Tuesday, July 2, 2013

America Back in the Day

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Bart is still on strike… in other news…
Fish Story - A fisherman in Alaska took home a catch for the ages recently when he reeled in a 40-pound shortraker rockfish that experts believe is at least 200 years old. The Daily Sitka Journal reported that Henry Liebman of Seattle was deep-sea fishing off the coast of Alaska on June 21 when he hooked the record-setting shortraker fish from a depth of approximately 900 feet. “I knew it was abnormally big (but I) didn’t know it was a record until on the way back we looked in the Alaska guide book that was on the boat,” Liebman told the paper. Shortrakers, which have hues of orange, pink or red on top of their white bodies, are one of the most commonly sought fish in Alaska and can live at depths of more than 2,500 feet. Troy Tidingco, Sitka area manager for the state Department of Fish and Game, said the fish is still being analyzed but he believes it is at least 200 years old. Tidingco said that would beat the current record of 175 years. And if my calculations are correct, that’s about 25 years more. Math, b**ches! Researchers are able to determine the age of a shortraker by the number of growth rings along its ear bone. What? Really? It’s seriously one of those “count the rings” and you’re throwing in an ear bone? What if humans were like that? “How old are you miss?” “22.” “Let’s see the ear… these are obviously drawn on with an eyebrow pencil. Get back home sweetie, you’ve got class in the morning.” However, a previously caught rougheye rockfish, similar to the shortraker, was believed to have been 205 years old. Still, Tydingco said that record-setting fish “was quite a bit smaller” than the 41-inch specimen Liebman caught. In 2007, a commercial fisherman caught a similarly sized rockfish that turned out to be 115 years old. So basically… like most bits of media information, this is probably just a pointless thing… no records broken, just filler for a slow news day… but then again, maybe it is… nobody knows… hence the more filler. Amazingly, researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association say that fish was still fertile at the time of its capture. "The belly was large," NOAA researcher Paul Spencer told The Associated Press. "The ovaries were full of developing embryos." Liebman told the paper he plans to have the fish mounted back home in Seattle, but he did provide the Alaska Department of Fish and Game with a sample so its age could be determined. Tidingco noted that if the fish is actually as old as believed, it would easily predate the Alaska Purchase in 1867. Scientists say they still don't fully understand animal longevity. Normally, smaller animals tend to outlive larger ones, though that does not necessarily appear to be true with the rockfish. Fun fact: The oldest known animal on record was a clam believed to have been 400-years-old. How did they find out how old it was? They asked it. I don’t know… maybe it’s another “count the rings” thing. Maybe that’s why older ladies tend to have more rings. Perhaps it’s a ring for each decade of life… who knows? Science!

Eye of the Beholder – Art is a funny thing. Many will marvel at the artistry & skill of the “Mona Lisa”, while sane people will look at it & go “How is that different from any other of the thousands of portraits done during that time or millions since? What’s the big deal? Is it because Nat King Cole sang a song about it?” Strolls through an art museum for some people can either captivate the imagination… inspire you… or befoggle your very mind & make you question everything you thought that you ever knew about human beings. Well, this story is a little fun with that. A pair of Manhattan socialites are suing a private school for nearly a half-million dollars after it allegedly tricked them into bidding $50,000 for a finger painting done by kindergarteners. According to the lawsuit filed on Friday in New York State Supreme Court, Michelle-Marie and Jon Heinemann claim the Cathedral School of St. John the Divine sent them a bill for $50,000 after the March 1 silent auction. “This is essentially a painting done by 5-year-olds,” a "source who knows the family" told the New York Post, which first reported the lawsuit. The school scoffed at the Heinemanns' claims. "These allegations are sad, false and without merit," a spokesman for the Upper West Side school said in a statement to Yahoo News. "The Cathedral School has a more than 100-year reputation of excellence in education and service to its students and demonstrates a profound respect for the dignity and equality of every child.” How about some details to find out exactly what’s going on here now that we’re a good few paragraphs into the story? The Heinemanns—whose 5-year-old son, Hudson (I’m assuming named after the badass Gargoyle & not the smelly river), attended the school—were not present at the auction… but instructed the school to bid on their behalf until they won the artwork. Sigh… can you tell where this is going yet? The Heinemanns claim the finger-painted piece should have sold for a maximum of $3,000 (seriously?), but a high-ranking school official made a first-grade teacher bid against the Heinemanns… resulting in the $50,000 price tag. And that was in addition to "$6,000 worth of designer clothing items" the Heinemanns bought and donated to the school specifically for the auction, the suit states. Yes… and on another note, the $56,000 alone spent on this finger painting & clothes to wear to the event for purchase of this finger painting could have fed over 180 African adults for an entire year. This is why the world hates us.
