Hounen Matsuri (Penis Day)


We males have just ten days to prepare ourselves for this major Japanese festival.

March 15th is Hounen Matsuri (Penis Day), an ancient Shinto celebration of life.

People of the town of Komaki, about 250 miles south of Tokyo, will once again celebrate this fertility festival.

The festival’s main features are Shinto priests playing musical instruments, a parade of ceremonially garbed participants, all-you-can-drink sake, and a 280 kg (620 pound), 2.5 meter (96 inch)-long wooden phallus. The wooden phallus is carried from a shrine called Shinmei Sha (in even-numbered years) on a large hill or from Kumano-sha Shrine (in odd-numbered years), to a shrine called Tagata Jinja.

The festival starts with celebration and preparation at 10:00 a.m. at Tagata Jinja, where all sorts of foods and souvenirs (mostly phallus-shaped or related) are sold. Sake is also passed out freely from large wooden barrels. At about 2:00 p.m. everyone gathers at Shinmei Sha for the start of the procession. Shinto priests say prayers and impart blessings on the participantsi, as well as on the large wooden phallus, which are to be carried along the parade route.

It was carved from a single cypress tree trunk by a 90-year-old man, and is is offered at the shrine as a symbolic prayer for hounen, a fruitful year of abundant harvests and growth for all living things.

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OMG – WTF?


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America’s First Climate Refugees

Oh, Messrs Koch, you will be held in contempt by your Grandchildren.

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Monsanto Wins Case Of Seed Patents; Planting Your Own Legally Purchased & Grown Seeds Can Be Infringing

The grasping tentacles of this monstrous corporation could do more damage to the human species than any natural disaster.

Looking closely at comment #12

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Bulldozers destroy Mayan pyramid in Belize

The historian in me is dismayed and outraged!

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Spaceman Hadfield touches down after ISS mission

A good bit of news at last.

Although I wonder if mankind will walk on the moon during my children’s lifetime.

Commander Chris Hadfield can sing a bit as well. Even David Bowie thinks it is a good cover.

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New procedure prolongs lives of heart attack victims

This is a really good one. Lifesaving and wonderful.

Tho’ I do wonder what this will do to transplant protocols.

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Japanese politician defends use of sex slaves

This one makes me see red. It is so wrong on so many levels!

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Oxford Uni honours Thatcher with scholarship

I do hope they are holding her up as a horrible example!

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UN urges people to eat insects to fight world hunger

I don’t mind being Green

BUT!!!!!!

BAREND

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Relax! It Isn’t A Drop Bear


My first instinct was to run.

Then I realised that drop bears do not show themselves until it is to late to escape!

But my heart was beating nineteen to the dozen for quite a while!

Drop Bears are scary beasties.

On a road outside the small township of  Woorooloo.

No! I don’t know why.

Getting his own back!


Living the Jane Austin Dream


IT is a truth universally acknowledged,Jane Austin, Kate Middleton that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

So wrote Jane Austin ((1775-1817) in Sense and Sensibility.

Now  her eleventh-cousin-six-times-removed’s is living the dream. Kate Middleton has found a young man with a middling-sized fortune and she has become his wife.

Ancestry.com. has found they are linked through Henry Percy, the second Earl of Northumberland, who was born in 1392. Percy was the second great-grandson of King Edward III, making King Edward a distant great-grandfather of Kate’s.

So Kate has simply married back into the family.

The famed genealogical site has made the announcement exactly 200 years after the English novelist published her first literary masterpiece, pippa middleton, pippa middleton's assSense and Sensibility.

<<< We now need to find a fortune-holding young man interested in buying marrying this interesting artifact.

The Purse Demon


 

Chihuahua Demon

Cats Are Evil!


Teh Awesome


After What Animal are the Canary Islands Named?


And other useless information about the islands which

may reduce the amount of General Ignorance in the world.

