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.
ID cards: “Next year, San Francisco will issue municipal identification cards showing the usual name, birthdate and photo.
“What the card won’t include: gender.”
When other cities considered issuing ID cards without regard to legal status, the debate was over illegal immigrants. In San Francisco, where the Board of Supervisors approved such an ID on Tuesday, transgender activists added gender to the discussion.
“Transgender” is a broad term for people who do not identify with their birth sex. Those who refer to themselves as transgender include cross-dressers and transsexuals.
“The card really makes gender a non-issue,” says Kristina Wertz, legal director of the Transgender Law Center in San Francisco.
One less piece of data to lose has to be a good thing…
ONE of our databases is missing. And: “Two CD-R’s – Have data on them – some sort of database”
“What an eBay Auction!”
Hat Tip: Devils Kitchen
FREE PORN on YouPorn, XTube, PornTube etc (you get the idea):
DVD sales are in free fall. Audiences are flocking to pornographic knockoffs of YouTube, especially a secretive site called YouPorn. And the amateurs are taking over. What’s happening to the adult-entertainment industry is exactly what’s happening to its Hollywood counterpart—only worse.
As its name suggests, YouPorn lets users upload and watch a virtually unlimited selection of hardcore sex videos for free. The user-generated clips on YouPorn—like those on YouTube, the site it mimics—range from the grainiest amateur footage to the slickest professional product. Also, like YouTube, the site has far more traffic than income. Just nine months after going live, in September 2006, YouPorn was on pace to log about 15 million unique visitors in May, Jones told the Vivid executives, and its audience was growing at a rate of 37.5 percent a month. Today, YouPorn is the No. 1 adult site in the world; Vivid.com, a pay site, is ranked 5,061. According to Alexa, a website-ranking company, YouPorn’s overall rank is higher than CNN.com (84), About.com (114), and Weather.com (195). (Those numbers are averages for the three-month period from mid-June to mid-September.)
Porn on the web..?
AS Tim Blair spots: “The Washington Post reviews the work of top United Nations scientists, November 20:
The United Nations’ top AIDS scientists plan to acknowledge this week that they have long overestimated both the size and the course of the epidemic, which they now believe has been slowing for nearly a decade …
The same scientists who tell us about global warming…
SCOTSMAN Gordon Brown shant’ be attending England’s match against Croatia.
The PM’s spokesman opines “that some people had argued that the Prime Minister had not necessarily been the best of omens so far but he would let others make that judgement.”
He’s been to three big games: England lose to Germany (football), to South Africa (rugby) and Scotland lose to Italy in the footy…
Official FBI Hate Crime Statistics for 2006.Anti-Black 3,136
Anti-Male Homosexual 881
Anti-Female Homosexual 192
NADINE Dorries MP writes on her blog:
Unfortunately, today’s blog is a rebuttal in defence of my family. As an MP I don’t mind it if people want to take a pop at me – it comes with the territory. However, not my kids.
Every young person I know has a Facebook profile, my daughters are no exception and use it to keep in touch with their friends. Unfortunately Alex Hilton, aka Recess Monkey, had no scruples about trawling through my daughter’s profile in order to damage her reputation.
My daughter’s face book account was the No 1item on his web site for a number of days.
A comment on my daughter’s site had been left by one of her best friends Chido Kawunda. Chido used the ‘N’ word when discussing this year’s Big Brother incident with Charlie.
Says Alex Hilton:
It is at this point that I would probably refer to Ms Dorries as “Mad Nad”, not – of course – because of her mental state, on which I am unqualified to comment – but because of her campaign for the return of back-street abortions by equally unqualified doctors. Fortunately, Nadine says on her blog, “As an MP, I don’t mind if people want to take a pop at me” – so she probably won’t sue me for that.
Sadly, Nadine doesn’t allow comments on her blog so I can’t respond to her on her own page, where she suggests this website is somehow state funded (I wish) and makes somewhat darker inferences about me. She doesn’t mention of course that her very-definitely state funded website is adorned with multiple pictures of her daughters, so presumably it’s ok for them to be used for PR purposes when needed.
Nadine, I thought this story had sunk into the depths of blog archivedom and here you are dredging it up for more publicity than I could ever achieve, not least by drawing the attention of Iain Dale.