From the lawsuit: Additionally, Plaintiff Michelle-Marie Heinemann, a renowned artist whose works have sold for tens of thousands of dollars, donated significant amounts of her time to work with the children at the school on an art project to be included in the Auction. The family subsequently pulled Hudson out of the $39,000-a-year school. OH NO! Home schooling? What a tragedy! (If that were really the case) According to the lawsuit, the employee who engineered the auction scam was terminated. But the Heinemanns say their trouble with the K-8 day school began well before the auction. They say Hudson was "subjected to disparate and unfair treatment" during the 2012-2013 school year. He "was consistently left out of School exhibits and films" and "was made to go last at nearly everything," the lawsuit claims: On one occasion, Plaintiffs' five-year-old son was relegated to the role of "door-holder" and ordered to hold the door for all of the other students. The Heinemanns say they tried to discuss the situation with school officials, but "were either ignored or otherwise met with resentment." They say they "were forced to endure humiliation and emotional damages" as a result of the auction debacle. They're seeking $415,900 in damages, including the following:
  • Tuition to a new school- $20,000 (half the cost of previous school);
  • Forfeiting deposit paid to Defendant School for the following school year- $5,000;
  • Maintaining the employment of a family driver that is no longer needed due to the relocation- $60,000;
  • Continuing the employment of the family housekeeper that is no longer needed due to the relocation- $1,200 per week
In other unrelated news, I’m considering becoming a family driver and/or family housekeeper to make $60,000-$120,000 a year. Okay, point number one: You are the f**king idiots that set it up to screw yourself. What exactly was this auction for? Fundraising of the school that you’re already paying $39,000 a year for & donating your time to? You’re buying your kid’s f**king finger paintings? “I don’t care what it costs!”? Apparently you do… and somebody took advantage of that stupid situation that you put yourself in. Which leads me to point two, of COURSE they took advantage of you, sucker! They didn’t even have to do a three card monty. That game was reduced to “Okay Jack, pick the red card.” “Here, just take my wallet & tell me if I won.” “Oh, sorry chum, them’s the breaks! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m fresh out of pomade.” Exits stage right to Vaudeville piano…
Point three: Maybe your 5-year old son is just a gentleman, holding the door for his classmates. Would you rather he be a classroom traffic controller or educational usher? “Right this way to you seat, Ms. Smythe!” Point four: Your son was left out of school exhibits & films? First off, he’s five years old… I’ve seen them before, there’s absolutely no need for them to be on exhibit unless they have horns, hair like the wolf boy or have a third of something they’re supposed to have two. Then the price should only be two bits a gander. As for the films, maybe your son isn’t… how do I put this? Maybe he isn’t camera candy. Perhaps your son is more suited for behind the camera… or radio… you know, like the Baldwin that nobody cares about or Brad Pitt’s brother or Dick Howard. I’m sure he’s still a cute kid… but let’s face it, he’s five years old… and he’s not going to set the cinema world on fire by NOT being a class film about… what the hell would that even be about? Oooh… unless it’s a reenactment of Rumplestiltzchen or the Hunchback of Notre Dame or something… then your son could be the STAR!!! Then again, everybody would want to be the star… because there can only be one star & everybody else plays a f**king tree or goat or cloud or something in the background. We get it, you’re new parents. I’m not even a parent & I understand that. Point five: Sure, go ahead & sue for a half million dollars even though the above stipulations don’t even reach $150,000… so the other $300,000+ is the emotional damages that you (not your son) have endured from you being a f**king idiot? The defense rests, your Honor. Case closed. “I told you, that’s my line!” Point six: Your poor kid’s name is Hudson Heinemann. I almost want to beat him up.
Chop Chop – This next courtroom story irks me to my very core. A judge sentenced a Southern California woman who cut off her estranged husband's penis (yeesh!) and tossed it in the garbage disposal (NOOOO!!!) to life in prison (YAY!!!) with the possibility of parole (NO!!!)… in seven years (Are you f**king kidding me?). Okay, now for the back-story so I can get you informed as well as the current state of the media will allow. Catherine Kieu, 50, was convicted by an Orange County jury in April of aggravated mayhem and torture following the July 2011 assault on her ex-husband. According to reports, they were going through divorce proceedings (though I can’t seem to find details as to why for motive other than she’s a crazy b**ch) when Kieu drugged her 60-year old former spouse’s tofu with sleeping pills… before tying him up to the bed… and severing his penis with a 10-inch kitchen knife. She then threw it into the garbage disposal unit. An attorney for Vietnam-born Kieu argued at trial that she had suffered sexual abuse as a child which left her with post-traumatic stress. She was remorseful about the attack, he said.
