It’s a little late for Christmas giving, but iCatholics everywhere will be interested in the first iPhone and iPod Touch app approved by the Vatican—iBreviary. It not only includes the Breviary prayer book in Italian, English, Spanish, French, and Latin, it also has the prayers of the daily Mass. All for just 99 cents (iPhone or iPod Touch not included). “But Mom, that only sounds like AC/DC. Honest!”
Archive for December 2008
The FDA has warned Coca Cola that their Diet Coke Plus is mislabeled. Even though the no-calorie soda has vitamins and minerals added, the FDA doesn’t think it’s appropriate to fortify snack foods. So much for the new Sprite with Calcium, Fanta Wheatgrass, and Mr. Pibb Smoothie with Flaxseed and Spirulina.
Inax Corp., Japan’s second largest toilet manufacturer, has recalled 81,724 electric bidet toilets, after reports that the covers on several of them overheated, melted, and began smoking. Freud would be fascinated by the therapeutic possibilities.
1. When a woman in Wheaton, Illinois, was evicted from her one-bedroom apartment, Animal Control Officers had to be called because it turned out she kept rabbits there. Sixty-nine of them, to be exact. It wasn’t her fault, they multiplied like, well, rabbits.
2. Michelle Duggar of Rogers, Arkansas, gave birth on Thursday. To her 18th child. The kids range in age from 20 to 2 days. Remember, abstinence makes the house appear larger.
3. When authorities investigated complaints about the noise and smell coming from a two-room apartment in Berlin, Germany, they discovered a 60-year-old man and his pets—1,500 budgies and parakeets. The uncaged birds lived on rods and flew around the apartment, which not surprisingly was covered in inches of bird poop. According to Spiegel, “Officials say the man will have to move out of his apartment, which is now uninhabitable.” Yeah, because it was habitable so before.
A survey found that 67 percent of pet owners say they understand what their animals are saying, while 62 percent say their pets understand them when they speak to them. Of course it’s possible that most of those polled didn’t understand the questions since they were spoken in English.
A Harris Interactive poll found that nearly half of the women surveyed would rather give up sex for two weeks than lose their Internet access, while 80 percent of men said all of the sex they had in the past two weeks came from the Internet.
If you apply for a mortgage you fill out a five-page Uniform Residential Loan Application. If you want a collage loan, you fill out the eight-page FAFSA application. Want a few billion dollars from the government’s Capital Purchase Program, better known as the bank bailout? Just fill out a simple two-page form. It’s easy, especially since the first page is just bank contact information. Download your copy here!
An Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at President George Bush during a news conference in Baghdad yesterday is in custody and being tested for alcohol and drugs to determine why he would waste a perfectly good pair of shoes that way.
When Joseph Saunders, CEO of Visa, spoke at a Goldman Sachs financial services conference the other day, he admitted that he’d lost his wallet on the way to New York and said, “It’s rather embarrassing when somebody steals my credit cards.” NOTE TO THIEF: Don’t use it unless prison is everywhere you want to be.
The Italian Agriculture Department has come up with a way to help shore up Parmesan prices while helping the needy—buy cheese and give it away. They plan on buying 6.6 million pounds of Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano, then give it away so the Italian poor don’t have to stoop to buying Kraft grated Parmesan in little green shaker cans. If it works, expect the U.S. government to follow suit by handing out Velveeta and Cheez Whiz.
As if 2008 hasn’t felt extraordinarily long already—heck, we already had Feb. 29th added as leap day—it now turns out there’s going to be a leap second added at the end of the year. In order to put clocks in synch with the rotation of the Earth, the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service in Paris—yes, there is such a group—has decreed that on December 31 at 23 hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds, clocks will pause while an extra second is added to the year. Just what we need, one more second of George Bush in office.
Gypsy Lawson of Spokane, Washington, was convicted yesterday of smuggling. It seems when she flew from Thailand to Los Angeles in November 2007 she got through customs with a sedated rhesus monkey hidden under her blouse by saying she was pregnant. She was caught after taking the monkey to a shopping mall and telling a store clerk how she got it. The monkey is at a primate rescue facility in Oregon. Lawson may be behind bars soon too. Just another reminder that evolution is still just a theory.
When Florida congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen received a phone call from a man who said he was Barack Obama congratulating her on her re-election and saying he was looking forward to working with her as a member of the House Foreign Affairs committee, she let it go on for about a minute before telling him he was a better impersonator than the guy on Saturday Night Live and hanging up. A little while later a man who claimed to be Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s chief of staff, called to say it really had been the President-elect. She hung up on him, too. After a call from the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, she realized it really had been Obama and Emanuel so she took the next call. Maybe it would have gone smoother had Obama not started his conversation by asking if she had Prince Albert in a can.
If you’re late for work or school in New York City because the subway was delayed, you can get a written excuse from the NYC Transit Authority. The only problem is you have to call them and it takes a week or two to get the letter. But not for long. They’re working on an online system that will email the excuse to your boss or teacher. This could spell the end to excuses like “the dog ate my subway token,” “the conductor’s grandmother died,” and “I thought today was Saturday.”
Football fans in LA, New York, and Boston will be able to watch tonight’s football game between the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers in 3-D, though they’ll have to give up the convenience of their La-Z-Boy recliner and go to a movie theater to do it. And wear 3-D glasses with polarized lenses, though that shouldn’t be a problem since most of them are used to wearing beer goggles while watching the game anyway.
The Ten Thousand Waves spa in Santa Fe is offering something a little different in the way of facials. Their Nightingale Cleansing Mask, which is supposedly used by geishas in Japan, contains a powder made from sanitized bird droppings they say draws out bacteria and breaks down dead skin cells more gently than acid peels. In addition, it leaves your face geisha white if you don’t manage to wash it all off, makes you instant friends with every cat in the neighborhood, and is much more convenient than trying it at home with live nightingales.
A survey taken by The Josephson Institute found that during the past year, 30% of high school students have shoplifted, 64% have cheated on a test, and 36% have used the Internet to plagiarize an assignment. What we need to learn from these survey results is that our moral infrastructure is unsound and in serious need of repair. This is not a time to lament and whine but to take thoughtful, positive actions. And no, those last two sentences aren’t word for word what Michael Josephson said in the newspaper article. Honestly.
According to an announcement today, the National Bureau of Economic Research says the United States entered a recession in December 2007. They apologize for the late notification, saying they’re working hard to fix their crystal ball, which has been stuck in reverse since August 1987.