Balloons Carried Gun Away In Executive's Suicide Balloons carried a gun away in a Red Lobster executive's "CSI"-like suicide, and more of the most e-mailed, viewed and commented on stories on the Web.
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Balloons Carried Gun Away In Executive's Suicide

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Balloons Carried Gun Away In Executive's Suicide

Balloons Carried Gun Away In Executive's Suicide

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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And next up on the show, because of your demands, we now hereby talk about the most-popular stuff that's going on that's not even on the show, that's everywhere else on the Internet and, you know, various places, the Most.

(Soundbite of music)

PESCA: Ah, All right, Dan, do you have a most?

DAN PASHMAN: I do, Mike. How are you?

PESCA: I'm good, dude.

PASHMAN: I've got a most-emailed from the Los Angeles Times. The Mexican navy seized a homemade submarine full of cocaine. First of all, Mexico has a navy?

PESCA: Yeah.

PASHMAN: Uh, yes. And they seized this submarine. It was transporting cocaine off the southern coast, a 73-foot vessel.

PATRICIA MCKINNEY: Not into the Rio Grande?

PASHMAN: No, no, no, no. This is 125 miles south of Puerto de Salina Cruz in Oaxaca. And the navy spokesman said special forces waited until the vessel surfaced, then repelled from helicopters, overpowering the four-man crew, and seized what appeared to be a large amount of cocaine.

PESCA: They repelled from helicopters.


MCKINNEY: That's just so awesome sounding.

PESCA: Anti-submarine cocaine mission.

PASHMAN: Apparently, this is becoming more and more common. Colombian authorities have captured more than a dozen vessels like this over the last few years, these homemade submarines, which, the authorities say, are also becoming more and more sophisticated. This article also wins the award for worst lead sentence of the day.

PESCA: You can't - because you can't go wrong with this story. You can really hook the reader with any aspect of the story.

PASHMAN: Well, the headline, "Submarine, homemade and cocaine-laden, is seized off Mexico," that got me interested. Then I read the first sentence. "The nation's drug wars sank to new depths Wednesday."

PESCA: Wah, wah.

(Soundbite of laughter)

PESCA: Tricia, what do you have?

MCKINNEY: OK, this is actually not funny at all, so let's get out the palate cleanser. I have number one on Google Trends this morning, is the name Oscar Diaz. He's a Welterweight boxer. He was fighting a guy named Delvin Rodriguez last night. It was broadcast on ESPN2 on their Wednesday night fights. Oscar Diaz collapsed as he was entering the 11th round and was taken to the hospital. He's now undergoing - reportedly undergoing brain surgery to relieve swelling. Things don't look good for him. The San Diego Express News quotes a doctor saying that he was breathing, and he has a blood pressure, but he was not responding to their commands.

PESCA: He's on a ventilator?

MCKINNEY: He's on a ventilator. You know, this is a - I'm not sure quite how updated this story is. This all happened, you know, late last night, and some of these updates were overnight. The hospital hasn't made a statement yet today. But you know, he was fighting in front of a hometown crowd, which makes it even more painful for them.

PESCA: Right.

MCKINNEY: He's from San Antonio.

PESCA: It's clear why it was number one on Google. It's not just because of the story, but I'm sure the broadcast said, well, we don't know what's going to happen. And of course, that's what you're most interested in.

MCKINNEY: Yeah, you want an update.

PESCA: So now - I mean, in the old days, you'd have to wait for some news bulletin that might not even occur. S now, you know, you sit down and Google.

MCKINNEY: You know what's interesting? As I was checking the AP wires this morning, they're not even reporting it.

PESCA: You know, he's not a big enough fighter so that you'd naturally be reporting it, so it wouldn't have someone to sign. But now they can probably find someone out there who...

MCKINNEY: Yeah, yeah. So, anyway, that's - you know, keep watching Oscar Diaz. Hopefully, he'll get better.

