Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Russia on Cusp of Leading the World

Russia is on the cusp of a catastrophe. Yesterday's UNAIDS report says the global rate of new HIV infections peaked in the 1990s. In Russia, the rate of infection continues to accelerate faster than most other countries in the world.

The AIDS virus has swept through injecting drug users across the world's largest country and infected a known 350,000 people. At least three times that number - one to 1.5 million - is HIV positive.

The statistics are chilling. In 2001, 95 per cent of new HIV infections in Russia were transmitted by injecting drug users who shared needles, mainly men. By 2005, almost half of new cases - 43 per cent - were contracted through heterosexual sex - and the victims were mostly young women aged 20 to 29.

The spread of the disease has now reached tipping point. If the estimates are right, and 1.5 million Russians are HIV positive, that is more than 1 per cent of the population, 10 times the rate in the UK. That proportion is the threshold at which the virus starts to move out of the high-risk marginal groups into the general population.

AIDS experts cite the example of South Africa, where, in 1991, 1 per cent of the population was infected. A decade later that figure had grown to 25 per cent and South Africa now has more HIV cases than any other country in the world.
Moscow's mayor said on Tuesday the city banned gay activists from holding a parade because it is morally cleaner than the West, which is caught up in "mad licentiousness".

The gay activists tried to hold their protest against homophobia and discrimination at the weekend despite the ban, but were detained by police, abused by militant Christians and attacked by neo-fascists... Mayor Yuri Luzhkov said such an action would have been a desecration of the sacred monument, and rejected Western criticism of his ban as prejudiced and homophobic.

"Our way of life, our morals and our tradition -- our morals are cleaner in all ways. The West has something to learn from us and should not race along in this mad licentiousness."

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Proud moments in religious thought and action

On this date in 1431 Joan of Arc was rewarded for saving her country from the English by being burned at the stake. Among her many crimes was wearing men's clothing.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Old-fashioned egg cream recipe

With summer now upon us everyone is New York is downing egg creams like they are going out of style. While it is possible to purchase a fresh egg cream on just about every street corner in Manhattan, those of you in less civilized parts of the world may have a hard time procuring one. It is with this in mind that we present to you our old-fashioned egg cream recipe. Fix one for yourself and enjoy.

Regular egg cream:
1 bottle soda water
2 tbsp. mayonnaise

Chocolate egg cream:
1 bottle soda water
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tbsp. pan drippings

Vanilla egg cream:
1 bottle soda water
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tbsp. tartar sauce

Strawberry egg cream:
1 bottle soda water
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tbsp. potted meat product

Orange egg cream:
1 bottle soda water
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tbsp. fish roe

Banana egg cream:
1 bottle soda water
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tbsp. creamed corn

Deadly Quakes and Pat Robertson's Assignments of Blame

  • 2005 Muzaffarabad, Kashmir - kills more than 73,000 - Jews
  • 2004 Asian tsunami, triggered by undersea quake - kills at least 200,000 - Gays
  • 2003 Bam, Iran - kills 26,271 - Mulslims
  • 2001 Gujarat, India - kills more than 20,000 - Women's Lib.
  • 1995 Kobe, Japan - kills 6,430 - Atheism
  • 1999 Izmit and Istanbul, Turkey - kills more than 17,000 - Liberals
  • 1990 Gilan, Iran - kills around 40,000 - Environmentalists
  • 1976 Tangshan, China - kills 255,000 (official) - Communism

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Bacon Porn

Ken Lay: Man of God

"I firmly believe I'm innocent of the charges against me," Ken Lay said following the hearing, where he was found guilty of every single count. "We believe that God in fact is in control and indeed he does work all things for good for those who love the lord."

The Center for Public Integrity, a Washington-based nonprofit group, said the Lays had given $139,500 to George Bush's political campaigns over the years. Those donations were part of $602,000 that Enron employees gave to Bush's various campaigns, making the company the leading political patron for Bush at the time of the company's bankruptcy in 2001.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Priest News Round-Up!

What are priests up to today? Sticking up for the poor and oppresssed? Giving away possessions to help others? Inspiring others to dedicate their lives to service? Let's see! (News search for the word "Priest" on Google. These stories came up first.)

