Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hitler on the iPad


He claims to be nine inches

Actor Rip Torn may be the biggest drunk ever

Rip Torn was arrested Friday night for allegedly breaking into a bank while drunk and armed with a loaded revolver.

State police responded to an alarm at the Litchfield Bancorp building in Salisbury, CT at 9:40 PM last night. Police say they found Torn "with a loaded revolver" and he was "highly intoxicated."

Law enforcement sources tell us Torn gained access through a broken window, which they believe Torn broke himself.

Torn was taken to the Troop B barracks in North Canaan and is being held on $100,000 bond.

Cops say Torn was charged with carrying a pistol without a permit, carrying a firearm while intoxicated, first-degree burglary, first-degree criminal trespass and third-degree criminal mischief.

According to the Register Citizen, he is scheduled to appear in court on February 1.

Rip has had previous alcohol-related arrests.


Pee Wee gets an iPad

Strange snowmen week

Happy 80th Gene Hackman

TTC employee is an Internet 'sleeper' hit

The photo of sleeping Toronto Transit Commission fare collector has become, it must be said, the sleeper hit of the Internet. Since the picture taken by Jason Wieler was posted online and then displayed in all the local papers. Photoshoppers have had a field day with the “TTC Sleeper”: having him nap with Homer Simpson at the Springfield nuclear plant, inserting him into the iconic painting of the Last Supper, etc. It has also brought out a lot of local hostility following a steep fare hike just weeks ago.

The consensus is that service is lousy, employees are rude and the system is behind the time.

So what's their response? Well they apologized for not looking after their customers for years, set up a complaint hotline, promised to draft a customer "bill of rights", and appoint a panel of riders and private sector customer service experts to advise the TTC. A lot of window dressing? Likely. They need a major change in culture at the TTC and that won't be accomplished by a bill of rights or belated apologies.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Strange snowmen week

Heather Graham turns 40

It's been almost 13 years since Rollergirl appeared in Boogie Nights.

Australia to ban small boobs

As absurd as this might sound but it seems that anytime breasts are shown in their natural state, from now on, in Australia, they must be larger than A-cup.

Not because Australian males are obsessed with breasts it seems, but because their board of classification believes that small breasts being shown might lead to pedophilia.

It seems that conservative Australian politicians are waging a war on smut and have arbitrarily decided that small breasts in porn encourages pedophilia and female ejaculation (another proposed ban) is just plain gross.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Strange snowmen week

A Barney Girl grows up

American Idol at the Dallas audition included contestant Erica Rhodes who a former child actor that got her start on the PBS kids television show Barney & Friends.

J.D. Salinger 1919-2010

To be honest, like most people I've only read one book by J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye. I'm sure I share the same sentiment with many people, who can say that this novel really spoke to them during a tough time in high school. So thank you for that.

Incredible how much fame can be derived by one piece of work.

What happens when you take a Alex Ovechkin slapshot in the face?

...6-8 weeks on the shelf with a broken jaw. Oh well, I guess it's something Jack Hillen can tell his grandkids about one day.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rick Mercer: House of Commons Banquet Hall

Do you eat it flowchart

click on chart to enlarge

Why the Maple Leafs stink

Under a salary cap there is only one way to build a winner in the NHL, through the draft. Every team has figured it out but the Maple Leafs. That is why at the 2009 trading deadline, only one deal was made for a first round draft pick. It is suicide in the NHL today to give away high draft picks. And the way teams lock up their few star players, you aren't going to get another crack at them as free agents (the Sedins, Rick Nash, etc). Every other team has figured it out but our Leafs.

Below are the five drafts since the lockout. Some rounds the Leafs have multiple picks as a result of trades. The players in blue are currently with the Leafs. The players in green are picks still in the Leaf system. The ones in red are the players picked up in trades for draft picks.






Round 1

Andrew Raycroft

Phillippe Paradis

Veas Toskala

Luke Schenn

Nazem Kadri

Round 2

Brian Leetch

Nikolai Kulemin

Vesa Toskala

James Hayes

Kenny Ryan

Jesse Blacker

Round 3

Phil Oreskovic

Jeff O’Neill

Dale Mitchell

Jamal Mayers

Jamie Devane

Round 4

Ron Francis

James Reimer

Korbinian Holzer

Matt Frattin

Ben Winnett

Mikhail Stefanovich

Vesa Toskala

Round 5

Alex Berry

Luke Richardson

Juraj Mikus

Greg Pateryn

Joel Champagne

Jerome Flaake

Eric Knodel

Round 6

John Pohl

Viktor Stalberg

Tyler Ruegsegger

Leo Komarov

Chris DiDomenico

Grant Rollheiser

Jerry D’Amigo

Round 7

Chad Rau

Chris Frank

Benn Ferriero

Carl Gunnarsson

Andrew MacWilliam

Barron Smith

McDonalds fires employee over extra cheese slice

A McDonald's outlet in the Netherlands was wrong to sack an employee for giving a colleague a piece of cheese on a hamburger, a court has ruled.

