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Maybe now isn’t the best time to sell an Ebola plush toy?
10.14.2014
01:50 pm

Topics:
Current Events

Tags:
toys
Ebola

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I’m not sure if this will make it on to my letter to Santa this year, it might kind of look out of place next to my requests for, you know, world peace, an end to famine and war and the Scooby-Doo DVD box set, but you never know.

The Ebola plush toy is made by GIANTmicrobes®, a company that makes… er… giant microbe toys “designed as a teaching tool to help small children learn about the importance of handwashing”

GIANTmicrobes® have been created for many other purposes. There are now over a hundred designs depicting everything from the cells of the body, to the probiotic creatures that improve health, to the philanthropic microbes that make bread and yogurt, to the aquatic amoebas and paramecium familiar to high school students, to a wide range of medical pathogens.

The Ebola plush toy (a million times the real size) costs $9.95, while a gigantic toy is $29.95 and petri dish $14.95. Ebola is described as the “T. Rex of microbes” and this toy is a “uniquely contagious gag gift” even if it does look like a giant joby.
 
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Sadly, these are all currently out of stock, but there are 150 Originals to choose from including:
 
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The Black Death (Yersinia pestis).
 
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Acidophilus (Lactobacillus acidophilus).
 
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Amoeba (Amoeba proteus).
 
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Bad Breath (Porphyromonas gingivalis).
 
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Bird Flu (Influenza A virus H5N1)
 
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Diarrhea (Campylobacter jejuni).
 
While GIANTmicrobes® have an educational point to their existence, I’m not sure what the point of the Ebola baby suit is (though it claims “to speak for itself”) other than reminding us of our privileged position in the Western world compared to all the thousands of babies, children, women and men dying from the disease in Africa. Or maybe it’s just supposed to be in bad taste?
 
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Now, wash your hands!
 
With thanks to Duke.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Cartoonists document Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement


Art by Luis Simoes
 
The last few days have seen no small amount of drama in Hong Kong, as disenfranchised students are calling attention to their lack of political freedoms. The students have taken up umbrellas to protect themselves from the massive amounts of tear gas the riot police have used as a means of restoring order. 

On Facebook you can find two groups dedicated to recording the scenes at the the Causeway Bay, Mong Kok, and Admiralty areas of Hong Kong. Urban Sketchers Hong Kong (USHK) and Sketcher-Kee have both been in existence for about a year, and have responded to the recent unrest with vigor. Its members have been posting sketches featuring unfriendly police, tense protesters, and poetically empty or chaotically crammed urban vistas dominated by umbrellas and the color yellow. 

At the moment the protests are in a bit of a lull, as protest leaders have met with government officials and agreed to meet for talks starting on October 10. Student leader Lester Shum has said that the protests would continue until “practical measures [have] been forged between the government and the people.”

USHK cofounder Alvin Wong emphasized to Hyperallergic‘s Laura C. Mallonee the value of documenting “the biggest pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong history,” no matter the risk. As Wong Suede of Sketcher-Kee says, “We want to use our ability to make awareness for the public, to share our observations, experiences, and thoughts via the Internet to the world. ... We hope we can support and encourage the protesters who are fighting for Hong Kong … since we are also protestors, we hope it may [achieve something] for the whole movement.”
 

Art by Rob Sketcherman
 

Art by Collins Yeung ART
 

Art by Wink Au
 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Morrissey has been undergoing cancer treatment: ‘If I die, then I die’
10.07.2014
08:13 am

Topics:
Current Events
Music

Tags:
Morrissey
cancer

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Morrissey has told El Mundo newspaper via the Morrissey-Solo message board that he has received treatment for cancer. In response to the questions, “Your fans are worried about your state of health, in recent months you have been hospitalized and have had to cancel several concerts. How are you feeling?” the 55-year-old singer wrote:

They have scraped cancerous tissues from me four times already, but who cares. If I die, then I die. And if not, then I don’t. Right now I feel good. I am aware that in recent photos I look unwell, but that is what illness does. I’m not going to worry about that, I’ll rest when I’m dead.

Over the past year, Morrissey has been troubled with health issues and has been repeatedly hospitalized. Early last year, he was diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer, then in March of the same year he had double pneumonia. This was followed by respiratory failure in June and food poisoning in July 2013.

