Textile factory workers in Serbia claim they haven’t been paid in years, so one of them decided to protest by cutting off most of his little finger with a hacksaw and eating it. Zoran Bulatovic says “It hurt like hell” but didn’t mention how it tasted.
Archive for April 2009
Scientists in South Korea say they’ve created four beagles that look normal by daylight but glow red under ultraviolet light. The dogs, which were created when scientists inserted fluorescent genes into beagle skin cells, then put the cells into eggs and implanted them into a surrogate dog mother, will serve no useful purpose but will look great on the wall next to the Jimi Hendrix poster, velvet Elvis, and Last Supper tapestry when they’re really stoned.
During a press conference on Monday, Israel’s Deputy Health Minister, Ya’acov Litzman, said the name swine flu is offensive to Muslims and Jews and suggested it be renamed “Mexican flu.” On Tuesday Mexico’s Ambassador to Israel lodged an official complaint, pointed out the friendly ties between the two countries, and asked that from now on the Mexican Hat Dance be known in Israel as the Yarmulke Polka.
Voters in a small canton in the Swiss Alps voted overwhelmingly to impose a 200 Swiss franc ($176) fine on naked hiking after an increasing number of Germans were shedding their lederhosen and walking through the mountains wearing nothing but hiking boots and socks. According to German websites, nude hiking is “a special experience of nature, free and healthy.” Okay, a special experience that can include sunburn, frostbite, and biting insects. And now the clothing police. No word on what will happen to repeat offenders but it’s a safe bet they won’t just tell them to take a hike.
As part of the Earth Day celebrations around the globe, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gave Petty’s Island, a small 300-acre island in the Delaware River owned by Citgo, to New Jersey. In return, New Jersey gave Venezuela Camden, former governor Jim McGreevey, and the Vince Lombardi Service Area on the New Jersey Turnpike.
A study by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston found that students who chewed gum during math class had higher test scores and better grades than those who didn’t. They theorize that chewing helps students reduce stress and stay focused so they learn better, giving a whole new meaning to ABC Gum. The study was done for the Wrigley Science Institute, which amazingly is a part of gum-maker Wrigley. Go figure.
Each year hundreds of thousands of tourists visit the Four Corners marker, the only place in the U.S. where four states meet. People get on their hands and knees, positioning themselves so each arm and leg is in a separate corner of a concrete monument so they can have a photo taken of them in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah all at once. The only problem is they’re not. A new survey by the National Geodetic Survey discovered that the actual location of the Four Corners is 2.5 miles from the marker. It also turns out that New Mexico isn’t new, nor is it in Mexico. At least the Grand Canyon is still grand.
Kellogg Co. has settled charges by the FTC that it falsely advertised the benefits of eating Frosted Mini-Wheats when its TV ads claimed the cereal improved attentiveness in nearly 20% of children who ate it. It turns out it’s not true for regular, Blueberry Muffin, Cinnamon Streusel, Maple & Brown Sugar, or Strawberry Delight flavors, but only for new Frosted Mini-Wheat Ritalin Delight.
The city council of Navestock, a small village 25 miles outside London, is thinking about not repairing the town’s potholes. Not only would it save money, they claim it could save lives by forcing drivers to slow down. Kind of a Bizarro World speed bump. If it works, other moves might include not picking up trash and considering it compost, not repairing water main breaks because it’s irrigation, and disbanding the police department in the name of natural selection.
After Barack Obama visited Turkey last week, TV reporter Gökhan Taþkýn went on the air to talk about it. In black face. He went on to discuss Kim Jong-il while pulling up the corners of his eyes, commented on the Israeli election while wearing a large fake nose and glasses, then took off his fez and curled-toe slippers to reveal that he’s actually Andrew Dice Clay doing a Sacha Baron Cohen imitation.
What do you get when two losers join forces? The PUMA, a two-wheeled vehicle that can hit 35 miles per hour, travel 35 miles on a charge, do it at a cost of 35 cents per charge. Oh yeah, and which about 35 people might buy. The Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility—PUMA, get it?—is a collaboration of GM and Segway, which teamed up to produce a vehicle that’s ugly and as useful as a gas tank on an all-electric car, but it will let them comply with government mandates and get GM the money it needs to keep a flat-lined dinosaur on life support for a few more years. Or months. They shoot horses, don’t they?
