#2. One Noise Complaint Stops a 140-Year Tradition
If you buy a house near a church, common sense says that you're probably going to be faced with churchly side effects, like traffic on Sunday mornings, potluck fliers in your mailbox, and the occasional ringing of church bells. Unfortunately, one insomniac living in Hertfordshire, England, didn't get the memo.
Now, we can see how this would be irritating if, for instance, you were used to a quiet neighborhood and then one day somebody up and built a noisy church next door. But the clock at All Saints Church in Croxley Green had chimed every hour, on the hour, for 140 years.
"I never noticed before because I had to leave town once an hour for the first year that I lived here."
That all changed in October 2012, when one of the village's 12,000 residents complained that the chime kept him up at night. The unnamed man complained to the Three Rivers District Council, who in turn issued a noise abatement order requiring the church to stop all chimes between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
The trouble is, the clock is ancient, and it can't be turned off during evening hours without turning it off altogether, which is what they had to do. And because the church isn't wealthy enough to fight the order, it looks as though silence will reign for quite some time. We'd be tempted to ask how the guy who complained sleeps at night, but he'd probably say, "Pretty well, now."
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Ironically, now he can't wake up.
#1. One Movie Download Cuts Wi-Fi for Hundreds
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When it comes to picking their battles, the MPAA and RIAA haven't exhibited an overabundance of common sense. Having engaged in more pointless lawsuits than we can shake an unauthorized recording device at, they continue to fight piracy and illegal downloads with the accuracy of a SCUD missile (targets have included a homeless man named Chaz Berry and an 83-year-old grandmother named Gertrude Walton, whom the RIAA sued for over 700 illegal downloads ... until they realized that she didn't own a computer and was in fact already dead). Which brings us to Coshocton County, Ohio. And this time it wasn't a single whining citizen who ruined everyone else's day, but a very large organization complaining about a single act of piracy.
For five years, the county had provided free Wi-Fi service at the county courthouse and throughout the surrounding city block. In addition to being used by the 11,000 residents and out-of-town guests, the service was utilized by police officers for filling out electronic paperwork and by local vendors and merchants for processing credit card information. According to our reconnaissance, the nearest free Wi-Fi mecca (Starbucks) is over 30 miles away in Zanesville, so it's not like people had a coffee shop alternative to the municipal network.
"What the hell? Finn was just about to kiss Princess Bubblegum! This is bullshit!"
But everyone's service was abruptly terminated when one person allegedly made a single illegal movie download, at which point the county was contacted by the MPAA. And by "contacted," we mean "threatened," because any organization that sues a homeless dude and a dead grandmother won't have much of a conscience to wrestle with before obliterating an entire town.
Because the tiny county didn't have the budget to spend the thousands of dollars required to install filtering equipment, Coshocton immediately folded and discontinued the service for everyone. The blanket punishment hurt everyone except for the one person in five years who abused the system. But we hope he got a few laughs out of Scary Movie 5.
"Sincerely, the MPAA."
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out The 4 Least Anticipated TV Shows of April 2013.
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