January, 2010 Archive
January 30th, 2010 by admin in Uncategorized
He’s been a fixture around Gobbler’s Knob, Pennsylvania for years. “Punxsutawney Phil,” a large, overfed groundhog, is the bellwether of late-winter weather forecasting. Legend has it that each year on February 2nd, if Phil comes out of his den and sees his shadow, six more weeks of winter are on the way. Conversely, if he doesn’t see his shadow, an early spring is right around the corner. Or is it the other way around?
But due to global warming conditions, poor P-Phil is no longer able to reliably predict the fate of spring. Regardless of whether the critter sees his shadow, all bets are off on the impending climate.
“We knew something wasn’t right with him,” lamented Punxsutawney mayor Jim “Snake” Werhle, master of ceremonies for the annual event. “He comes out of his burrow on Groundhog Day and just looks confused. He stands there for a while, chattering a bit, craps on the ground, then crawls back in. Kinda sad.”
Local radio meteorologist Kent Riley concurred. “When Phil bit the mayor’s hand last February, we figured something was amiss. He’s now thirteen years old - seventy-eight in woodchuck years - and we just thought he was getting cranky in his old age. But it seems the changing weather patterns are a major factor in Phil’s bout of depression.”
Town leaders have decided to retire Phil and donate the animal to a nearby petting zoo. Meanwhile, they’ve started a new tradition for the 2nd day of February.
“We’ve got the local drunk volunteering to come staggering out of his basement to look for his shadow,” said Mayor Werhle. “We doubt he’ll find it.”
January 29th, 2010 by admin in Uncategorized
It’s what we patiently wait for every New Year: The 50 Most Loathsome Americans, 2009 list from those magnificent bastards at the Buffalo Beast, one of our favorite sites.
January 29th, 2010 by admin in Uncategorized
Toyota recalls millions of automobiles. The massive recall came on the heels of a revelation that many of the cars were prone to serious accelerator problems, possibly resulting in accidents. Meanwhile, Chrysler Corp. has offered to buy the cars from Toyota and re-badge them for sale, with a company official flatly stating that their customers “generally aren’t that picky about such things.”
Man seen playing with live chicken on NYC subway. The unidentified man, who appeared homeless, pulled the live chicken out of a paper bag and let it run loose inside the subway car. The man then started chasing it down the aisle, while shouting obscenities and flailing his arms. There were no reports that the man choked it, which of course would not be newsworthy.
China bans dog and cat meat. A new law outlaws the consumption of cats and dogs, considered culinary delicacies in many parts of the country. (We didn’t ask if they taste like chicken.) The new legislation, which imposes fines of over $1000 for violations, has been welcomed by animal rights groups throughout the nation. In other news, it was reported that the population of China’s squirrels, rats and raccoons has plummeted in recent months, leaving wildlife officials puzzled.
This week’s edition of NFTS was compiled by Phil, who, for some reason, mysteriously stopped patronizing his local Chinese restaurant.
January 27th, 2010 by admin in Uncategorized
In a move to boost crew morale, NASA has set up a high-speed wireless connection to provide Internet access to the International Space Station. It’s a decision the space agency has quickly come to regret. The broadband service, which was switched on last Friday, has dramatically curtailed productivity on board the orbiting space station, with its occupants spending an inordinate amount of time surfing the web, checking email, blogging and downloading files (or uploading, as the case may be).
Now NASA has a big problem: what to do to get the flight crew and scientists aboard to quit goofing off and get back to work.
“This has blown completely out of proportion to our original intent. It was supposed to be just for checking email and an occasional football score,” claimed a NASA network administrator from his office in Houston. “I warned NASA brass that this would happen, but did they listen? Now we have people up there spending all day on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.”
Online use aboard the station has escalated out of control, with activities on the 280-mile-high Internet cafe going well beyond social networking and eBay. Now NASA is threatening to pull the plug.
“Somebody up there - and we know who it is - has already downloaded twenty-six gigabytes of porn, a shitload of movies off Bit Torrent, and who knows how much music,” lamented a NASA staffer. “Just what the hell those people are doing up there is a mystery to us. They’ve maintained radio silence all week and haven’t performed a single experiment or maintenance operation since Sunday afternoon. I think we’ve created a monster.”
