Monday, April 6, 2015
Martin World News
ITEM: First, I have to say that I had to search farther afield than I normally do. Not because I couldn't find the stupid stuff, but because of the quality on my usual sources. You see, last week was obviously "I never really did get potty training" week, as the stories were by and large poopy- including a customer in the checkout line at a K-Mart, the corridor of a hospital, along a hiking trail (and not by pets), and even some English woman so dissatisfied with her husband that for some years now she's been adding pee to her in-laws' tea. I had to flush all of those stories to come up with a post that didn't stink. So let's try these on for size.
ITEM: This one isn't funny, just a sad commentary on the world and a real, "what kind of a god do you worship" to our Muslim friends out there.
This is a 4-y-o Syrian girl living in a refugee camp. Her name is Hudea. What is Hudea doing? She is surrendering to a photojournalist who was taking a picture of her with a telephoto lens she mistook for a gun.
"I was using a telephoto lens, and she thought it was a weapon," says (Osman) Sağırlı (the photog). "I realized she was terrified after I took it, and looked at the picture, because she bit her lips and raised her hands. Normally kids run away, hide their faces or smile when they see a camera."
I just wish it made the cowards of ISIL, Boko Haram, Al-Shabbab and all the rest as sick as it makes me of them.
ITEM: Now, back to stupid people. And nothing brings them out like April Fools Day, even at a serious institution of higher learning like Grand Valley State.
The captain from the Allendale Fire Department said some female college students were joking around and tossed a lit firecracker at another roommate. The firecracker landed in a nearby hamper sparking a fire around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday on the second floor of a townhouse at Campus West Apartments, located near 48th Avenue just west of GVSU.
The building was evacuated and no one was injured in the fire.
Students are being allowed to return to two of the six apartments in the building. The remaining residents should be able to get back in later Wednesday, except for building number four where the fire started.
The extent of damage to the town home is unknown.
How much you wanna bet the firecracker was originally lit about midnight, nobody went in search of where it landed, and alcohol was involved?
ITEM: A woman checks off the stupidest thing ever found on a bucket list.
Meet South Australia's Karen Davis, who flashed her boobs at a passing Google Street View Car. She ranks this right up with meeting former footballer Sam Newman, and hopes to complete here list by spending her 40th birthday topless skydiving. (A good idea till you land and have to explain the facial bruises.) GSV, for its part has completely pixelated her image on Google maps, so she now appears as Karen the Stupid Ghost. She's awaiting trial for disorderly behavior and had this to say about her case:
"I'm going to try and go to court with a straight face and try not to laugh - I think it is a bit hilarious because it is so low scale in the criminal world." Not to mention a complete waste of the court's time and her fellow taxpayers' money. Next time, just go down to amateur night at Albury Wodonga Men's Club down the road, huh?
ITEM: Our next fine, upstanding woman is Ashley Sies of Lexington, KY.
Ashley was apparently under the influence of drugs when she went to the home of Patricia Leese and began strangling her with a bra. Yes, with a bra. But it gets better. As the pair (who didn't know each other previously) struggled, Patricia got a hold of and beat Ashley unconscious with a nearby ceramic chicken. Yes, a ceramic chicken. Patricia then locked herself in the bathroom and called 911. The local police whisked Ashley away to face, of all things, first degree BURGLARY charges.
ITEM: Here's a real feel good story. Remember Vanuatu, the poor island nation that got obliterated a week or two back by a typhoon? The news media sure has, but wait till you see what favorite target of media bashing lately has come to the rescue.
When Cyclone Pam battered the island nation of Vanuatu three weeks ago, Australia’s largest cruise operator, Carnival Australia, was forced to suspend tourist visits to the country.
But chief executive Ann Sherry decided to keep to the ships’ planned Pacific routes anyway, taking in much-needed aid, including food, water, blankets, tarpaulins, insect repellent and wood mulchers, to the help the storm-damaged country.
While passengers on Pacific cruises were unable to go ashore in Vanuatu, they agreed to be part of the humanitarian aid program, donating money and goods for the local people when they arrived in port.
“We had to make the choice about whether we went into Vanuatu or not,” says Sherry, whose cruise lines regularly tour the Pacific.
“We have gone with ships laden with people, but because it was not safe ashore, we said to everyone on board this is now an aid cruise, a humanitarian cruise.
“Our ships have the capacity to take in huge volumes of water, generators, tarpaulins. We also asked our suppliers if they wanted to be part of it and they have jumped on board.
“We have taken in pallets of food from suppliers that they have generously donated.”
