September 5, 2007

WTF Wednesday: Desecration Edition

2 arrested in vandalism at Somerset churches

Down the street from here, two teens broke into St. Patrick Church. They stole various items (which were recovered by police) and apparently had a hankering for communion wafers.

As an additional “WTF,” I heard on WSAR that the male half of this boyfriend-girlfriend duo left his license behind at the scene. So, even if they hadn’t been caught right after they left the church, the police didn’t really have to call the CSIs in on this one.

Man Loses $114 Million in Record Time

…And ruins his life in four short years. Thanks, lottery!

He was a happy guy, then he won the lottery. Then he made some bad decisions. And now he isn’t a happy guy. Ask him and he’ll tell you:

He has frequently stated that no amount of money lent to friends and family was ever enough and that his experiences with the lottery destroyed his life. He states that if he could do it all over again, he would have just filled up his tank, bought a sandwich and gone on his merry way.

Go ahead and play the lottery if your dream is to be transformed from a human being into a walking ATM. And to have every stupid mistake you can make (for you and your family) to suddenly be within reach.

Plagiarism Rampant in China

You think plagiarism is bad at the local university? Check out these Chinese officials.

Zhang Shaocang, former Communist Party chief of state-owned power company Anhui Province Energy Group Co Ltd, wept as he read a four-page “letter of apology” during his corruption trial at a court in Fuyang, Anhui, according to a Procuratorial Daily report reproduced in Wednesday’s Beijing News.

But Zhang’s sentiments were later found to be strikingly similar to those of Zhu Fuzhong, a disgraced former party chief of Tongan village in southwestern Sichuan province, whose apology letter was printed in the Procuratorial Daily less than two weeks before.

Dude, where’s my apology??

A Not-So-Quick Catnap

To finish up with another semi-local story:

A man in North Kingstown (that’s RI, which is small but full of interesting people) was arrested for repeatedly ransoming off his mother’s cat. He netted upwards of $20K in these multiple instances of what criminologists are now calling “the purrrrfect crime.”

OK, they’re not really saying that.

Posted by James at September 5, 2007 8:41 AM
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I think the definition of really bad plagiarism is when you plagiarize your apology speech for plagiarizing.

And nobody really has to worry about winning millions in the lottery. They should be worrying about why they're paying the idiot tax.

Posted by: Maggie at September 5, 2007 12:17 PM

While I feel some pity for the lottery winner with poor impulse control and poorer investment skills, you won't find me turning down any lottery winnings that come my way. Winning the lottery doesn't necessarily = ruin.

That said, Maggie's right... it's basically an idiot tax. So if you play, play for the fun of it, not because you are seriously planning on winning.

Posted by: Chuck S. at September 5, 2007 4:40 PM

The fun of lottery ruin is that nobody thinks it's going to be bad for them to get a ton of money. But if I had to bet on someone who would not be ruined, I would bet on you, Chuck.

Posted by: James at September 5, 2007 5:11 PM

That guy started out so well, according to the article. He was very generous, IMO (whether you agree with the charities he chose or not). I'm not sure how he went from prosperous million-dollar business guy to loser-throwing-cash-at-lawsuits, but he sure did go downhill.

Posted by: Maggie at September 5, 2007 7:42 PM

The husband calls the lottery a poor tax, and he's right. You don't see Rockefellers standing outside Store 2-4 scratching tickets.

Posted by: Patti M. at September 6, 2007 11:12 AM

Further on that theme...

One of the saddest things I've seen was people outside a convenience store in Inman Sq. Cambridge scratching batches and batches of tickets. One person looked so down and out, I was surprised he had the nickel with wich to scratch the ticket.

Very very sad to watch.

Posted by: Patti M. at September 6, 2007 11:14 AM

To further on Patti's comment.

Growing up a friend of the family was so addicted to scratch tickets she would take her kids to McDonald's for lunch and on the way would stop at the convenience store to get a scratch ticket, blow all her money and have to head home without going to McD's.
It was a compulsion that almost ruined her and her family. But she managed to fight back and beat the adiction.

I very rarely play the lottery and I never go out of my way. If I'm at the gas station and I happen to have heard that the lottery is WAY up there. I sometimes buy a ticket.

I'd like to hope that winning wouldn't change who I am ...

Posted by: hooligan at September 6, 2007 11:31 AM

I wonder if the same gene that predisposes you to be addicted to alcohol, cocaine, etc., has an impact on gambling.

Posted by: Patti M. at September 6, 2007 11:47 AM

You know, the sad thing is that he probably considered that his "lucky nickel."

Posted by: Julie at September 6, 2007 11:58 AM

Julie, you're probably right.

Seeing stuff like that makes me sad, you know? I mean, how can you possibly have a rational talk about statistical probability with someone who has a lucky nickel, or is so broke that they're "counting on winning"?

Posted by: Patti M. at September 6, 2007 12:02 PM

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