Art and Beauty

'Melancholy' Exhibit at French Museum on Yahoo! News Photos

‘Melancholy’ Exhibit at French Museum on Yahoo! News Photos
Artgoers look at sculpture , ‘Big Man’ by Ron Mueck as part of the exhibition ‘Melancholy-Genius and Insanity in the Western World’ at the Grand Palais in Paris, Friday Oct. 28, 2005. The exhibition runs until January 16, 2006. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Food and Booze Oddities

Anheuser Bush Drinking Game

(Thanks to Einsteinshrugged for sending this my way…)
Anheuser-Busch Pulls ‘Water’ Drinking Game By CHRISTOPHER LEONARD, Associated Press Writer Thursday, October 20, 2005 (10-20) 04:40 PDT Saint Louis (AP) — Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. said it will quit marketing a drinking game called “Bud Pong” after discovering that some people were imbibing beer during the game instead of water, as directions specified. The nation’s biggest brewer rolled out “Bud Pong” in July, sending kits to beer wholesalers in 18 states. The bar game is played by bouncing ping pong balls into cups of liquid, with participants taking a drink if they lose a point. Anheuser-Busch suggested players fill the cups with water. A New York Times article Sunday described players using beer instead. “It has come to our attention that despite our explicit guidelines, there may have been instances where this promotion was not carried out in the manner it was intended,” Anheuser-Busch spokeswoman Francine I. Katz said in a statement Tuesday. While it might seem odd for a brewery to market a water-drinking game, Katz said in an e-mail statement that Anheuser-Busch attached its name to “Bud Pong” in the same fashion the company sponsors NASCAR races or Major League Baseball games. “The intent of this program was to provide adults who socialize in bars with a fun activity,” Katz said in a statement. The company said it was pulling the promotion, and did not want perceptions of the “Bud Pong” game to conflict with a $500 million campaign to promote responsible drinking, Katz said. It is irresponsible in itself to suggest that water be used during a bar game, said Glynn Birch, national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. “I don’t put any credence in it,” Birch said. Such games can be especially dangerous for younger drinkers and college students who get wrapped up in the competition and drink unhealthy amounts of alcohol, he said. Anheuser-Busch Chief Executive Officer Patrick Stokes said earlier this month the company is looking for ways to keep consumers drinking beer as opposed to cocktails or hard spirits. Even though beer drinking has lost some ground in recent years, Anheuser-Busch remains by far the most dominant U.S. beer company. Brewing about 100 million barrels of beer annually, Anheuser-Busch controls roughly 50 percent of the national market share, according to the Edward Jones investment company in St. Louis. Second-ranking Miller Brewing Co. controls 19 percent of the market. To keep beer in the forefront, Anheuser-Busch has launched separate marketing campaigns nationally, such as distributing recipe books that encourage bartenders to mix beer cocktails using ingredients like grenadine and tomato juice.


The Observer | International | The 'dumb blonde' who excelled as a spy

All this talk of Karl Rove and Louis Libby in the press sparked a damn interesting profile of Valerie Plame…the CIA operative who was leaked to the press and sparked the whole shebang.
The Observer | International | The ‘dumb blonde’ who excelled as a spy
The ‘dumb blonde’ who excelled as a spy
Helena Smith
Sunday October 30, 2005
The Observer
Long before Valerie Plame became America’s most famous spy, she learnt Greek and moved to Athens. It was 1990, her first foreign posting and not long after graduation from Penn State University – and recruitment to the CIA – nearly everything she dreamed of.
Ambitious, blonde and beautiful, Plame, then 27, took to the job with alacrity. With ‘State Department Cover’ at Athens’ US embassy, the secrets of her trade were easy to conceal. Greece, under the unpredictable governance of Andreas Papandreou, a former US citizen turned anti-American populist, was an interesting place. But the first Gulf war was about to happen, making the country’s proximity to the Middle East critical.
As a junior operative, determined to rise through the bureaucracy, Plame would be remembered as unusually diligent and unusually good. So good that even if, privately, she displayed remarkable dexterity with an AK-47 machine gun, publicly she would use charm and good looks if it meant maintaining the interest of a potential recruit.
‘She was willing to dress the part of a dumb blonde,’ one colleague told The Observer. ‘To let yourself be underestimated in a trade craft that is secret is not at all stupid. It shows a lot of skill.’
Her next move was to the London School of Economics, where she began ‘being laundered’ and going undercover. After gaining a degree, she was sent to the College of Europe, an international relations school in Bruges, before moving to Brussels and into the energy business.
There, she worked out of the now closed consulting firm Brewster-Jennings, frequently traveling to Africa and other far-flung areas as an intelligence agent under non-official cover (NOC).
By then none of her friends, and not even her family and father, a retired military officer, knew of her real identity. With no diplomatic protection, the cover she had taken years to build as an energy business consultant would be all-important. Strip it away and, like any other NOC out in the field, she’d be open game for potential enemies – expendable without any official repercussion.
When, in 1997, the CIA began to fear Plame had been given away – along with other covert overseas operatives – to the Russians by the double agent Aldrich Ames, she was brought back to Washington. There, at a reception given by the then Turkish ambassador, her eyes drifted across the room to meet those of retired US ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV.
He was 13 years older than her, successful and ruggedly handsome. For both, it was love at first sight.
Within weeks, an unusually nervous Plame felt she had something to say. The couple were in bed, making love, as Wilson would later recall. But her husband-to-be had to know: she was an undercover agent.

