Would You Buy An Expensive Lock If Someone Else Had The Key?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

encryption-lock

 

Apple and Google recently enabled full-device encryption by default on their mobile operating systems – and big brother doesn’t like it – not one bit. As always he talks about things like ‘National Security’, ‘terrorist threats’, etc., and that there will be total chaos in the streets if ordinary citizens are allowed their right to privacy.

Some of the stuff that has hit the media has been ridiculous and would be laughable except these idiots are actually intent on total control.

For example, the head of the FBI has issued dire warnings of children dying if ordinary people are allowed their privacy via encryption programs. The secretary of Homeland Security used the deaths of the 168 people killed in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing as ‘proof’ that, while privacy was important, encryption should not be allowed to stymie US law enforcement.

Big Brother wants to stick his nose into EVERYTHING. Anything that makes that harder to do frustrates the hell out of him.

big brother is watching poster

 

So he continues with the stupid excuse that the necessity to snoop on law abiding people is because criminals and terrorists might use encryption tools as well.

It’s a bit like saying that no one should be allowed to drive a car because someone, somewhere, sometime, might get drunk and cause a fatal accident.

Then there’s the EnnEssEhh director who wants mandatory “front doors” to be built into all cryptographic technology used in the U.S., so that you can’t have secrets it can’t spy on. His idea is for all encrypted software and hardware used in the U.S. to have one encryption key for the user (you) and another that would be made available to the government bureaucrat spooks any time they wanted it.

This is complete nonsense. And they know it. But still they persist.

They have already got the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which removed the right of a purchaser to use their goods as they see fit. This legislation means that digital products continue to be the property of the seller – not (you) the buyer who paid for them. And it makes it illegal for buyers of digital goods to circumvent any features that allow snooping.

Going back to my car analogy, that is like a car dealer selling you a car on the condition that you never open the hood to see how it works, or perform your own modifications.

In practical terms this means that if you buy a new phone or computer, the manufacturer can have a spy device pre-installed in its hard components or its software and you would be forbidden by law from finding out about it or fixing it.

If Big Brother thinks he can enforce stupidity like this then he is even crazier than I think he is – and I think he is completely crazy already!

Big Brother can legislate all he wants, but we all know that the only people who will abide by these new laws will be the law abiding people. The criminals and terrorists will find ways round it, through it, over it, or under it.

It’s the same flawed logic as in the continued cry from liberals to take legally registered guns away from law abiding people so that only the criminals are armed.

Neighbor Wants Guns Banned

 

Then there is, not the probability – but the FACT – that if a government spook friendly encryption system was created, it would immediately be attacked by hackers – including hackers employed by foreign governments, some of them friends of the terrorists that the legislation is supposed to be there to defeat.

And what about the practical commercial aspect to it all? When you think about it, who in their right mind is going to pay good money for an encryptiuon system that they know can be broken?

Would you buy an expensive lock if someone else had the key?

I think not.

.

===========================================

.

Warning: Read Carefully, More Stupid Signs Ahead!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Heed the warning in the title, another selection of warning signs written for the chronically stupid follows.

That these have to be written is a tragedy in itself. That most of them seem to be written by they very people they are aimed at is one of those mysteries that may take years to solve.

In the meantime, enjoy.

.

pointing left keep right sign

.

“Malfunction: Too less water.”

A notice left on a coffee machine.

 malfunction

.

.

“Prescriptions cannot be filled by phone.”

On a form in a clinic.

 phone

.

.

“You could be a winner!

No purchase necessary.

Details inside.”

On a bag of Fritos.

 bag of Fritos

.

.

“Fits one head.”

On a hotel-provided shower cap box.

 shower cap box

.

.

“Payment is due by the due date.”

On a credit card statement.

 credit card statement

.

.

“No small children.”

On a laundromat triple washer.

 laundromat triple washer

.

.

“Warning: Ramp Ends In Stairs.”

A sign, correctly describing the end of a

concrete ramp intended for handicap access to a bridge.

 Warning Ramp Ends In Stairs

.

.

“Take care: new non-slip surface.”

On a sign in front of a newly renovated ramp

that led to the entrance of a building.

 Take care new non-slip surface

.

.

“In case of flood, proceed uphill.

In case of flash flood, proceed uphill quickly.”

