Archive for ‘News Bites’

July 15th, 2011

Help Me, I’m Melting!

by Venomous Kate

Hot enough for you? Let’s get something straight up front: unless you live in one of the pink areas on this photo — as I do — I do not want to hear you whine about how hot it is. You don’t know heat. You might be sweating, your A/C might be running frequently, and maybe you have to water your plants more than once a day. But you aren’t hot. Your pits might be sweaty, your hair might have wilted, and your forehead may feel like an oil slick, but it’s just your mind playing tricks on you; if you aren’t in the pink zone, it’s NOT hot where you are.

It is, here. So hot that our A/C is constantly running, and I’m wondering what possessions we’ll have to sell to afford this month’s electric bill. So hot that I’ve learned how to drive with two fingers, having made the mistake of firmly grasping the steering wheel while pulling out of the grocery store’s parking lot, only to suffer blisters on both palms. (Try explaining that when you’re female!) So hot that, while pulling beets in my garden today, I was mildly surprised that they weren’t fully cooked. Sweaty pits, wilting hair, a slick forehead? Check, check, and check. Also, I’m chafing in the most painful of places. And have I mentioned the swarms of mosquitoes due to our local flooding?

Yeah, I’m a bit grumpy these days, and I’ve been sparing you the blunt of that wrath. I haven’t been this grumpy since, oh, August 13, 2010 when I’d hardly slept the previous night thanks to these asshats staging a prisoner uprising at Ft. Leavenworth, which prompted all of the prison sirens in our town to go off all freaking night long. (Note to Washington, D.C.: Now, imagine the carnage that would’ve occurred in the prison had the inmates been the Gitmo detainees you’ve talked about transferring here.)

Meanwhile, here’s some random synaptic firings for you:

  • I wish I had a job so I could quit it like this!
  • “Batgina mobile”? Only a guy would think this would attract girls.
  • Yeah, the ol’ “Republicans want to cut your Medicare” tactic really is getting old.
  • No more paper Treasury Bonds? Imagine all of the grandparents who must now give their grandkids birthday presents they can actually use before they turn 18!
  • Dear L.A.: Your “carmageddon” only lasts one weekend. Stay home and STFU already, you pantywaists!
  • Penis mutilation (with or without garbage disposal) isn’t as uncommon as you’d think hope, and if this heat keeps up I predict they’ll just get more common.
  • (Wholly unrelated): A study claims that men want more cuddling, while women want more sex. I asked VH about this. His response: actually, we’re just saying that because we know it’ll turn into sex.

Last, but certainly not least (in my mind at any rate): as of today, there are only 33 more days until school starts!!!!!

August 19th, 2010

This Woman Makes Me Puke

by Venomous Kate

Some days I think I should just completely stop listening to the news. Some days, like today, it’s just too hard to breathe after hearing certain news stories, too hard to live with the burden of knowing about tragedies it would have been so easy to go without ever knowing about.

Tragedies like this story about a 6-year-old Down’s Syndrome boy found living in the attic of his home where his mother apparently dumped him and did her best to forget he was there.

Deputies said they were called to the 8200 block of Center Drive around 5 p.m. Wednesday by a relative to conduct a welfare check on the 6-year-old. Deputies said they checked the home and talked to the mother, Rachel L. Perez, who claimed the boy was not at home. After running her name through their database, deputies arrested Perez.

At 11 p.m. Wednesday, deputies went back to the home at the request of a relative and found the boy in the attic of the home. Deputies described the boy as very fragile and malnourished and said the boy was extremely thin. The boy’s skeletal structure could easily be seen due to his level of malnourishment.

The mother, of course, has been arrested. She’s going to be arraigned this afternoon. The little boy is at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. There’s no word, at this point, about whether he’ll be placed with relatives or will begin what’s certain to be a scary and sad journey through the foster care system. Did I mention the woman has two little girls and is currently pregnant with another? Those kids are victims now, too.

This story so upset me that I’ve been throwing up all morning.

