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.
ANORAK has just learnt of a book called Sex Lies And Sellotape – confessions of a mum…
We await the arrival of our tome Fashionably Latte…
FILE SHARING is not stealing:
Whenever you rent a movie, the multinational media industry forces you to watch their propaganda. They claim that [downloading movies is the same as snatching bags, stealing cars or shoplifting]. That’s simply not true – making a copy is fundamentally different from stealing.
The media industry has failed to offer viable legal alternatives and they will fail to convince consumers that sharing equals stealing. Unfortunately, they have succeeded in another area – lobbying to adapt laws to criminalize sharing, turning consumers into criminals. They argue that their laws are necessary to [support artists], but in reality all they’re protecting is their own profits.
The Greens in Europe and worldwide has been opposing these laws. We believe that consumers are willing to pay if offered good quality at a fair price. We also believe that sharing is expanding culture – not killing it.
To protest against the faulty propaganda from the industry, we made our own film. The difference is – you can choose whether you want to watch this one.
COULD you present on a home shopping channel? Could you be happy all day long? Could you sell such utter crap and behave like a talking Argos catalogue?
GUESS the film, as described on a Christian guidance site:
14 “People are cruel and insulting about a teenage girl’s weight, a woman’s weight, the size of a teenage girl’s nose, etc, in many scenes. Teenage boys and girls dance with suggestive hip movements and one thrusts her hips and smacks herself on the buttock and says, ‘I’m a bad girl and must be punished.’ A woman sings about having had sex with judges to win a competition and in a later scene refers to risking communicable diseases.”
Answer after the jump
The New American Dictionary is a humorous, provocative book that calls for readers to pay attention to the ways in which terminology of fear, security and war have permeated American English post-9/11.
Terms in the dictionary include: Islamofascist, Freedom Fries, Friendly Fire, Regime Change, Smart Bomb, Surge, and 62 more…
WAR on terror and more…
BRITBLOG – as compiled by Liberal England:
These days it isn’t enough just to type. Gavin Whenman offers the latest Realpolitik Podcast and Tim Ireland makes his submission on the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act in the form of a slide show with sound.
Writing from a less technological age when a copier breakdown involved a sobbing monk, Archbishop Cranmer is not impressed with the idea of Tony Blair as President of Europe.
And from another planet, some would say, Melanie Phillips thinks the mainstream media have ignored the story of the century: an Al Qaeda plot to assassinate the Queen. Meanwhile Ben Brogan points to Tory Confusion over Northern Rock.
Justin McKeating (who seems to be having problems with his Chicken Yoghurt blog) writes on Chicken Backup about the huge waste of money that was Peter Hain’s deputy leadership campaign (he finished fifth):
It would take the vast majority of people decades to earn these sums. Hain threw about more cash in order to polish his ego than a lot of people’s houses are worth. He thought two hundred grand was a price worth paying to get people to like him a bit more than they did Hazel Blears. How hard can that be for God’s sake? When you look at the breakdown of the deputy leadership vote, you’d bet Gary Glitter could have beaten Blears with no grander inducements offered than a couple of rounds of drinks and a bag of crisps.
Gavin’s Gaily Gigest writes on party funding. And, inspired by the news that Helena Bonham-Carter has purchased the former home of her great grandfather H. H. Asquith, Eaten by Missionaries looks at the homes of other Liberal prime ministers.
Paul Linford would love it if Kevin Keegan brought success to Newcastle United again.
St. Aidan to Abbey Manor points out that we now have a stupid attitude to risk: “It’s either obsessive safety, or extreme sports.”
English Buildings spots a pleasing architectural detail in Leicester Square, marking the former office of Wisden, the cricketers’ bible.
And Amused Cynicism discovers that owners of vintage Ford cars cannot use photos of their own vehicles without being sued by the man.
I thought that would wake you up.
The Burning Times gives Richard Littlejohn a well-deserved hoofing.
My London, Your London reviews a play in which the women of the Old Testament finally get their revenge.
And Philobiblon looks at the prostitution laws in New Zealand and Sweden.
A nice broad category to take in all the other nominations.
Let’s begin with Archaeoastronomy, who tells us that a funding freeze could damage what is possibly the most successful heritage project of the past decade – the Portable Antiquities Scheme.
