Jim's Bad News

last update: 15 October 02


Hydrogen beer ?

TOKYO (AP) The recent craze for hydrogen beer is at the heart of a three way lawsuit between unemployed stockbroker Toshira Otoma, the Tike-Take karaoke bar and the Asaka Beer Corporation. Mr. Otoma is suing the bar and the brewery for selling toxic substances and is claiming damages for grievous bodily harm leading to the loss of his job. The bar is counter suing for defamation and loss of customers.

The Asaka Beer corporation brews "Suiso" brand beer, where the carbon dioxide normally used to add fizz has been replaced by the more environmentally friendly hydrogen gas. A side effect of this has made the beer extremely popular at karaoke sing-along bars and discotheques.


Hydrogen, like helium, is a gas lighter than air. Because hydrogen molecules are lighter than air, sound waves are transmitted more rapidly; individuals whose lungs are filled with the nontoxic gas can speak with an uncharacteristically high voice. Exploiting this quirk of physics, chic urbanites can now sing soprano parts on karaoke sing-along machines after consuming a big gulp of Suiso beer.


The flammable nature of hydrogen has also become another selling point, even though Asaka has not acknowledged that this was a deliberate marketing ploy. It has inspired a new fashion of blowing flames from one's mouth using a cigarette as an ignition source. Many new karaoke videos feature singers shooting blue flames in slow motion, while flame contests take place in pubs everywhere.


"Mr. Otoma has no one to blame but himself. If he had not become drunk and disorderly, none of this would have happened. Our security guards undergo the most careful screening and training before they are allowed to deal with customers" said Mr. Takashi Nomura, Manager of the Tike-Take bar.


"Mr. Otoma drank fifteen bottles of hydrogen beer in order to maximize the size of the flames he could belch during the contest. He catapulted balls of fire across the room that Godzilla would be proud of, but this was not enough to win him first prize since the judgment is made on the quality of the flames and that of the singing, and after fifteen bottles of lager he was badly out of tune."


"He took exception to the result and hurled blue fireballs at the judge, singeing the front of Mrs. Mifune's hair, entirely removing her eyebrows and lashes, and ruining the clothes of two nearby customers. None of these people have returned to my bar. When our security staff approached he turned his attentions to them, making it almost impossible to approach him. Our head bouncer had no choice but to hurl himself at Mr. Otoma's knees, knocking his legs from under him."


"The laws of physics are not to be disobeyed, and the force that propelled Mr. Otoma's legs backwards also pivoted around his center of gravity and moved his upper body forward with equal velocity. It was his own fault he had his mouth open for the next belch, his own fault he held a lighted cigarette in front of it and it is own fault he swallowed that cigarette."


"The Tike-Take bar takes no responsibility for the subsequent internal combustion, rupture of his stomach lining, nor the third degree burns to his esophagus, larynx and sinuses as the exploding gases forced their way out of his body. His consequential muteness and loss of employment are his own fault."


Mr. Otoma was unavailable for comment.


Official! World's funniest joke

From CNN.com

Thursday, October 3, 2002 Posted: 11:44 AM EDT (1544 GMT)

LONDON, England -- The world's funniest joke has been revealed after a year-long search by scientists.

In an experiment conducted in Britain, people around the world were invited to judge jokes on an Internet site as well as contribute their own.

The LaughLab research, carried out by psychologist Dr. Richard Wiseman, from the University of Hertfordshire, attracted more than 40,000 jokes and almost two million ratings.

And here it is...

Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy takes out his phone and calls the emergency services.

He gasps: "My friend is dead! What can I do?"

The operator says: "Calm down, I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead."

There is a silence, then a gunshot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says: "OK, now what?"



These people must be idiots! (Baityard Kress, Houston)

The mental picture I get of this is just too funny! Keep in mind that all of this had to happen pretty fast.

April 19, 2002
Iowa Bartenders Light Bartop Ablaze
Filed at 2:06 p.m. ET
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- Six people were burned at a college hangout after bartenders set the bar top ablaze with rum in a stunt learned in Acapulco. The bartenders at Et Cetera sent a stream of rum down the bar top and ignited it early Thursday, scattering some customers.

