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Merry Xmas from Gnostic Bent!

Star Wars Xmas - Lucasfilm

Happy holidays from a galaxy near you! (Lucasfilm)

Tis the Season

Keep your candy cane and jingle balls to yourself! (funnytreat.com)

Keep your candy cane and jingle balls to yourself! (funnytreat.com)

Christmas is a magical season.

Aside from all the wonderful gifts people give and receive, the yuletide time of year generally means reflecting on the year that passed, spending time with loved ones and enjoying the cheerful nature of the holidays.

Unfortunately, it is also a season of shock and weirdness, as the following stories so clearly illustrate.

BAREFOOT BAY, FLORIDA

Police in Brevard County received a call that two suspicious men were milling around behind homes in a local community. The alleged burglars were wily enough to avoid arrest, but not for long. One of the men was eventually caught by the authorities. The other—22-year-old Matthew Riggins—wasn’t so lucky, though. He decided to hide in a nearby pond and wasn’t “done in” by the cops; he was killed by a ferocious, 11-foot-long alligator! I guess Mother Nature decided to dole out justice on this occasion, huh?

Probably best to take those inside (freestockphotos.biz)

HENRICO, VIRGINIA

Have you ever been working or playing outdoors, only to dirty your shoes so much you had to leave them outside your door to air out? I’m sure most of us have at one time or another, but doing this in Henrico County could be especially hazardous. A math teacher from Varina High School was just arrested not for stealing shoes, per se, but for doing something slightly more disturbing: stealing shoes and then returning them with bodily fluids inside! Authorities would not elaborate on what fluids were present, but they did say the material was not fecal and instead contained “biological evidence,” so it’s pretty obvious that baby batter was the culprit. And nothing says happy holidays like semen-filled sneakers!

CORNWALL, ENGLAND

Some people love sports, some love television, some love cars and some even love recreational vehicles—literally! One such person is an unidentified man from the United Kingdom who was just busted for doing something unexpected: trying to make love to a camper van. Apparently, the man was seen one night on a well-lit street lowering himself onto the metal tow ball of a nearby camper. He was spotted by a 15-year-old girl—who was thoroughly traumatized by the experience—but thankfully received only a warning. RV rape simply isn’t a punishable offense across the pond… not yet, at least.

Not everyone can appreciate an undead baby Jesus (Jasen Dixon)

SYCAMORE TOWNSHIP, OHIO

A man and his family are under fire in Ohio for displaying a rather unusual nativity scene. All the major players are there—baby Jesus, wise men, animals and such—but with one major difference: they’re all zombies! Of course, it didn’t take long for neighbors to complain and for one to leave a note that read “God frowns upon this manger scene.” I guess they forgot that theoretically, Jesus was the first zombie. He did rise from the dead, after all.

This concludes my first official Christmas post, but with several weeks left before the big holiday, I’m sure it won’t be my last. Ho, ho, ho!

Good Cop, Better Cop

Cops can help Santa spread joy at Christmas (Thomas Nedzbala/Law Enforcement Today)

Given the recent killings of unarmed African-Americans by police—as well as the lack of indictments in these cases—it should come as no surprise that law enforcement officers are not very popular right now. Of course, we should all remember that for every bad cop, there is a good cop doing his job correctly and for the right reasons.

Don’t believe me? Then consider these stories of cops doing right by the people they serve—and spreading some Christmas joy in the meantime.

Last Saturday, officers in Boynton Beach, Florida responded to an emergency hang-up that turned out to be little girl playing with the phone in her home. While they were speaking with the girl’s mother, they learned she was a single parent who was struggling so much that she couldn’t even afford a Christmas tree. So what did they do?

They went out the next day, bought a tree with all the trimmings and delivered it to the family for Christmas. And after the little girl’s reaction “melted their hearts,” they decided to take things one step further: they plan to return with gifts, too!

Now if that doesn’t show the true meaning of Christmas, I don’t know what will… except maybe this next story!

For the past three years—as part of their Cops for Kids program—Pantego police officers in Texas have allowed drivers to get out of traffic citations not with cash, but with gift donations for Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth. Here’s what drivers receive instead of a ticket:

Much better than a ticket, don't you think? (Pantego Police Department)

Much better than a ticket, don’t you think? (Pantego Police Department)

How’s that for Christmas spirit?

