Thursday, February 23, 2006



The cat piano, below, was originally designed to ligthen the mood of a depressed and stressed out Italian prince. It was first was catalogued in the Musurgia Universalis in 1650.

Cats were 'auditioned' to find ones with the correct pitch, and then placed into pens. When the player pushed the keys, a stick poked the cat in the anus.


Apparently Europeans, back then at least, thought torturing cats was hilarious.

Originally reported on the Impact Lab site.


Go here for more images on the original Japanese language site.

We've included some of the Babelfish translations from the original Japanese language site under the photos. Poetic words, interpreted by computer :

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"As for the sight which is covered in the fog, those of this world, the extent which cannot be thought, it was fantastic."

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"Just a little it pitied the ferris wheel, which it does , not turn."

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"The horse, your expression here was brightly good expression. In the weed, like the true horse it was visible."

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"The coaster, which fades, continues to wait for children...."

Go here for images of the world's tallest, fastest roller coaster.

The Italian creator of two toy models of the US nuclear weapons that killed up to 500,000 Japanese towards the end of World War 2 has denied charges of exploitation.

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The 1:43 scale model bombs went on display at the Nuremberg toy fair last week.

Toymaker Brumm told Ananova the 'Fatman' and 'Little Boy' toys were "in protest" against the madness of nuclear war.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006



Vice President Dick Cheney became the first U.S. VP to shoot someone in more than 200 years on the weekend, when he unloaded his shotgun into the face of a friend while hunting small, defenceless birds on a Texan ranch.

But as Fox News pointed out, "it was only buckshot". That's a shotgun load of hundreds of tiny ball bearings.

And they were supposedly shooting quail, tiny birds at best.

Bizarrely, Cheney and his kill-horny friends were claimed to have been planning to sit down and have the birds they shot for lunch. Would that be before or after they picked out the hundreds of tiny ball bearings and shrapnel that would have torn a bird the size of a quail to pieces?

Interestingly, the shooting revealed that Cheney now travels, at all times, with a medical crew, including a doctor, surgeon and nurse, plus he has an ambulance on 24 hour call, and access to a private jet to whisk him off for another round of open heart surgery. Cheney's had four major heart attacks and has been opened up so often there was talk of sealing the wound in his chest cavity with velcro, to make it easier to get in there the next time around.

The last time a US Vice President blew someone away was two centuries ago. Then VP Aaron Burr nailed Alexander Hamilton in a duel with pistols.

A witness to ShotGun Cheney's shooting described it thus : "(Cheney's friend) was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty good. It broke the skin. It knocked him silly."

US late night talk show hosts have been running hot with this golden slice of material. Here's some excerpts from the best :

David Letterman, The Late Show, CBS : "....we have finally located weapons of mass destruction: It's Dick Cheney.

"But here is the sad part before the trip Donald Rumsfeld had denied the guy's request for body armor."

"We can't get Bin Laden, but we nailed a 78-year-old attorney."

Jay Leno, The Tonight Show, ABC : " …Dick Cheney accidentally shot a fellow hunter, a 78-year-old lawyer. In fact, when people found out he shot a lawyer, his popularity is now at 92 percent.

"I think Cheney is starting to lose it. After he shot the guy he screamed, 'Anyone else want to call domestic wire tapping illegal?'"

Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, Comedy Central : "Now, this story certainly has its humorous aspects. … But it also raises a serious issue, one which I feel very strongly about. … moms, dads, if you're watching right now, I can't emphasize this enough: Do not let your kids go on hunting trips with the vice president. I don't care what kind of lucrative contracts they're trying to land, or energy regulations they're trying to get lifted it's just not worth it. He'll shoot them in the face."

Cheney blew away his mate late in the afternoon of Saturday, February 11. President Bush was informed around 8pm. But the US media didn't find out about the story until it appeared on a local news website in Texas, around 3pm, Sunday afternoon, February 12.

And the White House media flacks and hacks were furious. How dare the White House not tell them first? How dare some little local newspaper get the scoop of the year, thus far?

So yesterday, the White House media went nuts and wasted most of a press conference with WH spokesman Scott McClellan trying to find out if the White House had tried to cover up the vice-presidential shooting of a lawyer. Amazingly, the media seem stunned that the White House would try and hose down such an event.

They haven't learned by now?

So much media attention was focused on Shotgun Cheney's Saturday afternoon blast that the US media barely seemed to notice the Hurricane Katrina Report, compiled by Republicans, that absolutely tore strips off the Bush Administration's handling of the hurricane aftermath, and insinuated that bad management, general disinterest and pathetic spin cost the lives of hundreds of poor, black New Orleans residents.

The mainstream media had something more important to focus on. Themselves. And how they were beaten to the Shogtun Cheney scoop by "a local newspaper", of all things.

