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Posts Tagged ‘People’

ALBANY, NEW YORK — An employee of the New York Senate was arrested and fired from her job for her role in a protest after hundreds of live cockroaches were released in Albany City Court.

Police said the woman created a distraction so her associates could release the cockroaches, which were smuggled into the courtroom in plastic containers. They said the episode was in protest of arrests last month after a demonstration at the State Capitol about “rent issues.”

According to the officials, the woman began filming arraignment proceedings and refused to stop. While bailiffs pursued her and court officials were distracted, the cockroaches were released. Court was adjourned for the day, and exterminators were called in.

The woman was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, criminal contempt, and tampering with physical evidence. Police said more arrests may be made.

RIDGECREST, CALIFORNIA — A man in full ninja garb and wielding a sword attacked a group of Army trainees at a California airport, injuring two soldiers.

The attack occurred in the middle of the night when the perpetrator approached a lone sergeant and asked, “Do you know where my family is?” When the sergeant said he did not, the man drew his sword and inflicted a cut on the sergeant’s leg. The man then threw a rock through a hangar window, striking a second soldier in the head.

The sergeant ran into the hangar where the other soldiers were gathered and locked the door. As the assailant tried to break down the door, the soldiers called 911.

When police arrived, they tasered the ninja and took him into custody. He was arrested on numerous charges, including attempted homicide, assault, brandishing a weapon, and vandalism.

RUMBECK, SOUTH SUDAN — A local court sentenced a ram to three years in jail after the animal butted a 45-year-old woman in the chest and she died of her injuries.

A police spokesman said, “The ram is the one who perpetrated the crime, so it deserves to be arrested.”

In accordance with local law, the ram will be given to the family of the deceased woman after it serves its sentence. In addition, the owner of the ram was ordered to give five cows to the victim’s family.

Justice will be served in South Sudan.

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More favorite photos I’ve taken over the years.

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Mystery Pig

File this story under “stranger than fiction.”

One recent Saturday, Jake and I went walking at Jefferson Middle School, where he could go off-leash and perform zoomies. Before long, we came upon an unoccupied pickup truck parked on the grass. Next to it was a wire pet cage, empty, door open.

And under the truck, cowering next to a wheel, was a piglet. It was a tiny thing, about six inches high and a foot long. A rope around its neck secured it to the truck.

Jake danced around and snuffled the piglet with great excitement, but didn’t hurt it, because, well, Jake loves all living things. The piglet seemed confused about being licked by a large animal.

Did the truck and the pig belong to someone working inside the school? Was the pig left outside because it wasn’t housebroken? A baffling scenario.

I tried to get Jake to continue our walk, but he wasn’t going anywhere. I allowed him a minute more of snuffling, then hooked up his leash and led him away. Poor Jake. So disappointed.

Why a piglet was tied to a truck next to an open pet cage on the lawn of the middle school that Saturday, I’ll never know.

Tuaregs

The Tuareg people of North Africa, nomads of the Sahara Desert since the 4th Century, are unique among Islamic ethnic groups.

Unlike in most Muslim societies, Tuareg women have high status. They control most of the property, and the lineage of families and clans is traced through the women.

Further, Tuareg men, not women, wear veils. When Tuareg men reach adulthood, they wear the tagelmust, a veil that reveals only the eyes, for the rest of their lives.

The Tuaregs believe the veils protect them from being possessed by evil spirits that enter through the nose and mouth. Why women don’t need the protection, I can’t say.

The concept of evil spirits and veils is, of course, preposterous nonsense. I rank it right up there with belief in a God who is omnipotent and benevolent, yet is okay with widespread starvation, disease, war, and suffering. That should strain anyone’s credulity.

Greek to Me

A while back, on a lark, I bought a copy of Georgia Outdoor News (GON), a monthly magazine about guns, hunting, fishing, and guns. I wanted some reading matter that was different, and GON certainly is that.

Frankly, I detest guns, and I strongly object to hunting and fishing. Guns are an abomination, and stalking and killing animals is making a special effort to be cruel. The articles and ads in GON confirm how callous and sadistic people can be toward other living things.

One particular tip that made me wince was a suggestion to fishermen: slice open your live bait so the blood in the water will attract fish.

But I digress. It was fascinating to get a peek at the world of hunters and fishermen as they talked to each other. For example, a “Fishing Reports” article gave tips on when and where to fish on various Georgia lakes. This is what one guide reported about West Point Lake near Columbus:

The herring population seems to have exploded this year. Try fishing riprap around bridges with spinnerbaits, small crankbaits and Zoom Super Flukes. Try an unweighted merthiolate Zoom Trick Worm or an unweighted Zlinky.

