Wednesday, August 30, 2006

New Issue of Jet Lag!

YPMTRGA's official in-flight magazine is on quality newstands now. Be sure to pick up a copy.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Bat-shit crazy alive and well in today's Vatican

Adolf Hitler and Russian leader Stalin were possessed by the Devil, the Vatican's chief exorcist has claimed.

Father Gabriele Amorth who is Pope Benedict XVI's 'caster out of demons' made his comments during an interview with Vatican Radio.

Father Amorth said: "Of course the Devil exists and he can not only possess a single person but also groups and entire populations.

"I am convinced that the Nazis were all possessed. All you have to do is think about what Hitler - and Stalin did. Almost certainly they were possessed by the Devil.

"You can tell by their behaviour and their actions, from the horrors they committed and the atrocities that were committed on their orders. That's why we need to defend society from demons."

According to secret Vatican documents recently released wartime pontiff Pope Pius XII attempted a "long distance" exorcism of Hitler which failed to have any effect.

more crazy

Monday, August 28, 2006

Are terrorists shortening our nation's runways?

The recent crash of a commuter airplane has raised new questions about the safety of our nation's airports. The pilot of Atlanta-bound Comair flight 5191 appartly took off from a runway approximatley half the length required for his Bombardier CRJ-100 commercial jet. 49 of the 50 people onboard were killed.

The department of homeland security responded by saying that terrorism has not been ruled out as a contributing factor in the crash and that short runways will no longer be allowed at any U.S. airports. All runways nationwide, regardless of airport or airplane size, will be refitted to accommodate planes of at least 747 size. The manager of Rantoul Field, a small general aviation airport in central Illinois, said in a statement that he applauded the move and that it would "give the kids a lot more space to race their go-karts". The 50 billion dollar project will begin next month and will be funded through cuts to federal education, healthcare, science and welfare programs.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Famima!! Moco Loco

I've been trying to eat the most repulsive-seeming things I can find at Famima!! to see what exactly is awful there. For the most part I've been disappointed in that almost everything has been delicious. The Fried Curry Bread seems to be the worst so far, but it looks so good, that I almost give it a pass. Today I tried something called the Loco Moco, which purports to be a pork/beef patty smothered in gravy, nestled in rice, aside its good pal half-a-boiled-egg, and staying as far away as the box allows from its weird side-salad, which seemed to be made of up cabbage, beefs, and chickenses.

This is no Famima!! original creation (unlike the whole banana, dipped in choclate, covered in custard, wrapped in a pancake). Apparently Moco Loco is a Hawaiian or Polynesian dish. Makes sense. Though I did find a fancy restaurant version of it on a Japanese girl's website:

She describes it this way:

The Famima!! version of Loco Moco was quite good, but the side salad was the best part, further confirming my theory that it's the wrost looking things at Famima!! that are the best. Multiple-Meats seems to be the phrase to live by at Famima!! and I can't really fault them.

Minimum Number

Number of places from which I realized was bleeding while walking to work this morning: 2.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Building the Levees Only Angers Baby Jesus

This morning on the (frequent) bastion of sanity that is NPR, Alex Chadwick asked Louisiana Governor / insane person Blanco this question: "This is hurricane season again. What would happen if another hurricane hit Louisiana?"

Blanco's answer was long-winded and full of crazy, but the first few words sum it up:
"We're praying the hurricane away."

Hope that works out for you.
More crazy: Bush's news conference:

BUSH: You know, I've heard this theory about, you know, everything was just fine until we arrived and, you know, kind of -- the "stir up the hornet's nest" theory. It just doesn't hold water as far as I'm concerned. The terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East. They were --

Q: What did Iraq have to do with that?

BUSH: What did Iraq have to do with what?

Q: The attack on the World Trade Center.

BUSH: Nothing, except for it's part of -- and nobody's ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack. Iraq was a -- Iraq -- the lesson of September the 11th is take threats before they fully materialize, Ken.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Africa round-up

More from the dark continent.

While one in nine South Africans is infected with HIV, the country's health minister has advocated a new three-pronged approach to AIDS treatment: lemon, garlic and beetroot. This suggestion has been met with derison from the international health community. However, no international response yet to the ministers other controversial programs which include treating limb fractures with creme brulee, administering a thick layer of foie gras and truffle oil to third degree burns, and immunizing infants against polio via injections of gravy.

In other culinary news, Mozambique attempts to one-up places like Malawi and Nigeria with residents who are not just cannibals, but necro-cannibals.

And finally, Zimbabwe has managed to resolve its economic woes by simply lopping three zeros off the old denominations on bank notes. Zimbabweans were permitted to exchange a limit of 100 million old Zimbabwe dollars [$40] for new currency in a single transaction each week since August 1. At left, a Zimbabwean prepares to go to the store to buy a loaf of bread.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


My fascination with Jollibees has long since past, as I can't deal with their atrocious food. And I am now a huge fan of Famima!! with its red bean buns, multi-meat bento boxes and various office supplies.

