ITEM: I have to start with the latest craze in Japan- and it's better than the "cabbage on a leash" thing! Apparently we learn two things from this story about our Island friends- first, they like anything "cute", and second, they have a warped idea of "cute".
The Japanese obsession with all things cute has reached new heights, as a craze for pictures of hamsters' bottoms gains momentum.
More than 40,000 copies of photo books of "hamuketsu" - a word that's a mash-up of the Japanese for hamster and bottom - have already been sold, and one of the publishers has set up a Facebook page dedicated to furry hamster behinds. The page has thousands of fans and hundreds of photos have been uploaded so far.
"The great thing about hamuketsu is that it is delightfully cute," a spokesman for Basilico, one of the publishers, tells the Wall Street Journal. "I can't stop smiling when I see these bottoms." Another book on the topic is called Hamuketsu: So Cute You Could Faint.
And who wouldn't want a coffee table book full of hamster butts? You can get the Kindle edition on Amazon.com for $5.99. And in a side note, one of the "people who have viewed this also viewed" choices is a book by one Blythe Jewell called Something Smells Like Pee and Other Classy Observations.
ITEM: Staying on the animal track, guess who was seen at the latest meeting of Parliament in Uganda?
That's right, two piglets, who have been apprehended and are being checked over for whatever a fun loving terrorist might load them with. Apparently, they were just meant to protest the corruption in government, according to their releasers, the "JBN":
The protesters, Robert Mayanja and Norman Tumuhimbise, face charges of criminal trespass, conspiracy to sneak piglets into parliament and interrupting parliament work.
The two, who call themselves "the jobless brotherhood network", accuse lawmakers of corruption and extravagant spending.
And they aren't the only ones in trouble. Think about it: How does one successfully sneak piglets into Parliament?
Several police on duty at the time were suspended over the security breach.
They face charges of neglect of duty, spokeswoman Polly Namaye told AFP news agency.
ITEM: In a somewhat similar protest are the Scottish couple who found a new way to be disrespectful:
A teenage girl and 39-year old man who desecrated an Edinburgh mosque by attacking it with strips of bacon have both been jailed.
Chelsea Lambie, 18, from Paisley, was sentenced to 12 months and Douglas Cruikshank, from Galashiels, to nine months.
They attached bacon to door handles and threw strips inside Edinburgh's Central Mosque on 31 January 2013.
Cruikshank pled guilty. Lambie was found guilty after denying the charges.
During an earlier trial, the court heard a Blackberry mobile phone was found in Lambie's clothing when she was arrested at her boyfriend's house.Messages sent on 31 January included: "Going to invade a mosque, because we can go where we want." A text to the phone asked: "What you do last night?" The reply was: "Went to the mosque in Edinburgh and wrapped bacon round the door handles, opened the door and threw it in ha ha ha."
Cruickshank changed his plea to guilty after racial aggravation was deleted from the indictment.
A third person involved in the attack, Wayne Stilwel from Gorebridge, pled guilty in August 2013 to a religiously aggravated attack on the mosque and was sentenced to 10 months.
Sentencing Lambie, Sheriff Noble said he accepted she was a mother with a very young child, but she had continued to deny her guilt for the offence.
He accepted that Cruikshank had tried for many months to plead guilty and told him that if he had been found guilty at trial he would have sentenced him to 13 months in prison. Given his plea to the amended charge, he reduced that to nine months.
ITEM: Here's a set of little mini stories:
In South Africa, the head of Public Broadcaster SABC is under investigation for accepting a WIFE (yes, a living, breathing, 23-y-o girl, and a human resources management student at that) from a tribal lobbying group. Hlaudi Motsoeneng was given the girl, along with a cow and a calf, from the Venda tribal chiefs in return for seeing his way to putting more Venda-language programs on his network. Like Wife Swap, maybe?
In Iceland, work on a new highway had to stop because it threatened to destroy an Elf-Chapel- a 12 ft high jagged rock which the locals believe is an Elven sacred spot. Now, you may not know this, but in a younger, dumber age, I was somewhat involved in Rune-magic- and when amongst those who believe, this is not something to exactly joke about. However, all was rendered well when " a local lady who claims to talk to elves, mediated and they agreed to the road so long as their chapel was carefully moved and put elsewhere". How much it will cost to move the 70-ton rock has not been revealed.
