The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'wtf'
The world moves one step closer to gender equality, with the announcement of a washing detergent specially formulated for fragile-masculinity sufferers. Named Frey, and packed in a tactical-black bottle reminiscent of engine oils, it allows those afflicted to do their own washing without feeling emasculated by the pastel-blue packaging or the sheer unmanliness of the activity of putting clothes into a washing machine like a little lady. It's also musk-scented, so, upon putting on the freshly-washed clothes*, one can smell like an alpha-masculine sexbeast, and not some domesticated house-husband.
Still, assuming that they have done their market research and there are people who would buy this sort of thing, one shouldn't laugh at those people; after all, they are suffering from a very real, and very debilitating, condition. Also, they might punch you.
* Presumably the target market would only be washing their own clothes, either because they live alone in a state of primal, untamed masculinity, or because their partner is understanding enough to accommodate their needs.
And in heritage rock news: archaeologists from York University have unearthed a fragment of Britain's cultural heritage: graffiti on the wall of a London flat shared by members of The Sex Pistols in the 1970s, including drawings believed to have been made by John Lydon:
"This is an important site, historically and archaeologically, for the material and evidence it contains. But should we retain it for the benefit of this and future generations?" they ask in a study of the drawings for Antiquity magazine.I wonder what Lydon (who's surely not even dead yet) makes of being the subject of archaeological interest.
And today, in International Zionist Conspiracy news: the Iranian government has stated to the International Olympic Committee that it will boycott the 2012 Olympics unless the logo is changed, on the grounds that the logo spells the word "Zion" if you rearrange the elements of it, and thus is a coded assertion of British support for Israeli supremacy. Or perhaps Rastafarianism or something.
According to the state-backed Iranian Students News Agency, which is frequently used to convey official pronouncements, the letter says: "As internet documents have proved, using the word Zion in the logo of the 2012 Olympic Games is a disgracing action and against the Olympics' valuable mottos. There is no doubt that negligence of the issue from your side may affect the presence of some countries in the Games, especially Iran which abides by commitment to the values and principles."Meanwhile, Hamas, the Iranian-backed Islamist group which rules half of the Palestinian territories, has vowed to prevent United Nations schools in its territories from teaching children about the Holocaust.
"We cannot agree to a programme that is intended to poison the minds of our children," said a statement from the ministry for refugee affairs. "Holocaust studies in refugee camps is a contemptible plot and serves the Zionist entity with a goal of creating a reality and telling stories in order to justify acts of slaughter against the Palestinian people."
Ging, a passionate advocate of the rights of Palestinian refugees and a vocal critic of Israel's policies towards Gaza, said Palestinian children needed to understand the great injustices of the 20th century, including the Holocaust, in order to fight legitimately for their own cause.
The story of how, by a perfect storm of accidents (including a badly designed XML interface, a brokerage address close to the docks and staff instructed never to question the judgments of the corporate alpha-male who made the trade), a commodities trader ended up stuck with 28,000 tonnes of very real coal on his doorstep.
A Lebanese-American Muslim woman wins the Miss USA beauty contest; America's right-wing commentariat goes nuts:
Conservative commentator Debbie Schlussel pulled out all the stops, using Fakih's Shia Lebanese background to brand her a terrorist "Miss Hezbollah" and dismissed the colourful business magnate Donald Trump, who is one of the sponsors of the event, as an Islamic "dhimmi".
Another problem Schlussel's conspiracy theory runs up against is the fact that Hezbollah, being a conservative Islamic organisation, it is unlikely to be recruiting a scantily clad beauty queen as an agent provocateur. In a contorted effort to explain this, Schlussel falls back on an old neocon chestnut: "Muslims frequently go against Islam in this way for propaganda purposes. It's a form of taqiyyah, the Muslim concept of deceiving infidels."
The Australian censorship authorities are now banning nude images of small-breasted women, on the grounds that they "encourage paedophilia". From now on, both porn models and sexual appetites in Australia must be traditionally built.
Australia is expected to have a national internet firewall in place before the next election; I wonder whether there's a team at CSIRO working on an image analysis algorithm for detecting unacceptable breast sizes as we speak.
What purports to be an interview with an anonymous Facebook employee, shedding some light on the inner workings of Facebook, technical improvements, privacy, and the more unusual dealings with its millions of users:
How do you think we know who your best friends are? But that’s public knowledge; we’ve explicitly stated that we record that. If you look in your type-ahead search, and you press “A,” or just one letter, a list of your best friends shows up. It’s no longer organized alphabetically, but by the person you interact with most, your “best friends,” or at least those whom we have concluded you are best friends with.
I’m not sure when exactly it was deprecated, but we did have a master password at one point where you could type in any user’s user ID, and then the password. I’m not going to give you the exact password, but with upper and lower case, symbols, numbers, all of the above, it spelled out ‘Chuck Norris,’ more or less. It was pretty fantastic.
I found a fake account created from Berkeley that used the profile picture and information from the brother of one of my very good friends. We looked up the guy who created the original profile, and he had never ever heard of him, never ever met him, obviously had never seen him. But this guy had evidently added him as a friend, and sadly he accepted it, but literally stole all of this guy’s information, created a fake account, and was communicating with himself from the fake account. He was writing on his wall and posting back to the “other person’s” wall. We found out the guy actually had about fifteen fake accounts that he created, stealing other users’ pictures and information to create the accounts, and was actually communicating back and forth with himself. Just to try to make himself appear cool, I guess?The unnamed Facebook employee also says that they're working on something named Hyper-PHP, which will compile PHP (which Facebook is written in) to machine code, which, they claim, will reduce CPU usage by 80%.
A Californian videogamer is suing the makers of World of Warcraft for having alienated him from the real world, and has subpoenaed Winona Ryder and Depeche Mode's Martin Gore to testify on the nature of alienation and melancholy.
According to the San Jose, California resident, World of Warcraft is a "harmful virtual environment" and its developers follow "sneaky and deceitful practices". Despite this, Estavillo admits he "relies on videogames heavily for the little ongoing happiness he can achieve in this life". He just wants World of Warcraft to cost less money. And to stop making him so sad.
Estavillo's court filings put forward multi-instrumentalist songwriter Martin Gore as an expert witness on melancholy. Gore should be called to Santa Clara county superior court, Estavillio suggests, "since he himself has been known to be sad, lonely, and alienated, as can be seen in the songs he writes".Winona Ryder, meanwhile, is included because of her publicised love of J.D. Salinger's Catcher In The Rye.
In the US, a group "conservatives" have decided that the Bible, for all it's worth, has too much of a liberal bias, and thus taken it upon themselves to rewrite it in a more acceptable form. This includes the obvious things (i.e., eliminating any namby-pamby politically-correct language or phrases that make Jesus look like a goddamn hippie, and peppering it with "free market parables"; I wonder how that'll change the story about Jesus and the moneylenders), as well as other principles such as "Prefer Conciseness over Liberal Wordiness".
The project page is here. Note that it is hosted by Conservapedia, previously noted for its somewhat obsessive focus on the mechanics and perils of homosexual sex.
However, there is nothing new under the sun; in the MetaFilter thread, a former seminary student revealed how he and a friend created, as a joke, a conservative reading of the Gospel of Luke by simply inverting the sayings. Behold, the National Gospel of Liberty:
8 "And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges the poor and the outcast will be acknowledged as an outcast; 9 but whoever denies the poor and the outcast will live in peace, because they are odorous and live in fields. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the poor will be forgiven, for this is right; but whoever speaks out for the poor and the oppressed will not be forgiven. 11 When they bring you before the magistrate, and the authorities, do not worry about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; 12 for you are wealthy and the wealthy need have no fear of the courts."
27 Consider the lilies! They neither toil nor spin, and so I tell you, their life is but a season, and they have no wives. Solomon had many wives, and in his glory was arrayed in garments finer than any lily of the field! 28 They are but meager grasses, fit only to be thrown into the oven, but you are precious to your Father in Heaven and your prayers have brought you great wealth.
Collection of unintentional humour of the day: Regretsy, a compedium of the inexplicable and inexcusable found on handcraft trading site Etsy, from badly painted Twilight-themed trainers to things made from dead animals to the surprising abundance of gynaecologically-themed articles on offer.
(via David Gerard)
eBay bargain of the day: GREAT GIFT WHICH MAKE U FEEL GOOD ALL OVER THE WORLD !. This is, apparently, a prototype for a world-changing invention which has something to do with mobile phones, and can do anything, from detecting volcanic activity to finding gold in the sea to automatically calling the vet when your horse gets swine flu.
Bizarre crime of the day: someone in Turkey kept nine young women captive in a house for around two months after convincing them that they were on a reality TV show. While there was no TV show, lascivious images of the women were sold on the internet:
They were made to sign a contract that stipulated that they could have no contact with their families or the outside world and would have to pay a 50,000 Turkish Lira fine ($A38,243) if they left the show before two months, the agency reported.
