Friday, July 31, 2009

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of July 27, 2009

Welcome to Friday, everyone. We're sitting back and relaxing, taking in the rays. We'd be having a beer or two, but we didn't arrest anyone of a different race this week, so we just aren't getting invited anywhere. So let's get these awards going.

Demand and Demand Award
This may come as a shock, but people like free things and giveaways. The government is learning that lesson yet again with regards to their "Cash for Clunkers" program. In fact, so many people have decided to get a few thousand for their $500 vehicle that the program is running out of money, and searching for additional funding. Meanwhile, officials are also shocked that people like using coupons, and take chances in lotteries.

Great Scott Award
It certainly isn't Mr. Fusion. The driver in Auckland claimed that his vehicle was a time machine, and that it would turn invisible at 100 km/h. Unfortunately for the man, he was both responsible for a fatal accident, and for making out with his own mother.

Political Recklessness Award
A lawmaker in Connecticut was recently ticketed. What for, you may ask? He was ticketed for "reckless jogging" after he ran into the side of a truck. It's a shame, really. If only there were some committee that he could be part of that might help govern laws for vehicles and pedestrians while moving.

Spray Attention Award
People don't always think clearly at the gas station. Fumes combined with people grumpy over gas prices or other annoyances can certainly lead people to not think clearly. But we're fairly certain that there's still no excuse for spraying a fellow customer with gas because he asked you to move your car. Especially not at anything approaching $3/gallon.

Side Profit Award
With newspapers struggling to stay afloat, it should be no surprise that many reporters are looking to supplement their incomes. A veteran sports reporter did just that, turning to Craigslist. But he wasn't looking for freelancing gigs; he was engaging in prostitution. We're not sure, but we think that would go under the "ETC" section of the site.

A Quick Bang Award
What would you do if a woman you just met offered to take you into an alley and have sex for money? Believe that you'd found the jackpot, or walk away carefully, looking for squad cars? Well, it might not be a sting, but leaving still could be better, or you might get shot. We're fairly certain that the victims thought they'd be on the other end of any shooting.

That wraps up our awards for yet another week. We'll see you next week, same place as always, with new stories to inform and educate. Or whatever it is that we're doing. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

No more "Free Parking"

Board games. People get worked up over them, sometimes to the point where friendships can actually be fractured for a few days due to heated competition. Then, of course, there's the almost ever-present accusations of cheating, or even beginner's luck. Still, all that's usually hurt is feelings, and people get over it in a couple of days.

Someone should have reminded a Michigan man of that before he sat down to play Monopoly. It might have kept him from getting arrested.

The gist of the story? The man really wanted Park Place and Boardwalk. We can only assume that the only other properties he owned were the railroads, and potentially Baltic Avenue, and was therefore looking to make a big swoop. The problem? One of the other players already owned both, and didn't want to give them up. Probably something about the over-arching goal of the game being to bankrupt the other players. So, when the man was denied his desires, he hit his friend in the head.

We're sure that he's very sorry about the whole thing, but he's definitely in trouble. Maybe if he had more of a clue, he wouldn't have placed himself in such risk.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Something's backwards

We applaud schools that apply filtering software to school computers. After all, students are prone to search for things that could have double meaning, and anything that could keep them from seeing inappropriate websites is a good move.

Of course, we didn't realize that educational sites were inappropriate, while porn was perfectly acceptable. Thanks for that lesson, Australian schools!

Sure, there's a risk involved when students are doing reports on birds. After all, there's the swallow, the tit, and the cock, and a search for any of those words could certainly lead to finding something less than avian. But it just doesn't seem write that a documentary site would be blocked, while graphic sex content was let through. Unless, of course, the documentary site was run by people like Ron Jeremy and Jenna Jameson.

On the plus side, the Australian students will definitely have an upper hand when it comes time for discussions on sex education.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Check your spelling

This may not come as much of a shock to most people, but it seems like there's a good reason to know how to spell, especially when it comes to location names. Otherwise, you might end up taking a planned vacation to an unplanned location.

At least, that's what is likely to happen if you simply input a misspelled name into your GPS, and don't check on it. It did to a couple of Swedes travelling in Italy.

