In order to retaliate for North Korea’s refusing to stop their nuclear weapons program, the Bush administration is turning to trade sanctions, banning the sale of iPods, Segways, Rolex watches, and Jet Skis there. This in a nation where the average annual income is $580. That’ll teach Kim Jong Il to mess with us.
Archive for November 2006
The World Chess Federation has decided to administer drug tests to players at the Asian Games this week to check for doping, this in spite of the sport’s top official saying “I would not know which drug could possibly help a chess player to improve his game.” They’re doing it because they hope to one day have the game become an Olympic sport, and if you want to play with the big boys you have to act like one. High School chess club presidents across the country are applauding the move, hoping it will clear up the acne on their backs.
The News & Observer and Charlotte Observer recently ran editorials apologizing for their part in supporting a white supremacist campaign in North Carolina that erupted into race riots in 1898. So far no one who was alive then has publicly accepted the apology.
Forget going postal, that’s so ’90s. And road rage? Très passé. The current rage, so to speak, is going cubicle. That’s right, MSNBC reports that desk rage is the up and coming thing. Symptoms include screaming, cursing, trashing office equipment, and assaulting coworkers. It could take a year or so until it becomes a word in the dictionary and a bona fide psychiatric disorder in the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), so try to stay calm until it does.
The head of the panda unit at Chiang Mai, Thailand’s zoo figured out something to do with the 55 pounds of dung the zoo’s two pandas crank out every day — they turn it into paper, then use it to make notebooks, fans, bookmarks, and key chains, selling them in the gift shop. They’ve sold $8,200 worth of Poopy Panda Paper TM so far but are having a hard time cracking markets outside the zoo’s gift shop. Maybe the world just isn’t ready for paper key chains.
So many turkeys, so little time. First, George Bush followed tradition and pardoned two turkeys so they could be flown to Disneyland to be grand marshals in a parade. At least he’s manged to save two lives. Then British historian and killjoy Godfrey Hodgson claims the Pilgrims — who he reminds us didn’t call themselves Pilgrims — didn’t eat turkey on that first Thanksgiving. Thanks god they had KFC. Making up for the Pilgrims’ menu loss, Patrick Bertoletti won the annual turkey-eating contest at Artie’s Deli by eating 4.8 pounds of turkey in 12 minutes. Wow, pigs eating turkeys. Who woulda thunk it? And next week the Pope is going to Turkey but will be eating crow over his not-so-complimentary Muslim comments a while back. Gobble Freakin’ Gobble, everyone.
Barbara Bush, the President’s 24-year-old daughter, had her purse and cell phone stolen while dining in a restaurant in Buenos Aires. She was being guarded at the time by the Secret Service, who should try not to live up to their name so literally.
If you’re a soda company, how do you follow up past years’ flavors such as fish taco, corn on the cob, and salmon? If you’re Jones Soda Co. of Seattle you come out with dinner roll, turkey and gravy, pea, and yes, antacid flavors. You’ll supply your own barf flavor. The soda are vegetarian, certified kosher, and contain no caffeine, calories, or carbs. Order quickly, they always sell out. So to speak.
Virginia State Police are dropping the well-known “10 codes” and switching to plain English. Instead of 10-4 they’ll say “Affirmative,” they’ll replace 10-20 with “Location,” and the stiff will be a “Dead body” rather than a 10-82. To help make the transition they’rv been given a list of approved terms to use. “You don’t want to say ‘dead skunk in the road’,” a spokesman said. “You want to say, ‘There’s an animal carcass.”‘ The old “stinky 10-82″ was much simpler. And that’s a big 10….uh, big affirmative, Good Buddy.
Reader’s Digest has agreed to be bought for $1.61 billion in cash.
[This article was condensed from the San Francisco Chronicle.]
Tom and Katie are getting married this weekend in a traditional Scientological wedding. Tom will be reminded that “girls” need “clothes and food and tender happiness and frills, a pan, a comb, perhaps a cat,” and will be asked to provide them all. Katie will be told that “young men are free and may forget” their promises. And both will vow “to love and to cherish ’till a dearth of publicity do us part.”