"We were not after the money but we thought our daughter could have the chance of becoming famous if she took part in the contest," the newspaper quoted one of the women's mother as saying. The paper identified her only by her first name, Remziye. "But they have duped us all."
In the US, someone has been anonymously sending laptops to state governors. Laptops have been sent, in some cases multiple times, to the governors of states including West Virginia and Wyoming. The computers have been handed over to the FBI for investigation, on the suspicion that they might be Trojan horses intended to pwn the apparatus of government on behalf of whoever sent them.
These people claim that manufactured pop electrovixen Lady Gaga is an Illuminati mind control parroting puppet, with everything from her makeup to her nonsense lyrics being allusions to Satanic symbolism and Illuminati mind-control techniques. Other tools of the conspiracy are Transformers 2, Beyonce and even the Flintstones. And here are their top 5 most sinister corporate logos.
Imagine, for a moment, that you have published an online multiplayer strategy game. How do you get players to play your game (and, more importantly, spend money on the numerous playability enhancements, from premium-priced instant messages to power-ups) rather than any of the numerous other games out there? Well, you could concentrate on making a particularly playable game, give away accounts and wait for word of mouth to do its work. Or, if you're the publisher of Evony (formerly known as Civony), a game heavily inspired (to phrase it somewhat generously) by Sid Meier's Civilization games only much more heavily monetised, you could bet on the assumption that sex sells and plaster the web with increasingly lascivious ads, in which the traditional cod-Tolkienist clichés gradually give way to gratuitous female nudity, culminating in the apotheosis: a close-up of a lingerie-clad bosom, with nothing about the actual game whatsoever. It's Idiocracy marketing taken a few steps beyond the typical Facebook ads with pictures of hot chicks promoting completely unrelated products, assuming that your target market is comprised entirely of idiots who, when shown pictures of BOOBIES!!!1!, begin drooling like Pavlov's Dog and reflexively get their credit cards out.
And here is a Grauniad piece about Evony. It seems that their dodginess goes well beyond patronisingly pornographic ad campaigns, and extends its slimy tentacles into everything from spamming blog comments to gold-farming and gouging their clientele (the "suckers", as I believe the technical term is) to lifting text and graphics from existing games. These people, it seems, have more contempt for their user base than MySpace.
And as if bad advertising and tenuous intellectual property were not enough, the game is also under fire for its business model – a system that seems intent on getting players to spend as much money as possible. Players are encouraged to buy in-game extras to speed their progress – but the confusing way the game prices its add-ons means that many users may not realise that a simple action, such as sending a message to another player, can cost 15p a time.
It turns out that the site's backers are equally unpopular. Evony is the product of Universal Multiplayer Game Entertainment (UMGE), a developer linked to a Chinese gold-farming operation called WoWMine. That site has also come in for regular criticism, but the real kicker comes with the news that the company's owners are being sued by Microsoft over allegations of click fraud.
The latest development in Libertarian thought: Libertarian Monarchism, or the belief that democracy was a step towards the decline of civilisation, and that an absolute monarchy would be a far superior system of government from a libertarian (i.e., "hands off my property") point of view. Yep, it's as crazy as it sounds:
To understand how democracy destroys civilization, we must first understand how civilization comes about. Civilization is the outcome of saving and investment, in other words: capital accumulation.
As a result of taxation, the rate of return on investment is diminished. Saving to invest becomes less lucrative, so people consume more and save less than they otherwise would have. People become more present-minded and the process of civilization is impeded. The amount of taxation determines how significant this effect will be. CastleIf the government is privately owned (i.e., a monarchy), then this effect will be limited. Since the government is his personal property, a monarch has an interest in both the present tax revenues and the long-term capital value of his kingdom. His incentive is to tax moderately, so as not to diminish the future productivity of his subjects, and hence his future tax revenues.
Since the kingdom is the private property of the king, he has a strong incentive to uphold the integrity of private property law (the validity of his ownership of the kingdom depends upon it). The king also has an incentive to uphold economically beneficial law—private property law—to increase value of his kingdom. Democratic rulers have no private ownership stake in the government and thus have no incentive to uphold the integrity of private property law. Nor do they have an incentive to maintain economically beneficial law. On the contrary, they can benefit by creating artificial laws—legislation—that serve to undermine private property law for their own benefit.
The town of Kingsville, Texas, is doing its bit in the battle against the powers of evil by banning the word "hello", which contains the word "hell":
"When you go to school and church, they tell you 'hell' is negative and 'heaven' is positive,'" said the 56-year-old Canales, who owns the Kingsville Flea Market. "I think it's time that we set a new precedent, to tell our kids that we are positive adults."
On Thursday, courthouse employees were answering the phones, "heaven-o." And the chamber of commerce was working on a campaign promoting Kingsville, a Rio Grande Valley town of 25,000, as a "heavenly" place to visit.
Canales, a Catholic but not a regular churchgoer, has been as serious as heck about "hello" since 1988, when he told his brother he might start greeting people with "God-o." His brother suggested "heaven-o" instead.Pointing out that the word "hello" has no etymological connection with the word "hell" (the OED says that it stems from an old German greeting for hailing a boat) is, as one might expect, of little avail to the sort of mediæval mindset that finds omens and portents in things.
A guy named Paul Scheer went to the exhibition of Michael Jackson's possessions, which were due to be auctioned, with a camera and took some photos. These have been posted here. It is a grotesquely unique collection, and one betraying the peculiar obsessions of one such as Jackson. There are plenty of portraits of Jackson in fantasy mediæval finery and heroic poses, or presented as various historical figures:life-sized little ginger girl dolls, just far enough inside Mori's Uncanny Valley to give you nightmares.
(via Boing Boing)
Animal liberation group Peta, last heard of renaming fish as "sea kittens" to discourage people from eating them, has asked the Pet Shop Boys to change their name to the "Rescue Shelter Boys", a more worthy and right-on appelation:
According to Peta representative Yvonne Taylor, the cuddly image of the pet shop is one that belies the often terrible conditions dogs, cats and even hamsters have to suffer while living in them. "With an emphasis on quantity rather than quality," Taylor writes, "unmonitored genetic defects and personality disorders pass from one generation of puppies and kittens to the next. Many animals end up with abnormalities that result in both heartbreak and high veterinary bills for the unsuspecting people who buy them.
The letter, posted on Pet Shop Boys' website, continues to paint a thoroughly bleak picture of the reality of pet shops before cunningly suggesting that "agreeing to change your name to the Rescue Shelter Boys, you would help raise awareness about the cruelty involved in the pet trade and encourage your millions of fans to consider giving a home to an abandoned or unwanted animal from an animal shelter. So, what do you say?"I thought that Peta opposed the keeping of pets on principle, as being inherently exploitative, and on a par with slavery/the Holocaust.
In any case, the Pet Shop Boys have declined to comply with the request, whilst acknowledging that it "raises an issue worth thinking about".
British supermarket chain Sainsbury's has unilaterally renamed the fish known as pollack to "colin", in an attempt to rid it of connotations of poor quality and/or avoid potential offense to Britain's Polish community. In a further attempt to sell more of the fish, Sainsbury's hired the designer Wayne Hemingway (of fashion label Red Or Dead) to come up with Jackson Pollock-inspired packaging for the newly rebranded fish.
This is not the first time Britain's supermarkets have renamed products to avoid (actual or imagined) embarrassment; in 2001, Tesco considered renaming spotted dick to "spotted Richard".
A high school in Texas has a novel way of dealing with troubled youths: putting them in a steel cage and letting them fight it out with their bare fists:
One employee overheard Mr. Moten tell a security guard to take two students who had been at each other for days and “put ’em in the cage and let them duke it out,” the report states, and the practice was so embedded in the school’s culture that one student remarked to a teacher that he was “gonna be in the cage.”Meanwhile in Sydney, rival motorcycle gangs went on a rampage at the airport, and one man was bludgeoned to death with a
The latest computer science research being funded by the US military includes a bot that will impersonate parents in the service and talk to their children when they're off fighting wars:
The challenge is to design an application that would would allow a child to receive comfort from being able to have simple, virtual conversations with a parent who is not aivailable "in-person". We are looking for innovative applications that explore and harness the power of “advanced” interactive multimedia computer technologies to produce compelling interactive dialogue between a Service member and their families via a pc- or web-based application using video footage or high-resolution 3-D rendering. The child should be able to have a simulated conversation with a parent about generic, everyday topics. For instance, a child may get a response from saying "I love you", or "I miss you", or "Good night mommy/daddy." This is a technologically challenging application because it relies on the ability to have convincing voice-recognition, artificial intelligence, and the ability to easily and inexpensively develop a customized application tailored to a specific parent.
(via Boing Boing)
Senior Catholics in Scotland are claiming that the old song Hokey Cokey was written to mock the Catholic mass, and singing it could fall foul of hate crime laws:
Peter Kearney, a spokesman for Cardinal Keith O’Brien, leader of the Catholic church in Scotland, said: “This song, although apparently innocuous, was devised as an attack on and a parody of the Catholic mass.”
