Ur Place

June 10, 2008

Will the Olympics Not Be Televised?

Filed under: Lifestyle,Sports — halfevil @ 11:34 am

BEIJING) — Television networks that will broadcast the Beijing Olympics to billions around the world are squaring off with local organizers over stringent security that threatens coverage of the games in two months.

Differences over a wide range of issues — from limits on live coverage in Tiananmen Square to allegations that freight shipments of TV broadcasting equipment are being held up in Chinese ports — surfaced in a contentious meeting late last month between Beijing organizers and high-ranking International Olympic Committee officials and TV executives — including those from NBC.

In response to the complaints from broadcasters, Sun Weijia, head of media operations for the Beijing organizers, asked them to put it in writing, only to draw protests about mounting paperwork.

“I think what I have heard here are just a number of conditions or requirements that are just not workable,” said IOC official Gilbert Felli, according to minutes of the May 29 meeting obtained by The Associated Press. “There are a number of things that are just not feasible.”

Despite the outburst, Sun asked again to have the complaints in writing.

“I just wish to have a kind of document to help me identify the key points,” he said, drawing immediate protest.

“How many times do we have to do that?” asked Manolo Romero, an Olympic broadcasting official.

With time running out before the games open on Aug. 8, the minutes hint that procedures broadcasters have used in other Olympics are conflicting with China’s authoritarian government. Some plans are months behind schedule, which could force broadcasters to compromise coverage plans.

The meeting in Beijing included representatives of nine broadcasters, each of which has paid for the rights to broadcast the Olympics. Top IOC officials and Beijing organizers were also on hand in what one TV executive termed an “emergency meeting.”

Non-rights holding broadcasters — news organizations that have not bought TV rights to cover Olympic action at the venues — did not attend the meeting but also are concerned about delays and security restrictions.

“We are two weeks away from putting equipment on a shipment and we have no clearance to operate, or to enter the country or a frequency allocation,” said Sandy MacIntyre, director of news for AP Television News. APTN is the television arm of The Associated Press.

Unnerved by protests on international legs of the Olympic torch relay following the outbreak of deadly rioting March 14 in Tibet, China’s communist government seems to be backtracking on some promises to let reporters work as they have in previous Olympics.

The government also has tightened visa rules in the last several months. One target has been students. The government fears many would side with activist groups if protests break out.

The minutes of the meeting show behind-the-scenes dialogue that differs markedly from the IOC’s public statements about smooth cooperation with Beijing organizers. In an interview, one broadcaster who attended the meeting summed up the problem.

“The Chinese are very concerned about something going wrong — and so they are in Olympic gridlock,” said John Barton, director of sport for the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, which represents broadcasters in 57 countries.

“This is the greatest moment in their sporting history,” Barton said. “They’ve built a stage on which they want to perform, but they are rather queasy about how it should be shown.”

“They are suffocating the television coverage in the crazy pursuit of security. They can’t secure the event. Nothing can be totally secure, yet they are trying to do that.”

Chinese officials say more than 500,000 people will handle security during the games, equaling the number of foreign visitors expected. Public security officials said a few days ago that protests won’t be allowed — unless protesters get a permit — with arrests or expulsion likely. Some athletes in Beijing also are expected to speak out against Chinese policies on Tibet or Darfur.

The rights-holding broadcasters generally lauded the organizers’ preparations, but worried about being stuck in a quagmire of security requirements. The meeting was held under the auspices of Beijing Olympic Broadcasting — also known as BOB.

BOB is a joint venture between the Beijing Olympic organizers and an IOC subsidiary. BOB coordinates and provides technical services for the television networks with rights to broadcast the Olympics, such as NBC.

Gary Zenkel, the president of NBC Olympics, told the meeting the issues “can be solved” and suggested the prospects are better than Athens or Turin, where he described some unspecified problems as “irresolvable.”

“This can be the world’s greatest Olympics,” Zenkel said, crediting Beijing organizers. But he said certain “obstacles” are hindering the organizers.

“I don’t know who they are or how to get to them collectively, but we must get to them,” Zenkel added. “Because these games will suffer and these problems will be presented to the world and they don’t do justice to these Olympics. … This is a big day for China and the Olympics and it may be lost if there isn’t any immediate change or movement made by the government, or whoever. It has to happen. We hope the wakeup call is heard.”

