Albert Hofmann, the scientist who in 1938 discovered lysergic acid diethylamide-25 — that’s LSD, or acid, to you — died Tuesday at the age of 102. Let the flashbacks begin.
Archive for April 2008
Iranian Prosecutor General Ghorban Ali Dori Najafabadi has said that Barbie must be stopped, calling the doll “destructive culturally and a social danger.” He’s probably upset because the modestly dressed dolls the country introduced in 2002, Dara and Sara, haven’t caught on and Barbie is still more popular, even though you have to buy her on the black market. Hey, he really should calm down and count his blessings that Bratz haven’t made the scene there yet.
Thirteen men suspected of being sorcerers have been arrested in Congo because they supposedly shrunk or stole men’s penises. People were so alarmed that listeners to radio call-in shows were being advised to be wary of passengers in communal taxis wearing gold rings, particularly those holding rulers, asking if by any chance you need a new penis, or saying “Hey, want to see a cool magic trick?”
OMG! r u ready 4 this? A kEwL study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that 2/3 of teenz use emoticons (:-o) and other informal styles (lol) in their sk00l writing assignments. b4 u no it, grammar will b dead! And btw, I’m not j/k.
A musical version of Gone With the Wind opened in London on Wednesday night. Amazingly, it got terrible reviews. Could it be the role reversal of having a British Rhett and an American Scarlett this time around? Or rhyming “I don’t know nothin’ ’bout birthin’ no babies” with “I miss my life when it wasn’t so crazy”? Maybe it’s time to let movies be movies and open a — dare I say it? — original musical stage play that’s not based on anything.
While most fast food chains are pushing their 99-cent menu, Burger King is launching an £85 — that’s US$168 — burger in London made with Kobe beef and garnished with foie gras and a rare blue cheese instead of ketchup and a vaguely cheddar-like substance. Actually, for that money they’d better be using bleu cheese. And the burger should be served by Kobe Bryant. Don’t bother supersizing it unless you’re prepared to fill out a loan application.
British fortune-tellers, psychics, and mediums marched on the home of British prime minister Gordon Brown Friday, delivering a petition signed by 5,000 people as a protest against a new law they say could lead to them being “persecuted and prosecuted.” There’s little question the law will be repealed. After all, why would they even bother protesting unless they already foresaw that their efforts would be successful?
The June issue of Japanese Vogue will feature a spread showing Dior’s autumn and winter collection, all worn by a new model — Hello Kitty. Not only will she be wearing the clothes, she’ll be posing with designer John Galliano and followed around Paris when she goes on a shopping spree. Not to be outdone, Dora The Explorer is on her way to Milan for a runway show and Thomas The Tank Engine has been signed by the Ford Modeling Agency.
A study by a sociologist at the University of Chicago found that the happiest Americans are the oldest, with 33% of 88-year-olds saying they’re very happy versus only 24% of the grumpy, angst-filled, emo-listening 18-to-20-year-olds. Interestingly, it turns out the odds of being happy increase 5% with every 10 years of age, so if the Counting Crows live to be 227 they should be in the mood to put out a moderately happy CD.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s best estimate, the population of the world will hit 6,664,737,085 on May 1st and 6,671,275,141 a month later. That means that sometime during May, somewhere in the world, person number 6,666,666,666 will be born. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen Rosemary’s Baby, The Omen, and Scary Movie. I’m nervous.
George Bush held a birthday party at the White House yesterday for Pope Benedict XVI, complete with a 21-gun salute, the Marine Band, and 9,000 of the pope’s closest American friends. Today the pope will meet privately with the president, when it’s expected he’ll ask Bush to please stop calling him Bennie and asking how the Jets are.
