Weekender #14: October 18, 2009

A collection of links, news, and oddities that I've come across during the past week.


So there's this advice column, and it published this letter (from a girl who needed this), and the advice columnist was all "snark!", which made everyone go "huh?!?", and the letter-writer got all "well!", so finally the columnist was like "…whatever, bitches", while everyone else went "grr…", because really? Um, hell no.

A judge in Louisiana is refusing to marry a biracial couple, but it's not because he's racist or anything — hell, he even lets black people into his house, where they actually use his bathroom — but because he is worried about the resultant children and how they will be viewed. Those poor kids don't have a chance. They just grow up to be outcasts and criminals and President of the United States and whatnot.

This unfortunate Tourette's sufferer involuntarily yells out things he considers obscene, including the statement "I'm a gay man". This got me to wondering: since I'm not a homophobe, what kind of obscene statements would I make if I suffered from Tourette's? "I'm a Republican!" "I loved The Da Vinci Code!" "I could care less!"

Minnesota: hot enough to melt your siding, happenin' enough to shake your house, but still not cool enough to visit on spring break.

Animal news: aww, it's the cutest widdle vegetarian spider; break it down, Stinky; talk about a golf handicap; the only thing worse than losing a camel is losing a beautiful camel; and where have all MN's kangaroos gone?

Lafayette, we are here, and we brought fries: there is now a McDonald's in the Louvre. (Although it is worth noting that French McDonald's have very different menus from American ones — I had one of the best salads of my life at a Mickey D's in Dijon.) Between the encroaching Americans and the exiting Egyptians, the Louvre is having quite a time of it.

I'm a few years late in discovering this New Yorker article about Nicol Williamson's infamous, co-star-stabbing turn in I Hate Hamlet, but better late than never, right? (There's some more detail on the sword-whacking incident in this article.) I loves me some tantrum-throwing British celebrities, I do.

The future is dystopic: either we'll die alone in bunkers or live off the harvested organs of children. With a McDonald's now in the Louvre, can the downfall of civilization be very far away?

You know what Edgar Allan Poe wants for his 200th birthday? A funeral do-over. Now you can go to the Raveneister's send-off and pay your respects to the replica corpse that's been ordered for the occasion. Let's face it, EAP would have wanted it this way. (And so would Jules Verne.)

A page about vegan stuff in the Twin Cities led me to a local vegan emporium, which in turn led me to learn that Bizarro comic artist Dan Piraro is an outspoken vegan and animal rights advocate. Now his comics are twice as awesome in my eyes.

300+ people may have been killed by the recent floods in the Philippines, but don't worry: Imelda Marcos's shoes have been saved.

I hate to say it, but I'm on the researchers' side in this: animal rights activists who use bombs and threats to get their point across are "thugs", indeed.

Well fuck you, NBC, and your little dog too. Now I may never learn how that Southland cliffhanger ends.

This kid makes me feel sorry for all the times I cut class when I was his age.

Steampunk win and steampunk fail — and then there's steampoo

Sometimes, the picture tells the whole story.

Dumb crooks: burglars stop to ask police for directions; bare-assed mooner gets caught on a train; parents want home repairs, but kid wants candy; do not steal from the police station.

In Britain, the Mary Rose Trust will be displaying artifacts raised from the Tudor ship's wreck site, including "a urethral syringe used for curing syphilis and a restored comb with nits still inside". Tudor England brought sexy back, yo.

There are hundreds of golf balls in Loch Ness. Kramer! (…Is there a marine biologist here?)

Red Dwarf may come back to TV, which is maybe-good. So may Hawaii Five-O, which is definitely-bad. And there's now talk of a Millenium movie, but without Chris Carter's involvement. SACRILEGE!

Speaking of TV: I never paid much attention to that sci-fi show Andromeda, other than to note that it had both Kevin Sorbo (local Minnesotan boy made good — well, mildly successful, anyway) and a character nicknamed Romy (spelled the same as my name, but pronounced differently). (And, according to the Wikipedia page, it premiered on my birthday. Weird.) All these years later, though, it's been brought to my attention that the show has a strong strain of Nietszchian philosophy running through it. Maybe I should recommend it to my husband…

Holy fucked-up hand molds, Batman! I always knew there was something imminently disabling about that whole "make a cast of your hands" deal.

