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Archive for the ‘Regular Features’ Category

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA — The North Carolina Supreme Court has ruled that flipping off a law enforcement officer is not sufficient grounds for the officer to make a traffic stop or file criminal charges.

The decision overturned a lower court ruling regarding the 2017 incident of a Stanly County man who drove past a state trooper helping a stranded motorist and gave the officer the finger. The trooper pursued and stopped the man and cited him for disorderly conduct.

Lawyers for the state claimed the trooper was justified, but the Supreme Court said the evidence was “insufficient to conclude defendant’s conduct was likely to cause a breach of the peace.”

The North Carolina chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed a brief in the case which stated that raising the middle finger is “protected speech.” An ACLU attorney called the incident “a textbook example of how public officials criminalize dissent and criticism.”

Middle finger

PALM COAST, FLORIDA — When sheriff’s deputies arrived at a house believed to contain drugs and drug paraphernalia, they found a welcome mat that read “Come back with a warrant.”

So we did,” said Sheriff Rick Staly.

Deputies obtained a warrant from the court and returned to the house. Inside, they confiscated a large amount of the opioid fentanyl, a supply of syringes, and other drug-related items.

Staly said three adults and one child were inside the house. Charges are expected to be filed against the adults. The Florida Department of Children and Families was contacted regarding disposition of the child.

Warrant

LUND, SWEDEN — the City of Lund spread more than a ton of chicken manure in a local park to discourage people from gathering there to celebrate an upcoming festival.

The manure was spread in Lundagård Park just before the festival of Walpurgis Night, a European festival in which revelers celebrate the end of winter with bonfires and dancing. Officials said the city acted because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gustav Lundblad, chairman of Lund’s environmental committee, said spreading the manure served two purposes: it fertilized the park, and it kept people from celebrating there.

Lundblad said he regretted that an unpleasant odor drifted to other parts of the city, but he was pleased that the manure served its purpose.

Chicken manure

 

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The Questions…

1. Which two planets in our solar system have no moons?

2. What is the capital of Greenland?

3. Who is the all-time best-selling author of fiction?

4. Which state has the smallest population?

5. What is a wobbegong?

The Answers…

1. Mercury and Venus.

2. The capital is Nuuk, pronounced nuke. It is the world’s northern-most capital. It has 18,000 residents, which is about one-third of Greenland’s total population.

3. Agatha Christie. Over two billion of her mystery novels have been sold worldwide.

4. Wyoming. It is the 10th largest in area, with a population of only about 578,000. 31 U.S. cities are bigger than that.

5. A wobbegong, aka “carpet shark,” is a type of bottom-dwelling shark found in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. They are well-camouflaged ambush predators.

The word wobbegong means “shaggy beard” in the language of the aboriginal people of Australia. The mouth of a wobbegong is fringed with small sensory lobes that are, in fact, sort of beard-looking.

Mercury, Venus

Wobbegong

 

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Eye in the Sky” is a pleasing soft rock tune from the 1982 album of the same name by the Alan Parsons Project. The song rose to number three on the U.S. charts, the group’s all-time best effort.

The lyrics are considerably less cheerful than the melody. They tell of the end of a relationship when a man discovers that his girlfriend is not who he thought she was. He feels victorious and empowered, but also angry and disappointed.

Parsons said co-writer Eric Woolfson came up with the title after spending time in Las Vegas.

“He had a certain fascination with the hidden cameras that were there watching the tables, taping the games and what have you,” said Parsons. “It was more than just the hidden cameras. It was also kind of 1984 syndrome. It covers the fact we can never be left to our own devices; we will always be watched.”

Eye in the Sky

Eye in the Sky

By the Alan Parsons Project, 1982
Written by Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson

Don’t think sorry’s easily said.
Don’t try turning tables instead.
You’ve taken lots of chances before,
But I ain’t gonna give any more —
Don’t ask me.
That’s how it goes,
‘Cause part of me knows what you’re thinkin’.

Don’t say words you’re gonna regret.
Don’t let the fire rush to your head.
I’ve heard the accusation before,
And I ain’t gonna take any more —
Believe me.
The sun in your eyes
Made some of the lies worth believing.

I am the eye in the sky,
Looking at you.
I can read your mind.
I am the maker of rules,
Dealing with fools.
I can cheat you blind.
And I don’t need to see any more
To know that
I can read your mind.
I can read your mind.
I can read your mind.
I can read your mind.

Don’t leave false illusions behind.
Don’t cry, ‘cause I ain’t changing my mind.
So find another fool like before,
Cause I ain’t gonna live anymore
believing some of the lies
while all of the signs are deceiving.

I am the eye in the sky,
Looking at you.
I can read your mind.
I am the maker of rules,
Dealing with fools.
I can cheat you blind.
And I don’t need to see any more
To know that
I can read your mind.
I can read your mind.
I can read your mind.
I can read your mind.

I am the eye in the sky,
Looking at you.
I can read your mind.
I am the maker of rules,
Dealing with fools.
I can cheat you blind.
And I don’t need to see any more
To know that
I can read your mind.
I can read your mind.
I can read your mind.
I can read your mind.

 

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I teach

Unfriend

Honk

Buckle up

 

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Here cometh April again, and as far as I can see, the world hath more fools in it than ever.

