Russia wants to ban “extremist” South Park

Prosecutors in Russia want to ban the award-winning satirical U.S. cartoon South Park, calling the series “extremist” after receiving viewer complaints, a spokeswoman said Monday.

I felt the exact same way after I saw the Mr. Hankey The Christmas Poo episode. However I felt better following the “Blame Canada” part of the South Park Movie.

I miss Chef.

Germany protects children from chocolate egg threat

Despite being a massive hit with children and adults alike, German lawmakers want to ban Kinder surprise eggs on safety grounds. … Millions of the chocolate eggs with a toy inside are sold every year in Europe’s biggest economy, but according to a parliamentary health commission it is dangerous to combine food and toys in one product.

The toys aren’t edible? Man, that explains more about my digestive system than you really wanted to know.

When helium balloons are outlawed, only outlaws will have helium balloons

California state Sen. Jack Scott doesn’t want your kids to have fun at their birthday parties! OK, so that’s not really the point of his bill to ban foil helium balloons but that sure is a better lead than he wants to prevent power outages caused when the damn things fly into power lines. There were 800 of those last year in the Golden State.

However — and I’m stealing the pun from the WSJournal here — he didn’t expect the issue to blow up in his face.

Last month, at a pro-balloon rally in a Pasadena park, protesters cheered as a group of children pounced on an effigy of Mr. Scott — made entirely of balloons. … Wedding planners, party organizers and balloon artists all rallied to the cause. The industry body, the Balloon Council, set up a Web site — www.savetheballoons.com — that urges people to contact their state representatives. Members began a grass-roots campaign to garner support.

There’s an industry group for this, who knew? What’s their magazine called, The Gas Bag?

You really should read the whole story. It’s filled (and not in a puff piece sort of way — ouch) with gems like this:

Others complained that balloon-sellers were an easy mark for legislators. “To them, we’re just the balloon people. We’ve got the big noses and the floppy shoes,” said Treb Heining, a balloon artist who began his career at 15 selling balloons at Disneyland and has since created installations for the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards. “We’re the Rodney Dangerfield of the professional-events services.”

Bravo to writer Amy Kaufman and the WSJ for this. Not only does the WSJ consistently produce some of the best serious journalism there is, they also produce some of the best intentionally funny journalism.