Archive for March, 2011

Man skips office pool, loses share of $319 million prize

The man who didn’t chip in $2 to the lottery office pool is being called the “biggest loser” by some, but to me he sounds like a winner.

Mike (not pictured), like many who have barely dodged electrocution, will learn tears and electronics repair does not mix.

Mike (not pictured) will learn tears and electronics do not mix.

Why? He’s not whining about it.

Sure, it would be a soul-crushing experience to see your co-workers split up the $319 Mega Millions prize (more than $19 million each after taxes), but at least he’s not bitter or suing.

“I just wasn’t feeling lucky that day,” said Mike, who didn’t want to give his last name, in an ABC News article. Today, he worked on keeping New York state government computers running while his millionaire friends went to pick up their over-sized check. The lucky seven haven’t been showing up to work, and are expected to quit, though they’ve not told their bosses anything.

“I don’t think they’ll cut me in. I don’t think they should. I don’t deserve it,” he said.

His friends had asked twice to see if he wanted to chip in, but he declined.

Maybe he’s looking at …

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Escaped cobra captured (and lies on Twitter about it)

Not everything you read on Twitter is true.

Want proof?

All this cuddly fellow wanted was a warm spot under a seat at Yankee Stadium.

All this cuddly fellow wanted was a warm spot under a seat at Yankee Stadium.

The cobra that escaped the Bronx Zoo last Saturday was today hinting, via Twitter, that he (or she or it) was at Yankee Stadium on Opening Day.

Turns out that was a hoax.

The reptile, at the time of the 1 p.m. tweet, had already been captured by zoo workers. Unlike Atlanta’s escaped zoo rattlesnake, which made it 100 yards to a home before meeting its untimely end at the business end of a shovel, the cobra traveled only 9 feet and survived.

Zoo staff in New York used mouse-scented wood shavings to lure the 20-inch venomous reptile.

He was captured at 9 a.m.

Hours later, just after the Bronx Bombers faced off against the Detroit Tigers, the snake tweeted “If you see a bag of peanuts inexplicably moving along the ground at Yankee Stadium today. Just ignore it. It’s probably nothing.”

Young journalists, let this be a warning about the veracity of …

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Police (Off)Beat | Cigarettes can cause incarceration

  • New warning label: “Smoking may be hazardous to your criminal career.” In Cherokee County, a smoker left a pack of cigarettes at a burglarized business. Prints on the package led to the arrest of a 21-year-old Ellijay man.
  • Perhaps credit cards should come with warning labels too. Police were able to look at surveillance video in a Gwinnett County Chick-fil-A to determine which customer made off with another customer’s Apple laptop. The bad guy’s receipt is blazing a digital trail for investigators.

    Don't get "busy" here and forget your cellphone.

    Don't get "busy" here and forget your cellphone.

  • If you’re a cab driver, be warned: Atlanta police are on fashion patrol. On Piedmont Road, a taxi driver was ticketed for not tucking in his shirt.
  • An Atlanta police officer is suffering through his neighbor’s “psychotic episodes.” She allegedly bangs on their common condo wall with a rubber mallet at all hours. Another police officer visited the woman and warned her to cool out, but instead of using a …

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Man who sat for 2 years dies after skin grows into chair

Metro Atlanta has some of the healthiest residents in the country, but life’s different for at least one resident of Bellaire, Ohio, located just across the Ohio River from West Virginia.

bellaire

There, emergency medical workers were called to the home of a 43-year-old man who had sat in his recliner for so long — at least two years — that his skin had grown into the chair’s fabric.

He had been using the bathroom in his pants and maggots were visible, according to a local TV station.

Unbelievably, this man has a “girlfriend” who lives in the house with him. Authorities said she would bring the man plates of food. She called 911 when her boyfriend became unresponsive.

A hole had to be cut through a wall to remove the man from the rented home. He later died, according to the Toronto Sun.

This sort of thing happens more often than it should — in 2008 a woman was found grafted to her boyfriend’s toilet seat.

In other disturbing news, soccer fans smuggled a corpse into a game in Colombia …

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Amazon’s ‘Cloud Drive’ angers music industry

The world’s least biggest fan of the Internet — the music industry — is arguing a new service provided by online retail giant Amazon is depriving them of millions in cash.

Who would have thought a kitten with headphones could cause so much trouble?

Who would have thought a kitten with headphones could cause so much trouble?

Today, Amazon began offering “Cloud Drive,” which lets users upload 5 gigabytes of music (more than 1,000 songs) to the company’s servers for free. The music can then be listened to from multiple devices — smartphones, computers and pretty much anything with an Internet connection.

Amazon launched the service before securing any licensing deals, according to a Reuters article.

“I’ve never seen a company of their size make an announcement, launch a service and simultaneously say they’re trying to get licenses,” said one music executive.

