Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Does not mix with driving

Does not mix with driving

I mean, updating your Facebook profile and taking selfies while driving on a busy Interstate? There’s such a thing as tempting fate once too often:

A woman has died in a head-on collision on a US highway just seconds after she posted selfies and updated her status on Facebook, police have said.

At 8.33am on Thursday a post appeared on 32-year-old Courtney Sanford’s Facebook timeline which read: “The happy song makes me so HAPPY.” At 8.34am police were called to reports of a crash.

Officers said Ms Sanford was alone in her car when it crossed the central reservation, crashed into a recycling truck and burst into flames, forcing the other vehicle off the road.

She was on her way to work along Interstate 85 in North Carolina at the time, and police said they found no evidence that drink, drugs or speed were factors in the collision.

The link to Facebook only emerged this weekend after friends of Ms Sanford came forward to tell police that a number of her posts online appeared to come from a similar time to the incident itself.

Sad news, made all the more so by the fact that she was so happy at the time and that the urge to share her happiness lead to her death.

As someone who’s nearly been clobbered several times while driving or walking by people on their cell phones, all I can say is that I hope this serves as a warning to people who think they can cell, or text, or play on the Internet while driving. You can’t.

Pay attention to the road!

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I think these people are right to protect their privacy; can you imagine all the relatives that would be crawling out of the woodwork looking for handouts?

A Northern California couple out walking their dog on their property stumbled across a modern-day bonanza: $10 million in rare, mint-condition gold coins buried in the shadow of an old tree.

Nearly all of the 1,427 coins, dating from 1847 to 1894, are in uncirculated, mint condition, said David Hall, co-founder of Professional Coin Grading Service of Santa Ana, which recently authenticated them. Although the face value of the gold pieces only adds up to about $27,000, some of them are so rare that coin experts say they could fetch nearly $1 million apiece.

“I don’t like to say once-in-a-lifetime for anything, but you don’t get an opportunity to handle this kind of material, a treasure like this, ever,” said veteran numismatist Don Kagin, who is representing the finders. “It’s like they found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”

Of course, I know they’re anxious to send me my cut.

I think Daffy said it best:


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satire sports football

It’s no secret that I despise the University of Spoiled Children, so you can imagine my glee when I read that head coach Lane Kiffen had been fired after another big loss, this time 62-41 at Arizona State. ($C alums are notoriously ruthless with the coaches.)

But, it’s the way they fired him that has me laughing out loud: outside the terminal at LAX, and then kicking him off the team bus, leaving him to find his own way home.

Well played, Pat Haden, well played. 😀

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"Handle with care"

“Handle with care”

And no, it’s not from The Onion:

Norway goat cheese fire closes tunnel

A road tunnel in Norway has been closed – by a lorry-load of burning cheese.

About 27 tonnes of caramelised brown goat cheese – a delicacy known as Brunost – caught light as it was being driven through the Brattli Tunnel at Tysfjord, northern Norway, last week.

The fire raged for five days and smouldering toxic gases were slowing the recovery operation, officials said.

The tunnel – which is said to be badly damaged – is likely to remain closed for several weeks, they added.

“We can’t go in until it’s safe,” geologist Viggo Aronsen told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

Police officer Viggo Berg said the high concentration of fat and sugar in the cheese made it burn “almost like petrol if it gets hot enough”.

I understand that fondue pots were flown in from around the world to deal with the crisis.

Though, when you think about it, flaming goat cheese could be considered a weapon of mass destruction. We’d better get UN inspectors involved.

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Amazingly, this wasn’t in San Francisco:

The Catholic priest busted for allegedly dealing crystal meth was suspended after church officials discovered he was a cross-dresser who was having sex in the rectory at Bridgeport’s St. Augustine Cathedral.

Monsignor Kevin Wallin was relieved of his duties in May, but the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport had continued to pay him a stipend until his Jan. 3 arrest — a day he was planning to fly to London on vacation.

Now dubbed “Msgr. Meth” by some, Wallin seemed to live a life that easily could have been ripped from the script of “Breaking Bad,” the popular AMC series about a high school chemistry teacher turned crystal methamphetamine producer. At one point, Wallin was selling upwards of $9,000 of meth a week, according to his indictment.

