Imagine your dog (or cat, we suppose) came running up to you in your living room like Lassie and started barking.
“What’s that you say, girl?
“The house is on fire?”
[Terry and Shay Weisbrich], who are retired, suspect they might have lost the house on a notably hot, dry and breezy May Day had they not been at home when their dog, Toby, a flat-coated retriever, began to bark excitedly.
“This dog does not bark,” Terry Weisbrich said.
His wife walked about to investigate what Toby was worked up about. Through a glass door at the rear of the house she noticed what she first thought was steam but quickly realized was smoke.
She shouted to her husband, “We’ve got a fire!”
The Weisbrichs called 911 and the Bennett Valley Fire Department responded to a extinguish the small fire that started on the couple’s cedar siding. No one was harmed and the house was safe, but the question remained “what started the fire?” (more…)
Nov 20, 2012
Posted by AAfterwit on Nov 20, 2012 | Comments Off
There are some strange things that are happening in the state of Maryland these days.
First is the curious decision the University of Maryland Board of Regents made to leave the Atlantic Coast Conference and move to the Big Ten. Err….. the “Big 10 We Can’t Count and Have 12 Members Conference” which is soon to become the “Big 10 We Can’t Count and Have 14 Members Conference” as Rutgers is said to be making the move as well.
Maryland is a founding member of the ACC and their leaving the conference is beyond disappointing. The move is simply for money as the Big Ten television contract adds about $25 million dollars to the revenue of each school. Yet there is something wrong about leaving a great conference that you helped found and supported for all these years for a conference that you have no ties to. To us it is like divorcing your wife of 50 years in order to marry a mail order Russian bride whoyou have not seen or spoken to.
Speaking of Russia and vodka. (Yeah, that is not a smooth segue, but we tried.)
The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States has told state officials the new increased sales tax on alcohol has had a negative effect on sales in Maryland.
David Ozgo, chief economist for the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, said the sale of distilled spirits in Maryland has grown just two-tenths of a percent in the past year, well below the national average of 3.1%.
“Distilled spirits growth in Maryland has been anemic so far in 2012,” Ozgo said. “Nationwide, off-premise sales are up 3.3 percentage points. But here in Maryland, we are actually off slightly.
There is very, very strong evidence that poor performance of Maryland package stores is a direct result of the Maryland decision to increase the alcohol sales tax to 9% in 2011.”
The liquor sale decline in Maryland can be directly associated with the sale increases in neighboring states, Ozgo said. Virginia’s off-premise sales are up 5% in 2012, while Delaware has seen a staggering 8.8% rise.
You mean people will go to another state to save money because of a new tax? Who would have ever thought that? Who would have ever suspected taxes affect economic growth?
When she and her fiance visited a local McDonalds in Chillicothe, Ohio, Ms. Corey was less than thrilled with the quality of food she received and decided to fight it out with the McDonald’s employee manning the drive through window.
Corey’s weapon of choice?
A chicken sandwich.
Corey said that the chicken sandwich was fried instead of grilled and was missing key condiments, like bacon and cheese. She said the cashier was rude to her when she tried to return the sandwich.
“It had a dab of mayonnaise on it, rotten lettuce,” Corey said.
The employee returned the sandwich with the correct condiments and additions, but with the same fried – not grilled – chicken.
Corey threw the sandwich back at the McDonalds’ employee.
Why did she throw the sandwich? Because obviously a flying sandwich trumps a rude employee, of course.
The employee one-upped Corey and called the police.
The employee declined to press charges (assault with a chicken sandwich we would guess) but Corey was banned from all area McDonalds. She Corey feels the banning is unjust. Her reasoning is priceless:
“I threw a sandwich and it didn’t even hit the worker,” Corey said. “Why would I be banned from McDonald’s? It’s wrong.”
The state of Texas does everything on a large scale. Texans take great pride in that fact. “Go big or go home,” seems to typify the Texan state of mind.
This means that Texas is home to four of the world’s largest wind farms. Given the open spaces, the winds and the Texas propensity for doing thing bigger than the rest of the world, large wind farms should be found in Texas.
But there appears to be a problem.
New research finds that wind farms actually warm up the surface of the land underneath them during the night, a phenomena that could put a damper on efforts to expand wind energy as a green energy solution.
Researchers used satellite data from 2003 to 2011 to examine surface temperatures across as wide swath of west Texas, which has built four of the world’s largest wind farms. The data showed a direct correlation between night-time temperatures increases of 0.72 degrees C (1.3 degrees F) and the placement of the farms.
