Weird News: Shark theft

by Rhode

Here’s the original.

Thieves snatch shark from San Antonio Aquarium, wheel it out in a baby carriage

Yes – the video is real. Thieves snatched a shark from an aquarium using a baby carriage. It’s like a Bugs Bunny cartoon come to life.

But the culprits did not get away.

Suspected shark thief in San Antonio Aquarium heist charged with felony robbery

Felony. Imagine the conversations in jail… “I’m in for stealing a shark.”

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70 thoughts on “Weird News: Shark theft

  1. Has anyone claimed the billion dollar Mega Millions prize in SC? The Google says no as far as I can tell.

  2. My favorite this far is the grease vent story. Yuck!

    Rhett, you’re the only Thurn & Taxis follower I know, so naturally I thought of you when I saw this story about Steve Bannon meeting one of them. She is a friend of Hillary’s, so she’s not financially supporting him or offering her palace for his gladiator school, but apparently says his desire to build one near the Vatican is “brave”.
    https://www.pnp.de/mobile/?cid=3168578

  3. Rhett, the intro to this says that they have residences around the world, it when they get down to listing them, there are only six. Or eight, I’m not sure. At any rate, the name of that ancestor who established the postal service sure looks Italien to me.
    “Dank ihrer Dynamik und ihres Elans wurde der Bankrott abgewendet. Und so konnten vermutlich auch die sechs Schlösser in den USA, Italien und Afrika und natürlich Deutschland (Schloss Emmeram ist mit mehr als 500 Zimmern größer als der Buckingham-Palast) gehalten werden. Heute hat Gloria darüber hinaus noch Wohnungen in New York und Rom.”
    Btw, reading this, I got a big ole DHL ad. Wonder if it was the family name that brought that.
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.focus.de/kultur/kino_tv/medien-deutsche-dynastien_aid_1154425.html

  4. https://www.npr.org/sections/strange-news/. I read this one in a while and it is more fun to read than the usual boring stuff about DC.

    I’ve noticed that some posters write “The Google”. Why? Is this a joke, or do you hear people using this term? In my daily life, I only hear lets check Google. Or Google said…

  5. Several layers of weird here. NPR ran a story about beaver dam flooding and freezing on a main road. According to state law the beavers cant be relocated so they had to be killed. Second layer of weird in the spring when the beavers return the town will have to install a Beaver Deceiver.

    http://www.beaverdeceivers.com/

  6. I say “the google” and “the interweb” ironically. I don’t think I say “the web” at all.

    Meme, your beaver dam story reminds me of a storm that built a nest on a tower crane in Berlin one weekend while I lived there in the 90s. Conservation laws made it illegal to harm or disturb the birds in any way, so construction halted until the fledglings left the nest.

  7. Rhett – have you been following the Big Fat Indian Weddings. Hilary Clinton was a guest at one.
    I thought you would be interested ;-).

  8. Louise,

    You know my theory that 99% of life is just showing up. If you get invited to a $100 million Indian wedding, you should go. It must have been something to see.

  9. And for the groom I offer up Ron White’s line, “If you have the chance to marry a rich girl, do it!”

  10. I think “the Google” started when someone asked then president W if he used the internet, and he said “I use the Google.”

  11. Yes “The Google” as a joke. I didn’t remember/know that about W. But my uncle always says it totally unironically. So it’s a family joke too. It seems to be kind of universal though.

  12. DD, I did not know that historical (!) context. Thanks.
    And thanks Louise for the context for the line in Harry Shearer’s skit on Le Show this week about the Clintons and Hillary having just gotten back from India.
    Such an edjumacational site, this is!

  13. “Has anyone claimed the billion dollar Mega Millions prize in SC? The Google says no as far as I can tell.”
    The local rumor is it was a young man who works the night shift at ZF Transmissions in Gray Court SC. A young co-worker’s ex-husband meets that description and she was hoping he would finally be forced to pay his child support. Since all has been quiet since those first few days I doubt the rumor is true. No way that would be kept quiet in the trailer park in Gray Court.

