10 worst ideas of the week: Sunday, May 30, 2010 

Man torches house when dinner wasn’t ready, chain-smoking toddler goes viral, teacher dresses students in Klan robes, and traveling teens play bad driving game.

1. Hot meals

Man burns down house because dinner wasn’t ready
The details: Beverly Jones is looking for a divorce lawyer after her husband, Guy Edward Jones, burned down their home of
10 years. Guy Jones, of Sissonville, W.Va., had been out with friends drinking. When he got home, he was furious his wife didn’t have dinner on the table. “He started throwing furniture and end tables and tore up all the glass and all the cabinets,” Beverly Jones told television station WSAZ. “Then he told me I had to get out because he was going to burn the place down, and if I didn’t get out he would burn me with the house.” She fled and he did.

2. Outside Leaks

Festival lineup mistakenly revealed early
The details: We weren’t supposed to know who was headlining San Francisco’s Outside Lands music festival until June 1. But a full-page ad in the latest Spin magazine issue promoted the show — including a partial list of performers. Kings of Leon, Phoenix, Al Green and My Morning Jacket were among the acts listed to perform at the popular Golden Gate Park event. So much for the big reveal!

3. Athens calling

Greek PM’s phone service accidentally killed
The details: His country’s debt crisis came home to Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou when engineers cut off his phone service while trying to disconnect a customer who hadn’t paid. The number of the nonpaying customer was just one digit off from Papandreou’s, said the telecom company. Many citizens are struggling to pay bills as Greece raises taxes and cuts wages to try to deal with its worst financial crisis in decades.

4. Smoke signals

Toddler who smokes two packs a day is YouTube hit
The details: Video of 2-year-old Indonesian toddler Ardi Rizal chain-smoking has gone viral on YouTube, evoking responses from “Jail the parents” to “This kid is totally cooler than you.” But more worrisome than the flood of comments is the boy’s history — and his future. His parents gave him his first smoke at 18 months, and according to Mom, “If he doesn’t get cigarettes, he gets angry and screams and batters his head against the wall.” If Ardi’s lucky, his 15 minutes of fame will bring to light the disturbing trend of child smoking in Indonesia.

5. Fashion police

Georgia teacher in trouble after students wear KKK garb  
The details: A teacher is now on administrative leave after allowing several of her students to wear mock Ku Klux Klan robes as part of a final school project. Not surprisingly, the robes were upsetting to other students at the school, prompting a parent to complain. The teacher’s punishment could range from suspension to

6. Presidential feast

$92,000 per hour for a visit from the president
The details: So in addition to who President Barack Obama visited when he swung through San Francisco midweek to raise funds for Sen. Barbara Boxer, the fun details are how much people paid to be close to him. In his 19 hours, Obama helped pour $1.75 million into Boxer’s campaign coffers, which amounts to $92,000 per hour. And if you were lucky enough to be invited to the Getty Mansion for dinner, that was $17,600 per person. At least you got ribs, a salad and hors d’oeuvres including quail eggs.

7. Driving disaster

Teenagers hold breath during road trip, pass out
The details: Four teenagers hatched an ill-thought-out plan to keep themselves occupied while driving through an upstate New York town. The four decided to try and hold their breath the entire time they were riding through the rural hamlet. Unfortunately, the driver fainted and his car hit a boulder. Luckily, all four were treated and released from the hospital.

8. Hoarders trapped

Chicago couple buried alive in filthy apartment
The details: Hoarding is becoming more visible and cases like this will hopefully get people to clean up their act: An elderly Chicago couple needed to be rescued from their disgusting apartment after they were buried underneath food waste and other trash. The Fire Department had to be called in because police were fearful of the stench and that the trash had morphed into hazardous materials.­

9. Stoned regulators

Oil drilling inspectors took gifts, used drugs
The details: Officials at the troubled U.S. Minerals Management Service, which failed spectacularly to prevent the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, violated federal ethics rules by accepting lunches, tickets to sports events and other gifts from oil and gas companies. The latest inspector general investigation found that employees at the MMS Louisiana office also admitted working while under the influence of crystal methamphetamine and using government computers to watch pornography.

10. Eyeball booze

Pouring alcohol in eyes a fuzzy new pastime
The details: Teenagers do the darnedest things. Doctors are worried about the latest teenage fad that can result in blindness. Teenagers are reportedly pouring vodka into their eyes, a trend that has been furthered by online videos. The game happens when the participants are already inebriated, and is not meant to increase the effects of alcohol. But alcohol does more than just sting. Vodka is 40 to 50 percent alcohol and can burn the cornea.


Dim bulb of the week

Sarah Ferguson

What: The Duchess of York has been urged to come clean about any payments she might have received for promoting connections to her ex-husband Prince Andrew or run the risk of facing a full inquiry by Parliament.

Why: Buckingham Palace officials have suggested to The Times of London that Fergie introduced a number of business contacts to Andrew in his role as a special government envoy promoting trade in the Middle East and Asia. The officials stressed that Andrew was completely unaware of any payments she might have received for such introductions. She asked a reporter posing as a business tycoon  for $723,000 to put him in contact with the prince.

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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