Saturday, February 23, 2019

For Pete's Sake

A number of Doctor Who fans - who are, you know, 'into that sort of thing' - have reportedly been 'shipping the Hell' out of Mandip Gill and Jodie Whittaker's characters, to the point where even Mandip her very self has heard about such doings. (If you don't know what 'shipping' is, dear blog reader, then ... look it up on the Interweb, this blogger hasn't the time to explain it to you.) Yaz and The Doctor have been getting along really well as time travelling companions and there was even a moment when Yaz's mother in the episode Arachnids In The UK idly wondered if they were, in fact, an item. 'I am aware of [The Shipping] now, but at the time I was filming it, it was never a thing,' Mandip told Metro. 'It must just have been natural chemistry between Jodie and myself. After it came out, I was like, "Wow, I didn't even think that was a thing."' Oh, it is 'a thing,' love, trust this blogger, it very definitely is. 'I didn't think it was a thing until I saw people mentioning it online. I think it is just a natural thing that can happen between friends, or who knows where it's going to go.' In the same interview, Gill praised showrunner That There Chris Chibnall and the writers for the success of series eleven. 'The stories resonate through the characters. They're very relatable to modern society and I think that's something we need to thank Chris Chibnall and the writing team for - that they're able to write something that can relate to so many people while having sci-fi in it,' she said.
The new series of Doctor Who has been stoutly defended by former showrunner The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE). From glakes. Not that it needed defending, of course, from Steven or from anyone else for that matter. But, tragically, there are some right flaming planks out there in the world, dear blog reader and, every now and then, it's well-worth watching them getting slapped down with some righteous sarcasm. You know, for a right good laugh if nothing else. The Moff, of course, left the BBC's popular long-running family SF drama following Peter Capaldi's final episode, paving the way for Chris Chibnall to take over. You might have noticed, it was in all the papers and everything. While Jodie Whittaker's first series as The Doctor has, undoubtedly, been a major hit for the BBC - both critically and commercially - some of Moffat's fans have said that they miss him at the helm. Which is entirely fair enough - this blogger does too - but this has, on occasions, spilled over into some rather nasty and ignorantly spiteful comments being made towards the current production. A few such comments cropped up in reply to an Instagram post by The Moffinator last month, when he shared a picture of himself with Capaldi, Pearl Mackie, Michelle Gomez and Mark Gatiss, along with the caption that said he was 'overwhelmed with nostalgia.' Responding to one big daft kid who claimed that Doctor Who has 'gone to shit' without him (which, you know, it hasn't), Steven said that he is 'a huge fan' of what Whittaker and Chibnall have done with the series. 'Well, I'm loving it and you should too,' he wrote. 'But, you know, it's always easier to miss the things you love than learn to love new things - but not nearly as much fun.' There were a few similar comments and an equal number of deliciously sharp put-downs from The Guv'nor. That's how to deal with such nonsense, dear blog reader. No mercy. And, no trial, just straight to execution.
If you're the kind of chap or ladygirl personage who, quite literally, eats and drinks Doctor Who (and, if you're not, then what the Hell are you doing here?) then you may be interested this extremely Doctor Who-themed dining set. Tasty. Though, it'd have looked even nicer with a steaming prawn curry, rice and chips on it, admittedly.
One of the lost Doctor Who episodes from 1965 has been 'authentically recreated' by students, graduates and staff from the University of Central Lancashire. The project, known as Sci-Fi In A Week, saw a large university cross-disciplinary team remake Mission To The Unknown in just five days of rehearsals and filming. And, on a budget of about five quid - so, in that regard, it was probably a bit more expensive than the BBC's budget on the original. This episode is, of course, unique in that it was the only single-episode story in the entire twenty six-year original series and, also, because it was the only story not to feature any of the regular cast including The Doctor him - or, indeed, her - very self. Mission To The Unknown is one of over ninety Doctor Who episodes from the 1960s missing from the BBC's shamefully incomplete archives. Unlike some which have been recovered and returned to the BBC, however, that one is likely to stay lost forever as it was never sold or distributed overseas. But, thanks to UCLan's efforts, it has now been brought to life again. The twenty five-minute episode, which was originally written as an introduction to the subsequent twelve-part story The Daleks' Master Plan, featured Edward de Souza playing Space Security Agent Marc Cory and his efforts to warn Earth of The Dalek's latest dastardly plot. Audio recordings from the episode do exist and have informed the development of the UCLan version but no original footage is known to have survived. Although there is a fan-created animated version of the episode out there on the Interweb if you know where to look. Here, actually. UCLan's Vice-Chancellor Doctor Andrew Ireland directed and produced the episode after being given permission by both the BBC and the Terry Nation Estate, which holds the rights to The Daleks. The very lovely Nicholas Briggs, who has been the voice of The Daleks on Doctor Who since the series returned to TV in 2005, loaned his support to the project by voicing The Daleks for the UCLan episode. Ireland said: 'I'm a huge Doctor Who fan and this episode in particular has always held an air of mystique for me because it experimented with the notion of The Daleks carrying their own storyline without The Doctor present. We kept it as close to the original as we possibly could, so everything from the props and costumes to the acting style, pace and camera techniques are designed to be very 1960s. It was filmed to simulate the low-resolution, black and white look of the era and we've been able to use the audio from the original recording to inform stage directions and the mood of the episode.' The whole show has been created by UCLan students, graduates and staff, with help from Accrington and Rossendale College pupils who were in charge of make-up and prosthetics. It meant that students on courses including acting, fashion and TV and media production gained some valuable hands-on work experience of creating a drama from scratch and were able to compare techniques from more than fifty years ago with modern day drama production. Ireland added: 'It's a cracking script and remaking it proved to be an exciting challenge and learning experience for all concerned. We often talk about the theory of historical television production techniques, but this project meant the students lived the high-pressured reality of it!' To make the programme, the UCLan team had to make four sets; a futuristic conference room, a jungle, a rocket ship and the Dalek Control Room, which was filmed as a miniature set, as well as creating all the props and costumes. It involved four speaking parts plus three Daleks with seven other actors playing various alien delegates to the Dalek war conference. The cast and crew were given a treat mid-week when yer actual Peter Purves who, at the time Mission To The Unknown was made, played The Doctor's companion, Steven (you knew that, right?) and original cast-member Edward de Souza visited the set to see how things were progressing and to take part in a question and answer panel. Peter said: 'This is an absolutely wonderful project, even more so as this episode was a one-off introduction to the massive twelve part Dalek Master Plan. I can remember at the time that [me and Bill Hartnell] were a bit miffed not to be included in any way at all but, actually, it was a nice week off in the end. I am intrigued to see what has been done and hope it could be a precursor to more reconstructions in the future.' UCLan already has strong links with Doctor Who through acting graduate Mandip Gill. Mandip said: 'I am really excited to not only see this lost episode finally, but to see what the team has created in just five days of rehearsals and filming. I am very proud of UCLan, it gave me a lot and I am thrilled to see it also give back a lost part of sci-fi history. Who knows where it could end up!' Ireland added: 'We will give the BBC a copy of the episode and hopefully, one day, it may become available for people to see. To achieve what we have in the time we had is a massive achievement and I want to thank everyone involved for all their efforts.'
The 1968 LP BBC Radiophonic Music is to re-released in March on digital and vinyl by Silva Screen. The LP was the tenth release by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and featured electronic works by composers John Baker, David Cain and the late Delia Derbyshire. Widely regarded as a major influence on the development of electronic music worldwide, BBC Radiophonic Music was a compilation of short works, often composed as intros to various radio or television programmes. Conceived in a time when analogue sampling meant hours of slicing tape with razor blades, BBC Radiophonic Music was - and, still is - 'brimming with zippy themes, unsettling atmospherics, riffs, loops, clicks and beeps.' Insanely catchy and yet deeply sinister, this is 'collage music,' produced, according to Desmond Briscoe of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, 'with the intention of entertaining rather than informing.' An essential collection for analogue and TV theme obsessives and, anyone with even the slightest interest in contemporary electronica, mysterious, eccentric and celestial, it is a celebration of one of the UK's most treasured and unique institutions. Particularly this work on proper, twenty-four carat genius.
'I'm the answer to your life's question. Without me, you're just a joke - without a punchline.' As it hurtles towards its climax in just a few short week's time, From The North favourite Gotham gets continues getting better and better. This week's episode, Ace Chemicals was, effectively, the series' version of The Killing Joke. Plus, the scene of Penguin and Selina watching various failed attempts by Penguin's hapless 'volunteers' to get across the (mined) river to the mainland was hilarious.
And, speaking of Gotham, there's a fascinating interview with Sean Pertwee at the Sci-Fi Bulletin website, which you can have a right good gander at here, dear blog readers.
This week we saw the first major chronological error in the current series of Endeavour. To wit; the - very impressived - episode was set in July 1969, around the time of the Apollo 11 mission (and, fabulously, it also included cunning Inspector Morse-universe takes on Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's oeuvre and Primal Scream therapy). However, it also featured Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love' on the soundtrack. And, Led Zeppelin II was not released until 22 October of that year. Careless. As Robert Plant was no doubt be telling the production team at this juncture, 'You need schoolin ...' If you missed the episode, by the way, 'Sylvia' was the murderess!
'This blue spiral, it's code for paedophiles. In 2012, two former Louisiana state police stopped a serial killer associated with some kind of paedophile ring. Despite evidence of accomplices, the case never went wider.' The penultimate episode of True Detective's excellent third series finally, once and for all, tied the storyline to the events of the anthology drama's acclaimed opening series. Which was nice. The Gruniad Morning Star's review of the episode can be read here.
From The North's semi-regular TV Comedy Moment Of The Week award went, as usual, to this blog's beloved Qi. Sandi Toksvig told the audience the remarkable story of the alleged 'rocket engineer,' Gerhard Zucker who toured Germany in the 1930s demonstrating - or, more usually, failing to demonstrate - his proposed 'rocket post.' Despite impressive claims as it the height and speed that his rockets could achieve, they actually consisted of 'a huge metal container attached to eight fireworks.' No one in Germany was interested in his proposal so Zucker came to Britain in 1934 and announced that he was going to attempt a 'one minute rocket post' between Dover and Calais. The British government thought this sounded like a marvellous idea and suggested that Gerhard go to the Outer Hebrides to do a test run between the islands of Harris and Scarp. He loaded his rocket with twelve hundred letters - including one to King George V - said Sandi: 'And [then], the whole thing blew up. Government officials stood and watched burning parcels raining down on the beach. He was deported back to Germany as "a threat to the income of the Post Office and the security of the country." He was, then, detained by the Germans for co-operating with the British; it has a happy ending - he served with the Luftwaffe in World War II!' And then, she concluded with the obvious punchline: 'For centuries, people have tried to send mail by rocket. But, it's never taken off.'
This blogger was back to his standard 'getting the answer to but one question before either of the teams on Only Connect,' this week. He was, perhaps, distracted by the divine Victoria who was on particularly saucy form on this episode. At least, that's yer actual Keith Telly Topping's story and he is, thoroughly, sticking to it.
Online streaming service Netflix has officially cancelled its remaining Marvel shows, Jessica Jones and The Punisher. Daredevil, Iron Fist and Luke Cage had already been cancelled over the past few months. The third and final series of Jessica Jones, which stars Krysten Ritter, will be shown on Netflix later this year. The second series of Daredevil spin-off The Punisher was released in January. Jon Bernthal, who starred as vigilante Frank Castle, posted about the cancellation on social media. Netflix's relationship with Marvel is ending ahead of the launch of Marvel's parent company Disney's new Disney+ streaming service. Several shows involving Marvel characters, like Loki from the Thor franchise, have already been announced for the new service. Netflix told Deadline: 'We are grateful to Marvel for five years of our fruitful partnership and thank the passionate fans who have followed these series from the beginning.' Head of Marvel TV, Jeph Loeb, broke news of the cancellations to fans with a letter. It concluded with a suggestion that the cancelled Marvel heroes 'may' return on another platform in future, saying: 'Our network partner may have decided they no longer want to continue telling the tales of these great characters… but you know Marvel better than that.'
Bernard Cribbins has dropped out of the forthcoming Dad's Army remake. The actor and comedy legend was scheduled to play Private Godfrey in GOLD's forthcoming remake of the classic BBC series titled Dad's Army: The Lost Episodes. However, it has now been revealed that he will not, after all, be taking the role, citing 'personal reasons' for his exit from the project. He will be replaced by Timothy West. The Dad's Army reboot was announced in October last year. It will also star Kevin McNally, Robert Bathurst, Kevin Eldon, Mathew Horne, David Hayman and Tom Rosenthal. Speaking previously, GOLD's channel director, Gerald Casey: 'As a Dad's Army devotee, I'm utterly thrilled that we're exclusively bringing these legendary lost masterpieces from Jimmy Perry and David Croft to life again after fifty years.' Pete Thornton, a senior commissioning editor at UKTV, added: 'We've been working on this project for several years and will be respecting the genius of the original series.'
