Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Black Friday Shoplifting

The Thanksgiving and Black Friday holiday mean that the crazy shopping season is here too, and that means that, inevitably, there will be people looking to take a five-finger discount on top of the already crazy deals.

According to Morningstar.com:
$13 billion worth of goods are stolen from U.S. stores annually, the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention estimates, and shoplifters are reportedly only caught every 48 times they shoplift; by then, a regular shoplifter has already stolen $1,800 worth of goods. 

So retailers are fighting back. Nearly two dozen major U.S. stores apprehended 1.1 million shoplifters last year, an increase of 7% on the year before, according to the 25th Annual Retail Theft Survey conducted by Jack L. Hayes International, a loss-prevention consulting firm. Over $138 million was recovered from apprehended shoplifters in 2012, an increase of almost 23% from 2011.

Here's a look at some of the items shoplifters like to target most.

Cosmetics - makes sense, easy to pocket

Pregnancy tests - those are expensive...or so I hear

Baby formula - again makes sense

Men's razors - too expensive, if you ask me

Jewelry - duh.

Underwear - apparently ladies go and layer on a few pairs and then walk out with them all on

Condoms - I suppose. Too embarrassed to purchase them?

iPhone accessories - easy to pocket.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Bears fan race (some NSFW language)

So nobody won on the field between the Packers and the Vikings yesterday, but I think it's safe to say that both fanbases win with this video.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Those Crazy Canadians

I'm all for helping animals, but these guys have some cajones.

Greenland shark

Two quick-thinking men on Newfoundland's northeast coast managed to save a Greenland shark from choking to death on a large piece of moose hide this past weekend.
Derrick Chaulk said he was driving down a road by the harbour in Norris Arm North this past Saturday when he saw what he thought was a beached whale.
When Chaulk went closer to investigate, he realized it was a shark, which he estimated was about 2.5 metres long, and weighed about 115 kg.
The animal was still alive and had a large chunk of moose hide protruding from its mouth.
  "It [the moose] had the fur and all the liner on it — it was about two feet long, maybe."
Chaulk said another local man, Jeremy Ball, arrived on the scene and starting pulling on the moose chunk.
Jeremy Ball of Norris Arm North, N.L., moves the beached shark into deeper water. (Courtesy Derrick Chaulk )
"A couple yanks and it just came right out."
The two men then set about getting the shark back in the water.
Ball tied a rope around the shark's tail, and Chaulk got ready to push.
"He pulled the rope, and I pushed with my boot," said Chaulk, "and between the two of us we got him out into deeper water."
Chaulk said the shark lay in about 30 cm of water for a few minutes.
"Then all of a sudden, the water started coming out of his gills and he started breathing,"

It's one thing to help an animal. It's another to help a distressed animal that has the capability of biting you in half. Well done, Canadians.

Read more here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/moose-eating-shark-rescued-in-newfoundland-harbour-1.2434102

Rivalry weekend

I've been having conversations all week with different people about both the Badgers vs Gophers game and the Packers vs Vikings game, but for some reason it just hit me that both of these games are going on these weekend. It's Wisconsin vs Minnesota rivalry weekend? The Badgers are a 16.5 point favorite (give or take, depending where you look) over the Gophers, even though both teams are 8-2. And the Packers are about a 4 or 5 point favorite (again, depending on where you look) over the Vikings, even though Green Bay has lost three straight. That being said, I wouldn't be betting on either Minnesota team this weekend. And that's not the homer in me talking...

Scott Tolzien has experience playing against the Gophers, and will get his first look at the Vikings this weekend.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What the heck?

How is this a game? My friends and I did some stupid things when we were younger, such as make Drano bombs to set off in an open field. or hitting flaming tennis balls at each other), but nobody ever got hurt. At least not intentionally.

This is different. And dumb.

According to the New York Daily News:

"Knockout" is an emerging trend among unhinged teens that consists of targeting a passerby at random and trying to lay them out with one punch.

That's it.

Participants call this — the game's singular move — the "one hitter quitter."

Their victims can be anyone: elderly men or mothers with kids are not exempt. This poor attempt at manliness — i.e. thinly veiled cowardice — has even ended in death.

Most of the knockout incidents have taken place in the New York metro area.