One of the emergency safety procedures at a summer camp.

 summer camp

.

.

“Ingredients: Artificially bleached flour, sugar,

vegetable fat, yeast, salt, gluten, soya flour,

emulsifier 472 (E) & 481, flour treatment agents,

enzymes, water.

May contain ……….fruit.”

The ingredients list on a package of fruit buns.

 package of fruit buns

.

.

“100% pure yarn.”

On a sweater.

 sweater

.

.

“Some materials may irritate sensitive skin.

Please look at the materials if you believe this may be the case.

Materials:

Covering: 100% Unknown.

Stuffing: 100% Unknown.”

On a pillow.

pillow

.

==================================

.

More Stupid Signs By Stupid People For Stupid People.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Catering for the lowest common denominator in intelligence can be very frustrating for the rest of us.

But apparently stupidity has reached levels today where stupid people will hurt themselves with things that shouldn’t hurt them, if they had the wit to understand what they were and how use them properly.

Personally I think there is some merit in letting them get on with it and perhaps thereby gradually eliminating chronic stupidity from the gene pool.

In the meantime all we can do is cringe and laugh.

Here are some more.

Enjoy.

.

stupidity is contageous sign

.

“Not to be used as a personal flotation device.”

On a 6 x 10 inch inflatable picture frame.

 inflatable picture frame

.

.

“Do not put in mouth.”

On a box of bottle rockets.

 bottle rockets

.

.

“Remove plastic before eating.”

On the wrapper of a Fruit Roll-Up snack.

 Fruit Roll-Up snack

.

.

“Not dishwasher safe.”

On a remote control for a TV.

 remote control for a TV

.

.

“For lifting purposes only.”

On the box for a car jack.

 car jack

.

.

“Do not put lit candles on phone.”

On the instructions for a cordless phone.

 lit candles

.

.

“Warning! This is not underwear!

Do not attempt to put in pants.”

On the packaging for a wristwatch.

 packaging for a wristwatch

.

.

“Safe for use around pets.”

On a box of Arm & Hammer Cat Litter.

 Arm & Hammer Cat Litter

.

.

“No stopping or standing.”

A sign at bus stops everywhere.

 No stopping or standing

.

.

“Do not sit under coconut trees.”

A sign on a coconut palm in a

West Palm Beach park circa 1950.

 Do not sit under coconut trees

.

.

“These rows reserved for parents with children.”

A sign in a church.

 parents with children

.

.

“All cups leaving this store, whether

full or empty, must be paid for.”

A sign in a Cumberland Farms

in Hillsboro, New Hampshire.

 cups

.

=======================================

.

I Never Question Myself. Why Should I Start Now?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Why indeed!

I certainly never question the popularity of puns.

So here is another word play day for toy to…..

Enjoy or endure!

.

rofl

.

I went to see my doctor with chronic depression.

I said, “Feeling any happier these days doc?”

doctor with chronic depression

.

.

My friend certainly knows how to make an entrance.

He just put up my new front door.

new front door

.

.

I’ve just broken all my DVDs of Japanese cartoons.

I’m my own worst anime.

anime

.

.

My dog just swallowed my phone

and got it stuck in his throat,

I’m going to ring his neck.

cartoon dog

.

.

Just for a laugh, I changed the font at our local church

but the Vicar wasn’t happy.

It took him half a day to get it back

to Times New Roman.

font

.

.

I’ve gone off them a bit now,

but there was a time when I used to really dig graves.             

grave_digging_afghan

.

.

My new girlfriend really takes my breath away.

She’s inflatable.

inflatable woman

.

.

I could hear the wife moaning about

a wobbly shelf in the kitchen.

I soon fixed that.

I turned the TV up.

tv volume control

.

.

I’m fed up with my friend Adam.

He walks round like he is God’s gift to women.

Adam

.

.

My dad was watching a news broadcast about Gaza.

He was so shocked he dropped hezbollah cornflakes.

cornflakes

.

.

My wife left because she thinks

I have an obsession with electricity.

I was like, “Watt, I’m shocked….

it hertz me when you say stuff like that.

Currently I’ve not been myself I admit,

but it would help if you had some positive input in

my life instead of being negative.

But none of that matters any more,

I’m going ohm.”            

electrical terms

.

.

I’m planning on becoming a shepherd.

