|The news: Is it ever really good?|
Obviously as a blog we sometimes feel a little insecure about the legitimacy issue. Not that on-line news is really the stepchild of print anymore, it is just that every once in a while we'll hear someone say something like "wouldn't it be nice if The Tattler also had a print edition?" Something that would take a lot of money, which I have to be honest with you, isn't a commodity this blog generates in any large amounts. Or at all. It certainly can't be because our ad rates are too high. They are only 1/6th of what the City paid for that "Buxton Consumer Demand" study. And look how that is paying off for the local businesses. Our downtown renaissance is the wonder of the San Gabriel Valley.
But I digress. Here is the news:
Phoenix-area residents squawking about backyard chicken coops (click here): Proponents call themselves an underground society of backyard chicken owners. Arizona authorities are squawking that they’re just a bunch of code breakers.
In recent months, hundreds of Phoenix-area chicken owners have faced nuisance and zoning violations after neighbors griped about odor and noise – clucking hens and crowing roosters. They say poultry poses a health risk and doesn't belong near homes, claims that chicken owners vehemently dispute.
The clandestine chicken owners are accused of defying city zoning laws. City of Chandler code-enforcement officers say the poultry owners are violating an ordinance prohibiting chickens in most residential areas.
“I think these chicken owners have been getting away with it for awhile and now people are starting to complain,” Chandler police spokesman Joe Tyler told the Los Angeles Times. “And so the code enforcement folks are going out and telling them, you can’t have chickens.”
Some say the face-off is a result of a national movement toward urban agriculture, where a desire for locally raised, environmentally sustainable foods clashes with traditional ideas of what consists of a suburban neighborhood.
(Mod: Never accuse The Tattler of beating a story to death. The charge is completely true. Of course, we could just call it a review. I mean, why not?)
Magician's Head Set On Fire In TV Prank (click here): A US magician has been seriously injured after a TV host set his head on fire live on television. Wayne Houchin was appearing on a show in the Dominican Republic when, in an apparently unscripted prank, its host dropped flammable liquid on his head, setting him alight.
Houchin's own crew, who were at the show, rushed to save him and put out the flames - but not before he had suffered burns to his head, face, neck and right hand.
The illusionist, who hosts Breaking Magic on the Discovery Channel, was rushed to hospital where he says he is "in pain" but recovering.
Houchin, who was in the country promoting his Curiosidades show, wrote on Facebook after the incident: "I was not aware he was going to do this. This was not a stunt or part of an act - this was a criminal attack.
(Mod: An accident taking place during a magic routine is one thing, but charges of criminal behavior? That seems pretty hot-headed to me.)
California Man Jailed Four Days for Recording Cops (click here): A California man was jailed for four days for attempting to record police officers on a public street.
Daniel J. Saulmon was charged with resisting, delaying and obstructing an officer but the video shows he was standing well out the way of a traffic stop and was only arrested when he failed to produce identification to an approaching officer.
And there is no law in California that requires citizens to produce identification. And even if there was, it would require the officer to have a reasonable suspicion that he was committing a crime.
But prosecutors have already dropped the charge against Saulmon as well as a few other minor citations relating to his bicycle such as not have proper reflectors on the pedals.
And they most likely knew who he was considering he won a $25,000 settlement from the same police department after they unlawfully arrested him on eavesdropping/wiretapping charges in 2005.
This time, it appears the Hawthorne Police Department will be dishing out much more, thanks to officer Gabriel Lira’s abuse of authority.
“They knew exactly who I was,” Saulmon said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime Saturday, adding that he has recorded them on a regular basis since the 2005 arrest when he was jailed after attempting to file a complaint inside the police station.
(Mod: Some people are very sensitive about having their picture taken. In certain cultures it is considered akin to attempting to steal a person's spiritual essence. Perhaps that was the case here.)
NASA experts dispel 2012 myths (click here): With dozens of doomsday stories circulating in popular culture about the year 2012, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration recently called on a panel of experts to help debunk some of the most widespread apocalyptic myths.
Five NASA scientists and a California science educator took part in a live videoconference on Wednesday, Nov. 28, and fielded questions from the public about the most pervasive doomsday scenarios. Social media users were invited to listen live to the discussion.
Topics ranged from the possibility of an undiscovered planet smashing into the Earth, to the prospect of the planet being sucked toward the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. The information below is a summary of some of the most common myths NASA hears from the public.
(Mod: The "Planet Niburu," spinning earth crust, killer meteorites, black holes and big solar flares are discussed in this article. Some people take comfort in these end of the world myths, you know. Especially those with large amounts of credit card and other debt. And then there is the fear that the future is a place where you won't be because, let's face it, eventually we all time out. Much better that it all just ends now so we won't be missing out on anything later.)
Divided States of America: Secession from US is close call - scholar (click here): Just three weeks after President Barack Obama’s re-election, Americans are still signing on-line petitions for their states to secede from the Union. Constitutional law scholars say to turn a petition into reality would require implausible legal steps. Meanwhile, the deadline for an official Obama administration response to Texas’ petition that drew most signatures, December 9, is near.
Texas has taken the lead among the states seeking a separation, as 117,544 people have expressed their sympathy with the petition by granting their signatures to it on the White House's “We the People” website.
Randy Dye, a North Carolina resident, who started his state's petition, which had drawn more than 30,000 signatures, explains his motives: “States need to turn into countries where we keep our own money.”
Apart from Texas and North Carolina, 9 more states – Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama, Oklahoma, Florida and Ohio – have already reached the 25,000-signature threshold needed for an official Obama administration response.
(Mod: You do realize that this story comes from something called "The Voice of Russia," right? A place that fairly recently suffered a break-up of its own. I think that this is wishful thinking on their part. If true, however, it also raises this question: Is Texas our Uzbekistan?)
How Onion spoof slipped past China's humor-challenged Great Firewall (click here): How did a spoof article about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un being the sexiest man alive end up as a real news item in China? Turns out it was a case of telephone, or Chinese whispers, in the digital age.
Hong Kong media picked up the piece by U.S. satirical website The Onion a week ago while explaining to readers in Chinese that it was a farce. But from there, it jumped over the Great Firewall and landed into the official, irony-free Chinese media.
When Hong Kong's Phoenix TV website, ifeng.com, ran its story on its fashion channel on Nov. 21, the story's second paragraph clearly stated: "The Onion is a satirical news organization."
But, when state-run Yangtse.com picked up the Phoenix piece a few hours later, it had morphed into straight news. The piece never mentioned that the original was a joke, instead plucking comical reader comments attached to the Phoenix story and running those.
"A man with so much fat on the face, and the double chin, and the excessively white skin. And they call him the sexiest. They do deserve the name Onion. I can't help but shed sad tears."
The editor cited for the story, Yang Fang, could not immediately be reached -- and two employees who answered the phone at the Nanjing media outlet said Wednesday they weren't even sure if Yang still worked there.
(Mod: The Onion is doing some of the most important news reporting in the world today.)
That's enough of that. Try and enjoy the rest of your day off.