One other pattern is to look for fresh blowdowns with the leaves still on them. Try a Jerkbait or Zoom Super Fluke worked around the outer limbs. Lots of spotted bass are caught by casting Spot Remover heads loaded with Ultravibe Speed Craws.”

I know what riprap and blowdowns are, but otherwise, that’s just word salad. An experienced fisherman probably would get the message loud and clear.

I hope so. Better to use a Jerkbait or Zoom Super Fluke than to slice open your live bait.

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If you can convince the lowest white man that he is better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you are picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll even empty his pockets for you.

Lyndon Johnson

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The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.

Oscar Wilde

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Capitalism does not permit an even flow of economic resources. With this system, a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience, and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level. That’s the way the system works. And since we know that the system will not change the rules, we are going to have to change the system.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Extraterrestrial societies could be far more advanced than we are, perhaps by billions of years… and they may not see us as any more valuable than we see bacteria.

Stephen Hawking

Johnson

Hawking

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More “Useless Facts for Inquiring Minds.”

● The Toyota Corporation was founded in 1937 by Japanese inventor Sakichi Toyoda to manufacture automatic looms to weave cloth.

● The smallest bones in the human body are the malleus, incus, and stapes bones located in the middle ear. They carry external sounds to your brain.

● The people of Turkey drink the most tea annually, consuming about seven pounds of tea leaves per person. Ireland is in second place with about five pounds per person.

● A cria (Spanish for baby) is a young llama, alpaca, vicuña, or guanaco, all of which are Latin American relatives of the camel. Llamas and alpacas are domesticated, whereas vicuñas and guanacos are wild, but are protected as endangered species.

● Wayne Allwine, a sound effects specialist for Disney Studios, was the voice of Mickey Mouse for 32 years — from 1977 until his death in 2009. In 1991, he married co-worker Russi Taylor, the voice of Minnie Mouse.

● Sweden has not been involved in a war since 1814.

● English is the native language of 350 million people. English is the second language of two billion people.

● The first know automobile accident occurred in 1891 in Ohio City, Ohio, when John William Lambert lost control of his vehicle and hit a hitching post. Lambert was driving a Lambert, a gasoline-powered, three-wheeled vehicle of his own design. He went on to hold over 600 automotive patents, but the Lambert brand couldn’t keep up with Ford et al and fizzled.

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AUSTIN, TEXAS — A marble bust purchased at a Goodwill store for $35 turned out to be a 2,000-year-old Roman carving.

Antique dealer Laura Young purchased the bust and thought it might be a Victorian garden decoration. She kept it on display in her home while friends at a London auction house tried to trace it.

After several years of research, they identified the bust as depicting Nero Drusus Germanicus, a Roman soldier and politician. The bust had been on display in a German museum prior to World War II. They think a soldier brought it to the US after the war, either having stolen it or purchased it from a looter.

The bust currently is on display at the San Antonia Museum of Art and next year will be returned to Germany. “He needs to go home,” Young said. “he wasn’t supposed to be here.”

Young had a replica of the bust made on a 3D printer to keep for herself.

PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA — The official news outlet of North Korea claims that burritos and hamburgers were invented by Kim Jong-il, the father of current Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un.

A North Korean newspaper said Jong-il came up with the idea of “wheat wraps” in 2011, shortly before his death from a heart attack. Some years before that, the newspaper said, Jong-il invented a type of hot sandwich, described as “double bread with meat,” that was the forerunner of the hamburger.

The newspaper described the “wheat wrap” burrito as sort of like a gyro with grated cabbage and carrots — more of a spring roll than a burrito.

Despite North Korea’s claims, the burrito probably originated with vaqueros in northern Mexico in the 1800s. Both Germany and the US say they invented the hamburger, also in the 1800s.

FYI, three generations of Kims have ruled North Korea since it was created after World War II. The first dictator was Kim Il-sung, who ran the country from 1945 until his death in 1994. His son Kim Jong-il took over, died in 2011, and was succeeded by the current wacko Kim Jong-un.

LUBBOCK, TEXAS — When told their luggage was overweight, a couple at Lubbock Airport opened the bag and found their pet chihuahua hiding in a cowboy boot.

The couple was boarding a Southwest flight to Las Vegas when a gate agent told them the bag was five pounds overweight. They had the option of paying a fee or transferring items to their carry-ons. To avoid the fee, they opened the suitcase and discovered their five-pound chihuahua Icky inside.

The gate agent offered to keep Icky until the couple returned from vacation, but they contacted a relative who rushed to the airport and took Icky where she was supposed to be, with the couple’s children and babysitter.