kim jong il

The latest on Kim Jong Il

Here it is…the latest pic and story on the enigmatic madman of North Korea. I really want him to invite me to one of his parties…I hear they are dynamic….
(Chinese President Hu Jintao was greeted Friday at the airport by Kim Jong-il, General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and Chairman of the National Defence Commission.)
Chinese President Hu Jintao and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il held talks Friday afternoon, exchanging ideas on bilateral relations and regional issues of mutual concern.
Before their meeting, Hu Jintao visited the Kumsusan Memorial Palace and paid respect to late North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung.
The Chinese President arrived in Pyongyang on Friday, starting his three-day official goodwill visit.
The visit by Hu Jintao, also General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, was initiated by an invitation from Kim Jong-il. At the airport, Hu Jintao was greeted by Kim Jong-il, General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and Chairman of the National Defence Commission.
In a written statement delivered upon his arrival at the airport, Hu Jintao spoke highly of the North’s achievements in the past years under the WPK’s leadership.
He also voiced his belief that under Kim’s leadership, the North Korean people will see greater accomplishments on a path of development suited to its own conditions and will build a strong and prosperous country.

Oddities Politics

Scopes Part 2

(Thanks to Einsteinshrugged for this…) – ‘Intelligent design’ compared to ‘Big Bang’ theory – Oct 19, 2005
‘Intelligent design’ compared to ‘Big Bang’ theory
Professor: Politics drives the evolution debate
‘Intelligent design’ compared to ‘Big Bang’ theory
Professor: Politics drives the evolution debate
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) — A leading critic of evolution accused two scientific organizations Tuesday of politics and misleading the public in their rejection of “intelligent design.”
Michael Behe, a biochemistry professor at Lehigh University, also compared intelligent design — which holds that nature is so complex it must have been the work of a creator — to the “Big Bang” theory.
“The National Academy of Sciences treats intelligent design in a way what I consider utterly misleading. Talk about scholarly malfeasance!” Behe testified.
Behe also criticized the American Association for the Advancement of Science in testimony in a federal lawsuit brought by 11 parents who are challenging a central Pennsylvania school district’s practice of introducing intelligent design to science classes.
The trial pits Christian conservatives, who say nature is so complex it must have been the work of a God-like creator, against teachers and scientists who favor Darwin’s theory of evolution.
The case, seen as a major test of the issue, has echoes of the famed Scopes Monkey trial of 1925 when lawyers squared off in a Tennessee courthouse over the teaching of Darwin’s work.
The parents suing the Dover Area School District say intelligent design is based on religion and therefore violates the constitutional separation of church and state.
The trial is being watched in at least 30 states where similar initiatives are being considered.
Behe personally believes the designer was God but said that belief was not part of his intelligent design theory. He refuted the Academy’s statement that intelligent design theory attributed the complexity of nature to “the hand of God.”
“I advocated none of those ideas,” Behe said. “I take this as a political statement unsupported by any references.”
Behe also accused the American Association for the Advancement of Science of issuing a “political document” when it stated that intelligent design should not be taught in high school science classes.
Behe repeatedly compared intelligent design to the “Big Bang” theory of how the universe began, saying it took several decades for scientists to accept it.
“You can’t say that because you don’t have a natural explanation for something now, you won’t in future,” he said.
A lawyer for the parents produced an article by Behe saying the theory of intelligent design would be undermined without the existence of God.
Earlier in the day, Behe denied intelligent design was equivalent to creationism.
“Creationism is a theological concept but intelligent design is a scientific theory,” Behe said. “One can be a creationist without any physical evidence. That’s 180 degrees different from intelligent design.”
Copyright 2005 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