The BBC is launching 'a sustainable fashion and lifestyle brand' based on its Blue Planet and Planet Earth series, in an effort to 'capitalise' on viewers 'inspired' by the shows and presenter David Attenborough's warnings about the effect humankind is having on the world. Eco-friendly clothing, homewares and books are reportedly 'being rolled out' under the umbrella of BBC Planet, 'which will act as a kind of kitemark for those who want to change their buying habits and choose more sustainably made products,' according to some Middle Class hippy Communist louse of no importance at the Gruniad Morning Star. Presumably, they will also still be making radio and TV programmes which is, sort of, supposed to be their raison d'être. The brand is kicking off during London fashion week with 'a collection of sustainable clothes, including sweatshirts from ethical producer Mother of Pearl, made using a dyeing process that uses ten times less water than conventional methods.' Also on the cards are live BBC Planet hi-tech shows on a giant screen, as well as events and education programmes. The BBC 'hopes these meet the demand for more information from viewers, particularly younger ones, about how they can make more careful consumption choices.' All this malarkey comes off the back of the effect Blue Planet II had on audiences after the series highlighted the scale of plastic pollution in oceans. It was the most-watched British TV show of 2017 and led to a greater awareness of the devastating effect humans have had on marine life. It had a political effect too, prompting the environment secretary, that rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant, George Formby lookalike and tit Gove, to announce changes to recycling schemes and a consultation on banning plastic straws. Coupled with Attenborough's apocalyptic warnings about the damage humans are doing to the planet, most recently to global leaders at the Economic World Forum in Davos, the BBC said that it wanted to 'help shoppers make ethical decisions.' Julia Kenyon, a global brands director at BBC studios, said: 'The BBC is seeking to partner with trailblazers who are providing solutions to how we consume so that we as individuals can become a part of the solution and work towards a sustainable future.' BBC Planet is expected to be well received at next week's BBC Studios showcase, an annual sales event for the corporation's shows. More than one billion people have watched Planet Earth, Blue Planet and their sequels, according to BBC figures. A scene in Planet Earth II some have called Iguana Versus Snakes won the most popular TV moment of 2017 at the BAFTAs. The BBC recently announced a run of new natural history shows, including two fronted by Attenborough called Green Planet and One Planet, Seven Worlds. The move follows forays by competitors into the natural history television, including Netflix with Our Planet, a series also narrated by Attenborough. Although much of BBC Planet will arguably come under the corporation's public service mission, it will also make money at a time of expected cuts to funding. The BBC faces having to shoulder the cost of free TV licence fees for the over-seventy fives. Despite being funded by the licence fee, the BBC is allowed to make money through its commercial arm, BBC Studios. It makes millions of pounds by selling TV shows and merchandise around series such as Blue Planet, Strictly Come Dancing, Top Gear and Doctor Who.
BBC viewers watching the defection of seven MPs from the Labour party on Monday morning overheard a stark warning from an unknown voice: 'We are, actually, fucked.' The - potentially incisive - politically commentary was, inadvertently, broadcast to the nation on the BBC2 and BBC News channels, giving the unnamed commentator's views on the decision of Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger and other MPs to leave Comrade Corbyn's personality cult and sit in parliament as an independent group. Before, in all probability, losing their seats at the next general erection. 'Between this and Brexit we are, actually, fucked,' said the male voice during the live broadcast. 'It's going to be so divided ... The Conservatives are going to win.' Yep, that sounds about right. During Umunna's speech, another voice could be heard saying: 'It's mad, it's mad' as the Streatham MP urged potential supporters to visit the Independent Group's website and sign up as members. A BBC spokesperson said that it was investigating the incident but added that they were 'confident' it was not an employee who had made the comments. 'Due to an error, we inadvertently broadcast some background comments from another microphone during our coverage of the press conference this morning. We apologised on-air once we realised our mistake.'
The Countdown presenter Rachel Riley and former EastEnders and Doctor Who actress Tracy Ann Oberman are preparing legal action against up to seventy individuals for tweets relating to their campaign against antisemitism in the Labour party, according to the pair's lawyer. Mark Lewis, who made his name representing victims of Scum of the World phone-hacking, said that he is contacting people who have either posted allegedly libellous claims about his clients or repeatedly sent them large numbers of messages which, he says, is 'tantamount to harassment.' The lawyer also said he will go to court and force Twitter to release the details of individuals who made the contentious posts if the users do not voluntarily comply with his request to provide formal contact details. 'This is a very early-stage legal procedure in order to identify the potential defendants,' Lewis said. 'People need to realise that when they publish on Twitter they become a publisher. Whether it's an initial publication or republication does not matter,' he said, emphasising that a retweet is grounds for a case. He said that he was approached by Riley and Oberman 'some time ago,' following his success representing the food writer Jack Monroe in a legal case against that vile and odious Hopkins woman, as well as his repeated criticism of Comrade Corbyn's Labour party. Both Riley and Oberman have criticised the Labour leadership's apparent reluctance to tackle antisemitism from their supporters and have, in return, faced substantial online abuse, with Riley being given extra security when appearing on Countdown. 'This is not about money,' Lewis said of his clients. 'They're not looking to enrich themselves by taking legal action. They're looking to stop vile lies.' Lewis said that there was 'no guarantee' legal action would be brought against all the Twitter users he had contacted, many of whom self-identified online as Labour supporters. One of the Twitter users describes herself as a seventeen-year-old girl, earning Lewis criticism from those who accuse him of 'targeting a child.' He said if the user could prove she is a minor then no action will be taken against her. One pseudonymous Twitter account responded to Lewis' request for his contact information: 'Your attempts to silence me with threats and intimidation will not work. I will never stop speaking out against the barbaric treatment of the Palestinians by the viciously racist apartheid state of Israel. You, Oberman and Rachel Riley are pathetic. Now fuck off.' So, that'd likely be a 'no', then?
There's Pointless, dear blog reader and then there's really Pointless.
After a lengthy and emotional hearing almost nine years after she was first charged with causing a fatal crash in Montgomery, the actress Amy Locane was sentenced to five years in The Slammer. However, Locane will remain free for the time being on her own recognisance pending an appeal of the sentence handed down on Friday afternoon by Somerset County Superior Court Judge Kevin Shanahan. Exactly how much time Locane will actually spend in The Joint is not yet known, depending on the calculation of how much credit she will be given for the time she has already spent incarcerated. Somerset County Assistant Prosecutor Matt Murphy, who had been involved in the case since the beginning, had asked Shanahan to impose a nine-year sentence, which is at the upper range of the five-to-ten-year range for second-degree crimes. James Wronko, Locane's attorney, claimed that he was 'confident' Locane would 'prevail' in the appeal. 'The Appellate Division will certainly be asked to decide whether they intended to bind the trial judge with their sentencing instructions when they issued them to Judge Shanahan almost a year ago,' Murphy said. It was the third sentencing for Locane, the former actress who starred with Johnny Depp in Cry-Baby and featured in the TV series Melrose Place. Locane had been previously sentenced to three years in state prison on charges of vehicular homicide and assault by auto in connection with the death of Helene Seeman in a drunken driving incident which occurred in June 2010. Seeman died at the scene and her husband, Fred Seeman, was injured. The couple's teenage son, Curtis, saw his mother die after he ran out of the house when he heard the crash. Authorities said that, at the time, Locane was driving fifty three miles per hour in a thirty five zone and that her blood alcohol content was almost three times the legal limit Locane was re-sentenced after a state appellate court ruled in March 2018, following an appeal by the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office, that her three-year sentence was 'excessively lenient.' Fred Seeman told the judge that he 'came close to death, twice' as result of a hole in his diaphragm suffered in the accident. He emphasised the trauma suffered by his 'damaged' son who saw his mother die on their front lawn. He called Locane 'a monster' who has 'avoided accountability' for the crash. 'Give my family the peace we deserve,' he said. Locane claimed, 'There is not a day that has gone by that I have not thought of the pain that my actions caused.' Locane had previously been sentenced to three years in state prison because retired Superior Court Judge Robert Reed had downgraded her conviction to 'a third-degree crime.' Locane did stir from 2013 to June 2015 and was released after serving eighty five per cent of her sentence. In July 2016, the state Appellate Court said that Reed had 'failed to include a mandatory three-year requirement' before she would become eligible for parole and that he had 'overlooked the severity of the offence' in determining the sentence. In January 2017, Reed said there was 'no compelling reason' to return Locane to prison. The Somerset County Prosecutor's Office again appealed Reed's sentence and the state Appellate Court agreed, saying that a new judge must perform the sentencing because Reed, who has since retired, did not follow the appellate court's first ruling. 'This sentence shocks our judicial conscience,' the appellate court wrote in a forty three-page decision, adding that Reed 'overlooked the single most important factor in the sentencing calculus: the severity of the crime.' In 2017, the Seeman family was awarded 4.8 million dollars in an out-of-court agreement in a federal civil lawsuit.
The next James Bond movie is to be filmed under the working title Shatterhand, according to a listing in industry magazine Production Weekly. The publication, which lists current and forthcoming film shoots, has an entry in its latest newsletter for 'Bond 25 w/t Shatterhand.' It suggests that filming on the latest movie in the long-running espionage saga will start at Pinewood Studios on 6 April. It is expected to be Daniel Craig's final outing as 007. Last year, the release date of the new film was put back following Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle's abrupt decision to exit the project. It was initially scheduled to arrive in UK cinemas on 25 October 2019 but is now due to be released in April 2020, after reported rewrites of the script. True Detective director Cary Fukunaga has taken over directing duties. There had been long-standing rumours that the new film may be called Shatterhand. The name is an alias used by Ernst Blofeld in Ian Fleming's 1964 novel You Only Live Twice. Christoph Waltz played Blofeld in the most recent Bond film Spectre and Fukunaga has indicated that he 'could return' for the latest movie.
Earlier this month, Devo frontman Mark Mothersbaugh participated in a Song Stories event at the Sonos Record Store in New York City which paid tribute to the late David Bowie. During Mothersbaugh's segment, he revealed the existence of an unreleased recording containing a jam session featuring members of Devo, Brian Eno and the Thin White Duke his very self. According to Bedford + Bowery, the story came up when Mothersbaugh said that he has recently unearthed several tapes from the recording sessions for Devo's acclaimed debut LP, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, which was produced by yer man Eno with some assistance from Bowie. Apparently, Devo's bassist had missed a flight 'because he was fighting with his girlfriend on an airport pay phone,' so everyone else at Conny Plank's studio in Cologne, 'made the best of it. Devo jammed with David Bowie, Brian Eno, Holger Czukay [of Can] and a couple other odd Germans that were electronic musicians that happened to be hanging out there,' Mothersbaugh revealed. Bowie originally approached Devo in the summer of 1977 after their set at Max's Kansas City, telling the band that he would like to produce them and even promised to pay for the sessions when they said that they didn't have a record deal or, indeed, at that stage a pot to piss in. During their second show that night, Bowie came out on stage and said, 'This is the band of the future, I'm going to produce them this Christmas in Tokyo!' In the end that didn't happen and Bowie's frequent collaborator Eno handled the bulk of the production in Germany because Bowie was filming Just A Gigolo at the time, but Bowie purportedly still found time to record unreleased vocals. Mothersbaugh said that he recently found the twenty four-track master tapes for Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, and they contain 'tracks down below that say things like: "David's vocals" and "Brian's extra synths." And I'm like, "I remember turning that stuff off when we were doing our final mixes."' Mothersbaugh explained that Devo ended up removing Bowie's vocals because they were 'totally paranoid about people interfering with our stuff' after dealing with sketchy managers and unauthorised releases. Hope is lost, however, for those who want to hear the unreleased material. 'I'm thinking we should see what's on those tapes,' Mothersbaugh said. 'I'm really curious to see what the heck they did.' Other guests on the panel included Nikki Sixx of Motley Crüe, Meredith Graves of Perfect Pussy and photographer Mick Rock. Devo's most recent CD was 2010's Something For Everybody. Since then, Mothersbaugh has kept busy scoring films like Thor: Ragnarok.
A house in Chelsea where the very righteous Bob Marley sought refuge after the trauma of an assassination attempt in Jamaica is to have an English Heritage blue plaque installed. Yer actual Bob, the novelist Angela Carter, the writer and traveller Gertrude Bell and the war correspondent Martha Gellhorn were among a cluster of names announced on Tuesday as figures to be celebrated in 2019 by the London heritage scheme. The house on Oakley Street, off King’s Road, was where Marley lived with his band, The Wailers, for six months in 1977. When they were not recording their masterpiece, Exodus, at Island's Basing Street studios, they would often make the short trip over the Albert Bridge to play football in Battersea Park. It was while living in Oakley Street that Marley and The Wailers finished recording Exodus begun late the previous year in Jamaica. The historian David Olusoga, a trustee of English Heritage and blue plaques panel member, said that he was 'particularly excited' by the Marley plaque. Bob, he said, remained 'one of the most loved and most listened to musicians of the Twentieth Century. He was one of the first superstars to come from a developing country. He is one of the most famous faces in the world, one of the most recognisable faces in the world and he blazed a trail for other artists from developing countries.' Marley once said that he regarded London as his 'second home' and his stay provided provided much-needed stability after the horrific events of December 1976, when politically-motivated gunmen burst into Bob's gff in Kingston and shot Marley, his wife Rita and his manager, Don Taylor. Around twelve blue plaques are given out each year and English Heritage is conscious of needing to have more women and more people of colour commemorated. Chairman Sir Tim Laurence said: 'We went through a long phase where unless you were white and male you had less chance of getting a blue plaque. We are trying to make the selection much more balanced and more diverse.' All possible recipients have to have been dead for at least twenty years and be nominated by members of the public. On Tuesday a plaque for the film-maker and gay-rights campaigner Derek Jarman was unveiled on the former warehouse near Tower Bridge that he lived in and used as his studio. Later this year Carter will be honoured at her former home in Clapham and Gellhorn at the house in Cadogan Square she called home for twenty eight years. Bell, the archaeologist, adventurer and diplomat who played an important role in establishing the modern state of Iraq, will be plaqued at a house in Chelsea which English Heritage said was a family home and her London base for over forty years - although she was, actually, born in the North East. Small historical footnote here, dear blog reader: This blogger's great-grandfather, James Elliott, worked in Gertrude's dad's alkali works, Losh, Wilson & Bell, as an eight year old in the 1860s. Sadly, he will likely never have a blue plaque awarded to him, being both white and male. And, only famous in this blogger's family, admittedly. Let it be noted, however, that Gertie herself is, in fact, one of this blogger's historic heroines and Georgina Howell's fascinating 2006 biography, Queen Of The Desert, Shaper Of Nations is highly recommended reading. 'One possible blot on Bell's reputation is her fervent opposition to women getting the vote,' sneered some worthless shit of no importance at the Gruniad Morning Star (ooo, very hot water). She was secretary of the Northern branch of the National League for Opposing Woman Suffrage and was on its national executive committee. Olusoga said that Bell was not the only blue plaque recipient to have 'elements of controversy,' pointing to the very first one, Lord Byron - himself a bit of a lad. 'I don't think it is the position of the committee to make judgments about people, we look at their achievements in the round.' Also getting blue plaques in 2019 will be Lilian Lindsay, the first woman to qualify as a dentist in Britain and Sir John Wolfe Barry, the civil engineer whose greatest achievement was Tower Bridge. English Heritage also announced a two-and-a-half-million knicker donation from Julia and Hans Rausing towards its project for a dramatic slate footbridge for visitors to get to Tintagel Castle in Cornwall. It is a contemporary replacement for the natural land bridge which collapsed in the Fifteenth or Sixteenth Century and will save people the long stair climb from one side to the other.
