31 December 2007

Somebody get this man an agent!

Multi-media personalidee Che Tibby conquers the organs of the fourth estate one by one, in 2007's most prominent celebrity diarrhoea reportage.

"It was probably by evening that I started to get... a feeling of urgency," he says diplomatically. "There was a mass evacuation – it was like people leaving the Twin Towers on 9/11."

- Dominion Post, 28 December 2007

[Source: Ricc]

30 December 2007

Similes and shoplifting

Two notable English football stories from 2007.  First, we hark back to the wonderful command of the English language of the former Chelsea coach:
Young players are a little bit like melons. Only when you open and taste the melon are you 100 per cent sure that the melon is good. Sometimes you have beautiful melons but they don't taste very good and some other melons are a bit ugly and when you open them, the taste is fantastic… For example, Scott Sinclair, the way he played against Arsenal and Man United, we know the melon we have.
Jose Mourinho, 9 June 2007 (source: Londonist)
And second, a reminder that even well-paid professional footballers succumb to the baser urges of mankind:
Glen Johnson and Ben May, the Portsmouth full-back and Millwall striker, [were] arrested by a 74-year-old security guard for stealing a toilet seat and taps from B&Q in Dartford.  Bless.
Sunday Times, 30 December 2007  

23 December 2007

Students? You think?

Bad santas storm Christchurch cinema

Swearing Santas who had drunk a sleighful upset children with their presence at a Christchurch movie theatre. A drunken mob of rude oafs swarmed into the Hoyts Cinema on Moorhouse Avenue around 4pm on Saturday, wreaking havoc.

Kate Gorman was waiting to watch Enchanted with her two children when they arrived.

"At least 50 drunk idiots dressed up like Santa come in through the main door. They were kicking things over, ripping down posters and smashing everything in sight. They were shouting `Ho, f.... Ho'," she told the Christchurch Press.

Police told the Press they thought the Santas may have been students.

- NZPA, 24 December 2007

Bush Acknowledges Existence Of Carbon Dioxide

WASHINGTON — In an unexpected reversal that environmentalists and scientists worldwide are calling groundbreaking, President George W. Bush, for the first time in his political career, openly admitted to the existence of carbon dioxide following the release of the new U.N. Global Environment Outlook this October.

"Carbon dioxide, a molecule which contains one atom of carbon bonded with two atoms of oxygen, is a naturally occurring colorless gas exhaled by humans and metabolized, in turn, by plants," Bush told a stunned White House press corps. "As a leading industrialized nation, we can no longer afford to ignore the growing consensus of so many experts whose job it is to study our atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is real."

Many of those whom Bush has long considered to be his most loyal followers, however, have expressed disappointment with the development.

"There is nothing about any 'carbon dioxide' in the Bible," said Rev. Luke Hatfield of Christchurch Ministries in Topeka, KS. "What's next? Claims that so-called 'fossil' fuels come from mythical creatures like dinosaurs? This has been a sad step backward for our nation."

- The Onion, 21 December 2007

Fine, except when it snows

'A restaurateur in Lower Saxony has refused to be deterred by the state's new ban on smoking in bars and restaurants: He has sawed three holes in the wall so patrons can smoke "outside." With the "smoking point," customers can put their heads through the large hole in the middle and one hand through each of the two smaller side-holes. The patrons can then legally enjoy a cigarette without having to leave the comfort of the inn'

- Der Spiegel, 20 December 2007

[Link includes pictures]

Pro-street Romania

The best (and only) Romanian street-racing website in English! I've just watched the video and am green with envy, not to mentioned gripped with fear at the massive speeds reached by these sleek road warriors. "Is slippery. Like snake!"

Pro-street Romania

Binocular football

It's quite hard to play football if you can only view the ball through binoculars, as this Japanese TV clip from 1984 illustrates.

Word up!

From a collection of new words observed in 2007:
bromance n.  A strong relationship between two heterosexual men.
global weirding n.  An increase in severe or unusual environmental activity often attributed to global warming. This includes freakish weather and new animal migration patterns.

n.  On the Internet, an odd or funny picture of a cat given a humorous and intentionally ungrammatical caption in large block letters. Originally called a cat macro.

post-kinetic environment n.  In military jargon, the site of an explosion, severe gunfire or a destructive engagement.

wide stance, to have a v. phr. To be hypocritical or to express two conflicting points of view. When Senator Larry Craig was arrested in a public restroom and accused of making signals with his foot that the police said meant he was in search of anonymous gay sex, Mr. Craig said it was a misunderstanding and that he just had a wide stance when using the toilet. The incident also popularized the derogatory term "toe-tapper," meaning a gay man.

- New York Times, 23 December 2007

20 December 2007

The rudest Xmas letter ever written

Not really rude by any means, but definitely a mordantly funny month-by-month summary of 2007 by critic Roger Lewis: guaranteed to amuse.  (See link below for full article).
October: I presented the prizes at a comprehensive school in South Wales. The girl who won for 100 per cent attendance during her whole school career didn't show up to collect her book token, which was ironic. "Fail! She can't have it, now!" I said. I asked for a glass of red wine at the buffet; an HM Bateman moment because only card-carrying poofters drink wine in South Wales. The metalwork teacher had to put on a disguise and run up the road to Oddbins. They gave me a bottle of Talisker Single Malt as a gift, which still had its security tag on. "You have very good shoplifters here," I said to the headmaster. The alarms went off as we drove home past the off licence. Even I'd have seen the funny side if the VIP guest speaker at a Welsh comprehensive school had ended up handcuffed in the cells of the local nick.
- The Independent, 20 December 2007

17 December 2007

To be played with a straight bat and a straight face

"Who made them boring?"
Looking straight at the camera, a deadpan Richie Benaud responds to Geoff Boycott's call for four-day Tests because five days are, apparently, boring
- Cricinfo, 'Quote ... unquote' 

Precocious youth

Beer not a study aid
'A Somerfield store in Brighton has been ordered to introduce ultra-violet security tags on all beer and wine to help police to trace any alcohol illegally sold to teenagers. The store, which has twice been caught selling to minors, will also be banned from selling alcohol in May, when students are revising for GCSEs'
- The Times, 17 December 2007

11 December 2007

A little confidence goes a long way in Hollywood


- Legendary scriptwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz's 1926 telegram to New York friend Ben Hecht

[Mankiewicz (1897-1953) won the award for Best Screenplay for Citizen Kane at the 1942 Oscars. By then Hecht (1894-1964) had already won two scriptwriting Oscars, in 1929 for Underworld and 1936 for The Scoundrel]

10 December 2007

Some people are never satisfied

France will today request the return to French soil of the remains of its last emperor and first president, Napoleon III. After lying ignored in a crypt in an English abbey for 120 years, the exiled emperor's ashes are suddenly the subject of a French ministerial delegation intent on repatriating them to the republic he helped bring about.

Christian Estrosi, the French secretary of state for overseas territories, said: "This trip will be for me an occasion to send a clear message to the British, to thank them for all they did for the imperial couple in exile, but also to remind them that we have some rights over them."
But Mr Estrosi, who will visit St Michael's Abbey, Hampshire, to request the return of the ashes, may receive a frosty reception from the abbey's Benedictine monks. They say the French disowned their former leader and continue to ignore his legacy.
In a statement to the French people, Abbot Cuthbert Brogan, who runs the abbey, said: "Unlike the English, who are very interested in the memory of your last emperor, not a single French person comes and meditates at the crypt where his remains lie.
"I hope that your overseas minister is coming to ask for forgiveness. It's the least he can do in terms of politeness because you, the French, attach great importance to politeness."
Commenting on Mr Estrosi's intention to spend 10 minutes in silent reverence by the tomb, the abbot went on: "Ten minutes for a silence of 120 years! They are not interested in the remains at all.
"What do you think of someone who has shown no interest in someone for much of his life and who suddenly claims, more than a century later, that the body belongs to him?"
- Daily Telegraph, 10 December 2007
[Hang on Mr Abbot, just a moment ago you said that no-one from France ever came to pay their respects.  And now one does, a secretary of state no less, and now ten minutes isn't enough? You're a hard abbot to please...]

03 December 2007

So, just to clarify, are you or aren’t you?

"He is categorically not with me. It's absolutely nothing to do with me. There is no way he is with me, there is no way he left for me, there is just no way. I am not involved in this in any way."
- Auckland businesswoman Diane Foreman has a Bill Clinton moment, Sunday Star Times, 2 December 2007 
[Courtesy of Felix]