News of the high-flying Internet adventures have spread throughout the media, with Twitter reports being republished on news sites and blogs around the world. Not everyone is amused, with an outraged Congress considering slashing NASA’s budget, and even the RIAA getting into the fray, threatening to sue the astronauts if they don’t stop sharing files.
“If those guys up there think that copyright laws don’t apply in outer space, they are sadly mistaken,” warned Cary Sherman, president of the recording industry group. “We have their IP address.”
January 23rd, 2010 by admin in Uncategorized
Pristine beaches, ancient cities, international intrigue…we have it all…in YEMEN!
Sure, we have our share of danger. Show us an exciting travel hotspot that doesn’t. After all, our problems are nothing you would find terribly out of place in a locale like Detroit, Miami or Oakland. So settle down already. Chill. Get on a plane and come experience the excitement of a strange land with unusual sights, with that “edge” you just won’t find in your run-of-the-mill tourist destination. Get your adrenaline rush right here. It doesn’t get any better than this.
YEMEN. IT’S REALLY NOT THAT BAD.
Phil, your official AITS tour guide, sez: “Ya’ just gotta see this place!” Join your friends from Alligators In The Sewer this spring as we host a fun-packed 7-day vacation to exotic Yemen! Woo Hoo! Check out our itinerary and book your trip today while seats are still available!
THIS ADVERTISEMENT BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE FRIENDLY FOLKS AT THE YEMEN TOURISM PROMOTION BOARD.
January 21st, 2010 by admin in Uncategorized
Air France announces new policy to help obese passengers. The French airline is now offering a second, adjacent seat free to qualifying passengers with waistlines of 140cm (55in.) or greater. Air France had previously required plus-sized flyers to purchase a second seat. A spokesperson for the airline said the policy change is intended to ensure fairness and to “attract more American passengers.”
John Edwards admits fathering child. After more than a year of speculation, the former North Carolina senator and democratic presidential hopeful has finally come forward and admitted in public that he is indeed the father of the 2-year old lovechild born to campaign videographer Rielle Hunter. Said Edwards: “I guess there’s no hiding the fact that the little brat sure looks a lot like me.”
Bin Laden thought to be hiding in Spain. Spanish authorities descended on a man in Barcelona believed to be the fugitive Osama bin Laden, only to discover that they had instead arrested a prominent lawmaker, Gaspar Llamazares. The lawmaker, who bears a striking resemblance to the wily al-Qaeda leader, was initially taken into custody after an anonymous tip was phoned in to local police. After the mixup was cleared, red-faced security officials quickly issued a public apology to Llamazares, stating in Spanish television, “Oops, looks like we fucked up.” A French production company contacted Llamazares the next day, offering him the role as bin Laden in an upcoming action-adventure film.
This week’s edition of NFTS was compiled by Norm, who never in his life has been confused with any high-profile fugitive…in fact not even a low-profile fugitive.
January 20th, 2010 by admin in Uncategorized
A minor earthquake rattled parts of Pennsylvania, causing Alligators In The Sewer to go offline for several hours last night. The quake triggered the crash of several of the web servers at 1&1 Internet, AITS’ hosting service. Technicians at the Chesterbrook, PA company scrambled heroically into the night in an effort to revive the errant servers.
People in eastern Pennsylvania were particularly unnerved by the rare seismic rumbles, especially in the wake of the recent catastrophic earthquakes in Haiti. The tremor, which measured 2.6 on the Richter scale, rattled dishes on the shelves of several suburban Philadelphia residences, and prompted a number of neighborhood dogs to bark incessantly. Police and other first responders in the area also reported incidents of snow knocked off the rooftops of some houses. No injuries were reported with no interruptions of power, gas or cable TV in the area.
While the region is not normally prone to seismic activity, Norm at Alligators In The Sewer offered some sage advice to the Pennsylvania-based web host company: “Maybe consider putting some rubber shock-absorbing pads under your server racks, so things don’t get so shaken up next time, dude!”
January 18th, 2010 by admin in Uncategorized
For the first time in its more than 70-year history, there is now a national speed limit on Germany’s infamous Autobahn. In a close vote, members of the nation’s Bundestag have imposed a 100kph (62mph) speed limit on all freeways. The new law went into effect just after the new year.
