Why Not Just Call the Orkin Man? | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Opinion » Editorial

Why Not Just Call the Orkin Man?



File under "Drastic Overreactions": The president of Turkmenistan has sacked 30 employees of a TV news station because of one cockroach.

According to Britain's Guardian newspaper, as viewers were watching a 9 pm broadcast of the popular news show "Vatan" on state-run TV last week, a large brown cockroach appeared and strolled calmly across the anchor desk.

"The cockroach managed to complete a whole lap of the desk, apparently undetected, before disappearing," The Guardian reported. "The program, complete with cockroach, was repeated at 11 pm that night."

When Turkmenistan President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov found out about the cockroach caper the next morning, he went completely ape and ordered the firing of 30 employees, including reporters, directors, camera operators and technicians.

Since becoming president of the former Soviet republic in December 2006, Berdymukhamedov has built a reputation as a reformer who wants to modernize Turkmenistan and bring it into greater contact with the outside world. He's taken measures to boost tourism and opened Internet cafes in the Turkmenistan capital of Ashgabat.

As for why he has such a powerful aversion to cockroaches, The Guardian could only speculate that it "may have something to do with his previous career as a dentist." No, we didn't get it either.

No Crock Like an Old Crock

File under "More Chutzpah Than Anybody Should Be Allowed to Have": General Motors executive Bob Lutz is standing by his statement that global warming is "a crock of shit."

The 75-year-old Lutz, GM's vice chairman in charge of new product development, made the "crock" remark to reporters in Texas a month ago and has been under fire from environmentalists on the Web ever since. Last Thursday, in a post on his own blog headlined "Talk About a Crock," he refused to retract the statement and said his critics were missing the point.

"What they should be doing in earnest is forming opinions, not about me but about GM and what this company is doing that is ... hugely beneficial to the causes they so enthusiastically claim to support," Lutz wrote. "My thoughts on what has or hasn't been the cause of climate change have nothing to do with the decisions I make to advance the cause of General Motors."

Crock or no crock, Lutz said GM is moving ahead with development of alternatives to conventional gasoline-fueled, internal combustion engine vehicles, including the plug-in Chevy Volt.

Lutz has rubbed environmentalists the wrong way before. In 2006, writing in opposition to higher fuel economy standards, Lutz wrote in a blog post that requiring automakers to sell smaller cars would be "like trying to address the obesity problem in this country by forcing clothing manufacturers to sell smaller, tighter sizes."

Back to the Books

The best part about winning is the whole not losing thing. At least that's the way Upfront was raised. But unless you're Tiger Woods, Roger Federer or that one guy who's really good at bowling, you can't win all time. And even those guys lose once in a while. And Upfront has done his fair share of losing. (Our youth sports teams pretty much wore out the consolation bracket)

So it was not unfamiliar territory when the Source team got bounced out of the Education Foundation's trivia bowl in the first round Saturday night at the Tower Theatre by the Bend Oil team. (Who knew that Eric Heiden was the first guy to win individual gold medals in a single Olympic Games.) And we're still kicking ourselves for forgetting that the late Heath Ledger named his daughter Matilda.

Thanks to organizer's effort to pit like businesses against each other when possible, we competed head to head with our cross town news rival. Working with strict orders from our publisher to vanquish the daily rag, we could only muster a tie with six questions answered correctly out of a possible 12. (Is 50 percent still an F?)

We promise that next year we'll study harder. Regardless we doubt that we could have topped the team from Cascade Middle School (sponsored by Advisory Services and Investments), which walked away with the title. (Upfront learned a long time ago never to trade trivia with middle school teachers - their lives are filled with it.)

Win, lose or tie, the Education Foundation put on a great event with an estimated $40,000 raised for local classrooms. Congratulations to all those who came out to support schools.

Festivals for the Rest of us...

Last week the Rothbury festival was announced for the 4th of July weekend on the shores of Lake Michigan. The new fest boasts a mind-bogglingly awesome lineup including Widespread Panic, Dave Matthews Band, 311, Modest Mouse, Thievery Corporation, The Black Keys, and about 50 other bands you probably want to see, but what we found most interesting about the event was one particular rule for campers.

Within the list of "What Not To Bring" reads the following: "NO MORE than 3 cases of beer per person (in cans). Large amounts of alcohol will be confiscated."

Three cases of beer per person...yeah that makes sense - that's a case of beer per day, per person. Makes you wonder exactly what they mean by "large amounts of alcohol." Needless to say, upon hearing about Rothbury's lineup and kind (and likely un-enforced) beer policy, Source staffers immediately began scrambling for cheap airfare to Michigan and arranging for a U-Haul to carry our beverages.

Add a comment

More by Joseph Oguiza

  • Bonus Coverage: Hanks crosses Pope, Source takes to the air and more

    They don't care how big tom hanks is. Vatican to Hanks: Get Lost The Vatican has told Tom Hanks it doesn't want him in church. It's not his religion they have a problem with - it's the movie he's making. The producers of Hanks' new movie, Angels and Demons, had asked permission to shoot inside two of Rome's historic churches, Santa Maria del Popolo and Santa Maria della Vittoria. Fuhgeddaboudit, said the diocese of Rome. Angels and Demons is a prequel to the 2006 movie The Da Vinci Code, based on the blockbuster novel of the same name by Dan Brown, which espoused the controversial (at least to orthodox Christians) theory that Jesus had married Mary Magdalene and had children. Monsignor Marco Fibbi, a diocesan spokesman, told Reuters that the diocese had denied the filmmakers access to the churches because of the movie's subject matter. "It's a film that treats religious issues in a way that contrasts with common religious sentiment," Fibbi said. "Normally we read the script but this time it was not necessary. The name Dan Brown was enough."
    • Jun 18, 2008
  • Keeping the Beat Going: You don't know Diddley, R Kelly's home cinema, and closet dwellers

    Bo knows guitarsKeeping the Beat Going BOMP-a-bomp-bomp ... bomp-BOMP. If you've ever heard rock-n-roll - whether it was Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead, Bruce Springsteen, U2 or anybody in between - you've heard that beat. It was the creation of Elias Otha Bates, better known to the world as Bo Diddley. Born in Mississippi and raised in Chicago, he reportedly was inspired to start playing guitar by hearing the great bluesman John Lee Hooker and began his career as a street musician. After several years of doing nightclub gigs he released his first record, "Bo Diddley," in 1955, and it rose to the top spot on the R&B charts. That song introduced the "Bo Diddley beat," described by Wikipedia as "a rumba-like beat similar to 'hambone,' a style used by street performers who play out the beat by slapping and patting their arms, legs, chest, and cheeks while chanting rhymes." The music scholars say Bo Diddley didn't really invent the beat - that it goes back to West Africa. But what the hell do they know.
    • Jun 4, 2008
  • Rock Stars vs. Porn Stars: Sex tapes, classroom wizards and city scale acupuncture

    Text Me a Dime Bag Back in the dark days before Blackberry's and smart phones, college kids had to score their illicit drugs the old fashioned way - with Ma Bell and the doorbell. Not anymore, at least at San Diego State University where authorities recently arrested 75 students in a massive drug dealing investigation. According to the Associated Press, one of the suspects had recently sent out a mass text message to his "faithful customers" informing them that he and his friends would be unable to provide cocaine over the weekend while they were in Las Vegas. The message also advertised an ongoing "sale" and listed the reduced prices for some drugs. In all, authorities nabbed two kilos of cocaine, 350 Ecstasy pills, as well as marijuana, hash, mushrooms and methamphetamine. Among the places raided was the Theta Chi fraternity house where authorities said fraternity members were openly dealing drugs. Which got Upfront to thinking that there are a lot of frat traditions that probably should be abandoned: binge drinking, hazing, racial discrimination etc. But maybe that whole trafficking in barrels of Bush Lite wasn't such a bad business model after all, at least when you look at the alternative.
    • May 7, 2008
  • More »