January 30, 2008

Wednesday Wisdom

"The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown."

Carl Sagan

January 28, 2008

His carbon footprint looks big in that

Prime Minister Kevin (greener than thou) Rudd looks exactly like one almighty large carbon footprint in his new job.

It seems that PM Kev has been responsible for more carbon emissions in two short months than the former PM was ordinarily responsible for during an average year.

That's not even counting either of their speeches in parliament, or press stops.

Ah yes.

More leadership by example, hey?

Nothing like it to inspire the peons to altruism or greatness.

High-flyer Rudd ...

Kennedy backing for Obama

Caroline Kennedy has written a piece for The New York Times in which she backs Barack Obama as the presidential candidate for the Democrats.

She writes:

"I want a president who understands that his responsibility is to articulate a vision and encourage others to achieve it; who holds himself, and those around him, to the highest ethical standards; who appeals to the hopes of those who still believe in the American Dream, and those around the world who still believe in the American ideal; and who can lift our spirits, and make us believe again that our country needs every one of us to get involved.

I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans."

Oh yeah: Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts is also expected to announce his endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for US president.

I'm sorry for Aboriginal children and women

I'm deeply sorry that Aboriginal children are repeatedly raped and beaten, have epidemic levels of sexually transmitted diseases, don't go to school because the adults are too drunk or drugged to care, live in hideously unsanitary conditions, do not have sufficient food, and, on the rare occasion that anyone in authority has evidence of the depraved circumstances of a child's life, they vigorously decline to do anything to protect that child, preferring to send them straight back home, so as to protect the integrity of the Aboriginal family unit and the exulted Aboriginal culture.

When parliament re-opens on February 12, Prime Minister Rudd is going to say sorry, on your behalf and mine, to the "stolen generation".

At the Lodge on Saturday night, Kev told his audience that he wanted indigenous people to be "full participants" in society, rather than marginalised Australians.

Yeah, sure.

Leggo turns 50

Leggo turns a surprisingly young 50 years old today.

Having spent a couple of hundred dollars on Leggo during this last fortnight, for The Golden Child, may I say: bless Leggo, long may they prosper.

Apart from being a suitable and educational toy for all ages, and for both genders, Leggo has the almost unique facility of being all but indestructible, and no matter how many modern concepts they release, a Leggo blog from fifty years ago is 100% compatible with a new Leggo piece bought today. In this commodified and disposable world of ours, that's admirable and impressive.

Five thumbs up for the good corporate citizen that is Leggoland!

(Hmm. Me thinks Microsoft could learn a thing or two from Leggo.)

Bill - tired and emotional

We're all prone to getting a little tired and emotional about Hillary.

Even Bill has spontaneously come over all tired and emotional about Hillary.

"Hillary Clinton has admitted her husband Bill's hard-charging campaign tactics had gone overboard, but chalked his fiery broadsides up to love and lack of sleep.

Clinton was asked on CBS television's "Face the Nation'' whether her husband was "out of control'' after he took the Illinois senator, and the media to task, during a foul-tempered week-long campaign.

"You know, my husband has such a great commitment to me and to my campaign,'' the New York senator said.

"He loves me just like, you know, husbands and wives get out there and work on each others' behalf.''

"Maybe he got a little carried away. You know, that comes with a hard-fought election,'' she said.

"It also comes with sleep deprivation which, you know, I think is marking all of us, our families, our supporters,'' said Clinton, who herself is running low on sleep, as she jets back-and-forth across the country."

If anyone can find the floating signifier in this bit -

"He loves me just like, you know"

- give me a hoi, 'kay?

The Age ...

January 27, 2008

Apocalypse - 40 years in the making

This year is the 40th anniversary of Paul Ehrlich's influential The Population Bomb, a book that predicted an apocalyptic overpopulation crisis in the 1970s and '80s.

Don't know about the rest of you, but I'm really hoping the presently pending
Ecogeddon doesn't take as long to play out. I want to know how it ends.