Singer R Kelly has been charged with ten counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, some involving underage victims (and one count of 'being a very naughty man') US media report. The R&B star, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, has faced claims of sexual abuse against women and teenage girls for decades. He has never been convicted and has previously denied all the allegations. The fifty two-year-old is expected in court in Chicago, where he lives, on 8 March. According to US media who have seen court records, there are four alleged victims, who were aged thirteen to sixteen at the time of their reported assaults. Kelly's lawyer told the Chicago Sun-Times he had 'not yet been notified' of the exact charges against his client but said R Kelly denied any and all wrongdoing. Last week, lawyer Michael Avenatti said that his office had 'uncovered previously unreleased footage' of Kelly having The Sex with 'a young girl,' which was then handed to the Cook County State Attorney. There have been calls in recent months to boycott Kelly's music - both recordings and performances - with negative messages posted on social media. Kelly, best known for the hit song 'I Believe I Can Fly', has faced numerous accusations of sexual misconduct, making indecent images of children and other offences. The singer is the subject of the documentary Surviving R Kelly, which premiered in December and featured women who accuse him of both sexual and physical abuse. In 2017, Kelly denied allegations that he was holding a number of young women captive in a so-called 'abusive cult.'
Record signing Miguel Almirón impressed on his full debut as yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Newcastle United eased past ten-man Huddersfield Town to move four points clear of the Premier League relegation zone. After The Magpies had missed several chances in the first half, striker Salomón Rondón swept in the opener fifty nine seconds into the second period. Ayoze Pérez drilled in the second five minutes later although Paraguay forward Almirón could not add the goal that his display deserved. Huddersfield, who stay marooned at the bottom of the table, had skipper Tommy Smith sent off after twenty minutes for an ugly tackle on Almirón. Newcastle recorded their third successive Premier League win at St James' Park - for the first time since last April - to move up to fourteenth place in the Premier League. United boss Rafael Benítez's only gripe may have been that they should have won by a far more convincing margin against a Huddersfield side which managed but one shot on target in the ninety minutes. Newcastle's Kenedy and Sean Longstaff both hit the woodwork in the final half-hour, while Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lössl produced some fine saves as the home side peppered the away goal with twenty nine shots. Town have lost all four of their matches under new manager Jan Siewert and remain fourteen points adrift of safety.
John Motson has personally apologised to the Millwall striker Tom Elliott after describing him as 'big, black and brave' on TalkSport. All of which are, one could suggest, factually accurate statements so it's difficult to see what Motty has actually felt he needed to apologise for. The seventy three-year-old broadcaster, who came out of retirement last summer to join TalkSport after fifty years with the BBC, made his remarks before Millwall’s FA Cup fifth-round win at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday. TalkSport has said it has treated the incident 'very seriously' and has removed the broadcast from its website. Elliott is according to some smear of no importance at the Gruniad Morning Star, 'understood to have acknowledged the private apology from Motson and to be keen to draw a line under the matter.' Unlikely, seemingly, the Gruniad Morning Star itself. TalkSport, responding to a story first reported by the Daily Scum Mail, said: 'We reviewed a live commentary by John Motson and decided to remove it from replay. TalkSport and all of its broadcasters take such matters very seriously and would never wish to offend.' Though they still haven't actually explained exactly who was,allegedly, offended by these comments and, indeed, why.
Championship promotion hopefuls Dirty Leeds have been fined two hundred thousand smackers by the English Football League for watching opponents train before matches. A member of Leeds' staff was nabbed 'acting suspiciously' outside Derby's training ground before the fixture between the two sides on 10 January. Dirty Leeds manager, Marcelo Bielsa, said that he had sent a member of staff to watch every team they have played this season train. The EFL found Dirty Leeds had breached rules over 'treating teams with good faith.' Whatever the Hell that means. Dirty Leeds have also received a formal reprimand from the EFL, which is bringing in a rule to prohibit clubs from viewing their opposition training in the seventy two hours preceding a game 'unless invited to do so.' The EFL said in a statement that Dirty Leeds' conduct 'fell significantly short of the standards expected' and it 'must not be repeated.' EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey added: 'The sanctions imposed highlight how actions such as this cannot be condoned and act as a clear deterrent should any club seek to undertake poor conduct in the future. We will now look to move on from this incident and commence the discussions about introducing a specific regulation at a meeting with all clubs later this month.' The Football Association has also issued a formal warning to Dirty Leeds, Bielsa and a club video analyst. 'The FA will take appropriate action should further evidence of this nature come to light in the future,' a spokesman said. In an extraordinary news conference in the week after Dirty Leeds' match against Derby, Bielsa proudly claimed that he had 'observed all the rivals we played against and watched the training sessions of all opponents.' That led to widespread criticism, though there is no specific rule stopping teams from observing opponents training. Yet. During Bielsa's briefing, he showed journalists how much preparation and analysis he and his staff carry out on each opponent before every game. Dirty Leeds said in a statement: 'We accept that whilst we have not broken any specific rule, we have fallen short of the standard expected by the EFL. We apologise for acting in a way that has been judged culturally unacceptable in the English game and would like to thank Shaun Harvey and the EFL for the manner in which they conducted their investigations. Our focus can now return to matters on the field.' Dirty Leeds beat Derby two-nil in their match last month and Rams boss Frank Lampard described Dirty Leeds's conduct in the build-up to the game as unethical. 'I've never heard of going to a training ground on your hands and knees with pliers trying to break into private land to watch,' he added in a geet huffy strop after the match. Swansea City manager Graham Potter said that he had 'no problem with it' but Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert said the incident was 'not right.'
Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws forward Sadio Mane's house was burgled while he was playing in the Champions League last-sixteen tie against Fußball-Club Bayern München on Tuesday. Items including watches, mobile phones and car keys were stolen. The incident happened at Mane's house in Allerton while the twenty six-year-old was at Anfield. No-one was in the property at the time. Forensic examinations are under way and a police investigation is ongoing. They say they have narrowed a list of suspects down to 'everyone on Merseyside.' Detective Inspector Phil Mahon said: 'We are appealing for anyone with information in relation to this burglary to please come forward and assist our inquiries. While the occupants were not present at the time of the incident this will no doubt be a distressing experience for them and I would ask the offenders to do the right thing and return the stolen items to the owner in any way possible. We know the watches in particular are of significant monetary value and I would also like to appeal to anyone who might have been offered the items for sale since the burglary to contact police.' Senegal international Mane was previously burgled in November 2017 while he was at Anfield for a Champions League game against Maribor. A gang was thought to have broken into his home first before smashing a patio door at the nearby address of team-mate Dejan Lovren before they fled when a woman shouted she was calling the police.
Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock admits the fifteen million knicker transfer of Emiliano Sala 'could have been better conducted,' but insists chairman Mehmet Dalman 'will do things in the right way.' Sala was Cardiff's record signing but never played for the club. He died when a plane piloted by David Ibbotson, who remains missing, crashed. The Bluebirds were due to make the first payment to Nantes on 20 February, but the clubs have agreed a delay of one week. 'Certain things were done that in reflection should not have been done. That stirred everyone up,' said Warnock. 'But I have complete faith in Mehmet that things will come to a conclusion in the future. I don't really want to go into detail on that, but it created stories that shouldn't have been there. The matter should have been kept between the two clubs really [Cardiff and Nantes]. I have every confidence in Mehmet. I know a lot has been written, people surmising things, but I've known Mehmet since I arrived here and I'm quite confident he'll deal with it in the right way. They've asked for an extension and I think Nantes have agreed with that.' Sala died when a plane taking him from Nantes to Cardiff crashed into the English Channel on 21 January. The twenty eight-year-old's body was recovered from the crash site and his funeral took place in Argentina on 16 February, with Warnock and Cardiff chief executive Ken Choo attending. Nantes wrote to Cardiff on 5 February with a request for the first of three instalments to be paid. Cardiff said that they were withholding payment while 'seeking clarification' on 'details' of the accident and want to wait until crash investigations are complete. They are also querying 'anomalies' in contract details, but claim they will be 'honourable' with Nantes over the transfer fee if they are 'contractually obliged' to pay. All of which does beg the obvious question; if there are 'anomalies' over the contract and Sala had not been killed and had by now made his debut for Cardiff, would the club be quite so keen to highlight these alleged 'anomalies.' Warnock says 'certain issues' should not have become public and also walked back on comments he made that 'certain journalists' covering the story have 'a vendetta against him.' The Cardiff boss also defended his son, James, an agent, whose involvement in certain Cardiff transfers has led to accusations of a conflict of interest. 'I feel sorry for James if I am honest,' said Warnock. '[Cardiff captain Sean] Morrison was mentioned as one of his players. We turned down five million pounds from Sheffield Wednesday for him, so it was sensible to put him on a longer contract. Rhys Healey was mentioned, an up-and-coming player and all the other players were already here before I joined the club. Vendetta was probably the wrong word for me to use really. I just think a couple of journalists in particular, over the last fifteen years, when I look at the columns they have written ... It's not just journalism really. All I can talk about is the football side. The board deal with the financial side. But Mehmet will bring it to a conclusion in the next I don't know how many days.' Warnock would not comment on remarks from agent Willie McKay, who said last week that Cardiff 'had hung him out to dry.' Football agent McKay says that he arranged the flight which Sala took from Nantes, but was not involved in selecting the plane or pilot. When asked about McKay's comments, Warnock said: 'I think everything has been said. If you keep talking about it, they'll keep writing about it.'
Fulham's Ben Davis has reportedly missed his mandatory national service in Singapore and could face a spell in The Slammer according to the country's Ministry of Defence. The eighteen-year-old signed for the Premier League club on a two-year deal in July but his government denied his application to defer his military duties. All men from Singapore over eighteen must serve in the armed forces, police or civil defence force for two years. If Davis evades service for two years he may face up to four months in jail. That's if the Singapore authorities can catch him, of course. The sentence rises in accordance with the length of time service is avoided, with a maximum of three years in The Joint for those who evade duty for seventeen to twenty three years or more. Davis could be fined ten thousand bucks instead of, or in addition to, time in The Pokey. 'Mister Benjamin Davis is a national service defaulter,' a Ministry of Defence spokesperson said. 'He failed to report for national service as required. He is also staying overseas without a valid Exit Permit.' Deferments for sportspeople are rarely granted by Singapore's Ministry of Defence who sound like a right barrel of laughs. It said in July that such deferments are only given 'to those who represent Singapore in international competitions like the Olympic Games and are potential medal winners for Singapore.' The midfielder became the first player from Singapore to sign a professional contract at a Premier League club when he joined last summer. He has featured for Fulham's Under-eighteen side ten times and has been called up by the Singapore team but is yet to make an appearance.
Fußball-Club Bayern München's Bundesliga game against FC Augsburg was reportedly due to be shown on Iranian TV but the broadcast was cancelled ... because the referee for the match, Bibiana Steinhaus, was a woman. And, that sort of thing is not allowed in Iran. Oh no, very hot water. IRIB are said to have cancelled their scheduled coverage because Iran, specifically its Islamic laws, 'do not approve' of showing images of women wearing clothes that reveal large amounts of skin. Iran regularly censors movie scenes where actresses' clothing is considered to be revealing and it appears as though there was an issue with Steinhaus wearing football shorts. Natalie Amiri, the Iran correspondent for German public broadcaster ARD, tweeted to say that the broadcast in Iran was 'scrapped' due to the fact there was a female official in charge. This is not the first time that such disgraceful malarkey has occurred; a game between FC Köln and Fußball-Club Bayern München that Steinhaus took charge of in May 2018 was broadcast in Iran but, there were reportedly 'a load of random shots of supporters in the stands whenever the camera was on her.' Such nonsense, of course, takes the gloss off Steinhaus and her unprecedented achievements in the game. She enrolled on a referees course aged fifteen and, after leaving school, initially juggled being a career as a police officer alongside her refereeing career and still works twenty five hours a week in the local department. From 2007 onwards, 'Bibi' officiated games in the German second tier and then experienced career highlights when she was assigned to the 2011 women's World Cup final, the 2012 Olympic women's final and then the 2017 women's Champions League final. In September of that year, she made history by becoming the first woman to referee a Bundesliga game, inspiring many young girls in the process. 'It has always been my dream to be a Bundesliga referee,' she told the official DFB website. 'That this dream will come true naturally fills me with joy. On one hand it is confirmation of my hard work, and on the other hand it is a great incentive to continue to work hard.'
If you think your team was on the receiving end of a right hammering last weekend dear blog reader, then spare a thought for Italian minnows Pro Piacenza. The Serie C Group A strugglers were beaten twenty-nil at league rivals Cuneo on Sunday afternoon. They were trailing sixteen-nil at half-time, with Cuneo's Hicham Kanis scoring six goals before the interval and fellow striker Edoardo Defendi getting five. In Pro Piacenza's defence, there were some mitigating factors. Currently bottom of Italy's third tier, the Northern club are in serious financial trouble. They were deducted eight points earlier in the campaign and have reportedly failed to pay their players since August - resulting in the resignation of the majority of their first-team squad. They had failed to play any of their past three fixtures prior to Sunday's defeat and another no-show at Cuneo would likely have resulted in their disqualification from Serie C. The visitors managed to field enough players for the game to go ahead. Unfortunately for them, that meant starting the match with a seven-man team that included six teenagers. And only four of them had shorts. With no coaching staff available, eighteen-year-old captain Nicola Cirigliano also had to take on the role of manager. They finished the match with an extra player after one of the younger members of their squad was able to locate his identity papers after the game had kicked-off. Cuneo had only scored eighteen goals in their twenty four league matches before Sunday's game, but managed to double their tally for the season in ninety extraordinary minutes. With severe financial difficulties confronting them, Pro Piacenza are set to face an Italian Football Federation hearing to decide their fate on 11 March. Gabriele Gravina, president of the Italian Football Federation, described Sunday's result as 'an insult to sport. In this surreal situation, the FIGC had a duty to enforce all the rules,' he said. 'Our responsibility is to protect the passion of the fans, healthy entrepreneurs and the credibility of our championships. The one we unfortunately witnessed will be the last farce.'