The problem? They were trying to visit the island of Capri, but ended up in Carpi instead. Sure, we could expect that most people would have noticed that the location they were trying to get to was, oh, an island, and that they'd ended up at a landlocked location, but that obviously isn't always the case. Besides, maybe the poor tourists thought that a land bridge had been created by global warming, or just that every map showing Capri as an island were wrong.

Honestly, though, we aren't horribly surprised. It seems like not all that long ago that people were driving off of bridges because their GPS devices told them to make a sudden turn. Which all could be part of some grand scheme by the makers of these tools, or by the tools themselves.

After all, how do we know that they aren't getting their information all from SkyNet, and therefore slowly trying to eradicate the human race?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Beauty secrets

Go back through the generations. Look at old pictures, and paintings, specifically for women. Do you see beautiful examples? Of course you do. Do you see examples that are far more beautiful than what we've got around us today? According to research, probably not.

That's because it seems that women are getting more beautiful with every passing generation.

At least, that's what scientists are saying. Of course, while women are getting better looking, men are largely staying just as attractive as their ancestors, going back centuries. The reason behind that seems to be that the more attractive the woman, the more likely that she will have children, while men get to procreate based off of success, not looks. This may seem like a fairly obvious conclusion, but it's still worth pointing out. In fact, according to the recent research, attractive women have 16% more children than unattractive women.

Also, physical looks are pretty clearly something based on through heredity. Well, when you take two people that are considered good looking, they're going to pass those traits on. And, for one reason or another, the odds are better for them to have daughters than sons.

Suddenly, the marriages of Billy Joel make so much more sense.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of July 20, 2009

Welcome to another Friday full of news stories, under the guise of our weekly awards. It's been an interesting week, at least as it pertains to health care, and we're just trying to keep up. So let's get moving, shall we?

Guilty Award
Good news, everyone! Looks like anyone critical of federal law may have a reason to be. It seems that many federal laws are so vaguely worded that just about anyone could be a federal criminal, regardless of any wrong-doing. Especially troubling, the prosecutors don't even have to find proof of an intent for wrong doing before charging people. First, they came for the battery users.

A Big Sausage Award
When you start running ads about places to stick a big sausage, you might run afoul of the censors, even if you really are talking about a sausage. A British advertiser recently learned that lesson, and has been told to stop running their ads when children might listen, but also said that the ads were not sexually explicit. We expect to see a similar complaint soon about melons.

Healthy Slam Award
In a shocking turn of events, a man has recently filed a class-action lawsuit against Denny's, due to unsafe salt levels in their food. Listen, folks, if you fooled yourself for a moment into thinking that Denny's was little more than an upscale greasy spoon, then you probably also consider Burger King to be a fine dining experience. And when you combine bacon, ham, cheese, sausage, hash browns, and pancakes into one meal, you probably should expect to keep an EKG machine close by.

Isn't It Ironic Award
Earlier this week, there was a story about a man withdrawing almost $200,000 from his bank, because they refused to give him a mortgage for a much lower amount. The artist took the money, in $20 bills, to his credit union, and deposited there. Guess where the credit union banks? No word on whether Canadian singer-songwriters will be analyzing this, and comparing it to a large number of spoons when you could really use a knife.

A Little Nip, a Little Tuck Award
Okay, so it's not plastic surgery, but it's still surgery. Recently, a new record was set for the oldest transgender patient, as a 77-year-old completed the switch. Given that the patient used to be a green beret, she joins the elite team of grandmothers who could totally kick our asses if we said anything negative.

Take Two, They're Small Award
For decades, China has had a ruling about each family only having one child, in an attempt to curb population growth. Well, it may have worked too well, as now they are amending things, and actively encouraging couples to have a second child, largely to help take care of the huge numbers of pensioners in the country. If this doesn't help turn the tide, plans may begin on a new effort, wherein each citizen can only have one grandparent.

And that wraps up our awards for yet another week. We'll see you next week, with all new stories. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I was, um... what was I saying?

