Strange World #40; Plush Uterus Toy Recall


The makers of a “Plushie” uterus toy have had to issue a re-call notice.

uterus-hazard2

SUMMARY

Voluntary safety recall of Plush Uterus due to potential choking hazard for children. Recall participants will receive a 15%-off online coupon code. Consumers may either return for refund/exchange, or opt-out via email if the uterus is not accessible to children. Please notify gift recipients.

NOTICE

In an effort to ensure our plush products exceed federal and international safety standards, we learned the 2008 Plush Uterus has failed a pull test. The ovaries may detach when pulled, becoming a potential small part choking hazard for young children. No one has been harmed.

Although our website and sewn-on label state that the uterus is not for children aged 0-3, we have instituted a voluntary safety recall for the uterus plush. We have filed a safety recall notice with the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission (CPSC). If the plush uterus is being used by a young child, please remove it immediately. If you gave the uterus as a gift, please forward this email to the recipient(s).

All other I Heart Guts plush products have been certified as safe for all ages under US and European safety standards.

For the full recall notice, please go to “I Heart Guts”

Rare Timberlake Disease Fatal?


Justin Timberlake, for those who don’t know, is an American pop and R&B singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actor. He came to fame as the lead singer of pop boy band ‘N Sync and has won four Grammy Awards as well as an Emmy Award. In 2002, he released his debut solo album, Justified, which sold over seven million copies worldwide. Timberlake’s second solo release, FutureSex/LoveSounds, was released in 2006 with the U.S. number-one hit singles “SexyBack”, “My Love”, and “What Goes Around… Comes Around”. With his first two albums, Timberlake has sold over 15 million albums worldwide. For a decade his partner was the now troubled Britney Spears.(With grateful thanks to Wikipedia)

With all that success, there are rumours that his life may tragically be shortened by an unusual disease!

Back in 2005, Timberlake discovered that he was suffering from a throat condition. What his medical team referred to as “nodules” were subsequently removed from his throat.

But what if they were not the normal “nodules” we expect to find on the larynx?

What if they were cellulosiverous Isoptera?

Doctors have revealed that there is no need for general panic as the disease appears to be genetically confined to the Timberlake family and is, in general, unlikely to affect the majority of the population. Although there is a possibility that the no longer stick-like Spears could also be harbouring the infection.

Isoptera would totally infest the Timberlake body and all his internal cellulose could be being consumed by these small, white, parasitic little critters.

By termites!

Missing Person


After four unsuccessful years of war, thousands of casualties (well, alright, tens of thousands of casualties) and sending the USA almost bankrupt, the Bush Administration has finally decided to get serious about finding that Bin Laden Guy!

osama_missing.jpg

101 Uses For A John Howard #80


While I try to use older cartoons from Australia’s great cartoonist, Kudelka, sometimes I cannot resist the brand new and apposite comments he makes.

Such as this one, brand new and hot off the drawing board.

Although he has not yet suggested what shirt our leaders should wear for the infamous “Group Photo” which is the finale for all APEC wind-bag-fests.

Sydney’s hosting APEC, and in honour of some of the more repressive regimes in attendance, we’ve given our police the chance to show them how it’s done with new and exciting powers to keep unruly citizens in line.

However, the centrepiece of our APEC celebrations is a gigantic concrete and steel fence around the centre of Sydney, symbolising Australia’s open and welcoming attitude to those attempting to escape countries with more permanent and enthusiastic systems of keeping their people safe from such dangers as being able to move freely through their own cities or express political views.

But while the fence is ostensibly in place to keep the riffraff at a safe distance from their mostly democratically elected overlords, it’s also the jewel in the crown of John Howard’s climate change policy. While the latte-sipping tree-huggers who signed up to the Kyoto protocol vainly try to hold back the tide, John’s embraced global warming and is looking to the future.

Climate scientists have calculated that during APEC, the volume of hot air emitted on the topic of climate change will be sufficient to entirely melt the polar icecaps, causing the sea levels to rise dramatically. Fortunately, John will be busily gathering two of every different type of bureaucrat into the Opera House early in the week.

At around 2.8 metres high, the fence will keep out the flood and with the air conditioning cranked up to maximum and snacks available in the foyer, they will ride out the apocalypse in the manner of Noah and emerge triumphantly to create a perfect society based on the Australian Workplace Agreement.