The move has spawned criticism, protests and even rioting throughout Germany. It has also created huge traffic jams and pileups in the nation of 80 million. Cities from Hamburg to Munich experienced gridlock on the normally free-flowing expressways. Thousands of multi-car accidents have occurred throughout the nation. No word yet on casualties. Polizei officers have written thousands of citations for violators - in areas where traffic congestion hasn’t already subdued the high-speed habits of the locals.
“This is not good,” said a motorist stranded on the A-31 Autobahn, near Kirchellen, in northwestern Germany. “We are unable to move. But those are the rules, and we Germans follow the rules!”
Others were not so understanding.
“Never mind Fahrvergnugen…we can’t even get fuckin’ movin!,” complained Otto Putzenheimer, member of the Dusseldorf Porsche Club. “Now I’m parking my car and taking the train. At least I can get some high-speed action on the rails!”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has issued pleas for calm, which have mostly fallen on deaf ears, as thousands rioted along autobahns around Berlin, Nuremberg and Munich. Angry mobs riding in Audis, BMWs and Porsches were seen throwing rocks and beer bottles at nearby stalled cars, while police in armored vans lobbed tear gas at the hooligans. Many cars suffered broken windows and dented fenders.
While there have always been speed limits imposed in urban areas and around construction zones, rural stretches of the Autobahn were traditionally a free-for-all, with no cap on speeds. The new national speed limit now makes the German Autobahn system one of the “slowest” in Europe, as neighboring countries allow speeds as high as 130kph (80mph) on their motorways.
January 15th, 2010 by admin in Uncategorized
No more free GM cars for Tiger Woods. General Motors has decided to end its arrangement of giving free promotional vehicles to the fallen golf star. A public relations spokesperson stated that the automaker was “not impressed with Tiger’s low-speed crash testing.” Woods’ abilities of driving with a stick may also have been a factor. Meanwhile, Tiger was nonplussed by the snub: “Not getting a Buick is sort of like not getting the clap.”
Google suffers China-based hack, considers plans to pull out. In the aftermath of a massive data breach involving the email accounts of Chinese human-rights activists, Google has decided to stop complying with China’s censorship directive and may pull out of the country altogether. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been sent to Beijing to help round up the online miscreants. “First it’s melamine in the dog food, now this!,” shouted an angry Clinton as she embarked on her trip.
Maine gay rights activist kills partner during bizarre gun sex incident. Bruce Davidson, a 50-year-old farmer and avid gun freak from Skowhegan, Maine was engaging in a little “hide the barrel” with his friend, Fred Wilson, and a third participant. (Since this is an AITS story, you know what’s going to happen next.) Yup, the gun went off, and poor Fred died suddenly - with a semicolon. The third guy at the lemon party was not hurt. Davidson has been convicted of manslaughter, and faces up to 30 years in prison. Davidson now looks forward to making lots of enthusiastic new friends in jail.
Canadian publishers find new moniker for their Beaver. The Winnipeg-based fur trade magazine, The Beaver, will be given a new name so that its online subscribers won’t keep losing it in their spam filters or having it blocked by firewalls at work. “Ain’t this is great, eh?” gushed one avid reader from Kamloops, British Columbia. “Now if only the porn sites would start using new names, then I could surf that from my office too!”
This week’s edition of NFTS was compiled by Gordy, who in a moment of weakness (he has many), spent $230 at the local Legion hall to buy out the entire bin full of pull tabs. Gordy’s aggregate winnings: $7, proving that the idiot’s not terribly good at math.
January 14th, 2010 by admin in Uncategorized
With careful observation you can learn a lot about a total stranger in just a few moments. A public men’s room is the perfect place where each personality type shows his true colors. If a psych student ever needed a research paper idea, this has to be it. Here are a few types we’ve spotted:
The Introvert. Walks into the men’s room and looks around. If anyone is in there, The Introvert will leave and return later, hoping to have the place all to himself. The Introvert possesses superb self-control, capable of waiting hours until the coast is clear. He doesn’t want anyone anywhere near him when he needs to take a leak. He never uses the urinal and will stealthily pee while sitting down in the farthest stall from the door. If someone enters the next stall, The Introvert will continually flush the shitter to cover his sounds.
The Narcissist. The polar opposite of The Introvert, The Narcissist is all about being noticed - everywhere he goes. He will strut right in like a barnyard rooster and spend several minutes in front of the mirror, primping and preening. Once his hair is positioned flawlessly, The Narcissist may actually use the bathroom facilities (if he isn’t so self-absorbed that he forgets his original objective), then finish the ritual with more primping before he walks out the door. You may see him exit with a tail of toilet paper hanging out the back of his pants.