There was a time when The Big-Eyed Boy was little and I would’ve given anything to give him a little brother, when the thought of twice as much noise, twice as much mess, twice as many hugs to enjoy was everything I wanted. It wasn’t in the cards for us, though, and I guess things turned out exactly as they should be.

But I sure hope there’s a woman with a big heart and a happy, bright, wide-open home waiting to love this little boy who’s been caged in an attic, who has only known “home” as a place of terror and fear. I hope they find each other, and that she gives him every hug he should’ve been receiving all these years… and then some.

And I hope his biological mother finds herself someday soon in a small, dark, miserably hot place where no one listens to her screams, just like she must’ve ignored her son’s. A prison cell. Hell. I don’t care. I just hope she suffers for a very, VERY long time.

August 9th, 2010

G-Strings Now Second String To Granny Panties

by Venomous Kate

According to the Daily Mail, we have Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks — she who put the va back into va-va-voom! — to thank for the return of the Granny Panty. Thus saith the Mail:

Up to twice the size of normal knickers, waist-nippers flatter the hourglass figure by trimming in a woman’s stomach and pushing out the hips and breasts.

As they say, a picture speaks a thousand words and thus we have Exhibit 1:

Now, as a woman of what we’re going to call “ample proportions” (because I said so), I am happy — nay, THRILLED — that Granny Panties are back in style. Why? Because it means, more likely than not, that high-waisted jeans (also known as Mom Jeans) are most likely to return next. And that, my friends, means an end to that whole skanky tramp stamp or thong show (for which we all have Monica Lewinsky to thank).

Most of all, it means an end to the muffin top though, sadly, not necessarily an end to the type of people who don’t mind them.

Now, don’t get me wrong: it’s not like I’ve been holding my breath waiting for this to happen. It’s not like I have a vacuum-sealed bag of Mom Jeans just waiting to be returned to good graces in my closet, or like I’ve got a drawerful (no pun intended) of Granny Panties I’ve been dying to wear. Though I do.

I just couldn’t pass up a chance to write a headline like that. Seriously, can you blame me? I crack me up.

February 12th, 2009

Crap I Saw Online

by Venomous Kate

Salma Hayek shares the wealth, proving breast really is best.

Aw, Koala love.

Vladimir Putin doesn’t want people to know how much he loves ABBA.

Yeah, a flesh-eating bug: that’s what’s wrong with Michael Jackson.

Are you wearing your e-condom yet?

These guys have some massive balls… er, nuts.

August 21st, 2008

Hallmark Now Offers Gay Marriage Cards

by Venomous Kate

While gay marriage remains illegal in most states, life just got easier for folks with gay friends who are planning to marry thanks to Hallmark Cards’ new line of greeting cards.

The language inside the cards is neutral, with no mention of wedding or marriage, making them also suitable for a commitment ceremony. Hallmark said the move is a response to consumer demand, not any political pressure.

“It’s our goal to be as relevant as possible to as many people as we can,” Hallmark spokeswoman Sarah Gronberg Kolell said.

Regardless of your opinion on gay marriage, with only two states legally recognizing such ceremonies it’s hard to see how Hallmark believes the new line will be relevant to many. So why can’t they just say they saw a need and decided to fill it?

Because, frankly, I’ve been wracking my mind trying to figure out just what to send Ellen deGeneres to congratulate her on her new trophy wife.

July 17th, 2008

The Death Of Print Journalism: A Suicide?

by Venomous Kate

Gannett Company, which publishes 85 newspapers throughout the country, is reporting a whopping 36% drop in second-quarter profit this year. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal is trimming their editorial staff by 50 while hiring 95 more reporters. The move was prompted by Rupert Murdoch’s realization that every story run in WSJ is handled by 8.3 people before it ever makes it into print, an inefficiency which certainly contributes to the cost of publication.

Even the Atlanta Journal Constitution‘s getting in on the belt-tightening act, cutting 200 employees and eliminating some of its targeted news sections.

With news dinosaurs Time, Newsweek and US News & World Report all suffering massive drops in advertising pages and circulation, the folks at Small Dead Animals are waiting for the asteroid that will put MSM out of its misery.