PESCA: All right. Let me - let me do this one first before we cleanse the palate in the other direction. And this is, you know, it's a tragedy and also a curiosity. This is the most-emailed story of the Dallas Morning News. Headline, "Balloons carried gun away in Red Lobster executive's 'CSI'-like suicide." A guy named Thomas...


PESCA: Yeah. Thomas Hickman, who was from Texas, and then he went to New Mexico, and investigators and - they found him dead. At first, they thought it was a murder. He was shot, and then they found a gun tied to balloons in the bushes nearby. An investigator obtained a copy of an October 2003 episode of the television drama, "CSI."

MCKINNEY: I saw that episode.

PESCA: And noticed that there were several similarities between that show and Hickman's case. They weren't sure he ever saw the program, but they went to this guy's garage. He had apparently filed away portions of a gun, they surmised, to make the gun lighter. Maybe he wanted to stage it to make it look like a murder if they couldn't find the weapon. But the balloons didn't really get far, so, at least - if that was his plan, it was thwarted. On the episode, what was the point?

MCKINNEY: Well, I think - you know, this was so long ago. I actually don't remember how that one turned out. I just recalled the scenario, but I think it was part of the stage to look like a murder for insurance money.

PESCA: All right. So now, we re-cleanse the other way. I love this story. Mark, go ahead.

MARK GARRISON: OK, I've got a most emailed on, a little blogger barista coffee controversy. If you want to get Most-y, you should involved bloggers because they will Digg you, and email you, and so you're going to go up the charts. A blogger orders a triple espresso iced at his local coffee shop and is told, no way, that totally violates barista-ry ethics, and he eventually asked for a cup of ice alongside his triple espresso, and he got a lecture. He did get the cup of ice, but he got a lecture.

(Soundbite of laughter)

GARRISON: So, he blogged about it very angrily, like, it's my coffee, my choice, you know, that kind of thing.

PESCA: I own it now. I can do with it what I want.


GARRISON: And so actually, later, he asked for the strongest iced beverage their policy will allow, so that is an iced quad Americano, by the way, like that. And so, you know, I like...

PASHMAN: I think they seized a bunch of those in the submarine in Mexico.

(Soundbite of laughter)

GARRISON: So, I like to drink spirits. I like to drink them neat. And so, I understand some of this, like, the flavor argument, because the ice kills the aroma and the flavor. But it was also an anti-larceny thing because basically the guy was saying people were getting an iced espresso, going to the dairy bar, as the kids call it, and basically legally making a latte, which actually reminds me of one of my favorite invented drinks. I call it the latte dolce de la conela. This is Italian for sweet cinnamon milk. So, you just bring your own glass, go into the coffee shop, fill it up with the milk at the dairy bar, add sugar or simple syrup, stir, top it with cinnamon and just leave. Yeah, very quickly. It was a great beverage.

PESCA: No one ever said you weren't insane. It was such a good blog posting. They linked right to Jack Nicholson in 12 Easy Pieces. And then the guy who owned the coffee shop, like, blogged in response. And they got into a war, and there were so many ethical issues.

MCKINNEY: No to quibble, but Five Easy Pieces.

PESCA: How many easy pieces?

GARRISON: She said five.

MCKINNEY: Five. He said 12.


PASHMAN: You're thinking of 12 Angry Men.

PESCA: What I want you to do is take seven of those easy pieces and hold them between your legs.

(Soundbite of laughter)

PASHMAN: Yahtzee!

PESCA: Laura, I know you're here, and you were going to do a Most. Can you just do it really quick? Like, just give us the headline?

LAURA CONAWAY: Real estate agents are serving pie to get people to buy their homes.

PESCA: I think that says it all.

(Soundbite of laughter)

PASHMAN: I've got it. That's The Most!

(Soundbite of laughter)

PESCA: And that's from the Seattle Post Intelligencer?

CONAWAY: Yes, it is.

PESCA: You came for the house. You stayed for the pie. That is today's Most. All the links are online, check them out, and we've got lemonade and cookies for you. And that is it for this hour of the BPP. We are always online at I'm Mike Pesca. This is the Bryant Park Project from NPR News.

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