I found this hilarious article in The Pensacola News Journal
Bizarre news much the norm in Florida
BRENDAN FARRINGTON • ASSOCIATED PRESS • DECEMBER 30, 2009
TALLAHASSEE — You know you’re living in a weird state when the governor promotes a pay-per-minute sex chat line.
Or when a congressman asks the House speaker to move a day’s worth of votes so he can watch a college football game.
Or when employees at not just one, not two, but three state prisons use stun guns on their kids as part of “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.”
That’s Florida, once again making people snicker at its dumb criminals, strange animals and all-around oddness.
Gov. Charlie Crist was embarrassed when an on-hold recording he made transposed two numbers for an uninsured child helpline and callers instead were led to “horny” girls willing to talk about anything for just $2.99 a minute.
It wasn’t the only odd moment in politics. Rep. Cliff Stearns asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi to basically shut down Congress early so he and some of the Florida and Oklahoma House guys could go watch their teams in the national championship game. She said no.
Candidates for local offices were also embarrassed in 2009. A Miami Beach mayoral candidate was disqualified from the race after his qualifying check bounced, and a minister running for Belle Glade City Commission was charged with swinging a bat at a woman outside a polling place. He lost the election.
Two 8-year-old Alachua County boys made better use of their baseball bats — they successfully fought off a man armed with a gun who was threatening to kill the mother of one of the boys.
Booze A Factor
Alcohol seems to lead to a lot of Florida’s oddest stories.
Tampa police arrested a man who let his 12-year-old son drive his SUV so he could drink in the passenger seat.
A Marion County man was charged with driving under the influence after crashing a stolen riding lawnmower into a school bus.
A 22-year-old South Florida man climbed aboard a locomotive with a friend and took it seven miles down the tracks for a joy ride. They came up with the idea while heading to a local bar.
A Clearwater man was charged with drunken driving after police pulled him over for driving a car with only three tires.
Pasco County deputies arrested two men they said were fighting over $3 in gas money on the way home from a strip club. The weapons involved: a fish tank and a beer bottle.
In other random stories:
• A Lakeland eighth-grader was suspended from riding the school bus after farting to make other students laugh and badly stinking up the bus.
• A Melbourne-area woman changed diapers for a man who was faking disabilities. The man, whom she met through Craigslist, paid her $600 a week for the services. It took her three months to figure out he wasn’t disabled.
• The University of Florida’s disaster recovery plan included a section on dealing with zombies.
• DeLand authorities said a man strangled a pet rat after accusing his wife of taking his last cigarette and a Jensen Beach man was arrested after drenching his wife with a hose for smoking in the house.
• A woman sitting on a toilet in a Tampa restroom dropped her gun, which discharged and shot a woman sitting in another stall.
• Bank of America in Tampa refused to cash a check for a man born without arms because he couldn’t provide a thumbprint.
And finally, some readers might recall that a costumed Tigger was acquitted of charges he groped women at Disney World a few years ago. This year a 60-year-old man was convicted of groping Minnie Mouse at the same theme park.
Ahh, Florida, a whole new way of thinking . . . LLOOLLL!
I am dying laughing, what a way to end an old year and start a new one. I hope your celebrations are full of laughter and you keep your sense of humor through the coming New Year.
If all those lives had not been at risk, this would almost be pathetic.
Doha International Book Fair opens
Web posted at: 12/31/2009 1:50:32
Source ::: The Peninsula / By Nasser al Harthy
The Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, H E Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari, opening the 20th Doha International Book Fair yesterday.
DOHA: The 20th Doha International Book Fair with France as the Guest of Honour was opened yesterday by the Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, H E Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari.
Some 420 publishers from 24 countries are taking part in the exhibition, which the minister said, was much larger than previous editions of the fair.
“Book fairs in Qatar are always special and these are occasions we take care of every year,” Al Kuwari told reporters during the the opening.
“We wish that every event becomes better than what it was the year before. We have the participation of more publishers — either Arabic or foreign — and for the first time France is taking part in a big way.”
The minister also expressed his appreciation for the participation of publishers from all Arab countries and invited participants and visitors to take part in events on the sideline of the fair, especially seminars related to French and Arab cultures.
Al Kuwari added that he will address a news conference on Monday to talk about events which are going to be organised as part of ‘Doha, the Capital of Arab Culture 2010’ events.
France has brought in eight publishing houses in a massive 240 square meters pavilion, just near the entrance of the exhibition centre.
Actes Sud, a major French publishing house which has the copyright and translates the works of Arab authors into French is one of major participants at the book fair.
Some of prominent French publishers like Albin Michel, La Martiniere, Editions du Louvre, Connaissance des Arts and Dargaud are featuring over 2,000 French comics, magazines, novels and classic authors’ books.