Friday, February 27, 2009

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of February 23, 2009

Well, the week is coming to a close, and, with it, it's bringing the end of February, as well. That's all well and good, because, as we've mentioned before, we really think that February is just a placeholder until a cooler month with a more appropriate number of days is brought onto the scene. Sure, it's been around for a good long while, but you can't just change the calendar overnight. But one thing that February hasn't been fake about is news stories, so let's get on with our awards, shall we?

Pay to Pee Award
Airlines everywhere seem to be trying to find new ways to get extra money out of their passengers. There have been fuel surcharges, and extra charges for checking bags. Well, how about a charge to use the plane's bathroom? Good thing that the flight attendants aren't walking around offering beverages throughout the whole flight, right?

Pot vs. Kettle Award
So, pretty much everyone has heard stories about how tough it is to work with Axl Rose, right? And how that attitude made it very difficult to put together albums? Well, it turns out that, according to Axl, at least, it wasn't him. It might just have been Slash. The singer badmouthed his former guitarist, and then worked his way through the rest of the band. To his credit, Slash's only comment was, "It didn't take me ten years to release a commercial flop."

Cell Mates Award
A good deal of the time, it probably doesn't really matter who gets put into the same cell with someone else. One of those times where it does make a difference is when one person is a suspect in a murder trial, and the other is a material witness. Shockingly, the witness has decided against testifying, causing the charges to be dropped. They must have just gotten along great behind bars, forming a bond that few can break. Right, that's it. Friendship.

Call of Duty: Geneva Convention Award
We're not sure if this should actually be a "Father of the Year" nominee, or someone who's hopelessly out of touch, but we have to give a nod to the father who decided that his son couldn't play the "Call of Duty" video games unless he both read and followed (at least, in the game world) the Geneva Convention. We actually applaud this, if only because more behavior like this would cut down on the virulent strains of spawn campers and people proclaiming each other's sexual affiliations (always in one direction).

I'm, Like, Sorry, OK? Award
What do you do when you're a bishop taken to task by the Vatican for denying the extent of the Holocaust? Well, if you're the actual bishop being criticized, you apologize. Not for your comments and views, specifically, but for the fact that they made people angry. The Vatican doesn't think that the bishop has gone quite far enough, and next week, they're going to slide him a little further diagonally, allowing that space to be used by a knight.

A Little Control Award
A Colorado Springs store decided to express some frustrations, and posted a sign basically asking parents to keep better watch over their children. The result? A woman began picking up things, throwing them around, and basically having a fit about the sign, until she was tased by the store owner. Later, the woman was seen sitting in a corner for "Time Out", having argued about not being able to watch her favorite episode of "Law and Order" again.

Take a Break Award
Here's a quick tip. If you really have to go and break your back, don't do it while the paramedics are on lunch. Guess it's more important to finish your fish and chips than to find out why someone else's spine crackles like a deep fryer.

That wraps up our awards for this week. We'll be back next week, welcoming March to the calendar. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Kids are learning

Today, we found two articles that seem linked to each other. Well, not in any actuality, it's more that they both feature similar protagonists. In one story, we're dealing with the working world. In the other, we're talking about marriage. In both, teenagers take a central role.

So, first up we see a story about a teenage girl fired from her job. Why is this news? Apparently, she was fired because she expressed overall boredom with her job on her Facebook page. Yeah, we're still not sure how that's news either. After all, teenagers tend to be bored, or at least claim that they're bored, no matter what they're doing. Given the prevalence of social networking, it shouldn't be a shock that they would then vent about it on the web. The girl didn't mention the company name at all, but she did get to vent her boredom to a large audience than she would normally have (which was previously relegated to anyone within earshot). We wouldn't be surprised if she was at a party, had a great time, and then proceeded to mention online that the party had been "boring".

At least she's not a divorcee, right? That's the case with a 14-year-old girl from Israel. Apparently, she, along with a 17-year-old boy, thought it would be a good idea to go through a mock marriage ceremony, complete with a ritual vow, exchange of ring, and consummation. Sure, they were joking about it, but the rabbis didn't seem to see the humor of the situation, and informed the kids that they were married, and, if they didn't want to continue in their wedded bliss, they'd have to actually go ahead and get divorced.

And well, when you see two kids with their whole lives ahead of them, and they can't make marriage work, it just makes you sad. Sad enough to talk about being bored, at least.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A full house of frustration

It should come as no surprise that the police prefer people to make complaints via phone. After all, that allows them to handle prioritizing of non-emergency calls more easily, and means that they don't have to wait around the police station until someone comes in with a problem.

Oh yeah. And it lets them play poker, too.