The UK and US governments will spend twenty five million knicker upgrading the machines that made the historic first detection of gravitational waves in 2015. The improved instruments will be able to sense collisions of black holes nearly twice as far away as they can at the moment. By 2024, they should be able to observe in unprecedented detail more than three such cataclysmic events every day. Details were announced at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Washington DC. Professor Sheila Rowan, of Glasgow University, who will be among those leading the project, said that the upgrade would help us 'understand more' about gravity, black holes and neutron stars. 'We have already learned so much from the ten black-hole and one neutron-star collisions we have already observed,' she told BBC News. 'We are still at the very start of what [the instrument] can deliver for us across a number of areas of science.' Gravitational waves are ripples that are sent across the Universe when the gravity in a certain point in space suddenly changes, caused by the collision of two black holes, for example. The process is similar to the ripples caused by a pebble thrown into a pond, but in the case of gravitational waves, space and everything in it is the pond. Like those water ripples, everything in the path of the waves - the stars, planets, houses, even people - get fractionally taller and slimmer and then shorter and fatter, as the disturbance passes by. But the distortions are tiny - much less than the width of an atom. Einstein predicted the existence of such waves in 1916, but is reported to have said that they were 'too small' to ever be detected. For once, old Albert was proved to be wrong one hundred years later, when an international team detected them for the first time using a pair of four kilometre-long L-shaped machines called Advanced LIGO. The LIGO team went on to detect nine more black hole collisions and one collision of two neutron stars, in the two years following the initial discovery. This suggested that we live in a violent Universe, where such cataclysmic events are the norm. The L-shaped instruments are essentially made up of two highly accurate rulers at ninety degrees to each other. Each arm has a laser beam that bounces off a mirror at the other end. The time it takes to return is a measure of the length of each arm. When gravitational waves arrive from space, the L-shape is first stretched and then squashed by a tiny amount for a fraction of a second, but it's enough of a change to be detected. Much of the Advanced LIGO Plus work will be carried out by a UK team led by researchers at the Institute for Gravitational Research at Glasgow University, which has the expertise to build the high-precision instruments needed to measure the minuscule distortions gravitational waves create. Researchers there will be increasing the sensitivity in four ways. First, they will have better, shinier mirrors; the mirrors will have an improved coating, which reduces the wobbling of molecules on the surface; the suspension system on which the mirrors are hung will be made even more stable and light is known to be 'fuzzy' at the quantum level. With the help of a team in Australia, researchers are sharpening the light by squeezing the fuzziness. By being able to detect more black hole collisions, researchers will be able to learn more about them, especially at their edges, where the known laws of physics start to break down. As well as an increase in quantity, scientists will be able to observe collisions in much greater resolution - in ultra-high definition compared with what they can currently detect. Harder to detect are the collisions of neutron stars. These are fascinating because all the burning gas has collapsed into itself to form a super-dense material. One teaspoon of the material weighs ten million tonnes. So, you'd need an effing strong teaspoon to hold it, let's just say that. Physicists want to know what this material is like - apart from 'about as heavy as Giant Haystacks.' And it's thought that neutron stars produce gold and platinum and other heavy metals when they collide. And, perhaps most intriguingly, the new LIGO may be able to resolve a mystery about the speed at which the Universe is expanding. Ground-based telescopes looking at far away supernovas come up with a different answer to the Planck space telescope, which examined the cosmic radiation left over from The Big Bang.
It's hard to miss Sirius, the dog star. It is just about the brightest star in the night sky, after all. But on Monday 18 February, the star 'went' dark for almost two seconds. It was the first time in recorded history that the star dimmed and it was all thanks to a three-mile-wide asteroid. Sirius, located in the constellation Canis major, is easy to spot not just because of its brightness but because the three stars that make up Orion's Belt - Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka - point down at it in the winter sky, at least if you live in the Northern Hemisphere. Follow the stars of the belt down to the South East horizon and there's Sirius. The star was first formally reported in 1844 by German astronomer Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel. Eighteen years later, American astronomer Alvan Clark, spotted Sirius's companion star, Sirius-B. While nowhere near as bright as its big sister, Sirius-B has the distinction of being the first white dwarf star ever discovered. At only 8.6 light-years away, Sirius is also one of the closest stars to Earth. Its proximity and brightness have made it a fixture in societies across history. For the ancient Egyptians, Sirius' rise in the late summer sky was the sign that the Nile River was also about to rise. Ancient Greeks believed its presence int the sky would adversely affect dogs around the same time, hence the term 'the dog days of summer.' Given its status as a fixture in the night sky, Sirius being blocked out - even for a fraction of a moment - may have been cause for concern among those ancient cultures. Modern-day astronomers, however, know what is happening; it's an occultation, the name for when one celestial object passes in front of another. And that's exactly what 4388 Jürgenstock did. First observed in 1964, 4388 Jürgenstock is a three-mile-wide asteroid which completes an orbit around the Sun roughly every three years and seven months. This year, as part of its orbit, it glided directly in front of Sirius for an estimated 0.2 seconds, though Sirius' full brilliance then took a further 1.8 seconds to recover. 'This is the first occultation of Sirius ever predicted,' David W Dunham from International Occultation Timing Association, Middle East section, told Forbes. 'The star catalogues and asteroid ephemerides were not accurate enough to predict such events before 1975, so nobody tried to predict such occultations before those years.' According to Dunham, Sirius is far away from where most of the asteroids roam, making this occultation something particularly special. The occultation was only visible 'along a narrow path from the Southern tip of Baja California to the Las Cruces–El Paso region, up through the Great Plains and North to the Winnipeg area,' according to Sky & Telescope.
A specialist riot squad was sent to quell a six-hour disturbance in a prison which regulators had compared to 'a dungeon.' The Tornado Team - excellent name and one that either Marvel or DC will, likely, be appropriating shortly - was 'deployed' at HMP Bedford after the incident was reported on Saturday, said the Prison Service. Presumably to hand out a tasty bit of of ad-hoc and arbitrary 'pacifying' to the revolting masses, one imagines. The riot was contained to one wing - please tell us it was Cell Block Number Nine? - and resulted in no injuries to either staff or prisoners, the statement added. HMP Bedford was put into 'special measures' in May after 'concerns' were raised over living conditions and violence levels. A riot at the same prison in 2016 involving two hundred and thirty prisoners - tooled up with bricks and metal bars and goddamn pissed-off with The System - caused a million smackers of damage to two wings. Police cars were seen outside the prison on Saturday, although their attendance was said to be 'precautionary' and officers did not go in. A Prison Service spokesman said: 'We do not tolerate violence in our prisons and, where incidents like this occur, will always push for the strongest possible punishment for those involved.' Thumbscrews? Just a guess. A report from the prison's independent monitoring board in October said that prisoners had, effectively, 'taken control' at the four hundred and eighty seven-capacity men-only jail. It found that prisoners 'regularly ignored the rules' (the disgraceful scallywags), the smell of drugs was 'pervading' some wings and that the segregation unit had 'a consistent infestation of cockroaches and a plague of rats. The unit is simply appalling. It is a dungeon. These are not appropriate conditions in which to detain prisoners in the Twenty First Century,' the report added.
A customer who called a bank to apply for a loan was told 'all vegans should be punched in the face.' The Bristol woman, who did not want to be named - out of a sense of abject shame, one trusts - reportedly went to NatWest for a loan to pay for a four hundred knicker 'nutrition diploma.' The application was subsequently rejected but, after listening to a recording of the call and to the woman whinge her sob-story to the BBC News website, NatWest showed the kind of backbone that most multi-national corporations don't when threatened with a bit of bad publicity and offered to pay for the course. Cowards. It's either company policy that all vegans should be punched or it isn't, make your mind up, you lot. The bank claimed that the outburst - which came after the woman told the bank worker that she was a vegan - was 'wholly inappropriate.' NatWest also offered the woman compensation of just under two hundred quid. So there you go, dear blog reader, just get your bank to refuse you a loan for a lifestyle choice and then whinge about it and, you too could be totally in the money. The woman claimed that after the man told her 'all vegans should be punched in the face' he explained that this was because vegan activists had drawn pictures of animals and written messages such as 'friends not food' in chalk on pavements near where he lived. Which, to be honest, if you're going to get upset about veganism - and, there are several entirely legitimate reasons why you may want to - such nonsense is not even in the Top Ten. He felt, he said, that 'vegans were forcing their beliefs on to him.' 'He wasn't happy to be speaking to me at all, his tone was really unpleasant. Being vegan is a lifestyle choice, I shouldn't be penalised for it, especially by a big organisation. It's extremely unfair,' the woman whined. She told BBC Radio Bristol the exchange, on 23 January, made her 'feel really uncomfortable.' NatWest said: 'We are extremely sorry for the way our customer was treated by a member of our staff and apologise for any distress and upset that this behaviour caused. These comments were wholly inappropriate and we have commenced disciplinary proceedings.' Where, presumably, this chap is going to have his ass sacked. 'We have also provided feedback to the relevant sections of the bank to ensure that lessons are learnt so that a situation like this never happens again.'
Police in the US say that they are investigating Sir Philip Green after a fitness instructor claimed she was 'groped' by the Topshop billionaire at a luxury resort. A woman came forward with a complaint about the businessman on Monday, prompting detectives in Arizona 'to look into the allegations.' It comes after the Daily Torygraph reported that the sixty six year-old's former Pilates instructor, Katie Surridge, alleged he 'spanked' her, touched her 'inappropriately' and 'made sexual comments' towards her at the Canyon Ranch health spa. Sir Philip's spokesman denied the allegation to the newspaper and said that the claims were 'dismissed' by the resort in Tuscan, following an investigation. Deputy Daniel Jelineo, of Pima County Sheriff's Department, confirmed that an investigation was under way following a complaint by Surridge. He said no further information could be given to the media at the early stage of the investigation. The officer said: 'Sir Philip Green, I'm aware of a report that was made to our department yesterday, on the eighteenth. He's being investigated for a criminal offence at this time.'
Two people were extremely arrested after a North Carolina man allegedly had ten thousand dollars - and his pants - stolen from him as he was preparing to have The Sex with a woman he had just encountered whilst his girlfriend waited downstairs, police said. Bryce Mason and his girlfriend, Gracelynn Bradeberry, were arrested in connection with the January incident, The State reported on Saturday. Randleman police were still searching for another man, Brandon Cooke, in connection with the naughty doings. Christopher Hancock told police that he had the money stolen from him as he was getting ready to have The Sex with a woman, according to the Courier-Tribune. Hancock reportedly told authorities that he had 'an open relationship' with his girlfriend. At least, that's his story and he's sticking to it. Hancock and the woman who was not his girlfriend went into a bedroom and 'got naked' when two men, allegedly, burst into the room, attacked Hancock and choked him until he blacked out, WFMY-TV reported. When he regained consciousness, he called authorities and told them ten thousand dollars was missing and he was,somewhat, 'without pants.' The alleged incident allegedly occurred on 23 January (that's not alleged, that's definitely a date) and since then Mason and Bradeberry have been arrested and thrown in The Slammer. Mason was charged with assault by strangulation, possession of stolen property and common law robbery. Bradeberry was charged with giving police false information about Mason's identity.
And now, dear blog reader ...
An Australian mother who shared her shock at a child's toy lion having a penis depicted under his tail says that the online abuse she has received has been 'disgusting and stupid.' Tanya Husnu's outrage at the presence of a 'willy' on the toy was shared by media organisations around the world this week and she says that comments to the online stories and personal e-mails have 'featured foul language and abuse' directed at her four-year-old son. The mother-of-five bought her children a toy each from a Melbourne Kmart in preparation for a trip to the zoo and the family were shocked (and stunned) to find the lion's graphic depiction. Adding to the confusion, the toy elephant and hippopotamus she bought for her other children did not have any such appendages. 'One of the twins turned the lion around and my daughter yelled out, "Look mum, the lion's got a willy" and they all started laughing,' said Husnu, who is described in media reports as being 'a thirty three-year-old blogger.' What, blogging's a job now? Why wasn't this blogger informed, he'd've quit the day job(s) years ago if only he'd known. Husnu said that the store should stop selling the toy which is aimed at children older than three and that parents should decide when to teach their children about genitalia. 'I've been getting a lot of personal messages saying, "Are you a stupid cunt?,"' Husnu told Numerous online comments suggested that it is 'ridiculous' for a mother to 'shelter' her children from the natural appendage - which, at least two of her children have and, one of those that doesn't still apparently knows what it is - but she said her 'outrage' was for young girls yet to learn what a penis is. 'Some people don't want to talk to their children about that, she's young, she shouldn't be worrying about men's or boy's parts,' Husnu claimed. Some Facebook comments were more humorous than offensive, though: 'Oh no! Not an anatomically correct lion! How will our delicate sensibilities recover?' was one of the funnier ones. 'I just looked down in my pants and I have one too ... I'm absolutely outraged!' claimed another.
A Texas man was reportedly rushed to hospital after he accidentally shot himself in the stomach while spinning a - loaded - gun on his finger at his daughter's birthday party. In what media reports suggested 'appeared to be a party trick gone wrong,' authorities said that the man was spinning a gun on his hand when he accidentally fired the weapon inside his home during his sixteen-year-old daughter's party on Saturday. According to reports, the unidentified man was rushed to hospital suffering from a single gunshot wound to the stomach and a huge sense of acute embarrassment. It is unclear what type of weapon the man was spinning or if it was legally purchased. The unintentional shooting came the same month that a four-year-old boy found a loaded gun in a Washington state apartment and used it to shoot his pregnant mother. In the face. The twenty seven-year-old woman and her boyfriend were watching television in bed when the child found the gun between the mattress and box spring. 'He unintentionally shot his mom in the face,' King County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sergeant Ryan Abbott told reporters. At least, that'll be his defence when the case comes to trial. In January, a child in Los Angeles accidentally shot and wounded his mother with a shotgun after getting hold of the weapon whilst sitting in a car.