Day after day, do you wonder and fret over why ET hasn't dropped by Earth yet?

Seriously, we all know that it's a game of probabilities, and based on the number of galaxies out there, the probability is that we're not alone, merely lonely.

Even within the confines of our own little Milky Way, you'd expect that we are not the only curd.

At least that's what I've long believed.

I may have been wrong. (Hey, it happens.)

Way back in 1961, radio astronomer Frank Drake doodled away for a bit and came up with a suppositional formula for estimating the number of technological civilizations that reside in our galaxy:

N = R fp ne fl fi fc L

N is the number of communicative civilizations, R is the rate of formation of suitable stars, fp is the fraction of those stars with planets, ne is the number of Earth-like planets per solar system, fl is the fraction of planets with life, fi is the fraction of planets with intelligent life, fc is the fraction of planets with communicating technology, and L is the lifetime of communicating civilizations.

Cool bananas, we can work out the likelihood of other live forms loitering without intent somewhere in our neighborhood.

But things aren't so rosy when you work out "L" = lifetime of communicating civilizations.

Taking the only data we have - Earth - the lifetime of communicating civilizations is, on average, pitifully short, which is in itself a sad and sorry thing, but also bodes something less than perky in terms of getting one's act together for the time and trials needed for intergalactic travel.

Taking 60 Earth bound civilizations, including Sumeria, Mesopotamia, Babylonia, the eight dynasties of Egypt, the six civilizations of Greece, the Roman Republic and Empire, and others in the ancient world, plus various civilizations since the fall of Rome, such as the nine dynasties (and two republics) of China, four in Africa, three in India, two in Japan, six in Central and South America, and six modern states of Europe and America, apparently they endured for, in total, 25,234 years. Making for an "L" of a paltry 420.6 years - that is, "L" being years from inception to demise, or to the present.

Civilizations, in other words, aren't exactly robust entities.

But it gets worse.

More modern and technological societies have an even shorter L, with the 28 civilizations since the fall of Rome averaging only 304.5 years.

If we toss these figures into the Drake equation, this is what we get: where L = 420.6 years, N = 3.36 civilizations in our galaxy; where L = 304.5 years, N= 2.44 civilizations in our galaxy.

And that folks, might explain why we're still waiting for something to wipe its feet on the Earthly extraterrestrial visitor's welcome mat.

January 26, 2008

Coming already?

With remarkably little dubiety, The New York Times has prematurely effused over their preferred Presidential candidates.

For the Republican Party they're carping for John McCain

For the Democrats they're hollering for Hillary Clinton

January 25, 2008

That'll teach 'em

Microsoft Corp signaled confidence to a rattled stock market by raising its full-year profit outlook above Wall Street targets and reporting a 79 per cent rise in quarterly profit on Thursday.

(For the economically challenged: profit is the bit left over after expenses.)

Duck Friday

January 24, 2008

Dumb and Dumber

With a Little Help from Our Friends
Police in Oakland, California spent two hours attempting to subdue a gunman who had barricaded himself inside his home. After firing ten tear gas canisters, officers discovered that the man was standing beside them, shouting pleas to come out and give himself up.

What Was Plan B
An Illinois man pretending to have a gun kidnapped a motorist and forced him to drive to two different automated teller machines. The kidnapper then proceeded to withdraw money from his own bank accounts.

These Maroons Are Teaching Children
A 9-year-old boy in Manassas, Virginia received a one-day suspension under his elementary school’s drug policy last week - for Certs! Joey Hoeffer allegedly told a classmate that the mints would make him “jump higher.”
A student in Belle, West Virginia was suspended for three days for giving a classmate a cough drop. School principal Forest Mann reiterated the school’s “zero-tolerance” policy…not to be confused with the “zero-intelligence” policy.

