The real Race Card

Miss SF Leather Mollena has created a RACE card™, which you can purchase on her website, mollena.com. She also gives some good reasons for whipping it out:

Yeah, so we have a black president and we are supposed to kick back and light up a fattie, because now everything is cool, right? Not so fast, my brethren and sistren.Every once in a while some fooligan will roll to you talkin’ some trash about how you discussing your racial background in a broader social context is a “back-handed maneuver.” They may even accuse you of “playing the Race Card” because you mention that life is different for you because you are…well…different.

Next time that shit goes down, be prepared.

Break out your RACE card™. Slam it down. BOOYAKACHA! Silence them and as their brains reel because you are so awesome, you can gently school them in the fine art of removing their damn foot from their pie-hole and maybe get it through their skulls that you won’t be silenced by fauxtastic bogus arguments designed to undermine your experience.

The RACE card™ also comes in handy if you need to:
* Cut in line at banks.
* Remind underlings that, yes, you actually ARE “The Man.”
* Impress those with racial fetishes.
* Levy silent accusations at the staff in fine dining establishments.
* Have an “Oppression-Off” with other beleaguered “People Of Color”

Get yours today!

blog2-010310Penis pants
Isabel Mastache's fashions look as if they are designed to make men look silly. Even the beautiful models hired to parade her creations looked as though they were having a hard time keeping a straight face while walking the runway at the recent Madrid Fashion Week. The highlight of her collection is a pair of beige trousers with a stuffed cloth penis and testes stitched to the crotch.

Rare chemistry

The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments, written by Robert Brent and illustrated by Harry Lazarus, is a children's book that was published in the 1960s. Its intention was to show children how to set up a home chemistry lab and conduct simple experiments. The US government had the book removed from libraries and banned for sale on the grounds that the projects were too dangerous for its intended audience. Many of the experiments it contains would be excluded from modern chemistry books. It is beautifully illustrated and packed with information. According to the Online Computer Library Center (oclc.org) there are only 126 copies of the book in libraries worldwide. Purchasing a copy could set you back around R5000. Fortunately, you can download a pdf of The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments from Anne Marie's Chemistry Blog on the about.com website.

Condomise and save the planetblog2-210210
The Center for Biological Diversity is distributing 100,000 free Endangered Species Condoms across the United States to highlight how unsustainable human population growth is driving species extinct at an alarming rate. See the whole range of condom packets at endangeredspeciescondoms.com.

 

 


blog3-210210Obscura Day

On March 20, people in cities and towns across the globe will be celebrating Obscura Day by visiting "wondrous, curious, and esoteric places". The event is coordinated by Atlas Obscura (atlasobscura.com) a project that aims to catalogue all the "singular, eccentric, bizarre, fantastical, and strange out-of-the-way places that get left out of traditional travel guidebooks and are ignored by the average tourist."
According to a recent report on Time.com: "Atlas Obscura is really the type of site that should be labeled as not safe for work. Not because there's anything offensive about it – don't worry, you can click safely – but because the posts make you really, really want to get out of the office." (Time.com 7/7/09)

Help Haiti – send cash (not your scuzzy old yoga mat)

Claire is part of the international logistics team at the Red Cross. When a big disaster happens somewhere in the world she is charged with getting life saving items to where they are needed. On January 18, six days after the earthquake struck Haiti she posted on the Red Cross Blog: "Let me debunk a couple of myths, starting with the principle that 'anything is better than nothing'. Trust me, it's not. Relieving suffering should be guided solely by need and not what people have to donate."
She makes a good case for donating money rather than goods ot relief organisations. According to her, aid can sometimes harm the relief effort; food donations can often not be expedited fast enough and are left to rot at airports. "Unwanted donations create chaos, waste and confusion for an already stricken country. The risks are spiralling costs or actual threats to its people, environment and industry."

This week James Fallows of the Atlantic spotted the board in the photo above asking people to donate their old yoga mats. Lisa Katayama remarks on BoingBoing site: "reminds me of that scene in Clueless where Alicia Silverstone donates her skis to the Pismo Beach Disaster."

