Single male orangutan seeks tattooed blonde female

orang-utanSibu the orang-utan has miffed his Dutch keepers by refusing to mate with females and showing sexual interest only in tattooed human blondes. … Sibu fancies his female keepers, especially blondes. That, [said a spokeswoman for Amsterdam’s Apenheul Primate Park], was common for orang-utans but Sibu has a fetish for tattoos, harking back to a heavily tattooed keeper who reared him.“Orang-utans have special interests in special subjects. Sibu happens to like tattoos,” said the spokeswoman. (Unfortunately article DOES NOT mention hair color or skin decoration of said spokeswoman.)

All of which means Mrs. Collateral Damage now has a potential suitor who is hairier and cuter than I am and can rip my arms off. I’m soooo glad we’re already married.

What would the Librarian at the Unseen University think of this?


(Picture of Mr. Pratchett’s Librarian by Paul Kidby. Go check out his site. Now.)

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Competition increasing among deity-related air carriers: Nepal Airlines sacrifices goats for repair job

YetiOfficials at Nepal‘s state-run airline have sacrificed two goats to appease Akash Bhairab (see below), the Hindu sky god, following technical problems with one of its Boeing 757 aircraft, the carrier said Tuesday. … The goats were sacrificed in front of the troublesome aircraft Sunday at Nepal’s only international airport in Kathmandu in accordance with Hindu traditions, an official said.

Yeah, that’s just a cover story. This is really all about fighting off the challenge from Vatican Airlines. This now has all the makings for a funny novel in the fantasy genre. Someone call Mr. Pratchett.


Personally, given this deity’s countenance, I think two goats is a little on the cheap side. Definitely don’t want Him/Her/It/Them mad at me.

BTW, kudos to the blog Galloping Beaver for having a better headline on this story than I do: Akash Bhairab is my co-pilot. And their lead is funnier, too: “Faith-based aircraft maintenance.” I don’t think I like this Galloping Beaver… (but they didn’t have the cool Yeti service ad for Nepal Royal. Ha & Ha.)

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2006: My favorite books

Here’s a list of books I encountered this year and really liked.



  • Wintersmith, Terry Pratchett: The funniest writer going. If it’s not quite up there with The Wee Free Men, Jingo, Mort, Pyramids, or The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, that’s because those set the bar so high.
  • The Amulet of Samarkand, Jonathan Stroud: Part one of a trilogy (shudder … WHY???) telling a story of magic and politics from the POV of an enslaved djinni. I read a lot of YA fiction. Fortunately there’s a lot out there that’s really, really good and this is one.
  • The City of Ember, Jeanne DuPrau: This story about escaping from a dying, post-apocalyptic city can be read as allegory or just as a really good story.
  • The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray, Chris Wooding: How dark can YA fantasy get? Pretty damn dark. A great book and one that hasn’t been spoiled by a sequel.
  • Abarat, Clive Barker: A strange and totally unexpected fantasy world with strange and totally unexpected paintings by the author. Sadly, it is part of a trilogy. What are you going to do?
  • The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov: OK, so it was a re-read. Sue me. Of all the eastern European fabulists whom I love — I.B. Singer, Gogol, Kafka, Lem — he is my favorite. M&M is the story of the devil coming to the USSR in the 1920s interwoven with a retelling of the crucifiction. It reminds me of Miyazake’s Swept Away. Like that wonderful movie it bends reality superbly and after my first go around with it I didn’t really have a clue what it was about. But it has amply rewarded each return visit.
  • World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, Max Brooks: If you read only one post-apocalyptic fictitious history of a world wide war with zombies this year, this is the one. Some reviewers found it humorous (perhaps because Mr. Brook’s father is Mel Brooks?), I didn’t. Funny & Zombie? That’s Shaun of the Dead. This is a horrifying look at what it would be like if the entire world were engulfed in modern war made more marketable because the bad guys are zombies.