Unintended Consequences

So the toilet was plugged, and I still had a little dynamite ....
We’ve all done things that didn’t turn out exactly as planned. Since you’re not here to defend yourself, I’ll give a personal example. When I was a kid I wanted a rocket launcher. Well, what kid doesn’t? As regular readers of this blog know I made some unusual choices as a child. Anyway, like I said, I wanted a rocket launcher. Since my family thought this was an incredibly bad idea I was shut down. Or so they hoped. Instead I decided to build my own. After all, how hard could it be? I made my rocket launcher out of a pop bottle which I filled with Lysol spray, since I’d discovered that Lysol spray burns and I wanted a rocket launcher with some oomph (full story at end of this video link). Into this I set a large bottle rocket which I ignited with a match. The fact that I’m writing this let’s you know I survived. But it wasn’t a given at the time. There were pieces of broken glass spread for about 10 to fifteen feet and they were all flaming due to the Lysol stuck to them. Somehow I managed not to burn anything down and received only minor cuts and bruises. So the next time you’re in church and your priest/minister/pastor says God protects fools and children, you’ll know he’s telling the truth.

Journalist Mariella Frostup knows how I felt. She wanted to do something fun by putting a couple of plants on her balcony and suddenly every British pervert within miles wants to have sex with her and her husband. And maybe the kids.

The addition of a pair of pampas grass plants to Mariella Frostrup’s balcony were no doubt intended to bring a rural touch to her London flat.

However, the television and radio presenter has spoken of her alarm after learning she had inadvertently identified herself as a swinger by planting the grasses outside her Notting Hill home.

Since the arrival of her two Cortaderia selloana plants, the married 49-year-old said she has been inundated with unwanted inquiries.

Unbeknown to the gravelly-voiced journalist, planting the decorative species at the front of a home is regarded by some as a code sign that the occupants engage in wife swapping.

Frostrup, who has two children, said she is now desperately trying to get rid of the plants which grow in dense tussocks up to 10ft tall, and are native to South America.

Revealing her gaffe on Twitter, the BBC arts presenter wrote: “Who knew that pampas grass plants are a signal to fellow swingers?

“Bought two and put them on my balcony. Neighbours have been swarming!”

She later added: “Anyone want a Pampas Grass plant for Christmas, or better still, two?”

The disclosure sparked a flood of jovial remarks from her followers on the social networking site.

One advised: “They are supposed to be secret code that swingers live in the house – you know – car keys in the bowl …”

One remarked: “You obviously live in a swinging hot spot!”

Another added: “The middle class village we used to live in was awash with them. You’d never have guessed it by looking at them.”

In response, Frostrup, who is married to human rights lawyer Jason McCue, seven years her junior, jokingly wrote: “Can I borrow some sugar and your husband?”

Frostrup, who, as a Sunday newspaper agony aunt, is normally used to advising others on sexual matters, yesterday sought advice on a replacement for the offending plants.

“Any tips on what to replace the clearly misguiding Pampas with – does a humble Yukka send subversive messages too?” the women’s rights campaigner asked.

Frostrup could not be contacted for comment yesterday.

You know, as worldly as I am, I did not know that Pampas Grass was a sign that I wanted to pimp out my significant other. I learn something new every day on this job.

Another thing I learned is that I will never put a laptop on my lap while using Wi-Fi. It destroys sperm.

No You Tube video is worth that.

Surfing the internet on a laptop that is connected with wireless technology can damage sperm counts, a study suggests.

Researchers discovered a personal computer using wi-fi that is placed near male reproductive organs reduced sperm quality and the chances of men experiencing fatherhood.

Scientists found sperm placed under a laptop that used wireless technology suffered more damage than specimens kept at the same temperature but away from a wi-fi signal.

The bench side tests undertaken by the American and Argentinian team showed sperm were less able to swim and had irreversible changes in the genetic code.

Experts suggested the findings, published in this month’s Fertility and Sterility journal, were caused by the electromagnetic radiation emitted by wireless communication that damages semen.

The team also cautioned that the results were carried out in an artificial setting and said men should not overly worry just yet.

The study, from a team from the Nascentis Centre for Reproductive Medicine in Cordoba, Argentina and and the Eastern Virginia Medical School, a quarter of the sperm placed next to a laptop for just a few hours were killed .
Evidence of DNA damage was also found.

In comparison, sperm that was stored at the same temperature but away from a laptop showed a smaller drop in mobility and a significant reduction in DNA damage.

Meanwhile, semen placed under the computer without the wi-fi connected did not experience significant levels of sperm damage.

“Our data suggest that the use of a laptop computer wirelessly connected to the internet and positioned near the male reproductive organs may decrease human sperm quality,” said Dr Conrado Avendano, who led the study.