The Motivational Speaker. Walks up to the urinal right next to someone else and chats the poor guy’s ear off for the 30-or-so seconds he spends there. By the time The Motivational Speaker has drained his main vein, he will endeavor to learn the name, occupation, and half the life history of everyone in the men’s room. Occasionally gets beaten up trying this in bar bathrooms.
The Modest Mouse. Stands at the stall and tries to pee. He really tries. But nothing happens. After 3 or 4 anxious minutes of just standing there, The Modest Mouse will nervously zip it up and leave, his face beet-red with humiliation.
The Cowboy. Brash, uncouth and uninhibited (and generally clueless), The Cowboy will swagger into the restroom, step up to the nearest urinal, whip it out and pee all over his feet.
The Obsessive-Compulsive. Walks in, grabs a wad of paper towels, wets them in the sink and scrubs the shitter so clean you could serve punch in it. Takes a dump and uses a full roll of paper wiping his ass. A quadruple-flusher. Spends ten minutes washing his hands, walks out, then walks back in to wash his hands once more - just in case.
The Showman. Inebriated, The Showman staggers in with some equally-inebriated white trash barfly in tow. Enters a stall with his “special guest” and unwittingly provides several minutes of free entertainment for the cheering crowd gathering by the sinks.
The Emo. Brooding and moping, The Emo will shuffle in the door, his head down, eyes glued to the floor and muttering something to himself. Selecting the farthest urinal in the row, The Emo will simply look down and sob while relieving himself. The Emo can’t wait to get out the door and back to someplace dark.
The Alzheimer. Will walk into the restroom, stop, look around and forget what he came in for. Then walk back out and piss and/or crap his pants.
The Slob. Usually some…uh…”rotund” person with oily, unkempt hair, dressed in sweat pants and an undersized t-shirt that doesn’t stay tucked in. The Slob walks in, hawks up a big lung-cookie and launches it toward the sink, usually missing his target. While whizzing, The Slob will scratch his ass, let out a big fart, exclaiming “ahhh, that sure felt good!” Maybe do a farmer blow into the urinal, again missing his target with half of it splattering across the front of his shirt. Finishes up and exits without washing his hands, heading straight back to the restaurant kitchen.
January 7th, 2010 by admin in Uncategorized
Report: Wisconsin deer hunters shot at fewer buildings this season. No shit. Officials in The Land of Cheese and Corn actually track these statistics, and apparently it’s been a problem in the past. But this year, only 10 structures were shot at during last fall’s hunt, compared to 25 in 2008. A big round of applause, by the way, for all the brilliant sportsmen who were able to distinguish barns from bucks. Now if we could just get ‘em to quit shooting at the dairy cows. Apparently, the ability to identify a target is still lost on a few hunters, who would be well advised to lay off the sauce before heading out into the woods with loaded firearms.
Man gropes TSA worker in N.J. airport, triggers security lockdown. In a freakish chain of events, Newark Liberty International Airport was shut down for over 6 hours Thursday after a man slipped into a secure area to grope a female TSA security guard from behind. Thinking the “assailant” was just a frisky co-worker, the female agent, whose name has not been released, started giggling uncontrollably. When she turned around to discover that it was a stranger, the agent shrieked, then sounded an alarm. The airport was locked down while authorities searched unsuccessfully for the unidentified man.
Fourteen year old math prodigy gets (and loses) scholarship to Cambridge. The awkward Surrey County lad, Arran Fernandez, earned a slot at Britain’s most prestigious university, only to be expelled by school authorities just two weeks later. The expulsion came after Fernandez was caught in a bizarre hazing ritual when he and three of his classmates went cow-tipping in a pasture just outside of town. School officials are not commenting. Said Fernandez’s mother: “I’m greatly disappointed. We finally get the precocious little brat out of the house and now here he is again!”
This week’s edition of NFTS was compiled by Tina, who somehow managed to finish this article bright and early on Friday, before slipping out the back door to begin another weekend of binge drinking.