Priest goes on trial accused of raping teenage girl

Burbank priest steps down amid sexual abuse allegations

3rd Priest At South Austin Church Accused Of Sex Misconduct

Ohio Priest Removed After Abuse Allegation

Parishioners defend priest who hired private investigator - (Priest resigned last week over accusations he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in church funds to pay for luxuries related to his life with another man.)

Priest's demotion fails to mollify victims

Priest convicted of $34,000 welfare fraud

Jesus loves hot wet coeds

OWATONNA, Minn. (AP) - A student at Pillsbury Baptist Bible College was charged in the theft of his roommate's debit card, which was used to pay for more than $2,300 worth of calls to phone sex lines, prosecutors allege in court papers.

Shane Erin Mack, 20, of Belt, Mont., was charged with the gross misdemeanors of identity theft and theft by false representation. He made his first court appearance on Monday. Bail was set at $2,500. He remained in jail Tuesday afternoon.

Steele County prosecutor Scott Schrener said investigators only had documentation in hand for about $500 worth of calls, but the victim reported that $2,350 worth of calls had been made. Schrener said the criminal charges could be upgraded in the future.

The calls were made from March 23 to May 13, according to court papers.

Mack allegedly told investigators he admitted taking the debit card out of his roommate's wallet and using it to make up to 30 calls to adult phone lines from public phones on campus, the criminal complaint said.

College spokesman Tom Lawson said Mack would not be allowed to return to the school when classes resume in the fall. According to the college Web site, the college offers a Christian "education program which imparts a biblical worldview."

Monday, May 22, 2006

Horrible diseases we love chapter 4: Loa Loa

Human loiasis is confined to the rain forest and swamp forest areas of West Africa. It is especially common in Cameroon and on the Ogowe river. Loiasis is caused by the filarial nematode Loa loa which is transmitted to humans by day-biting Chrysops flies.

Once inside the body the infective larvae develop slowly into a mature adult (the process takes about a year). During this period it lives and moves around the fascial layers of the skin. In periods of growth and development Loa loa often makes frequent excursions through the subdermal connective tissues where it is often noticed by the host. Once they reach maturity (measuring 3-3.4 cm x 0.35-0.43 mm for males and 5.7 x 0.5 mm for females) the adults mate and produce sheathed microfilariae 298 x 7.5 micrometers in size.

The worms are diurnally periodic in synchrony with their vector and once they reinfect a fly they undergo two stages of growth into infective larvae (in about 10 days time) which can then be transmitted back to humans.

Most of the pathological problems observed in people infected with Loa loa are connected to periods when the migrating adult worms appear near the surface of the skin. The worms often appear around the eye where they can be easily seen and extracted before they damage the conjunctiva.

Immune reactions to the migrating worms can also cause calabar swellings in the arms and legs. Recurrent swelling can lead to the formation of cyst like enlargements of the connective tissues around the tendon sheaths. These swellings can be extremely painful when moved. Dying worms can also cause chronic abscesses followed by granulomatous reactions and fibrosis.

I'm pretty sure I have this. Too much time spent in Nigeria and Cameroon. In fact, the place I was based in Nigeria was called Calabar (see calabar swellings above). Every time I feel something funny in my eye I run to the mirror expecrting to see a worm crawling around. Usually it's just an eyelash though.

From Mr Lucky Doubles: Here's you looking in a mirror: I think it's more than an eyelash, you host.

Jollibee Sunday! Born on a Monday

It's been a while since I've written about Jollibee. Somehow, the fact that a store has opened down the street from me has made it less intriguing. Still, their brightly colored deserts capture my attention like a moth to a flame, so after work soon I'll stop by there and get a sugar-fix.

In the meantime, I've learned there are several other tentacle-like arms to the Jolibeee family. They own a Chinese restaurant chain called Yonghe, and another called Chowking. None of their advertising seems at all as good as Insect-God-Chef Jollibee. They want to expand to India, but can't find a good brand to buy. They bought a bakery chain called Red Ribbon which has a bunch of outlets in California. They are having trouble finding reasonablee rents in mainland China.

