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.

The Polski Sun In English

miss-poland-2008.jpgTHE Sun has published an issue in Polish. The Polski Sun’s arrival coincides with Euro2008.

The Sun will win over the Polish community with tales of Page 3 stunskis, Skyski satellite dishes and Germans.

The front page features a blonde woman draped in red and white and a headline that surely translates to “COME ON YOU POLES”.

All is written in Polish, but what with it being the Sun English readers may not realise and think Sun columnists like Jeremy Clarkson and John Gaunt are being ironic…

Posted: 7th, June 2008 | In: Back pages, Immigration, Tabloids | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Michelle Obama Video: The Non Denial Denial

MORE on rumours of a Michelle Obama video of her saying things that must not be said. See the video here.


The headline of this story is that “Obama denies a rumor,” but he doesn’t really, at least from what I can tell from the reporting:

Sen. Barack Obama on Thursday batted down rumors circulating on the Internet and mentioned on some cable news shows of the existence of a video of his wife using a derogatory term for white people, and criticized a reporter for asking him about the rumor, which has not a shred of evidence to support it.

“We have seen this before. There is dirt and lies that are circulated in e-mails and they pump them out long enough until finally you, a mainstream reporter, asks me about it,” Obama said to the McClatchy reporter during a press conference aboard his campaign plane. “That gives legs to the story. If somebody has evidence that myself or Michelle or anybody has said something inappropriate, let them do it.”

Asked whether he knew it not to be true, Obama said he had answered the question.

But as far as I can see, he hadn’t, unless there were words spoken that were not reported.

Are hanging chads black or white?

Posted: 6th, June 2008 | In: Barack Obama, Politicians, Race For The White House, Twitterings | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Global Warming: All Planet Slayer Children Should Die

die-kids.jpg“FIND out when you should die!” says the dog in the lab coat.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s “Planet Slayer” website invites young children to take a “greenhouse gas quiz”: Question: “How big a pig are you?”

At the end of the quiz, the pig explodes, and ABC tells the children at “what age you should die at so you don’t use more than your fair share of Earth’s resources!

“Do you think it’s appropriate that the ABC … depict people who are average Australians as massive overweight ugly pigs, oozing slime from their mouths, and then to have these pigs blow up in a mass of blood and guts?” asks Senator Mitch Fifield in Australia’s Herald Sun.

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Posted: 6th, June 2008 | In: Bad Science, Global Warming | Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

No Farting: Global Warming Cured

HURRAH: “New Zealand scientists claim to have developed a ‘flatulence inoculation’ aimed at cutting down on the massive amount of methane produced by its sheep and cows.”


Posted: 6th, June 2008 | In: Bad Science, Global Warming, Twitterings | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

World Environment Day: Do The Opposite

IT’S World Environment Day. Here”s some to dos for the environment:

  • Screw Organics – Conventionally raised beef steers emit less polluting methane gas than steers raised organically. (more here…)
  • Go Nuclear – Per kilowatt-hour, a nuclear power plant emits 6 percent as much carbon as a plant fired by natural gas. (more here…)
  • Live Urban – Cities are more energy-efficient than suburbs, exurbs, or rural communities.
  • Crank the aircon – Cooling a home in Arizona produces 93 percent fewer CO2 emissions than warming a house in New England.
  • Farm the Forests – Old trees are very bad for the planet.
  • China is the Solution – Not the problem.
  • Accept GM – Food production need to be optimised.
  • Carbon Trading Doesn’t Work – It’s the environmental version of sub-prime lending
  • Don’t switch to a Hybrid Car – stick with your old one or buy 2nd hand.


Posted: 5th, June 2008 | In: Global Warming, Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Celebrity Global Warming: Selling Madonna’s Daughter Lourdes

RADAR magazine has details of a spoof conversation between an agency trying to drum up interest in a global warming awareness book for kidzzzz by Lourdes Ciccone, jobbing daughter to Madonna.

I’m an entertainment agent at ICM. I work with Angela Becker, who’s one of Madonna’s managers. We’re trying to shop around ideas for a book and gauge initial interest.

Oh, wow! Yeah.

Her daughter, Lourdes, has written an essay that Madonna’s interested in turning into an illustrated book. It’s an essay for school on global warming—she’s in fifth grade now. It’s basically tips on global warming for kids. Madonna read it, and her teacher loved it, and we’re thinking it could make a good illustrated book for kids.


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Posted: 5th, June 2008 | In: Celebrities, Global Warming, Madonna | Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Most URLs Have No Referrals: Google Not So Powerful

ONLINE Journalism notes: “A new research from Indiana University showed that 54% of URL requests had no referrals. That means that most of the time, people do not click on links. They merely pick a site in their favorites or type in an URL in the address bar. A mere 5% of URL requests came from search engines.”