It’s easy, I herd.

shepherd

.

.

My next song is about subtraction.

Take it away…      

subtraction

.

.

Leaving her living room,

a blonde finds her husband lying unconscious

at the foot of the stairs and in a panic she calls ‘911’.

“My husband’s fallen down the stairs,” she cries.

“Calm down, madam,” the operator tells her,

“do you know what caused the fall?”

“No, what?”

blonde blonde

.

.

Shop assistants are so rude these days.

I went into the DVD store and asked if they had

any about people stranded on a desert island.

The assistant told me to get lost.

.

.

=============================================

.

April Fools!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

I know it’s June but you will see later why the title says April. The fools bit is appropriate all year round for these guys as will also become clear.

Now for the story.

A cunning master criminal and his accomplice were caught after a burglary attempt at a place of business in Maplewood, Minnesota, thanks to an alert police dispatcher and a real dumb-ass criminal.

As a result Todd J. Weiss 32, from Minnetonka and his sidekick Justin G. Evans, 38, from Savage, were arrested at the scene. Both face third-degree felony burglary charges.

The incident took place around 4:45 a.m. April 1 (Fools Day appropriately enough, hence the title).

Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell said a 911 dispatcher first got a call and hang-up, then another call from the same number.

The second time, the call stayed open. The dispatcher overheard pieces of a conversation about where police were and the dangers of getting caught.

“If it goes off, they are right across the street,” one of the men said, according to the charges.

Police Chief Schnell said it was “pretty clear based on some of that conversation that this was a burglary”.

The phone had been in Weiss’s pocket and whatever he was doing at the time, he had inadvertently pressed the phone’s emergency-call feature, twice!!

As with all 911 calls, the dispatcher could see the location of the caller, in this case a car-repair shop at White Bear Avenue and County Road D.

Officers arrived to see the two men leaving the building wearing dark clothing, the charges said. One was carrying a television, the other a box.

Upon seeing the officers, the men dropped their booty and ran for it. Officers ordered them to stop, then sent police dogs to nab them.

Weiss refused to speak to police after he was read his Miranda rights. Evans said he had taken more than a dozen Xanax and the police report confirmed that he “appeared to be under the influence of the substance”.

He denied being inside the business, saying he was outside behind nearby apartments having relations with his girlfriend.

Both men’s criminal histories include burglary and theft, according to Minnesota court records.

Police Chief Schnell rightly praised the 911 operator, but it has to be said that morons like these who phone 911 while burglarizing a property make it a bit too easy for the cops to catch them.

.

Todd Joseph Weiss
Todd Joseph Weiss

.

=============================================

.

Middle Of The Month, Start Of The Week – Call It What You Like – It’s A Quiz!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Middle of the month, start of the week – call it what you like….

It’s a quiz!

A few difficult ones this week and one of two easy as well.

And if you get stuck the answers can be found waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

.

quiz 09

.

Q.  1:  What is the sum of the numbers on a roulette wheel? (And don’t forget the double zero!)

.

.

Q.  2:  What is the only borough of New York City that is not an island (or part of an island)?

.

.

Q.  3:  From famous movies like ‘Goldfinger’ it is well known that the United States government keeps its supply of gold at Fort Knox, but where does it keep its supply of silver?

.

.

Q.  4:  What does the ‘D’ in ‘D-Day’ stand for?

.

.

Q.  5:  Which state of the United States of America is bordered by more states than any other?

.

.

Q.  6:  What is the white part of your fingernail is called?

.

.

Q.  7:  What is the oldest still active Parliament in the world?

.

.

Q.  8:  On a standard traffic light, what color is on the bottom?

.

.

Q.  9:  In the epic movie ‘Gone With The Wind’, what is the name of the genteel family that owns the ‘Twelve Oaks’ plantation?

.

.

Q. 10:  What is the name of the highest waterfall  in the world and in which country can it be found. (A point for each correct answer.)

.

.

Q. 11:  In which hand is the Statue of Liberty’s torch?

.

.

Q. 12:  What is the only European capital city not situated on a river?

.

.

Q. 13:  Which Disney movie released in 1942 was about a little fawn?

.

.

Q. 14:  With a recorded temperature of about 134 degrees Fahrenheit or nearly 57 degrees Celsius what part of the United States holds the title of ‘the hottest place on Earth’?  (A point for the name of the place and the state in which it is located.)