Dogs.The birds are named after the islands (where they are indigenous), not the other way round. The archipelago gets its name from the Latin name for the largest of the islands, which the Romans named ‘Isle of Dogs’ (Insula Canaria) after the large numbers of dogs there, both wild and domesticated.

Canaries are a kind of finch and were originally a mottled greeny-brown, but over 400 years of cross-breeding by human beings produced their familiar yellow colour. No one has ever bred a red canary but it seems a diet of red peppers may turn them orange.

Only the male canaries sing; they can also mimic telephones and other household devices. ‘Tweety ‘ in the Warner cartoons is, of course, a very precocious canary.

For centuries, British mining regulations required the keeping of a small bird for gas detection. They were used in this way until 1986, and the wording wasn’t removed from the regulations until 1995. The idea was that toxic gases like carbon monoxide and methane killed the birds before they injured the miners. Canaries were favoured because they sing a lot, so it’s noticeable when they go quiet and fall over.

Other interesting stuff about the Canary Islands

While there is a possibility that a previous civilisation had existed on the Archipelago, the original inhabitants appear to have arrived sometime between 1000BC and 100BC. Named the Guanche, they have linguistic affinities with the  Berber people.

In ‘Canarian Wrestling’ the participants face each other in a sand circle called a terrero; the aim is to make your opponent touch the sand with any part of his body other than the feet. No hitting is permitted. The sport originated with the Guanches, the islands’ pre-Spanish indigenous people.

The Silbo Comero (Gomeran Whistle’) is a whistled language used in the Canary island of La Gomera to communicate across its deep valleys. Its speakers are called’ silbadors’. Although it was originally a Guanche language, it has been adapted so that modern silbadors are, effectively, whistling in Spanish. It’s a compulsory subject for Gomeran schoolchildren.

The volcano on La Palma in the Canaries is said to have the potential to cause a catastrophic collapse of the western half of the island, creating a tsunami that could cross the Atlantic and hit the eastern seaboard of the United States of America eight hours later with a wave as high as thirty metres. New York is in for an interesting day, some day.

 A Coincidence

London’s Isle of Dogs was first so-called on a map dated 1588: perhaps because it was home to the royal kennels, though it may simply have been a term of abuse. It’s an odd coincidence that Canary Wharf is located there.

Much of the information in this post was discovered in “The Book of General Ignorance”; Lloyd and Mitchinson, 2006. Faber and Faber

Twitter Stuff


Some of the Twitter stream which has caught my attention over the past few days.

@tom_cowie Hosni Mubarak’s suit pinstripes are actually his name repeated over and over http://bit.ly/gPTNcD

@howespaul I love the NT News http://plixi.com/p/81356199

@jonkudelka Gillard has seven letters and starts with G just like Gaddafi kudelka.com.au/2011/03/gillar…

@Colvinius NOW do you see why I care about spelling? youtube.com/watch?v=NxJMDz… via @zmkc

@eric_afterdark Search begins for giant new planet in our solar system “bigger than Jupiter” – #Science, #News – The Independent http://ind.pn/fRN3aA

@Glebe2037 RT @mactavish: beware of tall chihuahuas: http://flic.kr/p/9kAbtc

@vizcomic RT by FantonEsquire BREAKING NEWS from a North Wales chip shop: http://twitpic.com/45y1it

@RacistWallaby I’d say these birds fell in with the wrong crowd, but there’s no right crowd where they’re concerned: http://ow.ly/48dCT

Speaking of Dictators (Sane and Insane)


It seems the Logo for the London Olympics

in 2012 is offensive to The Mad Mullahs of Iran.

The London logo shows the numbers “2012″ in four jagged figures and until now has only been criticised for its design.

Now we are being told that, looked at in a certain light, at a certain angle, and with certain eye defects, it is the word “Zion”.

Zion is a term that can refer to the city of Jerusalem or Israel as the national home of the Jewish people. Iran does not recognise Israel.

