Bless the South Americans because no one else manages to make the news quite as often with stories about kind of icky genetic abnormalities involving inter species breeding. Or at least hysterical stories that CLAIM two different species have mated.
First there was the catdog hybrid that turned out to be fake but we still all had a good gawk and marvelled at the horror and now there's the chickenduck hybrid. The chicken itself is just a chicken but it has webbed feet and the story was published on several websites today all using the same picture. The very one featured here.
The interesting thing is that the headline states, "Chicken Born With Duck's Webbed Feet" except the footage shows a chicken with feet that are immediately explained away as genetic mutations. Your average garden variety mutation. So, it's not actually a duck gene, it's just the same as someone born without a finger or something.
Furthermore, does anyone else notice the most obvious point and that is that the chicken was clearly not born recently at all. It's fully grown. Meaning that not only is this absolutely not news at all but it's more than likely that the people of Buga, Columbia must just want attention. They were saving this story up for a rainy day and here it is. It's raining.
Still, if nothing else, the chicken does have weird feet and are freakish and therefore we can still marvel at it and feel better about not sticking out of the pack as much as it does. Thank goodness.
Anyone looking for a guaranteed way to lose a whole lot of money by investing in a harebrain scheme but hasn't been satisfied with the harebrain schemes that have been on offer of late will be thrilled to know that a manufacturer of whiskey in Pakistan (!) is about to release a 20 year old single malt. Why they're doing that is more or less unimaginable because there are so many rules about alcohol consumption in Pakistan that it will be impossible to actually sell it.
First up, the country is almost entirely Muslim and Muslims don't drink and haven't been allowed to, by law, for 30 years. So, that rules most of the country out.
Secondly, they're not allowed to even ship the product OUT of the country so there goes any chance of selling it to foreigners. Unless they buy it while there and physically carry it out in their suitcases.
Just to show how totally meaningless the cultural ban is, it's documented that the Prime Minister would drink until he instigated the ban to gain more political support from the Islamic nations and the man who owns the company producing the whiskey is a member of parlaiment. Why on earth would a member of parliament manufacture a product that is illegal for the vast majority of his nation to consume? Hmmm, maybe the business venture involves a few loop holes no one knows about just yet.
Standby for a religious ruling that states that, oh...what?... 20 year old single malt whiskey is a soul cleanser when consumed heavily on Fridays only....yes, that'll do.
With that kind of ban and across the board conservative control of a country with something as common as alcohol, the underground bootleg liquor industry and speakeasy scene must be even more incredible and baccanalian than the underground Republican S and M scene in the US and to get to that point takes some real focus.
Not only has 17 year old Daniel Radcliffe been voted one of the world's sexiest men, inexplicably beating out Pete Doherty, he's also about to star in a stage production of Equus where he will appear completely naked on stage. This is the perfect antidote to his stint as a child star however, the thought of four hundred million 12 year old female fans with their sexually deprived mothers in the audience every night, screeching at the sight of him might ruin things. Slightly.
There have got to be about ten people in the world who claim to be or who are reported to be the oldest person in the world. There was recently an elderly man in Cuba who claimed to be really old but, with no proof of his birth, he was technically just another attention starved elderly man.
Still, even if she wasn't the oldest person in the world 114 year old Emma Faust Tillman of Connecticut sure as hell must have been in the top 5 until Sunday when she died. If you think about it, Ms. Tillman actually saw the birth, life and death of Modernism, the terms of 21 presidents and was Katharine Hepburn's maid at one time.
After they drove their knitting business into the ground and racked up around $US770,000 in debt, those sisters of mercy couldn't mentally cope with the stress and they went underground into hiding.
While the news reports offer no suggestion whatsoever that the nuns are now using the money on coke, whores, booze and sexy new outfits, that's certainly no reason to discount it as a viable hypothesis about what they're doing right now. As in, NOW.
They haven't actually be located yet and the Church won't comment.
