US media finally catches up to tent city story BBC ran a year ago

Exactly a year ago the BBC ran a story about a shanty towns in LA that were a result of The Great Downturn. At the time BoingBoing and those few others who saw it asked why we were learning about this from the UK media and not from the US media (in fairness the LATimes and Fox News picked up on it then as well but it didn’t make a ripple elsewhere).

Last September the story surfaced briefly in AP story only to get lost in the blizzard of the “Lisptick on a Pig” non-story. For some reason this is the week the US media caught on.

I have no idea what took so long. None. This is a story that has been literally sitting there for anyone to report. I mentioned it to a lot of working journalists. Nada.


Tampa stores plagued by “kids in chicken suits” making videos

The mix of YouTube, cheap video equipment and creative kids indulging in street theater is taking a toll on stores in Tampa.

Bored or rebellious – and with way too much time on their hands – young people are arming themselves with video cameras and cell phone cameras and creating all sorts of mayhem at stores. Then they post their exploits on the video-sharing Web site YouTube or social networking sites such as MySpace.

I love that they are “arming themselves.” Because “equipping” just wouldn’t have had the needed sensationalist ring to it, I guess. And what kind of havoc are these darn kids these days wreaking?

Thrill-seekers venturing into Publix stores wearing a chicken suit, gingerbread man suit and banana suit. At one point, the banana prankster breaks into a mock cry when seeing the bananas in the produce section.

But WAIT! Do not be deceived by the surreal and creative nature of this one video! Some of them are causing REAL PROBLEMS!!!

Most of the videos appear to be harmless, but one isn’t: teenage girls enter what appears to be a Publix and take videos of large-bottomed women. Once again, the theme song is "Baby Got Back."

Sadly the reporter never does explain exactly what harm is actually being inflicted.

I would actually pay extra for my produce if the store could guarantee me something as creative as the above every time I shopped.

BTW, is this the first interesting thing ever to happen in Tampa? 

Via The Obscure Store & Reading Room

HMO’s mascot is a 6-foot-11 walking urine vial

His name is Petey P. Cup and he is the mascot for HealthPartners of Bloomington, MN.

Petey P. Cup even has a Facebook profile, which says he enjoys watching “Grey’s Anatomy,” listening to Coldplay and assisting with urinalysis, drug testing and pregnancy tests. Just six friends so far, though. HealthPartners hopes he’ll have more soon. The Bloomington health care nonprofit wants the campaign to persuade 40 percent of its clinic patients to sign up for a new website service that will allow them to schedule appointments, access medical records and consult with doctors from their computer.

The Minnesota Post story says: “The campaign appears aimed at a younger demographic that understands irony, YouTube and social networking.”

If the younger demographic understands irony, they will understand this is not it. This is just odd.

Irony would be having the mascot be a CPA.

I hate it when they’re funnier than I am, Part 2: Social Terror Networking

Damn you, BOROWITZ!!!

After successfully sponsoring several of the presidential debates, Facebook is spreading its wings once more, announcing today that it would become the official co-sponsor of the United States’ war on terror.

In snagging the coveted anti-terrorism sponsorship, the popular networking site beat out two of its rivals, MySpace and YouTube, who had also vied to co-sponsor the global struggle against Islamic extremism.

As if that wasn’t enough to piss me off, he’s also written:

Obama Wins Country Music Entertainer of the Year … Coming off a weekend in which he racked up victories in Nebraska, Washington, Louisiana, the Virgin Islands and Maine, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) extended his amazing winning streak today by being named the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year. For Mr. Obama, who is not a country music entertainer, the award represents a significant upset since it had been expected to go to longtime country favorite Kenny Chesney.

Oh, hell … stop reading me and go read him. I surrender. This blog will now be devoted to knitting and those few other topics I know even less about than politics, marketing & humor.