Men generally know very little about their significant other. In a survey of 2,000 men 6 out of 10 thought they knew everything about their lover, but the results showed something a little different. Of the men surveyed 10% did not know her birthday, 12% did not know her eye color, 8% didn't even know her natural hair color. As a woman, I have to say, I'm not surprised. Check out what else the guys don't know at the link.
It’s an election year in the UK, and politicians there are suddenly more image conscious than ever. None more so than incumbent Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who - at his wife’s suggestion - has swapped his regular Kit-Kat munching habit for a diet of bananas in an effort to slim down a bit. While it’s nice to know that the British PM’s wife is perhaps a reader this blog, she’s obviously not a regular one, or she’d have known that portly politicos are more trusted. Now if only he’d show the common touch by going on a bacon binge (Orange News).
Mind you, Mr. Brown is not the only statesman trying to avert a bleak future this week, an unnamed Arab ambassador got the shock of his life when he finally lifted his new bride’s niqab, only to find she had cross-eyes and a beard. The groom immediately went to court to have the marriage annulled, claiming he had been tricked into the marriage and that the bride’s parents had used pictures of her attractive older sister to deceive him. The court found for the groom and dissolved the marriage, but turned down his demand for $150000 compensation (Daily Mail).
But perhaps he’s been a bit quick to judge by appearances. Two Chinese men certainly were when the found a hoard of 20 clay artefacts in an old tomb they discovered in a field near their home, only to later sell the whole lot to a collector for less than $2000. Unfortunately for the pair, theirs were rare finds from the Sui-Tang Dynasty, making the collection over 1000 years old. One item alone, a pottery figurine, recently reached $150,000 at auction (Daily Times).
More fortunate was Wendy Jones of Aberglasney in Wales, who took the old plate she’d had perched on her sideboard for years – except on those odd occasions it had fallen off it - to a TV antiques show, in a plastic carrier bag, only to be told it was part of a rare, Prussian royal service worth over £100000 (Telegraph).
Remember our post on the all-female marimba orchestra? Well, I started doing a little research and discovered that during WWII, thanks to the man-shortage, all-female Big Bands flourished. You can read the fascinating story in Tonya Bolden's recent book, pictured to the right. It comes complete with a swinging CD. But to whet your appetite for these pulchritudinous anomalies, check out the clip above.
The city bus public transit system in Atlanta, referred to as MARTA has recently reorganized the routes with color coding. Not a bad idea at first blush but, choosing to call the route that runs into an area with a largely Asian community the Yellow Line seems ill advised. Some complaints have been raised, but according to one member of management, those complaining don't ride the bus anyway. I don't think they would have gotten by with calling the route into an African-American neighborhood the black line or the one to a largely gay neighborhood the brown line, but they seem to think the Yellow Line is perfectly acceptable. Let the lawsuits begin.
16 More Things I Learned Last Week A supplement to News of the Weird/Pro Edition
February 9, 2010
(datelines January 30-February 6; links correct as of February 8)
Even after years of ridicule about "zero tolerance," a New York City principal still almost suspended a 9-year-old boy for having a 2-inch-long toy "gun." New York Daily News
Switzerland set for referendum the question whether animals deserve public defenders in legal proceedings. (Don't roll your eyes. In the United States recently, the Supreme Court ruled that a notarized piece of paper associated with a set of books and a bank account has the same free-speech rights as the human being(s) who own the paper, books, and bank account.) The Times (London) /// New York Times
The Haiti earthquake (200,000 dead) was terrible, just terrible! We're all in a tizzy over the inhuman suffering. Meanwhile, in the Rwandan civil war, the death toll (the vast majority no more deserving of their fate than were the earthquake victims) climbed to 6,000,000. New York Times
"Amy," star of a seminal child porn series that has appeared in the collections of at least 800 convicted pervs, has demanded restitution from the uncle who originally took the pictures – and from everyone who had copies. Psych professionals estimate the damage done to her at $3.4 million, and some courts have begun to go along. New York Times
In other child porn news, the queen of the Viardouro samba group (one of 12 groups in the top-class competition at Rio's Carnaval) is 7 years old. She's supposed to be really good, but even in Brazil they have a problem with this. (Not her dad, though. He couldn't be prouder.) And here's something that could really confuse pedophiles: A rare ailment (lipodystrophy) makes this 13-year-old girl look like she's 50. Associated Press via ABC News /// MSNBC
Using insects, salamanders, geckos, water striders and cockroaches, scientists are designing robots for various purposes. At the end, the self-rearranging robot climbs up a suitcase and does the limbo.
I'm officially requesting the beta for the foot massaging robot who also trims toenails -- maybe designed after a caterpillar? Maybe not.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.