News from The Onion

Ohmygawd, check this out:

U.S. Flag Recalled After Causing 143 Million Deaths

WASHINGTON—Citing a series of fatal malfunctions dating back to 1777, flag manufacturer Annin & Company announced Monday that it would be recalling all makes and models of its popular American flag from both foreign and domestic markets.

(…)

Despite fears about the flag’s safety—especially when improperly used or manipulated in ways not originally intended—sales continued unabated over the years, potentially putting billions of unsuspecting people in danger.

“At first, we wanted one of our flags in every home in America,” Burman said. “Unfortunately, the practical applications of this product are far outnumbered by the risks it presents. Millions have died needlessly, and when you ask people why, they point to the flag.”

(…)

Studies conducted by the Annin & Company research and development department revealed that faulty U.S. flags have caused more than just injuries and deaths. During the mid-1950s, the flags were found to have the bizarre side effect of causing fear, paranoia, and hysterical behavior among millions of Americans. This was dismissed as an isolated event until September 2001, when similar symptoms reemerged on a massive scale.

As hazardous as the flags may be on their own, Annin & Company officials claimed the products become even more dangerous when used in conjunction with other common household items.

“When combined with alcohol, excessive patriotism, grief, or well-intentioned but ultimately misguided ideals, U.S. flags transform into ticking time bombs, just waiting to go off,” Burman said.

(source)

By the way, it’s a joke. Mostly. Kinda.

Amazon Ranking Part 3

Got some more info via linkages:

The Guardian (UK): Amazon’s de-ranking is not just a glitch

AfterEllen.comAmazon’s “Glitch” Myth Debunked

Google News search results for “Amazon Glitch”

Google News search results for “Amazon Rank”

The page for Butch Girls Can Fix Anything now has the book listed in the category of “Books” but nothing else. Whoo Hoo. I feel better now.

Amazon Ranking Cont.

Now that the heat of the ranking crash has died down slightly, it’s time to look through the rubble for truth.

Here’s some genuine journalists giving their reports:

– NPR’s All Things Considered:

LA Times Jacket Copy:

– LA Times Technology column: Amazon begins to re-rank affected ‘adult’ books; theories swirl

The Guardian (UK): ‘Gay writing’ falls foul of Amazon sales ranking system

Then there are bloggers/forumites everywhere making comments (including myself). But here are some noteworthy ones with good opinions and/or factual information:

Dear Author blogger Jane: Amazon Using Category MetaData to Filter Rankings

Lesbian Fiction Forum (where I hang out) – Amazon De-ranks “Adult” Books (this thread is highly emotional for valid reasons. Be warned there are some tough language, hard opinions, and soap box standing.)

There was, for a few hours, some twit saying he was the one that did this as a hacker. His code has been looked at (he actually said exactly what he allegedly did) and has been deemed faulty. In other words, “weev” didn’t do it. And if “weev” actually did, he was stupider than stupid for admitting it. His original post has disappeared. I think he said he did it as a joke that got blown completely out of proportion.

If anyone knows of any other news article, blogger post, forum thread, whatever, let me know.

Bigfoot Update

From MyWay News:

Researcher says bigfoot just a rubber gorilla suit
Aug 19, 8:01 PM (ET)
By JUANITA COUSINS

ATLANTA (AP) – Turns out Bigfoot was just a rubber suit. Two researchers on a quest to prove the existence of Bigfoot say that the carcass encased in a block of ice – handed over to them for an undisclosed sum by two men who claimed to have found it – was slowly thawed out, and discovered to be a rubber gorilla outfit.

The revelation comes just days after a much ballyhooed news conference was held in California to proclaim that the remains of the creature found in the North Georgia mountains was the legendary man-ape.

Steve Kulls, executive director of squatchdetective.com and host of Squatchdetective Radio, says in a posting on a Web site run by Bigfoot researcher Tom Biscardi that as the “evidence” was thawed, the claim began to unravel as a giant hoax.

First, the hair sample was burned and “melted into a ball uncharacteristic of hair,” Kulls said in the posting.

The thawing process was sped up and the exposed head was found to be “unusually hollow in one small section.” An hour of thawing later and the feet were exposed – and they were found to be made of rubber.

Snort. Of course it was a hoax.

The end of the article is the best, in my opinion:

On Tuesday, Clayton County Police Chief Jeff Turner said he has not spoken to Whitton but processed paperwork to fire him.

“Once he perpetrated a fraud, that goes into his credibility and integrity,” Turner said. “He has violated the duty of a police officer.”

source