29 December 2006
Use the mouse to control your ship. As a guide, in my one try I managed a score of 13,060. As you get an extra life for completing each level it can get a little bit easy until the faster levels.
28 December 2006
It is, scientists said yesterday, the glow from the first things to form in the universe, more than 13 billion years ago. Snapped by NASA's Spitzer space telescope, the bizarre objects must have existed within a few hundred million years of the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago'
- Sydney Morning Herald, 20 December 2006
[See the link above for the groovy pic, dudes]
- Dominion Post, 28 December 2006
22 December 2006
- US media personality and former jailbird Martha Stewart, on her brief relationship with Sir Anthony Hopkins
[Courtesy of Louwrens. What about your knee in Paree? Or your neck in Bishkek?]
21 December 2006
BUS: Box, upright, with seats
CAR: Carriage, automotive, reverses
TAXI: Tatty automobile, xenophobe inside'
- Flight International, 5-11 December 2006
17 December 2006
Christmas shopping without the long queues, masses of people, traffic jams, and parking hassles – impossible? Not for the hundreds of New Zealanders who are choosing this year to do their shopping online. Timaru woman Kimberley Fisher decided to surf the net recently after having no success in several stores to find a specific DVD. "I couldn't find it in the shops so I tried online. It was simple, just a click of the mouse and cheap postage as well, it got here in about 10 days."
Although the 20-year-old said she still preferred reality shopping, when looking for something in particular the internet was perfect.
- Timaru Herald, 18 December 2006
[What, so the internet isn't real?]
- Time Magazine, 13 December 2006, also reporting by BBC
[You're in good company. Hitler won it in 1938, and Stalin the next year. Scoop has theorised that perhaps Time intended to award the title to 'YouTube' but the cover was too narrow...]
14 December 2006
"Mateship is a great Australian concept, it's a concept of everybody pulling together in common adversity," he said. "It's a concept of treating people according to how you find them and not according to the colour of their skin. It's very much part of our ethos. You say 'How do you test it?'. Well, I'm not going to start canvassing what the test is."
- Sydney Morning Herald, 12 December 2006
- Guardian, 11 December 2006
[How apt! The interview is worth reading too - see link above]
"She was completely humourless and inflexible, and showed no understanding of my excitement about the Ashes," he fumed. "She confiscated the ball for most of our conversation, gave me a verbal warning and said she was being very lenient." But a spokesman for the police raised a hitherto unforeseen danger: "What if the ball was dropped and hit an old lady further down the escalator?" Old ladies beware'
- Jenny Thompson on Cricinfo, 11 December 2006
Bound for glory
07 December 2006
- West Australian, 7 December 2006
For all the gory details, see the story link below.
- Manawatu Standard, 7 December 2006
[Managed 20,300 points in my one go at it]
"He [Diawara] brings out an extra six to twelve inches and it's a fantastic tackle. "
SCOTT MINTO, BBC
"If history is going to repeat itself I should think we can expect the same thing again."
"Merseyside derbies usually last 90 minutes and I'm sure today's won't be any different." TREVOR BROOKING
"In terms of the Richter Scale this defeat was a force eight gale."
For all these and more, see this brilliant yet thoroughly unofficial site...
[Courtesy of Al]
Don't Shoot Your Eye Out!
[Courtesy of Louwrens, who managed 254. I got 242...]
"Well, Jim," Reagan replied calmly, "'The Sound of Music' was on last night'".
- Economist, 2 December 2006
- Brendan Boyle reviews 'Thermopylae: The Battle That Changed the World' by Paul Cartledge, New York Sun, 4 December 2006
03 December 2006
- Taranaki Daily News, 1 December 2006
02 December 2006
'Some of the money was spent in contacting the Russian mafia as we tried to clone mammoths. But you can't say that [on an expense claim] so we expensed it as money for cows for experiment'
- Disgraced South Korean stem-cell scientist Woo Suk Hwang explains his expenses, Reuters, 24 Oct, quoted in New Scientist, 4 November 2006
Clive James knows perfectly well that a man with a talent to amuse will always have some difficulty persuading the public that he can, so to speak, quote Wittgenstein. And, once they know that he is also from “the bush”, they will expect some coarse material, too. Thus it’s brave of him to stand by the original version of his much-misquoted image of Arnold Schwarzenegger (it was “a brown condom stuffed with walnuts”) against subsequent plagiarism and dilution. He coins a new term for authorial humiliation, when he speaks of a publisher’s “advance” that is really a retreat.