But today I saw something quite jaw-dropping - a restaurant that serves all of its food in ice cream cones.

It turns out the Crispycones I was at is the only one in the world! Not even the Japanese or the Filipnos have an edge on us in the cone-food industry. Alas, I had traveled all the way to this particular food court to eat chili, not Crispycones, so I have no idea what they taste like. And frankly, if Jollibee is any indication, I'm better off just imaging what it tastes like rather than actually trying it.

After having gone more than 24 hours without any food other than cookies and coffee, I decided I needed some food that could get me excited about eating again. And as the Red Rock Chili Co. website proclaims:

Red Rock Chili focuses very simply on a bowl of chili. It is a craving, a passion, an obsession for a simmered combination of meat and chili peppers whose distinctive aroma makes an indelible imprint on the senses.

I was obsessed enough to get the three-chili sampler. Then I thought about how bad architecture is and that buildings like these should be destroyed. Also, the chilli website is awful, nothing at all like the Crispycones website.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Gummy Venus de Milo supplanted by chocolate Mary as world's most valuable confection

Workers at gourmet chocolate company Bodega Chocolates discovered under a vat a 2-inch-tall column of chocolate drippings that they believe bears a striking resemblance to the Virgin Mary.

Since the discovery Monday, employees have spent much of their time hovering over the tiny figure, praying and placing rose petals and candles around it.

"I was raised to believe in the Virgin Mary, but this still gives me the chills," owner Martucci Angiano said as she balanced the dark brown figure in her hand. "Everyone should see this."

Kitchen worker Cruz Jacinto was the first to spot the lump of melted chocolate when she began her shift Monday cleaning up drippings that had accumulated under a large vat of dark chocolate.

Chocolate drippings usually harden in thin, flat strips on wax paper, but Jacinto said she froze when she noticed the unusual shape of this cast-off: It looked just like the Virgin Mary on the prayer card she always carries in her right pocket.

"When I come in, the first thing I do is look at the clock, but this time I didn't look at the clock. My eyes went directly to the chocolate," said Jacinto, dressed in a hair net and apron as she paused from her work. "I thought, 'Am I the only one who can see this? I picked it up and I felt emotion just come over me. For me, it was a sign."

The stack of hardened confection has a wide base and tapers gently toward a rounded top, giving the appearance of a female figure with her head tilted slightly to the right. The dark brown melting chocolate hardened into subtle layers that resemble the folds of a gown and a flowing veil.

A tiny white circle, about the size of a pencil eraser, sits in the upper center of the creation, just above a slight ridge that runs across it. Cruz says the white speck is the head of the Baby Jesus as he is held in Mary's folded arms.

read the rest of this madness

Friday, August 18, 2006

How You Eating Your Bacon?

In a terrible shameful way: A bag of T.G.I. Friday's Potato Skins Snack Chips; Cheddar & Bacon flavor. I was going to go for the Butterfinger Crisp, but I'm sporting a gruesome hangover, and the precious fats and oils in these chips were calling to me. And these chips have that in spades: Oil is the #1 ingredient in these chips, not potatoes - or "dehydrated potatoes - which come in at number 2 - but oil - corn, soybean, and or cottonseed. Bacon, or anything remotely bacon-like, is nowhere to be found here. So in a way, that's good - that means it doesn't count toward my recommended daily allowance of bacon. And they're gone now anyway, safely esconsed in my gullet where, like the bag promises: "In here, it's always Friday." I'm predicting that it'll be a Friday when they nuke the port in Long Beach as well. Boy, TGI Friday's sure will hate that.

Friday is JuJu day!

Following up on the massive interested generated by our story on the Konkoran, we are proud to present a one-time series on the juju (or Ek-pe) of Cameroon.

Our first juju is a relatively benign one who typically shows up at palm wine drinking parties. Likes to get drunk and molest cattle.

Next, the money juju. Common during the holiday season. Collects money from revellers, especially white people.

And finally, the one-legged juju. A juju so powerful only its missing leg can be captured in a photograph.

There is also a no-legged juju, but that one is too dangerous to photograph.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

God Hates Ethiopia. Allah Loves Somalia

Somalia is fucked. So is Ethiopia. But right now, Somalia is fucked-er. From this week's Economist: Bossaso is an exit point from the Horn of Africa and it is bursting. This port in northern Somalia already has 300,000 people, up from 50,000 in the 1990s. More arrive each day. It is a raw place: entrepreneurial, resilient, armed to the teeth. It is also diseased, inadequate and famished. The port's champions reckon it could spread along the inky blue shore like a little Dubai, prospering on exports of livestock and frankincense. But such a future, which now looks a fantasy, depends on the stability of the Horn, which these days is looking only a little less fantastical.

