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Darth Vader Atacks The Jedi’s (For Real?)

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A man who dressed up as Darth Vader, wearing a garbage bag for a cape, and assaulted the founders of a group calling itself the Jedi church was given a suspended sentence Tuesday.

Arwel Wynne Hughes, 27, attacked Jedi church founder Barney Jones — aka Master Jonba Hehol — with a metal crutch, hitting him on the head, prosecutors told Holyhead Magistrates’ Court.

He also whacked Jones’ 18-year-old cousin, Michael Jones — known as Master Mormi Hehol — bruising his thigh in the March 25 incident, prosecutors said.

The two cousins and Barney Jones’ brother, Daniel, set up the Church of Jediism, Anglesey order, last year. Jedi is the faith followed by some of the central characters in the “Star Wars” films.

The group, which claims about 30 members, says on its Web site that it uses “insight and knowledge” from the films as “a guide to living a better and more worthwhile life.”

“We all love the films and what they stand for. Obviously some people are going to laugh about it,” the Wales on Sunday newspaper quoted Barney Jones as saying last month. “But a lot of people do take it seriously.”

Unfortunately for Hughes, his March attack was recorded on a video camera that the cousins had set up to film themselves in a light saber battle.

“Darth Vader! Jedis!” Hughes shouted as he approached.

Hughes claimed he couldn’t remember the incident, having drunk the better part of a 2 1/2-gallon (10-liter) box of wine beforehand.

“He knows his behavior was wrong and didn’t want it to happen but he has no recollection of it,” said Hughes’ lawyer, Frances Jones.

District Judge Andrew Shaw sentenced Hughes to two months in jail but suspended the sentence for one year. He also ordered Hughes to pay $195 to each of his victims and $117 in court costs.

In the 2001 United Kingdom census, 390,000 — 0.7 percent of the population — listed Jedi as their religion.

Via: [Metro NY]

Monopoly Comes To Chicago

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The middle class continue to be pushed out of cities like Chicago and NYC due to sky high real estate and rent prices. This sidewalk in Chicago has been painted to mirror the Luxury Tax square in Monopoly. A very fitting statement for the times, since unless you are Uncle Pennybags you might find yourself being ousted too.

Source: [Wooster Collective] Via: [Apartment Therapy]

Filed Under: Art, Culture, Design, Politics

Brit Fights The Power (With A Saw)

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Parking a junk car on the side of the road in front of your house is a time honored grease monkey tradition. Ian Taylor was simply maintaining that tradition with his junk Ford Fiesta at his Tredworth, UK home when the Clampers tried to get one over on him. Though the Fiesta was parked only an inch on the pavement, a clamp was placed on the unlicensed car. Not one to let someone take advantage of him, Mr. Taylor took things into his own hands.

After the clamping service refused to take the clamp off, and Ian refused to pay out of principle, the next step would be for the car to be seized for non-payment. Since it was about to be scrapped anyway, this was essentially an empty threat. So instead of letting them have a car they could sell, Ian did what any hard-headed guy would, chopped the car in half. Take that clampers. Congratulations Ian, you’re today’s real British hero.

Via: [Jalopnik] & more at [BBC News]

You’re Tax Dollars At Work

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When I am walking down the street and see a vintage 1955 Porsche 356 Speedster or any number of sweet rides I am stopping to check it out and talk to the owner if they’re around (maybe take it for a test drive if they’re not around). I guess I like to think I could control my car obsessed urges if I had a job that was crucial to regulating those crossing our borders. I mean if my job was to keep drug smugglers and even possibly prevent a terrorist from crossing into the States I would take my job a little serious and give those bad ass cars a quick glance and get back to business as usual. However this past week a few Agents of the Customs and Border Protection Service decided to stop Chrysler Canada CEO Reid Bigland. What did the man do you ask? He committed the atrocity of all atrocities, he decided to drive a fresh off the production line Dodge Challenger SRT/8 from his office in Windsor, Ontario to Detroit. The Agents held Bigland up to ask him questions and examine the car. “Traffic quickly got backed up and there was about an hour delay by the time the agents let him proceed”. The best part of the story is that the Agents never even asked for Bigland’s ID. I really hope these safety watchdogs get fired!

