Friday, February 16, 2007

Sounds—uh, Looks Like a Joke: The Int’l Atomic Energy Authority has a new warning sign, which you can see here. Now, the first problem is that it was supposed to alert all unsophisticated people on planet Earth to the dangers of radiation, but "radiation" continues to be represented by the completely inexplicable physicists’ sign for radiation (but now with "rays" supposedly fanning out from it!). Helpfully, though, there is now a skull and crossbones, which is a pretty widely acceptable sign of deadliness, and, even more helpfully, there’s a suggestion of what to do if you happen into an area where this sign is displayed, i.e., you run away! This sign is the result of five yrs’ research and testing on 1,650 people in 11 countries.

Confluence of Several of Yr Editor’s Favorite Themes: You’ve got your grand-scale, arrogant investment fraud, which means you’ve also got your gullible investors believing that money grows on trees (for them, only, not for us!), and you top that off with the daughter of the perp getting an expensive, in-your-face Sweet 16 party on MTV, capped off with a brand-new BMW, and this final word from the charming little girl: "My dad owns an oil company. . . . I love oil. Oil means shoes and cars and purses. So it sets me apart from everybody else in this town [Phoenix]. It smells like money, Daddy!"

And by the way, do we ever coddle fraudsters in the U.S.! By contrast, Mr. Wang Zhendong, convicted in Liaoning, China, of running a fake ant-breeding operation that cost investors the equivalent of $387B, was sentenced to, er, death.

Updates
BBC News carried a story yesterday on the 50th anniversary of the John Frum Movement cargo cult on the south Pacific island of Tanna, but of course Mr. Frum was believed-in before World War II, which is why the islanders thought all that cargo landing on the island (which was a staging area for the war) was heaven-sent.
The DNA test came back on that Malaysian cow that two farmers were contesting ownership of. The cow is supposedly worth the equivalent of $570, but the DNA test (paid for by the two farmers) cost $914 ($457 each). Must be a hell of a cow.

Below The Fold
A kid had a really, really bad experience out tagging the side of a bridge after rappelling over it [Link Corrected] at about -5 degrees F (but then the rope caught on his leg, and, dangling there, he thought if he just shed some of his clothes, it would be easier to wriggle free) . . . . . A (professional) dog groomer apparently sliced off part of a shi tzu’s ear but then super-glued it back on (and fluffed up the shaggy hair over it), but then the glue wasn’t so super, in that the ear came off with the first bath . . . . . Latest truck spill, near the Santa Cruz-Pima county line in Arizona: a marijuana-carrying F-150 driven by a citizen of the sovereign nation of Mexico, trying to elude the Border Patrol . . . . . One more problem for Kenyans: Women don’t know how to give good sex . . . . . New mom Rebecca Johnson said her delivery was quick: "I didn’t know what happened until he was in my pant leg" . . . . . And another of those reactions that Yr Editor (a former teacher), reluctantly, agrees is wrong: New York City school teacher Gale Dragone, 52, threw a book at a 12-yr-old student who just wouldn’t shut up (and bloodied his nose).