- Christopher Hitchens reviews North Face of Soho (Unreliable Memoirs, Vol. 4) by Clive James, Times, 15 November 2006
[If you're interested, the Guardian has an entertaining spoof digested read of NFoS, which includes this passage on his filmstar interviewing: 'It wasn't an unmitigated success, as I invariably had a better understanding of the actors' work than they did, but it was none the less instructive']
- Laurent Lefevre, owner of Au Metro bar in the 14th Arrondissement of Paris, on France's decision to ban smoking in bars and restaurants from 2007. (AFP, quoted in New Scientist, 14 October 2006)
- Guardian Weekly, 3 November 2006
- Letter to the editor from Robert Wallace Blake, Economist, 4 November 2006
01 December 2006
A Christchurch Catholic school principal was accused of "working for Satan" after allowing pupils to work with Muslim girls on a school project. St Thomas of Canterbury College principal Bruce Stevenson was abused over the phone by a woman objecting to a Young Enterprise Scheme project involving a group of Year 11 boys and Muslim girls from the United Muslimahs of Canterbury. Stevenson said the woman accused him of working for Satan and that he would go to hell for his actions.
- The Press, 1 December 2006
'One man abandoned his drunken girlfriend asleep and told the cabbie that he was leaving her as a tip. Another driver was lumbered with a man wearing only underpants. Other taxi drivers in the capital have reported finding a machinegun, an antique telescope and a bag of diamonds worth £100,000 on the rear seats of their cabs'
- The Times, 28 November 2006
The key to finding good humor fodder is that the story must be NEARLY funny without being completely funny on its own. For example, if I see a story about some spatially challenged burglar who got his head stuck in a chimney, and a stork built a nest in his ass, that’s already completely funny. There’s nothing for me to add.
What I’m looking for is a story that makes me giggle before I even know why – the potential is there but it needs some magic humor dust to make it all that it can be. I mention this because I was reading on MSNBC.com that the Pope is visiting Turkey. This is 50% funny all by itself.
Then I read that 20,000 Muslim protesters in Istanbul were chanting “Pope don’t come!” (Seriously.)
- The Dilbert Blog: Nearly Funny Things
25 November 2006
- Sydney Morning Herald, 23 November 2006
'Asbestos can also be bought in the loose fibrous form, and is excellent for temporarily repairing leaking gas and water pipes. For this purpose the asbestos fibres should be mixed to a thick paste with water-glass, spread over the hole or weak spot in the pipe and bound over with cloth'
- Guardian, 21 November 1927
- BBC News, 27 October 2006
- Stuff.co.nz, 24 November 2006
[The driver is from Canowindra NSW, which is apparently the 'ballooning capital of Australia'. Here's a map].
23 November 2006
22 November 2006
...more than 200 life-size replicas of absent soldiers have been printed and distributed to their families. Some families have become utterly attached to their Flat Daddies, seating them at the dinner table and propping them up at barbecues. Mary Holbrook thought nothing of taking a life-size replica of her husband, LtCol Randall Holbrook, to her gynaecologist.
"He just thought it was really neat," Holbrook said, meaning her gynaecologist, not the LtCol.
Michael Hughesman, a psychologist who works with the families of British servicemen on deployment [said] 'We would encourage families to keep normal-sized photos prominently available ... but we've not come across the idea of Flat Daddies[...] I know it would draw a few sucked-in cheeks from some of our military folk'
- Guardian Weekly, 15 September 2006 (edited for length)
[Here's the official website]
- New York Times, 21 November 2006, on President Bush's diplomatic visit to Indonesia
Chamber horses became de rigueur. Even the dour Methodist theologian John Wesley spent time each day bouncing up and down on one. Cheyne recommended to Samuel Richardson that he compose his novel "Pamela" by dictating it while bouncing on a chamber horse, and then helpfully suggested that Pamela would also be improved by adding house fires and plenty of broken limbs into the plot'
- New Scientist, 7 October 2006, on George Cheyne (1671-1742), early essayist on dieting.
28 October 2006
27 October 2006
- Letter from Wing Commander Tom Hudson to The Times Modern Manners, 23 October 2006, in response to a discussion on the greeting, 'Howdydoo?'
- Guardian, 25 October 2006
"A third of patients get better immediately, a third suffer relapses and the rest have psychoses," Yousef Mahmoudia, a psychologist at the Hotel-Dieu hospital, next to Notre Dame cathedral, told the newspaper Journal du Dimanche'
- Sydney Morning Herald, 24 October 2006
whitney music box var. 0 - chromatic - 48 tines
[Courtesy of B3ta]
25 October 2006
X-Entertainment: As Seen On TV!
[Courtesy of Turbo]
24 October 2006
World War One Color Photos - Color Photos from World War I
[Courtesy of Al]
16 October 2006
Nick Cave: Iggy Pop's 'Lust For Life' was used for a car ad. I used to drive around in my car when I was 19 screaming that song, and it had an anti-establishment purpose. For it now to be appropriated by the advertising industry ... I think that's f--ked. I don't know what situation the people who have written the music are in, if they need the money or ... I'm not trying to take the moral high ground but I wouldn't allow my music to be used in that way.
