31 January 2007

Return of the elusive man

In a bar to soothe my teeming brain with a ‘few’ highballs and in through the door strolls Professor Glen Morangie, recently returned from a scientific expedition to Srinagar, India to acquire a living specimen of the Giant Owl of Kashmir.

“I’ve proven conclusively the Giant Owl of Kashmir is extinct,” claims Morangie.

The Professor informs me with his Strigiformes research concluded, he’s turning to politics, and plans to run for President. His platform includes increased government funding for treating emetophilia (a condition he himself suffers from), holding an annual vote to let the people select which lucky country will be the recipient of our bombs for the entire following year, and replacing the bald eagle as national symbol with the extinct Giant Owl of Kashmir.

“The kindest and most gentle of all known giant owls, which is probably why the poor creatures went extinct,” claims the Professor, slightly teary-eyed.

I’m not sure how his policies compare with those taken by the leading candidates, as I’m incapable of listening to the wind-up wheezings of the leading candidates, vainly mouthing the same platitudes over and over to the adulation of their brainless followers.

He’s explaining how he has 'ethnic' appeal, stemming from the little known fact that his grandfather may have been a Mustiphino when I excuse myself to go outside for a cigarette.

Outside the sun is shining. I know at some point his ramblings will end he’ll surely ask me for a campaign contribution. I light a cigarette and start walking.

28 January 2007

Foreign correspondences

From Malaysia comes word of a "a hungry 25-foot python" (is there any other kind?) that’s eaten at least 11 dogs. Across Difficult Country foreign correspondent and native Malaysian Ismail Mat Taib remarked:
“I thought at first the dogs might be victims of a mysterious monster which had surfaced unnaturally from the bottom of the sea,” said villager Taib, who had been herding cattle near the beach. “Humongous snake was my second guess.”
In other Malaysian news, the Malaysian men’s ice hockey team beat Hong Kong 7-3 and made them cry.

Eco-friendly

A Michigan woman's home has been condemned because its interior is covered in a two inch layer of animal shit (dog and cat mostly). The woman notes her novel form of home insulation, produced by her 66 pets, is cheap, environmentally friendly, 100% organic, and has dramatically reduced her winter heating bills. If the global warming hysterics find out about it they will surely try to make it mandatory.

There’s only silence here

A school in Rhode Island is requiring students to remain silent during lunch. It seems the little blabbermouths are unable to stop talking while eating, resulting in an epidemic of choking incidents. As sensible as this rule is, since most schoolchildren these days are obese why not require the students to keep socks in their mouths except when called upon in class? Doing so would eliminate the babbling and the gorging.

21 January 2007

Modern Age XXIV, Winter 1980

"Conservatives, from Burke on, have tended to see the population much in the manner medieval legists and philosophical realists (in contrast to nominalists) saw it: as composed of, not individuals directly, but the natural groups within which individuals invariably live: family, locality, church, region, social class, nation, and so on. Individuals exist, of course, but they cannot be seen or comprehended save in terms of social identities which are inseparable from groups and associations. If modern conservatism came into existence essentially through such a work as Burke's attack on the French Revolution, it is because the Revolution, so often in the name of the individual and his natural rights, destroyed or diminished the traditional groups - guild, aristocracy, patriarchal family, church, school, province, etc. - which Burke declared to be the irreducible and constitutive molecules of society. Such early conservatives as Burke, Bonald, Haller, and Hegel (of The Philosophy of Right) and such conservative liberals as the mature Lamennais and of course Tocqueville, saw individualism - that is, the absolute doctrine of individualism - as being as much of a menace to social order and true freedom as the absolute doctrine of nationalism. Indeed, they argued, it is the pulverizing of society into a sandheap of individual particles, each claiming natural rights, that makes the arrival of collectivist nationalism inevitable."
- Robert Nisbet, Conservatives and Libertarians: Uneasy Cousins.

Can I walk you home tonight?

Racial “progress” is everywhere one looks. For the first time ever, both coaches in the Superbowl are black, I'm told an Hispanic and a black are running for president, and in Puerto Rico a Mocha Vampire has been sighted. From Count Dracula to Nosferatu to Keith Richards, vampirism has been a lily-white field, but in 1972 Blacula shattered the vampiric color barrier.1 Unfortunately, after that the trend toward greater diversity seemed to stall - until now:
"[T]he Moca Vampire had its own agenda. On March 18, 1975, two goats belonging to Hector Vega, a resident of Moca’s Barrio Pueblo, were found drained of blood. Puncture marks on the goats’ necks were the unmistakable sign that the strange entity causing the deaths was still at large and hungrier than ever: it returned to Vega’s farm the following night to finish off ten more goats and wound another seven. The horrified farmer also discovered that ten additional goats had gone missing."
1There is considerable confusion regarding Count Chocula’s ancestry, I’m of the opinon he’s a swarthy Mediterranean.

19 January 2007

Come on, it's a beautiful night for a walk on the beach

With a stroke of President Felipe Calderón’s pen, the Mexican tortilla crisis has been, if not averted, since price controls never work, at least delayed until mañana. I’m no expert in geopolitics, but I think it sound as a general foreign policy principle to avoid entanglements with nations susceptible to widespread unrest anytime there are fluctuations in the tortilla supply.