In the interview Morrissey also discussed why he supported an independent Scotland (“because I like people to rise up against regimes”) and his dislike for David and Victoria Beckham:

I can not stand David and Victoria Beckham. The tragic importance that the British media give this couple is what has made us a nation of zombies. They are nothing, but their egos are abnormally overdeveloped. Victoria never does anything, but she’s always busy, absorbed in her self-worship, like “McDonna” [author’s note: for Madonna, probably]. And her husband, well, he does not know how to speak English and his business is disgusting. He has a line of perfumes that have been previously tested on animals, as if animals are accustomed to wear cologne. Remember: if you buy his aftershave lotion you are supporting animal torture.

Read the whole interview here.
 
Via El Mundo

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Donald Trump and the serial killers
09.29.2014
09:50 am

Topics:
Amusing
Crime
Current Events

Tags:
Donald Trump


 
Donald Trump does it again…

This morning Gawker reports that “gaping mouth with hairpiece” Donald Trump was pranked on Twitter by a “loser” (in Trump-sprach) who asked the “thick-fingered vulgarian” to retweet a memorial to his dead parents:

“My parents who passed away always said you were big inspiration. Can you pls RT for their memory?” asked Phil Bradbury, who goes by Feckhead on Twitter. Trump fell for the flattery and granted Feckhead’s request, but the photo he retweeted actually showed Fred and Rosemary West, convicted of torturing, raping and killing 10 girls during the mid-‘70s.

Fred hanged himself before he could be sentenced, and Rosemary is currently incarcerated for life.

Here’s, the greatest sentence ever written about Trump:

Trump, whose fuckup was retweeted thousands of times before he deleted it, continues to serve out his own sentence of life as Donald Trump.

Standing ovation.

Trump, having been trumped BUT GOOD is naturally threatening to sue!

Here are some responses from some of the people Donald Trump thinks are “losers”:

 

 

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Nasty neighbor: Old man porn ninja terrorizes innocent neighbors
09.17.2014
10:51 am

Topics:
Current Events
Kooks
Sex

Tags:
Jimmy


 
Meet crotchety old man “Jimmy.” Jimmy lives in Queens Village, NY, and loves to terrorize his Indian neighbors every day with pornographic images hanging in the front window of his home. Jimmy’s probably hoping the images are so offensive to his neighbors and to their 4-year-old son, that they’ll eventually move out. Jimmy’s one nasty son of a gun. It’s so bad, the neighbors have resorted to hanging a sheet on their front porch to block the view of Jimmy’s house.

Sanjeev Aggurawal and his family are the neighbors the pictures appear to be aimed at offending the most.

“He’s upset because some Indian guy moved in next door. That’s the basic thing,” Sanjeev Aggurawal said.

Police have been called on Jimmy’s ass before, but like a skillful old porn ninja, Jimmy removes the images before they arrive and promptly puts them back up when they’re gone. Jimmy must be stopped!

Fuckin’ Jimmy, man…

 
via ABC 13 and h/t Death and Taxes

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Plastic Surgery Disaster: Powerful animation about trying to obtain ‘female perfection’
09.12.2014
08:39 am

Topics:
Animation
Current Events
Hysteria

Tags:
plastic surgery


 
This disturbing, powerful and eye-opening animation, “Supervenus” by Frédéric Doazan doesn’t mince… meat with getting its message across, does it?

In it, a female anatomical drawing goes for plastic surgery. She is cut up, given botox and liposuction, and is finally transformed into a blonde bombshell. The procedures do not stop there, however, and take on nightmarish proportions.

This animation is painful to watch—it documents the pressure that women face as they feel like they have to look a certain way, as well as their love-hate relationship with their bodies.

Living in Los Angeles this is something you’re faced with every single day in the most mundane places. Supermarkets, the car wash. There’s a Jocelyn Wildenstein in every yoga class in town. The only minor quibble I have with the piece is that’s is not just women who are feeling the pressures of “unattainable beauty”—due to all the photoshop nonsense in magazines—but men are too. I mean, look (try not to gawk) at Bruce Jenner, Mickey Rourke, Sylvester Stallone and so forth. Clearly they’ve also been “infected” with the body dysmorphic virus.
 

 
Thank you Alice Lowe, of London, England!

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Man had moth buzzing inside his head for three days
08.25.2014
08:31 am

Topics:
Current Events

Tags:
insects
moths

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Like the gastropod that crawled into a victim’s brain in Shaun Hutson’s Slugs, or the carnivorous insects invading human orifices in Guy N. Smith’s Abomination, this is a tale worthy of a horror story: man has live moth removed from ear which had been buzzing inside his head for three fucking days!