Some Days It Doesn’t Pay to Gnaw Through the Straps
Fire investigators on Maui have determined the cause of a blaze that destroyed a $127,000 home last month - a short in the homeowner’s newly installed fire prevention alarm system. “This is even worse than last year,” said the distraught homeowner, “when someone broke in and stole my new security system…”

For the Main Course
A man in Taormina, Italy was hospitalized after swallowing 46 teaspoons, 2 cigarette lighters, and a pair of salad tongs.

The Getaway
The man walked in to a Topeka, Kansas Kwik Shop, and asked for all the money in the cash drawer. Apparently, the take was too small, so he tied up the store clerk and worked the counter himself for three hours until police showed up and grabbed him.

Have I Got a Deal for You
More than 600 people in Italy wanted to ride in a spaceship badly enough to pay $10,000 apiece for the first tourist flight to Mars. According to the Italian police, the would-be space travelers were told to spend their “next vacation on Mars, amid the splendors of ruined temples and painted deserts. Ride a Martian camel from oasis to oasis and enjoy the incredible Martian sunsets. Explore mysterious canals and marvel at the views. Trips to the moon also available.” Authorities believe that the con men running this scam made off with over six million dollars.

Over Educated
In Medford, Oregon, a 27-year-old jobless man with an MBA blamed his college degree for his murder of three people. “There are too many business grads out there,” he said. “If I had chosen another field, all this may not have happened.”

Did I Say That
Police in Los Angeles had good luck with a robbery suspect who just couldn’t control himself during a lineup. When detectives asked each man in the lineup to repeat the words, “Give me all your money or I’ll shoot,” the man shouted, “That’s not what I said!”

A bank robber in Virginia Beach got a nasty surprise when a dye pack designed to mark stolen money exploded in his Fruit-of-the-Looms. The robber apparently stuffed the loot down the front of his pants as he was running out the door. “He was seen hopping and jumping around,” said police spokesman Mike Carey, “with an explosion taking place inside his pants.” Police have the man’s charred trousers in custody.

Are We Not Communicating
A man spoke frantically into the phone, “My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart!” “Is this her first child?” the doctor asked. “No, you idiot!” the man shouted. “This is her husband!”

Not the brightest crayon in the pack
In Modesto, CA, Steven Richard King was arrested for trying to hold up a Bank of America branch without a weapon. King used a thumb and a finger to simulate a gun, but unfortunately, he failed to keep his hand in his pocket.

January 23, 2008

Phew: the government is watching

Grocery prices in Australia have risen 43.6% since 1996, compared with consumer price index rises of 28.8%.

But fear the price of bread and butter no more!

The government is watching, standing ever alert with eyes fixated on grocery prices!

As promised during the election the Rudd government is going to "look into" grocery prices.

The government's new "inquiry into grocery prices will put greater competitive pressure on supermarkets — but don't expect prices to go down."


I see.

Pending excitement averted.

Wednesday Wisdom

"There was a poignancy about the moment, seeing Hillary crack with exhaustion from decades of yearning to be the principal rather than the plus-one. But there was a whiff of Nixonian self-pity about her choking up. What was moving her so deeply was her recognition that the country was failing to grasp how much it needs her. In a weirdly narcissistic way, she was crying for us. But it was grimly typical of her that what finally made her break down was the prospect of losing."

Maureen Dowd, on Hillary Clinton

January 22, 2008


A litre bottle of water takes two litres of water and 200ml of oil just to make.

Tap water costs about AU85 cents per 1000 litres.

Bottled water costs an average of $AU2.53 for one litre.

January 20, 2008

Caucus Call

Hillary wins the latest round for the Dem's.

McCain wins the latest round for the GOP.

You too can be an OT III

This blog, as you all know, has a strict policy of enlightening the masses, and, whenever possible, saving my dear readers lots of money.

Today I'm saving each of my readers millions of dollars, and decades of unrelenting brainwashing dedicated study.

Today you will each reach the level of an OT III in Scientology-land. The following essay is the secret at the very pinnacle of Scientology, known only to OT III's - which now includes all of us (whoppee!).