So now I know you’re a reader Nadine, tell me again when you think it’s appropriate for privileged white girls to use the “N” word?
The Nigger World was here
AS reported: “A shocking expose by the magazine US Weekly claims that Britney Spears’ paternal grandmother killed herself because she could not get over her daughter’s death.
“Britney’s grandmother shot herself at her daughter’s grave long before Britney was born, contactmusic.com reports. In fact, the pop diva’s father was just a child when this tragedy took place.
“‘Britney’s paternal grandmother actually suffered from depression; she had lost her three-day-old baby and actually shot herself to death at the child’s graveside,’ said Jil Martin, the magazine’s reporter”
ON the BBC: “A Muslim who married his 15-year-old daughter and made her pregnant had to be rescued from angry villagers in the Indian state of West Bengal, police say.”
Afazuddin Ali, 36, has five children – three of them daughters.
A few months ago Ali married his eldest daughter, telling his wife Sakina that Allah had ordained him to do so.
Not convinced by his story, his angry neighbours in Kasiajhiora village nearly lynched him for what they said was a clear case of incest.
Marriage within the nuclear family is forbidden in Islam.
“He is a deeply religious man and will never lie in the name of Allah,” Sakina told a court in the northern district of Jalpaiguri.
“I agreed to his marriage with our eldest daughter when he invoked divine sanction,” she said.
But this story has failed to impress the other villagers.
“We didn’t know she was married so when we confronted his wife, she told us about the bizarre marriage six months ago,” Sheikh Ramzan, a village leader at Kasiajhiora, said.
“We wanted to smash his head, we were so angry.”
AS reported: “Confidential details of 15 million child benefit recipients are on a computer disc lost by HM Revenue and Customs, the BBC understands.
“The chairman of the organisation, Paul Gray, has resigned.
“Revenue and Customs says it does not believe the records – names, addresses, date of birth and bank accounts – have fallen into the wrong hands.”
RADIOHEAD and that online album In Rainbows:
Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has admitted he was among the thousands of people who paid nothing to download the band’s latest album.
Last month the group released In Rainbows online and invited fans to set their own price.
Speaking to BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq, Yorke said: “There wasn’t any point. I just move some money from one pocket to the other.”
According to one survey, three in five people paid nothing at all for it.
Didn’t he own a copy already?
NEWS reaches the Poker Anorak of life in Pamela Anderson’s marital home.
Anderson and latest husband Rick Salomon are at the Las Vegas Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino’s grand re-opening celebration.
And we commend to your attention Mr Salomon’s nose.
“I sliced it… It was sexual,” explains Pammy.
Explanations to the usual address…
Hard luck on Sheffield, but French tyre company Michelin has exacting standards “shrouded in almost obsessive secrecy”. Better luck next time.
Readers will note that the Times’ story of food and travel is two ways towards the perfect tale. And we search for that elusive third element, the third star that will make it stand above the others.
And the Independent comes up trumps. Taka a look at what the Japanese are eating. Hard to tell, admittedly. But the Indy’s headline offers a clue: “THE SAVIOURS OF THE WHALE.” Here come the environmentalism course.
Japanese harpooners have set sail to catch whales, a source of whale meat. But the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society “will stop at nothing to protect the humpbacks”.
The SSCS has not devised a tasty whale meat alternative, a tofu-shaped Leviathan. It has taken to the seas “to head off the Japanese fleet”.
A harpoon can damage a whale, and most likely a ship and certainly the ship’s captain and crew. Activists aboard the Robert Hunt are intrepid. And non-Japanese.
The leader of the expedition is one Paul Watson, who created the SSCS, a group of what he likes to call “sea cops”.
And he is displeased that the Japanese find whale meat appetising. It is a crime the sea cops are looking to stamp out.
It is not said if Mr Watson has ever tried whale meat. Although if he cares to, we hear that Tokyo has some terrific eateries…
ALI ETERAZ notes two kinds of Muslims:
1. Practicing Muslims. This person is a theological believer in Islam and the limit of his/her thinking, ethics, morality and reason do not exceed beyond the Quran and Sunnah (although these people may disagree with one another on methodology and approach). Being a practicing Muslim does not have to mean that this person is necessarily interested in imposing his worldview upon all other people (although the Islamists, who compose a subset of this category, would like you to think that you cannot be a practicing Muslim unless you are also inclined towards domination).