I'll end by showing this: wherein a young girl taunts the insect-God himself, escaping with her life, though who knows for how much longer.

All Hail Eurovision champions Lordi!

Lordi rules. Here's their winning song, halleluhjah or something. By the way, in the past 5 years I've met two different people who were in GWAR. They were both very nice.

Daily fantasy art

Friday, May 19, 2006

Thursday Funnies!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Daily fantasy art

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Answering Our Fan Mail

In a recent comment,
Tigre said...

why do you hate christians so much, this is the vibe i get off your site. I'm no devout christian, but i do believe in God. I also drink and party where i live in las Vegas, i think that you should just tolerate them, not hate them. They don't agree with you, but they tolerate.

Do we really need to explain this? That the Egyptians, Sumerians, and probably Neanderthals worshipped Gods for thousands of years longer than our current monotheism has existed? Tha t pretty much all evil can be traced to religion? That it's the territory of con-men, hustlers and cahrlatans that feed on the weak, poor, ignorant and fearful? That society and individulas should be able to do good without consulting a Magic Book of rules and without doing good to please a non-existent ghost? That we should avoid doing immoral things for reasons OTHER than fear of eternal punishment? That Odin, Poseidon and Horus are just as valid as Jesus? That our country, founded by deists, is being driven into the shit by an alchoholic coke-fiend and his cabal of fundamentalists that LITERALLY believe in the Rapture, which posits that 144,000 chosen people will magically rise into the sky and live with God while the rest of us fight a nine-headed dragon? That the Bible as we know it was cobbled together 400 years ago under the eye of King James I, a man who executed all of his rivals, including family members? That crackpots like Farrakhan, Falwell, Pat Robertson, James Dobson, and various dottering old popes actually SPEAK the word of God? Let alone the bazillion Mulsims that believe all non-Muslims should be wiped out? That the idea that God gets angry if you eat pigs or shrimp or if your penis foreskin isn't trimmed away just right seems a little silly? Genital mutilation of women? Oppression of women in general? Imprisoning Galileo? Admitting Copernicus was right just a FEW YEARS AGO? Anti-scientific rhetoric that keeps people sick, won't educate them on disease and how to prevent it? Colluding with Nazis? Massive cover-ups of pedophilia and child abuse?

So we don't discriminate Tigger, it's ALL religions we have a problem with. Not just you and your drunk, stoned christian frat brothers in Vegas (who would all burn in Hell if only one existed.)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Daily fantasy art

Horrible Diseases We Love, Chapter Three: Polycythemia

There is always the need for blood donations but one man who has a lot to give, can't. He suffers from a disease that affects only 15 people per million in the U.S. and Europe. It is a frustrating situation for Tom Riles. The very thing that causes him to produce a surplus of red blood cells is also what prevents him from donating blood.

For Riles, it's become routine, the containers, and the needles. Tuesday he underwent his 51st blood draw, but he's not donating, he's doing what's called bleeding the patient.

Riles says, "They told me I’d have to keep getting blood out all the rest of my life." Taking his blood out helps him stay alive, but, it also goes to waste. Because of Riles' condition, he can't donate his blood to anyone else. With an increased risk of blood clots, Polycythemia patients have to get rid of a pint of blood one to two times a week.

People with untreated PV are at a risk of various thrombotic events (deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism), heart attack and stroke, and have a substantial risk of Budd-Chiari syndrome (hepatic vein thrombosis). The condition is considered chronic; no cure exists.
As a 5 year old child, I remember distinctly being worried about this. I'd been in an accident and bled a lot and was concerned about getting more blood into me. I was told my body makes new blood all the time. Since I wasn't planning on bleeding a lot any more, I started to worry that my body would make too much blood, and that it would eventually start leaking and squirting out all over the place.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Horrible Diseases We Love, Chapter Two: Medusa Mutation

Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva. About 2500 people in the world have a rather bizarre disease. Their flesh turns to bone, thus making them living statues. The disease converts muscle, tendons and ligaments into bone. Eventually joints are locked into place, making movement impossible.