The charming, western product addicted "people person"dictator of North Korea is currently being grounded by the US for refusing to give up Nuclear Weapons and for general disobedience and as a result will no longer be able to order cognac, ipods (well, gee - how many do you need?), designer clothes etc.
In a lot of ways, this might just help Kim Jong Il. Without the distraction of a multitude of ego gratifying trinkets, he might just get back to exactly what it was he was trying to do and start to polish up that ruling iron fist with a meditative clarity previously impossible.
Way to go, President Bush. Just because you'd only respond if they took away your toys doesn't mean everyone else would, GOD.
Sad news for anyone planning on moving to Herouxville, Canada who thought they might finally be able to stone women in public, burn them alive or throw acid on them in peace while living there. A new set of rules just published on the town website expressly forbids these specific activities. Only.
Outrageous! What else will immigrants DO with their time? Or with disobedient women for that matter.
But, the thing is, while there weren't actually any repeated or, for that matter, singular instances of stoning, burning or aciding (let's assume that's now a verb), the town council thought it appropriate to set some standards for anyone planning on moving there.
Where is this specific paranoia coming from?
And, technically, it suggests that all these activities are unacceptable in public but what about in private? Who was thinking about this before it because of public interest?
No, he's not an art student. He just felt this made him whole again. Again implies that he was once whole. Then something happened. Then he married a piece of foam. Now he's back to his old self.
Best part of the article is:
Liu says he is not gay, but admits he's "maybe a bit narcissistic", reports New Express.
Well, thank goodness they cleared that up. Because when someone marries a foam cut out of themself dressed in a gown the first thing that pops into the conscious mind is that they must be sexually attracted to men. There's an immediate and obvious link. It's good that the New Express was on hand to immediately make sure he wasn't gay.
So, two things that are equally astounding about the duck that, last week, was shot and knocked unconscious, put in a refridgerator and kept for a few days before it was discovered alive and then taken to the vet:
1) While it was being operated on it died and the vet declared it dead. Then, moments later it came back to life. Everyone involved was understandably astounded. What exactly is this duck meant to be doing with itself that it keeps getting brought back to life? It had better get moving on establishing that cult or inventing that self cleaning set of steak knives. How many more "get out of death free cards" can the universe be expected to doll out before it sees a return on the investment.
2) It's name is Perky. Thank you middle class repression for that understatement.
Wow, let's talk about totally delusional masculine anxiety and inherent same sex attraction subverted to the point where it's simply absurd.
Best quotes ever:
"I am a firefighter. I need to look the part. I wanted to improve my jawline. Bruce Willis has a nice, strong jaw," he told the Hindustan Times after surgery.
Fair enough. However, you can almost hear him slow down and start to salivate at the idea of being even remotely near to Bruce Willis' nice, strong jaw. Perhaps it's difficult for a firefighter to be sexually attracted to Bruce Willis - or indeed a man at all for that matter so maybe this guy realises his sexual attraction by being attracted to a movie star and then acts on it, oddly, by becoming the object of his erotic fixation.
Second best quote (from the doctor in India):
"he said that as a man who jumps into burning buildings, people in the community look up to him and he needed to maintain his macho image "
Which is fair enough, really. It's common for firefighters to go through this need to reclaim apparently lost masculinity, isn't it? Where did it go? Who says? Who says people would prefer to be rescued by Bruce Willis than not at all?
Why are people allowed to talk no matter what? Maybe the joke's on me for stating the cripplingly obvious.
In a shocking display of what appears to have been independant thought, Posh Spice vehemently rejects the rumour that she might be becoming a Scientologist. She's friends with their Christ figure so it was rumoured that she would have to get on board to remain friends. Apparently not though. Kudos to her.
Lucky for Isaiah Washington, the SAG Awards are on at exactly the same time he goes into rehab so, just as Grey's Anatomy is nominated he can be conspicuously absent. Because how will rehab possibly pay off for him if no one even notices he's gone into it?