Prominent Examples: Professor Fadel; Khaled Abu el Fadl; Ingrid Mattson; Javed Ahmed Ghamidi — all non-domination oriented practicing Muslims | | Islamists, Brotherhood, Jamat e Islami, Jihadists — all domination oriented practicing Muslims.
2. Cultural or Civilizational Muslims. This person may or may not be (usually won’t be) a theological believer in Islam, and his or her thinking, ethics, morality and reason, may (usually will) exceed beyond Islam’s religious sources. In fact, he or she may even look derisively at the Quran and Sunnah. Nevertheless, this person’s designation as “Muslim” comes from his or her connection (by birth or by choice) to the geographic and historical world that is the Islamic civilization, and to his or her continued interest (even loyalty) to the material and human success of not just the cultural Muslims of that civilization, but also the practicing ones. Many times these cultural Muslims find their political expression in nationalist, socialist or ethnic movements.
Prominent examples: Naguib Mahfouz; the Syrian poet Adonis; the Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz; the secular-humanist Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen; the Indian author Salman Rushdie; the activist Hirsi Ali. One might further include groups like Iranian Jews, the Druze, the Christian Copts, Pakistani Hindus, in this category, although it is probably prudent to first clarify that this category is not a veiled attempt to dominate them through classification.
One distinction now popular is Islam versus Islamists. I think a new distinction should be proposed, Practicing Muslims, Cultural Muslims.
Fact is, as long as we keep talking about Islam and the West, this is the classifications system we’ll have to use. The only other option is to convince a lot of people that the dichotomy should be between West and East; or Europe and Asia/Africa; or North/South; or something else along those lines. However, I foresee the West v. Islam distinction persisting for the foreseeable future and therefore its time to start making a system of classification within that.
* It should be noted that due to the presence of these two strains of Muslims, there is no choice but to utilize reason in the public sphere, because that is the one major commonality between a practicing Muslim and cultural Muslim.
* Finally, this is not my final position — its mostly for discussion — and I am willing to revise it given better alternatives.
What of Negative and Positive Islam? Isiah Berlin’s views here.
MIKE Tyson – the new Paris Hilton:
Mike Tyson was sentenced Monday to 24 hours in jail and three years‘ probation for drug possession and driving under the influence.
Tyson had faced a possible maximum sentence of four years and three months in prison.
Police pulled Tyson over after the boxer had spent the evening at Scottsdale‘s Pussycat Lounge. An officer said he saw Tyson wiping a white substance off the dashboard of his black BMW, and that his speech was slurred.
Tyson told officers later that he used cocaine “whenever I can get my hands on it,” and that he preferred to smoke it in Marlboro cigarettes with the tobacco pulled out, according to court documents. He also told police that he used marijuana that day and was taking the antidepressant Zoloft, the documents state.
World’s saddest man…
Antonio Maria Costa of the Drugs and Crime office of the UN says: “Rock stars, like Amy Winehouse become popular by singing: ‘I ain’t going to rehab’, even though she badly needed and eventually sought treatment.”
Mr Costs realises that all lyrics are based on fact…
HAPPY National Ammo Day, America!
IS planting questions the same as vetting them? The fall-out frk=om the democratic debate, USA:
Ask Hot Air: “Why did so many of the “undecided voters” who asked questions at last week’s Democrat debate turn out to be either anti-war, labor, race politics or Democrat party activists?
“HORSHAM, England, Nov. 19 A British man was rushed to the hospital after his monster yawn locked his jaw, blocking his ability to breathe or swallow.”
Ben Shire, 34, was making a cup of tea to keep awake when he yawned, dislocating his jaw. He fell to the floor, unable to breathe or swallow, the Daily Telegraph reported. As he was choking on his own spit, Shire’s wife called emergency services, which was able to resuscitate him by suctioning.
“We can laugh about it now, but it wasn’t funny at the time,” Shire, from Horsham, said. “I couldn’t breathe because I was choking — it felt like two fingers down my throat. The more I panicked, the more I struggled for breath.”
Best not to watch I’m A Celebrity for a while – just to be on the safe side
News reaches the Casino Anorak that flyers aboard British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Airlines jets will soon be playing bingo.
