Monday, September 29, 2008

Bailout fails as plan included "Tunnel to Somewhere"

Senator Arlen Spector of Pennsylvania called the Tunnel to Somewhere one of the most egregious examples of possible pork barrel spending ever.

Had the $700 billion dollar bailout plan been passed it would have included the construction of a much needed $200 million highway tunnel in western Pennsylvania. The tunnel, planned for route I-80, would be used by millions of drivers annually.

"We can't have all this pork barrel spending. Pork barrel spending has got to be stopped. I don't know about all this pork barrel spending," said Spector.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Brewers confident, feel they can win NL East

Though the Milwaukee Brewers have played terrible baseball throughout most of September they have managed to heat up at the right time. The Brew Crew have won two straight while Philadelphia and New York have stumbled.

"Forget that we can't win our own division[Central Division]. We're so confident right now that we feel we can sneak past the Phillies and Mets and take the NL East division," said Brewers pitcher, Ben Sheets.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

McCain recalls attending first ever game at Yankee Stadium

Republican Presidential candidate John McCain became somewhat emotional when a reporter asked him about the final game at Yankee Stadium on Sunday night.

"I'm a casual Yankees fan, but I remember that April day in 1923 as if it was yesterday," said McCain. "I took my son and we had a great day at the ballpark."

The presidential hopeful went on to describe the sights and the smells from the opening of the world's most state-of-the-art stadium, which was constructed in a little over a year.

"It[the temperature] was on the cold side I remember and my 1919 Model T was slow to start. But I gave her a good cranking and I got her to finally start."

The Senator from Arizona, who played an essential role in that state's entry into the Union in 1912, was on a road tour across the USA in 1923. The trip was a celebration of the 10 year anniversary of Arizona's statehood. Mechanical problems with the vehicle extended the trip four months past its expected finish, which put the Senator in New York for opening day.

"Seeing that game at Yankee Stadium and hearing the crowd and smelling all the smells was instrumental in bringing the Diamondbacks to the Grand Canyon State some 75 years later," said McCain referring to Major League Baseball's arrival in Phoenix in 1998.

McCain also recalled how during the game he said to his son that there should be a swimming pool just beyond the center field wall for fans to relax in.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Local athlete to enter university's intramural hall of fame

Dennis Jacobs, 39, of Wilmington, DE will be inducted into the Schuylkill State University Intramural Hall of Fame on Saturday. Jacobs attended the school from 1987-1990 and graduated with a degree in economics.

The Wilmington High School soccer player and track star competed in intramural soccer, floor hockey, flag football, basketball and ping pong and will join three others in SSU's 27th intramural hall class.

"Jacobs and the other three inductees will be joining an elite group of intramural athletes. SSU has one of the strongest intramural programs in the country," said Schuylkill State's intramural athletic director, Linda Skiles.

The ceremony will be held during halftime of the flag football game between Delta Kappa Sigma and Keg Patrol on field A at the McKenzie Athletic Fields. That is if the Keg Patrol squad decides to show up after forfeiting 2 of their last three games.

"Trust me, we'll show up this week with a full group. We'll put a kappa in Kappa. Plus, Jacobs is an intramural legend," said Keg Patrol team captain, Thomas Evans.

If the game is a forfeit the ceremony will be moved to field D during halftime of the women's field hockey game.

As great as Jacobs was at all the intramural sports he played he truly excelled at flag football. For this reason the university is retiring the flag that the inductee wore during the late 80's and presenting him with a golden flag.

"He was awesome. There were rumors that he tied his flag on tight to prevent easy release, but I never bought into any of that," said former teammate, Jack Hazel.

"I just hope Keg Patrol shows up," said Jacobs

Thursday, September 18, 2008

2 of 6 Texas flags found in Oklahoma and Arkansas

Four flags over Texas? Doesn't quite have the same ring to it. However, this is the situation in hurricane-ravaged coastal Texas. Two of the state's six famous flags were ripped from their flagpoles in the city of Houston on Saturday where hurricane Ike's winds reached 80 mph.

One flag turned up in Idabel, a town in the southeastern corner of Oklahoma. While the other flag was found in De Queen, Arkansas, located in the southwestern region of that state.

