'Random news articles that don't warrant their own threads' thread. Page 2

  • NewYork 31 Jan 2008 18:13:52 24,807 posts
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    In the U.S. south, is Canadian a new racial slur?

    It was a routine e-mail from the boss sent to congratulate a junior prosecutor in Houston, Tex., who had won manslaughter convictions against an intoxicated driver.

    "He convicted Mr. Sosa of a double intoxication manslaughter, got a weak jury to give him 12 years in each, and then convinced Judge Wallace to stack the sentences," Harris County assistant district attorney Mike Trent wrote in an office-wide memo. Then came the odd part: "He overcame a subversively good defence by Matt Hennessey that had some Canadians on the jury feeling sorry for the defendant and forced them to do the right thing."

    The e-mail was sent in 2003 but came to light only this month as part of an unrelated controversy with his office, forcing Mr. Trent to defend himself against accusations of bigotry -- not because he offended the people of Canada, but because "Canadian" has apparently become a code word for blacks among American racists.

    "There is a double meaning to that word and I didn't know it. I was horrified when I learned what it was, and I immediately addressed the issue with the people who brought it up," Mr. Trent told a local Fox News reporter in a recent interview.

    "I'd never heard of Canadian being used as a term for a black person or for a racial slur," he said.

    "If I had, I would never send that out in an office-wide e-mail that's going to go to people who are going to be offended if they recognize it as such. That would be crazy.... I'm not a racist. I'm not a bigot," Mr. Trent said.

    Mark Vinson, who was a chief prosecutor in the Harris County office at the time, said he was puzzled by the reference to Canadians when he got the e-mail but was too busy to give it much thought. Then some colleagues informed him about the slang meaning of Canadian, and he felt crushed.

    "So much has been accomplished in terms of equal opportunities, and the office had a super reputation," Mr. Vinson, who is black, told the National Post. "I just couldn't imagine someone in the office who would engage in that conduct."

    He said he believes Mr. Trent's assurance that he had simply repeated a term used by the prosecutor on the case, Rob Freyer. Mr. Freyer did not return a message left yesterday.

    It is unusual that a seasoned attorney like Mr. Trent would not have wondered how a Harris County jury came to be stacked with Canadians. (There were no Canadians on the jury but there were some black members.) "The only way that there could have been Canadians on the jury, was if they were born in Canada and then became U.S. citizens, and then became citizens of the county in which the case was tried," Mr. Vinson noted.

    The bigger mystery is how "Canadian" came to be code for black. An online directory of racial slurs defines Canadian as a "masked replacement" for black.

    Last August, a blogger in Cincinnati going by the name CincyBlurg reported that a black friend from the southeastern U.S. had recently discovered that she was being called a Canadian. "She told me a story of when she was working in a shop in the South and she overheard some of her customers complaining that they were always waited on by a Canadian at that place. She didn't understand what they were talking about and assumed they must be talking about someone else," the blogger wrote.

    "After this happened several times with different patrons, she mentioned it to one of her co-workers. He told her that ‘Canadian' was the new derogatory term that racist Southerners were using to describe persons they would have previously referred to [with the N-word.]"

    A similar case in Kansas City was reported last year on a Listserv, or electronic mailing list, used by linguistics experts. A University of Kansas linguist said that a waitress friend reported that "fellow workers used to use a name for inner-city families that were known to not leave a tip: Canadians. ‘Hey, we have a table of Canadians.... They're all yours.' "

    Stefan Dollinger, a postdoctoral fellow in linguistics at University of British Columbia and director of the university's Canadian English lab, speculated that the slur reflects a sense of Canadians as the other.

    "This ‘code' word, is the replacement of a no-longer tolerated label for one outsider group, with, from the U.S. view, another outsider group: Canadians. It could have been terms for Mexicans, Latinos etc. but this would have been too obvious," he said. "What's left? Right, the guys to the north."
    LOL, it's so blatant :)
  • NewYork 1 Feb 2008 11:09:00 24,807 posts
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    Nudist flight:

    London — We're on our final approach for landing. Please fasten your seat belts and return your tray tables and seats to the upright position. Oh, and put your clothes back on.