According to the church, the song’s title derives from “hocus pocus”. The phrase is said to be a Puritan satire on the Latin “hoc est enim corpus meum”, or “this is my body”, used by Catholic priests to accompany the transubstantiation during mass.
The first ever case has been reported of someone sending emails in their sleep. The emails were reported as being haphazardly formatted, in a mixture of upper and lower case, and written in strange language, though more or less comprehensible:
The 44-year-old woman, whose case is reported by researchers from the University of Toledo in the latest edition of medical journal Sleep Medicine, had gone to bed at around 10pm, but got up two hours later and walked to the next room.
She then turned on the computer, connected to the internet, and logged on by typing her username and password to her email account. She then composed and sent three emails.
One read: "Come tomorrow and sort this hell hole out. Dinner and drinks, 4.pm,. Bring wine and caviar only." Another said simply, "What the……."
Microsoft's latest attempt to shake off their stuffy, corporate image: selling MS-DOS-themed 1980s retro T-shirts. No, really.
Marketed under the name "Softwear by Microsoft", they come in two lines: one consisting of "classic" designs (the old MS-DOS logo, circa Windows 3.0, the original Microsoft logo, and Bill Gates' mugshot from his 1970s driving conviction) and one co-designed with rapper Common, and involving references to the 1980s; there's one with some rap lyrics set in a monospaced font after a DOS prompt, and one featuring a pair of black-framed glasses and a pair of fluoro new-rave sunglasses.
It's not clear who will wear these. Pointy-haired boss types on casual Fridays? Visual Basic programmers who always wished they could wear cool geek T-shirts like the Linux guys but never actually understood any of the ThinkGeek ones? The guy in the office who regards himself to be with-it because he listens to Coldplay? Zune owners sick of being looked down on by those smug Mac users? Or are they expecting people to start wearing them ironically?
A British scientist has come up with a bold solution to the environmental consequences of aviation: nuclear-powered airliners. Not only will they be able to fly around the world without a break, emitting no carbon whatsoever, but they could also be made safe. The nuclear engines would be on the wings in armoured casings, and could be jettisoned on parachutes in the event of the plane falling (and, presumably, the pilot giving up any hope of saving it). Should the casings rupture, the worst that could happen would be radioactive contamination over a mere few square miles. (Of course, there is also that, should terrorists blow up, shoot down or hijack one of these airliners, they'd have a most serviceable dirty bomb, though surely somebody would have thought of an answer to that. After all, they wouldn't suggest such an idea otherwise, would they?)
Despite these reassurances, Professor Ian Poll concedes that it would take about 30 years to convince the public of the benefits of nuclear aviation.
Animal-liberationist group PETA have launched a new campaign to fight for the rights of fish to not be caught or eaten: rebranding them as "Sea Kittens":
Given the drastic situation for this country's sea kittens—who are often the victims of many major threats to their welfare and ways of life—it's high time that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) stop allowing our little sea kitten friends to be tortured and killed. Who'd want to hurt a sea kitten anyway?!
Sea kittens are just as intelligent (not to mention adorable) as dogs and cats, and they feel pain just as all animals do.
Please take just a few moments to send an e-mail to H. Dale Hall, the director of the FWS, asking him to stop promoting the hunting of sea kittens (otherwise known as "fishing"). The promotion of sea kitten hunting is a glaring contradiction of FWS' mission to "conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats."
Some animal shelters in the US are refusing to give black cats away for adoption before Halloween, lest the hapless moggies end up abused or sacrificed in Satanic rituals. The same goes for white rabbits, it seems. (I'm guessing that goats and black cockerels aren't found often enough in animal shelters to be an issue˙)
“It’s kind of an urban legend. But in the humane industry it’s pretty typical that shelters don’t do adoptions of black cats or white bunnies because of the whole satanic sacrificial thing,” Morgan said. “If we prevent one animal from getting hurt, then it serves its purpose.”
“Black cats already suffer a stigma because of their color,” said Gail Buchwald, vice president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter in New York City. “Why penalize them any more by limiting the times when they can be adopted?”Apparently superstitions about black cats are not uncommon in the US:
Black cats tend to be adopted less often than other felines, Buchwald said. “Behaviorally, there’s no difference from the color of the cat. It’s tied into this whole mythology about the animal — don’t let it cross your path or some foreboding or foreshadowing of evil — and that’s an outdated superstition,” she said.
A Pentagon researcher has laid out a chilling possibilities: that terrorists could be using online role-playing games to plan attacks, disguised as raids in the virtual world:
In it, two World of Warcraft players discuss a raid on the "White Keep" inside the "Stonetalon Mountains." The major objective is to set off a "Dragon Fire spell" inside, and make off with "110 Gold and 234 Silver" in treasure. "No one will dance there for a hundred years after this spell is cast," one player, "war_monger," crows.
Except, in this case, the White Keep is at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. "Dragon Fire" is an unconventional weapon. And "110 Gold and 234 Silver" tells the plotters how to align the game's map with one of Washington, D.C.Of course, the same argument could apply to any form of discussion. Terrorists could just as easily use last.fm playlists or online mixtapes to hatch their plans. (The above plan could be encoded as a copy of OMD's Enola Gay and a song by industrial noise band Whitehouse, followed by a song exactly 11 minutes long, which would give the time of the attack. For chemical or biological weapons, replace Enola Gay with Britney Spears' Toxic. You get the idea.) Or they could use internet memes; who's to say that the particular spelling/grammatical anomalies on the caption of the latest set of cat photos don't encode the details of a planned terrorist attack?
Of course, the terrorists could even eschew the internet altogether, using other means of communicating their plans, such as, say, public art. Who's to say that a terrorist sleeper agent hasn't been quietly making a name for himself as an artist, getting lucrative commissions, and waiting for the order to encode doomsday plans in a public sculpture (plenty of opportunity there) or a semi-abstract mural. (Avant-garde art itself is too easy.) Or architecture, or urban planning (if there are Masonic symbols in the layout of Washington DC's streets, there could be other things elsewhere.) The possibilities are infinite.
Perhaps Bruce Schneier could make his next Movie Plot Threat Contest hinge on coming up with creative ways in which evildoers could go to elaborate lengths to encode the message "nuke the Whitehouse at 11:00" in innocuous-looking environments. Because, as we all know, supervillains love complexity in and of itself, and the ideal terrorist plan would look more baroque than a steampunk laptop on Boing Boing.
You know those cocaine-smuggling submarines operating out of South America? Well, apparently, they're run by Hezbollah. Yes, the Lebanon-based Shi'ite Islamist militant group have submarine capability, and it's all in Latin America, earning good money. For the jihad, of course.
So what's the Hezbollah connection? "I continue to be concerned about the tri-border area [between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay]," Stavridis said. "It is, in my view, principally Hezbollah activity. There is clearly fund-raising, money laundering, drug trafficking. And, certainly a portion of the funds that are raised in that are making their way back to the Middle East."
The latest threat to America's children is digital drugs, or MP3 files which affect the listener's brain to induce illegal and dangerous states of consciousness. Called "idozers", they're sold from web sites by evil drug dealers:
Some sites provide binaural beats that have innocuous effects. For example, some claim to help you develop extrasensory powers like telepathy and psychokinesis.
Other sites offer therapeutic binaural beats. They help you relax or meditate. Some allegedly help you overcome addiction or anxiety. Others purport to help you lose weight or eliminate gray hair.
However, most sites are more sinister. They sell audio files ("doses") that supposedly mimic the effects of alcohol and marijuana.
But it doesn't end there. You'll find doses that purportedly mimic the effects of LSD, crack, heroin and other hard drugs. There are also doses of a sexual nature. I even found ones that supposedly simulate heaven and hell.It gets worse than is. I have it on very good authority that paedophiles are using similar technologies to remotely molest children with penis-shaped sound waves. There's no evidence to prove it, but it is a scientific fact.
The fact that the audio files are allegedly being "sold" by evil drug dealers is a dead giveaway. If today's kids are willing and able to download the latest movies and music, would they really pay or MP3s alleged to get them high or simulate heaven or hell?
I wonder what the provenance of this absurdity is. Could it be a particularly desperate RIAA-instigated black-ops campaign to bring the full force of the War On Drugs to bear against uncontrolled file-sharing and/or lock down the internet?
The UK's National Children's Bureau has issued new guidelines to nursery teachers, saying that expressing a dislike for spicy or foreign food should be considered racist behaviour, and corrected.
The guide goes on to warn that children might also "react negatively to a culinary tradition other than their own by saying 'yuk'".
Staff are told: "No racist incident should be ignored. When there is a clear racist incident, it is necessary to be specific in condemning the action."
Warning that failing to pick children up on their racist attitudes could instil prejudice, the NCB adds that if children "reveal negative attitudes, the lack of censure may indicate to the child that there is nothing unacceptable about such attitudes".I wonder whether disliking spicy food is absolutely unacceptable, or whether it is acceptable if one has a doctor's note saying that one has a sensitive stomach. And, indeed, whether the authors of the guidelines have been influenced by Sasha Frere-Jones' assertion that expressing a dislike of hip-hop music is racist.
The Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification has banned the postapocalyptic war game Fallout 3 (which is rated M in the US), not because of the realistic gore but because, in allowing the player to use the painkiller morphine, it promotes drug use.
A list of 10 bizarre inventions patented in the name of fighting terrorism, from nondescript trucks with machine guns to bomb-proof anti-suicide-bomber nets (which looked like repurposed Nixon-era hippie-containment apparatus) to trap doors on airliners and remotely triggerable tranquilliser syringes in airline seats for incapacitating suspicious individuals:
Make all passengers wear armbands that monitors their body for signs of falsehood and evil (ooh, say heart pulsation and blood pressure - hey, it's in the patent application, mmkay?). And did I mention there's a syringe filled with a strong tranquilizer connected to the thing? One "anomalous emotional condition," then off to dreamland they go!And, if all else fails, there's even a patent for mobile crematoria for disposing of all the bodies.
A chance to watch language changing in real time: the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles has offered to replace all licence plates containing the letters "WTF" free of charge, after the letters became obscene following the rise of internet/text-messaging abbreviations. Nearly 10,000 licence plate holders have the three letters in their plates, though whether they wish to replace them will be up to them. I wonder how many will take up the offer.
They do things differently in Australia's rough-and-ready west, it seems. The leader of the West Australian opposition Liberal Party, Troy Buswell, has admitted to having sniffed the chair of a female Party staffer; the incident took place in 2005, in front of other staff members.
Mr Buswell has previously admitted to snapping a Labor staffer's bra as a drunken party trick and has been accused by retiring Liberal MP Katie Hodson-Thomas of making sexist remarks to her.
Deputy Liberal leader Kim Hames was today standing by Mr Buswell, describing him as a "rough diamond with a robust sense of humour".Buswell has said that he will not stand down as Party leader.
Behold the Mall Ninja. Originally a shopping mall security guard, he saved the influential mayor's nephew from being sodomised by bad guys, was granted a special exemption, only given to heroes, from restrictions on weapons, and now is Sergeant of a three-man Rapid Tactical Force, covertly defending an unnamed shopping mall somewhere in America from heavily-armed gangbangers and apocalyptic hordes of neo-Nazis, in between shooting to wound shoplifters, and bragging extensively to gun forums on the internet:
If a kid picks up a candy bar and runs, you give him a warning before you cuff him. Same with those mindless teenyboppers who go to the Hickory Farms store, and then take double samples of fruitcake and cheeselog, you warn them that they will be charged with a felony(grand theft), and that if they attempt to fight and run, they will be, unfortunately, first tazered, and if they continue to resist violently with intent to maim, then wounded. Fortunately, wounding fire to suppress teenage kleptomaniacs is relatively easy, they all run in straight lines, and a hit in the knee will be relatively simple from the second floor. But they all get a warning first, we do not simply shoot shoplifters unless they resist violently.
I’m not even technically employed by the mall I’m stationed at, my orders come from “higher up”, hint, hint. Sure, most regular overweight mall security guards would not be armed, they would lose a Fullsize frame handgun in the blubber on their waistline, why arm them? The elite, however, have specail privilages, and I can assure you that my orders go far-far enough that I could go around Kennedy airport yelling “Hi Jack!”, and that a simple phone call and codeword would have me released in 5 minutes, with my weapon, be what it may. As I said, my orders go far and while my reasons for protecting this mall remain a matter of national security, if the above does not convince you that I am employed in a capacity that goes above and beyond halting shoplifters, nothing will.
You are a doofus, of course there is no anti-armor capabilities for golf carts, the UNIMOG was woth the anti-armor work though. We would never consider using any missles larger than our modified surplus Shrikes,
Also, Neonazi skinhead gangs are the most difficult thing we currently must deal with, it is not Chechin thzat we have to worry about, it is the Australian militants, and I dan’t care if they reed this, they allready know that we are onto them and we will not give up.
(via Boing Boing)
There are red faces in Staffordshire after a dining couple received a restaurant bill containing an obscenity. The computer-printed bill from Joe Delucci's restaurant in Lichfield contained, among its items, one reading "SUCK MY D___ F___ FACE", or something similar to these words, billed at £0.00.
The restaurant's owner apologised and explained that the message should only have been seen only by the kitchen staff, and should have never ended up as an item on the bill. In what context said message should have been seen by the kitchen staff has not been explained.
When voters in Chicago found that the pens they were given to mark ballot papers didn't work, the officials told them not to worry, as the pens contained invisible ink, which would be counted by the scanners. Surprisingly, 20 people accepted this and turned in blank ballot papers.
(via Boing Boing)
The BBC's "edgy", yoof-oriented BBC Three channel, has revealed six new drama series due to be screened later this year:
Being Human, from Touchpaper TV and Doctor Who writer Toby Whithouse, follows three co-habiting flatmates. One is a vampire, one is a ghost and the other a werewolf.
Mrs Inbetweeny tells the story of siblings who are brought up by their pre-op transsexual aunt Emma from America.
Phoo Action is a kung fu live action drama set in 2012 London, which is in the grip of mutant criminals. Terry Phoo and Whitey Action - the first a Buddhist cop and the second an anarchist - step in to save the day.
W10 LDN, from Noel Clarke and Kudos, looks at the lives led by a group of young teenagers on a housing estate in West London.The last one sounds like they're trying to jump on the Lily Allen cool-street-hip-hop bandwagon, which could possibly sell. But Phoo Action?
A family in the Northern English city of Newcastle claim that they have been forced to move home twice afrer being violently persecuted for their red hair. WTF? That's insane.
The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles has revoked an elderly woman's custom license plates because they had become obscene. Pat Niple had had the number plates reading "NWTF" (standing for "Northwood Tree Farm", a business she had owned) for more than a decade, and had had no problems with them—until this year, when they fell foul of technologically-mediated language change:
"Apparently, the young people use it on the computer," she said.
Niple went to a BMV office to get some answers. A clerk had to whisper what the acronym means to some people.
"Now what the -- and the last word begins with an f," Niple said. "I said, 'You got to be kidding me.'"
In a bid to show that they're not just for left-coast liberals and get more of a following in the US "red states", the Church of Scientology is sponsoring its own NASCAR racing team:
The venture will be called the Dianetics Racing Team - the name is based on the belief system drawn up by the late L Ron Hubbard, Scientology's founder, during the 1950s.
The latest beat-'em-up video game from Japan is Line Kill Spirits. It's much like any other beat-'em-up (Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and all the numerous lookalikes), except that (a) all the characters are lolitaesque anime girls, and (b) the only way to make damage to an opponent stick is to take a photograph of her underwear. Or from the Google translation of the official page on the game:
it is possible to convert the latent damage to the actual damage. First, the punch button and the kick button are pushed simultaneously, the skirt of the partner is turned, " it turns and makes skill move ". When the skirt burrs and rises, timing the photographing button (with default the V key) pushing well, it will cut the shutter. It is appraised at 3 stages of the BAD * GOOD * GREAT by the area of the underpants which have been taken, if above the GOOD conversion of the damage is done.The web site also has two video clips of the game in action; Line Kill Spirits appears to be the work of a group of hobbyists, rather than a game publisher. It appears to be part of the "Dojin Soft" small-press game movement, which does tend to produce its share of bizarre ideas, such as a fighting game based on Les Misérables.
A hoaxer in the US Midwest has reprised the Milgram obedience experiments by calling fast-food restaurants posing as a police officer and instructing managers to strip-search employees, subjecting them to bizarre and degrading ordeals. The managers in question, being selected for unthinking obedience, never realised that anything was wrong, accepting "Officer Scott"'s authoritative tone of voice, stated reasons and the sounds of police radios in the background as sufficient reason to start obeying, and the fact that they were already obeying as sufficient reason to keep doing so, up to committing rape.
On May 29, 2002, a girl celebrating her 18th birthday -- in her first hour of her first day on the job at the McDonald's in Roosevelt, Iowa -- was forced to strip, jog naked and assume a series of embarrassing poses, all at the direction of a caller on the phone, according to court and news accounts.
He had mastered the police officer's calm but authoritative demeanor. He sprinkled law-enforcement jargon into every conversation. And he did his homework. He researched the names of regional managers and local police officers in advance, and mentioned them by name to bolster his credibility. He called some restaurants in advance, somehow getting names and descriptions of victims so he could accurately describe them later.
In her book, "Making Fast Food: From the Frying Pan into the Fryer," Canadian sociologist Ester Reiter concludes that the most prized trait in fast-food workers is obedience. "The assembly-line process very deliberately tries to take away any thought or discretion from workers," said Reiter, who teaches at Toronto's York University and who spent 10 months working at a Burger King as part of her research. "They are appendages to the machine."Several people who followed orders were jailed for rape and related crimes. The hoaxer was later found to be a 38-year-old prison guard with a fantasy of being a police officer. Meanwhile, one of the victims is suing McDonalds for allowing this to happen; McDonalds, meanwhile, blames her for not reading the employee manual where it said that strip searches were prohibited and not recognising that the caller wasn't a real police officer.
