A roundup of today’s quirkier news stories (and an open thread)

Hi friends. Time once again for another random open thread round up of weird news from around the ‘Net:

  • First off, oh fer gawd’s sake… what is it with you and your elected officials, San Diego? I suppose we should be glad to learn that former Republican City Councilman Carl DeMaio’s alleged bathroom monkey-spanking included only himself. (Doesn’t he know that’s what the stalls are for?) The reason he even matters: DeMaio’s is one of the names currently being floated to replace disgraced and soon-to-be-former Mayor Bob “You gonna believe me, or those dozens of women?” Filner.Even worse: “DeMaio is currently running for Scott Peters’ seat representing the 52nd Congressional District in north San Diego County.” Yeah, because if there’s one thing Congress needs, it’s more chronic masturbators.
  • The Donald runs a school that allegedly bilks students out of millions. From the linked story, “New York’s attorney general sued Donald Trump for $40 million Saturday, saying the real estate mogul helped run a phony “Trump University” that promised to make students rich but instead steered them into expensive and mostly useless seminars, and even failed to deliver promised apprenticeships.”

    In 2011, Trump was forced to rename his seminar-mill because it isn’t licensed and doesn’t meet any of the standard requirements for an institution of higher learning. (Duh.) It’s now known as the Trump (obviously) Entrepreneur (sic) Institute (not the mental kind, but probably should be). TEI continues to siphon money from rubes and failed Gordon Gekko-wannabes. The truly sad part? There are thousands of “students” who  apparently treasure their photo with a life-sized cardboard cut-out of His Royal Orangeness.

Donald Trump's hair enjoys a rare day off. (Photo by Jenica.)

Donald Trump’s hair enjoys a rare day off. (Photo by Jenica.)

  • Now here’s something I’m mostly happy to read: Real-time strategy video games are good for the brain. “Take an aspirin a day, and go play a few hours of Starcraft, grandma. P0wn those Zerg-humping newbs.” The sad-panda part? “All the participants happened to be female as the study was unable to recruit a sufficient number of male volunteers who played video games for less than two hours a week.” I feel so… alone.
  • Sometimes you can’t make this up: Another of those ‘bath salts / incense’-type drugs — this one called “Crazy Clown” — is wreaking havoc in Georgia. Eight Darwin Awards candidates have been admitted to hospitals for life-threatening symptoms, including foaming at the mouth, uncontrolled vomiting, and paralysis. C’mon kids: If the name itself sounds like it’s going to seriously frack you up, it probably will.
Gnome homes in Overland Park, Kansas

Gnomes invade Overland Park, Kansas (KMBC, Kansas City)


Published professional writer and poet, Becca had a three decade career in technical writing and consulting before selling off most of her possessions in 2006 to go live at an ashram in India for 3 years. She loves literature (especially science fiction), technology and science, progressive politics, cool electronic gadgets, and perfecting Hatch green chile recipes. Fortunately for this last, Becca and her wife currently live in New Mexico. @BeccaMorn

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15 Responses to “A roundup of today’s quirkier news stories (and an open thread)”

  1. fletcher says:

    The Donald is the most miserable excuse for a human being since Caligula died. I first thought he was off his nut when he foamed for days and threatened to sue Rosie O’Donnell for an inoffensive spoof of him giving a Miss Universe winner a second chance for lying about her sexual past while having himself had multiple sexual encounters outside of his multiple marriages. But when he won that lawsuit for cheating that old lady investor in Chicago’s Trump Tower by sneaking into the sales agreement a clause saying he could take away profit sharing any time he felt like it and then carrying on like a schoolyard bully gloating about his conquest while calling the genteel lady vicious names… If there is karma, Trump will be reincarnated as a mite inside the ear of a rabid wombat.

  2. The_Fixer says:

    Yup, Eww. That’s pretty much what I said.

  3. The_Fixer says:

    The one thing that stuck out to me in that story concerning Carl DeMaio was what happened when he got caught (aside from doing it in the open where anyone could see). His response was “Sorry, Sorry”, whereupon he washed his hands and left.

    Think about that for a minute.

  4. The_Fixer says:

    It baffles me, too. He’s been through bankruptcies, failed venture after failed venture, and has turned out to be the guy who can fall into a bucket of S#!t and come out smelling like a rose.

    My favorite story about him has to be how a rather large bank forgave a substantial loan just to get rid of him. Seriously. They told him to go away and never darken their doorway again, he was such a pain in the ass.

    I think part of his appeal is that he is such a flashy, ostentatious person. People with no class love that crap the way a hillbilly loves a velvet Elvis painting. Another possible reason for what appeal that he has is the myth of him being a “Self-Made Man”.

    And yes, reality television’s many sins include giving Trump airtime.

  5. Monoceros Forth says:

    I think blogging is more turn-based.

  6. Monoceros Forth says:

    That’s the thing, isn’t it: Donald Trump really is now a fictional character. He is to the world of business what a WWF wrestling character is to the world of sport and what Dr. Phil is to the world of medicine.

  7. Hue-Man says:

    Plastic brain

    ‘[Canadian reserve army captain Trevor] Greene was on a tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2006 when he stopped at a village to speak with a group of elders.

    As a sign of respect, he removed his helmet and knelt down to speak. Suddenly, a teenager from behind struck Greene’s head with an axe, nearly cleaving his brain in two.

    Defying expectations, Greene survived, eventually emerging from a coma. Barely able to move, he was told to expect about six months of recovery, at which point his physical abilities would plateau.

    Instead, Greene and his wife, Debbie, have continued daily with two hours of exercise and therapy.

    In a documented study, they are demonstrating the brain’s ability — if not exactly to heal itself — to recover function after a traumatic injury.

    Greene is now the subject and shaper of a research project involving the University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University and the Vancouver Island Health Authority.

    His recovery is a demonstration of what doctors call “neuroplasticity.” It refers to the brain’s ability to recover function by rerouting electrical nerve signals along different neural pathways to complete a
    function that may have been lost to injury.

    “But there are parts of his cortex which are literally missing. So other regions of the cortex, which might have been involved with something like the upper limbs, are now driving movements of the lower limbs.” http://www.timescolonist.com/life/nanaimo-man-s-miracle-in-the-making-after-axe-to-the-head-in-afghanistan-1.598300
    Video: http://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=990323

    This story touches on so many themes from the horrifying to the most amazing (take the time to read the rest of the story). Would I have had the personal drive to come back from such a devastating injury? I’m afraid I know myself well enough to know the answer.

  8. BeccaM says:

    I don’t pretend to understand him either. Most of his business ventures have failed in one way or another — usually ending up in bankruptcy at some point.

    Maybe because he epitomizes all the worst qualities of a natural-born plutocrat, IMHO. It’s like if I wrote him as a fictional character, he’d be derided as unbelievably stereotypical.

  9. FLL says:

    Republican Scott DeMaio is running for Democrat Scott Peters’ congressional seat? Too bad he’s not running for a U.S. Senate seat from California. He could arrange weekly Republican meetings (with entirely too much information) with John McCain and Lindsey Graham. The porn movie that would be a box office failure.

  10. Monoceros Forth says:

    The inexplicable regard in which Donald Trump is held as a successful businessman continues to baffle me. “Reality” TV is guilty of multiple sins but its part in rescuing Trump from irrelevance is surely one of its greatest.

  11. BeccaM says:

    If you have to ask… ;-)

  12. Indigo says:

    Real time strategy video games? Is that like blogging?

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