Phantom Aid

John Samuel, Asia director of ActionAid International:

"In 2003, total aid announced by developed countries was $65 billion of which $50 billion was (pledged) by the G7," Samuel said. "How much money actually reached the receivers? Only $27 billion, or just 0.1 percent of the countries' combined national income," Samuel said, while releasing "RealAid", a report on the status of global aid mechanisms.

"For the United States and France, two of the world's largest donors, almost 90 per cent of their contributions are phantom aid."

The Long Road Home

Garry Trudeau, lauded/despised, is donating all the proceeds from his latest book - The Long Road Home: One Step at a Timeto the Fisher House Foundation*. Also, Andrews McMeel Publishing, the book’s publisher, is contributing 10 percent of its take from the book to Fisher House.
*Supporting America's military in their time of need, we provide "a home away from home" that enables family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful time -- during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury. Learn more

Cruise Control

So, uh...

...Thor rolls a joint.

Whatever you do...

...do NOT click this link and scroll to the bottom!

Uptake from the Porcelain Goddess or Tales from the Toilet

The Martun, or toilet in Chinese, is restaurant in the southern port city of Kaohsiung. It has lengthy lines on weekends as diners wait for a chance to eat at this new hot spot.

Your meal arrives in bowls shaped like Western-style toilets or Asian-style "squat pots".

Manager Hung Lin-wen said the original inspiration came from a toilet-shaped spaceship in a Japanese cartoon.

"We think the theme is special and the food is tasty," Mr Hung said.

But no matter how delicious, a few customers still find the combination a little hard to swallow.

"The taste is good but I still feel disgusted when I look at it," diner Lin Yu-may said. The chocolate ice cream is a local favorite.

Saturday, 4:30 a.m. McDowell County sheriff's deputies respond to an alarm activated at Nebo Elementary School. It is soon obvious the suspect has broken into the back door and is somewhere in the school - but where?

Stephen Jason, 25, was found in the little boys room ensconsed in a stall with a 1/2 ounce of marijuana. Yep. Smoking in the boys room.

The California Highway Patrol contended with traffic that was quite backed up yesterday.

Hundreds of rolls of toilet paper spilled onto the road between Soquel Drive and 41st Avenue, briefly closing both lanes.

"It took us a long time to wipe up the scene," said officer Sam Courtney.

After the TP situation was flushed, the dispatcher chirped in on the radio. There was a problem with a septic tank driver on Highway 1.

On Sunday last, 45-year-old Maine convenience-store owner Gary Moody was found knee-deep in excrement. It should be pointed out that a.) Moodywas wearing hip-waders and b.) he was knee deep by choice.

Moody, fetish driven and obviously quite agile, was hold up in a holding tank below an outhouse near a popular swimming hole in Ossipee, N.H. He was found by a 14-year-old girl who had heard a noise and looked into the toilet and saw Moody staring up at her.

"We had to decontaminate him," said Captain Jon Hebert, of the Carroll County sheriff's office. "We treated him as if he were a hazardous material." The called the local fire department and had them hose Moody down before was charged with criminal trespass and released on $250 bail.

They do agree on one thing

Congress, in a joyful moment of unity, has voted itself a pay raise! Nothing brings people together like money.

Study and Conserve?

A 646.2-pound (293 kg) Mekong giant catfish, netted in Thailand, may be the largest freshwater fish ever found. The fish was documented as part of a World Wildlife Fund-National Geographic project to identify and study and conserve freshwater fish around the world that exceed 6 feet in length and 200 pounds in weight.


Now, don't think I'm a nut...

Your name in Egyptian Heiroglyphs. Only one of many projects available at the Jackol's Den.

Which brought this song to mind and no doubt it will inhabit my brain for the rest of the day:

Steve Martin: I'd like to talk seriously just for a moment. One of the great art exhibitions ever to tour the United States is the Treasures of Tutankhamen - or King Tut. But I think it's a national disgrace the way we have commercialized it with trinkets and toys, T-shirts and posters. And three months ago I was up in the woods, and I wrote a song. I tried to use the ancient modalities and melodies. I'd like to do it for you right now. Maybe we can all learn something.