Several thousand Ethiopians sleep rough in Bossaso's dirt, like animals. They are sustained by Muslim alms: a free meal each day, paid for by Bossaso traders. Some of the Ethiopians arrive in town feral with hunger. They have to be beaten back with cudgels when the meal is served. The hope of all of them is to be illegally trafficked across the sea to Yemen. They slip out of town in the moonlight, cramming into metal skiffs that are death traps. Many drown in the crossing: the boat sinks or they are tossed overboard by traffickers when Yemeni patrols approach. Some of the men interviewed in Bossaso for this story have since drowned in this way. Refugee agencies say only a few of those who survive will find jobs in Saudi Arabia. The rest will drift, disappear or die young.

Then there are the destitute Somalis. Some 6,000 of them live in one slum the size of a football pitch. The number could grow to 10,000 within a year. If fighting breaks out in southern Somalia, it will be even more. It is a typical Horn of Africa slum. Only the air is free. Several families split the rent on a cardboard shack. Fires sometimes break out, fanned by sea breezes, often burning people alive. Wells are private: filthy water is a commodity for sale. There are few jobs for the men. Women venture out to sift through the rubbish that blooms and shines like armour in seemingly every open space in Bossaso. Islamists pass through the slums, looking for likely recruits. Disease is a bigger worry. A local doctor reckons that a new epidemic could easily break out: polio and typhoid are already on the prowl.

Rest of article here.

Also today, Islamic militants captured a port and still hold Somalia's capita, Mogadishu. NPR Report here.

Konkoran Stalks Shoppers; Exorcises Demons from Circumcised 3-Year Olds. Mazel Tov!

Senegal - Slashing its sharpened machetes together and letting out a deafening screech, the bark-clad beast known as a konkoran races through the market scattering women and children as they go about their morning shopping.

Turning off down a residential side street in the southern Senegalese town of Ziguinchor, the frightening figure makes its way towards a family compound, accompanied by an entourage of dancing and singing young men.

Here they will find young boys who have recently been circumcised and who, according to the Mandingo people, are vulnerable at this time to attacks from evil spirits. The beginning of Senegal's rainy season and the circumcision period, in which boys as young as three will symbolically become men.

The young men of the Ndiongue family bring their newly-circumcised sons from their hiding places as the konkoran in its costume of sacred red tree bark whirls through the compound gates. With the young boys on their knees, the benevolent but violent beast circles them, chasing out the harmful spirits that are thought to cause illness or misfortune in later life.

"This that you see in town, it's not the real konkoran," says the old man, dressed in a long robe and Muslim skullcap. "In the village, the konkoran doesn't walk on earth but flies. Nowadays, these kids do whatever they like."

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Dark times a comin'...

An article in last week's issue of the journal Science showed that surveys indicated the US is second to last out of 32 developed counries when it comes to belief in evolution. Less than 50% of Americans responded "true" to the statement "Human beings, as we know them, developed from earlier species of animals." The US ranked behind such bastions of free-thought and scientific inquiry as Cyprus, Bulgaria, Estonia and the Slovak Republic. Only Turkey had fewer positive responses than the US. Turkey.
That's right, Turkey. Stock up on canned goods and bottled water. Kindling might be a good investment too. I have a feeling it'll be hard to come by soon when we start burning witches again.
Now is probably a good time to check again with The Triumph of Man. In today's episode, 25,000 years ago man creates religion and God to explain and control his world.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Deserted Lambert Field

I no longer want to fly anywhere: No water or headphones allowed on planes. And in England no books or newspapers allowed. What the fuck? Just put the Ayatollah in charge. The first thing he'd do is ban books anyway, so what's the difference? But I still love the idea of flying and particualrly the occasional great bit of architectural wonder. Lambert Field in St. Louis is one such place. My last time there I was lucky enough to come in late at night on the last flight and the place was empty.

Just remember that the days of being able to shoot quick photos in an airport are gone - or will be in a couple of weeks. You'll be approached by a fat dunce of a federal rent-a-cop who is bored and couldn't begin to understand why you'd want a photo like one of these. It'll be for your protection. For everybody's protection. Just one more little thing you can't do anymore.

Fuck Flying

The two things I need on a flight are headphones and a bottle full of water. (Not sitting next to vomiting children is a plus, but while you are allowed to order kosher meals, the airlines refuse to guarantee this for me.) Headphones and water will no longer allowed on flights. So I will now fly even fewer times each year than I had been before.