Iran does not even recognise that the Holocaust is an historical event.

“Certainly other countries, including Islamic nations, will react to this racist logo and this would jeopardise the goals of the Olympic games in the world,” said Bahram Afsharzadeh, the general secretary of Iran National Olympic Committee.

He warned the International Olympic Committee that “negligence of the issue from your side might affect the presence of some countries, especially Iran.”

Obviously some members of the ruling class in Iran have been forgetting to wear their Tinfoil Hats.

The Merenge


The Merenge is another of those South American dances.

Wild music and wilder dancers are the keys to this vertical intercourse.

Even Golden Retrievers enjoy it.

Watch her tail! And the grin.

Found over at Gawker

While we are waiting


For the Quiz

Here is a short BBC video of rather strange events to keep you occupied. Just click on the image.

(sorry about the commercial at the start)

Sailor mistakes tiny island for UK


A man who thought he was sailing along the coast of southern England had to be rescued by emergency services after his motor boat ran out of fuel while repeatedly circling a small island in the River Thames estuary.

The man, who had no nautical guides and only a roadmap by which to navigate, had been trying to sail from Gillingham, about 35 miles east of London, to Southampton on April 19 by following the southern coast of England.

But he ended simply doing laps of the Isle of Sheppey, about 93 square kilometres in area, in the mouth of the Thames. Eventually a lifeboat and coastguard were sent to rescue him after he used up all his fuel and ran aground.

He told officials he had been trying to navigate by keeping the coastline to his right.

“He was attempting to travel around the UK from Medway to Southampton and had somehow lost his bearings and ended up travelling around the Isle of Sheppey,” said Robin Castle, a member of the local lifeboat station. “It seems he didn’t have the usual maritime charts or navigational equipment.”

- Reuters

Just where are Daddy P and the wonderful Lo, the Terrible Goddess?

Dating by Blood Type


People in most parts of the world do not think about their blood group much, unless they have an operation or an accident and need a transfusion. But in Japan, whether someone is A, B, O or AB is a topic of everyday conversation.

There is a widespread belief that blood type determines personality, with implications for life, work and love.

It is Saturday night and a speed dating session is under way in a small building in the backstreets of Tokyo. It is a scene repeated in cities across the world but this speed dating session in Japan has a twist. It is for women who want to meet men with blood group A or AB. One says she decided to narrow down her search for a boyfriend after a bad experience with a man with type B.

“Looking back it seems trivial,” she said. “But I couldn’t help getting annoyed by how disorganised he was.”

“I really would like someone with type A blood,” added her friend. “My image is of someone who is down to earth, something like that.”

Interest in blood type is widespread in Japan, particularly which combinations are best for romance.

Women’s magazines run scores of articles on the subject, which has also inspired best-selling self-help books. The received wisdom is that;

  • Type A – dependable and self sacrificing, but reserved and prone to worry.
  • Type O – Decisive and confident
  • Type AB – well balanced, clear-sighted and logical, but also high-maintenance and distant.
  • Type B – flamboyant free-thinkers, but selfish.

Burahara

At the interview for my first job they asked me about my blood type,” said a man with blood group B, who wanted to identify himself only as Kouichi.  “The surprise was written on my face. Why? It turned out the company president really cared. She’d obviously had a bad experience with a B type blood person. But somehow I got the job anyway.”

Later, though, the issue of his blood came up again. “The president was the kind of person who couldn’t take her drink and at one company party she got drunk. So she sent B people home before the others. ‘You are blood type B,’ she said. ‘Get out.’”

There is even a term for such behaviour in Japan, burahara, which translates as blood group harassment.

Eugenics

The preoccupation with blood ultimately dates back to theories of eugenics during the inter-war years. One study compared the blood of people in Taiwan, who had rebelled against Japanese colonial rule, with the Ainu from Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, thought to be more peaceable.

Stripped of its racial overtones, the idea emerged again in the 1970s.

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