Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Games People Play



Potentially Fatal ‘Knockout’ Game

A terrifying new game that’s already caused deaths in Syracuse, St. Louis and New Jersey is sweeping the nation, and it preys upon unsuspecting people walking the streets, anywhere.

Kids are running around and punching innocent pedestrians for no reason, a behavior many who have played Grand Theft Auto 5 have witnessed as they punch the buttons of their controller.

A Pittsburgh-area teacher survived such an attack and said he doesn’t remember the incident. The 15-year-old who knocked him unconscious is charged with simple assault. He has not been identified because he is a juvenile.

Two and a half minute video

Three teens have been arrested in New Jersey for punching and killing a homeless man. A man interviewed there says teens call the fad ‘Knockout’ and dare each other to perform a “one hitter quitter,” which means knocking out a random pedestrian with one punch.

Laughing teens interviewed by CBS, whose faces are blurred because they are minors, said Knockout is not about “anger,” it’s about fun.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution



Did You Know . . .?

A rat can last longer without water than a camel.



On this day, November 20 in 1820, the American whaler Essex, which hailed from Nantucket, Massachusetts, was attacked by an 80-ton sperm whale 2,000 miles from the western coast of South America.

The 238-ton Essex was in pursuit of sperm whales, specifically the precious oil and bone that could be derived from them, when an enraged bull whale rammed the ship twice and capsized the vessel. The 20 crew members escaped in three open boats, but only five of the men survived the harrowing 83-day journey to the coastal waters of South America, where they were picked up by other ships. Most of the crew resorted to cannibalism during the long journey, and at one point men on one of the long boats drew straws to determine which of the men would be shot in order to provide sustenance for the others. Three other men who had been left on a desolate Pacific island were saved later.

The first capture of a sperm whale by an American vessel was in 1711, marking the birth of an important American industry that commanded a fleet of more than 700 ships by the mid 18th century. Herman Melville's classic novel Moby Dick (1851) was inspired in part by the story of the Essex.




having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future.
1. latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness.
2. PHYSICS the quantity determining the energy of mass in a gravitational field or of charge in an electric field.



(Nov 20, 1925 – June 6, 1968)
Robert F. Kennedy, commonly known as "Bobby" or by his initials RFK, was an American politician, who served as a Senator for New York from 1965 until his assassination in 1968. He was previously the 64th U.S. Attorney General from 1961 to 1964, serving under his older brother, President John F. Kennedy and his successor, President Lyndon B. Johnson. An icon of modern American liberalism and member of the Democratic Party, Kennedy was a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 1968 election.

(born November 20, 1942)
Joe Biden is the 47th and current Vice President of the United States, jointly elected with President Barack Obama. He is a member of the Democratic Party and was a United States Senator from Delaware from January 3, 1973, until his resignation on January 15, 2009, following his election to the Vice Presidency. In 2012, Biden was elected to a second term alongside Obama.

(born November 20, 1939)
Dick Smothers is an American actor, comedian, composer and musician. He is best known for being half of the musical comedy team the Smothers Brothers, with his older brother Tom.

(born November 20, 1956)
Bo Derek is an American film and television actress, movie producer, and model perhaps best known for her role in the 1979 film 10. The film also launched a bestselling poster for Derek in a swimsuit, and subsequently she became one of the most popular sex symbols in the 1980s. Her later films were not well-received, either critically or at the box office. She makes occasional film, television and documentary appearances.


When I want to show the kind of meanness people are capable of, to make it believable I find I have to tone it down. It's in real life that people are over the top.
--Todd Solondz




  1. Dear Gene, I read your article. A sense of outrage and disgust overtook me. I wanted to arrest one hundred of these sick, twisted young people, line them up at cliff's edge and decimate the line. I decided halfway through my initial scan of your piece to write you a more complete account of my reaction to this news. And then I scrolled all the way down to Bo Derek, and lost my train of thought. I felt confused as my thoughts drifted toward the possibility of a research-based article on how Bo Derek affects even the old and infirm. Not fair of you, Mr. Chambers. If ever I were to respond to the imagined Bo Scenario that still runs through my mind, I'd likely keel over, the victim of a Gene-Inspired heart attack. And then how would you feel?

    1. Well said, Anthony, and well-written, as always, although I would have used the word 'obliterate' instead of 'decimate.'

      If responding to your inner Bo Scenario brought on a heart attack it would probably make me feel sad for being its cause, but I imagine you would have, as you expired, breathed out the final words, "It was worth it."