In a television interview to air November 27 and 29 on Fox titled O.J. Simpson: If I Did It, Here’s How It Happened, the football player turned golfing sleuth “tells for the first time how he would have committed the murders if he were the one responsible for the crimes.” It comes, not surprisingly, days before his book, If I Did It, goes on sale, a book that “hypothetically describes how the murders would have been committed.” In the book he also discusses how Hitler would have killed 6 million Jews had the Holocaust happened, how Jack Abramoff would have defrauded Indian tribes and bribed public officials had he been the one to have done it, and how Jeffrey Dahmer would have cooked and eaten the 17 men and boys he killed had he been hungry.
Apparently “man flu,” the condition whereby a man catches a cold and acts like he’s dying, is real. At least in England it is. A poll by Nuts magazine found that when they had a cold, 64% of men thought they had the flu and took a day off while only 45% of women did. Interestingly, it turns out that women actually get colds more often than men. Manwhile, another study says happy people get fewer colds. Thus happy men think they have flu more often but don’t get sick, while happy women get fewer colds and know it. Happy now?
A 22-year-old Man in Sunderland, England, shot off fireworks to celebrate Bonfire Night, which marks the night Guy Fawkes used gunpowder to try to blow up Parliament in the 17th century. Not as bright as Mr. Fawkes, and not understanding the meaning of the word “Parliament,” this man inserted a firecracker into his bum — that’s buttocks to you and me — and lit it. He’s currently recovering in a hospital after being treated for internal injuries, including a scorched colon and charred reputation. You know, maybe Darwin was right…..
Election Day is over and it was magical. The House turned Democratic, the Speaker of the House turned female, the president turned pale, Rumsfeld turned into a casualty, and Britney turned K-Fed into Fed-Ex. *POOF*
NPR reports that there’s a helium shortage. It seems several foreign plants aren’t in production right now and the federal helium program — yes, there is such a thing — will shut down for two weeks. If it gets bad balloons will drag on the ground, MRI machines will overheat, Garfield won’t float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, the Goodyear Blimp will be grounded, and there will be no more squeaky voice from sucking the gas out of your kid’s balloon. Unfortunately it can’t all be replaced by hot air, since the election campaign is over so there’s a hot air shortage too. But that will be just temporary, I’m sure.
Time magazine announced that YouTube is the Invention of the Year for 2006, beating out a car that gets 3,145 miles to a gallon of gas, a nanofabric umbrella that doesn’t stay wet, and a vaccine that prevents a cancer-causing sexually transmitted disease. YouTube will inherit the crown from Snuppy, the South Korean cloned puppy that won last year but hasn’t been heard from since.
Artificial animals are heading into extinction. First Genetic Savings & Clone, the California company set up to clone pets, went out of business after cloning just two cats. Then Massachusetts-based Union Products announced that it would stop making the original classic pink lawn flamingos. Hopefully the Artificial Wildlife Federation will put Winnie the Pooh, Olivia, and Quetzal from Dragon Tales on their endangered specious list so they’ll be around for years to come. In related news, Earl the Dead Cat is still dead.
The Rev. Ted Haggard, the leader of the National Association of Evangelicals who regularly participated in conference calls with White House aides, resigned his position Thursday and stepped down as leader of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs after allegations that he had a sex-for-pay relationship with a male prostitute for three years. Haggard denies having had sex with the man but does admit to having gotten a massage. And having bought crystal meth from him, though he says he “never used it.” Oh, that’s different. Never mind.
It’s not easy finding the time to be religious these days. So much to do and so many things vying for your attention. That’s why it’s good to know there’s Rent-a-Pilgrim. And no, this has nothing to do with Thanksgiving, John Alden, or eating turkeys. If you want to make the pilgrimage to Fatima in Portugal, the famous site of religious visions, but just can’t fit it into your busy schedule, contact Carlos Gil. He’ll make the trek for you and send a certificate stamped along the way to prove he did it. And all for about $3,000, which is a pretty cheap entry ticket to heaven. You can book him online at Pagador de Promessas. If business is slow he might consider doing it for frequent flier miles.