Monday, March 27, 2006

People like this just freak me out

Illinois motorists call sex chat line?

The Illinois Department of Transportation road signs told drivers that they can find alternate routes during road construction by calling 1-800-411-IDOT.

However, when people called- they discovered the number was a $2.99-a-minute adult chat line that begins: "Hey there, sexy guy, welcome to an exciting new way to go live one-on-one with hot horny girls waiting right now to talk to you.''

Read the full article here.

Pre-pixelated clothes for Reality TV

"I don’t watch much Reality TV, but I’ve seen enough of it to notice an on-going phenomenon: Someone wears a garment with a trademarked logo or artwork on it, and the producers have to pixelate it beyond recognition in post-production.
Of course no Reality TV star wants their shirt, which displays their well-chosen article of self-expression, senselessly pixelated so nobody can see it. But no Reality TV producer wants to deal with the headache of removing said article of self-expression to avoid trademark violations. The pixelation process seems like an awful lot of trouble to go through for something that could have been avoided with a little pre-planning."
Hence the creation of the new clothing line that pre-pixelates clothes for you. Click here to see the full-line clothing.

The most ridiculous SUV of all-time, H6

The H6 Hummer? This is freakin’ ridiculous. I bet this thing gets like 5 miles-per-gallon. Yet... it is still kind of cool. Click here to see the official company website that produces these vehicles.

Students punished over cafeteria poop?

A student who defecated in a lunchroom bowl triggered a series of events that culminated in the recent walkout by four workers in the Fort Defiance High School cafeteria.

It all began Feb. 9 when two Fort students - including a guidance counselor’s son - bet a third student $15 he would not defecate in a bowl. That student took the 5-ounce Styrofoam soup bowl to the bathroom and returned to the cafeteria, then placed the excrement-filled bowl on the conveyor belt that hauls empty dishes to the kitchen.

That boy was expelled for the rest of the year and will not be allowed back at Fort Defiance High, although he will be allowed to finish his senior year at another Augusta County school, his father said.

Four cafeteria workers walked off the job March 10, citing lack of support from school administrators and uneven discipline for students. A fifth, who tried to break up a pushing match between her son and the guidance counselor’s son, was dismissed at the same time. She has been charged with assault.

The worker said she called Principal Paul Hill after discovering the bowl of excrement. He laughed, she said. “I said, ‘That’s not funny. I’m being serious.’ He said, ‘OK, I’ll have it taken care of.’ Nobody from the administration came down,” the cafeteria worker said.

A janitor was called to dispose of the excrement, she said.

The two students who paid the junior to defecate in the bowl were suspended for three days each. After the incident, the guidance counselor’s son made profane statements to a cafeteria worker, whose son then confronted and pushed him two weeks ago. The cafeteria worker’s son got nine days’ suspension.

Another worker’s son pushed the guidance counselor’s son for telling the cafeteria worker to shut up. The worker’s son was suspended for three days. But his mother was charged with assault and battery of the guidance counselor’s son after she got between them, and she lost her job. Full article here.

A real Leprechaun seen in Alabama?

(click image to watch video)

The Navy's stealth boat is cool looking

Top 7 things that will kill your career:

Avoiding these seven career killers will help you craft a stellar reputation and keep your career on track;

1. Procrastinating. Remember the first time you put off studying for a test then crammed at the last minute and still got a decent grade? Many of us have been procrastinating since grade school and have done just fine, but that's a habit you've got to break. "There's no grade inflation in the workplace," says Nemko. If you pull together a report or presentation at the last minute, your shoddy preparation is going to show. And if something unexpected happens -- say your computer crashes or a key contact fails to return a call -- the old "dog-ate-my-homework" excuse isn't going to cut it. "Procrastination is an ingrained habit," Nemko says, "but if you don't kick it pretty quick, you're going to find yourself on the corporate slow track."

2. Having a sense of entitlement. Our generation was raised on instant gratification -- we're used to getting what we want, and getting it now. Yet when it comes to our careers, no matter how hard we work, we cannot get five years of experience in one year. Younger employees tend to feel entitled to quick promotions, says Randall Hansen, founder of Quintessential Careers and associate professor of marketing at Stetson University in Deland, Fla. Falling into that trap can, instead, hinder a climb up the career ladder. If you carry the attitude that you deserve to be promoted or else, you may find that "or else" is your only option, says Hansen.

Fresh out of school, you're on the bottom rung of the career ladder, which means you're going to have to pay some dues, such as taking on jobs others don't want or working days others want off. But that doesn't mean you should accept your low status forever. Learn more about how to know when it's time to move up -- and how to pull it off.

