Claw in the dark

Scientists in South Korea have cloned cats that partially glow red when exposed to ultraviolet rays.
You can just sit back and count the hours it will take before the first reports start rearing their ugly little heads of superstitious Koreans claiming they saw ghosts rummaging around in their dust bins, climbing up their drapes and using their flower beds serving as top of the range toilets. Purrrfect.


Movie word combination

Gestapo Spank.

Nice eh? From the movie Casablanca


Faites vos jeux

Amy, dontchaloveher? Just dust off your crystal ball and predict when she's going to pop it.
Heh, 't was nearly as funny as I thought it would be 'till I spotted a huge spelling mistake in the sub title of the site. That took the 'ha' out of the slight crease of laughter I managed to conjure up on my face.


Xmas repeat

Christ on a bicycle! Christmas hasn't finished yet. It's supposed to be on January 7th according to the Julian calender. If you've missed out on all the hubbub here and can't get enough of that festive spirit, take a city trip to a church in the diocese of Serbia, Russia or Jerusalem and prolong this never ending custom that is Kitchmas.




Elf Yourself

Getting back on this Christmas card thing. This is cool.


Political word combinations

Limousine liberal
Champagne socialist
Salon Communist


Get on with it!

Always on the road when yours truely is in a hurry. Never get their cars out during the rest of the week, only today. Just a stroll around the block recharging the battery.


Fav combi

charity boxing match.


Happy ...?

This is the card friends and relatives are going to get for the forthcoming holidays. I think next year I won't bother because I have always loathed doing this kind of thing. Last year I only did it because I bought the Private Eye Xmas cards. I was thinking of confusing everyone by sending them Happy Hanukkah cards instead. But next year it is on December 21st, too close to Christmas, most of them wouldn't get it. So I could just wish them a happy 5768 instead of 2008. 2010 would be ideal, I think around December 2nd.


Less borders, more countries

Yey! Celebrations! Finally after many delays Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic are becoming part of the Schengen area. We already travelled easily between Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the two associated countries Norway and Iceland. Finally a chance to do some Christmas shopping in Ljubljana and Prague without having to pass some uniforms. Airports still do passport checks 'till March '08.
From midnight tonight you can travel 4,000km from Tallinn in Estonia to Lisbon in Portugal without any border controls. Funnily enough the geographical centre of Europe has been debated for years. It has shifted east since new member states have been joining since 1995. Remarkble how each earlier measurement resulted in the centre residing in the country executing the calculations...


Just what I always wanted

After the success of the widely popular Igrill finally USB Wine! Hurrah!


Word Combination

Favourite Word Combination for today: word juggling


The tyranny of Christmas lights

Why are we subjected over and over again to the yearly unreasonable, vulgar, kitchy, tacky, cheap, tasteless & chintzy lights all middle class people put up? Is there a point to polluting the sky with light and squandering electricity? Why do governments give out free energy saving light bulbs but do nothing to halt the pointless consumption of energy?



New favourite word combination for today: l’Autisme écologique

Luck! Get it? Sounds almost exactly like

Rubbing Everard 't Serclaes' wrist, finding some uncommon variation of the common three-leaf clover, bleedin' fortune cookies, chain letters, throwing salt or flamin' horseshoes over the odd shoulder, finding a free parking space,... Balls to all of that. Contemplating joining the village deposit for the 31st december lottery draw. Only 14 participants up to date. There is a 8 million euro prize. Chances of having the right 6+ number combination are very slim I must say. But that is not the thing bothering me. It's having to share with all those other people! Luck does not enter into this equation. It's greed and envy that compel me to decline!


The New Hamilton

Considered the epitome of female beauty, resembling an ancient Greek sculpture, admired by her contemporaries, wanted as a model for celebrated artists...
La Kidman IS the new Emma Hamilton (except for the mouth).


It's Hedley!

Being the geek that I am I stumbled across the award winning website Britney's Guide to Semiconductor Physics.
I don't appreciate Ms Spears' music but I do so very much semi conductors.
But this little history really blew my mind.
Hedy Lamarr is my new heroine! Here is a quote from her that really does it for me:

"Films have a certain place in a certain time period. Technology is forever"


Extreme Ironing

This is very nice. Cool idea from Stena Line. Be sure to check out the photo gallery. These people really need to get out of the house more often. The nincompoop in the picture forgot to plug the iron in. He'll never get the creases out now. but I suppose there's no point, really.

-pin drops-

The Freezer Murders

Well, "Cluedo for real" continues. Here is a follow up.

