The Rundown

By Allen David

Posted July 14, 2011 in News


It’s been less than three weeks since three Mexican citizens in Rancho Cucamonga were arrested when San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies found them holding three illegal immigrants captive for ransom—and it’s already been a week since they were convicted and sentenced. That’s swift. But beneath a San Bernardino Sun story about the case, headlined “Three sentenced to prison for holding immigrants captive,” was this lone comment: “They were illegal immigrants, not legal immigrants. Big difference. And whoever wrote the headline should be fired.” That’s not so swift.


Watching women’s World Cup.




For the second time in just over a month, a passenger going through x-ray screening at Ontario International Airport is stopped because a carry-on bag contains a martial arts throwing star. The 18-year-old woman was on her way to Phoenix—apparently from some long-forgotten episode of Kung-Fu—when she was taken into custody, cited and released for possessing the throwing star, which is prohibited on aircraft and has been considered in bad taste since David Carridine died of auto-erotic asphyxiation.


Just before sundown, Eugene Brand smashes his car into an ice cream truck that’s being repaired on the side of eastbound Base Line Road. Brand, 35, dies at the scene. The guy fixing the ice cream truck, Alfonso Varela, is hospitalized with injuries that were not expected to be life-threatening. The ice cream truck will likely need additional repairs.


In the month-long midst of squandering perhaps the brand-specific sales opportunity of the century—literally: there won’t be a seventh month of a year ending in 11 for one hundred years—the promotional wizards for 7-Eleven stores make it worse by performing the same ack-bassward stunt they do every year on the 11th day of the 7th month. Or at least the one they pulled last year. That is, participating stores offer customers an 11-ounce Slurpee ™. Yep. Fun. And so creative. Was the idea of using July 2011—that’s 7-Eleven—as an occasion to offer a variety of comical, unusual, money-saving, brand-emphasizing specials and games just too obvious and for the upper-strata intellects at the massive sugar-and-caffeine delivery system known as 7-Eleven stores? Maybe the whippersnappers who control the place now don’t remember the comically tinged radio spots that used to promote the chain in the 1960s and 1970s.

Like this one:

Guy: Hey! All us lemmings are going to that new coffee house. We’re going to pay way too much for way too little, then leave a tip!

Girl: But 7-Eleven’s got great coffee for a lot less, so why don’t we go there?

Guy: Because we’re lemmings! You know how group think is.

Girl: I’ll stick with 7-Eleven. It’s got a loaded coffee station so I can always get exactly what I want.

Guy: Huh! Your loss! So, meet us at the cliff later? We’re all gonna hop off!

Girl: Uh, I think I’ll pass.


Physicists at UC Riverside claim to have discovered a new way to create positronium! C’mon, you know—an exotic and short-lived atom made of matter and antimatter? An electron and a positron (anti-electron) bound together without a nucleus? Yeah, positronium! Nooooow you remember, and agree, I’m sure, that there can never be enough ways to create positronium. Sure hope the UCR team has finally come up with one that isn’t so messy and smelly and time-consuming and tasting of Vichyssoise. So far, however, they’re emphasizing that their method works at almost any temperature, including very low. Which is cool (hahaha, get it?), but honestly doesn’t mean too much right now—not with the blast-furnace summer we’re having. Actually, while I’m happy for them . . . really, I am . . . an addition to the positronium cookbook doesn’t do me like it used to—probably because I’m just not as into Positron Emission Tomography (or PET scans) as I used to be. In those days, positronium’s applications in developing more accurate PET scans positively thrilled me—in any kind of weather. I also used to be intrigued by positronium’s potential for answering what happened to antimatter in the universe and why nature favored matter over antimatter at the universe’s creation. Now, I just wonder why somebody doesn’t cut to the chase and pose those questions to matter—which obviously has benefitted most from antimatter’s disappearance. Personally, I have a feeling matter knows a little more than it has been saying.


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