Jarvis Cocker: Do you get offers?
Nick Cave: Often. There's a song called 'Red Right Hand', and a sanitary napkin company back in New Zealand wanted to use it, which was tempting ... but that was the closest I've ever come. You do get an enormous amount of money waved in front of you, more money than you make anywhere else in the industry, and all you have to do is say yes ...
- Observer, 15 October 2006
[Jarvis has a new album out in the UK on 13 November - o happy day!]
14 October 2006
- Advertisement, Evening Post, 3 March 1920. Source: NZHistory.net.nz
13 October 2006
Thai coup leaders have banned go-go girls from dancing near tanks and troops on Bangkok streets as a distraction from the serious business of power, a spokesman said on Wednesday. "It is not appropriate to entertain soldiers while they are on duty," Colonel Acra Tiprote told Reuters after a troupe of 10 women in tight camouflage vests and shorts posed with soldiers and tanks while making a music video.
"People should differentiate between entertainment and seriousness. A coup is not entertaining," Acra said.
- TVNZ, 13 October 2006
[Courtesy of Gabrielle]
Spare Room » Blog Archive » A Brief History Of The Middle East
12 October 2006
YouTube - Spice test
10 October 2006
- Robert Cusack, smuggler of endangered animals, on being asked if he had anything to declare. Cusack had flea-scratching pygmy monkeys in his underwear [Los Angeles Times, 19 Sept, reported in New Scientist, 23 Sept]
06 October 2006
05 October 2006
NewsBiscuit: Dolphins ‘stop smiling the moment our back is turned’
[I always thought that Flipper looked shifty]
- Jean-Paul Kauffmann, 'The Arch of Kerguelen', 1993 (English translation 2000)
- Frederick News-Post, 3 October 2006
Coolest Toy Ever
[It's a 5 minute video feed, but you only need to watch a minute or so to get the drift]
I did once see Keanu Reeves in Vyner Street admiring an artwork in the Modern Art gallery, a blue, plastic rectangle, I seem to recall, that looked like a Formica offcut and cost 20 grand. Reeves described it as 'almost Kleinian', which is artspeak for blue.
I remember coming home from the Baltic in Newcastle and telling my daughter: 'I saw some exciting sculpture made of carpet fluff!' She stared at me. 'What was exciting about it?' 'Well, it was a room with a fitted carpet,' I blathered, 'and the artist had scraped some of the carpet fluff into little piles to look like things.'
I showed her the catalogue entry: 'Tonica Lemos Auad, Brazilian artist born 1968, working in London. Auad's carpet installations begin by the artist's delicate gathering and repositioning of minute strands of fluff, teased patiently from newly laid carpet... Auad sees these works as three-dimensional, site-specific drawings that create a space in which the viewer can enter and engage with the settings.' My daughter sniggered: 'So could you engage by hoovering it up?' Some people are such philistines.
- Observer, 1 October 2006
Drugs carried in pants - not buttocks, dealer insists
- Hawkes Bay Today, 4 October 2006
Some people say he was a hero. Others call him a reckless glory-hunter. One thing we can all agree on in our ignorance of certain facts is that he must have looked dashing in his fringed jacket, scanning the long buffalo grass through his binoculars and concluding that there were no Indian ponies there, it was only the wind moving the grass...
Or the Handsome Thug Cap:
Authors and inventors and fliers and steel magnates and journalists and suffragettes and ambulance drivers and private detectives and nightclub bouncers and newsboys and movie directors and handsome thugs wore it. Your grandfather wore it. Gable himself wore it. Immigrants wore it. It was what America wore. What happened? The trouble started. That’s what happened. Do your part. It’s time. Wear one. (It makes anyone who wears one look tall; if you’re already tall, too bad. You’re going to look even taller. It also makes you look young and snappy as well. So get ready for that, too.)
Or the ladies' Velvet Cutaway Jacket, which is subtitled "Please Don't Wear This Jacket in Minnesota":
The bold color. The military flair. You can almost hear Ravel’s Bolero in the background. This splendid jacket is sure to command attention…which can cause problems in The Land of 10,000 Lakes. Because at least one city there has now enacted an Anti-Staring Ordinance. (Does anybody remember anymore that the collapse of the Roman Empire was due to a surfeit of paralyzing rules and regulations? Attila just knocked at the gate.)
For more about J Peterman, see this article.