"You just knock them out. You hit them with a blow and you take their belongings," one teen told the station.

This was the only "knocking out" of anyone that I did growing up.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/teen-knockout-game-continues-harm-innocent-people-article-1.1521185#ixzz2lDbtCGfu

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Train Goddess

Why can't this ever happen to me on the train?

Naked 'Goddess' Takes Over Chicago Train, Orders Everyone Off [NSFW]

According to the ChicagoNow article and Gawker report:

After jumping the turnstile at the Granville station of Chicago's Red Line — the Chicago Transit Authority's busiest line — and slapping several commuters, a fully nude woman announced that she was taking over the train and was heading to the front to drive it.
Calling herself "The Goddess of the Train" according to eyewitnesses, the unidentified 31-year-old ordered all passengers off, causing a 15-to-30-minute delay in service this past Saturday
DNAInfo Chicago reports that police arrived at the scene around 12:45 p.m, and escorted the woman off the train.
She was subsequently transported to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston for evaluation.
A police spokeswoman said the woman suffers from a mental illness, but would not specify.

I literally have no idea what I would say to her in that situation. Apparently some girls just wanna have fun.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hate your commute?

If you've been stuck in traffic before on your way to work  and wondered what it would be like to tear through the streets on a sports car, you might soon be able to. With the video game Gran Turismo 6 and the miracle of GPS, video game designers are working on it.

According to AutoBlog.com: At some point after the game's launch, players will be able to download a GPS-enabled app to their smartphones. Turn it on while on your choice of road, and the app tracks elevation and GPS coordinates to create a replica of the road in the game. That's right, you can essentially add any road on the planet into GT6.

Gran Turismo 6

That's an actual screen shot from the game. Pretty realistic, huh? Read more about it here: http://www.autoblog.com/2013/11/17/gran-turismo-6-gps-track-creator/

Friday, November 15, 2013

Dumb Criminals

If you're appearing on a "Most Wanted" list, chances are you're doing something wrong.

WMUR in New Hampshire released a most wanted listed on Wednesday featuring the wonderful mugshot of Nicholas Emond, and Emond was nice enough to leave a number of comments on the photo that obviously blamed the government for his wrongdoings.

Nicholas Emond

Emond was arrested earlier Friday. Thanks, buddy! Here's a look at some of his comments. He uses the pseudonym "Sin Demon" which is kind of like his name jumbled up. His grammar hurts my brain.

Fugitive Comments On Own Most Wanted Photo On Facebook [UPDATE]

Read more here: http://deadspin.com/fugitive-comments-on-own-most-wanted-photo-on-facebook-1464780683

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Max Scherzer

I've been to plenty of Loggers games over the past few years, but in working as the PA announcer for them this past summer, I got to see how much this community loves the team and grows to love the players, even if they're only going to be on the roster for a short period of time.

That's why I'm not surprised to see the outpouring of support for Max Scherzer all season long, but especially last night as he was named the AL Cy Young award winner, given to the best pitcher in the league for the 2013 season.  Scherzer was only a Logger during the 2004 season, but each time I was able to give the crowd updates on how he was doing at a Loggers game, it was always met with a rousing ovation.

Congratulations to Max, the Detroit Tigers and the La Crosse Loggers organization on an impressive award.

Photo: What a season!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Wi-Fi battery power

One of the most frustrating things about my current cell phone (I know, I know, first world problems) is the fact that the battery life is...well...less than desirable. If I'm on the go for the whole day, there's a good chance that I'm gonna need to be on my phone, and an even better chance that the battery is going to die before day's end. Is it too much to ask for a battery to last a full day of normal usage?

There may soon be an answer, and we have college students to thank.

Duke Pratt School of Engineering students Alexander Katko and Allen Hawkes have designed a device capable of picking up wi-fi signals and converting them to usable electrical current. Who needs a power cable when power-filled waves are all around you?
The specifics behind the Duke technology are a bit complex, even for me. But the gist of it is that the students designed a high-efficiency device capable of devouring the power hidden in the invisible waves of energy around us. A small five-cell array was able to pull 7 volts of power from microwaves in thin air — enough to power a small USB device. Want more power? No problem: increasing the amount of usable electricity drawn is as simple as adding another cell to the array.

