Saturday, February 23, 2008

New drug for your problem child

- from here -

20 Tacky Religious Products Guaranteed to Anger God

For as long as there has been religion, there's been someone hawking religious crap to scam a buck off the devout. But once the market becomes saturated with tasteful silver crosses and Star of David pendants, retailers had to find more exotic fare to tempt the faithful.

And so began a downward spiral of crass and downright sacrilegious merchandise that is certain to call down the wrath of the almighty Himself.

#20 Ketzel the Cat Menorah

Crazy cat ladies transcend religious barriers--it's really a unifying theme of humanity. As such, when Chanukah rolls around, those Jewish crazy cat ladies bust out Ketzel. It's the one time of year that Judaism really lends itself to lighting a nightmarish looking blue cat in a bow tie on fire for several days.
#10. Jesus "Action" Figures

This line of figurines represents Jesus being kick-ass at a variety of activities from bull riding to ... reading. Well, despite the one weak entry, this set seems to suggest the Messiah was all about getting busy in a variety of ways. The football figurine was controversial, because the Methodists assert Jesus was a running quarterback while other denominations insist the Lord was strictly a pocket passer.

The next set of figures will include Jesus in a kickboxing tournament, Jesus hunting man for sport and Jesus choke-slamming the Pope through a steel cage.

#5. Grow a Buddha

Christians don't have the market on shitty merchandise cornered by a long shot, as witnessed by the stunning Grow-A Buddha, because as the box notes, "growing your Buddha is the first step on your path to enlightenment." Whatever the fuck that means.

This Buddha will grow 600 percent of its original size if you put it in water, after which time we assume you use it to wash your car or smear on seeds and watch him grow a Chia afro.

- more -

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The 2007 True Stella Awards

Issued February 2008
(Click here to confirm these are legitimate.)

#3: Sentry Insurance Company. The company provided worker's compensation insurance for a Wisconsin "Meals on Wheels" program. Delivering a meal, a MoW volunteer (who was allegedly not even wearing boots) slipped and fell on a participant's driveway that had been cleared of snow, and Sentry had to pay to care for her resulting injuries. Sentry wanted its money back, so it sued the 81-year-old homeowner getting the Meals on Wheels service. It could have simply filed for "subrogation" from her homeowner's insurance company, but by naming her in the action, it dragged an old lady into court, reinforcing the image of insurance companies as concerned only about the bottom line, not "protecting" policyholders from loss.

#2: The family of Robert Hornbeck. Hornbeck volunteered for the Army and served a stint in Iraq. After getting home, he got drunk, wandered into a hotel's service area (passing "DANGER" warning signs), crawled into an air conditioning unit, and was severely cut when the machinery activated. Unable to care for himself due to his drunkenness, he bled to death. A tragedy, to be sure, but one solely caused by a supposedly responsible adult with military training. Despite his irresponsible behavior -- and his perhaps criminal trespassing -- Hornbeck's family sued the hotel for $10 million, as if it's reasonably foreseeable that some drunk fool would ignore warning signs and climb into its heavy duty machinery to sleep off his bender.

But those pale compared to...

The winner of the 2007 True Stella Award: Roy L. Pearson Jr. The 57-year-old Administrative Law Judge from Washington DC claims that a dry cleaner lost a pair of his pants, so he sued the mom-and-pop business for $65,462,500. That's right: more than $65 million for one pair of pants. Representing himself, Judge Pearson cried in court over the loss of his pants, whining that there certainly isn't a more compelling case in the District archives. But the Superior Court judge wasn't moved: he called the case "vexatious litigation", scolded Judge Pearson for his "bad faith", and awarded damages to the dry cleaners. But Pearson didn't take no for an answer: he's appealing the decision. And he has plenty of time on his hands, since he was dismissed from his job. Last we heard, Pearson's appeal is still pending.

©2007 by Randy Cassingham, Reprinted with permission.