.

.

Q. 15:  Without looking at your phone, what two numbers on the dial don’t have letters by them?

.

.

Q. 16:  Which 2007 movie, the third in a series, was the most expensive Hollywood film ever made? (A bonus point if you know the approximate cost.)

.

.

Q. 17:  Which country in the world generates the most electricity from hydroelectric power? (A point for the name of the country and a bonus point for the approximate percentage of electricity generated in this way.)

.

.

Q. 18:  In what 1999 movie did Sean Connery star alongside Mrs Douglas?

.

.

Q. 19:  How many holes does a Chinese checkerboard have?

            a)  64           b)  81            c)  121            d)  144

.

.

Q. 20:  About whom did Roberta Flack write the well known song “Killing Me Softly”?

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

ANSWERS

.

Q.  1:  What is the sum of the numbers on a roulette wheel? (And don’t forget the double zero!)

A.  1:  The sum of the numbers on a roulette wheel is 666 and of course the double zero makes no difference at all to the total.

.

.

Q.  2:  What is the only borough of New York City that is not an island (or part of an island)?

A.  2:  The only borough of New York City that isn’t an island (or part of an island) is the Bronx.

.

.

Q.  3:  From famous movies like ‘Goldfinger’ it is well known that the United States government keeps its supply of gold at Fort Knox, but where does it keep its supply of silver?

A.  3:  The United States government keeps its supply of silver at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY.

.

.

Q.  4:  What does the ‘D’ in ‘D-Day’ stand for?

A.  4:  The ‘D’ in ‘D-Day’ stands for ‘Day’, in other words, “Day-Day”

.

.

Q.  5:  Which state of the United States of America is bordered by more states than any other?

A.  5:  Tennessee is bordered by more states than any other, by eight states, which are Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

.

.

Q.  6:  What is the white part of your fingernail is called?

A.  6:  The white part of your fingernail is called the ‘lunula’.

.

.

Q.  7:  What is the oldest still active Parliament in the world?

A.  7:  The Parliament of Iceland is the oldest still active parliament in the world. It was established in 930.

.

.

Q.  8:  On a standard traffic light, what color is on the bottom?

A.  8:  Green.

.

.

Q.  9:  In the epic movie ‘Gone With The Wind’, what is the name of the genteel family that owns the ‘Twelve Oaks’ plantation?

A.  9:  They are the Wilkes family, Leslie Howard starring as ‘Ashley Wilkes’.

.

.

Q. 10:  What is the name of the highest waterfall  in the world and in which country can it be found. (A point for each correct answer.)

A. 10:  The highest waterfall in the world is Angel Falls in Venezuela. It is so high that water will sometimes evaporate before hitting the ground.

.

.

Q. 11:  In which hand is the Statue of Liberty’s torch?

A. 11:  In her right hand.

.

.

Q. 12:  What is the only European capital city not situated on a river?

A. 12:  The Spanish capital Madrid is the only European capital city not situated on a river.

.

.

Q. 13:  Which Disney movie released in 1942 was about a little fawn?

A. 13:  Bambi.

.

.

Q. 14:  With a recorded temperature of about 134 degrees Fahrenheit or nearly 57 degrees Celsius what part of the United States holds the title of ‘the hottest place on Earth’?  (A point for the name of the place and the state in which it is located.)

A. 14:  Death Valley in California holds the title of ‘the hottest place on Earth’.

.

.

Q. 15:  Without looking at your phone, what two numbers on the dial don’t have letters by them?

A. 15:  1 and 0. (Did you look?)

.

.

Q. 16:  Which 2007 movie, the third in a series, was the most expensive Hollywood film ever made? (A bonus point if you know the approximate cost.)

A. 16:  Costing an estimated $300 million, it was ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean, At The World’s End’.

.

.

Q. 17:  Which country in the world generates the most electricity from hydroelectric power? (A point for the name of the country and a bonus point for the approximate percentage of electricity generated in this way.)

A. 17:  Norway gets 98-99% of its electricity from hydroelectric power, more than any other country.

.

.

Q. 18:  In what 1999 movie did Sean Connery star alongside Mrs Douglas?

A. 18:  The movie was ‘Entrapment’, Mrs Douglas is better known as Catherina Zeta-Jones.

.

