We don’t just report off-beat news, breaking news and digest the best and worst of the news media analysis and commentary. We give an original take on what happened and why. We add lols, satire, news photos and original content.
JUSTIN Bieber has visited a shrine to Japanese war criminals, causing painful embarrassment to Japanese war criminals.
The Canadian pop star has been to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo which marks the lives of Japan’s 2.5 million war dead, including convicted war criminals who committed atrocities when the Japanese occupied large parts of China and South Korea. People like General Hideki Tojo, who was executed for war crimes in 1948.
THE BBC say it’s 60 million while The Guardian wrote that it was 120 million, The Scotsman, no doubt proud of the band’s Scottish roots, guessed 300 million.Whatever the amount was the Bay City Rollers certainly sold a lot of records although they still grumble to this day about how little they saw of the profits. Forty years ago the band was just about to become massive. The lead singer, Les McKeown, who was just eighteen when he joined the band late in 1973, had his name inked onto a million school bags and notebooks. He was the Harry Styles of the day, maybe even more popular – there was less music to go round in those days.
FOLLOWING the incredible box-office and critical success of John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978), the slasher film quickly became the go-to-format for up-and-coming horror filmmakers in the 1980s. These films had titles like Happy Birthday to Me (1981) and My Bloody Valentine (1981), and most of them concerned bloody massacres on holidays.
Although critics denigrated these slasher films as “dead teenager movies” or “knife-kill” films and slammed their apparent sense of misogyny, and formulaic story lines, the slasher craze of the epoch actually produced a number of great and memorable horror films.
SO. How did the Independent illustrate the story “Nearly 1,000 weapons confiscated from schoolchildren in the past three years”?
With a picture of some blades, scissors, a rusty strip of iron and… What’s that with the orange handles? Is it a pair of secateurs?
— The Independent (@Independent) April 23, 2014
Cancel the gardening club.
THE Journal Star has caught up with Jacob Elliott. He was arrested in the war on free speech. The Mayor or Peoria, one Jim Ardis, was very upset at the fake Twitter account, @Peoriamayor. He called the police.
Rather than laugh at Mr Ardis and advise him to respond to the spoof blog with humour and smiles, the police thought he had made a good point. How very dare anyone mock the Mayor. You can mock Jesus, God, Mohammed and even George Clooney, but mocking the Mayor of Peoria is a step too far.
Three judges agreed.
Judge Kirk Schoebein signed off on a warrant seeking subscriber information from Twitter.
Judge Lisa Wilson approved a warrant for Comcast to find out where the person who used the Internet to access Twitter lived
Judge Kim Kelley signed the warrant to search the home of the alleged parodists.
Respect for the man and his office must be preserved.
WHEN eight-track tapes hit the shelves in the latter part of the Sixties, it was seen as a godsend. All of a sudden, you could listen to your music collection in your car, or out-and-about with the new boom-boxes. There were even rumors it would completely replace the vinyl record. Yet, just over a decade later, the humble cassette tape was able to drive it to extinction. Its heyday lasted from 1968-1975, and by 1980 the poor eight-track was in history’s dustbin, a sort-of laughable derelict from the Seventies.
So what happened? Here are 8 reasons for its untimely demise.
OTHER than a brief Capri pants fad during the early Sixties, women rarely wore pants in public. It was dresses and skirts only. Then the Women’s Liberation movement hit its stride in the Seventies, and the ladies started to get in on the pants action. Just as the miniskirt had been a proclamation of the youth culture, pants became a proclamation of gender equality. If men can wear hideous corduroy bell-bottoms, by God, the women can too!
ON Twitter @DickGraceless has produced the “Daily Mail timeline of shame, for your viewing and sharing pleasure”.
THE more specious the world record, the more Anorak appreciates it. So, to Walker Harnden, 19, from Pittsboro, North Carolina, who has whistled the highest note ever.
Harnden, a student of the oboe at The UNC School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, has had his whistle certified and posted by The Guinness Book of World Records, which reports:
The highest note whistled is a B7 (3951 Hz), which was achieved by Walker Harnden (USA) at the Hoad Recital Hall, University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston Salem, North Carolina, USA, on 7 November 2013. The “B7” note is the B just below the high C on a piano.
Anyone keen to best Harnden should know that he whistles “all the time,” up to four or five hours a day. A third of his waking day is spent whistling.
FLASHBACK to January 11, 1985: The Khat Man:
His cheek stuffed with khat, an artisan specializing in daggers and swords sits in his tiny booth at the old souk, or marketplace in ancient Sanaa, a city in North Yemen on Jan. 11, 1985 which hasn’t changed materially since the seventh century. Camel caravans and donkey carts are still in use and swords and daggers are worn by most men. (AP Photo/Aly Mahmoud)
For more on khat, see here.