The shriveling music industry better load up on lawyers, other giants (Google in May, Apple in June) are allegedly going to offer similar services soon. I’m not a bettering man, but if Google, Apple …

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New York subway seeks ‘free’ labor from welfare recipients

Should those receiving welfare be made to work menial jobs to receive benefits?

County workers are paid to remove political signs in Georgia, why not let welfare recipients do it?

County workers are paid to remove political signs in Georgia, why not let welfare recipients do it?

That’s the plan of the New York subway system, which is trying to rejoin a city program that makes the unemployed toil for public assistance checks.

According to the New York Daily News article, the  Metropolitan Transit Authority eliminated 173 cleaning positions and wants to replace those folks with welfare recipients, who’d get no extra pay for their work.

The subway system participated in the free labor program for nine years, but stopped in 2008. Allegedly, the “free” labor was too expensive once MTA started paying unionized employees more to manage the cleaning crew.

While reading this story, I wondered how can a “Blue State” have a work program like this when “Red State” Georgia doesn’t?

It sounds like a good way to clean up trains, parks, schools, jails and streets. I’d chip in some cash …

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OMG: LOL is now in the dictionary

The dictionary, long considered the final bulwark of the English language, has been overwhelmed by hordes of online teens.

OMG!

OMG!

According to information from publishers of the Oxford English Dictionary, a tome I once held in high esteem, LOL is now a word, or at least an “initialism.”  So is OMG and FYI but not ROFL.

The bigwigs at the ”definitive record of the English language” were prepared for my question: Why include teenspeak in the dictionary? Their response: OMG was first coined in 1917.

They have plenty of other excuses, LOL meant Little Old Lady in the 1960s, for instance.

You have to think Samuel Johnson is rolling in his grave, or the editors are in “la-la land,” which is now an official noun referring “either to Los Angeles (in which case its etymology is influenced by the common initialism for that city), or to a state of being out of touch with reality.”

Other new words include “muffin top,” which you may remember from a Seinfeld episode, or the “protuberance …

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Gadhafi a fan of plastic surgery, hamburgers

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, who has been in power longer than almost anyone in the history of Earth, wants to look good for the people he’s tormenting.

After surgery, Brazilian Dr. Fabio Naccache (left) and Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi both had blood on their hands.

Unlike his patient, Dr. Fabio Naccache (left) only has blood on his hands during surgery.

The Associated Press reports the dictator, who has been stuck at the military rank of colonel for 42 years, had belly fat injected into his face to give him the appearance of a youthful despot, say a ’20s Stalin or ’50s Castro.

In 1995, a Brazilian plastic surgeon received an envelope stuffed full of cash before stuffing Gadhafi’s drooping face with fat extracted from his stomach.

Gadhafi, now 68, would only allow the surgeon to use local anesthesia for the four-hour procedure so that he could remain alert, the article says. During the operation, Moammar, who also got hair plugs, stopped to eat a hamburger.

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Police (Off)Beat | There’s fake gold in them thar hills

  • There’s fake gold in them thar Dalton hills, where police say a man swindled a jeweler out of $6,900. The jewelry tested as 24K gold when originally tested, but when the businessman went to an ATM to get cash, the suspect did the ol’ switcheroo and sold the jeweler impressive fakes.
  • An “obnoxious” bar patron on Martin Luther King Drive in Atlanta was so intoxicated he couldn’t fish his wallet out of his pants to pay his bar tab. A police officer called to the scene took a $100 bill from the man’s wallet and gave the man his change. The stumbling man began to hurl racial epithets, saying “This little [bleep] boy is stealing my money.” He was given a free night’s stay in jail.
  • The driver of a Mitsubishi Mirage with two flat tires reached speeds of up to 20 mph, Atlanta police reported, in a slow-speed chase down Charles Allen Drive. The driver stopped after hitting a car and police found a partially-consumed jug of wine riding …

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Scientists ‘grow’ sperm; make men obsolete

In a development sure to please ex-wives, scientists in Japan may have made men obsolete.

This husband mouse, reached by e-mail, said his wife froze his testicles years ago.

This husband mouse, reached by e-mail, said his wife froze his testicles years ago.

According to Nature, a magazine for people with giant brains, the scientists were able to grow sperm from long-frozen neonatal mouse testes, aka baby rodent testicles.

Sperm, complete with iconic flapping tails (aka flagella), was “grown” by soaking the tissue in a fluid used to harvest embryonic stem cells, according to the article.

The researchers injected the man-made sperm into egg cells. A few weeks later, surrogate mouse moms delivered fatherless children who will never learn how to properly appreciate baseball.

It’s quite the breakthrough. Allegedly, highly intelligent men have been trying to grow lab sperm for almost 100 years with no success.

The new technique may eventually help infertile males and endangered species, which may include men if female scientists ever get wind of this.

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