Posted: 5th, June 2008 | In: Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Guy Richie Directing Sherlock Holmes Film

GUY Richie is to direct a Sherlock Holmes for Warner Brothers.

Ele-fuckin’-men-tary, my dear Flotsam…

Posted: 5th, June 2008 | In: Celebrities, Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

China Bans Six Types Of Foreigner During Beijing Olympics

THE Olympics are coming and the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee (BOCOG) duly issued a set of “legal guidelines” for foreigners visiting China during the Games.

Please note the list of six types of foreigners that are not welcome.


(Picture: Beau Bo D’Or Website)

Writes the Shanghai Daily:

OVERSEAS visitors suspected of working in the sex trade, of smuggling drugs or belonging to a terrorist organization will not be allowed to enter China during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, organizers of the Games said today.

Foreigners with mental or epidemic diseases, including tuberculosis and leprosy, will also not be issued visas to visit China…

BOCOG has had to apologise for a training manual for using “inappropriate language” of people with disabilities:

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Posted: 4th, June 2008 | In: Back pages, Politicians, War On Terror | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Justin Timberlake Comes Over All Tom Cruise

JUSTIN Timerblake is as cool as a wasabi enema: 

Has Justin Timberlake lost his mind? His handlers at Spyglass Entertainment had journalists at the “Love Guru” junket signing one of those Tom Cruise-ian (“do not stare at the star”) contracts that demands, among other things, that the journalist not mention anything personal or private, destroy all materials not approved in advance, and make the freelancers personally liable for anything they might write about the guy.

Here it is from the contract, in legal chapter and verse: “All Material which Journalist intends to use first must be submitted to Company and Artist for approval. The print, negative, or other material embodying disapproved Material will be promptly destroyed by the Journalist.” And this: “Journalist agrees not to disclose to anyone any confidential, personal, or private information about Artist, Artist’s family, or Artist’s personal relationships at any time.” and this: “Journalist will be solely responsible for any and all other individual authorizations, releases, consents, clearances, licenses, and payments as may be necessary with respect to the use of the Material.”

Oh dear…

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

Un Climate Talks Kick Off With Clown Boot-Sized Carbon Footprint

carbon-footprint.jpgTHE latest round of international climate talks has kicked off in Bonn, Germany.

The two-week session is not the end of so much expelled hot air and there are at least eight more chats planned in the next year and a half.

Also to be considered, according to the Associated Press, is a carbon tax on airline tickets. With 2,400 participants from 172 countries and eight more meetings yet to take place (the next in Accra, Ghana), the delegates certainly have a large carbon footprint from all that air travel.

Such is the way of progress, they travel so you won’t be able to…

Posted: 4th, June 2008 | In: Global Warming, Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Al Gore Is From Venus, Humans Are From Earth

ALK Gore is confusing Venus and planet Earth in his bad science exhibition:

After leading into the topic with the statement “there’s an illusion still out there that the climate crisis may not be real, and if you want to be one step ahead, believe me, it’s real,” he used as his first example “a tale of two planets, Earth and Venus,” which are the “same size, same amount of carbon, but on earth most of the natural processes have put carbon into the earth as fossil fuel.” He then pointed out the average temperature on Earth is 59 degrees (fahrenheit), and the average temperature on Venus is 875 degrees. But he didn’t point out that Venus is 67 million miles from the sun, and earth is 93 million miles from the sun – that plus undoubtedly many other significant differences in the composition of Earth and Venus would account for the difference in temperature. So Gore was not off to a good start.

The sun is the bright orange thing…

Posted: 4th, June 2008 | In: Bad Science, Global Warming, Politicians, Twitterings | Comments (5) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Angelina Jolie Replaces Charlton Heston At NRA

 ANGELINA Jolie is new spokesperson for America’s NRA:

“The pregnant mother of four told the U.K.’s Daily Mail that she owns guns similar to the ones she used in “Tomb Raider.” Jolie and partner Brad Pitt are not against having weapons in their house for security reasons, she says.”

“If anybody comes into my home and tries to hurt my kids, I’ve no problem shooting them,” she said.

Jolie, 32, has starred as a heat-packing vixen in several action movies – two “Tomb Raider” films, “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” and the upcoming futuristic thriller, “Wanted.”

“I can handle myself,” she said. “There’s a side to me that people know is humanitarian, and there’s a side to me that’s a mommy. But there’s also the side that likes to get down and dirty and run and jump around and fire guns.”

