News | Anorak - Part 492

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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.

Sydney University Returns To The Dark Ages

THE UNIVERSITY of Sydney is a “sustainable university”.

It has sent this email to its students (thanks Kim A):

Between 8pm and 9pm, Saturday 29 March, the University of Sydney will be switching off its lights in support of Earth Hour.

This symbolic act, which began in 2007 as a local Sydney initiative to raise awareness about the need for action on climate change, has been embraced by communities around the world making Earth Hour 2008 a global event.

The University of Sydney is proud to participate as part of our commitment to sustainability that is demonstrated through our research, course offerings and sustainable campus projects. For more information on what we are doing about sustainability, please visit our Earth Hour website.

A website. That runs on power. Best read the electronic message before 8pm.

Campus Infrastructure Services will be coordinating the event and switching off as many non-essential lights as possible, while ensuring that safety and security on our campuses is maintained. There will be some street and path closures to allow as many lights as possible to be switched off.

To ensure that Earth Hour at the University is truly successful, it is important that all staff and students support the initiative by switching off their lights, air conditioning, computers and non essential equipment. This is already a daily habit for many staff and students …

Thank you for your cooperation.

Gavin Brown

Vice-Chancellor & Principal

Flick a switch on. Student rebellion was never so easy…

Posted: 19th, March 2008 | In: Global Warming, Twitterings | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

A Five Year Iraq War Message From Osama bin Laden

AS reported: “Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden will be issuing a new message timed to the fifth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, a militant Web site with close connections to the group said Wednesday.”

“Urgent, very soon by the will of God,” read the announcement of the new message “the response is what you see and not what you hear, by the warrior sheik, Osama bin Laden.”

Bet we don’t see him…

Posted: 19th, March 2008 | In: Twitterings, War On Terror | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Libertarians At The Beijing Olympics

LIBERTARIANS At The Beijing Olympics:

At the Olympics, the Maoists will be dealing with free people from free nations, and there is only so much they can do to control them. It’s not clear they understand this. They’ve been living for decades in a bubble of unchallenged power, and are not very imaginative. The opportunities for embarrassment are endless, and the prospect of it very delicious to anyone who loves liberty. Personally, I hope their stinking Olympics is a huge fiasco, and I see encouraging signs it may be.

Posted: 19th, March 2008 | In: Back pages, Twitterings | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

That Kate And Gerry McCann Statement In Full

“WE are pleased that Express Newspapers have today admitted the utter falsity of the numerous grotesque and grossly defamatory allegations that their titles published about us on a sustained basis over many months.

“The exceptional publication of these apologies, together with today’s statement of full apology in open court before Mr Justice Eady, was the only just and proper response by Express Newspapers following our complaint.

“We also wish to place on record our thanks to Adam Tudor, from Carter Ruck. Today’s result simply could not have been achieved without him.

“Express Newspapers rightly acknowledge that we are innocent of all allegations that we may have been involved in Madeleine’s abduction and we would like to reiterate that there is absolutely no evidence that Madeleine is dead or has been seriously harmed.

“We embarked on this course of action reluctantly, indeed with a heavy heart, as we did not wish the pursuit of it to become a distraction from our sole aim – finding Madeleine.

“Indeed, as long ago as last autumn our lawyers approached Express Newspapers and urged them to show greater restraint in their reporting – requests which went utterly unheeded.

“The distress all this has caused members of our wider family, at a time of great emotional turmoil for them, was also a major factor in our action.

“Their pain over the loss of Madeleine has been compounded by having to witness the irresponsible and libellous reporting that we have successfully challenged today.

“As part of our settlement, Express Newspapers have also agreed to pay damages, by way of a donation of £550,000 to the fund that was established to help find Madeleine.

“We feel it is entirely appropriate that the search for Madeleine will now benefit directly out of the wrongs committed against us as her parents.

“We hope that the Portuguese authorities lift our arguido status in the very near future so that everyone can focus on finding our beautiful little girl, Madeleine.”

Posted: 19th, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Twitterings | Comments (384) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Megan McArdle On Porn And Politics

ASKS Megan McArdle: “Is there a reason I need to know about the legal, consensual sex acts of various tri-state governors? I know the economy is bad, but surely things are not yet so dire that we must look to our elected officials for pornography.”


