Aug 22, 2009

Fox News Gets Chuckle Out Of Homeless Guy's Exploding Tazer Hit [Wtf]

Ah, yes: always good for laughs is someone getting tazed and then spontaneously combusting into flames. Okay, maybe not hysterical, but Fox News anchors still can't not giggle at the guy's mugshot, and then, make a joke about keyboard cleaner.

As the story goes, some sadly insane homeless man was being crazy, and cops tazed him, and he burst into flames. There's the inevitable Denzel Washington/Tony Scott reference, a chuckle about his mugshut, and the warnings of Fox News: don't wear keyboard cleaner while getting tazed.

He's right, fine. That mugshot. Wow. Classic. But also, kind of sad and spiritually emptying.

Okay, fine: classic.

Is Big Brother Watching You Bump Bills Of Blow? [Cocaine]

Cocaine's a hell of a drug. It's the only one you blow money on, when it gets bad, blow for, and (funnest of all), blow with money. But can the government track your use on bills? Cops, man, cops! AGH!

Did you know! 90% of all money is contaminated with cocaine, asserts Slate in their lede. Furthermore: the rate was only 67% two years ago, and a panel convened on the issue of blow and money says that the economy has made more people do blow! Which, whatever, I don't believe is true for America, because people just smoke weed when they have a case of the sads, right?

Probably not. But in Europe: naturally, this kind of thing is a given. Furthermore, Ze Germans are taking a much, much closer look at the money people are using to huff the yayo, ChiChi. In fact, one country's doing more blow than any of the others:

The drug is often taken by snorting it through rolled-up bills, and its crystals happen to fit snugly between a bill's fibers.) After collecting more than 13,000 notes in eight years, the German team found that the most contaminated euro bills come from Spain-which makes perfect sense, since that country serves as the gateway for South American cocaine imports and has the highest reported rate of cocaine use in Europe (PDF). (An estimated 3 percent of Spaniards use the drug, compared with 2.3 percent for the United States.)

Damn. Yet another thing Europeans do better than us. Also, because the European Union got new currency in 2000, they've had an easier time studying this kind of thing than we have. But the most important part of all of this, which Slate buried the lede on - and I guess, now, I did - is whether or not you can get busted for having blow-covered money on you. Survey says?

Maybe. By determining a baseline level of currency contamination, scientists have been able to determine whether money seized from suspected drug dealers is dirtier than usual. Since most bills contain fewer than 1,240 micrograms of cocaine, anything more could indicate direct contact with the drug. According to one study, this method was 89 percent effective at differentiating between money that's just dirty and money that's got a bit of a drug problem. In the United Kingdom, at least, these sorts of comparisons are used in court.

So: show up with a roll of cash caked in coke, you might be in trouble. Other than that, you're good, bro, you're so fuckin' awesome, we're so awesome right now, God, man. God. I'm putting on my sunglasses.

McSteamy Sex Tape Stimulates Economies: The Mystery Smoking Product, Revealed? [Freakonomics]

Gawker Paycheck Journalism: doing our part to bring more money into circulation, or something. Because even the darkest cloud has a silver lining, every sex tape leak has an upside to it. In this case: product placement for Big eTobacco.

The president of bluCigs - a company making smokeless, "electronic" cigarettes (we would hazard a guess) could be seen in Dane's Anatomy - has issued a PR statement on his company's, ha ha, disputed involvement in the now infamous ménage a trois of gettin' high and splashin' around. Now, you're the president of a company trying to corner an obscure market of non-smoking smokers that's now maybe involved in a smokin' hot sex tape.

So: did he make the push? Hell yeah, he did.

"Our client records are confidential. We respect the privacy of all our clients, not only high profile ones."

Nicely played, Jason Healy of BluCigs! The non-denial denial that neither rats out your clients nor squashes your product's potential plug. Furthermore, Healy goes servicey on us:

"In response to whether an electronic cigarette such as blu is safe for use in a bathtub, Healy said, "While we would not recommend use in an environment like that, there's no problem if it were dropped in the water. It would have to be dried out sufficiently before using again."

Healy's product is family friendly, as in, he doesn't recommend it for use in drug-binge laden, blue-balling threesomes! Furthermore, this thing is the hotness, and they don't even need the publicity!

