Sunday, September 30, 2007

Can't You Read the Signs? Nope. Nada. Not In This Town!

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign. Blocking out the scenery, changing my mind. Do this, dont do that. Can't you read the signs? Remember that song from I think it was, the 80's. You know, what's now considered classic? Well, enough of that. We see so many sings that sometime it seems we get information overload. The ones we see everyday, we often just fly right by without giving a glance. But in Oakbrook, Illinois, some signs are being put up that might just grab your attention.

A big red sign that says "Stop" sometimes isn't enough to get everyone to stop. Maybe a laugh will get their attention. Or at least chuckle. Even roll their eyes - just so long as they stop treating village streets like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. BILLION DOLLAR FINE, says one. AND SMELL THE ROSES, says another.

But seriously, folks, Oak Lawn's joker-in-chief wants drivers to slow down and obey the rules of the road. "I thought it might make people smile and take notice," Mayor Dave Heilmann said as he launched the campaign Friday. "You've got people on their cell phones, their BlackBerries and iPods while driving. Those are all distractions. To start, between 40 and 50 will go up, mostly near schools, and more could follow. Heilmann estimated the cost of the first batch at about a few thousand dollars.

Signs are there for a purpose and in this town, there are more than a dozen variations on the theme, all written by Heilmann, who came up with the idea after listening to yet another resident complain about drivers who ignore stop signs. His favorite? IN THE NAAAAME OF LOVE. I got this press release and checked out all my news sources and could not find a picture of the signs anywhere on the net. So, I was relegated to finding funny signs and putting them here on Discover Insanity. Now I know why.

The mayor was not laughing Friday when he discovered that, contrary to a press release the village had issued a few hours earlier, the signs hadn't been installed yet. In fact, he used a naughty word to describe his response to the news. This 'wild and crazzzzy mayor' may not have his signs up yet but if you want your car done right in this town, at least there's a good car was to do it!

At least this mayor's got a sense of humor. It might be too soon to know whether the alternative signs will work. But while the mayor was posing for a photo with one of the new signs, a driver sped by without stopping. I wonder what people would think about this billboard if they saw it? Yikes!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Your Online Security At Risk: Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?

We used to quip that "password" is the most common password. Now it's "password1." Who said users haven't learned anything about security? The reality is that passwords have outlived their usefulness as a serious security device. So, just how good are the passwords people are choosing to protect their computers and online accounts? It's a hard question to answer because data is scarce.

MySpace recently suffered from a phishing attack: 34,000 actual user names and passwords. The attack was pretty basic. The attackers created a fake MySpace login page, and collected login information when users thought they were accessing their own account on the site. The data was forwarded to various compromised web servers, where the attackers would harvest it later. MySpace estimates that more than 100,000 people fell for the attack before it was shut down. The analyzed data showed that while 65 percent of passwords contain eight characters or less, 17 percent are made up of six characters or less. The average password is eight characters long.

While 81 percent of passwords were alphanumeric, 28 percent were just lowercase letters plus a single final digit. Two-thirds of those have the single digit 1. Only 3.8 percent of passwords are a single dictionary word, and another 12 percent are a single dictionary word plus a final digit -- once again, two-thirds of the time that digit is 1. Hmmm.

So, are you this simplistic in your internet security? This list surely has a lot to do with the average age of MySpace users, but if you recognize yourself here, it’s time to change your digits. The top 20 passwords are (in order):


The most common password, "password1," was used in 0.22 percent of all accounts. For those who don't know, Blink 182 is a band. Presumably lots of people use the band's name because it has numbers in its name, and therefore it seems like a good password. The band Slipknot doesn't have any numbers in its name, which explains the 1. The password "jordan23" refers to basketball player Michael Jordan and his number. And, of course, "myspace" and "myspace1" are easy-to-remember passwords for a MySpace account. I don't know what the deal is with monkeys.

But for many of you, passwords are getting better. I'm impressed that less than 4 percent are now dictionary words and that the great majority are at least alphanumeric. Writing in 1989, Daniel Klein was able to crack 24 percent of his sample passwords with a small dictionary of just 63,000 words! In 1992 Gene Spafford cracked 20 percent of passwords with his dictionary, and found an average password length of 7 characters. The concept of choosing good passwords is getting through, at least a little.

On the other hand, the MySpace demographic is pretty young. A password study in November looked at 200 corporate employee passwords: 20 percent letters only, 78 percent alphanumeric, 2.1 percent with non-alphanumeric characters, and a 7.8-character average length. Better than 15 years ago, but not as good as MySpace users. Kids really are the future.

