A survey of average British citizens — taxi drivers, pub landlords and hairdressers to be exact —found that more than 70 percent of them had never heard of blogging. A spokesperson from ad agency DDB London, which took the survey, says many people thought they were asking about dogging, which is the English hobby of watching couples have sex in semi-secluded places. While only 28 percent knew what blogging was, and only 19 percent had heard of podcasting, a whopping 56 percent knew about “happy slapping.” Give up? It’s a teenage craze that involves assaulting people while capturing it on video with a mobile phone. What ever happened to rolling houses with toilet paper?
Archive for September 2005
Two women were elected as councillors in Pakistan last month, even though one of them died three years ago and the other 13 years ago. Police have launched an inquiry and, if it turns out to be true, expect to see Strom Thurmond, Barry Goldwater, and Thomas Jefferson toss their hats into the ring for the 2008 presidential election.
In an interview with the French talk show Everybody’s Talking About It, director Guy Ritchie forgot his wife Madonna’s full name (hint: Louise Ciccone) as well as what she wore at their wedding (hint: a gown by Stella McCartney). Maybe that’s a byproduct of trying so hard to forget the remake of Swept Away they did a couple of years ago. Guy told the host: “You’re going to get me in a whole lot of trouble.” Pay attention, Ashton.
Now that Atkins has filed for bankruptcy, it’s time to start chowing down on carbs again. But won’t that make you put on weight? Not if the two latest diet plans have any say in it. The first is the Da Vinci Diet, a book put out by a disgruntled baker who lost business when everyone stopped eating carbs. It’s based on the Golden Ratio, or Phi, which I hear is featured in The DaVinci Code though I wouldn’t know since I’m the only human who hasn’t read it. The second is an extract of blue agave, which is usually distilled into tequila. Mexican researchers say it may help you lose weight and cut cholesterol. Unfortunately once it becomes tequila it doesn’t work, though if you drink enough of it you won’t care.
Have you dreamed of having sex with Bill and Monica? Me neither, but someone somewhere probably has, and hopefully they live in China since a company there is selling condoms under the brand names “Clinton” and “Lewinsky.” Okay, they’re actually spelled “Kelintun” and “Laiwensiji,” but you get the idea. The Clinton brand costs 30 yuan ($3.70) for a pack of 12, while the Lewinsky brand is a bargain basement 18 yuan, proving that gender parity is an international problem.
A Russian cosmonaut is getting ready to film a commercial aboard the International Space Station pitching Cup Noodle instant ramen noodles. And no, the slogan won’t be “In space, no one can hear you slurp.” While other countries send up scientific experiments, research projects and repair kits, the Japanese are sending a special camera which can be controlled from Russia’s Mission Control Center. The camera will stay on the space station, so if Tang, Dramamine, or 3M Duct Tape wants to film a commercial there they can.
Japan may be known for its high tech toilets, but China is working hard to clean up its act. Literally. Since winning the bid to host the 2008 Olympics, they’ve been working hard to maintain cleaner public toilets in Beijing. The new edict to the 400 environmental workers who enforce the laws says that no more than two flies or two pieces of discarded trash or waste are to be allowed in a public toilet at any given time. This is in stark contrast to New York City where no more than two people, two syringes, or two bodies are allowed in one at any given time.
A 37-year-old man from Shanghai, China asked the Guinness Book of World Records to name him the world’s youngest smoker. While there are plenty of people younger than him who smoke, he says he first started puffing on a pipe when he was three years old, a pipe which was given to him by his grandparents. The editors rejected his request, though they suggested he reapply in the categories “Stupidest Attempt to Shorten A Child’s Life”, “Most Continuous Hacking Coughs”, and “Dumbest Idea Hoping to Get in the Guinness Book of World Records.”
A Hudsonville, Michigan, man was arrested on charges of “operating his vehicle while intoxicated.” The vehicle in question was a forklift and he was driving it in the Spartan Stores’ frozen food warehouse. He’s just lucky he wasn’t charged with driving with a loaded pallet.
…have too many blades on your razor. It started with one blade, then two became the norm. Then Gillette upped the ante with the Mach3 so of course Schick came out with the 4-blade Quattro. Not to be out-machoed, Gillette is putting out a five-bladed razor named Fusion early next year. So there! It will come with a beard and moustache trimmer on the back of the cartridge and be available in manual and battery-powered versions. Personally, I think I’ll wait until the Wi-Fi enabled version with USB port, iPod dock and ice cube maker is released. Still, they’re getting close to the perfect razor. At this rate they’re only a couple of years away from having enough blades so I can shave in one stroke.