Paul Krassner: My Brief Encounter With Fidel Castro

In 1960, the U.S. State Department was financing counterrevolutionary broadcasts to Cuba from a radio station on Swan Island in Honduras. Program content ranged from telling Cubans that their children would be taken away to warning them that a Russian drug was being added to their food and milk which would automatically turn them into Communists. My friend Lyle Stuart was national treasurer of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, which sponsored a trip to Cuba that December, and he invited me to come along.

On New Year's Eve, at an outdoor dinner celebrating the anniversary of the revolution, 15,000 Cubans, including 10,000 voluntary teachers, were bidding goodbye to the Year of Agrarian Reform and welcoming in the Year of Education. Although Fidel Castro accused the United States of planning to attack Cuba, the few hundred Americans who had been invited were greeted with applause, cheering and kiss-throwing. At midnight the Cubans sang "The 26th of July Song," and their cardboard plates went scaling through the air, mingling with a display of fireworks.

There was a full-scale learn-to-read-and-write campaign. In several industries, every employee would give one cent a day throughout the year to the Minister of Education. In the Sierra Maestra, where battles once raged, there were now under construction schools and dormitories for 20,000 children, to match the 20,000 Cubans who had lost their lives, many after torture, under the U.S.-supported Batista regime. At one of these educational communities, some young students removed the string that had been set up by a landscaping crew to mark off a cement foundation. Next morning, the school director lectured them about such immorality.

"Even a little thing like that," he explained, "does harm to the revolution."

The children of Cuba were being programmed for cooperation rather than competition. This sense of utter involvement in the revolution provided the rationalization Cubans gave when I asked about the lack of a free press, critical of the revolution.

"We get the New York Times," I was told, "and that's enough."

On January 2, there was a parade, with female soldiers marching in conga fashion, heavy tanks ripping away at well-paved streets, and a Macy's-type float that was actually the reconstructed American space rocket which had been fired from Cape Canaveral the previous November, only to be destroyed just after launching when it proved defective. Fragments had fallen in Cuba, killing a cow. Now the revolutionary slogan, "Venceremos" ("We Will Win") was temporarily changed to "We Will Win, With or Without Cows."

One evening, there was a reception at the Presidential Palace for several hundred visitors from around the world. When Castro arrived in the main ballroom, he was surrounded by an eager, protoplasmic circle of admirers and well-wishers. He stood tall and handsome in their midst, uniformed but hatless. The throng of people with Castro at the hub surged forward a few feet at a time toward the end of the ballroom and finally gave way to a line that formed to meet him, one by one. Some asked him to pose with them, which he did. A man with a camera stood on a plush chair for a better angle, but his wife, who was posing with Castro, yelled at him.

"Max! Don't stand on that chair! This is a palace!"

I gave Castro a copy of my magazine, The Realist, and requested an interview. He told me to set it up with his secretary. Then a palace guard handed him a cablegram from President Dwight Eisenhower--in the final weeks of his lame-duck presidency--calling off diplomatic relations with Cuba. I asked Castro for a statement.

"I do not think it is up to me to comment," he said, "since it is the United States that has broken relations. I will say only that Cuba is alert."

There was no official announcement at the Presidential Palace, but the news spread rapidly among the guests as Castro strode across the ballroom and departed.

I had brought Lawrence Ferlinghetti's Coney Island of the Mind to Cuba. The next day, I was in my hotel room, sitting on the bidet and reading his long poem, "I Am Waiting," while waiting in vain for a call from Fidel Castro's secretary. But Castro obviously had more important things to do than answer my questions. In retrospect, though, I would like to have asked him, "How do you feel about term limits?"

