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May 22, 2005

And by that do you mean behind the wheel?

To magnify the challenge, the early [Nascar] drivers might race with a live monkey in the cockpit, as Flock's brother Tim did in the 50's, or race while drunk, as Curtis Turner used to do throughout his long and bumpy career.

From "'Sunday Money' and 'Full Throttle': Nascar Nation", by Jonathan Miles, NYTROB, May 22, 2005.

Several questions come immediately to mind: did one train with a parakeet and work up to a primate? Did drivers, figuring no one was looking closely, ever substitute a stuffed monkey? Did the monkeys, also figuring no one was looking closely, ever substitute stuffed drivers? Were the monkeys themselves always sober? If you are so transporting a monkey, are you required to use a child safety seat, and if so, is the safety seat required to be in the rear of the vehicle? Did the monkeys wear cute little logo-covered driving suits and monkey crash helmets?

And the biggie: what other sports would be enhanced by the addition of live monkeys? Golf, certainly, but there must be others.

UPDATE #1: Well, OK, I don't have a copy of the book in question, so I can't be sure, but the above probably refers to an era where the job prospects for chimpanzees had expanded. People all over were sending monkeys places new places.

UPDATE #2: Golf, certainly. Climbing Everest? Who's going to carry the banana daquiris?

Posted by Brenden at 8:44 PM | Comments (0)
May 11, 2005

Where do they keep their combs?

(Or "Does a bear part his hair in the woods?")

What with the local tagline ("Pardon...hot tub"), the following caught our eye:

For some reason, bears are interested in petroleum products. When they come across a spot of oil or gas on the ground, they sometimes roll in it like a dog rolls on a carcass. After the Exxon Valdez oil spill, some bears looked like they'd been using Brylcream.

(From Back Country Bear Basics: The Definitive Guide to Avoiding Unpleasant Encounters, by David Smith, encountered at Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools)

Maybe they're making do until they come across sausage and cupcakes strewn about the landscape. Or perhaps bears are closet tango dancers.

Update: It's because they can't get their paws on Manga Head.

Posted by Brenden at 8:52 PM | Comments (0)
May 10, 2005

John Paul II, descending, pies Anne Rice, ascending

The sports trading card generating the most buzz among collectors right now doesn't feature a baseball, basketball or football player. This captivating athlete was a soccer goalie who also liked skiing, swimming, hiking and kayaking.

His name: Pope John Paul II.

A one-of-a-kind card featuring the pontiff's autograph was released earlier this year by Topps, the best known maker of baseball cards. When the pope died last month, collectors wondered whether anyone had found the card and what it might fetch in a marketplace suddenly sizzling for all things John Paul.

(SI.com, "Pope's baseball card hits eBay," May 9, 2005)

Vampires are usually her passion, but Anne Rice is getting biblical in her next book, due in November from publisher Random House. Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt will tell the story of the early years of Jesus in his own words. "For over 10 years I've wanted to do this book," Rice writes. "For five years, I've been obsessed with how to do it, and for the last three years I've been consumed with nothing else."

(International Herald Tribune, "People: Prince Harry, Anne Rice, Jerry Lewis," May 9, 2005)
Posted by Brenden at 11:11 PM | Comments (0)
May 6, 2005

My god, that's a relief

Vienna, Austria, 03 May 2005 -
Saint Kitts and Nevis has deposited its instrument of ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) with the United Nations Secretary-General on 27 April 2005, bringing the total number of ratifications to 121.

( CTBTO Preparatory Commission, via Secrecy News/FAS.)
Posted by Brenden at 11:09 PM | Comments (0)
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