A new photo of North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Il, visiting the Namheung Youth Chemical Factory in Anju, north of Pyongyang, was released on Friday by the country's official news agency. The agency did not state when the photo was taken.
May 2009 Archives
"A Town Called Panic" (Panique au village), a Belgian comedy movie about plastic toys, previewed at the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday. The review in Hollywoodreporter.com says that it is "absolutely brilliant:"
The main characters are Cowboy, Indian, and Horse, who improbably live together in a town called Panic. They are plastic toys, twisted into impossible positions, which rest on little stands, and it's this fact that provides a great deal of the film's novelty. Various bizarre and even surrealistic things happen to them, as they journey to the center of the earth, get stuck in something that resembles the North Pole, and discover a parallel universe of water that is populated by pointy-headed bad guys who wear diving suits and goggles and look really, really weird.
The jokes come fast and hard, and part of the humor arises from the American accent (in French) and the American slang that the characters use.
I particularly liked this photo of starlet Jeanne Balibar at the film's photocall on Friday, sporting the hairstyle well-known at ICIS as "European hair goes to
Nice picture in the TimesOnline Photo Gallery today, under Pictures of the Day:
"A vendor pulls a handcart carrying balls made from recycled plastic along a street in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad."
(photo Amit Dave/Reuters, TimesOnline)
From the number of forwarded emails the Blog receives, I think it's fair to assume that no-one reads the disclaimers at the bottom of emails. There's a report of a novel disclaimer entitled "We will shrink your shoes" in today's New Scientist.
FINALLY, disclaimers at the bottom of emails sometimes threaten those who make unauthorised use of them with legal action. The email Mike Donoghue received from the University of Washington took a different tack: "If you are not the intended recipient, or if the message has been addressed to you in error, do not read, disclose, reproduce, distribute or otherwise use this transmission. Otherwise, your shoes will suddenly get too tight."
In a new and daunting undergarment to romeos everywhere, elastomers and heating crystals will not only pull in those determinedly extruding parts of the female anatomy but also melt the unwanted cellulite away, according to this article in today's Daily Mail.
As women sit bathed in the comforting warmth of the self-heating crystals, and the cellulite simply "drips" away, the Blog hopes that unlike the new Alli slimming drug it does not result in unsightly "leakage".
In what may prove to be a turning point for the beleaguered Scottish plastics industry, EU MEPs in
MEPs with clearly no sense of the 100 year-old tradition of wearing sealskin sporrans with full Highland dress, including Scotland's beloved tartan kilts, have sided with the wee cuddly seals to make it illegal to sell sealskin sporrans after this autumn, according to this article in today's Telegraph.
The cinema was more crowded than I'd ever seen it on Monday. Three screens were showing the new "X-Men Origins - Wolverine" and two had Nigel's favourite "Hannah Montana", so there were groups of teens, mums with parties of girls, couples and seniors, all milling around the multiplex lobby and queuing up for coke and popcorn combos (with free gift) on a grey bank holiday after two glorious sunny days outdoors.
We went to see "State of Play", which is a fine film packed full of enough of the essentials to keep this Blog happy: blogs, newspapers, Russell Crowe, lots of noir night scenes, trickery, betrayal, bad blondes and good brunettes (although no credible love interest) and a few good jokes.
There were no chemicals bad guys this time, but plenty of military baddies (mercenaries only, definitely not US forces) and political villains, and a token cold heartless female boss (easy to spot from her British accent) played by the gorgeous Helen Mirren who, in her limited time onscreen managed to use every single non-American English word which Americans find so endearing, like bloody, knickers and w**ker.
I won't spoil the ending but suffice it to say that everything works out and the newspaper presses roll another day. That's when you know it's just fiction.
For a proper review of the film, see IMDB.
Plunging demand for fuel is triggering a growing global supply glut, and
A revolting mass of six million tonnes of discarded plastic is spinning slowly on its own axis in a patch of the northeastern Pacific, roughly twice the size of
Now Project Kasei, a mission to map and explore its extent will depart from
A team from ICIS Houston tackled an epic journey on two wheels across central Texas last week, but there was more than a bit of drama along the way.
Stephen Burns, Angela Garzon, Ron Marshall, Heather Doyle, Landon Feller and Steven McGinn, plus Fred Seelig of sister magazine ICB riding for Team BP, all began training in January for the 25th BP Multiple Sclerosis charity bike ride. The two-day event takes riders on a demanding journey all the way from Texas to Austin.
The team covered more than 2,000 cumulative miles from January and raised more than $4,000, including a $1,000 prize for winning the RE fit2win competition. To date the money has helped the 2009 event raise some $13 million.
Then, on the eve of the ride severe thunderstorms brought flooding and the threat of tornadoes to the central Texas corridor. The route's midway overnight spot at La Grange was washed out and managing editor Stephen Burns and wife Caro had to abandon an attempt to set up the team's camp, although they did manage to record some stark video footage.
Logistical issues meant that Landon, Steven and Fred were left carrying the flag for ICIS. They pedalled 66 miles through beautiful rolling hills covered in Texas wildflowers, with the scenery offset by a headwind of nearly 30 miles per hour.
"Crossing the finish line made me feel like a streetwalking cheetah with a heart full of napalm," Landon Feller declared.