In Bryant, Arkansas, 44 y-o James Bushart was charged with DWI and meth possession after he became convinced that the Plymouth Prowler he was following was an alien spaceship. He cut them off and told them that they needed to take their spaceship back where it came from. Jay Ward, who actually turned out to be human, called police, who found Bushart talking to himself, making threatening gestures, and generally screwing up Ward's date with a lady who was "afraid for her safety".
In Oklahoma City, Michael Donahue screwed up burglarizing a sno-cone stand in about every way he could. For example:
-he was drunk.
-it was 1 in the afternoon.
-the stand was OPEN. Top that one, if you will!
In Stavropol, Russia, two police officers snatched a drugged and very ill Sergei Kozhemyakin, wanted in connection with ordering a murder, sneaking him out while no one was watching. They then took him to the airport, where every threat in the book would not convince the airline to admit Kozhemyakin as BAGGAGE. Thus thwarted, they hooked the perp to a bench AND TOOK A NAP. When they awoke several hours later, he was in respiratory arrest. Airport police tried to call an ambulance, but the policemen wouldn't release him. Kozhemyakin soon died. "The incident is under investigation."©
Finally, the border patrol in Arizona caught a truck driver with a Cheech and Chong solution to drug smuggling. Packages of marijuana shaped and painted to look like watermelons.
ITEM: The site Wall Street 24/7 has come out with a list of the worst places in America to work for. Check and see if your job is on the list, compiled from thousands of reviews on job websites:
11- Radio Shack
10- The Children's Place (can't say I'd heard of this one before.)
9- Family Dollar
8- HH Gregg
7- ADT Security
5- Brookdale Senior Living
4- Jos. A. Bank (probably all the people coming there trying to get a loan or cash a check and wondering what all the clothes are for)
3- Frontier Communications (Not surprised there)
2- Express Scripts ( a pharmaceutical benefits manager, whatever that is. “work life balance is nonexistent, you are expected to be available to work all the time.” )
And the worst job in America......
Books-A-Million Inc. (NASDAQ: BAMM) employed roughly 5,400 workers at more than 250 U.S. stores as of the beginning of this year, most of which were part-time. Like many retailers with unhappy employees, Books-A-Million institutes commission-based pay structures. Perhaps as a result, high stress and low pay were common complaints on Glassdoor.com. One employee wrote, “to[o] much stress for the pay, very low pay, low chance of promotion, hours are based on magazine and discount card sales. Even if you’re normally good, if you have a bad week you get cut.”
ITEM: Well, Obama is having a hard time fooling anyone anymore. Even supporters like MSNBC are starting to see through the Emperor's clothes. But you know you have hit bottom when this headline comes your way:
Politics: Polish minister: Alliance with U.S. basically worthless
It should come as no surprise that the first countries speaking openly about the worthlessness of Obama as an ally would come from eastern Europe. They understand all too well what a con it is when you have western leaders who talk a good game about freedom and democracy, but do nothing to back it up.
And understand that Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Radislaw Sikorski was once a big fan of the U.S. But that was when we had leaders who meant what they said about having the backs of freedom-loving friends. That's not the case today, and Sikorski isn't about to pretend otherwise:
Using vulgar language and expletives, Sikorski argued that the Polish-U.S. alliance could alienate two key neighbors of Poland, Russia and Germany.
“The Polish-American alliance isn’t worth anything. It is even harmful because it creates a false sense of security for Poland,” the person said. “(We are) suckers, total suckers. The problem in Poland is that we have shallow pride and low self-esteem.”
ITEM: Finally, an item a friend pointed out. I don't have time or space for the whole thing, but here's a link. Basically, what we have is a recipe board on an Australian radio site. It's for a cake that owes its charm to cooking surprise birthday age numbers into the cake. You make up the numbers first, freeze them, and the bake the rest of the cake around them. The problem began with this Q and A:
And then swiftly devolves from a that was rude/no, you're stupid conversation -
to a political one:
Which went on about the definitions of liberal for quite some time...
At which point a troll named "Jim From Haywood made several posts that proved a) he knows how to say B!tc#, and b) he doesn't know how to spell "stoooopid". Then two other ladies skip all the way back to the top and get in a fight over whether you are a good parent if you give smartass answers to your kids. And then, some 45 comments after it starts, someone wakes up and says:
to which there is but one correct answer:
But I encourage you to follow the link, because the author's comments in between the battle are priceless! That's it till next time, kids!