"We're currently in negotiations with the two states to have the flags sent back to Austin," said a visibly shaken Tom Gutierrez, a Texas government official.

A law passed in 1799 states that all flags that cross state lines, intentionally or unintentionally, must be returned in a timely manner and in excellent condition no matter their current state. The law was created to deter a repeat of the 1795 Delaware Flag Incident.

In 1795 the Diamond State lost the state flag in a huge Nor'easter storm that carried the flag into New Jersey, some 40 miles to the east. New Jersey officials wrote a letter to the Delaware Statehouse: "We got your flag and we sent it back to Dover via a riderless donkey. What? It never arrived? Ha ha ha."

Texas hopes to have the flags back and flying high by the end of the month if negotiations are successful. If not, the Six Flags theme parks located across the country will be renamed accordingly.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

D. Jackson:'I was really thinking college rules where the end zones are 11 yards, not 10.'

Dallas, TX--DeSean Jackson committed what appeared to be one of football's worst sins last night during a nationally televised game. The Philadelphia Eagles' wide receiver hauled in a 60-plus yard pass from quarterback Donovan McNabb for what looked like the rookie's first career touchdown.

Just before crossing the goal line, however, Jackson released the ball to the ground signifying the start of a touchdown celebration. The brash, young wide out had sinned and cost his team six points.

The ESPN announcers were in shock along with the entire Delaware Valley. But Jackson should be forgiven for his mistake and not because Brian Westbrook scored on the very next play.

"I was really thinking college rules where the end zones are 11 yards not 10," said a somber Jackson. "It was my bad."

Though it's not a great excuse, it should be taken into consideration that had last night's division battle been a college game, his catch would have been a touchdown.

At the University of California Jackson was known for catching touchdowns and releasing the ball as soon as he crossed the line.

"It's really not his fault," said Eagles head coach, Andy Reid. "Everyone thinks that he was hot dogging, but he really wasn't. However, he will not be suiting up next week against the Steelers."

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Texans very proud that state is slightly larger than storm

The enormous Hurricane Ike is battering the Texas coastline this morning and could leave widespread death and billions of dollars in damage in its wake. The massive storm could pummel Houston, the state's largest and the country's fourth largest city.

"It's a huge storm, but square mileage-wise it's still smaller than the great state of Texas. This is something that every Texan is proud of, I can assure you of that," said Houston mayor, Bill White.

Texas encompasses 268,820 square miles while Ike covers roughly 240,000 square miles. Scientists and hurricane experts have hinted that if Ike was 270,000 square miles it would be larger than the state of Texas.

"The fact that Texas is larger than the storm has greatly increased moral among those in [Ike's] path. I would not be surprised if the actual number of deaths from Ike are far below the predicted number simply because of this fact," said Robert Kinori, an expert from The Texas Hurricane Institute in Corpus Cristi.

Some residents began displaying their strong emotional state during the storm by hanging signs for TV news cameras. One sign painted on a bed sheet and placed in the window of a Galveston, TX home read:"C'mon Ike, don't get all mad 'cause Texas is larger than you. 48 states feel the same way."

Other signs were unclear and not helpful in determining the moral of residents. One read:"This is our last bed sheet."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Local trophy maker awards self trophy for best trophy making

Winners, Inc. of Broomall, PA one of the largest makers of trophies and medals, recently created a very large and elaborate trophy. Was it for a local youth sports team tournament? No. Was it made for a high school debate winner? No.

The four-feet tall trophy was produced for...Winners, Inc. That's right. Company officials awarded the trophy to themselves for "Best Trophy Making for 2008."

"We had a very good year and since there are no awards like this in our industry given by an independent agency we decided to give the award to ourselves[Winners Inc]," said the company's president, Geoff Vine.

Vine placed the 2008 award on a giant mantle in his office next to hundreds of other awards the company has "won" in the past 18 years.

Always Try Hard, Inc. in Gulleytown, IN, another large trophy maker, also presented itself with the same award.

"In my estimation there will be roughly 2500 first place trophy maker winners this year," said Always Try Hard's CEO Karen Akers, estimating the total number of trophy makers in the country.