The Sex Appeal of Ground Beef

A little treat from my friend Beeler’s twisted mind..
The Sex Appeal of Ground Beef
“Be careful what you wish for, you just might get itâ€?
“Models Neededâ€? is what the ad in the local paper stated. Sure they wanted “modelsâ€?. Tell me one person that got their modeling career started by answering an ad in the back of a newspaper? Just one. Can’t think of one? Well, that’s because these ads are looking for a model to be featured in an amateur porn video.
With his keen knowledge of the x-rated movie industry Ronnie Dobson knew good and damn well what those ads were looking for. Ironically enough even big time porn stars do not get their start answering one of these “modelâ€? ads. The “Starsâ€? are usually “discoveredâ€? by talent scouts touring the strip club circuit and then groomed to perfection. Nobody answering these ads will ever land a $100,000 contract with a reputable company like Wicked, Vivid, or Dark Angel. No, these models are just barely passable for even the lowest dregs of porn videos. Miraculously these videos sell because producers can always slap the “amateurâ€? label on them. It’s amazing that these ads bring in droves of impressionable young men and women seeking fame and fortune after a life on the farm or some shitty small town.
Read the rest at Eric Beelers


Monkeys strike terror among hill farmers

Monkeys strike terror among hill farmers
SHIMLA, OCTOBER 27: The new enemy of farmers is fierce, four-legged and, to all intents and purposes, the fulcrum on which the panchayat elections will be fought by the year-end.
Less than a fortnight after 1,000 farmers took to the streets of Shimla in protest against the monkey menace in their fields, a similar demonstration took place in Solan. Reports of monkeys destroying crops have also come in from half-a-dozen other districts, including Sirmaur, Bilaspur, Kangra, Hamirpur, Mandi and Una.
According to the Gyan Vigyan Samiti, a local NGO fighting for farmers’ rights, the problem is accentuated by the Shimla Municipal Corporation’s short-term solution of catching and then deporting monkeys from the city to nearby districts.
‘‘It’s a question of survival. Either the farmers will be compelled to abandon their crops or the monkeys will have to be eliminated,’’ said local BJP MLA Rajeev Bindal, who led the farmers’ protest in Shimla.
With the monkey population in the state (excluding Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur and part of Pangi in Chamba district) touching 3.25 lakh, and langoors adding another 70,000 to the simian population, a solution looks hard to come by.
‘‘There are only two options: either we sterilise the monkeys or we label them dangerous and allow farmers to shoot them,’’ said K K Gupta, chief conservator, wildlife. ‘‘Either way, we will face opposition from wildlife activists.’’
According to Gupta, a Rs 1.19-crore plan to free farmers from the perpetual problem has been submitted to the Centre. ‘‘We can only hope good sense will prevail on those opposing the move,’’ he added.

Oddities Technology

Asia Times Online :: Korea News and Korean Business and Economy, Pyongyang News

Asia Times Online :: Korea News and Korean Business and Economy, Pyongyang News
Robots go for gold
SEOUL – An international robot competition kicked off here on Thursday to showcase the latest technological advances in robotics, organizers said.
A total of 320 contestants from 10 countries are participating in the four-day 2005 International Robot Olympiad at the Korea International Exhibition Center (KINTEX) northwest of Seoul. South Korea is fielding 130 players and robots.
Organizers said this year’s event, the seventh of its kind, will have 16 types of competition such as fighting, dancing and basketball.
In addition, the machines will compete in a marathon to check their endurance, find their way through mazes and negotiate various obstacles such as stairs. A robot soccer tournament will also entertain audiences.
The games will be divided into three main categories based on the age of those who submit robots.
The junior league is for children under 12, the challenge league is for children between 13 and 18 and the robo league is for those over 19.
One of the events that is expected to generate interest among visitors is the cleaning robot exhibition, which will show all machines currently being produced by local companies that can clean homes.
“The events are aimed at promoting interest and development of more intelligent robots,” said Kim Hye-won, administrator of the Agency for Technology and Standards.
The official, who heads the state agency that is sponsoring the Olympiad, said South Korea is moving to establish safety and capability guidelines so people will be able to buy robots and be assured of their quality.
The first games were held in South Korea in 1999, and following competitions took place in such venues as Hong Kong and Mainland China. Next year’s games are scheduled to be held in Australia.
Reflecting the extent of interest in robots, organizers said the Robot Olympiad is attracting more people every time it is held.


Fuknpodcast #23

This podcast is a little different as I did it in the car on the way home from work. I pontificate about suffering, traffic, buddhism, and G.I. Gurjieff…
Fuknpodcast #23

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Celebrity gossip, news and profiles from

This is the latest thing my friend Steve the Cunt has put together. It’s good.
Celebrity gossip, news and profiles from