Nasty, Brutish & Short

August 2006 Archives

« Previous · Home · Next »

Never Again?

August 31, 2006 11:15 PM

Remember last week when we posted on the mother who's son was killed in Iraq?  She was writing a letter to the editor, protesting the Mayor of Salt Lake City's decision to host an anti-Bush rally.  At that moment, the marines came to tell her the news about her son.

Well the rally she was protesting took place a few days ago, and the blogger Desultory Thoughts was there.  He has posted pictures of the protest.  Among them: 

See how lovely the protest was?  Israelis (i.e. Jews) are ugly, torturing, war criminal, land stealing, tree killing, civilian bombers.  What ever happened to never again?

Apparently, it's here.

Not convinced?  They registered their protest under the name "Death to Israel."

The good blogger asks:

D. Sirmize: So this is a “Death To Israel” rally. I’m Jewish. Do you want me dead?


2ND PROTESTER: There’s a difference between Zionism and Jews.

D. Sirmize: Well you say “Death to Israel.” I would think that implies death to Jews.

BREEZE (LIKE THE WIND): Well you’d probably be wrong.

D. Sirmize: Probably?

BREEZE (LIKE THE WIND): Do you see “Death to Israel” on any of our signs?

D. Sirmize: I haven’t read any of your signs. But you applied for a demonstration permit under the title “Death to Israel.” It doesn’t need to be on your signs, it’s on your permit!

2ND PROTESTER (to Breeze): You signed us up as “Death To Israel?”

BREEZE (LIKE THE WIND): Look, if I said “Death to Whales,” would you take that to mean I want to kill whales?

D. Sirmize: Uh, yeah.

Um, yeah.

New Security Measures at City Hall

Over at the City Beat Blog, Kevin Osborne has an amusing story up about the new security measures at City Hall.  When the new Mayor came in, it was all about breaking down barriers and letting the public in.  Well that pretty much ended after the Black Fist was gunned down in the middle of a city council meeting.

So now, the press "has been moved to the far corner near the chamber’s entrance that previously was occupied by a water cooler."  Which is just too funny.  We're pretty much imagining Kevin yelling "Nobody puts Baby in a corner!"

And yet they have.

And, for city council, an "entirely new dais was built that is larger and bulletproof, which Mayor Mark Mallory and council members can duck behind if confronted by someone brandishing a gun."

Again, too funny.  Especially if one recalls the Mayor panicking like a ninny and running out last spring. 

Kevin's piece makes clear--multiple times over--that these new security measures do absolutely nothing to protect the public.  Agreed.  How about some sort of bulletproof screen that protects the public from council members' stupidity?

Are left wingers close-minded and intollerant?

Yes they are, actually.  We were struck by this letter to Slate's advice columnist:

Dear Prudie,
My partner and I are having our condominium remodeled. We have worked well with one company and asked them to bid a second phase of the job. The person who showed up to bid the job wore a cap with an angry bald eagle on the front with multiple American flags sewn onto the rest of the cap. When I was obviously startled at the hat, he acknowledged, "Guess I should have worn my company hat." I replied, "I would be more comfortable if you had because I can't support much of what the country is doing right now." This led to his reply, "Just so we all support America." My partner and I are gay and feel assaulted by the right wing. We are also horrified by the war in Iraq and so many other issues that our patriotism is very low. That hat was a sickening reminder of my childhood in rural America. I feel that perhaps my money should be spent in a more socially conscious fashion, but I don't relish starting my own campaign of reverse discrimination. Am I making too much of this incident? The company has done a good job for us so far.

—Uneasy Remodeler

"Assaulted by the right wing."  Assaulted?  The right wing is doing your remodeling--and apparently a pretty decent job at it, apparently. 

Who comes off as more close-minded and intollerant here?  The homeowner, or the contractor?

Does anyone else find it ironic that the person with the economic power in this relationship is the one who is claiming oppression? 

And check out this hysteria:

"That hat was a sickening reminder of my childhood in rural America."

It's a freaking hat! 

The advice columnist's response is pretty good--she says it's wrong to make contractors pass a political litmus test, and that she'd have the same response for a contractor who didn't want to work for people he disagreed with.  One does get the sense though, that she would have come down much harder on such a person, and lit into their intollerance.

Pink is the New Hank...

August 30, 2006 08:46 PM least when it comes to Monday Sunday Night Football.

We actually like Pink.  But NBC is making a mistake if they replace Hank Williams, Jr. singing "All My Rowdy Friends" with a Pink re-make of a Joan Jett song.  Which apparently they are going to do.


NBC: Bring back Hank!

Arrests in Marcus Fiesel Investigation

August 28, 2006 02:58 PM

They did it, it seems. The foster parents are being charged with involuntary manslaughter, child endangerment, and gross abuse of a corpse (for the foster father, David Carroll).  The Prosecutor says the Carrolls went to a family reunion in Kentucky on August 4, and left three year-old Marcus locked in a closet.  For two days.  While they were at a "family reunion." 

Investigators believe Marcus was dead by the time they returned, and that his foster father took his body out into the country and burned it.  The remains have not been found.

The foster mother then lied to the children's service person who came to their home later that week, and faked her own fainting spell the day Marcus "disappeared" from the park.  The parents then got the entire region to join in the search for the supposedly kidnapped child.  According to today's news conference:

Other family members knew about the death and helped cover it up, Deters said. Deters said more charges are likely.

"We believe everyone was aware, everyone covered up," Deter said, who added that the Carrolls did not confess. "They lied to the bitter end."

WCPO reports that more charges are expected.  We sure as hell hope so.  What about lying to investigators?  Obstruction of justice?  The prosecutor needs to pile as much as he can on these folks, if the major charge is only going to be involuntary manslaughter.  That sounds unexcusably lenient.

How about criminal negligence charges for the folks who placed Marcus in a foster home run by such scum?

UPDATE:  We forgot to mention this article, from yesterday's Enquirer, which discusses how David Carroll hasn't had a regular job in three years, was charged with domestic violence in June, and has fathered 3 children himself, by three separate women, two of whom are sisters.

Another Great Moment in Local Political History

August 25, 2006 01:29 PM

Oh Sweet Jesus.  Now a tipster at Politics: Extra has passed on this explaination of the whole is-the-congresswoman-a-specter controversy.  He claims any art student could explain why Jean doesn't cast a shadow in the photo:

We even love the color choice from the tipster.  Very red state v. blue state.

Next step: Subpoena the Enquirer, force them to reveal the name of this "source," litigate over whether the Enquirer has to reveal the name of this "source," have the Supreme Court tell us that they do, and then, name in hand, force this "source" to be an unwilling expert witness.

Would that make this go on long enough?

UPDATE: Mike Antonucci has the goods on the photos Nate Noy forgot to bring before the Elections Commission.  Hilarious.

Best. New. Exercise Device. EVER.