She’s not in the least bit prissy…

Posted: 4th, June 2008 | In: Brandgelina, Celebrities, Twitterings | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

International Year Of The Potato: Prespectives On Pamela Anderson

pamela_anderson-potato.jpgIT’S International Year Of The Potato (IYOTP).

Potatoes [sic] are big news, making Dan Qualye momerable (how many other failed US vice presidents can you name?) and winning the Democratic Party’s nomination for Barack Obama.

Chile and Peru will one day go to war over the potato.

On the official IYOTP site, the great and good of the potato world are waxing lyrical on the vegetable:

Stanislav Menard is a businessman whose paeper factory in Slovenia churns out 3.5 billion envelopes a year. But away from his high-speed machinery, he has a special interest: he’s president of the Slovenian Society for Sautéed Potato and Onions

But that’s nearly 90 minutes of preparation time…

“And that’s the beauty of pražen krompir! One of the basic rules of our association is that members should get together to prepare a meal of sautéed potato and onions at least once a month… The other rule is that no one should talk politics – in front of a potato, we are all equal.”

So Slovenia has had a long love affair with the potato?

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Posted: 4th, June 2008 | In: Food & Fat, Strange But True | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Buy One Home Get Another Home Free

IN California you can buy one home and get the other home free:

In a sign of how difficult it is to sell new homes in Southern California right now, a San Diego developer is offering a “buy one, get one free” deal, pairing million-dollar homes with less expensive homes.

“We thought, ‘Why does it just have to be on Pop Tarts and restaurants? Why not buy one home, get one free,'” Dawn Berry of Michael Crews Development told 10 News in San Diego.

“Michael Crews Development is offering new, 2000-square foot cityscape row-homes worth $400,000 in Escondido for free — if you buy one Royal View Estate home in San Pasqual Valley starting at $1.6 million.  ‘You know it’s a straight-up legit deal; no prices have been increased, there are no hidden costs. Michael is just giving away a free home for people that buy at Royal View,’ said Berry.”


Posted: 4th, June 2008 | In: Anorak In New York, Money, Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Knife Amnesty And Paedos

A LOOK at knives, drugs and paedos:

Lots of Chavs and a couple of Nice kids have been stabbed recently. This is generally thought to be a bad thing and there has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth with anguished cries of “something must be done” and “won’t they please think of the Children”. There is to be a ‘knife amnesty‘ in the forlorn hope that the people who are most likely to stab are going to take part… (snigger… do the authoritarian lefties/daily mail tendency axis really think this will work?). Naturally ever more draconian laws against knives will mean the prosecution of fruit-eaters and chefs. Stabbings will not fall, but the tabloid fear mongering machine will eventually move onto something else. Paedos or drugs, probably. Meanwhile the real cause: bored unemployed youths seeking “respect” by arming themselves and generally carrying on like animals seeking alpha-male status in their own, shallow gene pool will continue to shank each other. So long as it’s shit on shit, no-one will really care.


Posted: 4th, June 2008 | In: Twitterings | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Obama’s Step For Racial Equality

Marc Ambinder looks at Obama and McCain:

What a different emotional register from John McCain’s; Obama seems on the verge of tears; the enormous crowd in the Xcel center seems ready to lift Obama on its shoulders…McCain appealed to Clinton supporters based on their resentments, pointing out that the pundits and party elders seemingly anointed Obama; Obama appeals to them based on their hopes, promising that Clinton would play a major role in securing universal health care.

Obama thanked his grandmother above all else; without her, he said, none of this would have been possible. She is white, of course. The explicit message is obvious. The implicit message: this thing, this event, is much more than just a step for racial equality.

Posted: 4th, June 2008 | In: Barack Obama, John McCain, Politicians, Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Light A Match For World Environment Day

WORLD Environment Day is almost upon us and you can do your bit.

global-warming-predictor.jpgAs the wind-powered UN site says, it can be celebrated in many ways, including “street rallies, bicycles parades, green concerts, essay and poster competitions in schools, tree planting, recycling efforts, clean-up campaigns and much more.”

Anorak will be celebrating by lighting matches.

Researchers form the University of Exeter, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, the Met Office Hadley Centre and the Brazilian National Institute for Space Studies conclude that “cleaner air is threatening the survival of the Amazon rainforest”.

Writing in the journal Nature, the team said they have identified a link between reducing sulphur dioxide emissions from burning coal and increasing sea surface temperatures in the tropical north Atlantic.

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Posted: 4th, June 2008 | In: Bad Science, Global Warming, Politicians | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

UN Banquet: They Come To Eat Mugabe Not To Bury Him

pet_sweat-drink.jpgTHE 40 heads of government taking part in the UN food summit are investigating food at a table in Villa Madam, a palace on the lower slopes of Monte Mario, Rome.