January 7th, 2010 by admin in Uncategorized
Norm had finally had enough. Between our crappy, half-ass PCs, the sometimes-on, sometimes-off Internet service, and the fact that someone here “accidentally” left open our wifi network and a certain war-driving friend of said staffer surreptitiously downloaded 16 gigabytes of pirated movies through our network last weekend, Norm is about to vapor-lock from all the pent-up anger. The veins in Norm’s forehead looked like they were about to pop right out Monday morning.
“No more do-it-yourself computer work around here,” announced Norm on Tuesday. “We need a part time professional IT guy around here - the real deal!”
Norm’s “real deal” turned out to be some shifty-looking guy who responded to our Craigslist ad. Erik, our soon-to-be new tech consultant, shuffled in our door this morning, babbling to himself and constantly scratching himself in places we’d rather not have to see. (Where’s the eye-bleach when you need it?)
After a few minutes of deliberations with Norm, and a few pointed comments from Tina about his rag-muffin attire, minimal social skills and general lack of personal hygiene, Erik agreed to reduce his $25 per hour fee to a much more reasonable $10 an hour - on the condition we pay cash and agree not to do any background checks.
Whipping out a wire cutter and crimp tool, and a USB drive crammed full of software (the origins of which we really don’t want to know), Erik jumped right in, showing us his network-fu. After a couple hours, with cables strung across the walls and ceilings in just about every direction, it looks like some semblance of a network system is beginning to take form here.
Now with Erik on the premises for an hour or two each day, AITS headquarters has better than average Internet service, our computers crash less often, our wireless hub is locked down, and we now have the overpowering smell of armpits and Brut aftershave permeating the newsroom.
This Erik kid’s alright - he gets things done. We’ll keep him around a while. But he really needs to quit babbling to himself all the time. It creeps us out a little.
January 1st, 2010 by admin in Uncategorized
Nigerians declare jihad on Michigan. Just two days after one Nigerian terrorist-in-training-pants tried to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner with a dud bomb, a second Nigerian decides to try his luck at causing trouble on the same Amsterdam to Detroit flight. In the latter incident, it turns out the unruly passenger simply had a “problem” in the airliner’s lavatory. After spending way too much time in the shitter, the Nigerian fellow became “verbally disruptive” after when the flight’s crew ordered him to come out.
Improv bullfighting FAIL. An improvisational bullfighter in the southern Mexican town of Atlixtac quickly discovered his limitations when the enraged bull he was taunting gored him in the neck. The bullfighter later died of his wounds at a local hospital. Said one disappointed fan, “it’s not supposed to work out that way. I want my money back.”
This week’s edition of NFTS was compiled by Norm, who considered making a New Year’s resolution to be nicer to his minions at Alligators In The Sewer…then promptly burst into maniacal laughter at the mere thought of it.
January 1st, 2010 by admin in Uncategorized
The giant glass ball that rings in the New Year high above New York’s Times Square made its descent one minute late this year. But the delay wasn’t due to some mechanical glitch or operator error. The culprits: two teenage pranksters who remotely hacked the timing software that controls the ball, ushering in 2010 at 12:01 A.M. Eastern Standard time.
Revelers in the street barely noticed the protracted ball-drop, too intoxicated to care. But celebrities and planners of the gala event were livid.
“A treasured American tradition has just been defaced by the selfish acts of a couple vile individuals,” blasted an angry Regis Philbin, perennial host of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. “People expect accuracy from our glass ball. Now who will they depend on? The Naval Observatory?”
Ironically, it’s the Naval Observatory that must now make corrections for the year’s late start by moving back its atomic clock exactly 61.032 seconds across every time zone. This in turn has created a ripple effect as clock-based systems around the world - from cell phones to air traffic controls - must now follow suit in adjusting their clocks. Communications, data, military and transportation personnel were scrambling early Friday morning to adjust their clocks. Technicians everywhere were called in to work New Year’s Day in order to update systems.
The Obama Administration is advising people to set back their alarm clocks and wristwatches by holding down the time set button and counting slowly to sixty-one.
The two unnamed hackers, both 16-year-old high school students from Long Island, have been detained by authorities. Federal prosecutors are expected to file formal charges within the next day.
Meanwhile, officials from the New Year’s event are red-faced over the security breach and the ensuing negative publicity.
“How could this happen?,” exclaimed Alexei Samstoff, organizer for the Times Square event. “It’s eleven lines of UNIX code! No matter how simple we make it, somebody still manages to fuck that up!”