Via Ana Marie Cox, writing at, we learn of the new OSIM iGallop--a core and abs exerciser:


Yes, it's the easy way to shape and tone, it has zero-impact, tri-axial action, three levels of speed and intensity--and it looks good in any room of your home.

We totally hope our gym purchases a bunch of these machines.

See how much fun they are having in this interactive demo?  And, in what Ana Marie describes as "the somehow even more hilarious Chinese version?"

Marcus Fiesel Investigation Gets More and More Disturbing...

...with each passing today.  Cincinnati based readers are already familiar with the blanket local news coverage into the disappearance of Marcus Fiesel on August 15.  The three year-old autistic kid disappeared 10 days ago, when his foster mother collapsed in a suburban park, and blacked out.  When she came to, Marcus was no where to be found.  People have been openly discussing the foster parent's weird behavior for the past 10 days, and the local news outlets have been hinting about it.

In this morning's Enquirer, Sheila McLauglin finally dispenses with all that, and drops a daisy cutter of bad information about the foster parents.  She reports that the foster mother was incorrect when she said last week that Marcus had last been seen by a case worker on August 10.  It turns out that the foster mother turned the case worker away from their home, explaining that Marcus was too sick that day.  Marcus was last seen by an adult--other than his foster parents--on August 3.  Nearly two weeks before his foster mother blacked out and reported him missing.

The children's services folks are also not looking to great either.  Check out the nice, stable home they placed Marcus in:

Information that surfaced about the Carrolls also caught Butler County officials by surprise.

They knew nothing about a third adult living in the home or that David Carroll was bipolar, as his wife told reporters, Grady said. His psychological evaluation would have made him unsuitable as a foster parent, she said.

"(Lifeway) is contracted to provide qualified foster homes. Why would they submit someone who had a psychological problem? That would not be an approved foster home," she said.

Friends, family and law enforcement say Amy Baker, 25, is a live-in girlfriend. She has lived with the couple six months or possibly more, they say.

Baker, when contacted this week, denied being a live-in girlfriend.

But others close to the three people say otherwise.

"He was seeing Amy quite a while behind Liz's back," family friend Cynthia Smith said. "Amy eventually moved in."

So the foster father's 25 year-old girlfriend moved in with the foster mother and father (and the foster kids) six months ago.  Sounds very healthy.  Wonder if that little family drama is at all connected to the foster father's "arrest in June on a domestic violence charge that was later dismissed. The couple did not report the arrest, as required."

Completely incompetant oversight, and now we have a 3 year-old autistic kid who no one has seen in 10 22 days.

Elections Commission Dismisses 3 of 4 Complaints Against Schmidt

...but finds probable cause to investigate whether she actually ran in the 1993 Columbus Marathon.  Jean's nutty write-in opponent, Nate Noy, claims she fabricated her finish line photo and results.  Among other things, he claims Jean doesn't cast a shadow in the photo. 

How is this a productive use of anyone's time?

Hard to Believe People Don't Want to Fly Anymore...

...with stories like this in the Daily Mirror, "Exclusive: Trapped on Flight 63."  352 people were kept on a Virgin Atlantic jet at Gatwick yesterday for seven hours, as they waited for take off.  Police had to be called in to keep the passengers from rioting.

Here's the timeline:

8.45am Passengers begin boarding flight VS63 from Gatwick to Havana

9.30am Flight due to depart

10.00am Passengers finish boarding. Doors closed

11.00am Crew announce there is a technical problem which will take 15 minutes

11.30am Passengers told they are waiting for a spare part

1.30pm Crew announce the spare part has arrived. Take-off "soon"

2.45pm Passengers told inflight meals may have to be replaced. If not cleared for take-off by 3.30pm crew won't be able to fly

3.25pm Plane begins to taxi for take-off

3.35pm Take-off stopped

3.45pm Captain says plane has a misshapen tyre and will have to go back to the terminal

4pm Flight cancelled. Police board plane amid fears of rioting

4.30pm Passengers are allowed off but told they must wait for their luggage

Sounds like complete hell.  Maybe that's what these people deserve, though, for wanting to vacation in a communist stronghold?  Commenters, does that get you to bite?  

Survivor seeks a little blogospheric buzz

August 23, 2006 10:41 PM

CBS has announced that the next season of Survivor will feature four teams, divided by race: White, Black, Hispanic and Asian.  So yes, we will have the spectacle of seeing 4 different racial groups on prime time tv, plotting against each other in physical and mental competition, and trying to have the others eliminated in a quest for $1,000,000.  Will this lead to a healthy national conversation? 

We highly doubt it.  But if the personalities are at all compelling, this will be a ratings slam dunk for CBS.  Frankly, we are already more interested in tuning in.  How will the different groups be portrayed?  Will CBS be fair?  What will the participants think about how they were portrayed after the show is over?  Will they seek to dispel racial stereotypes--or will they play them up for the camera?  Is it fair for CBS to profit off of this?  Or do they actually think this will lead to racial unity, not discord?

UPDATE:  Survivor's producer Mark Burnett has told Variety "maybe that taboo (of race) could disappear through this."  What an inflated sense of self importance!

"You can't support the troops but be against the war," he said.

"It just doesn't work." 

Those are the words of Tony Galvez, who's son Andy was killed in Iraq over the weekend.  Before the news--and the Marines--came to their house in Sunday, Mrs. Galvez was at her computer, sending a letter to the editor:

Many in her country had turned against the war. The mayor of her city was organizing a protest against the president. And the insurgents in Iraq, Amy Galvez feared, were growing bolder by the day. 

Galvez decided she had heard enough. 

Hoping her words might persuade those who support the president, the war and the troops in Iraq to assemble in a great demonstration of patriotism and support, Galvez sat at her computer and began to type. 

"My son, who is a resident of Salt Lake City, is now in Iraq," she wrote in an e-mail to The Salt Lake Tribune on Sunday. "American lives have been lost in this war because the enemy has been emboldened by our own words, actions and lack of support for our own mission."

Galvez was still sitting at her computer when she heard a car door close outside her northwest Salt Lake City home. Peering through the window, she saw two Marines coming up the walk. 

Their son was killed Sunday in a roadside bomb attack.  Tony and Amy Galvez say that they don't want Cindy Sheehan to be the only voice the world hears.

If the rumors we are hearing are true...

... local Republican politics are going to be very interesting over the next few days.

Tomorrow's the Big Showdown!

You know, the date on which Nate Noy has promised the "truth will come out" about Jean Schmidt's marathon race results.  The Ohio Elections Commission will hold a probable cause hearing on Mr. Noy's tin foil hat conspiracy theories tomorrow.

As you may recall from elections past (involving Jean, or anyone else), this is the point in the proceedings where the Elections Commission finds probable cause, because they almost always have to.  This gives one's opposition the opportunity to spin the probable cause finding, dupe gullible reporters into thinking something important has happened, and use the press to con the public into thinking the opposition has been convicted of elections law violations.  All of which, of course, is in totally contradiction to what the Elections Commission was designed to do--which was make sure people play fair and are at least somewhat honest about the big things.  One sees this scenario play out in practically every election cycle.