  14. I love KFC but I’d hate to have that smell wafting from my fireplace throughout the house!

    Fishy fraud and pie crusts:

    They have probably fooled me once or twice.

    Fishy situation: Seafood fraud and mislabeling found at NY supermarkets
    https://www.lohud.com/story/news/politics/politics-on-the-hudson/2018/12/14/fishy-situation-seafood-fraud-and-mislabeling-ny-supermarkets/2310906002/

    I picked up Mrs. Smith’s as I usually do for our Christmas chocolate pecan pies that my D bakes.

    We Tried 9 Prepared Pie Doughs—And This Was Our Favorite
    https://www.southernliving.com/desserts/pies/best-store-bought-pie-filling

    (I always search to see if articles like this are sponsored, but I found nothing that indicates this one is. However, I’m not sure if there’s some hidden clue I’m missing.)

  15. I used to complain that DD’s teachers would often show movies during the week prior to a holiday break. It seemed like a waste of time, but I miss those days because she has to spend this entire weekend doing school work. Two cumulative exams are scheduled for Thursday, two quizzes on Tuesday and a term paper in Art! I dislike her art teacher because she assigns a term paper each quarter. The topics are actually interesting, but the kids don’t have the life experience yet to write the papers. She also has OCD and tells them exactly how long the paper can be, font, margins, line spacing, indent the paragraph etc.

    Also, I didn’t realize how quickly DD would be sucked into the college machine. She suddenly seems to know a lot HS seniors because they’re older sibs, lead the clubs in HS, camp counselors etc. Many of her friends posted decision results last week. One friend posted a video of her ED acceptance to Vanderbilt. She was sitting with her mom, and two friends. She started screaming and everyone was crying and jumping around. I didn’t know this was a “thing” to have friends with you to share results. It was amazing to watch the pure joy, but then we experienced the opposite just an hour later. Another friend asked for a ride to an evening activity because her mom wasn’t feeling well. She confided that her sister was rejected that afternoon from a different ED school and her mom was very upset.

  16. Lauren, to me those specs for the paper say the teacher has experience in teaching, not OCD. All of those things and more (ever heard of kerning?) are used by kids to get their paper up to x pages long. I was reluctant to add them to assignments, but I slowly did, because students pushed me, with 14-point font or entire papers in bold print. I hope you and your daughter catch a little break for some fun this weekend!

  17. On the other hand, why do they need to be so strict on length? Why does a paper need to be five page if it covers everything on the rubric well in four pages?

  18. Thanks for explaining why the teacher may have this requirement. It will all be over by next weekend and she can enjoy the break.

  19. It’s a vicious circle, though. If you don’t say it needs to be a certain length, some kids will turn in a short paragraph and then complain that you didn’t say it had to be longer. So you start providing a few formatting requirements, and the kids spend hours trying to find ways to circumvent the requirements, so you make the requirements even more rigid, and eventually you end up with the teacher specifying every single tiny aspect of the paper.

  20. Regarding the fish article July posted – this is also common in restaurants, and not just for fish. A common trick is to use pork in place of veal. They have similar texture and taste and most diners wouldn’t know the difference. I’ve been told that if you see veal for a reasonable price or that it is a “special” to be wary. The cost of veal is very expensive, so a restaurant is not going to discount it and lose their margins.

  21. Why does a paper need to be five page if it covers everything on the rubric well in four pages?

    To get you used to putting the new cover sheets on your TPS reports. This is probably my aspergers speaking. But wouldn’t it be easier to just say the real reason rather than all this beating around the bush?

  22. My DS is very brief and to the point. If there was no minimum sentence requirement he wouldn’t write more than one paragraph in normal font. He believes in not making extra work for his teachers since as he says they have many classes to teach and papers to grade ;-).

  23. To get you used to putting the new cover sheets on your TPS reports. This is probably my aspergers speaking. But wouldn’t it be easier to just say the real reason rather than all this beating around the bush?

    It’s only partly the real reason. See my comment above. Some kids will spend hours and hours trying to circumvent the purpose of the assignment rather than spending 45 fucking minutes just writing it.

