Friday, 30 April 2010

'Daniel', the tiny terrible terrorist

The way in which disaffected youth become radicalised into jihadi terrorism is a red-hot political topic. Rightly, governments the world over are ploughing funds into de-radicalisation projects. A large tranche of anti-terrorism activity focuses on shutting down verteran preachers of hate and stopping them spreading their extreme messages.
However, according to today's Daily Mail, there is a new breed of recruiter roaming the streets, until now under the radar: tiny French children.
The Mail reports that eagle-eyed French cops recently arrested a three-year-old boy as a suspected terrorist. The boy, only identified as 'Daniel,' and his dad were pulled over on the way home from a trip to leisure centre (dodge), taken to the station and spilt up - presumedly to see if their stories matched.
Like any well-trained jihadi, Daniel didn't say shit, and got out of lock-up in two hours flat. He stuck to the manual; act babyish and cry lots but don't give up names. Amazingly, even local social services bought the acting job hook, line and sinker:
‘He can’t sleep and he’s crying constantly. He’s a terrified little boy. The whole thing has been an absolute nightmare for him,’ bleated a liberal softie.
Keep your eyes peeled peeps - we'll never win this war on terror unless we suspect absolutely everyone, man, woman AND child.

Via The Daily Mail

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Baby, I want you back (even if you hate the planet)

Regular ArchBlog readers (hi mom!) will be aware I am a lapsed National Geographic subscriber and that they are dead keen to get me back in the fold (see previous post on the subject here).

It pisses them off that we had a (good) thing and I ended it. Just like that.

From time to time, they send me mournful letters to remind me of their existence, re-assure me they still care about me (even if I did unceremoniously dump them just after Christmas).

The letters make me feel bad. In fact, I think that might be what they are designed to do; induce feelings of guilt.

The latest one from John Griffin, President, Publishing, begins by setting a somewhat serene scene:
"Continuity is the glue that binds one day to the next. One week to another. One generation to its children. Indeed, part of the world's beauty is the exquisite continuity among all things - animals, plants and people."

I think I've twigged what they are doing ... could it be that they are subtly suggesting that, by refusing to renew my sub, I am taking on CONTINUITY itself?
Could the insinuation be that I am trashing the world's beauty and cutting the umbilical link between generations? Am I basically single-handedly destroying the planet? Stop John, stop, I've had enough.

But he doesn't. He never does. Relentless John turns the knife in my heart. In underlined copy he urges:
"Don't break the chain that links you to the world and all its wonders! Mail your renewal instructions today."

(Best go now - I'm on a fag break from an awesome seal clubbing seshion and feel like pissing on an iceberg until it melts. You know I'm still bad.)

Taxi for Kei Kamara

I've some pretty appalling misses in my time. Ryan Giggs v Arsenal springs to mind. The Ronny Rosenthal miss is a stone cold classic. More recently, who can forget Chris Iwelumo's howler for Scotland. They're all up there on YouTube.
But all these combined don't come close to matching this outstanding miss by Kansas City Wizards soccerball star Kei Kamara ...

Via The Guardian's The Sport Blog

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Politicians+Castration=No A.I.D.S. (Election fever hits bush)

Britain is in full-on election meltdown. It's all anyone talks about. Even 84% of those polled (by Silent Night) whilst asleep said they were dreaming of the nightmare of a hung parliament.

Under these conditions, the leaders can't wipe their nose without 72 journos tweeting the news.

Today, Gord Brown called a supporter a 'bigot.' Going by the press coverage, it was a bigger deal than the moon landing. Ditto, yesterday, when smooth crim Dave Cameron got blindsided by an angry parent of a disabled child. They had a tiny disagreement, it led the news.

There's little more to say on Nick Clegg. I'll leave him out of this given you already know he's far bigger than the Beatles. Obviously, everything he does actually is scintillating*.

You can't even lock the doors on the rapidly spreading election fever; not a day passes without a thick wedge of mailed pleas hitting my doormat from both Andy Slaughter and Shaun Bailey.

So, it is unsurprising that some people are finding it a little too much to cope with. With this is mind, I was not at all startled to see this sweet little note (below) stuck to a wall on my street. A month ago, it would have said it reeked of the work of a crazy street person. Now it makes sense. Sort of.

*For the record, I was actually going to vote Lib Dem before Clegg became God. Feel free to get on my bandwagon.

The interns are revolting

Being an intern is the pits.

You spend all day either re-arranging filing cabinets, answering cold calls on reception, getting the boss his chicken, bacon & avacado ciabatta or re-ordering printer toner.

As a massive treat you get bought a Friday night beer no more than once a month.

And for all your toils? You get a few quid on your Oyster card for travel expenses and very occasionally someone who is actually paid to work says something like you're a 'good kid'. You almost cry with joy.

This modern-day slavery has to stop. And leading the charge is some young American (arsehole) who is single-handedly empowering his blossoming generation of interns to say 'I'm mad as hell and I won't put up with this shit anymore.'

Check out his shitty letter to a company who had failed to reply to his email WITHIN ONE DAY. This game-changing dude is putting the system on trial.
Via Gawker

Kill all gingers!

After 'Paper Planes' it's very hard for Sri Lankan Tamil rapper MIA to do much wrong in my eyes. 'Planes' was by far the best thing about 'Slumdog Millionaire.'
So, when I heard her Romain Gavras-directed music vid for new track 'Born Free' had troubled the YouTube net nanny dept, I made a point of hunting it down. You can check it out below on Vimeo.
It turns out the vid is fairly disturbing stuff and clearly designed to create a (promotion-boosting) shitstorm of controversy. If you can't be effed to watch 'Born Free', I can tell you it's basically about friendly-looking gingers (that redheads to you Yanks) being rounded up and brutally (!) murdered by a bunch of repressive state hardmen who look like Italian anti-hoolie cops.
MIA is not one to bury the lead and she and Gavras are clearly having a big pop @ the wars in Iraq/Afghanistan, state repression, the treatment of minorities etc etc

M.I.A, Born Free from ROMAIN-GAVRAS on Vimeo.

If you liked the MIA vid, be sure and check out Gavras' superb music vid for Justice track 'Stress'. Cold as ice.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

These boots ...

I know it's nearly summer but I keep eyeballing rugged man boots ideal for snowstorms which I really like the look of. Below are a few beauts that have caught my attn. in recent months. Unfortunately, most are horrendously over-priced and so limited ed. they can only be purchased between 10.30 and 10.45 on Tuesday only in one impossible-to-find Japanese pop-up shop. However, I'm sure I can dig out their deets if anyone wants to know.

Robert van Plimsollson

Plimsoll overlords Superga has just released their lineup of special ed. shoes to watch the World Cup in:
Unfortunately, they haven't stepped to any Ivorian kicks and their choices are pretty pedestrian (Italy, Brazil etc etc). Off the lot, I spose I most like the Dutchies ...

Via Sneaker Freaker

Bakdafukup crow

It's pretty much standard practise in most armies not to leave a wounded buddie out on the battlefield. One fairly often hears of braveheart jarheads hot-stepping through a barrage of bullets to bring back half a wingman's leg.
Until I saw the vid embedded below, I wasn't aware that squirrels also live by such an admirable code of conduct. Check out the way this little soldier fends off all those crows circling his dead homie's carcass. Moving stuff. I'll never consider squirrels go be opportunist nut addicts ever again.

Via HuffPost

I love chocolate so much I hate myself

Depressed? Or a bit mopey?
It's mostly because you eat more chocolate than happier people according to new research undertaken by the University of California, San Diego, and reported by Reuters today.
"Depressed mood was significantly related to higher chocolate consumption," says Dr. Natalie Rose of the University of California, who studied chocolate consumption in almost a thousand men and women.
The links between feeling blue and stuffing cream eggs in your gullet are plain as day according to Rose & co. I'll paraphrase some of the findings ...
*The mood uplift delivered by a full whack of choc can be great but it leaves you lower than before once it has worn off. Like crack, it's a short high which leaves the user depleted. See Easter Day 11.30 am.
*Scoffing your own bodyweight in choc can make you feel (and look) fat. Fatness is also (obviously) linked to depression.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Carina Nebula (not a Spanish actress)

This might look what Timothy Leary saw when he looked in the mirror but it is, in fact, a real place which you do not have to drink a vat of acid to marvel @.
This trippy scene is one of space telescope Hubble's best snaps. It is of the star forming region in the Carina Nebula. What you see is a mere three light-years tall.
The seam in the middle is the result of new stars forming and emitting powerful gas jets that are ripping the pillar apart. And you thought the Icelandic eruption was intense!

Via Wired

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Stub it out or pack up your stuff

Think of Tampa Bay, Florida, and, if you're anything like me, you'll conjure up images of over-excited, sunburnt kids from Middlesborough bombing down waterslides. Or of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' impossibly garish orange kit.
But it turns out Tampa is way less fun and wacky than we'd imagine. In fact, it's verging on a police state.
Last year, city authorities demanded all its employees wear underwear and deodorant to work. Boring. And now they are threatening to sack any employee who smokes, even if they contain their habit to the privacy of his or her own home.
"There's no reason people should smoke," said the easy-going Mayor, adding, "nothing good ever came from smoking."