I want a Sasqwatch.

Jonathan Safran Foer has an interesting essay up in the New York Times about his journey to vegetarianism.

Victor Garber as a Klingon in the new Star Trek movie? You work out the Klingon for "fangasm"; I'll be over here on the floor, seizing uncontrollably in a puddle of my own drool.

Dammit, Tim Berners-Lee! Do you have any idea how your stupid forward slashes have ruined my GTD goals? …oh, you do? And you're sorry for it? Okay then.

Michael Caine's official site makes me sad with its bad design. But then I watch some Zulu and I'm all better again.

No loo, no "I do": Indian women are demanding toilets as dowries. No shit.

There is an opera about serial killer Aileen Wuornos. I'm hoping the libretto's in Italian, because only a foreign language could add class to the phrase "prostitute turned lesbian turned serial killer".

New York is having problems: not only do their car registration stickers fail to stick, but their elevators may not be kosher. Laugh all you want, but would you be willing to ride in an elevator that violates the Lord's commandments? Yeah. Didn't think so.

You know, I just don't see myself "friending" Auschwitz.

My mother and I were having a discussion about the low-budget, jungle-themed entertainments of our childhood. She named the "Jungle Jim" movies as the worst jungle series of all time (and I will say, those half-assed skeleton costumes do support her point); I countered with the early-2000s TV remake of "Sheena, Queen of the Jungle". and headed to YouTube for proof — and won the argument with a condensed version of "Revenge of the Jirds", which involves death-dealing gerbils. Crawling around on the ground, covered with gerbils and shrieking at the top of my lungs: that was my childhood, but I did it for fun.

An English company is looking to hire translators… for Glasgow. This sounds silly, but it actually makes sense; the one time I was in Glasgow, I had no damn clue what any of the locals were saying, and ended up going to a Pakistani-owned convenience store to get intelligible directions.

It's the Return of the Night of the Revenge of the Nazi garden gnomes!

Pity Nicolas Cage. The only reason he could possibly have had for starring in his latest string of movies is money — but apparently he's broke anyway, and will have to sell his Bavarian castle. I'm sorry, I have to say it: "HOW'D HE GET BURNED?!?"

Ah, Germany: where the brothels are green, the bikers are drunk, the e-mail scams are more painful than you can imagine, and the leftover food is not for you, peon!

I'm not a fan of John Mayer's music, but I will agree with him on this one: he knows more about music than he does about the national health care debate.

Shoot straight, you bastards: Australians want a review of "Breaker" Morant's death sentence. Scapegoats to the bloody Empire, indeed.

You know what's nice? Carrying a wheelchair-bound man up a mountain (and for charity, to boot!). You know what's not nice? Ditching him halfway and leaving him to be carried down by a rescue team while you head to the summit and back. Guess we can take the "charity" out of "charity climbers", then.

I've got a priest fetish as strong as the next girl, but I think I'd draw the line at having a long-term, child-producing relationship with one — and then kvetching about the guy being an absentee father, because, well, he's a priest. All that legal wrangling and emotional heartache kind of put the kibosh on the taboo joys for me.

I'm no great fan of Alexander Pope, but even I would agree that a 1789 edition of one of his books is worth more than a couple books of Canadian stamps. Apparently, Canada Post disagrees.

Hey kids: study hard and win a Somali quiz, and you'll get some awesome prizes, like AK-47s or hand grenades or anti-tank mines!

Australian lady firefighters, take note: don't run through the fire hoses in your new yellow shirts, because they're dangerous when wet.

Midget racing: hurtful, not helpful.

Michele Bachmann is the reason I can't mock Alaska for electing Sarah Palin.

It's a lucrative week for Australians: they're hiring online at Gawker and Internet Eyes. Guess it pays to get up early…

Without Feathers is the top result in Google when you search for the words "prone to rambling". That seems like an appropriate way to end this extra-long Weekender.

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