– No points for good intentions: You have to admire the man’s sense of responsibility, although its belated nature does make it hard to be too sympathetic with his plight. I am referring, of course, to the man in Abbotsford, British Columbia who jumped into the back of what he thought was a taxi after concluding that he was too drunk to drive himself home (h/t Sean Robichaud).
There were two problems with this plan: (1) he came to the realization that he was too drunk to drive while he was driving; and (2) it was a police cruiser, not a cab.
– To be fair, plush-animal technology has made huge advances in recent years: A 911 caller reported a live tiger on the loose, which turned out to be an extremely lifelike stuffed tiger. Not “stuffed” in a taxidermy sense, but “stuffed” in a normally-snuggly/cuddly sense.
“Oh, sorry, is this your couch? I just needed to rest for a—hey, is that a stuffed antelope? Yum!”
– In some circles, that’s a valuable natural resource: Residents and business owners in La Jolla, a San Diego neighborhood perhaps best described as “tony,” filed a lawsuit in San Diego County Superior Court in late 2013 against the city and its interim mayor, demanding that they clean up the apparently excess amounts of sea lion and cormorant poop currently stanking up La Jolla Cove:
The plaintiffs, Citizens For Odor Nuisance Abatement, also want the city to remove a fence that limits public access to the cove.
According the suit, San Diego has “exclusive dominion, control and responsibility for the maintenance of the cliffs in and around the La Jolla Cove and is responsible for keeping the area free of noxious odors.”
The nonprofit group, which was created earlier this year for the express purpose of eliminating annoying odors, claims the city “at some point in time and without public notice, erected a fence along the sidewalk that runs along La Jolla Cove, preventing the public from accessing the rocks. The fence was built without an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and is in violation of the Local Coastal Plan (LCP), which requires maximizing coastal access.”
The fence allegedly prevented access to the rocks and created a “buildup of excrement from sea lions and cormorant birds, causing noxious odors resulting in illness to the citizens of San Diego and others who visit this area.”
– I’m sure it happens all the time: When prison inmate Ramon Somoza mailed a pro se filing to a judge in Utah, he included a razor blade along with the paperwork. This led to an investigation, but he will not face any charges. The prosecutor reportedly determined that it was an accident:
“He files a number of documents with the court, and he does not have access to white-out,” the prosecutor explained. Using the razor blade, Somoza “cuts out small strips of paper that he uses as white-out if he makes a mistake.”
That’s a really good idea—except for the mailing-it-to-the-judge part—given that correction tape is sure to be in short supply in prison. (h/t Scott Greenfield)
– Everyone does romance in their own way: Cats purr to indicate happiness and contentment—or whatever passes for those in the warped mind of a cat, anyway. Humans purr, for the most part, to imitate cats in a semi-sarcastic manner. Now we know that some species of spider make purring noises as a form of seduction—except not ironically, the way humans might (indirect h/t Alice). Spiders don’t have ears, though, so they actually do it for the vibrations. You can make your own joke about that last bit.
Personally, I like to think that spiders are learning all of our best movie quotes from the tactile impact of sound waves coming from televisions, and repeating them to each other in spider code.
– Today in “not a scene from a Japanese horror film”: A mom is seen pushing her son in a swing. For a rather long period of time. Possibly since the previous evening. Turns out her son is dead. She didn’t seem fully aware of this, though. I’m not going to make any jokes here.
– “Is your iPhone on fire, or are you just happy to see me?”: A man in New York claims that he suffered severe leg burns after his iPhone 5c exploded in his pocket. I’m glad I skipped the 5 and went straight from 4s to 6. Continue reading →
(NOTE: I’m still catching up on my backlog, so some of these may not be especially timely.)
– Det regnar män. Halleluja!: Sweden came up with a fun way to address Russia’s recent spate of “no homo” legislation that is totally not trying to throw us off of anything. Okay, look, Russia and Belarus have known each other a long time, but they’re just bros, okay? Can we drop this now?
The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society (SPAS) is to deal with encroaching Russian submarines in Swedish waters with a device emitting anti-homophobia Morse code.