.

Q. 19:  How many holes does a Chinese checkerboard have?

            a)  64           b)  81            c)  121            d)  144

A. 19:  Answer c), a Chinese checkerboard has 121 holes.

.

.

Q. 20:  About whom did Roberta Flack write the well known song “Killing Me Softly”?

A. 20:  Roberta Flack wrote “Killing Me Softly” about singer Don McLean.

.

.

==================================

.

The Last Post – Of 2013.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

The Last Post Of 2013

31st December has rolled round again and so it’s time to bring 2013 to a close.

This is always an appropriate time to reflect on what has happened during the previous twelve months.

These are just some of the things I remember about 2013. It’s a personal choice and you may have thought of other things that could have been mentioned, but, in spite of the fact that the time seems to fly, a lot happens in the space of a year so only so much can be included.

Hope you find something of interest.

Enjoy.

.

.

The Weather

As good a place as any to start since the weather is a constant topic of conversation at all times of the year.

Statistically 2013 appears to have been a year where major weather events were at a minimum. Not much comfort to those at the extreme end of that distribution curve and who suffered hardship and discomfort as the result of extreme weather.

But here are some of what I think are the most memorable weather events of 2013.

In January Malaysia, Indonesia and South-East Africa saw major flooding events caused by monsoon and other heavy rainstorms. It also saw Australia’s hottest month on record.

Malaysia floods

February saw the largest snowfall from a single storm ever recorded in the North-eastern United States. Major winter storms also affected central US states and even the Texas panhandle.

snow-snow-snow

In March New Zealand saw its worst drought in more than 30 years. China had its second warmest recorded March temperature, while in usually sunny Spain they had their wettest March on record with three times the average for the previous three decades.

New Zealand drought 2013

Contrast was the name of the game in the US in April with California experiencing drought conditions while in the Central US there was widespread flooding.

May was the wettest ever seen in China for forty years. Indeed it was a month of extremes with more than 1 million people evacuated from their homes as Tropical Cyclone Mahasan struck Bangladesh, while in the US the widest ever observed tornado hit Oklahoma bringing more than 20 deaths and widespread devastation.

oklahoma-tornado-wallpaper-2013

June was the hottest ever, Portugal, China, Hungary, Finland, and Britain, all recorded heat-waves, and the temperature in Death Valley, California hit 129.2F (54.0C), the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth during June.

In July in the US 19 firefighters were killed trying to contain wildfires in Prescot Arizona.

Arizona firefighters

More contrasts later in the year with the 2013 Atlantic Ocean hurricane season being one of the weakest recorded in 50 years, with no major hurricanes in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic basin. Only Ingrid and Humberto out of the 13 named storms reached hurricane strength.

In the western-north Pacific on the other hand, 30 major storms had been recorded by early November, 13 of them typhoon-strength. The biggest was typhoon Haiyan, possibly the most powerful tropical cyclone to make landfall in recorded history, which smashed into the southern Philippines, killing at least 6,000 people and wreaking massive damage.  

typhoon Haiyan 2013

The end of the year saw the focus change to Europe, where a major depression moved eastwards from northwest Scotland to southern Sweden bringing strong winds of up to 142 mph and a massive tidal surge that affected coastal areas around the North Sea. In the UK thousands of people had to evacuate their homes along the east coast, where the coastal surge was the worst since 1953 with local flooding and some houses being washed into the sea as cliffs gave way. At least six people died by the time the winds moved finally down over northeast Europe.

storms uk 2013

.

.

Scandals

2013 has been noted as a great year for scandal and corruption. Here are some of the highlights (or low lights perhaps?).

 .

In the food industry we had the Aflatoxin scandal, where throughout much of Europe contaminated milk and other food products were found to be ‘infested’ with this toxin.

Major supermarket retailers were the subject of another major scandal in the UK when they were found to be selling meat products labeled “100% beef” which were actually horse meat.

horse meat scandal

.

In sport several Major League Baseball players were accused of obtaining performance-enhancing drugs, specifically human growth hormone, from the now-defunct rejuvenation clinic Biogenesis of America.

.

However, undoubtedly the biggest scandal of 2013 was perpetrated by the US Government.