[Courtesy of Louwrens, who definitely knows about Seinfeld]
04 October 2006
In 1929, she appeared in a Broadway flop called Pansy, a musical in which, the top white critics agreed, she was the only asset. That same year, she made her only film appearance, starring in a two-reeler based on W. C. Handy's "St. Louis Blues." In the film, which was shot in Astoria, NY, she sings the title song accompanied by members of Fletcher Henderson's orchestra, the Hall Johnson Choir, pianist James P. Johnson, and a string section — a musical environment radically different from any found on her recordings. - - Wikipedia
Great singing, snappy dancing by the cad in the middle section, and some excellent plate-spinning action too...
Honey, Where You Been So Long? » St. Louis Blues
And while you're at it, why not arrange the Second Coming in Invercargill?
- Southland Times, 3 October 2006
Borat on sexual equality
In Kazakhstan we say: “God, man, horse, dog, then woman, then rat”
In Kazhakstan we have many hobbies: disco dancing, archery, rape and table tennis
On civil rights
Since the 2003 Tulyakov reforms, Kazakhstan is as civilized as any other country in the world. Women can now travel inside of bus. Homosexuals no longer have to wear blue hats. And age of consent has been raised to 8 years old
Democracy is different in America. For example: women CAN vote but horse can not!
Every Englishman must have a hobby. Some like to collect the stamp, some like to make the jam, but the most fun is to a kill a little animal with a shotgun or rip them up with wild dog
On Canadian diplomatic etiquette
It also tradition in my country for wife of the Premier to give visiting dignitaries hand relief and mouth party if they royalty
- The Times, 30 September 2006
Pathology in the Hundred Acre Wood: a neurodevelopmental perspective on A.A. Milne
- Canadian Medical Association Journal, 12 December 2000
[Courtesy of Louwrens]
- Bishop Boniface Adoyo of Kenya, who is leading a campaign to have human fossil remains removed from the National Museum of Kenya [Observer, 10 Sept, reported in New Scientist, 16 Sept]
28 September 2006
In Irene Iddesleigh she wrote: “Speak! Irene! Wife! Woman! Do not sit in silence and allow the blood that now boils in my veins to ooze through cavities of unrestrained passion and trickle down to drench me with its crimson hue!”
And musing on humanity she pronounced: “The living sometimes learn the touchy tricks of the traitor, the tardy, and the tempted; the dead have evaded the flighty earthly future, and form to swell the retinue of retired rights, the righteous school of the invisible, and the rebellious roar of the raging nothing.”
Discussing the Ros canon, the Times decides that 'all shared a passion for heaving bosoms, trembling lower lips, meaningful glances and endless alliteration'.
- The Times, 27 September 2006
Press Release by New Zealand First at 10:54 am, 28 Sep 2006
New Zealand First is pleased with the new set of rules applying to retirement villages, saying that they provide a level of protection that was previously lacking...
[Just found the press release title entertaining, nothing more...]
26 September 2006
...missing from the vehicle was a sack containing about 50 items, including g-strings and some of the performers' costumes. Also missing was an inflatable penis Firecats had brought to help with promotions during last year's British and Irish Lions rugby tour.
Who could fail to agree with the club owner, who wondered aloud, 'I don't know what sort of person is running around with a sackful of panties and a large inflatable penis'?
- Waikato Times, 26 August 2006
25 September 2006
- A UK government official on being approached by Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie with a scheme to clean up nuclear waste using a mystical Kabbalah fluid that had apparently been tested in a Ukrainian lake [Sunday Times, 20 August, reported in New Scientist, 26 August 2006]
'There's nothing like prevarication,' the Dean agreed. 'I have yet to meet a liberal who can withstand the attrition of prolonged discussion of the inessentials'
- The Fellows of Porterhouse College discuss how to ward off the evil of Reform, in 'Porterhouse Blue' by Tom Sharpe, 1974
24 September 2006
Mindpicnic | Google Maps Quiz
21 September 2006
- Adel Ather, owner of an astrology studio in Toronto, claims that the new status of Pluto will not change its supposed "powerful" influence (Ottawa Citizen, 25 August)
'Western astrology uses Pluto as a planet while Pluto was always out of Indian astrology and we do not use it in our calculations'
- Astrologer Mangal Prasad concurs that the reclassification will not affect Indian astrology, though for the opposite reason (Kerala online, 29 August)
- Both quoted in New Scientist, 2 September 2006
BAGHDAD, Sept 19 (Reuters) - The chief judge in Saddam Hussein's genocide trial castigated a defence lawyer for falling asleep during Tuesday's proceedings, as a witness was recounting a gas attack.
Banging his hammer, an angry Abdullah al-Amiri brusquely interrupted an ethnic Kurd recounting a gas attack in his village in northern Iraq in 1988 to berate one of the lawyers for Saddam and his six other co-accused. "It appears you're falling asleep!" the judge said.
- Reuters, 19 September 2006
- Letter to the editor, Economist, 16 September 2006
They were dancing at the launch of this anti-obesity initiative.
