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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
You're not overly emotional -- in fact, you'd reliably choose having oral surgery (without anesthesia, even) over a serious discussion of your feelings -- especially if they're as close to the surface and as hard to ignore as yours happen to be just now.
That doesn't mean you need to shut down -- just choose your people with care.

Today is:
Today is Sunday, August 1, the 213th day of 2010.
There are 152 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
There is none. 
But it is Lughnasadh
Don't forget to visit our sister blog!


Lughnasadh (Modern Irish Lá Lúnasa; Modern Gaelic Lùnastal) is a Gaelic holiday traditionally associated with the first of August.
The Celtic harvest festival on August 1st takes its name from the Irish god Lugh, one of the chief gods of the Tuatha De Danann.

More about Lugh here.


Denny Ingram finds an unusual creature in one of his fishing pots in a Rhode Island bay.  

Helpful Hints

The way you put your groceries on the belt can make for a quicker exit.  

The Chocolate Hills of Bohol

At first site these amazing hills on the island of Bohol look as if Willy Wonka and his Oompa Loompas have upped sticks and relocated.  However, although local people have their own legends as to the presence of the conical shaped hills, reality is somewhat different.
The limestone of the hills is actually called karst. This topography is caused when layers of bedrock made up of a soluble substance such as dolomite or in this case limestone. The landscape has been slowly eroded through a process called solvation. The hills are that which is left behind.

Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
Broom Hilda
Super-sized sodas and buttery popcorn are just two diet-busters to watch out for.  

The best kitchen gear under $200

See the mixers, toasters, knives, and more that made the grade in a test.

"Top Ten Things That Sound Cool When Spoken By A Giant Robot."

Optimus Prime on Letterman



Smarter people go to bed later

Got numbers to show it. And it may be true. The question is whether going to bed later makes you smarter, or whether smarter people choose to go to bed later, need less sleep, think too much and can't get to sleep, have more to do, or what.

From Psychology Today:
Night Lights

Bedtimes and wake-up times for Americans in their 20s by IQ.

Very Dull (IQ < 75)

Weekday: 11:41 P.M.-7:20 A.M.

Weekend: 12:35 A.M.-10:09 A.M.

Normal (90 < IQ < 110)

Weekday: 12:10 A.M.-7:32 A.M.

Weekend: 1:13 A.M.-10:14 A.M.

Very Bright (IQ > 125)

Weekday: 12:29 A.M.-7:52 A.M.

Weekend: 1:44 A.M.-11:07 A.M.

Students Perform Better When School Starts Later

The one thing I hated most about school was how early it started. I’ve always thought that my academic performance (and that of my friends) would improve tremendously had school just start at the crack of noon – and now, science has vindicated me!
Here’s a study by Brown University sleep researcher Judith Owens on how starting school just 30 minutes later could lead to huge improvements:
An eye-opening study says delaying high school starting times by just 30 minutes can reap big rewards for tired teens.
A small study at St. George’s School in Middletown, Rhode Island, says students there were more alert in class, expressed better moods, arrived to class on time, and even reported eating a healthier breakfast due to the later start.
"The results were stunning. There’s no other word to use," says Patricia Moss, academic dean at the boarding school where the study was done. Similar results have been found in some public schools that let teens start school late.
Researchers say there’s a reason why even 30 minutes can make a big difference. Teens tend to be in their deepest sleep around dawn – when they typically need to get up for school. Interrupting that sleep can leave them groggy, especially since they also tend to have trouble falling asleep before 11 p.m.
So why do schools start so early in the morning? You can blame the parents and their pesky jobs:

Local atheists say they 'want a seat at the table'

The monthly social gathering of Charlotte Atheists Agnostics is very much in progress on a recent Thursday night.

Full Story: here

Australian creationists teaching children that Adam and Eve where protected from dinosaurs by magic

Talk about ignorant assholes!

Primary school students are being taught that man and dinosaurs walked the Earth together and that there is fossil evidence to prove it.

Fundamentalist Christians are hijacking Religious Instruction (RI) classes in Queensland despite education experts saying Creationism and attempts to convert children to Christianity have no place in state schools.