A college lacrosse player is trying to get his head in the game but he can't find a helmet that fits. Alex Chu, a nineteen-year-old freshman would-be goalie at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, said that he is been sitting on the sidelines this season because he can't find protective headgear to accommodate his head, which measures twenty five inches in circumference. 'My head is wide,' Chu told Turn To Ten. 'Looking at me, I don't think anyone says, "Wow, he has a big head." Usually, it's like, "That's a big guy in general,"' Alex added. 'It's been frustrating. It's hard to see something I love feel like it's getting away from me. I really do love lacrosse and it means so much to me.' Alex, who for a while had pieced together parts from two helmets to build a custom protective covering said that his old gear isn't certified for college use. This season is the longest Chu has gone without playing, though thanks to Warrior, a company owned by New Balance, he may be able to play soon. A Warrior helmet, called The Burn, is not on the market yet, but the company told WBZ-TV they would be sending Alex an early model. Wheaton lacrosse coach Kyle Hart said the school is 'doing its best' to support Chu in his athletic career. 'We would all be thrilled. We're really looking forward to finding a solution here and getting him out on the field,' Hart said.
Now, dear blog reader, here is this week's candidate for a tweet which, 'almost, justifies Twitter's existence.'
On Monday, thirty eight-year-old Brooke Lajiness faced sentencing for having The Sex with two boys, aged fourteen and fifteen, whom, according to media reports, she had 'lured to her car.' The married mother from Lima Township, Michigan received a sentence of at least four years and nine months and as much as fifteen years in The Joint. She 'held back tears during sentencing,' wrote FOX News, saying 'This has been the biggest regret of my life.' In February, reports first surfaced about the incidents, which occurred in the summer of 2016 and began when Lajiness 'lured' the teenage boys to her car by sending them photos of herself nude and engaged in sexual acts via Snapchat. She then instructed the boys on how, where and when they would meet. As the fourteen-year-old's mother wrote in a victim statement: 'You made a conscious effort on several occasions to make arrangements to meet my son. Sneak out of your house, start your car, leave your husband and children at home and drive to my son's father's house, back into the driveway between midnight and 4am, wait for my son to run the driveway, commit a crime and leave. Did you know that this was wrong? Did you ever worry about the harm you were doing to my son?' Lajiness initially confessed to having The Sex with the fourteen-year-old between eight and fifteen times, reports MLive but, later changed that number to but two in court. Lajiness also attempted to mitigate her guilt by explaining to authorities that she was 'merely helping [one of the boys], "release his whatever,"' according to Assistant Washtenaw County Prosecutor John Vella. Vella claimed that both Lajiness and her husband wrote letters to the judge blaming the incidents on the victims and trying to offer Lajiness' reported insomnia as an explanation. Lajiness ultimately pleaded very guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct, accosting a child for immoral purposes and furnishing obscenity to children in June. Prosecutors then recommended the harshest possible sentence.
Firefighters say that a man died 'after running from a flaming portable toilet' in the Baltimore Ravens' M&T Bank Stadium parking lot. News outlets quoted Baltimore police as saying that the fire, on Sunday, 'did not appear to be criminal.' Baltimore Fire spokeswoman Blair Skinner said a security guard saw a man 'engulfed in flames' running from the burning toilet. By the time that medics arrived, the man was already dead and two other portable lavatories were also ablaze. The man has not been identified. It is reportedly unclear how long he had been in the toilet or, you know, what he'd been doing in there. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The stadium was not hosting any public events that particular day.
A tax accountant who denied a same-sex married couple service is whinging that her business is being 'destroyed' by an alleged 'smear campaign' generated by the publicity the case has received. Bailey Brezzel has been utilising Carter's Tax Service in Russiaville, Indiana, for the past five years. However, on Tuesday, when she and her new wife, Samantha, went to file their 2018 taxes with the owner, Nancy Fivecoate, they were allegedly turned away, according to the Indy Star. 'Nancy asked if I was filing single this year and when I answered, "Married jointly" she said, "Oh no, I can't do that - it's against my Christian beliefs,"' Bailey, told Yahoo Lifestyle. Sadly, it would seem, Fivecoate's 'Christian beliefs' do not extend to following the instructions given in Matthew 7:1. Which is a shame and, one imagines, would make Jesus really angry. Bailey says that Fivecoate filed her taxes during a 2018 appointment at which she introduced Samantha as her then-girlfriend. 'I don't understand it. Nancy said she files tax returns for gay clients but only if they're not married.' Fivecoate whinged to the Indy Star that she has been 'victimised' by the couple. 'I've never repeated her name to anyone. I haven't answered social media. I've done absolutely nothing except [follow] my religious beliefs.' Or, at least, some of them. The ones that, seemingly, do not involve judging others. 'I cannot put my name on that return,' this hideous fraction of an individual continued. 'I am a Christian and I believe marriage is between one man and one woman. The LGBT want respect for their beliefs, which I give them. I did not say anything about their lifestyle. That is their choice. It is not my choice. Where is their respect for my beliefs?' Fivecoate, who owns Carter Tax Service, told the Indianapolis news station RTV6 in a statement that she 'declined' to prepare Bailey's taxes because of religious beliefs. 'For many years I have had several gay clients. I still have gay clients. A few years ago, I had a couple of gay clients that married. When it was time to prepare their taxes they called me and asked if I had a problem since they were married. I told them that as a Christian that I could not prepare their taxes. I thanked them for calling and wished them well.' Bailey and Samantha left Fivecoate's office and went to H&R Block, where they filed their taxes. 'The employees were nice and even apologised for what happened to us,' Bailey said.
A woman was extremely arrested after 'events took an ugly turn at a county bingo hall.' As they can sometimes do. It can be a rough business, the bingo. Police were called on Tuesday to a report of an assault at Clifton Bingo Hall in Leominster. A police spokeswoman confirmed that a nineteen-year-old-woman was arrested on suspicion of assault. The woman, subsequently, received a caution from police. And the caution was: 'Don't shout "House!" if you haven't got a full card.' Probably. Bingo hall staff said that the nasty altercation had involved two girls. Police were called after the instigator refused to leave the premises when asked to do so by staff and 'continued to cause disruption' at the hall. 'She then resisted arrest, quite violently and the police officer had to call for back-up,' a staff member said. 'It was very upsetting for the other players and it is not the sort of behaviour that should be condoned anywhere.' Eye-witnesses described seeing a large police presence in Leominster, with 'cars and vans coming from all directions.'
A Bonney Lake man has been accused of beating his eleven-year-old daughter with a belt and golf club. School counsellors reportedly noticed red welts on the girl's arms on 14 February and immediately notified the police. Before officers arrived, the girl told the counsellor that her dad hit her forearms with a belt after she was caught taking food out of the refrigerator after dinner. She also claimed that her father struck her in the stomach with a golf club. The girl was reluctant to show her injuries to police and did not want to talk about being disciplined. However, the counsellor told officers that the girl hoarded food and often asked the counsellor for food she could take home on weekends. This is the second time the school has notified Child Protective Services about possible abuse, records indicate. In October, CPS was called when the father allegedly thrashed his daughter with a cane. The father has, reportedly, pleaded not guilty to third-degree child abuse and was ordered to jailed in lieu of thirty thousand bucks bail.
A Californian woman was arrested on Tuesday afternoon following what police described as a 'low speed pursuit'. Which makes a nice, sedate, change of pace. California Highway Patrol began pursuing a woman in a silver sedan which was driving erratically at low speeds, weaving in and out of lanes and driving on the hard shoulder. Buellton CHP pursued the vehicle North through the Highway 101 tunnel and was 'partially successful' in deploying spike strips on the car. The vehicle continued to drive at speeds ranging from thirty five to forty five miles per hour as it entered Santa Maria jurisdiction. Santa Maria Highway Patrol picked up the chase and were able to stop the driver near Los Alamos off of Highway 135. Guns were drawn by CHP during the stop. The female driver was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, failure to yield and not going fast enough for the chase to interrupt afternoon TV. She has been identified as Maria Arroyo. No weapons were found during the stop.
A Welsh Conservative MP has been arrested and charged in connection with allegations over false expenses claims. Chris Davies, the MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, is accused of two offences of making a false instrument and one of providing false or misleading information for allowance claims. The Crown Prosecution Service said that he was due to appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court in March. It said that the charges followed a review of evidence submitted by police. Davies was elected in 2015, winning the seat from the Liberal Democrats and retained it in the 2017 erection. A CPS spokesperson said: 'In November 2018, the Crown Prosecution Service received a file of evidence from the Metropolitan Police relating to an allegation that Christopher Davies falsified two invoices in support of Parliamentary expenses claims. Following a review of the evidence, the CPS has today charged Mister Davies with two offences of making a false instrument and one offence of providing false or misleading information for allowance claims.' Davies said that he was 'very disappointed' at the announcement. 'I have explained previously the circumstances that led to the investigation, relating to events dating back to when I was a newly elected MP over three years ago. I will now speak to my lawyers and my colleagues in Parliament. I have nothing further to say about the matter at this time.'
The Royal Mail has snivellingly apologised after announcing a price rise which breaches a cap designed to make the postal service 'affordable' for all consumers. From 25 March, the price of a second-class stamp will rise by three pence to sixty one pence - breaching Ofcom's current price cap of sixty pence which is in place until 1 April. The price of a first-class stamp will also increase by three pence to seventy pence. Royal Mail claims it will donate the extra revenue, expected to be sixty grand, to charity the Action for Children. One or two people even believed them. Ofcom set the current price cap in 2012, when it allowed Royal Mail to increase the price of first and second-class stamps by fourteen pence, following 'concerns' the universal service was 'at severe risk.' From aliens. Probably. The cap was set at fifty five pence and would increase 'in line with the Consumer Prices Index measure of inflation,' making the official cap 60.65 pence today. Ofcom had announced the cap will increase to sixty five pence from 1 April and then will rise 'in line with the annual CPI rate of inflation until April 2024.' Royal Mail claims it 'informed' Ofcom of its 'error' before announcing the new sixty one pence price on Friday. 'We apologise for this mistake,' a spokesman for the company weaselled. 'We are putting this right by donating the revenue that we expect to collect from the error - around sixty thousand pounds - to our chosen charity Action for Children, which helps disadvantaged children across the UK.' Ofcom - a politically-appointed quango, elected by no one - says Royal Mail did inform them of the price rise but had not explained how it happened. It added that it is 'urgently seeking clarification from the company' into this naughty malarkey. The newly-announced price increases are the highest for the two stamps together since 2012. Royal Mail claims its prices 'remain good value' when compared with other postal operators around Europe. It claims that, on average, the equivalent cost of first-class post in Europe is ninety nine pence, while second class costs seventy seven pence. No one with access to a computer cared.
A 'pro-Equal Rights Amendment protester' was held after she was arrested on Monday in Richmond for exposing one of her breasts during a 'live action portrayal' of the state seal, the Virginia Mercury reports. On Wednesday, the Commonwealth's Attorney, Mike Herring, said that Michelle Sutherland would be released in the afternoon. The Florida woman - who had her knockers - is charged with a single misdemeanour count of indecent exposure. Sutherland was, she claimed, 'depicting' Virtus, who on the state seal is usually shown with one booby exposed as she stands, triumphantly, over Tyranny, according to Virginia Mercury. 'We were here re-enacting the state flag and the state seal of Virginia, which says that we shall not give into tyrants and Speaker Cox and [House Majority Leader] Gilbert are both tyrants who are stopping the Equal Rights Amendment from getting to the floor for a vote,' Natalie White, who portrayed Tyranny in the tableau, told a group of reporters after Sutherland was arrested. Sutherland's arrest came just days after two ERA protesters were arrested for a 'die-in' at the same location. The women said there were holding a 'Valentine's Day die-in' because the Republican-controlled House of Delegates has 'killed legislation' to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
Gwyneth Paltrow has counter-sued a retired optometrist who had taken legal action against her over a 2016 skiing accident. Last month seventy two-year-old Terry Sanderson sued Paltrow claiming three million bucks in damages. He claimed that the actress knocked him down on a ski slope in Utah, leaving him with a brain injury and broken ribs. Paltrow's case suggests that it was Sanderson who was at fault and his lawsuit is 'an attempt to exploit her celebrity and wealth.' She is seeking a symbolic one dollar in damages. Plus legal fees which will probably amount to more money than you've ever see in your life, dear blog reader. Sanderson's lawsuit claimed the Oscar-winning-actress was skiing 'out of control' when she hit - hard - him from behind on a beginner's slope on 26 February 2016. He said that he was 'pushed into the snow' and 'knocked unconscious,' leaving him with an unspecified brain injury, short term memory loss (albeit, the memory of the incident seems to have been unaffected by this) and four broken ribs. He said he also experienced a personality change. Paltrow's eighteen-page case states that it was Sanderson who struck her from behind, delivering 'a body blow,' he then apologised to her and assured her that he was not injured. It states: 'She was enjoying skiing with her family on vacation in Utah' when he 'ploughed into her back. She was shaken and upset and quit skiing for the day even though it was still morning,' it says. 'He was not knocked out. Immediately after the collision, he stood up and addressed Ms Paltrow. [She] expressed her anger that he ran into her and he apologised.' The case says because her injuries 'were relatively minor, she seeks only symbolic damages in the amount of one dollar, plus her costs and attorneys' fees to defend this meritless claim.' It states that resolution of the counter-claim will 'demonstrate' Sanderson ran into Paltrow and 'nonetheless, blamed her for it in an attempt to exploit her celebrity and wealth.' Bob Sykes, attorney for Sanderson, responded to her lawsuit in a written statement to Reuters. 'The statement made by Ms Paltrow that Doctor Sanderson hit her from behind is false,' the statement said. 'Paltrow clearly hit Doctor Sanderson from behind. Doctor Sanderson was the downhill skier and had the right-of-way. It is unfortunate that Ms Paltrow would fail to tell the truth about what happened.'
