Archive for the ‘Unbelievable’ Category

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) Shot

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

She was holding a “Congress on Your Corner” event outside a Tucson Safeway.  Reports are sketchy — CNN says at least twelve people were injured.  Please send good thoughts and prayers to Tucson.  It doesn’t sound good.

UPDATE:  NPR is reporting that Rep. Giffords and six pokies through shirts others are dead.  I don’t know what to say.  My sympathies to all the family members and friends who lost their loved ones today.

2nd UPDATE:  CNN had a hospital spokeswoman on who says Rep. Giffords is in surgery.  My hopes are with her.

Shooting at Ft. Hood Leaves 12 Dead, 31 Wounded

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

I almost hesitate to link to this story because I know it will be changing as the police and army officials investigate further.  This is where it stands now (around 5:15 PM).

A U.S. soldier opened fire Thursday at Fort Hood, Texas, killing at least 11 people and wounding 31 others, military officials said. The gunman was shot to death, and two others were in custody.

Lt. Gen. Robert W. Cone, commanding general of the Army’s III Corps, who confirmed the shootings, said the gunman used two handguns. NBC News’ Pete Williams reported that a U.S. official identified the gunman as Maj. Malik Nadal Hasan, who was 39 or 40.

My thoughts are with the injured and all the families, friends, and fellow soldiers dealing with grief and shock and fear.

Alabama ABC Board Censoring Wine Labels

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Apparently a wine label based on an 1895 bicycle advertisement is just too risqué for the delicate sensibilities of Alabama residents.  Or so says the ABC Board, which has deemed it “immodest” and demanded that the wine bottles be removed from bars and grocery stores.

Bob Martin, staff attorney with the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, said the ABC’s licensing bureau deemed the label inappropriate last year.

The French painter G. Massias produced this bicycle advertising poster in 1895. A wine with a label featuring the poster has been banned from sale in the state of Alabama because it features a person “posed in an immodest or sensuous manner.”

“It was submitted twice last year, and it was rejected both times,” Martin said. Early this month, however, a citizen sent a bottle of the wine to the ABC board to show it was still being sold in stores, he said. So, the board’s enforcement bureau sent a letter to stores and restaurants statewide, reminding them that its sale was prohibited, Martin said.

Oh, good grief — somebody tattled?  When are we going to grow up in this state?  It’s already illegal to sell sex toys; now we’re banning wine labels with what I’d venture to call tasteful depictions of nudity?  All for the sake of the children, I guess.  Hey, maybe we should ban field trips to art museums too.  Or take away their mirrors when they reach puberty.

And just to add to the creepy:

Several restaurant owners, retailers and distributors declined comment when contacted Thursday by the Press-Register. Licenses to sell or serve alcoholic beverages are renewed yearly, with applications due by Aug. 1.

Gee, I wonder why they were afraid to declined to comment.

Today in Weird – and Disgusting – Coincidences

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

fire-antWhile walking Prissy this afternoon, I spotted numerous fire ant beds along the side of the road.  Those little suckers are everywhere!  South American fire ants entered the United States through the Port of Mobile in the early 20th century.  When I was growing up in central Georgia, we didn’t have fire ants, but we had to watch out for them when we visited my grandmother is south Alabama.  Now they’re all over the Southeast.

Anyway, I wondered aloud (yes, I talk to the dog) how long it would take for fire ants to come up against a natural enemy.  And it turns out they have, big time — Texas researchers have introduced a fly species from the ants’ home in South America that turns the ants into ZOMBIES!

Ironically, the ants don’t eat brains; their brains are eaten by the flies.

The flies “dive-bomb” the fire ants and lay eggs. The maggot that hatches inside the ant eats away at the brain, and the ant starts exhibiting what some might say is zombie-like behavior.

“At some point, the ant gets up and starts wandering,” said Rob Plowes, a research associate at UT.

The maggot eventually migrates into the ant’s head, but Plowes said he “wouldn’t use the word ‘control’ to describe what is happening. There is no brain left in the ant, and the ant just starts wandering aimlessly. This wandering stage goes on for about two weeks.”