SEPTA says sign reduces amount of egg on commuter faces

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

One stand to sell $5.00 hot dogs at tonight's game

The hot dog stand behind section 424 in Citizens Bank Park will sell the popular food for $5.00 during tonight's Phillies-Marlins game. Tonight is the much anticipated promotion known as Dollar Dog Night at the stadium where all hot dogs are one dollar–well, not all.

"We like to have one stand sell the hot dogs at regular price. We do this because there is always a small percentage of fans that don't realize it's Dollar Dog Night," said the Phillies director of marketing, Flint Thomas.

The team says it never keeps the regular-priced hot dogs at the same stand for each promotion. In August the $5.00 hot dogs were located behind section 302 in right field and behind 132 in July.

"Someone goes down to buy a round of dogs for the group and sees that it's $5.00. What're they gonna do? Come back empty-handed? No, they're going to fork out the cash for 20 hot dogs. Cha Ching," said Thomas.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Neighbor wears full length button-down t-shirts

Jeff Rosentell still doesn't believe it even though he sees it almost everyday. What he witnesses is his neighbor in Philadelphia's Ringing Bell neighborhood wear button-down t-shirts daily.

"All of his t-shirts have been cut longways in the front and buttons have been added. Not partway down, but all the way down," said Rosentell.

The cutting neighbor, who wanted to remain anonymous, would not go into detail concerning the t-shirts, but said he didn't "care for pulling shirts over his head."

Other neighbors reported that many of the t-shirts have "cool" designs and cutting the garments seemed to be a waste.

"He has one of those Eastern State Penitentiary tees, with the overhead view of the spoked corridors, and there is a cut running directly through the middle. I don't get's like a crime and stuff," said Holly S., a nearby neighbor.

One neighbor, who also requested anonymity, has began cutting his own t-shirts. He went on to say that the cutting neighbor has started a trend in Ringing Belle.

"Honestly, it's more comfortable and stylish. Instead of a v-neck I can leave the top button undone. The only drawback is that the cut edges can curl-up with high humidity and it takes a few more seconds to put on."

Saturday, September 6, 2008

'Yes, I take medical waste on all my fishing trips.'

Police have finally tracked down the culprit responsible for the medical waste that has been washing up along the shores of South Jersey's resort towns of Avalon and Sea Isle City. However, the suspect's alibi could set him free.

Thomas McFarland, a Pennsylvania dentist, has denied the illegal waste dumping and said he and his boat were the victim of a rouge wave from the Atlantic Ocean.

The Mainline dentist said he was leaving for a fishing trip when he encountered heavy seas in Townsend's Inlet. This is the small waterway that separates the barrier islands in which the two towns are located.

"The wave was huge and it nearly capsized my small boat. This is when my 25 trash bags full of medical waste fell overboard. Yes, I take medical waste on all my fishing trips," said a somewhat nervous McFarland.

When police questioned the purpose for the medical waste on the fishing voyage McFarland said it was for good luck.

"About 5 years ago I took about ten bags of medical waste with me on a trip and I ended up catching a decent–sized marlin," explained McFarland.

When asked by authorities why he took waste on that trip he hesitated and said,"Oh, right. I thought it would help the boat achieve good buoyancy."

Officer Patrick Kirkpatrick of the Avalon Police Department said the dentist's story makes sense. "Studies have shown that empty syringes, old needles and dirty cotton swabs do great things for buoyancy. He's not a dumb guy. I may take waste on my next trip."

McFarland's attorney said his client takes medical waste with him just about everywhere he goes–from church to the supermarket.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Bush on visiting Great Wall last month: "I should've said, 'Mr Jintao, tear down this wall.'"

President George Bush was criticized by many for attending last months Olympics in Beijing, China. The country is widely known for it's horrendous human rights record and limitations on basic freedoms. Many called for the leader to boycott the games to send a message to the most populous country on the planet.

Prior to arriving in China Bush visited Southeast Asia where he made public statements challenging Chinese President Hu Jintao to trust his country's people with more freedoms. However, once in China Bush seemed to back down from this tough stance.