If you are feeling philanthropic, rather do what an Ohio strip club did and use your resources to get cold, hard cash to give to organisations that know what to do with it. Under a "lap dances for Haiti" fundraising initiative, they raised $1,000  in donations (all in dollar bills?)





blog2-140210Street View attack
Europeans it seems do not take kindly to Google's Street View mobiles roaming their cities taking pictures of their streets and inhabitants.

Last Summer, in Bergen, Norway, Borre Erstad and Paul Åge Olsen ambushed Google’s Street View camera car last summer wearing wetsuits and wielding fishing spears. The stills taken by Street View have been doing the rounds on the internet this week.

In an unrelated incident, Berliners stalked a Street View vehicle and took footage of its driver taking a leak in public.

Boom! goes the Interweb

"Kylebaker" tweeted on Thursday morning: "Die Antwoord has been sweeping the net as of late. They came out of nowhere." "Sweeping" is an understatement. The Cape Town based "zef rap-rave crew", true to their website (dieantwoord.com, a big, flashy fullscreen one) byline which claims that they are "taking over the interweb", bashed and cursed their way into the ether this week with a brand of (un)pop(ular music) that is at once dystopic and celebratory. If you are South African it will make you feel both proud and faintly nauseous. As you puff yourself up while feeling deflated (on Facebook, Kevin Krawez says: "There is something about this group. It is like watching a train wreck, you cannot turn away."), the rest of the world is applauding Die Antwoord. One witness to Die Antwoord's Enter the Ninja video (which features Jack Parow aka Leon Botha, a DJ with progeria) on the BoingBoing website says: " So good I wanna learn Afrikaans, to better enjoy those crazy lyrics." Another comment reads: " I am both terrified and highly pleased by this. It's utterly confusing to my sensibilities, yet I cannot say that I am not entertained by it."
Go to their Facebook page and it becomes clear that Die Antwoord is infinitely desirable: more than 5000 fans in two days and an invitation to visit Minneapolis (and Kiev, Prague, Springfield, Milan, Ottawa ...).

If we were talking art in the language of the critic, Die Antwoord would be called "important" because they are different and new. Taxijam, an outfit that films bands performing in taxis defines them as "a lovable, mongrel-like entity made in South Africa, the love-child of many diverse cultures, black, white, coloured and alien, all pumped into one wild and crazy journey down the crooked path to enlightenment."

Die Antwoord crew is Ninja, Yo-landi Vi$$er and DJ Hi-Tek. They are hard to miss.

blog2-070210Evoke it
The World Bank Institute, the learning and knowledge arm of the World Bank Group, and alternate reality game master Jane McGonigal have created Evoke, a project designed to connect young people in Africa to their counterparts in the the developed world. They aim to "empower young people all over the world, and especially in Africa, to start tackling the world's toughest problems: poverty, hunger, sustainable energy, water security, conflict, disaster relief, health care, education, human rights" using online gaming as a tool. The motto of the game is "If you have a problem, and you can't solve it alone, EVOKE it" an action which the project defines as  a call to "look for creative solutions ... use whatever resources we have ... get as many people involved as possible ... take risks ... come up with ideas that have never been tried before." The game launches on March 3. Visit urgentevoke.com to reserve a spot.

Help Haiti: give a pig

There seems to be no end to the ills that the nation of Haiti has suffered at the hands of other nations, its own leaders and, according to evangelist Pat Robertson, God disguised as an earthquake. Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, says Haiti's recent seismic event was not natural was caused by an American science experiment that is part of a plot to overthrow the island nation. (Why not? The US has been trying its luck with Haiti since the 18th century.)Haitians have endured centuries of political violence to which not even its pigs enjoy immunity.

In Haiti, owning a pig is like having a savings account. A pig can be traded for goods or for services like schooling. Haitian pigs are called Cochon Plances and are hardier than the farmyard ones that we are familiar with. In the late 70's an outbreak of African Swine Fever spread from Spain to the Dominican Republic (which occupies the other half of Hispaniola) and made its way to Haiti. 100 000 pigs near the Dominican Republic border were slaughtered as a preventive measure, but this did not stop the epidemic. By 1982 one-third of Haiti's pig population was infected. Concerned about the spread of the disease into the US and its potential effects on agriculture, the US put political pressure on the Haitian government to slaughter all the pigs in their country and spent $15 million and 13 monthskilling 400,000 pigs. The rest (around 500,000)died from the fever.