(King Tut. King Tut.)
Now when he was a young man, he never thought he'd see
People stand in line to see the boy king.

(King Tut)
How'd you get so funky?
(Funky Tut)
Did you do the monkey?
(Born in Arizona, moved to Babylonia
King Tut)

Now if I'd known they'd line up just to see him

I'd have taken all my money and bought me a museum.

(King Tut)
Buried with a donkey.
(King Tut)
He's my favorite honky
(Born in Arizona, moved to Babylonia
King Tut)

(Tut! Tut!)
Dancing by the Nile!
(Disco Tut! Tut!)
The ladies love his style!
(Boss Tut! Tut!)
Walkin' for a mile.
(Rockin' Tut! Tut!)
He ate a crocodile.
(Oooooh, wah-ooooh)
He gave his life for tourism.

[ saxophonist pop out of crypt for a solo ]

Steve Martin: [ places electric blender at saxophonist's feet ] Golden Idols! He's an Egyptian!

Steve Martin:
Now when I die, now don't think I'm a nut
Don't want no fancy funeral, just one like old King Tut!
(King Tut)
He could have won a Grammy.
(King Tut)
Buried in his jammies.

(Born in Arizona, moved to Babylonia
Born in Arizona)

Got a condo made o' stone-a
(King Tut)

Taking it to Karl

A blog devoted to service men and women who have a bone or eight to pick with Karl Rove.

Muppets go to the Movies

The ol' crankmeisters, Statler & Waldorf, go to the movie so you don't have to.


Gnome, sweet gnome

Last week, Color Lab's owner in Amherst, NY discovered 30 gnomes strategically placed on the roof of his copy shop.

On Monday, workers discovered two more gnomes, this time on their doorstep. Inserted in one of their baskets was a note:

"Gnomes were born free and they should be allowed to live free."

Mike Losi, the owner in question, says they have gotten letters from as far away as Alaska from people trying to find out if Color Lab have their kidnapped gnomes.

The Negative News Cute Animal Baby Sandwich

Lots of depressing news. Loads. Tons.

Here's some not so depressing news to start you out.

A private developer is seeking to use the eminent domain decision to build on Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter's land. You know Judge Souter. He's the one that voted to allow city governments to take land from one private owner and give it to another if the developer can prove the government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner.

Smoking Gun declares L. Ron Hubbard (founder of Scientology) a Nut Job.

The Democrats says Halliburton is grossing overcharging the government; the government says the Democrats are attacking the company because of Cheney; The Dems want hearings; The Republicans don't; the Dems hold hearings anyway; the Republicans thumb their noses blah blah blah blah blah. Somebody has something to hide and it isn't me or my monkey.

From Boing Boing: Secret Congressional policy reports published
The Congressional Research Service (700 employees, $100 million budget) prepares reports on subjects like the impact of the PATRIOT Act and the Broadcast Flag and delivers the to Congress -- but not to the taxpayers who foot the bill for them. OpenCRS.com republishes all of the secret reports it can find and makes them available to the public. You can write to your elected rep and demand that she pressure the CRS to release its entire archive to the public.

Flip... Flop.

George W. Bush, 6/5/99 regarding Clinton and Kosovo:

“I think it's also important for the president to lay out a timetable as to how long they will be involved and when they will be withdrawn.

George W. Bush, 6/24/05: regarding himself and Iraq:

“It doesn't make any sense to have a timetable.
You know, if you give a timetable, you'’re conceding too much to the enemy.

This last story is depressing but not totally negative news - a good way to end today's block of badness. It is the story of a woman beaten down by her country; her government. She chose to stand tall and fight back. From victim to activist. A Pakistani rape victim fights back

Whocka whocka whocka

A Newsday report has brought another atrocity of war to light.

