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Sat, 23 Oct 2021
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Israel: Bizarre paths to nowhere

The Israeli television program Tzinor Layla (Night Tube) asked viewers to share photos of the most bizarre construction they could find in their towns. Find they did, and the photos they shared will inspire the age-old question, "What were they thinking?"

Here are some examples of the paths to nowhere, such as the staircase that leads to a ceiling at a Haifa school:
© Israel Channel 10/Tzinor Layla
Stairway to heaven? Not quite!

Snow Globe Xmas

Grinch Hysteria: 87-year old man known for 6 million Christmas light display shot dead

An 87-year-old man who was known for his 6 million light Christmas display was found shot to death in his Windsor, Conn., home, police said.

A family member found John Chakalos dead in his home Friday, police said in a statement.

Police said they are conducting a homicide investigation because a weapon was not recovered at the scene, and due to the the way the victim's body was positioned.



Four-star general screams at reporter working on Snowden documents

techdirt reporter
Pretty much everyone who's seen the movie "A Few Good Men," (and probably many of you who haven't even seen the movie) are familiar with the famous "you can't handle the truth!" scene in which Colonel Jessup, played by Jack Nicholson explodes at Tom Cruise's character, suggesting that military men, like himself, who are on the front lines are the only ones who can truly understand what happens there in "protecting" the country, and that it's somehow despicable that anyone who hasn't done that might question the methods used -- even if they might be completely against the law.

We already wrote about Barton Gellman's fantastic interview with Ed Snowden, but there's another tidbit I wanted to call attention to in there, in which Gellman tells the story of a four-star general having a similar explosion towards an unnamed reporter "in contact with Snowden" -- which seems likely to be Gellman himself (it's unclear why this isn't indicated, though perhaps it's an excessive attempt to stick to the journalistic convention of keeping the reporter out of the story):

At the Aspen Security Forum in July, a four-star military officer known for his even keel seethed through one meeting alongside a reporter he knew to be in contact with Snowden. Before walking away, he turned and pointed a finger.

"We didn't have another 9/11," he said angrily, because intelligence enabled warfighters to find the enemy first. "Until you've got to pull the trigger, until you've had to bury your people, you don't have a clue."

Arrow Down

Wood burning in fireplace banned in SF Bay area over Christmas

© Jussi Nukari/AFP/Getty Images
Put away the chestnuts; the Bay Area Air Quality Management District has announced that wood burning will be banned in the region on Christmas Eve - and possibly on Christmas Day, too.

Tuesday will be the 17th "Winter Spare the Air" day of the season, and the air district will decide that day whether wood burning will also be banned on Christmas.

"The weather forecast looks like we might see another Spare the Air day for Christmas Day," air district spokesman Tom Flannigan said.

He explained that winds are light, and the weather is forecast to be dry and mild in the region mid-week. The stagnant air has allowed pollutants to accumulate close to the ground, making the air unhealthy to breathe, Flannigan said.

"We haven't been seeing the rain we usually get that helps clean out the air," he said

Eye 1

Montana judge strikes again, gives writing assignment to girlfriend-hitting man

montana judge
© Larry Mayer/AP
Montana District Judge G. Todd Baugh has brought down another unusual punishment — demanding that an assault convict write out 'Boys do not hit girls' 5,000 times. The judge is known for the one-month prison sentence he gave to a teacher convicted of raping a 14-year-old.

Besides the school-like punishment, District Judge Todd Baugh sentenced Pacer Ferguson to six months in jail and to pay $3,800 in restitution for fracturing a woman's face in three places. Baugh previously sentenced a teacher to one month in jail for raping a student.

The reviled Montana judge who gave a rapist one month in prison has sentenced a man convicted of punching his girlfriend to write "Boys do not hit girls" 5,000 times....


Alan Turing, code-breaker castrated for homosexuality, receives royal pardon

© Guardian
Alan Turing, a British code-breaker during World War II who was later subjected to chemical castration for homosexual activity, has received a royal pardon nearly 60 years after he committed suicide.