A sixty seven-year-old Louisiana woman has been extremely arrested for shooting her llama. Deputies say that on 15 February officers responded to an address in Opelousas 'in reference to an animal attacking the owner.' According to the report, Madeline Bourgeois was working in her pasture when her pet llama attacked her. Without warning or pity. Well, that's llamas for you. Bourgeois told deputies that she hit the llama, repeatedly, in an attempt to stop the attack. Once she had escaped the pasture, deputies say that Bourgeois went into her home and retrieved her gun, returning to the pasture and shooting the llama three times. Really hard. Deputies said that upon arriving at the home, they observed the injured llama 'limping in the pasture.' Animal control was contacted and took possession of the injured animal. X-rays taken by animal control showed three bullets located in the llama. The animal was taken to LSU Veterinary Clinic in Baton Rouge for evaluation. 'According to the law, Bourgeois had every right to defend herself while being attacked but was no longer in danger after escaping the pasture,' Sheriff Guidroz said. 'Bourgeois retrieved a gun and then returned and shot the llama, which constitutes the charge of felony cruelty to animals. Bourgeois should have called a vet or animal control for assistance.'
More than one hundred bicycles ended up being seized from a house in Greater Manchester by police investigating a single bike theft. British Transport Police said it took them three trips to collect all one hundred and one bikes from the Oldham home over the weekend. Officers said the bikes were found during an investigation into a bike theft in West Yorkshire. A forty two-year-old man was held on suspicion of fraud by false representation, handling stolen goods and nicking lots of bikes and riding them where he likes. Probably. He was later released under investigation while inquiries continue. BTP said its officers were 'making their way through a long list of serial numbers.'
A Canadian woman is facing charges after she, allegedly, broke into a home and then bit a police officer upon their arrival at the scene. Halifax District Royal Canadian Mounted Police say that they were called to an 'unwanted person' call at a home in Hubley, Nova Scotia, on Tuesday. Police believe that the suspect had broken the window of a door to the home. When the mounties arrived, the woman was getting into the passenger side of a vehicle parked outside the home. Police say the suspect extremely resisted arrest and bit a mountie's hand in the process. The unnamed suspect was subsequently released 'on conditions' (one of them, presumably, being 'no more biting mounties') and is facing charges of assaulting a peace officer, resisting arrest and general mischief up the North West Passage.
A snake was left feeling a little off colour after making itself at home in a toilet cistern. The four foot rat snake was found in the bathroom of a house undergoing renovation in Basildon. The non-venomous reptile had 'dyed itself a slight tinge of blue from the cleaning products,' the RSPCA said. The charity believes the snake, which the homeowners have called Kevin, is someone's missing pet and hope to reunite it. 'Kevin' made his presence known by knocking over and smashing a lit candle in the couple's home. 'My partner saw the snake which hissed at him, then backed away into the toilet,' Naomi Burdett said. 'He ran upstairs in a moment of panic - neither of us are the biggest fans of snakes and it's not exactly what you expect to see in your downstairs loo.' She said that they had 'no idea' how long Kevin had been wandering around the house as they had moved out temporarily for the renovation work to take place. It was 'bizarre' to see a snake peering from the porcelain, Burdett added. The snake is currently being looked after at a wildlife hospital, where he is being 'monitored' to ensure he has not ingested any of the blue water from the netty. Rat snakes eat small rodents which they kill by suffocating them with their bodies. They are non-venomous and are commonly kept as pets in the UK. However, as evidenced by Kevin, all snakes are 'good escape artists,' the RSPCA said. The snake had posed 'a wee problem' to the homeowners, the spokesperson added, clearly believing themselves to have a future in stand-up comedy. Stick to the day-job, mate.
A twenty one-year-old Florida woman has been arrested for attacking her fiancé whilst she was 'drunk and naked' reportedly because he refused to have The Sex with her. Samantha Jewel Hernandez was arrested in the early hours of Monday morning after her fiancé, Lucas Truesdale called the law. He claimed that she attacked him at their home in Vero Beach, after 'declining' to have The Sex with her. 'Hernandez was angry at that fact that he did not want to have sex and began attacking him, striking him in the face and ripping his shirt,' a copy of the police report read. When officers arrived at their apartment, Hernandez was described as 'drunk, naked and belligerent.' She told them she had not done 'anything' to Hernandez but was 'too intoxicated' to give any other information and was, therefore, put in the police car. Once inside the vehicle, she 'pretended to be unconscious' and then 'spat on a police officer' when he spoke to her. The woman was booked into county jail on charges of felony battery on an officer and domestic violence. It is her second arrest in less than a year. Last August, she was arrested for disorderly conduct. The woman's fiancé was, according to media reports, left with red scratches to his face and neck. His short was also torn in the incident.
People at a holiday camp where a ceiling collapsed said it was 'like a bomb going off.' About one hundred people were in the entertainment hall waiting to play bingo when sections of concrete fell down on Wednesday evening. Eighteen people needed treatment at the scene, including six who were taken to hospital following the collapse at Pontins Brean Sands in Weston-super-Mare. An investigation is being led by Sedgemoor District Council. Holidaymaker Jennifer McGary said: 'Our first reaction was that it was a terrorist attack.' Well yeah because, top of ISIS's hit list is going to be a holiday camp in the West Country, isn't it? 'I know it sounds ridiculous,' she added (you think?) 'but you just heard this loud noise that I can only describe as [like] a bomb going off. Suddenly it looked like the entire roof was collapsing - I just ran to grab my eleven-year-old off the dance floor and my fifteen-year-old then tried to get out of there as quickly as I could. There were screaming children everywhere, people crying everywhere, there was a boy in a wheelchair outside who was calling for his mum.' McGary added that she felt the place 'should be shut down.' George Clark was injured by a falling piece of concrete that hit his shoulder. 'I had to throw myself to the ground and crawl out under the tables - the tables were holding up the weight of the ceiling,' he said. 'Everyone just panicked, there were screams, kids crying and shouting, it was just bedlam in there.' Sarah Prosser and her husband were also in the room when the ceiling fell. 'It was like a volcano - all of sudden it erupted, all smoke was there and if I hadn't have moved a concrete slab would have landed on my head and split my head open. I wasn't worried about myself, I was worried about the kids, there were small babies in there, there were toddlers in there on the stage. There was dust everywhere,' she added. A Sedgemoor council spokesman said the building was not owned by the authority. He added: 'We have environmental health officers at the site at present and will issue a further statement, based on their initial findings, but the investigation is likely to be complex and run for several months.' Officers from Somerset Building Control Partnership are also on site. A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive said: 'HSE has informed the police that this is a local authority enforced premises and therefore for the police and local authority to determine who will ultimately investigate.'
A woman has been jailed for hitting a man with her stiletto heels in a nightclub and leaving him scarred for life. Louise Kenny slammed her four-and-a-half inch high heels into Adam Welch's face 'in an unprovoked attack,' a court heard claimed. The NHS worker had been arguing with another man when Welch tried to calm her down. Kenny then reportedly 'lunged' at the other man and then turned on Welch, lashing out with the stiletto heel. Jailing her for eight months, Judge Tracey Lloyd Clarke told Kenny: 'You struck the victim hard on the forehead. He had blood running down his face and he couldn't see. This was an unprovoked attack with a weapon. It was late night drunken violence. It happened in the presence of a lot of members of the public and could have led to serious disorder.' When Kenny was arrested after attack at The Courtyard nightclub in Newport, Gwent, she told officers: 'He deserved it.' She told police the men were 'antagonising her' and were acting 'like a pack of hyenas to goad her.' Kenny's lawyer Kathryn Lane claimed the forty two-year-old was a single mother of four who works for NHS as an administrator. She told the court that Kenny had gone out with a friend to 'let her hair down.' Lane said: ‘She had taken her shoes off because her feet were hurting. This was an opportunistic strike by her in temper and in anger. She is not a party girl. This was a one-off.'
A driver has been extremely arrested after speeding at one hundred and seventy miles per hours and then uploading the footage to Facebook. Derbyshire Police spotted the video of an Audi S3 'screaming its guts out' on the A38, near Egginton. Its roads policing unit said 'the temptation to show off got a little too much.' The driver, who is from Matlock, was held on suspicion of dangerous driving and later released under investigation, police said. His mobile phone and the car has been seized to 'enable the inquiry to progress.' The police unit wrote on its own Facebook page: 'We've all got one of those "friends" who likes to post to show off and just loves attention.' Yeah, it's a fair cop. In most of yer actual Keith Telly Topping's Facebook fiends cases, that would be yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self. 'Driving like this isn't funny and it isn't clever,' the spokesman added. In December, the same man claimed on Facebook that police had to drive at one hundred and fifty five miles per hour to 'catch up' with him in a separate incident. A police spokeswoman said on that occasion, officers spoke to the man for 'driving anti-socially' and handed him a vehicle seizure warning.
The mayor of a small Gulf Coast town in Florida was extremely arrested on Thursday after reportedly shooting at a police SWAT team that had come to arrest his ass on charges of illegally practicing medicine. Dale Glen Massad, the mayor of Port Richey, a town of around two thousand six hundred residents North of Tampa, allegedly fired two shots at officers who raided his home in the early hours of the morning, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco told reporters. No officers were injured during the shoot-out. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement was investigating Massad, a former doctor who gave up his license in 1992, after being 'tipped off' by the Port Richey Police Department that Massad was still practicing medicine, officials said. The law enforcement team showed up at Massad's house around 4:40am. They reportedly identified themselves and pounded on his door, battering it with a ram and shooting it with a shotgun before, eventually, realising that the door actually opened outward, according to a complaint affidavit in the case. They lit a distraction device inside the front door 'that emitted a bang and a bright light,' after which they heard two shots from inside the house, the complaint said. SWAT team members moved back from the house, observing Massad with a gun in his left hand on the home's second floor, whilst using a cellphone. Nocco claimed that the SWAT team loudly announced its presence before entering the home and asked Massad to drop his weapon. At some point during the incident, Massad made statements that he did not want to go back to jail, Nocco said. Well, you know, who does? Massad was subsequently arrested without further incident. He is charged with two counts of attempted homicide, according to the complaint. 'He's lucky he's not dead,' Nocco sneered. 'When somebody says, "I'm not going back to jail," that means it's either going to be a shoot-out, they’'e either going to flee, possibly suicide by cop.' Or, it may mean that they believe they're not guilty of the charges perhaps, officer. Just, you know, a small fly in your otherwise flawless ointment. According to the affidavit, Massad told officers after his arrest that he had been awakened by the loud bangs at his door. It said he admitted to firing his gun into the hallway. Nocco said deputies were 'aware' they were entering 'a potentially dangerous situation.' Massad had multiple weapons in his house and was 'believed to be using drugs' when officers came to arrest him, Nocco added. He was also arrested on a domestic violence-related charge in the last few months, Nocco said. 'That's who we were dealing with today. Unfortunately with this individual the reputation was there, that you're not dealing with the most upstanding of individuals.' Massad was a licensed doctor from 1977 until 1992, when he gave up his license after a three-year-old patient died, according to the Florida Department of Health. Massad's arrest throws the small city's government somewhat into disarray, displacing its chief executive and possibly triggering a special erection. Until Massad resigns or is removed from office by the city council, he is still, technically, the mayor said Port Richey's vice mayor, Terrence Rowe, in an interview with the Washington Post. The city attorney is 'investigating how to move forward,' he said. For the time being, Rowe will act as interim mayor. 'I don't even know how that's going to go down,' Rowe said. Massad was elected mayor in a 2015 special erection, where just twenty seven percent of registered voters cast ballots. He received a total of one hundred and eighty two votes and won the three-way race. Port Richey's city council is composed of five members, including Massad and Rowe. Rowe said that he has known Massad for eighteen years, counts him as a close friend and has never known him to be confrontational. 'He's innocent until proven guilty, so I'm waiting to see what other details come out,' Rowe said. 'I've never known him to be anything but cooperative to law enforcement. But this is an unusual situation.' This wasn't Massad's first encounter with The Law. He was arrested months previously and charged with misdemeanour domestic battery. News reports at the time indicated 'a long history of troubles' at home, where he lived with his then-girlfriend, who was arrested along with Massad, also on a domestic battery charge. A local TV station reported that police had visited the mayor's home 'four dozen times' in the months leading up to the 2018 arrests. Massad's history with authorities dates back to at least the early 1990s, when his medical practice came under scrutiny after the death of a three-year-old patient he was treating for facial birthmarks. Massad, documents from the Health Department say, gave the child Valium 'without determining the proper dosage' and allowed a dentist to inject the child with anaesthetic, also without determining a safe dosage. It turned out to be fatally toxic. After Florida's board of medicine filed four counts against him, Massad gave up his medical license in 1992. Officials said that during the investigation that eventually brought them to the mayor's door, they found he had treated a patient with an injection for which he which he was not licensed and performed a surgical procedure on another. The next Port Richey City Council meeting is scheduled for 26 February. Before the mayor's arrest, one of the most pressing city issues was the dredging of three local canals, making the waterways deeper and opening them up to more boat traffic. One imagines that might have been moved down to number two on the meeting's agenda after recent events.
A woman who was banned from having telephones after making a series of bomb threats to police and firefighters has now been jailed after being caught with a mobile phone. Tracey Stockings was told she had 'a flagrant disregard for court orders' after she was caught with the device less than a month after being banned from having them. As well as being made subject to a two-year criminal behaviour order, Stockings received a twenty six-week prison sentence, suspended for twelve months, in December after making nuisance calls to Humberside Police and Humberside Fire and Rescue Service to say there were bombs on their premises. She also made 'grossly offensive' nine-nine-nine calls and used 'a public communications network' to send messages which were 'grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character.' Stockings, formerly of Bridlington, admitted four offences under the Communications Act 2003, two under the Criminal Law Act 1977 and one offence under the Malicious Communications Act 1988 when she appeared at Beverley Magistrates' Court in December. She also admitted breaching a suspended sentence, imposed at the same court on 4 July last year for assault and malicious communication. The CBO prohibited her from having a landline telephone in her residence or accommodation and possessing a handheld electronic communications device capable of making audio calls, except when supervised by care staff, or when making a genuine nine-nine-nine call. Stockings was jailed for thirty eight weeks at Hull Magistrates' Court after admitting breaching the CBO by having a mobile phone and breaching the suspended sentence.
