Today In Whatever You Say, Buddy: It’s Possible To Kiss A Kid By Accident Three Times. I Know Because I Did It

I’ve heard a lot of terrible excuses for things, and this one’s definitely way up there on that list.

Former Houston substitute teacher Pete Garcia Hernandez, 49, has been charged with three counts of indecency with a child, which is why he is former Houston substitute teacher Pete Garcia Hernandez and not current Houston substitute teacher Pete Garcia Hernandez. But if he’s looking for a new career path, I think he may have found one assuming he can sort out how to make a living by being mercilessly ridiculed. Why? Because when confronted with the allegations made against him by the students in question, he offered the following defense.

According to court documents, three girls in the suspect’s class reported to investigators that Hernandez had kissed them on the mouth, touched their chests and sat them on his lap. When asked about the allegations, Hernandez reportedly told investigators that the kissing happened on accident and that “he was speaking close with them and his tongue accidentally went in their mouth.”

Oopsidaisy!

Well, to be fair, I can’t count the number of times that’s happened to me. My best guess is 0, but I’ve been around a while and my memory sometimes isn’t the greatest. Let me think. … … … … … Yeah, still going with 0.

Just for fun though, let’s pretend for a second that he’s not brimming with excrement and this is actually what happened. Sure would make life interesting, wouldn’t it? Imagine getting into a bar fight. One minute you’re all up in some dude’s area wanting to tear him apart, and the next thing you know you’re planning a wedding and living happily ever after.

But in a sign that even he knew how ridiculous that sounds, Hernandez did later admit that while the children were on his lap he did have some sexual thoughts. This is a huge improvement, since based on his earlier statement the idea that he has thoughts at all seems a bit of a stretch.

I Wanna Get a Gita!

As I sit here, and my arm slightly protests from carrying home a few bags of groceries yesterday, I am reminded again of this Gita helper robot thing I read about the other day, and how I kinda sorta want one.

The team’s first product is Gita, a round rolling robot that can carry up to 40 pounds of cargo for miles at a time. Rather than get you from A to B as fast as possible, it’s meant to get you there more easily.

Can have? Mine?

I can’t count the number of times I have gone out to get dog food for example, dog food that comes in a 30-pound bag, and because it’s too heavy for little ol’ me to carry home, and because I’m a disaster trying to pull a cart and use a cane or dog, I’ve had to cab an otherwise walkable distance to bring the heavy stuff home. If this little robo dude could just toddle along behind me and carry the dog food, I could walk both ways! Yes!

I also like the idea that I don’t have to drive it by using some kind of controller, I just walk, wear a little doo dad and it just does what I do. Admittedly, I would like it to have a slight bit of navigation so it wouldn’t accidentally run over a squirrel \I’m not aware of, or mow down a pack of children running this way and that when I’m not sure where I myself should go, or topple head over wheels down a curb into the street if I don’t direct it exactly to the ramp since it seems to not be able to do stairs, but damn is that ever a good idea!

Now, for the questions. How big is this thing? Does it store easily? How long of a charge does it have? How big is its little cargo hold thingamadoodle where you put stuff? How expensive will it be when it’s available for regular consumers? How heavy is it in case, god forbid, you have to help it over uneven terrain or its charge runs out when you’re not quite home?

Duuuude. I so want to at least play with one of these.

I Had No Idea That All This Stuff Was On Spotify

I’m a big Spotify fan, though sometimes I don’t use it as much as I’d like. It’s already more than worth the subscription price based on the huge selection of music and comedy, but it just got a little better now that I’ve discovered that you can also use it to stream classic novels, short stories, poetry, basic language lessons, classic speeches, meditation exercises and coolest of all for me personally, old radio shows.

Before TV, there was radio drama, and it was glorious. Fortunately, a lot of old radio shows have been saved and are still available for your listening pleasure. You can listen to some sci-fi greats like George Orwell’s radio version of 1984, multiple volumes of the Twilight Zone radio show, and some of Isaac Asimov’s best radio works, like Hostess and Pebble In the Sky. You can also find some great mystery shows like Dragnet, and some vintage superhero stories from the likes of the Blue Beetle. If you’re looking to laugh, I personally recommend the Baby Snooks show.

I wonder how much of that stuff you’d have to listen to before it starts messing with your Discover Weekly or if whatever magic is responsible for features like that filters it out.

If The News And Social Media Are Driving You Bonkers, Maybe Some Of This’ll Help

The news is terrifying. What a shitty place the world is. I’m afraid to go online or turn on the TV. I can’t take it anymore.

I’m hearing these things more and more from people lately and with every mass shooting, bombing, racist incident, protest, Brexit and whatever the fuck is going on in the United States it only gets worse. I’m not sure there’s a one size fits all approach to staying absolutely sane in these times, but there’s some good, common sense advice here that some of you probably need to see.

