Whistling Down Crime

New York City used to be a cesspool. 42nd Street was once littered with needles and Columbians hookers. It has since cleaned up its act. But still there are random acts of violence in the Big Apple. Good thing we have whistles:

Older people in neighborhoods just south of Bronx Park say they hear gunfire outside their windows nearly every night. They are targets for muggers and scammers as well.

Robberies are up 41% in the 48th Precinct, which encompasses West Farms and other neighborhoods in Community board 6. There were 89 robberies as of Apr. 15 of last year, and there have been 126 robberies for the same period this year, according to NYPD statistics.

Last week about 60 senior citizens, some with canes and walkers, packed a meeting room at Casella Plaza senior housing in West Farms to learn ways to protect themselves.

CB 6 organized the Whistle Blower Safety Initiative, and armed the seniors with whistles.“If you feel someone is going to bring you harm, this is an alert device,” CB 6 District Manager Ivine Galarza said, “ You can just whistle and, definitely, the person will run.”

You can just whistle and, definitely, the person will run?
I have a bad feeling about this.

The Titanic II, Electric Boogaloo

I love boats, ships, trawlers- being in the Navy and all. But one of Australia’s richest men, Clive Palmer’s idea of bringing back the Titanic sounds a bit loony:

One of Australia’s richest men, Clive Palmer, has unveiled plans for a 21st century version of the Titanic to be built in China, with its first voyage from England to New York set for 2016.

Australia’s Clive Palmer

Palmer, a self-made mining billionaire, said he has commissioned state-owned Chinese company CSC Jinling Shipyard to construct Titanic II with exactly the same dimensions as its predecessor.

“It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic but of course it will have state-of-the-art 21st century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems,” Palmer said in a statement, released on Monday.

Titanic II? Ah, sometimes you gotta let sleeping dogs lie. Or would that be sleeping logs?

Barbie and the Street-Fighter

Two women are featured on Yahoo right now, although for totally different reasons.  A Ukrainian girl, Valeria Lukyanova, is getting heat because she looks like a human Barbie and a former Miss New Hampshire USA, Nicole Houde, beat the dog-piss out of her boyfriend. Let’s start with the dolly first:

Valeria Lukyanova, Barbie

A recent article about 21-year-old Ukrainian model Valeria Lukyanova has caused an uproar across the Internet, as people debate whether or not the “real life Barbie” achieved her appearance through cosmetic surgery.

It has also stoked a larger debate over whether or not excessive pressure is placed on young women by the media and popular culture to fit within a certain cosmetic mold.

Lukyanova’s Tumblr account features some pictures of the model without cosmetics, but in most of the photos she appears to be wearing a lot of makeup.

Roger all. The young lady may or may not have had surgery to look like a doll. Next up, a former teen queen, drama scream, who got the low-down uppercut on her boyfriend:

Miss New Hampshire Nicole Houde

Police say a former Miss New Hampshire USA faces a simple assault charge stemming from a confrontation with her boyfriend.

Police say Sunday that 26-year-old Nicole Houde was arrested Wednesday. Authorities say the Manchester beauty queen punched, kicked, scratched and bit 33-year-old Scott Nickerson, also of Manchester.

One thing you can say about those New Hampshire women, don’t take ‘em for granite.

San Diego Electrical Shortages

It should be a heck of an interesting summer. The US Navy has agreed to reduce its electrical use if San Diego gets hit with power shortages:

The Navy is nearing a first-time agreement to reduce electricity use at its sprawling San Diego-area bases, if power runs short in Southern California this summer.

The Navy is San Diego Gas & Electric’s largest customer, and the deal is intended to diminish the threat of blackouts while the San Onofre nuclear plant remains offline.

Under the agreement, the Navy would temporarily reduce its energy consumption if supplies get scarce, in exchange for savings on rates.

For all you movie fans: Yes, San Onofre is featured in the Leslie Nielsen Movie, Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! You, of course, remember which scene. . .

The Super Shorty Shotgun

When is your next birthday? How would-ja like a little popgun for a gift? Tell everyone you want a Super Shorty Shotgun this time around:

The Super Shorty Shotgun is based on a Mossberg Maverick 12-gauge, and, at an additional cost, is also available in models Mossberg 500, Remington 870, and Lil’ Kim. Factory-fabricated with a pistol grip, the Super Shorty is a member of the AOW category and, thusly, comes with an attached Federal Transfer tax of a mere Abe Lincoln (he’s the one on the fiver, the one who hunted vampers, right?

