Friday, February 9, 2007

In Space, No One Can Hear You Plead Insanity

It took awhile, but our art department finally got around to anointing us with our official logo. Ooooo. Not only is it nice to look at, but our headline writer also marvels at the space savings up top.

Speaking of space, NASA astronaut turned attempted first-degree murder suspect Lisa Nowak is giving praise to the tabloid gods for the death of Anna Nicole Smith. Rag-mags had more than enough to work with on Nowak: sex, space, diapers, a folding knife, garbage bags, and rubber tubing. You need a humdinger of a tale to top that. But even though she's off the front page, the legal heat's still on, and the laywers are in pre-game mode.

OUT OF THIS WORLD. Oh the stories to be told. And Nowak's defense attorney Donald Lykkebak had one for the judge at his client's arraignment:

"What we have here is a desperate woman who wants to have a conversation with another woman. She didn't shoot her. She didn't stab her. She didn't do anything except spray her with pepper spray."
If that didn't work... there was the tubing. And what about that stuff they found in Nowak's duffle bag? According to video from CNN, Lykkebak said this:
"These things were in the duffel bag. And they didn't leave the duffel bag... And there is no evidence she intended to do anything other than have a talk.
Defense lawyers specialize in raising reasonable doubts, reasonable or not. Take this example from last week's stealth-marketing scare in Boston involving light-up devices advertising a cartoon show. Said Michael Rich, the attorney for the two men charged in the panic attack:
"I saw the devices before they were put up. It never occurred to me that it would be anything anyone would be worried about with these devices."
So when did a Lite Brite suddenly become a weapon of mass destruction? But silly us, this is a post 9/11 world.

CRIME 101. Given the heightened awareness we've all been told to possess, an assignment by a Scottsdale, Arizona criminology teacher should've vanished from the lesson plan long ago. But it remained -- until now.

From the AP:
After staged incidents resulted in calls to police the past two years, a Desert Mountain High School assignment that requires students to act out and videotape a mock crime will no longer be required.

Scottsdale Unified School District spokeswoman Marijke Van Fleet said Monday that school officials decided to eliminate the assignment that led to last month's arrests of three students.
Police have responded to a mock kidnapping and a mock carjacking. And we thought our homework was tough. I guess playing "Clue" just doesn't cut it anymore...

CURED. Disgraced pastor Rev. Ted Haggard claims he's cured of homosexuality. We're automatically skeptical of that claim, but the early signs indicate he's making (pun alert) a good-faith effort.

From the Denver Post:
In [an email] message, Haggard revealed that he and his wife, Gayle, intend to leave Colorado Springs and pursue master's degrees [in psychology] through online courses.

Haggard mentioned Missouri and Iowa as possible destinations. Another oversight board member, the Rev. Mike Ware of Westminster, said the group recommended the move out of town, and the Haggards agreed.

"This is a good place for Ted," Ware said. "It's hard to heal in Colorado Springs right now. It's like an open wound. He needs to get somewhere he can get the wound healed."
We note Rev. Haggard came to Arizona for treatment, which is quickly becoming the state of choice for public figures running to rehab. The list includes ex-congressman Mark Foley and Rush Limbaugh. But with the sordid past behind him, Rev. Haggard earns a nod for at least wanting to help others in a lower-key manner.
"Many of us that go into the healing, helping professions do so out of some sort of dysfunction or traumatic event in our lives, and we want to do what we can to help other people avoid what we've gone through," [Focus On The Family's H.B. London] said. "He is certainly gifted and intelligent and has an intuitive side to him. And he has life experience. Those are good credentials."
But if we see him in a Snickers ad, it's back to therapy.

LOST. A Malaysian woman is back home, 25 years after taking the wrong bus.

From UPI:
Jaeyana Beuraheng told her eight children she accidentally boarded a bus bound for Bangkok instead of Malaysia, and once there she boarded a second incorrect bus because she could not read or speak Thai or English, The Times of London reported Wednesday.
Beuraheng ended up begging and wound up in jail because of the language barrier. When three students from her home village met up with her, they helped her get home.

It's something to think about the next time I ride New York's MTA. Getting stuck in Brooklyn wouldn't be bad. Just keep me out of Queens.

AIR PELOSI. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is defending her request for a bigger plane to fly her and family non-stop to home base in San Francisco. The White House is backing her up.

She's trying to blame the mess on Donald Rumsfeld. But she's also having second thoughts.

From the Washington Times:
"I don't even like having the security," Pelosi said. "I would rather travel on the plane with my friends to get some work done. I like my freedom, but there are certain sacrifices you have to make when you are speaker of the House."
In an interview on Fox News, Pelosi said the plane request was not hers.
"I wish I didn't have to have so much security, because I like my freedom of mobility," she said, adding that she would be willing to fly commercial aviation. "I'm not asking to go on that plane. If you need to take me there for security purposes, you're going to have to get a plane that goes across the country."
We detect more than a few Republicans are calling for the history-making speaker to make history again and go on the first-ever House Speaker Road Trip.

STRANGE BEDFELLOWS. You may have heard about the ancient Romeo and Juliet discovered in Italy. But what caught our eyes is this story's placement on one our favorite websites, the Drudge Report.

Looks like somebody could use a few more hugs.

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