Here's an excerpt from the press con yesterday, the key words here are "check with his office":

Q Has the Vice President always had a hunting license whenever he's gone hunting? There was an item in one of the wire stories this morning that he had a license prior to November, but other stories say he goes every year to Texas --
MR. McCLELLAN: Check with his office. I don't have those facts.
Q Do you know whether he's taken a hunting safety course?
MR. McCLELLAN: My understanding is that he had the hunting license for this hunting trip.
Q What about other trips where he's taken --
MR. McCLELLAN: You can check with his office.
Q Has he also -- has he taken a hunting safety course in Texas?
MR. McCLELLAN: I'd check with his office. I don't have those facts, Mike. I haven't checked into that.
Q Will the Vice President be available soon to answer all questions, himself, about the incident?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think you ought to direct questions like that to his office. He has a press office you can direct questions to.
Jessica -- keeping with the practice of at least two or three reporters from each news organization today.
Q You've repeatedly said that the Vice President's Office will share this information with us. Will you tell us -- will you now ask them to share this information with us, because they're not.
MR. McCLELLAN: Share what information?
Q Details of what happened during the shooting and more information about --
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, Mrs. Armstrong provided that information. She was the eyewitness to what took place.
Q Can we get someone from his office in here to answer --
Q Why can't we get someone from his office to answer some questions?
Q Or get him?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, talk to his office. I think they have provided a response to the questions.
Q Not that information.
Q We're not getting any of that information.
Q Is it proper for the Vice President to offer his resignation or has he offered his resignation --
MR. McCLELLAN: That's an absurd question. Go ahead, Ken.
Q Can we get someone from the Vice President's Office in here to answer all these questions that you're deferring?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think you can ask questions to his -- direct questions to his office.
Q I'm sure they're overwhelmed. It seems like it would be more efficient --
MR. McCLELLAN: Understood, but they're the ones who can provide additional information if there is any to provide.
Q Or not.
Q You say Mrs. Armstrong was the eyewitness. There were other eyewitnesses. Can you tell us who they were, and --
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think the Vice President's team was with him. You ought to check that with the Vice President's Office.

Through the rest of the press conference, Scott McClellan repeatedly tried to mind virus that responsibility for the shooting lay solely with the victim, not Shotgun Cheney. The victim failed to identify himself as not being a tasty bit of gamebird lunch, so Cheney blew him away.

Here's the police report on Shotgun Cheney's Saturday afternoon adventure from The Smoking Gun.


Jail sentences are now being handed down in Australia to those convicted for criminal offences over the December 11, 2005 race riots that shocked the nation, and the world.

Taking part in an all-in assault, with weapons, on an innocent person gets you one month in jail :

But burning the Australian flag gets you FOUR MONTHS in jail.

Even the Australian Prime Minister doesn't regard torching the flag as an offence worthy of criminalisation.

Go here for the full story.

And go here for a story on boy scouts and US Army officers torching their flags, and how Australians came to have the flag they do, courtesy of an English King's decree.

Friday, February 10, 2006


During a troubling, confusing speech to 250 members of the U.S. National Guard today, President Bush claimed that a major terrorist plot in 2002 to hijack and crash an airliner into "Liberty Tower" in Los Angeles had been foiled.

Great. Fantastic. Well done.

Except there is no "Liberty Tower" in Los Angeles.

There's a Liberty Tower in NYC, there's a Liberty Tower in Japan, there's one in Melbourne, Australia. In fact, there are Liberty Towers in major cities all over the world, dozens of cities, but not LA.

Liberty Tower was also the name used for proposed buildings in Las Vegas the the redeveloped site of the World Trade Centre.

President G.W. "I mean what I say" Bush apparently meant to say "Library Tower". Who the frig writes this guy's speeches? How do mistakes that major keep slipping right on through? Remarkably, instead of pointing out how completely shit the White House research and speech subbing is, the mainstream media keep going out of their way to gently correct the President when he gets his facts totally and utterly wrong.

Like Fox News. They carried a live feed of the speech and within seconds of it ending, they were right there to help correct the ready-to-retire President's mistakes.

It's not Liberty Tower, old timer, it's Li-bra-ry Tow-er.

But even that's not right.

The building under discussion is officially called the 'US Bank Tower' building and has been for years.

'Library Tower' is a localism for the 75 storey bohemeth, built to withstand the mother, or great aunt, of all earthquakes.

Only the ultra-brave Los Angeleneans would build one of the US's tallest buildings in an active earthquake zone. The US Bank Tower was designed to stand a shaker of around 8.3.

'Library Tower' might look familiar. It was blown apart by the invading aliens in the 1996 film, 'Independence Day', directed by Roland Emmerich.

It was also the first building destroyed by monster tornadoes in the 2004 enviro-horror film 'The Day After Tomorrow', directed by....wait a sec...Roland Emmerich (?).

Has this guy got some sort of problem with Library Tower? First he destroys it in a movie in 1996, then terrorists line it up in the their sites for a reality-world pasting in 2002, which failed, and then Emmerich is back to take down the tower yet again for another movie in 2004.

The 'War On Terror' looks like it's really taking a toll on GW. During today's speech he appeeared confused, old and downright bored. Like his heart is just not in it anymore.

Even with Iran on the verge of copping a US-Israel nuclear pasting for even thinking about daring to stop selling Iranian oil in US dollars - they're going to start selling Petro-Euros on March 20, thereby dooming the greenback to veritable junk status - Bush just can't seem to get the old fire and brimestone smoking, even when he's in a vendetta kind of mood.