Both of these stories should have warmed your heart, but I saved the best for last. Here’s a story that would even bring a smile to Scrooge’s face.

For several days in November, the police department in Lowell, Michigan did something completely unexpected. After pulling drivers over for minor infractions, officers made small talk with people and asked what they or their children wanted for Christmas. Little did they know that while they were speaking, a group of Santa’s helpers were standing by at a local store to purchase gifts for them, which were then delivered car-side by the very officers who pulled them!

Check out the video for yourself by going HERE. I promise it will make your day.

Yes, there are cops who break the law, abuse their power and harm—or even kill—people. However, we all need to understand that police officers are human, too. And for every bad cop, there are tens, hundreds or even thousands of officers who genuinely serve and protect us the right way—like the officers in these stories.

This Christmas, I hope we will remember them as much as we do those we lost to bad cops this year. After all, a few bad apples shouldn’t spoil the bunch, especially during the holidays!

Jingle All the Way

They shake like two bowls full of jelly! (Sara X/YouTube)

They shake like two bowls full of jelly! (Sara X/YouTube)

In need of a little more Christmas cheer?

If so, then look no further than this VIDEO posted by none other than Sara X, the infamous boob-twerking model whose implants danced to Mozart in October—and raised awareness and money for breast cancer research in the process.

This Christmas, her boobs are twerking to that holiday favorite “Jingle Bells.” And their performance will warm your heart… and maybe a few other places depending on your sexual orientation.

I hope it brings you as much joy and wonder as I would experience if Sara X were sitting across from me with her hands behind her back!

Ho ho ho!

Crazy Christmas Cards

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!

Santa’s Lap

Christmas is coming and all around the country, children—and even some adults—are visiting with Santa’s helpers, sitting on their laps and sharing what they hope to receive during this festive holiday. Of course, this experience isn’t always as positive as it could be, which should be evident from the following photos. Here are a few pictures of Santa’s lap and the fear… I mean joy… that sitting on it can bring.

Ho, ho, ho!

Holiday Gift Ideas

stretch marks

Barbie with stretch marks is keeping it real! (Nickolay Lamm/Lammily)

One week from today is the dreaded Black Friday, the official first day of the Christmas shopping season. Stores around the country will open early and entice customers with all sorts of sales and “door buster” specials. And despite consumer spending being in a slump, you better believe people will be fighting tooth-and-nail to find the perfect gifts for friends and loved ones.

Personally, I try not to leave the house on Black Friday. Crowds and traffic really bother me and I tend to have a short fuse for rude people and bad drivers. It’s probably best I become a recluse and do the majority of my shopping online.

Of course, I also run across great gift ideas as I cruise through cyberspace, so why not share them with you good people? Here are some “hot sellers” for 2014, all of which should make quite an impression on their recipients:

  • Artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm has designed Lammily dolls, which some people have described as Normal Barbies. Basically, these are dolls that more realistically portray average American women—namely an average 19-year-old woman. You can even purchase an add-on pack of stickers that allow children to give their dolls stretch marks, tattoos, cellulite, acne, scars and more!
  • Kristof Retezar, a student at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, has designed something known as Fontus. Named after the Roman god of springs and wells, Fontus is a device that attaches to the back of a bicycle, condenses moisture from the air and wind, and uses it to fill a water bottle hidden behind the seat. Granted, it hasn’t been perfected or manufactured yet, but it might be a good gift for the athlete in your family sometime in the next few years. And it never hurts to start shopping early, does it?
  • At the November 19th DEMO conference, two science guys—Austin Heinz and Gilad Gome—previewed the Sweet Peach, a probiotic for women that can help prevent UTIs and yeast infections. Of course, it has another effect that some may find even more appealing: it makes a woman’s vagina smell like peaches! If you know anyone interested in a hoo-ha that smells of fresh fruit, then this is the gift for you!

Now your lady can smell like Princess Peach, too! (Nintendo/Fanpop)

Sadly, I am unable to link to pages where these gifts can be purchased. My blog would get shut down for sure if I did that. However, these gift ideas should make one thing abundantly clear about Christmas 2014: there is indeed something for everyone!

