Comment Of The Day
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Sunday, July 26, 1998

Just Another Day.

Today, it's sunny. The sky is blue. The traffic lights are working. The police are patrolling. The fire fighters are ready. The beaches are open. Places of worship are holding services. The newspapers are delivered. The planes are flying. The restuarants are open. The golf courses are teeing off. The tennis balls are flying. The playgrounds are swinging. The walkers are out there with the runners and skaters and bikers and strollers. The fisherpeople are fishing. The drivers are going. The kayakers are paddling. The sailors are sailing.

And, I am typing.

Here are some other actual things that are going on. It's just another day.

Today, police in Wichita, Kansas, arrested a 22-year-old man at an airport hotel after he tried to pass two (counterfeit) $16 bills.

Today, a man in Johannesberg, South Africa, shot his 49-year-old friend in the face, seriously wounding him, while the two practiced shooting beer cans off each other's head.

Today, it was reported that a company trying to continue its five-year perfect safety record showed its workers a film aimed at encouraging the use of safety goggles on the job. According to Industrial Machinery News, the film's depiction of gory industrial accidents was so graphic that twenty-five workers suffered minor injuries in their rush to leave the screening room. Thirteen others fainted, and one man required seven stitches after he cut his head falling out of his chair while watching the film.
Today, the Chico, California, City Council enacted a ban on nuclear weapons, setting a $500 fine for anyone detonating one within city limits.

Today, police in Radnor, Pennsylvania, interrogated a suspect by placing a metal colander on his head and connecting it with wires to a photocopy machine. The message "He's lying" was placed in the copier, and police pressed the copy button each time they thought the suspect wasn't telling the truth. Believing the "lie detector" was working, the suspect confessed. The case is under appeal.

Today, Japanese researchers at Tokyo University and Tsukuba University announced that they will begin in February testing a project to surgically implant microprocessors and electrode sets, and eventually microcameras, into American cockroaches for a variety of possible missions, including espionage surveillance and searching for victims in earthquake rubble. The equipment, which can also receive remote-control signals to command the cockroach's movements, weighs a tenth of an ounce, twice a typical roach's weight but still only a tenth of what it potentially can carry.

Today, in Meaux, France, high school philosophy teacher Bernard Defrance was suspended in January for his pedagogical game in which he removes an article of clothing each time a student stumps him with a riddle (sometimes losing everything).

Today, in a soccer game in Tripoli, Libya, a team sponsored by the eldest son of Muammar Qaddafi suffered a questionable referee's call and began beating the official and the other team. After spectators jeered, Qaddafi and his bodyguards opened fire on them, and some spectators shot back. The death toll was somewhere between twenty and fifty, including the referee. Muammar Qaddafi later declared a period of mourning, the hallmark of which was that Libyan TV was to be broadcast in black and white only.

Today, in Santa Maria, Texas, Luis Martinez, Jr., 25, was stabbed in the neck with a broken bottle by his uncle, allegedly to punish Martinez for not sharing his bag of Frito's.

Today, a 20-year-old man was hospitalized in Guthrie, Oklahoma, after encouraging his friend Jason Heck to kill a millipede with a .22- caliber rifle; after two ricochets (and missing the millipede) Heck's bullet hit the man just above his right eye, fracturing his skull.

Today, in the Australian Medical Journal there was a description of a case of lead poisoning by an electrician who chewed electrical cable to satisfy his nicotine urge when he was forced to work in no-smoking buildings. The man said he chewed almost a yard of cable a day for nearly ten years because it had a sweet taste, especially near the center.

See you next time?

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