[The mean moves can be seen from 0:25 to 0.37. And if you don't know what krumping is, read this]
19 September 2006
YouTube - President Bush uses Little Richard as translator
- Waikato Times, 18 September 2006
17 September 2006
14 September 2006
- Whangarei Northern Advocate, 14 September 2006
Through all the Assembly there's no greater pest,
And save his assurance he talent has none,
Though for cool self-assertion he stands all alone...
He stops not for hiss, he stops not for groan,
He will raise points of order where points there are none;
He will talk by the bushel, though others may wait,
Till the clock marks the hour that adjourns the debate.
For lack of ideas and unlimited jaw,
Commend me to . . . and Blank MHR . . .
Ho! come ye to meddle, or come ye to mar,
Or to scatter your h's, big Blank MHR?'
- Poem by 'Kai wai wai' in the New Zealand Times, 19 August 1880, on Richard John Seddon ('Blank MHR'), who later became NZ's Premier for 13 years. 'MHR' = Member of the House of Representatives. Quote taken from 'Miners & Militants: Politics in Westland', Philip Ross May (ed.), Christchurch, 1975.
12 September 2006
- Economist, 2 September 2006, on Kinky Friedman's campaign for Governor of Texas. His slogans are "Why the hell not?" and "How hard could it be?"
08 September 2006
- BBC News, 8 September 2006
[The Australian also reports that 'one troupe member, who did not wish to be named, said burlesque was a "fun and healthy way to increase self-esteem and confidence. It is also a great protest to the stereotypical image of an attractive woman - in this sense we are fighting for feminism, not against it. It was a "great way for people to overcome any body-image issues", she said'. Solidarity, sisters!]
07 September 2006
John Carter: Holiday over, is it?
Rt Hon Winston Peters: Madam Speaker.
Madam SPEAKER: Yes, would the member please-
Rt Hon Winston Peters: Is Mr Carter exempt from the rules of this House?
Madam SPEAKER: No. The rules are, as I said, that members are allowed to make interjections on both questions and answers, but members must be heard.
Rt Hon Winston Peters: Oh, OK.
Hon Dr Nick Smith: You've been away too long.
Rt Hon Winston Peters: Yes, but I never lost my mind like you did.
Madam SPEAKER: Please, members. And may I say welcome back.
Rt Hon Winston Peters: Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.
Madam SPEAKER: Now, let us have some order, please, where we just stick to the rules.
Rt Hon Winston Peters: Could I ask-
Hon Dr Nick Smith: He always gets nasty.
Rt Hon Winston Peters: There he goes again. That boy is cruising for a bruising, I tell you.
Hon Members: Oh!
- Rt Hon Winston Peters returns to the House after extended sick leave, 7 September 2006
It's easy to pronounce, once you practice a bit, trust me.
- Hawkes Bay Today, 2 September 2006
Videofeber: Vithaj imponerar
Jesus Camp - Trailer
[Requires Quicktime 7]
- Wanganui Chronicle, 7 September 2006
When Ruth Byron told women’s magazines and television chat shows about a condition that caused her to experience up to 40 orgasms a day, the Department of Work and Pensions took a keen interest.
For the 50-year-old woman spoke not only about living with persistent sexual arousal syndrome — but also with a 22-year-old lodger. Benefit fraud investigators carefully monitored media coverage about Byron and realised that Simon Leach, the man she claimed was her lodger, was in fact her lover. They found that she had been overpaid £6,097 in housing and income benefits after lying to the department.
Yesterday Byron was sentenced to a two-year community rehabilitation order and told to pay £50 costs after she admitted four counts of benefit fraud.
- The Times, 24 August 2006
...in any form, seen in any direction, in any language, no movie is as full of perfect Zen emptiness as "M:i:III." It's the hole in the doughnut, the shoe that never drops, the sound of one hand clapping, the moon in reflection in the cold stream. It's there/not there at once. It's so... wonderful.
Shorn of its connection to the possibility of coherence, the movie was a giddy wonderland ride of primal joys and goober-instincts. It was so profoundly nothing, I fell in hopeless love with its gaudy surface, its glittery superficiality, its utter alienation from anything true about the world.
Cruise: Earnest, humorless, appearing to believe that which is before him (as nobody else could), he slides through the preposterous screenplay (some hugger-mugger about an arms dealer who's obtained the "Mousetrap," a WMD so terrifying the scriptwriters didn't even know what it was) with cosmetic cuts and bruises, attracting the love of all men and all women. Mentor, son, hero and jock, he's every man's ideal self and he's so... boring... he's wonderful. He's the perfect "O" in the center of all the shenanigans. You don't have to pay him a whisper of attention. His job was to say yes, attract the financing and let the movie go on about him.