Maybe it's because he's already made it very clear he can't wait to retire at the end of 2008.

President GW Bush, ready to retire.

As the pre-eminent American Baby Boomer, Bush has been giving speeches for more than two years where he terrorises today's young by telling them there's a whole bunch of oldies like him who expect the youth to work even harder, for even less money, so they can all kick back and suck up the golden years.

And they are legion.

"A generation of baby boomers is getting ready to retire," Bush said. "I happen to be one of them. Baby boomers will be living longer and collecting benefits over longer retirements than previous generations. By the time all the baby boomers have retired, there will be more than 72 million retirees....In other words, there's a lot of us getting ready to retire who will be living longer and receiving greater benefits than the previous generation."

There's a big difference with Bush, though. He wants to retire at 62, but most Baby boomers will be lucky to even think about retiring at 75, particularly now there are millions of Americans who worked hard all their lives, just like they were told to do, and are now discovering the pension plans they contributed to for decades have been sucked up corporate vampires in a two decade long orgy of foul corruption and odious mismanagement.

What Bush meant to say was, "There are a lot of us who WERE getting ready to retire..." but now won't be, of course, because if they don't work themselves to death they will starve to death on the streets of America.

Of course, that doesn't apply to Bush.

Blind drunk and locked into party mode until his early 40s, Bush figures he's done 20 years of 'hard' work and so he's ready now for all the benefits he's entitled to.

After all, he did launch a couple of expensive wars, he transferred about a trillion US dollars from education, health care and the poor into the guns-n'-bombs industry, and he also helped pave the way for the slaughter of a few hundred thousand Arab kids.

Isn't all that enough hard graft for the grandson of an American senator and elite Nazi banker, who helped secure Hitler's rise to power in the 1930s, naturally?

Surely, at the very least, he's earned some time in the sun to write his memoirs before his mind and memory completely succumb to the mental decreptitude brought on by two decades of hard drinking.

Page One, Chapter One, first sentence : "My name is George W. Bush....People call me W."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Coincidence? Synchronicity? Karma?

Or Something Else?

When Kevin Stephan was 11 years old, he was struck in the chest by a baseball bat during a game. The impact of the bat stopped his heart.

Penny Brown, an off-duty nurse, was watching the game. She rushed onto the field and revived Kevin, saving his life.

Seven years later Kevin Stephan was working as a dishwasher in a restuarant when a woman began choking to death on her lunch.

Kevin had trained as a volunteer firefighter, he knew the Heimlich maneuver, and he managed to dislodge the food from the woman's throat, thus saving her life.

The woman was Penny Brown.

"It's one of those things you can't explain," said Kevin. "It was meant to happen."

"It's almost impossible to believe," Penny said, "but I'm very appreciative of what occurred. One good turn deserves another."

Here's a link to the full story.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


From the London Telegraph : "Over the past fortnight, at least five dogs have been repeatedly targeted by the European eagle owl...

"84-year-old Jack Simmons had to wade in with a broom handle to fend off the bird, which has a wingspan of more than 5ft, after it swooped from a roof and tried to grab Heidi, his 13-year-old miniature wire-haired dachshund."

"It is very frightening for Heidi to have this giant bird trying to eat her all the time," said Mr Simmons. "I have no doubt that it wants to make her into its next meal. I guess Heidi looks like a rabbit or a tasty snack."

Thursday, February 02, 2006


This cute photo of a little girl and a puppy was used today on the Yahoo home page, with the tag 'Share The Love' to help flog their 'Yahoo Photos' service.

But right underneath this pic ran the 'In The News' headlines, and lo and beholdeth, the top story was this - 'NY Bound Puppies Used As Drug Couriers' :

"Colombian smugglers turned puppies into drug mules by surgically implanting them with packets of liquid heroin, authorities said.

"Investigators believe the ring used the conceal millions of dollars of heroin on commercial flights into New York for distribution on the East Coast."

Coincidence? Surely, and yet, perhaps not.

The photos that ran with the 'smack puppies' story shows that at least a few of the dogs used in the smuggling scandal were the same breed as the puppy shown above with the little girl.

Someone at Yahoo just having a bit of a laugh?

Or is the cute puppy-girl photo showing us just how easy it is for innocent kids to INHALE PURE COLUMBIAN SCAG from the mouth of a smack puppy?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

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Speaking to the Alfalfa Club, Bush delivered the following monologue :

"Lynne Cheney and Laura were out of town recently, so I called up Dick (Cheney) and said, 'Why don't we go to a movie?'

"He said, 'Great idea, let's go to a cowboy movie.'

"Yep, finally we went to see Brokeback Mountain. Let me tell you, whooo-eee.

"Dick sat through the movie, didn't say a word. We came out. After a while he says: 'Nice horses.' I say 'Yep.'

"Then he becomes real quiet again and kind of serious. I knew something was on his mind. Finally he turned to me and said: 'You don't suppose the Lone Ranger and Tonto …"

At least he's still got a day job as President of the United States.