I predict this winds up either as an episode of “Justified” or its own show on the FX Network next year.

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The happy couple.

The happy couple.

We ain’t got nuthin’ on the Big Apple. I mean how can you top a fireman with a pre-op tranny prostitute “girlfriend,” both of whom had been accused and acquitted of strangling other transsexuals, including the girlfriend’s transsexual pimp?

Now they’ve both been acquitted of throttling transsexuals.

Kinky FDNY hunk Taylor Murphy, who successfully fought off felony strangulation charges brought by his jealous, blond, pre-op transsexual ex-girlfriend, is now dating another woman wannabe with a far more serious strangulation on her rap sheet.

Brunette pre-op transsexual Wanda Batista, 32, was all smiling and supportive of Murphy as she walked arm-in-arm with him at Manhattan Supreme Court last week, batting her eyelashes and calling him her “giant teddy bear.”

But in December 2004, the towering Batista was tried on charges she had fatally choked her transsexual pimp — and in a bizarre karmic twist, Batista was acquitted by a Brooklyn jury, just as her beefy fireman would be in Manhattan eight years later.

We in the Golden State are going to have to bring our A-game to beat this. Thankfully, we have San Francisco on our side.

Read the rest at the New York Post.

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Craaaab caaaakesss!

So first it was Florida, then New Jersey, and now Maryland. I’m telling ya, it’s time to stock up on those emergency supplies:

The 21-year-old college student allegedly told detectives that he hadn’t just killed the man who’d lived with his family for months, but had eaten his heart and portions of his brain. The victim’s severed head and hands were found in the men’s Harford County home; more remains were left in a trash container outside a church.

Authorities outlined the macabre circumstances Thursday in charges against Alexander Kinyua, an electrical engineering major at Morgan State University and member of his school’s ROTC program, of first-degree murder in the death of 37-year-old Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie, a Ghanaian national and a former master’s degree student.

Kinyua’s father reported that Agyei-Kodie went missing last Friday after going for a jog, but the investigation eventually led back to the family home. Kinyua was being held Thursday without bond, and authorities were exploring whether others participated in the crime or knew about it, based on what they called inconsistencies in statements made by the suspect’s family.

Harford authorities said the killing was among the most brutal — and bizarre — they’d seen. The case comes on the heels of grisly incidents in Miami — where a naked man believed to be high on synthetic drugs known as “bath salts” ate another man’s face — and New Jersey, where a man disemboweled himself and reportedly threw his intestines at police officers.

Harford County Sheriff Jesse Bane said of the allegations against Kinyua: “I’ve been with the agency 40 years, and I would say this is the first time I can remember … where someone was placed under arrest in Harford County and as part of his crime he consumed the victim.

“I’ve not encountered that in this county, and I hope we never encounter it again,” he added.

Sorry Sheriff Bane. It’s only just begun.

Can’t wait for them to get to Congress; they’ll feel right at home.

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Come on. A naked spy with kinky sex preferences found stuffed into a duffel bag in his bathtub — and he worked on top-secret UK intelligence matters?

An inquest held just across the Thames from MI6’s headquarters here has brought forth details of the bizarre and lonely death in August 2010 of Gareth Williams, a 31-year-old rising star in supersecret counterterrorism work. He was found in a fetal position, arms crossed on his chest, locked inside a duffel bag resting in an unfilled bathtub at the government flat assigned to him in the upscale Pimlico district of London.

His naked body had been in the bag for a week before it was discovered, so badly decomposed that the police and pathologists have been unable to determine whether he was murdered in what his family’s lawyer has suggested to the court was a plot by others skilled in the “dark arts” of spy work.

That theory has played prominently here, with Mr. Williams depicted alternately as a victim of Russian secret service hit men, extremists with Al Qaeda, or a multitude of other potential assassins working in the murky world of espionage who poisoned him with potassium cyanide or an overdose of a powerful sedative drug, GHB, a theory pathologists said could not be effectively tested because of the advanced decomposition.