- Stephen Hunter reviews Mission: Impossible III, Washington Post, 27 August 2006
[Courtesy of Louwrens. As of mid-July the film had grossed US$133m in America]
05 September 2006
Source: Southland Times, 5 September 2006
[Never a dull moment in Invy!]
04 September 2006
By SARAH LYALL
LONDON, Aug. 30 — To be duped into printing a made-up love letter in your latest biography is bad enough. But to discover that the ersatz document is actually a very rude insult aimed specifically at you: that is a rare kind of humiliation.
It happened recently to A. N. Wilson, one of London’s most visible and waspish literary figures, in “Betjeman” (Hutchinson), his book about the British poet laureate John Betjeman, who died in 1984. The document was a steamy letter purporting to be from Mr. Betjeman to a friend named Honor Tracy, and Mr. Wilson used it as evidence that the two had a passionate, if brief, affair.
But as it turns out, the first letters of each sentence, except the first, spell out an insulting sentence that starts with Mr. Wilson’s name and ends with a vulgarity [...]
Read on via the link, which includes a copy of the letter in question...
- New York Times, 31 August 2006
[Courtesy of Louwrens]
Press Release by Linksys at 11:15 am, 30 Aug 2006
WorldxChange to Offer Linksys VoIP Equipment to its Customers
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - 30 August 2006 - Linksys(r), a Division of Cisco Systems, Inc., and the recognised leading provider of voice, wireless and networking hardware for the consumer, Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) and small business customers, and WorldxChange, New Zealand's first fully convergent IP carrier (is WorldXChange the first fully convergent IP carrier in NZ?) today announced that it has entered into a marketing relationship to promote voice-over-IP (VoIP) products and services to consumers and small businesses [...]
[Courtesy of Junglette]
03 September 2006
[Requires Shockwave plugin. You also have to sit through a brief (15-second) Japanese cartoon ad for Shockwave. Warning: game is very addictive! Although you might want to turn off the slightly irritating music]
01 September 2006
8:42 We know that the guy on the left is 50 Cent because he has the number 50 written out on his chest with dimes. (Fiddy has trouble with currency.)
9:02 The Pussycat Dolls give Snoop Dogg a shout out from the stage, and he responds with a look suggesting that performing on their single was like getting married in Vegas. You can see him trying to mentally erase himself from that video, but you know that he will be doing the walk of shame through Radio City for the rest of the night.
11:08 Al Gore's looking a bit goth. He's just doing a bunch of jokes about gas or something.
30 August 2006
- Dominion Post, 30 August 2006
29 August 2006
28 August 2006
- Michael Edwardes, 'Ralph Fitch, Elizabethan in the Indies', London, 1972. For more on Fitch, one of the first Englishmen to travel in South Asia, see here, and this article has some quotes from his writing]
24 August 2006
Geology experts Tim Davies and Mauri McSaveney have predicted that an alpine fault earthquake is overdue, and would result in the East Cape ripping away from New Zealand, destroying the plateau that Rotorua is based on and taking Taupo and Whakatane with it.
The pair say the earthquake will strike "out of the blue" and cause widespread death, shut down power generators, create tsunamis within New Zealand and overwhelm emergency services.
"The most likely time [for the quake] is now. The next most likely time for it to happen is tomorrow," Associate Professor Davies, of Canterbury University, told the conference.
- Rotorua Daily Post, 24 August 2006
Decked out in a stylish (and unexciting) dull grey colour-scheme, the DMC links to marvellous (yet resolutely unexciting) features like probably the world's largest list of airport baggage carousels (and whether they rotate clockwise or anticlockwise); a webcam inexplicably pointing at an extremely dull bus-stop in the Algarve at which no human being ever seems to wait; a history of folding chairs; and people who collect disused supermarket shopping lists left in shopping trolleys. Hours of entertainment for the dull or would-be dull [exclamation mark removed to avoid undullness].
[Courtesy of Felix]
At the time, [Republican representative Bob] Ney, who together with Walter Jones pushed for "freedom fries", said the action was "a small but symbolic effort to show the strong displeasure of many on Capitol Hill with the actions of our so-called ally, France".
- Source: BBC News, 2 August 2006
- Oliver Burkeman reports on the new BK Stacker Quad burger, Guardian, 23 August 2006
17 August 2006
Ah, the joys of Wimbledon. Pimm's, strawberries and cream, Maria Sharapova licking the back of your head...'
- Guardian Weekly, 7 July 2006
Not surprisingly, on average men were physically more aggressive. But in this case other work shows the danger of jumping too rapidly to a conclusion. A study done in 1994 hints that if women think that nobody is watching and judging them, and there are no physical consequences, they might be more aggressive than men'
- The Economist, 5 August 2006
- NZ Herald, 15 August 2006
[Courtesy of Mrs G. And by the way, 'Penthouse and Pavement' was the title of Heaven 17's first album... as if you needed to ask...]