Several TV executives were upset there might be no live coverage from Tiananmen Square. This is a change from two months ago when IOC officials in Beijing said China had agreed to allow live coverage. Broadcasters also have been told there’s unlikely to be live coverage from the Forbidden City.

Chinese police fear both might be venues for activists’ protests, which would be a public relations disaster if demonstrations — and police crackdowns — are beamed around the world.

“For us to potentially not be able to do live reports from Tiananmen — the most iconic place in China — is a disgrace,” said Scott Moore, executive director of Canada’s CBC Sports. “I’ve been told that to do business in China, you have to have patience. We don’t have time to have patience. The games have begun for us already.”

TV executives appear skeptical they will be able to deliver the kind of coverage they have in past games. Some say Chinese officials are requiring that forms be filled out specifying where satellite trucks will be each day of the games. The IOC says about 2,000 TV trucks usually go in and out of Olympic venues every day during the games.

These kind of restrictions could make it very difficult for TV crews to move quickly around the sprawling city to cover breaking news. Broadcasters also have been denied permits to record aerial views of Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.

Relaxing the rules and allowing Olympic broadcasters to avoid government censorship was one of the concessions China made to land the games in 2001. Now officials appear to be nervous about it, with TV executives complaining that high-tech TV equipment has been held up in Chinese ports.

Sun Weide, a spokesman for the Beijing organizing committee, denied there were delays in getting equipment into China.

“As far as we know, the importation of broadcast equipment has been going smoothly,” he said.

Any interference with news coverage will be at odds with promises made seven years ago when Beijing was awarded the games. At the time, Wang Wei, the executive vice president of the Beijing organizing committee, said the news media would have “complete freedom to report on anything when they come to China.”

The government enacted a law 18 months ago giving foreign reporters “free access” to report. The law has been helpful, although some areas of the country — such as Tibet — are still off limits. Reporters still complain of harassment, particularly away from Beijing where provincial authorities seem unaware of the new rules.

“In Athens we were pretty much allowed to film whatever we wanted, wherever and whenever,” said Tomoyo Igaya, senior program director for Japan’s NHK Sports and head of the Japan consortium, an Olympic pool that represents NHK and five Japanese commercial broadcasters.

Igaya attended the May 29 meeting and told colleagues she thought the disputes could be resolved. She also raised the specter of more pressure if they are not. She hinted at unspecified “legal-financial” action.

Igaya said China might be forced to loosen up with more than 30,000 accredited and non-accredited journalists expected to cover the games, which Chinese officials hope will polish the country’s image as the rising political and economic power of the 21st century.

“We’ve been talking about this internally for some time,” Igaya said. “Maybe when there are thousands of broadcasters and press in Beijing, maybe they won’t be able to keep an eye on every single person. There will be just so many. But on the other hand, it’s China — you know the population of the country. You could maybe have people keeping an eye on every journalist and broadcaster. Who knows.”

“I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that everything goes well.”


50 breathtaking pics

Filed under: Pics --- Humour — halfevil @ 11:30 am


Ivanovic, the New No. 1, Is Also Tops in Paris

Filed under: Sports — halfevil @ 11:27 am

PARIS — It was time for another French Open women’s final, and although the four-time winner Justine Henin was still on the grounds, she was no longer on the clay.

With Henin retired and watching from the front row, it was time for a new Grand Slam champion, and it turned out to be Ana Ivanovic, the same young, elegant Serb who had let her nerves get the best of her against Henin in last year’s flop of a final.

Ivanovic is a better, fitter, more composed contender now, and on Saturday, she filled the void at the top of the clay-court game in style by defeating 13th-seeded Dinara Safina of Russia, 6-4, 6-3.

“Obviously, the nerves were still there, but that’s normal,” Ivanovic said. “Last year’s final was a great learning experience for me.”

Ivanovic, 20, was already guaranteed to become No. 1 in the women’s rankings Monday after beating her Serbian compatriot Jelena Jankovic in the semifinals. Now, she has her first Grand Slam singles title along with the top spot, and Serbia, once an international pariah, has its latest reason to organize a celebration in Belgrade.

