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Monday, November 17, 2008

Why You Should Never Try to Steal a Law Student's Laptop

by Dan Reilly

A thief learned the mistake of trying to steal a law student's laptop last week after after becoming a punching bag for an Arizona State student he tried to rip off. Armed with a baseball bat, the intruder, Gabriel Saucedo, allegedly climbed through an open window into Alex Botsios' apartment, waking the student and threatening to smash his head in.

Botsios was willing to let Saucedo take his wallet and guitars. Then the robber made the mistake that ultimately landed him in the hospital -- he went for the laptop. According to Botsios, he said "Dude, no -- please, no! I have all my case notes...that's four months of work!" Saucedo, obviously underestimating the fury of an overstressed, overworked first-year, was unsympathetic. That's when Botsios could take no more.

Wrestling Saucdeo to the floor, Botsios separated the bat from the thief and repeatedly punched him in the face. When it was all over, police had to get Saucedo stitched up before charging him with armed robbery and kidnapping, while Botsios only suffered some scrapes and a bruised knuckle. Most importantly, at least to the student, is that his laptop, which he called "his baby," escaped unharmed. Next time, Saucedo might want to try robbing a third-year student, as they're generally more docile. [From:]

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The 5 Most Retarded Causes People Are Actually Fighting For

By Luke McKinney

Sometimes, lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for. Hunger, war, disease, they'll always be with us, but caring souls will always fight to raise awareness about these issues.

Others, however, have a different idea. These brave types have latched onto other lost causes. Ones that, quite frankly, deserve to be lost. Such as:

Lobster Empathy

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) want to buy a retired Maine jail for two hundred thousand dollars to set up a "Lobster Empathy Center," a place where the plight of scrumptious seafood can be likened to a heavy-handed and inaccurate metaphor.

PETA's rationale was "No building would be more appropriate than a jail to set up an interactive display about how these intriguing animals suffer."

Yes, in a world where there are still children with no address other than "whichever bridge Bob the Rapist isn't sleeping under tonight," PETA decides the best use for a building specifically designed to house large numbers of people is to campaign for the imaginary rights of animals with nervous systems so primitive they can survive for several minutes after being cut in half.

This lobster is too stupid to realize how ridiculous it looks.

A couple of hints, PETA:

1) These publicity stunts always end up with you looking retarded. Haven't you noticed this?

2) Except the ones that get Naomi Campbell naked, those ones are fine.

3) You may have better luck campaigning on behalf of less delicious animals.

4) Natalie Portman is very popular. Just a thought.

"I want to take my clothes off for lobsters."

Seriously, what could be more pointless than this?

A Bill of Rights for Plants

Oh, right.

In what we can only assume is a brave attempt to starve sanctimonious vegans to death, the Swiss government's "Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology" has issued a document outlining the ethical treatment of plants, apparently with an eye toward getting it placed into law.

Which means that, as well as making sure your date consents, you now have to ask permission of the roses you bring. Though the document generously allows that "any action with or towards plants that serves the self-preservation of humans [is] morally justified." So if you ever find yourself locked in a life-or-death struggle with a Triffid feel free to fight back without fear of a stern letter with a Swiss postmark.

Livejournal User Rights

Back in March of 2008, Livejournal users rallied to the cry for a boycott of the service because they weren't consulted about some changes to the site. It's true, Facebook doesn't have a monopoly on huge community overreaction to minor changes.

A Google search reveals over fourteen thousand posts about the Livejournal boycott (taking 'lj' and the fact many users can't spell boycott into account) - and while Livejournal claims a population twice that of Switzerland (albeit a much more emo and Naruto-obsessed population than Switzerland could ever dream of), only about a hundred and forty thousand update daily. So this boycott stood to deliver a significant blow. But did it?

Hmmm... you know, we may have spotted the flaw in the cunning plan of posting on Livejournal about a boycott on Livejournal posting. And in true internet fashion, fully half of the strike posts were calling the strikers fags, another quarter were "I support them but won't do it myself," and we're sure at least four entries were slash porn on the subject.