A recent Harris poll showed that two out of three Americans don’t know the words to the national anthem. Just for the record, it’s called the “Star Spangled Banner.” Interestingly, they can all sing the lyrics to “Joy to the World,” know “Bohemian Rhapsody” by heart, sing along with “Rapper’s Delight” each time they watch “The Wedding Singer,” and know every word of every song Nirvana recorded, though they couldn’t tell you what any of it means.
At the end of his weekly general audience today, Pope Benedict gave a shout-out to Italian exorcists who are in town for their national convention. This caught people off guard since very few knew it was going on. Or where. After all, there was no meeting room posted on the bulletin board of the Vatican Hyatt. In related news, last week the Regina Apostolorum, an honest to, uh, god university in Rome, announced that for the second year in a row it will hold a course on exorcism and Satanism for Roman Catholic priests. Classes begin next month and can be attended in person in Rome or via videoconference from other Italian cities. The online course, “e-Exorcisms For Fun and Profit”, will be available next semester at the Learning Annex.
Years ago Simon Bond wrote a book, 101 Uses For a Dead Cat. Now we have another use. A German inventor says he’s figured out how to make gas from tires, weeds, and yes, dead cats. For about three cents per gallon if my math conversion is correct. He says one cat can produce 2.5 liters of diesel fuel, which is 20 cats per tank. The EPA is expected to decide soon whether getting 16 mpc (miles per cat) falls within the guidelines of the new CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards.
Researchers at the MIT Media Lab have modified an Aibo robotic dog from Sony so it monitors your daily food intake and exercise levels and nags you to stop pigging out and get off your butt to exercise. It’s connected by Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to your bathroom scales, a pedometer, and a PDA in which you list everything you eat. When you ask “How am I?” it reacts. If you’ve been watching your diet it jumps up and down, wags its tail, plays exciting music, and flashes LEDs. If not, it makes you Sweat to the Oldies and poops on the floor. Just kidding. Actually it moves lethargically and plays low-energy music. It’s like living with Richard Simmons without the whining and high maintenance.
You don’t have to go to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower, you can check out a smaller version in Prague or Las Vegas. Heck, Vegas even has a reproduction of the Great Pyramid, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Doge’s Palace in Venice. But that’s nothing. Soon you’ll be able to see life-size replicas of seven (count ’em, 7!) wonders of the world in the dessert of Dubai. The Falcon City of Wonders, which is expected to cost $1.5 billion, will have reproductions of the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Great Wall of China. All filled with apartments, offices, hotels, and shopping malls. You’ll be able to go around the world in a cab — in 80 minutes! No more messy currency exchanges! No more wondering what country you’re in! See the world in one city and be able to shop until you drop! Maybe they should change the name of the city to Paradise.
Until recently, scientists believed human evolution stopped 50,000 years ago, long before the debate over Evolution vs. Some Wacky Idea That Has No Basis In Science flared up. Now a new discovery may turn this thinking upside down. A study reported in Science suggests that the brain may still be undergoing rapid intelligent design. I mean, evolution. Critics aren’t so sure of these findings, pointing to Jesse Helms, buyers of William Hung’s new CD, and the remake of the Dukes of Hazzard as proof.
Authorities in northeast China raided a restaurant that was rumored to be serving stir-fried Siberian tiger at 800 yuans ($99) a plate. The owner confessed that what was supposed to be endangered tiger meat was actually donkey meat that had been dressed with tiger urine to give the dish a “special flavor.” Oh, that’s different.
If President Bush’s Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, TX is 1,600 acres, and each displaced family from New Orleans were given a spacious 1/2-acre plot there, how many families would have a place to live?
[ ] 800
[ ] 3,200
[ ] C
[ ] None. But at least Halliburton Co. would be awarded the contract to develop the project.
President Bush said today he’ll oversee an investigation into the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, trying to determine what went wrong and why. The investigation will start, oh, sometime in the future, probably after a vacation in Crawford, two speeches equating the war in Iraq with the Revolutionary War, and allowing John Roberts to chair his own Senate confirmation hearing. Former president Bill Clinton is reportedly kicking himself for not having thought to head up the Whitewater/Monica investigation.
Britney Spears says she wants to name her soon-to-arrive baby London. London Preston Spears. It’s not that Apple, Phinnaeus, Rumer, Coco, and Moon Unit were taken — which they were — but rather that London is where she first hooked up with dancer Kevin Federline. It’s a good thing that didn’t happen in Tallahassee.