"What if we created the ultimate toilet and you would never have to [leave]?" That was a Roto Rooter guy, thinking up a contest. So they pimped up a toilet to offer as grand prize: 20-inch flat screen TV, TiVo, iPod with toilet paper in docking station; bike-pedal exerciser, laptop computer, Xbox 360, DVD player, refrigerator with beer tap, cup warmer/cooler, fan, and a couple of more things.
China Gets Serious About Sucking Up to Islam: This is the Year of the Pig in China, and New Year’s Day is upon us, and the gov’t’s TV network CCTV last week banned representations of the pig on TV because, apparently, being reminded that there are pigs in the world sends Muslims into deep depression or even rage. Many pig celebrations remain, though (Disney China emphasizes its Piglet this year; Starbucks sells piggy banks; even the country's postal service is pig-themed). [Wall Street Journal $$]
Creative Solution to Prison-Crowding: The UK Home Secretary is seriously considering a queuing system for doing time, sort of like scheduling your sentence at some point in the future when a bed opens up in the Big House. But the future is now in Las Vegas, where federal magistrate Peggy Leen released a notorious bunko artist, John Baldo, on condition that he report right away to the authorities in Boston, where he is wanted in a $2M scheme. (He’s supposedly not dangerous, in the gun way, but turning loose such an accomplished BS artist is surely a stretch.)
Below The Fold
Update: By the way, that Michigan Muslim woman who had her lawsuit tossed out because she wouldn’t show her face while testifying [NOTW Daily, 10-24-2006] has been resurrected for re-hearing . . . . . A Virginia attempted-murder case made it all the way through the trial, right up to closing arguments, before the 74-yr-old defense lawyer had a major senior moment and forgot what he planned to tell the jury (Mistrial!) . . . . . A 7th-grade biology teacher was suspended for asking kids to draw a man’s junk on the blackboard . . . . . The health minister of Japan’s Shimane Prefecture, attributing the low birth rate to the fixed number of women age 15-50: "Because the number of birth-giving machines [is] fixed," they must do their best . . . . . Wrong Place, Wrong Time: A woman sued Penn State because she was taking an exam in 2005, and a stuffed moose head fell off a wall and hit her on the noggin . . . . . District of Calamity: Washington, D.C., fights driving-while-cellphoning by putting up 43 billboards with messages on how distracting the phones are . . . . . People Different From Us: Commotion in front yard, husband goes to check it out, wife follows with shotgun, wife feels threatened by intruder, wife accidentally shoots husband, intruder flees . . . . . The Perfect Local News Story (with photo): TV station on the scene reporting on dangers of thin ice, and, ahhhh, you know what happened . . . . . Dangers of Wicca: Three witchy women patronizing the Wolf Mountain Trading Company, Lititz, Pa., were so trusting of the kindred spirit shopkeeper that, they allege, they let him heal them of various problems in the back room (and were shocked that clothing seemed to hinder his work) . . . . . Least Competent Novelist (27 books so far): Carson City’s David Eddings, who decided the best way to check whether that liquid on the floor was water or gasoline was to toss a lighted paper on it.