This is True #1298: From Scotland

Note: I’m posting this week while sitting on a train going 85 MPH across the Scottish countryside — the train has reasonably high-speed WiFi, too. More on our trip below.

Hoppity Hopped: A “re-tweet” of a short video was hastily deleted from the official Twitter account for the Malling School in East Malling, Kent, England, but not before at least some of its 1,070 followers saw it. The explicit video showed a woman …uh…performing a sex act on a man dressed in a bunny suit. Whoever administers the account for the secondary school also used it to follow various other Twitter accounts, including nine people “linked to the sex industry” — including the woman who originally posted the video. “I’m shocked,” said one man, whose younger brother goes to the school. “It’s not what you’d expect of a school’s Twitter feed. It makes you think about how it got there.” (RC/Kent Messenger) …Which is one of many reasons why schools don’t want to teach kids how to think.

The school’s online admin had an eye-opening penchant for …uh… explicit content. Riley Reid had orginally posted the BJ video.

Zero Stars: If Jackie Gordon Wilson committed the attempted burglary he’s been accused of, it’s clear how he knew no one was home: he’d just taken the resident to the airport. He is — make that was — an Uber driver. An alarm derailed that burglary, but not before a Ring home-security camera captured video of the perpetrator. A completed burglary nearby was also recorded by a Ring system, and police say Wilson was apprehended in Rancho Cordova, Calif., dressed like the burglar in the videos. (AC/San Francisco Chronicle) …Uh oh: sounds like someone failed his two-Ring test.

A Very Candid Camera: A young girl was with her father at an Apple store in Walnut Creek, Calif., when dad noticed a man step close to his daughter — and he had a camera on his shoe. The man ran when the father confronted him, but other shoppers chased the creep down and held him for police, who found more recording equipment in his car. Jacques Bloxham, 66, is charged with using a camera to secretly record the undergarments of another person, and annoying or molesting a child under 18. He probably knows a good attorney: Bloxham is a licensed attorney himself. (RC/San Francisco Chronicle, KPIX San Francisco) …Which helps him to understand he’s not a good attorney.

Phoning it In: Anas Ahmad, 32, was following women in a Grand Rapids, Mich., shop. Kent County Circuit Court Judge Mark Trusock said Ahmad would bump into the women, pretend to tie his shoe, and pick up his phone — snapping a photo underneath the women’s skirts in the process. “You were trying to take pictures under their skirts,” Trusock said to Ahmad. “This is just not acceptable.” Ahmad pled no contest to capturing or distributing an image of an unclothed person, and using a computer to commit a crime. Trusock called the incident “particularly disturbing” given Ahmad’s profession. “You’re a physician. Physicians should hold themselves to a much higher standard,” he said. “This is outrageous behavior.” Ahmad was contrite. “I realized how damaging this could be to my personality,” he said at his sentencing, “how it affected my life in not good ways and I’m working on correcting this behavior today.” He was sentenced to three years probation and 150 hours of community service. He’s also no longer listed as a staff member at Age Management of West Michigan, where he worked. (MS/Grand Rapids Press) …He managed to show he has no respect for any age.

Not Particularly Innovative: In a plea deal, Steven Michael Jenkins, 56, of Castle Rock, Colo., has pleaded guilty to one count of “invasion of privacy for sexual gratification” after he was caught trying to take photos and videos up the skirts of at least three girls. Because at least one victim was under 15 years old, the charge is a felony. During an interview with police, Jenkins first denied the charge, Jenkins had lots of access to young girls: before being fired, he was the “Facilitator of Innovation” at Renaissance Secondary School, and was a teacher for 29 years. (RC/KDVR Denver) …And a 6-year-old boy for 50 years.


That’s One Way 
Divorcee Rescued from Midlife Crisis by Extreme Unicycling 
Press Association (U.K.) headline

For the Last Story, aren’t you glad I didn’t use the same tag from the last story last week? “…Oh, enough with the feel-good Easter stories!”

We’ve Been Through Dublin and Belfast, and today arrived in Scotland — so we have touched all three on our “ScIreland” trip to the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. We’re loving it so far, and of course while in Dublin I had to have a pint of Guinness Draught, which one would hope is piped directly into local pubs from the mother ship at St. James Brewery, which was along the tram line between our hotel and the city center. I don’t drink much beer, but when I do I like something fairly dark and smooth, and there’s not much that’s darker and smoother than a Guinness Draught. On the other hand, I usually prefer ales over beers, but hey: I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity while in town!

While the Guinness brand was established on the last day of December in 1759, and there’s obviously a lineage to the modern brews, Guinness Draught — “our most iconic beer,” they say — actually only goes back to 1959, when it was “developed by our brewers’ [sic] and launched as a celebration of the 200 years anniversary of Arthur Guinness signing his 9,000-year lease.” That lease was a savvy move: he got an established but unused brewery for that term at 45 pounds per year, which right now is about US$58. Who knew about inflation in 1759?

Yep, it was good. But we’re not big enough fans to tour the brewery, which is reportedly the top tourist attraction in Ireland. Instead, we went to the ruins at Glendalough in County Wicklow, which was definitely worth the trip out to the countryside. The highlight of the Belfast segment was the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the coast of County Antrim. But my biggest laugh was while in the bus station in Belfast: I was sitting near the door reading from my phone when something caught my eye: a pigeon walking down the aisle. After getting past me, it took a sharp left turn and headed for the door outside. I wondered if I should get up and trigger the door’s motion sensor to let it out, but no need: it was big enough to do the trick by itself. The door opened and it walked out, took a right, and kept walking. I just wish I had video of the scene!

Before Heading Out of Town, I recorded an episode of the Uncommon Sense podcast: An unthinking This is True reader* was shown Uncommon Sense — and adopted the practice for himself. A profoundly moving episode that shows how even terrible humans can change. John’s story is one of the most powerful ever told by a reader: I Learned There Are No Boxes. It will be the last episode for a few weeks: I didn’t bring my recording equipment with me on the trip.

* Full disclosure: the event discussed happened before John was a This is True reader, and he likely would humbly never use the term “Uncommon Sense” to describe his turnaround, but roll with it: it’s an amazing story. As always, you can listen right from the Show Page linked above, or read the transcript on that page.

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