headline of the day II

Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-Bop-Bop arrested

Harry Potter and the New Year at Hand

Just finished the marathon, a little while ago. Potter was Becky’s call, her birthday is the 31st. Doing such over New Year’s eve/day has been a tradition for four or five years. Potter won. In case you wonder. Ho-hum.

We said good-bye to our guests and watched an episode of The Riches. Only 20 episodes to watch, but it is delicious.

I don’t know what to expect of 2012, but I hope to lift my ass off the couch and start moving around tomorrow.

headline of the day

Man steals Greyhound bus to meet friend for Christmas

12 Indicted On Hate Crimes Charges For Hair Cutting Assaults Led By Break-Off Amish Group

I think this is my favorite story of 2011.

headline of the day, II

Portland police arrest man after alleged ‘Star Wars’ light saber assault at Toys’R'Us

(this happened about half a mile from my house)

One of these things is not like the other

No fewer than eight Ferraris and a Lamborghini Diablo were among the victims of Sunday morning’s collision, while the other victims were two top-of-the-range Mercedes-Benz, a Nissan GT-R and a Toyota Prius hybrid.

headline of the day

Miami’s Federal Prison Plagued By Strippers Posing As ‘Legal Assistants’

headline of the day

Man arrested at Large Hadron Collider claims he’s from the future


Do you think I’m to blame for the death of Natalie Wood? Should I be worried the LAPD are re-opening the case?

dear clusterflock

What have you stolen?

Dear Clusterflock: Are You Tricking or Treating?

Danny and I had good intentions. We bought candy, have it in a big bowl. We opted to go dark. Turned off all the lights. Sitting in. Watched an episode of “Once Upon a Time.” (Quick review? Not so good. Maybe even sucked.) Then an episode of “Grimm.” (Better? Maybe. Maybe also sucks.)

I’m in a mood. Prolly better lil chiren don’t see me tonight.

We ate some candy from the bowl. Tasted like a poisoned apple…or peanut butter and chocolate.

headline of the day, III

Italian man gets $44,500 parking ticket that dates to 208 AD

headline of the day, II

Bad Handwriting Foils Bank Heist

Mullet the Amish Barber, or more Amish mugshots

Sam Mullet said he didn’t order the hair-cutting but didn’t stop two of his sons and another man from carrying it out last week on a 74-year-old man in his home in rural eastern Ohio.

Previously, on clusterflock.

Most damaging, however, was her obstinate faith in the kindness of strangers

A good overview of the Amanda Knox case, at least from what has become the American perspective:

Their list of grievances was long: incompetent police work, leading to the mishandling of evidence. The lack of any physical trace of Knox in Kercher’s bedroom. Italy’s carnivalesque judicial process, where there is never order in the court, the lawyers and defendants constantly interrupting the proceedings with groans and catcalls and wild gesticulations, while the press in the gallery yammers away like the kids in the back of the classroom. The prosecution’s failure to establish motive or intent (“We live in an age of violence with no motive,” said one prosecutor). And the fact that prosecutors did not immediately drop the case against Knox and Sollecito after the bloody fingerprints and footprints came back matching a 20-year-old petty thief named Rudy Guede.

(via marginal revolution)

In a perverse way, his work for the government only encouraged his criminal behavior and pushed his wayward ambitions into the stratosphere

Only 25 years old, with little more than a high school education, Albert had created the perfect bubble, a hermetically sealed moral universe in which he made the rules and controlled all the variables — and the only code that mattered was the loyalty of his inner circle. He even had an insurance policy, one designed to keep him a step ahead of the federal agents charged with tracking cybercrime: For the past four years, Albert had been working as an informant for the Secret Service, helping federal agents to identify and bust other rogue hackers. His double life as a snitch gave him an inside look at how the feds try to safeguard the nation’s computer data — and reinforced his own sense of superiority. “Psychologically,” his sister later told a judge, “it was feeding an obsession that in the end would become my brother’s downfall.”

I felt like the outcome of the story was less interesting than the details, but if you’re fascinated by psychology, and crime, and the internet it’s still worth a read.