Hopefully the Elections Commission won't allow itself to be used this way yet again, because these allegations truly are asinine.  The Enquirer's Politics Blog has a copy of Jean and Co.'s Motion to Dismiss.  We note they seek attorneys' fees because this is a frivilous filing.  We hope to God they actually get a fee award, though we don't know if the Commission has the power to levy those sort of sanctions.

John Mark Karr "marches to the beat of a different drummer"

So says his attorney, Jamie Harmon.  As a lawyer and writer, NBS is always interested in how people express themselves, and how they choose to make a point.  Having a total freak like John Mark Karr as your client, though, would pose some difficulty.  What do you do, try to make him look normal?  Not likely to work with someone who was looking into a $1,600 Bangkok sex change.  [Apparently the Democrats are right--people are looking for cheaper medical care abroad].

Or do you admit that he's weird, and try to convince people that it's wrong to judge someone just because they're different?  Apparently that's what his attorneys are going to try: 

"He is a different sort of person than most of us walking around on the face of the planet, and that differentness has been construed in the media as wrong or somehow unbalanced," she said. "And I don't find that to be true at all. I found him to be very engaging, very bright, very articulate and very, very much appropriate in his emotional response to what is going on."

Doesn't it suck when clients give you no option but to argue that the sky is green and grass is blue?

Snakes on a Multiplex

August 22, 2006 01:53 PM

Yet another reason why Mrs. NBS won't be going to the theater to see Snakes on a Plane: Arizona pranksters released two live diamondback rattlesnakes during a SoaP screening in Arizona

Now Nate Noy is Claiming Jean's "Evil Twin" Actually Won Some of the Marathons

August 17, 2006 09:09 AM

At the nexus of funny and pathetic, we have write-in candidate Nate Noy.  You may recall, we wrote about him yesterday.  He's the guy who filed elections commission complaints against Jean Schmidt, claiming she's fluffed her marathon running resume.

Well, he's got Jean pretending to play defense, but really playing offense.  Because now she has the opportunity to email photos of her medals around to reporters, with the hopes they'll run some of the pictures.  And the Enquirer Politics blog has helpfully obliged (not that we blame them, this whole "scandal" is hysterical).

But the best part, by far, are the comments Nate Noy is leaving on the Enquirer Politics blog.  At least we think they're from Nate.  It's hard to distinguish the nuts from the crazies in Enquirer's comments section.  But anyway, Mr. Noy sez:

Any photography experts in the crowd? Notice how the shadow is not broken by Jean? And where is Jean’s partial shadow? Should we not see that in the picture? Is she a specter? This is a photoshop special folks, and I have the proof which I’ll present to the OEC on August 24.

Too funny.  First it was faked marathon results.  Now it's faked photos.  And "Is she a specter?"  Our favorite, though, is this comment, in which he suggests some of the medals actually belong to Jean's evil twin:

For the record:

(1) Medals do not prove anything folks. Anyone can buy a medal from someone; it’s official race results that count and you will not find Jean in every Boston Marathon she claimed to have run (check for yourself). Plus Bennett told the Pike County paper on 8/11 that Jean had completed “7” Boston Marathons, and now it is “10.” How many of those medals belong to her sister?
(2) Jean claimed a “2nd Place Female Overall” in 2002. Check those results while you are at it, she’s not in them.
(3) The WHOLE STORY will come out after August 24th, so stay tuned.
(4) I filed two more complaints today that were received by the OEC. These will not be quite as funny to anyone; including proof that Bennett and Jean lied to the OEC and the media back in April.


We totally can't wait until August 24.  When the WHOLE STORY comes out.

Enquirer Reports: "No one will get his goats"

Barrett J. Brunsmen and Jane Predergast of the Enquirer get the award for lede of the week, for their latest installment on the goat-boy-ADHD-jumping story:

David Valentine jumped for joy Wednesday - along with his two goats - on a backyard trampoline at his home

Yes, the Valentine family has reached a settlement with the Miami Township trustees in the zoning dispute over whether goats can be kept in subdivisions.  The Valentine family says that the goat jumping on trampoline therapy helps their son's ADHD.

The deal that has been reached allows the Valentines to keep the goats until their son no longer needs them for therapy, graduates from high school, or turns 18.  In other words, it sounds like the Township completely caved to public pressure.  And with images like this, who could blame them? 

So cute/completely weird.  Kudos to the Enquirer's Glenn Hartong for the pics.

Of course it does occur to us that at some point, this kid is going to move past goats.  What will the Miami Township Trustees do then?

UPDATE:  Sweet Jesus, there's video.

JonBennet Profiling

For all you commenters who think NBS believes in profiling, we give you this:

Yes, we firmly believe that white, creepy nerd-men of a certain age are far more likely to abduct childhood beauty queens.  This guy should have been stopped at the airport and questioned about child molestation everytime he boarded a plane.  Talk about looking the part.

Arrest in Jon Benet Ramsey Case

August 16, 2006 04:46 PM

Who would have thought they'd arrest someone after a 10-year investigation?

A man arrested in Thailand is being held in connection with the slaying of JonBenet Ramsey, law enforcement officials said today.

Federal officials familiar with the case, who spoke with the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said the man was being held in Bangkok on unrelated sex charges.

A source close to the case identified the suspect as one-time resident of Conyers, Ga., and said he was a school teacher.

Apparently her mother, who died recently, was informed that they were on this guy's trail.  How do you take that news after 10 years of law enforcement and media innuendo suggesting your husband did it, and you were covering it up for him?

Nancy Grace is going to hit ratings good when this guy goes to trial.

Today In: Dean of Cincinnati or Nigerian Banking Scam?

Dean of Cincinnati or Nigerian Banking Scam?

According to my source, this Friday marks a secret event when government dollars will be distributed to various projects—but the public and press have been excluded from the event. 

Dean of Cincinnati or Nigerian Banking Scam?

I have the privilege to request your assistance to transfer the sum of $47,500,000.00 (forty seven million, five hundred thousand United States dollars) into your accounts. The above sum resulted from an over-invoiced contract, executed, commissioned and paid for about five years (5) ago by a foreign contractor.

Write-in Opponent Files Election Commission Complaints Against Jean Schmidt

We've been wanting to write about Nate Noy, the nutty write-in candidate for the Second Congressional District for some time.  In fact, we bookmarked his three websites a few weeks ago--under the name "Nate Noy Crazy Ramblings."  And you are about to see why.

But first, to get you up to speed: Jon Craig at the Enquirer reports that Mr. Noy has filed three complaints against Jean Schmidt with the Ohio Elections Commission.  In one of the complaints, Mr. Noy claims that Jean is "misleading voters," by claiming that she was the second place overall female finisher in the Xenia Marathon in 2002, when she was not.  Jean has now revised her campaign website to clarify that it was in 2003 that she did so well, and attributes this confusion to a typographical error.  But in Mr. Noy's eyes, Jean was misleading the public.  Apparently he believes the 2002 Xenia Marathon results are a key issue in this election.

