30 July 2006

How not to pull a sickie

Seems Lindsay Lohan's boss on her latest film isn't appreciating her constant late nights and not showing up for work, so he's sent her a stern letter, which was promptly leaked, presumably by the production company. I reckon it was the feeble excuses wot did it. Ain't the internet wonderful for prying into the pointless lives of the ludicrously over-exposed glimmerati!

Source: TheSmokingGun.com

Not Starring...

Notstarring.com is a site that details the movies stars turned down, the parts they tried for but didn't get, and a thousand intriguing coulda-beens. Like Pretty Woman for example - not sure if Al Pacino and Meg Ryan really had what it takes for the lead roles... And it seems Hollywood is every bit as predictable as you might imagine: check out how many movies Tom Cruise has been considered for. The lead roles in Edward Scissorhands and Footloose... nooooo!!!

[Courtesy of Davo]

28 July 2006

Internet '96

Here's what websites looked like 10 years ago, back when the world was in black & white and people communicated by telegrams and smoke signals. Here's my favourite bit (on the Pepsi site):

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.

Source: B3ta

Cats in Sinks

Does what it says on the tin. Pictures of cats in sinks, that is. Watch out or they'll take over the bathroom just like they've taken over the rest of the house...

27 July 2006

This egg is brought to you by...

Fed up with ads? Well now you can also be literally fed with them, because a US TV network is branding its logo onto 35 million eggs in America. Soon to be seen at a supermarket near you, no doubt. I think our cash-strapped hospitals should laser-etch sponsors' logos onto babies' foreheads. This would provide instant brand recognition, and would also be a strong incentive for the private sector to contribute to quality public health initiatives, because it means their advertising will live longer.

Source: New York Times, 17 July 2006

[Courtesy of Louwrens]

Illiterate Spirit Frustrates Ouija-Board Players

STRATTANVILLE, PA — Late-night attempts to contact the spirit world proved more frustrating than enlightening for a slumber party of Strattanville teens Saturday when the only spectre they were able to contact suffered from borderline illiteracy, sources said. The poorly educated revenant frustrated the séance participants, who quickly grew impatient with such otherworldly messages as "W-U-R-N-N-G—F-U-M—B-A-Y-O-N—T-H-E—G-R-A-V" and other hard-to-interpret information. Organizer Olivia Bamberger, 13, said they were all "embarrassed for the guy," and finally asked the wraith to tell them the future and "sound out the big words."

Source: The Onion

The decline and fall of Mickey Rourke

Christ, Mickey Rourke's gone downhill fast! Thank you, NW magazine, for this vital insight... with the all-important picture, and details of his finger-severing anger management issues.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald, 19 July 2006

[Courtesy of Jeneva]

"Get Culkin!"

Alternate headline: 'World Cheers As Hezbollah Attempts to Whack Whiney Former Child Star'. Although I guess if he gets to go out with her we can't really poke that much fun at him.

Source: Stuff.co.nz, 19 July 2006

25 July 2006

The 25 Biggest Wusses in Music

This list from Blender of the most feeble and push-overable personages in rock features Donovan, Barry Manilow, Chris Martin, Chicago's Peter Cetera and Everyone in N'Sync Except Justin Timberlake. What - no James Blunt!?

Source: Blender

[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

Sodium diacetate, my favourite!

A label on a Florida airport croissant has approximately a gazillion ingredients listed. It'd be almost comic if it wasn't also just a little bit scary...

Source: Frogblog

21 July 2006

Unwanted spectators at Tongan airport

TONGA: Goats Invade Runway

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]

Build it indoors next time, chaps

An eagle-eyed Google Earth user has spotted this weird outdoor mock-up of a mountain range in the Huangyangtan region in the backblocks of China, and it's got the blogosphere wondering what the Chinese are up to. How very Lilliputian of them.

- Sydney Morning Herald, 20 July 2006


Why not Generate your own Brazil football shirt? I'll only answer to the name "Ethisco" from now on, thankyou very much...