T R Knight is apparently so disgusted at how badly the entire "faggot" episode has played out he's quitting Grey's Anatomy.
Results of a study conducted over twenty years by scientists in the UK claim to have proven that there's no link between a high self esteem and having straight teeth. If any other country had commissioned this survey it would have more of a leg to stand on.
It's also a totally inane concept to try and debunk and one suited more to air heads who live in Los Angeles. It's like that line from The Informers by Brett Easton Ellis, "You look tanned but not happy."
Well, gee ma'am, your kid has straight teeth so I just can't for the life of me as a professional psychiatrist who has written books about child psychology and appeared on TV figure out WHY your child is slashing their wrists and crying about feeling empty. I mean, all the pieces fit to indicate mental health: straight teeth...and well, that's all we really check but up until now it's been a fool proof indicator."
Having now proven this, it seems clear the English will be able to wallow in their own dental based failure without guilt moreso than ever before. Thank goodness.
The self described "very naughty and eager to try new things" Wang Lianhai, 36, from Qiqihaer city in China has managed to pull a car for 200 meters while riding a motorcycle. The great thing is, he didn't actually do it for any charity, he just did it because it's been something he's been working on methodically since childhood.
It's nice to see someone really focusing on inanity in its purest form, and for no commercial gain. Without any kind of charity to benefit from his efforts, there really seems to be no other explanation for his behaviour but pure absurdity and possibly an ear torture fetish.
Good on him for also demonstrating the physical prowess of the cartilage in the ear. How many people actually knew that ears could do that? It's safe to assume that not many people knew that. But, now they do and we thank the Chinese for that.
Apparently caffeine in mints, moisturisers, soda, aspirin and of course coffee is not enough to keep your average midtown administrationiste both perky and convinced she's burning calories while sitting for 8 hours a day, so a molecular scientist in North Carolina has taken it upon himself to find a way to insert caffeine into donuts - for the peace of mind of the chronically addicted everywhere.
According to news reports, these donuts aren't bitter as is the case when you eat caffeine (who knew?), they're just as sweet as ever before and if you have one you're getting the equivalent of two and a half cups of coffee worth of caffeine in each pastry.
So, if you eat one and then another and you just can't stop and you end up maniacally shovelling them into your face eventually you'll get to the point where you're speeding so much that your metabolism will burn up the fat and sugar in the donuts without you even trying - which more or less makes these donuts the cake equivalent of celery.
While China has been doing its best to put its best face forward as it prepares for the 2008 Olympics and also the World Expo in 2010 by shutting down restaurants that aren't up to scratch and by installing elaborate spitoons in cabs, those efforts were dealt a blow when it was revealed that several men have been killing women and selling their ghosts as ghost brides to ensure that dead single men have wives in the afterlife.
Yang Donghai, a 35-year-old farmer in western China's Shaanxi province admitted he killed a woman he had bought from her family. he paid 12,000 yuan for her but sold her ghost - to which he no doubt had immediate rights - for 16,000 yuan making a profit of 4,000 yuan. Gee, the profit seems a bit low for all the effort involved. It's only about $US2-300
Because what are the main elements here? Well, there's buying and selling people or, for want of a better word: "slavery" - that's slavery where the girl's own family sold her out, then you have murder of course, then the guy profited from murder and it was all for a dark, superstitious death ritual which only survived in the parts of China that are more or less badlands - ie. the parts of China where Communism started and where poverty reigns. Gosh, how surprising it's not already an official holiday destination.
While the story is written in a way that makes the bride look like a real trooper, it really seems like fiance Paul Fox had the right idea when he left his fiance two weeks before the wedding.
Emma Knight dealt with the breakup by doing what any Bridezilla who is out of her mind would do. She went ahead with the wedding ceremony and reception but replaced her husband with her dog (Not in a bestial way, more in a way where the dog just fit the costume because when you get right down to it, it's really the reception and chance to wear an elaborate dress that draws a certain class of women to marriage - the husband can be interchangeable.).