The loss of this valuable resource had hugely negative implications for the rural population. Children had to stop their schooling, properties were mortgaged and trees were cut down to make charcoal as a form of income, which hastened desertification of the already heavily- populated countryside. The US claimed that the plan was two-pronged: to protect the US gainst the disease and to set up a pig-farming industry on the island, using new pigs. Unfortunately, the American pigs, which were meant to be better breeders that the creole pigs, had different needs – like clean water and special food – that the islanders simply could not provide. The finicky porkers were called "prince à quatre pieds", four-footed princes, for their fussy habits and the repopulation programme collapsed.

Since then, efforts have been made by Haitian and French agronomists to reintroduce a new form of the  creole pig.

Grassroots International (grassrootsonline.org) provides Pig Party Packets, which include Grassroots' documentary "Haiti's Piggy Bank" and various downloadable games and activities so that you can host Pig Party in your home and raise funds to purchase new creole pigs.

The UK-based Global Giving (globalgiving.co.uk) also offers an opportunity to donate towards the cost of 27 pigs that will be used to fund a self-sufficient pig breeding enterprise in Kasis, Haiti.

Haiti's real deal with the devil

Televangelist Pat Robertson believes that this week's devastating earthquake in Haiti happenend because 200 years ago the island nation, desperate to  free itself from France's colonial grasp, made a pact with the devil. On Tuesday, on his Christian Broadcasting Network he announced: "And you know, Christy, something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it, they were under the heel of the French, uh, you know, Napoleon the third and whatever, and they got together and swore a pact to the devil, they said, we will serve you, if you get us free from the Prince, true story. And so the devil said, 'OK, it's a deal.' And they kicked the French out, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free, and ever since they have been cursed by one thing after the other, desperately poor ... the Island of Hispaniola is one island cut down the middle. On the one side is Haiti, on the other side is the Dominican Republic. Dominican Republic is, is, prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etc. Haiti is in desperate poverty, same Islands, uh, they need to have, and we need to pray for them, a great turning to God. And out of this tragedy, I'm optimistic something good may come, but right now we're helping the suffering people, and the suffering is unimaginable."

What really happened in 1804, when Haiti changed its name from Saint-Domingue and became the the first post-colonial independent black-led nation in the world is that Haiti is, in the words of Boing Boing's Maggie Koerth-Baker "caught in a deal with the devil, and the devil is us". To gain independence, Haiti had to pay France a ransom, which they could not afford. So they borrowed money from America and other wealthy nations. By 1900, 80% of their annual budget was going into paying off its "reparation" debt. In 1947, they paid off the last of it, but just ten years later, the excesses of the 30-year Duvalier regime, with the assistance of the West, plunged the country back into debt and murdered tens of thousands of Haitians.

blog2-170110Haiti's bogeyman

When the Duvalier family came into power in 1957, patriarch François 'Papa Doc' Duvalier created the Milice de Volontaires de la Sécurité Nationale or Militia of National Security Volunteers, a Haitian paramilitary force that would report directly to him. The Haitians called them Tonton Macoutes which means "Uncle Gunnysack" – a bogey man who would abduct people, usually at night, put them in a sack and carry them off. They were seldom seen again.

PICTURE:
Madame Max Adolphe, warden of the death dungeon Fort Dimanche. Female macoute, right-hand woman of Papa Doc.  (latinamericanstudies.org)

Invisible books ...

In 2007, writers Levi Stahl and Ed Park started a blog that lists all the fictitious books mentioned in real books. The blog can be found at   http://www.invislib.blogspot.com. Here is a sampling:


ANONYMOUS: Butterflies You Ought to Know Better from John B. L. Goodwin's "The Cocoon"

BANE, Joseph Cameron: Cabot's House, Lips That Could Kiss, Ruthpen Hallburton, The Wind at Morning and "others, others" from Lawrence Block's "With a Smile for the Ending," in Enough Rope

BENDRIX, Maurice: The Ambitious Host, The Crowned Image, The Grave on the Water-Front from Graham Greene's The End of the Affair

BOTHWAYS, Fallopia: Procurer to the King from Russell Hoban's Turtle Diary

DUCHARME, Elisabeth: When the Train Passes from Vladimir Nabokov's Bend Sinister

FLOOD, Margery McIntyre: You Can't Do Anything Right, Mom's Coffee Smells Like Gin, You Would If You Loved Me and Where Were You on Sunday?  from Caitlin Macy's "Bad Ghost," in Spoiled

