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Law/Police/Crime
Consumers in England have been alerted to be on the lookout for fake washing suds. Rogue boxes of 'Bold 2in1' are masquerading as the real thing. A government official is quoted as saying: "Consumers are aware of counterfeit DVDs and computer games but fake washing powder is unusual and goes to show the length that counterfeiters will go to deceive the public." I certainly wasn't aware of this problem. I think I could use washing powder for years without ever noticing that it was fake, because I tend to just dump the stuff in the machine and walk away. I never hang around to check out if it's sudsing up.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime
Posted by Alex on Wed Jul 28, 2004
Comments (2)
The Toronto Sun reports that exotic dancers applying for a visa to enter Canada are now expected to submit photos of themselves performing in the nude... to prove that they really are exotic dancers. Immigration lawyer Mendel Green claims that the rules are quite specific: "They can't be partially nude. If they don't have pictures in the nude, they are not going to wiggle their bottoms in Canada." This sounds very weird. Could the Toronto Sun be the victim of a joke? Are they pulling our leg? Or have Canadian immigration officials just figured out a great way to get their hands on lots of free pictures of naked women? I'm not sure, but given how many other bizarre rules and regulations government bureaucrats manage to come up with, I'm guessing the story is probably true.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Tue Jul 27, 2004
Comments (5)
image Kristen sent in this picture of a Kern County police car bearing a decal with the motto, "We'll Kick Your Ass... And take your doughnuts too." The picture is doing the email rounds (it's been doing them for about a year) accompanied by a caption that explains:
Kern County California police drove this car for 1 week before an officer noticed what the graphics company employee did on the passenger side of the car. The employee did this on his last day working for the graphics company before he retired.
The picture is actually real (i.e. it's not photoshopped), but the caption explaining it is incorrect, which is a pity because the real story is better than the phony story. The decals weren't created by a mischievous graphics company employee. They were created by the Kern County police themselves as an in-house joke. This all happened last year (2003). Of course, when the picture of the squad car began circulating via email, it soon found its way to a local newspaper, the editor of which called up the Sheriff to ask him what it was all about. The Sheriff at first denied all knowledge of it, saying it was a doctored photo, but later the truth leaked out: a Kern County police Commander had ordered the decals made. All the details of the story can be found in this KGET News article. Of course, it didn't take long for someone to start selling 'We'll Kick Your Ass' merchandise on cafepress. Or, if your dog's birthday is coming up, you can get him a 'We'll Bite Your Ass' t-shirt.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Wed Jun 09, 2004
Comments (4)
This is an old site, but I hadn't seen it before. It pretends to be the homepage of a lobbying group called 'Citizens for a Murder-Free America' who are campaigning for passage of 'Precrime' legislation that will help stop murders before they happen. In reality, the site is part of the publicity campaign for Steven Spielberg's movie Minority Report, which was about a future society where the police use psychics to see into the future and tell them about murders before they happen (based on a Philip K. Dick short story). It was a pretty good movie.

Categories: Entertainment, Law/Police/Crime, Websites
Posted by Alex on Mon Jun 07, 2004
Comments (0)
I've heard of plenty of cases of people pretending to be cops, but this one takes the cake. It's the line about how "the bogus policeman used to patrol at night in company of a sheep that looks like a dog" that really boggles my mind. I'm trying to visualize a sheep that could pass for a dog, but my imagination just isn't good enough.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime
Posted by Alex on Mon Jun 07, 2004
Comments (2)
If you break down by the side of the road, what should you do? Use your cellphone to call for help, of course. Or, if you're a complete idiot, you can pretend that you and your buddy are fighting so that concerned motorists will call the police for you. A group of budding geniuses in Massachusetts chose option B, and soon ended up in jail after a policeman showed up and ordered them to the ground at gunpoint.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime
Posted by Alex on Thu Jun 03, 2004
Comments (2)
According to Horse & Hound magazine, British health authorities have decided to make it the law that all children must wear face masks and rubber gloves while doing yard work or grooming horses. Health and Safety spokeswoman Lirap Ducek is quoted as saying, "Childhood asthma has increased three-fold in the last 10 years, and we want to ensure that children are protected against picking up bugs which can have long-term health implications." But before you send your kid out in a rubber mask, you might want to check the release date on that story: April 1. That's right, it was an April Fool's Day joke. But apparently hundreds of people in England fell for it.
Categories: Animals, April Fools Day, Law/Police/Crime
Posted by Alex on Wed May 19, 2004
Comments (5)
image According to US News, one day last April the FBI, acting on a tip from an informant, went on alert to track down an evil reclusive millionaire terrorist mastermind named Don Emilio Fulci who was planning chemical attacks against London and Washington DC. FBI Director Mueller was even informed about the threat that Fulci posed. Only later did someone in the White House realize that Don Fulci is the name of the crime boss in a video game named Headhunter. I wonder if that day in April happened to be April 1st? (via BoingBoing)
Categories: Law/Police/Crime, Technology
Posted by Alex on Tue May 11, 2004
Comments (2)
The abduction of Audrey Seiler, and subsequent revelation that she had faked the abduction herself, has been generating a lot of media attention. But in an interview with the Newhouse News Service, Ben Radford, managing editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine, points out that cases like this are far more common than most people realize. By his estimate, they occur about three of four times a month, but most of the cases slip under the media's radar. In the early stages of the Seiler case, when she was first found, Ben actually emailed me betting me $10 that the case would turn out to be a hoax. Luckily, I didn't take that bet.
Categories: Hate Crimes/Terror, Law/Police/Crime, Psychology
Posted by Alex on Tue Apr 13, 2004
Comments (0)
According to the Wall Street Journal a strange prank is becoming a real problem for restaurants throughout America. A phone prankster calls up a restaurant, pretending to a police officer, and asks the manager of the restaurant to strip search the store's employees. The reason given is usually that the police are searching for stolen money or drugs. And time after time the store managers comply with the request. I've seen cases of this prank reported in the news before, and I assumed they were unrelated to each other. But police suspect that all the cases might be the work of one guy, operating out of North Florida. Tom Briggs, of the National Food Service Security Council, notes that "Whoever this caller is must be a hell of a good con man... You'd think nobody would fall for this." Numerous restaurant chains have fallen victim to the prank, including Burger King, Wendy's, and Applebee's.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Tue Mar 30, 2004
Comments (2)
I've long suspected that those buttons on corners that you're supposed to push to get a walk signal are a bizarre hoax. Just a facade created by city governments to let us pedestrians feel like we possess some small measure of control. Now this article (NY Times, reg. req.) largely confirms my suspicion. The article only discusses New York City, but I think the situation is the same throughout most of the country.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime
Posted by Alex on Mon Mar 01, 2004
Comments (33)
If you're going to drive around in a car pretending to be a cop, for God's sake don't pull over a real cop.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime
Posted by Alex on Mon Dec 08, 2003
Comments (0)
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