Category: WTF

It’s raining spiders In Australia…

This month, the weather reports from down under are downright terrible for arachnophobes. That’s because the story that it has literally been raining down baby spiders in one part of Australia appears credible, according to scientists.

Clouds of millions of baby spiders were spotted falling out of the sky upon the so-called southern tablelands of New South Wales earlier this month, coating parts of the countryside and even some homes with the strands of their webs that they rode upon the wind.

“What happens is that during a particular time of the year, particularly in May and August, young spiders in the Outback somewhere throw these threads of spiderwebs up in the air and use them as a parachute to detach themselves from the ground and move in large colonies through the sky,” one local retiree named Keith Basterfield told the Goulburn Post newspaper.

Basterfield also took the opportunity to request the public to send him samples of the spider web material, which is also sometimes called “angel hair.” The paper obliged, publishing his post office box where the public can send their samples.

But there’s a hidden, more bizarre side to angel hair that might be compelling this retiree to ask for spider web donations. Basterfield is well known in the UFO research community, having published a few books over the years on the topic. He’s also been cataloging and analyzing Australian instances of angel hair since at least 2001.

Why? Well, it could be because many UFO enthusiasts and researchers believe that some instances of angel hair could actually be a mysterious substance created by the interaction of a UFO or its electromagnetic field with Earth’s atmosphere.

Balloon spiders

But in this particular instance, both Basterfield and scientists seem to be in agreement that what fell onto Australian fields this month was probably drifting spider webs…

Of course, if we’re talking about alien spiders riding on angel hair created by UFO exhaust, perhaps there is some reason for concern.

In my neck of the prairie they’re called balloon spiders or parachute spiders. For me, they’re a real sign of the transition from spring into summer. The spider silk collects along our fence line.

Now, downstate in Roswell – I’m not so certain what people think.

SuperMané gets fastest hat trick in Premier League history

Mane #3
Click for the videosorry about the commercial

Sadio Mané scores the fastest hat trick in Premier League history

Remarkable. Incredible. Amazing. There are perhaps no words to sum up what happened in under three minutes at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton on Saturday.

Sadio Mané scored the quickest hat trick in Premier League, as Southampton’s Senegalese forward netted three times in 2 minutes and 56 seconds of Southampton’s game against Aston Villa…

We couldn’t believe it while we watched it live, this morning.

Poor Tim Sherwood. One of our favorite managers – and Aston Villa performing like defense hadn’t yet been invented.

U.S. Geography of Odd Deaths

You’re more likely to be shot by accident and die in Alabama than anywhere else in the U.S.

Further west in Louisiana, it’s syphilis. Think you’ll escape the clutches of strange death further north? Septicemia, a bloodstream infection, claimed more lives per person in New Jersey than any other state.

That’s according to a report published…by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, showing the most distinct causes of death in each state from 2001 to 2010. Using a list of 136 ways to go, each state is labeled with a cause of death that was higher on average than the rest of the U.S…

The map glimpses at less-discussed causes of death. Without killers like cancer and heart disease, things start to look a little weird. In Alaska and Idaho, air and water accidents were the most distinct cause of death. Flu claimed more lives in northern states like Maine and South Dakota than anywhere else.

Some of the unusual ways to kick the bucket were due to occupational hazards. In the coal-mining states of Kentucky, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, black lung disease, or pneumoconiosis, and chemical effects stood out.

In New York and neighboring Connecticut, female pelvic inflammatory diseases top the list. In women who get sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, the infections can spread when untreated, causing death in some cases.

I live in one of the states where the most distinct cause of death was “legal intervention.” You may have reason to wonder what that might mean. RTFA.

I knew exactly what it was. Instantly.

Hostage uses smartphone pizza app to summon 911 help

Florida-woman-uses-Pizza-Hut-app-to-request-911-assistance

A Florida woman being held hostage with her children used a Pizza Hut ordering app to ask store employees to call 911 on her behalf.

The Pizza Hut in Avon Park received an online order about 3:40 p.m. Monday from regular customer Cheryl Treadway and Chef Alonia Hawk noticed the comments section for the order of a small hand-tossed classic pizza with pepperoni read, “Please help! Get 911 to me,” and “911 hostage help.”