It was discovered during 2013, as the result of documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden, that US Government agencies, in particular the NSA, had been guilty of a widespread snooping and spying campaign, even on its own citizens.

It was reminiscent of the old Soviet Union and the KGB, but it was happening in the “Land of the Free”. The snooping projects included “PRISM”, a clandestine mass electronic surveillance data mining program that collects stored Internet communications based on demands made to Internet companies such as Google; “Dropmire”, a secret surveillance program of surveillance of foreign embassies and diplomatic staff, including those of NATO allies; “Fairview”, a secret mass surveillance program used to collect phone, internet and e-mail data in bulk from the computers and mobile telephones of foreign countries’ citizens; “Hemisphere”, a mass surveillance program conducted by US telephone company AT&T and paid for by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Drug Enforcement Administration; “MUSCULAR”, a surveillance program jointly operated by Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the NSA that was used to secretly break into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world; and “XKeyscore”, a formerly secret computer system used by the United States National Security Agency for searching and analyzing Internet data about foreign nationals across the world.

nsa-spying-scandal

.

In 2013, the United States Department of Justice, under Attorney General Eric Holder, also came under scrutiny from the media and some members of Congress for subpoenaing phone records from the Associated Press and naming Fox News reporter, James Rosen, a “criminal co-conspirator” under the Espionage Act of 1917 in order to gain access to his personal emails and phone records.

.

And the IRS was also condemned when it was revealed that it had targeted political groups applying for tax-exempt status for closer scrutiny based on their names or political themes.

.

All in all a bad year for the reputation and standing of the US Government.

.

.

In other countries perhaps the worst scandal of 2013 was “Danielgate”, a political scandal in which Mohammed VI, the King of Morocco, issued a pardon for a Spanish convicted serial child-rapist named Daniel Galván who was serving a 30 years prison sentence for the rape of at least 11 Moroccan children in Kenitra—a city where he had been living in since 2004.

The Pardon sparked unprecedented popular outrage in Morocco where several protests were held denouncing the monarch’s decision.

It was revealed later that this wasn’t the first time Mohammed VI had pardoned a convicted foreign paedophile, having pardoned Hervé Le Gloannec, a French citizen convicted of child rape and child pornography in 2006.

.

In India a Ponzi scheme operated by the Saradha Group financial Group, a consortium of Indian companies that was believed to be running a wide variety of collective investment schemes, collapsed causing an estimated loss of INR 200–300 billion (US$4–6 billion) to over 1.7 million depositors.

.

In politics there was the usual sex and drugs scandals during 2013. In May videos were exposed that showed Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine and commenting on political issues. Rob Ford consistently denied the existence of the video, and denied that he uses crack cocaine, remaining Mayor despite calls for him to step down. On November 5, 2013, Ford eventually admitted to smoking crack cocaine “probably in one of my drunken stupors”, and to hiding his drug abuse from his family, his staff and the people of Toronto, but pledged to continue on as Mayor.

Toronto Mayor Bob Ford

.

Back in the US former member of the United States House of Representatives from New York City,  Anthony Weiner, was involved in another sexual scandal relating to sexting, or sending explicit sexual material by cell phone. First caught in the Weinergate scandal in 2011 that led to his resignation as a congressman, this idiot has learned nothing. During his attempt to return to politics as candidate for mayor of New York City,  Weiner admitted having sexted again, after more explicit pictures were published in July 2013.

Weiner Scandal Headlines

.

.

Departures

As every year, 2013 saw many departures. Here are some of the better known faces that passed on during the year.

.

Astronauts, C. Gordon Fullerton and Scott Carpenter.

astronauts fullerton-carpenter

.

From politics, Ed Koch, U.S. Representative from New York (1969–1977) and Mayor of New York City (1978–1989), later a television judge in “The People’s Court”.

ed_koch 

Margaret Thatcher aka “The Iron Lady”, daughter of a greengrocer who became the first woman Prime Minister of the UK. 

 Margaret Thatcher

Hugo Chávez, Venezuelan politician and military officer and President since 1999.

Chavez

.

Television and the movies also lost many well known characters including,

Conrad Bain, Canadian born and usually cast as the erudite gent, advice-spouting father or uptight, pompous neighbor, included roles in “Diff’rent Strokes”.

conrad-bain 

Michael Winner a director best known for dramatic and violent movies like “Death Wish” starring Charles Bronson.