IF you are one of those people - and you'd be immediately forgiven if you are - who sincerely believe that Scientology couldn't get any more legitimate as a religion than it already is then get ready to need a cup of tea and good lie down to cope with sincere shock. That's right, Scientology has managed to rack up even more "rational approach to life" points now that they've ordained Tom Cruise as their Christ figure. They clearly lacked the vital Christ figure so it's nice that they managed to fill that gap but it's inspired that they chose a control freak, closet case, narcissist corporate shell like product of a human to represent their primary virtues. Because doesn't he represent all of our virtues? At the end of the day? Bravo.
DEAD or Alive frontman Pete Burns has undergone more plastic surgery, this time on his lips, and also this time with terrifying results. Apparently the surgeon simply hacked open Burns' lips, administered the wrong treatment, the lips themselves rebelled and are now stitched up horrifying swollen wounds on the front of his face. He's suing.
TRINITY star and also, star of the critically acclaimed "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place" Ryan Reynolds fell over in the bathroom and tore open his face so, it is confirmed this week that he got surgery to fix up one of his primary assets.
ISAIAH Washington continues his public backpedalling after calling his castmate a faggot and, after meeting with community figures for a sit down and a stern talk, he's checking into rehab - generally the final stage in celebrity penance. Give him a couple of weeks and he can come out (ha!) and get back to normal. Maybe not though. Knee jerk reactions to alcoholism and drug use from mid-westerners are easily fixed through a good solid getaway to Hollywood rehab but gay people are entirely more complex and generally more intelligent than stupid, fat, middle class, middle Americans so maybe they won't buy it. Only time will tell.
Paris Hilton is naked on film, possibly being penetrated. Again.
An iguana named Mozart at Aquatopia in Antwerp, Belgium, has had an erection for a week now and so, naturally, biologists have decided to simply amputate his penis. Obvious questions about necessity aside, is Andrea Dworkin in fact, not dead and now moonlighting as a herpetologist in Antwerp?
While it's difficult to confirm or deny that on any real level from reading news reports they do offer up the insight that Mozart, while being filmed by the media, appeared more or less unperturbed by the news that he was to be castrated. Questions remain; has the iguana actually been told? If so, how on earth WAS he told?
In a lovely, heartwarming update on the plight of two animals that have defied all expectation by merely existing, it appears that the two faced cow (insert acidic joke about Celine Dion) born recently, is being nurtured lovingly by its owner - actually Forbes Magazine reports that so clearly it's of staggering importance. But, you know, good on that farmer for seeing the inner beauty.
Also, a komodo dragon that fell pregnant days before Christmas despite never having come in contact with a male komodo - which, obviously set off a maddening din of Christianity jokes about how it was the immaculate conception etc. etc - has laid the immaculate eggs and they've hatched the the young are doing well despite being bastards. So, despite the fact that the young will probably grow up and be slightly more effeminate than the other komodo dragons because of a lack of emotionally distant/abusive father figure, they can take comfort in the fact that their mother is the reptile equivalent of Mary, Mother of God.
In a move that MUST constitute the legal equivalent of check mate for a convicted drug dealer in Saudi Arabia, a judge has ordered that the felon must memorise all 77,000 words of the Koran in six months or he will go to prison for a year.
In doing so he'll more than likely spend so much time in a meditative state that he'll evolve as a human and it'll be like a jail but far more transcendental. Is there anything Sharia law can't do?
Well, apart from the untold horror that is... the horror where women are stoned to death and people lose hands for stealing and everything but this situation really seems like it's win win.
According to a study which involved the opinions of 1.1 million people collected over a year, the sound of someone vomiting is the worst sound. Ever. The most unpleasant, to be more specific.