10 August 2006
"It's so amazing seeing that one woman [Marilyn Monroe, who performed for troops in Korea in 1954] just going somewhere, this beautiful sex kitten, who's basically a pinup, which is what I've always aspired to be," Lohan tells the magazine, adding that she would prepare for her trip to Iraq by taking shooting lessons with her security guard.
"Cuz Marilyn was also able to wear pretty clothes while metabolizing pretty heavy doses of booze and stuff. I think the perfect thing to add to that mix would be a gun. I'm sure there would be no problem with someone of my obvious talent and steady nerves carrying a gun around a U.S. Senator."
“New York rain” is the local term for water that drips, annoyingly, from air-conditioners onto passers-by. In Hong Kong unwary pedestrians face more dangerous precipitation. On July 22nd a 78-year-old woman was rushed to hospital after a pair of scissors, hurled from a multi-storey building, lodged in her skull. The same day, a 28-year-old man in another part of the city suffered cuts after another pair of scissors hit him on the head, while a boy survived a brush with an iron bar lobbed from yet another high-rise window.
Despite all the modern sanitation at their disposal, many Hong Kong citizens still seem to prefer chucking rubbish out of the nearest window. As any housing estate resident will confirm, as well as a regular rain of beer cans and cigarette butts, other objects—used packets of Viagra, dirty cat litter, glass bottles, mattresses and even refrigerators—also fly past the window. Much of this is plain bad manners. But some also blame rising inequality for the downpour, which appears to be getting worse. Much of the object-throwing takes place in the city's public housing estates, where many of Hong Kong's poorer people live cramped together in tiny apartments. Many of their shoddily constructed buildings are crumbling: among the most common objects falling out of windows last summer were the windows themselves. As a result, the government had to spend HK$68m ($9m) on emergency maintenance of its housing.
Though the economy's recovery since the panic over the respiratory disease SARS in 2003 has lifted living standards, the fortunes of workers have lagged behind those of the middle classes. If people cannot heave their political masters out of office, they can at least heave a broken television out of the window. Given the mainland's far greater economic and social disparities, the authorities in Beijing must be hoping that this is one trend that does not spread north.
- Economist, 3 August 2006
Ellen Burstyn's nomination for a Best Supporting Actress Emmy Award is being ridiculed by the US media, because the Oscar winner appears in Mrs. Harris for a mere 15 seconds. The HBO drama stars Sir Ben Kingsley as Dr. Herman Tarnower - the man who invented the Scarsdale diet - and Annette Bening as Jean Harris, the woman who murdered him. Burstyn appears in a flashback sequence, and her character is listed on the Internet Movie Database as "Ex-Lover Number Three."
The New York Post writes the 73-year-old's performance "required her to do nothing more than sit in a chair and speak three sentences of dialogue in a vaguely foreign accent." The newspaper claims Burstyn's nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie category is indicative of the "deeply flawed process" leading to the nominations. Winners will be announced in Los Angeles on August 27.
- IMDB.com, 9 August 2006
[Courtesy of Louwrens]
08 August 2006
Press Release by Green Party at 1:57 PM, 05 Aug 2006
Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons wishes Ian Ewen-Street well in his newly chosen home, the National Party.
"I'm not surprised by his choice. Ian was increasingly at odds with our caucus over recent years. He wanted to support National Party legislation, and their moves in select committee to water down environmental initiatives. He also wanted to support Labour's legislation on the Foreshore and Seabed,and was uncomfortable with the Greens' commitment to the Treaty.
"I do wonder how he will get on with the National Party's endorsement of genetic engineering, an issue he did care deeply about, and with their denial of climate change.
"MPs sometimes do change their political affiliation. We wish him all the best, and hope he can find some issues in the National Party that he wants to work hard on."
...stripped in front of several adults and two young children in a central Christchurch laundrette on Friday, July 21. He took off all his clothes and placed them in a washing machine and then got other clothes out of his backpack and put them on. When the police arrived he was drinking a bottle of beer.
The story has already reached Australia, although as you'll notice the reporting isn't particularly distinctive.
- NZPA, 8 August 2006
- 'Cultural commentator' Tom Cowell, an Englishman living in Philadelphia, on the US's penchant for UK reality TV and Simon Cowell (Guardian Weekly, 28 July 2006)
[If you were wondering, Tom and Simon aren't related]
03 August 2006
- Weebl & Bob: Cold
Source: Gisborne Herald, 3 August 2006
[Have a look at NIWA's Gisborne webcam if you feel like some Poverty Bay surf]
- Unacceptable things to say after doing a shot: "Great, now I’m going to get drunk"
- If you owe someone twenty dollars or less, you may pay them back in beer.