Only one problem with that last bit. Apparently, poker was slightly more important than the complaints of a retiree regarding a vacant house he owned. The retiree was given the non-emergency number (on a magnet), and told to call that, even though there were a number of (we hope) off-duty police officers in the building at the time.

Listen, we ourselves are fans of the card games, but there are times and places for everything. While we agree with the concept of playing cards while off-duty, we question the use of the police station. Especially given that people can just walk up and ask you to do work for them.

After all, there's no police motto out there mentioning protect, serve, and look for the straight flush.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Not any better

Have you ever gone into your suitcase, thinking that you'd packed your red swimming suit, but it turns out that you brought the green one instead? Potentially embarrassing, right? But, hey, everyone experiences a packing mistake at one point or anything. It isn't like it can lead to jail time, or anything.

Well, maybe it can. Like, for example, when you "accidentally" packed 52lbs. of cocaine into his suitcase as he was returning from a vacation. We say "accidentally", because, according to the man, he didn't think he was smuggling in drugs. He thought he was smuggling diamonds, instead. Oddly enough, admitting to this didn't really make him look any better to the police, who still decided to go ahead and arrest him, and his wife.

Right. We can kind of see how such a mistake could be made. After all, if you're dealing with simple concepts like weight and (potential) color, sure, diamonds and cocaine could be very similar. Most people might have noticed something about the way that they settled, but we can't simply discount the existence of a brick of diamonds.

Wait, is it possible that the biggest mistake was admitting to smuggling something, but could have sworn you were smuggling something else? Could that possibly have been the error that really spurred everything on?

Man, to make that kind of mistake, you'd really have to be snorting diamonds.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Call a cab

Most people, when they've failed something 75 times, would probably decide that maybe they just weren't cut out to accomplish whatever task they had set before them. If any of them make it to 700, that would surely be the point where they would give up. After all, there are generally limits to even the most persevering person.

Generally. However, giving up is apparently a foreign concept to a South Korean woman, who is bound and determined to succeed in getting a driver's license. Who knows, maybe the 776th time is a charm.

Either the South Korean written test is the most difficult test ever devised, or the concept is simply too bizarre to many, but apparently it isn't uncommon for people to take the test for five years or more before they finally get the 60% needed to pass it. Of course, we can't imagine that most people would have attempted the test that many times over the years, but we can't really identify with the situation. After all, here in America, it seems like you can get a license if you can correctly identify the color red and are at least 15, but could pass for 16.

We really hope that this woman passes her test so that she can finally buy her truck. Until then, we just have to hope that there's good mass transit.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of February 16, 2009

What a week it's been. Why, it feels like we've only been bringing you stories for four days this week... that may have something to do with us taking Monday to be lazy. It may not, we can't be completely sure. But we've got plenty of awards to toss out this week, so let's get going.

Untruth Award
So remember that story about the Chinese businessman who was holding a contest amongst his mistresses? Yeah, the story may not have as much truth to it as was originally believed. Turns out the author plagiarized the story from somewhere else, and nobody really knows if it ever actually happened. The writer has lost his job, and is now looking to move to Hollywood to start writing a remake of any 80s movie that hasn't been destroyed yet.

You Can't Catch Me Award
Every few days, a new high-speed chase story is found floating around the Web, and many of them revolve around people going the wrong direction on freeways, or having had too much to drink, or simply getting into the chase with a car that shouldn't be pushed to those speeds. This may be the first time that the chase has ended when the suspect wanted their car parked. In her defense, though, sometimes it can be absolutely miserable to get a good parking spot at the airport, and valets know all the tricks.

Kinda Sorry Award
If you've missed the uproar over a certain New York Post editorial cartoon, consider yourself lucky, or out of the news loop. Either way, it seems that the Post has issued an apology. Just so long as you weren't one of those "people who have long-standing differences". Yeah, no apology for you. Even a monkey wouldn't make that mistak---- oops.

Homecoming Drag Queen Award
We've got to give congratulations to George Mason University and their new homecoming queen. Naturally, his selection has lead to a bit of a campus divide, saying it's inopportune timing for a school trying to no longer be seen as a commuter school. Because national attention for a progressive choice can never lead to positive results.

Awkward Award
So, you may not be aware of this, but addressing someone by their disability is considered fairly rude. Alright, you probably knew that, but a company sending out notice of modifications being done to a home didn't seem to get that, as they addressed a letter going to a "Mr. Blindman". Even worse, they didn't bother to write it in Braille.

Seemed Like a Good Idea Award
There are some ideas that just struck people in the moment, and, before too long, are proven to be ill conceived. One of those ideas would have to be engaging in a foursome with people you just met out at the bar. Another would be picking a fight with the other guy in the group because your girlfriend seemed to be enjoying the encounter. The fighters have also been seen beating up vibrators, cucumbers, and shower heads in recent days.

