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Welcome, wonkeesters, to another edition of Derp Roundup, the weekly feature where we hose down the news, filter out the stories that weren't quite worth a whole post but too stoopid to ignore altogether, spray the whole mess with cheap booze, and bring you the runoff. Enjoy!


  • Our first story violates the entire premise of Derp, in that it is actually a story of Pure American Ingenuity and Awesomeness. So sue us for false labeling. Outside Austin Monday, on Texas Highway 71, off-duty Houston Fire Department Captain Craig Moreau pulled over to help an 18-wheeler that had smoke pouring from its rear wheels. The brakes had locked and the tire was "flaming pretty good," Moreau said, and the driver's fire extinguisher was not up to the job. Moreau asked what the driver was hauling. "Beer! It’s all beer!"

    And then, he says, one of the burning tires exploded, and Moreau asked the driver to open up the truck and start passing him tallboys.

    "I shook them up, and popped a top one at a time until the fire was out and the brakes were cool," Moreau wrote. "Thankfully they were tallboys. I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony of it all, he was so shaken up that the humor escaped him."

    Quite a few cans of Coors Banquet beer later, the fire was out. And Craig Moreau is a hero, both for saving the day and for discovering something that Coors is actually good for. Protip: Do not try this with Scotch.

  • And in more traditional Derp, we have this story from Tanana, Alaska, where a Responsible Gun Owner celebrating on New Year's Eve managed to knock out all internet and cable TeeVee service for over a week in the town of 300 when he or she fired a shotgun into the air and destroyed the only fiber-optic cable serving the town. Ralph Eller, owner of Yukon Telephone and Supervisions Cable TV, found several .410-gauge shotgun shells under the damaged cable and has turned them over to state police. "You can't fix stupid," Eller said. It wasn't clear whether the shooter was aiming at the cable or hit it accidentally, but Eller noted that the Responsible Gun Owner "could have walked 70 feet in either direction and they would not be anywhere near it." The damage will cost about $10,000 to repair.
  • In a concrete demonstration that words no longer mean anything at all, the Sarasota, Florida, GOP announced that it would honor Sen. Ted Cruz as its "Statesman of the Year" at a February ceremony and dinner. The announcement praised the Canadian anchor baby as a "passionate fighter for liberty, economic growth, and the Constitution," but did not specify any particular achievements of statesmanship -- not even his brilliant $2 billion government shutdown that achieved nothing.
  • In reassuring evidence that Everyone Is A IDIOT, we learned that at least 50 people scalded themselves trying to imitate Teevee weather people doing the "throw a pot of boiling water into subzero air and it becomes snow" trick. While many broadcasters reminded their viewers that "boiling water is hot, you morons, so don't toss it into the fucking wind like a complete shithead with no regard for your personal safety because it will blow back in your face and scald you," quite a few failed to mention this important Science Fact. Brilliant anchordude Jason DeRusha at Minneapolis station WCCO-TV tweeted

    "Threw a pot of boiling water in the air. Kids thought it was awesome. Do it, people."

    And by golly, all over the country, emergency rooms got visits from people with second- and third-degree burns, and people took to the twitterverse to express surprise that hot water is hot.

    And people wonder how someone like Louie Gohmert can get elected?

  • In yet another demonstration that marijuana makes people stoopid even without smoking the stuff, Kentucky state Rep. Robert Benvenuti said in a hearing that the state should not legalize medical use of marijuana because it would inevitably lead to its legalization for recreational use* and then promised to "fill this committee room with first responders, law enforcement officers and parents of dead children based on the effects of marijuana." When people in the gallery started grumbling that marijuana is not exactly lethal, Benvenuti explained, “In driving intoxicated, in child abuse, we’ve already heard today from folks who talk about intoxicants and its role in child fatality and child abuse” -- because all drugs are exactly the same, and pot is just as deadly as alcohol and meth.
  • Roger Ailes and Sarah Palin agreed last week that the main reason she has a job on Fox News again is that, as Ailes put it,

    “I probably hired her back, if you really want to get to the bottom of it, to give her a chance to say her piece and piss off the people that wanted her dead.”

    This is really unfair, because most people don't want the snowbilly grifter dead -- they'd be satisfied with her just going back to complete obscurity. Oh damn. We just did our part to keep that from happening, didn't we?

  • In a story that we just plain forgot to include earlier, a Charleston, South Carolina, woman was arrested shortly after midnight on Christmas for stabbing her husband with a ceramic squirrel. It turned out that the incident was provoked when the man went out to buy beer at a convenience store, but returned empty-handed when he found the store closed. This is an important reminder to everyone: stock up on beer before the holidays, and be sure to have enough on hand in case of tire fires.

  • And finally, since we have already given up on using Pure Stoopid as our yardstick this week, we'll throw another tiny bit of Nice Time at you, if you don't mind too much: Scientists at Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation apologized to a 7-year-old girl who had written to them to ask if they could make a pet dragon for her. Queensland sweet kid Sophie Lester sent the following letter to the science agency:

    Dear Lovely Scientist,

    My name is Sophie and I am 7 years old ... Would it be possible if you can Make a dragon foor me. i would like it if you could, but if you can't thats fine. i would call it toothless if it was a girl and if it is a boy I would name it Stuart.

    i would keep it in my special green grass area where there are lots of space. i would feed it raw fish and i would put a collar on it.

    If it got hurt i would bandage it if it hurt himself. i would play with it every weekend when there is no school.

    On their website, the lovely scientists at CSIRO offered the following explanation and apology:

    We’ve been doing science since 1926 and we’re quite proud of what we have achieved. We’ve put polymer banknotes in your wallet, insect repellent on your limbs and Wi-Fi in your devices. But we’ve missed something.

    There are no dragons.

    Over the past 87 odd years we have not been able to create a dragon or dragon eggs. We have sighted an eastern bearded dragon at one of our telescopes, observed dragonflies and even measured body temperatures of the mallee dragon. But our work has never ventured into dragons of the mythical, fire breathing variety.

    And for this Australia, we are sorry.

    But after the story generated press interest -- and a phone call from DreamWorks Studios, who we'll assume are responsible for Sophie's interest in dragons -- they did at least fire up their 3-D printer and make a dragon for her out of titanium:

    Sophie tells her mom she wants to be a scientist when she grows up.

    We're pretty glad this happened in Australia; had it happened in the US, we fear that Chuck Grassley might have investigated why scientists were wasting public money on "fun."

  • * Of the 20 states that allow medical pot, only Colorado and Washington have legalized recreational use, although we hear tell that some people may make very enthusiastic medical use of the stuff.

    [NBC News / Daily News-Miner via UPI / Tampa Bay Times / LA Times / RawStory / Politico / MyFox8.com / MetroUK]

    Doktor Zoom

    Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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