In January, Novak Djokovic became the first Serbian man to win a major singles title, at the Australian Open. “Going into today’s final, I thought of it,” Ivanovic said. “I said: ‘Come on. He could do it. I could do it, too.’ So it’s something that for sure motivates, and I hope also many young kids will get inspired from us.”

Ivanovic is a towering fast talker with a trump card of a forehand. Although she has a friendly, upbeat disposition — unlike some of the harder-edged women’s stars over the years — she had to overcome major adversity to become a major champion.

Ivanovic was part of the remarkable Serbian tennis generation that developed despite the internal conflicts linked to the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. At 13, she was reduced to training on a makeshift court in Belgrade that was in the bottom of an empty swimming pool.

Later, like Jankovic and Djokovic, Ivanovic became an expatriate as a teenager to take her game to the next level. Ivanovic, not considered a can’t-miss junior, based herself in Roger Federer’s home city, Basel, Switzerland, after Dan Holzmann, an Israeli-born Swiss businessman, agreed to finance her career at a time when money and opportunity were drying up.

“I met the family, and 24 hours later, I made the decision to help,” said Holzmann, who added, “I have a lot of people working with me and colleagues and offices, but to hear it from a 15-year-old girl, so committed and so clear, that she wants to be No. 1, I was really impressed.”

With Holzmann’s support, about $10,000 to $20,000 a month in the early years, the family hired the veteran coach Eric Van Harpen, who had worked with the Spanish stars Conchita Martínez and Arantxa Sánchez Vicario.

Ivanovic made her first major impression at 17, when she upset the French star Amélie Mauresmo here and reached the 2005 quarterfinals. But questionable fitness and a tendency to become tight under big-match pressure held her back until last year, when she rolled to the final before winning just three games against Henin.

She failed to control her emotions again in this year’s Australian Open final against Maria Sharapova.

“I had a few sleepless nights after that, honestly,” Ivanovic said. “Part of me was already thinking about possibly holding the trophy, you know. So this time, I really tried to change that and don’t think about that at all and just focus on my game. There were some moments where this thought would still come up, but I managed to control it much better.”

This time, the Russian on the other side of the net was not an established winner accustomed to the pomp and circumstance of a Grand Slam final. Safina, the 22-year-old sister of the former men’s No. 1 Marat Safin, had never been past the quarterfinals of a major tournament.

The differences Saturday were Ivanovic’s forehand, slightly better court coverage and ability to attack Safina’s second serve. Safina still kept it interesting, however, rallying from a 1-4 deficit to 4-4 in the opening set before Ivanovic closed it out. In the second, after losing her serve again early, Safina stayed close by holding serve in a marathon seventh game. But the effort seemed to leave her drained, and she ended up winning just one point in the final two games.

Ivanovic was soon climbing into the stands to hug friends and her parents, Dragana and Miroslava. Back on the clay, she received the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen from Henin, who won it the last three years before retiring unexpectedly last month, citing a loss of motivation.

“I really wanted to try and face her again here and hopefully be better,” Ivanovic said. “But still it was great to see her there and, at the end, when she handed me the trophy, she was really nice, and she said, ‘You know you deserve it, so now it’s yours.’ ”

Holzmann, his investment long since repaid, was among those tearing up in the stands. “Normally, I’m not a very emotional guy,” he said. “But I know what they went through. It’s tough to have a daughter, no money, traveling.”

He added, “I don’t know if I would do that with my kid, but they did it and were committed, so of course I was emotional about them being emotional.”

It was the first French Open singles title for a Serb since the Serbian-born Monica Seles won here in 1992 while representing Yugoslavia.

Seles was Ivanovic’s idol, the big-hitting reason she took up the game.

“I had a chance to meet her and have dinner with her last year in New York, and it was very nice,” Ivanovic said. “I was sitting there with her and I kind of didn’t know what to say. I was like: How can I ask her? I mean she’s such a great champion, and who am I?”

