Archive | October, 2013

Sriracha Sauce Causes Stink in California Town… And Other News

Sriracha Sauce

Spicy Sriracha fumes cause terrible side effects? That’s what residents of Irwindale, California say.

The community of Irwindale sued Huy Fong Foods, the makers of Sriracha hot sauce, on Monday, claiming the spicy scent of ground peppers is a public nuisance in violation of the municipal code. While many people have been fouling the air for years with the help of Sriracha laced food, Irwindale residents have had it with the factory, complaining of burning eyes and throats. Huy Fong officials don’t understand what the fuss is about. David Tran, chief executive and founder, says the Sriracha sauce chilies are pungent for a reason — it makes for a better sauce: “If it doesn’t smell, we can’t sell!” LA Times

SpicesIf you’re thinking of spicing up your meals with ordinary spices in lieu of the potential Sriracha hot sauce shortage, think again. In a comprehensive report on the safety of spice imports, the FDA reported that twelve percent of spices imported to the U.S. are tainted with insects, rodent hairs, salmonella, and “other things.” The FDA findings spices from Mexico and India were especially likely to be contaminated with insect parts and salmonella. Insects enjoy hanging out at warehouses so contamination is most likely a processing and storage problem – not as a result from poor harvesting practices. Who wants Indian food for dinner? New York Times

flying-cat-baseballAfter a 95 year “at home” losing streak, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. Even though its their third championship win in a decade, it was the first time in almost a century that they won it at Fenway in front of their own fans. The last time they won the Series at Fenway was soooo long ago that their pitcher was Babe Ruth. Anyways, the Red Sox crushed the St. Louis Cardinals with a 6-1 score and everyone had a great time drinking beer and eating peanuts blah blah blah sports. USA Today

smoking_kids_35New York has voted to raise the minimum age for buying cigarettes from 18 to 21. Wait, could 18 year-olds even afford cigarettes in New York City? Maybe the rich kid ones. The federal minimum age for smoking in the US is 18 but a few states have raised the limit to 19 and a couple towns have pushed it up to 21. But New York is by far the most populous city to impose such a limit – and not just because it’s the most populous city in the States. In fact, New York hates smoking so much that the new age limit even includes electronic cigarettes. New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who obviously supported the bill, has 30 days to sign it into law – which he will FOR SURE do. After that, it’ll take about 180 days to come into effect. BBC News

Chem WeaponsTo make up for failing to visit all the chemical weapons sites in time for the first deadline, the weapons inspectors have allegedly destroyed all of Syria’s declared chemical weapons production and mixing facilities. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said it had inspected 21 out of 23 chemical weapons sites across the country. The two missing sites were apparently in dangerous war zones but their chemical equipment have already been moved to other sites which experts had visited. Sounds sketchy… So now Syria can’t make any more, but the international chemical weapons watchdog still must see to it that existing stockpiles are destroyed. Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashir al-Assad continues to deny that his government was behind any chemical attacks. CBC News

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The Apple Doesn’t Fall Too Far From The Cruz Family Tree

Rafael and Ted Cruz

It should really come as no surprise, but Rafael Cuz, the father of Senator and Anti-Obamacare Crusader Ted Cruz, is a little nuts.

Since his son’s rise to political fame, the Cuban-born evangelical minister Rafael Cruz, has been out and about promoting his son as a “political savior” and spewing other words of wisdom.

During his son’s Senate campaign last year, Rafael Cruz told a tea party group he thinks President Barack Obama is an “outright Marxist” who “seeks to destroy all concept of God.” He then urged the audience to send him “back to Kenya.” Interesting choice of words coming from an actual Cuban immigrant who actually fought for Communist Fidel Castro in the Cuban Revolution and has a Canadian-born son

In other clips found of the elder Cruz, he can be seen declaring America a “Christian Nation” and blasting Obama for being on the side of the Muslims.

Now, everyone gets embarrassed by the crap that their parents say every now and then – but not Ted Cruz. He considers his father a political asset and often cites the Cuban-born Rafael Cruz as an example of the American dream (the LEGAL American dream) when discussing immigration. And Ted Cruz doesn’t just use his father’s story for political gain – he also campaigns with him and lets him speak to tea party and Republican groups in Texas as his replacement.

Rafael Cruz has now because a Tea Party idol in his own right – and his craziness, extreme conservatism, and Christian fundamentalism show no signs of stopping. Just a few weeks ago he told a gathering of Republicans in Colorado that Obamacare mandates “suicide counseling” for the elderly, and that gay marriage is a plot to make “government your god.”

This explains a lot about Ted Cruz… I don’t think the apple even left the tree.

Via: Huffington Post

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Just Bought a Dell Lattitude 6430u? Urine For A Surprise!