Via Hernando Today

Monday, 19 April 2010

What not to drive in downtown Basra

Image via Reddit

Tara and Bella

Until recently, it was thought than Anorexia Nervosa was a disease exclusive to humans. But that assumption has been blowan apart by the touching story of Tara and Bella.
To you and me, Tara is a small dog and Bella is a big elephant. Try telling that to Tara. When she looks in the mirror she doesn't see a scruffy little dog, she sees a hulking elephant.
Therefore, it's no surprise whatsoever that she ignores other dogs (who are they?) and spends her every waking minute rolling with her people.

Vid via Reubo

Sledgehammering explosives

Digging quarries can get very repetitive. If you're not breaking rocks with your sledgehammer, then you're breaking rocks with your sledgehammer.
To unwind on the weekend quarry diggers spice it up a bit. They sledgehammer explosives instead. "It's a completely different type of rush, I so like it when it goes bang," said Alphonso Hernandez to Juan Rodriguez through a sulphur-smelling bandana.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Distended abs

St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Oklahoma has recently erected a ten-foot tall cruxifix.
Wierdly, some of the regulars aren't mad keen on it. That's because they are sex-crazed perverts who imagine they can see a massive penis popping out of Jesus' wraparound shorts. I really don't know what's got in to them. It's so clearly a portrayal of his distended abs. I know you'll all agree? Via Perez Hilton

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Bagging bronze

Coming third is nothing to scoff at. Presuming it's not in a thre-horse race, it's better than finishing fourth. At least you get a medal.
In some rare instances, third place even qualifies the competitor for a big ol' trophy. And who wouldn't want a gleaming trophy winking at them from their mantelpiece?
I'll tell you who: the yank jarhead who just bagged this unusually graphic trophy ...

via London Apprentice AKA Dearlove

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Sea Lions - cold killers

There are certain animals that you can't imagine ever doing anything mean or nasty. In this bracket I would place sea lions. After staffies, they have the cutest faces on earth.
However, it turns out they are cruel killers when they want to be. Check out this never-seen-before footage of sea lions attacking and eating giant floppy octopusses. The sea lions drag them to the surface so they can breathe while they slowly bite off their tentacles one at a time. Jeffrey Dahmer would be proud.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Obama escapes Titanic

Anyone who's seen the excellent "Cite du Soleil" documentary will know the ghettoes of Haitian capital Port-au-Prince are a hellish place run by ruthless gang leaders and awash with big guns and hard drugs. And that was before the devastating earthquake on Jan 12.
According to the Washington Post, 4,500 of Haiti's most dangerous crims escaped the city's National Penitentiary jail AKA Titanic during the chaos that followed the earthquake and now they are on the rampage.
The baddest man out on the run is a wicked mob boss named Ti Wilson AKA Obama (in reference to his supreme power). Clearly not reformed by his stint in the slammer, he's dispatching his gang of tooled-up escapees to murder cops and steal aid supplies. In no particular order. Not exactly what a country on its knees needs.

Vice Style

Vice has just launched a standalone style arm arm and it's off to a fast start. My fave read so far is the illuminating piece on Fashion's Forgotten Fascists which takes a look at what Italians where wearing in the brutal Mussolini era. The author correctly points out that "There’s a lot of totalitarianism in fashion: the big dreams and ambitions, the sense of new beginnings, the attempts to define an epoch." Vice style is also onto Vybz Kartel's wierd homage to Clarks which I blogged about last week.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Navajo chic

I'm a complete sucker for Native American prints so am very pleased to see Pendleton are launching a line of affordable towels and blankets @ Urban Outfitters this SpringVia Hypebeast

Welcome to Lagos ft human fish

I'm really looking forward to checking out the BBC's upcoming "Welcome to Lagos" three-parter. Lagos is Africa's biggest city - 15 mill and counting - and growing at breakneck speed. It's also so chaotic it makes bankers playing lunch-break squash look relaxing.
The first episode examines the lives of 1,000 toughnut Nigerians who eek out a living by sifting through waste at Olususon rubbish dump ...

The Lagos building boom is driving up the price of sand, an essential building material. The problem is it's in short supply. Upstep the incredible 'human fish' - enterprising fishermen from neighbouring Benin who collect sand from the ocean floor 30 miles out to sea. By hand. With only sharpened buckets. Predictably, they're pretty stacked.
Via oL

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Where ships go to die

When racehorses retire they spend their days frollicking about in lush green paddocks eating carrots and sugar cubes.
For ships, retirement is not such a pleasant experience. Out of service and abandoned ships end up rotting away at Nouadhibou Bay in Mouritania - the world's largest ship cemetary. In local parlance, Nouadhibou means 'where the jackals get fat'. It's a pretty grim place.
Photographer Jan Smith went there to 'seek beauty in what was left to be forgotten'. Artists are always doing this sort of thing - there isn't a burnt out car in Dalston which hasn't been papped to death - but, on this occasion, Smith finds what he's looking for ...

Via Good Magazine

Photo credit: Jan Smith