In childhood, tendons, ligaments, and skeletal muscle begin an inexorable transformation into an armament of bone. Eventually, ribbons, sheets, and plates of bone cross the joints and lock them into place. Surgically removing the extra bone just makes it grow back faster. Slight traumas such as bumps, bruises and injections can stimulate further transformation into bone.

Victims often die, typically in their 40s, from complications related to difficulty breathing as the bone restricts the space available for their lungs to move. There is no effective treatment, other than avoiding much physical activity, but researchers hope the gene’s discovery will change that. From Grumpy Owl

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Daily fantasy art

Friday, May 12, 2006

Genocide Not the Only Problem Facing Sudanese

"In September 2003, the Middle East Media Research Institute reported an hysteria of "penis-melting robot combs" in Khartoum, capital of Sudan.

Sudanese victims were made to believe by force of suggestion that their penises would melt away after they shared an electronic (or "robot") comb, shook hands, or received a verbal curse. The so-called "penis-melting" has been blamed on Zionists trying to wipe out the Sudanese people by making their men unable to reproduce."

Local media also contributed to the idea's spread. The Sudanese columnist Ja'far Abbas has warned visitors to avoid shaking hands with "a dark-skinned man". In reference to the electronic comb which was supposed to have caused one man's penis to disappear, Abbas writes, "No doubt, this comb was a laser-controlled surgical robot that penetrates the skull, [passes] to the lower body and emasculates a man!!"

Horrible Diseases We Love, Chapter One: Morgellons

Fun facts:
  • Seems to only attack Texans.
  • Doesn't kill you, but is so painful, you'll probably kill yourself.
  • Most likely caused by aliens, like in Slither.

"These people will have like beads of sweat but it's black, black and tarry," said Ginger Savely, a nurse practioner in Austin who treats a majority of these patients.

Patients get lesions that never heal.

"Sometimes little black specks that come out of the lesions and sometimes little fibers," said Stephanie Bailey, Morgellons patient. Patients say that's the worst symptom — strange fibers that pop out of your skin in different colors.

"He'd have attacks and fibers would come out of his hands and fingers, white, black and sometimes red. Very, very painful," said Lisa Wilson, whose son Travis had Morgellon's disease.

While all of this is going on, it feels like bugs are crawling under your skin. So far more than 100 cases of Morgellons disease have been reported in South Texas.

"It really has the makings of a horror movie in every way," Savely said. While Savely sees this as a legitimate disease, there are many doctors who simply refuse to acknowledge it exists, because of the bizarre symptoms patients are diagnosed as delusional.

"Believe me, if I just randomly saw one of these patients in my office, I would think they were crazy too," Savely said. "But after you've heard the story of over 100 (patients) and they're all — down to the most minute detail — saying the exact same thing, that becomes quite impressive."

Travis Wilson developed Morgellons just over a year ago. He called his mother in to see a fiber coming out of a lesion.

"It looked like a piece of spaghetti was sticking out about a quarter to an eighth of an inch long and it was sticking out of his chest," Lisa Wilson said. "I tried to pull it as hard as I could out and I could not pull it out." "I knew he was going to kill himself, and there was nothing I could do to stop him," Lisa Wilson said.

Just two weeks ago, Travis took his life.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Thursday Funnies!

Daily fantasy art

Knee high boots? Check.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Daily fantasy (ascii) art

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

God Pleased by Devotion - Calls Faithful Woman to Sit at the Right Hand of His Throne.

A devout Christian has died during a fast after telling her family she wanted to emulate Christ's 40 days and nights in the wilderness.

Just over 10 years ago, Rosaline Gilbert became a devout Christian and adopted regular fasting as a statement of her strong beliefs.

But finally, with her body probably weakened by years of intermittent starvation sustained only by water and her Bible, Miss Gilbert, 34, died at her home in Hackney, east London, after going without food for 23 days.

Her sister Juliet said yesterday: "She started her latest fast on 19 March - just drinking water and reading the Bible. We think she maybe hadn't drunk enough water. She was starving herself and it must have been just too much for her body to take. It is such a shock. But she would have found some peace devoting herself to God."