The internal dialogue will presumably be different the next time they meet. Ivanovic is, after all, a Grand Slam champion herself now

June 8, 2008

Six Degrees of Paris Hilton: The Global Reach of One Vagina

Filed under: Lifestyle — halfevil @ 4:00 pm

They say we’re no more than six degrees of separation from everyone in the world. So, for instance, you don’t know Harrison Ford, but you know a guy, who knows a guy, who knows a guy who knows Harrison Ford.

What you probably haven’t heard is that you most likely are no more than six degrees of sex from Paris Hilton’s vagina. Pick any random person, and if you dig hard enough you’ll find that they had sex with somebody, who had sex with somebody, who had sex with Paris.

We’ll demonstrate. Let’s start with an easy one, say, ’70s porn star John Holmes:

Paris Hilton to John Holmes

So the chain of boning goes …

From Paris Hilton to Tom Sizemore
She denies even knowing him, but Tom Sizemore claims in his homemade sex tape, Tom Sizemore’s Sex Scandal, that a teenage Hilton seduced him in his home gym after a party. There’s a photo of the two getting close at the party in question, and she does like guys who make homemade sex tapes. 
From Tom Sizemore to Heidi Fleiss
Sizemore was also engaged to infamous Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss. He also liked to smack her around, leading to a 2003 jail sentence for assault and battery. Tom Sizemore’s Sex Scandal also reveals that he has her name tattooed in inch-high letters above his genitals. If you ever run into Tom, it’s probably best to just take his word on this. 
From Heidi Fleiss to Charlie Sheen
Speaking of people who nailed the Estevez/Sheen clan, Fleiss’ most prominent client was bad-boy actor Charlie Sheen, who testified in her tax-evasion trial that he spent $50,000 on the services of 27 of her escorts. Did he sleep with the madam herself? She still holds such a degree of ill will toward him that it’s almost impossible not to think he literally screwed her over.

It hardly matters–it’s trivial to link Sheen back to Hilton (through Robin Wright Penn and Colin Farrell is just one way) so let’s just move on.

From Charlie Sheen to Ginger Lynn
Not only did Charlie Sheen hook up with ’80s porn star Ginger Lynn, but he managed to hold down a relationship with her from 1990 to 1992. They also did a stint in drug rehab together, which, for Charlie, means real commitment.

Charlie and his dad, Martin, even wrote letters to the court in support of Lynn during her 1991 tax fraud trial, though this didn’t stop her from spending four months in jail, most of which we can safely assume featured a lot of showering, cat-fighting and situational lesbianism.

From Ginger Lynn to John Holmes
Ginger Lynn had a sex scene with Holmes early in her career, in the film The Grafenberg Spot. The real-life inspiration behind Dirk Diggler, Holmes claimed 20,000 partners in his lifetime. But while he may have had Wilt Chamberlain’s numbers, he had Magic Johnson’s luck–he died of complications from AIDS in 1988, at 43.

Actually, it seems kind of obvious now that we point it out. Let’s up the degree of difficulty a notch.

How about a member of the royal family from the notoriously sexless United Kingdom?

Paris Hilton to Prince Charles


Paris Hilton to Colin Farrell
It was bound to happen: First, Paris Hilton and Colin Farrell bumped into each other while he was promoting Alexander and she was being filmed for Barbara Walters’ TV show The Ten Most Fascinating People of 2004, and then they bumped uglies. Farrell being perhaps the preeminent man-whore of his day, the hookup was inevitable. Also, 2004 must have been a pretty dry year for fascinating people.


Colin Farrell to Elle MacPherson
Only a month before Elle MacPherson dumped Swiss financier Arpad Busson, she was spotted on a beach in the Bahamas with Farrell. Shortly thereafter, she went on a romantic dinner date with Al Pacino. She denies anything happened with Farrell, but if you were hanging around one of the greatest actors of his generation, you wouldn’t own up to having anything to do with a scrub like Farrell either.


Elle MacPherson to Bryan Adams
The best move Bryan Adams ever made was to put down his old six-string and pick up a camera. That’s because his hobby put him in the prime position to romance MacPherson, who’s got a taste for photographers, having been married to French fashion photographer Gilles Bensimon in the mid-’80s. (It’s also because his music started to suck.)


