Okay, so the week-long marathon of us actually enjoying the world is now over, and this blog returns to getting its kicks from reading about the wider world. Let's get started then, shall we?
ITEM: A spam caller made the mistake of hitting up an L.A. blogger the other week (don't they realize how vicious we are?) The guy was a bit of a screwball, and she opted- as I would- to get optimum entertainment from him: She told him she was recording the whole thing.
"It's illegal to record somebody unless you tell them previously, unless they're committing a felony," Mark (the caller) said.
Mark said he did not believe he was being recorded and offered Jessica Gottlieb $100 if she could play back any of the conversation. He likened the money to "like a tip at a strip club."
"You're trying to deceive me and now you think you've got some mind control thing going on, when you don't. I am in charge. I am always in charge, and I will always be in charge. No one pulls the wool over my eyes," the caller said.
The telemarketer, still not believing he was being recorded, asked if Gottlieb was planning to put her recording "on YouTube."
"Yeah, I kinda was planning on it," Gottlieb replied.
"No, you weren't. You just made that up and you're not funny," Mark said.
But he just got weirder. Whether he was playing to an audience, or just wasn't very tightly strung is debatable, but it certainly seemed like the little wheels slipped off his trolley.
"You're struggling for something to do now that you're caught in the spider's web," Mark said, following up with a quote from Walter Scott: "Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!"
The caller eventually hung up after a suitably bizarre sign-off: "You've managed to stump our panel, ma'am, we're gonna go and flip the rest of the cards over and tell you what our contestant does for a living."
Gee, it would seem she exposes nutbags. Step right up!
ITEM: WalletHub recently ranked the 100 most populous cities by a sophisticated set of 21 metrics to determine the best and worst cities to drive in, based on costs associated, driving conditions, and so forth (C'mon, I said there was 21 of 'em!), and Fort Wayne came in #22! The top ten-
10- Raleigh NC
9- Winston-Salem NC (Hey, cheaters!)
8- Colorado Springs CO
7- Durham NC (Hey, is WalletHub based in North Carolina?)
6- Reno NV
5- Tuscon AZ
4- Greensboro (you guessed it) NC
3- Lincoln, NE (Because who uses the roads there?)
2- Corpus Christi TX
(Drum rolllll) 1- Lubbock TX.
New York, Washington, and Philly were the worst, and the cities were broke down by metric; thus, we find California dominating the fewest and most hours in traffic (Bakersfield, Stockton, and Fresno in the best, L.A., San Fran, and Long Beach tied for worst with Oakland right behind); Boise the least likely place to have an accident, Boston the worst (but ironically with the fewest repair shops per capita); Detroit not surprisingly the highest in car thefts (much too hard to just go pick one up at the factory); California also swept the worst gas prices (most of the best prices were in Texas), and most car washes and repair shops were in Orlando.
Indianapolis came in 66th, with Fort Wayne really clobbering them in the safety parameters 21 rank to 86.
ITEM: Local story #1: A rural road near Fort Wayne, CR 150 in Kosciusko County, was closed overnight a week or so ago by... a herd of bison.
According to Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Chad Hill, crews worked into the night to corral the bison after they escaped from a pen at their farm. Hill said a slew of police, animal control workers and volunteers tried to keep them off the county roads and Indiana 13, a fairly well-traveled state highway that travels north and south from busy U.S. 30.
The latest assault from the animalpocolypse consisted of 20 head who were corralled and brought back home over the next few days.
ITEM: Our favorite post-Soviet nation, Kazakhstan, has labored much of the summer under a heat wave that has fried much of Europe and Asia. So people have been taking to the lakes, and like in any post-Soviet nation, they do it with vodka. As a result, drunk-drowning deaths are up, and the government has come up with yet another clever solution:
Rescuers in Kazakhstan have resorted to using a man dressed as Death to ram home their safety message at a Kazakh city's beach.