“At present we do not know whether this effect is induced by all laptop computers connected by Wi-Fi to the internet or what use conditions heighten this effect.”

The findings differ from previous studies because fears over links between infertility and laptops have focused on heat emitted by the devices.

In the latest study, researchers took sperm specimens from 29 healthy men, aged 26 to 45.

Each donor sample was separated out into two pots and either placed under a laptop using wireless technology or away from the computer.

Scientists then used the laptop to download information from the internet for four hours.

They found that 25 per cent of the sperm under the laptop had stopped moving and nine per cent showed DNA damage.

By comparison, just 14 per cent of samples kept away from the wi-fi stopped moving while just three per cent suffered DNA damage.

Yeah, until they figure that out it’s not too much effort to keep my laptop on a table and some lead shielding on my crotch.

In the meantime, try this nightmare on for size. Your family is kidnapped by an armed assailant. Your life is in jeopardy. The cops nail the S.O.B. So, naturally, the S.O.B. sues you for damages.

No, I am not making this up. I couldn’t if I tried.

In one of the more audacious – and head-spinning – lawsuits to hit the courts lately, a fugitive facing a murder charge who took a Kansas couple hostage is now suing his victims for not hiding him from police.

Jesse Dimmick is seeking $235,000 from Jared and Lindsay Rowley in a breach of contract suit involving his 2009 invasion of their home, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

Dimmick claims the couple, newlyweds at the time, agreed to hide him for an unspecified amount of money.

“Later, the Rowleys reneged on said oral contract, resulting in my being shot in the back by authorities,” Dimmick wrote in a notarized legal document filed last month, the paper said.

“As a result of the plaintiffs breech (sic) of contract, I, the defendant suffered a gunshot to my back, which almost killed me,” he wrote. “The hospital bills alone are in excess of $160,000, which I have no way to pay.”

The Rowleys are awaiting a ruling on their motion to have the suit dismissed, saying they never accepted Dimmick’s offer of money and even if they had, their consent would have been given under duress.

According to the paper, Dimmick, who was being pursued by police, entered the Rowleys’ home and confronted them at knifepoint. A neighbor said the couple gained his trust by eating snacks and drinking soft drinks with him while watching the movie “Patch Adams,” then fled when he fell asleep.

Dimmick was convicted of four felonies, including two counts of kidnapping, and is currently being held in Colorado on a murder charge, the paper said.

The Rowleys have filed a suit against Dimmick seeking civil damages in excess of $75,000.

I can’t wait to hear a judge rule on this mess. I wonder if profanity is acceptable in cases like this? I would imagine so.

Oh well, let’s move on. It’s late, you’re tight on cash and you’ve locked yourself out of the house. What to do? Play Santa!

Firefighters have rescued a Texas plainsman who proved to be no Santa Claus.

Fire officials say they had to hoist the 22-year-old man by rope from the chimney of his house in southwest Lubbock early Monday after he became stuck in it.

Deputy Fire Marshal Robert Loveless tells the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that the man had locked himself and his family out of their house about 1 a.m. Monday.

Loveless says the man, wanting to save the price of a locksmith, decided to enter the house through the chimney as his wife and child waited outside.

Loveless says the man’s wife called 911 after he became stuck, and firefighters hauled him out unhurt about an hour later.

Yes, you read that right. Like the legendary blond who locked herself in her car, he was locked out of a house with people in it. Anyone of whom could have opened the door. Had they had a lick of sense.

Speaking of things that don’t make any sense, read here about a a granny who got shot while making dinner.

A Nebraska grandmother was shot in the arm while cooking Thanksgiving dinner in her kitchen by a man who was allegedly aiming at children playing in the street.

“They were shooting outside running, I mean going up that hill at those little kids,” said Cindy Kellogg, neighbor to the woman who was shot.

The woman’s 14-year-oild grandson fell while trying to run from the man. Police say they don’t know why he aimed for children.

“I want to stay in the house with my mom,” said Jazmir Holmes, 8, who plays on the street where shots were fired. “I’m scared.”

“It’s sad to have to want to move, since I did grow up here,” said Jazmir’s mother, Mary Holmes. “This was my mom’s house before she passed, but I’m looking for something better for my kids.”

Doctors say the grandmother is in serious condition but she is expected to survive.

Go ahead, read that again. Do you see the problem?

No one arrested the guy shooting at the kids. That seems to be acceptable behavior in Nebraska. And if you don’t like it ya’ll can move.

Yeah, I think I know another state to avoid like the freaking plague.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilZPZawbw5w&w=640&h=360]

Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG AM 1280, every Thursday morning around 9:10!

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