Bryan Adams to Princess Diana
Had the pockmarked pop star been any other musician in this article, his biggest hit might as well have been titled “(Everyone I Do), I Do It For You.” But Adams went for quality over quantity. Adams laid his groundwork by cutting a b-side named after Princess Diana in 1985, then bode his time for 11 years, finally making his move after her divorce.

It’s comforting to think that at least one photographer brought a few moments of pleasure to the late princess’s life before his paparazzi brethren hounded her to her death.


Princess Diana to Prince Charles
Well, no mystery about whether these two hooked up, since their marriage was watched by 750 million people worldwide and produced two handsome princes. It’s not even a mystery that the jug-eared royal scion would cheat on the beautiful princess with Camilla Parker Bowles, whose looks can be charitably described as “dowdy.” The heart wants what it wants, after all. No, the real mystery is what Prince Charles thinks of Hilton’s galling pronouncement, “I think every decade has an iconic blonde–like Marilyn Monroe or Princess Diana–and right now, I’m that icon.”

Happy now? Now you know Prince Charles is just five sexual partners away from having the same sexually transmitted diseases as Paris Hilton.

Seriously, we can do it with anybody. Pick anyone, the most outrageous, remote possibility.

Osama Bin Laden, you say?

Paris Hilton to Osama Bin Laden

From Paris Hilton to Lindsay Lohan
Hilton and Lindsay Lohan notoriously feuded after a heated nightclub argument. The tiff gave the world the word “firecrotch,” coined in a verbally explicit video by Hilton’s pal, oil heir Brandon Davis, who also made the improbable claim that Lohan’s clitoris is seven-feet long. Judging by the widely available upskirt photos, it’s not.

But her fellow vagina-flasher Hilton should know for sure: The publicist who claims Hilton had a Sapphic fling with Britney Spears says she walked Lohan’s well trodden red carpet as well.

From Lindsay Lohan to Jude Law
One video reveals Lohan taking time between lines of cocaine to brag of her plans to fly to New York to have sex with Law, and widespread media reports of them together suggest that she made good on her boast.
From Jude Law to Cameron Diaz
Law and a recently single Cameron Diaz bonded while making The Holiday in 2006, resulting in the two enjoying a week-long series of dinner dates the following year, and then a vacation to Hawaii. Though they denied reports of a relationship, eyewitnesses report the two nuzzling and Diaz kissing Law’s neck.

“Jude is charismatic, fun, open and charming,” Diaz told the press. “It is very easy to fall in love with him.” How couldn’t you love every little hair left in his head? It’s certainly easier than enduring his wooden acting.

From Cameron Diaz to Djimon Hounsou
In 2007, Diaz showed that diamonds are a girl’s best friend by hooking up with Blood Diamond star Djimon Hounsou on the dance floor of an LA club. “They were dancing really close, bodies pressed together,” a source told People. “They were totally vibing each other, lip-on-lip action.”

According to the New York Post, the couple cozied up to each other at a table before leaving together in Diaz’s black Prius, with her all smiles and him with his head down, hiding his face under his cap. We’re assuming that “face” here is a polite replacement for “visible erection.”

From Djimon Hounsou to Kola Boof
A woman claiming to be Hounsou’s girlfriend says Sudanese author Kola Boof slapped, punched and threw her to the ground after she discovered Hounsou and Boof in a torrid embrace next to his bed. Ingrid Lessey told the Associated Press, “This woman is nuts! For the last eight months, she has called me a white bitch, thrown a Frisbee in the street and then locked me out of the gate of my own boyfriend’s home when I went to get it, slapped me, thrown ice cubes at me and my sister, killed my goldfish, stolen jewelry that Djimon bought for me and refused to give it back, and she’s just a total evil, vicious person. She’s bonkers! She needs to be in a mental institution.”
From Kola Boof to Osama Bin Laden
Speaking of totally evil, vicious people, Boof is also notable as the former mistress of terrorist Osama Bin Laden.

Morocco’s Prince Fabrizio Ruspoli confirms that bin Laden imprisoned Boof as a sex slave at Ruspoli’s estate for six months in 1996, where she says he raped her violently and repeatedly. Just in case you needed confirmation that he was a bad guy, this is about as bad as it could possibly get–almost.

