Men hired to tie up and tickle client break into wrong house

Two men hired to break into their client's house, menace him with machetes, tie him up, then tickle him with a broom, have been acquitted of armed break-in after hitting the wrong address. The unsuspecting victim awoke to find the men looming over his bed armed with the knives.

The role play was arranged over Facebook by a man near Griffith, New South Wales, who provided his address to the hired pair.

"He was willing to pay A$5,000 if it was 'really good'," the judge said. However, the client moved to another address 50km (30 miles) away without updating the two men. They then entered a home on the street of the original address. ... When they realised their error, one of the pair said "Sorry, mate" and shook the resident's hand, according to local reports.

Could happen to anyone. Read the rest

Forklift mishap annoys man

I felt sorry for this fellow, whose minor forklift mishap creates a domino effect that sends everything sprawling to the floor. But the perfect cartoon-farmer hat-stomping reaction deserves full marks for form and execution. Read the rest

Sony offers "The Last of Us" skateboard with "post-pandemic distressing" effect

The Last of Us is a game about surviving in America after a pandemic. The sequel is out this summer, and as part of the marketing effort, Sony is offering a "The Last of Us Part II" skateboard with an attractive "post-pandemic distressing" effect. [via @ckunzelman]

Build a deck with some real character, complete with post-pandemic distressing. Made of 7-ply Canadian maple. Individually cold-pressed.

You wouldn't want the distressing to look pre-pandemic, would you? Read the rest

Menu at Saudi hotel offers "accuracy of sheep meat", "my property" and "tuna is a problem"

Concept artist and illustrator Vlada Monakhova (artstation, ko-fi) reports that a family acquaintance is "stuck in a hotel in Saudi Arabia" but has been given a menu to work their way through until the pandemic lockdown lifts.

I'd like to try the she is suspicious of cheese, please. Read the rest

Volkswagen apologizes for racist ad

A Volkswagen ad posted to its official Instagram account depicted an enormous disembodied white hand dragging a black man away from a Volkswagen Golf, then flicking him into a building signposted "Petit Colon", which translates as "little colonist". Volkswagen soon removed it an apologized.

"We posted a racist advertising video on Volkswagen's Instagram channel," the VW brand's head of sales and marketing Jürgen Stackmann and group head of diversity Elke Heitmüller said in an apology posted on social media. "We understand the public outrage at this. Because we're horrified, too," they added.

How odd that through the whole process of commissioning the ad, filming and editing it, approving the results, transcoding it to mobile-friendly formats, and posting it to social media, no-one realized it was racist. But as soon as it went live, they say "we're horrified, too."

Last year, VW apologized after CEO Herbert Diess used the expression "Ebit macht frei," or "Ebit sets you free," at a management event. Ebit is short for earnings before interest and tax and is a measure of company profits. The phrase sounds similar to "Arbeit macht frei," which was inscribed on the gates of Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps during World War II.

There is a culture problem at VW. Read the rest

What happens if you drink two gallons of coffee?

Your heart will race and your skin perspire, of course, but the real magic happens in your kidneys. Dr. Bernard Hsu reports on B.B., a 21 year old man presenting to the emergency room unconscious, having been found collapsed while studying for his final exams. Unfortunately, his worst subject just happened to be chemistry. Read the rest

Have a ⠐⠁⠕⁗⠇⠻◢ ⡟⣔⢠

Mimi Smartypants spotted a heartwarming message courtesy of CVS Pharmacy: "Thanks, you too" Read the rest

FBI reveals name of Saudi embassy official thought to have supported 9/11 hijackers

In a court filing, the FBI revealed the name of an official at the Saudi embassy long-suspected to have directed support to two 9/11 hijackers. The release of the official's name was a mistake, reports Michael Isikoff, a "flabbergasting" slip-up that belies nearly two decades of efforts by U.S. administrations to conceal the extent of Saudi involvement in America's worst terror attack.