Last year, passengers aboard Delta Airlines were invited to play Texas Hold ‘Em, but only on US domestic flights. With US protectionionism rife, BA and Singapore Airlines are prevented from offering the service on flights into and out of America.
But let’s play. And what with the current security situation, we need a new lingo for the bingo. Eyes down:
Is that gun? – number one
Blame the Jew – number two
WMD – number three
Shock and awe – number four
Bin Laden alive – number five
Hans Blix – number six
Virgins in heaven – number seven
Free Kuwait – number 8
Rumsfeld’s line – number 9
Al Qaeda’s den – number 10
PRESS RELEASE OF THE DAY: “The Samanda brand looks set to sweep Britain like an unstoppable pink tide, with the girls having made an incredible £1million already!”
Run! But it’s no use…
“They have already secured huge deals including their own fragrance ‘Samanda by young and pure’, their fitness video ‘Samanda – The Twins: Dance Workout’ and a teenage skincare range.
But teenagers smell of fags, Malibu and Witch Hazel…
Commenting on the fragrance, the twins said:
“We’re so excited to have our own perfume! The packaging features the same picture as our Barbie CD cover so it should be really easy to find on the shelves! We hope you enjoy wearing it as much as we do!”
Barbie smells of moulded plastic and – should you set fire to her – burning hair…
AS reported on Forbes: “Brown wants meeting with UK retailers to ‘eliminate’ plastic bags”
Says Brown: “All over the country campaigns are forming to get rid of disposable plastic bags – one of the most visible symbols of environmental waste
“Every year in Britain, over 13 bln single-use carrier bags are distributed – over 10 bags a week for every household. In partnership with government the supermarkets have already committed to reduce the environmental impact of plastic bags by 25 pct over the next year”
HELLO Planet Hollywood!
Robert Earl and actor Bruce Willis at the opening of the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino
Earl and partners bought Las Vegas’s former Aladdin Hotel-Casino in 2004 for $800m.
Ah, the Aladdin, venue for Elvis and Priscilla Presley’s wedding, home to the Sinbad Lounge, and arabesques under a painted Arabian sky.
Class. Taste. None of it. This was Vegas at it most garish and fantastic.
The new casino is full of pieces of film memorabilia from Earl’s mammoth collection.
Look! There’s an animatronic waxwork that looks just like Sylvester Stallone. Bruce Willis is singing – who knew? Who wanted him to? Arnold Schwarzenegger, Andre Agassi and Pamela Anderson are in evidence. And that life-size statue of Barbra Streisand is remarkably real.
“This may well go down as the biggest showbiz weekend in Vegas history,” says celebrity journalist Robin Leach.
And if they can get a few more waxworks, it will be…
AS Dizzy notes: “Here be health and safety nonsense”:
Without a doubt this has to be a contender for silliest story of the month if true. According to a tiny column filler in the Times, the author Lindsey Gardiner has said that her publishing editors objected to a scene in one her books where a dragons toasted marshmallows by using the flames from its nose on the grounds that ‘it looked dangerous and went against health and safety’.
Update: Also in the Telegraph.
Another of her novels, When Poppy and Max Grow Up, initially included a scene where a little boy climbed a ladder, but that too was changed.
“They didn’t allow Max to be on a ladder because they thought it was precarious. But when I changed it, I had him standing on a pile of three paint cans, which is much more dangerous, and they didn’t have a problem with that,” she said.
Harry Potter made me wear glasses…
A VIRTUAL theft? A real crime or a though crime? Or a merging of the two?
A Dutch teenager has been arrested for allegedly stealing virtual furniture from “rooms” in Habbo Hotel, a 3D social networking website.The 17-year-old is accused of stealing 4,000 euros (£2,840) worth of virtual furniture, bought with real money.
Five 15-year-olds have also been questioned by police, who were contacted by the website’s owners.
The six teenagers are suspected of moving the stolen furniture into their own Habbo rooms.
A spokesman for Sulake, the company that operates Habbo Hotel, said: “The accused lured victims into handing over their Habbo passwords by creating fake Habbo websites.
“In Habbo, as in many other virtual worlds, scamming for other people’s personal information such as user names has been problematic for quite a while.
“We have had much of this scamming going on in many countries but this is the first case where the police have taken legal action.”
Do the police impound the stolen goods?