Students have been told Noah collected dinosaur eggs to bring on the Ark, and Adam and Eve were not eaten by dinosaurs because they were under a protective spell.

Seriously folks, why are morons like these allowed into our school system. It's just making the kids dumber.

Wizard of Id

Wizard of Id

Pete Seeger's BP Oil Spill Protest Song

photo via flickr
Pete Seeger is 91 years old, but he definitely still knows which way the wind blows. The legendary folk singer revealed Friday night at New York's City Winery a new protest song that takes dead aim at the BP oil spill. Seeger rolled out the new song, playing his banjo, at the fundraising concert for the Gulf Restoration Network and Global Green USA.

Yellow Submarine Wedding Cake

deviantART user ~estranged-illusions made this wedding cake modeled after the 1968 animated movie Yellow Submarine by The Beatles:
Vanilla strawberry cake with strawberry filling, white buttercream and marshmallow fondant. The figures are all colour flow, with the exception of the submarine topper with the bride and groom on top. I made the topper from Sculpey so that they would have a keepsake.

Now that's just Bizarre

Drivers can spot a colorful Cadillac graveyard or a huge ball of twine.

A turn of a phrase

Halcyon days

Calm, peaceful days.
halcyon daysHalcyon is a name for a bird of Greek legend which is commonly associated with the kingfisher. The phrase comes from the ancient belief that fourteen days of calm weather were to be expected around the winter solstice - usually 21st or 22nd of December in the Northern Hemisphere. as that was when the halcyon calmed the surface of the sea in order to brood her eggs on a floating nest. The Halcyon days are generally regarded as beginning on the 14th or 15th of December.
Halcyon means calm and tranquil, or 'happy or carefree'. It is rarely used now apart from in the expression halcyon days. The name of the legendary bird was actually alcyon, the 'h' was added in regard to the supposed association with the sea ('hals' in Greek).
The source of the belief in the bird's power to calm the sea originated in a myth recorded by Ovid. The story goes that Aeolus, the ruler of the winds, had a daughter named Alcyone, who was married to Ceyx, the king of Thessaly. Ceyx was drowned at sea and Alcyone threw herself into the sea in grief. Instead of drowning, she was carried to her husband by the wind. The rest of the story is, in a translation of Ovid:
The Gods their shapes to winter-birds translate,
But both obnoxious to their former fate.
Their conjugal affection still is ty'd,
And still the mournful race is multiply'd:
They bill, they tread; Alcyone compress'd,
Sev'n days sits brooding on her floating nest:
A wintry queen: her sire at length is kind,
Calms ev'ry storm, and hushes ev'ry wind;
Prepares his empire for his daughter's ease,
And for his hatching nephews smooths the seas.
The legendary bird is usually identified with the kingfisher. That was also said to nest on the sea and was believed to be able to calm the sea for the seven days before and seven days after the winter solstice.
In 1398, John Trevisa translated Bartholomew de Glanville's De proprietatibus rerum into Middle English:
"In the cliffe of a ponde of occean, Alcion, a see foule, in wynter maketh her neste and layeth egges in vii days and sittyth on brood ... seuen dayes."
In Henry VI, Part I, 1592, Shakespeare refers to halcyon days:
Assign'd am I to be the English scourge.
This night the siege assuredly I'll raise:
Expect Saint Martin's summer, halcyon days,
Since I have entered into these wars.
Note: Saint Marin's summer is what we now know as an Indian summer.
The kingfisher is associated with other powers relating to the weather. In mediaeval times it was thought that if the dried carcase of a kingfisher was hung up it would always point its beak in the direction of the wind [don't try this at home]. Shakespeare also refers to this in King Lear, 1605:
Bring oil to fire, snow to their colder moods;
Renege, affirm, and turn their halcyon beaks
With every gale and vary of their masters
Our current use of halcyon days tends to be nostalgic and recalling of the seemingly endless sunny days of youth.