Over the years, password crackers have been getting faster and faster. Current commercial products can test tens -- even hundreds -- of millions of passwords per second. At the same time, there's a maximum complexity to the passwords average people are willing to memorize. Those lines crossed years ago, and typical real-world passwords are now software-guessable. AccessData's Password Recovery Toolkit would have been able to crack 23 percent of the MySpace passwords in 30 minutes, 55 percent in 8 hours.

Passwords can still work if you can prevent offline password-guessing attacks, and watch for online guessing. They're also fine in low-value security situations, or if you choose really complicated passwords. But otherwise, security by password alone is pretty risky. I guess it's time to change to password2!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Mom Teaches Kid To Steal: And We Wonder Why We Don't Require A License To Have Children!

Anyone who uses an innocent child to commit a crime should be locked up in solitary confinement for at least 10 years! Lets teach the crooks a lesson... that they can no longer poison the minds of our innocent children! Put em away as soon as they're captured!! I wish they had caught this woman as to me, she's guilty of child abuse!

In Florida, a woman (I can't believe she could be a Mom) teaches her kids to steal. In this video clip, the woman is in an arcade with 2 kids. Here's a quick play-by-play. She sets the child down on the floor. The child looks like she doesn't want to go at first but the mother (if you can call her that) kicks the kid under the counter. Then, the kid who is now behind the counter, kid steals an employess purse and gives it to the mom! This Mom is the bottom of the barrel. According to authorities, the woman got away with about $160 in credit cards and a wallet.

It makes me proud to live in a world with idiots like this. No wonder kids are so f@#$ed up. I guess this Mom's motto is "teach 'em young!" I'll bet she was just too fat to slip under the counter herself!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Yikes! A Shocking Billboard Gets Slammed For Bringing A Real Problem To Light!

She is the poster girl with a difference! A billboard showing a nude anorexic model has ignited a firestorm of controversy in Italy. And that billboard has helped reignite the discussion around the world about models, anorexia and the question asked continually in Hollywood: How Thin Is Too Thin? It used to be said that in Los Angeles you could never be "too rich or too thin" but a stable of bony actresses, models and TV personalites (most notably Nicole Richie) have helped changed the public's perception. The nude model in the billboard, actually a French comedienne named Isabelle Caro, weighs less than 70 pounds. She says she has had anorexia (anoressia in Italian) since she was 13.

Her emaciated body, framed by the controversial photographer Oliviero Toscani in a campaign to coincide with Milan Fashion Week, appears alongside the slogan “No Anorexia” and the brand name Nolita, a label intended for young women. While Toscani’s job in the fashion world has given him experience and perspective with the dangers and habits of anorexia within its models, who in recent months have come under heavy scrutiny for being far too thin and a call for set standards, critics remain apprehensive about Toscani’s controversial way of addressing the issue.

Caro weighs 31kg (4st 12lb) and has suffered from anorexia for 15 years. “I’ve hidden myself and covered myself for too long. Now I want to show myself fearlessly, even though I know my body arouses repugnance,” Caro told the Italian edition of Vanity Fair. She said that her own troubled childhood had provoked her illness, even if some in the fashion world conceded that stereotypes promoted by the industry itself were to blame. She says, I’ve hidden myself and covered myself for too long. Now I want to show myself fearlessly, even though I know my body arouses repugnance. I want to recover because I love life and the riches of the universe. I want to show young people how dangerous this illness is.

As top Uruguayan model Luisel Ramos floated down the catwalk last month to rapturous applause from fashion mavens and front-row celebrities, she thought she’d reached a new career high. The already skinny 22-year-old had been informed by her model agency that she could "make it big" if she lost a significant amount of weight. So, for three months she ate nothing but salads and greens and drank only Diet Coke in an attempt to reach the elusive ‘size zero’, so coveted by the fashion world today. Minutes after stepping off the catwalk, after complaining she felt unwell, Luisel dropped dead from heart failure. The ultimate fashion victim.

I admire Isabelle’s strength and bravery, but most importantly I admire that she recognizes her problem and wants to recover, and in the process instill strength in others as well. Even people who take no notice of fashion get anorexic. Hell, it's the opposite of what I was over 10 years ago at 459 pounds. I took the steps to recover from my "eating disorder" and I think the fashion world needs a wake up call and this billboard is certainly shocking enough. Maybe too shocking?

I think I'm gonna go eat a cookie.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Professionalism And Integrity Reigns In Swedish Television

Warning! Today's Discover Insanity entry comes to use from Sweden where on-the-air professionalism is at an all time high. It seems that here in America, when we fell ill we take a sick day. In Sweden though, you do what you've got to do and keep on going.This video clip, of a Swedish television presenter has become a hit on YouTube after she vomited live on air but continued with the show.

