Check out this hilariously awesome car chase using Matchbox-sized cars—and three hip hoorays for whoever did the sound editing on this mini-cinematic masterpiece.
Everybody's talking about last night's very bloody episode of Game of Thrones—particularly the last scene. (Check out our recap here.) HOWEVER! An expert witness in the O.J. Simpson trial, forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden, tells TMZ that it was a bunch of BAAAAA-LONEY!
"Blood doesn't come out like that."
"If cut deep enough, the right and left carotid artery will spurt a few feet, just like a hose... not this broad blood-flowing out like a waterfall from the whole neck."
He adds, "There would have been squirting from the right or left carotid artery, carotid arteries spurt.”
Baden also says ... the victims wouldn't have died so quickly ... because death from a throat slashing, "takes much longer than that."
Got it. Thanks again for ruining everything, Science! (Read the whole thing here.)
A narrowly divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that police can collect DNA from people arrested but not yet convicted of serious crimes, a tool that more than half the states already use to help crack unsolved crimes..."DNA identification of arrestees is a reasonable search that can be considered part of a routine booking procedure," [Justice Anthony] Kennedy said. "Taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee's DNA is, like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment."
Justice Antonin Scalia wrote an angry dissent for himself and three liberal justices, charging that the decision will lead to an increased use of DNA testing in violation of the Constitution's protection against unreasonable searches.
This is certainly a power that the government will never manage to misuse, right? This Supreme Court is George W. Bush's most important legacy. For at least a decade to come, the law of the land will continue to be interpreted like it's 2003, when Americans were eager to give up any right as long as they could feel safe.
Craig Mosbaek went to bed Friday night assuming nothing was amiss outside his house near SE 30th and Division, hardly a hotbed of mayhem and trouble. He woke up the next morning to something a little startling and a lot annoying.
His lawn sign endorsing Portland's water fluoridation measure—Mosbaek is a public health consultant, former state official, and occasional volunteer for the campaign—had been torched at some point in the night. It was there when Mosbaek walked his dog around 8 pm Friday. This is what he saw in its place the next day:
"I woke up and went outside and saw the sign wasn't there," he says, "and I looked closer and you could see the ashes on the grass below the sign and a little bit of melted plastic stuck to the metal supports for the sign. I found a pack of matches close to it, too. I figured that's what happened."
Just when you thought leaving it behind at the hospital was the only option for your afterbirth…..
Pretty much everyone in the Oregon Legislature is all about HB2612—a bill that allows postpartum moms to take their placentas home with them.
The thing is, some people have already been taking their disposable organs home, breaking the law without knowing it. “I think this was a huge shock to everyone” says Representative Allisa Keny-Guyer (D) regarding the legality of placenta custody. Patients aren’t allowed to keep “medical waste” of any kind as souvenirs, but many hospitals have been making the exception for placentas because the language of the law is so unclear.
A placenta is the iron-rich sack of flesh that nourishes a baby in the womb. It allows mother and child to trade nutrients for poop (thanks again, Mom!). From the Latin for cake, the placenta is round and flat. Also, most mammals eat them post birth. Some humans do, too. Moms have been known to fry it up like a steak (most likely with some fava beans and a light Chianti), or pay one of several businesses that will cook, dehydrate, and pulverize a placenta, and then put the resulting powder into capsules you can swallow.
Many cultures have rituals and traditions regarding placentas. Some believe eating the self-made nutrients help aid in lactation, boost energy, and aid postpartum depression. It’s also common to bury it and plant a tree on top to represent new life. Apparently you can also make art and jewelry and drums out of it too.
On the Senate floor Senator Elizabeth Steiner-Hayward said “it’s a pretty straightforward bill, it’s safe, let’s do this.” And they did. The measure passed unanimously in the Senate today, following last week’s unanimous approval by the House.
The original bill prohibited selling the placenta, but the amended language puts the guidelines into the hands of the Oregon Health Authority. They can put that part in or not, since they’re in charge of all the logistics of the regulation.
On an equally gross note, today the House Judiciary Committee heard public testimony on a bill that would make spitting on a police officer a felony.
Masked gunman drive in through tight security with military precision, steal millions worth of diamonds, and leave without hurting anybody. The target was perfectly selected (it's hard to feel bad for the diamond industry) and the execution was flawless. It's tough to get 8 people to order pizza without killing each other, so pulling off something like this blows my mind.
I can only hope Benicio Del Toro didn't get hurt transporting the stolen diamonds.
Boston Art Heist
23 years after the greatest art heist of all time, the FBI announced they know who did it but it's too late to do anything about it. For crimes like this (brazen, nobody was injured), I feel like it's a game and the thieves won. If you can elude police past the statute of limitations, you deserve it.
I can only hope Pierce Brosnan is having great sex on an island somewhere to a Nina Simone song.
Helicopter Prison Escape
In Canada of all places, a helicopter landed on a prison roof and lowered a rope to the yard where two men grabbed it and rode it away to freedom. That's the most amazing thing I've ever heard. Even better, within 24 hours, everybody was in police custody and nobody was hurt. The cops won this one despite having to do it on horseback (I assume). It's a great story.
I can only hope Ice Cube wasn't too angry that the helicopter was two minutes late, because that guy can get pretty sassy when he's driving tanks.
Last month, Marjorie posted a video of pranksters pulling "the old slip 'n' smash" where kids would pretend to slip in grocery stores and smash plastic jugs of milk on the ground. According to the comments, YOU DID NOT APPRECIATE THIS BEHAVIOR. Well quit shaking your cane, Grandpa—because the cops have identified the
kids criminals, and are filing charges! C'mon, let's all "tsk-tsk-tsk" along with this news anchor!
Ahhhhhh... now you can die happy.
So said T.J. Lane, the 18-year-old convicted of killing three students at Ohio's Chardon High School, to the families of his victims at his sentencing this week. From the Associated Press:
T.J. Lane, 18, had pleaded guilty last month to shooting at students in February 2012 at Chardon High School, east of Cleveland. Investigators have said he admitted to the shooting but said he didn't know why he did it.
Lane was defiant during the sentencing, smiling and smirking throughout, including while four relatives of victims spoke.
After he came in, he calmly unbuttoned his blue dress shirt to reveal the T-shirt reading "killer," which the prosecutor noted was similar to one he wore during the shooting.
At one point, he swiveled around in his chair toward the gallery where his own family members and those of the slain teenagers were sitting and spoke suddenly, surprising even his lawyer.
"The hand that pulls the trigger that killed your sons now masturbates to the memory," he said, then cursed at and raised his middle finger toward the victims' relatives.
Lane was given three life sentences with no possibility of parole, but I imagine his sassy mouth will get him slain in prison in no time.
LAST UPDATE ON THIS 5:30 pm: Bystanders cheered when Ditto was taken into custody, according to the full police report on the incident. Read it here [PDF].
ORIGINAL STORY: Beth Ditto has been convicted of disorderly conduct, following an incident this weekend where the Gossip singer drunkenly held up traffic on Mississippi Avenue, the Mercury has learned.
Ditto— after sending her lawyer to an arraignment on the charge yesterday—appeared in court to plea no contest this morning to the violation, according to court files. It's unclear at this point how she was sentenced for the
According to Deputy District Attorney Caroline Wong, Ditto had the option to complete community service in order to have the case dismissed. Or, she could simply accept fines, which are a minimum of $435. Wong said the case file is still in the court house, and that she did not know the exact outcome.
Ditto (legal name Mary Beth Patterson) was charged with disorderly conduct after being denied service at Bungalo Bar (formerly Casa Naranja, on N Mississippi). She walked out into the street, where she attracted the attention of police officers, who took her in and booked her with the charge of second degree disorderly conduct, a Class B misdemeanor. That charge was reduced to a violation— akin to a speeding ticket—at arraignment.
Eyewitnesses include another drinker at Bungalo who posted this account on Reddit.
In Ditto’s place was her lawyer, Thomas Coan, who handed Multnomah County Judge Steven Todd a written statement from his client. The statement was not read in court.
Ditto’s lawyer also told the court his client was “concerned there’s been a lot of media attention [about her case],” and asked the judge if it were possible, given Ditto’s local celebrity, to have her contact information expunged from the public record. A number that presumably belongs to Ditto is listed in OJIN, the Oregon court’s database.
Todd said there wasn’t a lot he could do. Ditto's information, he says, is already in the system, after she received a traffic ticket in 2011.
Ditto didn't make a plea today. Coan also declined to comment. The Mercury has also left a message at the number listed for Ditto in court records. If convicted, Ditto could face up to 16 hours of community service or a possible fine of $435. Her charge has been reduced from a misdemeanor to a violation.
The incident that lead to Ditto’s disorderly conduct charge happened last Friday outside of the Bungalo Bar on North Mississippi after the bar wouldn't serve her and she wandered out in the street where, police say, "her arms extended from her sides like an airplane, and she was shouting (unknown what) as she blocked traffic." Her next court date is set for 9 am on Monday, March 25.
As Nathan briefly mentioned in Good Morning News, a fugitive holed up in a North Portland Travelodge found himself in a three-hour motel room standoff with cops last night. According to the latest reports from the PPB, the suspect was 34-year-old James David Tautfest who was wanted by Federal Marshals for identity theft, forgery and possession of a controlled substance. He also had his 15-year-old runaway sister in the room with him—but released her early on, and after more tense negotiations, eventually succumbed to tear gas and gave himself up without a fight.
NOW HERE'S THE REALLY INTERESTING PART OF THIS STORY... from the PPB press release:
During the standoff Tautfest, who was high on methamphetamine, kicked a hole in the hotel wall, entered an adjacent attic, crashed through the floor and entered the weight room below. He then climbed back through the floor and crawled back into the room.
And he would've gotten away with it, too... if only he hadn't climbed back into his own room?? Now I'm not promoting criminality, but C'MON DUDE. You show real promise as an escape artist—if you weren't so distracted by the meth. GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER, SON! You could really go places!
To say nothing of the Sword of Valen.
Spotted last night at a bar in SE Portland. Thanks to Mark for the heads up.
On February 4, HBO premiered Alex Gibney's Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, a brilliant and infuriating documentary exploring the epidemic of priestly sex abuse at a Milwaukee's St. John's School for the Deaf in the '60s, and drawing damning conclusions about the conspiracy of silence mandated by the Vatican. Here's the trailer:
It's an amazing movie, which will soon get a theatrical release, The heroes of this film—the now middle-aged former students/sexual abuse survivors from St. John's School for the Deaf—need to be seen by as many people on as many screens as possible. For now, two things:
*The doc exposes Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as the Vatican's foremost authority on sex abuse allegations made against the church, then shows how Ratzinger did nothing with his extensive knowledge of the problem once he became Pope.
*With the pope's resignation landing one week after the premiere of Mea Maxima Culpa, it's tempting to somehow link the two events, imagining that Ratzi somehow watched the doc and resigned out of disgust and disappointment with himself, or watched the doc and resigned out of fear of an impending shitstorm. However, being pope provides Ratzinger—the head of the "state" of the Vatican—with a ton of legal protections against any and all shitstorms, and I don't like to imagine the Vatican makes history-altering decisions based on HBO's broadcast schedule.
Whatever the case, please watch Mea Maxima Culpa as soon as you can.
After days on the run, and a manhunt that included L.A. cops mistakenly shooting at a vehicle that looked like the one driven by the suspect, the L.A. Times is reporting that fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner was in an alleged shoot-out with Big Bear officers this afternoon.
The shooting occurred after Dorner burglarized a home, tied up a couple and stole a white pickup truck, sources said. San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman Jodi Miller confirmed deputies responded to a vehicle theft about 12:20 p.m., and the resident who reported the theft said the suspect matched Dorner's description.
The U.S. Forest Service confirms there was an exchange of gunfire between officers on foot and the suspect, in the Santa Ana River drainage, north of State Highway 38 and south of Big Bear Valley. At least one officer of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife was involved, said John Miller, San Bernardino National Forest spokesman. That officer is not believed to be injured.
Dorner's status was not immediately known as the gunfight continued.
The most recent updates claim that Dorner is inside a cabin, surrounded by police. More updates to come.
UPDATE 2:25 PM: More details from the L.A. Times regarding Dorner's chase with authorities, and how he is currently in a cabin surrounded by police.
Dorner crashed the truck during the ensuing chase and exchanged gunfire with the officers as he fled into another cabin, where he was quickly surrounded by San Bernardino Sheriff’s deputies. One deputy was hit as Dorner fired out of the cabin and then a second was wounded when Dorner exited the back of the cabin, deployed a smoke bomb and opened fire again in an apparent attempt to flee. Dorner was driven back inside the cabin, where it appears he is pinned down, the source said.
The extent of the deputies’ injuries is unknown.
UPDATE 3:25 PM: From the L.A. Times twitter feed:
UPDATE 3:45 PM: One of the deputies who was shot during the shootout with Dorner has died from his wounds.
UPDATE 4:25 PM:
UPDATE 5:50 PM: From the L.A. Times:
According to a law enforcement source, police had broken down windows, pumped in tear gas and blasted a loud speaker urging Dorner to give up. When they got no response, police deployed a vehicle to rip down the walls of cabin "one by one, like peeling an onion," one law enforcement official said.
By the time they got to the last wall, authorities heard a single gunshot, the source said. Then flames began to spread through the structure. Then, they heard gunshots likely set off by the fire.
Dorner's body has not been found.
UPDATE 6:05 PM:
Meet Kai (straight out of Dogtown!) who is the most hilarious, deadly surfer dude/hitchhiker you will ever meet. Listen to his totally insane description of taking his ax and "smash, smash, SUH-MASHing" the head of an alleged rapist who nearly went on a Jesus-fueled killing spree, and... okay, this is far too complicated to explain. Just listen to the story, and then delete every news site you have bookmarked, because this is the greatest news story you will ever hear and there's no need to listen to or read anything else. HUMANITY HAS REACHED ITS APEX!!
UPDATE: This video has either been blocked or "smash, smash, SUH-MASHED" with an ax. Watch it here! (Thanks, commenters!)
In this video from the Black Mental Health Alliance of Massachusetts, a "cop" warns the youth of today that if they wear their pants "hip hop style" (which apparently is droopy with underpants showing) they can be sent to prison for THREE YEARS?!? Hypervocal looked into it a bit, and discovered that this crime might maybe possibly but probably not fall under Section 16 of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts General Law (regarding open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior), which says:
A man or woman, married or unmarried, who is guilty of open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than three years or in jail for not more than two years or by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars.
Now I'm no lawyer... but if you're found guilty of wearing droopy drawers in Massachusetts, this is a case I think I can probably win! CALL ME.
Vice President Biden has met with the NRA and Walmart, and he's preparing his gun control recommendations for the president. He'll announce them on Tuesday, Huffington Post reports:
"There is really a very tight window to do this," [Biden] told the press corps during his announcement Thursday.
The recommendations are expected to address a number of angles and topics on gun policy, ranging from the availability of certain firearms and ammunition to data collection between federal and state law enforcement agencies. Biden announced that a top priority would be to create a more thorough system of background checks to prevent those with criminal histories or mental illness from purchasing weapons.
There's a real sense of pessimism about any gun control legislation making it past the Republicans in Congress, but Biden says President Obama could avoid Congress entirely by issuing an executive order. Either way, gun sales are booming around the country, which is probably how history will remember our national response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre.
Sohaila Abdulali has a beautiful, heartbreaking, and empowering essay in today's NYT:
At 17, I was just a child. Life rewarded me richly for surviving. I stumbled home, wounded and traumatized, to a fabulous family. With them on my side, so much came my way. I found true love. I wrote books. I saw a kangaroo in the wild. I caught buses and missed trains. I had a shining child. The century changed. My first gray hair appeared.
Too many others will never experience that. They will not see that it gets better, that the day comes when one incident is no longer the central focus of your life. One day you find you are no longer looking behind you, expecting every group of men to attack. One day you wind a scarf around your throat without having a flashback to being choked. One day you are not frightened anymore.
Rape is horrible. But it is not horrible for all the reasons that have been drilled into the heads of Indian women. It is horrible because you are violated, you are scared, someone else takes control of your body and hurts you in the most intimate way. It is not horrible because you lose your “virtue.” It is not horrible because your father and your brother are dishonored. I reject the notion that my virtue is located in my vagina, just as I reject the notion that men’s brains are in their genitals.
The Glenn Beck lovers at The Blaze think this sign will single-handedly save us all from mass shootings.
The comment thread is an accurate example of the conservative pro-gun blogosphere right now: Detached from reality, highly political, and riddled with the belief that the only way to save yourself from a nut with a gun is to give guns to all the nuts.
I bet no one try’s to rob his place!
Will drive extra miles if I have to just to patronize any business that posts this sign. Love it!
The only thing worse than a Child Molester is a Liberal. the only thing worse than a Liberal is a Democrat. the only thing worse than a Democrat is a Progressive.
u s army veteran, loves that sign, just wish michigan would o same
Lincolin shouldn’t have armed the North; he should have armed the Slaves.
Hummm. Me thinks me will plagiarize hehehe
Already have this posted at the cabin.
In Kevin Dutton's book The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success, he presents the following side-by-side list of occupations that have the most psychopaths (CEOs) and the least (Care Aides).
Umm... nobody look at #6. And as a reminder, here's the definition of "psychopath."
Psychopathy is a personality disorder that has been variously described as characterized by shallow emotions (in particular reduced fear), stress tolerance, lacking empathy, coldheartedness, lacking guilt, egocentricity, superficial character, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, impulsivity and antisocial behaviors such as parasitic lifestyle and criminality.
Yep, that sounds about right.
(via Eric Barker)
A child found a loaded gun in a Tillamook movie theater during a junior high school field trip Wednesday morning to see "The Hobbit." Tillamook Police Chief Terry Wright said it was a small, semi-automatic weapon with a round in the chamber and the safety off.
Had the student picked up the weapon and squeezed the trigger, Wright said, "it could have been catastrophic." But no one was hurt.
[...] Early Wednesday evening, a local man came by the theater to ask if a gun had been found. He told Tillamook Police he noticed his gun was missing after he left the theater Tuesday night. He tried to call the theater but got no answer, so he drove to the movie house in hopes the gun was in the theater's lost and found. He had a concealed handgun license for the weapon.
Of course, had the child picked up the weapon and accidentally shot himself or somebody else, I suppose that would have been a small price to pay in exchange for our freedom to carry concealed weapons into movie theaters.
So said NRA spokestool Wayne LaPierre at a news conference this morning, where he called for an armed police officer in every school.
The group's top lobbyist, Wayne LaPierre, said at a Washington news conference that "the next Adam Lanza," the man responsible for last week's mayhem, is planning an attack on another school.
"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," LaPierre said.
He blamed video games, movies and music videos for exposing children to a violent culture day in and day out.
A new Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey conducted on behalf of Daily Kos and SEIU has found strong support for stricter gun laws, spanning partisan and geographic lines. An overwhelming 92 percent of respondents support requiring a criminal background check before all gun purchases, and at least 63 percent support banning the sale of both assault rifles and large capacity ammunition magazines... including a majority of both Republicans and gun owners!
The survey of 1,000 registered voters was conducted December 18-19, and has a ±3.1% margin of error. It should also be noted that gun owners appear to be substantially overrepresented in the sample, so support for these reforms is likely somewhat stronger.
"Do you think assault weapons are necessary for hunting, or not?" Only 18 percent of respondents say yes, including only 27 percent of hunters.
Yes, this is a poll taken in the immediate wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre; no doubt support for such reforms will gradually fade a bit along with the sense of pain and urgency. Which is all the more reason for lawmakers to act now, both at the state and federal level, while public support is at its highest and the powerful gun lobby is most vulnerable.
There was not a single adult male on the school premises when the shooting occurred. In this school of 450 students, a sizeable number of whom were undoubtedly 11- and 12-year-old boys (it was a K–6 school), all the personnel — the teachers, the principal, the assistant principal, the school psychologist, the “reading specialist” — were female. There didn’t even seem to be a male janitor to heave his bucket at Adam Lanza’s knees. Women and small children are sitting ducks for mass-murderers. The principal, Dawn Hochsprung, seemed to have performed bravely. According to reports, she activated the school’s public-address system and also lunged at Lanza, before he shot her to death. Some of the teachers managed to save all or some of their charges by rushing them into closets or bathrooms. But in general, a feminized setting is a setting in which helpless passivity is the norm. Male aggression can be a good thing, as in protecting the weak — but it has been forced out of the culture of elementary schools and the education schools that train their personnel. Think of what Sandy Hook might have been like if a couple of male teachers who had played high-school football, or even some of the huskier 12-year-old boys, had converged on Lanza.
Almost a year after the Mercury first sought information on how cops enforce the trespassing exclusions at the heart of Portland's controversial Illegal Drug Impact Area program, that data—including the racial background and criminal history of those arrested—has finally been included in the city's official report.
According to the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office, 99 people have been arrested for violating a stay-away order in one of the three exclusion zones set up by the police bureau and prosecutor's office, meaning just under one in five people handed an exclusion by a judge have violated that order.
But the report contains one especially eyebrow-raising statistic: of those 99 people arrested (who had a combined 684 felony convictions on their respective rap sheets), 58 are African-American. That's a much higher rate than the overall population of African-Americans and higher even than the rate of minority Portlanders given exclusions after drug-crime arrests: roughly 39 percent.
How race plays in the program, seen as successful in helping reduce drug crime, is a sensitive issue. The city's previous experiment with drug exclusion zones ran aground because of concerns about racial profiling. The current model, by tying exclusions to judicial probation orders, adding substance abuse treatment, and looping in the district attorney's office, was supposed to ease those concerns. But police accountability advocates have remained skeptical, given the disproportionately high percentage of minorities excluded and what had previously been silence by the police bureau on its enforcement efforts.
Deputy District Attorney Billy Prince, the prosecutor formerly in charge of the DIA program, explained the results to me. He cautioned that it's hard to explain exactly why the minority arrest rate is higher but said that most of the arrests happened in the city exclusion zone focused on cocaine crimes, a smaller area than other zones that's focused tightly on Old Town.
He also said that cops can't decide, under police bureau policy, whether to let someone found violating an exclusion order to skate past. Officers have to make an arrest or call the alleged trespasser's probation officer. Judges, he said, also have to rule on whether someone arrested for violating an exclusion really was.
"I'm not aware of any judge ruling that someone arrested was in the zone properly," Prince said.
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