"The only thing we know is that both victims were killed by stabbing. But the autopsy report has not yet been added to the file so the examining judge has not yet had access to that." Okay. So it's probably just lying around on someone's desk and that person is away on holiday right now and won't be back within a fortnight.
Is kind of clever, up to a certain point, now not trying to arrouse suspicion if you want someone appear to be still alive. Texting and emailing. Is a bit short sighted at the best of times, but then again. How many pensions have been fraudulently claimed while granny was already gone to meet her maker? Not too long ago pensioners had to present themselves at the town hall and ask for a document that stated they were still alive. But they've gotten rid of that cumbersome bit of Kafka now. So who checks up on the old dears now?
Step forward Norman Bates...


Giant Badgers terrorise Basra

I could not help but finding it scary but yet so unbelievable. 'Tis hilarious, another Nessie is born. I think it is a story made up just to scare people from roaming around the streets at night. This is part of the Old Empire that gave us 1001 Arabian Nights! So the Brits introduced the badgers eh? Well, we know how shaky the whole badger cull in Blighty really is. Just google badger cull to get all sides of the story. So. Dump the poor sods somewhere remote. Logistical nightmare? Just the domestic bit. There will be trooptransports and the like going due Middle East. So no snag there. But have we seen vast outfits roaming the countryside bagging badgers? Recruiting them for an honorable cause? If they could get away with making the Nigerian fraudulent documents stick, why not smuggle in some animals unwanted on your own turf? Put a little spin on exporting these sick badgers. "Numbers of infected badgers rapidly declining". I fell of my chair reading a statement from the British spokesman:"We can categorically state that we have not released man-eating badgers into the area,"
It is silly isn't it. Just send in the Badger Brigade and save the troops for the clean-up.


Spot the logical fallacy

Okay. So a little exercise to keep the brain from turning into mush.
Spot the logical fallacies. Here's a guide to logical fallacies. If your brain has already been destroyed by alcohol: Just read for the hell of it.


Q: I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life; is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... Don't waste them on exercise . Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient  mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc. _______________________________  

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain...Good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?
A: You're not listening....Foods are fried these days in vegetable
oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more
vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy? HELLO Cocoa beans!  Another vegetable. It's the best feel-good food around!!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! 'Round' is a shape! !

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.
And remember:
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "WOO HOO, What a Ride!"


Ex Mouse

This is an ex-mouse.
It is no more. It has ceased to be. It has expired, gone to meet its maker.


Viva La Diva

Two great diva's have passed away this week. Beverly Sills (78) and Regine Crispin (80). I am filled with sadness to learn of their demise, those great voices no longer being among us.


Devil's haircut in Amsterdam

How can he have been acquitted for self defence? He was holding the scissors. What was the other guy using to attack him? Moustache wax? Hair lacker to slow him down?

Well, I expect most customers had a close shave...

-pin drops-

Cluedo for real

A dinner guest in Verviers, Belgium made a gruesome discovery last night.

I bet it was Reverend Green in the Library with the dagger.


The 10 Commandments for Driving

Two weeks ago the Vatican issued it's Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road or shorter still the 10 commandments for driving. I'll give you the rundown.

I. You shall not kill
>>Does roadkill count? For Roman catholics I think there is still no clear answer on this matter. They don't actually know if animals have souls.

II. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.
>>Surely the Vatican means all those adjecent spots next to motorways where people can get to know each other intimately. I think the Vatican just calls it 'Evangelising'

III. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.
>>As will ABS, airbags and a spot of defensive driving.

IV. Be charitable and help your neighbor in need, especially victims of accidents.
>>The blind guy? The one that got poked in the eye by his rosary dangling from his rear view mirror because he accelerated too quickly?

V. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination and an occasion of sin.
>>Does the Vatican mean parking the car and steaming up the windows? Never knew they we into that whole domination thing. Just fancy that!

VI. Charitably convince the young and not so young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.
>>Drunk or riddled with cataract like?

VII. Support the families of accident victims.
>>How? By having a bit of the old pray?

VIII. Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.
>>Isn't that what usually happens after receiving a summons and meeting in a court building for the compensation trial?

IX. On the road, protect the more vulnerable party.
>>Stop once in a while to let grandparents and kids pee?

X. Feel responsible toward others.
>>Even when they've just been sick in your car?

Mark Lane published some hilarious Commandments of Florida Driving.
And about halfway down the MonkeyFilter page about the commandments BlueHorse posted a top 10 of Pope Mobile improvements which I am sure His Infallible Highness will be keen to adopt when ordering a new set of wheels.

