"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Friday, January 30, 2009

"I can't understand it. I can't even understand the people who can understand it." - Queen Juliana of the Netherlands

***

Cows find milky way to happiness - "Happy cows produce more milk, according to researchers at Newcastle University. Cattle that are named and treated with a "more personal touch" can increase milk yields by up to 500 pints a year."

Peer reveals 'cello scrotum' hoax - "A BMJ spokesman said the inclusion and subsequent debunking of "cello scrotum" had "added to the gaiety of life"... The spoof was inspired by a similar report of a phenomenon called "guitar nipple", which happened when the edge of the guitar was pressed against the breast, causing irritation... "Anyone who has ever watched a cello being played would realise the physical impossibility of our claim.""

Johann Hari: Why should I respect these oppressive religions? - "Roy Brown of the International Humanist and Ethical Union has tried to raise topics like the stoning of women accused of adultery or child marriage. The Egyptian delegate stood up to announce discussion of shariah "will not happen" and "Islam will not be crucified in this council" – and Brown was ordered to be silent. Of course, the first victims of locking down free speech about Islam with the imprimatur of the UN are ordinary Muslims... As the secular campaigner Austin Darcy puts it: "The ultimate aim of this effort is not to protect the feelings of Muslims, but to protect illiberal Islamic states from charges of human rights abuse, and to silence the voices of internal dissidents calling for more secular government and freedom."... Today, whenever a religious belief is criticised, its adherents immediately claim they are the victims of "prejudice"... When you demand "respect", you are demanding we lie to you. I have too much real respect for you as a human being to engage in that charade."

Ten sci-fi devices that could soon be in your hands

Obesity Caught Like Common Cold - "Studies on humans show that 33 per cent of obese adults had contracted an adenovirus called AD-36 at some point in their lives, according to an article in the UK's Daily Express, whereas only 11 per cent of lean men and women have had the virus."

How many babies can fit inside one woman? - "There's no scientific limit, but the largest reported number of fetuses in one womb was 15... How do so many babies fit in one woman? The limit isn't so much the number of babies as their volume and weight. In general, once the total weight of the babies inside reaches about 12 pounds, the uterus goes into labor."

Eating dirt can be good for you - just ask babies - "In studies of what is called the hygiene hypothesis, researchers are concluding that organisms like the millions of bacteria, viruses and especially worms that enter the body along with "dirt" spur the development of a healthy immune system. Several continuing studies suggest that worms may help to redirect an immune system that has gone awry and resulted in autoimmune disorders, allergies and asthma. These studies, along with epidemiological observations, seem to explain why immune system disorders like multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma and allergies have risen significantly in the United States and other developed countries... Ruebush deplores the current fetish for the hundreds of antibacterial products that convey a false sense of security and may actually foster the development of antibiotic-resistant, disease-causing bacteria."

Study reveals 'shocking' kebabs - "The average doner they tested contained almost 1,000 calories - half a woman's recommended daily intake... Among the kebabs sampled - without salad or sauces - the average doner contained 98% of an adult's recommended daily salt and 148% of their daily saturated fat allowance. Under the supermarket "traffic lights" system, red marks would be earned by 97% for fat, 98% for saturated fat and 96% for salt... Six kebabs were found to include pork when it had not been declared as an ingredient. Two of the six were described as Halal... The worst doners inspectors came across contained 1,990 calories before salad and sauces - over 95% of a woman's recommended daily calories, 346% of a woman's saturated fat intake and 277% of an adult's daily salt intake."

The bogus Sarah Palin Banned Books List - "Palin Derangement Syndrome strikes again. This time it’s hysterical librarians and their readers on the Internet disseminating a bogus list of books Gov. Sarah Palin supposedly banned in 1996. Looks like some of these library people failed reading comprehension. Take a look at the list below and you’ll find books Gov. Palin supposedly tried to ban…that hadn’t even been published yet. Example: The Harry Potter books, the first of which wasn’t published until 1998."

Super Friends with Benefits Shirt - "Sure, we're all super friends. But in this biz it's hard to keep it professional. Reveal your secret sexy identity to basically everyone you know!"

Become A Real Princess - "Have YOU ever dreamed of becoming a 'REAL Princess'? Well, now you can. Though women of all ages have desired to become a real princess, their only option was to marry a prince, however due to the limited supply of eligible princes, this is a nearly impossible task. Recently, the nation Kingdom of Hylanthia, per Royal decree, has offered those of royal mind and spirit the opportunity to actually become a real princess with personalized Princess Gift Packages designating them as a 'Real Princess'! Each Princess Proclamation can be purchased in a variety of thoughtful and classy gift packages that can be given as the perfect present to daughters, girlfriends, wives or even yourself! You have always felt like royalty and you have always dreamed of becoming a real princess, now you can make those dreams come true!"
... women

The loose cannons of daytime TV - "Loose Women is, in many ways, hateful. And that prompts a question. How can a lively, long-running programme with an all-female presenting roster get it so completely wrong? It is particularly disappointing when you consider the central conceit of the show, which is that it features a group of sassy, liberated female panellists, able to speak their minds on any subject from politics to celebrity to family life... The first thing that will strike a first-time viewer of Loose Women is the objectification and/or denigration of any man who happens to drift into the panellists' orbit... Male viewers embarrassed at the lechery on Loose Women could well complain that this is a case of feminism "going too far". There could never be an all-male equivalent to the show called Talking Balls, where a crew of laddish reality-TV rejects and failed boybanders leered at the female soap stars brought on to sate them. Not only would it obviously be sexist, but the idea would never be floated in the first place."

Chinese Premier visits quake-hit zone to extend greetings - "In a community of makeshift houses, Wen went into a kitchen shared by the Wu's and two other families and joined them in preparing dinner for the Spring Festival's Eve. He even cooked a dish of Hui Guo Rou (Sauteed sliced pork with pepper) for them." If Wen Jiabao can cook, so can you

World gets its first gay head of state - "Johanna Sigurdardottir, a former air hostess, is expected to be sworn in as Iceland's Prime Minister by the end of the week... her lesbian union was no big deal in this calmly progressive nation of only 300,000 people. "

Just what is it about moobs? - "The number of men having breast reduction operations in the UK is rising dramatically, but is this really the result of the media spotlighting the physical flaws of male celebrities?" One comment: "I like my moobs. They belong to me. I would not like to have them cut off with a scalpel. Ouch!"
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