Archive for the '‘D’ for ‘Dumb’' Category

Church Vandal Caught, Lost

Almost exactly a year ago, seven suburban churches here in Minnesota were vandalized with cryptic graffiti.

Well, have no fear, the police finally got their man – Malcolm Eric Johns, a 36-year-old anarchist who admits to hating religion.

Johns – who has previous convictions in Minnesota for damage to property and careless driving – apparently decided that court wasn’t worth showing up for today, meaning he can add “failure to appear” to his growing list of charges.

Not that he’s trying terribly hard to hide, mind; the Star Tribune apparently reached him without difficulty at his parents’ home, where he stated his disgust with the planet, and expressed a desire for law enforcement to kill him.

I eagerly anticipate the local anarchist community’s response to this, and their convoluted explanations about how Mr. Johns was framed/entrapped/railroaded/beaten into confessing his involvement in what should, inevitably, be a protected first-amendment activity. Dude, solidarity and stuff, amirite?

It looks like Johns might have lived in Atlanta for a couple years, which makes me wonder if there are any unsolved church graffiti cases down there…

Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb' | on June 16th, 2011 | Comments Off on Church Vandal Caught, Lost

Radiological Underpreparedness

Nope, this isn’t about what you think it’s about.

In the last week or so, a couple of stories have run in the news about radiation from Japan’s stricken reactors being detected in rainfall in various parts of the United States, as predicted by everyone with a basic understanding of how weather works.

Public Intelligence has a collection of some of these articles here.

This news is not, on the face of things, really exciting, or even all that interesting.

But there’s an interesting little tidbit in there which I think is not just interesting, but alarming – all the more so because some dumbass discussed it in public.
Read the rest of this entry »

Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', Geekiness, General, Security | on March 29th, 2011 | Comments Off on Radiological Underpreparedness

Kwik-ish Hits

Ugh, crazy week. Been hard at work writing a novel and some other stuff, working on a microcontroller project, fighting with some computer stuff, and what seems like a thousand other things as well. Plus I’m either getting a cold or the quasi-thaw we’re having this winter is making my allergies flare up…


Yesterday, Israel seized the MV Victory, which it alleges was carrying as many as 50 tonnes of weapons “to be used against Israeli citizens”, including six Chinese anti-ship missiles. As is typical in these cases – if a little surprising, in a country with, y’know, compulsory military service – the IDF has apparently released (mis-)captioned photos of the seized cargo, which mislabels 120mm mortar rounds as “rockets” and what appear to be French(?) M61 60mm mortar rounds as “grenades”. (Note that the 60mm mortars appear relatively different than those seized in 2009, though the packing lists are quite similar.)

As far as I can tell, no photos of the anti-ship missiles have been released…
Read the rest of this entry »

Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', Geekiness, General, Security | on March 16th, 2011 | Comments Off on Kwik-ish Hits

Viva le Protectionism

Ten years ago – stop me if you remember this – the Army re-jiggered its uniform slightly, a move that is mostly forgettable except for “Beretgate” – the brouhaha over military headgear being made in China. It was a purely political ploy motivated by nothing but stupidity and ideology.

Why am I bringing this up now, a decade later? Well, the Star Tribune has an article on a retarded state law that requires public agencies to source uniforms and protective equipment that are made in the United States.

To be honest, I’m surprised public-safety organizations weren’t – aren’t – in an uproar over that, since they tend to be a bit OCD about protective equipment, in particular, and because the financial burden is, in some instances, quite substantial.
Read the rest of this entry »

Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', Security | on March 7th, 2011 | Comments Off on Viva le Protectionism

Ah, Tires Plus

Tires Plus is a chain of tire stores that also do other vehicle-related service, repair, and maintenance (hence the “plus” part). They have a bit of an unsavory reputation for abject mediocrity, which was illustrated quite hilariously this past week on the website of the local newspaper. One of their blogs made a brief post on Thursday recounting the story of a reader at an (unnamed!) “national tire retailer” who were paid to rotate his tires, but didn’t.

Dozens of readers – literally – posted comments about bad experiences with Tires Plus. Dozens. The first complaint took just twenty minutes to show up, the second arrived twenty-five minutes later, and at that point the floodgates opened and Tires Plus story after Tires Plus story was recounted by readers.

Yesterday, the blog posted an update confirming – to the surprise of all the readers, not – that it was, indeed, Tires Plus that was at fault, and included some insincere pseudo-apology from the manager. This of course prompted the floodgates to burst, as dozens more people are coming forward with horror stories about the company.

As a pedestrian/bicyclist, I have no skin in this game, as it were, but I cannot help find it amusing – and telling – that things are so bad at Tires Plus, apparently franchise-wide, that simply saying “someone had a bad experience at a tire retailer” immediately summons to mind “Tires Plus”.

Is all publicity still good publicity when one of your screwups gets a few dozen disgruntled customers together to swap complaints? I’m going to guess… “no”.

Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', General | on March 1st, 2011 | Comments Off on Ah, Tires Plus