I would just suggest:
-Honk three times if you love Jesus
-Give way to God at all times


BrainLab is jumping the gun. Seems a bit odd posting a news item yet to come, 19 days in the future. Even after all the commotion caused today by their equipment. Did the developers of this brain radiation tool experiment on themselves and have they developed the uncanny ability to foretell the future?

Paris and taking decisions

She is undoubtably the best marketing success by far. And an unquenchable well for hilarious quotes. This is my favourite of the week:
"In the future I plan on taking more of an active role in the decisions I make"


Philosopher's Drinking Song

I must say I find it albeit rather preposterous to let drop your last name and use your middle name for spin reasons.
Just reading the entry on Wikipedia about Socrates makes me laugh if you transpose them into present times. Much as Socrates is the Portugese PM today, the rest is hilarious if treated much the same way.
"Plato's dialogues portray Socrates as a teacher who denies having disciples, as a man of reason who obeys a divine voice in his head (we do have medicine these days to keep out the little voices -it's called Thorazine I believe, and a pious man who is executed for the state's own expediency ( illegal phonetapping anyone?) Socrates disparages the pleasures of the senses, yet is excited by beauty (Armani suits perhaps?); he is devoted to the education of the citizens of Athens, yet indifferent to his own sons ("Socrates is divorced and said to maintain good relations with his ex-wife Sofia Fava, with whom he has two sons." ).
The trial and execution of Socrates was the climax of his career (well it would be the climax of his career if he were at his peak and then he was dead shortly after) and the central event of the dialogues of Plato. According to Plato, both were unnecessary. Socrates admits in court that he could have avoided the trial by abandoning philosophy and going home to mind his own business (in a sense like Barosso and Guterres before him?) . After his conviction, he could have avoided the death penalty by escaping with the help of his friends (are we talking a Blair-like escape here?).
Socrates has a post grad degree in Sanitary Engineering. Nice to have someone in charge who knows what he's doing amid sewage facilities and clean drinking water. With those kind of qualifications he's by far the right man for the job presiding the EU for 6 months!

I think we should be told

Is the actor Georges Clooney the new PM of Portugal or has Socrates succeeded in landing the lead in Ocean's Thirteen? Are they related in any way? I think we should be told.



I've sussed it out now how I can make a link work. Just had to manipulate that html code a bit more. What a load of jibberish 'tis all to me. All those symbols you never ever seem to use when just writing plain text. I cannot recall the last time I had to use a "/" or a ">". What is the world coming to? Fascinating how by just punching a few strange random symbols I can just point you to an article on tinterweb. I feel like a granny discovering a gramophone for the first time. Give me templates and fast link buttons any time. Work for me you damn computers!
Luckily I have a copy of Daniel H. Wilson's book How To Survive A Robot Uprising I would advise anyone reading this blog to go out and buy it. Don't order it on the internet or THEY'll know you've got one!

Phil Praises Vari*Lites

Phil praises Vari*Lites at Dusseldorf in the LTU Arena! Kind of ironic to see Phil Collins in this stance, trying to reach the V*L's.
This is definetly the tour of the year. This band sounds and looks absolutely excellent and inspires great admiration. So does the crew! Rain. At nearly every gig. Ask them about the last seven shows they did...

Read all about Vari*Lite History

Not good

Stuck in traffic this morning and this is just one of four trucks remodelled on site.


Kassel Katastrophe

Not only Wei Wei is having some trouble. Apparantly Sakare Krue-On wanted to cultivate some rice on 7000 square metres,but is experiencing some irrigation problems. And Sanjo Ivecovic's poppyfields do not want to grow.
Maybe she should try Afghanistan. They bloom wonderfully

Changing a Lightbulb

How many does it take?
Change here


If you are having some "page not found" warnings while trying one of the links in my entries:
Just take off the
before you reach the second http.
I'm trying to get it to work, so please bare with me.

Made In China Indeed

Read about Wei Wei's Demise first.

Now how about that. Isn't that ironic.
"It was intended as an elegy to China's rapidly vanishing past."
I bet it was sooner than he though it would be...

EU Consitition

Angela's view on hope for the EU constitution



I stumbled accross -and over- there on the Reuters feed.
How can any prosecutor state they will start a criminal investigation? It can hardly be on the basis of article 528 of the Italian penal code.
Shome mishtake shurely?
Ever seen 'Le Bambole' starring the ever lovely and talented photographer Gina Lollobrigida? Let's take a giant seven league boot strut into time back to 1965. Well, it got political, some people polished up on their grovelling and tried their hand at censorship. For the full story read the Time article of those days.
A reviewer summed it up neatly: "If the shock's gone much of the interest's gone. What remains is an interesting document of morals in the mid 1960s."