An Internet campaign has been started in China calling for a boycott of the French retail store Carrefour — known as Jialefu and very popular in China — to retaliate for the Paris protests during the Olympic torch relay and French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s saying he might not attend the opening ceremony of the Olympics. If it happens, don’t be surprised to see the French boycott Chinese food, which will cause the Chinese to outlaw French poodles and stop saying “Ooh la la.” Then the French will change the name of crêpe de Chine to crepe de Freedom, the Chinese will stop eating French toast which they don’t eat anyway, and the French will outlaw fortune cookies which are an American invention. Finally they’ll both stop their foolishness and band together against the English, who they both dislike.
Mariah Carey’s song, Touch My Body, is her 18th to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, meaning she’s beat out Elvis Presley for having the most No. 1 singles and is second only to the Beatles. In other news, hell froze over, pigs flew, and the check actually is in the mail.
The airline industry is a mess. American Airlines has cancelled 1,000 flights so they can check the wiring. Aloha and ATA have gone out of business. Frontier has filed for bankruptcy. And United just raised their prices up to $30 per round trip, meaning it will cost as much as $130 more for a domestic round-trip ticket now than it did the first week of January. Is it the recessi…I mean, economic downturn? Or the price of oil? According to President Bush it’s neither, and everything is hunky dorey. “Had the Wright brothers stayed in Ohio and just fixed bicycles like they should have we wouldn’t be in this mess today.” Yeah. What he said.
A Venezuelan TV channel has taken The Simpsons off the air because they say it’s inappropriate for children. In its place will be Baywatch Hawaii, which features bikini-clad babes and musclebound hunks who run along the beach in slow jiggling motion. Not to mention — “Cover your eyes, kids!” — David Hasselhoff. On the other hand, they may have made the decision based on dough, not Doh!
Japanese origami experts have created a paper airplane they hope to launch from space and fly to Earth. It’s no average paper airplane. An origami master spent 18 months figuring out how to create it from a single sheet of paper without cutting, stitching or taping it. Hell, he should have just asked a third-grader. Since the prototype survived a test that included Mach 7 speeds and temperatures up to 446 degrees Fahrenheit, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has agreed to fund three years of feasibility studies to the tune of $300,000 a year. That’s a pretty nice living. Hey, I have an idea! Why not throw a Frisbee on the moon? Or see how a hula hoop works in weightlessness? Wait, wait, wait! I have it. How about seeing how the origami crane that flaps its wings, which I still remember how to make, works in the space station? If it helps, you can PayPal my monthly funding to me.
Proving that he was truly a trendsetter, famed tenor Luciano Pavarotti lip-synched his last performance, at least a year before Britney so floppingly did the same at the MTV Video Awards. Leone Magiera, who conducted the performance at the opening ceremony of the Turin Winter Olympic Games in 2006, says in a recently published book that Pavarotti recorded Nessun Dorma several days before the performance and faked it on stage, though his dancing was the real thing.
A German woman who lost 225 lbs on a crash diet underwent surgery to remove the wrinkles and tighten her skin. When she woke up she discovered the doctors had put in breast implants, taking her from a C cup to a D. She’s suing. The doctors say it’s the best way to tighten her skin and she shouldn’t complain. Hopeful Shar-Peis are lining up outside the doctor’s office.
Want to be a millionaire? Just move to Zimbabwe. Thanks to an inflation rate of 100,000%, which makes our financial situation here in the U.S. look like underpriced chicken feed, a loaf of bread costs a whopping 16 million Zimbabwe dollars. To ease the strain on everyone’s overstuffed wallet, the government issued a new 50 million bank note today. One of them will get you $1 on the black market or three loaves of bread in the supermarket. Just think, only 1,180 of the new bills and you could be as rich as Bill Gates. Zimbabweanly speaking.
When the Arkansas legislature passed a bill last year aiming to make 18 the minimum age to be married, they accidentally stuck an extra “not” in the text, so the law let anyone who wasn’t pregnant to marry, no matter what age they were. Even toddlers. In a special session this week, the legislature repealed it, so once again boys need to be 17 and girls 16 if they want to wed. The West Virginia Department of Tourism is gearing up to take up the slack.