Blog Archives

Captain Kangaroo Killed!

Andrew Brannan was executed Jan. 13, 2015 in Georgia.

Would the real Captain Kangaroo please stand up? (PinIt)

Seriously, though, this isn’t the real Captain Kangaroo—otherwise known as Bob Keeshan, who passed away in 2004. It’s Andrew Howard Brannan, a 66-year-old cop killer recently executed for murdering a sheriff’s deputy in 1998.

Bob Keeshan, the real McKoy (Getty Images)

The resemblance is uncanny, don’t you think?

Pick-Me-UPS

Carson is the cutest delivery guy around! (UPS)

I am a sucker for good, heartwarming advertising—especially during the holidays. Anything that can save me from “he went to Jared” or “every kiss begins with Kay” is great in my book. Unfortunately, I am unable to embed video on my blog, but that doesn’t mean I can’t link to one.

Need something to make you smile during this stressful holiday season? Then check out this COMMERCIAL from the people at UPS. It’ll warm your heart faster than a stiff egg nog or hot toddy, I assure you.

Merry Christmas!

Jedi Babies

Two adorable toddlers dressed as Darth Vader and Princess Leia engage in a fierce lightsaber battle over a cupcake. Click through to find out who wins. <span class=meta>Oscar Rene/YouTube</span>

Using the force was never this adorable (Oscar Rene/YouTube)

With Episode VII set to open roughly a year from now, Star Wars buzz is starting to build and even toddlers and babies are getting into the spirit.

Take this VIDEO from filmmaker Oscar Rene Lozoya II entitled Star Wars Jedi Babies – Crib Wars Episode I: The Baby Menace. It features his kids as characters from a galaxy far, far away—and it could not be cuter.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Restored Faith

I know how you feel, Mr. President (Stress Management Tips)

Have you ever had one of those days when you felt like selling everything you owned, leaving your unsatisfying life behind and disappearing to start fresh somewhere else, most likely as a completely different person?

I have. And it’s happened almost daily since I quit smoking nearly two weeks ago.

Granted, I know the nicotine withdrawal my body is experiencing has something to do with it. I was a smoker for almost three decades, so I knew the physical effects would be pretty intense. And I honestly don’t miss cigarettes at all. They’re nothing more than little white and brown devils that make me feel terrible the moment I light them up, so what’s to miss?

No, the real problem is the effect non-smoking has had on my tolerance level for bullshit. I mean, I always had road rage. Only now I get so annoyed by bad drivers that I’m tempted to run them off the road every time they pull out in front of me, travel slower than the posted speed limit or focus more attention on their cell phones than the road ahead. Sure, they may receive a one-finger greeting or an expletive-filled “how-de-do,” but I still fantasize about doing something more serious in nature.

Of course, the recent mid-term elections didn’t help my outlook much, either. After years of gridlock and partisan posturing in Washington, we can now look forward to even more political bullshit in the next few years. To me, a Republican-run House and Senate mean nothing significant will be accomplished… and more people will get screwed in the process. Take Obamacare, for instance, which the GOP hopes to repeal. I know it isn’t perfect, but now we can look forward to insurance companies sticking it to people once again. And as long as big companies and corporations get paid—along with Republicans themselves—it’s all good, right?

Wrong. Politics are a joke and Washington seems like little more than a bad comedy club.

Yes, things seemed pretty grim earlier today. Fortunately, though, I read a story that lifted my spirits and restored my faith in humanity… at least for now.

SIEGEL POURNAZARIAN

Dylan and his buddy Jonah (David Siegel)

The story was about Dylan Siegel, an 8-year-old boy from Los Angeles who published a book entitled Chocolate Bar. To date, his book has sold more than 21,000 copies, which in itself is quite a feat, especially for someone so young. What touched me was the fact that Dylan hasn’t made one penny off his book sales. Instead, all of the proceeds are going towards a University of Florida fund to support research on glycogen storage disease, otherwise known as GSD.

Glycogen storage disease affects how people process sugars and, believe it or not, Dylan’s best friend Jonah suffers from the affliction. Jonah’s body cannot process sugars, so his parents have to feed him a special diet… and through a tube in his stomach, no less. To help his friend—and to hopefully find a cure for the disease—Dylan donated his book earnings to the cause and launched a fundraising campaign that has almost reached $1 million. Support has poured in from more than 60 countries around the globe and, with any luck, even more donations are forthcoming.

And Dylan could not be happier.

“I am so, so, so excited to be able to help my friend,” the young author said recently. “I am thankful to people everywhere for letting me share my story and inspire kids to change the world.”

Maybe there’s hope for the human race yet…and for non-smokers like me, as well. Thanks for the inspiration, Dylan!

Night of Terror

Those were the days! (Flickr)

Oh, how I miss the Halloween of my youth.

As a child growing up in 1970s America, Halloween was one of my favorite holidays. I remember going to the local drug store with my parents, walking down rows of boxed costumes, selecting my identity for the evening and drooling over all the candy to come with the setting sun.

Sure, there were warnings about razor blades in apples, but none of us really cared since we would never eat the apples we were given. If anything, we tossed them into bushes, threw them at each other or chucked them back at the houses from whence they came.