About a month after the egg is laid, the ant’s head falls off and the fly emerges ready to attack any foraging ants away from the mound and lay eggs.

Plowes said fire ants are “very aware” of these tiny flies, and it only takes a few to cause the ants to modify their behavior.

“Just one or two flies can control movement or above-ground activity,” Plowes said. “It’s kind of like a medieval activity where you’re putting a castle under siege.”

Okay, I hate fire ants, but I am now officially grossed out.  We’d better hope those flies don’t develop a taste for humans.

Rape Is Not a Crime? Who Knew?

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Last year, Echidne wrote about three De Anza college students, members of the women’s soccer team, who rescued a girl who was apparently being gang-raped by several members of the school’s baseball team:

Lauren Chief Elk and April Grolle are 20-year old De Anza College students and teammates on the school’s soccer squad. They were leaving a party at a house when they realized something wrong was going on in a back room where the doors were closed and the lights were off.

“We heard and saw a girl tapping on this door in the kitchen saying ‘There is a girl in there with eight guys,” explains Chief Elk. They say they tried to get into the room, but were confronted by a baseball player. “[He said] ‘Mind your own business; she wants to be in here’ and slams the door,” says Grolle. What they saw through a crack in the door horrified them. “When I looked in, I saw about ten pairs of legs surrounding a girl, lying on the mattress on the floor and a guy on top of her with his pants down and his hips thrusting on top of her,” recall Chief Elk. “And when I saw that I knew immediately something wasn’t right. It just didn’t look right.” “I saw that this young girl did not want to be in there, and that’s when we just went ‘We’re getting this girl out of there,’” says Grolle. April and Lauren — along with a third soccer player named Lauren Breayans — broke down the door and were shocked with what they found. “This poor girl was not moving. She had vomit dribbling down her face. We had to scoop vomit out of her mouth [and] lift her up. Her pants were completely off her body,” says Chief Elk. “She had her one shoe one, her jeans were wrapped around one of her ankles and her underwear was left around her ankles. To the left of the bed there was some condom thrown on the ground.” “When they lifted her head up, her eyes moved and she said ‘I’m sorry,’” says Grolle. “One of the guys who was in the room said ‘This is her fault. She got drunk and she did this to herself.’”

Right. She got drunk and raped herself. And, as it turns out, the vomit in her mouth was not her own. I guess she got drunk and insisted that someone else vomit in her mouth too.

For their pains, the three women who pulled her out of that horror were ignored by the district attorney’s office, which decided at the time not to prosecute the case, and threatened for speaking out.

(more…)

That darned hindsight is always 20/20

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

From a story about the hiring practices of Prichard police chief Lawrence Battiste IV, in today’s Press-Register:

Battiste said that if he had known hiring his brother, sister, cousin and father would be perceived as nepotism, he never would have done it.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

Our Infrastructure Is Just Fine, Thank You!

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

UPDATE: It was I-35W in Minneapolis. 

MSNBC is reporting that a freeway bridge spanning the Mississippi River in Minnesota has collapsed.  The whole damn thing.  At 6:05 pm on a workday.

Well, Crap

Friday, April 20th, 2007

After all the wannabes and false alarms (yeah, I should have remembered that today is the anniversary of Columbine), we have a live one — at least for now.  There is a gunman holed up in Johnson Space Center in Houston.

More Wannabes

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

Not good. 

Hoover High School was locked down for a couple of hours this morning after a student found a written bomb threat in the cafeteria.  Two juniors were arrested and charged with making terrorist threats.  Idiots.

And Homewood High School will be open tomorrow despite rumors about threats to the school and its students.  Authorities have investigated and found nothing to confirm the stories.  I wonder how many kids will be absent.

This Is Sick

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

MSNBC is reporting that someone has called in a bomb threat to Burruss Hall on the Virginia Tech campus.  The building has been evacuated, and hordes of law enforcement are on the scene.

UPDATE:  Everything is okay, but the students got another bad scare.  Burruss Hall is an administrative building that houses the university president’s office.