And in today’s news…

…an 18-year-old Kentucky student is sitting in prison on “terrorist’ charges for writing a short story for English class in which zombies overrun a school. The police detective in the case, one Steven Caudill, apparently doesn’t realize that the legions of the Undead aren’t in fact actually real, and said “Anytime you make any threat or possess matter involving a school or function it’s a felony in the state of Kentucky.”

Were I of a more cynical mindset, I might suggest that nobody can actually be as sunningly stupid as Detective Caudill is claiming to be, and that it’s more likely that Mr. Caudill is in fact cynically manipulating a fundamentally b0rked legal system to puff up his own personal fame. But I’m not really that cynical, of course; it’s possible that Detective Caudill really is that stupid. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time a police department deliberately sets out to weed intelligent people out of the force

Random link o’ the day…

…with a nod to grey_evil_twin:

The Monkeysphere

But think of Osama Bin Laden. Did you just picture a camouflaged man hiding in a cave, drawing up suicide missions? Or are you thinking of a man who gets hungry and has a favorite food and who had a childhood crush on a girl and who has athelete’s foot and chronic headaches and laughs when a friend farts, a man who wakes up in the morning with a boner and loves volleyball and fusses over his spoiled children and haggles over the price of a car and who goes on Seinfeld-esque rants about too much ice in his drinks?
Something in you, just now, probably was offended by that. You think I’m trying to build sympathy for the murderous bastard. Do you see the equation? Simply knowing random human facts about him immediately tugs at our sympathy strings. He comes closer to our Monkeysphere, he takes on dimension.
Now, the cold truth is my Bin Laden is just as desperately in need of a bullet to the skull as the raving four-color caricature on some redneck’s T-shirt. The key to understanding people like him, though, is realizing that we are the caricature on his T-shirt.