13 January 2007

The Pyrates will be having a mixer with the Black Bras

I’ve learned some readers doubt the veracity of the story from The Tide reprinted below. Need I remind them The Tide (unlike certain prominent American newspapers which have famously printed fabricated stories) has “a commitment to truth”?

As unbelievable as it may seem, except for being more frequent, in depth, and more stylishly written, The Tide’s coverage of the Nigerian university cult situation does not differ factually from what’s been reported in other sources. See, for example, “War of the black magic cults brings death to Nigeria’s universities”, from the Apr. 20, 2005 edition of The Telegraph UK:
“In the last month alone, 13 of its students have been killed in clashes between cults calling themselves the “Black Axe” and the “Black Eye”.

Professional mercenaries were allegedly hired to carry out some of the killings. The state governor, Lucky Igbinedion, was forced to intervene in the conflict.”
Cult initiation rituals are way beyond fraternity hazing:
"[Emmanuel] Chege [a 24 year-old botany student at Ambrose Ali university in the town of Ekpoma] said the cults use “juju”, or black magic, to terrify students.
When someone is initiated, they are traditionally beaten to the ground with their assailant hitting them below the head to prevent noticeable bruises. They must then stand up and be beaten to the ground over and over again.

“You have to take some concoctions and rituals. People die - those are the weak ones,” said Mr Chege. The concoctions are a mixture of drugs, alcohol and blood drawn from an animal.

Nigeria’s 100 universities boast four main cults. Members of each wear distinctive bandanas and use particular handshakes.”
In certain aspects the cults resemble American street gangs:
“In Nigeria those in the “Black Axe”, wear black bandanas, the “Black Eyes” wear yellow, the “Pyrates” favour blue and the “Mafia” choose red.”
Life is difficult for students who aren’t part of the campus cult scene, and the cults’ sinister reach extends to the faculty:
“Non-members are often ostracised and referred to derisively as “Jews”. University lecturers are often members.”
There are cults for women as well:
“Female students have their own cults - called the “Black Bras” in Lagos university.”1
A precise body count from cult activities is difficult to ascertain, but most agree:
“The cults are believed to have been responsible for hundreds of murders in the last 20 years.”
1Coed cults exist too, such as the recently apprehended "dreaded Icelander cult".

UPDATE: Also see Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka, who writes in The Guardian:
"They establish competitive reigns of terror on campuses, engage in activities that occasionally spill over into the towns. They extort, rape, employ acid to disfigure women who have spurned them, and serve as enforcers and thugs to politicians."

11 January 2007

Abia State Polytechnic #1 Party School

Debauched as student life at American universities typically is, there's no comparison with the campus hijinks occurring in Nigeria. The Tide Online provides the shocking details (what follows is the complete text of its report):
A legal practitioner in Umuahia, Abia State capital, has called on the federal government to urgently save Nigerian Universities from sliding into anarchy as a result of cultism.

Barrister Uwandu Onyenakom who spoke to The Tide in Umuahia lamented that no week passed without institutions of higher learning recording casualties of cultism.

“Worst hit are schools like Imo State University, Abia State University, Abia State Polytechnic among many others.

“Cultism, at the rate it is going will succeed in destroying and uprooting foundations in our institutions of higher learning. Something needs to the done urgently to check the slide towards anarchy” Onyenakom said.

According to him, the cultists who seem to be Lords in campuses harass, intimidate and most times kill cult members at their own pleasure.

Evidence have shown that many undergraduates who embraced membership of cults in schools like Imo State University, Abia State University, Abia State Polytechnic and Enugu State University have been trailed and hacked down in cold blood.

In Abia Polytechnic, a security man was brutally murdered just because he obstructed the activities of cultists in the school.

“When they shot the man and their bullet could not penetrate his body, they hacked him down with axe,” said a source from the school.

There are speculations that cultists have become too powerful because politicians use them to achieve power and this has given them political backing to the extent that they unleash terror on their victims at will and are not brought to book.

Onyenakom, therefore enjoined the federal government to launch drastic anti-cult actions to arrest the ugly trend before the universities become houses of horror.
Tide Bonus: Small Talks on the missing member.

09 January 2007

For iDipt into the future, far as human eye could see

I saw footage of the Steve Jobs Apple iPhone demo, and it was shown one of the things you can do with iPhone is upload photos to it, then by touching the screen make them larger and smaller. Am I the only one reminded of the moon landing? Larger, smaller – by touching the screen. I'm thinking of how stout Cortez must have felt on that mountaintop. Larger. Smaller. By touching the screen.

The gizmo is causing excitement around the globe. Across Dificult Country foreign correspondent Ismail Mat Taib enthused:
“I thought this may be back engineered from mysterious technology developed by the ancient Atlanteans before that great kingdom submerged unnaturally to the bottom of the sea,” said villager Taib, who had been herding cattle near the beach. “Larger, smaller, by touching the screen? Holy crap, are you kidding me?”
Obese teen Shauna Gerow paused between bites to observe, “It’s almost something to do rather than eat. Almost.”