"Looking back on my visit I wish I told Mr Jintao to tear down that wall," said Bush referring to the Great Wall of China. "That's what I would've said. I should've said,'Mr Jintao, tear down this wall.' I can't believe I just thought of that now. It just could've been a real famous line had I said over there. The Wall is a terrible symbol of separatedness and lots of stones."

Bush visited the Wall, which is visible from space, not long after he arrived in China. On the day of the visit he stated,"this thing just keeps going on and on. If I didn't have tickets to the women's volleyball match-up tomorrow I'd try to hike this thing."

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

IOC still embarrassed over not having Cameroon anthem

F. Mbango Etone won Cameroon's only medal at the Beijing Olympics in the women's triple jump. Not only did Etone medal, but she won the gold medal. The track star was the only athlete to win a medal from the east African country of almost 20 million people.

Every gold medal winner not only stands at the top of the medal stand, but also enjoys the privledge of having their country's national anthem fill the stadium or arena.

One of the IOC's responsibilities is to obtain the national anthem of each participating country. There are numerous ways the IOC does this: calls the country and asks them to send a CD, the country sends an email with the anthem attached, or flies to the country to pick up the anthem in a box.

Cameroon claims they sent the email in August of 2007. "I did send the email, but I will admit there was no reply or confirmation," said Cameroon's Olympic adviser, Senja Eti.

The email did arrive but was followed by skepticism.

"Honestly, I didn't know that Cameroon was a country. I've heard of maroon the color and Camaro the car, but not Cameroon the country. I deleted the email right away thinking it was a prank," said IOC member Locke Schafer.

The deleting of this email would cause great embarrassment to the IOC on the day of the triple jump at the Beijing games. After the victory Etone took a step to the top of the stand and stood waiting for her county's song.

"We didn't know what to do. She's standing there waiting and we asked for the audience to please stand," said Schafer, who happened to be working the triple jump medal ceremony.

Scrambling to uncover the national anthem for Cameroon one IOC member decided to hum a random tune while Etone stood at the pinnacle of the podium. (Schafer admitted he was terrible at humming and declined to join in.)

"I heard a humming come over the speakers and it was not the Cameroon anthem," said a visibly upset Etone. "But winning the gold medal made it one the sweetest melodies I've ever heard."

Some fans were overcome with emotion as tears filled many eyes. "It's such a beautiful anthem. I've never heard humming like that before," said Sarah Timmons, of Melbourne, Australia.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Medical waste makes for great sandcastle accessories

While many beachgoers are concerned over the recent arrival of medical waste on many South Jersey beaches others have welcomed it. The dangerous waste has been a hit with children from Ocean City to Cape May.

"I like it cause it[large syringe] makes a cool little flagpole on the top of the tower. I took part of my ice cream wrapper and used it as a flag on the needle part of the waste," said Terry McSweeney, 8, from Hatboro, PA.

Experts at the Sandcastle Institute of New Jersey(SINJ)estimate that over 20,000 sandcastles are created everyday on South Jersey's beaches predominately by children.(South Jersey beaches include Atlantic City to Cape May)

Other children have resurrected the long forgotten yard game called lawn darts. Players toss large medical needles, instead of giant darts, some 15 yards into a hoop placed on the sand.

"I like throwing the needles but I like hiding them in the sand and seeing people step on them a lot more. It's neat," said Timmy Sanini, 9, of Cherry Hill, NJ.

Empty beaches this Labor Day weekend? Far from it.

"Never in a million years did I think that I could actually use medical waste to promote the town's beaches," said Stone Harbor mayor, Rubin Rasmussen. "Some of our TV ads running in Pennsylvania feature kids playing with the waste."

One parent seemed concerned his children were playing with medical waste, but admitted he used two needles to open a bottle of beer because of a misplaced opener.

Officials from Sea Isle City and Strathmere have authorized the publication of a brochure listing all the children's games and activities that utilize medical waste.

"We hired about ten teenagers to pass the pamphlets out on the beaches and some towns have given permission to ice cream sellers to distribute them as well," said Floyd Cinders, a member of Strathmere's town advisory committee.