December 3, 2004

Shotgun - Touch the Monkey

  • Matricide (Disturbing News)
    • “Rachelle Waterman, (aka Rachelle Ann Monica Waterman and “smchyrocky”), a 16-year-old girl from Craig, Alaska, USA, has been charged with the first degree murder of her own mother.”
    • This story was all over blogs this week. A very strange tale, in which a girl has been accused of having her mother killed. And then she posted the following to her weblog: “”Just to let everyone know, my mother was murdered.”
  • Wikinews (News Tool)
    • While we’re talking news, have you seen the new Wikinews? It’s a collaboratively written free content news source. Harnessing the power of 1 million monkeys to edit the news. ;) Seriously, though, this promises to be an interesting source for news and news trivia. It’s at a temporary beta home, but will eventually move to a permanent URL.
  • Bigger Truck Needed (Oops)
    • In case you missed it last time around because of server overload, the pictures of the truck that wasn’t big enough for the job.
  • Low Rider Plane (Shockwave Movie)
    • Brief footage of a plane making an odd landing. Sent by rmccown.
  • Careful with those gift cards (Financial)
    • Motley Fool gives you the details on the pitfalls of holiday gift cards.
    • Hint: Check the rules on them. Sometimes they “leak” value, or expire.
  • Traffic Pulse: Providence (Traffic Monitor)
    • It’s a tool for telling you how bad the traffic is at any given time. Check it before you hit the road! I’ve given a link here to the map for Providence, but they have other cities. Top level is Traffic Pulse.
  • How To Kill a Mockingbird (Animation)
    • A student strays a little in his report on “To Kill a Mockingbird.” It’s a little long, but worth a few yuks.
    • “This time it was personal!”
  • Bush Christmas Ornament (Junk)
    • Worst Christmas Ornament Ever.
    • Show that you know the true meaning of Christmas. Hang the likeness of our president on your tree! The site does not say whether it is equipped with a sound chip so that it can mock women on death row just before their execution. Very Christ-like!
  • The 10 Least Successful Holiday Specials of All Time
    • Ayn Rand’s A Selfish Christmas (1951) - In this hour-long radio drama, Santa struggles with the increasing demands of providing gifts for millions of spoiled, ungrateful brats across the world, until a single elf, in the engineering department of his workshop, convinces Santa to go on strike.”
  • Christian Right Lobbies To Overturn Second Law Of Thermodynamics (Humor)
    • The Onion created this news story, and JimC sends it along. DANG! M.C. Hawking no longer has “Entropy” as a free download on the website. It is a sad day. I wonder if I still have a copy somewhere.
  • Shanties and Sea Songs (Lyrics)
    • If ye wanna be a pirate, ye gotta know yer shanties. Yarrr.


Posted by James at December 3, 2004 7:54 AM
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Wow, that matricide case is awful. It'll be interesting to see if blog entries are used in court, and I wonder if that would be a precedent.

If the rest of Wikinews will be as well sourced as this story, I will be visiting the site often.

FYI on gift certificates in MA (from

Gift Certificate Law
Effective April 1, 2003, gift certificates issued in Massachusetts must be good for 7 years from the date of issuance. The seller must clearly indicate the date of issuance and expiration date either on the face of the certificate, or, if it is an electronic card with a banked dollar value, on the sales receipt or by means of an Internet site or toll-free number. If the expiration date is not on the gift certificate or, for an electronic card, on the receipt or made available through an Internet site or toll-free number, the gift certificate is to be redeemable in perpetuity. Gift certificates issued but not yet redeemed as of April 1, 2003 are also to be good for 7 years from the date they were issued. Once a gift certificate has been redeemed for 90% of its value or more, a consumer may elect to receive the balance of the value remaining in cash.

The term "gift certificate" expressly does not apply to pre-paid phone cards.

This law also changes the length of time a merchandise credit is to be redeemable from 5 to 7 years.

Read more on MA law and gift cards here:


Posted by: Patti M. at December 3, 2004 9:13 AM

I just want you to know that I laughed so loud when I read through "The 10 Least Successful Holiday Specials of All Time," that I was stared at in my office.

I don't know which I like best, Ayn Rand's "A Selfish Christmas," "Bob & Carol & Ted & Santa," or "Noam Chomsky: Deconstructing Chirstmas."

Let us not overlook any special that features Paul Lynde as Santa.

Posted by: Patti M. at December 3, 2004 9:28 AM

you should add this to your shotgun:

Posted by: Jay at December 3, 2004 9:31 AM

Durn. I hit post too quickly. The smoking baby is so wrong yet mildly amusing :P I don't mean to tell you what you should put on your shot gun btw. I just thought it was a wierd thing that I should share :)

Posted by: Jay at December 3, 2004 9:34 AM

The holiday specials kick ass! A Most Illogical Holiday!

Posted by: Julie at December 3, 2004 9:35 AM

Alas, in looking at some of the blog comments for the holiday specials, it appears that not everyone was aware that it was a joke.

Posted by: Julie at December 3, 2004 9:43 AM

Yes, I love the nitpickers who complained about the mujahideen.

It's supposed to be a JOKE, people, it doesn't have to be historically accurate.


Posted by: Patti M. at December 3, 2004 10:00 AM

Jay: no problem. I take suggestions. But you have effectively added the link to the shotgun because... there it is!

Patti: I didn't know there was a gift certificate law in MA. I wonder if it covers "loss of value" over time that some gify cards build in?

Posted by: James at December 3, 2004 10:59 AM

The Massachusetts Gift Certificate law requires that gift cards be redeemable at full face value for seven years.

This is part of the reason the MA AG is suing Simon Malls (

Posted by: Patti M. at December 3, 2004 11:13 AM

The "loss of value" is allowed in *most* states. I have a gift certificate from that expires in seven years, because it was purchased from an MA address. However, if you go to the website, you'll see the terms that people in most states have to accept - they are pretty horrible. Fortunately, the media (at least in FL) are pretty good at reminding consumers during the holidays to check the terms on their "gifts."

Posted by: Julie at December 3, 2004 12:16 PM

Oh god. I just finished watching "How to Kill a Mocking Bird," and I have a HUGE headache from laughing!

Posted by: Patti M. at December 3, 2004 3:36 PM

I love the Lobby to Overturn the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics article from the Onion. The best part is the "Big Crunch" idea!

Posted by: Sharon at December 3, 2004 5:31 PM

Did anyone else think that the Bush ornament looked more like Liberace? Things that make you go Hmmmmm.

Posted by: briwei at December 6, 2004 8:03 PM

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