Sophie Lancaster memorial album released.

I've spent a couple of weeks trying to figure out what I wanted to write about this, partly because it hits so close to home. I quietly followed the murder of Sophie Lancaster in 2007 because what happened to she and her boyfriend hit a little too close to home for me. Because it happened in the United Kingdom it really didn't have much of a media impact in the States, though word can and did get around. In summary, Lancaster and her boyfriend Robert Maltby of Lancashire, both of whom were part of the gothic subculture in the area …

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As if there wasn't enough to worry about these days.

Some days, I cringe when I page through my list of newsfeeds at the things going on in the world right now. For starters, the US Transportation Safety Agency, a government organization charged with watching over points of entry and egress to this country has been a thorn in the side of many a passenger since its inception. Have a piercing or two under your skin that sets off the magnetometers? There's an excellent chance that you'll be forced to remove it regardless of the health risk. If you've had it for a while, I hope you packed hand tools …

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That's some chili.

Fire fighters in central London were called out in full hazmat gear when they received a report that a) something was on fire, and b) it was causing knocking down everyone that was within range of the cloud. Knocking down as in, "couldn't breathe, couldn't see, in lots of pain."

At 1900 local time they had pinpointed the location (the Thai Cottage Restaurant) and the source of the noxious smoke: A cooking pot containing about nine pounds of nam prik pao, which is a Thai dipping sauce made up of super-hot chili peppers that are fried until they are burned …

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Here's looking at you, kids.

For unknown reasons, someone in northern Europe is leaving odd gifts for people all over the place - carved stone heads with rhymes taped to them. Each head (face, really) is carved into a large rock, about one foot in height, and from looking at the pictures of the faces they've been finding, they're very well done. Not exactly life-like, mind you (a little stylized), but each is unique and recognizable. So far 13 of them have been left on the doorsteps of random people, and each has been at least 100 miles from the others.

Supposedly, one of Britain's public …

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Ronin assists UK police?

On the other side of the pond, a group of UK police officers were dry-gulched by a group of thugs armed with improvised weapons while answering a breaking and entering call.. and were saved by an unknown person carrying a katana. No, seriously. The guy with the sword took down one criminal with a (technically) nonlethal strike to the arm; two others fled and are still at large; a third was arrested later. The guy with the sword is still on the loose.

There is no word yet if he was accompanied by a teenage girl on a skateboard.