A beekeeper is warning new neighbours that they 'could' face 'potentially lethal stings' from his thousands of bees. Leigh Mordey has six hives housing up to eight hundred thousand bees at his home in Medburn near Ponteland. He has told developer Bellway, which is building sixty two executive homes, about 'a risk' that his bees might pose to future homeowners who experience allergies. Bellway said it was 'making sure' it informed people 'working and moving into the new development.' Mordey, who specialises in the native British black bee, said: 'It just takes one sting if you're allergic to bee venom. It's the same problem as nuts and shellfish; it could kill you within minutes.' It just takes one Sting to kill you? That's what this blogger has been warning for years since the balding ex-milkman from Waalsend first starting inflicting his horrific lute-stylings on the general public. Mordey has put up banners warning about the 'dangers' of Sting, but Northumberland County Council said that he needed to apply for planning permission 'due to the size of the signs.'
A Walnut Hills woman has been accused of using a shoe and broken metal broomstick to beat her ten-year-old daughter. Shawniece Dockery, aged twenty six, was indicted on Thursday in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court on domestic violence and felonious assault charges. She is accused of hitting her daughter on the right side of the head with a shoe, according to court documents and then swinging the broomstick at her, causing a small cut to the girl's finger. Dockery has a prior child endangering conviction from 2018, according to court records.
Lollipop lady Jacqueline Carver is leaving her job in Gatesheed after 'suffering verbal abuse from drivers.' She has helped children cross the road outside Oakfield Infant & Junior School for almost five years. She said that she enjoyed the job but 'sometimes' cars pass her while she is stood in the road and others 'hit her stick.' She said: 'If I don't feel safe how can I cross the children safely?'
A gang of youths stabbed a teenager in the leg and hit him over the head with a stick as he tried to stop them stealing his two hundred knicker Gucci cap. The seventeen-year-old was with friends when he was approached by six men on a cycle path in Thornaby on Monday. One of the men asked for a cigarette before another snatched the cap from the boy's head and ran off. Cleveland Police said that the boy gave chase but was then attacked. A spokeswoman said the victim was pushed to ground and heard one of the group shout 'stab him' during the attack. He under went surgery at the University Hospital of North Tees. The main suspect was described as a white male, about seventeen years old, six feet three inches tall, of skinny build and wearing a black balaclava, shiny black Moncler body warmer and dark bottoms. He was also said to be 'carrying a large stick.'
A woman who helped her boyfriend raid her grandfather's home to feed a drug habit is being hunted by Plod. Sherie North was very jailed for four years in her absence after Court of Appeal judges found a two-year suspended sentence was 'unduly lenient.' North admitted two counts of robbery and one count of attempted robbery with her then partner Scott Cross in Bradford. A warrant for her arrest has been issued. North was given the suspended sentence at Bradford Crown Court in December but the case was referred by the Attorney General's office. Lord Justice Holroyde said Cross and North robbed North's grandfather at his home in September. They took jewellery and cash after Cross threatened the seventy-year-old with a hammer and knocked him to the floor. Days later, the pair returned and attempted to rob the man again but he raised the alarm and the pair left empty-handed, the judge said. They then robbed a shop, with cash and a shopkeeper's silver chain stolen, he added. Joel Smith, for Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC, said that North's suspended sentence was 'far below' the sentence she should have received. John Bottomley, for North, said that his client had played 'a limited function in this offending' and suggested it was 'possibly under direction.' One or two people even believed him. But Lord Justice Holroyde, sitting with Mrs Justice Farbey and Judge Clement Goldstone QC, said that there were 'aggravating features' to the robbery of North's grandfather, including his vulnerability, having 'recently left hospital after surgery to his leg.' The Solicitor General, speaking after the hearing, said: 'North terrorised her own grandfather to feed her drug addiction.' Cross, whose sentence was not referred to the court, was jailed for nine years in The Slammer.
A twenty three-year-old Australian man claimed that he was mooning his mother after he pulled down his pants and exposed his bare buttocks in the sight of an impressionable nine-year-old girl. Hayden Smith denied intentionally mooning the child and told the victim's father, police and magistrate David Day, that his mother was 'the intended target.' According to police, the child was playing in the front yard of a property with a friend and Smith was working on a car in the street. However, Smith walked around the the car to the side closest to the children and pulled his pants down to expose and wiggle his buttocks. The child's father, who was also outside, saw this malarkey and yelled at Smith who hurriedly pulled his pants up and said 'sorry, my Mum is down there in the park.' He ran from the area but was very arrested by The Fuzz the following evening when police spoke to him about a separate issue and discovered he was wanted for the offence. Despite having told police he was exposing himself to his mother, she collected him from the police station. His mother also told police that she was the intended target but claimed she did not see him pull his pants down. In Orange Local Court Day said the offence put Smith in breach of a bond so ordered a sentencing assessment report that was completed on Monday. He said there was no point giving Smith an order because he was already on two so he fined him three hundred and thirty Australian dollars for 'behaving in an offensive manner in a public place.'
A woman claimed she was given 'the fright of my life' when an allegedly 'vindictive' police officer knocked on her door at night over her alleged 'bad parking' the previous day. Sarah Lester, who lives alone, 'feared the worst for her family' when police turned up at her house in Borehamwood in the early hours of the morning. She agreed that she had 'parked badly' earlier but was yet to receive 'a justification' for the officer's early-hours visit. Hertfordshire Police said that Lester's complaint was being investigated. 'I live alone and I didn't want to open the door,' said Lester, who was woken by the doorbell and the sound of her dog barking. 'I called nine-nine-nine and they said "it's a police car outside and you need to open the door." I almost passed out, I thought something terrible had happened to one of my children; it was horrendous, I just froze.' When she did, eventually, open the door, the officer 'explained' that he wanted to 'talk' about how she had parked her car in Bushey on 8 February, the previous evening. She admitted her car had been parked partly on a pavement for just under two hours but added that it had been in her driveway since 10.30pm. 'I said, "I've nearly had a heart attack, why didn't you put a ticket on the car or something in the post?" and he said, "I've chosen to deal with it in this way."' Oooo, get him with his big truncheon and the tit on his 'ead. Lester complained to police when the officer left but said that she was yet to receive either an apology or an explanation. 'I feel it was vindictive - surely they can't do this,' she added. ell, actually love, they can and, indeed, they did. You might have noticed. 'I haven't had a ticket, just this trauma from them,' she added. A police spokesman claimed that the Professional Standards Department was 'dealing' with the complaint, the officer 'would be spoken to' and Lester would be updated 'in due course. Due to the pending investigation it would be inappropriate for us to comment any further at this stage,' he added.
The billionaire owner of the New England Patriots has been charged with soliciting prostitution in a Florida massage parlour, police say. Robert Kraft is extremely accused of two misdemeanour charges in Jupiter. That's the town in Florida rather than planet. Obviously. He has denied the allegation. The owner of the Super Bowl-winning franchise allegedly 'paid for sexual services' at The Orchids Of Asia Day Spa in the beach resort, police claimed. Kraft's net worth is estimated at over five billion smackers. The tycoon was 'snared' as part of a human-trafficking 'sting operation' in Jupiter - again, just to clarify, the town not the planet - about a month ago, said police. Jupiter Police chief Daniel Kerr said at a press conference on Friday that the charges stem from 'two different visits' to the spa, resulting in two counts of 'soliciting another to commit prostitution.' A spokesperson for Kraft said in a statement: 'We categorically deny that Mister Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further.' The NFL said that it was 'aware of the ongoing law enforcement matter and will continue to monitor developments.' The spa was among ten establishments closed by authorities after a months-long investigation found women there were in 'sexual servitude,' according to charging documents. A detective told the TCPalm website that alleged The Sex acts were 'captured on surveillance camera.' The Orchids Of Asia website lists 'a variety of massage modalities' - including 'Thai, Swedish and Japanese massage, facials and reflexology' - offered in 'private, quiet and clean rooms.' All of which sounds very nice ... if, you know, a trifle expensive. And, open to multiple interpretations, obviously. Police say the average cost of a one-hour visit to the spa is seventy nine bucks. So, actually, not that expensive in the great scheme of things. I mean, you pay that much in a back-street Knocking Shop down in Soho. Apparently. Anyway, Kerr said it was 'a surprise' to learn that the billionaire had attended the parlour, which is located in a row of shops beside a nail salon, a surf shop, a video-game store and a Thai restaurant. Although, in the case of the latter, if you've just had a 'Thai massage', where better to eat? 'We are as equally stunned as everyone else,' the police chief told reporters. The spa's owner, Hua Zhang, was very arrested on Tuesday on 'various prostitution-related charges' and is being held on a two hundred and seventy eight thousand dollar bond. Orchids Of Asia manager Lei Wang was also arrested on Tuesday and made her first court appearance on Thursday. The thirty nine-year-old, who required a Mandarin interpreter in court, was deemed a potential flight risk and ordered to hand over her travel documents from China and the US, the Palm Beach Post reported. The judge noted that she could only post bond by proving the money 'did not come from any illegal activities.' The two women are accused of operating the spa's trafficking and prostitution ring. Several men reportedly told police that the spa manager was the one they paid for illicit services, according to the Post. Warrants have been issued for over one hundred and seventy people who were 'swept up in the dragnet,' police say. Twenty-five people will be charged with prostitution, according to police.
A former Texas Middle School teacher has been arrested and charged with purchasing and furnishing alcohol to a minor, a Class A misdemeanour, following a weekend gathering at her home 'during which fourteen and fifteen-year-old boys and girls drank rum and vodka, some until they vomited,' according to an arrest warrant affidavit released on Friday. Christie Searl Miller who had been with the district for ten years, was placed on administrative leave following an investigation which was launched after district officials learned of the allegations, Superintendent Chane Rascoe said. Miller resigned and was arrested by Plod on Wednesday. An alleged 'source' with alleged 'knowledge of the investigation' allegedly said that the incident has been reported to Texas Child Protective Services. Rascoe, meanwhile, said that the district has 'already found a replacement' for the former teacher. 'She's fully certified and knows our students well,' he said. The arrest was the result of a Lampasas County Sheriff's Office investigation launched in response to complaint that an adult had furnished alcohol to minors. Lampasas County investigators interviewed teenagers who gathered in the backyard of Miller's home who snitched they were provided with a thermos full of vodka and a bottle of Bacardi rum, the affidavit says. 'Miller cautioned the children to wait for Miller's husband to go to bed before the children could start drinking the alcohol,' according to one teenage Copper's Nark whom the investigators questioned. Another teenager, however, 'alleges that [it was] Miller's daughter who cautioned the children to wait until Miller's husband went to bed to consume alcohol.' One boy told investigators that he consumed alcohol 'to the point that he cannot remember any further details of the night.' A fourteen-year-old girl said that she 'began "vigorously" vomiting after consuming alcohol.' Another teenager 'consumed alcohol to the point that he was stumbling and vomited' before he passed out, the affidavit claims. Two fifteen-year-old boys who were at the gathering corroborated the other accounts. And, a sixteen-year-old boy who drove to the home later in his own vehicle told an investigator that, when he arrived, 'the children had already consumed alcohol' and that one 'was observed to be ill.' Miller told an investigator on Tuesday that she had picked up her daughter and several other children and taken them to her home 'so that they could socialise,' the affidavit states. She told the investigator that she stopped before picking up the teenagers to buy food for the children and that she also purchased a bottle of Bacardi intended for her use. Miller told the investigator she 'drove the children to her residence and left the children in the backyard for approximately one hour. When she went to check on the children, Miller found that they had been drinking and one child was sick. Miller alleges that Miller's daughter was the one to provide alcohol to the children.' She denied that she was even aware the children consumed alcohol 'until after one of the children became ill,' the affidavit says.
Police in Southern Germany say that a slaughterhouse worker 'suffered serious injuries' after being 'kicked in the face by a dead cow.' In a statement, police said that the cow was 'killed according to regulations' (very important in Germany, that sort of thing) on Thursday at an abattoir in Aalen and hung from a meat hook 'for further processing.' Police said that the carcass then kicked the man in the face, apparently due to 'a nerve impulse that experts say is not uncommon.' The forty one-year-old worker was hospitalised.
A Colorado man who, last week, reportedly shot himself - and his dog - was 'pulling up his pants after using the bathroom when the gun went off,' according to the affidavit for his arrest. Frank Montano, of Greeley, was staying at The Days Inn with his girlfriend - and, his dog - when Greeley police responded to a report of shots being extremely fired. Whilst en route, officers were told a man was seen running through the hotel without a shirt on and carrying a bleeding dog, according to court records. Once on-scene, police officers located a trail of blood leading to room three hundred and fourteen. The room was empty, but police soon learned that a man and a woman had arrived at Pets Emergency Hospital in nearby Evans with a dog that had sustained a gunshot wound. The dog, a Basset hound named Michael, had been shot in the back and through the abdomen. Officers responded to Pets Emergency to speak with Montano, the dog's owner. Officers performed a background check on Montano and learned that he had an active misdemeanour warrant out of Larimer County for assault. After he was placed into custody, officers realised that he, too, had been shot and took Montano to North Colorado Medical Centre for treatment. While at the hospital, Montano told officers that he had taken his Ruger nine millimetre out of his pants and placed it on the sink whilst her urinated. When he was finished, Montano 'grabbed the pistol while he was pulling up his pants and it went off.' The lone bullet went through his right leg and then, into the unfortunate Michael. Montano was later booked into the Weld County Jail on suspicion of illegal discharge of a firearm, a felony and misdemeanour charges of reckless endangerment, cruelty to animals and prohibited use of a weapon.
A mother in Louisiana - where the cowshit lies thick - was very arrested for posting a video onto social media of a fight which broke out between two students on a high school's campus, police said on Wednesday. Maegan Adkins-Barras is charged with 'unlawful posting of criminal activity for notoriety and publicity' (yes, it is a thing, dear blog reader) after she posted a video her son had taken of the fight, which occurred on Tuesday at Acadiana High School, according to the police department in the city of Scott, West of New Orleans. During the fight, one of the teens threw a punch, which caused the other teen to fall and hit his head on a concrete bench, police said. The injured teen was treated at a local hospital. One student is being charged with second-degree battery, while the other is charged with 'disturbing the peace while fighting.' Police said that the video Adkins-Barras posted was 'shared repeatedly.' 'Parents who receive information concerning criminal activity on school campuses are urged to contact their local police department or school administration,' police said in a statement. 'Posting videos and photos of illegal activity on social media is against the law in the State of Louisiana.' Adkins-Barras faces a fine of up to five hundred dollars, up to six months in The Slammer, or both.