Photo from the Duke Pratt School of Engineering

Read more: Phones Powered by Wi-Fi Could Make Chargers Obsolete | TIME.com http://www.techlicious.com/blog/wifi-powered-phones-could-make-chargers-obsolete/#ixzz2kSmRExid

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veterans Day

To the over 21 million veterans in the United States today, I want to extend a sincere thank you. What you do transcends the political nonsense you hear today. Left or right, red or blue, I think all 300+ million people need to take a whole lot longer than just one day out of the year to give thanks to the sacrifices you all make. One of the things in my life that I am most proud about is the fact that there is a 2nd lieutenant in the Army that I am proud to call my brother. He, and all of the other active military members as well as veterans, chose a life of service so that I wouldn't have to. So while you go about your regular Monday (and for some, a day off work), remember why you got to sleep in and have a Netflix marathon. It's not because you earned it. It's because our Veterans did.

Today there is a special ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetary. I got a chance to visit in 2012 and it was one of the most incredible things I've ever seen. Highly encouraged to all that are able to make it at some point. Here are some photos I took from that trip.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Star Wars Christmas

The new JJ Abrams-directed Star Wars film is slated to be released December 18, 2015. I can only imagine how much money that thing is going to make. According to Box Office Mojo, the two highest grossing movies for Christmas Day are Sherlock Holmes at $25M and Avatar at $24M.

Filming of "Star Wars: Episode VII" is slated to begin in Spring of 2014.

Think it will set some records for Christmas is 2015? I certainly do.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Calm down, Packers fans.

I don't know what it is about football, but there is an overreactionary quality amongst many of its fans. For example, when the Packers lost Week 1 against San Francisco, people were ready to throw in the towel. Flash forward eight weeks, and the Packers are 5-2 and on top of the division.

Monday night's injury to Aaron Rodgers provided another opportunity for Packers fans to hit FULL FLEDGED FREAK OUT mode. He's hurt. He ain't dead. The season's not over.

Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

I think it might be the downtime during the week, with as many as SIX WHOLE DAYS for a fan base to get worked up about a particular issue. People apparently earned an M.D. almost immediately after Rodgers went down in the first quarter against Chicago.

I've heard people say that "Brett Favre would have played with a broken collarbone" which is just inflammatory garbage. I've also heard people proclaim that Rodgers will be out for the season, which isn't impossible but I'd bet anything he returns during the regular season.

As irreplaceable as Aaron Rodgers is, he's going to have to be replaced in the mean time. If fans were thinking Super Bowl before #12 went down, they're going to have to temper those expectations a bit. On the same hand, there are still 52 quality players on the Green Bay roster, and they're not just going to roll over while Rodgers is gone.

The season isn't over by any means. If the Packers can tread water with Seneca Wallace at the helm, they'll be just fine. Hopefully Rodgers can be back for the final 3 or 4 games and lead Green Bay into the playoffs, and hopefully a deep postseason run will follow.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Daylight savings time

Interesting facts about the start of daylight savings from timeanddate.com.

The idea of daylight saving time was first conceived by Benjamin Franklin in 1784 during his stay in Paris. He published an essay titled “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light” that proposed to economize the use of candles by rising earlier to make use of the morning sunlight.

DST was first adopted to replace artificial lighting so they could save fuel for the war effort in Germany during World War I at 11:00pm (23:00) on April 30, 1916. It was quickly followed by Britain and many countries from both sides, including the United States. Many countries reverted back to standard time post-World War I, and it wasn’t until the next World War that DST would make its return to many countries in order to save vital energy resources for the war.
Photo from www.juvenescence.net

President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted year-round DST in the United States, called “War Time” during World War II from February 9, 1942 to September 30, 1945. The law was enforced 40 days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and during this time, time zones were called “Eastern War Time”, “Central War Time”, and “Pacific War Time”. After the surrender of Japan in mid-August 1945, the time zones were relabeled “Peace Time”.

Daylight saving was first recognized as an energy saving aspect during World War II when Double Summer Time was applied in Britain which moved the clocks two hours ahead of GMT during the summer and one hour ahead of GMT during the winter.

But according to a 2010 Rasmussen poll, nearly half of Americans (47%) would rather not have daylight savings time, saying it's not worth the hassle.

What say you? Which side of the "argument" are you on?