The most serious effects of the strike were summarized by one user, who commented "it was so weird reading some good fanfic but not able to comment."

Changing the world isn't easy, dude.

Negative Portrayal of Snakes in Movies

Hey, remember Snakes on a Plane? The horrible movie/meme combination that dominated geek culture for like an entire year?

Well, allegedly to protest the inaccurate portrayal of snakes in the movie (but more likely because he's always wanted to), Pennsylvanian man Jesse Rothacker covered himself in snakes. Some believe this supports the theory that Pennsylvanians will do literally anything that bears a promise of maybe not being in Pennsylvania anymore, even if that alternative is being inside a snake.

We should point out that Mr. Rothacker runs the "Forgotten Friends Reptile Sanctuary," so maybe the frustration of spending eight hours a day trying to convince people that what their home really needs is a few more snakes drove him to these extremes. Oh, and he's on record protesting that he should be allowed to carry concealed firearms in public parks.

"I just want to be left alone with my snakes and my guns. In a park. At night."

He's right, you know. Compared to a darkened park full of dudes with guns jammed down their pants, a plane full of snakes is probably a pretty fucking safe place to be.

Asperger's Pride Movement

If you don't know what Asperger's is, welcome to the internet!

Asperger's is a real disorder for some, but has turned into a kind of "get out of self-improvement free" card for legions of socially awkward Pokemon fans. This latter group doesn't care about your "medical credentials," "basic common sense" or even "knowing people who actually do have Aspergers." This syndrome they read about on Wikipedia once is their winning lottery ticket to a life of never having to learn how to interact with other humans. Welcome to the Aspergian Pride movement.

The Asperger's aficionados are even pushing their own "Aspergers Passport," an orange band you can wear to show support.

Yes, exactly like the yellow LiveStrong bracelet. You see, equating their struggle with that of cancer survivors is the kind of "this has to be a mental illness" assholism that marks the Asperger's sufferer.

In fact, as stated on's mission statement, this crippling (and easily self-diagnosed) condition actually makes the sufferer better than you. Their checklist of nerd delusion identifies Aspergia as:

a) a superpower

b) a mutation

c) the next stage in human evolution

d) the legacy of a lost utopian civilization

Actual Asperger's sufferer.

We only wish we were kidding about that last one. Presumably in this Aspergian wonderland the faucets ran with Mountain Dew and there were infinite moms who cooked infinite dinners who never ever sobbed in private. It isn't explicitly stated that females in this land were impressed by knowledge of Star Trek episodes rather than physical prowess, but it's pretty heavily implied.

For movies that are depressing for a whole other reason check out Rick's look at 5 Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes. Or find out about some action stars whose careers had a less than happy ending in 5 Movie Martial Artists That Lost a Deathmatch to Dignity.

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God Angrily Clarifies 'Don't Kill' Rule

NEW YORK—Responding to recent events on Earth, God, the omniscient creator-deity worshipped by billions of followers of various faiths for more than 6,000 years, angrily clarified His longtime stance against humans killing each other Monday.



"Look, I don't know, maybe I haven't made myself completely clear, so for the record, here it is again," said the Lord, His divine face betraying visible emotion during a press conference near the site of the fallen Twin Towers. "Somehow, people keep coming up with the idea that I want them to kill their neighbor. Well, I don't. And to be honest, I'm really getting sick and tired of it. Get it straight. Not only do I not want anybody to kill anyone, but I specifically commanded you not to, in really simple terms that anybody ought to be able to understand."

Worshipped by Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike, God said His name has been invoked countless times over the centuries as a reason to kill in what He called "an unending cycle of violence."

"I don't care how holy somebody claims to be," God said. "If a person tells you it's My will that they kill someone, they're wrong. Got it? I don't care what religion you are, or who you think your enemy is, here it is one more time: No killing, in My name or anyone else's, ever again."