“This shows there is a complete government cover-up of the Saudi involvement,” said Brett Eagleson, a spokesman for the 9/11 families whose father was killed in the attacks. “It demonstrates there was a hierarchy of command that’s coming from the Saudi Embassy to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs [in Los Angeles] to the hijackers.”

Still, Eagleson acknowledged he was flabbergasted by the bureau’s slip-up in identifying the Saudi Embassy official in a public filing. Although Justice Department lawyers had last September notified lawyers for the 9/11 families of the official’s identity, they had done so under a protective order that forbade the family members from publicly disclosing it.

Now, the bureau itself has named the Saudi official. “This is a giant screwup,” Eagleson said.

Read the rest

Alarming supercut of home inspection issues

Tag yourself, I'm the "undesirable current on a grounding connector."

Structure Tech Home Inspections:

These are not from the same house.

Read the rest

Woman drowns after petting alligator

The AP's Jeffrey Collins reports a story that gets stranger with each sentence: a woman in South Carolina who was doing someone's nails, went outside after spotting an alligator, petted it, then got pulled into the water and drowned while saying “I guess I wont do this again.”

Cynthia Covert, 58, died of drowning before Charleston County deputies and firefighters were able to shoot and kill the alligator and use poles to get her out of the pond, authorities said.

Covert came to Kiawah Island, a gated community southeast of Charleston, to give the homeowner a manicure Friday, according to the police report.

The woman told deputies Covert typically was professional in her salon, but was relaxed and excited at the home, talking about her boyfriend’s visit from Tennessee, and brought a glass of wine with her.

South Carolina's third reported death by alligator in the past four years, according to the AP. Poor choice of emotional support animal. Read the rest

Unsettling Oregon house listed for sale

From the outside, it appears to be a small, gray wooden building [Zillow]. Inside, it's a sprawling yet utterly featureless place where everything is just a little off: peculiar angles, odd symmetries, expansive yet weirdly cramped spaces, and open areas with no sense of place or purpose abutting tiny kitchens or huge store-rooms. Not a right-angle to be found.

"Absolutely none of the rooms are shaped like rooms," writes @spindlypete on Twitter. "Doesn't seem like a place humans ought to live."

Is it a former cult compound, a bland oregonian Hårga? A "HGTV renovation of a Doom map"? A more likely speculation, based on business records found online, is that it was the home and place of business of an engineer who invented specialized drilling equipment and really likes mitering drywall.

If you have $525,000 and wish to live in a 3,500 square ft. maze of Home Depot dollar tile in the middle of nowhere, you're all set.

Read the rest

Video of restaurant headbutt removed with copyright claim, ensuring everyone sees it

A man in Florida was filmed headbutting a guest in a restaurant and subsequently being restrained by another, larger guest. The clip did the rounds but, in a world beset by more ostentatious insanity and rancor, didn't quite reach the viral heights it might once have achieved.

But it's gone viral now due to the Streisand Effect: someone attempted to get the video removed from social media with a copyright claim, ensuring that all eyes were immediately upon it. Torrentfreak reported it out:

Last summer, Steve Heflin was on business in Fort Lauderdale [and] encountered “two guys in suits” sitting at the bar. Steve tells us that after one left the other was involved in a dispute and was asked by the management to leave. Things didn’t go well.

Due to the apparent level of intoxication, the valet wouldn’t return “drunk guy’s” keys, informing him that his car would be safe where it was parked and he should get an Uber home instead. There was an altercation and the valet ended up hiding behind the manager. The confrontation escalated and as can be seen in the video embedded below, something pretty awful happened to the first person in line.

The awful thing was an ineffective headbutt.