Well, with that lovely imagery, we're going to close out for the week. We'll see you back next week. Stay safe out there!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Irish eyes

Well, that's a huge burden off of our shoulders. Turns out that errors in police work don't just happen in the United States. Okay, we never really believed that they did, but we did figure that most of the newsworthy events would happen on our shores, due to the American penchant for wanting to be the center of global attention more often than not. But leave it to the Irish to insert themselves.

For a few years, it seems that the Irish police have been regularly pulling over a driver named "Prawo Jazdy", and writing tickets. In fact, it got so bad that the police started believing that Jazdy was possibly running around with upwards of 50 alternate identities, which would make them one heck of a criminal.

The problem? "Prawo Jazdy" is Polish for "Driving License".

As it turns out, there's been a recent immigration of Polish citizens to Ireland, due to a bit of a boom on the Emerald Isle. Consequently, there have been more and more Polish drivers, which directly corresponded to the uptick in "Prawo Jazdy" appearing on offenses. Oh, and before people get overly concerned, the Irish did catch this, in 2007, but it's just starting to hit the news now.

Let's just hope that the Germans don't start an exodus of their own. We don't need to hear about the Gardai pulling over a "Fuehrer Schein".

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Surprise surprise. College professors have figured out what leads to a good deal of the grade "haggling" that goes on. Apparently, there's some sort of sense of entitlement going through students.

Shocking, isn't it? To think, there are college students (and probably high school students as well) who feel that just showing up in class can get them a "B". If they read the material and take the tests, well, then, that just has to be "A" city, now doesn't it?

This is something that's been building for awhile, and college professors seem reluctant to let it continue. In fact, according to the article, the professors are expecting to be able to give out grades of "C" to students that do just what is necessary, reserving the higher grades for those students who stand out. Oh, and putting in a lot of effort isn't enough, either. These instructors expect students to show things such as comprehension and deeper thinking on subjects.

Why, with expectations like this, we could actually see college graduates providing an almost immediate benefit to society. Just as long as said benefit is handed to them.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rough decision

Sometimes, we have to make hard decisions. In today's tough economic times, it becomes even more important to make wise decisions for your own financial future. Just ask a Chinese tycoon who realized that he had to pare down his number of mistresses, since he was providing them each a monthly stipend.

So, to help him weed his way from five to one, he held a small pageant. Which went great until one of the mistresses "laid off" decided to get a little payback, and did so by driving herself, her rivals, and her (former) employer off of a cliff.

This just makes us sad. Not only for the way that the girl handled her termination, but that there are people out there who have to decide which illicit affair to keep having, regardless of the economic climate. Although we do have to point out that, for the tycoon, his decision just got easier. Something about his wife, and the remaining mistresses, leaving him to his own devices.

But hey, you just can't keep a catch like that single for long.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of February 9, 2009

Well, folks, this will forever be known as the week that the stimulus plan was passed. You know, unless they need to put together another stimulus package. But, well, that's important news, and you've all probably seen a little bit about it here or there. It's also the week of the octomom, but she's just creepy, so we're probably not going to say too much about her. Anyways, on to the awards.

Maybe it IS a Clown Car Award
Okay, so we said we wouldn't really talk about the octomom. But that doesn't mean we can't talk about her fertility doctor, and the fact that he's got another multiple births coming down the pipe in the next few months. Seems that he's gotten a woman pregnant with quadruplets, after depositing seven embryos into her. Oh, and she's currently hospitalized, because the strain may be too much for her body to take. Also, this is a field were anything more than twins is considered a "poor outcome". If only there was some sort of committee that would look into regulating medical treatment, or possibly even an ethics board or something.

Worthless Award
We all know people who really wish that it was their job to do absolutely nothing. Well, it turns out that it may not be all that great in the long run, as the Cheboygan County, MI, drain commissioner has asked to be fired, due to the overall lack of drains in Cheboygan County. It's exactly that kind of honesty that has kept the person from being elected to anything OTHER than "drain commissioner".

Seeing Red Award
Just a quick tip, folks. When you're pulled over for running a red light, don't tell the police that you ran the light "because it was red". They probably won't like that too much. You know, unless you can prove that you're also part bull.

Self-Stealing Truck Award
What would you do if you came out of a convenience store to find your truck missing? Well, like most people, you'd probably call the police. What would you do when the police found that the truck had backed itself into a parking spot across the street? We'd suggest placing the vehicle in park, and removing the keys from the ignition.

Bless You, Unemployment Award
Leave it to a high-ranking member of the Church of England to put this whole economic downturn into perspective. According to him, losing your job might actually be a blessing, as it could allow you to "reconsider what you really want out of life." This works even better if one determines that regular meals and a stable home environment are just not that important anymore.