Dell Cat Pee

Dude, you’re getting a Smell! Dell computers have agreed to issue replacement vouchers to the thousands of customers who complained about their laptops reeking like cat urine.

The “cat pee” issue was brought to light after owners of the new Latitude E6430u laptops complained on Dell forums about the strong smell coming from their computer.

“A few weeks ago I got a new Lattitude 6430u for work,” one user called Three West complained on Dell’s hardware support forum. “The machine is great, but it smells as if it was assembled near a tomcat’s litter box. It is truly awful!”

Another customer, Hoteca, said: “I thought for sure one of my cats sprayed it, but there was something faulty with it so I had it replaced. The next one had the same exact issue. It’s embarrassing taking it to clients because it smells so bad.”

Users complained that the smell was coming mainly from the keyboard and some initially blamed their cats for the odour. Dell support technicians said they were crazy and it MUST be their cats. The techies suggested that they clean their laptop air vents with compressed air  – but, alas, cat pee still filled the air.

Finally Dell acknowledged their mistake and blamed the smell on “a manufacturing process that has now been changed.”

“The smell is not related to cat urine or any other type of biological contaminant, nor is it a health hazard,” Dell support technician SteveB said.

Dell insists the manufacturing issue has been resolved and all new laptops should be cat urine free.

But one user still isn’t convinced:

“I just received my 5th replacement 6430u yesterday and the smell is still there.”

Maybe in his case, his cat actually did pee on the laptop…

Via: BBC News

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Health Care Website

Health Care Website

As the increasingly negative media coverage regarding the health care website rages on, President Barack Obama vows to “take full responsibility for making sure it gets fixed ASAP.”

The federal website where consumers can shop for health insurance plans has been plagued with glitches since its rollout on October 1. While at first Democrats assumed the server was crashing because so many people were hungry to sign up for health care, they soon realized there were bigger issues at hand.

Obama, whose approval ratings just hit a record low of 42 percent, blasted the health care website saying he is “not happy” with the problems users have been experiencing.

“There’s no denying it. Right now, the website is too slow, too many people have gotten stuck. And I am not happy about it…There’s no excuse for it,” Obama said during a speech on Wednesday.

Maybe he would have been happier if they had done a few more test runs on the health care website before they launched it. Turns out the website was made public despite some still apparent glitches. The system failed repeatedly during test rounds only days before it officially launched.

The Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, has admitted Healthcare.gov had “serious problems” and she said she is “as frustrated and angry as anyone” with the flawed rollout. While testifying before a House committee she also apologized to consumers for the technical issues on HealthCare.gov.

Hold me accountable for the debacle,” she told House of Representatives. “I’m responsible.”

“You deserve better. I apologise. I’m accountable to you for fixing these problems.” Sebelius continued, addressing the American public.

Wait, I thought Obama just said he was fully responsible? The Republicans need a clear figure to blame – so figure it out! Or just fix the damn website.

Via: NBC News

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9/11 Is A Sound Bite That Resonates With The NSA… And Other News

9/11 defense NSA

If there’s one thing Americans can thank the terrorists who crashed into the Twin Towers for, it’s the use of the word 9/11.

9/11 is the best defense ever! Why did you invade Iraq? 9/11. Why did you pass the Patriot Act? 9/11. Why are you torturing those prisoners? 9/11. Why is defense spending 250% of our GDP? 9/11. Why did Dick Cheney shoot an old man in the face? 9/11. And now it’s being used as a defense for NSA surveillance. According to a memo obtained by Al Jazeera America, the NSA instructed its officials to shout “9/11!!!” whenever they had to justify their love of spying. Under the subheading “Sound Bites That Resonate,” the memo suggests using the following phrase to justify their eavesdropping: “I much prefer to be here today explaining these programs, than explaining another 9/11 event that we were not able to prevent.” Pretty good – but they can probably simplify it a bit by saying “9/11.” Al Jazeera

Square CrashThe Tiananmen Square car crash has been ruled a “premeditated, violent, terrorist attack”. Five people were arrested following an investigation into Tuesday’s attack in which an SUV drove into a crowd near the entrance of the Forbidden City. The car burst into flames and five people were killed – but three were suicide terrorists so that’s okay. The driver of the car, an ethnic Uighur named Usman Hasan, was accompanied by his wife and mother-in-law. Wait a minute… this doesn’t sound like a terrorist attack… this sounds like a convenient way to get rid of your mother-in-law. But police believe the attack was carefully planned and they found knives, iron rods, gasoline and a flag imprinted with religious slogans inside the burnt SUV. Ok, now it sounds more like a terrorist attack. CBC News