Posted: 19th, March 2008 | In: Anorak In New York, Politicians, Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Jack straw Cleans Up Meaningless Blair Legislation

THE Croydonian looks at how Jack Straw is ridding the Ministry of Justice of “meaningless” Blair legislation:

The Ministry of Justice (excuse the hollow laugh) is rather pleased with itself, judging from this press release referring to “A major clean-up of meaningless and defunct laws from the statute book is due to be launched in the House of Lords today. All or part of 328 Acts of Parliament masquerading as live laws are to be removed under the Statute Law (Repeals) Bill“.

The emphasis in the release is on East India Company issues, turnpikes and the like, so yes, a cute diary-type story, and duly picked up by the BBC, complete with a visual plug for ‘Black Adder’.

And here is the act itself, listing repeals, in part and in whole, and Blair legislation impacted includes:

  • Crime and Disorder Act 1998
  • Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001
  • Licensing Act 2003

Time offers perspective…


Posted: 19th, March 2008 | In: Labour Party, Politicians, The Blairs, Twitterings | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Peta Has Not Time For Heather Mills

heather-mills-peta.jpg“PETA thinks Heather Mills will never again be taken seriously.”

No, not People for Ethical Treatment of Animals – Peta, the Sun’s Page 3 stunna.

“The judge’s ruling shows her up for what she really is, says Peta, who would rather go topless than wear fur…

Pic: The Spine

Posted: 19th, March 2008 | In: Celebrities, Page 3 Girls, Tabloids | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Anthony Minghella RIP

ANTHONY Minghella has died. 

I was deeply saddened to be told about Anthony’s death. He was one of Britain’s greatest creative talents, one of our finest screenwriters and directors, a great champion of the British film industry and expert on literature and opera.

I knew him as a great friend, as did Sarah and our family. He will be deeply missed but his contribution to British culture will be remembered for many years to come – Gordon Brown (Minghella directed a Labout Party ad)

“He wasincredibly talented and so interested in art and making the world better for art. He was very specific and very loving. He was very sweet to his actors. He would kind of massage everybody while he was talking – very tactile and warm.” – Gwyneth Paltrow

“Anthony possessed a sensitivity and alertness to the actor’s process that very few directors have. He directed most of The English Patient with an ankle in plaster, never losing his gentle humor and precision. He delighted in the contribution of everyone – he was a true collaborator. His films deal with extreme aloneness and the redemptive power of love, even at the moment of death. I will remember him as a man who always wanted to get to the heart of the matter.” – Ralph Fiennes

Posted: 18th, March 2008 | In: Celebrities, Twitterings | Comments (4) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Charles Mason And House Prices

New study says Charles Mansion may have killed more.

House prices being murdered…

Posted: 18th, March 2008 | In: Anorak In New York, Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Eliot Spitzer’s Free Sex Pass

ELIOT Spitzer, the disgraced New York governor, has been given a free-sex-for-life pass by Nevada brothel, The Moonlite Bunny Ranch…

Posted: 18th, March 2008 | In: Anorak In New York, Politicians, Twitterings | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

We Will Be Offended In The Race For The White House

IN the Washington post, Michael Kinsley writes:

There is no room for sexism in a modern political campaign. There is no room for racism either. There is no room for remarks that could reasonably be interpreted as sexist or racist. In fact, given the history of sexism and racism in this country, there is no room for remarks that could even be willfully misinterpreted as sexist or racist… There is no room for comments of any sort by anybody a candidate might have met under any circumstances in the course of his or her life, unless they have been vetted for sexism, racism, rudeness, or the appearance of these qualities by the campaign’s senior staff. There is no room for unfair accusations that the opposition candidate has engaged in sexist, racist or rude remarks, or that anyone he or she has ever met has engaged in such remarks. And of course there is also no room for perfectly fair accusations of this sort, which can be misinterpreted, and usually are.

