Friday, July 30, 1999

NASA sends up a probe to look at the asteroid Braille, flies it a million miles, and then finds that the camera is pointing in the wrong direction. Braille, ladies and gentlemen, I don’t write the jokes, I just live them.

Russia makes it legal to have stolen cars. But you’re supposed to go to the police and bribe them to have a special notice to put in the window saying “Wanted by Interpol”. After a year, you can legally re-sell the car. This is yet another opportunity for the police to extort bribes, although I can’t figure why that notice wouldn’t be an open invitation for someone else to steal the car. With something like 800,000 stolen cars in Moscow (out of how many? the papers didn’t say, but it sounds like 800,001), there’s just no storage room for recovered vehicles.

Similarly, traffic ticket extortion is so blatant in Mexico City that they ordered all police to stop issuing traffic tickets and left the job to a few--exclusively female--cops. Evidently that worked in Lima.

Tonga, whose entire income comes from selling Internet sites with its domain, has joined the UN, the 188th country. Can you name them all? In alphabetical order?

A site to check out:, which is just what it sounds like.

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