19 July 2006

But Steriogram and the Feelers aren't cool!

As seen on tonight's news, courtesy of Scoop, here's the Powerpoint presentation from April's National party conference, outlining how National should re-position itself as a "cool" party. Someone out there thinks the Women's Weekly desperately needs a dose of Judith Collins!

"Cool" National Party PowerPoint Presentation

14 July 2006

Racing Grannies

SpareRoom has spied the ideal gift for speed freaks who are tired of endless car racing games: a matched pair of Racing Grannies, complete with zimmer frames. Wind 'em up and watch 'em burn rubber (well, as fast as surgical footwear will allow).

Source: SpareRoom CoolFinder, 22 June 2006

13 July 2006

Please quantify your happiness immediately

You may have seen the story in the media this week that claimed Vanuatu had topped a survey as the happiest country on earth. Now, a bit of mathematical jiggery-pokery went into this, of course. Why not have a closer look yourself, and calculate your own Happy Planet Index - it's just a short survey, and the results are anonymous and interesting. Apparently I have a lower-than-average ecological footprint...

[Courtesy of Turbo. I loved the title of the relevant article in the Scotsman: "World's Happiest Country Isn't Scotland"...!]

Depends on how good a shot they are, I suppose

'I would rather put my .38 pistol in a child's room than put a computer or a television set there. The devil's crowd is working how to get to your children'

- Brother Richard Emmett, in a recent sermon broadcast in eastern Tennessee (Source: Guardian Weekly, 16 June 2006)

Palaeontologists display a certain talent for self-promotion

Killer Kangaroo Fossils Found

Palaeontologists digging in northern Australia have found fossil evidence of several new species, including what they say is a "killer kangaroo". The scientists say the frightening, flesh-eating marsupial would have lived between 10 and 20 million years ago.

The research team has also unearthed evidence of a large carnivorous bird they dubbed the "demon duck of doom".

The dig site in north west Queensland has yielded remains of at least 20 previously unknown creatures. The team from the University of New South Wales now plans to study the fossils in detail, to see what effect changing climate had on their development.

- NewsRoom, 13 July 2006

[Courtesy of Junglette]

Ne'er a truer word was spoke

'It was really difficult for us playing in the midday sun with that three o’clock kick-off'

- David Beckham, BBC1

09 July 2006

"I say chaps, let's all watch the native fellow and jolly well see if we can pick this up as we go, what?"

Take a gander at this excellent short video of the 1979 All Blacks performing an impressively lacklustre haka before a match against the Barbarians. Hilarious! I detect a heavy morris-dancing influence at work.

[Courtesy of Alpen]

06 July 2006

He'll have to learn to parallel park

Train Driver Allegedly Blocks Road To Get Lunch

[Rail operator] Toll New Zealand is investigating reports that a train driver stopped his locomotive and blocked road in Wanganui for 15 minutes while he bought his lunch at a cafe.

Local business owner Paul Edwards says he saw the train stop on Monday just before midday. He says after 15 minutes, he saw the train driver come out of the Big Bite cafe with his lunch, get back into the train, and drive off.

Mr Edwards says the train was blocking the level crossing on Victoria Avenue, which is one of the town's main streets, causing frustration for drivers.

He says it is the second time he has witnessed such an incident.

Source: NewsRoom.co.nz, 6 July 2006

Comrades, liberate your ears!

Your music collection is sadly lacking in one respect: you don't have nearly enough Russian anthemic music. Rectify that immediately by visiting the excellent Russian Anthems Museum. Remixers, get cracking. The world needs to hear the Red Army Ensemble mashed with the Pussycat Dolls, and you know it.

I'd probably cope with a dodgy elbow for three million quid

Fuzzy-jumpered TV host Noel Edmonds, famed for years and years and years of light ent. TV fare, is now hosting a popular gameshow, Deal Or No Deal. Only he's strained his elbow lifting the programme's telephone receiver, which is a prop in one of the rounds, giving him a nasty case of gameshow-host's elbow. At least he's not taking it too seriously:

"It's a bit ridiculous but I am in agony," the presenter said yesterday. "After 40 years in entertainment, I can at last boast that I have suffered an industrial injury."

