April 2002

04.30.02 So now it comes out that Al Qaeda and Taliban have been hiding out in northwestern Pakistan - governed by tribal leaders sympathetic to the Taliban - and freely crossing the border into Afghanistan. We of course can't send troops into Pakistan because they're our "ally", and well, their domestic situation is kind of volatile. Now it looks like we are sending troops in. Take into account that the Pakistani government freely admits that they don't have control over those tribal regions. Well, if they don't have control over them then why were they were saying that their border with Afghanistan when we now know that Al Qaeda and Taliban were pouring through it. How the hell did these clowns get to be our allies? Who is stupider - them for thinking they could hide that fact, or us for believing it? Who is the enemy? What's the difference between an Al Qaeda, a Talib, or pro-Taliban Pashtun tribesman with an AK-47? Foreign policy has gotten a little too complex. Fuck it. To paraphrase an old saying from the Vietnam War, if they say "Allahu akbar!" and have AK-47s then they're Al Qaeda.

04.26.02 When I went to Disney World for the first time as a kid I decided that I wanted to live in the Haunted Mansion when I grew up. Now I'm all grown up I still want to live in the Haunted Mansion. But since I can't I have to settle for the coolest thing next to being there, Doombuggies.com.

04.18.02 Just when I thought the U.S. was the most litigious country in the world. Last week the head of the Rio de Janeiro tourism board threatened to sue the producers of The Simpsons" over a recent episode of the show, set in Rio in which America's favorite cartoon family were beset by teary-eyed feral street children, kidnappers, and rampaging monkeys. May favorite quote from a real live Brazilian (as opposed to a cartoon Brazilian) was from a Rio tourism board spokesman, referring to the board's head - "He understands it is a satire... What really hurt was the idea of the monkeys." Now in a new article, a Brazilian animal protection group has sued a major power company for giving a "negative perception of cats to many people, especially children". It seems that "gato" means both "cat" and "thief" in Portuguese, and has become a slang term for illegal power connections, which the power company has been publicly campaigning against since February. The spokeswoman for the animal protection society claims the campaign could be provoking violence toward cats, citing as evidence that since the campaign began, the number of abandoned cats had grown 60 percent, with a corresponding increase in cat mutilations. I can see where one might draw that conclusion. Or maybe it's all due to the decrease in numbers of the natural predators of domestic felines; teary-eyed feral street children and rampaging monkeys. Haha! Let's all point and laugh at Brazil.
In an odd case of syncronicity I did a search on Google for "teary-eyed feral street children" and the first two hits were sites about cats that made me want to bust down and cry like a little girl. Jeez! And I don't even really like cats.

04.17.02 Mashimaro is the Korean bastard child of Hello Kitty and Southpark. He's a cute little white rabbit that runs around farting, spitting, stealing, and breaking beer bottles over his head just to prove to the other animals that they don't want to mess with him. And when he does have to break bad, his weapon of choice is a toilet plunger. Besides his official site (which is only in korean), he has a number of merchandise sites with copies of his flash cartoons here and here.

04.11.02 Way back in college I went out with this woman who defended blowing off her history class by quoting the Sting song "History Will Teach Us Nothing". I love history, so needless to say this bugged the shit out of me. How stupid do you have to be to believe that you literally can't learn anything from history? You find history boring. Fine. But don't blame history by saying it's irrelevant. That's just dumb. Now I wonder - did Sting mean "history is irrelevant" or "human beings refuse to learn the lessons of history"? I just read the lyrics and screw me if I can figure it out.

04.08.02 Just in case you thought India had all the fun, it turns out that America has it's own version of the Indian Monkey Man. Ladies and gents, I give you - the Hoboken Monkeyman. He actually seems to be a combination of the Indian Monkey Man and April 3's log item. And just to "Bring it on home" as Sam Cooke, Bo Diddley, or Robert Plant might say, I've recently learned that my own beloved home state of Georgia has a version of Bigfoot - the Skunk Ape.

04.04.02 If you're ever visiting the Liberty Bell and realize your forgot to leave your Gerber® E-Z-Out™ knife at the hotel, don't panic. You can easily hide it in a disposable toilet seat cover dispenser in the bathroom of the Independence National Historical Park Visitor Center, and retrieve it afterward. You'd think after the Holocaust Museum (Left it with a hotdog vendor at the suggestion of a helpful Park Ranger), Empire State Building (Hid it on top of a Coke machine), and just the whole war on terrorism thing I'd have learned my lesson. I'm very lucky to be married to a patient woman.

04.03.02 As if the Monkey-Man of India wasn't causing enough problems - now packs of monkeys are terrorizing a women's college. Apparently the monkeys aren't afraid of people and the locals won't allow any action to be taken because monkeys are sacred in Hinduism. Sure it may be funny to us, but I bet my elementary school would have been overrun with possums if Southern Baptists considered possums sacred. Thanks to Matt for this item.

04.02.02 Fans celebrating Maryland's NCAA championship win rioted in College Park, Maryland last night. Police stood by while the mob looted a bicycle shop, then finally moved to disperse the crowd after a bonfire was set. Thank God it was just a crowd of drunken frat-boy looters and not something dangerous like turtle-suit wearing pacifists protesting trade agreements, otherwise the cops may have really had to bust some fucking heads.

04.01.02 Kronos: A Chronological History of the Martial Arts and Combative Sports is full of fun historical tidbits, like -

" As Germanic mercenaries begin replacing Iberians in Roman service, four-foot long single-edged swords of Germanic design begin replacing two-foot long double-edged swords of Iberian design. The Romans called these Germanic weapons spatha, which subsequently provides the root for various modern words including spade (in the card-playing sense) and the fencing term epée. "

Yes, I am aware I am a big geek. Thanks to Steve for sending me this.

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