Powerpoint penis, Conan O'Brien's publicity stunt, and more

Blotter spotlights the week's notably weird happenings

The annual Flashbelt conference, held June 7-10 in Minneapolis, is supposed to help bring Flash developers together to hone their skills. But this year, one speaker has the community crying foul over a presentation that turned pornographic and alienated the small percentage of women present.

The website Geek Girls Guide called out one of the keynote speakers, Hoss Gifford, for his presentation, which turned into a bunch of giant cocks having orgasms. Classy. Gifford is known for the viral "Spank the Monkey" from a few years back. How fitting.

While some attendees found the presentation highly offensive, the boys' club that is the Flash community fought back, calling them prudish.

Among other affronts, the presentation included a close-up of a woman's shaved vagina in transparent panties that say "drink me," with Gifford's face Photoshopped below it. A later demonstration included a drawing of a penis ejaculating on a face.

Charming.

Watchu talkin' 'bout, Senator?

Since we have Al Franken, a former comedian, running for office, it wouldn't be that surprising to have another celebrity run against him. Although it's totally ridiculous, we give this unnamed newsroom employee a high-five for making our day with their confusion. The Overheard in the Newsroom blog posted the following last week:

"It's Al Franken and what's the other guy's name...Gary Coleman?"

Yes, that's exactly right. Publish ASAP before someone tells you otherwise.

Goldy goes dry

Minnesota legislators and Gov. Tim Pawlenty passed a new law that requires the University of Minnesota TCF Stadium to give cheap seats and suites the same access to alcohol. Now the university's regents have to decide if that means all or nothing for booze at the new football stadium.

President Robert Bruininks plans to recommend that alcohol be banned at the on-campus stadium as well as all other campus sports arenas.

The university originally wanted to sell alcohol in the boxes, suites, and club rooms, about 5 percent of the stadium's seating. They said it would help them compete with professional sports arenas.

Sounds like those fans in the suites will be joining the beer-bong pre-parties on frat row.

Conan the barbarian

We all know Minnesotans love celebrities. Because, let's face it, celebrities don't come here very often. So when there was even the slightest chance that Conan O'Brien might attend the best Minnesota event of the year, the State Fair, we couldn't contain our ridiculous Midwestern excitement. Cue the Minnesota Nice!

Conan himself started the buzz when he appeared on KARE-11 in May to promote The Tonight Show.

"I've heard you guys have chocolate-covered bacon. I will take The Tonight Show to the State Fair for a week if I can get my body weight in chocolate-covered bacon," O'Brien quipped. "My favorite food in the world is when meat becomes candy."

Now that we all know this was just Conan's lame publicity stunt meant only to break our Fair-loving hearts, we'll be watching Letterman.

Norm Coleman's tab

Yet another problem for Norm Coleman in the never-ending battle for Minnesota's U.S. Senate seat: He owes $95,000 to Franken in court costs.

That's what you get for keeping this fight going.

Minnesota law says that the loser pays the winner's costs in an election contest, so it's all on Coleman's tab. Franken had requested that $161,000 be paid to cover his costs. Luckily, he still has that SNL money to make up the difference.

The amount must be immediately paid to Franken, the court said, but Coleman's lawyers say they won't pay up until a decision on the Minnesota Supreme Court appeal. That means that the amount owed will get even bigger as it accrues interest. Another win for Franken. 

 
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