All we wanted was candy, and lots of it.

Back then—and once I was old enough to handle things on my own—my friends and I could trick-or-treat without our parents. We never worried about pedophiles, psycho killers and other villains intent on doing us harm. The world was a safer place, we knew our neighbors and we all looked out for one another.

You think I’m kidding, but Kim Kardashian costumes could be all the rage this year (NY Daily News)

It was a far cry from today, in other words.

Of course, this doesn’t stop me from venturing out with my son every Halloween, collecting (and checking) mounds of candy and withdrawing indoors to watch scary movies until the wee hours of the morning. It’s not the Halloween I remember, but to my seven-year-old son it’s still new and exciting. And now it’s his turn to make some memories.

So as you venture out tonight with your brood—dressed as superheroes, monsters or even reality television stars (think Kardashians)—I hope you enjoy the spookiness that Halloween has to offer while also being safe. It should be a fun time for all!

The Ultimate Sacrifice

A courageous bus driver sacrificed herself for a child (Fox 13 Now)

Earlier today, I ran across the most heartwarming—and heartbreaking—story that I feel impelled to share it with you fine people. It happened in Ohio recently and truly shows how unselfish and courageous people can be.

On Tuesday morning, students arriving by bus at Middlebury Academy were asked to perform evacuation drills. Children ranging from kindergarteners to 8th graders first exited the front of the bus, then lined back up, returned to the bus and started to evacuate through its rear exit.

For whatever reason, the bus started to roll backwards as the last student—a 10-year-old girl—was exiting. Without even blinking, 51-year-old bus driver Laura Zborowski grabbed the little girl and tossed her safely onto the nearby grass. Unfortunately, she didn’t have time to save herself—the bus rolled right over her. She was pronounced dead a few hours later.

In other words, Zborowski paid the ultimate price and sacrificed her own life for the life of a child. She is being hailed as a hero in her community because, let’s face it, she is a hero. And though I hate to hear about anyone losing their life, it warms my heart to see how selfless and brave our fellow humans can be when they put the needs of others above their own.

Maybe there is some hope for the future…

Gun Safety & Sex Toys

Dildos hurt, but guns can kill (Evolve)

Dildos hurt, but guns can kill (Evolve)

We all know how important gun safety is, especially in the age of school shootings and increasing gun violence. Fortunately, an organization known as Evolve is committed to reducing gun violence while remaining politically neutral in the discussion of gun control.

To make their point, the people at Evolve created a public safety announcement designed to get people talking about gun safety again. And they did it in a very creative fashion, believe me.

Evolve’s co-founder Rebecca Bond described it like this: “It presents [gun safety] in a way that’s humorous, it creates some levity for engaging someone in the conversation. When you start to talk about play things and how you secure those things… it’s an easier way into the conversation. You start to make people think.”

And think they will when they see the “play things” substituted for guns in this hilarious PSA. Check out how these kids’ household discoveries and subsequent “battle” bring attention to the fact that unsecured guns—or in this case dildos—can be dangerous if left unsecured.

The video is HERE and I hope it makes you think twice about leaving your guns, sex toys or any other adult items in reach of children. Safety should always come first—and this applies to dildos, too. Someone could put an eye out!

Grow a Pair

Maybe it's you who needs to grow a pair, pal (Monica Almeida/New York Times)

Maybe it’s you who needs to grow a pair, pal (Monica Almeida/New York Times)

Is it possible that Americans are making too big a deal out of bullying? If you’re Porterville, California Mayor Cameron Hamilton, then the answer seems to be “yes.”

Last week, KFSN out of Fresno reported on a Porterville City Council meeting where its leaders were discussing a proposal to create a “safe zone” for bullied students at Burton Middle School. And Hamilton wasted no time in making his controversial views known.

“I’m against bullying, but I’m getting damn tired of it being used as a mantra for everything and the ills of the world,” he said. “All most people have to do is grow a pair and stick up for their damn selves.”

Pretty enlightened view, huh?

Councilwoman Virginia Gurrola, who supported the safe zone proposal, immediately countered and said, “It is hard to stand up and ‘grow a pair’ when you’re maybe a 10-year-old little girl.” Of course, Hamilton had an answer for that, too.

“Then maybe the other 10-year-olds that think they want to stop bullying will stand up for her instead of a safe zone with a placard.”

Ultimately, Hamilton’s efforts were successful and the Burton Middle School students’ proposal was withdrawn. He later claimed that his message was that “together we can all fight this thing.” What he doesn’t seem to realize, however, is that safe zones also provide sanctuary for LGBT students, who seem to start questioning their sexuality at an earlier age now. Is this really the kind of message to send to them—that their feelings, internal struggles and mistreatment by others mean nothing?

What a piece of work…

Word to Your Mother

We all know that kids say the “darndest” things, but when Mother’s Day rolls around, they also write some of the craziest stuff, too. Their questionable spelling skills cannot eclipse their love for mommy, though, as these Mother’s Day messages clearly show. And in terms of comic relief, it doesn’t get much better than this. Enjoy!