The only hole in the plan is that the fence is made of steel lattice which may not prove to be as waterproof as hoped. Nonetheless, you can worry too much about the details when it comes to the environment and as long as it looks like you’re doing something, that’s generally considered good enough.

101 Uses For A John Howard #63


After a week where reports have surfaced of our soldiers’ dissatisfaction with their weapons it is worth while reflecting on where many of them have been sourced.

Kudelka once again hit the nail on the head. Well, he would have if the army issue hammer had not lost its head!

I love the smell of citrus in the morning, and one thing you can say about Australia is that it’s got some of the the freshest citrus-scented military hardware on the planet. Much has been made of the importance of our alliance with the United States and this is mainly due to the fact that with the lemons the US has sold us to defend ourselves with, the only invasion we’d have a chance against would be a small battalion of gin and tonics.

With Abrams tanks that get approximately 30cm to the gallon, Collins-class subs that you can’t run after 10pm due to council noise restrictions, naval Seasprite helicopters that don’t actually fly over water and Joint Strike Fighters apparently named after the substance the designers were abusing when they drew up the plans, the US have ruled out selling us the apparently airworthy F-22 Raptor on the grounds that we might accidentally cut ourselves.

…mind you, all of the above pale in comparison to the biggest lemon sold to Australia by an American president, but apparently there are no refunds on the Iraq invasion because little Johnny lost the receipt.

The Iapple Irack


This has been around for a while but it is worth watching again!

Strange World #2 – Drawing a Gun



OFFICIALS at an Arizona school have suspended a 13-year-old boy for sketching what looked like a gun, saying the action posed a threat to his classmates.

The boy’s parents said the drawing was a harmless doodle and school officials overreacted.

Administrators of Payne Junior High in nearby Chandler suspended the boy on Monday for five days but later reduced it to three days.

The boy’s father, Ben Mosteller, said that when he went to the school to discuss his son’s punishment, school officials mentioned the seriousness of the issue and talked about the 1999 massacre at Colorado’s Columbine High School, where two teenagers shot and killed 12 students, a teacher and themselves.

Mr Mosteller said he was offended by the reference.

Chandler district spokesman Terry Locke said the crude sketch was “absolutely considered a threat,” and that threatening words or pictures are punishable.

Ok, This is a stick-up. Ms Bankteller, I have a picture of a gun here! Hand over the money or I will draw a bullet!

Oh, Ok, Mr BankRobber. Here is a picture of some money.

No wonder there were people disapproving of this. Art is obviously stronger and more offensive than any action!

She Wasn’t Mean To Her Dog


New York’s Queen of Mean, who died last week, has left her dog twelve really big ones in her will!

Late New York billionaire Leona Helmsley

Mrs Helmsley was known for her tough management style

New York hotelier and real estate billionaire Leona Helmsley has left US$12m to her pet dog, Trouble.The pampered pooch received the largest bequest from Mrs Helmsley’s will.

Mrs Helmsley, who died last week, was dubbed the “Queen of Mean” by the US media, and was known for her tough approach to business. She and her late husband built a company which managed some of New York’s most prestigious addresses, including the Empire State Building, as well as hotels across the country.

The will also stipulates that when Trouble dies, she is to be buried alongside Mrs Helmsley and her late husband, Harry, in their mausoleum.
But some human members of Mrs Helmsley’s family fared less well, with two of her four grandchildren cut out of the will entirely.
The money for Trouble’s upkeep was left in the hands of her brother, Alvin Rosenthal, who himself inherited $10m. Two grandchildren, David and Walter Panzirer, were left $5m each on condition that they visit their father’s grave at least once a year. Their father, Mrs Helmsley’s son Jay Panzirer, died in 1982.
But grandchildren Craig and Meegan Panzirer received nothing – “for reasons which are known to them”, according to Mrs Helmsley’s will.
Mrs Helmsley left her chauffeur $100,000 and she also set aside $3m for the upkeep of her and her husband’s final resting place. Proceeds from the sale of Mrs Helmsley’s residences and belongings will go to a charitable trust.

Changing World


101 Uses For A John Howard #74


 Desperation is setting in in the great USA.

Some even see the Heads of State APEC meeting later this week in Sydney as a chance for Australia’s John Howard to impart some wisdom to George W Bush.

It won’t happen!

Great cartoonist Kudelka shows us why!