(via bOING bOING)
A request for help from one "Adoh Fadduq" of the United Arab Emirates, found in gnu.emacs.help:
Insha Allah, I am now trying to choose an editor for my software development and typesetting work. I have closely considered Emacs, which fits my needs in some respects. I do, however, feel that there is a big security issue with it for me and my brethren: Emacs was largely developed by Jews and for Jews. Considering how cunning the Jews are, I would not be surprised to find that they have hidden special bugs and booby traps inside emacs, in order to spy on and disrupt work of my Allah believing brethren. Are my concerns justified?
Some people have strange ways of celebrating their sports teams' victories, such as by spontaneously castrating themselves with wire cutters.
"I'd told my pal Gethin Probert before the game that Wales didn't stand a chance," Mr Huish told The Sun. "It wasn't a bet but I said I'd cut my b*lls off if we won."I guess he showed his mates that he was a man of his word and had the balls to do it, 'had' being the operative word.
A jihadist website has published a fatwa on "Islamically-sound" ways of playing soccer:
2. International terminology that heretics and polytheists use, like "foul," "penalty," "corner," "goal," "out" and others, should be abandoned and not said. Whoever says them should be punished, reprimanded and ejected from the game. He should be publicly told, "You have imitated the heretics and polytheists and this is forbidden."
3. Do not call "foul" and stop the game if someone falls and sprains a hand or foot or the ball touches his hand, and do not give a yellow or red card to whoever was responsible for the injury or tackle. Instead, it should be adjudicated according to Sharia rulings concerning broken bones and injuries. The injured player should exercise his Sharia rights according to the Koran and you must bear witness with him that so-and-so hurt him on purpose.
4. Do not follow the heretics, the Jews, the Christians and especially evil America regarding the number of players. Do not play with 11 people. Instead, add to this number or decrease it.
6. Do not play in two halves. Rather play in one half or three halves in order to completely differentiate yourselves from the heretics, the polytheists, the corrupted and the disobedient.
13. You should spit in the face of whoever puts the ball between the posts or uprights and then runs in order to get his friends to follow him and hug him like players in America or France do, and you should punish and reprimand him, for what is the relationship between celebrating, hugging and kissing and the sports that you are practicing?
They're now working on carbonating things other than soft drinks; like, for example, milk and fruit and such:
"When you put the product on your tongue you get a woosh of gas that comes off the product and onto your mouth," said John Brisson, a mechanical engineering professor and co-developer of the carbonated ice cream. "With soda you don't get this woosh kind of thing."
A company called Fizzy Fruit plans to introduce carbonated, cut fruit to sell at schools and other venues.
(via bOING bOING)
On the internet, you can buy anything: even dangerous and/or endangered animals, no questions asked:
Gorillas are among the most highly-endangered species on the planet and all commercial trade in them is prohibited under the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). They are potentially lethal and need expert care and treatment, yet IFAW found a British-based website selling a seven-year-old gorilla in January this year "due to relocation of its owner."
Other, American-based websites sell monkeys along with "cute" accessories such as nappies, feeding bottles, clothes and toys, adding to the impression that these are a slightly more lively version of a doll. Traders in live primates call themselves "Monkey Moms" and the animals "monkids".
Threatened by poaching and loss of habitat, there are only about 5,000 tigers living in the wild; but thanks to the thriving trade in exotic pets, some 10,000 tigers live in captivity in the US. One US website advertised two-week old male and female tiger cubs for just $1,500 each.
A list of some of the most unusual questions sent in to urban-legend researchers snopes.com, revealing the anxieties of the public:
I just read a blurb that pre-packaged foods can cause people to turn gay because of too much estrogen. If I was only allowed one question for snopes, I would ask if this is true. Is it?
They say that if a person has a pet cat and dies, if the person's body is not found fairly soon after death, the cat, having not been fed, will become ravenously hungry and eat the dead person's face off--JUST the face!
Is this true? My cat often looks me in the face. I used to think he was just being friendly. Now I know he's just sizing me up, like a chef at a butcher shop, waiting for "the big day". Since hearing this rumor, every time my cat licks his chops it gives me the willies!
I've heard that it is impossible to take a lightbulb out of your mouth once one puts it in, without either breaking the bulb or dislocating the jaw.
Do you know if this is true? I'm counting on you - my husband is really curious, and I don't want to have to drive him to the hospital...
(via The Fix)
Seen recently at a North London railway station:
A chap in an olive-green shirt (not unlike those German army shirts, only without the flags on the sleeves). Both sides of the shirt was stencilled with a variety of slogans, in black, white, bright red, sky-blue and cyan, and a ransom-note array of fonts.
The slogans included "London", "Anarchy", "Gothic Dark", "I'm Cool", "Hell's Bells" and "I Pray For Sex".
LiveJournal user icon of the day:
(Note: for the full effect, make sure you have animated images enabled.)
A Washington Post article looking at Akihabara, and how the Tokyo electronics-retail precinct has become transformed into the world's first geek ghetto:
"We have been discriminated against for being different, but now we have come together and turned this neighborhood into a place of our own," said Yamagata, nursing his tea as he sat with a portly computer technician friend at Akihabara's Cos-Cha, one of a dozen "maid cafes" in the neighborhood. Here, the waitresses' uniforms are inspired by the French maid-meets-Pokemon outfits of adult manga. At other cafes, waitresses greet patrons at the door with a curtsy and the words "Welcome home, master."
Tetsu Ishihara, 34, a computer programmer whose three-room apartment in west Tokyo is filled from floor to ceiling with comic books, does not want to be associated with such charges. Ishihara maintains a growing collection of 130 life-size pillows of female anime characters -- both purchased and self-designed. His favorite is Mio-chan, a female character from a love-simulation computer game in which a high school boy builds up the courage to ask a girl for a first date.
"There are some people who do lose their grip on reality, but that is not me -- or most of us," said Ishihara, a chubby man with glasses who this year started dating a woman steadily for the first time She's an anime artist. "For me, the pillows have been my source of unconditional love, a reminder of when I used to be hugged by my parents. There is nothing strange about it."Don't expect Gwen Stefani to commercialise this any time soon.
According to the Toronto police sex crimes unit, the vast majority of people arrested for child pornography offences are obsessed with Star Trek:
The first thing detectives from the Toronto police sex crimes unit saw when they entered Roderick Cowan's apartment was an autographed picture of William Shatner. Along with the photos on the computer of Scott Faichnie, also busted for possessing child porn, they found a snapshot of the pediatric nurse and Boy Scout leader wearing a dress "Federation" uniform. Another suspect had a TV remote control shaped like a phaser. Yet another had a Star Trek credit card in his wallet. One was using "Picard" as his screen name. In the 3 1/2 years since police in Canada's biggest city established a special unit to tackle child pornography, investigators have been through so many dwellings packed with sci-fi books, DVDs, toys and collectibles like Klingon swords and sashes that it's become a dark squadroom joke. "We always say there are two types of pedophiles: Star Trek and Star Wars," says Det. Ian Lamond, the unit's second-in-command. "But it's mostly Star Trek."And there's more on the claims here, including letters from indignant Trekkies complaining that the article vilifies Trekkies whilst failing to put forward the "ethics, morality and message" of their
(via bOING bOING)
Teenage stoner robs grave, steals corpse's head for use as a bong. Totally hardcore, dude!
Zookeepers in Japan chase a bloke in a lion suit, capture him with a net, in what is ostensibly an animal escape drill; either that or the filming of some kind of Furry bondage-cosplay-themed TV game show. (via jwz)
Humorless animal-rights activists have succeeded in getting sweets shaped like roadkill withdrawn from sale, on the grounds that it could make children believe that cruelty to animals is delicious. (via bOING bOING)
at the risk of sounding like the Daily Mail or someone, this sounds like an instance of political correctness run amok. Are children really sufficiently susceptible to influence that a piece of macabre candy can instill sadistic tendencies in them? I guess that explains why the baby boomers who grew up in the 1950s, the golden age of ghoulicious children's entertainment, all turned out to be murderous psychopaths.
Or, to quote The Parking Lot Is Full:
Sticker seen on a cash machine in west London, 18/2/2005:
My first thought was that it must be a very specialised market. Not many ladies have beards, after all.
Police in Cumbria are concerned that an underwater gnome garden which claimed the lives of 3 divers has returned. The garden, consisting of several garden gnomes surrounded by a picket fence, was established at the bottom of Wastwater in the Lake District a few years ago. News got around and divers flocked to see it; at least 3 got so engrossed in looking at or for it that they forgot to come up for air and, consequently, died. Police removed the garden in the interest of public safety, though there are now rumours that it has returned, at a deeper location where police divers cannot legally go.
(Apparently, in England, police divers can only dive to 50 metres at most; so should you ever want to establish, say, an underwater anarchist state or something, you know where to do it.)
