Archive | October, 2013

Halloween Update: Blackface, Still Not Okay

Trayvon Blackface

Blackface for Halloween is still in poor taste – especially when you’re depicting the murder of a 17-year-old boy.

Two Florida men are experiencing the wrath of the internet after a picture of their controversial Halloween costumes went viral over the weekend. The two twenty-somethings were dressed as George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman sported a neighborhood watch T-shirt and a finger gun while Trayvon sported blackface and a bloodied hoodie. Trayvon Blackface 2The pair forgot to include the Arizona ice tea and skittles though – key props to any costume depicting the high-profile case. If you’re going to go controversial, at least put some effort into it! This guy knows what I’m talking about ———->

Anyways, the photo was posted on Facebook and Instagram by the women in the middle with the caption, “Happy Halloween from Zimmerman and trayvon :)” Soon after, the photo was picked up by news websites and the backlash began.

Some were outraged over the use of blackface, calling it racially insensitive.

Julianne Hough BlackfaceOthers were totally cool with the blackface part and didn’t even mind Julianne Hough’s rendition of Crazy Eyes from Orange is the New Black. Although to be fair, it looked more like orangeface than blackface. But what many did take offense to was the fact that the two Florida geniuses chose to mock a 17-year-old boy’s death.

While Florida men dressing up as … well, Florida men, is bad, it’s still not nearly as creepy (or WTF) as Sexy Ernie and Sexy Bert. There go my childhood memories.

Ernie and Bert

Via: NY Daily News

Leave a Comment

Curvy Women vs. Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld

Looks like Karl Lagerfeld’s fat jokes have caught up to him. A French association that fights for the rights of curvy women has filed a complaint against Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld.

Karl Lagerfeld, a former fatty himself who lost 93 pounds more than a decade ago, is known for his criticizing overweight people and praising stick-thin models. Lagerfeld, who once famously called Adele “a little too fat”, has a new book out and he doesn’t hold back about his anorexia-fetish. In the new book, The World According to Karl, he says “no one wants to see curvy women on the catwalk.”

Well, no one except for obese women:

“It’s the fat women sitting in front of televisions with their pack of crisps who say slim models are hideous”, he writes in the book.

The woman’s organization, whose name translates to “Beautiful, Round, Sexy and OK with It,” wasn’t too pleased with Cunty Karl’s comments. They are accusing the Chanel designer of “defamatory and discriminatory comments” and have filed a complaint at the prosecutor’s office in the French city of Saintes.

The group is demanding “a right to respond to and confront” Karl Lagerfeld over comments he has made about curvy women on the catwalk and also about the time he accused fat people of being responsible for a deficit in France’s healthcare system.

The group’s President, Betty Aubrière told AFP that famous people like Lagerfeld must stop insulting healthy women and encouraging a wafer-thin ideal.

“We’re fed up. Many young girls are insecure and hearing such comments is terrible for them,” Aubrière said.

Perhaps, but I don’t think I’ll be taking body image advice from either of these two. Neither of them exactly scream “the picture of health”

Karl and Betty

Via: AFP

Leave a Comment

The Ultimate Weapon Against Somali Pirates: Britney Spears!

Britney Deters Pirates

According to merchant navy officer Rachel Owens, captains all over the east coast of Africa are playing the Britney Spears’ hits at full blast to deter ‘western culture-hating’ pirates from boarding the ships. If only Captain Philips had had his Britney CD on board!

When Somali pirates first attack, ships are instructed to give them a stern warning. If they fail to abide by the initial warning – well then it’s Britney, b*tch.

“These guys can’t stand Western culture or music, making Britney’s hits perfect,” Owens said. “They’re so effective the ship’s security rarely needs to resort to firing guns — as soon as the pirates get a blast of Britney they move on as quickly as they can.”

Songs from a number of pop artists are used to deter Somali pirates, but Britney Spears is thought to be among the most effective.

“Her songs were chosen by the security team because they thought the pirates would hate them most,” Owens added.

Apparently, the Britney songs pirates “hate the most” are Baby One More Time and Oops! I Did It Again.

They could also try using Justin Bieber – but as Steven Jones of the Security Association for the Maritime Industry says, that might be against the Geneva Convention.

Via: The National Post

Leave a Comment

Current Event Cat of the Day: Syrian Inspectors Fail in Their Mission

Current Event Cat - Weapons Inspectors

International chemical weapons inspectors in Syria have missed their October 27 deadline to visit all the chemical sites.

Inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons fell short of visiting all 23 sites identified by the Syrian government. Instead they have only completed verification of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal at 21 of the sites. Time to return the Nobel Prize…

But the Nobel Prize crew might be able to forgive these Inspector Slackers since the only reason they haven’t been able to visit the remaining two sites is because they are in “contested areas” in Syria’s civil war. And I suppose they did find some good stuff (or bad stuff if you’re a Syrian civilian living in Damascas) in the 21 visited sites. The inspectors found 18 chemical weapons production facilities, 12 chemical weapons storage facilities, eight mobile units to fill chemical weapons, and three chemical-weapons facilities. I think it’s pretty safe to say at this point that Syria has chemical weapons.

Meanwhile, on the Syrian civilian front there’s some good news and bad news. The good news is that thousands of starving Syrian civilians have finally been allowed to leave the besieged Damascus suburb of Muadhamiya – which had previously been closed off by government blockades. The Syrian army had given them two choices: surrender or starve. Now, after months of eating grass, cats, dogs and donkeys, they’ve been given another option: flee.

As for the bad news, the Polio outbreak is Syria has been confirmed. The UN’s health agency as confirmed 10 polio cases in northeast Syria, the first confirmed outbreak of the highly contagious disease in the country in 14 years.

Via: The New York Times & BBC

How To Save A Rhino By Shooting One… And Other News

Black Rhino

Kill a rhino, save a rhino! The Dallas Safari Club is auctioning off a permit to kill an endangered black rhino in Namibia.

Namibia has an annual quota to kill up to five black rhinos out of the country’s herd population of 1,795 rhinos. The rhinos who are singled out to be killed are aging, non-breeding beasts, which tend to kill off younger rhinos – so killing the mean older black rhinos is all part of Namibia’s population management technique. And now one lucky millionaire hunter can join in the fun! The Dallas Safari Club hopes to auction off the rhino kill for a million dollars – the proceeds of which will go towards The Conservation Trust Fund for Namibia’s Black Rhino. “First and foremost, this is about saving the black rhino,” Ben Carter, the executive director of the Dallas Safari Club said. But second and secondmost, it’s about killing the black rhino. Al Jazeera

Obama ScanThis week on Who is the NSA Spying on Now, Spain! The newest revelation to come from the Edward Snowden leaked documents is that the NSA collected data on 60 million phone calls in Spain over the course of December 2012. The news comes after confirmation that numerous world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have had their personal phones tapped. Obama apologized to Merkel but claims he did not know what the NSA was up to. The NSA has so many eavesdropping operations they can’t keep track of them – let alone brief the president on them! But now that Obama (and the rest of the world) knows, it’s time to put a stop to it. According to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Diane Feinstein, the White House has decided to halt the spying programs targeting allied governments. “Unless the United States is engaged in hostilities against a country or there is an emergency need for this type of surveillance, I do not believe the United States should be collecting phone calls or emails of friendly presidents and prime ministers,” she said. Unfriendly leaders, however, are fair game. Reuters

one-world-trade-centerAnonymous street artist Banksy isn’t making many friends in New York City. After spraying graffiti all over town, Banksy has now insulted One World Trade Center in a rejected New York Times op-ed. Calling the building “biggest eyesore in New York,” Banksy views One World Trade Center as “a betrayal of everyone who lost their lives on September 11th, because it so clearly proclaims the terrorists won. Those 10 men have condemned us to live in a world more mediocre than the one they attacked, rather than be the catalyst for a more dazzling new one.” Ouch. He the went on to say, “It’s vanilla. It’s like something they would build in Canada.” Looks like he’s not making friends in Canada either. The Guardian

NYC MayorThe New York City mayoral debate is being delayed so residents can properly reflect on Hurricane Sandy. For some reason no one noticed this earlier, but the final debate was scheduled for October 29, the one year anniversary of the storm. Both candidates asked for the debate to be moved to Wednesday so they could properly mourn/pull a few publicity stunts in a desperate attempt to win some last minute votes. Democrat Bill de Blasio and the Republican anti-kitten candidate Joe Lhota issued a joint statement saying “this day should be marked with solemn reflection and remembrance.” The New York Times

Putin GayPutin has promised to make gay and lesbian athletes “feel comfortable” at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Russia has been criticized recently over a new law banning “homosexual propaganda” targeted towards youth, but now Putin wants to make clear that gay athletes are A-Okay. “We will do everything to make sure that athletes, fans and guests feel comfortable at the Olympic Games regardless of their ethnicity, race or sexual orientation,” Putin told the International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach. Although Putin feels most comfortable wrestling bears in the wilderness, so maybe he isn’t the best judge of comfort… CNN

Leave a Comment

Daily Show Interview Costs Racist GOP Chair His Job

Yelton The Daily Show

If you’re a racist Republican from North Carolina, it’s probably not the best idea to agree to an interview with The Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi, but sadly Buncombe County Republican precinct chair Don Yelton didn’t know any better.