Posted: 17th, March 2008 | In: Anorak In New York, Politicians, Race For The White House, Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Mark STeyn On Being Funny About War, Pestilence And Disease

MARK Steyn on a columnist’s job:
I don’t know why you’d want to be a columnist if you did not appreciate the humor in life. That doesn’t mean being hyper-partisan. You also want to see the comedy in your own side. I don’t like indignation – I don’t think it’s useful. It’s important to be funny about serious things.

The funny writers should be funny about war, famine, pestilence and disease, because it’s an important weapon in discussing those subjects. Someone asked the Ayotollah Khomeini about Islam’s attitude toward jokes, and he said, ‘There are no jokes in Islam.’ We should use jokes to our advantage. Find the comedy in a situation, because that is a good way to change people’s minds on it.

Posted: 17th, March 2008 | In: Anorak In New York, Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The UN Resolution In Azerbaijan

THE Croydonian notes:Azerbaijan has persuaded the UN to pass a resolutionreaffirm[ing] Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, expressing support for that country’s internationally recognized borders and demanding the immediate withdrawal of all Armenian forces from all occupied territories there“.

Given recent events in Serbia / Kosovo, it is intriguing to note that some countries are quite happy to dismember Serbia in pursuit of self-determination for Albanians but will not extend the same principle to the Armenians of Artsakh. So, here are the states which have recognised Kosova but have also signed the Azeri motion:

Saudi Arabia

Meanwhile, all credit to the unlikely list of refuseniks: Angola, Armenia, France, India, Russian Federation, United States, Vanuatu. Our man in NY abstained.


Posted: 17th, March 2008 | In: Politicians, Twitterings | Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Beware The Talking Dentist

marathon_man.jpg“DENTISTS who can’t speak English ‘put patients in peril,” says the Mail.

Readers may argue that all dentists put all patients in peril, chiefly when they stick a drill in your mouth. Peril is what dentists are best at.

But not all pleased. Says Michael Summer of the Patient Association: “We receive lots of complaints about dentists whose English is extremely poor and who are difficult to understand. This can lead to errors and mistakes.”

It turns out, though, that the dentists who cannot speak England are not British born but foreigners. This is not indictment of our education system and how easy it is to becoming a dentist by learning the language of dentistry parrot fashion.

It is well known fact that dentists need only master three phrases in English:

“Going somewhere nice on holiday?”



The reply is always the same: “Guggluphug.”


Posted: 17th, March 2008 | In: Immigration, Tabloids | Comments (12) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Rutlemania Hits LA

WRITES TB: Thirty years on, Rutlemania is real. We got to sit in last night on a well-attended dress rehearsal of the multimedia concert/stage show that takes the audience through the story of the Prefab Four, as written and directed by comedy and Monty Python legend Eric Idle, set to a truly timeless soundtrack by The Seventh Python, Neil Innes.

Posted: 16th, March 2008 | In: Anorak In New York, Celebrities, Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The Rhyme Of The Website Moderator

The Rhyme Of The Website Moderator – aka Carmen:

I am the very model of an Anorak personality,
I intersperse triviality with tedious banality.
Opinions I have plenty of, both genuine and borrowed,
In all the countless postings, where you, I try to goad.

I hate to lose an argument (by now I should be used to it).
I wouldn’t know a valid point if I was introduced to it.
My learning is extensive but consists of mindless trivia,
Designed to fan my ego, which is larger than Bolivia.

The comments that I vomit forth, disguised as jest and drollery,
Are really just an exercise in unremitting trollery.
I say I’m frank and forthright, but that’s merely lies and vanity,
The gibbering of one who’s at the limit of his sanity.

If only I could get a life, which is somewhat problematical;
If what I said was more mature, or slightly more grammatical;
If I could learn to spell a bit, and maybe even punctuate;
Would I still be the loathsome troll that you’ve learned to hate?

Your intellect I will fritter with my whining and my snivelling,
And you’re the one who spends the time to read my drivelling.
My enemies are numerous, and no one would be blaming you
For naming me, who has the time, to spend abusing you?

But while I have this tiresome urge to prance around and show my face,
It’s simply isn’t safe for normal people here in cyberspace.
So stick me in Old Sparky and turn on the electricity
T’would be a fitting punishment for my egocentricity.