Reality Round-Up: Loose Ends

Time to tie up some loose ends (Excess Baggage)

Time to tie up some loose ends (Excess Baggage)

Last week and over the weekend, I ran across a number of news stories worthy of mention on Gnostic Bent. Granted, I could probably drag each of these out as individual posts, but in the name of efficiency, I instead present them in whip-a-round form. Some of them are funny while others are disturbing, but one thing is certain: they are all interesting in their own way. I hope you enjoy them despite their subject matter… or perhaps even learn something along the way. I know that I did.

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON: The Lunchbox Laboratory in Seattle came under fire recently for an advertisement depicting Jesus Christ with a blunt in his hand. For those of you unfamiliar with this term, a blunt is basically a marijuana joint rolled in cigar paper—the so-called “weapon of choice” for Snoop Lion and countless others. The ad was designed to promote a two-for-one Easter special on the restaurant’s signature dish, the Burger of the Gods. Since Easter fell on April 20th this year—or 420, as it is known and celebrated by potheads all over the world—the restaurant added the blunt and has gotten all sorts of publicity as a result. Of course, Easter falls on April 5th next year, so the odds of Jesus reappearing with a blunt are relatively slim… unless these dates converge again!

Jesus as a pot smoker? (Lunchbox Laboratory)

Jesus as a pot smoker? (Lunchbox Laboratory)

HOMOSASSA, FLORIDA: Last Thursday, deputies in Citrus County, Florida arrested 24-year-old Cody Eugene Wygant after receiving a report that his 16-month-old son Daymeon had stopped breathing. Wygant was charged with third-degree murder and child neglect since his son was pronounced dead at Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center a short time later. And during his confession, Wygant explained exactly why he killed his young son: so he could concentrate on playing video games! Apparently, Daymeon was crying uncontrollably while Wygant was playing his Xbox, so he covered the boy’s nose and mouth for 3-4 minutes, put him in his playpen and covered him with blankets and other bedding to ensure he would never breathe fresh air again. When deputies found the child, he was blue and unresponsive—Wygant spent five hours playing games and watching reruns of the Fox television show “Fringe” before finally contacting the authorities. If nothing else, this reminds me of something I heard a long time ago: anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad. Obviously, Wygant belongs in this first group—not to mention jail!

OAK CREEK, WISCONSIN: Another guy who reached his breaking point and responded violently was 77-year-old Jack Lang of Oak Creek. The same day that Cody Eugene Wygant murdered his infant son, Lang used a .22-caliber pistol to kill his blind wife of 56 years, June Lang. As I understand it, she had been nagging him incessantly for weeks and “wouldn’t shut up,” so he approached her in the bedroom and told her he had a gun. Unfortunately, this had no effect and she continued to complain, so he shot her in the face and killed her. Police found her lifeless body near the bed and arrested Lang, who has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide and could face life in prison if convicted. Of course, he is 77 years old, so life may only be a few more years. At any rate, I hope this convinces spouses to stop nagging each other so much. Even decades of marriage may not be enough to save them otherwise.

Nag Jack Lang and you could pay the ultimate price (Fox News-11)

Nag Jack Lang and you could pay the ultimate price (Fox News-11)

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON: Back to Seattle we go for 20-year-old Gabriel Galan Navarro, a young man charged with first-degree murder on Wednesday for killing his 20-year-old “live-in” girlfriend, Allison Leedy. According to the latest reports, Leedy was planning to end their three-year relationship and to attend college in California—and Navarro was “determined to prevent Allison and her family from realizing her dreams.” So Wednesday morning, he strangled Leedy to death and then sent a text to her family that read “She’s dead. I have the last laugh.” Navarro then phoned the police to confess—even lying and saying he had a booby trap of exploding gas in his apartment (which he didn’t)—and surrendered after officers broke windows to release the alleged gas. Now he sits in jail under $2 million bail, alive and well while the Leedy family mourns their tragic loss. I don’t know if Washington has the death penalty or not, but “an eye for an eye” seems perfectly suited to this case, at least in my opinion.

Sievers turns poop into cash! (CBS-2 Iowa)

Sievers turns poop into cash! (CBS-2 Iowa)

STOCKTON, IOWA: In order to end on a more positive note, we now travel to Scott County, Iowa and the farm of Bryan Sievers, a sixth-generation farmer who deals primarily with cattle. Beginning in September 2013—and after investing $7 million in the necessary technology—Sievers started converting cow manure into clean power for Alliant Energy. Basically, the poop from each cow falls through a slot in the floor, gets transferred to something called a digester, and then emits methane gas as it travels through a series of tanks and pipes. Each cow eats roughly 40 pounds of feed daily and, collectively, the cows produce enough methane to power 1,000 homes. Sievers uses the energy to power his farm and sells the rest back to the grid—a service that nets him roughly $24,000 a month from the energy company. Not bad for someone who shovels cow shit all day, huh?

This concludes today’s edition of the Reality Round-Up, but I’m sure it won’t be long until the next edition drops. After all, the news never stops, so why should I?

Thanks for reading and, as always, be good to each other…

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