November 8th, 2007

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Look out below



600-Pound Cow Falls On Moving Minivan

MANSON, Wash. (AP) -- A Westland couple celebrating their one-year wedding anniversary in Washington State barely escaped disaster when a 600-pound cow fell 200 feet and landed on the hood of their minivan.

The county fire chief says the couple were lucky they weren't killed by the cow that fell off a cliff as they drove on a highway on Sunday.

Charles Everson Jr. and his wife Linda were checked at a hospital as a precaution.

The van was heavily damaged, including a broken windshield. Charles Everson says he kept repeating, "I don't believe this. I don't believe this."

The cow had been reported missing by a breeder. It was euthanized at the scene.

I can't help but think of Terry Pratchett's books when I read this news story. In one the characters experience rains of fish, cans of sardines, lobsters, and bedsteads. Of course everyone tries to explain how it could all be natural (maybe a hurricane swept through a sardine canning factory for example) and eventually it leads to this exchange about the 'rain of rain'.



I'm pretty sure a rain of cows, or just cow, is a pretty rare phenomenom. Just as well really. I imagine that if you drop cows from a sufficient height, most of them just go splash and that must leave a horrible mess. One interesting bit is that in most of the other news stories I've run across about this incident, the cow's name (Michelle) is always listed. I guess that sort of cements it as a human interest tale.

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Jew been had

Freshman who reported swastikas drew them as well

The University found the student who reported several swastikas on her Mitchell Hall door was the one who drew them.

Using footage from a hidden video camera, the University Police Department linked freshman Sarah Marshak with the vandalism. She will now appear before Student Judicial Services and could face federal and District charges, a spokesperson announced Monday afternoon.

In an interview with The Hatchet Monday evening, Marshak, said she only drew the final three of six swastikas on her door in an attempt to highlight what she characterized as GW's inaction. Only hours earlier, Marshak categorically denied the charges.

"I wasn't looking to create this, sort of, insanity," Marshak, who was previously a Hatchet reporter, said in a phone interview. "I wasn't looking to become a media darling. I was just looking for acknowledgment from University that someone drew a swastika on the door."

Marshak said Tara W. Pereira, director of SJS, informed her she would likely be expelled. Marshak said she did not want to leave GW but probably will.

Color me unsurprised. While I'm sure it's a minority of the time, there's good reason to believe that some people end up staging or faking these sort of incidents exactly because they know that it will bring them attention. It's the equivalent of shouting fire in a crowded theater. They know and we know that the media usually eats this crap up.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't find anything all that impressive about nooses or racial epithets or swastikas or whatever and I don't see the point of throwing a fit over them. That sort of attention only seems to reward the behavior, since it's clear that no one hangs a noose or draws a swastika and wants it to pass unremarked or unnoticed. It would totally defeat the purpose. So instead, we give them exactly what they want when they see people running around having a spazzattack. They're probably laughing their asses off at the reaction. God knows I would be if that were my intention.

While I'm not a fan of hate crime legislation, there is a part of me that hopes that Marshak gets the chair. After all, we want to apply the law equally, don't we? Besides, it would tickle my irony bone to see her convicted. As one Jewish blogger put it on another site: "Sarah Marshak is probably a better Jew than me. Except I never drew swastikas on my own door for attention." Ya.

Update:

Man, I love the internet. I went to the blog of the guy I quoted and found a treasure trove of people who claim they know the girl. Of course, they are now sharing all the gossip about her and it's like a catty slapfest. The upshot seems to be that she's an attention-seeking drama queen. No surprise there.

Update to the Update:

This is not an isolated event at GWU it seems. Less than a month ago, flyers popped up all over campus saying 'Hate Muslims? So do we!!!' supposedly from a campus convervative group. It caused all sorts of the same predictable crap. Well, guess what? It turns out the people who put up the flyers and tried to frame the group were....muslims and leftists. Ya. Go figure, eh?
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Did she or didn't she?



Man, I can only assume that some die-hard supporters of alleged teacher-rapist Anne Knopf are running google searches for her name and then going to the various blogs and news sites, trying to dispel the allegations. Or simply obfuscate them since some of the defenders don't seem to make a whole lot of sense. You know that it's the bottom of the barrel when even I get anon comments. It makes me wonder if it's actually Anne herself, running around trying to drum up support.

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I wonder if there's some sort of organization for this sort of like NAMBLA. You could do worse than trying to start one. Some guys might even jump on the bandwagon of an organization that advocates female teachers sleeping with 13 year old students.

If anyone actually wants to call this person, let me know how it goes. It might be interesting to figure out how the conspiracy theory actually runs. God knows I had a hell of a time trying to decipher it from the garbled comments being left.
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Yay!



I got my candy exchange package from minxy_baby in the mail today and it's spiffy as hell. Look, it's all Canadian'y with the froggytalk on the wrapper and the weight in grams. I ended up sending her a book instead of candy. I think I got it a while back from one of those sissy gift exchanges at Christmas time. It was a book of stupid American facts, and I think it came from a Canadian to begin with so it's sort of right and fitting that it returns there.

One thing's for sure, these candy bars are too good to eat. I feel like I should use them for some larger purpose. I had been thinking about an icon of some sort, but I don't have any specific ideas at the moment. I wonder if it's possible to spell out anything interesting with the candy bars and then animate the results. With only three, it'd require some pretty deft editing though. Anyone else have any interesting ideas?

What should I do with the Oh Henry! Oh Canada! bars?

Any interesting icon ideas?

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Buy 'em while you can

Toy contaminated with 'date rape' drug pulled

NEW YORK (CNN) -- U.S. safety officials have recalled about 4.2 million Chinese-made Aqua Dots bead toys that contain a chemical that has caused some children to vomit and become comatose after swallowing them.

Scientists have found the popular toy's coating contains a chemical that, once metabolized, converts into the toxic "date rape" drug GHB, or gamma-hydroxy butyrate, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission spokesman Scott Wolfson told CNN.

"GHB is this drug that in low doses actually causes euphoria," said Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent. "In higher doses, it can cause people to go into a coma. It can cause seizures. It can cause something known as hypotonia, where all your muscles just become very flaccid.

"And it can cause people to become amnestic, ... which is why it became a date-rape drug," Gupta said.

"So this is nasty stuff, and it appears that the chemical is actually converting into it in the body."

The arts and craft beads, aimed at children 4 years and older, have been selling since April at major U.S. retail stores as "Aqua Dots" and in Australia under the name "Bindeez Beads."

CPSC spokeswoman Julie Vallese said anyone with Aqua Dots at home should immediately take the toy away from children and contact distributor Spin Master Ltd. to return for free replacement beads or a toy of equal value.

Sounds like it might be a value buy. Toys R Us was selling them for $17-30 a pop and there must be hundreds of beads in a set. A 2-year old apparently swallowed 'several dozen' and went into a coma. Lets assume that that is certainly too much. Considering the difference in mass, an adult might want to start with 10-20 beads and see how it goes.

Hmmm, after some additional research it seems you get 1500 in a refill set for $9. At 20 beads a pop, that could keep you happy for raves the year 'round. You'll have to move fast before they finish pulling them off the shelves though. If all else fails, try to buy it off neighborhood kids for a snickers bar or something.


Update:

Rofl. It seems that once again, the druggies are way ahead of me:



There's been a run on various second hand sites where people have been looking to purchase the dots. Hey, a penny saved is a penny earned, right?

The one listing not yet purged from ebay is going for more than 5 times retail:



It was selling for $6.99 a pop just a few days ago.