Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday, Aug 30, 2013

1.    Many auto makers are offering a feature that alerts drivers when another vehicle is in their “blind spot.”  ***   Which, when you’re texting, is pretty much everywhere outside the car.

2.    A federal court has ordered California to reduce prison overcrowding.   The state plans on doing this by assigning some inmates to private prisons, putting some of them in county jails... *** ... and sending many of them back to Congress.

3.    The famous parking garage in Arlington, Virginia where journalist Bob Woodward frequently met with his informant, “Deep Throat,” regarding the Watergate affair is being demolished.  ***   You know, that’s a terrible loss—all those valuable parking spaces...

4.    Federal officials say that many schools have cut ties with the National School Lunch Program because the healthy menu, with things like fruits and vegetables, was being rejected by the students.   ***   In order to satisfy the kids’ preferences, those schools are also extending recess, eliminating homework, and canceling all Friday classes.

5.    A fire is threatening San Francisco’s water supply.  ***  Yes, the flames are getting very close to a Perrier bottling plant.

6.    For Halloween, General Mills will offer five “monster” cereals.  In addition to the existing Frankenberry, Boo Berry and Count Chocula, they are bringing back  Frute Brute and Yummy Mummy.   ***  Also, they announced a new Edward Snowden cereal;  when you pour milk in the bowl, it leaks.

7.    The New York Attorney General is suing Donald Trump’s investment school, “Trump University,” for $40 million.  The lawsuit says the organization practiced persistent fraud, illegal and deceptive conduct, and violation of consumer protection laws...  ***  ...but failed to teach those skills to the students.

8.    Protestors in the Philippines are demanding the end to a government slush fund used for legislators’ pet projects that are either useless or non-existent.  It is technically called the “Priority Development Assistance Fund.”   ***  Or, as we call it here in the United States: the Budget.

9.    A toddler at a bowling alley managed to crawl inside one of those games where you manipulate a claw to try to grab prizes.   ***  His parents were finally able to get him out, but it cost them nearly $20 in quarters. 

10.  The White House-themed movie “The Butler” topped the box office for the second weekend in a row.  It was followed by the Jennifer Anniston comedy, “We’re the Millers.”   ***  Sensing a big opportunity, producers have begun working on a new blockbuster: “The Miller’s Butler.”

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday, Aug 23, 2013

1.      The isolated Mashco-Piro Indian tribe in Peru has attempted to make contact with the outside world for only the second time since 2011.   ***    They were desperate to watch Phil and Kay renew their wedding vows on Duck Dynasty.

2.      JetBlue is the latest airline to offer luggage delivery to your final destination, such as your hotel or home.  It costs $25 for one bag and $40 for up to ten bags.   ***  I don’t need all that. How much do I have to pay to just have my luggage show up at the right airport?

3.      Private Bradley Manning has been sentenced to 35 years for revealing secret documents. He was afraid he’d be in prison until he died.   ***   Actually, people like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden never die; they just leak away.

4.      Eighty Republican congressmen are urging their leadership to resist efforts to fund Obamacare, a strategy which would result in a partial shutdown of the government.  ***   As opposed to the current situation, which is a total shutdown of government.

5.      Al-Jazeera, the TV network based in the Middle East, began broadcasting operations the United States this week.  The format was similar to American networks...  *** ... except their weather radar also tracks the flight path of predator drones.

6.      Celebrity Cruises cancelled the remainder of a seven-day Alaskan cruise when one of the propulsion motors failed.  ***  Passengers who wanted to continue their trip were put ashore and given a dog sled and a team of huskies.

7.      Crowds on a Russian beach had to run for their lives when a huge military hovercraft ran up on the shore.  ***  It was unclear who was at the helm of the errant vessel, but right after the incident Edward Snowden’s asylum was immediately revoked.

8.      According to a study published in the International Journal of Manpower, people who have sex more often tend to earn more money.  ***  Yes, especially if they charge for it.

9.      In a recent survey in which they were given a choice of being skinny or free of debt, 72% of Americans chose “Skinny,” while only 28% chose “Debt-free.”   ***  In real life, however, most people apparently choose “Neither.”

10.    Vice President Joe Biden’s son was briefly hospitalized after becoming very disoriented.  ***  Doctors diagnosed the condition as being entirely hereditary.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday, Aug 16, 2013

1.      Someone pranked five Best Buy stores in Los Angeles by setting up fake product displays that purported to offer an empty box for $99.    ***   Federal authorities are now looking for the culprit;  they want to offer him a job as a  campaign manager.

2.      Wal-Mart has lowered its sales and profit forecast for the rest of the year.   ***    And in order to cut costs, greeters will just say “Hello” to every other customer.

3.      Because of negative connotations, the aircraft industry is trying to get journalists to stop referring to unmanned aircraft as “drones.”   ***  On the other hand, I don’t think they want us to refer to them by the word that the terrorists probably use when they see one coming right at them.  “#$%@ !”

4.      A pro-Assad group, the Syrian Electronic Army, hacked into the Washington Post web site and switched readers to the Syrian group’s web site.   ***  Well, I guess that’s a little more effective at getting attention than just putting something on the op-ed page.

5.      Archaeologists say that rock etchings found in Nevada are the oldest of their type in North America, dating back over 10,000 years.   ***   Researchers have interpreted the symbols as saying, “Casino 10 miles ahead. Double jackpots on Tuesday.”