The press conference came as a surprise to humankind, as God rarely intervenes in earthly affairs. As a matter of longstanding policy, He has traditionally left the task of interpreting His message and divine will to clerics, rabbis, priests, imams, and Biblical scholars. Theologians and laymen alike have been given the task of pondering His ineffable mysteries, deciding for themselves what to do as a matter of faith. His decision to manifest on the material plane was motivated by the deep sense of shock, outrage, and sorrow He felt over the Sept. 11 violence carried out in His name, and over its dire potential ramifications around the globe.

Attack On America Icon

"I tried to put it in the simplest possible terms for you people, so you'd get it straight, because I thought it was pretty important," said God, called Yahweh and Allah respectively in the Judaic and Muslim traditions. "I guess I figured I'd left no real room for confusion after putting it in a four-word sentence with one-syllable words, on the tablets I gave to Moses. How much more clear can I get?"

"But somehow, it all gets twisted around and, next thing you know, somebody's spouting off some nonsense about, 'God says I have to kill this guy, God wants me to kill that guy, it's God's will,'" God continued. "It's not God's will, all right? News flash: 'God's will' equals 'Don't murder people.'"

Worse yet, many of the worst violators claim that their actions are justified by passages in the Bible, Torah, and Qur'an.

"To be honest, there's some contradictory stuff in there, okay?" God said. "So I can see how it could be pretty misleading. I admit it—My bad. I did My best to inspire them, but a lot of imperfect human agents have misinterpreted My message over the millennia. Frankly, much of the material that got in there is dogmatic, doctrinal bullshit. I turn My head for a second and, suddenly, all this stuff about homosexuality gets into Leviticus, and everybody thinks it's God's will to kill gays. It absolutely drives Me up the wall."

God praised the overwhelming majority of His Muslim followers as "wonderful, pious people," calling the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks rare exceptions.

"This whole medieval concept of the jihad, or holy war, had all but vanished from the Muslim world in, like, the 10th century, and with good reason," God said. "There's no such thing as a holy war, only unholy ones. The vast majority of Muslims in this world reject the murderous actions of these radical extremists, just like the vast majority of Christians in America are pissed off over those two bigots on The 700 Club."

Continued God, "Read the book: 'Allah is kind, Allah is beautiful, Allah is merciful.' It goes on and on that way, page after page. But, no, some assholes have to come along and revive this stupid holy-war crap just to further their own hateful agenda. So now, everybody thinks Muslims are all murderous barbarians. Thanks, Taliban: 1,000 years of pan-Islamic cultural progress down the drain."

God stressed that His remarks were not directed exclusively at Islamic extremists, but rather at anyone whose ideological zealotry overrides his or her ability to comprehend the core message of all world religions.

"I don't care what faith you are, everybody's been making this same mistake since the dawn of time," God said. "The Muslims massacre the Hindus, the Hindus massacre the Muslims. The Buddhists, everybody massacres the Buddhists. The Jews, don't even get me started on the hardline, right-wing, Meir Kahane-loving Israeli nationalists, man. And the Christians? You people believe in a Messiah who says, 'Turn the other cheek,' but you've been killing everybody you can get your hands on since the Crusades."

Growing increasingly wrathful, God continued: "Can't you people see? What are you, morons? There are a ton of different religious traditions out there, and different cultures worship Me in different ways. But the basic message is always the same: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Shintoism... every religious belief system under the sun, they all say you're supposed to love your neighbors, folks! It's not that hard a concept to grasp."

"Why would you think I'd want anything else? Humans don't need religion or God as an excuse to kill each other—you've been doing that without any help from Me since you were freaking apes!" God said. "The whole point of believing in God is to have a higher standard of behavior. How obvious can you get?"

"I'm talking to all of you, here!" continued God, His voice rising to a shout. "Do you hear Me? I don't want you to kill anybody. I'm against it, across the board. How many times do I have to say it? Don't kill each other anymore—ever! I'm fucking serious!"

