Yet another (fatal) reminder not to pick up hitchhikers

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve warned people not to pick up hitchhikers, due to the danger of crime.  An Oklahoma woman has just found out the hard way how great a danger that is – but she’ll never learn from the experience. Caylee Massey and a man were traveling overnight from Oklahoma City about 90 miles across state to Canton when they reportedly picked up a man looking for a ride, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations. The man hitched a ride with pair in Oklahoma City and about two miles east of Canton,

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Anything can be a toy if you use your imagination

I love the way this bird has fun with a paper towel. It reminds me of our cat.  She’ll treat almost anything as a toy.  Most recently she’s decided that pens are playthings, so whenever Miss D. or I are writing something, we have to watch out for a questing paw coming out of nowhere, trying to bat the pen out of our hand.  Irritating, sometimes . . . but also cute. Peter

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Impressive pulling power

Here’s a monstrous Belarussian-made MAZ truck hauling a stump out of the ground by main force.  It takes a lot of pulling power to make it look so effortless, but these trucks were initially built to haul tanks or tactical missiles such as the SCUD series, so they’re pretty powerful beasts. That looks like a re-purposed MAZ-537 military transporter (which you can see in action here).  I wonder what those things sell for nowadays?  It might make heads turn at hill-climbs and cross-country courses around the USA . . . Peter

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The puns are flying in Scotland . . .

It seems a truckload of fish was spilled on the road in Scotland yesterday.  The BBC tweeted this image of the result: The Telegraph reports: A lorry carrying dead fish shed its load on the A737 near the Renfrewshire village of Kilbarchan, Traffic Scotland confirmed, and the puns soon followed. Motorists in the area were met with the bizarre sight of hundreds of fish splayed across the road at around 4pm today. Traffic was reduced to one lane causing tailbacks as contractors cleared the misplaced shoal off the road. Motorists stuck in traffic were quick to upload pictures of the

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“When seconds count, the police may be HOURS away”

Yes, I know, that quotation is supposed to read “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away”:  but not, apparently, if you live in certain places.  Via a link at Earthbound Misfit’s place, we learn: Late last year, a man was assaulted by two people after walking out of the Family Dollar on Patterson road in Dayton. His attackers left pretty quickly, and the staff at family dollar called 911. “We kept calling them and calling them, hoping they would come faster,” says Jennifer, the store manager. “He could have had a concussion. He could have passed out. He

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“It was a dark and stormy night . . . “

To the delight of avid readers everywhere, the 2015 winners of the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest have been announced.  The BLFC is named for English playwright Edward Bulwer-Lytton, and celebrates really, stupendously bad opening lines to novels and stories.  The headline to this article is from his work. This year’s winning entry: Seeing how the victim’s body, or what remained of it, was wedged between the grill of the Peterbilt 389 and the bumper of the 2008 Cadillac Escalade EXT, officer “Dirk” Dirksen wondered why reporters always used the phrase “sandwiched” to describe such a scene since there was nothing

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Atrocities continue in Syria

The ruthless atrocity displayed by all sides in the Syrian conflict is going on the same as always, despite Russia’s intervention on behalf of President Assad.  Syrian Air Force helicopters are still dropping so-called ‘barrel bombs‘ on civilian targets indiscriminately. Here’s a video clip of a Syrian Mil Mi-24 attack helicopter dropping two barrel bombs on Darayya earlier this week. It’s claimed that twelve bombs hit the town in a single day, causing numerous civilian casualties. I don’t think we should be supporting any side in the Syrian conflict.  I suspect they’re all as bad as one another from a

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Einstein’s definition of insanity comes to mind . . .

I was outraged and disgusted to read the results of an assessment of Detroit school pupils. In the Detroit public school district, 96 percent of eighth graders are not proficient in mathematics and 93 percent are not proficient in reading. That is according to the results of the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress tests published by the Department of Education’s National Center for Educational Statistics. Only 4 percent of Detroit public school eighth graders are proficient or better in math and only 7 percent in reading. This is despite the fact that in the 2011-2012 school year—the latest for

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New world record long-range sniper kill?

According to an Australian newspaper, the record now stands at an amazing 1¾ miles! Earlier this year [an Australian] Commando sniper team was secreted in Helmand. Through binoculars at a distance invisible to the naked eye they spotted a group of Taliban. The soldiers having means of identifying targets went through a process of obtaining verification and permission to engage. Two marksmen using Barrett M82A1 50 calibre rifles simultaneously fired. The bullets were six seconds in the air. One killed the Taliban commander. It is not known for certain which sniper fired the fatal shot. While there have been no

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Food for thought

Readers will recall that I recently mentioned what I’m doing to prepare for the economic hard times I (and many others) foresee in the not too distant future.  One of my steps was to convert 10% of our cash assets into precious metals:  one-ounce silver coins, plus a few 1/10-ounce gold coins.  I’ve also spoken before of establishing a food reserve sufficient for at least 30 days. Now comes the news that an American retailer is doing precisely the same thing – and not in a small way, either. One week ago [Overstock.com‘s Chairman Jonathan Johnson], who is also candidate

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