We won't summarize Mr. Noy's other two complaints here, but suffice it to say, they are similarly loony.

As we said, we have been planning to write about Mr. Noy for a while, but though we had time.  This was because on one of his websites, he gives Jean a deadline of August 24 at 9:00 a.m. to come clean, or else he'll take his scandalous scoop to the Washington Post.  Yes, that's right: The Washington Post.  We're sure they'll put Woodward and Bernstein on the 2002 Xenia Marathon Results scandal STAT.

We'd summarize the crazy threats for you, but we think Mr. Noy rambles best:

I have some info that should be enough to bring the political career of someone we all know and love to a proverbial screeching halt once it goes public.  I will hold back until August 24th at 9:00am (the morning after a candidate can be replaced on the party ticket if he/she decides to drop out of this thing.) I’ll likely give the Washington Post the initial exclusive on this one (oh and for anyone with the thought of eliminating me with along with my evidence, (no I’m not suffering from paranoid delusions here, I just figure it’s always better to throw out preemptive info rather than have anyone misperceive that I may be a lamb or something) I have provided a copy to my four most trusted friends, none of whom are located within 400 miles of OH-2).

No, Nate.  You aren't suffering from paranoid delusions AT ALL.  It really is possible Jean could have you rubbed out before you have a chance to go public with your 2002 Xenia Marathon scoop.

This is all from someone who has the following political experience:

Nate scored the following on each of the below popular Internet-based political quizzes that attempt to label a person's political views: (by following the below links you can see where you score as well: all tests are 100% FREE).

Worlds Smallest Political Quiz: Conservative.

The Political Quix Show: 38 (right of Bob Dole and slightly left of President Reagan).

OK Cupid Politics Test: "You are a Social Conservative (36% permissive) and an Economic Conservative (85% permissive)  You are best described as a: Strong Republican.  You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness." (Note Nate's dot on the picture graph overlaps Presidents Bush and Reagan.)

Do we really need to add anything more here?  He thinks his score on the OK Cupid Politics Test qualifies him for a seat in Congress

But like must underdogs, Nate Noy is looking for a debate:

So I want to propose a legitimate offer: If I reach out to Bill Cunningham (both he and I had the same mentor at The University of Toledo, College of Law and I believe I can play that card ONE time) and I am able to get the two of use a scheduled debate on his show, are you game?  One other rhetorical offer to throw out there to you:  I'll make you another deal, I'll actually take a look at that book from Karl Marx where you seem to be getting most of your ideas if you are willing to read a little of the Second Treatise of Civil Government by John Locke (which not only is the place I've been getting my ideologies it just happes to also be a little document that Jefferson and the boys were citing verbatim when they drafted a little something called the Declaration and the Constitution.

Yes, Nate thinks Jean Schmidt gets her ideas from Karl Marx.  Yes, Nate claims he "shares a mentor" at the University of Toledo law school with Bill Cunningham--and believes he can play that card ONE time.  And yes, it is apparent Mr. Noy graduated from law school, as well as the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State.  However, he also lists on his "professional resume" that one of his post-law and business school jobs was as a General Manager for Steak n' Shake.  Does this suggest to anyone else that all might not be right with Mr. Noy? 

We also, notably, see little evidence that Mr. Noy has ever passed the bar exam--despite graduating from law school nine years ago.  But our favorite little gem from Mr. Noy's website is this.  It's conservative, yet libertarian.  But with, um, consequences:

I do not agree with a homosexual lifestyle; however this IS AMERICA and GOD himself allowed Sodom and Gomorrah to exist (until he rained down fire and brimstone on it of course.).

Of course!  We just love that use of "of course."  Do what you want, but, of course, you know you'll end up burned to a crisp by the wrath of God.  Of course!

Muke's a Mommy

August 15, 2006 08:14 AM

Remember Muke, the pregnant gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo?

The Enquirer's Jim Knippenberg reports that she gave birth Sunday night at 11:37 p.m. to "a baby of undertermined gender."  Mother and child are fine.  And, interestingly, they are huge football fans.  The zookeeper on duty tells Jim:

"I was back there watching the Bengals game on the gorillas' TV with Muke because she loves football. All our gorillas do. About 8 (p.m.) or so, I started seeing signs of contractions and got the delivery team in here. By 11:30 or so, I saw the baby crowning and it was born a few minutes later.

We think it is fascinating that the gorillas at the zoo sit around watching football.  Who knew?

The Jimster further reports on the "gender situation" in breathless detail:

There's no telling when the baby's gender will be determined. Mothers tend to press babies against the breast with a hand cuffed over them, so all keepers can see are a head and two dangling feet.


At some point, Evans said, Muke will lay the baby out for cleaning, but even that could be inconclusive because gorilla genitals are so tiny at birth it's often impossible to tell.

Not cute!  At NBS, we always counted it a day wasted when we don't learn at least one new thing.  Little did we expect today's lesson would be on baby gorilla genital development.

St. Louis Implodes in Pittsburgh

August 14, 2006 11:41 PM

We hope others have noticed that the worst team in the National League swept the St. Louis Cardinals . This leaves the Reds 1.5 games back in the NL Central.  A three game series between the Reds and the Cardinals begins Tuesday night.

Once again, we have to say: who would have believed we would care about Reds baseball in late June, early July, after the All-Star break, late July, and now, Mid-August?

All Politics is Local

Doesn't this just capture the charm of politics in America, as it used to be?  It is a description of the happenings at the Scioto County Fair: 

The 2006 Scioto County Fair is over, and I find myself with a couple of quick observations... However, I'm way too tired to share any of them. Maybe I'll come up with something tomorrow. For now, I'll just leave you an interesting little tidbit to chew on.

George Crumm, candidate for County Commissioner, teamed up with current Commissioner Mike Crabtree and purchased some livestock at the Fair's auction. Crumm is a Republican, Crabtree a Democrat. That a Democratic Commissioner would make an effort to literally stand beside the opponent of a colleague and fellow Democrat is very interesting. After all, Commissioner Skip Riffe was also at the Fair most of the week, so one would assume Crabtree could have just as easily bidded with him.

Still, he chose to get photographed with Riffe's opponent. Surely he realized the implications this would have, especially in the middle of a campaign.

We have no idea who these people are.  But the political "intrigue" is so refreshing in such a cynical age, isn't it?  And the candidates' names are Crumm and Crabtree?  It's straight out of Mark Twain.  How refreshing it that?   Isn't it nice to hear such reports from the Scioto County Fair?

"Five Fat Girls" Sought in Toledo

We would like to interrupt the previously scheduled terrorist attack on the Mackinac Bridge-panic inducement to raise this alert:

Five Fat Girls are on the Loose in Toledo. 