Naturally, the print media is blaming the economy for the decline of advertising dollars and subscriptions. Apparently they’re too busy looking for scapegoats to read their own back issues, because the death of print media has been predicted for quite some time. It’s ironic, then, that newspapers — which online enthusiasts blame for being continually one step behind — are just now becoming aware of their seemingly inevitable demise.

The thing is, it’s not for lack of people actually interested in reading the news. Even as print readership has fallen off, online news readership has blossomed, a trend which should have prompted print media to examine its weaknesses. Unfortunately — for traditionalists, at least — there’s little that print media can do to lure its readership back. The medium itself is passeĆ©.

I’ve always been a news junkie. As far back as I can remember, I’ve started my morning with the news. True, when I was 9-years-old and reading the morning paper over my bowl of Cap’n Crunch I was more interested in the comic section, but back then I’d occasionally read an entire story if the headline caught my attention. My morning news habit has not changed in the past 3 decades, and to this day I feel out of sorts if I don’t start my day catching up on world events.

When we were visiting the in-laws last week, I didn’t have internet access and actually found myself reading a dead-tree newspaper for the first time in several years. It was discomfiting to settle for poorly written stories that barely skimmed the surface of an issue while realizing that immediately educating myself further on a topic or reading a dissenting opinion wasn’t an option. More than once I found myself questioning statistics in a story about the election or the war but I couldn’t hop online to do some fact-checking of my own.

No wonder so many technophobes can’t discuss politics beyond sound bites and headlines, I found myself thinking. How can we ever consider our voting populace educated if they’re limited to merely accepting biased statements as “news”?

But therein lies the biggest limitation and turn-off for many readers: you either know and accept that a newspaper or news magazine has a political prejudice and will be running slanted stories that leave you in the dark or you assume you’ve got the full story when, in fact, you probably don’t. (And you know what they say about people who “assume” things.)

That’s the real change the internet’s brought to MSM: readers who are interested in the issues no longer have to depend upon a paper to decide for them “all the news that’s fit to print”.

Don’t understand the situation in Darfur, much less know where the place is? Hop online and read Wikipedia, then explore from there. Wonder why Conservatives think Obama’s secretly a Muslim when, after all, he attended a (possibly racist) church? Do some exploring and decide for yourself.

When you read the news online, additional information is just a mouse click away. When you read it in a newspaper or magazine you’re not just subscribing to their publication but to their political biases as well.

Having been through the whole Dan Rather/National Guard memo debacle in the last election, I know better than to trust the accuracy what I see in print. MSM’s political bias has, in my mind, become a given.

Judging by the drop in subscriptions and advertising revenue for print media, even people who don’t spend their entire days at the computer are starting to realize and reject this limitation, too.

So is this the beginning of the end for newspapers and news magazines in printed form? Quite possibly. But it might also signal a new beginning, too: that of the curious, self-educated reader. News organizations desiring to stay in business might want to take note and work with that. A good start: eliminating the annoying registration requirements and paid access to archives which simply send online readers looking for a more convenient source of news. An even better approach: stop fearing the blogosphere and start linking to it, instead.

Unless, of course, newspaper and magazine editors really are afraid readers will discover just how biased their stories are.

June 27th, 2008

Martian Asparagus: Coming to A Grocery Near You?

by Venomous Kate

The news from the Phoenix Mars Landing just keeps getting more amazing. First came the discovery that the red planet may once have featured lakes and rainfall.

Now it appears that Martian soil appears capable of supporting life.

“We basically have found what appears to be the requirements, the nutrients, to support life whether past present or future,” Sam Kounaves, the lead investigator for the wet chemistry laboratory on Phoenix, told journalists.

“It is the type of soil you would probably have in your back yard, you know, alkaline. You might be able to grow asparagus in it really well. … It is very exciting for us.”

I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised to learn one day that the first colonist on Mars will probably be those pot-growers about to be put out of business in Mendocino County.

May 30th, 2008

Sometimes A Picture Says It All

by Venomous Kate

Not surprisingly, I couldn’t stop laughing long enough to hear the story.