How easily Om can turn into *POW*. Five Buddhist monks in northern Thailand have been defrocked and fined 1,000 baht ($25) for duking it out with rival monks who stood across the street soliciting donations. And exchanging curses, insults, and rude gestures. “When an ordinary person is given a middle-finger sign, he will be mad. So am I,” said Boonlert Boonpanit, one of the defrocked monks. The monks apparently had been praying to the little known Road Rage Buddha.
Archive for May 2005
Like cheese, fish, and fire accelerant, guests begin to stink if they hang around too long. So it should come as no surprise that when Dean Craig of Aurora, IL, asked his two guests to leave and they wouldn’t he set the house on fire to get rid of them. Hey, he warned them he’d do it. He’s been charged with arson, his mother isn’t happy because the house she owns was “engulfed in flames,” the family dog is now in an animal shelter, and his friends, well, maybe they’ll learn not to overstay their welcome in the future.
This correction appeared in The Guardian on Friday:
In correcting a misspelling of Elie Wiesel’s first name yesterday, we incorrectly, and embarrassingly, spelled his second name as Weisel (page 27). Apologies.
In an editorial in the latest issue of the British Medical Journal, three doctors have recommended banning the sale of “long, pointed kitchen knives” because they can be used to stab people as well as food. In the next issue they’ll suggest banning rolling pins that can be used to club people over the head, forks that can poke out an eye, and since they’ve had time to give it more consideration, recommend getting rid of the long, sharp edge on a knife because it can cut someone.
Just when you thought the Michael Jackson trial was dragging on forever, news comes that a lawyer just concluded his opening remarks in a case filed against the Bank of England by another bank — 119 days after he started talking. He broke the previous record for the longest legal speech ever given in Britain, which not so coincidentally was held by his rival lawyer in the case, who spent a measly 73 days setting out his client’s case. Apparently they never heard that length doesn’t matter.
Just days after Star Wars: Episode Three, Revenge of the Sith opened in Beijing, the DVD was available on the street. For $2.50 you get a blurry copy of the movie complete with English subtitles. Unfortunately the subtitles are from the 2003 Dolph Lundren movie, Detention. Fortunately only four people saw that movie so the dialogue is still fresh. Actually, it sounds like an improvement. In one scene Anakin Skywalker is dueling with light sabers and the subtitle reads, “I have enough trouble with students having sex like rabbits.” Hey, don’t we all?
When President Bush was asked whether the published photos of Saddam Hussein in his underwear proved the deposed leader wore tidy whities — I mean, would inflame tensions and fuel the insurgency in Iraq — he replied, “I don’t think a photo inspires murderers. I think they’re inspired by an ideology that is so barbaric and backwards that it’s hard for many in the Western world to comprehend how they think.” Iraqis, on the other hand, are perplexed by our amazing ability to display insight, compassion, and empathy for people who ain’t thinkin’ the way we think in Texas, dammit.
– An Indiana University professor says all 20 leading theories on female orgasm are hogwash and that it has no evolutionary function, it exists merely “for fun.” Since when did anything fun need a scientific excuse?
– By order of the city council, May 9th was declared Orgasm Day in the small town of Espertantina, Brazil. Mayor Felipe Santolia says they’ve been unofficially celebrating orgasm day for years but it’s now an official municipal holiday, meaning everyone in town gets off that day.
– The movie Kinsey has been released on DVD. It stars Liam Neeson and was written by Bill Condom. I mean, Condon.
– Finally, it turns out size does matter, at least if you’re a fish. A study of mosquitofish finds that females definitely prefer well-endowed males. Unfortunately having large fish genitals means they can’t swim as quickly — think the increased drag of Ron Jeremy without Speedos — and hence they don’t live as long as their less-endowed fish friends. Who says longevity matters?
A major electromagnetic storm caused by a huge solar flare on Monday is heading towards Earth. Forecasters at the NOAA Space Environment Center in Boulder, Colorado say the storm is a 9 on the K-Index, and they don’t get any bigger than that. They say the storm could cause cell phone outages, possible blackouts so you can’t work and have to go home, and satellite interference of TV broadcasts. They report no downside.
Indiana is going to join 47 other states and adopt Daylight Savings Time statewide starting next year. They’re also going to hold hearings to decide which time zone they want to be in. As it is, 75% of the state stays on Eastern Standard time, five counties are on Eastern Time but switch to Daylight Savings Time, and 10 western counties are on Central Time. Once this conversion is completed, they’ll consider adopting the Gregorian calendar, admit that email and cell phones aren’t really such a bad idea after all, and look for a new state song to replace the current one – Chicago’s “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?”
A new service being offered in South Korea lets dog owners use their cell phone to analyze their dog’s barks, giving them text messages from their pet which say things like “I am happy,” “I am frustrated,” or “Quit wasting your money on stupid things like this and buy me something I can chew on, dammit!” The program is an offshoot of the Bowlingual, a Japanese product in which the dog’s barks are picked up by a collar and translated on a handheld unit. 300,000 of them were sold at $100 a pop, but now you can do it just by using your phone. Best of all, if you have a speaker phone at home you can reply using one of six pre-recorded barks which they say communicate your feelings. You know, things like “I’m happy too,” “I understand your frustration,” and “If you’ve peed on the floor I’m going to neuter you when I get home.”