We turn to The Smoking Gun, which has obtained an exclusive copy of the police report:

Victim (Gibson) states he was walking home from the grocery store with a gallon of milk.  Victim stated that as he was crossing the dark parking lot of the KFC at 2202 Monroe, he suddenly found himself surrounded by a band of "fat black girls."  Victim stated one of the hefty felons ordered him to surrender his milk.  Victim stated he thought he was the subject of some prank and laughed.  Victim stated he realized this was no joke when the rotund robbers began pelting him with a flurry of chubby fists and tore the milk jug from his grasp.

IKEA Coming to the 'Nati

We just heard Local 12 Reporter Joelle Girone describe the new IKEA store that is headed our way.  She says it is a shopping "mecca" and it will take "nearly a day for shoppers to go through it."

Nearly a day to go through it?  Can you imagine spending an entire day shopping?  At an IKEA store? 

NBS would like to officially apologize to Enquirer Reporter Kimball Perry, who we made such fun of, for his incredibly ridiculous descrition of what it is like to go through hell.

Hell has now been described--unwittingly, at least--by Joelle Girone.

That's Gotta Hurt

Well at least one supposedly strong Democrat challenger to a Republican congressional incumbent has gone down in flames.  The Dayton Daily News reports that Stephanie Studebaker was arrested last night (along with her husband) on charges of domestic violence.


Her opponent in the November election is Rep. Mike Turner, R-Centerville.  The district includes much of Montgomery (i.e. Dayton), Warren, Clinton and Highland Counties.

Update on Arrests in Michigan

Prosecutors in Michigan believe that the three men arrested last week in Caro were plotting to blow up the Mackinac Bridge.  They have been charged with collecting material to support terrorist acts and surveillance of a vulnerable target with intent to commit terrorism. 

The Mackinac Bridge

The three men, however, contend that they were simply purchasing TracFones in Michigan for $20 each, because they could resell them in Texas for $38 each.  We find it hard to believe that, in the days of Ebay, any readily available item would cost 90% more in Texas than it does in Michigan.  Especially when anyone can order a TracFone for $19.97 from Wal-Mart's website.

But even if these folks are right about the resale value of the TracFones in Texas, we still wonder about the economics.  They were from Dallas, and were arrested in Caro, Michigan.  They told police that they'd "been stopped in North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin"--so they did not take a direct route.  And yes, 90% is a great return.  But between the labor (3 adults), the fact that many places limit purchases to 2 or 3 per customer, and the price of gas, it is hard to see how this is an enterprise that pays.  At the very least, it is hardly a model of efficiency, expecially when getting stopped by the authorities 5 times is contributing to overhead and downtime. 

We are also intrigued by the fact they have also been charged with "surveillance of a vulnerable target with intent to commit terrorism."  Prosecutors have declined to eleborate on what facts they have that support this charge.  But they've have told us they believe the target was the Mackinac Bridge--and that's a 4 hour drive from Caro, Michigan.  So had they already been up to the bridge, or not?  Why would anyone on a legitimate business trip to purchase tracfones for resale go as far north as Mackinac?

UPDATE: reports that confidential law enforcement sources (and in Debbie's case, that means "numerous" and "well-connected") have informed her that the men are believed to have ties to a group called Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and that law enforcement officials observed two or more individuals videotaping the Mackinac Bridge.

UPDATE NO. 2:  Local news reports in Central Lower Michigan have more details.  Apparently before they were arrested in Caro (which is 90 miles north of Detroit), the men purchased 90 tracFones at a Wal-Mart in Gaylord.  Gaylord is an hour south of the Bridge.  Because they were also detained in Wisconsin, this makes us think they must have taken the northern route over the U.P., which would mean they crossed Mackinac Bridge.

We also have more details about what was going on at the time of the arrest, as well as the particulars on the make and model of the phones:

One man was driving while the other two were in the back opening the phone packages with box cutters throwing the phones in one box, batteries in another and the packaging and phone charger in another container. The suspects had 1000 other cell phones in the van.

The phones were Nokia TracFones selling for $20 at Wal-Mart. For your twenty dollars you receive a phone charger and 40 minutes of airtime. The phones do not have to be registered with a name. Also discovered was a laptop with store addresses and store logos.

Again, the U.P. is no place to go if you are searching for population centers and lots of Wal-Marts.

The FBI continues to insist that there is no reason to be concerned.

How many times have you watched this...

August 12, 2006 11:37 AM

video of Britney Spears.  Is that the most embarrassing home video you have ever seen, or what? 

We need a word to describe Youtube videos that are compelling enough to watch over and over.  

Ernie I, King of Kentucky

Well, a Judge in Kentucky has ruled that Governor Ernie Fletcher cannot be prosecuted while in office, because he enjoys "executive immunity."  The Enquirer has the goods:

A judge ruled Friday that Gov. Ernie Fletcher, under fire for a hiring scandal, is protected by executive immunity and cannot be prosecuted while in office.

Special Judge David E. Melcher essentially stayed the case until Fletcher's term expires, or unless he is removed through impeachment by the legislature.

Fletcher, Kentucky's first Republican governor in three decades, was indicted in May on charges alleging his administration rewarded political supporters with protected state jobs after he took office in 2003. He has accused the Democratic attorney general of conducting a politically motivated investigation in the case.

Apparently the Governor's attorneys succeeding in getting the Judge to buy their arguments that the Governor can't be prosecuted for "official acts," while in office and that impeachment is the appropriate route.

We here at NBS are stunned the Judge bought an executive immunity theory based on these facts, and fully expect he will be reversed on appeal.  Courts do not--and should not--dole out executive immunity like candy.  It is a privilege that applies very, very rarely, and usually in civil cases.  Not criminal matters.

We will see what the Court of Appeals says.

More "Students" Arrested Buying Cellphones

August 11, 2006 03:18 PM

Remember the two students who were arrested in Marietta earlier this week with $11,000 in cash and a car load of cell phones?  Apparently these cell phone buying road trips are the hot new youth activity for the waning days of summer vacation.

Last night in Caro, Michigan, three more "students" were arrested purchasing cell phones at a Wal-Mart.  This particular Wal-Mart limits purchases of these phones to 3.  The students had bought 80 (going through different lines, etc.) before the clerk called the police.  They had another 1,000 cell phones in their van.  They are being held by the Caro, P.D. until the FBI arrives.

Earlier this week in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Malkhaz Zakutashvili and Zurabi Maisuradze were arrested after purchasing 15 cell phones.  They had $4,200 in cash on them, were in the country illegally, and had a laptop and global positioning equipment in their van.

And, last week in Grafton, West Virginia, police arrested 24-year-old Hashem Sayed after a routine traffice stop revealed he was traveling with 150-200 cell phones.

Oh, and two more of the 11 missing "students" from the weekend have turned up, working (illegally) at Safa Pizza, an Eqyptian owned restaurant in Baltimore.   El Sayed Ahmed Elsayed Ibrahim and Alaa Abd El Fattah Ali El Bahnasawi are being held at an "undisclosed location, pending possible deportation proceedings."