Women and children in Afghanistan are in serious danger. Nor from gunfire or bombs. Not landmines. From lamp oil. Given the task of lighting the lamps in Afghan households, what would have normal kerosene is now jet fuel sold in local markets.

There are no schools and no nation media - thusly no way to communicate the danger. The jet fuel is a particularly volatile Russian grade used by U.S. forces.

These same forces are doing what ever they can to help but hospitals in Afghanistan are ill equipped to deal with the problem.

"Health care is better than under the Taliban," said Said Amir Said, a surgeon. That seems only because under the Taliban it was nonexistent. "For the burn patients, we have no antiseptic baths to clean the wounds, no dressings to cover them, and we lack antibiotics to prevent infection," Said said.

Unprotected against infections, many burn victims die. "Even those who survive are going to need continuous ... skin grafts" to repair deformities from scar tissue, "and we don't have the capacity to do this," said Dr. Abdurrahim Saidi.

Direct Relief International is a non-profit, non-political, and non-sectarian organization that provides assistance without regard to race, ethnicity, political or religious affiliation, gender, or ability to pay.


One Man's Trash

Jordan's have a long history of carting home items that others found fit to throw away. Chairs, tables, boxes, books, um.... oddities. Driving with my Mom the other day and I saw a table and chairs at the end of someone's driveway. I turned to see a glint in my Mom's eye.

"We are not, I repeat, not picking up anymore furniture!"

She pouted but agreed.

When I saw this site where people come together to discuss their latest dumpster dives, I winced, then smiled and read on.

If you ever meet my Mom, ask about the dumpster dive she did on vacation in Yellowstone Park.

Cloud Busting

The mammatus cloud. Beautiful.

When scrying (you know you've done it), sometimes one doesn’t always get clear images. Often, one sees a cloud billowing within one's crystal ball or scrying glass. They’re not meaningless: clouds themselves have great meanings behind them.
Below are some of the most popular meanings for cloud colors.

Black clouds: symbolize doom, gloom, bad poetry
Gray/Dark clouds: symbolize ill fortune
Silver clouds: symbolize troublesome times followed by goodness
White clouds: symbolize very good fortune to come
Blue clouds: symbolize success of career or business
Green clouds: symbolize health, happiness of the heart
Yellow clouds: symbolize upcoming obstacles
Orange clouds: symbolize hidden aggression and anger, troubled emotions
Red clouds: symbolize danger, danger, danger.
Gold clouds: symbolize prosperity, steady cash flow, and renewed romance

Jen Happy

Took a load of 'stuff' over to the dump on this hot and humid day. Strange assortment of 'doo rags on the city workers heads - auto wished I'd brought the camera.

We (Jon, Mom and I) headed for Bin 44 with our truckload of logs from a magnolia we took down this year. Awaiting us in the rust covered metal monstrosity was an earlier dumping from some re-doing the whole house lucky bastard. The bin was full of windows. Lots and lots of windows.

Jon and I were suddenly quite chipper despite the hellish heat. We lobed logs through the air and chuckled as each one smashed more and more glass. Smash, smash, smash. We both pouted when we reached the end but smiled once again as we looked over the devastation we left behind in Bin 44. Smile, smile, smile.

Life will deal you some unexpected pleasures. You just have to have the sense to recognize them for what they are.

Negative News Cuteness Buffer

Cuz I'm Radioactive

Yeah, so were going to start producing radioactive plutonium 238. So what? We're America, we need it. Well, for National Security, of course! The program could cost around $1.5 billion, but we got the bread to cover that! We're America! It'll generate more than 50,000 drums of hazardous and radioactive waste but that's what Montana is for! Am I right or am I right. Come on!

Brit Mullet Mania!


For the Curious, the Bored and the Disgusted

Yawning. We all do it. And when one of does it, the rest are compelled to - why? Yet another Finnish brain study unhinges it's jaws and let's us in on a secret.

