Now gluten-free!

Friday, November 28, 2008

In Defense of Misanthropy

I was already a little disturbed when I saw people in sleeping bags outside my neighborhood Best Buy last night, but now this in the news today, out of Long Island, NY:
(CBS/AP) A worker died after being trampled by a throng of unruly shoppers when a suburban Wal-Mart opened for the holiday sales rush Friday, authorities said.

At least three other people were injured.

Cattle have more sense when they head for the feed trough. I rest my case.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Enough with the Turkey Pardons Already!

Perhaps the dumbest, most idiotic pastime in this country (next to Daylight Saving Time, of course) is the pardoning of the National Thanksgiving Turkey. This year, we were treated to a double dose of stupidity when President Bush pardoned two birds.

And in case you were wondering what's going to happen to these turkeys, don't worry. They're going to Disneyland. No, I'm not kidding:
    The National Thanksgiving Turkey will really have something to celebrate following today's traditional Presidential pardon ceremony in the White House Rose Garden. "Pumpkin" and his alternate "Pecan" are going to Disneyland! It starts with a police escort to Dulles International Airport. Then the birds will "fly" First-Class on United Airlines Flight Turkey-1 to their new home at Disneyland Resort in Southern California.

    The turkey's special Thanksgiving Day celebration is a preview of things to come in 2009, as Disney Parks asks guests, "What Will You Celebrate?" and invites them to mark life's special moments with a Disney visit.

    The trip from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles will mark the fourth consecutive year that the National Thanksgiving Turkey has celebrated his pardon at a Disney Resort. Accompanied by National Turkey Federation Chairman Paul Hill of Ellsworth, Iowa, Pumpkin, a 20-week-old, 45-pound tom turkey, will be the grand marshal in a special Thanksgiving Day parade down Main Street U.S.A. Following the parade, Pumpkin and his alternate Pecan will find a home at Santa's Reindeer Round-Up at Big Thunder Ranch in Frontierland, where they'll remain throughout the holidays and the rest of their lives.
What I've always found funny is that we celebrate the pardoning of one turkey with the full knowledge that another poor bird just like it is going to end up on the president's table anyway. Isn't it time we dispensed of this ridiculous ritual once and for all?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Holidays Are Here! Pour the Whine!

'Tis the season to start whining and complaining about how the holidays are celebrated. In Claremont, California, parents are at odds over the crucial issue of whether or not their kindergartners should be allowed to dress up as Pilgrims and Indians for Thanksgiving:
    "It's demeaning," Michelle Raheja, the mother of a kindergartner at Condit Elementary School, wrote to her daughter's teacher. "I'm sure you can appreciate the inappropriateness of asking children to dress up like slaves (and kind slave masters), or Jews (and friendly Nazis), or members of any other racial minority group who has struggled in our nation's history."

    Raheja, whose mother is a Seneca, wrote the letter upon hearing of a four-decade district tradition, where kindergartners at Condit and Mountain View elementary schools take annual turns dressing up and visiting the other school for a Thanksgiving feast. This year, the Mountain View children would have dressed as Native Americans and walked to Condit, whose students would have dressed as Pilgrims.

    Raheja, an English professor at UC Riverside who specializes in Native American literature, said she met with teachers and administrators in hopes that the district could hold a public forum to discuss alternatives that celebrate thankfulness without "dehumanizing" her daughter's ancestry.

    "There is nothing to be served by dressing up as a racist stereotype," she said.
And how could the holidays possibly be complete without the obligatory ban on Christmas decorations?:
    Christmas is just 30 days away, but Santa Claus won't be stopping by Florida Gulf Coast University this holiday.

    He's not allowed on campus.

    FGCU administration has banned all holiday decorations from common spaces on campus and canceled a popular greeting card design contest, which is being replaced by an ugly sweater competition. In Griffin Hall, the university's giving tree for needy preschoolers has been transformed into a "giving garden."

    The moves boil down to political correctness.

    "Public institutions, including FGCU, often struggle with how best to observe the season in ways that honor and respect all traditions," President Wilson Bradshaw wrote in a memo to faculty and staff Thursday. "This is a challenging issue each year at FGCU, and 2008 is no exception. While it may appear at times that a vocal majority of opinion is the only view that is held, this is not always the case."

    Bradshaw's directive struck a chord with FGCU employees. The Staff Advisory Council received 44 anonymous comments on the issue; all were against the ban on holiday decorations.
So, keep this in mind as you gather with friends and family this holiday season: No matter how you celebrate, you're probably offending someone.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Forget the Turducken

I wanna try one of these:
Here are the ingredients for this fowl feast:

    1. Turkey
    2. Goose
    3. Barbary duck
    4. Guinea fowl
    5. Mallard
    6. Poussin
    7. Quail
    8. Partridge
    9. Pigeon squab
    10. Pheasant
    11. Chicken
    12. Aylesbury duck
So, what would you call it? A turgoobarguimalpouquailparsquapheasaylesburcken?