I’m sorry… did her former husband abuse her? No? Did she chop off the offending party’s penis forty years later until they bled out in painful anguish? Then it doesn’t f**king matter how remorseful you are. After the sentencing hearing, the victim - identified only as "Glen" - said he obviously wished Orange County Superior Court Judge Richard Toohey could have given Kieu more time behind bars, City News Service reported. Yes, more time than “life”!!! "Deep down inside I was hoping for a stronger sentence, but given the restraints of the law this is what he had to do," he said. "There may be a situation where I can be happy, but whole? Never ... I've got a long ways to go." So fellas, let’s say you got touched by an uncle when you were a kid… it’s okay… because using this case as reference, you can get back at him by drugging a girl forty years later, preferably somebody close like your wife, not just some random side chick, tying her up, chopping off her breasts, throwing them in the blender for the world’s worst smoothie, and you’ll only have to serve seven years for your heinous act of violence against a loved one… or you can have a pound of weed in your car. It’s about the same sentence if I’m not mistaken. Thank you, court system! You never cease to disappoint me in every way! By the way, I’m not a huge advocate for the Code of Hammurabi or anything as a legal system but… somehow I feel this might be an appropriate situation. Eye for an eye & all that sh*t. I can hear it now. “But $teve, he was 60 & probably not even using it anymore… so no real harm done.” In that case, you’ve convinced me that the only justice is to severely maim her vagina, like Middle East style… because obviously she’s not going to be using hers anymore, right? You heard it, judge. Make it happen! Or set her free in seven years because she says she’s really sorry about it… and then she dies mysteriously one night when her house goes up in flames after a few Vietnam vets with PTSD on hard times have flashbacks after being given an address that they were told was for a VFW shelter… but instead is her residence. I’m just saying, mistakes are made… and it’s a damn tragedy. Also, I’m just picturing this b**ch getting seven years in prison, getting a free ride & three meals a day, being idolized by all the other b**ches in prison. “What’re you in for?” “I chopped off my husband’s penis & threw it in the garbage disposal.” “Why?” “Because somebody touched me inappropriately forty years ago & I have no concept of perception & reality.” “Yeah, f**k men! Throw them all in the garbage disposal.” Justice!
America Circa 1900 – I feel like I’ve been leaving news stories with downers for a while now… so I’m gonna end with this. A number of panoramic photographs from more than 100 years ago show how one man’s creative thinking helped influence photography—especially aerial photography. In 1893, photographer George R. Lawrence inherited a camera studio and launched his new company with the motto, “The Hitherto Impossible in Photography is Our Specialty." I like it already! Lawrence was particularly interested in aerial photography, according to the Library of Congress, and in 1901 he began using a series of creative approaches that eventually led to capturing images from thousands of feet above Earth. Lawrence first turned to wooden ladders, but he wanted to go higher… “How high?” “So high that he could touch the sky?” “How sick?” “So sick that you can suck my…” Okay, Redman & Method Man moment is over now. Anyway, Mr. Lawrence wanted to go higher… so he started using balloons to get his unique photographs. Airplanes were not an option, because it was still more than two years before the Wright Brothers' maiden flight in 1903. The high-flying innovator would travel the skies above communities across the United States to capture images of developing cities. A near-death experience “inspired” Lawrence to move away from balloons. During one flight, the cage Lawrence was riding in tore free from the balloon, sending him falling to the ground hundreds of feet below. His life was saved when the cage’s fall was broken by telephone lines (ZAP!!!). Amazingly, Lawrence walked away from the incident unharmed. That incident also pushed Lawrence's photography to new heights. He began experimenting with using kites, even stringing 17 of them together to lift a 50-pound camera an estimated 2,000 feet into the air (the prequel to “Up” entitled “Eye in the Sky”). In 1906, Lawrence famously used his kite method to capture a panoramic view chronicling the devastating aftermath of fires that had leveled much of San Francisco after a major earthquake. If you’re interested, you can view the full collection of Lawrence’s aerial photographs at the Library of Congress… but here are a few examples…
San Francisco after the big quake of 1906
The Jersey Shore – Atlantic City 1909
Washington D.C. in 1905
Well, that’ll do it for today. I know that you’re impressed that I’ve been cranking out a few of these entries a week again since it has been a few years since I could… but unfortunately I wouldn’t get too used to it. I have a little bit of free time here & there but only because it’s kind of a lull in my busy season. I’ll certainly try to keep things up & keep you informed… but just be aware… I’m trying hard to keep my fans (both of them) on the cutting edge of entertainment. Have a great 4th of July weekend everybody!!! Happy birthday, ‘Merica!!!

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