  24. I’d much rather be able to say “write about your topic in an appropriate amount of depth”, but how does a student know what’s “appropriate”? When I very first started teaching and didn’t have those requirements, final papers ranged from 6 pages (several) to 20 in small font (one). In retrospect, I think portions of the long one were plagiarized. But at the time I read through them carefully, expecting that tight, economic writing might mean that a short one could still contain all that was necessary. Nope. And the long was was overkill, and not terribly well organized. As an author, I have the “appropriate” length for an abstract so ingrained that the first thing I write is close to the given word length. Same for paper for publication, conference presentation, and 600-800 word blog post. There’s an expected density of ideas and an expected length. I’ve students write the required number of words but not do everything the paper needed, but never the other way around. Others with more/more recent teaching experience may disagree

  25. Another reason, of course, is that enough words to thoroughly cover the topic could be crammed into very little space. That makes it hard to read and hard on your eyes.

  26. It’s a vicious circle, though. If you don’t say it needs to be a certain length, some kids will turn in a short paragraph and then complain that you didn’t say it had to be longer. So you start providing a few formatting requirements, and the kids spend hours trying to find ways to circumvent the requirements, so you make the requirements even more rigid, and eventually you end up with the teacher specifying every single tiny aspect of the paper.

    But if you have a good rubric, length is irrelevant. If they turn in a short paragraph instead of 4 or 5 pages, you can say it didn’t cover A, B, and C in the rubric and grade appropriately.

    I’ve students write the required number of words but not do everything the paper needed, but never the other way around.

    This is why you don’t need to specify a length, you specify everything the paper needs to cover. If the paper covers everything, it will be the appropriate length.

    Another reason, of course, is that enough words to thoroughly cover the topic could be crammed into very little space. That makes it hard to read and hard on your eyes.

    I agree – specifying formatting is completely appropriate.

  27. My DS is very brief and to the point.

    That’s me. My teachers were always on me to “expand your writing” but they could never tell me what was actually missing in terms of content because my succinctness. They just said I needed to write more, so I became very good at BSing to fill space. BSing is a good life skill to have, but it was a big waste of everyone’s time.

  28. Specifying in terms of words rather than page length seems like it gets around the games with font, margins, etc. The first time I ran into that was in Ireland, so I originally assumed it was just an Irish and British thing, but my kids have had by-the-word assignments in high school so either it’s become more common in this country or it always just depended where you were and I never happened to be somewhere that used that system.

    There are maximum page limits for legal briefs. There are also font and margin requirements, because lawyers, too, will try to get around page limits, although with a goal of sneaking more content in rather than less.

  29. On another note, I came across some research that backs my theory that weight loss/gain is dependent on how much you eat, not exercise. The full article was in Scientific American last year, I found a link to a pdf of it that someone posted because it’s behind a paywall on the SA website.

    http://www.trainingdimensions.net/tdArticles/Newsletter/Feb_2017/The%20Exercise%20Paradox.pdf

    There is a brief interview with the author in AARP Magazine and the summary of his theory is this:

    “Q: You claim that exercising more won’t increase how many calories I burn. How is that possible?

    A: The number of calories you burn per day stays pretty consistent regardless of activity level; the average adult over age 50 burns about 2,500 calories a day, depending primarily on body size. That’s your daily calorie budget. When you exercise more, your body simply lowers the number of calories it burns performing other functions, such as respiration or hormone production. So the number of calories you burn per day — your metabolism — remains constant, whether you work out or not. ”

    https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2018/metabolism-myths-weight-loss.html

  30. I asked DD to send me the exact instructions:

    Copy the quote at the beginning of the response. The text should be 12 point Times New Roman, 1.15 spacing, 1” margins all around, no title and no need to put your name and date. Do not use extra lines between responses.
    Do give yourself an indent at the beginning of each paragraph.
    Submit your paper through Goggle Classroom before the beginning of class on the date that the project is due.

    She has completed 1/2 of the pair because there are ten quotes from this artist, and she has to write about each quote.