If all your friends are on Facebook, and your main way of interacting with them is via Facebook then you would have a big problem. But if you use it, as most people seem to, as just another tool, then it is hardly such an issue.
On this note, Diamond Geezer has just welcomed the first visitor of 2008 to his flat.
Back to all too tangible forms of media: Barkingside 21 reports on Project Freesheet, which is an attempt to make the publishers of the things pay for the mess they make.
The Daily (Maybe) discusses “the Third World” and similar labels: “my preference is to avoid terms that are essentially meaningless phrases designed to disguise the inequities of the world”.
And Peter Cranie decides that Liverpool is a European city. Maybe, but don’t its problems in recent decades stem from the fact that it is an Atlantic port?
THE New York Times tells us about Ramak Fazel, an American-Iranian artist living in Italy.
His mission was to photograph each of the nation’s 50 state capitol buildings and dispatch a postcard from each city, using postage stamps from a childhood collection. Each postcard would be mailed to the next state on his journey, where he would pick it up, continuing until he had gone full circle back to Indiana.
But there was a problem. On a flight from Sacramento, Calif., to Honolulu, Mr. Fazel described his project to a fellow passenger. He later discovered that she had reported him as suspicious — perhaps to the pilot or the Transportation Security Administration — and taken a picture of him as he slept.
Maybe it was because he was vaguely foreign looking, he reasoned, and his photographic endeavor seemed menacing in a post-9/11 landscape. He also had a three-day growth of beard, he recalled. And, although Mr. Fazel grew up mostly in the United States and is an American citizen, there was his Iranian name.
In his view that woman’s report began a chain reaction, turning him into a person of interest for officials from local law enforcement agencies on up to the F.B.I. On a stop in Annapolis, Md., for example, he was interrogated about his activities and read his Miranda rights. Today, he said, his name lingers on what he thinks of simply as the “the list.” (He doesn’t know where it originated or who controls it.) He believes it has prevented him from receiving a visa to India and caused him be questioned at the border of Poland, both of which he had visited in the past. He said he has been interrogated the last four times he has entered the United States.
Paranoia at work, or just safety first? And isn’t everyone grilled and insulted by the obnoxious US security drones?
Fancy being Jackson Pollock? A game for artists
Says the former glamour model: “I feel I need a miracle now – I’m scared I’m dying.”
Page 3 girls never die, of course, they merely find God, pets and a presenting job on Nuts TV.
But Jo is changed. This is the Star’s “exclusive” (based on Guest’s appearance on GMTV and the Mirror’s “Bloated Jo Guest says illness has ruined her life”). Fans will be shocked to see that her platinum blonde hair is now dark. Some will be unable to look.
Things are so bad that “Jo has been reduced to selling her G-strings and other modelling items on her website and on eBay.” The Anorak has often wondered if such items truly are the model’s own are or just bought in a job lot and warmed on the radiator or on the hands of a burley packer before being dispatched to “frantic of Solihull”?
Says Jo: “I’ve had a CT scan and blood tests. I’m desperate for a diagnosis. I first noticed bloating around my stomach. I was doing a job and a dress I’d been wearing started to feel tight.”
Perhaps she could sell the dress to a helpful fan?
She continues: “And then some boots that I was wearing – my calves started to swell. During the day my stomach would get quite hard, then I would get really tired and my muscles were weakening. There was drowsiness and confusion, then it went into nausea and sickness.”
This is clearly a major cause for concern, especially for Jo. Interestingly: “The bug came on at a time when the one-time Daily Star agony aunt had adopted a new, healthy lifestyle. Says Jo: “I’d stopped drinking and smoking, I was having my five fruit and veg a day and started jogging.”
And there you have it – a cautionary tale for not only aspiring glamour models but each and every one of us…
A RINGSIDE seat for Fart Man:
Britain’s got talent…
Jewish communal leaders also believe that another element might be at work. Sultan [a local Jewish leader] noted that Tarek al Assaimi, a former far-left student leader whose father was the representative of Saddam Hussein’s Baath party in Venezuela, is the deputy Interior and Justice minister in charge of internal security and, as such, could have been involved in initiating the raid.
The son of one of Saddam’s diplomats is “in charge of internal security” for Chavez? (h/t Contentions)
“ANTARCTIC volcanoes identified as a possible culprit in glacier melting,” says the International Herald Tribune.