Evil ClownThis post brought to you by your worst nightmare: a child-abusing clown. A Milwaukee man, dressed as a clown, drunkenly held a child over a railroad overpass. After returning home from a Halloween party at 1a.m., Antonio Brown, asked his girlfriend’s two children, aged 13 and 8, to go on a walk with him. Lesson #1: never accept an invite from a drunken clown. Then Brown the Clown forced them to drink and dragged them into the woods. When they tried to escape, Brown picked up the older child and hung him by his feet over the railroad overpass while yelling, “If you do that again, I’m going to drop you.” Lesson #2: never try to escape from a drunken clown. Luckily a passerby saw the children crying, called the cops, and Brown was arrested and charged with two counts of physical abuse of a child and two counts of second-degree recklessly endangering safety. Gawker

WIneThis can’t be good… According to a report from Morgan Stanley Research, the world faces a global wine shortage. Consumer demand is already exceeding supply by 300 million cases a year. There are 1 million wine producers globally, making 2.8 billion cases each year – but that’s not enough. We need more wine! And who’s to blame for the global wine shortage? The Chinese! Wine is becoming increasingly more popular in China as their economy continues to grow. So next time you’re out binge drinking and you can’t seem to find enough wine, punch an Asian. And a European too, because apparently Europe’s wine production dropped 10% in 2012. CNN

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Rand Paul Plagiarizes From Wikipedia

Rand Paul Wikipedia

Rand Paul has been accused of plagiarizing parts of the speech he gave Monday at Liberty University in Virginia from Wikipedia.

MSNBC television show host Rachel Maddow broke the story, claiming Rand Paul stole four lines from a Wikipedia entry about the movie “Gattaca.”

“When you are running for president, a plagiarism scandal is not what you want on your resume, especially not something as embarrassing as plagiarizing Wikipedia, but that is what Rand Paul has on his hands now,” Maddow said.

First, why was Rand Paul talking about a sci-fi movie? Well, he was using it as a cautionary tale, warning the audience that America could devolve into a society where genetic discrimination blah blah blah something anti-abortion.

Now, some of you Rand Paul lovers out there (Ron Paul?) are probably thinking, Rand Paul didn’t plagiarize from Wikipedia, he probably just wrote the Wikipedia entry himself after his speech went over so well! FALSE. The revision history of the Gattaca Wikipedia page revealed that no changes were made after Paul’s speech.

Also, this isn’t the first time Rand Paul/Rand Paul’s disgraced speechwriter has used movie exerts from Wikipedia to make a point. In a June speech to a bunch of Hispanic business leaders, he gave an almost word-for-word recitation of the Wikipedia entry for the movie “Stand and Deliver,” a film about an inner city math teacher.

Rand Paul’s office has refused to talk to anyone about the Wikipedia accusations… probably because they no longer have a speechwriter to fake a decent apology.

Via: Politico

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Trick or Treat? Step On The Scale First.

Trick or Treat Halloween

A North Dakota (or possibly Minnesota) woman is handing out delicious Halloween treats to children this year. Unless you’re a fat kid – then you get a trick in the form of a condescending letter.

The woman, known as Cheryl, has taken childhood obesity into her own hands, deciding to give a letter instead of candy to Halloween trick or treaters that she feels are “moderately obese.”

Cheryl called in to radio station WRIG and explained her plan.

“I just want to send a message to the parents of kids that are really overweight… I think it’s just really irresponsible of parents to send them out looking for free candy just ’cause all the other kids are doing it,” the woman said.

So instead of handing out healthy snacks to everyone, Cheryl is going for the judgmental letter that singles out the moderate to extreme fatties.

The letter reads:

“You [sic] child is, in my opinion, moderately obese and should not be consuming sugar and treats to the extent of some children this Halloween season. My hope is that you will step up and parent and ration candy this Halloween and not allow your child to continue these unhealthy eating habits.”

West Fargo

Well, at least the festive jack-o-lantern softens the “your kid is a fatass” blow. Thanks clip-art!

As for Cheryl, this Halloween she can expect to receive a lot of toilet paper and perhaps some flaming bags of dog poop.

Via: Raw Story 

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Russia Does Spying the Right Way – with Goodie Bags!

Russia Spying Goodie Bags

While the U.S scrambles to defend their love of eavesdropping in the wake of recent allegations involving spying on foreign leaders, Russia has found itself in the middle of its own spying scandal – involving goodie bags.

Russia has been accused of spying on G20 leaders using a clever goodie bag ruse. According to the allegations made by two Italian newspapers, devious Russian agents placed USB pen drives and phone chargers in goodie bags at the G-20 that would copy and send sensitive information.

The devices found in the goodie bags were given to foreign delegates, including heads of state, at the summit near St Petersburg. Apparently the USB sticks contained a Trojan horse programme designed to obtain information and the cell phone chargers were also capable of secretly tapping into emails, text messages and telephone calls.