And that wraps it up for our awards this week. We'll see you next week, after we make it past the holiday bump. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Drink, crash, profit

People are always looking for the mysterious second component to their plans. You know what plans we're talking about. They generally start with step one being something random, and step three being profit. It's always that second step that proves elusive.

Well, a 19-year-old Illinois man figured out a step two that went along with his personal step one, which was to underage drink. His step two? Getting into an accident, and becoming paralyzed.

How did he profit from this turn of events? Simple. He simply turned around and sued the mother of the two girls who were providing the drink at the party he attended. Why the mother? Well, the girls were underaged, too. So it's not like they could have been held responsible.

Except, according to all indications, the mother didn't provide the alcohol. In fact, she didn't even know that something was happening at her house. Sure, her daughters had been caught drinking before, but that's not a definite indication that they would again (it's a good sign, but it's no guarantee). The man left the house intoxicated, crashed his car, and found a way to the result achieved above.

Look, we're all in favor of putting a stop to underage drinking, but there also should be a level of personal responsibility. The fact that the man, who was old enough to vote, enlist, and do a number of other adult things, was awarded millions of dollars, largely due to his own negligence, seems ridiculous.

Besides, we all know he's just going to spend the money on booze.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Losing a leg to stand on

We admit to being torn today. A large part of us wanted to highlight an article that mentioned how body language can give indications of wealth. Something about rich people generally using ruder gestures, which nobody saw coming. There was another part of us that wanted to talk about the Scientology vault that's being built in Wyoming, if for no other reason than because it was actually told to stop being built. Something about permits.

But instead, we found a story coming from the Vatican. A story that is certainly interesting, especially in light of recent perspectives revolving around how humanity got to be the way that we are (no, not morally bankrupt in too many cases; we're talking bipedal, among other things). It could send shivers through the education community.

Why is that? Because the Vatican has come out saying that Darwin's theories of evolution are actually completely compatible with Christian doctrine. Even more to the point, the Church seems ready to remove further power from the concept of "Intelligent Design", by examining it as a "cultural phenomenon".

So what now? Intelligent design has been used by people unwilling to accept evolution, often because they feel it disagrees with their religious beliefs. Now the Church, which never really condemned Darwin's concepts in the first place, is saying that evolution is a fine fit, and they're not even looking at the alternative created by religious individuals as a viable option. At least, not really. Will this lead to fewer arguments and more open, honest discussion about how something so rooted in science could fit together with a more religious approach? Will people strive for greater understanding? Or will people dig their heels in even more, and insist that intelligent design is somehow more valid?

This is what we could be researching. Instead, we get to learn how the rich are ruder than the poor.

Probably because they don't have to drink Thunderbird.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

He said, she said

So many arguments start because of a simple disagreement or misunderstanding. While a fair number of these arguments will actually escalate to physical confrontation, it seems like actual fisticuffs aren't thrown unless there's something major as an underlying cause to the argument. Even then, it's generally in the more extreme cases.

But, darn it all, people can just get so worked up about when the library opens.

That's what sparked a confrontation between a Massachusetts man and his live-in girlfriend. The fight started at 11am, and continued until 4pm, with the man allegedly punching the woman in the head when she tried to leave. It was until his cell phone rang three hours later that she was able to escape.

Seriously, people? Going to those extremes after bickering over whether the library opens at 10 or at 11? That seems a little unreasonable. Of course, one of these individuals felt that the best way to keep someone from leaving was to punch them in the head, so, you know, points for effectiveness, but many more docked for rational thinking. Especially when there are some very quick and easy ways to solve the argument as it was laid out.

Unless the man was asking because he really needed to return some Jane Austen novels he'd checked out. After all, nobody wants a library fine these days.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Taking a break

Maybe more criminals need to exercise. Not that we really want to see a bunch of really physically fit crooks out there, making life harder for police officers and average citizens, but it might have finally reached that point.

After all, when someone tries to rob a store, makes off with a couple of beers, and then sits on a bench right outside, it definitely raises some alarm.

Yes, you read that correctly. A man stole two beers after failing to get any more than that from the clerk, and was found a short time later on a bench outside of the store. Naturally, at this point, he decided to try to resist arrest, but, after having gone the distance of, literally, yards for his getaway, the crook wasn't able to do much more than get handcuffed.

Of course, we've had the warning signs for years. Obesity has been going up and up, and people haven't really been putting much of a stop to it. So it's no surprise, especially with today's economy, that people who aren't in the best shape of their lives are making the move to crime. Oh, and we should note that, if the man had made it to the store approximately thirty minutes earlier, he might not have needed to try and rob the place.

We just hope that the beer was really tasty.