“The flames raced up the arm of a young woman, setting her hands and face on fire,” said Whitney Grabinski, a University of Iowa student.

She said the fire burned another woman's arm and spread to a man's shirt. Another student, Sarah Christeson, said the fire flared when a young woman tried to “breathe fire'' by spitting alcohol into the flames.

“Flames blew into the young woman's face,” Christeson said.

The young woman was listed in good condition at a hospital Friday. The condition of the others was not immediately released.

The bartenders apparently intended the flames to burn out quickly,
authorities said.

Charges may be filed against the bar, police said.


Jackass (Hugh “Baityard” Kress in Houston)

From the Associated Press, 30JUL2002 [as Dave Barry would say, "I swear, I'm not making this up."]:

MTV'S "Jackass" Star is Sought in Lewd Act Case Police in Louisiana are looking for MTV's "Jackass" star Steve-O to charge him with public indecency after a stunt in a Bayou, La. barroom.

Police say Steve-O broke state obscenity laws when he exposed himself during his act at the Abyss nightclub, [here comes the good part] stapling his scrotum to his upper thigh. He could face up to three years on a felony rap [Yeah, felony stupidity].

Prosecutors haven't said whether they'll extradite the prankster to Louisiana, but the bar owners have been arrested as accessories to the lewd act. They're out on $150,000 bonds, reports the Houma Courier.

Steve-O is part of MTV's bumbling cast that plays an array of stupid pranks and ridiculous stunts.

[I think Duct Tape would probably have been better, but who am I t o say.... ]


Litter Bugs Best Hong Kong Police  (Rockin’ Dave, New York)

HONG KONG (AP) -- Litterbugs assaulted six government officers who tried to issue on-the-spot fines on Tuesday, officials said. The two separate incidents happened even though officers have been offered martial arts training.

Five officers were slightly injured when a 45-year-old man responded violently after officers tried to fine him for throwing away a cigarette butt, said Tommy Chan, a Food and Environmental Hygiene Department spokesman.

Another was hurt in a struggle with a 40-year-old man who tried to flee after being caught dropping trash, Chan said.

All six officers were treated in hospitals.

Earlier the government said hundreds of inspectors were being trained in Japanese aikido self-defense techniques to protect themselves against unruly litterbugs.

The latest injuries bring to nine the number of officers assaulted since June.

Previously, a 41-year-old female officer was hospitalized with wrist injuries after being attacked by a man who threw away a cigarette butt, said Jessey Kong, a Food and Environmental Hygiene Department spokeswoman.

The three-day voluntary courses are open to about 4,000 health and food stall inspectors, Kong said. About 500 have participated so far.

 Hong Kong introduced $77 on-the-spot fines for littering in late May. For the first two weeks, however, officers just gave verbal warnings. Aikido uses various holds and movements to overcome an opponent's strength and weight.


Satan has been banished (Hugh “Baityard” Kress in Houston)
DEVILS LAKE, North Dakota (AP) -- Satan has been banished from Devils Lake. 
High school teams here no longer will be known as the Satans, the school's nickname for nearly 80 years. 
The school board unanimously voted Monday night to immediately drop the nickname and mascot and start the process of finding a new name to represent its athletic teams. 
The 5-0 vote brought applause, hugs and a few tears of joy from an audience that favored change. 
"It's hard to stand up and cheer for the Satans," said Kellie Karlstad, a parent of three and the junior varsity girls basketball coach. "It's not an appropriate name for children." Supporters of the change said the Satans nickname had brought division and a negative image. 
"As far as finding one positive for keeping the nickname, I can't," board member Julie Schemionek said. "I believe in tradition. But sometimes, traditions need to be changed." 
School Board Chairman Kevin Regan, a Devils Lake alumnus and athlete, said he had not been bothered by the nickname. 
"I always thought it was a natural fit that the mascot for Devils Lake would be Satans," he said.