George Mason University's Speech Accent Archive recorded people from around the world saying the following phrase:
Please call Stella. Ask her to bring these things with her from the store: Six spoons of fresh snow peas, five thick slabs of blue cheese, and maybe a snack for her brother Bob. We also need a small plastic snake and a big toy frog for the kids. She can scoop these things into three red bags, and we will go meet her Wednesday at the train station.
There's a map you can click on to hear how people from various parts of the world sound saying these words. Even though many of the people are non-English speakers, I thought the Scots and Irish still managed to sound the strangest.
Everyone knows we're in the midst of a new Great Depression. But isn't it a little spooky that so many things from the 1930's are repeating themselves? Such as: a nation, mired in bad economic times, is distracted by a case of multiple births.
The Limeyg blog explores how to eat a roasted pig's head:
We started by tearing off the ears; the skin was fantastic, salty and crunchy, but not worthy of too much attention when the rest of the head was sitting there, full of secrets...
There was a small motherlode of deliciousness at the temple, a couple of inches up behind the eye: it was similar to the oysters on a chicken, except juicier and more tender.
I'm a meat lover, but I think I'd have to pass on this. I don't like my food to be staring back at me.
Young Man Stands on Head Before 48 State Capitols
For years sensitive citizens have loudly deplored the antique ugliness of the country's older state capitols. Now a hardheaded young Chicagoan named John G. Nichols, who appears upside down all over these two pages, has discarded words for drastic action. To illustrate his monumental distaste for the architecture of most state capitols he has managed to have his picture taken standing on his head before all 48 of them... He stood on his head in rain, snow, slush and mud and often had a terrible time getting people to take his picture. "They thought I was crazy," he explains modestly.
Your daily weird news editor tries to post by 9 a.m. Eastern time, but sometimes runs over by an hour or so, but today's won't be done until around 3 p.m. and maybe a little later. Reason: . . umm . . I have distractions. Plus, I don't like to post piecemeal. I like to post only after I've made my rounds and decided which stories I like the best. See ya later.
UPDATE, 3:30 p.m. Eastern time, Friday: Oh, man, am I ever lucky that I don't make any money with this blog! If I were on somebody's payroll, I'd get fired for just up-and-abandoning my post today! Fortunately for me, though, when ya ain't got nuthin', ya got nuthin' to lose. (No, wait, if I were on a payroll, I might have what people call "sick leave"; I haven't had a job that featured "sick leave" since 1980.) Anyway, I've got some news to post, and I'll start that some hour this weekend, and we'll hope for a fresh start on Monday. Cheers.
News of the Weird Daily Thursday, February 5, 2009
Things to Worry About
The basketball coach at St. John (Kan.) High School, with a championship heritage to protect but only a 7-6 record this season, sent all but one player through two 45-minute hypnosis sessions . . until the school board found out (and went nuts). Wichita Eagle via Kansas City Star
Jose Rivera, on trial for murder, said he never saw "The Fugitive," said it really was a "one-armed man," not he, who killed that woman (except that when the prosecutor informed him that the woman's neck had two-handed choke marks, he said, Oh, wait, I forgot, yeah, there was another guy with him). San Antonio Express-News
Loo Choon Yong, a member of the Singapore Parliament, pretty much summed up his country's low birth rate: "We should accept that as a people, our procreation talent is not our forte." (Bonus: and since apparently nobody's having sex on Saturdays, Loo is sponsoring a move to a six-day work week) Agence France-Presse via Yahoo
Fine Point of New Zealand law: Telling the boss to "stick this job up your arse" and walking away is not officially a "resignation" (and a gov't agency said the boss should have followed up for clarification). The Press (Christchurch)
Awesome: Fifteen illegals from the Netherlands were smuggled into Britain in a 37-ton tanker filled to half-capacity with chocolate powder destined for a Mars Candy factory. Daily Telegraph
Austrian anti-discrimination law is being tested by a Salzburg insurance company, which advertised recent job openings by limiting them to Capricorn, Taurus, Aquarius, Aries, and Leo (who are supposed to be way-high-performing). [Ed.: A good editor'd be checking the signs of Madoff, Fuld, Thain, et al, but I'm busy today. Sorry]Daily Mail (London)
Alcohol Was Involved: A 22-yr-old soccer fanatic, returning by bus from a big Manchester United match, apparently mistook the bus's exit door for the restroom door and fell onto the highway, where he was run over. United Press International
Comments on Things to Worry About? Comments 'worry_090205'
Your Daily Loser
A 68-yr-old South Korean woman, Ms. Cha, was just reported to have failed the written portion of her driver's test for the 771st time. Agence France-Presse via Yahoo Comments 'driver_test'
People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
George Bartusek Jr., 51, Cape Coral, Fla., was arrested in the parking lot of a Publix grocery store doing what a police report termed "distateful" things to a blow-up doll. Fort Myers News-Press[yep, mug shot!] Comments 'george_bartusek'
Your Daily Jury Duty ["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
And of course that's true in Iraq, too! For a change of pace, let's judge the guilt or innocence of a woman arrested in Diyala province. Ms. Samira Jassam, 51, was charged in January with recruiting maybe 80 women to be suicide bombers. (Background: Allegedly, her m.o. was to have them raped, thus making it easier to persuade them toward martyrdom since Muslim rape victims have dismal lives, anyway.) Agence France-Presse via Herald Sun (Melbourne) Comments 'samira_jassam'
Today's Newsrangers: Terry Summers, James Wicht, Stephen Taylor, Mark Neunder, Scott Langill, Robert Waters
Alex raised the topic of navels earlier, little knowing I had something of a similar nature in store!
This is of course a famous and admittedly effective commercial. But we'll include it in our series of oddities for one trivial reason: no navels shown! In a commercial focusing on several bare stomachs!
It was all part of television broadcast standards back then, just as with the famous I Dream of Jennie prohibition against showing Barbara Eden's navel.