So far, nearly 250,000 people have watched Eva Nazemson's display of professionalism on the video sharing site. Nazemson was hosting a late night phone-in game show on TV4 Plus when she suddenly become ill. As a male caller tried to solve a word puzzle, Nazemson quickly turned her head to one side and vomited. She disappeared off screen for a few seconds but quickly reappeared to continue with the phone-in. Eva was quick to clarify the reason for her sudden sickness: "I'm having period pains and they can make you feel really sick," she told viewers. All I understood was, "Wooo...ok...!" And frankly, that's all I needed to understand.

Do you think our American couterparts would go on after an event like this? Not! I couldn't see Katie, Dan or Barbara recovering after an event like this. But this lady shows true, unabahsed professionalism and dedication to the task at hand. Probably the only american anchor that ever get away with this, and we'd respect him for his honesty and integrity, would be the legendary Walter Cronkite!

My hats off to this Swedish TV host. Now you know why I don't eat swedish meatballs!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Oh My Gawd: Marsha Brady's Gay! I Can't Believe It!

Well, we've always wondered about this. Now in a tell all new book by Maureen McCormick, who played Marsha on the "Brady Bunch," reportedly will drop bombs about the classic sitcom, including a lesbian affair between Marsha and Jan. According to the New York Post, McCormick is going to reveal that she had an affair with her TV sister, Jan, played by actress Eve Plumb in "Here's the Story." The book is scheduled to come out in 2008.

Well, we've always wondered about this. Now in a tell all new book by Maureen McCormick, who played Marsha on the "Brady Bunch," reportedly will drop bombs about the classic sitcom, including a lesbian affair between Marsha and Jan. According to the New York Post, McCormick is going to reveal that she had an affair with her TV sister, Jan, played by actress Eve Plumb in "Here's the Story." The book is scheduled to come out in 2008.

This is giant news - it's been 33 years since the show went off the air. Still, we're so titillated by any misbehavior of the Brady kids. The book promises to reveal McCormick's deepest secrets, including a battle with bulimia, cocaine and depression. Any thought of a lesbian experience on the squeaky clean image of the show, is titillating, and the idea of Marsha and Jan...even more! This show had an impact on our generation, in a way you almost can't anymore because we don't always watch the same shows now. Hell, we see gay relationships all the time. Yuck!

The alleged lesbian affair wouldn't be the first Brady scandal. Barry Williams, who played the oldest Brady kid, Greg, confessed that he dated on-screen mom Florence Henderson in his book "Growing up Brady." Henderson later called their romance "an innocent dinner and ended with a kiss on the cheek." Williams also said that he dated McCormick. Like he's always been the stud, hunh?

According to sources, McCormick's book will also discuss the tension between Robert Reed, who played dad Mike Brady and the show's creator, Sherwood Schwartz. Fifteen years ago, when Reed died of AIDS, the world learned that he was gay, which came as a huge shock to many people. Maybe she got some "after school lessons" from dear ole' Dad!

This article actually appeared in the New York Post. But the question you believe everything you read? Better not. This one is an internet hoax. Damn...I guess our fantasies of Marsha and Jan will have to remain just that - fantasies and purely heterosexual!

Monday, September 24, 2007

House For Rent: 101-Freeway At Cahuenga...No Parking

Now this could only happen in LA and our wonderful highway maintenance organization Caltrans has no idea about what to do about it! Over a week ago on Saturday morning, this house was being moved to Santa Clarita, but the movers didn't have a permit to be on this section off the 101, so when they reached the Hollywood Boulevard overpass, the house got stuck. The house has been tagged and somebody (I'm sure Caltrans) helpfully put orange cones around the house to make sure nobody crashes in to it. This is one of the crazier things I've seen left roadside here in LA. I'd probably expect this in NY!

The house was being moved a week ago Saturday when the roof clipped the bottom of a bridge as it was being towed toward the San Fernando Valley, temporarily closing three of the four northbound lanes at the Hollywood Boulevard overpass, California Highway Patrol officers said. The house was moved to the shoulder of the freeway the same day, and it was still there on this morning. The house has been adorned with graffiti and someone hung a "for rent" sign on it.