In an article published Sunday on the Web site of the journal Nature Geoscience, Hugh Corr and David Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey report the identification of a layer of volcanic ash and glass shards frozen within an ice sheet in western Antarctica.
“This is the first time we have seen a volcano beneath the ice sheet punch a hole through the ice sheet” in Antarctica, Vaughan said.
So let us get this right: hot volcanoes beneath the cold ice might be melting the cold ice and creating water?
Who says the science is flawed?
SWEDISH newspaper Expressen.se says police suspect that a team of thieves are using small people hidden in hockey bags and placed in the cargo holds of buses to rob passengers ‘luggage.Passengers observe the big hockey bags being removed to waitings cars. Bags left behind ahve vlauabvles missing. (See Shanghai “trunk man”). Link (Swedish) Via
Experts Agree: Al Qaeda Leader Dead Or Alive…
“Ministers are concerned that many older children shun healthy school lunches for junk food, while younger pupils use ‘pester power’ to force their parents to buy them unhealthy snacks on the way home.”
Odd that this Government wants to curtail choice; choice is the mantra for all the main political parties. Odder still that the Government should want to stop children walking to the shops and buying cheap protein.
Perhaps the thinking is that if the fast food shops are removed further from the schools the nippers will have to walk further and so burn off more fat?
Says Health Secretary, Alan Johnson: “Hazel Blears [the Community Secretary] and I will also look at how the planning system can help all areas by making sure that planning decisions promote physical activity with better use of the regulations that enable local authorities to limit the spread of fast food outlets especially near parks and schools.”
As such, we can expect the ice-cream van to less stop than slow to the proscribed 5mp, the Mr Whippy Pied Piper leading the fatties and potential fatties through the streets, his tinky-tonk Greensleeves cranked up to a fat-burning 120-plus beats per minute.
Any children fallen the wayside will be rolled into the road and used as speed calming devices, and objects of fun.
It’s joined-up Government…
To perpetuate its life cycle, a newly identified parasite morphs its ant victims to such a degree that the infected ants resemble red, ripe juicy berries that birds are more inclined to pick, according to the University of California at Berkeley.
Eggs from the parasite then pass through the unwitting birds when they defecate. Ants consume the waste, become infected, and the whole cycle starts anew.
The transformation from black ant to red berry form represents the world’s first known example of fruit mimicry caused by a parasite. In this case, the victimizer is a parasitic nematode, or roundworm.
WRITES Shane Warne: “My past week has been a different one. Playing in the Aussie Millions main event poker tournament has been an interesting experience.”
Warne, the former Australian cricketer, is tuning his arm to poker. And he will miss the start of the County season, where he turns out for Hampshire. Or not:
“I also want to clear one thing up. I am not missing the start of the
Hampshire will be relieved…
HM Treasury (National) -(HMT) Northern Rock
HM Treasury, on behalf of the Tripartite Authorities, today announces a new financing structure that could be made available to Northern Rock and other interested parties, for a possible private sector solution for the entire company. This new financing structure would only be available for proposals that would protect taxpayers’ interests, as well as meeting the Tripartite Authorities’ other stated objectives of financial stability and the protection of consumers. If no proposal is received which meets these objectives, the Government would bring forward legislation in order to facilitate temporary public ownership of Northern Rock.
In any event, the existing Government guarantee arrangements remain in place. Savers’ money continues to be safe and secure.
The proposed financing structure envisages Northern Rock raising funds from investors in the financial markets backed by a mixed pool of assets. This structure would ensure all Bank of England loan facilities to the company are repaid in full, with interest, upfront, as soon as the funds are raised. To facilitate this, the Treasury would put in place a guarantee for the payment of investors in the event that the assets were insufficient to fulfil the obligations, although any losses to the asset pool would first be borne by Northern Rock to protect the taxpayer. Northern Rock would pay a fee for this guarantee in addition to the fees for the existing guarantee arrangements which will continue.
The Tripartite Authorities consider that this would reflect their stated objectives, as a proposal using this structure would have the potential to:
- ensure the Bank of England’s loan facilities to the company are repaid in full, with interest, upfront as soon as the funds are raised;
- contribute to finding a cost-effective solution under private sector ownership with the private sector at first risk for Northern Rock’s commercial success or failure;
- involve significant private sector participation, including new private sector capital, in the financing of Northern Rock; and
- provide the Treasury with the ability to share in the potential upside returns for private sector participants in return for the financial support being provided to the company.