The Agony of Summer


Health and safety officials ban paddling pools in case a fire breaks out

Residents have blasted a decision by council housing killjoys to pull the plug on watery summer fun for children as health and safety gone mad. Resourceful parents erected four inflatable paddling pools in a communal garden at council flats in Gadesden Close, Cranham, for children to cool down and play in during the recent heatwave. But officials from Homes in Havering (HiH) - which manages the council's housing stock - ordered the pools to be removed last Thursday (July 22), citing health and safety fears - the day before the children were set to enjoy the summer break. Livid mother Stacey Martin said her daughter Skye, six, and her friends have been left devastated.

"I'm more upset for the children than anything," the 23-year-old said. "When the weather was good they jumped in the pool as soon as they came home from school and were in it all the time at the weekend. They were really looking forward to using it during the summer holidays. The council said it's a health and safety thing, but the pools are chlorinated and there's always a parent supervising each of the pools." Ms Martin said three of the pools were emptied at night, when unsupervised, and the fourth had a secure covering. She added: "The council are always banging on about getting kids fit and healthy and stopping obesity, then when we actually do something about it they put a stop to it - it doesn't make sense!" About 12 youngsters, most aged between four and seven, had been using the pools for three months after they proved a big hit last summer.

A spokesman for HiH confirmed it had ordered the removal because of health and safety issues. "While we don't want to spoil people's fun, Homes in Havering is liable for safety in all the communal areas we manage," he said. "We work closely with the London Fire and Rescue Service and other agencies to minimise the risk of a serious incident, such as a fire, and to ensure that the emergency services are able to gain speedy access when required. For this reason, we do not allow items, such as paddling pools, which could, in certain circumstances obstruct access." But Graham Hart, a senior officer at Hornchurch Fire Station, questioned HiH's reasoning. "I know the estate very well," he said, "and I can see absolutely no access issues whatsoever." He added that the heavy engines are rarely driven onto grass and that if the pools were full they would in fact "come in handy" in a blaze.

A safety expert was also left scratching his head over the decision. "There's no real reason to ban paddling pools that are easy to fill and empty, as long as parents and carers supervise their child properly," said Peter Cornall, head of leisure safety for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. "Kids need to play, especially on a hot summer's day. If you use a paddling pool, just remember to empty the water when you've finished and store it in a safe place. Greater hazards are posed by permanent bodies of water in gardens like ponds or swimming pools. With these it is important to cover them with grilles or block access by removing ladders or locking gates." All four pools have now been taken down.


Shoe Shoe *****

Why Doesn't Money Make Us Happy?

Are you unhappy? Maybe it’s because of all that money you have. Jonah Lehrer of Wired’s The Frontal Cortex blog explains:
Once we escape the trap of poverty, levels of wealth have an extremely modest impact on levels of happiness, especially in developed countries. Even worse, it appears that the richest nation in history – 21st century America – is slowly getting less pleased with life. (Or as the economists behind this recent analysis concluded: “In the United States, the [psychological] well-being of successive birth-cohorts has gradually fallen through time.”)
Needless to say, this data contradicts one of the central assumptions of modern society, which is that more money equals more pleasure. That’s why we work hard, fret about the stock market and save up for that expensive dinner/watch/phone/car/condo. We’ve been led to believe that dollars are delight in a fungible form.
But the statistical disconnect between money and happiness raises a fascinating question: Why doesn’t money make us happy? One intriguing answer comes from a new study by psychologists at the University of Liege, published in Psychological Science. [...]
The Liege psychologists propose that, because money allows us to enjoy the best things in life – we can stay at expensive hotels and eat exquisite sushi and buy the nicest gadgets – we actually decrease our ability to enjoy the mundane joys of everyday life. (Their list of such pleasures includes ”sunny days, cold beers, and chocolate bars”.) And since most of our joys are mundane – we can’t sleep at the Ritz every night – our ability to splurge actually backfires. We try to treat ourselves, but we end up spoiling ourselves.

Things They Won't Tell You

Things They Won't Tell You
By tracking purchases, retailers know where women are thinnest, their favorite colors, and the top five brands. 

Unexpected ways to drive up car insurance

Your monthly premium likely will rise if you're caught drinking coffee before an accident.  