The waitress was fired last March after she sold a hamburger to a co-worker who then asked for cheese, which she added.

The fast-food chain argued this turned the hamburger into a cheeseburger, and so she should have charged more.

But Leeuwarden district court ruled a written warning would have been more appropriate. McDonald's was ordered to pay the former employee more than $5,900 for the last five months of her contract.

The fast-food chain had argued that the waitress - who was employed at a branch in the northern town of Lemmer - had broken staff rules prohibiting free gifts to family, friends or colleagues.

But the court said in its written judgment: "The dismissal was too severe a measure. It is just a slice of cheese."

I still don't believe he made this shot

The prank was set up perfectly. A high school girls' basketball coach in Kansas was told he'd win tickets to the Final Four if he hit a half-court shot while blindfolded. The crowd was instructed to scream wildly when his attempt inevitably failed (because, really, that shot is nearly impossible) so the coach would think the shot went in. For an instant ,he'd think he was Final-Four-bound and then the joke would be revealed. There was just one problem, though: He made it.


Nothing like bad singing to bring your ratings up

A new set of American Idols auditions hit the little tube with the usual delusional singers.

Strange snowmen week

Hump Day Hottie

Penelope Cruz

The Brian Burke miracle isn't happening

Maybe the expectations were too high, but you can't get very excited about the 2009-10 Toronto Maple Leafs. It has to be pretty much accepted that this is the worst Leaf team since 1984-85. When Brian Burke suggested at the start of this season the Leafs would compete for a playoff spot it appears that either:
  • He had grossly overestimated the strength of his team (quite common in sports),
  • He is risk taker and things have not been going his way, or
  • He knew the team stunk and has been blowing a lot of smoke.

I'm not quite sure which is the case. Maybe a combination of all three. Here's how I see it.

The college free agents

After signing Hanson and Bozak as college free agents (and throw Gustavsson in with them), Burke declared that this group was the equivalent of 3 first round picks in the amateur draft. Now that is just a pile of crap, All three players were overlooked over the course of three draft years. That doesn't happen if these guys were that good. All three are well beyond 18 years of age and struggling to learn how to play in the NHL.

Unrestricte free agents

In addition to the college free agents, Burke went out and offered big contracts to Mike Komisarek and Francois Beauchemin to strengthen the Leaf defense. Both players have been disappointments. But then both players were coming off of sub par years which were shortened by injuries. So is this a case of gambling or overestimating their value and ability?

The truculence factor

Part of Burke's plan was to change the culture on the Leafs by bringing in a group of tough players to fill out the bottom end of the lineup. So he sighed Colton Orr, Jay Rosehill and traded away Pavel Kubina for Garnet Exelby. No Leaf player is in the top 10 in the league in fighting majors. As a team the Leafs are 10th in fighting majors and 12th in penalty minutes. However, they also happen to be one of the worst penalty killing teams in the history of the NHL. As a result, the more physical game has mostly become a liability.


Goalies are fill the most important position in hockey and one of the more critical positions in sports. So Burke decides to hang his season on a veteran with chronic injuries coming off surgery and an unknown and unproven Swedish rookie who has never played in North America. Of couse perhaps Gustavsson might have had an entirely different season had he not undergone heart surgery twice. Some more bad luck or a poor read on his lineup.

Phil Kessel trade

This has to be an example of grossly overestimating both the team he has and the impact that Kessel would have. I am sure Burke was convinced that he was giving up two middle round first picks in the trade with Boston. That certainly would make the Kessel trade look pretty good. But Kessel has looked out of shape coming off of shoulder surgery and has not had a significant impact on the Leafs. Well you know how the rest of it goes. The Leafs are at the bottom of the standings and Boston stands to get a pretty good pick in 2010 and maybe the same in 2011. Meanwhile the Leafs cannot get significantly better without some young prospects to build around. This trade might make Leafs forget about the Raycroft trade very soon and that's not a good thing.

So what has worked out? Not too much. No free agent has stood out. His lineup has a number of players with big contracts and little production. The farm system is pretty barren. The Marlies are near the bottom of the standing and their top scorer is a fighter, Andre Deveaux. Their goalie of the future has some potentially serious health issues.

Brian we're waiting. Show us something.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fashion Disaster

School officials remove dictionary over term 'oral sex'

After a parent complained about an elementary school student stumbling across "oral sex" in a classroom dictionary, Menifee Union School District officials decided to pull Merriam Webster's 10th edition from all school shelves earlier this week.