6.      The country of Jordan has asked the United States for manned surveillance aircraft to help monitor its border with Syria.   ***  Now that’s desperation—when someone asks the U.S. to help control a border.

7.      Six researchers have emerged from an isolated dome in Hawaii where they spent four months working on new recipes for space travel.   ***   The next food specialist to be sent into the dome for four months:  Paula Deen.

8.      The jury in the Whitey Bolger trial found him guilty on 11 counts of murder.  Many of the prosecution’s witnesses were hit men, bookies and other underworld figures.   ***   The defense, on the other hand, only had the shaky testimony of politicians.

9.      In London, workers building a new rail line have come across buried artifacts that give an exciting insight into English history, such as remnants of an 18th century shipyard and 2,000 year-old horseshoes.  ***  There are even items that suggest that at one time England had dentists.

10.    A federal judge has ruled that New York City’s “stop-and-frisk” procedure is illegal.   ***   Mayor Bloomberg says the police will comply with the ruling and will only frisk people while they’re moving.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday, Aug 9, 2013

1.      In a plan to re-structure the mortgage markets,  President Obama wants to do away with “Fannie Mae” and “Freddie Mac.”   ***  When Russia’s Vladimir Putin heard this, he immediately offered them asylum.

2.      In an interview on “Meet the Press,” Senator Saxby Chambliss said that it made sense to shut down numerous U.S. embassies in the Middle East because of an increase in al Qaeda “chatter.”  ***  And if there’s anyone who’s an expert on chatter, it would be a senator.

3.      According to a chromosome study in the journal “Science,” nearly every guy currently living can be traced back to one man who lived 135,000 years ago.   ***  So, even back then there was an NBA.

4.      Critics have panned Jennifer Anniston’s latest movie, “We’re the Millers,” in which several odd individuals pretend to be a family.   ***  Or as we call it, “Hollywood.” 

5.      More than a dozen candidates are running to be the next mayor of Detroit, the largest U.S. city to declare bankruptcy.   ***   Here’s my question:  Isn’t that like applying to be captain of the Titanic...after it hit the iceberg?

6.      According to U.S. Census Bureau data on millennials—people who are now 18 to 31 years old—21.6  million of them are still living with their parents.   ***  And experts predict that as those aging parents start needing more personal care and financial support, the number of millennials living at home will be approximately zero.

7.      Anthony Ferrante, the director of “Sharknado,” has already started talking about a sequel.  ***  He says the next film will be even scarier:  It takes place in New Jersey, and after the state is devastated by the airborne sharks, federal aid is blocked by a Rand Paul filibuster.

8.      In an interview on Univision, Anthony Weiner said he used the online name  “Carlos Danger” as a joke.   ***  Yeah, if he was serious he would have picked something more appropriate, like “Carlos Idiot.”

9.      Edward Snowden was granted asylum by the Russian government.  ***  And now Alex Rodriguez is checking to see if Russia has a baseball league.

10.    A high ranking priest in Boston was arrested for soliciting a prostitute at a cemetery.  ***   That’s whore-ible

Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday, Aug 2, 2013

1.      In Cannes, France, $136 million worth of jewels were stolen from an exhibit in a luxury hotel, and police believe the theft may have been carried out by the notorious Pink Panther gang.   ***   They say that several witnesses reported hearing very distinctive background music. 

2.      During a meeting with House Democrats, Nancy Pelosi presented President Obama with a chocolate birthday cake.  ***   Fortunately, Secret Service agents tackled her before she could put on a slinky Marilyn Monroe dress and sing “Happy Birthday Mr. President...”  

3.      Earlier this week, cats and dogs were allowed in the U.S. Capitol Building to celebrate “Adopt a Pet” day.  ***   It was patterned after a similar event that’s sponsored by lobbyists and called “Adopt a Senator.”

4.      A military court found Private Bradley Manning guilty on 19 counts of leaking secret documents, but he was acquitted on the charge of aiding the enemy.   ***  Despite lengthy deliberations, the court was unable to determine exactly who the enemy is.

5.      President Obama has asked Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain to travel to Egypt next week.   ***  However, there’s no indication whether he’ll ask them to return.

6.      Two stars of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” Teresa and Joe Giudice, were indicted on fraud charges for exaggerating their income when applying for loans.   ***  You know, if they wanted the bank to think they were worth that much they should have picked a loan officer who hadn’t seen the show.

7.      Senator Rand Paul is still pushing the Administration for more information on the domestic use of drones.  ***  For example, he’d like to have their destinations and departure times posted on Travelocity.

8.      Lance Armstrong is claiming it’s the fault of the team sponsor, the U.S. Postal Service, for not knowing he was taking steroids.  ***  He said he sent them a full confession but it got lost in the mail.

9.      There’s a new version of Monopoly called “Monopoly Empire” and it has several changes to help the game move faster, including elimination of the “Jail.”   ***   Players who draw a “Go To Jail” card just spend the rest of the game wearing an electronic tether.

10.    During his visit to Brazil, Pope Francis said mass on Copacabana Beach, with 3 million people attending.  ***  You see, that’s why the timing of his visit was so important. If he came right after the annual Carnival, he would have had to face 3 million people lined up for confession.