Sunday, December 19, 2004

Too Hot For Court

It's the case that has become synonymous with greedy lawyers, the poster child for frivilous lawsuits in America, the case so famous that Seinfeld devoted a whole episode to making fun of's the case of the hot coffee burns. Of course, we all know the story. A woman spills coffee on herself, sues McDonald's, and wins millions of dollars. And the cry of protest is always the same..."coffee is supposed to be hot!"

I think I'll call them "true urban legends," stories that go around that seem to illustrate what's right or wrong in society. Lots of people have heard of them...the woman who leaves a homeless man embedded in her windshield, for example...and have strong opinions, but few know the actual facts. For example, how old was the woman who got burned? Why didn't McDonald's just settle the case out of court? And why would 12 sane people decide she deserved all that money.

So here are the facts, once and for all, from an article in the Wall Street Journal. Are there crazy lawsuits? Yes. But I don't think this is one of them.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

The Conspiracy Is Out There

There are those who believe aliens don't exist. There are those who believe aliens do exist. And then there are those who not only believe aliens exist, but spend every waking moment collecting information trying to prove it.

I've found many places over the years that claimed to reveal "the truth," and combine all the conspiracy theories into one alternate history of the world via aliens. Here's a good one called "Majestic 12 and the Secret Government." It really is amazing how people can tie a wide variety of theories, paranoid delusions, and actual facts into a coherent narrative. Might make a good movie or something.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Alien Hominid

Back in 2002, two guys who longed for the good old days of 2D shooters like Contra and Gunstar Heroes created a Flash game called Alien Hominid. It quickly became a smash hit online, leading to a contract that led to a revamped version of the game released on consoles. Now that's a true underdog story. You can still play the original game for free on Warning: contains extreme violence.