The Super Shorty Shotgun is based on a Mossberg Maverick

Secret Service to Hire All Air Force Retired Chiefs

Air Force Glow Belt

If you have ever been stationed at an Air Force base and have worked around some of their senior enlisted folks, you may/will find this funny:

******, you finally have a job!
The Secret Service is in need of hundreds of chaperones and who better than retired Chiefs of the Reflective Belt Police?

To all who do not get the joke, reflective belts are mandatory on Air Force bases (in the Middle East.) And woe to be those who don’t wear one.

The Reflective Belt Police: chortle, snort. . .

What Not to Do in Chicago

Third Line, Zachary McKee

Working in the Navy, I’ve seen Sailors (and myself) do some dumb things off the job. Still, whatever shenanigans we pull will always pale in comparison to this guy:

CHICAGO, Ill. — A man died after climbing onto an elevated train track to urinate and was electrocuted by the third rail.
The Cook County medical examiner ruled 27-year-old Zachary McKee died of accidental electrocution.

The Indiana man was at the Purple Line station in Evanston when the accident happened.

I usually avoid these kind of Darwin Award postings, but this one got me. Cook County, per capita, is one of the smartest counties in the country*. But every now and then, a person of average intelligence slips through.

* There is no way that anyone would ever fall for that, not if you know anything about Cook County. But I’ll leave it in. Absurdity has a joy (and a wince) all its own.

Update: Ah, this story is more complicated than I originally thought. When I first read it, I imagined the victim was some stoned bum with no job. But it turns out Zach was a Marine, with tours to Iraq and the ‘Stan under his belt:

Zachary McKee

Born and raised in Ossian, about 20 miles south of Fort Wayne, Zachary McKee studied for two years at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne before joining the U.S. Marine Corps, according to his father, Mark McKee.

He served four years in the Marines, including tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, his family said.

Upon his return from the military, McKee re-enrolled at IUPW, where he studied political science. He was set to graduate in May, start work at the Indiana statehouse and eventually attend law school in the fall, his father said.

“For the first time in his life he finally let his hair down for a few days, and he died from it,” his father said, fighting back tears as he spoke on the phone from the family’s home in Ossian.

Semper Fi, Shipmate. God bless you and your family.

Cal Bear Bryan Anger Gets Drafted

Cal Bear, punter Bryan Anger, now of the Jacksonville Jaguars

Okay, work with me on this one. Our Cal Bears have a star in the big house. Bryan Anger, the punter extraordinaire got drafted at number 70.

And it is a joke to some:

Bryan Anger became the first punter in 17 years to be taken in the first 75 picks of the NFL draft when he was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday night.

The Cal punter was taken at No. 70. It was the highest a punter has gone since 1995 when the Chicago Bears took Todd Sauerbrun with the 54th pick.

Jacksonville became an instant laughingstock for going with a punter in the third round.

Get ready Jacksonville for one angry punter. He’s got a lot to prove.

Cyclist Hit-and-Run in Berkeley

I have never seen or heard of this piece of gear, but when I worked as a bike messenger, I really could have used it. A YouTuber named brunogfmtube (first name Bruno) filmed his own hit-and-run with a camera mounted on his handlebars:

The hit-and-run occurred around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday on Tunnel Road in Berkeley, where the bicyclists were traveling east and were struck by a car traveling in the same direction, according to police.

One of the cyclists had a camera mounted on his handlebars. The video, posted on YouTube by brunogfmtube, shows a black car veer into both bicyclists at about the 2:40 mark.

According to CBS Station KPIX, Police Capt. Andrew Greenwood said the driver of the black vehicle did not stop afterward, as is required by law, so police treated it as a hit-and-run.

Bike accident screen-shot from brunogfmtube. Michael Medaglia to the left.

The riders, both of whom were wearing helmets, had abrasions from hitting the road but did not require hospitalization, according to Greenwood.

After the incident Wednesday, the suspect, Michael Medaglia, reported to the Oakland Police Department that his car had been stolen. A police alert was placed on the car.

What is crazy- I know that road in Berkeley. I’ve driven on it before, though in a car.

Lizard Burgers

Saturday night and it is time for dinner. Let’s see, padding over to the fridge. Hmm, hamburger meat, salad, sugar snap peas, lizard. Wait, lizard?

SAN DIEGO — A Las Vegas man who was caught trying to smuggle lizard meat into the United States from Mexicohas been sentenced to 24 months in federal prison.

Eliodoro Soria Fonseca, 38, admitted in his guilty plea that he intentionally concealed the iguana meat, which he knew he should declare to United States authorities.

Fonseca admitted in his plea that he imported the iguana meat so it could be served as food to humans.

Excellent, lizard meat. I can’t wait. Heading over to my cookbooks. A pinch of salt. . .