Well, that just about does it. If that doesn’t convince you that all of humanity is really a single organism connected by the common thread that is Paris Hilton’s vagina, then nothing will.

Oh, all right. One more.

Paris Hilton to Adolf Hitler

From Paris Hilton to Robert Evans
Hilton is also rumored to have broken up the sixth marriage of septuagenarian Hollywood playboy Robert Evans, after wife Lesley Ann Warren grew jealous of his spending too much time with the socialite.

Hilton conspicuously shouted, “You’re so sexy, Bobby!” and “Bob, you’re so hot right now!” while Evans gave a speech at a party for Hilton’s former fling, Brett Ratner. But frankly, this affair is hard to believe. What could an ambitious young starlet like Hilton possibly get out of sleeping with a famous old film producer?

From Robert Evans to Grace Kelly
And now we come to some hard choices. Truth be told, this article could have been populated wholly with names leading from the myriad paths stemming from Paris Hilton’s unholy union with Evans, including such unlikely choices as Dracula actor Bela Lugosi and playwright George Bernard Shaw. But then it would have been an article about Robert Evans’ legendary skankiness, not Paris Hilton’s. And so we must choose one path to follow. Here we go.
From Grace Kelly to John F. Kennedy
Before marrying Prince Rainier of Monaco, Grace Kelly enjoyed what Dennis McDougal’s The Last Mogul calls “a distinguished history of Hollywood promiscuity,” with collaborators including Evans, Bing Crosby, David Niven and the Shah of Iran.

Another notable tryst took place in the early ’50s with randy future president John F. Kennedy, who was then using Hollywood as his personal playground. (Incidentally, JFK Jr. links to both Madonna and Princess Di–a chip off the old block.)

From John F. Kennedy to Inga Arvad
Of course, from JFK, one can easily link to Jacqueline Kennedy, and then to Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, the predecessor of Hilton’s former beaus Paris Latsis and Stavros Niarchos III. Or one could link to Marilyn Monroe, whom Hilton considers her own predecessor. And from there, one could link to slugger Joe DiMaggio, playwright Arthur Miller, and JFK’s brother Robert F. Kennedy.

But instead, let’s link to Inga Arvad, a Danish journalist whom JFK dated as a young naval officer from 1941 to 1942.

From Inga Arvad to Adolf Hitler
Inga Arvad is also known for having one of the best seats in the house when Jesse Owens shattered the idea of Aryan racial superiority by winning four gold medals at the 1936 Summer Olympic Games in Berlin, as she was there as Adolf Hitler’s companion.

Hitler said she was the perfect example of Nordic beauty. In return, she said, “You immediately like him. He seems lonely. The eyes, showing a kind heart, stare right at you. They sparkle with force.” She later claimed that nothing happened between them, but so would you.

The 9 Most Devastating Insults From Around the World

Filed under: Lifestyle — halfevil @ 3:58 pm

A responsible traveler won’t set foot in another country without knowing how to viciously insult the people in their native language. Odds are, you won’t even make it out of the airport before a situation arises that requires obscenities.

But “obscenity” is an ever-moving target. It’s an amalgamation of cultural taboos, the impact of current events and your mom. Accordingly, every country has developed a uniquely beautiful set of curses and insults that set it apart. While some insults are broadly accessible, like your mom, others will require a little background for the new student. Thus, we offer this helpful guide to the best and most vulgar (and very real) insults from around the world:


“Suck butter from my ass” (Chupe mantequilla de mi culo)

Who Said That? The Spanish.

Dear God Why?
How does a culture wind up with “suck the butter from my ass” as an insult? It’s starts with “Me cago en la leche,” meaning “I shit in the milk.” It’s a common statement that’s essentially a variant of “Damnit!” We’re unsure how milk + poop = a jaunty, multipurpose expletive, but here we are.

Other helpful Spanish phrases:
When dookie is used for even the most pedestrian exclamations, more heated applications escalate the filth factor pretty rapidly:

“I shit on your dead” (Me cago en tus muertos)

“I shit on God” (Me cago en Dios)

“I shit in/on your whore mother” (Me cago en tu puta madre)

Note that’s “in” or “on,” we guess depending on how she likes it.