GARP, T.S.: Procrastination, The World According To Bensenhaver and My Father's Illusions from John Irving's The World According to Garp

GRAVIS, Madeleine: Getting Better, et al. from Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York

JADWAY, J.J.: The Seven Minutes from Irving Wallace's The Seven Minutes

WOMAN WHO RE-READS YOUR LETTERS: Memoirs of a Scab Picker
from Carrie Olivia Adams's Intervening Absence

... get visible
Last year the INK Illustration art collective created an exhibition featuring book covers of 40 titles taken from the blog. Attendees were encouraged to “sign out” books and write their opening or closing passages based on the titles and cover illustrations. By the end of the exhibition, the once invisible books had been given real words.blog2-100110

Cache hunt

Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online.

I discovered the game while parking off on the boardwalk on the beach one day. My reverie was interrupted by a very animated Swedish family, who tramped past me and promptly began excavating the surrounding dunes. I must have looked a little fierce, or bemused or both, because mama asked me if I knew what geocaching was and when I replied that I did not, proceeded to explain that there was treasure buried somewhere in the sand under me and that the coordinates posted on the geocaching website (geocaching.com) pointed to a place somewhere under my bum. I was sitting on a treasure trove. Said family did not find anything on this occasion and merrily drove off to plunder their next "x marks the spot". Later, when I had a look at the website, I discovered that there were dozens of caches planted nearby; just a fraction of the 960 000 or so active geocaches around the world.

How to make a metal detectorblog2-030110

If you don't have a GPS, or prefer to find your treasure by using a more traditional method, why not try making your own metal detector. According to eHow.com, it requires very little skill to construct one from cheap materials that you will probably find lying around the house. You need a cheap set of headphones, a writeable CD and a writeable DVD,  a nine-volt battery, insulation tape, Pratley putty,  scissors and a functioning non solar powered calculator. The detector, which is basically a calculator sandwiched between the CD and DVD, should only around half an hour to construct and will cost you under R200.

BoingBoing's 100-word fiction competition finalists



BoingBoing invited submissions of 100-word essays entitled Found in Space. According to the website: “The winner shall be chosen at arbitrary whim. Runners-up get something random from the gadget dungeon”. Here are two of the finalists.

By acrocker:

He knew that his owners loved him, but that was about it. Benny the golden retriever certainly wasn't clever enough to see the irony of his owners only putting up 'lost' signs a mile from his home while he was a great many orders of magnitude further away. Nor was he smart enough to know even the basics of the exotic physics that brought him here in .037 seconds.

He didn't even know where ‘here’ was, he just knew it looked a little like a place he could call home: green grass, lots of squirrels, three suns in the sky.

By justi121883:

I don't know how long I stared at that cow. I think she must have escaped from the farm down the hall. It was after midnight on the third-deck workspace and I was alone. She lumbered in and tore a frond from my hydroponic fern. Then she leaned into my desk and it tipped into the air like a ship. I watched in disbelief, paralyzed, as my monitor crashed to the floor. Before, she was just another cow in a spaceship. But now she made history: she was the first ever cow in a spaceship to go on stampede.

No Indians allowed

According to Rajesh Kalra of The Times of India, the inaugural Delhi outlet of Haagen Dazs opened with a "no Indians allowed" policy. The sign on the door read, "Access restricted only to holders of international passports." After a public hue and cry, the franchise operator (who is Indian) dropped the policy and claimed it had never existed.

A Director of Haagen Dazs called Kalra on Wednesday evening to discuss the post and the reaction it has generated from Indians all over the world. He explained that their banner was merely a teaser implying that the company can never say no to an Indian. He admitted that the company may have erred in its choice of words and said he was sorry.
(blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com)


Before the flood

Singer-songwriter Ned Sublette's book The Year Before the Flood documents the history of New Orleans from a musical perspective. He writes of the city's awareness of the imminent danger: (from boingboing.net)
"Everyone knew it. But especially, the poor knew it. Part of the fearsome nihilism of New Orleans was the awareness on the part of the city's poor that they were, and had always been, so expendable that they would be abandoned when it started to rain. But fatalistic as they were, even the poor of New Orleans might not have realized what might happen if they survived a catastrophic flood.
They were left to dehydrate and putrefy. They were abandoned and imprisoned for days without food or water in what was more than once described by those who experienced the ordeal as a modern-day slave ship. Rescuers were actively kept away while those who remained in the city were treated as dangerous insurgents. New Orleanians' guns were confiscated in a house-to-house search, and finally, those remaining in the city were expelled, at gunpoint if necessary."

