It's Been A While Since A Zany Animal-Gastronomy Article Came Along
But here's one:
Delhi Boy Eaten Alive By Heard Of Pigs
Thanks for the new Tom Waits triple disc album.
"We reject every form of legislation," the Russian aristocrat and "father of anarchism" Mikhail Bakunin once thundered. The czar banished him to Siberia. But now it seems his ideas are being rediscovered.
European traffic planners are dreaming of streets free of rules and directives. They want drivers and pedestrians to interact in a free and humane way, as brethren -- by means of friendly gestures, nods of the head and eye contact, without the harassment of prohibitions, restrictions and warning signs.
A project implemented by the European Union is currently seeing seven cities and regions clear-cutting their forest of traffic signs. Ejby, in Denmark, is participating in the experiment, as are Ipswich in England and the Belgian town of Ostende.
The utopia has already become a reality in Makkinga, in the Dutch province of Western Frisia. A sign by the entrance to the small town (population 1,000) reads "Verkeersbordvrij" -- "free of traffic signs." Cars bumble unhurriedly over precision-trimmed granite cobblestones. Stop signs and direction signs are nowhere to be seen. There are neither parking meters nor stopping restrictions. There aren't even any lines painted on the streets...
15 Years Ago Today
The Battle of Vukovar was an 87-day siege of the Croatian city of Vukovar by the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), supported by various Serbian paramilitary forces, between August-November 1991 during the Croatian War of Independence. It ended with the defeat of the local Croatian National Guard, the near-total destruction of Vukovar and the massacre or expulsion of its defenders and non-Serb population.
The fate of those captured at Vukovar – both military and civilians – was grim. Many appear to have been summarily executed by Serbian paramilitaries; journalists visiting the town immediately after its fall reported seeing the streets strewn with bodies in civilian clothes. BBC television reporters recorded Serbian paramilitaries chanting "Slobodane, Slobodane, šalji nam salate, biće mesa, biće mesa, klaćemo Hrvate!" ("Slobodan [Milošević], Slobodan, send us some salad, [for] there will be meat, there will be meat, we will butcher the Croats").
Space elevators are touted as a novel and cheap way to get cargo, and possibly people, into space one day. So far, they have barely left the drawing board, but ultimately robots could climb a cable stretching 100,000 kilometres from Earth's surface into space.But there is a hitch: humans might not survive thanks to the whopping dose of ionising radiation they would receive travelling through the core of the Van Allen radiation belts around Earth...
T3: Fighting Entropy
East Japan Railway has commandeered the Marunouchi North exit of Tokyo Station, one of the world's busiest thoroughfares, for an experiment about generating power. In mid-October, officials installed sensors in the floor under ticket turnstiles to absorb energy from the millions of footsteps of the 700,000 commuters who pass through each day. The devices convert the vibrations from each step into power by using piezoelectric elements that produce tiny quantities of electrical charge when weight is applied. Executives dream of one day using commuters’ footsteps to power information boards, lights and other devices throughout stations. But the experiment has been disappointing so far. On the test’s first day, the devices created only 3,600 watts a second, enough to light a 100-watt bulb for 36 seconds. The experiment will continue until mid-December.
Tokyo Story 2: Mugging Nerds
The capital’s thousands of comic-, robot-, and tech-geeks make easy targets for muggers, says the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. These helpless nerds, known as otaku, once enjoyed safe haven in Akihabara, Tokyo's electronics and pop-culture mecca. But now their home turf is teeming with so-called “nerd-hunters”, as police have officially dubbed them. For an area where street crime was virtually unknown, this year’s tally of 25 reported otaku-muggings is tantamount to a crime spree.
Otaku are popular with muggers not for their geekiness but for their wealth: the Nomura Research Institute recently reported that otaku spend about $3.5 billion each year on comics, anime DVDs, robots and other gadgets. Police say the muggings have increased dramatically since criminals discovered that otaku generally carry thick wedges of cash to spend in Akihabara.
The Mean (And Cranky) Streets Of Tokyo
Japan’s is the developed world’s fastest-ageing population, which has such unpleasant consequences as a shrinking workforce and an overburdened pension system. Another side-effect can be seen on the streets, where some elderly drivers wreak havoc by swerving randomly and shifting into reverse unintentionally. The Tokyo-based National Police Agency (NPA), using data gathered from regional police departments, calculated that accident rates among Japan’s silver-haired motorists now run at nearly twice the national average. There are 1.4 fatal accidents per 10,000 drivers aged over 70, compared with a national rate of just 0.8. The NPA now wants to introduce senility tests for drivers of that age, to be included in a wider revision of the Road Traffic Law next year.
Officials estimate there are some 300,000 senile drivers already, and that the number could soar by as much as 50% over the next five years. Wealthy Japanese who retired after the 1980s bubble are now hitting their mid-70s—5.4m of them are licensed drivers and, in most cases, own cars. That figure will rise to 6.8m by the end of the decade.
A day early...
Yesterday we had pork chops and imbibed at Oded's, but tonight, November 10th, is the traditional ST. MARTIN'S EVE FESTIVAL OF BEBIANA.
Her name derives from "beber" (to drink). Martin, patron of revelry, presides over slaughter of festival pigs. Torchlight procession with "Bebiana" in wheelbarrow, a flask to her lips. She then delivers a sermon on the evils of drunkenness, a temperance hymn is sung, & everyone gets stinking drunk.
A note on St. Martin, patron saint of drunks & inn keepers.
He was of noble birth (whatever that means) & given to drunken debauchery most of his life. Eventually he lost his taste for the booze & acquired one for denatured christianity. So he took to prosthelitizing with the same zeal that he had once shown for the bottle.
One day he was lecturing the folks in a village about their wicked ways & a goose started honking so loudly that it interfered with his speech. Not to be outdone he ordered the goose slaughtered, & then finished his sermon. Afterward the goose was cooked & served to him.
St. Martin choked to death eating the goose.
This important note from the christian tradition teaches us to be very careful about how we treat our critics.
— Bleedster Gus, 10 Nov 2000
"When a reporter's hand was placed against the robot's taste sensor, it was identified as prosciutto. A cameraman was mistaken for bacon."
Republicans Blame Election Losses On Democrats
WASHINGTON, DC—Republican officials are blaming tonight's GOP losses on Democrats, who they claim have engaged in a wide variety of "aggressive, premeditated, anti-Republican campaigns" over the past six-to-18 months. "We have evidence of a well-organized, well-funded series of operations designed specifically to undermine our message, depict our past performance in a negative light, and drive Republicans out of office," said Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman, who accused an organization called the Democratic National Committee of spearheading the nationwide effort. "There are reports of television spots, print ads, even volunteers going door-to-door encouraging citizens to vote against us." Acknowledging that the "damage has already been done," Mehlman is seeking a promise from Democrats to never again engage in similar practices.
Have you got any Guinness for tonight, Paul?
I'm at near-maximum efficiency.
If electing Bush twice was already the triumph of hope over experience, what will it mean if (when?) Republicans continue to dominate national politics tomorrow?
I hope everyone in New York (where our votes don't change much) enjoys all the champagne they bought for tonight.
Full Text after you click the link above:
"Much of the credit is due to the film's Director, Nicholas Meyer. Meyer recognized early on that while Star Trek was about adventures in outer space, at its core it was still a series that concerned naval adventures similar to Horatio Hornblower. Meyer saw where Star Wars was able to do aerial dogfights and fast action, the battles of Star Trek would look ridiculous trying to emulate that type of action. Instead, since Wrath of Khan the series has relied on battles similar to that of lumbering submarines, slowly moving but able to ratchet up suspense to a fever pitch. The final battle in Star Trek II between Kirk's loyal crew of the Enterprise and Khan's renegades piloting the Reliant is a masterstroke of editing and patient storytelling. The moment swells until reaching an emotional moment that Star Trek as a series has never been able to reach again either on the large or small screen."
"Fans wanted basically to Kirk as the hero and master strategist, and see a two hour episode of Star Trek, not necessarily a serious piece of Science Fiction. That is what film makers gave the fans. Many of those fans are still saying thanks for it."
USA Today has a good roundup about just how duped everyone really was. I really don't think that much was staged. You can buy some drinks, but what the people do is up to them. Good thing they got their $200 for it:
But Arthur did a little research. Thinking Borat was Muslim, she greeted him with deference. “Women aren’t supposed to touch men in public, so I didn’t make physical contact,” she said. She put Borat on the air with anchor Brad McMullan, she said, “and then things went haywire.
“He started acting crazy. For a minute I thought he was going to open his shirt and pull out a gun. I thought, oh dear, I’ve let a lunatic in.”
Arthur tried to abort the live interview and switch to a commercial, but there was a problem. “The equipment had frozen up. We tried to do it, but couldn’t.”
There's no sound to go with this video. You may enjoy a little "Focus" to go with it. I hope everyone had a great weekend and whatever your political orientation, please vote this Tuesday. Champagne seems to be the obvious / traditional choice if your gang wins, but what do you drink if your team loses?
"People Drink, And They Drink A Lot, And They Drink For A Long Time, Because They Can’t Help But Drink.”
"People drink, and they drink a lot, and they drink for a long time, because they can't help but drink," said Yuliya Kovgan, 25, her voice trembling as she struggled to sit without falling over in a potato field on the edge of Ryazanovshchina, a Siberian village northeast of Irkutsk.
She was surrounded by a few dozen seed potatoes, an empty shot glass, a bottle of industrial-grade alcohol and her reeling brother, an unemployed roofer. Standing to the side in an old housecoat was Larisa Berezhnaya, her 53-year-old mother, tapping a grimy foot and affecting a disdainful air; it became apparent that she was drunk too.
"This is our life; we call it normal. We plant potatoes, we dig them out, and that's it," Berezhnaya shrugged. "There's nothing for people here."
Check out this series of articles about declining Russia.