That’s Not How You’re Supposed To Roast Pumpkin Seeds

There’s a two for one sale in the appropriate names department today as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution assigned Steve Burns the story of Morgan Cook accidentally setting herself on fire.

By the way, 100 bonus points to anyone who can explain what this experiment was supposed to be demonstrating.

A Halloween experiment at a Gwinnett County high school last week went wrong, sending fire around a teacher’s face, Channel 2 Action News reported.
“We were just like confused,” Duluth High School student Condaleeza Waters said. “We didn’t know what to do.”

The experiment in Morgan Cook’s science class involved a ramp, a pumpkin and fire, the news station reported.
But something went wrong.
“When she lit it on fire, what happened is the whole entire ramp lit on fire, and the ramp just exploded,” student Eddie Kim said.
Paramedics responded to the school to offer aid, and a friend of Cook’s took her to the hospital. Bernard Watson, spokesman for Gwinnett County schools, said the teacher suffered “minor superficial injuries” and will be all right.

What In The Actual Hell Is Going ON In Guelph These Days?

These are all items from Guelph police news releases, and all were published this summer. I’m not 100 percent positive that this is a complete list, but lord love a duck, there are certainly plenty of them as it is.

Obviously there were incidents here and there, but I can’t recall there being this sort of volume in such a short time during the years we lived there. What is happening? Did somebody slash the event budget? Are you aiming to change your slogan from Royal City to Oil City?

Good lord.

Update: The local CBC appears to have stolen my gimmick and begun compiling a list of its own. Theirs stretches back to March, so has a couple of items mine doesn’t.

Also, Mayor Guthrie is unimpressed.

“Guelph is known for our beautiful parks and green spaces — so people, whether they’re visiting our city or live here, they need to be able to enjoy them without any fear of this activity going on,” said Guthrie.

“Police are very aware of these incidents and are taking this very seriously,” said Guthrie. “Over the last couple of years, we’ve had some increased investments in enforcement — and I’m going to continue to support that.”

Guthrie adds mental health issues and drugs are most likely playing a part in this as well.
“Those can’t be full out excuses for what is happening, and for the younger people performing any ‘acts’ as a ‘prank’ . . . it’s not a prank, it’s disgusting. My message for them? Find a different hobby, or get a job.”

“As I said, there is also a part of this which is mental health issues – so we do need to have some further support from the provincial government for all municipalities. We need to make sure people are aware there are drug issues involved in this too – but these aren’t way of ‘explaining out’ the situation, or using it as an excuse.”
He adds as much as we need to be aware of these issues, we also need to acknowledge that Guelph is a great place to live.
“It is going to take our whole community coming together to not be fearful of this issue. Go out, enjoy our parks — but at the same time, be vigilant and call the authorities if you see anything out of place.”

Update two: The naked meditator has spoken. He is 29-year-old Peter Holm, and he definitely sounds like he’s gonna fit right in with some of the locals I met during my Guelph days.

“I’m not a pervert,” said Holm.

“My intention was to be my true, authentic self. We are all born pure and beautiful,” Holm said in an interview with GuelphToday.
He believes nudity is a natural and healthy state, even in public.
He fully understands what he did was against the law, but feels the law is wrong. Basically, he was making a point.
“I want society to legally recognize my right to express my self and body as I choose …. am I really actually doing harm?
“I wanted to show that just because I chose to be naked doesn’t mean I’m a criminal, bad person or am going to hurt someone.”
He said he knew he was going to get in trouble when he decided to go for a walk that day and then sit under a tree nude while meditating.

Holm said if people are upset by his nudity, “that’s more on them.”
He was asked if a park with a children’s playground might have been the wrong place to make his point. Or if the recent public masturbation reports might have created a situation where people might be a little upset at the sight of a naked man in a public park.

He answered that he felt the time and place were appropriate given that he was trying to make a point.
“I think it was great timing, all these emotions were activated,” he said.
“I want it to be recognized, that I have a right to recognize my body as I choose.”
Holm said two families arrived at the park shortly after he began meditating in the nude.
Holm said he was yelled at, then two “furious” men came over and kicked and hit him while he was sitting on the ground. He has bruises on his body and scratches on his back but did not go to hospital.
“I knew this was going to happen and I’m ready to accept what was going to happen,” Holm said.
Asked if he planned to continue to meditate nude in city parks, Holm said that for now there might not be too much public nudity.
“It was an incident. An event. I’ll let that percolate.”

