Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Coulda happened here ... maybe

Blogmeat for March, 2009!

This is devoted to the weird and awful things that "just happened, I don't know why!" around the world,

Chances are, a careful review of the TCPALM ("Florida's Treasure Coast and Palm Beaches") would reveal similarly bizarre stories. Such as here and here and here -- just for example. But tonight we're criticizing 'those other folks'.

So let's be about it.

First, in Indonesia:

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Two Komodo dragons mauled a fruit-picker to death in eastern Indonesia, police and witnesses said Tuesday, the latest in a string of attacks on humans by the world's largest lizard species.

Police Sgt. Kosmas Jalang said 31-year-old Muhamad Anwar was attacked on Komodo, one of four islands where the giant reptile is found in the wild, minutes after he fell out of a sugar-apple tree on Monday.

He was bleeding badly from bites to his hands, body, legs and neck after two lizards, waiting below, attacked him, according to a neighbor, Theresia Tawa. He died at a clinic on the neighboring island of Flores soon after.

Next, two stories from Ireland:

(1) "Naked ******
Paintings Removed
" I'm not sure what "taoiseach" means, but two paintings of the Prime Minister of Ireland (Brian Cowen -- naked) have been placed on display in Dublin Art Galleries.

A painting of Mr Cowen holding his underpants appeared in the Royal Hibernian Academy and one of him pictured on the toilet ended up in the National Gallery.
Sounds scandalous, right?

One woman who saw the painting reportedly offered to buy it.

(2) From "The Independent"

Man who shot himself "by accident' is critical":

A WELL-known criminal who is a central figure in Limerick's ongoing feud was in a critical condition on a life support machine last night after he accidentally shot himself.

Feared gangster Philip Collopy (29) from St Mary's Park, Limerick is in the city's Mid-Western Regional Hospital where he has been since he shot himself in the head on Saturday morning.

The career criminal shot himself with a glock handgun at close range in a house at St Munchin's Street, St Mary's Park. He had been inspecting the gun and removed the loaded magazine from it while handling it. However, he failed to realise a bullet was still in the chamber before he discharged the weapon while it was pointed at his head.

(No comments about "Darwinism In Action" or "Chlorine in the Gene Pool" here. Move along.)

Finally, let's hear it for Vietnam, where three men trying to saw through a war-era bomb (apparently an artillery shell, irresponsibly left laying around by those vexatious Americans):

The men, between 19 and 44 years old, were trying to break open a 105mm shell when the blast happened in southern Tay Ninh province on Friday, local policeman Nguyen Minh Kha said.

"The poor men wanted to sell the metal for money. They could not escape the sudden blast,'' he said.

According to earlier figures from the Public Security Ministry, more than 38,000 Vietnamese nationals have been killed and 100,000 injured by explosives left over from the Vietnam War, which ended in 1975.
This is another thing I don't understand. My Vietnam experiences taught me that the Viet Cong were experts at recovering expended 'dud rounds' as the basis of what we then referred to as "Booby traps", and which are now demurely referred to as "IEDs" (Improvised Explosive Devices).

What happened? Have the Vietnamese grown soft? Have they not passed their skills down to the Next Generation? I guess, in this case, we can truly refer to them as "X-Gen".

Yeah, the "Late X-Gen", here.

I can understand the recovery of the metal ... sort-of. But to whom did they plan to sell the explosives?

Never mind, it's all academic now. Except to the three squatting savages with a hacksaw and without a clue ... or (now) contiguous body parts. I have seen the uncomfortable results of too-close consanguinity between Viet Names 'civilians' and Artillary. It's not a pretty sight. Apparently, Capitalistic ingenuity and high-explosives are still a deadly combination.

Okay, I can't let this go without including a couple of stories from the United States:

First, "Miss Cleo" (late of "The Psychic Hotline") is Back! She's bad, she's free, and she's gay.

At a tiny, earth-toned coffeehouse, the fliers advertise mediums and meditations. Wind chimes ring and dream catchers spin.

It's early afternoon. The plush couches sit empty.

And seated at a table, a silver snake earring dangling from one ear, Miss Cleo says she couldn't be happier.

''I'm a proud voodoo woman,'' she says in the thick Caribbean accent that many late-night television viewers can well recall. ``And I make no apologies to anyone.''

Around the turn of the millennium, Miss Cleo was the face and voice of the Psychic Readers Network in TV commercials and infomercials across the country, many of which still live on at Web sites like YouTube.com.

Draped in colorful robes, she urged nighthawks to call in because ``the cards never lie.''

That lasted until the Psychic Readers Network, run by Access Resource Services of Fort Lauderdale, succumbed to a storm of lawsuits from consumers who said they were grossly overcharged.

Cleo, a spokeswoman but never the boss, was sued, too. But she was not found liable.
Ultimately, let's look at Cane-Fu.
ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. - Pay no mind to the groans that come with stretching, to hair that is gray or gone altogether. Ignore the cautiousness of their steps and the canes in their hands.

These seniors are ready to fight.

A rainbow of martial arts belts dangles above the mirror along one wall of this small dojo; swords, nunchuks and sickles hang near the front. Punching bags and torso targets line the room, but they'll need none of these. Their weapons are their canes.

At the helm of the class is one of the country's most recognized cane fighters, Mark Shuey, a slight man who, at 62, has hair and skin starting to show signs of age. He has traveled from Lake Tahoe, Nev., to teach this group of 16 how to protect themselves from attackers.

He calls it Cane-Fu.

Cane fighting classes have popped up all over the country, in part due to the influence of Cane Masters, the company Shuey founded that sells wood canes made of harder, thicker wood, to sustain wear and wider crooks to fit around an attacker's neck. Now, it's being offered at dojos and increasingly in senior centers and retirement communities.

(See the link for details and a video. Video also available at AOL.)

"It's a medical device, you need one to get around on. And they do let you on the airplane with it."

Geez, I wish I had thought of that.

I coulda been a contender!

That's it for Blogmeat on Tuesday, March 34, 2009.

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