The device – officially titled The Singing Sailor Underwater Defence System, but nicknamed the “gay sailor” – is a “subsurface sonar system”, which sends out the message: “This way if you are gay” in an attempt to deter apparently homophobic Russians.
Since I got behind on my regular series here, consider this make-up work.
– Behold my steed: Old-school tech meets 21st-century bicycles with Trotify, a wooden device that makes your bicycle sound like a galloping horse (h/t Danielle).
Yes, this totally sounds like something someone thought of while high, but then actually got around to building while sober. Kudos for that, I suppose.
– Was there also show & tell?: You might not expect parents to be asked to attend a parent-teacher conference at their adult children’s places of work, but you’d be wrong if your kid works at one particular startup in New York City (h/t Jen). Continue reading →
– Speaking of strange cuisine: (We were talking about the UK, where this San Antonian got stomachaches because the food was so, well, bland…) Anyway, a lot of people like their pizza spicy where I’m from.
– I think of all the education that I missed…: A teacher in Texas is facing criminal charges in connection with allegedly giving a 15-year-old student a “full contact lap dance” in class. For his birthday, authorities claim:
The teen told investigators that he sat in a chair next to Smith’s desk as she moved back and forth on his crotch and touched him all over his body. Near the end of the dance, the student said Smith sank to her knees and put her head between his legs. The incident reportedly happened in front of the other students during class.
– Just tell me this—is there a Klondike Bar in it for me?: What would you do to achieve “internet fame”? Would you light yourself on fire while being recorded, and post the video online? No? Well, the you’re smarter than these kids (h/t Jack).
– It’s just a drink. It’s just a drink. It’s just…: It took a jury in Florida fifteen minutes to convict two people of having sex on the beach. Not the drink, the sex (h/t Amy): Continue reading →
– That’s certainly a relief: The Basque people have probable been a bit hesitant to visit Westfjords in northwestern Iceland for a while now. It looks like an absolutely beautiful place, but the Basques—the indigenous ethnic group of northern Spain and southwestern France, have not been welcome there for some time. That’s because until recently, the law in that part of Iceland required killing any Basques in the area:
Basques wanting to visit the dramatic fjords of north-western Iceland need no longer hesitate after the district of Westfjords repealed a 400-year-old decree to kill any Basque caught in the area on sight.
“The decision to do away with the decree was more symbolic than anything else,” said Westfjords district commissioner Jonas Gudmundsson. “We have laws, of course, and killing anyone– including Basques – is forbidden thesedays.”
The edict was issued in 1615 after a storm destroyed three Basque whaling vessels on an expedition in Iceland. Eighty members of the crew survived, said Gudmundsson, and were left stranded in the area. “They had nothing to eat, and there were accounts of them robbing people and farmers,” he said.
The brewing conflict between locals and the whalers prompted then-sheriff Ari Magnússon to draw up a decree that allowed Basques to be killed with impunity in the district. In the weeks that followed, more than 30 Basques were killed in raids led by the sheriff and local farmers. “It’s one of the darkest chapters of our history,” said Gudmundsson, noting that the incident known as the Slaying of the Spaniards ranks among the country’s bloodiest massacres.
(h/t Doug Coulson) Obviously, the law would be unenforceable in the Iceland of 2015 (one hopes), but it’s still a welcome gesture to issue a formal repeal. If nothing else, it gives a little perspective on something like Mississippi ratifying the 13th Amendment (the one that abolished slavery) in 2013, 148 years after the end of slavery. Continue reading →
– It’s dangerous to go alone!:Video game-themed condoms were once a real thing, and maybe still are. I can’t decide which one is currently destroying my childhood the most: “Sextris,” “Donkey Schlong,” or “The Long End of Zelda.” (I’m not even sure what that last one means.)
– Will that be on the test?: I’m not going to pick on this law school professor too much. I mean, who hasn’t sent a mass email to one’s students and almost accidentally sent a link to anal bead porn instead of a law blog post? She just wasn’t as lucky as the rest of us, you know? But we’ve all been there. Continue reading →