Oddly named Madagascar wildlife researchers Félix Rakotondraparany and Amyot Kofoky were impressed:
“You could upload a picture of a sucker bat on it,” said Rakotondraparany, “then make it larger and smaller, by touching the screen.” Added Kofoky, “You could even put a picture of a sucker bat being gently cradled in the arms of your friend Steven M. Goodman on it. Then you could make it larger, smaller – just by touching the screen.”
Not to take anything away from Prometheus, but Prometheus is history, and the future (larger) is now (smaller), and it is beyond our wildest dreams (by touching a screen).

UPDATE: There is no Apple iPhone.

07 January 2007

From the the dry western forests of Madagascar

Most people assume bats can’t be any more disgusting than they already are, which is probably how a family of bats1 in Madagascar was able to evolve sucker feet without anyone noticing2 until it was too late to stop them.

For the time being the bats seem content to use their sucker feet to adhere to the surfaces of the leaves on the Traveler’s Palm and other similar broad-leaf plants, but it won’t be long before the bats realize (if it wasn’t the plan all along) they can stick just as well, if not better, to windows, windshields, laptop computer screens, and bald men’s heads.

When told of the revolting sucker-footed bats, Across Difficult Country foreign correspondent Ismail Mat Taib observed:
“I thought they may be mysterious bats which had surfaced unnaturally from the depths of a cave,” said Taib, who had been herding cattle near the beach.

1Myzopoda schliemanni.

2The sucker-footed bats were discovered by scientist Steven M. Goodman, whose name seems far to ordinary for an animal researcher, but he did so in collaboration with Félix Rakotondraparany and Amyot Kofoky.

Lapidifying virtue diffused through the whole body of the geocosm

"While examining the teeth of the shark, Steno was struck by their resemblance to certain stony objects, called glossopetrae or "tongue stones," that were found in certain rocks. Ancient authorities, such as the Roman author Pliny the Elder, had suggested that these stones fell from the sky or from the moon. Others were of the opinion, also going back to ancient times, that fossils naturally grew in the rocks. Steno's contemporary Athanasius Kircher, for example, attributed fossils to a "lapidifying virtue diffused through the whole body of the geocosm." Steno, however, argued that glossopetrae looked like shark teeth because they were shark teeth, that had come from the mouths of once-living sharks, and come to be buried in mud or sand that was now dry land. There were differences in composition between glossopetrae and living sharks' teeth, but Steno used the "corpuscular theory of matter", a forerunner of atomic theory, to argue that fossils could be altered in chemical composition without changing their form."
- Nicholas Steno (1638-1686)

04 January 2007

Gynarcho-tyranny

A sad day in our nation’s capital, as for the first time in American history a lady, Nancy Pelosi, is sworn in as Speaker of the House. Worse, it would seem she’s adopted the disgusting Third World practice of using children as human shields to deter assassination attempts. I suspect we are entering an era of Gynarchy, and it’s too late to do anything about it, but if we are to be ruled by women is it too much to ask they be a bit juicier? I suppose it is.

Watching the cermony Across Difficult Country’s new foreign correspondent the Malaysian villager Ismail Mat Taib remarked:

“At first glance I thought she may be a kuntilanak or even a Langsuir, who had had arrived unnaturally from across the sea,” said Taib, who had been herding cattle near the beach, “Then I realized it was only that congresswoman with the bad plastic surgery.”

03 January 2007

Knock-out method


Fig. 1

According to Chinese reports the U.S. and Japan have genetically engineered calves immune to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, or BSE. We truly live in wondrous times.

02 January 2007

Barge into the New Year

A strange beginning to the New Year in Malaysia, as a pair of huge anomalous objects materialized in the sea off the coast:
“I thought they may be mysterious islands which had surfaced unnaturally from the bottom of the sea,” said villager Ismail Mat Taib, who had been herding cattle near the beach.
Not an unreasonable guess, but after they washed ashore the fanciful cowboy realized the curious objects were 200 yard long, three story high barges. So far no one has come forward to claim ownership of them.

Jefferson on immigration

"Although as to other foreigners it is thought better to discourage their settling together in large masses, wherein, as in our German settlements, they preserve for a long time their own languages, habits, and principles of government, and that they should distribute themselves sparsely among the natives for quicker amalgamation, yet English emigrants are without this inconvenience. They differ from us little but in their principles of government, and most of those (merchants excepted) who come here, are sufficiently disposed to adopt ours." --Thomas Jefferson to George Flower, 1817.

"[Is] rapid population [growth] by as great importations of foreigners as possible... founded in good policy?... They will bring with them the principles of the governments they leave, imbibed in their early youth; or, if able to throw them off, it will be in exchange for an unbounded licentiousness, passing, as is usual, from one extreme to another. It would be a miracle were they to stop precisely at the point of temperate liberty. These principles, with their language, they will transmit to their children. In proportion to their number, they will share with us the legislation. They will infuse into it their spirit, warp and bias its direction, and render it a heterogeneous, incoherent, distracted mass." - Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia Q.VIII, 1782.
Source: Thomas Jefferson on Politics & Government