Update: more details about the deadly gnome garden here:
One gnome is sitting on a wooden aeroplane while another is cemented onto a brick. Another has a lawnmower and one has been affectionately named Gordon.
A long thread of stories about creepy people met in role-playing games; these range from those with a slight problem with reality (i.e., those who believe they really are elves or vampires or powerful sorcerers or that the Necronomicon is real; which is not too unlike religious fundamentalists, but I digress) to psychos who insisted on bringing weapons with them at all times, people who turned out to be child molesters or similar, people who insisted on taking games in peculiar directions, the disturbed, those whose lack of social skills included not knowing that certain bodily functions were inappropriate in company, and various of Cat Piss Man's brothers and sisters. (via MeFi)
Meanwhile, Target in Australia are now selling collectible Goth figurines, which, for some reason, are in the anime section. (Which is odd in itself; last time I was in a Target, they didn't have an anime section, let alone one with collectible figurines. Perhaps it's in the "grunge mall" Coles-Myer were planning to build in Melbourne or something?) Does this mean that the Goth subculture now has an anime series about it?
The latest criminal fashion in Russia, a country with more than the usual share of clever people in need of money: street hypnotism, in which thieves adept in hypnotic techniques (said to range from ancient Gypsy mind tricks to cutting-edge neuro-linguistic programming techniques), manage to persuade victims to give up vast sums of money, and forget what happened: (via bOING bOING)
"The essence of the technique is, form replaces content. Our brain is built so it can process only so much information over a certain period of time. ... In cases where the flow of information is either too powerful and fast, or on the other hand, too slow ... the brain slows down, and the person's level of vigilance drops," he said.
Psychoceramic site of the day: Molatar, the dragon, "dedicated to spreading the Gospel in the werewolf and furry communities". As well as the usual stuff about homosexuality being wrong and evolution having been debunked, it has an essay on why he abhors role-playing games (and it has little to do with Jack Chick-esque theology, but more to do with role-players being cruel and unimaginative), and a promise that God can help the faithful shapeshift, if that's what they desire (even giving a prayer for doing so, as well as advice to get a good vet and tailor, and stock up on dog toothpaste and medieval swords). And check out his "Were card", where he talks about his likes and dislikes, speculates on whether Duran Duran were werewolves and describes his "berserker states". (via gjw)
From Japan, the latest technological solutions to the problem of endemic loneliness and alienation: the Boyfriend's Arm Pillow, designed to give Japan's Bridget Joneses some "manly comfort" while they sleep. And for the otaku-boys, there's the Girlfriend's Lap Pillow, complete with tight red miniskirt, which would not look out of place in the Korova Milk Bar. (via bOING bOING)
A cross-dressing Hasidic man was charged with murder after the death of a rabbi, with whom he was sharing a flat, in New York.
Goldstein was dressed in a gray blouse with a plunging neckline, dark slacks and pink high-heeled shoes, a police source said. His face was made up with bright red lipstick and blue eye shadow that clashed with his long beard, the source said.
"Princess Dreams" oven-ready turkey nuggets. Which means that someone decided that the best way to sell mechanically reconstituted meat was to brand it with a sub-Barbie/Disney "Princess" motif, complete with oddly mannish-looking "princess" character.
Someone just arrived at this blog by searching on Google for "pigs suck,they're not kosher!!!". Umm...
The meetup.com database of venues is getting progressively more bizarre. One of the three choices for the Melbourne bOING bOING Meetup* was "Putters Adventure Golf, 10 Main Rd, Hobart". Compared to this, the network deathmatch centre in Lilydale or wherever that kept cropping up is almost sensible.
* Not that it matters; it's unlikely that there'll be a quorum for this one any time soon.
Romance-novel giant Harlequin Mills & Boon are attempting to take on the Japanese market by releasing manga editions of their novels there, replete with heroines with freakishly huge, glistening eyes.
On a tangent, a dictionary of Japanese sex/fetish/pr0n terms, from the kinky to the just plain bizarre. (Miniaturised women? "tooth love"? ASCII art fetishes?) (via MeFi)
Recent search engine referrals to this blog: "pictures of middle evil fair", "fan fiction of avril lavigne having sex", "the case for balanced christian music" (as opposed to unhinged Christian music, I suppose). And two about the metaphysical implications of the recently discovered 10th planetoid, from various perspectives: "is sedna the planet X" and "sedna planet christianity".
Some genius has tried to nail himself to a cross (as one does) after "seeing pictures of God on the computer"; he successfully nailed one hand to the makeshift cross, but ended up calling the police after realising that he had no way of nailing his other hand in.
Apparently killing zoo animals isn't just an Adelaide thing; some nutter has been poisoning zoo animals in Sao Paolo, Brazil:
Victims over the past week include monkeys, golden-headed lion tamarinds and more than 30 porcupines. Three chimpanzees, an orang-utan, three tapirs, four camels, an elephant and a bison died during the previous month.
Some selections from a website selling Java games for mobile phones:
Boobi Sisters: Boobi sisters went to farm to get experience. Their mission is to gather the cattle in a pen.
Butter Head: Butter Head is mail carrier in the Magic Land. One day, while taking a nap he looses his mail.
Christmas Eggs: Help Santa to catch all eggs at his Lapland chicken farm. Don't let the eggs to fall down!
This is one of about half a dozen Santa Claus-themed games on the site. But "Christmas eggs"? "Lapland chicken farm"? WTF?
Mobile Dolly: The cloned Sheep Dolly is based on the previous Frog Game which was a famous arcade game during the 1980's. It is a mobile phone game recreated with a cute character of sheep for the sheep year.
Yeah, it looks like a Frogger clone. The question that immediately comes into mind, though, is: what would a cloned sheep be doing hopping on lilypads and logs across a river?
Mobile Ttarzan: Ttarzan and Jjani live in the nature and study plants. One day, Jjani goes out to collect some plants and then is kidnapped by a monkey.
A look behind the scene of Aryanfest, a neo-Nazi/white-supremacist love-in held recently in Arizona, and attended by 300 people, from skinheads to family groups, from the former Saddam Hussein supporter who wants to nuke Washington to the mixed-up Mexican neo-Nazi who got unceremoniously kicked out:
The atmosphere inside Aryanfest was that of a Renaissance Fair gone over to the dark side, with "Heils" in place of "Huzzahs." Costumed attendees wore Iron Cross medallions and black bomber jackets emblazoned with swastika patches instead of studded leather armor and princess dresses. A Nazi memorabilia dealer hawked SS patches and framed photographs of Hitler, Joseph Goebbels and Rudolph Hess in the parking lot. Next to the stage was a picnic pagoda, serving as the Aryanfest day-care center, where little white children in skinhead clothes colored in white power coloring books. Directly next door to the pagoda was a tattoo booth, where the incessant high-pitched buzz of a tattoo gun sounded from behind a blue tarp curtain. Beside the Panzerfaust merchandise stand was the Women for Aryan Unity booth, which sold child-rearing guides and White Nationalist Baby magazines, including one containing a simplified biography of Hitler suitable for bedtime stories: "He was a lifelong lover of animals and children . . . He is invincible and victory shall one day be his."
The police were happy that white-separatist group Volksfront's prediction of 1,000 people attending did not come true. But Browning said with a wry smile, "That's still a good-sized crowd. Come on, 300-plus racists in one place without a fight?"
In related news, a 36-year-old Oregon woman was arrested after having painted swastikas on an abandoned gas station. Her rationale: "I just wanted to show my heritage". She was also found in possession of methamphetamines. (via rotten.com)
Microsoft have found a way of selling more of their bulky (and thus rather un-Japanese) Xbox game consoles in Japan: by giving away free anime-girl-shaped full-body "hugging pillows" with each unit.
Hugging pillows are printed with life-size artwork of popular anime characters, and are basically life-size teddy bears for adult males, but otaku's relationships with their dakimakura can get a little more personal. "Searching Google Images with the term dakimakura is enough to understand the people who buy these items," said Muto.
"I guess they're supposed to be used ... as pillows to hug, of course ... and for other obscene purposes that I would rather not mention."
Someone receives an empty Mac G5 case (no further explanation provided) and builds a PC in it as a prank/conversation piece. Then he writes it up, spinning it as a way of turning an unwanted G5 into a Windows PC. Consequently he gets death threats from Mac zealots across the net.
"I hope your PC blows up and leaves your miserable face disfigured forever," read one. "You will surely burn in hell for an eternity for this one." Another said Andy should be hung by his testicles and set on fire. "Turning a perfectly good dual G5 into a crappy PC was the ticket that got you to hell," wrote another, citing the common eternal damnation theme. "And if you were in front of me I'd pop a corn-born Teflon bullet from my Glock in your fucking face."
Proof that there's a vocal minority of Mac users who are utterly batshit insane.
