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Sunday 31 January 2010

[SENEGAL] Why Africa Remains Impoverished

From WEIRDNUZ.M147 (News of the Weird, January 31, 2010)
by Chuck Shepherd
© 2010 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.
Why Africans Remain Impoverished

* The huge, $27 million statue ("African Renaissance") being built in Dakar, Senegal, was conceived to boost tourism and be a point of African pride, acting as a magnet for visitors and museum-goers. Problems have arisen (the statue was built by North Korean labor, has no distinct African theme, and features a female who reveals perhaps too much thigh). However, according to a November BBC News dispatch, Senegal's president Abdoulaye Wade remains optimistic and has declared that, though the concept was his idea, he personally will magnanimously take only 35 percent of the revenue streams generated from visitors. [BBC News, 11-16-09; The Guardian, 1-5-10]

* * * * *
Are you ready for News of the Weird / Pro Edition? Every Monday at and Other handy addresses:
* WeirdNews at earthlink dot net,
* P.O. Box 18737, Tampa FL 33679

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Wednesday 27 January 2010

Dik-Dik Antelope

This story about a newborn antelope is interesting, but something struck me:

Is it just me, or does that look like a bird with ears and deer legs? Probably just me.

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Tuesday 26 January 2010

What kind of... Bird? Is it a bird?

photo source

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This delightful offering comes via (full post here).

Just a list of the spelling issues here:

* "depicks" ---> depicts
* "boarder" ---> border
* "decortive" ---> decorative
* "falage" ---> foliage

I despair.

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Monday 25 January 2010

[USA] Gay Marriage threatens the health of our... oh. Wait.

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Sunday 24 January 2010

[USA] whear edjumication roolz

From WEIRDNUZ.M146 (News of the Weird, January 24, 2010)
by Chuck Shepherd

© 2010 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.
Government in Action!

* In January, the Berkeley (Calif.) School Board began consideration of a near-unanimous recommendation of Berkeley High School's Governance Council to eliminate science labs from its curriculum, reasoning that the classes mostly serve white students, leaving less money for programs for underperforming
minorities. Berkeley High's white students do far better academically than the state average; black and Latino students do worse than average. Five science teachers would be dismissed.
[East Bay Express, 12-23-09]

* * * * *
Are you ready for News of the Weird / Pro Edition? Every Monday at and Other handy addresses:
WeirdNews at earthlink dot net,,
and P.O. Box 18737, Tampa FL 33679

Yeah, I think it's obvious that there's some disparity in test results... but "remove science"?!? What's the rationale there? Make everyone equally uneducated? Or - oooh, here's a thought - OR, you work on bringing other people up closer to the top standard.

I hear of black kids being accused, by their peers, of "acting white" for doing well in school - that's appalling. But do you want that to become a universal? Do you want every child in the country dumbing down so as not to exceed expectations? That's ludicrous.

America: please don't get dumber.

Friday 22 January 2010

Oh, FFS, spider season is here

This monstrosity:

is a huntsman the size of my palm. It's about 4 feet away from me.

You live if you run the other way, spider. Otherwise you enter the Exclusion Zone & I must kill you before you touch me.

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[Word usage] Aaaargghhh

Listening to "Panamindorah" audio book:

* "he was drownding"

* "no, quite the opposint"

* "supposably"

* "they weretn't real"

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Not a Hard Problem

This Is Not a Hard Problem
50-something yuppie guy to another: My wife just doesn't understand that men go through menopause too. It's not just a woman's problem. These past few months I can tell that I've begun my menopause.
Teenage girl sitting across from two yuppies: I'm pretty sure they call what you're going through "erectile dysfunction."

--F Train

Overheard by: Sophia
via Overheard in New York, Dec 3, 2009

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Thursday 21 January 2010

Saturday 16 January 2010

Isabel Lucas - wow

Not being a Home & Away fan, I've never really been much fussed over Isabel Lucas. I mean, I know who she is, but I usually have to think about it a bit.

In WHO magazine this week, there was an article on Isabel doing the Mt Kilimanjaro climb to "raise awareness of the global clean-water crisis". In possibly the most relaxed, informal photo I've ever seen of her, she looks AMAZING.

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Quoth the Waven, "Nevewmowe!"

LibriVox produces some superb free audio literature. Recently I discovered Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven, in the LibriVox catalogue, and thought I'd like to hear it again.

Uh... no. This is the review I left them on iTunes:
The primary requirement for audio is a good reading voice. I'm sorry to say, having some who says "waven" and "buwwow" and "nevewmowe" is so offputting as to make it farcical. This is a classic of foreboding and looming, ever-increasing menace & fear - not a good choice for a reader with an Elmer Fudd voice.

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Keith Olbermann re Robertson/Limbaugh

Nicely said, sir.

Thursday 14 January 2010

Book Review: The Color of Water

I have just finished reading The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother, by James McBride.

This begins as a story of a man trying to define his roots, but ultimately is the story of his Jewish mother.

She was an extraordinary woman, the daughter of an Orthodox Jewish rabbi who left home and married a black man. She became a Christian, was shunned by her own family, lived hand-to-mouth in tiny houses with no money and lost her first husband to lung cancer while pregnant with their 8th child (the book's author).