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Coolest Cell Phone I've Ever Seen

MaxxPhone - the desktop wireless GSM phone MaxxPhone - the desktop wireless GSM phone
MaxxPhone offers the following features:

Send & receive SMS messages
Caller ID
Built-in alarm
Handset-handsfree operation
Large easy to read LCD display 135x65 pixels
On-display time
One-touch dialing of 12 phone numbers stored in memory
Built-in QWERTY keyboard for easy writing of a SMS messages
Built-in GPRS modem and USB port for connection of your PC to the net
Built-in speaker for call screening
One-touch dialing of 12 phone numbers stored in memory
Memory for 300 phone numbers/contacts including names
Memory for store 50 incoming and 30 sent SMS messages
Call register for 100 dialed/received/missed calls
Multiple ring tones - 20 built-in ring tones
Dimensions: 9 x 8.6 x 4"
Weight: 2 lbs
Operating temperature: -22..130 deg F
AC adapter: 100-240V/50-60Hz/12 V 1A DC
LiPo or Lion battery 1100 mAh for outdoor operation
GSM tri-band : 900/1800/1900 MHz
- available here -

Public Service Announcement of the Week

LSD: Trip or Trap?

LSD: Trip or Trap? (Part 1, and also Part 2, Part 3).

"A fantastic, hilarious late-60s anti-drug education film that warned of the dangers of LSD, this awesome narrative shows the strain on a friendship between two teens — one who turns on to become an acidhead and grooves out with the local burnouts, and the other who carefully researches LSD and decides it's a bummer."

How to make a clone of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama

Inside-out plush animals are cuddlycreepy

- from BoingBoing -

Artist Kent Rogowski makes striking pieces by turning plush animals inside out and re-stuffing them. The results are cuddly and disturbing, and somehow more weird than any Ugli Doll or similar monstrous toy. Link

Stuff White People Like

#62 Knowing what's best for poor people

February 10, 2008 by clander

White people spend a lot of time of worrying about poor people. It takes up a pretty significant portion of their day.

They feel guilty and sad that poor people shop at Wal*Mart instead of Whole Foods, that they vote Republican instead of Democratic, that they go to Community College/get a job instead of studying art at a University.

It is a poorly guarded secret that, deep down, white people believe if given money and education that all poor people would be EXACTLY like them. In fact, the only reason that poor people make the choices they do is because they have not been given the means to make the right choices and care about the right things.

A great way to make white people feel good is to tell them about situations where poor people changed how they were doing things because they were given the 'whiter' option. "Back in my old town, people used to shop at Wal*Mart and then this non-profit organization came in and set up a special farmers co-op so that we could buy more local produce, and within two weeks the Wal*Mart shut down and we elected our first Democratic representative in 40 years." White people will first ask which non-profit and are they hiring? After that, they will be filled with euphoria and will invite you to more parties to tell this story to their friends, so that they can feel great.

But it is ESSENTIAL that you reassert that poor people do not make decisions based on free will. That news could crush white people and their hope for the future.

Felon Spy

At Felon Spy, you can see a googlemap of all the felons in your neighborhood.

Five Minute Remake of "Jurassic Park"

'Sweding' is term defined in the film "Be Kind Rewind" as the practice of re-creating something from scratch using commonly available, everyday materials and technology.
In the film, characters played by Jack Black and Mos Def must remake their own (cheap and truncated) versions of popular Hollywood films to re-stock the shelves of a video store when they accidentally erase every VHS tape. Using this premise, the REWIND KINDLY Filmmaking Frenzy asked aspiring filmmakers to complete an up-to-five-minute, homemade, low-budget remake of a popular Hollywood film. Well over one hundred teams registered and uploaded their remake to! Everything from "Highlander" to "Purple Rain" to "Star Wars" has been sweded by local, national, amateur and/or professional filmmakers hoping to win the first prize quad-core AMD-powered Dell workstation with a 30-inch monitor and the opportunity to have their film play before every screening of "Be Kind Rewind" when it opens on February 22nd at the Alamo Drafthouse. The turnout has been exceptional and the films have been extraordinary- it's amazing how imagination can compensate for a complete lack of resources!
- from Film Threat -