Mark Latham: a man not averse to calling it like he saw it and “conga line of suckholes” was some of his best work. Dress up your old vacuum cleaner as George W, point John W at the appropriate orifice, whack on some conga music and the awesome suction power of the Liberal Party is at your service.It’s been worked out by reputable scientists acting on the best data available to them at the time that if John Howard were attached to the rectum of a real human being who he was convinced was either George W Bush, the Queen, a talkback radio presenter or any past or present Test cricketer, he would suck that person’s brain right out their backside. Some conjecture is that this has already occurred with at least one of the above.

Pictured here with the optional extra Alexander Downer module, the Howard CongaCleaner™ is suctioning up the gigatons of bullshit still festooning the landscape of Iraq. Even with industrial strength bullshit-inhaling capacity available, it’s going to be quite a long time before The Job Is Done, but at least we know now what The Job is.

I Am a Recovering Thinker


“It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then — just to loosen up. Inevitably, though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker.

I began to think alone — “to relax,” I told myself — but I knew it wasn’t true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time.

That was when things began to sour at home. One evening I turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother’s.

I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don’t mix, but I couldn’t help myself.

I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau, Muir, Confucius and Kafka. I would return to the office dazed and confused, asking, “What is it exactly we are doing here?”

One day the boss called me in. He said, “Listen, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don’t stop thinking on the job, you’ll have to find another job.”

This gave me a lot to think about. I came home early after my conversation with the boss. “Honey,” I confessed, “I’ve been thinking…”

“I know you’ve been thinking,” she said, “and I want a divorce!”

“But honey, surely it’s not that serious.”

“It is serious,” she said, lower lip aquiver. “You think as much as college professors and college professors don’t make any money, so if you keep on thinking, we won’t have any money!”

“That’s a faulty syllogism,” I said impatiently.

She exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with the emotional drama.

“I’m going to the library,” I snarled as I stomped out the door. I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche. I roared into the parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big glass doors. They didn’t open. The library was closed.

To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night. Leaning on the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye, “Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?” it asked.

You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinkers Anonymous poster.

This is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was “Porky’s.” Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting.

I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just seemed…easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking.

I believe the road to recovery is nearly complete for me.

Today I took the final step… I joined the Republican Party. “

Thanks, dorid. 

US Attorney General Gonzales Resigns


US Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales has resigned, The New York Times says on its website, citing a senior administration official.

The official said an announcement would be made later in the day but Justice Department officials were not immediately available to comment on the resignation report.

The official told The Times Mr Gonzales had told Mr Bush on Friday in a telephone call he would resign.

The 51-year-old has been at the centre of a political firestorm for President George W Bush over the sacking of eight federal prosecutors, which critics in Congress complained were politically motivated. I seem to recall that it is possible he perjured himself before Congressional enquiry or admitted ignorance.

In fact, Wikipedia notes, “Through his testimony before Congress on issues ranging from the Patriot Act to U.S. Attorney firings, he has commonly admitted ignorance.”

Just what the world needed. An ignorant Attorney-General in the employ of an ignorant President!

Some Extra-Curricula Reading


In my wandering through the blogipelago I sometimes come across examples of exceptional writing.

Yesterday I found two pieces which caught my attention.

The first was actually an eBay listing by a blogger. Head on down to where she describes the articles for sale. A tale of terror and destruction unfolds. If you are interested, her blog is quite new although it will be worth watching.

The other story is totally different and may need a tissue. Always a great read, Linda from the Back Nine, has out-done herself this time. It is a tale from “the Fun House”, a Nursing Home with which she has an association.

The Power of Protest Returns


I’m old.

I’m a grumpy old man. A Curmudgeon.

When I was young I believed all of us young people could change the world.

With the power of the poets and the lyricists.

We almost did.

But the old people prevailed.

Now I am old and grumpy because I failed.

What was worse than failing was that it seemed my children, and their whole generation, had turned their back on all that I had hoped for. That their job was more important than changing the world. My heroes, the protesting poets, faded into obscurity and they were not replaced.

Then, last night, at a small family gathering to celebrate the youngest tadpole’s birthday, the Bullfrog showed me a segment of a music video.

The world may yet be saved. The protest poets are not dead, just fewer and mostly silenced.

But this one slipped through the guard of the music publishing censors. And the young people are listening again.

At Wembley stadium – - -

Continue reading

Ponderosa


I have just been thinking about the all times I used to spend fishing.

A favorite technique was to find a nice tall Ponderosa Pine tree at the edge of a
stream. I would sit down in the shade in front of it and cast my line
into one little eddy after another.

I really enjoyed those days of . . .

Casting swirls before pine.

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