On The Job

On The Job
These positions in education, health care, and business are in high demand.

Bob Herbert: 'Treatment of workers by American corporations has been more treacherous than most of the population realizes'

Gaius Publius writes:

I've been writing about this for a while (for example, here and here and here), as have a great many others.

Profits are up on the backs of workers, who desperately need their share of whatever wealth the country is producing. Because, frankly, if workers can't buy — if demand doesn't increase — there's no way out. Deflation, here we come.

Now Bob Herbert in his New York Times column (my emphasis):
The treatment of workers by American corporations has been worse — far more treacherous — than most of the population realizes. There was no need for so many men and women to be forced out of their jobs in the downturn known as the great recession.

Many of those workers were cashiered for no reason other than outright greed by corporate managers. . . . “I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Andrew Sum, an economics professor and director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston. “Not only did they throw all these people off the payrolls, they also cut back on the hours of the people who stayed on the job.” . . .

Having taken everything for themselves, the corporations are so awash in cash they don’t know what to do with it all. Citing a recent article from Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Professor Sum noted that in July cash at the nation’s nonfinancial corporations stood at $1.84 trillion, a 27 percent increase over early 2007. Moody’s has pointed out that as a percent of total company assets, cash has reached a level not seen in the past half-century.
In deflationary times, cash is king and "things" (what cash buys, like wages) are its footstool. More from Professor Sum, quoted in the article above:
Here’s what happened: At the end of the fourth quarter in 2008, you see corporate profits begin to really take off, and they grow by the time you get to the first quarter of 2010 by $572 billion. And over that same time period, wage and salary payments go down by $122 billion.
I can't find a link to the cited Dr. Sum paper, but Andrew Sum is this guy. (If anyone finds the original paper, please let me know in the comments; thanks.)

First, note the underlying data from Dr. Sun. It's truly treacherous.

Next, note that the conclusion to be drawn — that corps are betraying workers and the recovery — is getting more and more play. Herbert is just the latest.

In an earlier article on Blanche Lincoln, I list three things we could do in response to these times:
  1. Get serious about primaries. (Did you know there's an election coming? Time to figure out where you can apply some grease — and apply some grease.)
  2. Be clear-eyed to the point of madness — because being clear means staring the beast in the face and not letting him convert in your eyes into a pseudo-human. The beast is still the beast.
  3. Use the fact that the Big Boys are getting careless — despite their lead, it's only the third quarter.
Well, here we are at point 3 above. Bob Herbert is calling out the Big Boys, and it really is only the third quarter. The country's being set up for liquidation; but it hasn't been liquidated yet. There's still time.

Lend your voice, pass the data to everyone you know — and use it in your own activism.

'Magic numbers' for retirement

These commonly suggested savings goals could prove to be out of date.

Retirement? You Must Be Kidding. Workers Are Emptying Retirement Plans To Stay Afloat.

This is why we should not only not cut Social Security, we should expand it. The workers who relied on 401Ks have finally figured out why companies were so happy to have them replace pension plans, and anyone who has a public pension plan better get ready as deficit hawks attack:
Aside from stagnant wages, soaring unemployment and plummeting home values, the major tragedy of this recession is the havoc it has wreaked on the retirement incomes of millions of Americans who have planned and saved their entire lives, only to watch that money drain out of their accounts much sooner than they anticipated.
Retirement statistics are grim. The percentage of American workers who said they have less than $10,000 in savings grew to 43 percent in 2010, according to a recent survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Nearly a quarter of the workforce said they have postponed their planned retirement in the past year and a CareerBuilder.com survey reports that 61 percent of workers say they are now living paycheck to paycheck, as compared to 43 percent in 2007.
With rapidly dwindling savings and fewer opportunities for jobs than their younger counterparts, many older Americans are facing a very uncertain economic future.
"This is the undiscussed explosive bomb in all this, is all the pension benefits, all the 401(k) money that's been drained out by workers trying to stay afloat until they find a job," Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) told HuffPost. "There are a lot of people who, when this is over, are going to have nothing. They will have lost their house, they will have used all their pension money."
Many Americans seem to be losing hope. Only 16 percent of respondents to the EBRI survey expressed confidence in their ability to retire comfortably, the second lowest point in the 20-year history of the survey.
You mean people still expect to retire?



Upping the cute factor

Watch the fun as a prancing kid picks up some bouncing techniques from a human.   

NC Zoo Waits For Baby Chimp's Arrival

NC Zoo workers say they are waiting for a new bundle of joy, a baby chimpanzee that's expected to arrive any day now.
Zoo keepers say a female chimp named Maki is pregnant and will be overdue by the end of the week if she doesn't give birth soon. They do not know the gender of the baby at this time.
Once the little chimp arrives zoo workers will monitor both the baby and the mother. They'll have to watch how they interact with each other and also how other chimps accept them.
The birth will mark the zoo's first baby chimp in nearly 14 years.

San Francisco To Ban Pet Sales

Instead of asking "how much is that doggy in the window," you should be asking "how many years in jail?" if you live in San Francisco. See, the Bay Area city is weighing a ban on all pet sales, with exception of fish:
Sell a guinea pig, go to jail.
That’s the law under consideration by San Francisco’s Commission of Animal Control and Welfare. If the commission approves the ordinance at its meeting tonight, San Francisco could soon have what is believed to be the country’s first ban on the sale of all pets except fish.
That includes dogs, cats, hamsters, mice, rats, chinchillas, guinea pigs, birds, snakes, lizards and nearly every other critter, or, as the commission calls them, companion animals.
"People buy small animals all the time as an impulse buy, don’t know what they’re getting into, and the animals end up at the shelter and often are euthanized," said commission Chairwoman Sally Stephens. "That’s what we’d like to stop."

Pain Pills Made From Sea-Snail Spit Could Be More Powerful Than Morphine

Chemicals from sea snail saliva can be made into pain pills that work as well as morphine, but without the risk of addiction. Researchers have already used the saliva of marine cone snails as a potent painkiller, but it has to be injected into the spinal cord with a special implanted pump, which limits its use.

Researchers led by David J. Craik of the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland in Australia figured out how to make the peptide orally active, so patients could simply pop snail-saliva pills.

The Oldest Species On Earth

It was almost bound to be small and seemingly insignificant but the oldest species on earth is a shrimp, ironic given the connotations of its name in the English language.

Rather than being the runt, the squirt and the general nobody its name implies, this little guy, (the Horseshoe shrimp to friends but Triops cancriformis rather more formally) has staying power. It is almost the same now as it was two hundred million years ago.

Top 5 myths about sharks

As Shark Week begins on TV, an expert reveals the biggest misconceptions about the fish.  

Bed Bugs: No Area Unbitten!

Forget Twilight vampires, the bloodsucking scourge that is spreading like wildfire in the United States is the bed bug:
The tiny, sneaky insects are spreading so rapidly across the United States that almost no region or area is unbitten, a new survey suggests. Calls to exterminators nationwide about bed bugs are up 57 percent nationwide in the last five years, according to a new survey by the National Pest Management Association and the University of Kentucky. More than 95 percent of 519 U.S. exterminators participating in the survey reported finding at least one bed bug infestation in the past year.

Andy Griffith Pitching Health Care Law

Actor Andy Griffith has a new role: pitching the new health care law to seniors in a cable television ad paid for by Medicare.

The TV star, whose role as sheriff of Mayberry made him an enduring symbol of small-town American values, tells seniors that "good things are coming" under the health care overhaul, including free preventive checkups and lower-cost prescriptions for Medicare recipients.

Polls show that seniors are more skeptical of the health care law than younger people because Medicare cuts provide much of the financing to expand coverage for the uninsured.

Medicare says the national ad is not political, but part of its outreach to educate seniors about new benefits available next year. Griffith is 84.