A few decades later some tried it from a different angle. Corrupting those young Italian adolescents using those lewd dens of depravity mascarading as libraries eh? You foul depraved libertine librarians!
Back to the present and sanity. So let us consider the facts and just take a look at the penal article i.s. (fish out the general idea implicated in a larger viewing scope from this outdated 1994 UN Document

So how far can this be streched? How can an act from 1948 be enforced today in the sense it was 20 or even 40 years ago? I can hardly fathom Italian society has not evolved? Proof? Ilona Staller (a.k.a. La Cicciolina) got elected to parlement in 1987.
In the UN paper 91(a) can only be reinforced if it could cause potential harm to the sense or moral values.
(Ok... Let's play a game: Name ten movies that can corrupt your child (post 1948). Here's a small list to start you off:
A Clockwork Orange, Blow Up, The Exorcist, Bad Luitenant, Reservoir Dogs, The Matrix,..)

Or intice people to become involved in corruption (We are talking the land of Mr Berlusconi here!) or commit crimes or suicide (well, it did have some pretty bad acting in it at times but it wasn't THAT bad...).

Based on this I would suggest the plaintiffs would only go for the angle of it being 'religious corruptive'. The other traits are hardly tangible and would be thrown out by any judge with a bit of sense betwixt their ears or even a sultana for a brain (unless they've seen the movie as in the plaintiffs claim, implicating the judge is already corrupt thus proving their own point and probably finding the outruling biassed or influenced and screaming blue murder they will never get a fair judge to hear the case).

So some prosecutor in Italy is dancing to the ancient tune of religious groups with censoring causes groaping for a number 528. Against common indecent exposal? (no) sexual morality? (no).

"A complaint against the film was filed by a group of clergy near the Italian village of Civitavecchia"
Hmm. Civitavecchia clergy. It must be the Franciscans in the monastery then. It can harly be the Buddhist monks there?

Luckely I was wearing my corset or I believe my sides would have split. Read on.
"Asked why the case was being opened now, some 13 months after the film debuted at last year's Cannes Film Festival, an official at the Civitavecchia state prosecutor's office said he wasn't sure. "I don't know," the official told Reuters. "Maybe they [the clergy who brought the complaint] have just seen the film."
Tee hee. Maybe they have been saving for the 2 Disk Special Edition DVD Box. And it has only arrived earlier this year. You know how Amazon can be such a drag if you don't tick the Express box to complete your order.

So they must have missed out on the whole ruse earlier. The book appearing in 2003 and that cardinal Bertone telling people "to shun it like rotten food" two years later in 2005.

Past Iche

On any accounts don't buy this book or give it as a gift to anyone! You will certainly not climb the ladder of the recipients' esteem in any case. It is not even remotely funny. Or witty. Or priceless.
Some stuff found in the Private Eye Diary section is far far more enjoyable.
The only 2 pages containing the Kafka pastiche spoof with the man's hand turning into a mouse made me contemplate a faint smile.


Final Farewell Tour

I wonder what would happen if I walked passed Phil Collins and I was wearing a T-shirt with text on the back reading "Final Farewell Tour" and a picture of a Mr A. Blair on the front?

Always play with a full deck

By the by: If you want to book Willy's quartet, they trouser about 1860€ a go (ex tax and tuned piano).
Where did that number come from? Would that fee approximate the original fine (60000Bfr) Mr. Claes had been ruled to pay after he was sentenced at the Agusta and Dassault sleeze scandal trial way back in 1998?
Or may be he has forgotten all about being at the opera on Sunday.

Pikovaja Dama

Never heard an opera audience gasp with anticipation at what was going to happen next.
Just minutes into the first scene a little girl loses her prop -a heavy looking leather trimmed ball- and it starts to roll at an excruciatingly slow pace toward the orchestra pit. She is reluctant to recover the object.
Eagerly the audience await the fall of the object unto a member of the symphonic clique residing below. And just as the leather orb decides to jield to the forces of gravity a communial breath is drawn -hardly inaudible- and then ... exhaled as a black cargo net prohibits the malicious pleasure object from fulfilling it's anticipatory flash of excitement.
Even ex NATO secretary general Willy Claes, who attended the matinee, probably heard the ball roll because he wasn't wearing glasses.