I have been getting very emotionally caught up in the Internet lately. It hasn’t helped that there has been terrible tragic news on a regular basis and everyone seems to have a strong opinion about it. It also doesn’t help that our country’s election cycle is a circus and someone affiliated with a candidate who is about to lead our country says something stupid or wrong. I’ve felt this trickle down to the point where I’ve started to dislike people I actually like… because of the way they respond to the news cycle online. It’s making me depressed. I know I should “unplug” and be the smarter, patient, understanding person that I want to see in the world, but as a coach and parent, it is also my job to be able to respond to what my kids ask me about the news cycle, and the opinions that they hear. How do I balance this without letting it get to me? Is there any way to be plugged into the world without getting incredibly overwhelmed and saddened by it?
Who isn’t feeling this way lately? Without even clicking through to read articles, the headlines on the front page of CNN.com can feel like an assault. Add in all of the unsolicited (crazy) opinions about these “news” items from people you love on Facebook, and it can be a heroic feat to even look at the internet most days. So, first of all, you’re not wrong to feel this way. This is a very normal, universal response to the current state of things. Here’s how to manage it.

You should read the whole thing if you need it, but the TLDR version basically goes like this:

  • Just because somebody posts it doesn’t mean it’s news. We get information faster than ever before, and an awful lot of it is garbage. It’s perfectly fine to not make time to read it all.
  • Along that same line, pick a non-garbage source or two, get what you need to stay reasonably informed from them and don’t bother with everything else.
  • It’s ok to not know everything about everything all the time, even if you’re the person people tend to come to with questions. Saying you don’t know now and then isn’t a crime.
  • Twitter and Facebook have mute and block functions for a reason. Use ’em.
  • Find comfort in your like-minded friends. Bitch to each other, complain to each other, make fun of the stupid imbeciles that have driven you to this point together.
  • Be a little selfish. It’s ok to unplug and focus on yourself now and then, especially if the alternative is hating everyone.

Like I said, it won’t solve all of the problems (Trump is probably still gonna be here when you come back), but something is certainly better than nothing.

Good luck.

A Scientist Discovered A New Moth Species And Named It After Donald Trump

Pretty sure this is the most pleasant piece of Trump related news I’ve seen since he won the damn election. I doubt I’ll see a better one until the day he’s impeached.

The new species was initially discovered through dissection of Gnorimoschemini material borrowed from the Bohart Museum of Entomology, University of California, Davis (UCBME). Two males and one female from Algodones dunes in Imperial County, California, showed a unique genitalia and wing pattern that did not match known species of Gnorimoschemini. Based on similarities in genitalia of both sexes I associated these with Neopalpa, and this identification was further supported by DNA barcoding.
The scientific name for the new moth species, Nazari determined, would be Neopalpa donaldtrumpi:
The new species can be easily distinguished from N. neonata by its external appearance, the yellowish-white scales covering the frons of the adult head, and the distinctive orange-yellow coloration on the forewing dorsum. In the male genitalia, the valvae are strongly curved, the saccus has an acute tip, and the highly-developed bilobed processes of the vinculum, characteristic of N. neonata [an existing species within this genus], are absent.

If you’re like me and don’t know what the hell most of that means, don’t worry. Snopes has you covered.

And if you’re wondering why we’re naming moths after Donald Trump now, there are two main reasons. One is to raise a little environmental awareness, and the other is because dude’s got some weird damn hair.

The new species is named in honor of Donald J. Trump, to be installed as the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017. The reason for this choice of name is to bring wider public attention to the need to continue protecting fragile habitats in the US that still contain many undescribed species. The specific epithet is selected because of the resemblance of the scales on the frons (head) of the moth to Mr. Trump’s hairstyle.

The Rolling Stones Did A Rice Krispies Commercial In The 1960s

I know bands do commercials all the time, but the fact that the Rolling Stones wrote a 26 second song about Rice Krispies in 1964 is still strange to me for some reason.

It’s not bad. In fact I’d go as far as to say it’s probably the best thing about Rice Krispies, the most useless breakfast food on earth. Seriously, you eat a bowl of those things and by the time you’re done, the effort required to consume it leaves you feeling hungrier than you were when you started.

Suddenly Those Perfume People Don’t Seem So Bad

As if shopping at Walmart could get any more unpleasant.

In early-November, a Walmart shopper told police that a “creepy” man lingered near her in the store’s makeup aisle. After the man passed behind her, the shopper “felt something wet on her foot and lower back.” The woman then went to the bathroom “and tried to wipe the material off her but it was sticky.”
On December 28, another woman told police that “some substance” had been “thrown or sprayed on her” while she was shopping at the same Walmart in Marietta, a city across the Ohio River from West Virginia. A review of store surveillance footage revealed that the suspect in last week’s incident was identical to the “creepy” man spotted in November.

