Florida Mayor

Dale Glen Massad

“Florida Man” is a well-known internet meme, thanks to the abundance of crazy news headlines involving denizens of the Sunshine State (e.g. “Florida Man steals 36,000 pounds of Crisco”; “Florida Man bites off neighbor’s ear because he wouldn’t give him a cigarette,” etc).

Florida Man, meet Florida Mayor:

The mayor of a Florida town was arrested Thursday after he opened fire on deputies who were trying to serve a search warrant for allegedly operating an illegal medical practice at his home.

Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said SWAT officers showed up to the house of Port Richey mayor Dale Glen Massad on Thursday morning to serve a warrant related to allegations that he was still practicing medicine despite having his medical license revoked more than 27 years ago.

When SWAT tried to enter the home, bullets began raining down on the officers.

Officers did not return fire. Eventually, Massad surrendered to police and was taken into custody. No one was injured.

More fodder for a Dave Barry column.

“The editorial equivalent of clubbing a baby seal to death”

South China Morning Post

The best part of waking up is hilariously bad writing under your cup

That is how one commenter aptly describes this brutal deconstruction of a column by Tammy Tam, editor-in-chief of Hong Kong newspaper the South China Morning Post. Keep in mind as you read it that the SCMP is the most prestigious English-language newspaper in Asia:

It was while I was in the thick of deciphering the intended meaning of Tam words and rewriting them into coherent utterances that I gained a sense of Tam’s ineptitude as a writer: whatever Tam had applied herself to in the past, toiling at the keyboard – so necessary a part of any writer’s growth – wasn’t one of them. So, just as some people think any able-bodied person can lift her leg and “dance”, Tam probably approached column-writing assuming any literate person can string sentences together and “write.” […]

How did someone with Tam’s shoddy English got herself installed as the chief editor of an English-language paper in a cosmopolitan city? In recent years, Beijing has made many moves to curtail the freedom of expression in Hong Kong; Tam’s appointment can be understood as just one of such measures. And from Beijing’s point of view, the need to have a loyalist helm the SCMP is so pressing that the optics of Tam dancing like Dean’s sister in the paper every week is of negligible importance.

Tam’s column is really, really bad. The critique of it, on the other hand, is a delightful act of editorial cruelty.

While we’re on the topic, here’s China’s state media lecturing Canada about journalistic ethics:

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Saturday that he had “asked for and accepted John McCallum’s resignation as Canada’s Ambassador to China,” after McCallum told the Toronto Star Friday that “if (the US) drops the extradition request, that would be great for Canada.” Joanna Chiu, assistant managing editor of StarMetro Vancouver, directly triggered the resignation after making McCallum’s words public. On Twitter, Chiu described how she got the exclusive interview with McCallum and showed off her scoop. But Chiu’s behavior made her look like a paparazzo instead of a serious journalist. It’s not hard to imagine the serious consequences if such important news is reported in a “paparazzi” way. […]

Canada’s current public opinion won’t help the country resolve [Huawei CFO] Meng’s case reasonably. Some Canadian media and reporters, especially Joanna Chiu, have played an irresponsible role. They are pushing the Trudeau administration further into a dilemma, leaving Ottawa no choice but to stand against Beijing. This is not what a professional journalist would do.

The Trudeau government must properly deal with China-Canada relations, or it should be prepared for Beijing’s further retaliation.

Promoted to customer

Not sure if the specific language of this tweet was Verizon’s idea or CNBC’s:

Verizen layoff tweet CNBC

The article uses the much more sensible term “buyout offer.”

Being fired or laid off is one of those unpleasant aspects of modren life that has spawned a plethora of Orwellian euphemisms to mask the brutal underlying reality.

I think it was from the BBC series The Office that I learned the startling British euphemism “redundancy offer.”

The Office David Brent

Alpha Centauri Sucks

Latest XKCD cartoon:

I believe this is known as a “dad joke.” In any case, nothing wrong with a little mild astronomy humor. Astro-comedy? Reminds me of this quote from Douglas Adams’s The Restaurant at the End of the Universe:

The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why, and Where phases. For instance, the first phase is characterized by the question ‘How can we eat?’ the second by the question ‘Why do we eat?’ and the third by the question ‘Where shall we have lunch?”

(See also. And.)

Scientist stabs other scientist who kept giving away the ending

Don’t do this:

A scientist plunged a kitchen knife into his colleague as he was fed up with the man telling him the endings of books, say investigators.

Sergey Savitsky, 55, and Oleg Beloguzov, 52, would pass the lonely hours during four harsh years together in a remote outpost in Antarctica by reading.

However Savitsky became angry after Beloguzov kept telling him the endings, it has been claimed.

Oleg Beloguzov

Beloguzov the blabbermouth

Savitsky is back home in St Petersburg under house arrest.

He has been charged with attempted murder.

It is believed to the first time a man has been charged with a murder bid in Antartica [sic].

Sadly, Beloguzov appears to have ignored the First Rule of Survival with Another Human Being in Close Quarters Over a Long Period of Time, which is also enshrined in Article 15 of the Antarctic Treaty:

Don’t be annoying.

Idiocracy and other new English words

Idiocracy Costco

Idiocracy (the movie)

The English language, if the Oxford English Dictionary is to be believed, has over 600,000 words and gains several thousand new words every year. New words enter the OED only if there is evidence of widespread use for a significant period of time (typically, at least a decade), so the quarterly updates to the dictionary offer an interesting glimpse into how our collective consciousness is expanding and mutating. I was amused, for example, to discover that the following words were recently added to the dictionary:

  • apocalyptician, n.
  • apocalypticist, n.
  • Archie Bunker, n.
  • areligious, adj.
  • butthurt, adj.
  • Chan, n.
  • douchebaggery, n.
  • douchey, adj.
  • Dunbar number, n.
  • idiocracy, n.2
  • Indiana Jones, n.
  • Kansas, n. [Ed: ??]
  • Kubrickian, adj.
  • lumbersexual, adj. and n.
  • Lynchian, adj.
  • Mrs Robinson, n.
  • Nollywood, n.
  • nothingburger, n. and adj.
  • prepper, n.3
  • Scorsesean, adj.
  • Spielbergian, adj.
  • Tarantinoesque, adj.
  • Tarkovskian, adj.
  • verbalness, n.
  • yarg, n. [Ed: This appears to refer to either “an ironic invocation of the pirate spirit by rule-bound individuals frustrated by the setbacks of civilized life” or a semi-hard cheese made in Cornwall]

Minimum wage machine

This is pretty funny:

If you’ve always wanted to work for minimum wage, but in typical overachieving fashion haven’t quite got there yet, the Minimum Wage Machine will pay you $7.15 for an hour of turning the crank-handle.

Workers will receive one penny for every 5.04 seconds’ worth of work, which at $7.15 an hour is the minimum pay required by the NY state—or at least, it was back in 2008 when this piece was created by artist Blake Fall-Conroy.