Reporter's notebook

Rock, paper, scissors There are rock-paper-scissors players who perform at a professional level. A p
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

Rock, paper, scissors

There are rock-paper-scissors players who perform at a professional level. A photographer at a newspaper I worked at in Philadelphia met a professional player, Shawn Ring, of New Brunswick, N.J.

Michael T. Regan, the photog (as we in the biz call them), found it difficult to believe anyone could dominate in rock-paper-scissors -- a game that seems so blatantly determined by chance.

But a few fist pumps later, Regan was stunned. "He beat me every time," he said. As Ring explained during an interview with City Paper editor Brian Howard, the appearance that rock-paper-scissors is a game of chance is only illusory. People are incapable of being purely random, he said. Ring shared plenty of other juicy tidbits about the sport.

You may not know it, but when you throw three rocks in a row during a game, you just performed "the avalanche." Meanwhile, throwing three scissors in a row is "the toolbox." And "the bureaucrat" is three papers thrown in a row. Also, "scissors sandwich" is a scissors thrown in between two paper throws. "Paper dolls" is a combination of paper, scissors, scissors. I don't play rock-paper-scissors. I much prefer bear-ninja-hunter, a far more animated version of the sport.

Of course, it's hard not to pick bear. The bear hand motions are too irresistible to pass up.

-- Cory Frolik

Man confesses murder to scare telemarketer

Looking for an ingenious new excuse to scare away those pesky telemarketers? You can cross "confessing to a fake murder" off your list. Someone has already tried that one.

Last Tuesday, a man in Sandusky County told a telemarketer he had "just killed someone and couldn't talk," according to a spokeswoman for the county sheriff's office. "But we checked, and it was nothing," the spokeswman said. However, the man's ploy actually worked. Sort of.

The telemarketer did hang up but immediately phoned local police. A short investigation quickly debunked the man's claim. No word yet on whether the telemarketer called back.

-- Jason Singer

Heavy traffic swamps lawmakers' Web sites

Did you have trouble last week pulling up the Web site for your local member of Congress? You weren't alone.

On Monday, the day the U.S. House voted on a $700 billion bailout package, it was difficult to reach the official home pages for U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo, and for U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green.

Don't blame your local lawmaker. Blame intense interest over the proposed bailout, which overwhelmed the computers that publish congressional Web sites.

House Information Resources, as the U.S. House computer folks apparently are known, sent out a memo Monday night explaining huge numbers of e-mails had slowed down the system.

"During hours of peak demand, some constituents attempting to use the system may receive a message asking them to try back at a later time, when demand is not so extreme," the memo stated.

"This measure has become temporarily necessary to ensure that Congressional websites are not completely disabled by the millions of e-mails flowing into the system."

-- Tom Jackson

No losses for local team

The Briar Middle School's eighth-grade football team remains undefeated. Coached by Perkins police Lt. A.L. Matthews, Briar improved to 5-0 Thursday with a 36-0 win over Edison.

"We were good sports and didn't run the score up," Matthews said. Briar ends the season with games at home against Huron and on the road at Clyde. Clyde is also undefeated, Matthews said.

-- Mike Fitzpatrick

Kelleys gets a close-up

Kelleys Island residents may be wondering why they saw a spunky blonde wandering around their turf with a television crew recently.

Cleveland TV personality Robin Swoboda showcased the island and its establishments in her weekday morning show, "That's Life."

In the episode, she visits the Kelleys Island General Store, the Village Pump and Kelleys Island Brewery. Watch segments at: myfoxcleveland.com.

-- Sarah Weber