And the list goes on. These folks just love shit. Basically you can hold your own in any argument in Spain if you’re creative enough with where you deposit your waste matter. If you’re a man who is sharp enough to destroy someone with this virtualized shit-flinging, pride may reward you with a “Brazo de santo,” which literally translates to “arm of a saint” which means a full erection.

“A thousand dicks in your religion” (Elif air ab dinikh)

Who Said That? The Arabs.

Dear God Why?
If you thought Spanish had an unusual fixation with fecal matter allow the Arabs to put it in perspective with their penis-based potshots. Describing someone as a “fatah” (foreskin) alone is considered a grave insult and that’s only the tip of the proverbial/metaphorical … iceberg.

Other helpful Arabic phrases:

“May you be struck by a dick” (Air il’e yoshmotak)

“My dick in your conscience” (Airy fe dameerak)

“My dick in your mother’s rib cage” (Eyreh be afass seder emmak)

That’s not to say they’re just smut peddlers insult-wise. Some of the most disrespectful things you can say are 100 percent penis-free like “Surmayye a’raasac” (A shoe is on your head). The foot is considered the most filthy part of the body, courtesy of their deserts not having any shortages on dirt. To direct your foot at someone verbally or physically means you aren’t hiding your contempt, as vividly demonstrated by the thousands of Nike treads upside Saddam’s bronze dome (right).

That explanation was a lot easier to track back than “Yela’an sabe’a jad lak” (Damn your seventh grandfather), which is the deepest scope of damnation demonstrated by any culture thus far. We’re not sure about the relevance of the “seventh,” but we do respect that kind of surgical precision when trying to denigrate someone’s family.

“He’s as thick as a bull’s walt” (that is, as dense as an erect bull penis)

Who Said That? The Irish.

Dear God Why?
Many classic curses from Ireland come out of Gaelic, which gives them a more folksy, old-timey appeal. Such as, “Go n-ithe an cat thu, is go n-ithe an diabhal an cat” (May the cat eat you, and may the devil eat the cat).

Other helpful Irish phrases:
Gaelic really does its best work when it is conjuring up ways to describe foul acts. Sure, it’s faster to say two people were fucking, but wouldn’t you rather describe it as skin-hitting (“bualadh craicinn”) or leather stretching (“streachailt leathair”)?

The majority of Ireland does not speak Gaelic, but that hasn’t hindered a bustling industry of filthy slang and occasionally rustic vernacular:

“Gobshite” (shithead)

“Piss artist” (alcoholic)

“As Thick As Manure And Only Half As Useful.”

“Let a hungry Carpathian long-haired she-wolf blow your dick, fuck” (Gladna Karpatska valchitza s dalag kosam minet da ti prai deeba)

Who Said That? Bulgarians.

Dear God Why?
Bulgarian cursing is based on a hybrid of nature references and non sequiturs. Most of the good ones read like Tourette’s syndrome Mad Libs. They still embrace common baselines, but the modifiers around it are what really shine. For instance:

Other helpful Bulgarian phrases:

“Your mother sucks bears in the forest” (Mayka ti duha na mechki v gorata)

“Fuck this tilted field” (Da eba taz kreeva neeva)

“You’re as ugly as a salad” (Grozna si kato salata)

Some of them are so elaborate, it’s not entirely clear which part to be offended by.

For instance, when someone tells you “Nosa ti e kato ruska putka” (Your nose is like a Russian pussy), should you be enraged at the comparison to a Russian or a vagina? And it’s no different when being called “Pederas grozen gyrbaw prokazhen” (an unsightly hunchbacked leper queer). It sounds like swearing constructed from a profanity combo menu (please select one aspersion from Columns A, B and C).

The real strength of this approach is having the ability to offend those unfazed by unattractive gay leper jokes, but with a deep personal hatred of hunchbacks.

“Fuck the 18 generations of your ancestors” (Cao ni zu zong shi ba dai)

Who Said That? The Chinese (Mandarin).

Dear God Why?
Stop the presses! Though this is not technically damning. The Chinese have managed to smash the previous seven-generation threshold for familial insults through this little gem. Take that, Arabic.