The Telegraph says the menu is a secret but thought to be “rigorously Italian”.

Dinner follows a light lunch of vol au vents with sweetcorn and mozzarella, paté of crevettes and pumpkin, veal with cherry tomatoes, spinach and a fruit salad.

Not in attendance is Robert Mugabe, who is uninvited to the fact–finding eatathon hosted by Silvio Berlusconi and Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general.

The Zimbabwean leader dines alone in the five-star Hotel Ambasciatori Palace, served by his cadre of loyal African chefs and waiters lest a local Roman plate wallah render unto the Zimbabwean Caesar what Caligula and Tiberius once dined their last upon.

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Posted: 4th, June 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Food & Fat, Global Warming, Politicians | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Let’s All Boycott Sharon Stone

SHARON Stone says something offensive about China.

But does a boycott of her movies actually even make sense? During a boycott, one refuses to purchase goods as a form of protest or punishment. A boycott gives the assumption that you’re engaging in an act of self-restraint. Boycotting something implies that you would normally purchase it given a different situation. So when was the last time you actually wanted to see a movie starring Sharon Stone? When was the last time you saw something with Sharon Stone in it and were actually satisfied with you decision afterwards?

Quite – Anorak is wearing knickers until she, well, dies…

Posted: 3rd, June 2008 | In: Celebrities, Twitterings | Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Yangtse Evening Post Writes About Yangtse Evening Post

ASKS Joel Martinsen: “What’s today’s top news story? According to the Yangtse Evening Post, it’s the fact that the Yangtse Evening Post is one of China’s top 500 brands.”

The stop-the-presses excitement conveyed by the front-page headline (and the title of the story inside: “The words ‘Yangtse Evening Post’ are worth 4.755 billion’) would be understandable if this were a major accomplishment for the newspaper, but in this case, the story’s not even news: according to the subhead text, the Yangtse Evening Post brand sits at #154 overall, up 13 from last year. In fact, the paper has been ranked in the top 500 for each of the past five years, ever since the World Brand Lab rankings were first issued.

Such is the news…

Posted: 3rd, June 2008 | In: Tabloids, Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Underage Drinking Solved

ON the Anorak Forums: Not you fine upstanding (well, slouching at any rate) bunch of individuals on here of course. My gripe is with the lot at the BBC.

The beeb’s Have Your Say section is currently running a discussion on how to tackle under age drinking.

I offered the following solution, and the buggers rejected it out of hand,

What can be done to tackle under-age drinking?
02-Jun-2008 21:30
Lower the legal drinking age to 5.

Hey presto! All the drunken chavs in the bus shelter are suddenly legal, and the underage statistics vanish overnight.

That’s the proper politicians way out of it!

Do you lot have any novel solutions to the problem?

Posted: 3rd, June 2008 | In: Twitterings | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Mark Steyn’s Trial

BLOGGING on Mark Steyn’s trial

Posted: 3rd, June 2008 | In: Twitterings, War On Terror | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Green Ink: Global Warming Quotes

global-warming-religion.jpgGLOBAL WARNING – Anroak’s look at doom mongers in the media…

Elizabeth Farrelly in The AGE:

Green consciousness, meanwhile, has sucked the heroism from the cowboy ethos, which depends on an oppositional, rather than nurturing, view of nature.

THE AGE: “The future of the planet is in our hands,” says Philip Freier, Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne:

Just as we have had to say sorry to Indigenous people for the way we treated them in the past, and to the victims of child sexual abuse, we must also repent of our self-centred abuse of creation.

More on the Anglicans here.

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Posted: 3rd, June 2008 | In: Global Warming | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Digital Forensics: Five Ways To Spot A Fake Photograph

WANT to know how to spot a fake photo – sure, look at every magazine cover.


Composite images made of pieces from different photographs can display subtle differences in the lighting conditions under which each person or object was originally photographed. Such discrepancies will often go unnoticed by the naked eye.


For an image such as the one at the right, my group can estimate the direction of the light source for each person or object (arrows). Our method relies on the simple fact that the amount of light striking a surface depends on the relative orientation of the surface to the light source. A sphere, for example, is lit the most on the side facing the light and the least on the opposite side, with gradations of shading across its surface according to the angle between the surface and the direction to the light at each point.

To infer the light-source direction, you must know the local orientation of the surface. At most places on an object in an image, it is difficult to determine the orientation. The one exception is along a surface contour, where the orientation is perpendicular to the contour (red arrows right). By measuring the brightness and orientation along several points on a contour, our algorithm estimates the light-source direction.

Source, Via 

Posted: 3rd, June 2008 | In: Photojournalism, Twitterings | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0