Epidemiological studies suggest that the high flavonoid intake confers by dark chocolate confers a benefit on cardiovascular system.

For the 18th week, the Hollywood box office slides down a slippery slope.

Vanilla Ice, Rob van Winkle, stills plays the blame game when it comes to his earlier image. His current image? Whiner.

The Observer lays Annie Lennox bare. Popping off about pop, she says, 'There are some bright women but the consensus is that you whore it. That's what it looks like to me. You have to become a sex object. I'm all for erotica, I love it, but the values I see on pop videos are like soft porn.'

Speaking of values, Maddona has just given her eight year old daughter Lourdes a credit card worth $10 thousand dollars in order to teach her the value of money. When my parents wanted to teach the value of money they handed me a pooper scooper and garbage and told me to clean the dog shit up in the back yard.


An Eary Tale of Towing

Zhang Xingquan, ,38, pulled a car for about 20 metres in Dehui, Jinli province will walking on eggs. He broke none.


Today, rain pours down on the baked earth but to no avail. We'd need a week of rain to erase the cracks in the earth and this storm is more noise then downpour.

Today, I give thanks to the people that made my bamboo back scratcher. It has been fiercely used on my now peeling back.

Today, is the birthday of Ambrose Beirce, writer of the snarkiest book on the planet, the Devil's Dictionary.

Today, an Italian judge has ordered the arrest of members of the CIA in response to the alleged kidnapping of Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr who was grabbed off a Milan street on Feb. 17, 2003.

Today, Neal Boortz posted an in depth and articulate rant about the recent changes the American government has made concerning eminent domain.

And today, three missing children were found dead in the trunk of a car in New Jersey, discovered by the father of one of the boys.

Everything and everyone we have can disappear in the wink of an eye. Let things go and cherish the people still with you.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

The first thing I can remember wanting to be was a black woman.

Standing in the checkout behind my mother at some shopping center, Treasure Island I think it was, I looked around me. These beautiful black women were having an animated conversation the gist of which was they weren't going to take any crap from anyone. Looking around, all the black women I saw wore wonderful, bright colors, had attitude and style. The white women wore mostly pastel jogging suits and had carried themselves as if they hoped to garner as little attention as possible. They were bland. Thinking more deeply on the subject, and as much as my seven year old mind could fathom, I thought of all the black women who's voices I loved and couldn't think of a single white woman that had the same effect. Yep, I was going to be black.

That didn't work out.

My next aspiration? To be Roseanne Roseannedanna. I loved Gilda Radner for Emily Litella and Baba Wawa but worshipped her for Roseannedanna. There was the brashness and the self-determination I craved:

Jane Curtin "This past Thursday was the great American Smoke Out, a day that everyone in America was encouraged to stop smoking cigarettes for a 24 hour period. Here to comment further is Update Health correspondent, Roseanne Rosannadanna."

"Thanks, a lot, Jane. A guy from Forlayden, New Jersey writes in and says, "Dear Roseanne Rosannadanna. Last Thursday, I quit smoking. Now I'm depressed, my face broke out, I'm nauseas, I'm constipated, my cheeks swell, my gums are bleeding, my sinuses are clogged, I got heart burn, and I got gas. What should I do?

Well, you sound like a real attractive guy. You belong in New Jersey. But I know exactly what you're going through, cause once, I, Roseanne Rosannadanna quit smoking. To get back in shape, I had to join one of those fancy shmancy health clubs. You know, the ones where it's really expensive to join but it's worth it because you get to see a lot of people that you don't know naked. Like some people got them bulgy, bulgy thighs, the ones that get chafed just 'cause they're always scraping together. And there's other people there that got them funny bellybuttons. Like some go in, and some go out, some are like a ball, or curl around, or it's like a little knob on it like a door. Some people even got little pieces of their sweater still in it. Some of them even look like a little shell or a clam or something you don't know what they are.