He also said that he planned to plead not guilty to the charge of causing a disturbance that was filed against him when he was arrested on August 12th. that court appearance is set for September 18th.

Police have also confirmed that Holm has filed an assault complaint against the fellas who felt it necessary to make a point of their own and say they’re looking into it.

It’s One, Two Hit-And-Runs And You’re Out AT The Old Ball Game

We live in a world where not everything is just and not everyone gets justice. But many times there is justice, even if sometimes that justice takes half a century and is kind of cold-hearted and weird.

In 1968, Douglas Parkhurst killed 4-year-old Carolee Ashby in a hit-and-run, or at least he’s pretty sure he did. He was drunk at the time, he said in a confession he wrote once he knew he could no longer be prosecuted for it.

Now, 50 years later, this has happened.

A Vietnam War veteran who confessed five years ago to killing a 4-year-old girl in a 1968 hit-and-run was trying to protect children when a woman drove her car onto a little league baseball field in Maine during a game, striking and killing him. Screaming bystanders and ballplayers fled as Carol Sharrow, of Sanford, drove through an open gate onto the field Friday night, police said.
Video shows the car driving around the infield, turning over home plate and then heading toward the stands behind third base.
Douglas Parkhurst, of West Newfield, was near the park’s main gate before he was hit and Sharrow sped away, police said. Parkhurst, who a coach said was the grandfather of one of the players, died on the way to the hospital. No one else was hurt.

The woman, whose name I will point out is only a couple of E’s away from making this even stranger, has been convicted twice in the past for drunk driving. Police wouldn’t confirm whether she was in similar condition at the time of the incident, but it seems hard to blame anyone who would be inclined to think so.

Might Be Time To Look Into Changing Your Name To Sober Upman

Given that she’s been arrested at least 15 times, I’m surprised that neither of us caught Crystal Methvin before now.

Police say they responded to a parking lot on South Dixie Highway and found three people sitting in a car. The people in the car consented to a search and police say they found drug paraphernalia and a substance that field tested positive for crystal meth.
Crystal Methvin and Douglas Nickerson were arrested on drug possession charges.

Control That Gun, Shooter!

Why wouldn’t the sexual harassment accusations against a man named Don Shooter involve him comparing his dong to a shooter? It’s just common sense, really.

Shooter’s first and most prominent accuser was state Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, a fellow Republican.
According to the Arizona Republic, Ugenti-Rita said Shooter sought a romantic relationship with her on several occasions, continuing to make advances even after she said it was wrong.

“There was an incident where he came to my office during the day and asked about my chest,” Ugenti-Rita told 3TV. “At a conference, he came to my room uninvited with a six-pack of beer. I never answered the door.”
Both Shooter and Ugenti-Rita are married. Neither responded to messages from The Washington Post on Wednesday morning seeking comment.

Meanwhile, other women and one man came forward, saying Shooter’s statements and actions had crossed the line.
A Democratic lobbyist said Shooter put his hand on her knee during a meeting at a Phoenix restaurant. Shortly after joining the legislature, a Democratic representative from Tempe said Shooter told her she “would be a nice view to look at.” Another representative said she was uncomfortable when Shooter “repeatedly referred to his male genitalia as a gun.”

You’ve Got A Future In This Futureless Business, Kid

It’s always sad when media folks get fired by giant companies worth hundreds of millions of dollars for no reason other than if we hire people who aren’t as experienced as you we don’t have to pay them as much, but there’s an aspect of what just happened in Vancouver that’s pretty funny.

CTV Vancouver announced this week that it would be letting go of news anchors Tamara Taggart and Mike Killeen, who had worked there since 1997 and 2001, respectively.

No, that’s not the funny part. That’s just Bell being garbage, which we should all be used to by now.

But the first person quoted in this article announcing the firings is a fellow with the perfect name to set him up for a fine future as a spokesman for just about anyone in our country’s ever contracting mess of a broadcast industry. Take it away, Les Staff!