This may come as a shock to just about no one, but people are forgetful. Okay, so we all knew that, but we never really had a grasp on an average number of forgotten items in a day. Well, we can thank the National Lottery for answering that question for us.

Specifically, this was a bit of research conducted by the National Lottery in the United Kingdom, so the numbers may not hold true outside of England, but apparently at least the British forget about three things per day. And men are more likely to forget things than women, with an average of 3.5 things forgotten to 2.5.

Of course, the first culprit for people's memory lapses is ever-busier schedules, with more gadgets and more small tasks needing to get done every day. With all of those little jobs to do, it seems perfectly logical that something would be forgotten, especially if it is something that isn't part of the daily routine. There's also a chance that, by simply having so many gadgets to help us keep track of important information, we're actually curtailing our ability to remember things as much as we used to. Just look at the phenomenon with regards to phone numbers and cell phones.

Not to be cynical, though, but we noticed a little item listed in the "top 25 most forgotten" list that might point to why this was of such importance to the National Lottery. Look at the list, and specifically at number 22, where apparently people forget to buy their lottery tickets. Well, no wonder this research was done.

Just imagine what else we could study, if only it prevented people from playing the lottery.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Missing link a blade?

Some new evidence points to something that we may not have even realized was possible. No, not proof that vice presidents aren't fueled by kittens and tears. This is actually even more impressive, as scientists may have discovered evidence that links modern humans with Neanderthals.

According to the evidence, the two distinct species may have lived at the same time, and in the same areas for at least part of their existences. It would certainly explain one killing the other.

The evidence to support this theory is a Neanderthal skeleton being discovered with what appears to be spear wounds in his ribs. Specifically, they believe that the wounds came from a thrown projectile. Given that many researchers believe that such tools were outside of the capabilities of the Neanderthals, it certainly points to some cross-species interactions.

If the research proves that the two species did in fact co-exist, it may actually help scientists determine how exactly Neanderthals became extinct, while humans thrived. It may also help them come to conclusions that could point to a missing link, which they believe to exist.

See, this is why primitive man didn't have nice things.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Running late

Today, we just couldn't pick. Seems to happen every once in awhile, and, when it does, we just hope for some sort of thematic connection between the stories, so that we can link them together somehow. Today, there's a connection, although it is admittedly very tenuous. It's all about time.

First up, we see a cop who just can't wait for his Egg McMuffin. So, in an attempt to speed up the process, he rationally explains that he needs to get going, right? Or, you know, he pulls his gun. It's definitely one of those two things.

Listen, we know that sometimes, you just need the flaky muffin filled with pseudo egg and sausage, along with a slice of processed cheese, but pulling a gun is just no way to go about it. Besides, it's not like such actions will generally make the employees move faster, or bend time. Come on, people. The microwave only cooks so fast.

Oh, um, the, uh, grill only cooks so fast.

Today's second story allows us to see an interesting defense used in a case where a trolley driver was fired after getting into an accident. Apparently, the accident may have been caused by the driver being busy texting on his cell phone, instead of paying attention to his path. But the man's defense attorney feels that the man may be getting charged with the wrong offense.

After all, the charges against him are based on laws that are, like, over 100 years old.

Right. Because there's an expiration date on laws. Sure, some may get stricken from the books when they no longer make sense, but a law about negligence while in control of a train should probably remain until there is nothing resembling a train in existence. Thankfully, the prosecution had a response at their fingertips, pointing out how long laws against murder have been on the books.

Sometimes, the classics are just good to keep around.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Keep 'em at 10 and 2

Speeding takes concentration. If you are going to be going much faster than the rest of traffic, or even just what is considered safe for that particular stretch of road, you'd better have your attention fixed on the road, so you can make your split-second reactions that much more accurately. Which is why we're both impressed and disturbed by a man allegedly speeding recently in Canada.

He was arrested after another driver called the complaint in. Turns out that he was doing more than going faster than everyone else. He was doing it while also watching porn.

That's some impressive, and foolish, multi-tasking right there. The only way we can really picture something like this making sense would be through some sort of heads-up display, if you'll pardon the pun, but even that is filled with potential problems. Never mind the trouble that could possibly be created when a car you're considering passing also happens to be jiggling and moaning at the same time.