But personally, I, Roseanne Rosanndanna, don't like to walk around with no clothes on in front of other people. Not that I don't have a great body, but why should I waste it on a bunch of fat ladies in a health club?

Anyway, they got this thing there that's a little room that's hot inside and you go in there to sweat like a pig. So I go in there, but before I sit down, I put this clean towel on the bench 'cause there's a lot of people been there and you don't know where they been. But who do you think is sitting next to me but Dr. Joyce Brothers. That very smart pixie lady who thinks she knows everything. But what this nude psychologist didn't know was that she had this little, teeny, tiny ball of sweat right here, hanging off the tip of her nose. It was just hanging there! It wouldn't fall off! Like if she turned her head, it wouldn't fall off. If she stood up it didn't fall off, if she stretched it wouldn't come off, and when she picked little pieces of her sweater out of her bellybutton it wouldn't fall off. That little sweat ball just wouldn't fall off. So I yelled at her, I said, "Hey, Doctor! Flick that sweat ball off your nose! What are you trying to do, make me sick?"

Jane Curtin "Excuse me, what do health clubs, sweat, and steam baths have to do with cigarettes?"

Roseanne Rosannadanna "Well, Jane, it just goes to show you. It's always something. If it's not one thing, it's another. Either you smoke or you have a sweat ball hanging off your nose. It's just like a song we used to sing on Thanksgiving when I was a little girl. Everybody would come over to my house all dressed up pretty and everything, and my mother would make the turkey with stuffing and for dessert, we'd have the traditional Banana Rosannadanna cake. Before we ate, we'd bow our heads, bow your head, Jane, come on, bow your head. Bow it. BOW YOUR HEAD!! And we'd all sing: 'We gather together to ask the lord's blessing. Please love down upon the Rosannadanna folks. Bring peace to our fathers, good health to our mothers, and please don't make me sweat like Dr. Joyce Brothers.'"

What's the Buzz

Eprida! Yanks CO2 out of the air and puts it in the soil, where it belongs.

Frontline explores the lives of some of those private contractors you generally only hear about when they've been killed in Iraq.

Con man Robert Hendy-Freegard offered spy school and delivered humiliation. Intelligent, well-adjusted people fell for it hook, line and 'constant surveillance'. Sex was the great persuader.

Yes, Tom Cruise is still nuts.

No more cabbage in the caps of Korean baseball players.


"Damn. Looks like I'm gonna have to pitch."

Baseball legend Dock Ellis tells you how to pitch a no-hitter on acid.

Dock Ellis had powerful stuff. But strategy was just as important,
and his consisted of one thing: intimidation.
One time he hit every batter in the Cincinnati Reds' lineup.

Searching for Rude Rugby Songs?

I've got the place for you!

Immortalia: A website for bawdy songs, dirty ditties and rude rhymes

Beyond my fondness for anyone that expresses as deep a love for alliteration as I do, I found this site to be a veritable feast of songs to offend. A plus when in the midst of the easily offended throng in need of disbursement.

A List! Another Freakin' List!

the AFI has compiled a list of the Top 100 Best Quotes from U.S. Movies.


My faves?

35. "You're gonna need a bigger boat," "Jaws," 1975.

56. "A boy's best friend is his mother," "Psycho," 1960.

70. "Is it safe?", "Marathon Man," 1976.

Addendum: A dentist got a patient drunk in order to perform 14 root canals.


Former Ku Klux Klan leader, Edgar Ray Killen has been convicted of manslaughter for killing three civil rights activists in 1964.

body integrity identity disorder

or Why People with Healthy Limbs Cut Them Off

Dianne had a bad day



Use Moon Illusion, Too

Tonight, for the first time since 1987, what will appear to be a freakishly large moon will appear in the East. It will continue to rise and continue to hang huge in the night sky. It is all an illusion, my lunar loving friends. Despite what Smallman might tell you.

My own photos of the event: