This Week in Stupid: April 20th, 2012 Edition

Friday, April 20th, 2012

If you needed another reason to develop a fear of flying, how about the fact that a pilot mistook the planet Venus for another plane? That’s bad, but at night, it’s perhaps somewhat understandable. What really doesn’t make sense are the pilot’s actions following assurances from his captain that they were fine. As reported by CNN:

The first officer saw a bright object ahead of the plane — the planet Venus — and mistook it for the approaching C-17. The captain corrected him and said the C-17 was straight ahead and 1,000 feet below.

At that point, the captain of the Air Canada jet and the C-17 pilots flashed their planes’ landing lights at each other to acknowledge their position.

But the first officer, still believing that the object in the sky above him was the cargo plane, initiated a dive to avoid the perceived imminent collision — sending the jetliner toward the Air Force plane.

For an extra side dish of stupid, passengers on the flight who weren’t wearing their seat belts were tossed about the cabin.

Next up is the war on terror. Idiotic as it is to have a war on an emotion, Taliban fighter Mohammad Ashan is perhaps even dumber. Ashan recently turned himself in to US authorities. Did he have a change of heart? Did he wish to renounce his violent ways? No. He was seeking the $100 reward that had been offered for his capture. Needless to say, US authorities were incredulous, but ultimately managed to recover enough to arrest Ashan.

“This guy is the Taliban equivalent of the ‘Home Alone” burglars,” one U.S. official said.

It’s unclear if Ashan received his rightful reward.

Finally we turn to Sweden, and a piece of performance art. Specifically, a cake intended to bring attention to the issue of female genital mutilation in Africa.

Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth was invited to open the festivities by performing a clitoridectomy on the cake, which she did by slicing off the part of the cake depicting female genitalia. She then proceeded to feed that part of the cake to a performance artist, done up in blackface, his head protruding through the table.

Perhaps that makes sense, as a work of art. It seems likely there are far better ways to raise awareness, but this is certainly likely to cause discussion. However, here’s one of the images from the party:

Performance Art Cake

That doesn’t exactly look solemn, does it? Despite the protestations of the artist, the whole thing looks ghoulish at best, and can easily appear as outright racist. Provocative art isn’t stupid, but being oblivious to a wider audience certainly is.


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