We understand the appeal of car sex. We even understand the more dangerous sex play behind the wheel. But we just can't get behind the concept of watching porn while driving.

After all, when going at high speeds, it's really hard to turn one-handed.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of July 13, 2009

Welcome to Friday. It's been a busy week, and it doesn't look to be tapering off anytime soon. Which is a shame, because we could really use a nap. Instead, let's jump to the awards.

School Excuses Award
Many students will find other things to do instead of their homework. The only real problem with that, aside from not learning the material, is the need to come up with a good excuse. Somehow, we're fairly certain that "my robbery ate my homework" just isn't going to fly for most schools. And they say that kids don't apply themselves anymore.

Don't Need No Water Award
Just let it burn. Good advice when it comes to charcoal. Bad advice when it comes to a BMW. Sure, hate the car, but don't light it on fire. You know, unless it's a zombie car. But we all know that those are strictly Yugos.

What Could Go Wrong? Award
Let's say that you're trying to encourage students to use their imaginations, and expand their writing skills. Should you show them examples of creative writing, or possibly television shows that are age-appropriate and help drive the point home? Or should you stage an alien landing, complete with the abduction of a teacher? At least they could have picked a teacher nobody liked.

Start Them Young Award
What better way to teach gun safety than to start out the child with a firearm in their stroller? Sure, other people may think it's dangerous, but it's not like you're leaving the safety off or anything. No word on why Darwinists are waiting on the sidelines.

Environmentally Aware Award
Have you been planning on doing your part to help the environment by switching to a hybrid automobile? Are you also looking to get the insurance kickback that was offered on many of these vehicles? Hurry, because insurers are finding out that hybrid drivers are more likely to get tickets and that their accidents cost more. It really isn't easy being green.

Investigative Journalism Award
How cool is this? A reporter working on a story about three missing boys was out preparing for a location shoot when she found them sitting on the sidewalk nearby. This should keep the reporter off of the puppy and balloon beat for at least another month.

They're Ba-ack Award
Quick, think of something that may have helped cause the economic downfall, but still might be returning to prominence. No, not the Bush family. We're talking about adjustable-rate mortgages. After all, isn't it time to end the national nightmare of people being forced to live within their means?

And that wraps up our awards for this week. We'll be back next week, fully rested and full of punch. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Important stuff

While the story we're looking at today may not be on the same level as the (now dismissed) lawsuit brought by Donald Trump against the author who dared to call him a mere millionaire, we still think it just needs to get out there. After all, in these troubling times, we all need to be able to support people who will protest over their rights, and for the things that they deserve.

Which is why it's so refreshing to see the cast of "Big Brother" participate in a roof-top protest. And if they had been provided with enough booze to begin with, this never would have happened.

Sadly, you read that correctly. The housemates decided that they just didn't have enough alcohol, so they were going to protest over it. Mind you, the only reason that this even hit anyone's radar is because the show already caters to grabbing pampered egocentric individuals and putting them on the airwaves. Of course they're going to complain when they don't have enough alcohol to get trashed every night. After all, isn't that why they're going on reality television? Well, that and trying to see if they can sneak some live sex acts past the censors.

Honestly, this was bound to happen eventually. Reality television has been catering to lower and lower denominators of "contestants" almost since the very beginning, so to see a group so obsessed with destroying their liver that they'd protest isn't much of a shock. The truly shocking thing would have been if they actually were complaining about something that has some bearing on the rest of the world, even if it's as minor as the price of stamps.

Oh, and it should be noted that the protest ended when producers for the show threatened to kick off any contestant that didn't leave the roof. Guess everyone has their price.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Happy Non-Father's Day

It's a story as old as time. A man is put in jail after not fully paying child support fees. This all comes after the man has unfortunately lost his job, and his home. But, in the case of at least one Georgia man, there's a catch.

The man isn't actually the father, and the courts knew it. In fact, they knew it for at least nine years, and continued to charge the man anyways.

More to the point, it's not like the man wasn't actually paying into the state, even after learning that the child wasn't his. He was even paying out of his unemployment benefits after losing his job, which almost certainly helped accelerate the process of losing his house.

