Samurai Sword-wielding Mormon Bishop Chases Off Mugger

Kent Hendrix

So, a guy who had been stalking a woman hides outside her house and attacks her at 7am as she leaves for work in a quiet neighborhood in Salt Lake City. The result? The entire neighborhood apparently comes pouring out of their homes like a baseball team clearing the dugout to protect one of their own. The Mormon bishop with a 4th degree black belt in Kishindo and a sword is getting most of the headlines, but if you watch the video from Fox News, it sounds like the stalker/mugger was well down the flight branch of the fight-or-flight response before the bishop even got on the scene. One witness said an elderly woman with a baseball bat got there first, jumping on the attacker and hitting him while the sword-toting bishop ran to join in.

Which is part of what makes this story so awesome: in other parts of the country you might read about neighbors pretending they can’t see an attack happening, but in this part of Salt Lake City everyone apparently comes running out of their homes with baseball bats and swords if they hear someone in trouble.

The mugger got away from the impromptu posse, but not before the sword-wielding bishop managed to grab some his chapstick (?) and memorize his license plate. He shouted at the attacker has he drove away: “I’ve got your DNA and I’ve got your license plate: You are so done!”

The mugger/stalker turned himself in an hour later.

Amazing Conspiracy Theory Post

I was doing some research for my sci-fi writing when I came across what is, without doubt, my favorite conspiracy-theory post so far. It begins “NASA the rat bastards” and goes downhill from there. The point of the first paragraph is that NASA radar dishes “are transmitters not receivers”, but the post really opens up new vistas of crazy in the second paragraph, which I’ll quote in full:

All planets have life 1 million years ahead of us but some still transmit on our level, these transmissions would be received by regular radio & television sets if not blocked. Nichelle Nichols is proof of the life on other planets: – no Star Trek ever included Saturn as a subject, she is profiling herself in front of Saturn because she is from Saturn, and 1 million years beyond us in knowledge.

I’ll let that sink in for a minute.

Now I’m a bit of a Trekkie, but I wasn’t sure if “LIBERATOR” (the apparent author) was seriously arguing that Uhura, from the original Star Trek, was “proof of life on other planets”, so I had to check and see if Nichelle Nichols is the name of the woman who played Uhura. Sure enough, that’s her. And not only does actually exist, but it even features an image of Saturn on the front page!

2013-04-23 Uhura

This all makes me think that the post isn’t just an intentional joke. Someone out there really believes this. And by this, we’re also talking about the conspiracy theory that:

NASA & their bullshit schemes, I love the Jupiter one the best – yeah, a giant ball of gas is going to retain perfect spherical shape, for crying out loud. It’s giant hostile lifeforms on Jupiter so they want us to believe it’s unhabitable

It’s unclear to me whether Nichelle Nichols is or is not connect to the “giant hostile lifeforms on Jupiter”, but this post was just so good I had to share. Although I have to admit, here at the end, that I feel a little bit bad. I sort of hope this guy is functional in the rest of his life and/or is getting professional help. That someone really believes this… first it’s hilarious. Then it’s kind of sad.

Atlantic: Beware Ukrainian Dolphin Attack Squad!

2013 03 12 Killer Dolphins

The headline sounds like it’s from the Onion, but it’s actually from the Atlantic. Citing a radio show called The Dolphin Pod the article explains:

After rebooting the Soviet Union’s marine mammal program just last year with the goal of teaching dolphins to find underwater mines and kill enemy divers, three of the Ukrainian military’s new recruits have gone AWOL. Apparently they swam away from their trainers this morning ostensibly in search of a “mate” out in open waters. It might not be such a big deal except that these dolphins have been trained to “attack enemy combat swimmers using special knives or pistols fixed to their heads.” So if you are planning a family holiday to the Black Sea this week, I think it’s best you avoid any “friendly” dolphins that might approach – especially if they have KNIVES or PISTOLS strapped to their heads.

So, yeah. This really happened. It’s part of real-life now.

Incidentally, this is the second-best real-news story of militarized animals after the Beast of Basra. In that story, Iraqis claimed that giant, man-eating badgers had been released by the British Army near Basra. The rumors prompted UK military spokesman Major Mike Shearer to issue an official response including (and this is a real quote): “We can categorically state that we have not released man-eating badgers into the area.” That quote comes via the BBC, which cited experts who believed that the nightmarish creatures were probably native honey badgers. (Honey badgers are their own Internet meme, in case you didn’t know. The linked video includes lots of swearing.)

2013 03 12 Honey_badger

The Right Way to Make Mac-n-Cheese

We all eat a lot of mac-n-cheese in our lives. And yes, I mean the kind that comes in a box. You eat it when you’re a kid and then you eat it again when you have kids, thus completing the circle. (You might stop eating it when your kids are grown. I wouldn’t know.)  Now, if you’re anything like me, you’ve actually been making it incorrectly. Your eating sub-optimal mac-n-cheese, and this simply will not stand. Not only is there an intrinsic culinary cost, but there’s the additional philosophical strain of failing to live up to your fullest potential in the life-skill of mac-n-cheese creation. Mac-n-cheese may not seem like much, but if you’re going to do it then by all that is holy in this world you might as well do it right. (Something inside of me is concerned at the genuine outpouring of zeal with which I approach this topic, but I can not rationalize the trepidation and so I discount it.)

There are a few simple steps you can take to make the most of your macaroni and cheese experience. So, when I made my last batch this past weekend with my helpful children, I took some photos in order to share the wisdom I have learned. And so, without further ado, the secret to better-tasting mac-n-cheese.

Rule #1 – Use Butter and Milk

Rule 01 - Use Butter and Milk

The instructions on the back of the box will sometimes mention that butter is optional. This is a lie. It is not optional. If you want delicious mac-n-cheese, it is mandatory. If you want to eat healthily you’ve already done something wrong because, you know, this is food that comes out of a box. In for a penny, in for a pound I say. (Well, in this case, an entire pound of butter would be too much. Half a stick? Sounds about right.) 

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