Michael Winner 

Richard Briers, television comedy actor well known on British sitcoms such as “The Good Life” and “Ever Decreasing Circles”.

Richard Briers 

Dale Robertson who, after service during WWII in North Africa and Europe, became an actor and made his name in television Westerns in the 1950s and ’60s.

dale-robertson 

Richard Griffiths, a British character actor who came from radio and the classical stage.

Richard Griffiths 

Steve Forrest began his screen career as a small part contract player with MGM and made his name as an action man in the 1960’s and 70’s. He is a brother of star Dana Andrews.

Steve Forrest 

New Jersey-born James Gandolfini began acting in the New York theater, making his Broadway debut was in the 1992 revival of “A Streetcar Named Desire” with Jessica Lange and Alec Baldwin. James’ breakthrough role was his portrayal of Virgil the hitman in Tony Scott’s “True Romance”, but the role that made him a household name was as Tony Soprano in the award winning television series “The Sopranos”.

James-Gandolfini 

Gary David Goldberg was born in Brooklyn, New York but moved to Hollywood to try to make it as a writer. He was responsible for the hit series “Spin City”.

gary_david_goldberg 

Although Dennis Farina did not start acting until he was 37 years old, he achieved success as a character actor, often being cast as a cop or gangster.

Dennis Farina 

Eileen Brennan was a supremely gifted, versatile player who could reach dramatic depths, as exemplified in her weary-eyed, good-hearted waitress in “The Last Picture Show”, or comedy heights, as in her sadistic drill captain in “Private Benjamin”. Perhaps one of her best remembered performances was in the hit movie “The Sting” with Paul Newman and Roberts Redford and Shaw.

Eileen Brennan 

Lisa Robin Kelly first made her acting debut, at age 21, in a 1992 episode of “Married with Children”, and went on to guest-star in many popular television shows, such as “Murphy Brown”, “The X Files”, “Sisters and Silk Stalkings”. She got her biggest break in “Days Of Our Lives”.

Lisa Robin Kelly 

David Frost achieved success on both sides of the Atlantic, first in the UK and then in America. He is most remembered for his political interviews, particularly those with former US President Richard Nixon.

David_Frost 

In a film career that has extended for over four decades, Ed Lauter has starred in a plethora of film and television productions since making his big screen debut in the western “Dirty Little Billy”.

ed-lauter 

Hal Needham was the highest paid stuntman in the world. In the course of his career suffered many injuries breaking 56 bones, including his back twice, punctured a lung and knocked out a few teeth. His career has included work on 4500 television episodes and 310 feature films as a stuntman, stunt coordinator, 2nd unit director and ultimately, director. He wrote and directed some of the most financially successful action comedy films.

Hal Needham 

Robin Sachs, 61, was an English actor who made it into American television series such as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Galaxy Quest” and “Babylon 5”.

Robin Sachs 

Frank Thornton, was a British actor best remembered fot his role as “Captain Peacock” in the long running sitcom “Are You Being Served?”. He also appeared in “Last of the Summer Wine” and “Gosford Park”.

frank-thornton-capt-peacock 

Bryan Forbes, was another Briton and an accomplished actor (“The League of Gentlemen”), director (“The Stepford Wives”) and screenwriter (“Chaplin”)

brian_forbes 

Lewis Collins, was most famous and best loved for his role as action man “Bodie” in the television series “The Professionals”. He also starred in the terrorist hostage movie “Who Dares Wins” loosely based on the dramatic Iranian Embassy siege in London in 1980.

Lewis-Collins 

Paul William Walker who was killed in a car accident was an American actor and the founder of Reach Out Worldwide. He became famous in 1999 after his role in the hit film “Varsity Blues”, but later garnered fame as “Brian O’Conner” in “The Fast and the Furious” film series. His other well known works are “Eight Below”, “Running Scared”, “The Lazarus Project”, “Into the Blue”, “Joy Ride”, “She’s All That”, “Takers”, and “Hours”.

Paul-Walker 

Peter O’Toole, was a British-Irish actor with a reputation as a bit of a hell-raiser. Among his movie credits he starred in “Lawrence of Arabia”, “The Lion in Winter”, “Becket”, and “Troy”.

Peter O'Toole

.

.

