ellen West said Tuesday. ‘‘The snake has left the building.’’
She declined to reveal specifics about where in the office Kaiser was discovered. But a contributor to Google’s official blog wrote that the staff was told the snake was found ‘‘relaxing behind a cabinet.’’
And although West wouldn’t say how the snake made it to the office, she confirmed it belonged to a ‘‘Googler’’ and said the pet was now at its owner’s home.
The Google blog contributor, software engineer Dan Bentley, wrote that while some employees laughed about the situation, others stood away from walls and corners and the bathrooms were less crowded.
The fact that someone brought a snake into the building is not completely surprising, given Google’s laid-back culture. Dubbed the ‘‘Googleplex,’’ the Manhattan office of the Mountain View, Calif.-based company offers a relaxed workspace, built around a team concept that has people sharing offices and cubicles connected in groups. It also offers free food, massage therapy, yoga classes, and ski trips, according to Google’s jobs Web site.

Jason's snark: Well, that's one way to free up the johns.

Investing 101 with Capt. Kirk


TORONTO — Making money may not have been a top priority for Captain James Kirk and his crew as they cruised through space on Star Trek, but the same can't be said for William Shatner when it comes to his civilian life.
During a 50-plus year acting career, Mr. Shatner has parlayed his most famous role into a money-making machine. His website is a one-stop shop for Trekkies, offering products such as signed Captain Kirk photos for $79.95, or a Kirk and Klingon Action Figure set on sale for $28.98.
Then there is the apparent draw of Mr. Shatner, who has no qualms when it comes to poking fun at himself. In recent decades, he has served as a pitchman for Loblaw Cos. Ltd.'s supermarkets,'s travel deals, DaimlerChrysler Canada Inc.'s cars, and Kellogg Co.'s All-Bran cereal.
At his latest appearance in Toronto Monday, helping Rogers Wireless Communications Inc. launch a new service for video calls over cellphones — how very Star Trekish — Mr. Shatner sat down and shared some of his views on the world of business. They include such tidbits as "don't buy anything that eats while you sleep."

Jason's snark: "Don't buy anything that eats while you sleep." Yeah, good advice. Beam up my savings, Scotty.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Judge agrees to let man change his name to 'Ynot Bubba'

From the Las Cruces Sun-News

Justin Brady was asked what he wanted to be called and he politely responded, "Yes, Mr. Ynot Bubba."
On Monday, state Judicial District Court Judge Jerald Valentine granted Brady's request to legally change his name to Ynot Bubba.
Bubba said afterward he had no celebration plans, instead he planned to spend the day notifying people, like his insurance agent, of the name change.
Bubba, 43, a California native whose legal address is now Las Cruces, has worked as a truck driver for more than 20 years. He asked to change his name because he no longer had a relationship with his adoptive parents, the Bradys.
Bubba said he wanted his name to stand out and since some close to him had nicknamed him "Bubba" he decided why not change his name to Ynot Bubba.
Since his story first appeared in the Sun-News in mid-March, Bubba has received several interview requests.
"I don't know what the big deal is," Bubba said when he learned of the interest in his story. "It's just a name."
Bubba had also considered Lacon Marlboro or More Chek as potential names.

Jason's snark: Man, I can't tell you how exciting it is to have the first post from our own paper! I love it when oddities fall in our own back yard. Hey, Ynot?


from the New York Post via Fark

TALK about reinventing the wheel. None of the three actors who play cavemen in the beloved Geico commercials will get to star in the ABC comedy they've inspired.
John Lehr, Jeff Phillips and Ben Weber, who under layers of Cro-Magnon makeup have inspired a cult following, have been kicked out of the cave as the concept goes Hollywood.
In their place, newcomers Nick Kroll, Bill English and Kaitlin Doubleday have been cast to play the group of hypersensitive Cro-Mags who wrestle with prejudice and feel victimized by modern culture, reports Variety.

Jason's snark: Well, the role should be so easy a caveman could do it.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

NASA Announces First Mime in Space

From the Weekly World News

HOUSTON, Tex. -- NASA has named its first mime in space, Jacques Tatitov, who will perform in the vacuum outside the International Space Station.
The mime has been characteristically tight-lipped about his space routine, which is rumored to include exercises such as 'Walking Against the Solar Wind' and 'Unpeeling a Banana-Flavored Thermostabilized Pudding Ration.'
"Such a mission has always been my dream," Tatitov announced in an email from the Johnson Space Center. "The ultimate aim of Mime is to perform in the perfect silence of space."
NASA, too, has looked forward to the mime-in-orbit program for years--and not just as a spaceborne entertainment.
"There's an enormous opportunity here for cutting costs," said mission director Beja Keflavik. "Tatitov won't need a radio--he communicates brilliantly without words. And during his spacewalk, he'll be pulling himself along an invisible tether, which means we won't have to spring for an umbilicus or rocket pack."
The mime's titanium-dioxide face paint will reflect harmful solar radiation into space, and his skintight black-and-white pressure suit will feature a suspender-mounted life-support pack and a jaunty space beret. Tatitov said he is concerned that the suit -- which has been stripped-down to allow flexibility -- will be vulnerable to micrometeroid impacts.
"For most of my performance, I shall be trapped in an invisible box, which should afford some protection," he said. "Besides--I'm used to being pelted with rocks--even in my performances on Earth."

Jason's snark: It's a very forward-thinking plan which can only benefit mankind. Oh, yeah. APRIL FOOLS!