The conservative activist, once described as “the Rush Limbaugh of Western North Carolina,” appeared on Wednesday night’s episode of The Daily Show to talk about voter suppression, North Carolina’s voter I.D. laws, and lazy blacks.

Needless to say, the interview did not go well. In fact, it went so badly that on Thursday, Don Yelton was asked to step down from his position in the Buncombe County Republican Party.

But what could he have possibly said that would force a resignation?

When discussing North Carolina’s new voter ID law, over which the Justice Department has sued the state, Yelton argued that the law isn’t racist… but he has “been called a bigot before.”

And then the quotes just came pouring out:

“Matter of fact, one of my best friends is black.”

“I had a picture one time of Obama sittin’ on a stump as a witch doctor and I posted that on Facebook. I was making fun of the white half of Obama, not the black half.”

“When I was a young man, you didn’t call a black a black, you called him a negro.”

“If [the law] hurts the whites so be it. If it hurts a bunch of lazy blacks that want the government to give them everything, so be it.”

“Now you have a black person using the term n***** this and n***** that and it’s okay for them to do it.”

It was at this point that a nearly speechless Aasif Mandvi responded, “You know that we can hear you, right?”

Even Republicans from Buncombe County, North Carolina thought Yelton’s comments were “offensive, uniformed, and unacceptable of any member within the Republican Party.”

“Let me make it very clear, Mr. Yelton’s comments do not reflect the belief or feelings of Buncombe republicans, nor do they mirror any core principle that our party is founded upon,” Buncombe GOP Chairman Henry Mitchell stated. “This mentality will not be supported or propagated within our party.”

But Yelton, who did not seek GOP permission to give The Daily Show interview, is sticking by his answers and was pleased with the edited version of the interview.

“The comments that were made, that I said, I stand behind them. I believe them,” he said.

In fact, he thinks The Daily Show went easy on him:

“To tell you the truth, there were a lot of things I said that they could’ve made sound worse than what they put up.”

At least he’s honest!

Via: The Huffington Post

Leave a Comment

Migrants Die of Thirst in Niger. Better Than Drowning…?

Die of Thirst in Niger

Where are the cool refreshing waters of the Mediterranean when you need them? Just weeks after several migrant boats sank in the Mediterranean drowning the majority of their passengers, dozens of migrants travelling to Algeria from Niger have died of thirst in the Sahara desert after their vehicle broke down.

Rhissa Feltou, the mayor of Agadez, the main town in northern Niger, said that 35 of the 60 travellers trying to reach Algeria had died of thirst. Travellers counted up to 35 bodies – mostly women and children – but many others have been reported missing. Those who had more camel-like water retention abilities managed to survive and all 19 of them were taken to a nearby Niger town and presumably given water.

The trouble began when one of the two vehicles headed towards Tamanrassett, an Algerian town in the heart of the Sahara, broke down. The working vehicle emptied its passengers and continued driving with a plan to find some spare parts and return to repair the other vehicle. In the meantime the migrants started to get pretty thirsty so they dispersed into small groups in search of an oasis. Several days of walking around aimlessly later – no oasis. However, five survivors did manage to reach a town and alert the army – but by that time many were already too parched to continue living.

Poor migrants – they can’t make it by desert and they can’t make it by sea. The question is: is it better for migrants to die of not enough water or too much water? Tricky.

Via: AFP

Leave a Comment

Current Event Cat of the Day: Car Crash in the Forbidden City

Current Event Cat - Forbidden City

A sport-utility vehicle tried to enter Beijing’s Forbidden City the old fashioned way – by smashing into its entrance.

On Monday afternoon, a crazed car crashed directly into the main entrance of the Forbidden City. The vehicle quickly became engulfed in flames and all three people inside the car were killed. At least two tourists also got caught in the crash and dozens more were injured after the car slammed into Tiananmen Square.

The gate, at the south end of the Forbidden City, is the symbolic center of political power in China, adorned with a huge protrait of Mao Zedong. Since the gate and the adjoining Tiananmen Square have known to host a few political protests in the past, investigators are trying to figure out whether the episode was an accident or a deliberate attack. 

On the one hand, setting yourself on fire in Tiananmen Square is a popular Chinese pastime – it happened in 2011 when a man set himself on fire following a legal dispute and also two years before that when three people set themselves on fire in a car at a busy intersection near Tiananmen Square. In fact, they keep fire extinguishers handy for these types of occurrences. But on the other hand, the Chinese aren’t’ exactly known for their superb driving skills…

Whatever the reason, China is trying to be hush hush about the whole thing. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, would not comment on the case at all. So China’s official story, as always, is: Nothing bad ever happens at Tiananmen Square. Not today, and especially not on June 4, 1989.

