Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Alexandra Pelosi’s Gotcha Documentary: On Thursday night, HBO debuts the Speaker’s daughter’s "Friends of God" video, including a pre-disgrace episode with pastor Ted Haggard joking with two other evangelicals about how often their wives "climax." Also on the show: drive-through services, Christian pro wrestling, biblical mini-golf, and a conversation with an ex-career woman who decided she’d rather stay home, give birth 10 times, and dress like "Little House on the Prairie."

Construction Worker-by-Day, Rocket Scientist on Weekends: Alfie Carrington, 57, acting on an epiphany 30 yrs ago, started figuring out how to build a Jetson-style flying saucer. $60k later, at work in his rented storage locker in Clinton, Mich., he’s trying to build an aircraft that engineers haven’t been able to master yet (a "rotary engine to stimulate a magnetic levitation system to rotate the ship’s two discs [that] would draw air into propeller blades," according to the AP). One engineer AP contacted said it sounds like the contraption might rip itself apart from the stress of centrifugal force, but, said Carrington's pastor, "Something genius is hiding away in Alfie’s eccentricities."

Another editor buries the lede: The AP had a good lede, though, with a bookkeeper embezzling so much money that she had to spend some of it on a ceramic statue of Al Capone and Hollywood movie props, like a 20-ft-tall smoke-emitting dragon and six "talking trees" like those in "The Wizard of Oz." Better lede: She embezzled $7 million from some company called J&J Materials of Rehoboth, Mass., and they not only didn’t notice that she was writing $1 million a year in checks to herself, but they actually loved her (right up until they hired someone to help her in 2006 and learned the awful truth).

Below The Fold
Latest great use put to local gov’t grants in the UK: teaching immigrants how to swing on the trapeze . . . . . A 23-yr-old man was arrested in Hilton Head Island, S.C., when police spotted him having a fistfight with some shrubbery (Alcohol Was Involved, AWI) . . . . . Soldier Field Built Too Close to Lake Michigan: Two people (maybe a third) apparently fell into the almost ice-cubed water Sunday night celebrating the Bears’ victory (AWI) . . . . . Three words: feral Tsih Tzus . . . . . A freshly-minted Scotland Yard graduate (who is also a Muslim) declined a congratulatory handshake with the police chief because her religion won’t let her touch a man who’s not a relative, but she’s sure Islam won’t mind when she jumps on a male perp if her partner’s in trouble . . . . . A basement flat in London’s oh-so-swanky Knightsbridge is about to go for the equivalent of $4,340 a square foot (all 77 of them, which is like 9 ft by 8.5 ft, which’ll cost you $335k, plus whatever you have to spend to install electricity and heating).