ITEM: And you wanna complain about the Dan Ryan...
A phone app site called Waze asked users to rate the traffic in their area and their nations. This poll brought in the views of 50 million people from 32 nations and 167 metro areas in the Americas, Europe, and insular Asia, and this is what they found.
- The US of A was third best for traffic, behind the Netherlands and Latvia (whose per capita autos combined just about match the USA by itself). We were the only non-European nation in the top ten.
- Latin America took 7 of the ten slots for worst traffic nation, headed by Costa Rica; only the Philippines at #2, Indonesia at #4, and, oddly, Romania at #5 weren't among our southern neighbors.
- By the city, Phoenix (1), Greensboro (2), Dallas (3), Detroit (5, obviously not figuring violent crime into the mix), and Cleveland (7) gave the USA dominance of the good category. France picked up 3 (Rouen at 6, Nantes at 9, and Rennes at 10), with Amsterdam (4) and Milan (8) rounding out the list.
- Again, Latin America took 7 of the worst city slots, including #1 Bogota, Columbia (which had 4 spots itself); Indonesia took the other three.
ITEM: Merde, je veux qu'il en français
I found it curious to find this story right after putting the song Lisztomania into the Martin 10 on Time Machine. Much like canada put in controls to keep their music scene from being dominated by the USA, France has put in some rather draconian measures to promote French-language music on their radio stations. France is requiring FORTY PERCENT French content songs on playlists. Not an easy thing to do anymore- with sites like Pandora and Spotify, everyone wants to hear it in English, thus everyone want's to record in English. And if a 40%French-language requirement isn't hard enough to meet, they also require that the ten most popular French songs can only constitute half of the French quota, so that less known French Language songs can be heard. But in a day where less than 10% of French acts record in French, that is a hard bargain, and many stations are defying the edict.
Reminds me that I read recently that Chicago dj John "Records" Landecker used to circumvent the multiple requests for him to play You Light Up My Life on his show by sporadically playing 15-second clips until he'd finally played the whole song by the time his four hours were up. Perhaps the French stations can modify that.
ITEM: This most certainly wasn't in my contract...
Film actors, directors, and musicians in Uzbekistan recently were ordered to spend a day helping bring in the cotton crop. According to one actor, they were told that, if they didn't want to be blacklisted by the state run film industry, they would be bussed to the fields, told to pick 66 lbs of cotton by lunchtime, and be happy about it.
|Imagine telling Samuel L Jackson to pick cotton...|
ITEM: But I saw it on MWN...
No you didn't! The British Telegraph newspaper recently led a whole slew of "journalists" in running a joke story that they felt was too stupid to be made up, and thus didn't check it. Apparently, an instagram story ran that a sailor from Camp Pendleton got drunk. He had one of those alcohol interlocks on his ignition, and so captured a live, sober raccoon, squeezed him to breathe into the meter, and started the car. The Coon passed out from the squeezing, and in true drunken fashion the Sailor ended up nose first in someone's backyard pool. Problem was, nobody noticed the logo of a satire site ran by retired Marines in the background of the picture.... and the Telegraph assumed its truth based on the sheer "Nobody could make this up" ness of it. Ooops.
ITEM: I'll never shake hands with a Brit again
One of the many items shipped to London by the New York Jets in prep for sunday's game there with the Miami Dolphins was 350 rolls of toilet paper, because the stuff the English use is "too thin". Good lord, how thin IS it?
|Actual photo of Brian Urlacher after October 2011 game in London|
One night in Nogales, AZ, a family was slightly disturbed in the middle of the night by a noise they assumed was thunder. Next morning, they found a hole in their carport roof and a 26-lb bale of marijuana in the ruins of their doghouse...
Authorities said it probably fell from a drug running ultralite trying to make delivery in the desert. The dog was not reported injured.
ITEM: Are you sure it wasn't a pink elephant?
In Madison WI a man (no doubt a UW student) was, according to a witness, beaten rather soundly by another man while severely intoxicated. When police arrived, they woke him up to get a statement, where he told them he had been attacked... by a hippopotamus. No word on whether he was shown a lineup at the zoo. (UPDATE: According to my sources, the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison does not have any hippos. Perhaps it was an out-of-state attack.)
ITEM: Winner, world's dumbest criminal disguise 2015
Come with me to Apple Valley, CA, where the local Battery Mart was broken into. The first thing that went wrong for our perp was he pulls up in clear view of the security camera, in daylight while the store was closed. He exits his vehicle sans disguise, looks in the glass door, also in clear view of the camera. Then, he dons his disguise, breaks the glass in the door and enters. His disguise?
...he stuck a maxi-pad over his eyes. I guess at least it wasn't used. No sense being a bloody idiot, eh?