According to a report in the Los Angeles Daily News, Patrick Richardson of Castaic decided to move his house on his own with a truck and trailer that broke down over and over along the way in an extreme moving nightmare. Richardson did get a permit from Caltrans to move the oversized load up to rural Placerita Canyon, the newspaper reported. But instead of following the authorized route -- from the Santa Monica Freeway to the San Diego Freeway north and eventually to the Antelope Valley Freeway -- Richardson took a detour, maybe to avoid the climb over the Sepulveda Pass. Around the 10 and 110 freeways, the wheels on his vehicle started falling off. They came off one by one during the travel," said CHP Officer McCutcheon. "It was pretty ugly." At one point, the roof of the house clipped an overpass at Western Avenue, destroying the roof.

So now it's up to Caltrans to move the dang thing. I'm sure it'll be squatted by homeless or crack addicts in the next day or so. Maybe they should just leave it as a monument to the stupidity of a guy who decided to move the ugly green house anyway. Maybe it'll cut down on the graffitti problem here in LA since the taggers seem to having a field day with it. I'm pretty sure that with the brain-trust of Caltrans and the stupidity of the guy trying to move this house on his own that eventually (and we don't know when) it'll get moved. But how long should we have to wait?

I think it's time we called in the Army Corp of Engineers. At least they did a great job with the levees in Louisiana, don't ya think?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Verbal Bankruptcy: What The F@#! Are You Talkin' About Ass%$&!?

Click on the Swear Bear Box Image For Great Example Of Verbal Bankruptcy!

What a world we liver in, hunh? It seems that many of us (okay, I include myself in this class) can figure out how to describe something without using some sort of f**kin word that makes us look so intelligent. I'm sure you laughed there. It seems everybody does. Well, it's becoming more and more common to hear words like that in everyday language. These verbs are being used all over the world nowadays and it even appears in the news although they either beep it or @#$! it.

Recommended for mature collectors, The Swear Bear needs his mouth washed out with soap! He looks like the perfect cuddly toy to send home with your child or give to a loved one. Unfortunately, due to a small error in design, his sound chip says things like "Eat sh*t and die, mother f*cker!" and "Nobody loves you, everybody hates you, go f*ck yourself!" He isn't appropriate for children, but you know the value of a good swear word. He stands 6 1/2-inches tall and comes ready to give you a little attitude. And just click on the Birthday Bear on the right for some exciting Birthday Wishes! Now you can teach your kid these wonderful words early so that he can talk like Ozzy Osbourne by the time he's 3 years old!

And our verbally bankrupt pal Ozzy Osbourne will think twice about staying overnight in Prague, Czech Republic again. His last visit in June cost him and longstanding sidekick Zakk Wylde $45,000. The rockers decided to throw a TV out of the window of their sixth floor suite after Ozzy revealed it was the only "rock `n' roll thing" he had never done.

Wylde admits he knew the stunt would be expensive, but he was stunned when hotel bosses charged the pair $45,000 for the night. He told Modern Guitars Magazine, "The next day, Oz got charged $34,000 because they couldn't use the suite for 34 days because the window was broke, which was bulls**t. "I got clipped $10,000 for that f**kin' TV. This TV must've f**kin' cost them about $500... I go, `This TV had better give a f**kin' b**wjob and a h**djob and eat my ass. $10,000 for a f**kin' TV? This thing's a f**kin' piece of s**t. "(So it was) $10,000 for a TV, about $1,000 in beer, $34,000 for the room, and the look on Ozzy's face? Priceless. You can't make this s**t up." Wow. incredibly descriptive, dont 'ya think?

And in other verbal bankruptcy news, former GUNS 'N ROSES star SLASH has to undergo 'traffic school' in Los Angeles after getting carried away behind the wheel of his car while listening to the new MEGADETH album. The rocker was caught speeding by police as he blasted United Abominations from his car's sound system - forgetting he wasn't behind the wheel of a rocket. In a post on Megadeth's website, bassist James Lomenzo reveals, "I ran into an old friend of mine in the hotel lobby in Portland (Oregon) a week and a half ago, Slash. We chatted a bit and then he got serious (seemingly) and said, 'Thanks to Megadeth I've got to go to traffic school!' "I asked, 'Why?' and he explained, 'I love the new album. Every time I drive I've got it crankin' in my car... I've gotten two speeding tickets thanks to you guys and now I've got to go to f**kin' traffic school!'"

So, the next time you need a word that'll shock people yet have them tottally paying attention to what you have to say because of your amazing intelligence, just throw a F#@! or two in there. It'll make me proud. Now find somethin' better to do than read my f**kin blog!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Useless Inventions: Who Invents This Crap?

I can't tell you how many times I've heard someone say, "I wish I had invented that!" Well folks, there are nerds out there all over the world inventing useless crap that probaby will make them a lot of money. Take Bill Gates for example. He may have been a nerd in high school but now that he's got more money than God, he's got no problem with the ladies! And so, in honor of all those nerd creating crap, her's some actual US Patents that you may be interested in purchasing...