"Blu has only been on the market for a few months but the demand has been so overwhelming that we've really been trying to stay out of the news," said Healy. "While I'm not saying it is our product, it would've have been better for us, if not Ms. Gayheart and Mr. Dane as well, if this tape hadn't come out."

Yes! For a publicist with an AOL address, expertly handled: celebrity friendly promotion while basically managing to completely insinuate that, yes, maybe it's their product, and further more, you can use it in splashy sex tapes. Hooray for sex tapes, the economy, and The World's Best Electronic Cigarette©.

Lindsay Lohan's Little Italy BlackBerry Bodega Brouhaha [Perils Of Fame]

This may be one of my favorite gossip items, ev-ar: Lindsay Lohan ended up having to call cops to get her BlackBerry back from a bodega in Little Italy, reports the Daily News today. Where? Who? What? Why? How?

The story goes like this: Lohan goes in to get a cup of ice from a bodega. Leaves her BlackBerry on the counter. The guy working the counter runs after her in a cab, tries to give it to her, but asks if she can prove her identity first. She tries to get it back from him, even makes a swipe at it. Now he relents. She calls the cops, but the situation was "diffused" by the time the 5-0 arrived. Here's our lowdown:

Where: On Kenmare, between Mott and Elizabeth, in Little Italy, lies a bodega called the Mott Corner Deli. It's fairly inconspicuous, there's not much to the place. Typical downtown bodega, if not lesser-than-average. Advises a Yelp user:

Since it was past midnight the lazy option prevailed and we went over to Mott Corner (formerly known as Luncheonette) to grab a fish sandwich. Beware of this place! If you eat some of the food they cook there, you'll develop unknown cutaneous reactions. Seriously, it's that bad.

Advises me: if you're dumb enough to eat a fish sammie from a Bodega at 1AM, you deserve whatever "cutaneous reactions" you get. Besides being convenient and occasionally representing a decent cross-section of important foodstuffs, unimportant foodstuffs, and clutch necessities (condoms, beer, ciggarettes, TP, tampons), Bodegas (or "delis" as they're sometimes referred to) are historically known in New York as many a showdown between people of different languages, cultures, dialects, and levels of sobriety.

Who: In the right corner, actress, singer, newfound lesbian Lindsay Lohan, who's shown a recent shift of getting lippy, no? There are few like her. In the left corner, Bodega late shift worker and "counterman" (via the News), Mohammed Hashan. There are many like him, but he is special.

What? Lohan's shown a preference for the BlackBerry Bold. It's the PDA of choice for many a celebrity! It currently retails on for $49.99 with a new service plan, and can cost up to $500 without one. Much greater than the fiscal loss of a BlackBerry is, as everyone knows, the absolute pain in the ass it is to recover that kind of information. Also, she is a "Blackberry Person" as opposed to an "iPhone person," which, I bet you anything, Sam Ronson absolutely is. This is just how these things go, you know? The other "thing" involved? Ice. She was there to get a cup of it when she left her BlackBerry there.

How? It escalated to calling the cops for one of two reasons. The first is that the guy was geniuinely being an asshole, and wouldn't give Lohan her BlackBerry back for his own reasons. The other theory: she flew into a rage after not being recognized by these plebeian nobody.

Why? Because Lindsay Lohan's career is still spiraling downward, even after being cast in Robert Rodriguez's new film (probably more for kitch value than anything else). Because her new lip job went terribly wrong and it's painfully obvious. Because recognition - even at the level of a guy working at a bodega - is important to celebrities who try to skirt it from the people who'd usually recognize them. Because interactions between New York's bodega-working populace and New Yorkers are sometimes strained as a result of a very in-your-face class system at work, the cover for which some people misread for friendliness, togetherness, and the common bond of being New Yorkers. Because the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Or, just: cocaine. There's always that.

Fatal Shooting At NYC Tourist Trap South Street Seaport [Crime]

South Street Seaport, one of New York's veritable tourist traps/teen tour stops, had itself a fatal shooting last night when a wild melee broke out on a party boat. Is New York gritty again, again? [NY Post, image via Getty.]