Fuck the airlines and the half-retarded TSA trolls. Let them all go out of business. I couldn't care less. Skies minus planes are pleasant clear skies. Airports minus planes will be wonderous, echoing hulls; monuments to the once pleasant experience of flying, which by my calculations, ended sometime around 1972 or when the TWA Terminal at Idelwild shut down.

When the best that airlines can offer is an experience on par with being herded slowly through the gates of an abbatoir... Being served 3 ounce beverages once every four hours... Told not to stand up, not to stand near the bathroom, or the cockpit door, or near the waitresses... Sitting on a tarmac for 90 minutes b/c plane X was late, and now every plane at the airport is also late... Unable to get from one city to another without flying through fucking Phoenix... Breathing recycled air for hours on end because the airlines are too cheap to bring in any fresh air... Losing or damaging my luggage 15% of the time (and you wonder why we want to have everything be carry-on?) Having to sit on filthy seats that would make the bedspread at a Motel 6 in East St Louis look spotless by comparison... Fitting my 6' 3" height into tiny cramped seats that are less comfortable than the average trip to the dentist... Well guess what - fuck flying. I'll keep my money. I can get to mountains, forests, oceans, deserts and islands in an hour without every getting on your plane.
If ever there was an institution that needed to be destroyed so it could start over correctly it's flying. Corproate greed and lack of respect for the customer have led to this more than any dipshit terrorist mixing up nitorglycerin in his toothpaste container.
Oh yeah - and this kind of ineptitude: LAX lost the instrument landing system on runway 25R again this morning. The system was out for forty minutes, forcing landings to move to the north runways and reducing the airport's capacity. Also today, authorities at LAX evacuated an Alaska Airlines flight from Guadalajara after the crew found a suspicious item. No explosives were found in a search.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Supreme Being Manifests Himself as Water... Gurgles from Tree in Texas to Save Mankind from Spider Bites

Woman finds 'God's water' gurgling from tree

Lucille Pope's red oak tree has gurgled water for about three months, and experts can't seem to get to the root of the problem. They have taken pictures and conducted studies, but none have arrived at a firm answer.

"I got a mystery tree," Pope said in Friday editions of the San Antonio-Express News.

Lucille Pope has started to wonder if the water has special properties.

Her insurance agent dabbed drops of the water on a spider bite and the welt went away, she said.

"I just want to know if it is a healing tree or blessed water," she said. "That's God's water. Nobody knows but God."

Triumph of Man: Chapter 2

Thursday, August 10, 2006


And of course, lest we ever forget, the patron saint of YPMTRGA,

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Triumph of Man!

Introducing a brand new series: The Triumph of Man.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Fidel Castro's Fate Now in Hands of Voodoo Priests

Fidel Castro has moved adherents of Santeria to appeal for divine help in hastening either Castro's demise or his recovery, depending on which side of the Florida Straits they live.

Santeria is the voodooish Afro-Cuban religion that uses animal sacrifice to communicate with the gods, which makes these tough times for favourite sacrificial creatures such as chickens, goats and, in this case, doves.

As many as 3 million people in Cuba and 60,000 people in Florida are believed to be involved in Santeria, according to religious experts.

Osorio said about 20 people a day are coming into his "botanica" in Miami's Little Havana section to buy birds, powders and jewellery for rituals in which they ask the gods to please finish off Castro so they can return home. Unfortunately for the birds, which sell for $15 each, the price of peace includes their blood and feathers.

While Osorio disagrees with the concept of asking gods to kill someone, even if it is the hated Castro, from whom he fled a year ago, he does not question his customers' motivations. "I need the money. I need the money," he shouted.

After Cuba announced on Monday that Castro had stomach surgery, Rigoberto Zamora, a babalawo, or priest, of Yoruba, performed a fact-finding ritual. After sacrificing a couple of black hens and a rooster to satisfy the hunger of the gods, he got the word from them: Castro is already dead; he died on Monday.

"We were astonished by such good news. It made us happy because politically we are against Fidel," said Zamora, who left Cuba in 1980 and lives in the Miami neighborhood known as Little Havana. The news from the gods was not all good. It turns out that Castro's demise will be followed by three months of intense fighting before peace is restored, he said.

While Cuban-Americans in Florida beseeched the gods to kill Castro, in Cuba the same gods were asked to make him well.

Members of the Yoruba Cultural Association of Cuba said they were collecting money to buy animals to sacrifice for Castro's health. "Our position is to follow the plans of the gods, which are to understand and support the decisions taken by our maximum leader," the group said.

Santeristas are not the only religious types preoccupied with Castro's future.

In Miami's Roman Catholic churches, priests spoke about the events in Cuba and urged patience.

But Little Havana shopkeeper Maria Vazquez, said, "We are praying every night that he is dead." "It's probably not the Christian thing to do, but it is very human," said Vazquez.