Detainee 063

The Guantanamo Bay interrogation log of Mohammed al-Qahtani is being published in real time: each entry appears exactly seven years after it was first recorded. Times are GMT-5. (detainee063.com)

December 10, 2002
0400
Lead established control over detainee by instructing him not to speak and enforcing by playing loud music and yelling. Detainee tried to regain control several times by starting to talk about his cover story. Detainee was not listened to.


New on wordspy.com



dysrationalia n. The tendency to think or act irrationally in certain situations, despite having sufficient intelligence.
deleb n. A dead celebrity, particularly one used to endorse products.
facepalm n. The act of bringing one's palm to one's face to indicate embarrassment, exasperation, or despair.
Twilight mom n. A mother who is a fan of the "Twilight" series of vampire novels. Also: Twilight mum.
tramp stamp n. A lower-back tattoo, particularly on a woman who ensures the tattoo can be seen by wearing a short top and low-rise pants.

Phone booth library

Phone Booth Books
When the village of Westbury-sub-Mendip in Somerset lost its phone box and mobile library in quick succession one of the villagers thought to petition the council to purchase a phone booth from British Telecom  – it cost them a pound – to use as a library. Lenders stock the kiosk, which can hold around 100 books, with reads they have read and swop them for those they have not.

Mining for books
The book mine is a real book shop which specialises in old and rare books. Over the years they have had some interesting conversations. They are posted on bookmine.com.

– I never knew there was a libary (sic) here.
– There isn't.
– What is it?
– It's called a book store.
– What's the difference?
– I guess there isn't any.
– I didn't think so.

– Hello, is this the Bookmine?
– Yes.
– Do you want to buy a piano?
– No.
– Do you know anybody who will?

– I am looking for a certain autobiography, but I don't know who the author is. Can you help me?

– Hello, do you sell adult books?
– Porn?
– No, books with no pictures.
– Yes, we have a few of those.
– How much are they?


8 Reasons to juggle
Scot Nery is a professional juggler who entertains and inspires others to start juggling. He believes normal people should juggle because:
1. Juggling can slow the inevitable deterioiration of your brain as you age.
2. Juggling is the perfect light exercise to counter  the effects of hunching over your computer. To juggle you must stand up straight.
3. Juggling helps you destress.
4. Juggling improves your focus through regular practice and a built-in rewards system.
5. Juggling helps your hand-eye coordination
6. Jugglers are entertaining people
7. Juggling involves problem solving, posture, hand and arm movement as well as balance, so if you learn juggling, you can learn anything.
8. Juggling is a kind of active meditation. Nery says that we should accept the fact that we have arms and legs and that they can do more than keep you from rolling down hills.
(jugglegood.com)

9/11 data dump

Wikileaks.org

A website that publishes anonymous submissions and leaks of sensitive governmental, corporate, or religious documents, is releasing more than half-a-million confidential pager messages sent around September 11, 2001. The data includes pager messages sent by officials from the NYPD and the Pentagon, as well as texts from ordinary people who watched as the twin towers of the World Trade Centre collapsed. Boing Boing's Xeni Jardin took the time to scroll through the archives and found the combination of "mundane, mechanical and meta" fascinating. Amongst the urgent uppercase messages from wives asking their husbands to please call to let them know they're still alive and commands for officials to "meet in the situation room", are those from office workers complaining that their printers have gone offline and texts from disgruntled corporate employees asking why their bosses don't just give them the day off already.

Here is Xeni's sampling of "random weirdness":

"Hey Honey! Can you bring some bagels when you get back? The pork chop is now crying about the World Trade Center plane crash. Geez! It is scary but no reason to cry. Talk to you later! I love you!"

"Good morning sexy man!! Got my zebra thongs on!!! Feeling a little animalistic!!!"

