Thursday, May 01, 2008

When Pigs Fly

Paging Mr. Waters.

Paging Mr. Waters.

Would you please claim your pig.

INDIO, Calif.—When things go bad for a huge inflatable pig, don't expect it to be pretty.

A helium-filled swine, released into the night sky during Roger Waters' headlining set Sunday at the Coachella music festival in the Southern California desert, has been found in pieces.

Two couples found tattered halves of the pig Monday in their yards, a few miles from the festival grounds.

Concert organizers had offered a $10,000 reward for the swine's return. On Tuesday, the pieces of the plastic carcass were examined.

"That's definitely our pig," producer Bill Fold said.

Susan Stoltz found a plastic heap in her driveway Monday, but said she didn't know what it was until she read about the missing pig in the Desert Sun newspaper.

"My kids are going to think I'm so cool," she said.

Another resident of the same neighborhood, Judy Rimmer, said she found a piece of the pig draped over a front-yard plant.

The two couples will split the cash reward, Fold said.

As tall as a two-story house and as wide as two school buses, the pig was led from lines held on the ground Sunday as Waters played a version of Pink Floyd's "Pigs" from the 1977 anti-capitalist album "Animals." Then it just floated away.

"It wasn't really supposed to happen that way. I don't have the details," festival spokeswoman Marcee Rondan said.

The pig displayed the words "Don't be led to the slaughter" and a cartoon of Uncle Sam holding two bloody cleavers. The other side reads "Fear builds walls" and the underside reads "Obama" with a checked ballot box for U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

Let's Go Pens! Let's Go Pens!!

Let's Go Pens! Let's Go Pens!!

"Dispatch these foul beasts*
back into the abyss from which they crawled."

(*pictured: New York's Jaromir Jagr, who looks like he should be playing for the Devils, not the Rangers)


And while we're at it, "Let's Go Bucs!" (yeah, well, we know)

The Post-Gazette's Dejan Kovacevic noted the following about the Pirates' two best position players this season:

"Xavier Nady's 26 RBIs in the season's opening month were the most by any Pirates hitter since Willie Stargell's 27 in 1971. And, if that were not enough, his average is .337, he has hit safely in 21 of his first 26 starts and he has played a good, sometimes very good right field. … Maybe more impressive in its own way, Nate McLouth's RBI total is 25, this despite batting leadoff on a team that has gotten little production from the bottom of the order. His average: .342. Between them, Nady and McLouth have driven in 40 percent of the Pirates' 126 runs. No other player has more than 10 RBIs."

We're Number One!

Headlines across the nation proclaim: "Pittsburgh Beats Out Los Angeles As U.S. City With Worst Air Pollution"

But don’t blame us. It's not our fault!

According to ABC News:

Pittsburgh scored poorly in short-term particle pollution, overtaking habitual offender Los Angeles. Pittsburgh also came in second on the list of most polluted cities for year-round particle pollution.

George Leikauf, a professor of environmental health at the School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh, found the results of the study only "a little surprising."

"I'm not an apologist for Pittsburgh. … Particulate has been associated with more deaths than ozone. If you had to pick your poison, you'd rather have ozone than particulate matter."

Although much of the country may have a stereotype of Pittsburgh as a blue collar, steel mill town, Leikauf says that's no longer the case. According to him, more than 80 percent of western Pennsylvania's particulate matter actually drifts from Ohio power plants.

They're probably Browns fans.

Anywhoo, according to the UK's
Reuters News Service (and what do they know?), the American Lung Association concludes: "In Pittsburgh, the biggest source of particle pollution is a steel plant in nearby Clareton."

For the record, asswipe, it's spelled "Clairton." Get it right.

For all that, Leijauf (the guy from Pitt) says,

"It turns out we don't have very many steel mills at all anymore," Leikauf said. "These are fine particles. They stay suspended in the air. You can detect them in the Antarctic. In fact, some of California's air pollution is coming from China."

Just great: American jobs get exported to China, and Chinese air pollution gets exported back to us.

Whatever. Let's go Pens!