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THE ONION FILES : Its not the truth but its OUT THERE Options
greybeard
Posted: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 4:30:02 PM

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THE ONION FILES :Its not the truth but its OUT THERE
An occasional rip-off

Tina Turner Burns Down Legs For Insurance Money

LOS ANGELES—Police officers arrested Tina Turner this week on suspicion of arson, reckless endangerment, and insurance fraud, following allegations that the legendary R&B singer burned down her legs for financial gain.
The arrest is the culmination of a month-long investigation into the four-alarm blaze that injured three firemen, threatened nearby properties, and completely destroyed Turner's lower extremities. Payment of a $3.2 million insurance policy the entertainer had on her legs will be put on hold until after trial.

"At first it appeared to be just another accidental fire," lead detective Jason Hendricks said. "However, something about Ms. Turner's story didn't add up. She claimed to have gone to the store, only to return an hour later and find her lower half already in flames. Yet evidence seems to suggest that Ms. Turner was at the scene of the crime the entire time."

Added Hendricks, "We have strong reason to believe Tina Turner burned herself down."


Added Hendricks, "We have strong reason to believe Tina Turner burned herself down."

According to investigators, Turner was on hand to show officials around the scene of the tragedy, and seemed to exhibit genuine grief over the loss of her two legs. Though Turner initially blamed the fire on an electrical shortage, investigators noted that everything of value in the surrounding area, including a $600 pair of high heels, had been removed prior to the blaze.

Investigators also found evidence of an accelerant, and determined that Turner's ankles had been packed with newspapers and other flammable materials. A further search of the wreckage turned up a bottle of turpentine, as well as a quart of lighter fluid, though Turner denied owning either.

When confronted with the new findings, Turner claimed that she had witnessed several teenagers sneaking around her legs the night before, and offered brief descriptions of three African American youths in hooded sweatshirts.

"She had us convinced at first," said Michael Schwartz, another crime-scene detective, who carried the legendary singer to the L.A. precinct to be fingerprinted. "But when we discovered that Turner had taken out a second insurance policy, only days before the blaze, our suspicions were confirmed."

"It's amazing what a little bit of money can make a person do," Hendricks continued.


This is the latest in a string of high-profile insurance scams. Last year, Jennifer Lopez claimed her posterior had been damaged in a rear-end collision, but was later spotted taking the intact buttocks to the gym. In 2005, Eric Clapton told officials that his hands had been stolen, though a three-month investigation later revealed that they were only hidden inside a pair of roomy sleeves.

"We intend to prosecute this crime to the greatest extent we can," said District Attorney Robert Gower, speaking on the steps of the Los Angeles Superior Court. "I don't care who you are or what you've done, no one—not even Tina Turner—is above the law. Let's just say she'll soon be doing her private dancing behind bars. And without legs."

Because she has residences in London, France, and Switzerland, a federal judge has refused Turner bail, calling her a possible flight risk. Throughout it all, Turner's lawyers have insisted that the charges are "absurd," and that their client will be exonerated.

"A trial will find Ms. Turner innocent of all charges," attorney Anthony Puterman said. "Our client was devastated by the loss of her legs, as she has many fond memories of walking, running, and performing with them. They were very much a part of her."

"Careless though it may have been, this was just an accident," Puterman continued. "Those legs were old and dry. Anything could have set them off."

Heading out for the East Coast / Lord knows I've paid some dues gettin' through, / Tangled up in blues.
finleym
Posted: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 7:24:08 PM

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pretty good greybeard, but i kinda liked-

Activision Reports Sluggish Sales For Sousaphone Hero
AUGUST 1, 2007 | ISSUE 43•31


SANTA MONICA, CA—Despite a catchy 1890s soundtrack and realistic-feeling game play, Sousaphone Hero, the third installment of Activision's massively popular Guitar Hero video game franchise, sold a mere 52 copies in the United States in its opening week, the company reported Monday.



"In the wake of Guitar Hero's success, we thought the public was more than ready for additional popular American musical genres in a simulated-performance format, but people don't seem to be responding to marches as well as we had hoped," said Activision spokeswoman Melissa Hendleman, whose company spent an estimated $25 million developing the game for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii consoles.

Sousaphone Hero offers two dozen public-domain marches, including 1893's "The Liberty Bell," 1896's "Stars and Stripes Forever," and 1897's "Entry of the Gladiators." The bulky sousaphone-shaped controller coils around the body, and players wear white spat-like foot coverings fitted with sensors that monitor synchronized marching steps. As with the fret buttons on Guitar Hero's guitar peripheral, the sousaphone controller's three valves are color-coded to match on-screen notes the player must hit.

Players may also choose from 27 different fat-guy characters who can be customized with Alpine hats, epaulets, and a mustache editor with a wide array of options.



A gamer plays with a special wireless version of the sousaphone controller, meant to increase ease of play.