Listen, we understand that there are plenty of people out there who don't want to fulfill their obligations. They thought that there was no possible way that they could get saddled with a child, and they don't want to worry about the financial end. So naturally there's going to be an inclination to look towards people who are actually willing to pay. But when it's determined that the child and the "father" aren't actually related, that should be the end of it. Now we're not saying that anyone should be reimbursed if the genetics of the child aren't determined until years have passed, but, once there is a definitive ruling, stop pursuing it. The Georgia man in today's story has even been jailed, and is awaiting the outcome of a special hearing to see if he can go back to his life.

If someone WANTS to assume financial responsibility, that's one thing. But to outright force someone, and to continue when you learn that the original reasons were false? That's something else entirely.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What do we say about lawns?

Think about yard care for a moment. While there may be people who certainly don't mind taking care of their own lawns, most people would also be quite happy to have someone else handle the work. Unless, of course, you've had a personal issue with the person who's decided to help before.

Oh yeah, and they show up on a riding lawn mower. Drunk.

That's right, folks. You know that it's a party in Maine when someone breaks out the mower and decides to cut their neighbors grass. And yes, the green-thumbed drinker was arrested for being a habitual offender, and for operating a vehicle with three prior arrests. We don't know if those previous arrests also came for driving a lawn mower while drunk, but we'd like to think so.

What would possess someone to mow someone else's yard while drunk? Did he really want crooked lines cut into the grass? Was he alternately raising and lowering the blade at random intervals? Did he just really want to smell freshly cut grass to go along with his buzz?

We may never know the answers to these questions, but we do think that there's at least a chance the man was trying to extend an olive branch. Or at least he would have been, if he hadn't cut it down.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Retro weaponry

There's an old saying that you shouldn't bring a knife to a gun fight. That tends to hold true with most melee weapons, especially when matched up against firearms. After all, when someone has range, and the ability to inflict harm at close range (something not really provided by bows and their kin), it's probably best to either avoid the conflict, or bring your own gun.

To keep that upper hand, though, you should probably make sure that your gun isn't fake.

An would-be robber in Alabama learned that the hard way, when they went into a gas station and pulled their gun. The problem for them? The store clerk noticed an orange tip on the barrel, often associated with toy guns, and proceeded to pull a real weapon out from behind the counter. Or, at least, they pulled out a well-known zombie killer by drawing a cricket bat.

Let that be a lesson to everyone. Sure, plenty of people may not understand cricket (or croquette, which we get reminded of every once in awhile), but the bats and mallets that get used in those games can prove to be tremendously when your back's against the wall.

Or when you've got red on you.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of July 6, 2009

Welcome to another round of the awards. Let's just dive in right away.

No Superman Award
Quick, everyone. Blow things out of proportion. The President basically was caught doing what many other men would do in a similar situation. After all, everyone checks to make sure the quarter they see on the floor isn't glued there.

Look at Me!! Award
Wasn't it nice to have a little time away from dealing with stories about the Octomom? Well, get ready, because apparently she wasn't done taking up more than her fair share of fame. According to her, her home is haunted. But she also claims that ghosts don't exist. So what's haunting the home? It must be the spirit of long-dead self-respect.

Drink Up Award
When you get your bottled water, you expect it to be fairly safe, with restrictions as to what is allowed to get through the filters, right? Well, what if tap water was actually more restricted? This doesn't necessarily mean that the tap water is cleaner, but it still holds true that the tap water is cheaper, and less likely to impress yuppies.

Pot? Meet Kettle Award
How seriously should you take the comments of someone who's only been given a pulpit because they happened to impregnate an underage girl? What about if that girl was the daughter of a potential vice president? Well, apparently Levi Johnston is claiming that the reason Sarah Palin has stepped down from the governorship of Alaska is to cash in on her fame. Meanwhile, he's writing a book of his own. We expect that, in a few months, Johnston may be claiming that his house is haunted by a ghost child...