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

If you're in Fort Lupton, Colorado, make sure you keep your radio turned down. And if you do happen to be cited for a noise violation, pray that you don't have to stand before Municipal Judge Paul Sacco.

What kind of medieval torture could you expect from this black-robed brute? Waterboarding? Thumb screws? The rack?

Worse. He just may sentence you to listen to Barry Manilow albums.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Papal Bull

Some people believe that over 20 years ago the pope predicted the current economic collapse. From Bloomberg:
    Pope Benedict XVI was the first to predict the crisis in the global financial system, a "prophecy" dating to a paper he wrote when he was a cardinal, Italian Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti said.

    "The prediction that an undisciplined economy would collapse by its own rules can be found" in an article written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who became pope in April 2005, Tremonti said yesterday at Milan's Cattolica University.

    German-born Ratzinger in 1985 presented a paper entitled "Market Economy and Ethics" at a Rome event dedicated to the Church and the economy. The future pope said a decline in ethics "can actually cause the laws of the market to collapse."
I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but that's about as specific and relevant as any fortune cookie.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Christmas Story Turns 25 Today!

25 years ago today A Christmas Story was released in theaters. I didn't see it until a few years later when it was released on video, but it's been a favorite of mine ever since.

Happy Birthday, Ralphie!

Someone Actually Fell for the "Nigerian E-Mail Scam"

It's stories like this that make a good argument for requiring people to get a license before being allowed on the Information Superhighway:
Why do I get the feeling that stuffed in an old shoebox, tucked away somewhere in her bedroom closet, is the deed to a bridge in Brooklyn?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Inmate Mails Himself Out of Prison

A convicted drug dealer escaped from a German prison by mailing himself out:
    The 42-year-old Turkish citizen -- who was serving a seven-year sentence -- had been making stationery with other prisoners destined for the shops.

    At the end of his shift, the inmate climbed into a cardboard box and was taken out of prison by express courier. His whereabouts are still unknown.

    The chief warden of the jail told the BBC this was an embarrassing incident.
I thought plans like this only worked on Hogan's Heroes.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Monty Python Recycled Ancient Jokes

It turns out that the Dead Parrot sketch, one of the most well-known sketches from the British comedy troupe Monty Python, is at least 1,600 years old:
A classic scholar has proved the point, by unearthing a Greek version of the world-famous piece that is some 1,600 years old.

A comedy duo called Hierocles and Philagrius told the original version, only rather than a parrot they used a slave.

It concerns a man who complains to his friend that he was sold a slave who dies in his service.

His companion replies: "When he was with me, he never did any such thing!"

The joke was discovered in a collection of 265 jokes called Philogelos: The Laugh Addict, which dates from the fourth century AD.

Hierocles had gone to meet his maker, and Philagrius had certainly ceased to be, long before John Cleese and Michael Palin reinvented the yarn in 1969.
"Philagrius"? More like "Pilagiarus"!

Friday, November 14, 2008

"This Tang Tastes Funny..."

The crew of the space shuttle Endeavour is bound for the International Space Station on a remodeling mission:
    The masterpiece of the interior improvements is without doubt the new $19 million toilet system complete with a privacy enclosure. Until now the crew have had to make use of only one toilet located in the Russian segment of the station, and that one from time to time has not worked well.

    What makes the toilet even more special is that it will be hooked up to the $250 million "Regenerative ECLSS system" -- basically a complex closet-sized dehumidifier-cum-water treatment plant capable of recycling sweat and urine into clean drinking water and fresh oxygen.

    "I like to refer to this whole process as a coffee machine," said shuttle astronaut and one-time station resident Pettit. "It's going to take yesterday's coffee and make it into today's coffee."

    The crew won't get to test that morning java theory for at least four months while NASA makes sure It works as advertised. It's creator expects no problems.

    "We did blind taste tests of the water," said NASA's Bob Bagdigian, the system's lead engineer. "Nobody had any strong objections. Other than a faint taste of iodine, it is just as refreshing as any other kind of water."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

You Mean There's A Long Version?

Though this defies comment, I guess I have to say something in order to make this an original post: "AAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh!"

Has Hollywood Run Out of Ideas?

Remember the movie Clue? It was funny and relatively successful.

Well, Hollywood has decided to turn a couple of other popular board games into movies: Monopoly and Battleship. No kidding.

(HT: Chris Knight)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

If You've Never Seen LOST... this before the Season 5 premier in January.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Lee Might Appreciate This One

I doubt this would make Lee change his avatar from Calvin to Dilbert, but looks like he may have another cartoon friend, here.

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