Upon completing His outburst, God fell silent, standing quietly at the podium for several moments. Then, witnesses reported, God's shoulders began to shake, and He wept.

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Penguins deal for defenseman Boucher, send former Star Sydor back to Dallas

PITTSBURGH -- Darryl Sydor returned to the Dallas Stars on Sunday in a trade of veteran defensemen that sent Philippe Boucher to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Darryl Sydor


Philippe Boucher


The 36-year-old Sydor played with Dallas from 1995-2003, winning the Stanley Cup with the Stars during the 1998-99 season and appearing in the finals again the following season.

He was dealt to Columbus in July 2003 before being traded to Tampa Bay in January 2004, where he helped the Lightning win the Stanley Cup that season.

The 35-year-old Boucher has three assists and 15 penalty minutes in 16 games this season. A former All-Star defenseman, Boucher is six points short of 300 in his career.

Sydor was held out of nine of the Penguins' 17 games this season, getting one goal and one assist in eight games. Last season, he was scratched for nearly two months before playing the final four games of the Stanley Cup finals against Detroit.

"I didn't wanted to go out the way so many old guys have, not that I consider myself an old guy -- I'm only 36," Sydor said. "It was a matter of numbers here. It was a matter of young guys playing well. I wanted to extend my career, and that wasn't going to happen here."

Sydor signed with Pittsburgh before the 2007-08 season. He had one goal and 12 assists in 74 regular-season games, only to be benched for the first three rounds of the playoffs.

"I was never really told why I wasn't playing," Sydor said. "I proved to myself that I could still play [against Detroit]. It was pretty gratifying to know that after missing 60-some days, I could step in against a great team and still have success."

Boucher, who played for the Kings from 1994-2002 before joining the Stars, has 20 or more points in five of the past six seasons.

Both players count about $2.5 million toward the salary cap and are eligible for free agency next summer.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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Daunting task: Familiar end for Culpepper and Lions

John Niyo / The Detroit News

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- This is where it all nearly ended for Daunte Culpepper.

And this is where it begins — awkwardly and in failure, ultimately — for the Lions' newest quarterback, a 10-year NFL veteran trying to revive his career with a team stumbling toward infamy.

Culpepper, returning to the same stadium where he suffered a career-threatening knee injury three years ago, walked off the field under his own power Sunday.

But he was still hurting, after the Lions' fourth-quarter rally came up short in a 31-22 loss to the Carolina Panthers (8-2) at Bank of America Stadium. And it was Culpepper's ill-advised throw under pressure — intercepted by rookie Charles Godfrey and returned to the Detroit 4-yard line — that spoiled the Lions' ongoing bid to avoid an 0-16 season.

Carolina's DeAngelo Williams punched it into the end zone on the next play to put the game out of reach with 4:44 left.

"I wish I could have that throw back, but I can't," Culpepper said of the intercepted pass, intended for tight end John Owens. "It was just miscommunication, but that wasn't the only play."

It was the one that mattered most in the end, however. Culpepper, making his second start since signing as a free agent knows that. So does Calvin Johnson, the primary target who locked eyes with Culpepper as he rolled out under pressure from Panthers defensive end Tyler Brayton — and then vanished.

"I should've stayed on my route, but I turned it upfield, so, yeah, there's a little miscommunication there," Johnson said. "But we're gonna work those kinks out the longer we're together."

Time is running out on the Lions this season, though. At 0-10, they're headed back to Detroit for a three-game homestand against Tampa Bay, Tennessee and Minnesota. None of their six remaining opponents has a losing record.

And to suggest head coach Rod Marinelli is running out of answers as the losses mount would be to ignore the reality: He ran out of answers a long time ago.

"Have we failed? Yes," Marinelli said Sunday, after his 19th loss in 22 road games the last three seasons. "Have I failed? Yes. Am I going to give up? Now way."

