Shooting the Shit 8.8
What's brown and sounds like a bell? Oddly enough, the answer to
this question--dung!--is also an answer to this question: What secret
ingredient did security forces in Davos, Switzerland have at their
disposal to use against anti-globalization protesters? According
to Business Week, Swiss security forces spiked their water
cannons with liquefied cow manure. "Asked about it," Business
Week reported. "one heavily armed policewoman in Davos smiled
brightly and remarked: 'At least it's organic' "
Out, Damned Bribes! 8.1
To protect local street merchants from corrupt police officers
and other officials bent on extorting money from them, Bangkok Gov.
Samak Sundaravej called up some reinforcements from the dark side,
invoking a deadly curse against the bad guys in blue. "May city
police officers extorting money from street vendors, as well as
those involved in racketeering to serve these corrupt officials,
perish from the earth and meet their downfall." he declared in a
written statement quoted by Thailand's Nation newspaper.
"May their lives be forever ruined and never to flourish."
The governor has vowed to have the curse posted in every district
police office, the paper reports. Samek resorted to the curse only
after his attempts to fight corruption in more, well, normal ways
were unsuccessful, complaining, as the Nation put it, "that
city police seemed to believe his order banning them from taking
'tea money' from street vendors was something of a joke."
Say it with Flowers 5.4
To paraphrase Al Capone: You get further with a gun and a kind
word than you can with just a gun. That was apparently the logic
behind the recent sentence meted out to a man who had robbed a Scottish
bakery armed with a gun, albeit a toy one. The judge, one Lord Reed,
apparently felt that since the gun was fake the punishment should
be as well. Instead of putting the criminal behind bars, he sentenced
him to community service--and told him to send the victims a nice
note. "You would do well to make some significant gesture of apology
to the ladies affected," Lord Reed announced at the High Court in
Edinburgh. "Deliver to each of them a large bunch of flowers with
a letter of apology."
The shop assistants are having none of it. "I had a gun pointed
at me," one told London's Daily Mirror. "At the time, I had
no idea it was a toy. I would have thought he should have been jailed.
He can stuff the flowers."
Over the Rainbow 4.2
Seattle isn't always a gloomy place. Recently, residents were treated
to a glorious
rainbow. The sight, alas, was novel enough to startle some local drivers.
Before it was all over, the rainbow had caused a 12-car pileup on
a local highway. "Our reports are that ... people were kind of looking
at the rainbow, very distracted," a Washington State Patrol spokeswoman
told Reuters. "Between the wet street and the inattention, we believe
that's what began this whole thing. We're very fortunate not to have