While the police and MI6 officials have refused to rule out those theories, they suggested a more likely but mundane explanation: that although the day had long passed when the agency dictated agents’ lifestyles, he was leading a doubly secret life, as a licensed MI6 field agent and as a sexual fantasist.

Naturally, in the world of British TV mysteries, there’s much more going on here than  meets the eye. Surely this would involve cover-ups, blackmail, scandal… and maybe even the Royal Family. (Hey, if they can blame the royals for Jack the Ripper, why not?)

This just begs for Inspector Morse or Jane Tennison.


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A different kind of Human?

As Humans developed from ape-like predecessors, several sub-species evolved, as if Nature was trying several options, to see what worked best. Our species, Homo Sapiens, won that race and became not just dominant, but the sole surviving Human species (1). Neanderthal Man, the most well-known Human branch other than ours, was perhaps the most successful “other” Human species, and they’re gone. (2)

Now scientists think they may have discovered another, this time in China, a species that survived until surprisingly recent times:

The bones, which represent at least five individuals, have been dated to between 11,500 and 14,500 years ago.

But scientists are calling them simply the Red Deer Cave people, after one of the sites where they were unearthed.

The team has told the PLoS One journal that far more detailed analysis of the fossils is required before they can be ascribed to a new human lineage.


The remains of some of the individuals come from Maludong (or Red Deer Cave), near the city of Mengzi in Yunnan Province. A further skeleton was discovered at Longlin, in neighbouring Guangxi Province.

The skulls and teeth from the two locations are very similar to each other, suggesting they are from the same population.

But their features are quite distinct from what you might call a fully modern human, says the team. Instead, the Red Deer Cave people have a mix of archaic and modern characteristics.

In general, the individuals had rounded brain cases with prominent brow ridges. Their skull bones were quite thick. Their faces were quite short and flat and tucked under the brain, and they had broad noses.

Their jaws jutted forward but they lacked a modern-human-like chin. Computed Tomography (X-ray) scans of their brain cavities indicate they had modern-looking frontal lobes but quite archaic-looking anterior, or parietal, lobes. They also had large molar teeth.

Of course, nothing is settled yet, but it’s hoped that DNA investigations will reveal if these were non-Homo Sapiens people, Homo Sapiens who had adapted to local conditions, or a hybrid of Homo Sapiens and some other branch of Humanity.  Regardless, it’s a neat discovery.

Lovecraft fan that I am, though, I can’t help but note that these bones were found disturbingly near the reputed location of the Plateau of Leng. Or distant relatives of the Tcho-Tcho People? For the sake of their sanity, let’s hope these investigators don’t decide to “do a Jurassic Park.”

(1) Other than NFL defensive linemen.
(2) Of course, there was this one kid in high school who looked like a throwback…

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What a way to go…

Suicide by chainsaw?

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They might burn down the castle:

Two Slovak children were suspected of burning down a large gothic castle in eastern Slovakia when their experimentation with smoking went wrong, police said on Sunday.

Police were investigating two boys on suspicion that they set grass at the foot of the Krasna Horka castle on fire on Saturday when they tried to light up cigarettes, said Jana Mesarova, police spokeswoman for the eastern Slovak region of Kosice. Children under the age of 15 cannot be prosecuted in Slovakia.

Yeah, but wait until their fathers get home. Or, as they say in Slovakia:

Pockajte, kým otec príde domov!

Damn straight.

Who needs an invading army when you’ve got kids and matches?

RELATED: The Krasna Horka web site, and video of the fire from the BBC.



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The story is here.

This is callous of me to say, but… so? She was a drug addict who took a wonderful gift and had a life 99.99 percent of the world will only ever dream of living… and destroyed herself. Amy Winehouse, Darryl Strawberry, so many other celebrities in one field or another have ruined themselves with drugs.

I can’t feel sorry for people like Whitney Houston, for they make their own choices; their fate was their creation.

For those who cared about Whitney (and others high and low who throw away their lives while friends and family watch helplessly), I do feel pity. And I hope they recover from the hurt she did them.