Where's My Stapler? Award
What do you do when you find out that you might be getting fired? Many people would buckle down and work harder. Others would not give their boss the satisfaction, and quit instead. An Edinburgh man decided to follow the Milton Waddams school of job security, as he burned the building down. Looks like he fixed the glitch.

And that does it for this week's awards. We'll be back next week. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

A good question

There are some questions that are really expertly placed. In fact, a question that might be bad in other circumstances can become a great question if just asked at the right time. One such question would have to be, "What's wrong with you?". Plenty of times this question just doesn't carry a lot of weight.

Not true, when the sentence preceding it is "I'm 80 years old." Oh, and it's being directed at an attempted rapist.

In some ways, we're reminded of an old George Carlin bit, and, in other ways, we're just reminded that some people are incredibly depraved. Not that we can understand rape in any shape or form, but selecting someone almost twice your age? That generally doesn't work out well for the culprit even when they're merely 14 or 15. It certainly isn't going to go well when they're 40+.

We give major kudos to the elderly victim in this case. Not only did she call into question just how many different things were wrong with the culprit, but her declaration may have actually saved her from being raped. She was assaulted, yes, but the man was unsuccessful when he tried to initiate intercourse.

Must be something about mothballs and denture adhesive.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

ACLU argues for a villain

You'd be hard-pressed to find many people who would either defend or apologize for the Westboro Baptist Church. After all, it's hard to develop much in the way of sympathy and public goodwill when you're agenda includes screaming about how "deserving" a person's death is. They seem to take the concept of "eye-for-an-eye" to an extreme, altering it to "eye-for-the-fact-that-the-government-doesn't-outlaw-homosexuality" or another view and lifestyle that they disapprove of. In fact, most of the time that people hear about them, it's because they've descended on a funeral, and want to shout their rhetoric. It's gotten so bad that some cities and counties are actively creating bans on any sort of protest at a funeral.

It's just that kind of reaction that's sure to get the ACLU involved. And involved they are, fighting for the rights of the WBC.

Truth be told, the ACLU isn't simply fighting for the WBC. They're fighting for the concept of funeral protests entirely. There are times where the ACLU seems to step outside of its bounds, and loses sight of what it originally was created to do. However, no matter your personal feelings on the words that come out at these protests, the ACLU is correct to fight for their existence. After all, banning them hinders both free speech, and the right to peaceably assemble. Hateful speech may not be pleasant to hear, but these groups are not starting riots and brawls. Besides, the creation of one group to loudly proclaim one side often leads to another group standing opposite them. So long as the groups can agree to disagree, and do so without violence, then the bans start stepping on rights granted to this country over 200 years ago.

And, if we continue to allow the opposing groups their speech, we might do something even more shocking than banning them. We might open a dialogue and allow them to see the other side.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Officer Crow

What would be a logical thing for people celebrating a scarecrow festival to put on display, especially if they also wanted to encourage safe driving? If you said a scarecrow in a policeman's uniform, you just might be in line with a British village. If you said that the scarecrow should also have a fake radar gun, then you're definitely out of line with the local police.

The police felt that the false gun gave passing motorists the "wrong impression", and wanted it removed. In fact, it was simply that piece that was the problem, as they'd already granted permission for the scarecrow to be displayed in a police uniform. But, well, when you're celebrating your scarecrow festival, just keep in mind to not give it any accessories.

Of course, we can't really see the problem, especially with something fairly innocuous, like a radar gun. If it encourages people to drive more carefully, then more power to them. As for potential confusion, we just don't think that many people would really believe that the 7-foot tall person with hay sticking out of their neck and around their wrists was actually a real person in disguise.

Which could be good, though. Now the police in the area can finally break out their scarecrow disguise for stakeouts.

Monday, July 06, 2009

It's not delivery

We don't get domestic abuse. Not that we want to, because we're pretty sure that it's one of those things that we're content never really having a good understanding of. Apparently, though, we were completely off-base when it comes to items that could be used in a potential situation.

After all, we never imagined using pizza as a weapon.

That's what happened in Iowa, as a couple had a bit of an argument. Over the course of things, pizza got involved, there was choking, and the police intervened. Thankfully, the victim didn't have any serious injury.