This one begs the question: Did Shawn escape the inferno or did fate put him at its eye?

"ALPHA TAKE YOUR TIME. I WILL NOT BE AT 1WTC UNTIL 9:30 A.M. THANKS, SHAWN"

Pie chart in the face
Freelance designers are often expected to dish out free logos and powerpoints to acquaintances who want to jazz up their presentations. The 27b/6 blog (www.27bslash6.com) records the correspondence between cheap (imaginary) client Simon Edhouse and designer David Thorne in an entry called "Please design a logo for me. With pie charts. For free."

Thorne replied to Edhouse's request by sending him this pie chart, called David's Enthusiasm for doing Free Work for Simon, along with this note: "I would be delighted to spend my free time creating logos and pie charts for you based on further vague promises of future possible payment. Please find attached pie chart as requested and let me know of any changes required."

blog1-291109

blog2-291109

Facebook

What do you get when you cross gynaecology with Facebook's Pirate English option?

Samasourceblog2-221109
Leila Chirayath Janah, 27, is the founder of Samasource, a non-profit organisation that outsources web-based jobs to women, youth, and refugees living in poverty in third world countries. You can hire a worker or donate to Samasource on their web site, or download the Give Work iPhone app to play a fun solitaire-meets-trivia type of game that helps Samasource-affiliated workers make a few bucks. (samasource.org)

blog3-221109Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Bill Clinton: I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What do you mean by chicken? Could you define chicken, please?

George W. Bush: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road or not. The chicken is either with us or it is against us. There is no middle ground here.

Darwin: Chickens, over great periods of time, have been naturally selected in such a way that they are now genetically dispositioned to cross roads.

Grandpa: In my day, we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Someone told us that the chicken had crossed the road, and that was good enough for us.

Torquemada: Give me ten minutes with the chicken and I'll find out.

Dr. Seuss: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed, I've not been told!

Colonel Sanders: I missed one?

Cane toad

blog1-151109The cane toad (Bufo marinus), a native of South and Central America, was  introduced to Australia in 1935 in an effort to control beetles that were threatening the Queensland sugar cane plantations. But the toads refused to prey on the pests and instead became prey to indigenous snakes and other reptiles whose numbers decreased because they were poisoned by the powerful toxin in the toads’ parotid glands. Like so many other species introduced to the unique Australian ecology, the cane toad has run riot, necessitating the introduction of a bounty on the invaders. Hunters are encouraged by animal anti-cruelty activists to freeze the amphibians rather than hit them with golf clubs.

Aerial alphabetblog2-151109
Thomas de Bruin has painstakingly perused images from Google Earth in search of aerial deadringers for each letter of the alphabet (including capitals, lower case and punctuation) using locations in The Netherlands.
www.flickr.com/photos/thomasdebruin

blog3-151109Googling yourself might get you found
When April Becker googled herself, she found a whole website dedicated to her. A letter on the site, aprilbecker.com  reads:

Dear April,

When you read this, please send an email to:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Im your Dad and I would really like to talk to ya. When I get your email, I will ask you a couple of questions that only you would know so I can filter out the crazies out there. By the way, You have a lil sister that REALLY wants to talk to you :-)

Dad

Scott Robert Becker

Father and daughter have been re-united.

Paperhead

blog1-081109Now that Hollywood has turned South Africans onto "Hollyween" – October the 31st was a perfectly ordinary day when I was growing up – it is important to make a splash with  an unusual costume. I like Eric Testroete's papercraft bighead, which he modelled first in a 3D programme and then constructed from card. – testroete.com

Roper's Twitterpeal for Joost headline
When the Mail & Guardian's Chris Roper was looking for a suitable title for  his review of the Joost van der Westhuizen biography, Joost: The Man in the Mirror, he put out an appeal to the Twitterverse. Here are some of the responses he received:

He's Joost Not That Into You. @scpereira and @zarsa
"When the knickers hit the tar, that's Amor hey"... @zarsa
Joost put it in. @wrldfmsartst
Joost in time for Christmas
@IndiqueEditor
"joost another manic monday" @neilanni

Roper chose "Joost Laaik!" submitted by @FuziJuzi as the winning entry. Read the rest of the responses on the Mail & Guardian website (www.mg.co.za) or experience the whole fascinating  conversation on Roper's Twitter page, twitter.com/ChrisRoperZA.

