Brain graze


He's the Prince of Piss-takers, the Omar of Irony is Joe Bob Briggs. From the Life and Mind desk at UPI, Joe Bob reveals that the police department of Oceanside, California, plans to build an outdoor firing range next door to the Prince of Peace Abbey, where monks are sworn to a life of contemplative silence. Go ahead, make my prayer.

And also:

A thousand garlic farmers demonstrated in the streets of Seoul against South Korea's new agreement to allow $9 million worth of garlic imports from China beginning next year. The farmers shouted slogans against President Kim Dae-jung, as police gave them a wide berth and offered breath mints.


Anyone relying on my tips to dine at the Ritz tonight is gonna go hungry. Sand Belt failed to run a place. However, brave or foolhardy punters can enter the get-out stakes with Magic's tips published below. Best of luck...if you can find any. There's little of that commodity around here.


Bingo has turned into a contact sport in Stoughton, Arizona. Senior citizens are outraged over new rules imposed at the town's senior center for weekly bingo games.
The rules prohibit players from arriving hours in advance, saving seats, moving furniture or displaying any aggressive behavior.
Players like Florence Stearns are angry. She says Bingo is a "very social thing." She says people like to come early and sit in the same seats with the same people.

Jeez, what are they going to be like when the language police demand politically correct versions of "two fat ladies'' and "legs 11''?


From the state that gave the world dwarf throwing.

A QUEENSLAND soccer club has been forced to apologise after using a homeless man for target practice.
A New Farm coach and several players in his under-13 team were seen kicking balls at the man during practice as he lay, apparently unconscious, in the club's grounds.
New Farm Soccer Club president Mark Whiting said coach Steve Hensler made an "error of judgment".


Magic Mick Manley's selections have arrived and they're well down the card so you've plenty of time from this posting to get your hard-earned into the satchel.
Mick's tips: Tough day ahead. I'll stick with my selection in the paper, Green Pick (Race 7, No.4), as the best bet. He's flying having won three out of four starts this campaign including past two at Caulfield on Sundays where he had to overcome difficulties to score. Stick with him.
For value the Geelong mare, Channon Royale, in the last race should be a good each-way bet,


No word from Magic this morning. He's probably shattered after Essendon beat his beloved Tigers last night by one miserable, rotten point. So I'll share the results from intensive research of The Australian's racing page and see if we can't be buying the missus chokkies at the end of the day.
Down in the weights and paying $11 is local neddy Sand Belt who hasn't been far off the action in three previous Melbourne starts. It's lined up in the 5th at Moonee Valley and has the handy young Baster aboard. I'm having $10 for a win and $5 the place. I'll also box it in the trifecta with our last winner Sly Rambler -- again claiming 3kg -- and topweight Bush Padre. Get that lot home in the right order and you'll be shouting Mum dinner, too.



A woman is threatening legal action after a man she met through an internet dating agency described her as a "hippo".

ANANOVA reports that Romanians Nicoleta Popescu and Gabriel Malinescu had their first date after two months of on-line flirting and phone calls.

Gabriel, 33, from Bucharest, told the National newspaper: "I expected to see a blonde, blue-eyed, slim beauty in front of me. But what I got was a gigantic hippo. She told me she weighed eight stones but she was more like 18."

Nicoleta, who's 29, says she's going to sue him for emotional distress


A Canadian man complained to police that the marijuana he was growing at home had been stolen. Police said the man called after returning home about midnight Sunday night and told officers his indoor pot-growing operation had been taken.
He appears in court in six weeks.


A South Carolina woman who was changing clothes during her drive to work Wednesday afternoon lost control and triggered a five-car collision that snarled traffic on S.C. 90 for more than an hour. According to MYRTLE BEACH ONLINE, Marie Butler, 20, who police say caused the crash, was in surgery late Wednesday.


have managed to stitch back a Moroccan boy's penis after it was bitten off by a donkey, the official MAP news agency reported Thursday.
MAP did not say how the donkey managed to bite off the boy's penis.