Turing was best known for developing the Bombe, a code-breaking machine that deciphered messages encoded by German machines. His work is considered by many to have saved thousands of lives and helped change the course of the war.

"Dr. Turing deserves to be remembered and recognized for his fantastic contribution to the war effort and his legacy to science," British Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said in a statement Tuesday. "A pardon from the Queen is a fitting tribute to an exceptional man."

Turing's castration in 1952 -- after he was convicted of homosexual activity, which was illegal at the time -- is "a sentence we would now consider unjust and discriminatory and which has now been repealed," Grayling said.

Two years after the castration, which Turing chose to avoid a custodial sentence, he ended his life at the age of 41 by eating an apple laced with cyanide.


Spreading Pathology: Woman beaten over way she parked car

© Sodahead
Victim was with kids at time of attack

A woman enjoying the holidays with her children in Lake Mary was attacked and beaten by another woman because of the way she parked her car.

The attack occurred Sunday night near 100 N. Country Club Road in Lake Mary.

According to police, the victim was returning to her car, which she said was parked slightly crooked, when a vehicle with a Christmas wreath on the front pulled in next to her.

The victim said the driver, described as a Hispanic woman, began yelling at her. The victim then said she would move her vehicle after putting her kids into the car, according to police.

The victim says, however, that she was grabbed by the hair and slammed onto the trunk of the woman's car, according to police, who said the woman was also punched in the face and scratched.

"The one [woman] had grabbed me and pushed me down to the trunk of her car and held me while the other girl punched me in the face and scratched my face and pulled my hair out," said Christine Beckwith.

Ornament - Blue

As the clock ticks, retail traffic posted the third straight week of double-digit declines

Brick-and-mortar retailers saw no signs of relief last week, as store traffic in the final week before Christmas posted the third straight week of double-digit declines, according to the most recent report from ShopperTrak.

According to the analytics firm, traffic for the week ended Dec. 22 - which included the crucial final weekend before Christmas - was down 21.2 percent year over year. The first two weeks of December saw double-digit decreases, which trailed a 4 percent decline over Black Friday weekend, it said.

In-store sales fell 3.1 percent from the same week in 2012, ShopperTrak added.

"I think the Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day sales took a lot of energy out of the consumer," said ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin.

"We still have some days left to go - there could be some ground made up. [Monday] was an important day, one of the top five days of the year," he said, adding that Dec. 26 is the seventh-busiest sales day. Strong gift card sales could push some buying until after the holiday, which could be vital days to the success of the season.

"We're still looking at 2.4 percent [gain] for the holiday season, even though we're seeing some softness in December," Martin said.


Hysterical America: Sister jailed for flinging peanut butter in argument over dog

A 29-year-old Deltona woman was arrested on allegations of throwing peanut butter on her brother's face in an argument over a urinating dog.

Rachel Byrd was arrested Monday on battery charges.

According to a Volusia County Sheriff's report, Byrd and her brother, 30-year-old Gabriel Byrd, began arguing around 2 a.m. because the dog was urinating in the living room of the house shared by the siblings.

Comment: For an in depth look at why and how our society became so hysterical, See:
Good Times, Bad Times 1: The Hysteroidal Cycle
Good Times, Bad Times 2: Insiders and the Hysteroidal Cycle

Arrow Down

Surgeon suspended from Birmingham hospital over allegedly 'branding' his name on a patient's liver

Surgery Equipment
© The Independent, UK
A surgeon has been suspended over allegations that he "branded" his initials onto a patient's liver.

The letters were reportedly found by a colleague who was performing a routine operation on the unnamed patient.

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust confirmed that they were investigating the claims made against a surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

The surgeon has been suspended while an internal investigation is carried out.

In a statement, the Trust said: "Following an allegation of misconduct, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust has suspended a surgeon while an internal investigation is complete."

The news comes after concerns were raised by a report published by NHS England in mid-December which exposed mistakes made by its staff.