See, this is why we're such advocates of ordering delivery. Not only does this save us the whole effort of actually having to turn the oven on and getting the pizza to cook properly, but, with delivery, you've got generally around a half-hour of time that you can use to cool off, if you're truly upset about something.

Besides, there are far better uses for food than as an assault weapon. We've got some suggestions, but they really aren't appropriate for anything family-friendly.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of June 29, 2009

We thought about taking a second week off from the awards, but we just couldn't bring ourselves to take it that far. Last week was different, what with all the chaos going on away from our CSM offices (okay, so it's just a computer), but this week, even in light of the upcoming holiday, we're here to make sure to dispense plenty of awards for crazy news. So let's get started.

Through the Looking Glass Award
Remember when Al Franken was just a satirist working on "Saturday Night Live"? Well, now that he's (finally) been selected as Minnesota's second senator, he may find himself getting spoofed by his former employers. Of course, given recent history, any upcoming sketch regarding Franken will probably end up just as funny as the recent recount.

Number 9, Number 9, Number 9 Award
How do you celebrate your eight drunk driving conviction? If you're a Wisconsin man, you might just go for your ninth. Naturally, the man claimed that he wasn't drunk at the time, and that the parked cars and lawns simply refused to get out of his lane.

Professional Award
Of course, while the Wisconsin man may be something of a drunk-driving celebrity, he's got nothing on a man from New Jersey, who recently admitted to his 15th DWI arrest. Not because he had more offenses on his record (the WI resident also has 15 DWI convictions, if you count ones before 1989), but because the NJ resident did it ten years quicker. What happens in Newark...

Sex Ed Award
Let's say that you're a teacher, intending on giving your students a DVD full of things for them to cherish from the past year. Let's say that you also made an amateur sex recording with your significant other. Would you check to make sure that the two weren't spliced together somehow? If so, you're doing better than a California teacher, who found out about her mistake shortly after giving the DVD to 5th grade students. Well, she did want to give them something to remember.

Tragically Hip Award
Movie marketers have discovered that there's a large potential audience that they don't know quite how to reach. If you read that first sentence and guessed "hipsters", you're absolutely correct. If you read that first sentence, thought back to some of Hollywood's previous offerings, and thought "people with working brain cells", sorry, but you just missed the boat.

Closed for Business Award
What's one of the surest ways to display a closed mind? According to a recent study, be unsure of your beliefs. The study showed that the less confident you are in your beliefs, the more likely you are to shut out contrary viewpoints. This still doesn't explain for a moment news pundits, who simply shut out contrary viewpoints so that they can yell about them.

Triangular Award
Yes, it's true. Hollywood has run out of ideas. What's next, a movie around a soda?

And that wraps up our awards for yet another week. Enjoy your holiday weekend, and we'll see you on Monday. Stay safe out there.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Running away with it

Boy, it seems like the 2008 election ended just yesterday. Sure, that may have something to do with the state that we live in, and the fact that they really did just finish yesterday, but we're sure that there are other factors involved. Thankfully, aside from the workings of the President, we haven't really haven't heard too much from the people vying for the top spots in the land.

That is, of course, until recently. We all remember Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska, and obvious Republican ploy to snag disenfranchised women. We saw her little feud with David Letterman, and didn't really think much of it. Now, she seems to be preparing a little "friendly" feud with the President himself.

All because she can run. In fact, she's pretty certain that, in a foot race, she would win hands down.

Well, goody for you. Nice to know that, since you and your (grand)father figure lost the election back in November, you've decided to play nice. But seriously? Who cares if you can run faster than the President? It's not like elections are decided by whichever candidate has a better spring. We don't handle our foreign policy with a 100-meter dash.

Ultimately, this strikes somewhat as another grab for fame from a woman who already has enough. After all, she is a political leader, and someone that plenty of people identified with. Sure, she may have been woefully underqualified for the position the GOP wanted to win for her, but she's still qualified enough to lead an entire state.

Besides, bragging about who can run faster is a fairly silly brag. Sure, we could mention off-handedly that we can run faster than Stephen Hawking, but that doesn't make us better.

It's our ability to out-sing him that does that.