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Looney, defined

That would be skydiving from the edge of space:

It is the ultimate in parachute jumps: from the edge of space, Felix Baumgartner will leap from a balloon, plummeting to the ground 120,000 feet below.

After 35 seconds he will break the sound barrier, and finally, at 5,000 feet he will deploy a parachute and – hopefully – land safely on the ground.

During his 10-minute journey to earth the Austrian will travel at more than 690 miles per hour inside a special suit, which must protect him from temperatures as low as -94 degrees F.

He will rely on its oxygen tanks as the air is too thin to breathe – and hope that the sheer force of the fall does not make him blackout.

Other than that, piece of cake!

Doesn’t this sound like the start of a weird superhero origin story?

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I’ve always been interested in old, unsolved crimes — the so-called “cold cases.” Partly it’s the historian in me (by inclination and education), partly it’s natural curiosity about a puzzle (“Who dunnit?” And why?), and also it’s that unsatisfying feeling of Justice left undone, that no one has been held to account for what they did. I’ve even co-written a spec script for the now-canceled CBS series Cold Case about a 50-year old crime of mistaken identity and murder. (And we did a darned fine job, if I say so, myself.)

So you can imagine my interest in the news regarding the murder of little Maria Ridulph in 1957. Imagine: two young girls are playing outside  in a town that could have come straight out of the world of Norman Rockwell, a time when you didn’t have to lock your doors and children could play out of sight of their parents. Then a young man comes up to them and offers to play with them. Maria’s friend runs home to get some mittens and, when she comes back, both the young man and Maria are gone.

It was a case that captured national attention — even J. Edgar Hoover and President Eisenhower received daily updates. But Maria wasn’t found in time; her remains were discovered months later, over 100 miles away.

What had happened to her? Who dunnit?

Now, at last, we may get some answers:

Police suspected [Jack Daniel] McCullough, who lived less than two blocks from the Ridulphs and who fit the description of the man said to have approached the girls, Thomas said Friday. But McCullough seemed to have an alibi, claiming he took the train from Rockford to Chicago the day of the abduction.

His story fell apart last year after investigators reinterviewed a woman who dated him in 1957 and asked her to search through some personal items, the Seattle Times reported, citing court documents. She found an unused train ticket from Rockford to Chicago dated the day the girl went missing.

“Once his alibi crumbled, we found about a dozen other facts that helped us build our case,” Thomas said.

McCullough is now 71 and is awaiting extradition to Illinois. Ironically, this accused murderer went on to become a police officer, in which role he apparently went on to victimize others.

But it’s fascinating both how the case broke –an unused train ticket saved by an old girlfriend destroyed his alibi– and that investigators kept looking into this year after year, for over two generations, never completely giving up on the quest to do right by a 7-year old who never had the chance to grow up and have children of her own.

Of course, this won’t bring her back to life, nor give back to her friends and family what was ripped from them so long ago. But, even decades later, it’s right that the truth may at last have come out and her killer finally may be called to account.

Of Interest: An old article on LAPD’s cold case unit.

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Because, you never know, he might have anger management issues:

The price of the Beefy Crunch Burrito had gone up from 99 cents to $1.49 and the man at the Rigsby Road Taco Bell drive-thru had just ordered seven.

The fast food customer was so disgruntled by the price hike he shot an air gun at the manager, displayed a semiautomatic assault rifle and pistol while in the restaurant’s parking lot, fled as police were called, exchanged gunfire with three officers who pulled him over, then barricaded himself in his hotel room — all over $3.50 plus additional tax.

The final incident in the burrito-triggered spree happened Sunday afternoon at the Rodeway Inn on North W.W. White Road, engaging SWAT negotiators in a more than three-hour standoff, according to officials and witnesses.

The man, whose name was not released because he had not been charged, faces three attempted capital murder charges for the exchange of gunfire with police plus possible other charges, said police spokesman Sgt. Chris Benavides. No one was injured in the incident.

Don’t these people get it? It’s the principle of the thing! We’re talking a Beefy Crunch Burrito, here! How much torment must a man endure, before it becomes too much?

I wonder if we’ll be seeing articles about “burrito rage,” soon?