Proposals would need to demonstrate compliance with a range of conditions, including a robust business plan, commitment of sufficient additional capital and management and ownership by suitable persons, appropriate for the provision of financial support of the kind contemplated. There would also be clear restrictions on the sale of the company and on dividend payments whilst the taxpayer remains at any risk. The proposals will also have to be consistent with the regulatory requirements of the FSA.
HM Treasury and the Bank of England, as providers of financial support to the company, and the Financial Services Authority, as its regulator, will consider proposals received by 4 February from Northern Rock and other interested parties.
The Tripartite Authorities recognise that any proposal relying on this financing structure is likely to involve state aid, which would require approval by the European Commission, and will submit a restructuring plan to the Commission by 17 March. HM Treasury and the Bank of England will make arrangements for the existing Bank of England loan facilities to be extended up to this date to allow time to explore the financing structure with Northern Rock and other interested parties.
In the event of temporary public ownership, the company would be managed at arms’ length on a commercial basis. An experienced and professional management team would be appointed. Services for savers and borrowers would not be affected and the company would continue to operate and provide services to customers as normal. Branches, call centres, postal and internet banking would all continue to be open and accessible, as usual.
Any decision or announcement to take Northern Rock into temporary public ownership would also address the future of the Northern Rock Foundation.
A LIFE in mug shots…
Nuremberg Zoo’s new celebrity resident, a female polar bear cub, has been branded, sorry, named Snowflake.
Nuremberg Mayor Ulrich Maly announced the name at 3 p.m. Friday at a press conference broadcast live on national television.
Germany is now a haven for polar bears, who are said to be attracted the locale by the country’s renowned white goods, especially chest freezers…
The polar bears are coming…
ARE free range chicken feet leaner than battery farmed birds?
Chicken feet are not generally considered as produce nor consumed in Turkey, but rather than throw them away, companies are making money by exporting them to Far Eastern countries.
Turkey’s exports set a new record last year, rising to a total $105 billion last year, and $17 million of this amount came from chicken feet, mostly exported to China.
Would the Chinese eat Jamie Oliver?
BRANDON Davis, Hollywood Hillsbilly, is in Melbourne for the Millions Main Event tournament at Crown Casino.
Davis is not doing all that well. Having arrived laden with cash and planned to buy into the tournament, Davis managed to turn up a day late to actually qualify.
Did he chicken out?
CHRIS Noth, Mr Big from Sex And The City has new son called Orion Christopher Noth…
Orion a constellation often referred to as The Hunter
“Orion” is the seventh track from Metallica’s 1986 album Master of Puppets. It is an instrumental piece composed by Cliff Burton with help from James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett and Lars Ulrich.
Some of the guitar and bass solos on this song were taken from the original demo of “”Welcome Home (Sanitarium).”
The title is in reference to the cosmic or space-like sounds heard during the transitional point of the song. “Orion” was the third instrumental Metallica recorded, the first being “(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth” from Kill ‘Em All and the second being “The Call of Ktulu” from Ride the Lightning.
ON opera. The Rest Is Noise:
“Oh, it will need some small changes here and there as we work,” the Doctor said. “But it is a fine schema; coherent and simple for people who can’t follow a difficult plot, but with plenty of meaning underneath. An opera has to have a foundation; something big, like unhappy love, or vengeance, or some point of honor. Because people are like that, you know. There they sit, all those stockbrokers and rich surgeons and insurance men, and they look so solemn and quiet as if nothing would rouse them. But underneath they are raging with unhappy love, or vengeance, or some point of honor or ambition — all connected with their professional lives They go to La Bohème or La Traviata and they remember some early affair that might have been squalid if you weren’t living it yourself; or they see Rigoletto and think how the chairman humiliated them at the last board meeting; or they see Macbeth and think how they would like to murder the chairman and get his job. Only they don’t think it; very deep down they feel it, and boil it, and suffer it in the primitive underworld of their souls. You wouldn’t get them to admit anything, not if you begged. Opera speaks to the heart as no other art does, because it is essentially simple.”
As said by Robertson Davies, The Lyre of Orpheus