Scientists at the Camel Reproduction Centre and the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory in Dubai announced that they’ve created the world’s first cloned camel using DNA extracted from the cells of a camel slaughtered for its meat in 2005. They’d been hoping it would be a sheep but aren’t disappointed, since in five years it will be fully grown and they can eat it.
The “ghost chili”, or bhut jolokia as it’s known in India, is recognized by The Guinness Book of Records as the world’s hottest chili, having a Scoville rating of 1 million units, which makes it 125 to 400 times hotter than your run-of-the-mill jalapeño. That’s why it’s amazing that an Indian woman, Anadita Dutta Tamuly, ate 51 of them in two minutes last Friday to set a new world record. Not to mention that when she was finished she grabbed handfuls of the chili seeds and smeared them into her eyes. As a follow-up she’s considering drinking boiling oil, cutting her left hand off with a spoon, or putting a red hot poker in one ear so it comes out the other.
People for the Ethical Treatment for Animals, known as PETA, sent a letter to Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, known for the past 20 years or so as the Pet Shop Boys, asking them to rename the band Rescue Shelter Boys. In the letter, which the Pet Shop Boys posted on their website, PETA admits the request “may at first seem bizarre.” No more bizarre than asking them to change the name of their biggest hit song to West End Kittens.
Kelley Coffman-Lee of Centennial, Colorado, is a tofu-loving vegan who wanted to let everyone know it so she applied to the Division of Motor Vehicles for the license plate “ILVTOFU.” She was turned down. Apparently the letters “FU” aren’t allowed on a license plate because, well, you figure it out. Even though they’re not on the official list. You know, like CAN, RED, and ZOO. Good thing she didn’t want “ICANRED.”
The Fox network has announced a new reality show called Someone’s Gotta Go. Each week the employees of a different small business will decide which of their colleagues will be laid off. As a consolation prize, those who lose their jobs will get a chance to be on Dancing With The Unemployment Line. Other shows in the works include Take That You Worthless Pile of Crap, in which participants talk about the people they don’t like, naming names and slagging them mercilessly while showing photographs of them; Stoners, in which people are publicly stoned just for the hell of it; and I’m On TV Even Though I Have No Talent Or Anything To Contribute To Society And You’re Not, which is self-explanatory.
While some bosses dream about spending the night with an employee, it’s taken a new turn in France where workers at plants run by Sony, 3M, and Caterpillar have locked their managers inside the factories overnight to protest layoffs. Now a survey for Le Parisien newspaper finds that 45% of those polled thought “bossnapping,” as it’s called, is acceptable behavior. No word on how many of the bosses would rather spend the night at the factory than go home anyway.
Orange roughy was originally called slimehead and Patagonian toothfish sold better once they changed its name to Chilean sea bass. Now British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is renaming pollack just for the halibut. They say they’re doing it because people are embarrassed to ask for it since the name sounds like bollocks, Brit slang for testicles. Not to mention that it’s close to racial slang for the fine people of Poland. The supermarket chain has launched a campaign complete with fresh new packaging, calling the fish “colin,” which is pronounced “co-lan.” You know, kind of like the last portion of the digestive system. Cooking the fish will from now on be known as a colinoscopy. That should help sales.
When Miss Universe, Dayana Mendoza of Venezuela, visited the U.S. naval facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on a USO trip, she did what anyone would do nowadays. She blogged about it. In a March 27 blog entry posted on the Miss Universe website, she said “It was a loooot of fun!,” commented on the “unbelievable” beach there, and said “I didn’t want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful.” The 240 detainees’ sentiments exactly! As of yesterday, the blog posting vanished from the Miss Universe website, being replaced by a note from the president of the Miss Universe contest paraphrasing Sergeant Schultz: “She hear nothing! She saw nothing! She knows nothing!”