    Rhett, I thought of you when I read this article earlier today. I had to learn about annuities in order to obtain a Series 6 license. I think Ron Lieber did a nice job trying to explain annuities/risks/rewards.

  31. I agree in principle with DD, but appreciate RMS’ observation on the rationale.

    Were I the teacher assigning and grading papers, I’d probably specify a minimum and maximum length in words, which these days is easy to evaluate (e.g., MS Word can count for you). That gets around all the games with fonts, margins, etc., to get to a certain number of pages.

    As SM points out, that also provides you with experience that will be useful later. E.g., college essays are typically limited by word count.

  32. Kids school uses the MLA format for written work. I am not familiar with what it is, but assignments say use MLA format.

  33. you specify everything the paper needs to cover. If the paper covers everything, it will be the appropriate length.

    “Covering everything” can mean very different depths to different people. What happens in The Yellow Wallpaper? A rich lady complains about being stuck in a room with weird wallpaper because she’s sick “covers everything”, but doesn’t touch on what’s happening with her, her relationship with her husband, but doesn’t begin to tell you what’s really happening. Pages with a specific formatting or word count doesn’t much matter (except to the eyes of the person reading it); either one can give you a guide to detail required. http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/YelWal.shtml

  34. “Covering everything” can mean very different depths to different people.

    Yes, and the depth should be specified in the rubric, which I presume you provided to students with the assignment so they knew what you wanted included in the paper. So then when you graded a paper that was only 8 pages instead of 10, how would you decide which item to take away points from because it was two pages short? I’m thinking you didn’t arbitrarily deduct points from item X because of the length, but you went through each item and assigned points based on how well each one was covered.

    You said papers can be the correct length and still not cover everything adequately. As a teacher, would you rather get a paper that doesn’t cover what you want and is two pages short of the required length, or a paper that has exactly the same content as the first one does but adds two pages of BS fluff to get to the required length?

    IMO they should get the same grade, or if anything, the first one should get a higher one because the second one would be obscuring the meat of it with the fluff and probably be more difficult to read.

    Copy the quote at the beginning of the response. The text should be 12 point Times New Roman, 1.15 spacing, 1” margins all around, no title and no need to put your name and date. Do not use extra lines between responses.
    Do give yourself an indent at the beginning of each paragraph.
    Submit your paper through Goggle Classroom before the beginning of class on the date that the project is due.

    This is completely reasonable to me.

  35. “Covering everything” can mean very different depths to different people. What happens in The Yellow Wallpaper? A rich lady complains about being stuck in a room with weird wallpaper because she’s sick “covers everything”, but doesn’t touch on what’s happening with her, her relationship with her husband, but doesn’t begin to tell you what’s really happening.

    Again, it’s on the teacher to tell the students how much depth she wants. If the assignment is given as “Explain what happens in The Yellow Wallpaper” with no other guidance, then your one sentence summary is a perfectly acceptable response, IMO.

  36. RMS, in nursing and NP school our papers had to be APA format, and we all used that site to make sure we did it right.

  37. My example was sloppily chosen, but I stand by the point—assigning the length of the paper signals how in depth it should go. Obviously, what that “depth” consists of needs to be laid out in the rubric, just as I hope Lauren’s daughter’s teacher did with that assignment. I generally got a few papers out of 100 that were shorter than the assigned length. They often got As, because they hewed very closely to the assignment. Of course, there were also other short papers that were short because the author didn’t include everything required—and very long papers that didn’t get around to doing what was assigned. Those students tended to argue that they’d written so many pages, it should be an A. Reminds me a bit of the students a fb friend posted about today, who every prof knows come every semester, asking for extra credit work so they can keep their scholarship/position in the frat/whatever, but have no explanation for why they didn’t turn things in earlier in the semester. They also tend to argue like the long-winded authors who don’t get around to the point of the paper, that they worked hard so should get the grade they want, and to make losing their thing the prof’s fault.

  38. S&M, thanks for that link! Now if I can only convince myself to be a more adventurous traveler! :) “anytime, anywhere”

    Coolest feature: Flex watch, which allows you to be as vague or specific in your flight search as you want. For example, if you’re super flexible with dates and destinations, type in “anytime, anywhere” and wait to see what pops up. Or, if you want to go see your new nephew in Brooklyn — at some point — search “New York, next few months.”