Her second husband - a quiet man who had always lived alone - loved the children but could not live with the chaos of them, and so only visited on weekends (despite this, they managed to have 4 more children!). For much of the author's childhood, then, they lived as a single-parent family in the Projects and in predominantly black neighbourhoods. All 12 of her children went to college and are professionals now.

This excerpt, from which the title of the book is drawn, grabbed me - James has noticed that his mother sometimes (and only) cries in church:
I thought it was because she wanted to be black like everyone else in church, because maybe God liked black people better, and one afternoon on the way home from church I asked her whether God was black or white.

A deep sigh. "Oh, boy... God's not black. He's not white. He's a spirit."

"Does he like black or white people better?"

"He loves all people. He's a spirit."

"What's a spirit?"

"A spirit's a spirit."

"What color is God's spirit?"

"It doesn't have a color," she said. "God is the color of water. Water doesn't have a color."

and this, from the writings of the author's father - this passage really struck a chord for me:
Sometimes without conscious realization, our thoughts, our faith, our interests are entered into the past. We talk about other times, other persons, and lose our living hold on the present. Sometimes we think if we could just go back in time we would be happy. But anyone who attempts to reenter the past is sure to be disappointed. Anyone who has ever revisited the place of his birth after years of absence is shocked by the differences between the way the place actually is, and the way he had remembered it. He may walk along old familiar streets and roads, but he is a stranger in a strange land. He has thought of this place as home, but he finds he is no longer here even in spirit. He has gone on to a new and different life, and in thinking longingly of the past, he has been giving thought and interest to something that no longer really exists.

Been there.

I thoroughly recommend this book.

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Friday 8 January 2010

Belonging - quote


“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”

—Jane Howard

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Brandon Monteith - a new star?

Has YouTube found a new singing sensation? Brandon Monteith covers "On a Night Like This" by Dave Barnes.

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Thursday 7 January 2010

Wednesday 6 January 2010

Fwd: Daily Quote

quote of the day  

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."

—James Neil Hollingworth (pseudonym Ambrose Redmoon)
(1933-1996); writer, former manager of the folk rock band Quicksilver Messenger Service

Tuesday 5 January 2010

on claiming God's patronage

"Our task should not be to invoke religion and the name of God by claiming God's blessing and endorsement for all our national policies and practices, saying, in effect, that God is on our side. Rather, we should pray and worry earnestly whether we are on God's side."

-- Abraham Lincoln

Monday 4 January 2010

Poor grammar scammers strike again

Yet another scam attempt, but I've had 5 of these this weekend, so it's obviously doing the rounds:

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Adobe" <>
Subject: Download Adobe PDF Reader For Windows

Dear valued customers,  

Adobe PDF is pleased to announce new version for PDF Reader which enable you to view, create, edit  and print PDF documents. The PDF format as a global exchange document format is created by Adobe and is the most efficient way to exchange information.
You can simply follow the following instructions to make your PDF Reader/Writer most updated.

  1. Visit [INVALID] website.

  2. Download new version of Adobe PDF and get your application updated. 

 Thank you for choosing us, the worldwide leader PDF Reader. 

  Adobe PDF


Copyright Adobe PDF © 2009 - All rights reserved

[Fiction] Friday « Write Anything

Every week, WriteAnything hosts a [Fiction] Friday Challenge (check the link for rules etc). I decided to try doing something creative, so I'm giving it a go. It has to be done Friday, so I'm putting this out there to spur myself into (possibly) actually following through with it.

[Fiction] Friday Challenge #137 for Jan 8th, 2010
A woman makes a New Year’s Resolution to make her husband/boyfriend break his resolution within a week. What’s the resolution, and why does she want him to break it?

Check back Friday for progress...

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Location:Ullin St,The Gap,Australia

Sunday 3 January 2010

idiot cat

This morning, I realised I could hear the cat crying incessantly somewhere.

So I'm walking around the house trying to figure out where she is... no shut doors, no cat in the cupboards, the crying is now frantic because she can hear me calling her.

So I'm outside now, walking around the house, calling her, and the sound keeps moving around.

Finally she's, like, right here, but where?? Then I look up.

How the HELL did you get on the roof? Idiot cat.

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Location:Chez moi

Friday 1 January 2010

Secret superpower?

As in, "what secret superpower do I wish I had?"

I'd like to have Perfect Metabolism - that or flying, because at least if I could fly I could go anywhere, anytime, for free, without having to spend 36 hours apologising to the person in the next seat. Either of those would do.

Ask me anything

it's a Counting Pills Day

It's 01/01/10.

Tomorrow will be 02/01/10.

One day at a time, on and on, existence will grind inexorably into the future.

Another year of despair, fear, anger, frustration, immobility, claustrophobic ennui, failure, Depression, loathing and grief.

Bad Brain is mentally tallying the pills on hand.

If I could quote Robbie Williams: "I don't want to die, but I'm not keen on living either."

Image courtesy of Alex Grey

I'm having trouble seeing the POINT. Is there one? Because I don't think I can face another day, week, year, decade of this... *void*.

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