April 14, 2016
A Federal court judge has ruled that the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
is not a valid religion. In fact the judge ruled that the church is a parody, a parody, can you believe it?!? Don't worry true believers, this is just a minor setback. Keep on keeping on folks.
February 24, 2016
As a science fiction writer, I love alternate history novels, about timelines where things happened differently from what we know. Here's a scenario I had been unaware of, which is particularly timely today, in light of many controversies, sharing many parallels.
A factual account of the possible historical turning point is appended below.
Someone did fictionalize it, and you can read the first 58 pages here.
Source of text.
October 27, 2015
As George Orwell noted, political language often strives "to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind" — or pure junk, in this case.
Spartanburg Herald Journal - Apr 24, 1989
August 29, 2015
The Illinois State Lottery
is not currently paying out jackpots above $25,000 until the state budget is passed. There's not even an estimated time frame for the winners who are waiting for their payouts. As you can imagine, the winners have a problem with this.
July 10, 2015
So often here on WU we see "art' displayed in museums or galleries that is anything but artistic. Well, here is some beautifully done, intricate artwork found just lying in the streets of Japan. Manhole covers
June 22, 2015
German travelers in the 1950s complained that beautiful women were routinely being singled out for strip searches by guards at border crossings. The pretext for these searches was usually something trivial, such as a few Swiss francs undeclared. Sounds like the TSA learned some lessons from these guys.
Source: The Corpus Christi Caller-Times
- Dec 6, 1951
May 21, 2015
Browsing through the municipal code of La Mesa, CA
(it's a suburb of San Diego and also happens to be the fine town that I call home), I came across this unusual law:
Every person who transports a commercial quantity of avocados shall cause a statement of ownership to be prepared and retained in his personal possession at all times while transporting said avocados...
"Commercial quantity of avocados" shall mean any quantity of avocados in excess of forty (40) pounds exclusive of the container...
Any peace officer, upon probable cause to believe a person is transporting a commercial quantity of avocados, may stop such person and inspect such avocados, whereupon, the statement of ownership described in Section 10.70.030 shall be presented to said peace officer upon request.
Any peace officer, upon reasonable belief that a person is not in legal possession of a commercial quantity of avocados, may seize such avocados without warrant. Upon seizure the peace officer shall take custody of the avocados and turn the same over to the custody of the Chief of Police.
Obviously we take avocados seriously out here. I wonder if the same rule applies to guacamole.
May 20, 2015
Oregon is running a voluntary per mile travel tax
instead of the current per gallon standard. The volunteers do not have to pay the gas tax while participating in the study.
Does anyone really believe the gas tax will go away if the per mile tax is enacted? Does any tax ever go away once it is put in place? So if this goes through we may as well expect both.
What a great way to control travel, especially for the poor. This idea is a greater threat to personal liberty than the Patriot Act. It is much easier to control a non-moving populace.
May 5, 2015
This image comes from Bulgaria. The story behind it, as far as I can figure out from the Bulgarian site offnews.bg (with help from Google Translate
), is that the pole can be found on a road in the municipality of Tran. The road was recently expanded, but since the pole was owned by the electrical company, the municipality didn't have the right to remove it. So they simply poured the road around it. However, the municipality notes that they have now filed the necessary paperwork to remove the pole, and they hope all the documents will be processed promptly.
March 25, 2015
[Click caption for readability]
No escape from the media, even in 1915, as President Wilson courts Edith Galt
Original photo here.