PAUL WRIGHT, who plays in the TANSTAAFL (I think it's in Tasmania) has challenged earnest young Leftie ROBERT CORR, to stop prevaricating and come up with some figures. Fair enough, too. Those voicing a pro-asylum seekers line, should be prepared to define their level of support. The questions which Robert has yet to clearly answer:
1. How many refugees are you prepared to accept in the time period of your choice
2. What will you have the government do when that figure is exceeded?


LORI MCLEESE, who teaches English to Koreans, is a deft story teller whose blog recaps her daily adventures. She can turn such seemingly mundane events as going out for a meal into sometimes meaningful, often whimsical, tales of delight. Her -- and her students -- struggles with the language barrier often have hilarious outcomes.

A recent entry from a student's journal: "I live on the place neer the mountain. So there is many moskiters. A bad Moskiter. Today again I had stooted by moskiter. It is very ichy. I hate."

Love that word, "stooted''. Perfect to describe a sudden attack with unpleasant after-effects. Like an audit demand from the tax office.
Or as a literally-inclined vulgarian colleague opined: "Getting rooted with a stone''.
Anyway, I reckon the Eagles will be stooted by the Magpies. And with apologies to the blogosphere's Crows correspondent, Scott Wickstein, the Cats will be doing plenty of stooting at Skilled Stadium on Sunday.

Here's another beaut from Lori's blog:
Brain Breath
The posters are everywhere. Plastered to doors, in hallways, on poles in the street. A serene, smiling Korean man, eyes closed. But his face is distorted, like a spoon's reflection. Very, very wide. Adding to the distortion is his minute bodyand his tiny hands.

As we were leaving my apartment, I pointed at the one taped to my door and poked Sang Jae.
Hey, what is this for?
"Brain breath."
Excuse me? I thought for sure I must have heard wrong.
"Brain breath."
No, I had not heard wrong. What is brain breath?
"You know."
No, I don't.
"Brain breath."
I heard you, I just don't know what it means.
"Breathing for brain. Relaxing. What's that word? Think good thoughts."
"Yes. That's it. Brain breath."



Great problem solvers, the Scotch. And with high regard for their traditions, the Jocks have no trouble stepping back to the past to remedy a woeful situation.
Thus, in treating the worldwide epidemic that is illiteracy in schools, Scottish educators have found that traditional methods of teaching spelling and reading are producing dramatic improvements in primary literacy
Hard evidence is accumulating, here and abroad, which suggests the traditional Scottish adherence to acquiring reading skills through phonetic learning is in fact scientifically superior to other methods. Furthermore, it helps boys overcome their particular difficulties. And it is good for dyslexic children. Pilot schemes using a return to phonetic methods in eight primary schools in Clackmannanshire, have shown not only a marked improvement in the acquisition of reading skills, but that by primary four boys have recovered from their earlier poor reading performance compared with girls. The advantage of the phonics method is that children can decode unknown words by sounding out the individual letters.



"Who, or what, is aboard? Where do they come from? Why are they here? What are the intentions of the beings who control them?"

It was 50 years ago this week when Washington, then the US, went into paroxysms of paranoia over widespread sightings of UFOs.

" 'Saucer' Outran Jet, Pilot Reveals," read the banner headline in The Washington Post.

"JETS CHASE D.C. SKY GHOSTS," screamed the New York Daily News.

"AERIAL WHATZITS BUZZ D.C. AGAIN!" shouted the Washington Daily News.

President Truman demanded to know what was flying over his house.
Why, there was even a Marilyn Monroe link.
But no mention of Lee Harvey Oswald or Grassy Noel.

But for a few days, America was gripped by the possibility of visitors from the unknown. In this fascinating WASHINGTON POST retrospective, the spectre is again unleashed. Read and wonder.