A US man is suing his cable TV company, on the grounds that they made him smoke and drink, caused his wife to gain weight and turned his children into "lazy channel surfers" by giving his household free cable. Timothy Dumouchel of West Bend, Wisconsin wants either US$5,000 or three computers and a lifetime supply of free internet service as compensation. It's reassuring to see that someone's taking charge of their life. (via Techdirt)
Mental health groups protest Gollum, who, they say, perpetuates negative stereotypes of people suffering from schizophrenia. Umm, yeah.
It turns out that not all deviants drive around naked with laptops; some prefer chickens:
"Lift up the chicken," the cop said.
The driver did -- and the next thing you know, the driver was in cuffs and the chickens were on their way to the humane society -- where (we kid you not) the hens were given a sexual battery exam by a vet the cops called in.
"But the killer will be the other evidence,'' a law enforcement source said. "A 15-ounce jar of Vaseline... with three feathers in it.''
A Canadian man has been arrested by police whilst driving the wrong way down a residential street. After he was stopped, the police noticed that he was naked from the waist down and operating a laptop computer. The man had been "war driving", exploiting open 802.11 access points to surreptitiously download child pornography, of which he had an encyclopaedic collection. And who knows how many other paedophiles are currently cruising the streets with laptops?
(Clearly, our lawmakers need to act immediately, ban the possession of long-range WiFi antennae, and institute an international registry of all WiFi cards, for the sake of our children. Also, the Pringles chip company must change the design of their cardboard tubes to prevent perverts from turning them into directional wireless antennae.)
A hiking couple found 70 pairs of shoes filled with butter in a remote mountainous location in northern Sweden. The shoes include all varieties, from sneakers to tap shoes. There's some speculation whether it's an art project of some sort or merely fetishism, though it may or may not be a violation of copyright. (via jwz)
A piece about "furries", a growing subculture of people who identify themselves as anthropomorphic cartoon animals, and which may or may not be a sexual fetish, depending on whom you ask:
On condition of anonymity, the author of a G-rated a comic book featuring an animal character described his experience at a Furry convention he was invited to attend, and how revolted he was by the horny Furs he encountered. They have convinced themselves that all writers and artists who have ever placed a talking animal in a story must in fact be closet Furries at best, and that surely those creators would not be disturbed by the sexuality of Furry fandom, he says. This includes even the classics like Bugs Bunny, the Pink Panther, and Mickey Mouse.
"It's rough if youre a transsexual its even rougher if you try to explain that you're a cat in a human body," says another Furry fan, who bemoaned the fact that Furries cant opt to surgically change their species in the way transexuals can change their gender.
These conversations are typical of what one will find at Furry conventions, scheduled alongside social events like dances and talent shows. Scattered here and there in private hotel rooms, one might also find places like The Nursery where adult babies can get diapered and Fursuit dry-humping orgies, or Plushie parties, where people who disdain or cant find human sexual partners stick their organs into an SPH (strategically placed hole) torn into a carnival prize raccoon. But most of the Furries who get laid at the convention will probably hook up through mutual interests, physical attraction, flirtatious conversation, and a few drinks, just like everybody else does.
Apparently there are now "furry nights" at nightclubs in the US. Could Furry be the next Goth or something like that? (If so, I wonder how long until "furry" musical projects start appearing, and what they'll sound like. Or, indeed, until we see veteran Furries bemoaning the influx of trendy normals in tiger suits from Hot Topic or Dangerfield or someplace.)
Queensland is a sort of Australian equivalent of Texas or Arkansas or Mississippi or some such place; a state renowned for its rednecks, corrupt police and religious sects too far gone for any other state. And this story brings together the last two elements.
A "devious and perverted" police officer has been gaoled for conning members of a Christian sect into bizarre sexual acts. After telling the group that they would become undercover operatives, he instructed them to cut off their pubic hair and take photographs of themselves naked, saying that such actions were mandatory before becoming police informants. (He also attempted to extort $5000 from a young couple with a false confession of underaged sex, though that may well be standard Queensland police operating procedure). (via Anthony)
WIRED tracks down the guy behind all those spams asking to buy time machine parts to travel back in time and fix his broken life (and didn't we all wish we could do that at some stage?) It appears that he's a commercial spammer/conman who was driven to insanity by the relentless hounding of the anti-spam gestapo. Either that or it's some sort of scam. (via Techdirt)
Looking for something to spend your millions on and alleviate your ennui? Try secretly raising a second family under an assumed name, like Douglas Cone of Tampa, Florida did for some 30 years.
They do things differently in Hong Kong: a fashion shop has decided to stir up some controversy with a line of Nazi-themed merchandise. Izzue, which may be their equivalent of Dangerfield or Hot Topic or Violence Jack Off or something like that, also decorated their stores with Nazi banners and symbols:
Red banners with white swastikas on top of iron crosses hung Saturday from the ceilings of some of the firm's 14 stores. The banners also carried a sign that resembled the symbol of the Third Reich: an eagle above a swastika. One branch broadcast Nazi propaganda films on a wall with a projector.
This isn't the first time Nazi symbolism has been used to get attention in Asia; some years ago, a Taipei restaurant covered their walls with images of Holocaust victims and a bar named the Third Reich, replete with Nazi propaganda posters and uniformed waitresses, opened in Seoul. Perhaps over there, the whole Nazi thing is seen by some as just kitschy retro exotica?
Straight Pride Wear; where you can express your intolerance for alternative lifestyles in eXtreme skate-mook style that wouldn't look amiss at a skate ramp or the mosh pit at Big Day Out/a Limp Bizkit concert. The only thing they're missing is big yellow shorts with "Exit Only" written on the back. And it's not just about shaming the sodomites back into their closet, it's also about being a good all-American patriot, as the stars and stripes will attest. And the links to religious-right groups and the "pro-life-punk" movement pretty much confirm one's suspicions. (via MeFi)
I wonder when the Ku Klux Klan will follow the lead and bring out a line of "White Pride" streetwear for Aryan mooks.
The latest in extreme sports out of Las Vegas: hunting naked women with paintball guns:
Men pay anywhere from $5000 to $10,000 for the chance to come to the middle of the desert to shoot what they call "Bambi's" with a paint ball gun. Burdick says men have come from as far away as Germany. The men get a video tape of their hunt to take home and show their friends. Burdick says safety is a concern, but the women are not allowed to wear protective gear -- only tennis shoes. Today while the Eyewitness News cameras were rolling, one woman chose to wear bikini bottoms but normally all they wear is their birthday suits.
The paint balls that come out of the guns travel at about 200 miles per hour. Getting hit with one stings even with clothes on, and when they hit bare flesh, they are powerful enough to draw blood. Evanthes shot one of the women and says, "I got the one with the biggest rack."
Anti-porn Internet filtering system, installed in US libraries by government order, blocks all references to the city of
(Why? Look carefully at its name.)
Norwegian Black Metal musician breaks into church, decapitates corpse; presumably just to remind the world that Norwegian Black Metal isn't dead. He then took the head to a party to show off.
Something to keep in mind as you fill in your tax return: The Australian Federal Court has ruled that a convicted heroin dealer can claim a tax deduction for money lost during a failed drug deal.
This reminds me of something I heard many years ago: a man filled in his tax return forms, giving his profession as "burglar". The ATO allowed him to claim his burglary implements as tax deductions, but not the cost of travelling to/from the premises he robbed.
Self-proclaimed "vampire" gunned down in Melbourne. And this less than a week after a guy tried to hijack a plane to Tasmania with wooden stakes. What's going on here?
Bampot attempts to hijack Qantas flight with wooden stakes, an aerosol can and a lighter. The incident happened on a Qantas flight from Melbourne to Launceston shortly after takeoff. The hijacker was not believed to be connected to Islamofascist terrorist groups, but kept mumbling about "God's will" and "Armageddon", and apparently intended to crash the aircraft into a target. Perhaps he was a self-styled "vampire hunter" of some sort?
Rational Ministries could well be the next Time Cube. He goes on about communism (in a quasi-religious sort of way, mixed in with bits of Wagnerian Viking mysticism), LSD, sex and psychiatric medication, expounds his rigorous moral system and names his favourite porn star and video. He has his own version of the political compass test, with added questions about sexual kinks and drugs, and a page outlining his beliefs:
sex does have some social issues, that need to be kept in place, all sex has a dominance/humiliation aspect, some people take this attitude out of the bedroom and into the rest of the community, if you are trying to say the women, or submissive, doesn't want to act and be treated like a slut, you are really naive, if you are saying the dominant or man doesn't like to humiliate women or submissives, you are naive.
open systems technology, like ISA was, and like java is, satisfies capitalist economic theory, in that there will be more competition, and satisfies socialist theory, in that no imperialist can take control, this leaves only dainty imperialists that like proprietary systems, and dainty imperialists have no place in Valhalla
And then there's this personal ad:
I am seeking to reproduce, so I am looking for artificial insemination with women who have support means, and as many as possible. What I have to offer is my DNA. and as you know instinctual information along with physical traits is stored in DNA. If you like the qualities of my philosophy, it is most likely my DNA contributed to them. Much liked a bird's DNA tells it to make a nest when it is ready to lay eggs. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org , RIGHT NOW, the child can know me by my philosophies. And once again, this is not about sex, I WOULD PREFER ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT, if you cannot I will do otherwise.