    An eastern German travel firm, OssiUrlaub, said it will start taking bookings Feb. 1 for a nudist day trip from Erfurt, Germany, to the popular Baltic Sea resort of Usedom. The trial excursion is planned for July 5.

    The plane's 55 passengers will have to remain clothed until they board and dress before they disembark. The crew and pilots will stay dressed for security reasons.

    "We are getting lots of e-mail and calls from customers interested in taking this flight," said Sandra Kohler, a spokeswoman for OssiUrlaub.

    Kohler said one has to be a fan of nudism in order to truly understand how liberating it can be to soar above the clouds in the buff.

    Germans — even those with corpulent bodies that have long ago succumbed to gravity — have long enjoyed nude sunbathing, which is permitted in many public parks.

    Stripping down is a tradition that runs especially deep in the formerly communist eastern part of Germany, where being nude was regarded as a cherished expression of freedom.

    There's even a name for the movement: Free Body Culture.

    But the idea of nudist flights begs some questions. Where will people strip down? And, more important, what about the cleanliness of the seats?

    "People will just take off their clothes when they are in their seat and not at the airport," Kohler said. "And we will hand out towels with our logo so that people can put them on the seats."

    If the July flight is a success and the idea of nudist flights takes off, imagine the advantages: less luggage, and faster-moving security lines.
    It's a one-hour flight. o_0
  • NewYork 2 Feb 2008 19:52:29 24,807 posts
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    Lily Allen dumped by man whose baby she lost:
    Lily Allen has split from Chemical Brothers star Ed Simons.

    The news comes just weeks after the couple faced heartbreak when Lily suffered a shock miscarriage.

    Sources have claimed that Lily and Ed's relationship hit the rocks as they struggled with their grief. Following attempts to patch things up, Ed finally told Lily that their romance was over.

    "They tried to make things work but couldn't," a friend told The Sun. "The miscarriage was a horrible experience for both of them - and in recent weeks the mood between them had been really strained."

    The source added: "Lily is really upset things haven't worked out for her and Ed. She had talked about settling down for good and having a family. But there is a big age difference and the heartbreak they had to cope with was too much too early in their relationship."
    Yet more grief for Lily Allen.
  • rare_uk 14 Feb 2008 07:06:14 3,633 posts
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    Those darned American po-leece are at it agian!
  • phAge 14 Feb 2008 07:10:42 25,487 posts
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    rare uk wrote:
    Those darned American po-leece are at it agian!

    I say we break their spine, and then tip THEM onto the floor.
  • rare_uk 14 Feb 2008 07:15:41 3,633 posts
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    phAge wrote:
    rare uk wrote:
    Those darned American po-leece are at it agian!

    I say we break their spine, and then tip THEM onto the floor.
    So not very "dapper and fresh" this morning eh?

  • phAge 14 Feb 2008 07:21:45 25,487 posts
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    I'm slowly getting that "2 hours sleep in the past 26"-buzz, but I'm still angry with everything around me. So no. :)
  • NewYork 21 Feb 2008 18:43:38 24,807 posts
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    Huge shocker - Linday Lohan's dad won't look at her nude pics:

    Lindsay Lohan's dad has vowed that he will not look at the results of his daughter's nude photoshoot.

    The actress has recreated Marilyn Monroe's final 1962 shoot in the latest issue of New York magazine.

    Michael Lohan said he supported her decision to pose for original photographer Bert Stern but admitted that he could not bear to look at the results.

    He told Us Weekly: "I'm not going to look at the photos - that's my daughter! But Lindsay is an adult, and she knows the direction she wants to take her career. It's her decision."

    He added that it was an honour for Lindsay to be approached to sit for the pictures, saying: "The fact that the photographer who did Marilyn Monroe's pictures would ask Lindsay to re-create them - that's an amazing thing."

    However, he said he hoped his daughter was not headed for the same fate as the screen icon, who died of a drugs overdose in 1962 at the age of 36.

    He told the magazine: "I pray there are no parallels to her and Marilyn Monroe's destiny."
    What a retard!