The widespread assumption is that the copyright claimant is the headbutter in the video, as a publized depiction of the copyright claim asserts that this is the case. But something about this has me suspect that someone is identifying that person via the fraudulent DMCA takedowns in order to humiliate them. Read the rest

Quibi reportedly tanking within days of launch

Quibi is Hollywood's purest vision for how mobile entertainment should be consumed: short shows that "adapt" to the viewport, former Disney brass in charge, and a contempt for users that extends to preventing screenshots and threatening to sue one of the few prominent fans with a podcast -- for trademark infringement, of course.Two weeks after launch, it's already sinking off the App Store charts and out of the top ten on Google Play. If they can't pull it out, $2bn goes down the toilet with it.A big job for their head of marketing, then! Unfortunately for Quibi, she just quit. Read the rest

Southern Living magazine hates Bradford Pear trees

Bradford Pears look beautiful in spring, but have a unique odor described by one source as fish and semen. Southern Living is taking action against "the worst tree".

For years, the Bradford Pear has been an iconic Southern tree (simply because they're everywhere). Grumpy Gardener Steve Bender is here to tell you that this stinky, oversized tree is not worth the hassle.

In 1966, Southern Living was created to highlight the beauty and culture of the growing South. In the decades since its inception, Southern Living, published monthly, has become one of the largest lifestyle magazines in the country. With characteristic Southern hospitality, Southern Living is committed to sharing the region we love with our readers, no matter where they may live.

Mitchell and Webb had a good sketch featuring America's inexplicable love of cum trees. Read the rest

Do not "tip your mask" unless you want to get the rona

Cops and store owners in Illinois are asking people to "tip" coronavirus masks -- remove them or pull them aside briefly -- so cops and store cameras can see people's faces. Do not do this: experts say it obviates the purpose of the mask and exposes the wearer to the virus. If the wearer is infected, it will expose others to the virus, perhaps for hours.

They're claiming it's to prevent racial bias, but offer no reason why making people remove masks prevents racial bias.

Authorities' long-standing dislike of masks and anonymity, however, is well-established. If this were an attempt to obviate new laws in the state that encourage masking and make wearing masks mandatory where social distancing is impossible, no-one would be surprised.

You cannot account for others' stupidity or their contempt for public health. Police chiefs supporting this program include East Moline Chief of Police Jeff Ramsey, Rock Island Chief of Police Jeff VenHuizen and Silvis Chief of Police Mark VanKlaveren. If you don't want to choose between your health and not antagonizing hostile cops, stay away from the Quad Cities. Read the rest

Kentucky governor apologizes to Tupac Shakur

Andy Beshear, the governer of Kentucky, apologized yesterday to Tupac Shakur, a resident of the state he had falsely suggested was a “bad apple” benefits claimant. Beshear assumed Shakur's name was a fabrication borrowed from the long-dead East Harlem rapper, and shamed him at a press conference where he complained about people exploiting the system. But Shakur is in fact a real person from Lexington, and he still hasn't gotten his unemployment check.

Tupac Malik Shakur, 46, goes by Malik. He lives in Lexington and worked as a cook at Alfalfa’s and Lynagh’s in Lexington before they closed to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

On March 13, the first day he could, he applied for unemployment insurance. On March 17, he got his monetary determination letter. He has been waiting on his unemployment money ever since.

“I’ve been struggling for like the last month trying to figure out how to pay the bills,” Shakur said.

Beshear says he phoned him to apologize in person, and will make sure Shakur gets his benefits. Read the rest

Welcome to Ipley Cross, Britain's creepiest intersection

There aren't any official numbers to prove it, but Ipley Cross is often hailed among England's most dangerous intersections, or "crossroads" as that land of knife-wielding spongiform hobbits calls it. I don't want to spoil Tom Scott's excellent four-minute explainer, but will point out that you'll get a visceral taste of the problem about 16 seconds in.

Ipley Cross, in the middle of the New Forest, is one of the most dangerous road junctions in Britain. Why? • Thanks to Bez, whoever you are: their definitive article on this junction is here.

You can sense something dangerous about the environment just looking at it with foreknowledge. Long lines of sight suggest visibility, but hillocks create blind spots approaching the intersection. Worse, the perfect geometry of the roads draws automobiles and bikes into constant bearing and diminishing range, hidden from one anothers' view by door pillars and helmets until it's too late to react.

I'm pretty sure that whole cursed forest clearing is a SCP.

Read the rest

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