...followed by a spot of Holocaust-revisionism, in case that wasn't loopy enough. (via Psychoceramics)
Gangsta rap, it seems, is the new Norwegian Black Metal, with performers competing fiercely for who can be the baddest. One rapper allegedly murdered his roommate and ate her flesh, apparently to be the most stupendous badass who ever cut a record. It has been alleged in court that Death Row Records supplied Antron "Big Lurch" Singleton with drugs "to encourage (him) to act out in an extreme violent manner so as to make him more marketable as a 'Gangsta Rap' artist."
"Part of what makes a Gangsta Rap artist marketable is the fact that the artist is a current ongoing participant in violent gang activities," the lawsuit said.
Concorde, the 1960s-vintage supersonic airliner, is being retired. British Airways and Air France, the two operators of Concorde flights, have announced that they will be permanently grounding the planes, which have been troubled by technical problems and the decline in air travel. So now, supersonic air travel will cease to be a luxury for the super-wealthy or aviation obsessives and become another part of a bygone era, like passenger airships.
And quite a bit further down, another era is ending on the New York Subway, as the introduction of a new ticketing system brings to extinction a species of lowlife indigenous to the system: the token sucker:
The criminal carefully jams the token slot with a matchbook or a gum wrapper and waits for a would-be rider to plunk a token down. The token plunker bangs against the locked turnstile and walks away in frustration. Then from the shadows, the token sucker appears like a vampire, quickly sealing his lips over the token slot, inhaling powerfully and producing his prize: a $1.50 token, hard earned and obviously badly needed.
And deterrence, when dealing with someone willing to clamp his mouth to one of the most public surfaces in all of New York City, was next to impossible. "These guys were on their last legs," Officer McGarry said. "If they were going to jail, it was just an inconvenience for them." (In an interview with a reporter for The Los Angeles Times in the early 1990's, one token sucker acknowledged the depths of his desperation. "Hard times makes you do it," he explained, adding: "Anyways, I've kissed women that's worse.")
Another reason to be glad you're not in Texas: A man was assaulted and told to "go back to Iraq" for remaining seated while a "patriotic" country song played at a rodeo. (via The Fix)
(Since 9/11, country music has made a resurgence as a sincere voice of American nationalism, and is now well back in the mainstream in the US. I wonder how this will affect the cultural stock of alt-country among hipster types; I can't see the twang having the same amount of ironic cachet in the age of Toby Keith and red-blooded patriot anthems all over Clear Channel.)
Russian politician changes name to Harry Potter to win more votes. He has stood unsuccessfully in past elections, but hopes that his heroic new name will turn his luck around, perhaps even giving him the presidency eventually. They certainly do things differently in Russia; the best Australia can do in this vein was to have a politician named Stone change his name to Aussie-Stone (presumably back when ballot papers were in alphabetical order). (via bOING bOING)
Life imitates Chuck Palahniuk (and not for the first time): "Choking Man" committed to mental institution after staging choking incidents across Florida to solicit the aid of bystanders (all women), then using the opportunity to get their phone numbers. One woman suffered an anxiety attack, losing her job as a result. (via die puny humans)
Excerpts from a porn spam recently intercepted by my spam filter, allegedly from someone named "Doroty":
Subject: [ Greetings sugar Acb, I am Doroty, sexy sweetheart ]
Anyway I am online all the time come see me and we can chat.... I have a drip running down my leg already thinking about you.
A drip? Like a medical drip? I wonder if they're connected with those "Mortal Dance in Machine Ambulance" ambulance-fetish porn spammers out of Russia.
This is not an UCE! This is a friendly bonus from Doroty.
You either registered to free Internet resource lately or someone entered your address for you.
To get out from future notifications, send any email here:email@example.com
I suspect that the Ukrainian Mafia's porn spam operations need to work on their English a bit more.
Canadian American woman was feeding her baby when she noticed
subliminal messages coming from a toy on the infant's crib.
The Wal-Mart toy, which makes soothing sounds and music to fall asleep to, was also saying "I hate you", in a very quiet, childlike voice.
The toys have since been removed from stores; where the message came from remains unknown.
(via New World Disorder)
This is classic: serial masturbator arrested at Sleater-Kinney show. Make your own joke about wankers at indie-rock shows here:
So not only is this guy Seattle's premiere alleged indie-rock show masturbator, he's a snobby indie-rock show masturbator who will only choke his chicken to certain bands! Classic! (In a completely disgusting sort of way, of course.)
Yakuza gangs in Japan have figured out a way of monetising sex crime; and have started operating rape safaris for paying customers, presumably the sick bastards whose tastes have become too rarefied for hentai anime and vending-machine schoolgirl panties.
"If a member tells his club the type of women he'd like to rape, the club will arrange it for him. Market rates are about 100,000 yen a rape. If the member designates a specific individual, the fee can go over 1 million yen in some cases. Designating an individual usually involves putting the guy together with somebody who knows him, making it more likely they can be reported to the cops, so the greater cost arises from the greater risk factor," the source tells Asahi Geino.
(via die puny humans)
Too many hits from the bucket bong? An 18-year-old in Brisbane has appeared in court and been fined $300 for borrowing his housemate's credit card and going on a spending spree, buying among other things a mail-order penis enlarger and hotel accommodation on the Gold Coast. I'll bet he feels like a right idiot now.
There's something disturbing about a world where companies sell padded bras for 9-year-olds. (via Reenhead)
Stranger than fiction: Ambulance crews in the Polish city of Lodz have been deliberately letting patients die, in return for kickbacks from funeral companies. In some cases the ambulance crews even hastened the deaths of their charges by administering muscle relaxants. In return, the funeral homes paid the ambulance crews over US$300 for each stiff sent their way.
It now appears that the teenager who crashed the Cessna into the Bank of America building in Florida was imitating the WTC terrorists. Perhaps backyard wrestling was getting boring and he needed a new extreme sport? Or perhaps, after 11/9/2001, high school shootings are too passé.
The Church of Euthanasia (which is like a cross between VHEMT, the Church of the SubGenius and something Jim Goad or someone could have come up with) has a new video out. Titled I Like To Watch, it splices footage of the WTC attack with pornography and sports coverage, over an electronic soundtrack, all to make a statement:
"I found it very beautiful." He continues: "I don't believe that I'm the only person in the world who derived sexual gratification from watching two of America's tallest buildings destroyed, but I do believe that I'm one of the few people with the courage to admit this in public. As an artist, I have an obligation to capture my feelings as accurately as possible. What I'm feeling may make me a monster, but I don't believe I'm alone in being a monster."
The owners of children's TV show Sesame Street are "outraged" over the appearance of Sesame Street character Bert on an Osama Bin Laden poster in Bangladesh and are considering legal action. (They can probably thank their lucky stars that the archaic legal doctrine of "fair use" does not apply to electronic media.) Meanwhile, the "Bert is Evil" website, where the image came from, has been taken down by its creator.
Found object of the day: I had reason to be in the Ivanhoe Coles supermarket today, and found in one of the aisles a 3-videotape "value pack", consisting of the following titles:
- Clinton Under Oath - The President's Testimony
- Girl Power - The Unauthorised Biography of the Spice Girls
- Navy Seals - The Real Story
Wonder what the target market could possibly be.
(And in case you're wondering: no, I didn't buy it.)
I'm Wayne Kerr, and if there's one thing I hate...* it's homies who play their ghetto blasters on public transport. I was catching a train this evening and had the misfortune to share a carriage with a posse of such miscreants. About four of them were seated at the front of the carriage, attired in tracksuits, with a flip case full of CDs and a loud portable stereo, putting on CD after CD, debating amongst themselves what to play next.
But the crowning horror was what they were treating their fellow commuters to. It was not underground gangsta rap, as one might reasonably respect of a crew of tracksuited badasses; nor was it some major-label manufactured rap, as a bunch of suburban poseurs could get away with being into. It was boy-band R&B.
Perhaps that's some kind of peacock-tail phenomenon of conspicuously flaunting one's badness, as in "I'm such a mackdaddy that I can play utter crap and no-one will fuck with me". Or perhaps it's a mutant form of vandalism; the sonic equivalent of kicking out windows and tearing up seats.
* with apologies to the Doug Anthony Allstars.
When a disturbed patient told him that he feared that he might be gay, a psychiatrist told him to have sex with male and female prostitutes, with unfortunate results: (Telegraph)
Mr A had done his best to comply, despite his parents' objections, by going to Brighton and contacting two female prostitutes through cards in telephone boxes. Terrified of contracting Aids, he covered his body with plasters to avoid being infected through a cut. The meeting was "literally and metaphorically a flop".
Bizarre fetish of the day:
Hollywood legend Mickey Rooney is calling for a ban on the production of "crush videos" - films for people that get sexually aroused by watching scantily-clad women smashing rats and other small animals.