Sunday, November 29, 2009

A single vulgar word in comment cost a man his job

It all started with Friday’s edition of Talk of the Day, a regular blog on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s website, Talk of the Day is exactly that. A conversation around the water-cooler topic of the day. Friday’s edition is often a little lighter. Last week, it was about the strangest things you’ve ever eaten, loosely pegged on a story about deer meat.
By mid-morning, a number of folks had commented about their experiences with Bird’s Nest Soup, octopus, cow brains and rattlesnake. Then, while I was in our 10 a.m. news meeting, someone posted in reply a single word, a vulgar expression for a part of a woman’s anatomy. It was there only a minute before a colleague deleted it.
A few minutes later, the same guy posted the same single-word comment again. I deleted it, but noticed in the WordPress e-mail alert that his comment had come from an IP address at a local school. So I called the school. They were happy to have me forward the e-mail, though I wasn’t sure what they’d be able to do with the meager information it included.
About six hours later, I heard from the school’s headmaster. The school’s IT director took a shine to the challenge. Long story short: Using the time-frame of the comments, our website location and the IP addresses in the WordPress e-mail, he tracked it back to a specific computer. The headmaster confronted the employee, who resigned on the spot.
I’m not identifying the guy who posted the comment because, obviously, I don’t know who it was. I’m not identifying the school because, frankly, it’s not important to the story and I have no interest in embarrassing the people there.

Long Island Wal-mart

2008 Wal-Mart Worker Dies When Shoppers Break Down Doors
Black Friday took a grim turn when a New York Wal-Mart employee died after bargain hunters broke down the doors to the store, pushing him to the ground.
The 34-year-old male employee was pronounced dead an hour after shoppers breached the doors to the shopping center in Valley Stream, Long Island, about 5 a.m. Friday and knocked him down, police said.
"He was rushed by 200 people," Jimmy Overby, the man's 43-year-old co-worker, said. "They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too ... I literally had to fight people off my back."
A 28-year-old pregnant woman was also taken in for observation and three other shoppers suffered minor injuries during the incident, police said. The pregnant woman and the unborn baby were reported to be OK, said Sgt. Anthony Repalone, a Nassau County police spokesman.
Nassau County Police spokesman Lt. Michael Fleming described the scene as "utter chaos." "This crowd was out of control," he said.Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in Bentonville, Ark., closed the store in Valley Stream for several hours after the stampede. It reopened shortly after 1 p.m
2009 Fire Breaks Out Among Christmas Trees at Walmart
Police in Westbury, N.Y. say a fire has broken out among Christmas trees for sale outside a Wal-Mart on New York's Long Island during a busy holiday shopping weekend.
Nassau County Police say in a statement that the blaze was reported around 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Westbury store. There are no immediate reports of injuries.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokesman Dan Fogelman says the busy store was evacuated because of the fire in the store's garden shop.
Fogelman says it is unclear how many people were in the store at the time or how much damage was caused. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The store remains closed and will reopen on Sunday.

Woman finds long lost dad but…

When Emily Wallis tracked down the dad she had never met they had more in common than she expected… including their taste in shoes, dresses and make-up.
Instead of the “Italian Stallion” her mother Ann had described, Clive Harrison was a lipstick-wearing, bewigged transvestite who now calls himself Chloe, and has EIGHTY-TWO pairs of high- heeled shoes.
Emily, 22, says: “Chloe was squeezed into a silver dress and wearing make-up and a wig. I had no idea what to do so I said, ‘You look better than me… and I really like your shoes’.”
Emily adds: “For years I had dreamed of us all being reunited. I’d even secretly harbored a hope that Clive and Mum might get back together. But when I saw my dad I realized that certainly wasn’t going to happen!”

Men get your wife something special for Christmas

A garden center has provoked a feminist backlash from customers after suggesting men made their wives "feel special this Christmas" by buying a rotary clothesline as a present.
Hillier delivered a four page brochure promoting a range of festive gift ideas for the home and garden to 900,000 homes.
But the company, which has 14 stores, was inundated with complaints just hours later after the £44.99 clothesline was featured as a perfect gift for women.
Equal rights groups have also condemned the chain, saying the advert is like something from the 1970s and promotes the idea that a woman's place is in the home.
The "Vento lightweight aluminum rotary clothesline" is pictured in a perfectly manicured garden with the headline: "Make her feel special with a clothesline this Christmas."
Managers at the garden center said they have received about 100 complaints from customers and admitted the "joke" was ill advised.

Children Playing + Charger = FIRE

Fire that struck two Brockton triple-deckers and left 33 residents homeless was started by children jumping on a bed.
Brockton Fire Lieutenant Edward Williams said Friday that the Thursday night fire was ignited when the children bounced up and down on two mattresses that were against a wall where a cell phone charger was plugged. He said the back-and-forth motion of the mattresses abraded a transformer for a cell phone charger which caused sparks or a short circuit.
Williams said the fire flared up just after 8 p.m. Thursday, causing $150,000 in damages to one building and $50,000 to a nearby apartment building.
Two firefighters suffered puncture wounds and cuts, but neither was hospitalized.
No other injuries were reported.

How do you count your cash?