We write to you today with the overwhelming concern that an innocent person could be executed in Georgia tonight

Six former corrections officials wrote Georgia Corrections Officials and Governor Nathan Deal asking that the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles reconsider the execution of Troy Davis:

We write to you as former wardens and corrections officials who have had direct involvement in executions. Like few others in this country, we understand that you have a job to do in carrying out the lawful orders of the judiciary. We also understand, from our own personal experiences, the awful lifelong repercussions that come from participating in the execution of prisoners. While most of the prisoners whose executions we participated in accepted responsibility for the crimes for which they were punished, some of us have also executed prisoners who maintained their innocence until the end. It is those cases that are most haunting to an executioner.

As of now, the execution has been postponed pending review from the Supreme Court.

Update: The Supreme Court Rejects the stay of execution.

(thanks, Tim)

Unlike Philip K. Dick’s novel “The Minority Report” or the film inspired by the novel, the program relies on algorithms, and not mutants to predict the likelihood of something happening

The police department in Santa Cruz has employed predictive algorithms to reduce burglaries and car break-ins.

The heart of the program is the belief that criminals often commit a second or third crime in the same location and the same time as a first successful crime. For example, if a burglar is successful breaking into a home at 2 p.m. in a certain neighborhood because no one is home, the criminal will use that experience to do it again to another house in the same neighborhood around the same time.

In the case of Santa Cruz, on California’s central coast and home to a University of California campus, that would be about four days later.

The algorithm knows this because Mohler has fed eight years of data on crimes in Santa Cruz into the algorithm.

Now you know, and I guess, so do the criminals.

He could have set the Guinness World Record for people who wanted to kill him

The story of Edgar Valdez, aka La Barbie, an American citizen who rose to the top of one of Mexico’s prominent drug cartels.

Like many Texans, Barbie grew up right across the border from Mexico, in the city of Laredo. The place feels like something from a Mexican postcard, with cobblestone plazas and picturesque waterfalls – except for the massive, multilane bridge to Mexico that cuts straight through town. Until the drug war, everyone in Laredo saw the two sides of the border as one; many families, after all, had blood ties in both Mexico and the States. As a kid, Barbie loved to visit Nuevo Laredo, a border town bustling with donkeys, food carts, girls in little embroidered dresses, shoeshine boys and the smell of roasting corn. It was like stepping into another world, and all you had to do was cross the bridge.

In high school, Barbie was in the popular crowd, horsing around in the breezeways outside of class and waging egg wars after school. On weekends, he went to keggers on ranches, played elaborate scavenger games and hung out with his steady sweetheart, Virginia Perez, a bubbly, blue-eyed blonde. He grew up in a middle-class development on the outskirts of Laredo, a kind of no man’s land where Burger Kings didn’t begin to sprout up until the Nineties. Even the people of Laredo considered it “Indian territory,” an area rife with dope and illegal immigrants. Barbie’s parents raised him and his five siblings in a tidy, orange-trimmed home with palm trees in the front. “They’re regular Ozzie and Harriets,” says Jose Baeza, a spokesman for the Laredo police department. “They’re business owners, PTA, morning-jog people.”

Here’s a link to the printer friendly version.

(via the browser)

from the comments

Dave Vogt:

Finger Elliot. Used to be Fingers Elliot, until he crossed the Don.

headline of the day, 2

Man arrested for chomping on snake

headline of the day

Calif professor wanted for leading gang, drug ring

quote out of context

Only fools debate whether patently illegal programs “work” — only fools or those who have been legally implicated in designing the programs in the first place.

headline of the day, II

Ark. man in plane spots his home being burglarized

‘more than 75 percent of DNA exonerations involved cases of eyewitness misidentification’

Stuart Rabner, the Chief Justice for the New Jersey Supreme Court, wrote an opinion suggesting the legal standards for admissibility of eyewitness evidence should be modified.

It may seem shocking just how unreliable your eyes can be. The ruling cites studies that showed eyewitnesses picking the wrong person out of a lineup as often as they picked the right one, along with another study showing that even when witnesses are told the person might not be in the lineup, they’ll choose an innocent person about a third of the time. The reason is that our memories may seem vivid, they’re often not as accurate as we think they are. While lineups are constructed of similar looking individuals precisely to force the witness to think strongly about what they remember, this may result in witnesses unconsciously conforming their memory to the available choices.

The most complex part of eyewitness misidentification, though, is the fact that people who wrongly identify someone are often really confident they’ve made the right choice — and that confidence is persuasive in court.

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