Woodpecker Sighting (and hearing)

Woodpecker, originally uploaded by edkohler.

This guy was making a racket down in the gorge along W River Rd near 27th St E. He’s been gorging on that branch for some time now from the look of it.

Graffiti Tagging: Los Angeles Style

Thanks to Kenneth for sending this over:

Student arrested in bus tagging – Los Angeles Times

A 15-year-old sophomore at the Santee Education Complex in South L.A. was arrested late Tuesday on suspicion of being the student who scrawled his nickname on the outside window of a city bus carrying Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Schools Supt. David L. Brewer, among others.Santee Principal Vince Carbino, who was also on the bus Monday, said he believed the youth had no idea that dignitaries were aboard — but looked stunned, hid his face and stopped his tagging when he saw a photographer on the bus taking his picture.

Check out the picture after clicking through. The kid is tagging the windows of a bus with people on it. People including the mayor. That’s bold.

Sadly, the mayor doesn’t think the kid needs to be hit hard for this crime. I bet the people who’ve removed hundreds, if not thousands, of tags by this one kid have a different opinion about that. A vandal is caught red-handed and you’re not going to make an example out of him?

Pizza Luce Coupon Scandal

Pizza Lucé Coupon, originally uploaded by s4xton.

Aaron has uncovered what could turn into a South Minneapolis based class-action lawsuit against Pizza Luce:

I love how using a $1 coupon for Pizza Lucé gives you a 99¢ savings. A $2 coupon if I remember correctly gives you $1.98 in savings. I guess those pennies add up!

This is even bigger than the 20.21 neat drink surcharge fiasco!

Guacamole Lawsuit Contributes to America’s Sue-Happy Image

Are people crazier in other parts of the world? Obviously, the answer is, “Yes.” Just watch the news sometime and compare the coverage of local, national, and international news. Local news in Minneapolis on TV breaks down into something like 10 minutes for weather, 6 for sports, 3 for local stories, 1 for national stories, and 1 for international stories plus commercials. When you only have a minute to cover the world (okay, it’s more like 90 seconds), you’re probably not going to go with a story about the 3-day walk in Bangalore.

Of course, the same thing happens across the world. For example, here is a story from The Independent newspaper in the UK via a national US political blog based in Washington, DC linked to by a writer in Paris:

“A Californian woman is taking on the giant food companies that, she says, are pushing “fake guacamole” to a public increasingly hooked on Mexico’s avocado-based staple.”

Imagine if that was the only story they featured about the United States in the Americas section of The Independent? In this case, it wasn’t. They also ran a profile of Lindsay Lohan. And yesterday they ran single US story was on . . . Lindsay Lohan.

Okay, this probably isn’t entirely fair in the case of the United States. The Independent carries plenty of important stories involving the United States right on the homepage including stories regarding Afghanistan, Barack Obama, US/Iran relations, and US currency rates.

What I wonder is: what’s the best source for Americans interested in truly understanding what life is really like in other parts of the world? How do you get past the sensationalism to see what a day in the life of people in other places is really like?