Monday, November 11, 2002

I think we need a larger can of Raid.

There’s a piece by a former UNSCOM spokesman in the Guardian saying that there can be no real proof found by inspectors one way or another, esp as you can’t prove a negative. Consequently, Hans Blix will at some point have to make a decision that is more properly a political one. This is in part why the Bushies are not talking about inspections, but about disarmament: it makes Iraq have to prove that it is innocent, which is pretty much impossible. Incidentally, the inspectors are supposed to issue a report in February, but Colin Powell says that the US won’t wait that long.

I’m told that Oklahoma and South Carolina (which the Daily Show described as being known as the South Dakota of the Carolinas) ban tattooing.

Evidently I fell asleep for a really long time and it’s now Christmas. Did I mention that when I had to go to the supermarket twice in one day to buy an apple that I had to go past a Salvation Army bell-ringer each time? And me without my chainsaw.

On the bright side, I’ve just received my first ever Nigerian scam email (actually claiming to be from Burkina Faso, but close enough). I feel like I have finally joined the cyber community.

Seen the pictures of US-held POWs yet?

I guess every vote count must have gone ok, because I didn’t see a single story on whether the new voting machines in various places were actually working. Unless of course you count the state that realized a couple of days later it had misplaced 100,000 ballots. No prizes for guessing which state.

Under the subject heading But is it art? I sometimes have stories of weird art. For example, the Belgian artist Jan Fabre, who has dabbled in the media of blood (his own and his girlfriend’s menstrual), sperm and steak (uncooked, naturally). So naturally they gave him the job of renovating the royal palace in Brussels. On the ceiling: 5-foot long iridescent green beetles.

Speaking of art, a follow-up: the artist who kept the embalmed body of a dead tramp, that was found only after the former died? The coroner has decided that the body can go on display as a work of art.

The doctor who performed the first successful re-attachment of a limb died this week. That operation was in 1962.

Vladimir Putin warns of a worldwide Islamic radical plot to kill all non-Muslims and establish a world-wide caliphate. Chechen rebels are a part of this, and are certainly not just trying to establish their independence from a state that periodically tries to exterminate all Chechens.

Here’s a good Veterinarians’ Day story: so this guy lends his car out and his ancestors are still trying to get it back 88 years later. The vehicle in question is a lovely 1910 open-topped limousine in which the Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, now residing in the Vienna military museum.

From the Daily Telegraph: A girl aged 10 was married off to a 40-year-old man in southern Pakistan to compensate him for a borrowed buffalo that died in her father's care. The village council, or jirga, decreed that the father could use his daughter as compensation for the loss of the animal, said Shahnaz Bukhari, of the Progressive Women's Association. The girl recently fled her husband after five months of marriage and returned to her family in the remote village of Dadu, Ms Bukhari said.

A George Monbiot column.

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