After some police work, the culprit was identified as 28-year-old Timothy Blake, a bad liar from West Virginia. I say a bad liar because I bet most of you already have a pretty good idea what that substance was, and none of you have access to a forensic lab like the cops did.

After identifying the truck driven by the suspect, cops confronted Blake at a Wings Etc. restaurant as he sat down for dinner with his wife. When asked what he was throwing on the female victims, Blake first claimed that it was egg yolks. But when police advised that they “had the material tested,” Blake “then admitted that it was semen in the containers he was squirting” at the buttocks of women.

Yes, you did just read that his wife was there. That’s gonna be an awkward ride home later, methinks.

With the bad lying mostly but perhaps not completely out of his system, Blake got rather talkative, telling police that he’d gone into that Walmart and done this at least 12 times. On four of those occasions he said he used semen, while the others involved either egg yolks and flour or spit. Yup, he’s sticking to that egg story like semen to a department store customer. Not sure I’m buying it, but for all I know it could be true. Anyway, he said that when it was spunk day, he would do the deed in either his vehicle or the Walmart bathroom and impregnate a syringe, which he had many of because he owned a farm on which he was responsible for the inoculation of the animals.

When asked about his motivations, Blake gave the old I “thought she displayed exhibitionist characteristics and wanted to be noticed” chestnut and admitted that yes, he thought about sexual things while he was doing it. You know, in case there might be any confusion due to the myriad other reasons one might feel compelled to whip out an auxiliary man cannon at a shopping centre and start blasting away.

He was charged with two counts of felony obscenity and released after posting $11,000 bond. He was still free at last report,but required to wear a GPS monitor.

So Long, Broadcaster Magazine

I’d been wondering if this may have been the case for a while given that it suddenly stopped updating in December for what I thought was a holiday break but then never started up again, and today comes word that Broadcaster Magazine, which along with Milkman UnLimited and Radio Digest were the first places I found to get industry news when I came online in the early 2000s, has shut down.

75-year-old Broadcaster Magazine published its final issue in December, Cartt.ca has learned.
The title had several owners over the decades (including Conrad Black’s Hollinger Inc.) but the most recent owner, Annex Business Media, purchased Broadcaster and its sister title Sportscaster (which had been Mediacaster and Cablecaster before that) in 2015 and had the two for sale for some months but could find no buyers. Cablecaster was originally launched in 1988.

Thankfully MMU still exists and there are other places like Cartt, Broadcast Dialogue and Fagstein among others that cover pretty much everything you could ever want to know, but I’m still going to miss Broadcaster.

Daily Mail? More Like Daily Fail, Says Wikipedia

The issue of the Daily Mail’s dubious reliability isn’t a new topic here (we’ve covered it at least once and I’ve done my bit to steer folks away from it in other settings as well), but while I knew we absolutely weren’t the only ones to feel this way, the news that Wikipedia is mostly banning its use as a reference shows just how alone we aren’t.

Yes, Wikipedia, which is a seriously amazing thing but one that some would argue has a reputation for poor fact checking in its own right, has decided to stop using the Mail as a source in all but exceptional circumstances because of its general unreliability.

I’m mostly in favour of this, I think. When your bread and butter is clickbate headlines, stretching facts to their breaking points or even outright making things up and it’s hard to distinguish any of it from your real journalism, you deserve to be treated this way and don’t have a whole lot of room to argue about it. But the Mail is hardly the only outlet around that does these kinds of things and if you look hard enough even organizations that do their best get hoaxed more than you’d probably think, so I hope Wikipedia’s processes are strong enough to tell the difference without becoming susceptible to the agendas of folks who may have an axe to grind with this or that place.

Wikipedia editors have voted to ban the Daily Mail as a source for the website in all but exceptional circumstances after deeming the news group “generally unreliable”.
The move is highly unusual for the online encyclopaedia, which rarely puts in place a blanket ban on publications and which still allows links to sources such as Kremlin backed news organisation Russia Today, and Fox News, both of which have raised concern among editors.

The editors described the arguments for a ban as “centred on the Daily Mail’s reputation for poor fact checking, sensationalism and flat-out fabrication”.
The Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia but does not control its editing processes, said in a statement that volunteer editors on English Wikipedia had discussed the reliability of the Mail since at least early 2015.
It said: “Based on the requests for comments section [on the reliable sources noticeboard], volunteer editors on English Wikipedia have come to a consensus that the Daily Mail is ‘generally unreliable and its use as a reference is to be generally prohibited, especially when other more reliable sources exist’.

“This means that the Daily Mail will generally not be referenced as a ‘reliable source’ on English Wikipedia, and volunteer editors are encouraged to change existing citations to the Daily Mail to another source deemed reliable by the community. This is consistent with how Wikipedia editors evaluate and use media outlets in general – with common sense and caution.”