Five years ago, the couple found Icky on a remote Texas road, weak and malnourished. When they took her home, their children said the dog was dirty and “icky,” and the name stuck.

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When I was a kid, during times when my family was not living overseas, we went to Savannah several times a year to see relatives.

I had no problem with that and always looked forward to those visits. Most of my relatives were, and are, good people. And Savannah is a fun place.

One memorable character from those Savannah trips was George, a black man who delivered the mail in the Gordonston neighborhood. George was old from my perspective, but could have been anywhere from his 40s to his 60s.

He was graying and a bit heavy, and the exertion often got to him. But he was a kindly, cheerful man who knew the neighborhood kids by name, including visiting Smiths.

George looked a lot like Uncle Ben, whose benevolent image adorned packages of Uncle Ben’s Rice for decades.

That benign image, by the way, was based on Frank Brown, the maître d’ at a Chicago restaurant frequented in the 1940s by the founder of Uncle Ben’s Rice. The founder believed — correctly, it seems — that Mr. Brown had a certain je ne sais quoi that would help sales.

The personae of both Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemima were retired from the advertising business in 2020, after the murder of George Floyd. Uncle Ben’s Rice became Ben’s Original Rice, minus that familiar face. The Aunt Jemima brand was renamed Pearl Milling Co., the company’s original name from 1889, and the visage of a smiling Jemima is history.

George the mailman had a regular routine in Gordonston. Scattered around the neighborhood were streetside mailboxes where trucks dropped off the day’s mail. George transferred the mail to a large leather pouch slung over his shoulder, made the deliveries (either into front porch mailboxes or through mail slots in the door), and repeated the process until the job was done for the day.

Later, George and his peers were given rolling carts in place of the pouches. And at some point, he retired. By the time I was a teen, most door-to-door delivery had been replaced by mailboxes at the street and mail trucks.

I can still hear George’s gravelly voice and Geechee accent when he greeted me. “Hey there, Rocky! Y’all back in town for a visit! How’s Lee and your mama and daddy?”

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More favorite photos I’ve taken over the years.

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Freedom of the press, freedom of association, the inviolability of domicile, and all the rest of the rights of man are respected so long as no one tries to use them against the privileged class. On the day they are launched against the privileged, they are overthrown.

Peter Kropotkin

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When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent.

Isaac Asimov

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Why should we not honestly and candidly investigate the errors and crimes of our ancestors that we may correct, reform, and avoid them?

John Adams

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We are the product of 4.5 billion years of fortuitous, slow biological evolution. There is no reason to think the evolutionary process has stopped. Man is a transitional animal. He is not the climax of creation.

Carl Sagan

Kropotkin

Sagan

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Lynyrd Skynyrd’s debut album was a long time coming. The group formed in 1964 and performedunder several names before becoming Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1969. Because of touring commitments, they didn’t release an album until 1973.

Among the songs on that album was “Simple Man,” which was included over the objections of the band’s producer, Al Kooper. He thought the song was weak and urged the band to drop it.

The band members disagreed. Reportedly, Ronnie Van Zandt escorted Kooper to his car and told him to stay there until the song was recorded. Kooper complied.

Simple Man

By Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1973
Written by Gary Rossington and Ronnie Van Zandt

Mama told me when I was young,
“Come sit beside me, my only son.
And listen closely to what I say.
And if you do this, it’ll help you, some sunny day.

“Oh, take your time. Don’t live too fast.
Troubles will come, and they will pass.
Go find a woman, and you’ll find love.
And don’t forget, son, there is someone up above.

“And be a simple kind of man.
Oh, be something you love and understand.
Baby, be a simple kind of man.
Oh, won’t you do this for me, son, if you can.

“Forget your lust for the rich man’s gold.
All that you need is in your soul.
And you can do this, oh, babe, if you try.
All that I want for you, my son, is to be satisfied.

“And be a simple kind of man.
Oh, be something you love and understand.
Baby, be a simple kind of man.
Oh, won’t you do this for me, son, if you can.”

Oh, yes, I will.

“Oh, don’t you worry, you’ll find yourself.
Follow your heart and nothing else.
And you can do this, oh, babe, if you try.
All that I want for you, my son, is to be satisfied.

“And be a simple kind of man.
Oh, be something you love and understand.
Baby, be a simple kind of man.
Oh, won’t you do this for me, son, if you can.

“And baby, be a simple, real simple man.
Oh, be something you love and understand.
Baby, be a simple kind of man.”

https://rockysmith.files.wordpress.com/2022/04/simple-man.mp3

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