We are sure this is completely unrelated, but last fall, two individuals were arrested in Baltimore conspiring to blow up the Baltimore Ft. McHenry and Harbor Tunnels.  Turns out they also worked at Safa Pizza.

And in Italy today, 40 suspected terrorists were arrested, following the arrests in Britain yesterday.  Five people have also been arrested in Pakistan.

Does anyone seriously believe these events are not related?

Kimball Perry II: It Just Gets Worse

Well, between last night and this morning, someone at the Enquirer decided it looked stupid to have a reporter write an entire "local angle" story and not mention until a parenthetical at the very end that the subjects of said story are the reporter's mother and sister. 

So this morning we have Kimball Perry II, live and in the first person.  He begins:

I will never hear the end of it now.

Us too, apparently!

I went to my mother's Independence home Saturday to make sure preparations for her dream trip to Scotland were in order.

My mother - Audrea Landrum, 67 - is a history and genealogy buff who has tracked our family tree back to the small Scotland village and beyond. She wanted to go there to see it.

"Danny Boy" is Scotch, right?  Mom loves "Danny Boy."

Her passport, papers and packing needed to be done before she flew out Wednesday, accompanied by my 43-year-old sister, Nicole Perry, of Elsmere.

They are two of the biggest scaredy-cats ever.

EVER!  They are totally scaredy-cats!

After small talk, Mom sat me down at the kitchen table and solemnly said, "If there is a terrorist attack or we get abducted, don't pay any ransom. We'll be fine. I've had a good life, and I'll be OK with whatever happens."

Then, she told me how babies are made.  Peenies and hoo-haas!

Trying to roll my eyes discreetly, I sighed and said, "That will never happen."

A terrorist attack, I mean.  Not the peenies and hoo-haas!

Until it almost did ...

Dum Dum DUM!

Mom and Nicole were on a flight that landed Thursday at London's Heathrow Airport as news was breaking that British authorities reported they'd thwarted a potential major terrorist attack.

"We have been through hell," Mom said when I talked to her Thursday morning from the newsroom.

"Ohh Danny booooy, the pipes, the pipes are calling," she warbled softly.

"The flight was awesome until we landed," Nicole added.

"We got to go up in the sky and everything and they have a bathroom in the back that is kind of stinky but the nice lady gave me juice.  It was AWESOME!"

They knew nothing of the arrest of two dozen terrorism suspects and the alleged plan to smuggle explosives onto planes until, just before descending to land in London, the pilot told the passengers that there were "security problems" on the ground.

Nothing!  They knew nothing of the dangers they faced!  Dum DUM DUM!!!

"We had to park on the tarmac. We didn't know what was going on," Mom said. "We were the only plane that could land because they couldn't do anything with us."

Calgon, take me away!

That lone plane sat on the tarmac for about 30 minutes, she said, before airport workers told them to get off the plane and walk - across the runways - to the airport terminal.

They had to walk - across the runways - to the airport terminal.

"It was scary, because we didn't know what was going on," Mom said. "Heathrow is a madhouse. We didn't even go through customs. They just stamped our passports and told us to go on. They didn't check our luggage or anything. It was just total chaos."

"I swear, I think that Heathrow is bigger than Epcot!" she exclaimed.

Although normally a worrier, she brushed off questions about her fear.

"Ain't no sense being scared. We've got to go home somehow," she said as she sat on the balcony of the cruise ship they boarded after leaving Heathrow.


Most vexing to my sister was the inconvenience.

"We've had the same clothes on for two days, and we haven't brushed our teeth," she said.


"Nicole said she is never doing this again," Mom said.

My sister, though, kept a sense of humor, noting that she spotted a celebrity inside the airport.

"I walked right past (actor) Christian Slater. I'm taller than him. Ha."

"I'm not even slightly bitter about being Nicole Perry, 43, of Elsmere, Kentucky," she added.

As for me, I'm just glad I didn't have to pay a ransom.

I totally heard Al Qaeda has you drop off the ransom money in the woods, late at night, in unmarked bills.  And you are supposed to come alone!  SCARY!

Kimball Perry, NBS is Embarrassed for You

August 10, 2006 08:08 PM

Oh.  My.  God.  Please tell me the Enquirer did not just publish this.  It is Kimball Perry's article on today's thwarted terrorist attacks!!!  And it has a Tri-State Connection!!!

A Northern Kentucky mother and daughter expecting to enjoy a 10-day cruise around Great Britain instead landed at London’s Heathrow Airport today amid a terrorist scare.

“We have been through hell,” said Audrea Landrum, 67, of Independence, said from England this morning.

Hell?  We thought the terrrorist attacks were thwarted, and everyone was just subjected to massive inconvenience.  As opposed to, you know, the hell of being blown up. 

“It was scary because we didn’t know what was going on,” Landrum said.

We're guessing this is not the first time Landrum has been through hell.  Or "not known what was going on."  Nevertheless,

Landrum, normally nervous and a worrier, brushed off questions about her fear.

“Ain’t no sense being scared. We’ve got to go home somehow,” she said as she sat on the balcony of the cruise ship after just arriving from Heathrow.

“I was so tired, I really didn’t care at that point.”

Perry also said she wasn’t that worried – at first.

“It really wasn’t that bad because we didn’t know what was going on. When I found out, I was like, Oh my god,” Perry said.

Most vexing to Perry was the inconvenience.

“We’ve had the same clothes on for two days and we haven’t brushed our teeth,” she said.

Most "vexing" was the inconvenience?  Are you kidding?  Inconvenience is "vexing"?

And what's with the phrase "Landrum, normally nervous and a worrier"?  Who decribes someone like that?  In a newspaper story!

And then we got to the end.  Right after we hear all about how the daughter had a brush with fame (she saw actor Christian Slater!  And, like, was totally taller than him!), we get this disclaimer from the Enquirer:

(The subjects of this story are the mother and sister of reporter Kimball Perry)

And in tomorrow's edition, folks: Family vacation photos.  Hard hitting snapshots of a local family in pain.

Paris Hilton Hosts Baby Shower

Okay, someone needs to give the girl that put this together a part on Saturday Night Live, because this is far more funny than anything they've done in the past 10 years.

And yes, we know it is, like, a week old and that is an internet eternity and everything.  It is still funny.

This will set the conspiracy buffs on edge...

...and we don't consider ourselves conspiracy buffs here at NBS.  But we do find these things, well, interesting:

Major Cellphone Outage Reported in New York

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sprint Nextel Corp. said an outage of its cellphone service in parts of the New York borough of Queens on Thursday was caused by water damage to network equipment due to a burst pipe.

The outage came amid intensified airport security after British police said they had foiled a plot to blow up several aircraft flying between Britain and the United States. Two major New York airports -- JFK and LaGuardia -- are in Queens.

The service interruption, reported earlier by the New York City police, was caused by damage to equipment in Verizon Communications Inc.'s wired network, Sprint spokesman Mark Elliott said.