3. Settling into your job description. You may have your set responsibilities, but you should always be on the lookout for opportunities to shine. Going above and beyond your mundane entry-level tasks can demonstrate your untapped talents and show your boss you're not afraid to take initiative. Settle into your job description for too long and your reputation may be cast as a low-level lackey.

You may have to do a little self-promotion, but try not to come off as a braggart. Nemko's daughter, for example, got her first job working for Hillary Clinton -- but her job description was to answer letters to Socks, the Clintons' pet cat. Soon after starting, she approached her boss and said she was willing to pay her dues, but that she had good research and writing skills. She pointed out that she might be useful on some other task. A few days went by and her boss asked her to research a topic and write a one-page brief for Clinton. She ended up spending a year as a researcher -- that certainly beats handling feline fan mail.

4. Avoiding office politics. When it comes to playing office politics, there is naughty and nice. Naturally, you shouldn't engage in backstabbing and gossiping. But avoiding politics altogether can be deadly for your career. Like it or not, every workplace has an intricate system of power, and you can -- and should -- work it ethically to your best advantage. To get a promotion, avoid downsizing or get a project green-lighted, you need co-worker support. Get that backing by building relationships, asking others for advice, offering your help and showing sincere interest in others, advises Nemko.

It's also crucial to identify your workplace's hidden pockets of power. On paper, a certain person may be in charge, but you need to know who else in the office has influence so you can be sure to impress the right people.

5. Not being a team player. Getting stuck with this label is one of the fastest career killers, says Hansen. But young workers face a delicate balance. "You can't be so much a member of the team that your individual efforts are not recognized and rewarded," Hansen says. You still need to demonstrate your skills and abilities to successfully build your career without giving the appearance that you're only interested in looking out for yourself.

6. Not dressing the part. In an ideal world, you would be judged by your merits alone. However, we live in a visual society. How you present yourself can play a crucial role in the progress of your career. You want to look put together and in control, not sloppy and indifferent. Keep your hair and nails trimmed, your clothes ironed and your breath smelling nice.

As for your apparel, take your cues from what others are wearing -- you don't want to show up in a suit and tie if jeans are the norm. But it doesn't hurt to dress for the job you want, advises Nemko. It can set you apart from the rest of the crowd and subtly help higher-ups visualize you in a position of more power and responsibility. If you want people to take you more seriously and build influence, you've got to dress the part.

7. Failing to network. You've heard that networking can be a good tool to help you find a job, but maintaining your contacts after you're hired is critical to the continuing success of your career. Keeping in touch helps you stay atop the latest issues in your field and gives you people to call on when you need advice. And a contact just may help you land your next job. Source here.

'Rico Suave' can't even handle this...

Fat-ass cat = 50 pounds / 33-inch waist!

Iggy the cat weighs more than 40 pounds. Iggy stands 14 inches tall, measures nearly 40 inches from whiskers to tail, and boasts a thickset 33-inch waistline. He is larger than most toddlers.
"I've been asked several times if he's a bobcat, and, no, he's a normal cat. We had him tested for that, and he's normal," Kirk said. "Iggy is so big that he can't clean himself, so I brush him and even use baby wipes."

Kirk said the cat's favorite pastime is eating (shock?).

"He goes through 30 pounds of food every week," Kirk said. "He's a waddler. He's not much for running, but he tries," Kirk said. Despite Iggy's girth, Joyce insists he is otherwise healthy and likes a whole lot of loving.

"The vet says he's perfectly healthy in spite of his weight, and that he's more active than a lot of skinny cats," Kirk said. Iggy is now waiting to find out if he can help his owner with his amazingly large food bills. A video sent to "America's Funniest Home Videos" could win the family $10,000. He's also going to be featured on "Ripley's Believe It or Not.” Article here.

Work sucks, let's watch basketball

It's "March Madness," when millions of U.S. workers spend so much time following the men's college basketball games of the NCAA Tournament that by one estimate they're costing companies $3.8 billion in lost productivity.
That price comes as no surprise, said one Boston-area salesman who says his clients have been preoccupied with the three-week, 65-team event that ends with the final game on April 3.

"I'd call customers who would say, 'Call me back later on. I'm watching a game on my computer and don't want to be bothered,'" he said, not wanting his name used. "And every office I go to, it's all they're talking about."

To arrive at that lost $3.8 billion, consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. used data showing that some 41 percent of U.S. workers, or about 58 million people, consider themselves college basketball fans.

Millions of fans, and some who normally pay little attention to college basketball, take part in ubiquitous "March Madness" office pools.

Using online tracking data, Challenger estimated working fans average 13.5 minutes a day following tournament action on the Internet, said John Challenger, chief executive of the Chicago-based firm that studies workplace and business trends. That activity costs companies $237 million a day. Article here.