“On behalf of all of us here at CTV News Vancouver, a most sincere thanks to Mike and Tamara for keeping Vancouverites informed about their city each and every day,” Les Staff, News Director, CTV News Vancouver, said in a statement. “Mike and Tamara are consummate professionals, and we wish them the very best on what’s to come.”

Files Not Found

I hate to kick people while they’re down (that’s a lie), but this right here, as dumb things go, is way the fuck up there.

When deadly flames incinerated hundreds of homes in Santa Rosa’s Fountaingrove neighborhood earlier this month, they also destroyed irreplaceable papers and correspondence held nearby and once belonging to the founders of Silicon Valley’s first technology company, Hewlett-Packard.
The Tubbs fire consumed the collected archives of William Hewlett and David Packard, the tech pioneers who in 1938 formed an electronics company in a Palo Alto garage with $538 in cash.
More than 100 boxes of the two men’s writings, correspondence, speeches and other items were contained in one of two modular buildings that burned to the ground at the Fountaingrove headquarters of Keysight Technologies. Keysight, the world’s largest electronics measurement company, traces its roots to HP and acquired the archives in 2014 when its business was split from Agilent Technologies — itself an HP spinoff.
The Hewlett and Packard collections had been appraised in 2005 at nearly $2 million and were part of a wider company archive valued at $3.3 million. However, those acquainted with the archives and the pioneering company’s impact on the technology world said the losses can’t be represented by a dollar figure.

This is dumb not only because modular building is often little more than a fancy term for shed and any idiot knows (or so I thought) that a shed is no place to store millions of dollars worth of irreplaceable documentation, but also because the whole thing was entirely preventable. In fact I have a pretty good feeling HP itself might’ve had just the solution.

Even the newspaper seems to want to rub it in. Why else would this story have been assigned to one Robert Digitale?

My Baby Is Missing! And I’m Not Sure Where My Daughter Is, Either

Police in Ohio have arrested a woman for only being half right when she called them to report that her car had been stolen with one of her children inside.

Authorities say the mother told police she had her car running in front of her home on North 4th Street and her daughter Janylia was sleeping in the backseat.

When she returned into her home to get her additional children, the car was stolen.
Officers responded to the area and were able to find the vehicle roughly a mile away but no child was inside.

An unfortunate mix-up, but an arrest-worthy one? Clearly she must have been panicking. Wouldn’t we all be panicking?

Investigators were able to determine the child was never in the car. Janylia’s aunt told police she was with the girl Sunday night through Monday morning.

Well. Um. Perhaps that changes things a little. But who among us hasn’t been on the wrong end of a bad case of the forgetfuls at least once? A little understanding goes a long way, you guys.

Pickett told investigators she told police her child was in the vehicle so it would be found faster.

Alright alright alright. You win, police department.

Columbus Police provides update on investigation into Monday morning's Amber Alert, missing girl report | LATEST INFO: https://bit.ly/2jLM9yA

Posted by 10TV – WBNS on Monday, January 30, 2017

Jessica Pickett has been charged with falsification in connection with the Amber Alert triggering incident. Daughter Janylia (whose last name is Fails so that should set her up well for the future when combined with mom’s judgment) and two other children were removed from her home and placed in protective custody.

They Plan To Throw The Book At Him

Out of pocket nearly $60,000 and facing some trouble with the law after his spring cleaning operation touched off a 700 acre wildfire is Brian Leon Sparks.

A 55-year-old Bryceville man cited by the state for illegally burning books and starting a wildfire that ended up scorching 705 acres in late March now has a $59,403.38 bill to settle for the personnel and machinery used to extinguish that blaze.

Brian Leon Sparks received the bill Monday from the Florida Department of Agriculture for “the amount we incurred in suppressing the fire,” according to its cover letter.
The invoiced bill is on top of a misdemeanor criminal citation for failure to obtain a department permit and reckless land burning after he started burning old paperbacks and clutter outside his Wills Lane home March 22, according to Forest Service officials. The flames got out of control, forcing evacuations, damaging eight homes and prompting a massive fire-suppression effort.