Tour de France racers get teargassed: Is bike racing cool?

The Tour de France stands as an example that the rest of the world is really into sports the U.S. only cares about if an American team happens to be really good at it. But it’s going on right now, even though we just had the World Cup. And maybe a big bicycle race is worth watching after all, because some bikers accidentally got teargassed.

Turns out some French farmers are really mad at the French government about some French laws, and they chose to protest at the Tour de France. Given our limited knowledge of the geography of France, if there are farmers, it’s either where they grow grapes or where Belle from Beauty and the Beast is from.

The farmers put up hay bales to block the Tour de France for their protest, and the police cleared them out by using teargas. Unfortunately the gas hadn’t cleared when the riders got there, and it got in their eyes.

After a 15 minute break, and some eye rinsing, the race was back on.

Police called after man argues with A-hole parrot

Parrots can’t speak German primarily because of the umlauts.

Never have a pet that can argue with you. That should be your top consideration when thinking about owning an animal.

In Germany, police were called to an apartment after a neighbor reported a loud argument that had been going on for some time. They found a man arguing with a parrot. The 22-year-old man told police that he was annoyed with the bird, which his girlfriend owns, and began yelling at it. The bird apparently can bark like a dog, but not speak.

A few observations about this:

  • Of course the girlfriend owns something as annoying as a parrot, much less a parrot that barks like a dog.
  • Clearly, alcohol was involved in this.
  • Imagine explaining to your girlfriend when she comes home that police questioned you for arguing with her pet.
  • This sounds like a healthy relationship.

There is no reason for civilians to own bassoons

If you think you can just walk around in public carrying a bassoon in Ohio, think again. The law is going to come knocking.

Ohio has tough anti-woodwind laws in place that are being challenged in court, but for now they are still on the books. Recently, a New England Conservatory student home on break decided to play his bassoon outdoors. He sat on the trunk of his car and began playing scales. A few minutes later, the cops showed up. Someone reported a man with a long rifle sitting on his car.

Luckily, the police didn’t overreact. They slowly made their way over to the student until he was disarmed. We can only hope that he’s rotting in jail.

Farting, fighting over farting not against law in Austria

We’ve all had days where the gas coming out of our butts could make a flower wilt. But we probably haven’t experienced such a thing on a plane, much less had that plane forced to land because of the flatulence.

A flight from Dubai to Amsterdam had to be diverted last week after passengers became unruly over one man’s farts. According to reports, a passenger’s continued farting caused trouble, understandably, with two other passengers on the plane. It got so bad that a fight broke out, even after the pilot had warned the unruly passengers. The plane made an unscheduled stop in Vienna to remove the people causing the disturbance. Austrian police set no charges were filed.

Hopefully they left the doors open to ventilate the cabin before continuing on to their destination.

Stuffed toy tiger in standoff with police

Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe, that includes keeping us safe from animals real and fake.

In Scotland, police responded to reports of a tiger in a cow barn. The property owner took a break from a party he was hosting to check on his cows at night and was shocked to see a tiger stretched out on the floor of the barn, looking quite comfortable. Authorities treated the situation quite seriously, as Scottish countryside is lousy with tigers.

A photograph of the beast was sent to police headquarters and confirmed as legit. Police officers on the scene stayed back from the barn and tried negotiating with the tiger, which refused to come out. After 45 minutes some brave officers got close enough to find that it was just a stuffed toy tiger.

No one knows how the stuffed tiger got into the barn, but it seems obvious that the animals are just testing our response times.

Donkey takes goats, sheep on the lamb in L.A.

Los Angeles has had a rough go of it lately. It’s had a drought, wild fires, mudslides and NCIS: Los Angeles. But things somehow got even worse for Angelenos when a pack of animals ran loose on the streets.

Authorities say a donkey led a herd of goats and sheep through the streets of an L.A. suburb late last week. The beasts refused to comply with lawful orders of police officers to go home. They even managed to evade the cops attempting to arrest them. Considering how friendly L.A. cops can be when arresting you, this shows quite a bit of defiance.

Eventually, police tracked down the owner of the animals, which it was found had escaped through an open gate. The owner helped herd the animals, which for some reason were not charged with a single crime.

The McBournie Minute: Why Boston is a twofold shrine on March 17

If you were out celebrating St. Patrick’s Day over the weekend, I’ll do my best to write as quietly as possible. I’d even recommend that you turn down the brightness on your screen. You went out and celebrated the approximate date of birth of a Scot who spread Catholicism to the Irish. Any saint would want you to celebrate them by committing a mortal sin by hoisting a glass or eight.

The other big way to celebrate is by dressing somewhat Irish. I dress in relation to occasion for every holiday. At Christmas, I wear a Santa Claus hat, at Valentine’s Day, I wear nothing but a diaper and shoot pink-tipped arrows at passers-by, and on Arbor Day I stand motionless outside from a long time.

But there are other ways to go about celebrating St. Paddy’s Day. For the Boston Police, it’s all about breaking out the paddy wagon (which has to be deemed a racist term by now). Continue reading The McBournie Minute: Why Boston is a twofold shrine on March 17

You Missed It: Backfire edition

"I've asked Batman here to personally train all of the volunteers."
“I’ve asked Batman here to personally train the volunteers.”

So, when’s the next Doomsday estimate? Does anyone know? For a couple years now, it’s been one after another. We had the crazy guy with the church (which could be said for pretty much any End of Days prediction, really), saying the world was going to end two different times. Today, we proved the Mayans wrong. At some point, waiting for the world to end turns into wanting the world to end. If you were raptured this week, odds are you missed it.

A cop on every corner
Exactly one week after 26 people, including 20 elementary-school students, were murdered at the hands of a crazed shooter with legally-acquired assault weapons, the NRA broke its silence. The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre blamed the media, video games, movies, music videos, natural disasters, the Obama administration and more as the cause of the shooting. But not guns. The group called for an armed police officer to be assigned to every school in the U.S., and if funding can’t be found, have armed volunteers patrol instead. Because the only thing that can keep an armed stranger from roaming the halls of our schools is an armed stranger roaming the halls of our schools.

The long, strange lives of Olympians
Olympians may live longer than the average human because they lead active lifestyles, according to a study released this week. In unrelated news, The Smoking Gun found that former Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton has been making money lately as an escort in Las Vegas, charging $600 an hour. Favor Hamilton said she looks forward to outliving her coworkers.

Person of the Year: The Year
TIME named President Barack Obama its person of the year, the second time he has won the honor. Obama beat out the Higgs Boson. After naming “the protester” the person of 2011, I’m just glad that the venerable magazine remembered to give the award to a specific person, rather than a group of persons, or you know, a theoretical particle.

Every dog has his day … in the U.S. Supreme Court

When you face a foe as great in numbers as animals, humans want to believe that we aren’t alone in this fight. We’ve long put dogs on a pedestal, claiming them as man’s best friend. But, let’s not forget that only 10,000 years ago, they were wolves.

We’ve depended on dogs in police work, especially for enforcing our nation’s drug laws, which have now incarcerated a larger portion of our population than that of any other country, even the freedom-hating ones like North Korea and China. Could this have been dogs’ plan from the beginning, to arrest as many fighting Americans as possible so we would be powerless to stop their inevitable attack?

The U.S. Supreme Court is about to decide whether police dogs are planting evidence. Or, at least whether using their sense of smell alone is strong enough evidence for a search. Either way, it looks like some species is about to get their face rubbed in the Constitution of the United States.