So far the Carnival group has contributed about $300,000 to help Vanuatu, mainly through the Save the Children’s Vanuatu relief effort. Carnival Corp contributed $100,000 and another $50,000 came from Carnival Australia’s existing Pacific Partnership program. Another $150,000 came from Carnival Corp’s global chairman, Micky Arison, through his family foundation.
When the Florida-based Arison discovered Carnival Australia’s relief efforts by reading the company’s tweets, he decided to match the Australian arm’s contribution of $150,000 with $150,000 of his own money.
P&O passengers travelling on the cruises were told they could take goods such as food, insect repellent and personal hygiene items to give to the people in Vanuatu when they arrived.
So far four Carnival Australia ships — P&O’s Pacific Dawn and Pacific Pearl and Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Legend and Carnival Spirit — have taken aid to Vanuatu since the cyclone. More than 12 pallets of goods contributed by passengers have been delivered.
A fifth ship left Australia on Saturday with more aid for the country. A decision is now being made whether passengers will be able to get off the ship to see the country in a limited way when it arrives there early this week.
Sherry admits there was some nervousness from the company that the ships would still be making a stop in Vanuatu as part of their planned Pacific route to take in aid, while the passengers were not allowed to get off the ship.
“We put up a message on our Facebook page to say the ships would still be going to Vanuatu (to take in aid) but the passengers would not be able to get off the ship,” Sherry says. “We were a bit nervous about the reaction but after we put it up. The first message on the Facebook site was from someone saying they would love to be on the cruise.
“We knew then that the passenger attitude was going to be 110 per cent in support. They wanted to be part of the recovery effort.”
But with their economy devastated by the cyclone, the people of Vanuatu are keen for a resumption of the shore visits by passengers. The country has missed the financial injection from more than 8000 cruise ship visitors over the past few weeks.
“The people in Vanuatu are telling us they really want people to get off the ship,” Sherry says.
“The businesses need customers. We are just checking whether it is safe and if we need to contain people to the city area. We are keen to let people back into Vanuatu and to start spending money again but we don’t want to do it in a way that puts people at risk.”
The aid effort included taking in industrial-sized mulchers to chop up trees felled by the cyclone.
“We hired three mulchers from Kennards,” Sherry says.
From now on the emphasis will be on taking in building materials such as corrugated iron sheets to help repair structures.
A far cry from "ship stranded due to fire", or "disease breaks out onboard," or all the other disasters that are the only other time the news mentions Carnival.
ITEM: Anyone else about tired of hearing how junk food is bad for you?
Urban ants in New York have apparently developed some of the same eating habits of their human counterparts: their diet is rich in junk food.
Tests on insects collected from pavements and traffic islands in Manhattan show that their bodies contain the molecular fingerprint of junk food, according to research conducted in North Carolina State University.
The same was not true of more genteel ants that frequent leafy park areas.
"Human foods clearly make up a significant portion of the diet in urban species," said lead researcher Dr Clint Penick.
"These are ants eating our garbage, and this may explain why pavement ants are able to achieve such large populations in cities."
Stupid ants, don't they know it's bad for them? How dare they thrive on it?
ITEM: Next up, our science page (but don't cue up Neil DeGrasse Tyson- no evolution or global warming on these stories).
First up, zookeepers are hoping video of the event will encourage others of their kind to have successful, reproductive sex after they taped an 18-minute sexual encounter between giant pandas Xi Mei and Lu Lu. No word on whether Xi Mei used Viagara before giving Lu Lu the ol' "bamboo bludgeon". If you want to (Al Penwasser), you can watch the video here- and please let me know if you do so I can keep track of what kind of perverts hang around here.
Next, Live Science did an article about how long it would take to fall down a hole clear through the earth. Apparently earlier estimates failed to adjust for changes in the earth's gravity, and a new estimate by Alexander Klotz of Montreal's McGill University, figuring no wind resistance ("In my opinion, if you have the technology to dig such a tunnel, you have the technology to suck the air out," Klotz said) and that you are quick enough to grab something when you come out so you don't fall back through again, the trip should take you 38 minutes and 11 seconds. Of course, his guess is as good as mine, since man has barely been able to make a hole 0.1% of the way through the earth so far.
Finally, let's hear it for North Korea. According to their (version of) news, they managed to land a man- 17 y-o Hung Il Dong (now there's a name to conjure with)- on the surface of the sun. That's an amazing 23,325,000 mph- or three per cent of the speed of light, give or take. That's around 640 times faster than the fastest rocket NASA ever launched. But how did they manage the "crispy fried Dong" problem?
It was said that the journey was made possible by travelling in the cover of darkness, which protected him from the extreme heat of the sun.
Well, thank God they didn't make it a day-trip...