In memory of Laikablog2-081109
52 years ago, a Moscow stray called Kudryavka, Russian for "Little Curly-Haired One" became the  first animal to orbit earth when she was placed on board Sputnik 2, and launched into outer space on November 3, 1957. Laika, as she later became known, died within hours of the launch, probably from overheating and stress, although it was reported that she lived for days.

In 1998, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Oleg Gazenko, one of the team responsible for sending Laika into space, expressed regret for allowing her to die: "Work with animals is a source of suffering to all of us. We treat them like babies who cannot speak. The more time passes, the more I'm sorry about it. We shouldn't have done it ... We did not learn enough from this mission to justify the death of the dog."

How To Write Badly Well

From Joel Stickleys blog at writebadlywell.blogspot.com:

Always use a Thesaurus

She manipulated the garment in a cogitative mode.
‘Hmm,’ she vocalised. ‘This attire is verifiably marvellous. What is it constituted from?’
‘From the most meritorious velveteen,’ defined her interlocutor, simpering coincidentally.
‘Is it?’ iterated the party of the first part. ‘That’s felicitous.’
‘Additionally, this specified object has the property of being subdivided in terms of its defining mercantile characteristic, and can be taken possession of for the diminutive quantity of merely a half-dozen currency units,’ the retail employee informed.
‘Exoneration?’ supplicated the protagonist appropriately. The commercial tertiary sector worker eyeballed her perspicaciously.
‘I said it’s five ninety-nine. Do you want it or not? 

Write thinly-veiled self-aggrandising autobiographical fiction

Joe Stockley paced the floor of his office and cursed under his breath. Dammit, he thought, why am I such a brilliant writer that no-one ever understands the depth and complexity of my work? It’s almost as if I’m the only real person in the world and all the other people are just automatons! No, that can’t be (he thought). Can it...?
Just then, he was interrupted by the ringing of his top of the range iPhone 3GS (32GB).
‘Hello?’ he said, his voice booming with a timbre which was capable of simultaneously charming his many admirers and intimidating any who dared oppose him.
‘Hello Joe,’ a mellifluous voice came floating back. ‘It’s your loving wife here.’
‘Hello, my beautiful-beyond-compare, talented and intelligent wife,’ said Joe, his laughter reverberating around the expensive fixtures and fittings of his luxurious house.

Use as many adjectives as you can

He slowly walked the slow, winding path towards the crooked, run-down old house. With one slow, hesitant hand he bravely, resolutely knocked on the dusty, pock-marked, ancient and frightening door. Slowly, it opened slowly. He slowly poked his brave head through the narrow, foreboding gap.
‘Hello?’ he slowly said, bravely.
Just then, suddenly (yet strangely slowly), a terrifying, scary, bone-chilling, face-tingling, stupefyingly mortifying and stultifying, yet oddly inconsequential and subtly fragrant, big, massive, enormous multi-hued, monochrome monstrosity of epic, legendary, massive, indescribable proportions burst thunderingly from the shadowy, ill-defined, hazy, portentous, generically appropriate yet obviously underdeveloped and self-evidently over-described dark, dark darkness.
‘RAAAAAAH!’ it said. 

Also try:
Describing every character in minute detail, mixing tenses, changing sentence structure to fit your rhyme scheme, starting your novel with your main character getting out of bed in the morning and creating sub plots that bear no relation to the main one.

A disease by any other name

Stephen Jay Gould, begins his article "Syphilis and the Shepherd of Atlantis"  in the Natural History journal (2000) on the history of Treponema pallidum, the pathogen which causes syphilis, by illustrating our tendency to blame other nations for the ills which beset us. English speakers call an unannounced departure " French leave", in French it is "English leave". In English, condoms are known as French letters; the French call them "chapeaux anglais" – English hats.

The name syphilis was coined by the Italian physician and poet Girolamo Fracastoro in his epic poem Syphilis sive morbus gallicus (Latin for "Syphilis or The French Disease") in 1530. The poem's protagonist is a shepherd named Syphilus, the first man, for the purposes of Fracastoro's fable, to contract the disease, sent by the god Apollo as punishment for the defiance that Syphilus and his followers had shown him. From this character, Fracastoro derived a new name for the disease, which he used in his medical text De Contagionibus ("On Contagious Diseases").