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A Florida woman was strangled to death by her electric neck massager:

A Jackson Memorial Hospital radiologist was strangled to death in her Parkland home on Christmas Eve by an electronic massager that became ensnared with a necklace she was wearing, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

Michelle Ferrari-Gegerson, 37, had spent the evening wrapping gifts and preparing to go to work, and had used the massager to relieve neck pain, said a report released Wednesday by BSO.

Ferrari-Gegerson was discovered unconscious on her bedroom floor by her husband, Dr. Kenneth Gegerson, a dentist, at about 9 p.m. Friday in the couple’s home in Pinetree Estates.

Gegerson, who could not be reached for comment this week, dialed 911. When police and paramedics arrived, they found an electronic massager on the floor near Ferrari-Gegerson, according to the BSO report.

Police are temporarily withholding the brand and other details of the electronic massager as the investigation continues.

The article then recounts other incidents in which electric neck massagers have turned into instruments of death.

Guess what’s not on my Christmas list next year…

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It’s not unusual at all for a woman to learn her man is fooling around with another woman. And, sadly, it’s not unusual these days to hear of legally adult women sleeping with underage males*. It is a bit unusual** to learn of two different adult women having relations with the same legally underage male, apparently unbeknownst to each other.

And it is downright weird when the two women are mother and daughter:

County Supervisor Fulton Brock’s daughter has been arrested and accused of molesting the same boy her mother is charged with sexually abusing over a three-year period.

Rachel Katherine Brock, 21, daughter of Fulton and Susan Brock, faces three counts of sexual conduct with a minor and one of furnishing obscene materials to a minor. The charges are related to incidents that began when the boy was 14 and she was 18, according to court papers.

Susan Brock, 48, faces 15 child-abuse counts for allegedly abusing the same boy starting when he was 13 years old and she was 45, the court documents report.

Mother and daughter are both being held without bond.

An article about the mother’s initial arrest is here.

And while I have deep sympathy for the cuckolded husband/father in this mess, this story is so… bizarre that I can’t help but laugh. Perhaps from shock.

And, oh yes, “ew!!”

*Something I suspect has always happened, but is simply being reported more and more.

**As in “almost unheard of.”

h/t The Jawa Report

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Spy games?

His body was stuffed in a locked duffel bag, and the police think his death may be suspicious?

Piffle. It’s an obvious case of accidental suicide while trying to hide from an annoying neighbor:

Jeff Stein, the Washington Post’s SpyTalk blogger, says that unnamed “U.S. intelligence officials” have downplayed the possibility that British code-breaker Gareth Williams – who worked closely with the U.S. National Security Agency at Fort Meade and American intelligence officials in Kabul – was assassinated.

But back in London, where the naked, decomposing body of the 31-year-old “math genius” was found August 23 in a padlocked duffel bag in the bathroom of an apartment kept as a “safe house” by Britain’s M16, police are not so sure.“Murder detectives say they are still looking at whether Gareth Williams may have been killed by a foreign intelligence agency seeking to stop his work on intercepting messages and code-breaking,” according to the Daily Telegraph.

Williams was “on loan” to M16 from Britain’s top-secret Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), and reportedly played a “key role” overseeing Echelon, a secret electronic network that links satellites and super computers in Britain, the U.S. and other Western allies that eavesdrop on terrorist networks.

Nothing to see here, move along… Whistling

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Okay, granted this is a serious news item about a narrowly-averted serious crime, but check out the victim’s brother in this video:

Dude, we’re talking reality TV star. 🙂

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Via Breitbart:

Insane killer escapes on field trip to county fair

A criminally insane killer from eastern Washington is on the run after escaping during a field trip to the county fair that his mental hospital organized.

Why such a dangerous person was out in public was a question many, including Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire, were asking as authorities searched for Phillip Arnold Paul.

Authorities at Eastern State Hospital, where Paul is a patient, are being criticized for allowing him to visit the fair despite his violent criminal past and a history of trying to escape.

An insane killer? Escaped at the fair? You just know that, when he’s caught (and let’s hope it’s soon), he’ll be wearing a clown suit.

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