Disclaimer: sure, a six year old could have written a more eloquent short story, but this is about ultimate enlightenment, not literature, 'kay?

Taking bets: how long did it take L.Ron.Hubbard to write this "story"? (I bags six minutes.)

Who is Xenu?

Once upon a time (75 million years ago to be more precise) there was an alien galactic ruler named Xenu. Xenu was in charge of all the planets in this part of the galaxy including our own planet Earth, except in those days it was called Teegeeack.

Now Xenu had a problem. All of the 76 planets he controlled were over-populated. Each planet had on average 178 billion people. He wanted to get rid of all the overpopulation so he had a plan.

Xenu took over complete control with the help of renegades to defeat the good people and the Loyal Officers. Then with the help of psychiatrists he called in billions of people for income tax inspections where they were instead given injections of alcohol and glycol mixed to paralyse them. Then they were put into space planes that looked exactly like DC8s (except they had rocket motors instead of propellers).

These DC8 space planes then flew to planet Earth where the paralysed people were stacked around the bases of volcanoes in their hundreds of billions. When they had finished stacking them around then H-bombs were lowered into the volcanoes. Xenu then detonated all the H-bombs at the same time and everyone was killed.

The story doesn’t end there though. Since everyone has a soul (called a “thetan” in this story) then you have to trick souls into not coming back again. So while the hundreds of billions of souls were being blown around by the nuclear winds he had special electronic traps that caught all the souls in electronic beams (the electronic beams were sticky like fly-paper).

After he had captured all these souls he had them packed into boxes and taken to a few huge cinemas. There all the souls had to spend days watching special 3D motion pictures that told them what life should be like and many confusing things. In this film they were shown false pictures and told they were God, The Devil and Christ. In the story this process is called “implanting”.

When the films ended and the souls left the cinema these souls started to stick together because since they had all seen the same film they thought they were the same people. They clustered in groups of a few thousand. Now because there were only a few living bodies left they stayed as clusters and inhabited these bodies.

As for Xenu, the Loyal Officers finally overthrew him and they locked him away in a mountain on one of the planets. He is kept in by a force-field powered by an eternal battery and Xenu is still alive today."

Makes you wonder why the Bible and the Koran are so darned long, doesn't it?

Now, go forth and control animals and humans with your will and move inanimate objects with your mind. Feel free to share your out of body play-time experiences with other readers.

Hubbard's Xenu story via Operation Clambake - Undressing Scientology since 1966

January 19, 2008

Weep for them

Weep for the babies, children and women of the remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory.
"After two months of dewy consultations, Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin has underlined the path ahead for Labor in the Aboriginal bush. It's back to the future: back to an apartheid world, where visitors to the 73 main towns and communities of the Territory's remote north and centre can go nowhere without the stamped approval of a Land Council commissar.

For three decades, this system flourished, and brought with it the results we know: anomie, small-town boredom, drugs, drink, illiteracy, social collapse, illness, early death. It was a significant factor in breeding weak societies, not strong open ones.

[Macklin] has prepared a chopping-block for Sue Gordon, the chairwoman of the federal taskforce, who this week begged the Rudd Government to give the intervention a new resolve. Macklin's pallid answer: increasing consultation with the affected communities.

"I'm not interested in ideology, I'm interested in what works," she told her first press conference on reforms to the intervention yesterday.

But the permit system is ideology crystallised to perfection, and it doesn't work.

In fact there is one reason for the Rudd Government's move to reinstate permits, and it is anideological reason. The progressive support base of the Labor Party loves the idea of sacrosanct Aboriginal Australia, untainted by harmful Western influences, its people performing ceremonial activities and tossing off the odd jewel-like work of art.

The NT Labor Government has itself clamoured for keeping permits, precisely because it listens only to the "big men" on communities who want to preserve their power."

The power of a few black men over children and women will now be re-implemented, locked away from the prying eyes of the rest of us.

Pollies are a squeamish lot really, aren't they?

