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May 2004
An old article on Albalagh.net (it was new to me) describes how numerous bakery products contain an ingredient made out of human hair, and are therefore not allowed to be eaten by Muslims. The offending ingredient is the amino acid L-Cysteine, which can be made out of feathers, hooves... or yes, human hair. Back in January I linked to a story about soy sauce in China being made from human hair, so when I heard about bagels, croissants, pizza dough, etc. also containing human hair, I immediately suspected that this human-hair-in-food thing may be a bit of an urban legend. But as far as I can tell, there is some truth to it. The Shenzhen government has stated that it's looking into the soy sauce/human hair allegations. And L-cysteine can be made from human hair, as this Australian food additives guide notes. But I can't imagine human hair would provide the cheapest source of L-cysteine for commercial producers of it. Where would they be getting the hair from? Unless Supercuts is secretly supplying bulk shipments of it to the bakery industry (now there's a disgusting thought).
Categories: Food
Posted by Alex on Mon May 31, 2004
Comments (11)
Sky News has been reporting that Rapper Ice-T has decided to produce a new rap album by his LA neighbor, David Hasselhoff (of Baywatch fame). The article quotes Ice-T as saying, "He's gonna come out as Hassle the Hoff... The Hoff will surprise people with his rap skills and humour." When I read this article I got really scared, because I figured that if such a thing were to happen, it would definitely be a sign that the end was near. But thankfully it appears to be a hoax. On his website, Hasselhoff denies the reports that he's making a rap album. Thank God for that.
Categories: Entertainment
Posted by Alex on Fri May 28, 2004
Comments (1)
image Can't think what to get your significant other for their next birthday? What about a penguin? As Penguin Warehouse, the internet's #1 domesticated penguin dealer, notes: "Penguins make wonderful birthday and holiday gifts all year long." Penguin Warehouse offers a variety of penguins including Emperor, King, Rockhopper, and Macaroni.
Categories: Animals, Websites
Posted by Alex on Thu May 27, 2004
Comments (10)
image Do you ever answer the phone only to discover that there's no one on the other end... just the faint whisper of static? You could actually, without your knowledge, be receiving a call from a ghost. But how can you tell if it is a genuine 'ghost call' or just Uncle Fred up to his usual tricks? The answer: The teleparanormalphone. It's built-in electromagnetic field detector will tell you with 100% accuracy if that dead line is, in fact, a direct connection to the land of the dead.
Categories: Paranormal, Websites
Posted by Alex on Thu May 27, 2004
Comments (1)
It's official. Michael Burdick, the guy behind that whole 'Hunting for Bambi' thing that turned into a media circus about a year ago (you remember, the Las Vegas company that claimed to be hosting paintball games in which you could hunt naked women), has finally admitted that the whole thing was a hoax. Not that anyone was in much doubt of that. As part of a plea bargain deal "Burdick acknowledged that claiming the paintball hunts were real was part of an advertising strategy for the videos and apologized for 'any embarrassment to the city of Las Vegas caused by such false or misleading promotional activity.'" I'm sure we'll all be able to sleep easier now that this has finally been laid to rest.
Categories: Advertising, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Thu May 27, 2004
Comments (1)
image Is Hebrew Beer for real? Absolutely. And it comes in two varieties: Genesis Ale and Messiah Bold. I've never seen this in my local beer store, but I'll have to look for it. When I get my hands on some I'll add a bottle of it to my rapidly growing collection of weird beers.
Categories: Food
Posted by Alex on Thu May 27, 2004
Comments (14)
It turns out that quite a few famous people have wish lists on Amazon. For instance, Arnold Schwarzenegger wants a copy of Gladiator (seems appropriate). Warren Buffett, for some reason, wants a copy of his own collected essays. Based on what Bill Gates wants, he seems to be planning a hunting trip. John Kerry wants a pair of speedos (that's a scary thought). George W. Bush wants a copy of the American-English Pronunciation Dictionary. But Dick Cheney's list is by far the most touching. All he wants is a single copy of the album Love Songs For A Rainy Day. Could it be that Dick's feeling romantic? (inspired by a post at J-Walk)
Categories: Politics
Posted by Alex on Thu May 27, 2004
Comments (3)
The news that Microsoft has produced a 'messenger speak' translation of Homer's Iliad has been all over the wire services, but is it true? I thought it must be a joke when I first read it... another example of satire being treated as news. But I should have known better. It's Microsoft, after all (they're good at taking great things and making crappier versions of them... sorry, as an Apple user I couldn't resist the obvious joke). So yes, they really did do it... though they only 'translated' the first five books and condensed them down to a few lines each. In other words, it's a cute little publicity stunt, rather than a major linguistic undertaking. I took a couple years of ancient Greek in high school, but never got good enough to read Homeric Greek. But I doubt the pr people at Microsoft bothered to read the original Greek either in order to produce lines like, "Ur right to still be ngry, Anchilles has m’ssed things up 4 da Grks wiv his rage."