THE claim is that garden centres lose £5,000 each by being forced to close on Easter Sunday. This is, of course, an intolerable imposition of Christian rules on a country that isn’t in fact very Christian any more.
However, it should be said that their claim doesn’t have quite as much power to it as they seem to think:
Garden centres want rules reviewed which force them to close on Easter Sunday, causing them to lose up to £75m in takings.
The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) said trading rules, which force shops of more than 3,000 sq ft (280 sq m) to close on Easter Sunday and Christmas Day are old fashioned and should be reviewed, allowing families to enjoy garden centres for longer.
They also said the laws mean garden centres lose out on around £5,500 each by staying shut for the day.
Raoul Curtis-Machin of the HTA told BBC News: “That’s a potential economic boost to the country of up to £75m.”
It’s that economic boost to the country thing there that is wrong. It’s true that if those shops all stayed open and if they all sold £5,000 worth of gear then recorded GDP would change by £75 million. We would have £75 million more GDP recorded in the garden centre sector. However, just because garden centres are open on one extra day7 does not mean that shoppers are going to spend more in garden centres. We would expect at least some of that being spent to move from other days. Easter Monday takings, or Good Friday ones, might well fall as a result of being open on Easter Sunday.
And it’s also true that the total amount of what people spend on everything isn’t going to change as a result of people being able to buy aspidistras on Easter Sunday. What isn’t spent in garden centres will be spent in cafes, fish and chip shops, pubs, whatever.
Being open or not being open on Easter Sunday will really only change that portion of what we’re all going to spend anyway that goes to garden centres: and much of the extra turnover will be the movement of purchases at garden centres from one day to another. There won’t be any change in overall GDP as a result of their being able to open that one extra day.
All of this is nothing to do with whether they should be open on that day, whether we are being religiously sectarian in insisting upon these rules, but the argument they’re putting forward themselves just doesn’t really work.
KYRON Horman: Anorak’s look at the missing Portland, Oregon, boy in the news. Today we spot a message for Kyron’s step-mother Terry Horman on Facebook. An ‘Elizabeth Degroff-Crego’ wants Terri tortured sent to Hell:
WHAT do bigots wear? A branch of the German fashion label Thor Steinar has opened in Finchley, north London.
Hope Not Hate says the label is the ”favoured brand of hardline right wingers in Germany”.
The JC notes that “the brand’s original logo resembles the insignia of the SS under Hitler”.
WE need to talk abut Khat. We’ll begin with Khat the cat, the three and a year-and-a-half-old pet who attacked his human hosts. He clawed the face of its owner’s sister, tore into the arms and legs of its owner’s mother and gashed the legs of its owner’s young brother.
The owner says: “He’s never been an aggressive cat, he’s never been mean, he just flipped.”
The British State would argue that Khat is a product of nominative determinism, the process by which your name explains your actions. It would argue that Khat has been driven mad by the drug that last month UK home secretary Theresa May said would be banned.
Why ban it? What is khat?
OBITUARY of the day is from the Tampa Bay Times. Let’s all take a moment to remember the life of David W. Cummings, aka “Pervert” Dave:
Dave loved motorcycles, and riding with all of this brothers and sisters. He was an avid wood worker, loved animals and working with Paso…
AS two different people have now noted, Matt Yglesias and Matt Levine, Yahoo is now officially valued at less than nothing. Which, for a company that has a $40 billion price tag on the markets is a pretty strange thing to try and say. But it also happens to be true.
The conundrum is explained by the fact that there are really two different things here. One is the business that makes up Yahoo, the other the company that owns that business. And that company owns not just the business Yahoo but also good sized chunks of two other businesses, Yahoo Japan and Alibaba, a Chinese internet company (not unlike Amazon). If we take the value of Yahoo the company and subtract from it the value of the stake in Alibaba then we get a negative number. Take away the value of that stake in Yahoo Japan and it becomes even larger.
Manchester City Balls: £200,000 A Week Yaya Toure Says He Is Undervalued Because He’s A Black African
YAYA Toure, Manchester City’s midfield force of nature, tells the BBC’s Football Focus on BBC World News, that he would be held in higher regard were he not African:
“To be honest, proper recognition has only come from the fans. I don’t want to be hard and I don’t want to be negative, but I want to be honest.”
In 2013, Toure signed a £45m four-year deal at City. He earns well in excess of £200,000 a week. He said at the time:
“I will never forget how I have been treated here by the fans, the club and the owners and nothing would give me greater pleasure than to finish my career as a Manchester City player.”