  39. So, first DS drama last light — boy was that a surprise. Total, total meltdown around 7:30-8 — as in, sobbing in his bed, refusing to speak, then trying to explain but losing it again, etc. I finally got some of it out, and it’s basically stress/anxiety. He has always been the golden child — always smartest kid in the class, polite, teachers love him, but also genuinely nice and empathetic and with a lot of friends. And then he really had a golden last couple of weeks — straight-As (again), recognized individually during the band concert for some awesome stuff he did, etc. Well, it turns out he has begun struggling in two classes — not *actual* struggling, mind you, but he got like a 70 on a test in one class and missed an assignment in another, and so he now — (gasp!) — is at risk of not getting straight-As. But he felt so much pressure to be the perfect kid for his teachers, because they’re all so proud of him, that he didn’t want to ask questions, because he feels like they expect him to know it all already. And then he’d come home and not want to face the problem, and not want to let us down, and *definitely* not want to face DH (who can go into frustration/yell mode pretty quickly), so he’d procrastinate and tell us all his homework was done and just avoid it for another day. And then of course the procrastination just made him even more mad at/disappointed in himself, and the vicious cycle just continued, until he finally lost it last night.

    I was floored. That kid is dangerously good at keeping stuff inside him — I honestly had zero idea there was that much angst and stress roiling around inside. My heart just breaks for the kid. But there was also this almost-wanting-to-laugh bit, because he’s talking about all this like he’s confessing some big, horrible character flaw that’s one step down from serial killer (you mean you *don’t* just want to come home from school and sit right down and tackle homework every night, especially when it’s hard and frustrating and you don’t understand?), and I just wanted to say, “oh, honey, have you met your sister?” I mean, we might have just a leeeetle experience with that, you know? But to be that upset, for that long, about something that’s so, so minor, and so easily fixed — he’s a smart kid, he will figure out whatever was giving him problems very quickly*, and now that I know he has inherited DD’s tendency to avoid things that are difficult and my tendency to procrastinate, I will impose a little more structure to help him learn how to manage that. I’m just so upset to realize that he was feeling so much pressure to keep up this facade of this perfect kid, because he didn’t want to let anyone down. Damn. I mean, it’s our job to make him feel loved no matter what, and we didn’t do that.

    *Not that “figuring it out” is the criteria for acceptance — I’d think he’s completely awesome no matter what. But it just bothers me more to see him that upset about something that I know is not a real issue.

  40. But it just bothers me more to see him that upset about something that I know is not a real issue.

    LfB, for a straight A student to whom things come without the effort that other kids have to put in, the not getting an A is a big deal. One thing is to make them understand this fact or gift (whatever you want to call it). And the second as you said is that even *they* won’t find everything easy all the time and therefore will need to put in effort and have structure but at the same time this effort will *still* not be as much as their sibling or friends.

  41. Louise +1000. Take it from one who knows.

    Morning rant. I got my umbrella liability renewal today. Premium Went up by 45% over last year, no changes. I called and “someone” had changed the number of residences from 1 to 4. How does that even happen in a computerized renewal. I got it fixed, but is there something in the software that when the policy holders get old (DH is 76) you just try to slip one past em?

  42. LfB, I’m sorry he’s going through this. Another ditto to Louise.

    Meme, that’s ridiculous. That makes no sense something like that should ever happen.

  43. Meme – when I was doing a refi on my mortgage, “the computer” kept resetting the tenor of the new loan to 30 years even though we were keeping the same tenor as the existing loan (at that point 25 years). I caught that change twice in the paperwork, including just before we were to close. The bank said the computer’s default was 30 years and different tenors had to be manually entered.

  44. LfB, often those straight A kids, for whom everything comes easily, hit college and experience academic trouble for the very first time. It can be devastating. Better that he hit difficulties now so he can learn how to deal with it before he is on his own.

