Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Apr 18, 2013
April 18, 2013
Those @$#%* Foreigners:
New Zealand became the 13th nation in the world and the first in the Asia-Pacific region to legalize gay marriage after the country's Parliament approved a bill Monday, voting 77–44.
Cheers erupted in the hall as the votes were counted after two hours of debate, which featured one legislator talking about her daughter's first formal with her girlfriend. "Like countless other young women, she hopes for love, marriage, children and a house with a white picket fence," said the lawmaker to applause.
One lawmaker who voted against the bill said he had become more open to gay marriage since being elected, but added that "our society is probably more divided than this House is on this issue."
Here's a member of New Zealand's parliament, MAURICE WILLIAMSON, giving a light-hearted speech giving a light-hearted speech rebuking the anti-gay elements in his country. Williamson happens to be a member of the National Party, New Zealand's right-wing party.
Editor's note: Here's to you, Mister Big Gay Rainbow Drought-Busting Bible-Quoting Kiwi Physics Guy.
--Gay marriage in New Zealand? Frodo and Sam will finally be able to exchange a ring that has nothing to do with Sauron.
--So. Now none of the sheep are safe. (Maiman)
--"Well, the Maori, the merrier!" (Marino)
Today marks the 107th anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. It lasted 48 seconds and registered 8.25 on the Richter Scale, qualifying as America's worst earthquake ever; the city was leveled and the downtown area burned for three days, destroying four square miles and killing an estimated 3000 people. Some 500 people were shot and killed for looting. The last survivor is scheduled to appear at the early morning anniversary ceremony in San Francisco --he was three months old at the time of the earthquake.
A recent study says a similar quake would leave as many as 34-hundred dead and damage more than 90-thousand buildings at a cost of about $150-billion. The biggest problem: those pre-1970 buildings, many of them attractive landmarks --they're just not quakeproof.
By the way, when the quake happened in 1906, publisher WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST told his New York editor, "Don't overplay it. They often have earthquakes in California." Of course, he also might've advised that so eastern bankers wouldn't panic and ruin the city's credit rating. A-P GIANNINNI made friends and got rich by lending money to quake and fire victims. He later founded the Bank of Italy, now Bank of America.
Today's police blotter:
A Pennsylvania woman has earned the nickname "The Lady Godiva of Walmart".
28-year-old JESSICA LYNN WEITKAMP allegedly walked into a Walmart in the town of Shippensburg and dropped all her clothing. Cops say she walked through the aisles naked for a while, then smashed 350-dollars worth of merchandise. She was arrested as she tried to exit the store. Weitkamp is charged with indecent exposure, lewdness, criminal mischief, and disorderly conduct. (Still)
The Reel Deal:
No surprise to find out there's a sequel to "The Croods" in the works.
DreamWorks Animation says they'll be doing another caveman film with the same guys who wrote the first one in the house, and negotiations are underway to bring back EMMA STONE, NICHOLAS CAGE and RYAN REYNOLDS as well to do the voices.
The movie --so far-- has made $144 million in North America since its opening and over $242 million internationally.
Grace notes from Vinny Marino:
Not only are JAY-Z and BEYONCE the coolest celebrity couple ever, they're also worth a billion dollars! Vogue UK says her current Mrs. Carter Show tour and endorsement deals have put their earnings over the 1-billion mark. (Marino)
A pig has become a local celebrity in Queensland, Australia.
The 5-month old miniature pig named ZIGGY J PIGGY doesn't seem interested in farm life. The porker usually hangs out at the beach with his owner JAN LEADER. Or, they can be spotted sipping cappuccinos at a local coffee shop. The shop's owners don't seem to mind, since Ziggy is trained to use a regular toilet. Jan says, "I take him everywhere with me." (Still)
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