Get Into Med School Without Those Pesky Science Courses

Hard sciences and MCAT are the gauntlets that pre-med students have to pass before going to medical school, right? I mean doesn’t it make sense that doctors should know these kinds of stuff?
Apparently not – at least for a small group of students who get admitted into medical school without the passing the hard stuff (and here’s the kicker: they perform just as well as those who had to pass the rigorous science requirements):
The program promises slots to about 35 undergraduates a year if they study humanities or social sciences instead of the traditional pre-medical school curriculum and maintain a 3.5 grade-point average.
For decades, the medical profession has debated whether pre-med courses and admission tests produce doctors who know their alkyl halides but lack the sense of mission and interpersonal skills to become well-rounded, caring, inquisitive healers.
That debate is being rekindled by a study published on Thursday in Academic Medicine, the journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges. Conducted by the Mount Sinai program’s founder, Dr. Nathan Kase, and the medical school’s dean for medical education, Dr. David Muller, the peer-reviewed study compared outcomes for 85 students in the Humanities and Medicine Program with those of 606 traditionally prepared classmates from the graduating classes of 2004 through 2009, and found that their academic performance in medical school was equivalent.

Coulter good for something

Negative effects of sleep restriction may linger after 1 night of recovery sleep

 A study in the Aug. 1 issue of the journal Sleep suggests that a dose of extra sleep on the weekend may be good medicine for adults who repeatedly stay up too late or wake up too early …

Hallucinogen to be tested as cure for opiate addiction

Ibogaine, a hallucinogen derived from an African plant, is used (illegally) as a cure for opiate addiction. This month, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Research will test the effectiveness of Ibogaine on heroin addicts.  

Popular Science has a brief article about the upcoming trial.
 156 398408129 0051487E67 O“As great as ibogaine seems, no one knows exactly how effective it is as a treatment,” says Valerie Mojieko, the director of clinical research for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Research (MAPS), a privately funded Massachusetts-based nonprofit. So starting this month, MAPS will enlist Clare Wilkins, the director of Pangea Biomedics, to run the first long-term study to gauge the drug’s lasting effects at her clinic in Mexico (where patients already pay $5,000 for the treatment). She will treat 20 to 30 heroin addicts and, for the next year, MAPS will subject them to psychological and drug tests to quantify ibogaine’s effectiveness.

Fighting Drugs With Drugs: An Obscure Hallucinogen Gains Legitimacy as a Solution for Addictions

Broom Hilda

Broom Hilda

Three-year-old girl shot dead by four-year-old boy

A three-year-old girl has been shot dead by a four-year-old boy after he picked up a handgun left on a kitchen table and pointed it at her head. Aunesti Lee Allen, from Indianapolis, USA, died at Riley Hospital for Children a few hours after the shooting.

Her mother, Fiona Lee, 26, whose other two children witnessed the shooting, was arrested and charged with child neglect as well as drugs possession. Police are trying to trace the boy and his father Curtis White, 24, who lived with Lee. The two other children are currently being cared for by a relative.

Police said Lee thought the boy may have believed he had picked up a toy gun, many of which were lying around the house.

Lt Jeff Duhamell, from Indianapolis Police Department said: "This is a tragedy that easily could have been avoided. And the sad part is that the other children saw it. Now, there are many lives that have been turned upside down."

French police filmed dragging women and babies during protest

A video has emerged showing French police evicting African immigrants with babies and children during a housing protest in a Paris suburb. Police arrived in the north-east Parisian suburb of La Courneuve last Wednesday and asked a group of about 60 mostly women and children to move, said Michael Hajdenberg, a journalist with the French media organization Mediapart. The group had been living in the street since being evicted from their council homes on July 8 to make way for a new housing project, he said. When the group failed to respond to the request, Hajdenberg said police officers forcibly removed them.

Authorities had offered to accommodate them for a short period in hotels, but Hajdenberg said the immigrants wanted more of a long-term guarantee of places to live. The video shows police dragging away women with babies and young children. In one scene a woman with a baby wrapped to her back is dragged along the pavement while screaming and shouting. Another scene shows what appears to be a pregnant woman lying on her back on the street. Police can also be seen carrying women away while children and babies are screaming.