Back to system that permits social rot

The good wife

From Don'ts For Wives (1913):
"Don't expect your husband to want to spend evenings at home if you don't make home the most comfortable place. Don't stuff your drawing room with priceless knick-knacks that he will knock over when he stretches out his hand for an ashtray."

"Don't bother your husband with a stream of senseless chatter if you can see that he is very fatigued. Help him to the tit-bits at dinner; modulate your voice; don't remark on his silence. If you have a cheery little anecdote to relate, tell it with quiet humour, and by-and-by he will respond."

"Don't hesitate to plan out large expenditures with your husband. Usually a woman is very good at small economics, but often a man has a better grip of essentials in spending large amounts."

“Don’t let him have to search the house for you after his day’s work. Listen for his latchkey and meet him on the threshold.”

“Don’t let your husband wear a violet tie with grass-green socks. If he is unhappily devoid of the colour sense, he must be forcibly restrained.”

When incomplete sentences are complete thoughts

Yes, it's the latest, and by far the best, Tom Cruise film.

Tom gets terrifically weird and wacky ...

It's OK Tom - we know it, we really know it.

January 17, 2008

Quack, Quack

"There have long been suspicions, but it was still very disturbing to learn this week that a heavily promoted cholesterol-lowering drug had flunked a clinical trial of its effectiveness in reducing fatty deposits in arteries. The two companies that reap billions from the drug had been cynically sitting on the results for more than a year.

The drug, Zetia, and a combination pill that contains it, Vytorin, are made by Merck and Schering-Plough and used by millions of patients. They generated more than $5 billion in sales last year. The companies sponsored a clinical trial of the drug’s effectiveness in hopes that positive results would strengthen their marketing efforts. ...

The companies’ grudging release of the data has raised disturbing questions. A House committee will explore whether they withheld the results lest they interfere with sales and only released them under pressure from Congress and news media reports.

The findings also raise doubts about the current belief that lowering cholesterol is the key to cardiovascular health. The study showed that Vytorin reduced bad cholesterol significantly more than Zocor alone. The problem was that it failed to reduce the formation of plaque.


New York Times ...

January 16, 2008

Kev '07 does Elvis '08

Kev grew sideburns during his holidays.

[Did Julia too?]


Current trademarked slogan for the Coles supermarket chain:

"something better everyday"

[Who knew?]

Newly approved trademarked slogan for the Coles supermarket chain:

"the everyday, inspired"

[Or not.]

Wednesday Wisdom

There is still a difference between something and nothing, but it is purely geometrical and there is nothing behind the geometry.

Martin Gardner

January 13, 2008

It used to be hot here ...

The highest temperature ever recorded in Melbourne was 45.6 C.

That was in 1939.

Big old girls do cry

Much gnashing of feminist teeth in the US of A over media coverage of Hillary Clinton.

Seems some people believe that it's only women in politics who are judged by harsh or superficial standards.

Maybe they should have a chat to John Howard, and see if they can wring a tear out of his eyes over the unrelenting chorus of general denigration and direct questioning about his age, his staleness, his unappealing image, his lack of likability, and so on, during last year's election campaign. Of course, they could also ask Peter Costello about his image and his smirk (just for something completely different.)

Or maybe they could examine a few pictures of the Republican candidate Fred Thompson, who, upon even the most superficial of glances, is so undeniably old and crinkly that a vet is standing by to carry out urgent euthanasia as soon as the signal is given. Does anyone even pretend that Thompson is anything other than floppy, crinkled and entropically challenged? Sure, he hasn't cried yet, but that doesn't serve to make him any more aesthetically appealing or crowd-pleasingly invigorating.

Seriously ladies, trust me when I tell you that we deeply superficial people cast aspersions on men and women equally. And please, never ever think you can over-estimate the depth of my superficiality.

Minister for Bags

Peter Garrett has finally been allocated a portfolio where he can do and say very little to damage the government or the universe at large. He is now Minister for Bags.

As the Minister for Bags, Garrett will create new opportunities for big business to rip-off-we-little-consumers-and-families-all-over-the-country contribute meaningfully to the social good.