There has been a great deal of discussion of the need to take down the cell phone grid in the event of impending terrorist attack, because cell phones are used as triggering devices.  And that is all we have to say on this subject.

P-Unit Forevah!

But this is taking it too far.  Newsweek reports on the latest growing trend: "Tattoos: Branded with a Brand."

Designer ink: Tat lovers are ponying up for logos

Wouldn't you just laugh at anyone who did something so ridiculous?

Nice Day at the Office, Schmidt Campaign

This would not be our strategy, if we had her background--an Indian Hill Doctor who married into one of Cincinnati's most prominent old money families--but Victoria Wells Wulsin is trying out the class warfare card against Jean Schmidt.  The article is about the ethanol powered SUV that Jean recently purchased.  Wulsin's response?  She says, "It's insulting, because not only does it not help us, but she's driving a model none of her constituents can afford."  Hun?  Does anyone think that Victoria Wells Wulsin drives a model the constituents can afford?  We highly doubt it.*

Wulsin then goes on to announce "that if she's elected, she'll ride her bicycle."  Again, hun?  Ride her bicycle?  To meet with constituents all the way out in Portsmouth?  That remark just makes her look phenomenally silly--and like she makes willy-nilly promises that have zero practical chances of being kept.

In fact, it is hard to see how Jean could hit more of a political home run than she does in today's paper: She's pro-farmer, hates terrorists, and buys American.  That's touching all the bags, folks.  Three major points all in one article.  Then she rounds third and heads for home, by making it clear that the reason she's pro-ethanol has nothing to do with the "environment"--something that many (like us) would watch for, to make sure she's not susceptible to global warming tripe.  No, she's quite clear that for her, ethanol is all about kicking terrorist ass and helping farmers at the same time:

"I'd rather give my money to a farmer in Ohio than a Saudi sheik or an Iranian terrorist," she said in an interview.

"Corn growers, as it turns out, are not so prone to extremism," she wrote in her weekly column.

And, it looks like Jean timed the release of this information so it would run on the same day Wulsin was trying to have a rally at a gas station.  Like the reporters weren't going to ask Wulsin what she thought of Jean's new car?  Of course, this totally stole Wulsin's thunder, and left her having to play defense on a day she'd planned for offense.

Nice day at the office, Schmidt campaign.

*If anyone knows what kind of car Wulsin does drive, email us at  If it's something crappy--you know, "like what the constituents can afford"--we'll run a correction.  For now, our guess is she drives a Volvo.

UPDATE:  No, we haven't heard anything back about Wulsin's vehicle of choice, but while we were out, we realized we completely forgot to mention gun control.  Yes, Jean managed to score big with the gun owners in this morning's paper too.  Yet another important constituency in the Second District.  And in an article that purportedly had nothing to do with gun control.  How did Jean manage to pull this one off?  Because she got the photographer to shoot the picture so it clearly shows her NRA sticker on the back of her SUV:

Rep. Jean Schmidt's new ride is a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe that can run on ethanol.

It may not be big enough for anyone to read what the sticker actually says, but every hunter and NRA member knows--and we can guarantee you many of them took due notice.  Nicely played, Schmidt campaign.  Nicely played.

More on the Terrorist Suspects Arrested in Ohio

Well it took some searching to find more detailed coverage of the arrests in Marietta on Tuesday.  It looks like most news reports are going with the shorted version an AP story.  We found the full version via the Akron Beacon Journal's  As most people know by now, two suspects were arrested yesterday following a traffic stop in Marietta.  They had 12 cell phones, $11,000 in cash, flight manifests, and airport security information.  The investigation is being handled by the FBI office in Cincinnati.

After a preliminary hearing yesterday, the suspects identified themselves as Osama Sabhi Abulhassan, 20, and Ali Houssaiky, 20, of Dearborn, Michigan.  One is a student at the University of Michigan, and the other could only get into Wayne State.  They were on a cell phone buying tour of Wal-Marts of Appalachia, apparently:

Abulhassan and Houssaiky admitted buying about 600 phones in recent months at stores in southeast Ohio, said sheriff's Maj. John Winstanley. They sold the phones to someone in Dearborn, Winstanley said....

Investigators going through the car after the pair were pulled over in Marietta also found a map that showed locations of Wal-Mart stores from Ohio through Kentucky, Tennessee and into North and South Carolina, Vessels said.

Don't you remember those fun college days when YOU got to road trip with $11,000 in cash?  And spent it buying cell phones at different Wal-Marts?  Heedy days.  Heedy indeed.

UPDATEMichelle Malkin reminds us of this story, reported by ABC News in January:

Federal agents have launched an investigation into a surge in the purchase of large quantities of disposable cell phones by individuals from the Middle East and Pakistan, ABC News has learned.

The phones -- which do not require purchasers to sign a contract or have a credit card -- have many legitimate uses, and are popular with people who have bad credit or for use as emergency phones tucked away in glove compartments or tackle boxes. But since they can be difficult or impossible to track, law enforcement officials say the phones are widely used by criminal gangs and terrorists.

"There's very little audit trail assigned to this phone. One can walk in, purchase it in cash, you don't have to put down a credit card, buy any amount of minutes to it, and you don't, frankly, know who bought this," said Jack Cloonan, a former FBI official who is now an ABC News consultant.

Law enforcement officials say the phones were used to detonate the bombs terrorists used in the Madrid train attacks in March 2004.

Sicko Phone Pranker Arrested

Meet Patrick Ferguson.  This morning's Enquirer reports that he has been arrested for making 6 to 15 harassing phone calls, per day, for 16 years. 

Patrick A. Ferguson

His modus operandi?

The Kettering resident would research women's names, addresses and family details on the Internet, authorities said.

Then he used that information to make specific threats, such as "I'm standing outside of your brick house. Don't hang up. Talk dirty to me or I'll come in, cut the wires and rape you in front of your children," Anne Tamashasky, an assistant Warren County prosecutor who handled the case, said Wednesday.

Gee, that's not likely to scare anyone is it?  His sentence seems a little light to us: 420 days in jail, plus a 5-year ban on using the phone or internet.

Good News Thursday

What good news this morning, we suppose.  It does appear a massive terrorist attack has been thwarted.  Twenty-one people arrested, and though it has not officially been attributed to al-Qaeda, it certainly has their hallmarks.  Apparently the plot was to carry on different explosive components and assemble them on board.

It certainly puts one in mind of the eleven missing Eqyptian students from over the weekend (most of whom have turned themselves in three of whom have been arrested, two turned themselves in).

Also puts one on mind of this first hand account from a Wall Street Journal Reporter, of a domestic flight she took on June 29, 2004.  Quoting excerpts from it simply doesn't do it justice--you have to read the whole thing.

And on a much lighter note, last night's Red's game was one of the best and most exciting sporting events we have ever witnessed.  Thank you Bob Castellini!

What to do when opposing counsel just won't talk?

