January 28, 2006

Did I hear him right?

Posted in Randumb at 2:50 am by Iram

Spoken by an FBI agent when questioned about the time it took to arrest a man who had abducted two girls and in the process of the FBI investigation managed to rape one more:

“This is the United States of America. We don’t have any physical ways to force someone to confess.”

Something tells me this is not an entirely accurate statement.

January 27, 2006

Italian Boy at Confesson

Posted in Randumb at 5:20 am by Iram

“Bless me Father, for I have sinned. I have been with a loose woman.”

The priest asks, “Is that you, little Johnny Parisi?”

“Yes, Father, it is.”

“And who was the woman you were with?”

“I can’t tell you, Father. I don’t want to ruin her reputation.”

“Well, Johnny, I’m sure to find out her name sooner or later., so you may as well tell me now. Was it Tina Minetti?”

“I cannot say.”

“Was it Teresa Volpe?”

“I’ll never tell.”

“Was it Nina Capeli?”

“I’m sorry, but I cannot name her.”

“Was it Cathy Piriano?”

“My lips are sealed.”

“Was it Rosa Di Angelo, then?”

“Please, Father, I cannot tell you.”

“The priest sighs in frustration. You’re very tight lipped, Johnny Parisi, and I admire that. But you’ve sinned and you have to atone. You cannot attend church services for four months. Now, go and behave yourself.”

Johnny walks back to his pew, and his friend Nino slides over and whispers, “What’d you get?”

“Four months vacation and five good leads…”

January 25, 2006

Electric Showers

Posted in Randumb at 7:14 pm by Iram

Here’s a segment of Craig’s blog of his travels in Brazil:

So anyhow, besides Luiz, views of America or wild animals, the thing that scares me the most in Brazil is the showers. Depending on where you are, sometimes there is hot water and sometimes there is not. Even in the nicest places, I have not found central hot water, but instead there is an electric apparatus that is part of your showerhead that heats the water. There are three settings for heat and a switch to choose. The first time I tried to change the temperature, I didn´t understand the words, so I was trying all the settings. Every time I switched it, I could see a flash of charge behind the plastic of the showerhead. A bit alarming, but hey, no harm, no foul. Recently, in one of the pousadas, I tried the same endeavor, as I like cold showers in this hot climate. This time I got a slight buzzing sensation, which turned into a stronger sensation, then pain. I got quite a shock before I realized what was happening. I looked at the shower head, and there were all kinds of wires hanging out (no plastic sheath on some of them). Holy smokes! I talked with my friends today, who laughed heartily at my stupid gringo ways. Apparently every brazilian knows not to touch the shower head after you are wet. I didn´t see any such directions, and at the normal 240V that they have here, wet or not, I´ll be letting the person in front of me decide my water temperature from now on.

January 23, 2006

Urban Legend

Posted in Randumb at 8:45 pm by Iram

On March 23,1994 the medical examiner viewed the body of Ronald Opus and concluded that he died from a shotgun wound to the head. Mr. Opus had jumped from the top of a ten story building intending to commit suicide. He left a note to that effect, indicating his despondency. As he fell past the ninth floor his life was interrupted by a shotgun blast passing through a window which killed him instantly.

Neither the shooter nor the descender was aware that a safety net had been installed just below at the eighth floor level to protect some building workers and that Ronald Opus would not have been able to complete his suicide the way he had planned.

“Ordinarily,” Dr. Mills continued, “a person who sets out to commit suicide and ultimately succeeds, even though the mechanism might not be what he intended, is still defined as committing suicide.”

That Mr. Opus was shot on the way to certain death, but probably would not have been successful because of the safety net, caused the medical examiner to feel that he had a homicide on his hands. The room on the ninth floor, whence the shotgun blast emanated, was occupied by an elderly man and his wife. They were arguing vigorously and he was threatening her with a shotgun. The man was so upset that when he pulled the trigger he completely missed his wife and the pellets went through the window, striking Mr. Opus.

When one intends to kill subject A but kills subject B in the attempt, one is guilty of the murder of subject B. When confronted with the murder charge the old man and his wife were both adamant. They both said they thought the shotgun was unloaded. Thed old man said it was his long-standing habit to threaten his wife with the unloaded shotgun. He had no intention to murder her. Therefore the killing of Mr. Opus appeared to be an accident; that is, the gun had been accidentally loaded.

The continuing investigation turned up a witness who saw the old couple’s son loading the shotgun about six weeks prior to the fatal accident. It transpired that the old lady had cut off her son’s financial support and the son, knowing the propensity of his father to use the shotgun threateningly, loaded the gun with the expectation that his father would shoot his mother. The case now becomes one of murder on the part of the son for the death of Ronald Opus.

Now comes the exquisite twist. Further investigation revealed that the son was, in fact, Ronald Opus. He had become increasingly despondent over the failure of his attempt to engineer his mother’s murder. This led him to jump off the ten story building on March 23rd, only to be killed by a shotgun blast passing through the ninth story window. The son had actually murdered himself so the medical examiner closed the case as a suicide.