Crow-eater Scott Wickstein has bumped into our favorite killer of only those who deserved it, Mark Brandon "Chopper'' Read. What Chopper was doing in the City of Churches, one can only guess. An expert witness in the bodies in the barrels case? Motivating the less-than-lethal Crows midfield? I suspect Chopper was continuing the world tour he began in Geelong last week, regaling his legions of fans with tales weird and wonderful concerning murder and other nefarious activities. For a small donation to charity, of course.


What's not covered by the US Constitution? Well, according to this piece in horny guys have not been endowed by their creator with the unalienable right to lap dance access.
This revelation was prompted by a most unusual lawsuit filed in West Palm Beach, Florida. A man paralyzed from the neck down is suing a titty-bar because they’ve failed to provide him with wheelchair access to their lap dance room.
Edward Law is claiming the strip club is violating his rights to get his wheelchair into the lap dance room under the American’s with Disabilities Act and therefore he deserves preferential treatment. Laws attorney, Anthony Brady Jr., told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, ``I have no sympathy for them violating A.D.A.''
The suit has prompted consideration of how responsible a venue should be for the wants and needs of its customers. Should its facilities be regulated or determined by market forces?
As commentator Todd Hartley says: If you believe Law should be allowed to sue, then you also believe that a very short man should sue strip clubs because the stages are too high or a blind man who paid to see erotic dancers has a good case because the club failed to live up to their claim.

"Slater and Gordon? About those racehorse tipsters in the daily papers - surely, we've got a case?''


This news should get Australian casino owners nervous. And have ambulance chasers Slater and Gordon rubbing their hands.
In Canada and the US lawyers are paying increasing interest in class actions on behalf of diddled gamblers.

At this moment, all eyes are on Canada. Recently, a judge approved for trial a class-action suit filed on behalf of tens of thousands of Quebec citizens harmed by that province's highly addictive video lottery terminals. The $60-billion-a-year gambling racket in this country is watching nervously, with good reason.
Every activity has its casualties. Baseball fans get injured by foul balls. Boaters drown. But the purveyors of such recreational pursuits wince at these occasional tragic realities. Gambling operators relish them. A destroyed life in their sphere nets a jackpot of hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars in profits.


AN Anglesea mother and son charged customers a $5 fee for cannabis deliveries, Geelong Magistrates' Court has been told.

THE GEELONG ADVERTISER reports that Lesley McMeekin, 53, and her son, Shannon, 17, of Eagle Avenue, pleaded guilty to trafficking and using cannabis.
When police searched the McMeekin home they found a book containing names of regular customers and amounts of money - with cannabis sales listed at $20 a gram.
Hard-up hopheads, however, found better value up the coast at Jan Juc where another woman, Lee Cook, 37, sold cannabis deals for $15 a gram.

Cook's role in the price war went under-appreciated by the beak. She was convicted and sentenced to two months' jail, to be followed by a 12-month community-based order with 50 hours community work. She was also fined $100.

The court didn't applaud McMeekin's door-to-door efforts, either. She was convicted and sentenced to 12 months jail with a minimum of four months. She was also fined $100. Shannon McMeekin was remanded in custody to be assessed for an intensive corrections order.

That's better. Dr Tony has woven his magic and the old electronic box is humming again. Thanks to TIM BLAIR I have pleasure in introducing the newest, most ascerbic Aussie pundit to venture forth in the blogosphere, one STANLEY GUDGEON who can be found at bunyip.blogspot. With deft humour and crushing argument Stanley sends long-hoppers such as the Fairfax press and nanny staters crashing into the pickets.

Stan's style:

While Professor Bunyip prides himself on his prudence and foresight, clairvoyance is definitely not one of his gifts -- something that a glance at the current sad state of the billabong's stock portfolio would establish beyond doubt.
There is one prediction about tomorrow's upcoming editions of the Silly Margo Herald and The Age, however, on which he is prepared to bet the timely comfort he derives from the omnibus collection of Robert Manne columns now impaled by a nail on the back of the outhouse door. Oh, ye seekers of mystical truth, the vision is this: