Because everything else is just keeping up

Theft Leaves Authorities In The Dark...
(Officer Jones)

From the Truth-Is-Stranger-Than-Fiction Dept.

Police in Baltimore, Maryland, are completely in the dark... Someone is stealing light poles, and they do not know who... And these are not small light poles - these are the 30-foot, 250-pound, aluminum light poles found next to streets all over the city! Sometimes the thieves even dress up as utility crews, place orange traffic cones around the poles they are about to take down, and steal the pole as traffic drives by... The only possible motive the police have so far is that perhaps they are being sold as scrap metal, but the $75-$87.5 per pole the thieves would get is a far cry from the $750 the city pays for each one... And while local salvage yards have not reported any poles, some salvagers are not suprised at the crime... "They steal everything here in Baltimore," said Lynn Smith, manager at Modern Junk & Salvage Co... "Nothing's too kooky to me anymore..."

Driving In Snow Has Never Smelled So Sweet!
(Frozen Jones)

From the Interesting-News-Stories Dept.

Snowy, icy roads always make for interesting driving... Salting them helps, but it ruins the cars... So try Molasses! Grain Processing Corp, in Muscatine, Iowa, has introduced Geomelt - a de-icing product made from sugar beet-based molasses... Not only is it organic, it is non-corrosive so it will not hurt cars, the roads, or the environment... "You could drink it if you wanted to," said enthusiastic Geomelt distributor Galen Kauzlarich, "but I imagine it would leave a pretty terrible taste in your mouth." and while people need to get used to the brown color, "itís going to make bridges last longer, roadways last longer, state and city equipment last longer, and itís moved all the way to Canada... Theyíre using it..."

And as an added benefit, the old phrase about being "as slow as molasses in January" is actually a positive thing when attempting to drive on icy roads!

(I just wonder how they keep the wildlife from thinking of treated roads as one big molasses dessert!)

That Was Stupid... Really Stupid...
(Idiot Jones)

From the Truth-Is-Stranger-Than-Fiction Dept.

The Cabaret Club in Kienberg, Switzerland, prided itself on its attention to safety... In fact, owner Benedict Frank was quite vocal about how fireproof the club was... So when he was visited by safety inspectors who questioned whether his paper ornament decorations were in keeping with fire safety rules, he decided to set one on fire just to show them how safe the club was... Instead, the fire spread quickly through the club and burned both it and the neighboring restaurant to the ground!


So You Think You Know Everything...
(Wise Guy Jones)

From the Truth-Is-Stranger-Than-Fiction Dept.

Looking for a conversation starter for those Holiday gatherings? Try one of these little known facts:

  • A dime has 118 ridges around the edge
  • A cat has 32 muscles in each ear
  • A crocodile cannot stick out its tongue
  • A dragonfly has a life span of 24 hours
  • A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds
  • A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second
  • A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes
  • A snail can sleep for three years
  • Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer
  • All 50 states are listed across the top of the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the $5 bill
  • Almonds are a member of the peach family
  • An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain
(Read More)

You Know You Should Quit Smoking When ...
(Nicotine Patch Jones)

From the Truth-Is-Stranger-Than-Fiction Dept.

I guess you could say Sandrine Helene Sellies of France as a problem... She was flying from Hong Kong to Brisbane, Australia, on a Cathay Pacific airliner... Being afraid of flying, she had "prepared" herself with a combination of sleeping tablets and alcohol just before the flight... The brew apparently relaxed her inhibitions, because she decided she really needed a cigarette... So she grabbed a cigarette and a lighter and headed for the door... While the plane was in the air! Luckily, a flight attendant saw her tampering with the emergency exit and stopped her before anything more serious could happen... And while she pleaded guilty to endangering the safety of an aircraft at Brisbane Magistrates Court, she claimed she did not remember the incident and had a history of sleepwalking... The court let her off with an AUS $1,000 ($734 US) Good Behavior Bond...

Because Inquiring Minds Want To Know...
(Keeping Me Up Nights Jones)

From the Site-News Dept.

I finally got the answer to that burning question: Why are Grape Nuts called Grape Nuts when it's neither Grape nor nuts?

So direct from the website:

Grape-Nuts was first introduced in 1897. Made of wheat and malted barley, Grape-Nuts was so named because its inventor, Charles William Post, said that grape sugar was formed during the baking process and described the cereal as having a nutty flavor.

(Now won't you sleep better knowing...?)

Dr. Phil - Interrogation Specialist?
(Secret Agent Jones)

From the Interesting-News-Stories Dept.

Dr. Phil McGraw has won legions of fans for his TV show with his homey, laid-back style and tough-love techniques... Now it appears he has one more: the CIA! In fact, they admire his style so much they want to hire him as a consultant! "Watch his show," said a top CIA official. "He seems so homey and touchy-feely until it gets down to the nittygritty. His lectures to his guests are ball-breakers, and he always ends with, 'so what's it gonna be?' and they give it up. Instantly."

And with all the recent problems arising out of current interrogation techniques, this is nothing to laugh about... "Our reputation has suffered some damage lately, there's no doubt," the official said... Hiring everybody's buddy as a top consultant could help that, but the real goal is to find out how he pulls all that information from people, in front of a live audience, and broadcasts to millions... He gets them to admit things I wouldn't say out loud if I was all alone in my bathroom..."

"We think he could teach us how to suck them in with that sly 'How's that working for you?' grin... The detainees aren't tough enough to withstand that, followed by the blow to their psychological security when he launches into a tirade when he gets less than the truth... The unrelenting lecture, the flailing arms, leaning in real close to the subject with his fist on his knee, that abrupt switch will break them... That's the key..."

(Think of the possibilities... Not only would people arrested for terrorist acts tell the government everything, they'd leave happier, more well-adjusted people than before!)

A Fool and His Money
("Never cease to be amazed" Jones)

From the Truth-Is-Stranger-Than-Fiction Dept.

Nou Chang, a 52-year-old Minneapolis grocery-store owner, was approached by a young man who claimed to have a potion that turned white paper into U.S. currency. Franklin Forlemu allegedly came to Chang's store, placed slips of blank white paper between some $20 bills, then slipped on a breathing mask and poured his special potion over the money. It appeared to the grocer that the plain paper had turned into $20 bills.

Forlemu offered to help Chang change more money, and the grocer provided him with $70,000 in $100 bills. According to a report in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, "He watched Forlemu put the blank slips between them and pour the solution on the stack, then wrap the wad in tinfoil and pour on more. Forlemu said the money and paper must be sealed for three hours before opening the windfall. But when Chang finally unwrapped the tinfoil stack, he found nothing but white paper."

Chang called police, who arrested Forlemu and found $76,000 in $100 bills hidden in the apartment. According to police, the "mystery potion" was water, and Forlemu used "sleight-of-hand to make it look like the paper slips turned into cash."

Bryan Lindberg, an Anoka County prosecutor for 20 years, said the scam "is the most creative one I have seen."

One more foolish action took place in connection with the scam: Formelu, an illegal immigrant from Africa, was released on personal recognizance.

How to know if you ate too much at Thanksgiving
("yum Yum" Jones)

From the Just-Wanted-To-Share Dept.

Doctor tells you your weight would be perfect for a man 17 feet tall.
You are responsible for a slight but measurable shift in the earth's axis.
Paramedics bring in the Jaws of Life to pry you out of the EZ-Boy.
The potatoes you used set off another famine in Ireland.
You receive a Sumo Wrestler application in your e-mail.
You set off 3 earthquake seismographs on your morning jog Friday.
Pricking your finger for cholesterol screening only yielded gravy.
That rash on your stomach turns out to be steering wheel burn.
Your wife wears a life jacket at night in your waterbed.
Representatives from the Butterball Hall of Fame called twice.
Your arms are too short to reach the keyboard and delete this.

If It Glows, It Goes...
(Luminous Jones)

From the Truth-Is-Stranger-Than-Fiction Dept.

It all started with a caller to a radio talk show in Sydney, Australia... The pork chops in his freezer were glowing! And then others noticed the same thing! Were the pork chops radioactive? Nope... According to George Davey of the New South Wales Food Authority, while people would naturally be "shocked" to see their meat glowing, the effect is actually caused by the harmless pseudomonas fluorescens bacteria... He said the bacteria is normally present on meat and seafood at low levels but proper cooking kills it... "It is important to remember that the microorganism responsible for the glow is not known to cause food poisoning," he said, adding that bacteria does grow quickly if food is not stored at the correct temperature or is beginning to spoil... His advice? "Simply discard any food that glows..."

I Pity The Fool Who Doesn't Make This Next Turn!!!
(Mr. T Jones)

From the Geek-News Dept.

Seems like everyone has one of those GPS navigation systems these days... And they all have that Plain Jane "Turn Left" (before you fall asleep) voice to give you directions... Well, Mr. T doesn't approve! In fact, Mr. T is just one of several celebrities working with Navtones producer Wanderlust Media to make dirrections more exciting! "Pay attention to what Iím saying," he'll say, "Mr. T gonna get you there in one piece Ö you gonna be there safely, or else!"

"The idea behind this came when we heard anecdotally that a lot of people were frustrated with the voices on their navigation systems and talked back to them," Wanderlust CEO Will Andre said... "That led to some research and we found that a lot of users referred to their navigation systems by a specific name, like Jane, so we decided to capitalize on that relationship..." They've already got Mr. T, Burt Reynolds, Dennis Hopper, John Cleese, and more! Each one will be available for download to navigation devices for about $10 beginning later this year... Plus, there will be character-themed voices (like a surfer dude, or a cowboy) available for only $5! The plan, Andre says, is to make personalized GPS systems as popular as custom ringtones for cell phones...

(I just hope they don't come out with the "Annoying Back Seat Driver" Navtone!)

Your Mom Was Right! Now Go Get A Coat...
(Maternal Wisdom Jones)

From the Interesting-News-Stories Dept.

Moms since the dawn of time have been telling their kids to dress warm in Winter or they'll catch a cold... Turns out they were right! Scientists at the Common Cold Centre in Cardiff, Wales, have found that getting your feet cold and wet can triple the risk of developing cold symptoms such as sore throat, sneezing and coughing. In fact, a third of all participants in the study developed colds within 5 days of getting their feet dunked in cold water! "Mothers can now be confident in their advice to children to wrap up well in winter," Professor Ron Eccles said... "We have reports going back hundreds of years where people knew if they got soaking wet they were more likely to develop a cold, so it passed into folklore for good reason..."

(So listen to your Mom this winter!)

Remember To Chew Gum Three Times A Day...
(Toothy Jones)

From the Interesting-News-Stories Dept.

Remember being told by your dentist (and your Mom) that you need to brush your teeth three times a day? Do you still do it? If you think it's tough for you, think about soldiers in a combat zone or on duty where taking the time to find your brush, toothpaste, and the time the use them is no small feat... Which is why the U.S. Army is working on something new: Combat gum!

Combat gum would contain a special bacteria-fighting agent to prevent plaque, cavities and gum disease... Basically, it would replace the need to brush... Plus, since the Army already issues gum to soldiers in their field rations, it's a natural fit...

Dr. Patrick DeLuca of the University of Kentucky is already working with the prototype, trying to make it taste better and ensure that it retains its flavor and bacteria-fighting ability for 30 minutes to an hour... The Army has already started talking to companies like Wrigley to help manufacture and distribute it...

Cooking With Less Cleanup...
(Culinary Jones)

From the Just-Wanted-To-Share Dept.

I am writing this instead of doing the dishes... I hate doing the dishes... I don't like washing and I don't like drying... Which makes cooking decent meals (not from a single box) for the whole family somewhat problematic as the "cook a good meal" side of me wars agains the "I don't want to wash all of this" side...

Which is where one pot meals come in handy... We're not talking crock pots here (although those are also good) or restricting dinner to soup - we're talking one single pot used to cook the entire dinner! And the food isn't lacking for the lack of crockery! Plus, there are lots of resources available:

  • not only has a quick primer on how to cook one pot meals in general, it also has recipes for Rice Verde, Skillet Sausage Paella, Herbed Cod, Summer Vegetable Medley, Skillet Taco Supremo, and more!
  • Waitrose Food Illustrated has further pointers on making your own dishes and recipes for Chicken with Tarragon, Roasted Tomato and Butternut Squash Risotto, Rich Beef Stew with Parsley Dumplings, and more!
  • has a mix-and-match approach for creating meals including Rice Ní Chicken, Turkey Vulture Casserole, Halfa Super, and more!
  • has an archive from Men's Fitness magazine including quick and easy recipes for Santa Fe Chiken with Black Beans and Rice. Turkey Chili, Shrimp-and-Couscous Curry, and Madarin Chicken!
  • Recipezaar has lots of recipes (as this search shows) such as Shrimp Alfredo, Overnight One-Pot Cheesecake, Clam Bake, Moroccan Lamb, Southwestern Chicken Casserole, and more!

Some Votes Are More Interesting Than Others...
(Civil Servant Jones)

From the Truth-Is-Stranger-Than-Fiction Dept.

What do you do if someone runs for office and is unopposed? Do you still vote for them? Not vote at all? No way! You vote for a write-in candidate! And that is where things get interesting... Take, for example, the election results in Guilford County, North Carolina: (Read More)

Four Lives Down, Five More To Go!
(Feline Jones)

From the Truth-Is-Stranger-Than-Fiction Dept.

There is one gray, long-hair calico cat in Wenatchee, Washington, that is really glad to have 9 lives... Witnesses say it leaped or fell out of a moving pickup truck that was driving across a bridge over the Columbia River... Then it ran through busy traffic to get to the middle of the bridge... When Humane Society officials attempted to catch it it leaped over a railing and fell 70 feet (21.3 meters) into the river... Finally, it managed to swim 600 feet (183 meters) through the cold water to make it to shore!

Officials at the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society say the cat "ate ravenously" after its ordeal...

(Worse still, the cat has no collar... So after all that it is still stuck in the kennel because no one knows who the owner is!)

Now That's A Garage Sale!
(Thrifty (Or Not) Jones)

From the Interesting-News-Stories Dept.

Most people go to garage sales looking to spend a dollar or two and get a good deal on something... Every once and a while, though, there are garage sales that are a bit different... Take the one currently going on in Chelsea's Egerton Terrace (London, England)... What's for sale? The garage! And the price isn't cheap: the 20ft by 9ft garage is going for £300,000 (about $521,000 dollars)! "Freehold garages are rare," Patrick Aschan, of Cluttons estate agency said... "Parking can be tricky and if you have a nice toy then some people inevitably want to put it in a garage."

(That's got to be some toy if the toy box costs that much!)

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