Source: Telegraph, 22 June 2006

[Courtesy of KL]

"The last time Germany played, not that many men came here"

Against all expectations, the sex trade in Germany isn't experiencing a boom in business as a result of the World Cup. (Although there are apparently plenty of visting journalists keen to visit and write about Germany's legal brothels. Funny, that).

Many foreign visitors have come to Germany with their families or friends, and travel in buses and campers that do not afford much privacy.

"For most people, it's just too complicated," Ms. Klee [a lobbyist for prostitutes' rights] said. "It's difficult to say to your friends, 'I'm going to leave you now and go to a brothel for 20 minutes.' That's not normal behavior."

Source: New York Times, 3 July 2006

[Heartfelt apologies for the post title...]

And they changed the air-freshener too

A Christchurch woman had her car stolen in June, only to find it had been overhauled, retuned and re-accessorised when the Police found it. How considerate thieves are these days!

Christchurch police communication centre shift supervisor Jed Oskam said the woman no longer had problems starting the car in cold weather.

"She also said she usually has to tickle the accelerator when she gets to an intersection to keep it going, but now it runs beautifully," he said.

Source: The Press, 3 July 2006

And now, a word from our sponsor

I don't have a sponsor, obviously. But I do have a link to an excellent ad for Mastercard directed by Wes Anderson, and one by M Night Shyamalan too. If only I had broadband I'd actually be able to tell you what's in them...

[Courtesy of Louwrens and Al]

05 July 2006

Let's all go get positively alabandical

Alabandical? Adj., "barbarous; stupefied from drink", actually. One of the many lost words no longer gracing the pages of our modern dictionaries, compiled and worshipped at the International House of Logorrhea (for simply obscure and unusual words - yes, it sounds like a bowel affliction) and the Compendium of Lost Words (from whence came 'alabandical'). Take a look, wordy-booky fans.

How not to be a tourist

David Haywood blogs from Paris on the perils of fighting your way through the tourist throng, including this wee gem overheard while ascending the Eiffel Tower:

[O]ngoing entertainment was being provided by two young American women, who I mentally dubbed Muffy and Buffy. Muffy and Buffy were obviously unaware that many continental Europeans can also speak English.

Muffy: [loudly] My thong is like totally up my butt-crack.

Buffy: Hey, do you think Chad really loves me? Or is he just like using me for sex.

The crowd's innocent enjoyment of the conversation evaporated when Muffy and Buffy changed subject.

Muffy: Hey, this is totally like B.O. central here.

Buffy: Yeah, I mean why can't somebody like tell the Europeans that they need to use deodorant.

Muffy: Or just like have a wash sometimes.

Buffy: Yeah, the guy in front of me smells like he's taken like a humongous dump in his pants.

Guy in front of Buffy: [turning round] Actually, I can speak English.

Buffy: [loud embarrassed whisper to Muffy] Hey, I think the guy in front of me can speak English.

Source: Public Address, 3 July 2006

Oh crikey!

I love this picture (by James Veysey of Camera Press):

Lovely! The usually unflappable Queen was surprised by an African dance troup in London, you see.

Source: The Times, 1 July 2006

03 July 2006

Doing the Birdy Dance

"I created the dance to bring happiness to the hearts of Africans and to chase away fear - the fear of eating chicken"

- DJ Lewis, a DJ in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on the wacky bird flu dance that is all the rage in his city. Lewis thinks that getting people to dance their fears away will encourage them to keep eating poultry from poor villages (says the New Scientist, 17 June)

Source: NationalGeographic.com, 2 June 2006

The delicate art of diplomacy

North Korea criticized US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for calling the communist country part of an "axis of evil", labelling her comments "outrageous, reckless remarks by an insane person", the North's state-run media reported Thursday [29 June].