Gould's article goes into detail describing the political context in which Fracastoro, a Veronese patriot, wrote his poem. Fracastoro's allegiances prompted him to call syphilis the "French disease", but in France it was the "Italian disease". Before it was named after the ill-fated shepherd, the Dutch called it the "Spanish disease", the Russians called it the "Polish disease", the Turks called it the "Christian disease" or "Frank disease" (frengi) and the Tahitians called it the "British disease".

blog1-251009Where do albinos live?

You may have noticed, while googling, that the search engine now presents you with a drop down menu of things that you might be searching for, just in case you don't know. The possibilities are gleaned from things that fellow surfers regularly look for. Pop in some inflammatory word – black, gay, homeless, fat, albino, white, asian, midgets, mexican, poop, retard, god – and prefix it with do or does as if you are about to ask a question and you will be offered with some interesting choices that reveal a (sometimes perverse, sometimes quaint) fascination with our own diversity.

The world according to ...

(via moronail.net)

blog1-181009Aristotle:
"What does it mean to be a good person?"

Descartes: blog2-181009
"What does it mean to be?"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

blog3-181009Neitzsche: blog4-181009
"What does it mean?"

Russell:
"What does 'it' mean?"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

blog5-181009C.S Lewis:
"What does it?"

Li'l Jon: blog6-181009
"What?"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skymail
According an entry on lettersofnote.com, a blog that collects correspondence from famous people, in the 1970's, artist G. C. Haymes sent an estimated 500 letters to high profile people for a project called  Skymail. The letters asked recipients to "describe the sky' on a return postcard enclosed in the envelope.

On 29 July, 1976, Isaac Asimov answered:

An inverted blue (sometimes black) semisphere, in which, when blue, a yellow circle is pasted, and to which, when black, some thousand of tiny sparks are affixed. There is also a dim yellow circle more noticeable against the black, but sometimes seen against the blue which changes shape and is sometimes round, sometimes crescent, and sometimes in between. Often the semisphere is obscured by moving white or gray clouds.

Jerzy Kosinski replied:

IMBECILOGRAM

Dear Idiot:

don't you have anything better to do? sky is, in fact, a limit for pretentious idiots like you.

In praise of billiards

feat111009There are few more cheerful sights, when the evenings are long, and the weather dull, than a handsome, well-lighted billiard room, with the smooth, green surface of the billiard table; the ivory balls flying noiselessly here and there, or clicking musically together.

– Charles Dickens, (1889)

Tsotsitaal

Read more ...

Wikipedia knowledge dump

blog1040909Wikidumper.org is the Official Appreciation Page for the Best of the Wikipedia Rejects. According to its editor Cliff Pickover, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure". The blog consists of Wikipedia articles that have been deleted or marked for deletion. The entries at this WikiDumper site were being considered for deletion by Wikipedia. Some wondrous entries will remain at Wikipedia if controversies are resolved.

Here is one about Maja Einstein, sister of Albert:
Maja Einstein is the younger sister of great scientist Albert Einstein. Maja was the only friend of Albert during his childhood. When little Albert saw his sister for the first time he thought she was a kind of toy and asked: “Yes, but where does it have its small wheels?”

Also considered for deletion are: Most Phallic Building Contest, Historical Christian Hairstyles, Pine Cone Golf, Extraterrestrial Exposure Law, Sideways Bike and Mayonnaise Rubbing. See them all at wikidumper.blogspot.com.

 

 

blog2040909

Fighting Pharma
When thalidomide was introduced to the world 52 years as a wonder drug to help pregnant women suffering from morning sickness, one woman refused to authorise its use. Despite pressure from the drug's distributor, Richardson Merrell, Frances Kathleen Oldham Kelsey, in her position as reviewer for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, withheld approval for the drug (marketed in the US as Kevadon), and requested further studies and additional information to explain an English study that documented a nervous system side effect. Her persistence paid off when a link was established between birth defects in European babies and ingestion of the drug by their mothers.

International Blasphemy Day
International Blasphemy Day is commemorated on 30 September, the anniversary of the original publication of Danish cartoons in 2005 depicting the prophet Muhammad's face.