The music scene too has lost a few well known names during 2013. They include,

. 

Patti Page (born Clara Ann Fowler) toured the US in the late 1940s with Jimmy Joy, and notably sang with the Benny Goodman band in Chicago.

patti-page 

Patty Andrews and her sisters, Maxene and Laverne, were “The Andrews Sisters”, an American close harmony singing group of the swing and boogie-woogie eras. They accumulated 19 gold records and sales of nearly 100 million copies.

 patty_andrews_sisters

Lou Reed formed the group “The Velvet Underground” with Welsh multi-instrumentalist John Cale, second guitarist Sterling Morrison, and drummer Maureen Tucker in New York in 1965. The group soon became a part of Andy Warhol’s Factory scene, which housed a great number of experimental artists at the time.

 lou-reed

Never as famous as his namesake Elvis, Reg Presley was a British singer and songwriter. His group was called “The Troggs” and among many other hits, he composed “Love Is All Around” which was first a hit for the Troggs but made real fame by the group “Wet Wet Wet” when it featured in the movie “Four Weddings And A Funeral” and spent 15 weeks at number one in the UK charts in 1994.

reg-presley

.

.

Sports best known departure during 2013 was former WBC world heavyweight champion boxer Ken Norton, remembered for his trilogy of fights with Muhammad Ali. He defeated Ali in their first bout by a fifteen round split-decision, a fight in which Norton famously broke Ali’s jaw. Norton also fought a classic battle with Larry Holmes over fifteen brutal rounds in 1978, a fight which ranks as one of the greatest heavyweight contests in boxing history. 

KEN_NORTON

.

.

The world of Pubishing & Books saw several famous departures during 2013.

.   

Tom Clancy whose fiction works, “The Hunt for Red October”, “Patriot Games”, “Clear and Present Danger”, and “The Sum of All Fears”, have been turned into commercially successful movies with actors Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck as Clancy’s most famous fictional character “Jack Ryan”.

Tom_Clancy_at_Burns_Library 

Robert Kee, British writer, journalist and broadcaster best known for his historical works on World War II and Ireland.

Robert Kee 

Steven Utley, was an American writer of poems, humorous essays and other non-fiction, but best known for his science fiction stories.

Steven Utley 

Dave Hunt was a Christian Evangelist speaker, radio commentator and author, in full-time ministry from 1973 until his death. He wrote numerous books on theology, prophecy, cults, and other religions, including critiques of Catholicism, Islam, Mormonism, and Calvinism, among others.

dave hunt 

Richard Matheson, was an American author and screenwriter, primarily in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres. Known best as the author of “I Am Legend”, a 1954 horror novel that has been adapted for the screen four times, five more of his novels or short stories have also been adapted as major motion pictures, namely “The Shrinking Man”, “Hell House”, “What Dreams May Come”, “Bid Time Return” (filmed as “Somewhere in Time”), “A Stir of Echoes” and “Button, Button”. Matheson also wrote numerous television episodes of “The Twilight Zone” for Rod Serling, including “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and “Steel”. He later adapted his 1971 short story “Duel” as a screenplay which was promptly directed by a young Steven Spielberg, for the television movie of the same name.

Richard Matheson

William Stevenson, was a British-born Canadian writer, whose 1976 book “A Man Called Intrepid” was a best-seller and made into a 1979 mini-series starring David Niven. Stevenson followed it up with a 1983 book titled “Intrepid’s Last Case”. He published his autobiography in 2012. Stevenson is also noted for having set a record with another 1976 book, “90 Minutes at Entebbe”, about Operation Entebbe where Israeli commandos secretly landed at night at Entebbe Airport in Uganda and succeeded in rescuing the passengers of an airliner hi-jacked by Palestinian militants, while incurring very few casualties. The remarkable record is that in the pre-internet age Stevenson’s “instant book” was written, edited, printed and available for sale within weeks of the event it described.

Wm Stevenson

.

.

Other notable people who died during 2013 include,

. 

Mikhail Kalashnikov, a Russian arms designer responsible for the AK-47 rifle, millions of which have been produced.

Mikhail Kalashnikov 

Roy Brown Jr., an American car design engineer responsible for designs such as the Edsel, and the much more successful Ford Consul and Ford Cortina

Roy Brown Jr with the Edsel

.

========================================================================

.