College goes on firearms lockdown

A New York college that went on lockdown over a report of a gun on campus says the weapon turned out to be a light saber.

Students and staff members at Farmingdale State College on Long Island were told to shelter in place Wednesday while police investigated a report that someone was assembling a rifle in a school parking lot.

College spokeswoman Kathryn Coley says the rifle was actually a “Star Wars” toy.

Farmingdale State is part of the State University of New York system. It has about 8,700 students some of whom – no doubt – know the difference between a rifle and a light saber.

“FREE PARKING” ain’t always a good idea – especially on a frozen lake

Around 20 cars sank into a lake in Wisconsin…after visitors to a winter festival parked on its frozen top.

Emergency crews had to pull the vehicles out of the water Saturday after the vehicles fell through the ice during Lake Geneva’s Winterfest…

Since parking was scarce in the area, officials had allowed people to park on the frozen lake, but the ice cracked under the weight of the vehicles during the judging of the the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition…

Officials had told people they could park on the ice because parking in the area is scarce – but at least two rows of cars ended up in the water…No one was inside the cars when they began to sink…

So, officials said parking was allowed. Did any of them say it was safe? In front of witnesses. 🙂

Dumb crook of the day

Authorities say a burglar who broke into a middle school got stuck on an elevator and was forced to call 911 for help.

Local media outlets report that police say 19-year-old Michael Claude of Laurel broke into the school Monday. Officials say he was riding down the hallways on a buffing machine before he got on the elevator. After he got stuck, police say, Claude called 911 for help, and an elevator maintenance service was able to open the doors.

Police say Claude was found wearing a Laurel letterman jacket that did not belong to him. He was charged with third-degree burglary, criminal mischief and theft. He was released on $3,800 bond.

Har.

Trucker choking on his Dr Pepper crashes into 23 new cars

tankercrash
Park your truck before you chug your Dr Pepper

Police say the driver of a milk tanker truck was choking on a soft drink when he drove off a Pennsylvania highway and crashed into 23 new cars on a dealership lot.

Police in Hermitage say the driver choked on Dr Pepper on Sunday and drove the truck nearly 600 feet through a grassy area before smashing into a building at Montrose Buick-GMC-Cadillac.

The Sharon Herald reports the truck rumbled down an embankment before hitting the cars, including one that was pushed into the dealership showroom.

State police found no mechanical problems with the truck and no indication the driver tried to brake. The driver of the truck owned by Neimeyer Milk Transfer was cited for careless driving.

Careless is putting it kindly.

Oops! No need to go to Cape Canaveral to watch a rocket explode on launch

#gottaleaveamark
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The USS The Sullivans got more than it expected during a test launch of a SM-2 “Standard” missile…The DDG-68 ship was sailing off the coast of Virginia performing when the missile was boosted out of the Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer’s Vertical Launch System cell and the SM-2 detonated in spectacular fashion…

Here is the official Navy statement:

On July 18 at approximately 9 a.m. (EDT) a Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) test missile exploded after suffering a malfunction as it was fired from the guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) during a planned missile exercise off the coast of Virginia. There were no injuries and only minor damage to the port side of the ship resulting from missile debris. The ship returned to Naval Station Norfolk for assessment. An investigation into the malfunction has been ordered and is being conducted by the Navy’s Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems, which is part of Naval Sea Systems Command. It is too early to determine what, if any, effect this will have on the ship’s schedule.

get the wieners
Click to enlarge

I like the understated style of that last sentence. Wonder what they’d say if it took out the aft end of the ship?

Japan “interprets” regulations to hide over a ton of plutonium

Japan-Developing-Nuclear-Weapons-Preparing-For-War

The Japanese government has not declared about 640 kg of unused plutonium in its annual report for the International Atomic Energy Agency in 2012 and 2013, an amount enough to make 80 nuclear bombs…

Japan claims to own 44 tons of plutonium, while the actual amount is 45 tons, said Japan’s Kyodo News Agency. The unreported plutonium is part of the plutonium-uranium mixed oxide (MOX) fuel placed at an offline reactor in a nuclear plant in Saga Prefecture, southern Japan.

The MOX fuel was loaded in March 2011, shortly before the Fukushima Nuclear Crisis happened later that month. Until two years later, the unused fuel was taken out from the reactor which remained offline.

An official from Japan Atomic Energy Commission argued that the plutonium is considered being used and hence exempt from reporting to the IAEA.

