Headline of the day: “Russian rat shortage on eve of Year of the Rat”

RatMOSCOW (AFP) – Moscow pet shops are reporting a run on rats, as keen astrologically-minded Russians snap them up ahead of the New Year, which is the Chinese Year of the Rat, Interfax news agency reported Monday. Desperate shoppers are even resorting to buying mice, hamsters or gerbils in lieu of a real, domestic rat, according to one shop in the capital.Chinese astrology is closely followed in Russia, which shares a long border with China, and where many newspapers deliver daily horoscopes — and advice on how to care for new pet rats given as presents on December 31.

Oddly, they had the same problem in the year of the dragon.

(Happy 1st Headline of the Day for 2008)

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2007’s silliest, oddest and most annoying headlines

A year in headlines of the day:

January 7: GM Vows to Defend Title Against Toyota How’s that working out?

January 25: Gnome, gnome on derange SYDNEY, Jan 25 (Reuters Life!) – It’s being called the “Gnomesville Massacre” and emergency workers in Western Australia are offering a reward for the capture of vandals who smashed their way through a local tourist attraction.

January 31: French health minister seeks nap study

March 8: Borat seen as human rights victim by U.S. government A State Dept. report cited Borat’s loss of his Kazakh webpage http://www.borat.kz in late 2005 alongside court cases and limits on free speech faced by the few domestic media critical of Kazakhstan’s long-serving President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

March 20: “Hundreds Line Up For Sheep Testicles” In Scotland they call it speed dating

April 16: 5000 rabbits block traffic on major highway in Hungary Were they hungry Hungarian rabbits?

April 18: Seattle Man Charged In Bizarre Duck Case Yeah, like there’s a chance in hell you’re not going to read the rest of that story. The lead, however, is even better:

EVERETT, Wash. A Seattle man has been charged with a slew of crimes that involved an alleged shoplifting, assaults and a pet duck named Mr. Peepers.”

I think Mr. Peepers is a canard or at least a red herring.

The terror alert level has been set at duck l’orange.

April 27: San Anselmo teen wearing prom dress, combat boots chases down thieves in S.F. Erin Schrode, a 16-year-old sophomore at Marin Academy, was decked out in prom gear and boots when she jumped into pursuit of three youths who swiped a friend’s purse and a laptop computer at an afternoon protest rally.”

June 12: Wild new flavours spice up German sausages German butchers have introduced a new line of exotic-tasting sausages with flavours ranging from kiwi, maraschino cherry, lemon and even aloe vera.

June 25: Giant penguins may have roamed Peru

July 8: Rushmore from Cheese “Get ready for Mount Rushmore to roll into your town this summer! Instead of granite from the Black Hills of South Dakota, the profiles of presidents Washington, Jefferson, T. Roosevelt, and Lincoln will be carved out of real cheese as part of the Cheez-It(R) Big Cheese Tour. The 700 pound portable cheddar cheese version of our nation’s first grand fromages, created by veteran cheese carver, Troy Landwehr, will help raise awareness of products made with 100 percent real cheese.”

October 1 Tropical activity possible in Gulf of Mexico Glad we cleared that up.

October 24: Fire affects TV shows, celebrities CNN on the California wildfires.

October 25: SpongeBob Squarepants Digital Camera Is Neither Square-Shaped Nor Made Of Sponges

October 31: Man Gets Probation in Pickle Assault Includes the quote of the year: “The fact that it’s silly doesn’t mean that it’s not serious.”– Berrien, MI, Trial Court Judge Scott Schofield sentencing Bobby Bolen to time served and 1 year of probation for assaulting two people.

November 3: Maker of Lipitor Digs In to Fight Generic Rival

November 8: How Google Can Take the High Road on Privacy Mr. Orwell! Mr. Orwell! Call for Mr. Orwell!