The incident lasted about 30 minutes said Hajdenberg, who added that "there were no serious injuries, mostly cuts and scrapes." The immigrants are mostly from the Ivory Coast, said Michael Hoare, a spokesman for the campaign group Right to Housing. "Most of them have been in France for between 3 to 10 years. Some of them have papers, some of them don't. They have submitted demands to be legalized," Hoare said. The arrested protesters were released later the same day and have since accepted short-term hotel accommodation, Hoare said.

"Because the experience was so traumatic they have ended up accepting the offer to go into the hotel and there are meetings going on about their future," he said. Commissioner Christian Lambert from the Police Commissioner's office of the town Bobigny said in a written statement: "An eviction is never a simple procedure when there is resistance involved on behalf of those being evicted." Regarding the scene in which a mother is dragged with her child on her back, the statement read: "The officers were not able to dislodge her by pulling on her arms because her arms were linked with people on both sides. Therefore they moved her by pulling on her legs. Within a metre or so the baby is dislodged and become apparent to another officer who immediately picks it up."

Woman dances on counter as distraction during robbery

Dallas police are calling it one of the most unusual hold ups they've ever seen.

On Tuesday a man and a woman walked into a convenience store and as the man started to stuff a bag with cigarettes the woman got on the counter and started to dance as a distraction.

The clerk didn't take it sitting down, he grabbed a small stick and started waving it at the man and woman.

After a small fight the two would-be robbers ran out empty handed. Police are now looking for the two who are believed to be involved in another robbery.

Inmate sues man he burglarized

A Florida inmate is suing the man he's convicted of burglarizing, claiming the man and two others roughed him up during a citizen's arrest.

Wendy's robber complains about skimpy haul

Police say a man who robbed a fast-food restaurant with a gun was so mad about the amount of loot that he called back twice to complain. 

Woman arrested for swearing at yobs who smashed window

A woman who swore at yobs when they smashed her bedroom window was arrested — because she was causing them distress. Bolton magistrates yesterday cleared Natalie Harrop of any wrongdoing, but she was bound over and warned to behave for the next year or face a £100 fine. After the hearing, Miss Harrop and her boyfriend, Robert Berthan, said they had lost faith in the legal system. Mr Berthan, aged 25, said: “We are very angry.

“These lads smash our window, chase me down the street and, even though the police are standing right next to them, they aren’t arrested. We know Natalie did nothing wrong and the courts agreed.” Bolton magistrates were told how, at about 12.30am on June 12, Miss Harrop and Mr Berthan were at their home in St James Street, Farnworth, when an object, most likely a brick, smashed an upstairs bedroom window. Mr Berthan went out of the house and asked a group of youths why they had broken the window.

They then chased Mr Berthan. The court heard how a patrolling police constable happened to be passing. Prosecuting solicitor Kirsten Mercer, said: “The PC noticed a male being chased by a group of about six youths.” The youths then went back to St James Street. Miss Mercer said: “Miss Harrop went outside to speak to the youths and the police. She was drinking a can of beer and shouted towards the youths. She swore at one of them. The police officer asked her to go inside the house. She remained outside and was therefore arrested.”

Suzanne Gower, defending, said: “Miss Harrop had been victimized by a group of youths. Her home had been attacked and her boyfriend had gone out and was chased. He had the house keys so she could not go back inside.” Officers arrested Miss Harrop and charged her with using abusive words within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress. Miss Gower said police considered Miss Harrop’s swearing to possibly have distressed the youths.

World's Stupidest Criminal Found in Canada

Stupid: Robbing a Starbucks
Stupider: Cutting in line to rob a Starbucks
Even more stupider: the people you cut are police officers. 
Hall of Fame-worthy stupidity: IN UNIFORM!
According to police, a short time later the officers were inside the coffee shop ordering at the till when the man they had spoken with outside walked directly up to the till, threw a drink at the employee and demanded cash.
"[The officers] looked at each other in astonishment that someone would attempt that with two uniform officers in the room," Sgt. Bruce Carrie told ctvbc.ca.

Burglar passes out before breaking into elderly woman's home

Drinking, crime and stupidity led to the arrest of a Denham Springs man, who passed out while allegedly trying to break into a mobile home in Walker Louisiana Thursday.