Minister Garrett is looking set to ban plastic bags, and/or introduce a twenty cent charge for each bag.

Either way, a new industry for little doggy-doo (plastic) bags will be created, along with a wider range of options in consumer (plastic) garbage bags.

Nice one Pete.

January 12, 2008

Far better lexophile humour

C/O Justin, who whipped these up with his three (Tasmanian) hands.
[No scrolling was involved in the creation of this pissed, err, post.]

Man who run in front of car get tired. Man who run behind car get exhausted.

Foolish man give wife grand piano, wise man give wife upright organ.

Man who walk through airport turnstile sideways going to Bangkok.

Man with one chopstick go hungry.

Man who scratch ass should not bite fingernails.

Man who eat many prunes get good run for money.

Baseball is wrong: man with four balls cannot walk.

Panties not best thing on earth! but next to best thing on earth.

War does not determine who is right, war determine who is left.

Wife who put husband in doghouse soon find him in cat house.

Man who fight with wife all day get no piece at night.

It take many nails to build crib, but one screw to fill it.

Man who drive like hell, bound to get there.

Man who stand on toilet is high on pot.

Man who live in glass house should change clothes in basement.

Man who fish in other man's well often catch crabs.

Man who fart in church sit in own pew.

January 11, 2008

OK then ...

Ever wondered about the history of the expression "OK"?

Sure you have!
"Despite the fact that the origin of OK was conclusively established 30 years ago, few etymological dictionaries, even recent ones, give it accurately. On the contrary, some persist in giving equal time to explanations that have been discredited for decades.

The etymology of OK was masterfully explained by the distinguished Columbia University professor Allen Walker Read in a series of articles in the journal American Speech in 1963 and 1964."
The true history of "OK" ... read the whole thing ....

Lexophile humour

* I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.

* Police were called to a day care where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

* Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now.

* The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.

* The butcher backed up into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

* To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

* When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.

* The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was described as a small medium at large.

* A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

* A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement. He became a hardened criminal.

* Thieves who steal corn from a garden could be charged with stalking.

* We'll never run out of math teachers because they always multiply.

* When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A.

* The math professor went crazy with the blackboard. He did a number on it.

* The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shaky ground.

* The dead batteries were given out free of charge.

* If you take a laptop computer for a run you could jog your memory.

* A dentist and a manicurist fought tooth and nail.

* A backward poet writes inverse.

* If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.

* With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.

* When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

* A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France, resulted in Linoleum Blownapart.

* You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

* He broke into song because he couldn't find the key.

* A calendar's days are numbered.

* A lot of money is tainted: 'Taint yours, and 'taint mine.

* A plateau is a high form of flattery.

* Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

* If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine.

* When she saw her first strands of grey hair, she thought she'd dye.

(Also filed under cringe-worthy things.)

Duck Friday

January 9, 2008

Wednesday Wisdom

The most dangerous strategy is to jump a chasm in two leaps.

Benjamin Disraeli

January 8, 2008

Where will this end?

"Australian website girl.com.au is now promoting a feature about Brazilian waxes, otherwise known as a torture device in which all the hair in a woman's nether regions is ripped off with a combination of hot wax and a high pain threshold. The website, which appears to be mostly read by girls in the nine to 14 age bracket, says of the Brazilian: "Nobody really likes hair in their private regions and it has a childlike appeal."
Why 10 is too young for your first Brazilian ...

The moral imperative of mothers and fathers, or even basic social norms and decorum, no longer hold sway over profits.

How do we stop these things?

Which words, which metaphors, which paradigms do we need to enlist to convey our emotional and ethical rejection and repugnance, to the authoritative degree necessary, to see these sick and destructive trends reversed?

(Oh, ooops, that's right: no time, no time, we're too busy reversing the climate!)