Some really big... headphones

Mom goes on 30-day binge drinking fest

Nicky Taylor, a single mom, working by day and staying in at night with her three small children can be seen in a recent experiment for her employers at the BBC documentary unit. Taylor, 39, joined a group of women in their 20s and matched them drink for drink to demonstrate the effects of binge drinking. The result is the new documentary, "Booze Bird."

"We have a problem in Britain with binge drinking," Taylor said. "I wanted to find out first and foremost if we are a nation of binge drinkers."

Britain has the highest level of liver cirrhosis in all of Europe. Cirrhosis of the liver is a degenerative disease marked by excess formation of connective tissue and painful swelling.

Both British and American women between legal drinking age and 24 drank 33 percent more alcoholic drinks by volume in 2004 than they did five years earlier, according to Datamonitor, a global strategic market analysis company.

British doctors say binge drinkers exceed the recommended allowance of two to three glasses of wine a day or 14 glasses a week.

During her experiment, Taylor consumed up to the alcoholic equivalent of 30 glasses of wine in a single night. In just 30 days, she consumed the equivalent of more than 500 glasses of wine, and spent five days every week getting falling-down drunk.

Taylor made many startling discoveries during her experiment on how many women binge drink, the social acceptance of binge drinking, and the ways companies market toward young people by making candy-flavored drinks.

Drinking took its tool on Taylor. In one month, she gained almost 10 pounds, her body fat level increasing from 37.4 percent to 38.9 percent. She aged noticeably, looking almost 50 instead of almost 40, and was prone to bouts of depression and diarrhea.

"I lost my jaw line and developed chipmunk cheeks," Taylor said. "I was drinking the equivalent of around 2,000 calories a night and developed a big tire of fat around my stomach."

Doctors said that if Taylor had continued to binge drink for an additional five months, she could have damaged her liver and increased her risk of cancer, infertility and skin complaints.

There were personal side effects too. Taylor could not properly care for her children and sent them to live with their father during the final two weeks of the experiment. And work became much more difficult.

"I had to continue with my job, but I lost my mobile phone, forgot appointments, and couldn't remember when I was meeting people," Taylor said. "By Week 3, depression set in. The alcohol was affecting my brain chemistry. I had no motivation."

Taylor said the worst thing was the shame she felt the day after she had danced on tables and flirted with bystanders one night.

"By the end & I didn't want to see a glass of wine," Taylor said. "Of course I still drink. I am not going to stop. But I will not drink every night now. I have cut down considerably. I look at my glass of wine and think, 'You are a drug.'"

Damn, this is crazy. However, I'm not surprised about the results of the experiment. I am really confused on why anyone would ever want to do this. I hope she got paid- a lot. Article here.

Damn, this is one big-ass gun (50-caliber):

Men arrested, dragging donkey with pickup

Authorities say two men face felony charges of animal cruelty after they allegedly dragged a donkey behind their pickup.

Escambia County deputies say they found the donkey laying on the ground gasping for air with several severe open wounds.

The animal had a rope tied around its neck with the other end tied to the bumper of a truck.

The suspects, identified as Terry Lynn Skinner of Molino and Matthew Michael Ramsey of Cantonment, told law enforcement officers they were trying to get the donkey to Skinner's home.

Panhandle Equine Rescue transported the donkey to a veterinarian in Atmore, Alabama, for treatment. Skinner and Ramsey were taken to Escambia County Jail.

This is awful. Article here.

You won't find this on the $1 menu

DUI offenders get a special license plate?

State Assemblyman Ray Haynes is pushing for a new law that would force DUI offenders to put special license plates on their cars. Any Californian convicted of a repeat DUI would have to put it on his or her car for two years.
"I think it's fair because the biggest problem of driving while drunk is that you are a lethal weapon inside a car, and people need to take steps to protect themselves," said Haynes. Haynes' effort highlights a sobering reality in California.

Despite the threat of license suspension, jail time and heavy fines, a new DMV analysis shows 36 percent of car crash fatalities in the state involve alcohol. That's up from 30 percent a decade ago.

Dee Pettaway lost her daughter, Sharmy, to a drunk driver and said she supports the special designation. "We do this for child molesters. We mark them. We want to know where they live. Why wouldn't we want to do it?" said Pettaway.

But opponents say public shame has no place in public policy.

And they say the red license plate is not fair to others in the household who have to drive the same car. "I wouldn't want it on my car marked. It's just the same as stereotyping someone. If someone sees the license, they might automatically assume things about the person that might not be true," said Victoria Phipps, a first-time DUI offender.

Not sure how I feel about this. I understand both arguments. The power of public shame is stronger than most people realize. And since the American culture currently thrives on upholding/ displaying/ protecting their ‘image’ maybe this isn’t such a bad idea? Article here.