Charles Lamb

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As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

H. L. Mencken

###

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

Aristotle

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Idealism increases in direct proportion to one’s distance from the problem.

John Galsworthy

Lamb-C

Lamb

Galsworthy-J

Galsworthy

 

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MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE — A Manchester man faces felony charges after he chased one of his neighbors with a sword.

Police said the victim knocked on the assailant’s door to complain about loud music. The assailant became enraged and produced a 30-inch sword. He chased the neighbor down the hall and into the street, brandishing the sword in a threatening manner.

The neighbor escaped without injury. Manchester police filed charges of criminal threatening.

Sword-wielder

BUNNELL, FLORIDA — A Florida man has been arrested and jailed twice in one week for impersonating a law enforcement officer.

The 60-year-old man was first arrested after he used a fake law enforcement badge to avoid paying a $2 highway toll. Under state law, police officers are exempt from the tolls. The man was charged with impersonating an officer, jailed, and released on bond.

Days later, he flashed the fake badge a second time at another toll station. When the attendant produced a newspaper clipping about the first arrest, the man paid the toll, but was arrested for the attempt.

The second arrest earned him another charge of impersonating an officer, plus felony violation of pre-trial release. He was jailed without bond.

Toll

LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO — A 48-year-old woman faces multiple charges after she stole a car and claimed to be the pop singer Beyoncé Knowles.

Police said an officer saw her driving a vehicle matching the description of a recently-stolen car. He ordered her to pull over, but she drove away. The officer followed and confronted her when she stopped in front of her residence.

The woman told the officer she was Beyoncé Knowles. She said she noticed the keys were in the vehicle, and she decided to take it for a joy ride. She told the officer she didn’t stop when he turned on his emergency lights because she “didn’t feel like it.”

She was charged with unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, concealing identity, and resisting or obstructing an arrest.

Beyonce

 

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The Questions…

1. What is an anemometer?

2. In ancient Rome, what color signified that you were of high status?

3. What was the “Notre Dame Shift“?

4. What dice game from the 1950s was invented on a yacht as a game to be played on a yacht?

5. What is the world’s longest international border?

The Answers…

1. A device, dating back to the 1400s, that measures wind speed and direction. The term comes from the Greek word anemos, which means wind.

2. Purple. In those days, purple dye was made from snails, which was an expensive process, so wearing purple indicated you were a big shot.

3. It was a football strategy used in the 1920s by Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne in which all four backs went in motion prior to the snap. The opposing teams were bamboozled so completely that the Shift was banned from college football — a victim of its own success.

4. Yahtzee, of course. The game was dreamed up by a wealthy Canadian couple as a way to entertain friends aboard their yacht.

5. The border between the U.S. and Canada, which is 5,525 miles long.

Anemometer

Border

 

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Tune o’ the Day

In 1987, Pink Floyd released “A Momentary Lapse of Reason,” the band’s first album after founding member Roger Waters quit in a huff in 1985. The new album was David Gilmour’s chance to show his creative stuff and poke Waters in the eye.

Gilmour used the album to take Pink Floyd in a more political direction. An example is On the Turning Away,” which laments how humans ignore the suffering of others.

The song did well, the album was popular in the US and UK, and most critics liked it. Waters, of course, opined that it stunk.

While that was going on, Waters sued Gilmour and the rest of the band over the legal right to the name Pink Floyd. Late in 1987, in an out-of-court settlement, Waters backed down. No doubt he was compensated handsomely.

Momentary

On the Turning Away

By Pink Floyd, 1987
Written by David Gilmour and Anthony Moore

On the turning away
From the pale and downtrodden
And the words they say
Which we won’t understand.

“Don’t accept that what’s happening
Is just a case of others’ suffering,
Or you’ll find that you’re joining in
The turning away.”

It’s a sin that somehow,
Light is changing to shadow
And casting its shroud
Over all we have known,

Unaware how the ranks have grown,
Driven on by a heart of stone.
We could find that we’re all alone
In the dream of the proud.

On the wings of the night,
As the daytime is stirring,
Where the speechless unite
In a silent accord,

Using words you will find are strange,
And mesmerized as they light the flame.
Feel the new wind of change
On the wings of the night.

No more turning away
From the weak and the weary.
No more turning away
From the coldness inside.

Just a world that we all must share.
It’s not enough just to stand and stare.
Is it only a dream that there’ll be
No more turning away?

 

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Special “I’m Still Offended That This Fool Was Elected President” Edition

Fuhrer

8645

Changing

Mensch

Angel loses

Free Melania

One in three

Fired

Demagogues

Supercallous

Great again

Never trust

 

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The taverns are full of gadabouts making merry this eve. And though I may press my face against the window like an urchin at a confectioner’s, I am tempted not by the sweetmeats within. A dram in exchange for the pox is an ill bargain, indeed.

From the diary of Samuel Pepys during the Great Plague, London, 1665 (Not really. The quote is a spoof. See comments below.)

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If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went.

— Will Rogers

###

What good is the warmth of summer without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?

— John Steinbeck

###

Between too early and too late, there is never more than a moment.

— Franz Werfel

Pepys S

Pepys

Franz Werfel

Werfel

 

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