But there's no way his team can win if it continues to give up the kind of rushing yardage it did Sunday against the Panthers.

Carolina piled up a franchise-record 264 yards on the ground Sunday, averaging 8.3 yards per carry. The tandem of DeAngelo Williams (14 carries, 120 yards) and Jonathan Stewart (15 carries 130 yards) became the first Panthers duo to rush for 100 yards or more in the same game.

"Certainly, we didn't have to throw it a ton today, because we were running it so effectively," said quarterback Jake Delhomme, who finished only 10-of-19 for 98 yards. "(The coaches) were telling us to run it, and we did."

Still, the defense did hold its own late — with three consecutive stops, including a forced fumble — to give the Lions an opportunity to sneak into the win column.

When Culpepper capped a 15-play, 70-yard drive with a 1-yard plunge with 6:05 left, they'd pulled to within 24-22. But Culpepper's quarterback keeper on the two-point conversion came ups short as a hole collapsed and linebacker Jon Beason's apparent facemask penalty went uncalled.

Then came the interception by Godfrey — the first of the rookie's career — and consecutive three-and-out possessions for both teams, though Marinelli had little explanation for the Lions' curious decision to punt with 4:28 left trailing by nine.

A last-ditch drive by the Lions ended with Culpepper fumbling as he was sacked by Carolina's Julius Peppers at the Detroit 30 with 1:17 remaining.

Culpepper finished the day 20-of-35 for 207 yards and a touchdown — a 29-yarder to Johnson on the game's opening drive. But he also had two interceptions and that final fumble.

"We've just got to make those plays — that's the difference between winning and losing," Culpepper said. "But I think we made some steps in the right direction today. And we just have to take a couple more steps in the right direction next week, and maybe that will result in a win."

You can reach John Niyo at (313) 982-3810 or

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Former Yankee Jim Leyritz says victim was at fault in fatal crash

Fallen Yankee hero Jim Leyritz, speaking for the first time after the DUI accident that killed a Florida mother, said he has had trouble hiding his pain from his children ever since the crash.

"I can't tell you how many times that I put them to bed and I walk outside so they didn't see me break down and cry," Leyritz, 44, said in an emotional interview with the Daily News.

Leyritz, his eyes red and watery as he recalled the moments following the fatal accident, remembered feeling lost and in shock.

"I know I'm going to jail, but I just don't know how long I'm going to be there," Leyritz recalled. "I'm just lost."

In jail, "I talked to my ex-fiancée... crying and just saying, 'I don't know what I'm going to do. This is not me. I don't know what to do. This is just horrible.' And knowing that somebody died in the accident..." Leyritz added, his words trailing off.

Leyritz's once-charmed life changed forever the night of Dec. 28, 2007.

After celebrating his 44th birthday with pals at a Fort Lauderdale bar, Leyritz hopped into his Ford Expedition SUV with a friend to bring him home.

Prosecutors say Leyritz was sloshed when he ran a red light and crashed into a Mitsubishi Montero, killing its driver, Fredia Ann Veitch, 30. Cops arrested the former Yankee slugger on DUI manslaughter charges after he was given three field sobriety tests. His blood-alcohol level was later determined to be 0.14, nearly twice the state's legal limit of 0.08. His trial is set for Jan. 12.

Leyritz said it was Veitch - who was found also to be drunk at the time of the crash - who caused the horrific accident. Records show she had also caused a drunken driving accident six months before.

"My light was never red when I entered the intersection," he said. "I was not at all responsible for the accident or her death."

"She went through the light. She hit me."

For weeks after the crash, Leyritz couldn't sleep, he said. Even after doctors prescribed sleeping pills, he was still haunted by images of the unconscious Veitch lying on the pavement.

"I'd never seen anybody up-close unconscious like that, that actually passed away," Leyritz said.

Leyritz then covered his face with his left hand - bearing his 1996 World Series Championship ring.

"Every time I closed my eyes, I saw her face," Leyritz said.

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