- Your songs will come on as you're leaving the bar.
- Screaming, “Someone buy me a drink!” has never worked.
- Asking a bartender what beers are on tap when the handles are right in front of you is the equivalent of saying, “I'm an idiot.”
All this and more at:
Modern Drunkard Magazine - The 86 Rules of Boozing
What does the hermeneutic do? It is made up, Barthes tells us, of all the aspects of a text that ‘constitute an enigma and lead to its solution’… Tintin, means literally, ‘nothing’. His face, round as an O with two pinpricks for eyes, is what Herge himself described as ‘the degree zero of typeage’ – a typographic vanishing point.
Tintin is also the degree zero of personage. He has no past, no sexual identity, no complexities. Like Cocteau’s Orphee, who spends much of the film in the negative space or dead world on the far side of the mirror, he is a writer who does not write. ”
- Tom McCarthy, ‘Tintin and the Secret of Literature', Guardian (via Private Eye)
"She's spoiled," said her mother, "but hopefully, it's a grounded spoiled." However, on her national TV debut, on MTV's "My Super Sweet 16" (a party which her parents spent $150,000 to stage), she was caught saying "I'm a princess" and "I'm such a rock star that I can do this" and "I always get exactly what I want."
Even after MTV cut the two songs she sang, she was optimistic: "(This show)'ll still put my name out there and stuff."
Source: Arizona Republic, 26 April 2006, via NewsOfTheWeird
[Marissa's website says she took the role of Helen Keller in a play, aged 7! Future Oscar-winner too, no doubt]
PILGRIMS who queued to drink from a miracle fountain flowing from a statue of the late pope John Paul II were disappointed to hear it is just a council-installed water pipe. Locals in the pope's birthplace of Wadowice, near Krakow, thought a miracle had happened when water started to run from the base of his statue.
Word spread throughout Poland and pilgrims from around the country visited to fill bottles with the "holy" water. However, Mayor Eva Filipiak dashed their illusions by admitting a water pipe had been installed under the statue.
"We didn't mean anything by it, it was just supposed to make the statue look prettier," she said.
- The Australian, 31 July 2006
Videofeber: Kan du traffa papperskorgen?
Source: Spare Room, 25 July 2006
[Actually I can confess a prior interest in archery - a temporary affliction due to the coolness (at the time) of Robin of Sherwood]
02 August 2006
Source: AP, 27 July 2006
Prime Minister, on behalf also of Peter [Cartwright], may I thank the government for its advice to Her Majesty, which has resulted in the signal honour of each of us being made a Companion of the Queen's Service Order. I must admit that I am relieved to receive this honour. During my first days at Government House, I found a QSO on my dressing table and, as I did not recall receiving it at any point, asked where it had come from. I was told 'I think you will find, your Excellency, that this is yours.' Well I never wore it, as I was terrified that someone would say 'where did you get that from?' These fears were justified when, just a few days ago, the Head of the Honours Secretariat came to the House and removed it. I felt vaguely as if I was being cashiered, but no doubt some day the mystery will be explained'
- Dame Silvia Cartwright, Governor-General of New Zealand, at her State Farewell, 2 August 2006
30 July 2006
[Courtesy of Davo]
28 July 2006
Oh God. Oh dear God in heaven no. Your first instinct will be to repeatedly jab a pinecone in your eyes, but please try to understand Pepsi's mindset. First, they were almost definitely drunk. Secondly, they knew that the internet was in some way related to computers, so the idea was to make their website very evocative of a computer. I'm not convinced they understood what a computer was, but when they closed their eyes and thought about computers, this monstrosity is what popped into their drunken heads.
27 July 2006
Source: New York Times, 17 July 2006
[Courtesy of Louwrens]
Source: The Onion
Source: Sydney Morning Herald, 19 July 2006
[Courtesy of Jeneva]
Source: Stuff.co.nz, 19 July 2006
25 July 2006
[Okay, I admit that I officially more-or-less like seven of these dudes! Ye gods, I need to harden up and get some cred...]
22 July 2006
21 July 2006
The pilot of an Airlines Tonga flight into Salote Pilolevu airport in Ha'apai was forced to abort a landing when stray goats found their way on to the tarmac. The pilot made a second circuit of the airport before landing safely. One of the passengers, Magistrate Lokotui, says airport employees have told him that the fence around the airport is full of holes and cattle sometimes wander onto the tarmac. He says if there are holes in the fence, they should be mended straightaway. He says lives could have been lost and urged the appropriate authorities to take action.
- RNZI Online, 20 July 2006
[Courtesy of TT]
- Sydney Morning Herald, 20 July 2006
19 July 2006
"Cool" National Party PowerPoint Presentation
14 July 2006
Source: SpareRoom CoolFinder, 22 June 2006