I always have the last word; so, with utmost finality,
That’s all from me, the very model of an Anorak Personality.

With apologies to Gilbert, Sullivan, and anyone else who can’t understand that Moderator’s are human……

In the Forums 

Posted: 16th, March 2008 | In: Twitterings | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Plannng To Abort Black Babies

IN America: Planned Parenthood of Idaho officials apologised for a “serious mistake” in encouraging a donation aimed at aborting black babies.

They also criticized The Advocate, a right-to-life student magazine at the University of California-Los Angeles, for trying to discredit Planned Parenthood employees in seven states in a series of tape-recorded phone calls last summer.

The call to Idaho came in July to Autumn Kersey, vice president of development and marketing for Planned Parenthood of Idaho.

On the recording provided by The Advocate, an actor portraying a donor said he wanted his money used to eliminate black unborn children because “the less black kids out there the better.”

Kersey laughed nervously and said: “Understandable, understandable. … Excuse my hesitation, this is the first time I’ve had a donor call and make this kind of request, so I’m excited and want to make sure I don’t leave anything out.”

Posted: 16th, March 2008 | In: Anorak In New York, Twitterings | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Brain Surgeon Operates With £10 Cordless Drill

An eminent British neuro-surgeon has been performing complex brain operations using a £30 do-it-yourself cordless power drill at a clinic in Ukraine.

Henry Marsh, a senior consultant at St George’s hospital in Tooting, south London, has used the Bosch 9.6 volt battery-operated hand tool to open up the skulls of his patients to remove life-threatening tumours. Occasionally the battery has gone flat halfway through.

The operation is performed with the patients fully awake – a technique that fell out of use in Britain 50 years ago. Marsh said that Ukrainians could withstand such a practice because they were “very tough”.

The 58-year-old consultant travels to Ukraine twice a year to perform free operations at a clinic run by a fellow surgeon, Igor Petrovich. The handyman drill was used because the local doctors could not afford state-of-the-art equipment.

When working for the National Health Service, Marsh uses a £30,000 compressed-air medical drill, but he said that the Bosch was an effective stand-in. “There’s not a huge difference,” he said. “The drill is Igor’s solution. It’s simply an ordinary drill which he uses with the standard medical drill bits.

“I have used the Bosch drill myself when I’ve been operating with Igor. It’s exactly the drill that you could have in your garden shed. He bought it at a do-it-yourself shop.”

There is a shortage of fully trained anaesthetists so Marsh’s patients are given only a local anaesthetic. This enables him to talk to them to ensure that he is not doing any permanent damage as he drills.

FROM Carmen in the Anorak Forums..

Posted: 16th, March 2008 | In: Strange But True, Twitterings | Comments (6) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The Real Obama And Jeremiah Wright

MATTHEW Yglesias finds the Real Obama:

Obama’s going to have a hard time explaining that I take to be the truth, namely that his relationship with Trinity has been a bit cynical from the beginning. After all, before Obama was a half-black guy running in a mostly white country he was a half-white guy running in a mostly black neighborhood. At that time, associating with a very large, influential, local church with black nationalist overtones was a clear political asset . . . . Since emerging onto a larger stage, it’s been the reverse and Obama’s consistently sought to distance himself from Wright, disinviting him from his campaign’s launch, analogizing him to a crazy uncle who you love but don’t listen to, etc.

Obam’as too slick to be caught to easily…

Posted: 16th, March 2008 | In: Barack Obama, Politicians, Race For The White House, Twitterings | Comments (12) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Armed America – Portraits Of Gun Owners In Their Homes

Armed America – Portraits Of Gun Owners In Their Homes

 Kyle Cassidy traveled 15,000 miles over two years photographing Americans in their homes and asking one question: “Why do you own a gun?” A good question, particularly since most of these guns are not easily reconcilable with the notion of self-defence and their true place should be somewhere in the Armed Forces. All the photo were later compiled in the book with its German edition being published this year.



Posted: 15th, March 2008 | In: Anorak In New York, Twitterings | Comments (4) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Barack Obama, Jeremiah White And An Open Letter To White People

YOU’VE read Barack Obama’s priest Jeremiah Wright’s conspiracy theory sermon,
now read: Daily Kos: An Open Letter to White People.