Hundred of high school seniors in Lee County, Florida won’t be getting their deplomas — I mean, diplomas — when they graduate next week. It turns out the company that made them misspelled some students’ names, mangled the names of school board members, and even misspelled “chairman” on one diploma. Maybe it’s time for standardized testing of graduation paraphernalia companies.
Nazzareno Didiano might want to go back and talk to his high school guidance counselor, apparently his career assessment test results got mixed up with someone else’s. Didiano, an ice cream vendor in Pittsburgh, PA, got upset when a 14-year-old boy complained about how much his ice cream cost. The boy left but Didiano followed him, pulled him off his bicycle, punched him in the face, and slammed him into a wall. “Rocky” Didiano was found guilty of assault and ordered to attend an anger management class, which I’m sure pissed him off no end. I bet that’s the last time he answers “All of the Above” to the question: Would you rather sell frozen treats to youngsters or kick the crap out of them?
The forensic artists and scientists who used CT scans to examine King Tut’s mummy have released a model of what they say the young king looked like. They were amazed to discover that he not only looked much like the gold mask found in his tomb, but that he also held a startling resemblance to Paul Winchell’s dummy, Jerry Mahoney. This cleared up two mysteries at once, since the researchers had always wondered from where Mahoney’s family tree had sprouted. A spokesperson for Winchell had no comment, during which time the ventriloquist’s lips never moved.
Google was out of commission for 15 minutes on Saturday, from 6:45 to 7 p.m. eastern time. During those fifteen minutes the earth stopped spinning, the sun went dark, and people around the world walked out of their houses and stood in the streets dumbfounded, trying to figure out what to do with themselves. As of Monday at 12:46 pm EDT the only residual effects are that Google still shows the Mother’s Day logo and a search for “google outage” returns 176,000 results. Authorities say that, given a week for group healing, everyone should be fine. Repeat after me: It’s only technology. It’s only the Internet. It’s only a search engine.
The Kansas Board of Education is at it again, holding another set of hearings to decide how schools should teach the origins of life. Out of the three front-runners — evolution, “intelligent design,” and creationism — it looks like good ole evolution may lose out. Again. You might remember that in 1999 the board deleted most references to evolution in their science standards. They got voted out, evolution went back in, and now they have a new board that doesn’t believe in George Santayana’s saying that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” If evolution goes, look for the board to hold hearings on repealing the laws of gravity, teaching that the Earth is not only flat but square, and declaring that in the state of Kansas, 1+2=7.
The winner of a game of rock paper scissors walked away with about $2 million the other day. Japanese businessman Takashi Hashiyama wanted to sell three paintings and couldn’t decide whether they should be auctioned off by Sotheby’s or Christie’s, so he had them write down a weapon — rock, paper, or scissors. Christie’s chose scissors, which beat Sotheby’s paper. The paintings sold for $17.8 million, Christie’s walked away with the $2 million commission, and Hashiyama is hoping the IRS will take him up on his offer of double or nothing on the tax bill by playing eenie meenie minie moe.
Barter #1 – A 21-year-old Fargo, N.D. man was arrested after he pushed a pizza delivery driver and punched him in the face because he refused to accept marijuana as payment for the pie. Hey, I saw the movie, the driver’s lucky he didn’t get tossed in a wood chipper.
Barter #2 – A man who works in a meat company in Woonsocket, R.I. was arrested after he tried to trade a couple of T-bone steaks for sex. Unfortunately the woman the man solicited was an undercover police officer. Probably a vegan. A vegan without a sense of humor. Apparently asking if someone wants to eat your meat is illegal in Rhode Island.
In case last week’s note about the bar serving a hot dog wrapped in a beef patty that’s deep fried, covered with chili, cheese and onions, and served on a hoagie bun…then topped with a fried egg and fries wasn’t the appetite suppressant you thought it would be, there’s more:
– A pub in Clearfield, PA is selling the Beer Barrel Belly Buster, a 10.5-lb burger that comes with 25 slices of cheese, a head of lettuce, three tomatoes, two onions, a cup-and-a-half each of mayonnaise, relish, ketchup, mustard and banana peppers — and a bun. It costs $30 and if you eat it within three hours you get a T-shirt, a certificate, and the burger free. Stomach pump extra.
– Peruvian officials rescued 4,000 endangered frogs from a slaughterhouse where they were waiting to become frog cocktails. The drinks are popular in Lima because they’re supposedly an aphrodisiac. Maybe, but only if you use a breath mint after drinking it.
– Police in Clovis, NM were called to Marshall Junior High school because of reports that a student came to school carrying a long, wrapped package that might be a weapon. Police put armed officers on rooftops, closed nearby streets, and locked down the school. The search was called off when it turned out that eighth-grader Michael Morrissey had come to school with a 30-inch burrito filled with steak, guacamole, lettuce, salsa and jalapenos wrapped inside tin foil and a white T-shirt. It was a non-lethal class project. Too bad the science fair wasn’t that day.