Coming in, pathetically, in second place is the sound of microphone feedback and then crying babies and squeaking breaks tied for third. The interesting thing is that scratching nails down a blackboard was only 20th.
Scratching nails is never as horrifying as it sounds, it's an entirely constructed fear. People are just afraid of actually breaking their fingernails back and for the skin to start bleeding but then chalk dust gets inside that wound so it's difficult and painful and right at the tip of your fingers so it REALLY hurts but there's chalk and blood and nerves and shock and pain and panic and extreme discomfort and also, you're at school and the teacher just gives you a band aid which is all you can do, really, but ultimately it still hurts for a while and you just can't get the idea that chalk is INSIDE your wound out of your head and it spirals out of all control and you can't think properly or remember or see or eat or move.
But the sound itself is nothing. It's all that memory and emotion that makes it unpleasant.
Meanwhile, it's interesting that someone would, on average, prefer to hear the sound of a crying child than the sound of someone's body convulsing to bring up what they had for lunch. Particularly seeing as vomiting is far more likely to be a fetish experience than listening to a baby crying.
But still, it's good that we know now. Scientifically.
The astonishing vocal power of a small boy in China just killed a massive contingent of chickens when the boy was freaked out by a dog. He, saw the dog and screamed and 433 chickens reacted by trampling each other to death. Which is more or less the cultural farmyard equivalent to a terrorist attack. Like, when you think about it enough and really squint.
With the obvious exception that the boy is meant to be Chinese, the images connected to this post are meant to show the basic elements involved in the story and as they run from left to right, they symbolise the course of events in a basic narrative of sorts.
This seems like some kind of Japanese Horror film but in real life and also in China. Perhaps this boy will now be called "Chicken Weapon Boy". There's no reason for that not to be the case.
While it's all very tragic that Damon Mootoo came to Queens, New York to visit his brother and 12 hours after arriving in the city he got lost and wasn't seen for 5 days until someone saw him shivering in a corner and drove him home - it's not so much a testament to the enormity and forbidding nature of New York as it is to the crippling inability of a man to merely function in society.
He wasn't challenged in any way, he was just shy and couldn't ask for food, water or directions for fear of being beaten up or embarassed.
"I want to go home," Mootoo said. "I'm thinking about going back to Guyana."
Going back? What on earth for? Queens is clearly the place for Mr. Mootoo - surely he can see that.
A man was arrested for smuggling birds from Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan after police stopped him at the border and discovered 500 parrots in his car. The rest of the story is more or less as you'd expect. Arrested yadda yadda. Parrots safe etc. It's just kind of hilarious that he had 500 parrots in one place.
" Oh, I just got stopped because I was smuggling 500 parrots."
And the funny part is that through repetition, 500 parrots becomes one word so, it's more like fivehundredparrots and it also eventually ceases to be about fivehundredparrots. It's more about just this illegal cargo and people file it away at the police station.
But, at the end of the day, he will always get to say the hilarious phrase fivehundredparrots really fast like it's nothing. But, it sure isn't nothing. It's something.
As a part of the Chinese Government's campaign to make Shanghai a more pleasant and less challenging as far as hygene is concerned, not only will the government be shutting down any restaurant that doesn't scrape up to new health standards. According to a report, issued by the State Media - which would never lie - it seems that cabs in Shanghai will soon be fitted with metal trays meant to capture any spit passengers or drivers would care to expel while driving.
Outlawing spitting was out of the question for what reason? Instead, money is spent to equip vehicles with spitting trays to simply accommodate for the fact that people must not just spit, but spit to the extent that it's a problem that needs to be addressed.
Perhaps, if they went the other way and encouraged everyone to spit relentlessly, a wave of Chinese saliva would wash away the filth the government feels stands in the way of Shanghai being granted the World Expo for 2010.
Naomi Campbell is sentenced to 5 days menial labor for beating her assistant in the face. To recover she does what anyone else would do and convalesces in South America while consulting a socialite witchdoctor and picking up an award which makes her an ambassador.