Taken from the Darwin Awards

January 22, 2006

Check This Out

Posted in Randumb at 6:15 am by Iram


January 18, 2006

Great Quote

Posted in Randumb at 4:40 am by Iram

Old MacDonald had a farm. And everything was hunky-dory on it. You farmed and tilled and reaped and sowed and everything was just fucking great. Everyone got along, even the chickens and the cows, and no one needed to talk about anything, because nothing bad ever happened, and nobody had any secrets because secrets were for bad people, people who didn’t eat their eggs, people who climbed in cars that smelled of apples with strange men and disappeared for four days, only to come back home to find everyone they’d known had disappeared, too, been replaced with smiley-faced look-alikes who’d do just about anything but listen to you.

Kudos to anybody who can name that book. Oh, and can I say run-on sentence?

January 14, 2006

Great Hoax

Posted in Randumb at 6:31 am by Iram

When Therese Humbert heard groans coming from the next railway compartment she bravely climbed along the outside of the train to see what she could do. In the compartment she found a man who had just had a heart attack. She climbed in and helped him, and the man, Robert Henry Crawford, said he would be eternally grateful to her for saving his life and would reward her one day. Two years later, in 1881, Therese received a letter saying that Crawford had died and made her a beneficiary in his will. The will said that Therese was to look after the family fortune, which was locked in a safe, until her younger sister, Marie, was old enough to marry one of Crawford’s two nephews. The story of the inheritance enabled Therese and her husband to obtain loans and improve their lifestyle. Eventually, larger loans had to be raised to cover the interest on the original loans. For 20 years, the Humberts were able to live in luxury in spite of attempts to discredit Therese’s story. But by 1902, financiers realized that the amount of the inheritance would not be enough to cover all the loans and legal costs that had arisen. Calls were made for the safe to be opened. When it was opened, the authorities found a brick and an English halfpenny, but by this time the Humberts had disappeared. They were arrested in Madrid in December, 1902. Therese was jailed for five years and her two brothers, who had played the ficitious nephews of the non-existent Robert Crawford, were sentenced to two and three years each.

January 5, 2006


Posted in Iramville, Randumb at 7:34 pm by Iram

I’m really mad. I was watching CNN two days ago, and was really excited at hearing the news that 12 of the 13 trapped miners in West Virginia had been found alive. I actually saw an interview of this one guy whose cousin was trapped in the mine, and he had come to scene from work after hearing the report from CNN so that he could meet his cousin. There was so much detail: one body was found, twelve miners were found alive and well and they were currently seeing health professionals and as soon as that was over they be debriefed and then brought to the church where their families were waiting. Happy, I went to bed.

Then, I heard last night that the news was incorrect. Twelve miners had in fact been found dead, and the one who was found alive is in a coma and has very few chances of coming out okay.

How could CNN be so wrong?!?! It is painful enough for the family members of those poor miners, and this has likely made it worse. They were given a hope, were shown the light at the end of the tunnel, and then were told “Oops, sorry, our bad.” This is such a terrible display of media can do when it goes wrong. I’m sooooo mad!!!!

January 4, 2006

Downtown Houston

Posted in Iramville at 11:25 am by Iram

I went out to eat yesterday at a wonderful little Italian restaurant in downtown Houston. I can’t quite remember the name of it, but it is right across the street from Jones Hall, and if anybody is in the area I would definitely recommend it. The food was delicious, and the atmosphere is cozy. Since we were the only people in the restaurant when we got there, the owner was free to speak with us and we got quite the story out of him. The guy, Vittorio, left home in Italy when he was 14. After travelling around the country for a few years, he joined the Italian navy with hopes of “seeing the world”. From his account, that didn’t exactly happen, although he had a great from of Basera in Iraq when he was stationed there until a missile sunk his ship and he was sent back home to Italy after waiting in the water for three days to be picked up by a rescue team.

After that experience, he began to work for cigarette smugglers in Italy, in what I think was an awesome job. Basically, there were a bunch of little blue boats in the same area, and only one of them had the illegal goods aboard. So whenever the polic came around, Vittorio’s job was to drive his little blue boat around with all of the other little blue boats so that the police would get confused and wouldn’t be able to see which of the little blue boats was carrying the illegal goods. Eventually, though, high gasoline prices put this little operation out of business, and Vittorio came to America and never went back. Somehow, he ended up in Houston, and has run this restaurant for the past fifteen years. The man is a great guy to talk to, and he specializes in an off-the-menu menu (there were five people at our table, and nobody ordered off the menu).

The only sad thing about the whole experience is that downtown Houston is so dead. There are all of these incredible little places like the one I went to, but as you sit by the window eating your meal and looking outside, all you see is a ghostown. No people, no cars, not even homeless guys pushing their shopping carts down the street. It’s as if somebody pushed a button and zapped everybody into oblivion and somehow you survived and are the last person left.