Anti-abduction device - U.S. Patent No. 6,263,710

An anti-abduction device for preventing or discouraging the unlawful abduction of a child or person. The anti-abduction device comprises a pair of bracelets with each bracelet being adapted to fit around the arm of a person. More particularly, the bracelets include an interconnecting structure that enables the bracelets to be interconnected. In use the bracelets are disposed about the arms of a child or person. In an abduction threat the child or person places his or her arms around an object. Because the bracelets assume an interconnected mode after the arms have been extended around the object, it follows that the child or person is effectively tied to the object and this will serve to frustrate the abduction attempt.

So let me get this straight... I'm supposed to place these on my child and just hope that he or she doesn't accidentally lock himself around something? Not to mention, if there were an abduction attempt, you've essentially just made your child a sitting duck for an abductor to assault. I think this device should be used when they capture the kidnapper!

Feces Scale - U.S. Patent No.1,493,22

"A weighing device especially adapted for weighing feces as excreted..." "The operation is obvious. After the feces are deposited a reading is made. Then to wash the tray, the finger is pressed down on the cap 18 and the closet simultaneously flushed."

I am dumbfounded as to why anybody would ever actually need to weight their own feces and urine, and I think that there is little else to be said about the stupidity of this device. But I guess now when you come out of the bathroom saying, "I took a massive dump", at least now you'll be able to prove it!

Vacuum Operated Hair Clipper - U.S. Patent No. 3,138,870:

"This invention relates to powered clippers of the class operated by attachment to a vacuum cleaner or other air pump, and is particularly directed to certain improvements in air driven clippers productive of greater versatility and increased performance therein."

So, pretty much what we've got here is the 'Flow-Bee', which by the way, depicts my every thought of what could potentially go wrong with such an asinine device...Turn it off man, turn it off! It's sucking my will to live! Oh, the humanity!"

Birthday Cake Candle Extinguisher - U.S. Patent No. 3,150,831

"This invention concerns a candle extinguisher particularly adapted for extinguishing lighted candles on birthday cakes and the like."

Wow. Yet another testament to humanity's newfound laziness. Apparently, we're so physically inept that we're officially unable to blow out our own freakin' birthday candles? Good God...

Marine Mammal Communication Device - U.S. Patent No. 5,392,735

"An innovative communication device and learning tool that enables marine mammals, such as dolphins, to communicate with humans and with each other. The communication device includes a keyboard having a plurality of hollow keys. Each key includes a switch which can be activated by the dolphin, and a two- or three-dimensional object which can be distinguished by dolphins from other objects in other keys both visually and through echolocation."

Do people really have this much time on their hands? I wasn't surprised to read that the Walt Disney Company was the Assginee! I mean, what exactly do these people think that they would possibly be able to achieve here? On second thought-I hope that this thing is made one day and the first thing that the dolphins tell is, "Get the F$#! Out Of Our Ocean!"

Female Breast Volume Measuring Device - U.S. Patent No. 4,219,029

Now here's a device that I really can't figure out why you'd need to know it. I guess saying that you're a 'D' cup or a 'B' cup is becoming passe. So now you can tell you friends, "I'm a half-pint" or "I'm a full gallon." So instead of bering relegated to terms like cantelopes and watermelons, you can be a shot glass or a soup bowl.

Hey ladies. I think there already is an invention for helping you with this. It's called Man! If you really want to know how much volume you've got, I'm sure there's a guy out there who wouldn't mind grabbing hold and helping you in that calculation.

Penis Clamping Device - U.S. Patent No. 5,571,125

Okay ladies, this is my attempt at being fair. This device is said to prevent the unwanted flow of urine from human males. Now I know that after 10 or 12 beers, this device might come in handy but by looking at the picture of it, I can really only say, "Ouch!" he good thing about it is that they say it can be operated by one hand. Now that's a good thing since I'll be using my other hand to stop the screaming.

I don't know what guy (or maybe it was a girl getting back at us) created a FLAT clamp when the object your trying to restrict is ROUND! I just can't wait to see these appearing at bars all over the US! Why don't they just attach a urinal to the bar. (see photo). But there is one benefit, maybe the bathrooms will be a bit cleaner since the drunk guys won't be peeing all over the floor!

A Device For Pete - U.S. Patent No. 165,298,258,345,565

And finally, I'm pretty well known for "passing gas" in confined spaces. I think a fart is a beautiful thing and it brings me pleasure and laughter. But I don't think I could patent this device as it already been invented. But to those who've had to endure my wrath...this should make you happy!