Via: BBC News & Current Event Cats

New Trend: Killing Math Teachers… And Other News

Math Teacher Murder

Math teachers beware! One day after a 12-year-old boy from Nevada shot his math teacher, another 14-year-old boy from Massachusetts was charged in the murder of Danvers High School math teacher Colleen Ritzer.

Conclusion? Kids hate math. Philip Chism, the 14-year-old math hater, brought a box cutter to school which he then used to kill his 24-year-old teacher in a school bathroom before rolling her body outside in a recycling bin and leaving her in the woods. Chism denies the he murdered her, but the surveillance video says he totally did it. USA Today

Andy Lopez was shot dead by a Santa Rosa police officerWith all the prepubescent boys running around killing math teachers, police are bound to get one wrong – and they did. A 13-year-old boy was shot dead in California after sheriff’s deputies mistook the pellet gun he was carrying for an assault rifle. Andy Lopez of Santa Rosa was reportedly asked multiple times to drop the weapon but instead he moved the gun toward the deputies, who in turn fired off several rounds from their handguns. After they realized it was a young boy and the gun, which looked remarkably similar to an AK-47 assault rifle, was actually a pellet gun, they became significantly less trigger-happy. The unnamed deputies have been placed on administrative leave and Andy Lopez has been placed in a morgue. BBC News

mirrors in NorwayNorway has a new solution to winter darkness: giant mirrors! Three GIANT mirrors have been installed on a Norwegian mountainside in order to bring sunlight for the tiny town of Rjukan for the first time EVER during winter. The small town does not receive direct sunlight between September and March because the surrounding mountains block the sun’s rays. Sounds like a great location to start a town, Vikings. Anyways, that’s all in the past because the $825,000 mirrors will reflect the sun’s rays down into Rjukan’s main square, giving it sunlight throughout the day. In unrelated news, Rjukan is about to experience an alarming increase in bird deaths. Business Insider

niqab-woman-001Yemen seems like a fabulous place to live – unless you have a fear of being burned to death. A 35-year-old Yemeni father has been arrested after he burned his 15-year-old daughter to death for keeping in touch with her fiancé. Sounds like a reasonable reaction to catching your daughter talking on the phone to a boy. After all, in traditional tribal customs in some parts of Yemen, contact between men and women is forbidden until after marriage. As a result, many Yemenis try to marry off their daughters quite young before they can dishonor the fam. Eight, however, might be a little too young. Yemeni authorities are investigating the death of the eight-year-old girl in northern Yemen, who died from internal bleeding on her wedding night a month ago. I think I might know what caused the bleeding…. Reuters

obamacare-this-is-going-to-hurtObamacare: 0. Republicans: 1. After a government shutdown and a few dozen glitches on, the Obama administration has decided to extend the deadline requiring all Americans to obtain health insurance by six weeks. Before, individuals were expected to be insured by March 31 to avoid paying a penalty – which meant they would have to apply by February 15 so their application would get processed in time. Administration officials hope the delay will allow more time to fix the problems plaguing the sign-up website and Republicans hope the delay will last forever. Washington Post

Bistum Limburg weist neue Vorwuerfe gegen Tebartz-van Elst zurueckIf your nickname is the “Bling Bishop,” you probably need to spend some time in confession. The Vatican has indefinitely suspended German Catholic cleric, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, for leading a life of luxury. Dubbed the “Bling Bishop,” Elst reportedly spent $42 million renovating his residence, which didn’t sit too well with the modest style of frugal Pope Francis. It also didn’t sit well with ordinary Germans, who protested outside the bishop’s residence yelling stuff about how their taxes were squandered on Elst’s lavish lifestyle. AFP

Leave a Comment

Nigeria’s Fashion Police Launch a Crackdown

Crackdown in Kano

Police who enforce Islamic law in Nigeria’s northern city of Kano have launched a immorality crackdown, arresting 150 people this past week for dressing indecently.

What makes someone a candidate for What Not to Wear in the eyes of Nigeria’s fashion police? Many things!  Police picked up people who sported hairstyles inspired by football players, while others were thrown in jail for wearing their pants too low on their waists. What sluts!

The Kano crackdown is in response to state Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso’s recent order to cleanse the city of immoral practices.

“We have arrested 150 men and women in the past week, including prostitutes and their boyfriends, transvestites, alcoholics and those engaged in indecent dressing in contravention of the sharia legal code,” Mohammed Yusuf Yola, the spokesman for Kano’s sharia police, or Hisbah, told AFP.

“Those arrested include Muslims and non-Muslims and we treat them equally because this is about morality,” he said.

The crackdown is expected to last a few more weeks, so northern Nigerians should either pull up their pants or pony up the $63 fine to be released from jail. As for those who cannot afford the hefty fine (by Nigerian standards), well, they’ll just have to stay in jail…. possibly forever.

Via: AFP

Leave a Comment