Angelina Jolie's corporately constructed image as a humanitarian and mother begins to crack, reports the New York Times, meaning that sooner or later the demonic serpents should exit through holes in her face and leave the original vessel empty.
Prince Harry takes time off while his military unit trains to go to war. While no one is saying anything explicitly, it seems like there's no way he'll go to Iraq. After all when it comes to aristocrats, military service is more or less the equivalent of a contracted wife for closeted gay moviestars in Hollywood. It gets them mainstream appeal they wouldn't ordinarily muster up.
A duck in Florida was shot, obviously knocked unconscious and put in a fridge where it stayed for several days with a broken wing and leg until the owner of the fridge opened the door to find it alive.
It would be strange if that duck did not re-evaluate its life after that; giving up spending money on coke and whores and the like. Surviving being shot and living for days in a dark freezer with no food is an indication that it's time to move on to bigger and better things.
While it's unclear how an American company beat the Germans in the invention of a fart filtering pair of underwear - wait, no it isn't - why would the Germans prevent ass based methane from being breathable? - it is reassuring for old people who can't stop farting that a pair of pants will filter away all unpleasantness, effortlessly.
Sure the pants look like pant version of a bed cover used to prevent trauma based betwetting among kids but, the peace of mind that comes from knowing the rotting stench of gas that has lingered in the lower intestine of an elderly man with a slow metabolism won't be uncontrollably released into the atmosphere undeniably cancels out any inclination toward vanity.
Kemp & Associates Antiques, Ltd, a ritzy store on Madison Avenue has been plagued by the unpleasantness of conspicuous poverty for a year now, as a mentally challenged homeless man has been sitting outside and he scares away customers. But, bless them, Karl Kemp isn't taking this assault on his grasp for opulent status lying down. He's fighting back by suing the homeless man for 1 million dollars.
Apart from the obvious futility of suing a man who clearly can't even pay for new pants let alone afford a laywer, the Daily News reports that the story doesn't end there. Apparently, the homeless man was actually married and his wife thought he was dead until she saw his face on TV with media coverage of the story.
Being capable of irritating a pompous antique dealer to the point where he sues you for merely existing is not something just anyone could achieve but it's not rocket science. Being able to do that after managing to more or less convince your ex-wife you're dead is the work of a sociopathic mastermind.
Sex in Hong Kong lasts around 18 minutes on average, according to the products details of a new musical flavoured condom gift pack designed by Ondo Creations (what a high impact sentence).
If you buy the gift pack, it contains condoms that are flavoured and it also contains a CD of music which starts out slowly and softly and gradually gains momentum, no doubt to promote and represent the same momentum of having sex.
Ok, great. Except not if you want to have sex for more than 18 minutes. But, really - who actually cares? What's the bet it's just adult contemporary easy listening that reeks of pastel Florida-esque saxophone solos that emulate nothing but the sad desperate feeling of being in an apartment that "comes tastefully decorated" except it's not really tasteful at all, is it? Just turn off the CD.
The great thing about this story are the quotes from the guy who owns the company that invented the musical flavoured condom experience.
First there's the panic stricken:
"We try to create products that are not embarrassing, but very trendy and hip. It's a lifestyle product."
And then, the deliciously wicked:
"There's a market gap in the condom industry that we may be able to make fun -- and also penetrate," said Tsang who expected a 30 percent surge in sales ahead of Valentine's Day.
Because penetrate is a word that can mean both the successful intergration of a product into a particular market AND it can also refer to penetrative sex where someone physically enters another person. What makes this relevant is that the product they're talking about is a condom - so, the humour is, in fact, multi-faceted and I'm. Just. Dying.
Matt Phillp is an Australian writer who lives in the eye of the hurricane in Brooklyn, New York. He writes about people and the arbitrary nature of culture. Because the world is a complicated place. It's weird.