Getting A-head

The contents of this box from the film "Seven" are unforgettable (New Line Cinema)

The contents of this box from the film “Seven” are unforgettable (New Line Cinema)

In a moment, this title may seem rather inappropriate, but humor is a great way of dealing with something as gruesome and disturbing as this next story. Believe me.

On Thursday, 18-year-old Alexis Valdez of Chicago was ordered to be held without bail following the killing of his aunt’s boyfriend, 41-year-old Silvestre Diaz-Hernandez. He has been charged with first-degree murder.

The murder occurred on Christmas morning in the basement apartment Valdez had been renting from his aunt in the 2500 block of North Kildare Avenue. Valdez had been living there and helping with the bills, but eventually stopped working. This obviously resulted in tension and some heated arguments about expenses, and when Valdez seemed disinterested in “pulling his weight,” he was asked to move out.

Sadly, the young freeloader took a different approach, one that ended in a violent and horrifying way.

On Christmas morning, Valdez covered all the windows of his basement apartment and turned his music up really loud. I’m not quite sure where Diaz-Hernandez was initially, but he ended up in the basement, his skull bashed in with a hammer that Valdez used to kill him. Of course, the sick bastard didn’t stop there.

The very disturbed Alexis Valdez (Chicago Police Department)

The very disturbed Alexis Valdez (Chicago Police Department)

He also cut off his victim’s head, lopped off his ears and nose, gouged out his eyes, chopped off his left arm and mutilated the body. Valdez then took the severed head of her boyfriend and left it on his aunt’s bed—he later claimed that he wanted to “leave his aunt a present.”

Valdez then called 911 to report the dead body and when the operator asked if he had tried CPR, the young man chuckled and told her the body had no head. When the police arrived a short time later, they found Valdez covered in blood and very forthcoming about his crime. He soon issued a statement that one prosecutor described as “chilling.”

“If his aunt had come home and seen the victim’s body, then he would have killed her as well,” Assistant State’s Attorney Kingsley Sawyer told reporters.

I suppose Valdez’s aunt should consider herself lucky, but I can’t get over the fact that she’ll be forced to relive this terrible tragedy every Christmas for the foreseeable future. No matter how you slice it—no pun intended—I guess Valdez got what he wanted: a gift his aunt would never forget.

What a sick bastard…

When Animals Attack!

This Everglades tour guide met a python face-to-face (Paul Tarantino/Facebook)

This Everglades tour guide met a python face-to-face (Paul Tarantino/Facebook)

Humans have been stepping on animals’ toes for centuries, in a manner of speaking. We have invaded their natural habitats, harvested them for food and materials, imprisoned them in zoos and circuses for our entertainment and basically treated them like crap.

So is it really all that surprising when some animals retaliate against human interlopers?

The recent news saw at least two stories of animals striking back in violent and unpredictable ways. The first happened in Bali, Indonesia, where a security guard for a luxury hotel was killed by a python.

According to a second security guard—who witnessed the attack at the Bali Hyatt—the men were trying to capture the snake when it suddenly turned on one of them, suffocated him and escaped moments later. The dead man’s body was transported to the RSUP Sanglah Denpasar Hospital and his family has been notified, but the python remains at large and should be considered very dangerous.

In other words, you readers in Bali please watch your backs. You never know what might be slithering up behind you!

No one wants to meet these toothy fish! (wallpaperez)

No one wants to meet these toothy fish! (wallpaperez)

The second story of animals attacking humans is also the most shocking, at least to someone with extended family in the area (like me). It happened near the city of Rosario on the Parana River in Argentina. And what’s more, it happened on Christmas Day.

While those of us in the Northern Hemisphere are freezing our butts off in the winter, people in the Southern Hemisphere are enjoying the hot, sweaty days of summer. And in Argentina, swimming is very popular this time of year. People flock to the beaches and also swim in rivers, like the Parana River.

Unfortunately, the name Parana took on a more literal meaning when swimmers were attacked by carnivorous fish. They were not piranha, per se, but they were close relatives. The good news is that no one was killed, but at least 70 people were injured. One 7-year-old girl even lost one of her pinky fingers to the scaly scavengers.

It was not a pretty sight, and certainly not one you would expect to see while on vacation.

There is no way of predicting where or when the next animal attack will occur, but rest assured that it will happen. And pray—if you’re the praying sort—that it doesn’t happen to you.

Respect the animals. It’s all you can do.

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