In an interview with Fox News on 24 May, Rice said she "absolutely" agreed with President George W. Bush using the term to describe North Korea, Iran and pre-war Iraq. "When they repress their people, when you have the kind of starvation that you've had in North Korea, when you've had the use of chemical weapons in Iraq, what else can you call it?"

More than a month after Rice's interview, North Korea labelled her statement as "outrageous, reckless remarks by an insane person lacking any reason and judgment" in its latest edition of Tongil Sinbo, a weekly magazine. Bush's "axis of evil" remark was "a wicked statement by an evil, which plunged the world into extreme confusion and fear. Notwithstanding, the fact that Secretary Rice said she agreed with the remarks is based on Don Quixote-type thought that a crow is a snowy heron," said the report, which was posted Thursday on a North Korean Internet site, Uriminjokkkiri. Rice is the "most brazen, shameless filthy human being", it said, alleging millions of people in the United States can't eat three meals a day and racial discrimination there is so severe that human rights advocates are being arrested and murdered.

Source: Yonhap news agency, Seoul, in English, 29 June 2006

[Obviously they've not been reading How To Win Friends and Influence People. "A crow is a snowy heron" though? Is that meant to be creepy, or just really dumb?]

Lady terrorists free entry and complementary bubbles before 9pm

[Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki] has set up an email account to communicate with insurgents. The Prime Minister had the address flashed on the screen during a broadcast on state-run al-Iraqiya television on Sunday night, during a program that dealt with the problems of the Iraqi people. It was advertised as an address to which insurgents were welcomed to write and confidentiality was assured.

- The Australian, 30 June 2006

[Sounds like a chatroom to me, anyway]

Frederick the Great

Frederick the Great (1712-86) took a personal interest in his armed forces, but particularly in his new young officers. He made it a habit to ask every new officer three questions. The first was: ‘How old are you?’ The second: ‘How long have you been in my service?’ And the third: ‘Are you satisfied with your pay and treatment?’

One day Frederick was making his way among the latest batch of recruits when he reached a young Frenchman who, for reasons best known to himself, had decided to enlist in the Prussian army. The Frenchman didn’t know a word of German, but his commanding officer, knowing that Frederick would want to talk to the new recruit, taught him the three answers he needed in order to respond to Frederick’s three questions.

On the appointed day the new recruits assembled on the parade ground and Frederick made his way along, asking each man the usual three questions, but for reasons which no-one ever discovered when the King came to the French recruit he decided to ask the second question first.

He asked: ‘How long have you been in my service?’ The young recruit, who’d been trained to respond by rote, thought that this must be the first question and replied: ‘Twenty-one years’. The King was astonished, the soldier being clearly far too young to have served for that long. He then asked: ‘How old are you?’ ‘One year’ was the inevitable answer. Even more astonished, the King said: ‘Well, one of us has taken leave of our senses’

Thinking this was the third question, the soldier said: ‘Both, if it please your worship’.

- Tom Quinn, ‘Military’s Strangest Campaigns and Characters’, London, 2006.

01 July 2006

The partisan loaves of Norway

An Oslo bakery driver has kicked up a fuss and refused to deliver specially branded loaves supporting the Valerenga local football team. He seems to be taking things a bit seriously though:

"I can't drive Vålerenga bread. I become psychologically disturbed by this"

The newspaper reporter wasn't able to discover what rival team the driver supported, or whether this was a general-purpose psychotic outburst requiring a sustained course of sedation and electro-shock therapy.

Source: Aftenposten

Lucky he only had one stamp, then

A woman in Texas recently received a threatening letter from her ex-boyfriend, which included the line, "This is my last chance to touch you". Seems her ex went the extra mile for style though - he'd enclosed a severed finger with the letter. But hey, at least he seems to have washed it first. Isn't that considerate?

Source: Obscurestore

That's quite profound, you know

"There's a real international flavour to this World Cup "

- Jimmy Armfield, Radio 5 Live