A man is reportedly threatening to sue his new wife after she wrote about his very small penis on the Interweb. Mind you, this is according to the Daily Mirra so it's probably a load of old shite. The - suspiciously nameless - woman claims that her new husband 'kept it a secret' until they were on their honeymoon by saying he didn't agree with The Sex before marriage. She felt he had lied and tricked her about the dimensions of his thrusting girth and so 'decided to share the story on Reddit to get some advice.' Which, presumably, included 'you know you can get some cream that might help with that'? But, her husband - also suspiciously anonymous and, therefore, probably fictitious - 'found the post and is now terrified somebody will work out it's about him, so is threatening to divorce and sue her,' the Mirra claim. The wife allegedly posted an update on the website, explaining that her husband saw the post 'after it went viral and somebody shared it on Facebook.' She writes: 'My husband saw my post and says he wants to leave me and sue me? Says he wants an annulment and is considering suing me for defamation of character. He says it's only a matter of time before someone leaks his name. He saw the post through an old friend of his who knew he had a micropenis and saw on his FB that he had just gotten married. He doesn't know who else the guy has told to link him to it. I feel like I am the asshole. He is crushed that I posted about him.' She also revealed that she 'finally confronted him' about the size of his straw, asking why he didn't tell her about its smallness earlier. She wrote: 'I confronted him last week about intentionally keeping this from me and he said he was sure I would leave him if I knew about the size prior to the wedding. And, that he wanted to talk before the wedding but feared it being called off because of his micropenis and said if both families found out/gossiped about it he would be crushed. Which is, basically, what I did with the entire world via Reddit, but he didn't know this until last night because I never told him that I posted on Reddit when we talked.'
We end the latest bloggerisatioisms, dear blog reader, with some terribly sad news: Peter Tork, the bassist in The Monkees and a properly vital part of many of the more happy moments of this blogger's childhood, has died this week at the age of seventy seven. Peter had been diagnosed with a rare form of tongue cancer in 2009, though the cause of his death, which was confirmed on Thursday by his sister, has not yet been announced. Unlike the former child actors Davy Jones and Mickey Dolenz, Peter was a musician first and an actor second. He had a notably self-deprecating streak, the 'dum' character he played on The Monkees TV show being, in part, based on an old folk club act, but he was the first of the quartet to crack under the pressure of being a member of America's biggest - and, by a huge distance, best - 'manufactured' band.
The Monkees ran for only two series (1966 to 1968; fifty eight episodes) but it won an EMMY Award for outstanding comedy and spawned a frenzy of merchandising, record sales and world tours that became known as Monkeemania. Like Mike Nesmith, Peter had lobbied hard for The Monkees as a band to be able to play on their own records as well as sing. A talented multi-instrumentalist, he co-wrote the classic 'For Pete's Sake' on the band's third LP, Headquarters - used as the end-theme on the second series of The Monkees - and the great 'Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again?' and 'Can You Dig It?' for their movie, Head as well as co-writing the glorious b-side, 'Goin' Down'. He also wrote and recorded a number of other songs with the band, like 'Lady's Baby' and 'Tear The Top Off My Head', which were not released at the time but appeared on Rhino's extensive Monkees re-issue programme in the 1980s. But he quit the band after their - shit-weird(!) - TV special Thirty Three & A Third Revolutions Per Monkee in late 1968. Nevertheless, Peter never quite escaped The Monkees' shadow. His post-Monkees band, Peter Tork And/Or Release, had a fan club, recorded a song for the movie Easy Rider but, couldn't manage to get a record deal. He started a production company, which signed Lowell George, later to find fame with Little Feat, but that too failed to get off the ground. By the mid-1970s - when his friend Stephen Stills, who had recommended Tork for The Monkees job after failing his own audition, was one of the biggest stars in the world thanks to Crosby Stills, Nash & Young - Peter was working as a high-school teacher having spent a brief period in The Joint after being busted for possession. Punk and new wave seemed to offer him an artistic lifeline: he made demos for Sire Records in New York in the company of Chrissie Hynde and former Ramone, Tommy Erdelyi, but they were ultimately rejected. Eventually, he rejoined a reformed Monkees in 1986 and worked with the band on-and-off until his death.
Peter was born in Washington, in 1942, although many news articles over the years have incorrectly reported him as born in 1944 in New York, which was the date and location given on early Monkees press-releases. He was the son of Virginia Hope and Halsten John Thorkelson, an economics professor at the University of Connecticut. Peter was something of a child protege, studying piano from the age of nine and showing an aptitude for music by learning to play several instruments, including banjo and guitar. Peter attended high school in Connecticut and Carleton College before he moved to New York, where he became part of the city's thriving folk scene in Greenwich Village during the first-half of the 1960s. Whilst there, he befriended other up-and-coming musicians most notably, Stephen Stills. By the time he got his break on The Monkees Peter was already an accomplished musician. Stills had auditioned for Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider's new television series about four pop-musicians but was turned down - reportedly because he had 'bad teeth'! The producers asked Stills if he knew anyone with a similar 'open, Nordic look' and Stills suggested his friend Tork. Peter got the job, part of his audition process being a brilliantly silent Harpo Marx-style reaction as he watched the producers tossing a ball between themselves whilst talking about their plans for the show. Peter's role in the band's TV adventures was as a dopey comic foil.
Although the group was not allowed to play their own instruments on their first two LPs, he was the one exception, strumming what he described as 'third chair guitar' on Mike Nesmith's 'Papa Gene's Blues' on their debut. Never much of a singer, however, Peter's sole contribution to More Of The Monkees was warbling his way uncertainly through the novelty song 'Your Auntie Grizelda'. Once the band had managed to wrestle control of their output from their musical supervisor, Don Kirshner, Peter subsequently played guitar, keyboards, bass, banjo, harpsichord and other instruments on their studio output. Recording and producing as a group was Peter's major interest - a passion he shared with Nesmith - and he hoped that the members would continue working together as a band once the TV series ended in 1968. He was with The Monkees for six LPs, the first four of which all went to number one in the US and the top five in the UK. From their third LP, Headquarters onwards he and his bandmates performed themselves leading to their glorious fourth record, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd, their masterpiece and, in this blogger's opinion, one of the finest ten-or-so records of the 1960s made by anyone. But, he quit the band in 1968 following the flop of their psychedelic opus Head - a movie (co-written by Jack Nicholson) which has now, rightly, acquired a genuine cult status. Exhausted from the gruelling schedule of filming, recording and touring, Peter bought out the remaining four years of his contract with Screen Gems after the filming of Thirty Three & A Third Revolutions Per Monkee was completed in December 1968 (Peter's final contribution to the band being to sing a few lines of 'California, Here I Come' over the end-credits). Nesmith reportedly gave Peter a gold watch as a going-away present, engraved with 'From the guys down at work.'
Of course, it's fair to say that, musically, The Monkees never got the Goddman respect that they more than deserved, certainly during their initial years together. In the main that was down to 'manufactured' nature of their creation and accusations of copycatting The Be-Atles (a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might've heard of them). Which was probably true but they were hardly alone in that regard amongst pop groups in the late-1960s. During their first UK tour in 1967, after Nesmith, as part of his efforts to wrestle control of the band's music from Kirshner, revealed publicly that the band had not played on their first two LPs, it led to some outraged tabloid shit-stirring (particularly from one louse of no importance at the Sunday Mirra) but also, in the longer term, to a sneering attitude towards the band's work from the emerging 'serious' rock press. Most notably from those Middle Class hippy Communists at Rolling Stain. The irony, of course, being that many of the session musicians who played on those early Monkees records were exactly the same LA 'Wrecking Crew' who were also employed on contemporary recordings by 'proper' groups, like The Beach Boys and The Byrds. In actual fact, The Monkees were a more than decent live band. For many years, the only evidence of their power on stage was the stunning performance of Nesmith's 'Circle Sky' from the Head movie and a few live clips featured in one of the TV series' episodes (Monkees On Tour). In the 1980s, however, the archive CD release Monkees Live 67 demonstrated the raw, primal, almost proto-punk nature of an average Monkees gig at the height of their popularity. At least within the rock community they were recognised as genuine innovators; they were friendly with and hung out with The Be-Atles in London during the recording of Sergeant Pepper's, got Frank Zappa to guest-star on their show and introduced The Jimi Hendrix Experience to American audiences by taking them on tour as their support. Tork and Dolenz attended The Monterey Pop Festival, Peter introducing the set of his old friends Stephen Stills and Neil Young's Buffalo Springfield. (Stills and Young both subsequently played on several late-period Monkees recordings, most notably Head's superb 'As We Go Along'.) Later in 1967, they were the first band to introduce the Moog synthesizer to a pop audience on the remarkable 'Star Collector'. The fact that The Monkees have still not even been nominated for, let alone inducted into, the Rock and/or Roll Hall of Fame is almost as shameful as that they share this dubious distinction with Kraftwerk. Peter was vocal in his opinion that the person behind The Monkees being so ignored was Rolling Stain's Jann Wenner due to the band's 'manufactured' origins (what and The Sex Pistols weren't?)
After Peter's departure from The Monkees, less successful solo projects followed. During a trip to London in December 1967, Peter had already contributed banjo to George Harrison's soundtrack to the film Wonderwall. Later, he formed Peter Tork And/Or Release with girlfriend Reine Stewart, Riley Cummings and Judy Mayhan. According to Stewart the band were supposed to go to Muscle Shoals to back Mayhan's Atlantic Records solo LP, Moments (1970) but they were ultimately replaced. They mainly played at parties for their friends and one of their songs was considered for the soundtrack to Easy Rider, but the producers - Rafelson and Schneider - decided not to include it and chose one by The Byrds instead. Release could not secure a record contract and, by 1970, Peter was once again unemployed. As he later recalled, 'I didn't know how to stick to it. I ran out of money and told the band members, "I can't support us as a crew any more, you'll just have to find your own way."' He was forced to sell his lavish Laurel Canyon house and he and a pregnant Stewart moved into the basement of David Crosby's home. An arrest and conviction for possession of hash resulted in three months in an Oklahoma penitentiary in 1972. He was philosophical about the period: 'It was okay,' he recalled, 'it certainly wasn't the worst thing that ever happened to me.' He moved to Fairfax in California where he played guitar for a shuffle blues band called Osceola. Peter returned to Southern California later in the decade and took a job teaching at Pacific Hills School in Santa Monica. He spent a total of three years as a teacher of music, social studies, maths, French, history and baseball at a number of schools. He also said that he struggled with alcohol addiction - 'I was awful when I was drinking, snarling at people,' he told the Daily Scum Mail - before quitting in the early 1980s. Peter joined Dolenz, Jones, Tommy Boyce, & Bobby Hart onstage for a guest appearance at their concert tour on 4 July 1976 at Disneyland. Later that year he reunited with Jones and Dolenz in the studio for the recording of the single 'Christmas Is My Time of Year' which saw a limited release for Monkees fan club members.
He made occasional guest appearances before reforming The Monkees as a three-piece with Jones and Dolenz for a twentieth-anniversary tour in 1986 and recording new material for the LP Pool It! Michael Nesmith later also rejoined and the quartet released the excellent Justus in 1996. This blogger saw The Monkees on both of those tours in Newcastle; they were, dear blog reader, bloody great on both occasions. One of the highlights of both tours was Peter's long-standing solo spot, a throwback to his days in Greenwich Village, playing an intricate banjo solo on the traditional Appalachian folk tune 'Cripple Creek'.
Peter, Davy and Mickey reunited once more in 2011 for a forty fifth-anniversary tour and Nesmith rejoined following Davy's death in 2012, with the remaining members recording two further CDs together, including the acclaimed Good Times!, which featured songs written by the likes of Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller, Andy Partridge, Weezer's Rivers Cuomo and Carole King. Peter also released a well-received 1994 solo CD, Stranger Things Have Happened and partnered with the folk singer James Lee Stanley for several records. He took occasional acting roles in TV shows including Boy Meets World, Wings, California DreamsSeventh Heaven, The King Of Queens and in the 2017 horror movie I Filmed Your Death. Following his cancer diagnosis, Peter wrote movingly about his disease in a 2009 essay for the Washington Post. 'I don't count myself as being afraid to die, but the news hit me like a fist to the chest,' he wrote, describing his decision not to cancel his live shows after undergoing surgery. 'I know I'm taking a chance here, because one of the side-effects of the radiation is supposed to be hoarseness,' he wrote. 'The radiologist told me, "Well, you play guitar and you sing. Perhaps you won't sing, but maybe you'll play guitar a lot more!"'
'This is not a band. It's an entertainment operation whose function is Monkee-music,' Peter told the Torygraph in 2016. 'It took me a while to get to grips with that but what great music it turned out to be! And what a wild and wonderful trip it has taken us on!' While The Monkees were dogged by reports of occasional squabbling and tensions - Peter was said to have once been head-butted by Jones and said he dropped out of a 2001 tour because he had a 'meltdown' and 'behaved inappropriately' - Peter insisted that they were at their best when they were together. Their musical chemistry was 'special,' he said, even if it was the result of two producers looking to cast four amusing and handsome men for a television show to make some quick money on the back of The Be-Atles' success. 'I refute any claims that any four guys could've done what we did,' he told Guitar World in 2013. 'There was a magic to that collection. We couldn't have chosen each other. It wouldn't have flown. But under the circumstances, they got the right guys.'
Peter's first three marriages - to Jody Babb, Reine Stewart and Barbara Iannoli - ended in divorce. His survivors include his fourth wife, Pamela Grapes; a daughter, Hallie, from his second marriage; a son, Ivan, from his third marriage; another daughter, Erica, from a relationship with Tammy Sustek, his brothers, John and Nicholas and sister, Anne.