– You’ve probably heard this by now, but a school in Beaver County, Pennsylvania was recently put on lockdown… because of the theme song to Will Smith’s Fresh Prince of Bel Air TV show. It seems a receptionist at a local optometrist’s office called the mobile phone of Travis Clawson, a senior at Ambridge Area High School, to confirm an upcoming appointment. Clawson had the Fresh Prince theme as his voicemail greeting. The receptionist, apparently the only American unfamiliar with the song, misinterpreted the line “[s]hooting some b-ball outside of the school” as “shooting them all outside the school”. Panicked, the woman called police, who shut down the school for a half hour and questioned Clawson for three hours. Oooops! (link)
– It could be worse: 18 year-old Alisa Massaro, of Joliet, Illinois, had a necrophilia fetish so bad that she could contain it no longer. Her longtime boyfriend, the 24 year-old Joshua Miner, allegedly hatched a plan in which his friend Bethany McKee, 18, would lure two men to Massaro’s house with promises of “sex and video games”. Miner’s other friend, Adam Landerman (the son of a police officer) assisted. Landerman allegedly “surfed” on the backs of the two dead men, and later (allegedly) joined Miner and Massaro for a three way on top of the corpses. Jesus… what’s wrong with people? (link)
– Thanks to bizarre urban planning, there is a house on Anna Catherine Drive in Orlando that is 50 feet from, and shares a backyard with, a home on Summer Rain Drive. But to actually drive from one house to another takes seven miles of roads. According to Google Maps, the drive takes 20 minutes. (link)
– The FCC has long held dominion over the nation’s telecommunications network. But it has been reluctant to get involved with regulating ISPs, VoIP providers, or any other data-based industries that use IP instead of a traditional circuit-switching network. So AT&T has a cunning plan to convert its entire network to IP-based communication, effectively “de-regulating” itself. The old telephone network, which you helped pay for with your tax dollars, would be dead and buried, and AT&T would be free do… well, so whatever it wanted, and damn the FCC for having the gall to try and stop them. Look, I’m as much of a “free market guy” as they come, but it’s clear that the telcos and cable companies have done a disastrous job with broadband access. America ranks 9th in the world in overall average broadband speed, but we pay an average of $528 a year for the privilege, which ranks us a paltry 21st out of 33 countries in similar speed tiers. Yet the idiots who run Time Warner Cable (which, I realize, is not AT&T) go whining to the North Carolina legislature when a small town like Wilson, NC gets fed up with their slow service and wants to create their own municipal broadband network (result: North Carolina has some of the highest broadband prices in the nation, despite Research Triangle Park being second only to Silicon Valley in the number of tech firms. In fact, Charlotte has the most expensive broadband in the entire country, more than even New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington D.C). And guess what? Time Warner Cable CTO Irene Esteves recently said that consumers “don’t want” gigabit Internet. Well, no, not for $500/month we don’t. But if Google Fiber came to Belmont, NC I can assure Ms Esteves that I’d switch over so fast it’d make her head spin.
– I have no interest in having kids, but this article at the Daily Fail has some interesting info about old wives’ tales about pregnancy and scientific truth (or the lack thereof) about them.
– Did you ever tie a note on a balloon and let it go? It seems like every school kid did when I was young, as a way to teach kids about weather patterns and geography. A kid in England did this not too long ago, and his balloon floated all the way to New South Wales, Australia! That’s 10,545 total miles… neat-o!
– The city of Ixonia, Wisconsin was named at random. It seems that residents couldn’t agree on a name for their new town, so on January 21, 1846, a young resident named Mary Piper drew random letters from a hat. She continued until something approaching a name was formed.
– Interested in medieval embalming practices? Who isn’t? Hot on the heels of the discovery of Richard III’s remains in a parking lot in northern England, a group of French researchers released their report on the heart of England’s Richard I, also known as Richard the Lionheart. It was a custom in Richard’s day for hearts to be removed from bodies and preserved separately from the body. Richard’s heart was apparently wrapped in linen, preserved with mercury, and then soaked in extracts of myrtle, daisy, mint, pine, oak, poplar, plantain and bellflower. The heart was lost for several centuries, then found by accident in 1838. The heart had turned to dust, and it was this dust that was analyzed by the French researchers. They also confirmed that Richard likely died of gangrene, and was not poisoned, as was sometimes rumored. (link)
– Poor Lauren Silberman. She became the first woman to appear at the NFL Combine (a week long “scouting camp” for players who’ve recently left college). I can just imagine her, setting the ball up on the tee… shaking her arms a couple of times to loosen up… doing a couple of small jumps to prepare… then thinking to herself: “Here goes… I’m going to strike at the heart of this male-dominated, patriarchal institution… I’m going to free all my fellow sisters to… DAMMIT!”:
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And on a really messed up note… It took Silberman over 3 minutes to get the ball to stay upright on the tee for her first kickoff (indoors, with no wind)