An AP story in the San Francisco Chronicle describes the international space station’s Thanksgiving dinner: “The smoked turkey resembles sliced deli meat but stiffer, the candied yams are bland inside, the green beans taste like they’ve been microwaved to death, and the corn bread stuffing has a broth-heavy, institutional flavor.” Other than being irradiated, freeze-dried, vacuum-packed into plastic pouches, and served with Tang, it sounds like Thanksgiving at my mother’s cousin Ronnie’s house when I was growing up.
Archive for November 2008
Italy’s right-wing MSI-Fiamma Tricolore party is offering 1,500 euros (US$1,900) to parents in the Basilicata region of the country who name their babies after Benito Mussolini or his wife Rachele, saying the names are “at risk of extinction.” Parents will get an additional $278.42 if they also give the child the middle name of Adolph, Idi, Tojo, or Pol Pot.
A few weeks ago Vietnam’s Health Ministry said they wanted to implement a plan to prohibit people from driving motorbikes whose chests measure less than 28 inches, are shorter than 4’8″, or who weigh less than 88 pounds. There was a big outcry from the public, who envisioned the police pulling over female drivers to measure their breasts. The Ministry decided not to push the proposal, saying the police would just have to keep checking out women’s breasts and estimate their size as they always have.
Chubby Mikey, the 532-pound Memphis man who won last year’s Understated Nickname of the Year award, is taking orders for his 2009 naked pin-up calendar. While not as cute as Puppycam, it does help fulfill any fat fetish you may have, proves that a wide-angle lens doesn’t slim down a subject like a carnival mirror, and is a great appetite suppressant when hung on the refrigerator door. Oh yeah, it reminds you what the date is too.
When the CEOs of Ford, Chrysler, and GM flew to Washington to hold out their tin cups and ask Congress for a bailout, they all took private jets. Separate ones. This caused Rep. Gary Ackerman to comment that “It’s almost like seeing a guy show up at the soup kitchen in high hat and tuxedo.” Like a lot of big corporations, the three companies have policies requiring their CEOs to travel in private jets “for safety reasons.” Hey, you wouldn’t want them to ride in one of those unsafe commercial airplanes like the rest of us do, now would you? If they were really serious about getting a handout they would have carpooled in one of their cars. If they consider them safe, that is.
Astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper was floating outside the international space station trying to unstick a gummed-up joint when a grease gun exploded in her tool bag. As she started wiping the grease off, the tool bag slipped from her grip and floated off with all her tools inside. It was last seen heading for Jupiter where it will become the planet’s 64th moon, to be named Stanley Snap-on.
The space shuttle Endeavour made it to the international space station where it offloaded a crate filled with an extra toilet, a refrigerator, an exercise machine, and a new recycling system, one that will turn the astronaut’s urine, sweat, and old shower water into drinking water. Hey, it’s cheaper than carting shuttles full of Aquafina up there.
Scientists at Rice University have created BioBeer, a brew made using yeast that has three genes spliced into it so it produces resveratrol, the chemical in red wine that’s thought to protect against diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. Of course if it turns out BioBeer doesn’t really help, you can always drink enough so you don’t care.
The Mexico City Health Secretary has announced that beginning Dec 1 the city will distribute free Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis to men who are 70 and older because, according to Mayor Marcelo Ebrard, sexuality “has a lot to do with quality of life and our happiness.” Hola, Senor Feliz. Is that a tamale in your pants or have you already been in the free Viagra line?
There’s a shortage of sperm donors in Britain, thanks to changes in the law that used to protect the donor’s identity and limit the number of women who can use sperm from one donor. Authorities say they need 500 donors a year but the number of volunteers has dropped to about 300. Yes, it’s a volunteer donation. No money, just fun. And the prospect of seeing your younger doppelganger walking down the street one day. To do your part, contact the Donor Conception Network at (44) 020-8245-4369 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell them Mr. Happy sent you.
If you want to buy the DVD of the TV series Little House on the Prairie in Finland you’d better be an adult—the box has a sticker that says “Banned for under-18s.” No, Larry Flynt didn’t do a Nailin’ Palin version of the show, Universal Pictures decided to save the $2.57 per minute the Finnish Board of Film Classification charges to rate movies and TV shows. Sorry. No ID, no Ingalls.
The American Medical Association announced on Monday that text messaging while driving is dangerous and “can lead to accidents.” They also decided that germs cause disease, jumping off a 30-story building can lead to death, and the Earth is round.
What do George Bush and Richard Nixon have in common? Well, besides each involving the country in unwinnable wars, thinking it’s okay to put a wiretap on anyone they want without a court order, and having Oliver Stone make a movie about them, they also share the worst popularity ratings of any president since polling began. But now Bush has beat Nixon. He has a lower popularity rating (75% disapprove of the job he’s doing) than Nixon did when he resigned from office during the Watergate scandal (a measly 66%). Barbara must have done a good job of instilling in George the idea that if you’re going to do something, you should always be the best at it.
62-year-old Don Doane of Ravenna, Michigan, bowled his first perfect 300 game last week, then immediately keeled over and died of a heart attack. When life is complete, it’s complete.
The town council in Bournemouth, England, has had a “plain language” policy for the past two years that includes a list of Latin words and phrases their members should avoid using. They recommend saying “the other way around” instead of vice versa, “genuine” for bona fide, and “and so on” in lieu of etc. Speaking of which, the City Council of Salisbury told staff members to avoid using French phrases, e.g.—whoops! I mean, such as—”in lieu” and “fait accompli.” Hey, at least it’s not as bad as the town council that earlier this year banned the word “brainstorm” because it might offend people with epilepsy. From now on they should all stop using the word council, which comes from the Latin concilium, and call themselves “elected assembly,” which they could shorten to “morons” or “idiots.”
The 2012 presidential campaign will begin in 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . GO!
Scientists at the Australian National University have discovered that bees can not only dance to communicate, they can count, though only up to four. The researchers say they’re puzzled as to why the bees can’t count higher. Uh, because they’re bees? And their brains are smaller than a grain of rice? And not nearly as tasty when served with General Tso’s Chicken?
Hostess is preparing to release 100-calorie snack packs of Twinkies, the perfect thing for dieters who crave spongy, amorphous fluffy carbohydrates. David Leavitt, vice president of snack marketing for Hostess, says “It eats like a Twinkie, it smells like a Twinkie, it tastes like a Twinkie.” I’ll have to get a package when they come out. I wasn’t aware Twinkies could eat, smell, or taste. What if it turns out they have feelings too?