Manager Candy Hamilton printed the order and contacted police…

Police said Treadway and her children were being held in their home at knife-point by the woman’s boyfriend, Ethan Earl Nickerson, 26.

A Highlands County Sheriff’s Office negotiator arrived on the scene and Treadway came out of the home with one of the children, but two others remained inside with Nickerson.

“She comes running toward us but two kids are still in the house with a person who’s on narcotics and you don’t know how their mindset with a knife, and we need to get them out,” the negotiator, Lt. Curtis Ludden, told WTSP-TV.

Nickerson was arrested without incident about 20 minutes later, police said. Treadway and her children were not injured.

Treadway told police she and Nickerson had been arguing and he had taken her phone away after threatening her with the knife. Treadway said she convinced Nickerson to let her use the phone to order pizza and he took the phone back after the order.

Quick thinking, Ms. Treadway. You deserve a reward for saving your kids. A super geek solution.

Truly dumb, truly serious, self-medication

Global police forces are working together to try to prevent the supply of so-called “diet pills” which can be deadly.

In April 21-year-old Eloise Aimee Parry, from Shrewsbury, died in hospital on 12 April after becoming unwell after she took a substance she had bought on the internet.

An inquest found that she had consumed four times the fatal amount of Dinitrophenol, known as DNP, which is a toxic pesticide…

The International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) has now raised an alert with forces in 190 countries…They declared an “imminent threat” to consumers of DNP, which has also been used in explosives…

Interpol said that some online distributors have tried to mask its supply from customs and police officers by labelling it as the yellow spice, turmeric.

A study last year warned the drug, sometimes used as a weight-loss or bodybuilding aid, could be linked to five more deaths in the UK between 2007 and 2013…It also warned that it could cause breathing difficulties, fast heart rates, fever, nausea and vomiting.

RTFA for anecdotal info. I realize there continues to be no patch for stupid. Still, people – do some research beyond reading reviews at the site trying to sell you self-medicating crap.

Is ISIS on the U.S.-Mexican Border? snopes.com says “FALSE”


Photo from a world-class source of idjit fodder

…Rumors of ISIS members slipping through southern borders escalated significantly on 7 October 2014 when U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter of California told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren that as many as ten ISIS militants had been apprehended at southern crossings…”I know that at least ten ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the Mexican border in Texas”…

Hunter’s claims seemed to fall directly in line with several made by the disreputable Judicial Watch site, a muckraking organization run by “political activist” Larry Klayman (who issued a press release in October 2014 announcing he was petitioning several federal agencies to deport President Obama, and who has been barred for life by multiple judges for his repetitive misuse of the court system). Since August 2014, Judicial Watch has been claiming that the U.S.-Mexico border is vulnerable to ISIS, stating in a “bulletin” on 10 October 2014 that: There are times when all of us hate to say, “I told you so.” And the latest news from Judicial Watch on the apprehension of ISIS terrorists on the U.S.-Mexico border is certainly one of them…

The claims by Judicial Watch of an “imminent” attack “coming very soon” were made on 31 August 2014, and Hunter’s statements came more than a month later. No such attack or confirmed attempt to cross the border by members of ISIS occurred in the intervening weeks between the “bulletin” and Hunter’s appearance on Fox News to substantiate beliefs that ISIS either had crossed or had intended to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

The inclusion in the rumor of an “in the last 36 hours” modifier created an impression of urgency without specifying when the event itself occurred (and enabled the rumor to spread ad infinitum.) On 8 October 2014, a senior spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security responded to Hunter’s claim about ISIS fighters captured by Border Patrol: “The suggestion that individuals who have ties to ISIL have been apprehended at the Southwest border is categorically false, and not supported by any credible intelligence or the facts on the ground. DHS continues to have no credible intelligence to suggest terrorist organizations are actively plotting to cross the southwest border”.

RTfA for a compilation of several more governmental sources, political and civic sources, saying the same. Of course, if you’re a stone nutball who believes all governments are part of every fear-driven conspiracy in your demented little gray cells, this means nothing to your catechism.

I love snopes.com. One of the first places I check when someone forwards an email claiming the next hard-to-believe conspiracy has come true.

Dad hands 6-yr-old loaded gun. 6-yr-old shoots her sister. No charges for dad.