But plenty of experts both abroad and at home criticized the action of the Japanese government for failing to recognize the seriousness of the problem…”From the safeguards point of view this material is still un- irradiated fresh MOX fuel regardless of its location,” former IAEA Deputy Director General Olli Heinonen said. Thus the unreported plutonium could be diverted to as many as 80 nuclear bombs.

Japan keeps the largest amount of plutonium among non-nuclear nations. The country used it for power generation in the past, but after the 2011 disaster at Fukushima, Japan’s nuclear reactors remain idle.

The big amounts of plutonium are causing regional worries over Japan’s motives, as well as global concerns over the security of these nuclear fuel reserves.

This ain’t an “oops!” moment. Reflect for a minute on what reasons there might be for Japan to hide a ton of plutonium. It’s not like they’re paying taxes or licensing fees on the stuff.

It isn’t likely Japan would sell plutonium to some other nation – especially when the first use that comes to mind is production of nuclear bombs or warheads, dirty or otherwise. Just when the Abe government is trying to unwrite the nation’s pacifist constitution.

Followers keep guru in freezer just in case he’s only meditating — not dead


Like – “Don’t put me in that freezer!”

The Punjab High Court in India has been asked to determine whether a Hindu spiritual leader is dead or in a deep state of meditation.

His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj, one of the wealthiest gurus in the country, reportedly died of a heart attack in January. His followers disagree, claiming that Maharaj has gone into deep Samadhi or meditation. His disciples have put his body in a freezer at his Ashram for preservation until he wakes.

His estate will remain under the control of the Ashram until he is declared dead. His family has called on an Indian high court to determine whether Muharaj is actually dead or reached the next level of transcendence.

“Maharaj has been in deep meditation. He has spent many years meditating in sub-zero temperatures in the Himalayas, there is nothing unusual in it. He will return to life as soon as he feels and we will ensure his body is preserved until then,” said one of the guru’s aides.

Dilip Jha, Muharaj’s son, claims his father’s followers are only saying he is alive so they can continue to have access to his fortune.

Probably could get away with the same hustle in most theocracies. Like Mississippi.

Darwin Award winner of the year candidate — Suicide Bomb Instructor kills himself and 22 trainees

ISIS
Pay attention in class and follow instructions

A group of Sunni militants attending a suicide bombing training class at a camp north of Baghdad were killed on Monday when their commander unwittingly conducted a demonstration with a belt that was packed with explosives…

The militants belonged to a group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, which is fighting the Shiite-dominated army of the Iraqi government, mostly in Anbar Province. But they are also linked to bomb attacks elsewhere and other fighting that has thrown Iraq deeper into sectarian violence.

Twenty-two ISIS members were killed, and 15 were wounded, in the explosion at the camp, which is in a farming area in the northeastern province of Samara…Eight militants were arrested when they tried to escape…

The militant who was conducting the training was not identified by name, but he was described by an Iraqi Army officer as a prolific recruiter who was “able to kill the bad guys for once…”

A State Department official, Brett McGurk, said that ISIS had about 2,000 fighters in Iraq, and that its longer-term objective is to establish a base of operations in Baghdad, led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who has been officially designated as a global terrorist by the State Department.

The dude qualifies all the way round. Especially since he took out 22 candidates with himself, wounded 15 more and survivors were arrested. Phew.

The United States promised we’d never spy on the Brits — we lied!

The National Security Agency is authorized to spy on the citizens of America’s closest allies, including Britain, even though those English-speaking countries have long had an official non-spying pact, according to a newly disclosed memorandum.

The classified N.S.A. document, which appears to be a draft and is dated January 2005, states that under specific circumstances, the American intelligence agency may spy on citizens of Britain without that country’s consent or knowledge. The memo, provided by the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden, is labeled secret and “NOFORN,” indicating that it may not be shared with any foreign country…

The memo was provided by Mr. Snowden to The Guardian, which shared it with The New York Times. The N.S.A. also declined to say whether the memorandum merely codified longstanding American practice or was breaking new ground…blah, blah, blah, the agency said in a written reply to questions…

One paragraph, marked secret, appears to suggest that the preferred option is to gain permission from the country whose citizens are to be spied upon. But the very next paragraph, marked secret and NOFORN, indicates that the N.S.A. can go it alone if permission is not forthcoming — or if United States chooses not to ask.

Sounds like the country we’ve all come to know and revere for its respect for constitutional democracy and citizens’ right to privacy. Just not in the last five or six decades.