Her mother, Gloria Gilbert, 66, said yesterday: "She had been a Christian for a long time. She fasted frequently and would do it when the Lord told her to. Then she would start eating again."

Another actual proud moment in religious thought and action!

Official Vatican Astronomer derides creationism as "a kind of paganism". Will be burned at the stake later this week.

BELIEVING that God created the universe in six days is a form of superstitious paganism, the Vatican astronomer Guy Consolmagno claimed yesterday.

Brother Consolmagno, who works in a Vatican observatory in Arizona and as curator of the Vatican meteorite collection in Italy, said a "destructive myth" had developed in modern society that religion and science were competing ideologies.

He described creationism, whose supporters want it taught in schools alongside evolution, as a "kind of paganism" because it harked back to the days of "nature gods" who were responsible for natural events.

He also said the idea of papal infallibility had been a "PR disaster".

Monday, May 08, 2006

"Fuck Softball," Says God, Electrocuting Child

"A teenager stretching between innings of a softball game was electrocuted when she touched a fence Friday night.WBAL-TV 11 News reporter Reba Hollingsworth said a 14-year-old girl was playing with the Christian Co-Ed Softball League in Baltimore."

Obviously God was closely watching this so-called Christian Softball League and found the efforts of the 14 year old girl unworthy of His Almighty Might, striking her dead like Zeus used to do in the old days.

Daily fantasy art

For once, an actual proud moment in religious thought and action

The Church of England has debunked the widely held view that young people are spiritual seekers on a journey to find transcendent truths to fill the “God-shaped hole” within them.

A report published by the Church today indicates that young people are quite happy with a life without God and prefer car boot sales to church.

If they think about church at all, the images young people come up with are “cardigans”, “sandals and socks”, “corrupt”, “traditionalist” and “stagnant”.

...young people do not feel disenchanted, lost or alienated in a meaningless world. “Instead, the data indicated that they found meaning and significance in the reality of everyday life, which the popular arts helped them to understand and imbibe.” Their creed could be defined as: “This world, and all life in it, is meaningful as it is,” translated as: “There is no need to posit ultimate significance elsewhere beyond the immediate experience of everyday life.” The goal in life of young people was happiness achieved primarily through the family.",,2-2169809,00.html

Friday, May 05, 2006

Items that will be fashionable in the future if 70's and 80's science fiction movies and tv are any judge

-Body suits
-Knee-high boots
-Collar-less shirts
-Shirts with very high collars
-Tight pants, usually with a stripe running down the side
-Belts that do not function to keep your pants up

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Nigeria update

I am recently returned from a week in Nigeria and make the following observations:

-Sales of meat on a stick by street vendors remain brisk.
-The introduction of the 1,000 Naira note means it is now possible to carry enough money for a decent meal without having to also involve a suitcase.
-Bacon of quite high quality can now be had at all but the most desperate of hotels. This is a considerable improvement over a few years ago when the only reliable source of bacon in the entire country was the Sharaton Hotel in Lagos.
-It is still advisable to carry firearms if embarking upon an evening stroll in the country-side.
-The number of small motorcyles in various states of disrepair per capita is now 6.
-Both ivory and leopard skins are easilly purchased in the gift shop at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

How You Eating Your Bacon? Now With Meth-Addicts!

On a Jack in the Box Chipotle Chicken Ciabatta Sandwich.

Surprisingly, there was a good amount of bacon on the sandwich, and a really nice big dark green piece of lettuce. It's a rather pricy sandwich, considering you're at a Jack in the Box; clocking at just under $5. But it was pretty good.

My eating experience was marred however by a tweaker. He came in to the Jack in the Box on Highland, spread out his filthy wadded -up dollar bills on the counter and talked to himself about what to get, what to get, what to get.

At some point I crossed him and he started yelling at me as I was leaving with my sandwich. I started yelling back at him, for reasons I'm still unclear on, and spent the walk back waiting for him to run up behind me and stab me in the side with a rusty piece of metal.

Repeat to myself ten times: "Don't talk to the crazy people."

Monday, May 01, 2006

Thursday Funnies! Monday News

In memory of JKG.