Thursday, March 30, 2006
OPEN THREAD #1
OPEN THREAD #2
OPEN THREAD #3
OPEN THREAD #4
BORDERS BUK-BUK-BUK-BUK-BUK BOOKS
Borders Books chickens out:
Borders and Waldenbooks stores will not stock the April-May issue of Free Inquiry magazine because it contains cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that provoked deadly protests among Muslims in several countries.
Times change. In 2001, Borders hosted events to highlight the tragedy of banned books:
Borders Books, Music, and Cafe, 4030 Commonwealth Ave., hosted a reading in honor of banned books week. This was the first in a series of three readings in the Eau Claire area to increase awareness about banned books. Nine area residents read excerpts from their favorite banned books.
One of the readers, English lecturer Elizabeth Preston, said at the time: “Where is the line between banning a book and banning a group of people from reading? Who is in charge of drawing that line?” Beats me. Ask Borders.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
OTHER WAYS NOT MENTIONED
The New York Times reports:
One way to collect nasal secretions from a ferret is to anesthetize it, hold a petri dish under its snout and squirt a little salt water up its nose so that it will sneeze into the dish.
Well, sure. That’s one way.
REPORTER NOSE NEWS
The BBC’s Caroline Wyatt continues monitoring French aromas. March 25:
The crisp early springtime air on the Left Bank is filled once more with the heady scent of revolution, black coffee and Gauloises.
And March 28:
As darkness fell at Place de La Republique, the acrid smell of tear gas drifted through the early evening air. It mingled with a distinct smell of cannabis ...
She never mentions the scent of molten Peugeots, which might overwhelm even tear gas. The latest demonstrations, as always, didn’t end happily:
The festival atmosphere quickly darkened as a small group of troublemakers began to target trade union stewards trying to keep order on the march.
The atmosphere darkened? Someone needs racial-awareness training:
According to the riot police, many of these youths had come in from the suburbs outside Paris looking for trouble: this violence seen by some as a continuation in Paris city centre of what began in November’s riots in the suburbs ...
On the worst of the housing estates, joblessness among the young, especially those whose families are of Arab or north African origin, is about 40%.
Proceed to the BBC Punishment Room, Ms Wyatt. CNN remains welded to political correctness:
CNN anchor Kyra Phillips said that images of protesters defiantly standing in front of the water cannons brought back memories of pro-democracy activists who stood in front of tanks during the 1989 pro-democracy rallies in Tiananmen Square.
Were she to emigrate, Kyra Phillips would even drag down French IQ ratings:
Germans are the most intelligent people in Europe, well ahead of the British (in eighth place) and the French (15th), according to a new study by Northern Ireland’s University of Ulster, The Times reported Monday. With an average intelligence quotient (IQ) of 107, a scintilla of brainpower above the Dutch who also scored 107, the Polish (106), the Swedish (104) and the Italians (102). They all came out better in the intelligence stakes than the British who rated an even 100 IQ according to the study, ahead of the Spanish (98) and the French (94) who could only comfort themselves by checking the study results for Bulgarians, Romanians, the Turkish and Serbians who languished at the bottom of the table on 89.
Total American sales of Ford’s F-150 truck in 2004: 912,000
Total Australian sales of all new vehicles in 2004: 955,229
NOT MUCH RHYMES WITH ‘BULLDOZER’
It would have been so much easier for Billy Bragg if the IDF used lorries.
EXCLUSIVE ZOMBIE COVERAGE
In this week’s Bulletin:
* Martin Bryant: ZOMBIE! Exceptional reporting and writing from Julie-Anne Davies.
* How much do you think its designer was paid to create the Rolling Stones’ lips logo?
* The law finally catches up with notorious Frank Hainsworth.
* The latest Continuing Crisis column reflects on the flexible nature of time in terms of societal improvement. Or something. Mentioned are Eric Aarons, the Fazl Abad Herald, Saddam Hussein, Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Robert Fisk, Tony Jones, Anthony Hubbard, and John Highfield. Speaking of Fisk, he was recently profiled in New Zealand.
“I was thinking also that I used to play the violin quite well - I’ve got a violin back in Beirut and I am thinking of taking up playing again ...”
He pauses because that confession has elicited a yelp from me. “Oh, I see,” he chuckles, “you are thinking of that scene in Master and Commander where the captain and the doctor play a duet…”
“No, I wasn’t ... I was thinking of Robert Fisk playing the violin.”
Yelp, indeed. Also in The Bulletin: an Australian Grand Prix photo gallery.
LIFE IMITATES BOOK
Stephen King’s Cell: “[The] world plummet[s] to chaos when a cell phone signal known as the Pulse converts its listeners to brain-dead lunatics.”
Pakistan’s Daily Times: “Authorities moved on Tuesday to quash panic among mobile phone users in eastern India after a rumour that ‘devil calls’ from certain numbers have led to death and illness.”
THE HUGH & MIKE SHOW
Hugh Hewitt interviews Time’s Michael Ware, who’s been getting a massive amount of US air time recently. Michael’s an old mate, although we disagree on Iraq and his coverage of events there (read the interview to gauge the extent of this). Fascinating guy, once you get past the politics; he’s one of the few people I’ve met who is almost literally fearless. Which isn’t always helpful in a war correspondent ...
CHEAPSKATE LIST PRESENTED
More than 50,000 people have added their names to an online petition backing the ABC’s latest funding submission ...
The ABC is seeking an extra $38.4 million, on top of its $760 million a year, to boost services to regional areas, produce content for its digital TV project and make more programs.
Instead of crying and moaning and organising petitions and forming pointless activist groups, why don’t each of these 50,000 people simply send $768 to the ABC? Problem solved.
TERROR BIRD BELIEVED EXECUTED
The jihad rooster that yesterday attacked a four-year-old girl—causing serious injuries, by the way; she’s been airlifted to hospital with a collapsed lung—has been smashed, according to the girl’s uncle:
“I don’t think the rooster’s alive. Knowing my brother, he would’ve smashed it.”
In other Australian animal news, a crocodile has been stolen and traded for drugs:
“The original plan was to steal a koala - that’s what they were going to use to swap [for] the drugs,” [zookeeper Wil] Kemp said.
”[But] apparently [the koala] scratched the shit out of them.”
The thieves then decided to take a crocodile instead.
“I don’t know what makes someone go, ‘Oh we tried to steal a koala and that didn’t work so lets go and steal a croc.’”
UPDATE. Why can’t roosters be more like horses?
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
IT ALSO WORKS IF YOU CROSS YOUR FINGERS
The New York Times reports:
[Would-be hijacker Zacarias] Moussaoui said there were times when a Muslim can lie without being immoral: to reconcile Muslims, to answer ‘yes’ when a wife asks, ‘Am I beautiful?’ and to carry out jihad.
But it would be wrong to lie about anything important.
(Via James Taranto)