    And of course he's going to look at them, the perv. It's an honour that someone wants to take nude pics of your crackhead daughter?!
  • NewYork 22 Mar 2008 17:15:52 24,807 posts
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    Ahem, excuse the caps but it was a freakin' seek-and-destroy stingray. What in the blue blazes?!

    A woman from the Thumb died after a large stingray leaped from the water off the Florida Keys on Thursday and struck her in the head while she was on a fishing boat with her family, officials said.

    The stingray also struck her sister. She suffered minor injuries and was released from the hospital Thursday afternoon.

    The spotted eagle ray surged as high as 8 feet before landing on the head of Judy Kay Zagorski, 55, of Pigeon, who died in the middle of the boat as her mother and father scrambled to try to resuscitate her, said Officer Bobby Dube of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

    It's unclear what killed Zagorski -- whether a barb punctured her or she banged her head on the boat from the weight of the 75-pound stingray.

    "There was that potential" that a barb punctured her "because there was a large amount of blood from her head," Dube said.

    A medical examiner is expected to conduct an autopsy today.

    Stingrays usually jump to escape predators, not to attack, said Christopher Lowe, a stingray expert at California State University, Long Beach.

    "For someone to be standing in a boat and hit in the head by a stingray is pretty remarkable," Lowe said. "It's incredibly bad luck." Zagorski's family couldn't be reached for comment.

    A man with Michigan connections suffered a similar incident in 2006, one month after "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin was killed by a stingray.

    James Bertakis, who founded a Roseville manufacturing company, was on a boat near his home in Florida when a stingray flopped aboard and punctured the then-81-year-old's heart. He survived.
  • daithi90 23 Mar 2008 02:54:48 3,275 posts
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    I saw a photo of the Eagle Ray that killed the woman and it looks like a squashed seal!
  • Trowel 1 Apr 2008 19:21:42 24,498 posts
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    Couldn't see a thread about it, so I'll pop it here: End of term party becomes village square orgy
    A school was forced to help girls get emergency contraception after an end of term party saw under-age pupils having unprotected sex in a village square.

    The event is said to have involved "a disturbingly high number of girls" having sex while they were too drunk to know what they were doing, and also left one boy hospitalised.
    Alan Day, the village hall chairman, said: "All hell let loose at this event. The children were drunk to the eyeballs. They were having sex in the village square standing up."
    My favourite part of the piece:
    A resident involved in the clean-up said that she saw evidence of drug use, blood stains and broken glass and said that a newly fitted sink had been smashed.
    A new siiiiiink!! :(
  • HiddenAway 8 Apr 2008 20:02:36 15,147 posts
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    Just because I can't be bothered checking :p.

    The restaurant with no waiters

    I want to try it...
  • MrSensible 9 Apr 2008 16:05:13 26,517 posts
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    Who'd be a bog troll?

  • otto Moderator 22 May 2008 11:55:48 49,322 posts
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    Chopsen wrote:
    That seems a little harsh, tbh. I wouldn't have a problem with a teacher from my kid's shool having done similar work in a previous life.

    But then I don't have kids so I still have some degree of rationality.

    /waits to be called an idiot by deem/otto
    Of course I wouldn't have a problem with it, au contraire!
  • pjmaybe 22 May 2008 11:56:29 70,666 posts
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    Bloodkult wrote:
    Videogamers single-handedly save UK economy.

    There's a story you won't be seeing on the Beeb any time soon. Too positive.
  • TechnoHippy 22 May 2008 12:01:38 19,220 posts
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    I'm seeing potential for all kinds of abuse here:

  • Deleted user 22 May 2008 12:03:38
    Hey pal, you looking for some oxy-t?
  • TheSaint 22 May 2008 12:53:42 20,929 posts
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    Exam papers had answers on back
  • TechnoHippy 22 May 2008 12:57:41 19,220 posts
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    Charm wrote:
    Techno Hippy wrote:
    I'm seeing potential for all kinds of abuse here:
    Still less fuss with Rohypnol, though.

    They don't sign documents as well when they're unconcious :-)
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