Hendleman admitted that the $345 retail price might be a bit steep for many consumers. She also conceded that Activision may have erred by not releasing the game between Memorial Day and July 4, the prime parade season in the United States. Even so, she added, Sousaphone Hero contains "more than enough" features to keep gamers absorbed.

"In the career mode, you can rise from playing in park gazebos for church picnics to performing in the halftime show of the Harvard-Yale game," Hendleman said. "If you score enough points, you can unlock the ultimate level: playing in the John Philip Sousa–led Marine Band at Grover Cleveland's inauguration."

"And if you like multiplayer gaming, you're in luck," Hendleman continued. "In Sousaphone Hero's cooperative marching-band mode, as many as 135 of your friends can play simultaneously."

Hendleman also emphasized the "fun" rewards players receive as they become more proficient. If they hit enough correct notes in a row, the on-screen crowd yells "huzzah" and "bully," and the sousaphone controller's spit valve will "drain." Flubbing notes, however, makes the controller "fill" with spit, preventing further play and causing the crowd to throw rotten eggs at the hapless on-screen sousaphonist. If characters earn enough bonus points in career mode, they can spend their Liberty-head nickels on a red, green, or blue "sock" for their sousaphone's bell, or an invigorating chunk of peanut brittle.

Response to Sousaphone Hero on video-gaming message boards has been tepid at best.




"That controller is like 100 pounds even though its [sic] only plastic," wrote mastagamer457, a moderator on one Sousaphone Hero message thread. "I think I screwed up my shoulder pretty bad."

"I played the career mode for three hours and kept feeling like I was playing the same annoying circus tune over and over," kiLLlah_steVe of Columbus, OH wrote. "On one song, you're forced to play the same two notes back and forth for 96 measures."

Others have complained that the third valve is used only at the expert level, that even proficient players only score a maximum of 60 points per song, and that the "oompah" meter stays the same shade of gray even if every note is hit. Some also reported that, if not cleaned regularly, the plastic mouthpiece gets crusty.

Professional sousaphone player Eric Winkler of New Orleans called the game "laughably amateurish" and "nothing like" the actual sousaphone-playing experience. "The fingering's completely different, for starters," he said.

Due to the poor response to Sousaphone Hero, Activision has halted development of spin-off games Cymbal Hero, Glockenspiel Hero, and Steam Calliope Hero.

Trumpet bells ringing
Bass drum is swinging
As the trombone groans
And the big horn moans
finleym
Posted: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 7:28:20 PM

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Location: East Coast
And this one is a classic....
Al Gore Caught Warming Globe To Increase Box Office Profits
DECEMBER 18, 2006 | ISSUE 42•51


Dozens of eyewitness reports indicated that former vice president Al Gore deliberately attempted to raise the earth's temperature in order to boost box office receipts for An Inconvenient Truth, his documentary film about global warming that was released in May.



DESPERATE MEASURES
Former vice president Al Gore takes a flamethrower to the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica to boost weekend ticket sales for An Inconvenient Truth.

"We have accounts from concerned citizens that Mr. Gore purchased a Cadillac Escalade SUV several months before [his film] opened in theaters," said Kimberly Blume, spokeswoman for the California-based environmental group Friends Of The Earth. "Not only did Mr. Gore use his new gas-guzzler to make short trips to the grocery store, he also left the vehicle running 24 hours a day in the driveway of his Tennessee home with the air-conditioning on full-blast."

In the weeks following the film's release, witnesses reported additional sightings of Gore engaging in activities such as discharging can after can of 1980s-era, CFC-laden aerosol into the air, and single-handedly clear-cutting over 6,000 acres of Amazon rain forest.

Gore is also rumored to have set a four-acre tire fire outside Akron, OH, and ordered his Secret Service detail to shoot on sight anyone who attempts to put it out.

"It's sad to see a man we thought was a passionate defender of the environment despoiling it for his own monetary gain," Blume said.

Blume said that she and many environmentalists had momentarily expressed relief in late November when Gore appeared to cease his months-long practice of dismantling old refrigerators in order to release ozone-destroying freon into the atmosphere. Blume soon learned, however, that Gore had resumed the activity in Antarctica, where the earth's ozone layer is most fragile.

Environmental groups have called for the federal government to step in and put a stop to Gore's actions, but officials say they do not have the power to stop him.

"There is no legal recourse anyone can take against the former vice president," Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen L. Johnson said. "Mr. Gore is well within the emissions standards set by the current administration."

By year's end, Gore failed to slow his assault on the planet's delicately balanced climate systems. Satellite surveillance revealed what many believe to be a snowshoed Gore jumping up and down on an ice shelf in Greenland, chainsawing glaciers in the Alaskan wild, and urinating in the Gulf Stream waters off the coast of Newfoundland.

Trumpet bells ringing
Bass drum is swinging
As the trombone groans
And the big horn moans
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