Assorted Stupidity #89

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  • A fire-breathing spree in Gloversville, New York, was brought to an end last month after officers arrested a 35-year-old man. On at least three different occasions, the man was reported igniting “some sort of an aerosol” while expelling it from his mouth: once at a local co-op, once at the Church of the Holy Spirit (just as Family Fun Night was about to begin), and once near the gas pumps at a convenience store. While fire-breathing in the vicinity of gas pumps is remarkably dumb, no one was actually injured by these stunts. But someone could have been, a police spokesman noted. “Harm-wise, it’s endless,” he said, in the kind of statement only a police spokesman could make.
  • I’m sure that many judges have wished they could just push a button to deliver an electric shock to annoying people (don’t we all?), but it turns out that is actually not okay. This judge didn’t have his own button, but the court deputy did, connected to a stun cuff on the defendant’s ankle, and he used it when the judge ordered him to. The penalty for not answering the judge’s questions: 50,000 volts. The penalty for imposing that penalty just for not answering questions: a year of probation and anger-management classes.
  • As Weird Al Yankovic has noted, it is a clear sign of nerdhood that one has edited a Wikipedia page (and yes, I have done that). If you can’t edit one yourself, you can ask other editors to do it for you, as this incident shows. That gentleman asked for several edits to the page about himself, complaining that (among other things) it used an inaccurate nickname, got the details of his early life wrong, and that someone had deleted a paragraph mentioning his book about the Manson Family killings. This caused quite a stir, mainly because he was the Manson Family member in question. Charles “Tex” Watson (if it was actually him), also said the article wrongly accused him of taking $70 from one of the victims. Guess he felt it was important to set the record straight.
  • Okay, the articles I have edited at one point or another include, but are not limited to, “larceny,” “coulrophobia,” “trial of the century,” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “John Dean,” “the Insular Cases,” “Baba Yaga,” “restatements of the law,” “Egyptian pyramids,” “Henry V,” and “Cthulhu Mythos,” and I’m sure there was a good reason I was interested in each of those topics at the time. Although the reason for “Baba Yaga” is not coming to mind right now, to be honest.