The shock tactics have been adopted in response to a sharp increase in the number of drownings at the popular bathing lakes of Ust-Kamenogorsk, with 40 people dying in a hotter-than-usual summer, according to the Kazakh news website Informburo. Frustrated at the apparent failure of traditional safety drives, rescue officials launched a campaign - dubbed "Scream to the rescue" - featuring a scythe-wielding figure in a dark cloak and the iconic mask from the popular Scream horror film franchise. "I'm waiting for you, rule-breaker" reads a banner on the Grim Reaper's rubber dinghy as it floats menacingly out in deeper waters.
According to locals, the admittedly impressive sight hasn't done anything to slow the area's "mixed-drink" predilection.
ITEM: And you let these people teach your children, and wonder why we're so screwed up, part 5,673: Recently Rutgers professor of (guess what?) journalism and media studies Deepa Kumar got into Deepa $#!t for a tweet that said the US of A is more brutal than ISIS (based apparently on Desert Storm stats).
|Yeah, nice job, U of Pittsburgh, for that doctorate...|
She shared a link on the "Greater New York Marxist Conference, saying, "Here is a great conference on Marxism and why it makes sense!”
She has shut down her FB account to all but her acolytes now, and Rutgers has
BTW, Kumar's also the free-speech expert that kept Condi Rice from making a commencement speech at Rutgers.
ITEM: I recently read an article called "Ten Incredible Scientific Discoveries About Dogs". (If you haven't guessed it, this is where I usually cue up the Neil DeGrasse Tyson picture, because I'm such a racist.) While there were a couple of things I didn't know (though I hardly call "dogs have three eyelids", and "dog nose prints are used for ID" are incredible) I'd have to say I hope they didn't use government funds to figure out the other "incredible discoveries":
- Dogs love their humans (took them an EEG to figure that one out)
- They are about as smart as the average 2-year-old (and as well behaved in Scrappy's case)
- Their paws smell like corn chips (I think I featured that on here a year or so ago. Make sure he hasn't just peed on his foot when you test this.)
- Their night vision is better than ours. (Spend one night with Scrappy and figure that out.)
- They "most likely dream". Amazingly, that one they say hasn't been proved 100% for sure. Again, spend one night with Scrappy.
- They listen when you talk. Of course, that's only when they feel like it most of the time.
- They do most of their sweating through panting. Insert your own "I've known that since __ grade".
ITEM: Local story #2: This was confirmed by Parkview Hospital as the actual name of a baby born at their maternity center, after it ran on their "Look Who's New" billboard:
ITEM: Finally, my friends at The Epoch Times came up with an article on "5 Expensive Chinese Construction Projects That Are Useless". You'll like living in Fort Wayne a lot better, Bobby G., after reading these white elephants:
1- Harbin Pharmaceutical's headquarters was made up like a mini-Versailles, complete with a museum of the Chinese block-printing method.
|Pictures from Getty Images|
3- "Qingdao’s Jiaozhou Bay Bridge is the largest ocean span bridge in the world at 26.4 miles, but not because it has to be. Although breaking records, the bridge is built along the widest section of the bay, and serves pretty much the same function as a pre-existing highway that runs parallel to the bridge. Furthermore, it only shortens the trip by about ten minutes, while charging significantly higher prices. Thus, the costly construction endeavor sees little traffic." IOW, a bridge to nowhere anyone wants to go. Kinda like the Golden Gate.
4- Eminent domain was used to kick out thousands of farmers, whose taxes then paid for a $185 million loan, to build a 30,000 seat Olympic level stadium, that sits unused since the city (Loudi) has no sports team and no planned Olympics coming.
5- And finally, a canal system was built, with a price tag around 80 billion bucks, to divert 10 billion tons of water a year from the Yangtze to farms in the north. Trouble is, they didn't pitch it right so less than 5% of the expected water comes down the waterway, which means it costs so much to buy the water nobody wants it, which means it wasn't worth running enough pumps to get the 10 billion tons to flow, which means they have, at this point, paid over $50 million a mile for a 1,500 mile-long concrete ditch.
And that's it for this week!