  45. I suspect almost all medical billing errors are done on purpose. I’m currently fighting a dental bill that comes to $54 in overcharges. The only way to fight is to write a letter. They wouldn’t address it over the phone, via email or fax. I had to write an old fashioned letter and mail it out. I would guess most people don’t notice the wrong charges and if they do they won’t take time to write a letter and find a stamp. To quote the movie Better Off Dead: “I want my $2.”

  46. “I suspect almost all medical billing errors are done on purpose.”
    Yes, absolutely. I had a co-worker who used to work at one of the big payors. She said they routinely “misplaced” claims or denied them for no good reason, simply to delay payouts. They know that a certain percentage of people won’t know how to fight and will just pay up.

  47. A friend has been having intermittent blinding headaches. The state agency in AZ assigned to review Medicare authorizations for treatment denied the MRI. She has Medigap not Medicare advantage HMO because they are snowbirds. I explained to her that this is routine. Now They want her to have some sort of blood test first. She described the headaches as migraines. But it took weeks to get an appt at the independent lab. Meanwhile another friend in MA has been having similar symptoms but then had a slight seizure in public. In MA. Good insurance late 50s. MRI on the spot diagnosis is 6 hours. Benign brain tumor surgery next month. AZ friend is in extended limbo

  48. Meme, I spend a good portion of my days dealing with billing mistakes like the one your insurance company did. I think it is standard operating procedure. DH and I have often wondered if companies send out random bills to see if people will pay them. I also deal with constant medical billing errors.

    Since I’ve started handling my mom’s finances, I am also shocked at the extra charges that seem to pop up all.the.time. A few months ago, she fell and I called 911. Hospital, broken bone, cast, etc. There was an extra charge for the fire department to come out. I called and asked them about it and it was immediately reversed. If I hadn’t called, the charge would have stayed in place. And I deal with this sort of thing constantly. I have a Ph.D and am a part owner of a business and I deal with billing all the time. How do normal people keep on top of this?

  49. Laura, i didn’t think our sons were similar, and mine certainly is no straight-A student, but damned if this doesn’t sound just like mine “he didn’t want to ask questions, because he feels like they expect him to know it all already. And then he’d come home and not want to face the problem, and not want to let us down“ and the self-recrimination following too! Mine holds all sorts of things in forever, then is gobsmacked you didn’t know it was a problem. But I think you’ve spaced your kids well—one seems to be ending the teen drama stage, and will be out of your house in 8 months anyway, just in time for the next one start. Cheers!

  50. @S&M — LOL! And here I was breathing a sigh of relief that the hard part was almost over. ;-)

  51. “I have a Ph.D and am a part owner of a business and I deal with billing all the time. How do normal people keep on top of this?”

    With the exception of part owner of a business… I hear you (I do deal with billing all the time, but as a Treasurer of a small non-profit). I can’t believe the number of hours I spent sorting my medical bills during both pregnancies. Do people pay the $2,000 they are told they owe without question?

  52. No, normal people just ignore the medical bills and let them go to collections or Medicaid billing. Totebaggers only stress about medical bill collections because we have collectible assets. No collectible assets, no stress.

    I definitely concur about the medical billing stuff. I was still on a cell phone plan with limited minutes and my 1-800 insurance number was #1 on my “friends and family” list.

  53. We were definitely not paying close attention to medical bill details when DS got sick. It was mainly payments for tests and doctors office visits. DH was refunded $1,000 a year later. I spent time following up because the refund didn’t hit my credit card and I had completely forgotten that DH had made a few payments from his credit card (comedy of errors, I thought they had refunded some strangers credit card !).

  54. WCE, that’s a far more cynical, haughty attitude than I expect from you! Plenty of people who don’t have houses want them, and do you think anyone in the US could afford to have their car taken to settle a debt? Take a look at some figures about medical debt vs income and /or assets and you’ll get a much more realistic picture, without the nasty view towards the riffraff.

  55. LfB, re the not wanting to ask questions part specifically — you might tell him that if he doesn’t understand something, GUARANTEED a lot of other people don’t either, so he’ll be doing everyone a favor by asking for more explanation.

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