Poetic Interlude

The Bridge Builder

An old man, going a lone highway,
Came at the evening, cold and gray,
To a chasm, vast and deep and wide,
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim;
The sullen stream had no fears for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.
“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day;
You never again must pass this way;
You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide-
Why build you the bridge at the eventide?”
The builder lifted his old gray head:
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followeth after me today
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building the bridge for him.”

Will Allen Dromgoole

January 5, 2008


"What is most important now is that, as we go on with this contest, that we keep focused on the the two big issues, that we answer correctly the questions that each of us has posed."

Hillary Clinton, Democrat

Hillary Repackages Herself as a Black Man

The latest indepth reporting of the USA primaries from the scrupulously researched The Borowitz Report:
"In what some party insiders are calling a Hail Mary bid to win Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton today attempted to repackage herself as a black man.

In the wake of her disappointing third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, there was consensus among Mrs. Clinton’s campaign aides that her presidential bid needed to be rebooted, but few party professionals expected her to change her race and sex with only five days to go until New Hampshire.

According to Clinton strategist Mark Penn, however, Mrs. Clinton’s decision to become an African-American man was thoroughly consistent with her history as a “change agent.”

“Hillary is all about change, and changing her race and sex is just the most recent example of that,” he said.

Speaking at a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, Mrs. Clinton thanked her supporters for “keeping it real” and promoted her just-released autobiography, “The Bodacicty of Hope.”

“This election is about whether or not America is ready to elect a black man President of the United States,” she said. “I believe I am that black man.”

Meanwhile, former President Bill Clinton was dismissive of rival John Edwards’ comparison of himself to Seabiscuit, remarking that “in addition to being a black man, Hillary has for many years been a world-class horse.”

Mr. Clinton made his comments in an interview on PBS’ “Charlie Rose Show,” in which the former president, looking bleary-eyed and unshaven, touted Mrs. Clinton’s victory in last year’s Belmont Stakes.

Elsewhere, embattled G.O.P. presidential candidate Mitt Romney unveiled a new campaign slogan, “What the Huck?!”

January 4, 2008

Alcohol Troubleshooting

Symptom: Feet cold and wet.
Fault: Glass being held at incorrect angle.
Rotate glass so that open end points toward ceiling.

Feet warm and wet.
Fault: Improper bladder control.
Stand next to nearest dog, complain about house training.

Drink unusually pale and tasteless.
Fault: Glass empty.
Get someone to buy you another drink.

Opposite wall covered with fluorescent lights.
Fault: You have fallen over backward.
Have yourself lashed to bar.

Mouth contains cigarette butts.
Fault: You have fallen forward.
See above.

Alcohol tasteless, front of your shirt is wet.
Fault: Mouth not open, or glass applied to wrong part of face.
Retire to restroom, practice in mirror.

Floor blurred.
Fault: You are looking through bottom of empty glass.
Get someone to buy you another drink.

Floor moving.
Fault: You are being carried out.
Find out if you are being taken to another bar.

Room seems unusually dark.
Fault: Bar has closed.
Confirm home address with bartender.

Taxi suddenly takes on colourful aspect and textures.
Fault: Alcohol consumption has exceeded personal limitations.
Cover mouth.

Everyone looks up to you and smiles.
Fault: You are dancing on the table.
Fall on somebody cushy-looking.

Drink is crystal-clear.
Fault: It's water. Somebody is trying to sober you up.
Punch him.

Hands hurt, nose hurts, mind unusually clear.
Fault: You have been in a fight.
Apologize to everyone you see, just in case it was them.

Don't recognize anyone, don't recognize the room you're in.
Fault: You've wandered into the wrong party.
See if they have free alcohol.

Your singing sounds distorted.
Fault: The drink is too weak.
Have more alcohol until your voice improves.

Don't remember the words to the song.
Fault: Drink is just right.
Play air guitar.

Duck Friday

January 2, 2008

Wednesday Wisdom

Acting is the most minor of gifts and not a very high-class way to earn a living. After all, Shirley Temple could do it at the age of four.

Katharine Hepburn