August 8, 2006 11:29 PM

File a Motion to Compel Acceptance of Lunch Invitation.  How lovely, is our first impression.  Our second impression is that we have had many attorneys on the other side with whom lunch would have been absolutely unimaginable.* 

Sometimes opposing counsel is uncrediby unreasonable, rude, meanspirited, and screetchy.  Oh, and loathsome.  Did we mention loathsome?  It is probably a good idea for a Court to require collegiality when it is not present, via an accepted invitation to lunch.  But Courts also need to recognize that some attorneys are simply awful--and not force the innocent to suffer their crap.

*From long ago cases.

"Why-o, why-o did we ever leave Ohio?"

That's what NBS's dad always used to announce from the front seat when the station wagon crossed the state line.  Of course, at the time, none of us were witty enough to scream from the way back "Because it is freaking August.  Take us back to Michigan."  Which is of course where we were.  On the Old Mission Peninsula, north of Traverse City.

We love the 'Nati, folks.  But August is no time to be in Ohio.  But we are in fact back, and posting will resume on the same irregular schedule you have come to expect.  In the meantime, here is what we are thinking about:

1.  Lieberman/Lamont.  We think this is good because it exposes just how much the modern Democratic party has been hijacked by the radical left.  But also bad, because the Democratic Party is one of the most important institutions in the United State and it has been hijacked by the radical left

2.  St. Louis at Cincinnati for a 4 game homestand.  We can't believe we are still actually following Reds baseball in August. 

3.  ABC News asking "Is the President Too Chunky."  Sweet Jesus, people.  The media just can't give it a rest.  And now it's "Is he too fat?"  Excuse me?  Too fat?  We had two terms of Bill Clinton, and now it's "Is Bush too Fat?"  WTF!

4.  This great picture of Katherine Harris:









We dont know WHY she's down in the polls.

Where in the world is NBS?

August 4, 2006 09:12 PM

NBS is heading out for the weekend.  But where?  We have hints:

1.  North of NBS's home state.

2.  Near what would be the ring finger on the hand map.

3.  Major body of water.  French name.  Divided in two "arms."

4.  Indian name.

5.  Cherries.  Vino.  Sailing.  Tennis.

6.  The lighthouse at the end of the peninsula is pictured below:

Old Mission Lighthouse

As the big bloggers say:  For the next few days, blogging will be light.







"As it took shape and veered from traditional expectations, neighbors were perplexed"

You got that right.  The house that NBS has always known as the "Erie Birdhouse" is for sale.  Yes, the much-loathed home has been listed for $399,000.  Construction began in 1989 under the direction of U.C. architecture professor, Terry Brown. The Enquirer has the scoop:

Under Brown's direction, the structure has morphed - some say too slowly with too much mess and mud - into a compilation of shapes and textures that defy description and tradition. There are winding steel steps and church-like stained glass. There's also corrugated steel siding and a mosaic chimney fit for a fairytale.

For those who are unaware, the house is in a neighborhood that is full of historic homes.  Hard to believe this didn't fit right in:


Apparently the professor is leaving town.  Perhaps he has realized people do not like him?

He gets in a few digs about Cinci on his way out the door:

"In the context of Cincinnati, architecture as an art form hasn't really thrived. So within that context, people really don't know what to do with it."

No, professor, calling crap "architecture" is what hasn't really thrived in Cincinnati.  Cincinnati has always been known as a home for great architecture

We almost forgot...

August 3, 2006 10:37 PM

In anticipation of NBS's weekend getaway to cooler climes, we thought we'd post something bitchy about the heat and "global warming."

But in the course of our googling, we found it too hard to be bitchy, when we were reminded of this picture from 1937:

This photograph, known as Migrant Mother, is probably Dorothea Lange's most famous.  It depicts destitute pea pickers in California, centering on a mother of seven children, age thirty-two, in Nipomo, California, March 1936. The woman in the picture is Florence Owens Thompson,  whose husband and sons had gone to get help for their broken down car.

The subject of "Migrant Mother" is a 32 year-old mother of seven, all of whom worked as pea pickers.  It would be so gross to look at that and be bitchy.  The shot was taken after her husband and sons left her by the side of the road, so they could go get help for their broken down car.  Look at them.

Hopefully, many of you recognize this image.  For NBS, it brings back memories of U.S. history textbooks.  The photo above was taken by Dorothea Lange, who snapped many visually arresting photos during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl years.  As you may recall, those were the years when it hardly ever rained, the heat was oppressive, and massive amounts of topsoil and farmland simply blew away.  Again, this was in the '30s.  Way before Al Gore started trying to get people panicked about "global warming."

We find Dorothea Lange's photos riveting, even 69 years later.  The look on the mother's face, and the turned heads of her daughters.  It is a kind of poverty we have not known in the U.S. for some time.  We have no idea what it would be like to live through such times.  Thank God.

But back to global warming.  Do we really have to explain--to anyone who has looked at Dorothea Lange's photography--why global climate change is a cyclical phenomenon? Do we have any reason to believe that the present climate situation is anywhere near as bad as it was during the 1930s?

And the award for lede of the week goes to...

Jim Knippenberg of the Enquirer:

While the rest of the world is sleeping or watching the late news, what's Arlene Thorwarth doing? Staying up until 2 a.m. watching a pregnant gorilla sleep.

Yes, the Jimster is all over the biddies on pregnant gorilla patrol over at the zoo.  Apparently they are all taking turns monitoring Muke (pronounced MEW-kee), our own pregnant, local, lowland gorilla--who is due in a few weeks.  And what, exactly, are the volunteers doing?

Working in four-hour shifts and armed with clipboards, she and fellow volunteers take note of everything they see:

6:23 p.m., Muke sits.

6:48 p.m., Muke stands.

7:01 p.m., Muke tinkles and takes a nap.

Well it doesn't get more wild than that, does it?  But we understand what motivates the loyal volunteers.  Doesn't she just have that glow?

Muke, a western lowland gorilla who's about to have her third baby.

Perhaps NBS shouldn't admit it...

but this totally reminds us our our friends.  They definitely have the clothes right.  And, NBS also used to have a SAAB with some of the exact same problems.  And no, NBS is not kidding.

High tea in the parla makes the ladies holla!

Legal Ethics 101: Lead us not to temptation...

August 2, 2006 05:28 PM

What would you do if you were a blogging attorney who just got a major scoop from office colleagues about about a huge political and financial deal that is in the works?

Shut up about it, and keep your law license, that's what you'd do.

Of course, this is in total contradiction to this bloggers' naturally tendency to gab, gab, gab. 

Oh well.  Looks like NBS will be steering clear of the vino and the keyboard tonight.   

NBS Wedding Photos REVEALED!

August 1, 2006 09:11 PM

Thousands of loyal NBS readers have written in, asking us why we haven't posted any wedding photos from the big NBS wedding.  As you recall, it did occur recently in a stunningly beautiful tropical locale.  And naturally, NBS readers demand details!

So we thought about it.

And, well.  Okay!  Here we are, the classy bride and groom!