“Given the present installed capacity and the projected growth in installation of wind farms across the world, I feel that wind farms, if spatially large enough, might have noticeable impacts on local to regional meteorology,” Liming Zhou, associate professor at the State University of New York, Albany and author of the paper published April 29 in Nature Climate Change said in an e-mail to Discovery News.
This means the wind turbines may actually be harming the climate rather than helping it. In addition to the effects on climate and weather, the warming of temperatures at night will affect growth of grasses, trees, and other plants in the area to say nothing of affecting agriculture. livestock and the need for more energy use at night to cool homes and businesses. (more…)
Feb 13, 2012
Posted by AAfterwit on Feb 13, 2012 | Comments Off
According to the Associated Press, the Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota is suing major manufacturers of beer for $500 million dollars because the companies sold beer.
LINCOLN, Neb. — An American Indian tribe sued some of the world’s largest beer makers today, claiming they knowingly contributed to devastating alcohol-related problems on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
The Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota said it is demanding $500 million in damages for the cost of health care, social services and child rehabilitation caused by chronic alcoholism on the reservation.
Alcohol is illegal on the Sioux reservation. The Sioux leave the reservation, go to a nearby store, buy beer and smuggle it into the reservation and drink it – to excess. Obviously that is the fault of everyone but the Sioux themselves.
Lego has introduced a new line of products called “Lego Friends” which are designed for girls who want a difference experience than playing with the normal Lego sets.
According to Mads Nipper, executive vice president of Lego:
“We heard very clear requests from moms and girls for more details and interior building, a brighter color palette, a more realistic figure, role play opportunities and a story line that they would find interesting.”
The sets are brighter, more colorful but the major change is the figures in the sets are not the typical Lego figures. As you can see in the picture and the video below the Lego Friends sets sport girls that are slimmer and wear more stylish clothes than the normal Lego figure.
Enter in to the discussion the people who want to run your life.
According to one Carolyn Costin, who is the founder of the Monte Nido Treatment Center in Malibu, California, the new Lego Friends line will contribute to gender stereotyping and eating disorders in girls. Monte Nido treats people with eating disorders which is a very serious subject whose seriousness is lessened by Costin’s ridiculous statement.
The Florida Today newspaper ran a “Your Opinion” letter to the editor from a John Cunningham pf West Melbourne.
Cunningham starts by saying:
As we approach the 2012 election season, the right wing has trotted out its time-tested bromide of “class warfare” to decry the notion wealthy people should pay their fair share to ensure we have a functioning society.
We wanted to make sure we represented Cunningham’s ideas fairly, so we looked up the word “bromide.” According to dictionary.com, a “bromide” is a a platitude or trite saying.” Right off the bat, Cunningham launched into a unsubstantiated attack in framing the message as “trite.” Yet later on, as we will see, he agrees liberals are engaged in and should support”class warfare.”
Liberals typically run from this intended slur, when we should embrace it. Of course, it’s class warfare, and the right has been annihilating us for 30-plus years.
We guess saying “class warfare” wasn’t a “bromide” after all.
FLORIDA TODAY’s pompous columnists moan that a substantial portion of Americans pay little or no federal taxes. That’s what happens when the top 1¤percent control 24 percent of the wealth. They think it would be swell for the working poor to cough up a little more in addition to the payroll tax, sales tax and other and taxes everyone pays.
Cunningham needs to be introduced to facts instead of rhetoric. (more…)
According to an article at PennLive.com, Tara Keener saw her 5 year old slumped over on the school bus with kids standing around him screaming for help. Keener, a nurse, rushed onto the bus to save her son Xander who, as it turns out, was only sleeping.
Keener’s boarding the bus violated the law.
The story becomes a case of she said – she said with the bus driver who is a certified nursing assistant. It is as if the mother and the bus driver not only have different recollections of what happened, but one wonders if they were on the same planet the day in question.
The bus company remembers the story a little differently, and reported the incident — as they are required by law — to the state police because the driver asked Keener to leave the bus and she refused.
They say no one was screaming ‘help,’ that Xander was sleeping, like he had before and the driver wasn’t given enough time to handle the situation herself.
We have no idea how much time the bus driver needed, but clearly she had enough time to be more concerned about Keener on the bus than she did with the child’s health. (more…)