This nightmare began for Rob Fielding, 43, of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, England, when a moth perched on his ear while he was reading in bed one night at home. Instinctively he reached up to poke it away but ended up pushing the insect into his ear canal. 

After three restless days, his wife suggested he went to hospital for an examination. The insect was eventually removed during a 90-minute operation where his ear canal was prised open and the moth pulled out with a tiny pair of forceps. Mr Fielding told ITV News:

It was awful knowing the moth was flying around inside my head and every now and then when I felt it move, it made me jump out of my skin.

 
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He now displays the dead insect on his mantlepiece as a souvenir of the ordeal.

Alas no video for this story, but here’s one that was removed earlier…(success around 2:50).
 

 
H/T Arbroath

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Murder suspect asked Siri how to hide a body; Siri gave him some answers!
08.13.2014
01:49 pm

Topics:
Current Events
Science/Tech

Tags:
Siri


 
I haven’t been following this case or know much about it, but a few years ago a teenager Pedro Bravo allegedly strangled and killed a young man—formerly a friend of his—named Christian Aguilar, a University of Florida student, in a Wal-mart parking lot. Bravo was convinced Aguliar was dating his old high school girlfriend and became so overcome with jealousy and anger, killing Aguliar and burying him in a nearby forest.

According to reports, Bravo allegedly asked Siri, “I need to hide my roommate.”

What’s creepy as hell is Siri actually responded with, “What kind of place are you looking for?” Siri then suggested the following: “Swamps. Reservoirs. Metal foundries. Dumps.”
 

 
Dumbfounding, isn’t it? HOW would Siri seemingly understand the nuance present in this situation?

You can read more about the case here and here.

Update: There appears to be some discrepancy with what actually happened. Watch the video below:

 
via Death and Taxes

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Russian teenagers build ‘swimming’ pool in living room
08.02.2014
09:57 am

Topics:
Amusing
Current Events

Tags:
teenagers
swimming pools

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Two enterprising teenagers have found a novel answer to Moscow’s current heatwave by turning a living room into their very own mini indoor pool. The big question is, whose front room have they used?

Photos appeared on social networks of the two nameless lads bathing in their DIY paddling pool. According to the Moscow Times, the pool was constructed “using a basic tarpaulin and held in place by Scotch tape”.

The boys, who hail from the Oryol region about 350 kilometers southwest of Moscow, where temperatures rose above 30 C this week according to the weather bureau, were seemingly oblivious to their unconventional setting as they posed for pool snaps amongst a radiator, some curtains and a chandelier.

It was not immediately clear how the boys planned to drain the water from their living room pool, nor whether the homeowner had consented to the bath’s construction.

You just know this isn’t going to end well for someone…
 
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Via Moscow Times

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’: Spill of poppies commemorate fallen of First World War
08.01.2014
01:29 pm

Topics:
Current Events

Tags:
poetry
Wilfred Owen
World War I

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To commemorate the centennial of Britain’s involvement in the First World War, artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper have produced a “staggering” installation of red ceramic poppies in the dry moat of the Tower of London.

The installation is titled “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red” and once finished will consist of 888,246 red ceramic poppies—each one representing a British or Colonial fatality during the Great War. The red poppy is the British symbol for Remembrance Day, when the nation give homage to the war dead. Volunteers will plant ceramic flowers each day until November 11th—the day of remembrance.

Remembrance is one thing, but humanity never seems to learn from the experiences of past wars—as can be seen by current events in Gaza. If there is any real sincerity in honoring those who sacrificed their lives, then it is in the cessation of all conflict. But sadly I doubt we are ever going to see that anytime soon.

It would also have been an idea to remember not just the British and Colonial fallen, but all of the (estimated) 37 million casualties (16 million dead and over 20 million wounded) in this horrendous conflict.

The poet Wilfred Owen (1893 - 1918) was a hero, soldier and poet, who best summed up the horror of war with his poem “Dulce et Decorum Est,” which strikes as hard now as it did when first published in 1920.

Dulce et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime…
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori
.

The phrase “Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori” means “How sweet and honourable it is to die for one’s country,” and is taken from a poem by the Roman poet Horace. It was used to encourage the young into the belief it was good to die for one’s country, or fatherland. This “old lie” is still in use today.
 
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More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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