Please let an old black man have his anger in the privacy of his church. After 400 years of what has been done to African-Americans, it is the least that we can do. Are our hearts so small and our need for reassurance so great that we cannot allow an old black man who dedicated his life to his community his anger? Are you honestly going to tell me that this is the first time white America has seen and heard from black folks? Have we not heard what Rabbis routinely say about Palestinians across the US? Even our military is told to call Iraqis and Afghanis “ragheads” and “Ali Baba” as a part of their training. Have we not heard what predominantly white churches say about immigrants, African-Americans, LGBTQ communities, and Islam? Jerry Falwell gets a hero’s farewell, as does Reagan, who thought gay people deserved to die of AIDS, but Wright, he must be punished severely and publicly humiliated.

Such is the level of political debate. Racism, Anti-Semitism. White Supremicism. This one’s got the lot…


Posted: 15th, March 2008 | In: Anorak In New York, Barack Obama, Politicians, Race For The White House, Twitterings | Comments (4) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

52-Stone Man Digs His Own Grave

digging-own-grave.jpgIT takes four hours to lower the body of Christian Jeffrey into the ground.

The Mail says a solitary “good Samaritan” attended the 29-year-old’s council-paid funeral service.

Jeffrey is not the last but one man on Earth. Jeffrey is – was – 52-stone.

Gravediggers spent five days preparing the 4ft 8ins x 7ft 8ins hole for Mr Jeffrey and a 4ft x 7ft coffin, made of a reinforced MDF.

Dave Butler, cemetery groundsman, tells us: “There have been six of us working on the site and all our backs are aching. It’s been the biggest job I’ve been involved in by a long way. It usually takes us two days at most to prepare graves – and that’s when they’ve been dug by hand. This one has taken us five days and we had the use of a digger. It has been a real team effort.”

Sad times. RIP, Mr Jeffrey. But we cannot help that this was an opportunity missed.

In the drooling maw of what we are told is an obesity crisis, surely some oversight that Sarah Ferguson was not invited to attend, and the ceremony not forming the central plank is an Trevor McDonald TV special.

Mr Jeffrey should not have been lowered into a readymade pit but used as part of a scientific experiment to see if the fat really are digging their own graves. Look on as Mr Jeffrey is raised to great height by the Great BRtian Tug-o-War team and then let go.

Can he make it to six feet under, even after heavy rain?

Posted: 15th, March 2008 | In: Food & Fat, Strange But True, Tabloids | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Spring Break And Girls Gone Wild

GIRLS Gone Wild is American version of Faliraki, only better behaved:

Out of the over 11 million full-time college students in America, only tens of thousands make it to the kinds of places documented in the Girls Gone Wild series. According to a survey conducted this year by the National Association of College Stores, 37 percent of students who responded said they were going home for the break and 28 percent said they would work, while 5 percent were going on volunteer trips and 6 percent simply said they would “do nothing.” Just under a quarter said they were “taking a special trip.”

Rough estimates provided by Jeff Jacobsen, president of the college tour operator Student Travel Services, suggest that 85,000 to 95,000 students visit Cancún, Acapulco, Jamaica and the Bahamas combined each year.

Posted: 14th, March 2008 | In: Anorak In New York, Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Fiona Mackeown Receives Summons

FIONA MacKeown has laot a daughter.

Scarlett Keleing is murdered.

Not the Good Life.

The mother of British teenager Scarlett Keeling, who was murdered in Goa, has been issued with a summons to appear before Indian police, her lawyer says.

He said police wanted to speak to Fiona MacKeown, 43, of Bideford, Devon, about failing to provide a safe environment for her 15-year-old daughter.

But police told the BBC she was simply being asked to help with inquiries.

Posted: 14th, March 2008 | In: Tabloids, Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Ashley Dupre, Ashley Youmans, Spitzer


Eliot Spitzer’s Lawyers Worked at Office Handling Prostitution Case…

Youmans In Music Video by Rapper ‘Mysterious’…

Posted: 14th, March 2008 | In: Anorak In New York, Politicians, Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0