School officials will review the dictionary to decide if it should be permanently banned because of the "sexually graphic" entry, said district spokeswoman Betti Cadmus. The dictionaries were initially purchased a few years ago for fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms districtwide, according to a memo to the superintendent.

"It's just not age appropriate," said Cadmus, adding that this is the first time a book has been removed from classrooms throughout the district. It's hard to sit and read the dictionary, but we'll be looking to find other things of a graphic nature," Cadmus said. She explained that other dictionary entries defining human anatomy would probably not be cause for alarm.

Meanwhile, some parents are questioning the district's response and some school board members are asking why officials did not consult with them.

"Censorship in the schools, really? Pretty soon the only dictionary in the school library will be the Bert and Ernie dictionary," said Emanuel Chavez, the parent of second- and sixth-grade students. "If the kids are exposed to it, it's up to the parents to explain it to them at their level."

Board member Rita Peters questioned why one parent's complaint would lead the district to pull the dictionaries. "If we're going to pull a book because it has something on oral sex, then every book in the library with that better be pulled," she said. "The standard needs to be consistent ... We don't need parents setting policy.

How do you get out of doing chores? Try killing your parents

Chores are never a teenager's favorite way to spend a fall afternoon, but for 14-year-old John Caudle chores were the motive for murder, Colorado police say.

In an arrest affidavit, Caudle told investigators that on Oct. 26, 2009 he argued with his mother because he didn’t want to do household chores like taking out the trash or cleaning his room. Then he said he went to a gun safe, removed two .22 caliber pistols and shot his mother dead.

Caudle said he then hid in a laundry room and shot his stepfather when he
walked past a short time later.

After allegedly killing his parents, he spent the evening watching movies and playing on a computer.


Strange snowmen week

So you thought it wouldn't be such a bad idea to leave the new puppy home alone

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bubble wrap turns 50

Today marks an essential day in pop-culture history: Bubble Wrap's 50th birthday.

Where would we be without these protective, oddly addictive plastic orbs of sealed air? (Actually, we might be in a healthier environment with more recyclable packaging materials, but we'll overlook this fact for the moment.)

The term "Bubble Wrap" was coined in 1960 by engineers Marc Chavannes and Al Fielding who came up with the stuff in Hawthorne, N.J., "with the intent of creating a trendy new textured wallpaper."

Today has been dubbed Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day, so pop a few in their honor. And if you'd like to be green about it, just use some virtual Bubble Wrap.

Strange snowmen week

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL will dress up like girl scouts

On Friday, March 12 at the Orleans Arena against the Bakersfield Condors, the Los Vegas Wranglers are scheduled to hold "Girl Scout Night" in celebration of the 98th birthday of the Girl Scouts of the USA. Part of that celebration includes hockey jerseys modeled after the Girl Scout uniform. Not exactly thinking out of the box here since the Kingston Frontenacs just recently had their Don Cherry jersey. Ugly hockey jerseys must be all the rage. I still prefer their Gov. Rod Blagojevich Prison Uniform Night and who can forget the stripper-riffic "Over 18" Night.

Ernest Borgnine is 93 today...sorry death poolers

Statue of the Week

One Hit Wonder

Bay City Rollers - Saturday Night (1976)

Deer jumps into car, not in front of car

A man had quite a commute to work in Americus when he came nose to nose with a deer. That deer jumped through the window of Clarence Johnson's SUV, and head-butted him. The deer's back end was hanging out of the car as Johnson and his surprise passenger drove down the road. Johnson did go to the hospital, but he's okay.

Johnson is undoubtedly a good driver. Rain and slick roads are enough to deal with without having a deer in your lap. And because it was raining, Mr. Johnson was driving slowly. He believes that's why he walked away with only minor injuries.

How many people can say they fought a deer? Johnson can. He has the battle wounds to prove it. "I was just riding listening to Ricky Smiley and then all of a sudden 'BOOM' and I looked over my shoulder and a deer was looking me dead in the face."

He thinks the deer was trying to jump over his SUV, but fell short and smashed through his window instead. "He came in and his hind legs and his nostril and face hit me in my face."

With pieces of glass in Johnson's head and a deer in his lap. It was quite the scene. "All I could look at was his nose. He's kicking around trying to get out and you've got to think, I'm dragging him down the road because his back legs are still outside the vehicle." On top of everything, it was raining. "He's fighting, like I'm fighting."

Finally, after swerving in and out of his lane and fighting the terrified animal, Johnson was able to push the deer out his window and pull over safely. "I got cuts in my head from glass. It was all in my mouth and clothes." But aside a few cuts and bruises, and a sprained neck, Johnson is fine. Apparently, so is the deer. He ran off and hasn't been seen since. "I guess he got up after he was stunned."

Strange snowmen week