November 12: How to Teach Marketers to Be Authentic

December 5: News Corp May Have Found God, But Not LinkedIn

December 14: Demand softens for ant aphrodisiac

 

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Headline of the Day: “Demand softens for ant aphrodisiac”

A Chinese company that raked in billions of yuan raising ants to make an aphrodisiac tonic has filed for bankruptcy, an official Web site said. Thousands of angry investors took to the streets of Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province, last month to demand help getting their money back from Yilishen Tianxi Group, besieging government offices and disrupting traffic.

No more comment needed.

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Headline of the day: “News Corp May Have Found God, But Not LinkedIn”

TechCrunch reports on reports that Murdoch is buying BeliefNet.

What I find amusing about BeliefNet is it is so non-denominational that I am always a little surprised when I find any mention of The Big Kahuna. The site’s motto is “Inspiration. Spirituality. Faith.” Kind of the reverse order that most religious types would put those in but perfect for today’s scripturally squeamish consumers. The most emailed article on the site today is Chocolate Is Not The Enemy. This is a selection that appears under the wonderful tag: Weight Loss and Diet Inspiration From The Best of Chicken Soup For The Soul. Does anyone else think that the more chicken soup you have in your diet the less weight loss and diet inspiration you might need?

Looking at BeliefNet it is easy to imagine even a Universalist Unitarian complain about the lack of doctrinal rigor.

This is in marked contrast to my current favorite site for mixing religion and the internet: Mecca.com. Although this site doesn’t mention The Big Kahuna either, it seems to me that this is because they believe it’s wrong to associate You Know Who with a commercial enterprise rather than a desire to appeal to everybody.

While I would like to say I like this site because it helps people connect and find out what they have in common in a nice Muslim context, that would be a lie. As their mission statement shows the is lie by me … not them.

“Mecca.com offers a point of solidarity for online Muslims worldwide. Our goal is to promote and reinforce an inspiring, positive image of the strong values that Muslims bring to their respective communities everywhere. At mecca.com, we help Muslims everywhere come closer to achieving their own personal dreams – whatever they may be. Together, anything is possible.”

logomNo, my real reason for liking the site is that is has The. Best. Tagline. EVER: Come to Mecca.

BRILLIANT.

(Maybe there’s someone there who can help me understand The Qu’ran. I tried to read it on my own a few years ago and quickly realized this is not a text I could make sense of without an instructor. I suspect I would have had the same reaction to the Old and New Testaments had I not grown up in a culture so infused with them.)

BTW, if you’re looking for a “holiday” gift for your “spiritually” minded friends may I suggest that you Reserve A Spot In Heaven for them. A mere $12.79 (?) guarantees him or her

BULLET Heavenly issued certificate of reservation with a unique I.D. number registered in the Book of Light™

BULLET A First class ticket to Heaven. Why walk those stairs when you can fly?

BULLET The Official Heaven Identification Card so you can get around without getting hassled.

BULLET Heaven 101 mini informational guide. Don’t be a victim of culture shock. Get acquainted with the land.

BTW, group discounts are available.

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Headline of the Day: “Maker of Lipitor Digs In to Fight Generic Rival”

Is a generic rival harder to fight than a specific rival?

Bonus Headline of the Day:

warthogBig Pig-Like Beast Discovered

How dare they say I’m not well-known!

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Headline of the day: SpongeBob Squarepants Digital Camera Is Neither Square-Shaped Nor Made Of Sponges

What more do you need to know?

spongebob

UPDATE: This camera neither says Hello nor is it a Kitty, however it does take pictures with 5 megapixels worth of data:

HKCamera

Headline of the day: Fire affects TV shows, celebrities

(CNN) — The entertainment industry was not immune to the impact of the fires blazing across Southern California. At the Santa Clarita Studios in Valencia, California — about 30 miles north of Los Angeles — some staffers weren’t able to get to work Monday, due to traffic on area roadways and concern about their homes, according to Variety. Interstate 5, a major north-south artery, runs directly through the area.

Well, now you know it’s important.

BTW, SSG Big Brother Collateral Damage — who’s a San Diegan (on?) and is helping out with the fire fighting — said he heard one of the local TV people say of the conflagration: “It’s spreading like wildfire!” He says he and the firefighters have been laughing about that for the last two days.

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