Suspicions were first raised about the Russian spying trickery by Herman Van Rompuy, the President of the European Council. He ordered the “poisoned gifts” from Putin to be analyzed by intelligence experts in Brussels, as well as Germany’s secret service. European Commission spokesman Frederic Vincent said that so far the “analysis of hardware and software have not amounted to any serious security concerns” but the investigation is not yet complete.

Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, vehemently denied the allegations, dismissing the Italian stories as nothing more than a poorly disguised effort to divert attention from the whole NSA fiasco.

“This is undoubtedly nothing but an attempt to shift the focus from issues that truly exist in relations between European capitals and Washington to unsubstantiated, non-existent issues,” he was quoted as saying by RIA news agency.

To sum up: everyone is spying on you, ALL OF THE TIME.

Via: The Telegraph

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Prisoners for Settlements

Current Event Cat - Prisoners Settlements

Israel released 26 Palestinian prisoners convicted of killing Israelis – but also announced plans to build 1,500 new housing settlements on land in East Jerusalem that had been marked by Palestine for a future state. So… they’re even?

An Israeli prison spokesperson announced on Tuesday that Israel has released 26 Palestinian prisoners, as part of a deal that spurred the current Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The release was the second part of an expected four rounds. A total of 104 prisoners (or terrorists, as the Israeli public calls them) are expected to be released as part of the deal.

The reaction in Palestine: Joy! Celebrations erupted in the Palestinian territories as the prisoners (or heroes who fought for independence, as the Palestinian public calls them) were freed.

The reaction in Israel: Anger! The decision to release the prisoners triggered a lot of rage in Israel, where many view the prisoners as terrorists who have committed horrible crimes against Israelis.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in a bit of a pickle. On the one hand, he had to release the prisoners as part of that stupid US-brokered peace deal John Kerry badgered him into. But on the other hand, everyone was pretty pissed at him for freeing the convicted killers – especially his right-wing coalition members.

So in a bid to appease the haters, Netanyahu announced on Wednesday plans to build hundreds of new settlement homes on land that the Palestinians want for a future state.

Naturally, the Palestinian Authority reacted angrily to Wednesday’s announcement, calling the move “destructive to peace efforts”.

To sum up: there are problems in the region that not even John Kerry can fix.

Via: BBC News

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Uber Delivers Kittens for National Cat Day… And Other News

Uber Kittens

I’ll take one taxi full of kittens! The car service Uber is delivering kittens to customers in celebration of National Cat Day.

Uber teamed up with Cheezburger to allow users to order some much needed kittens snuggles. Customers who live in San Francisco, New York, or Seattle can order 15 minutes worth of kitten snuggletime for the low cost of $20! Uber Kittens 2All proceeds go towards a local animal shelter and kitten-lovers can even adopt the fluff balls upon delivery. The only problem with this GENIUS IDEA (other than I didn’t think of it first) is that users should expect a delay – especially in New York City. Due to the popularity of Uber kittens, the Big Apple is experience a major shortage of cats. Uber Blog

HangersDemand for metal coat hangers in Texas rose dramatically after the attorney general requested an emergency ruling be granted by a federal appeals court judge that would allow the state to enforce a law that could shut down a dozen abortion clinics in Texas. Governor Rick Perry signed the anti-abortion law back in July, after an successful 11-hour filibuster by Senator Wendy Davis. But on Monday, one day before the law was to take effect, a federal judge deemed key parts of the law, which requires abortion-performing doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within a 30-mile range of the clinics they use, unconstitutional. In response to the judge’s ruling, Perry vowed he and others will keep fighting – to the death! Hence the emergency appeal to keep the restrictions on schedule… Huffington Post

Jim WheelerThe voice of the people is all that matters – even if it means reinstating slavery! A Republican Nevada state assemblyman said he would vote to bring back slavery of that’s what his constituents wanted. “If that’s what the constituency wants that elected me, that’s what they elected me for,” Jim Wheeler said. “That’s what a republic is about.” Unless they want affordable healthcare – that’s whole other story. Raw Story

Libya TruckWhy rob a bank when you can rob a truck? It has a getaway car included! A group of 10 heavily armed men intercepted a truck in Libya, containing a money shipment from the Central Bank of Libya worth $43 million. The truck was guarded by only one security vehicle so the masked gunmen didn’t have too much trouble stealing the loot. Security forces are now searching for the culprits and cursing their cash-only society. CNN

Hostages in NigerFree at last! Four French hostages  kidnapped by al Qaeda’s north African arm three years ago in Niger have been set free. Pierre Legrand, Daniel Larribe, Thierry Dol and Marc Feret were all taken in raids targeting two French firms operating a uranium mine near Arlit, northern Niger. As for their condition, that’s yet to be determined. “We can’t say that they’re in great health but their health is fine,” said a source close President Hollande. France is denying that they paid a ransom to release the hostages. “We don’t play that game,” Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said. So al Qaeda just decided three years was enough, time to go? Al Jazeera

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