Categories: Literature/Language
Posted by Alex on Thu May 27, 2004
Comments (1)
If you're tired of having fast, always-on broadband service, then why not switch over to CrappyDialup.com. After all, there's no pleasure quite like that of making everyone who calls you get a busy signal. (via The Presurfer)
Categories: Technology, Websites
Posted by Alex on Thu May 27, 2004
Comments (1)
image I got spammed today by Christian Debt Removers, an organization which advertises itself as a debt elimination service "based on Christian principles." Whatever that means... your guess is as good as mine. The only thing I could figure out was that they've slapped a few proverbs up on their site and this somehow makes them 'Christian.' Of course, the one Christian phrase that's conspicuously absent from their site is the line from the Lord's Prayer: "forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors." But somehow I suspect that, whatever principles they might claim they hold, they draw the line at debt forgiveness. Anyway, I was about to write them off as just another company jumping on the Christian bandwagon to make a quick buck, when I did a little research and discovered that ChristianDebtRemovers.org is the exact same organization as DebtRemovers.org, which is a featured sponsor of Gay World. Immediately my opinion of them went way up, since I was glad to discover that their Christian principles didn't conflict with their support of the gay community. But I do think it would be nice if they could make their support of both Christianity and Gay Rights more evident (especially since the fundamentalist Christian and gay communities traditionally have been rather antagonistic towards each other). Maybe change their tagline to "based on Christian principles and official sponsors of Gay World." That would be pretty catchy. Though maybe, just maybe, they don't actually care about Christian principles or gay rights at all, and they're just cynically targeting different demographic groups with different messages. But no. That couldn't be.
Categories: Business/Finance, Religion
Posted by Alex on Wed May 26, 2004
Comments (14)
image "Found a Nixon in your bag of Barbecued? Spotted an Elvis in your Salt 'n Vinegar?" Then send them in to the Paranormal Potato Chip Gallery. Actually, I'm not sure if the chips currently on display are real or not. Surely with finds of this magnitude they should have recorded the time, date, and place of discovery. (via Liquito)
Categories: Food, Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Tue May 25, 2004
Comments (3)
Lots of media outlets have been reporting that Rumsfeld has decided to ban camera phones in Iraq, in the wake of the photos of prisoner abuse coming out of Abu Ghraib. For instance, the story is on Yahoo! news, the Washington Times, and The Sydney Morning Herald. The Register, at least, points out that there are doubts about the story, while also noting that it would be almost impossible to actually enforce such a ban. But what's the source for this news. The Sydney Morning Herald refers to some British newspaper called The Business. But what's that? Is there such a paper? The story actually seems to come from The Daily Farce, an online satirical magazine who printed the story (as a joke) about two weeks ago. Apparently yet another example of satirical articles being treated as real news. (via The Prison Blog)
Categories: Journalism, Military
Posted by Alex on Tue May 25, 2004
Comments (1)
Sometimes I really have no clue what to make of a site. Is it serious, or just a joke? That's the puzzle that fatherly.org presents. It bills itself as a forum "made up of fathers who believe in a traditional, conservative, and practical approach to effective parenting and child discipline." Or, as it states more bluntly later on, it's promoting the message that "Christian parents know that the Word of God advises parents to use spanking as a form of punishment with their children." Okay, sure. Parents sometimes spank their kids. It's not the end of the world. But why create an entire website enthusiastically promoting the practice? Unless the whole thing is satire. It's a tough call. Some parts of the site seem so over-the-top that you think, 'they have to be kidding.' But somehow I get the creepy feeling that they're not. So I'm voting that the whole thing is real.
Categories: Religion
Posted by Alex on Tue May 25, 2004
Comments (4)
image Rumors are flying that the next generation model of the popular Segway will one-up the original by adding an extra set of wheels to the vehicle, thereby producing the 4-wheel 'p-series' Segway. The platform will also be lengthened so that two people can stand on it at once. Of course, as Gizmodo points out, this completely defeats the purpose of the thing since "the whole point of the Segway is that it balances itself on two wheels." But it sure sounds good. (via Gizmodo)
Categories: Technology
Posted by Alex on Tue May 25, 2004
Comments (1)
Are you tired of religious spam filling up your inbox day after day? Then GodStopper may be what you need. It's the "ultimate in religion blocking software from the company that brought you SimJihad." It works to block faith-promoting messages from all the major religions: christianity, judaism, buddhism, islam, etc. But the real question is, will it work against the
Church of SpongeBob Squarepants?
Categories: Religion
Posted by Alex on Tue May 25, 2004
Comments (1)
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