Source: [AutoBlog]

Look NYC

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LookNYC.org is the bicycle and motorist safety coalition that has been set up for NYC. I am a big supporter of making NYC bike friendly. First and foremost it means I will less likely be killed when I cruise around with a baseball card in the spokes of my wheels! Second, I like the idea of people riding bikes to and fro and forgoing their cars. Cleaner air, less gas usage and all those nice perks are a good thing for me, you, the City and the World.

The problem I have is that any organization willing to take on such a noble cause, shouldn’t expose themselves to criticism. If you look closely at Look’s advertisement above there are a few, umm how to you say faux pas’s (sorry for the lame verbiage, if I curse in the blogs I am required to put $.25 into a jar here at the Lab). Let me give you the background; this shot is taken on E. 4th St. and Lafayette. The car is heading WEST BOUND on E. 4th St., even though the street runs EAST BOUND ONLY in reality (at least they turned the one way sign around to hide this fact). As the car approaches the NORTH BOUND RUNNING LAFAYETTE, the driver decides to roll into the NON EXISTENT BIKE LANE on the street and turn SOUTH BOUND – HEAD ON INTO TRAFFIC! Then the final stupid move in this advertisement is where it is running, BUS STOPS! I mean wouldn’t it make more sense to have these ads where DRIVERS can see them, not those who are taking a BUS!

Oh and if you think I am making this up, or just plain wrong, check out the directional arrows for these street on Google Maps.

Transit Cameras Coming Soon

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Whether or not you love, hate or are indifferent to graffiti, you have to question the motives behind surveillance cameras on board NYC subway cars and buses. There is an ongoing trend towards protecting the public by filming their every move and then mailing them fines. I definitely question if these cameras are just about catching graffiti writers or another money making scheme. Even if the intentions of this program are legitimate, is scratchiti really that offensive to anyone that tens of millions of dollars should be spent on catching the culprits? This seems like a bit of an over-reaction to me. I’d prefer to keep the scratchiti in exchange for some deductions in MetroCard prices, clean stations or trains that run smoothly and quickly.

Smile, graffiti punks – you’re on transit camera.

NYC Transit plans to test surveillance cameras on two trains with hopes of finding the right technology – and funding – for widespread use across the system, President Howard Roberts said.

“Somebody with an acid pen and 15 minutes can destroy about $8,000 worth of glass,” Roberts said.

Speaking after a series of Metropolitan Transportation Authority committee meetings, Roberts indicated that the two-train pilot would start sometime next year.

Cameras that record images inside buses have helped catch vandals marking up NYC Transit’s big rigs, Roberts said, adding he’s eager to have a pilot program on the rails “as soon as we can.”

On board cameras will give authorities the “ability to see what’s going on inside a subway car, whether it’s graffiti, scratchiti or some more serious stuff.”

An NYC Transit spokesman said it costs approximately $1.4 million a year just to remove ink and paint graffiti from inside subway trains. He couldn’t immediately quantify the cost associated with damaged windows.

Nicole Clark, 54, a health insurance worker waiting for a C train in midtown yesterday, said she would welcome the installation of surveillance equipment in trains.

“I think it would deter vandalism,” Clark, of Brooklyn, said. “If there were cameras, I don’t think people [would] attempt to do any of that.”

Other riders, however, thought the transit officials should spend scarce resources elsewhere.

“The payoff isn’t worth the expenditure,” said Amram Migdal, 24, a security consultant from Brooklyn. “You want the subways cleaned up but it doesn’t ruin your ride.”

Transit officials didn’t provide a cost estimate for rigging up trains with cameras, but a pilot program to install surveillance equipment on 400 buses was pegged at $5.2 million by NYC Transit two years ago.

Via: [New York Daily News]

Filed Under: Culture, Politics, Technology

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