A New Mexico father isn’t facing any charges after his six-year-old daughter accidentally shot her sister. San Juan county chief prosecutors told the Farmington Daily Times the Flora Vista father violated basic firearms rules and was negligent but that negligence did not rise to a level of a crime.

In January, the father handed the .22-caliber rifle to his 6-year-old daughter to take to another room, but she pointed it at her 8-year-old older sister and pulled the trigger hitting her in the neck. The 8-year-old survived.

The mother of the girls says the family has since removed all firearms from their home and the father suffers from incredible guilt.

So, I guess we don’t need laws covering stupid acts which cause harm and pain. We can rely on feelings of guilt to cover everything. No, I have no interest in sending this unnamed dad to the slammer; but, he could be properly charged and judged. Even if he gets officially warned, lightly sanctioned, it tells the NM public you can’t avoid laws on the basis of screwing up.

That’s about right for New Mexico. We recently had an off-duty cop run a red light and T-bone a car, killing one of two sisters and seriously injuring the other. He got 90 days for misdemeanor careless driving.

Man sets himself on fire trying to kill bedbugs inside rental car


Raw footage from parking lot

Police say a Long Island man set his rental car ablaze while trying to kill bedbugs inside the vehicle.

Scott Kemery suffered first- and second-degree burns in the incident…outside an Eastport supermarket.

Police say the Bridgehampton resident poured alcohol over the insects, then sat in the car and lit a cigarette, setting off the blaze.

He fled the vehicle on his own.

Detective Sgt. Edward Fitzgerald told Newsday that someone told Kemery that if he saturated the bedbugs with alcohol it would kill them.

Police say two other cars were heavily damaged from the intense heat of the fire.

Easy-peasy folk remedies. Gotta love ’em.

Secret deal between FBI and police hides spying from the courts

Innovation = police state
Innovation + Police State = Lots of profits + no oversight

The FBI is taking extraordinary and potentially unconstitutional measures to keep local and state police forces from exposing the use of so-called “Stingray” surveillance technology across the United States, according to documents obtained separately by the Guardian and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Multiple non-disclosure agreements…revealed in Florida, New York and Maryland this week show federal authorities effectively binding local law enforcement from disclosing any information – even to judges – about the cellphone dragnet technology, its collection capabilities or its existence.

In an arrangement that shocked privacy advocates and local defense attorneys, the secret pact also mandates that police notify the FBI to push for the dismissal of cases if technical specifications of the devices are in danger of being revealed in court.

The agreement also contains a clause forcing law enforcement to notify the FBI if freedom of information requests are filed by members of the public or the media for such information, “in order to allow sufficient time for the FBI to seek to prevent disclosure through appropriate channels”.

The strikingly similar NDAs, taken together with documents connecting police to the technology’s manufacturer and federal approval guidelines obtained by the Guardian, suggest a state-by-state chain of secrecy surrounding widespread use of the sophisticated cellphone spying devices known best by the brand of one such device: the Stingray.

“The device has the ability to pull content, so all the sudden your text messages are at risk, your phone calls are at risk, and your data transmission, potentially,” said John Sawicki, a former police officer who consults attorneys on technological evidence, of the Stingray device made by Harris Corporation…

The ACLU has shown that at least 48 agencies across 20 states likely use the devices. Documents obtained by the Guardian show police from states as such as Texas, Florida, Washington, Minnesota, Virginia, Florida, Maryland, Illinois,Arizona, and California utilize the devices.

The Florida agreement – obtained from the Hillsborough County sheriff’s office by the Guardian after a series of Stingray-related Freedom of Information Act requests sent over the past seven months – reads in part:

“The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will, at the request of the FBI, seek dismissal of the case in lieu of providing, or allowing others to use or provide, any information concerning the Harris Corporation wireless collection equipment/technology, its associated software, operating manuals, and any related documentation.”

Law enforcement agencies that sign NDAs similar to the one in Hillsborough County are barred from providing “any information” about the Stingray-style devices in search warrants, pre-trial hearings, testimony, grand jury proceedings, in appeals or even in defense discovery. Per the agreement, police can only release the “evidentiary results” obtained with the device.

RTFA. Just in case you mistakenly thought you lived in a country where constitutional freedoms were honored and the government is working to bring a new level of transparency to law enforcement.