Other helpful Mandarin phrases:
While Mandarin has a wealth of generalized insults for the intellectually stunted (“Sha gua” means retard–literally “stupid melon”), it really brings the heat with insults that don’t sound at all insulting.

“Wear a green hat.” This doesn’t sound particularly offensive until you understand that green hats were a component of the male brothel workers uniform during the Tang dynasty. These brothels were so prominent that some historians speculate the Tang dynasty was actually named after the amount of poozle they serviced rather than the emperor’s family. References to green hats can challenge the fidelity of someone’s wife or suggest someone’s father is an anonymous man whore.

“Your mother is a big turtle” (Nide muchin shr ega da wukwei). Again, means nothing without context. But because a turtle doesn’t know its father, it’s a creative way of calling someone a bastard.

We’d probably still opt for “cho yade” (smelly slave wench), but we’re steeped in a different tradition.

“Grandfatherfucker” (Afatottari)

Who Said That? Icelanders.

Dear God Why?
Icelandic swearing is cutely offbeat. It leverages relatively bland sounding terminology and lets subtext do all the heavy lifting. Would you expect the country that hatched Bjork to be any less bizarre?


Other helpful Icelandic phrases:

“Plunger” (Drullusukkor). That is, the plumbing tool, roughly equivalent to “fucktard.”

“Girl who drives a truck” (Trukkalessa). A butch lesbian–that one sort of works in America too, no?

When they eventually run out of random items to call one another, they will revert to grittier tactics. A grand majority of them revolve around who or what their antagonist is prone to fucking.

“Corpsefucker” (naridill)

“Sheepfucker” (rollurioari)

“Unclefucker” (frandseroir)

It’s assuring to see other cultures helping us to push the envelope of what “fuck” is truly capable of.

“I’ll make sarma with your penis’ skin” (Glirit mortin hed sarma shinem)

Who Said That? Armenians.

Dear God Why?
If you’re not familiar with sarma, just picture an egg roll. Yeah, it doesn’t get much more disturbing than that.

Other helpful Armenian phrases:
Fun Fact: You can gauge how industrialized a nation is by the percentage of their insults that involve barnyard animals.

“Eshoon noor oodel chi vayeler” It’s not pretty watching a jackass try to eat a pomegranate (read: clumsy).

“Krisnera zhazh tan vred” Let the rats ejaculate on you.

“Kak oudelic shoon” Shit eating dog.

“Eshu Koorak” Son of Donkey.

The one involving rats is particularly jarring. It leverages sexual violation and vermin to make its point. Either that or we’ve misinterpreted it and Armenia is actually some sort of Mecca for furries.

There are a fair amount of genital references interwoven into their cursing as well. “Dzvis ty” translates to “My nut’s twin”, effectively calling the other person a testicle. It is not presently known if they intend you to usurp the existence of one of the balls present or if this is a declaration that Armenian men naturally sport a lone testicle.

“May God give you to search for your children with a Geiger counter” (Da bog da trazio detzoo Gaygerovim broyachem)

Who Said That? Serbians.

Dear God Why?
The Serbian curse dictionary is unafraid to embrace controversy. Sure, they enjoy simple classics like “Jebo ti jeza u ledja” (May you fuck a hedgehog) and “Popasi me chmarne dlachitse” (Graze on my ass hair), but politics and even religious jabs are fair game. Such as …

Other helpful Serbian phrases:

“The Pope fucks you” (Jebo te Papa)

“May your house be live on CNN” (Da bog da ti kuca bila na CNN-U)–this essentially means I hope NATO will bomb your house.

Not all their digs are quite so topical. The CNN-based insults only work against people whose homes haven’t been bombed, which couldn’t be more than a couple dozen.

That’s why “Da bi te majka prepoznala u bureku” (Let your mother recognize you in a meat pie) and “Da Bog da ti zena rodila stonogu pa ceo zivot radio za cipele” (May your wife give birth to a centipede so you have to work for shoes all your life) are instant classics as well.

“Stick your hand in my ass and jerk off with my shit” (Sa-mi bagi mana-n cur si sa-mi faci laba la cacat)

Who Said That? Romanians.

Dear God Why?
Romanian cursing is a bawdy, imaginative mix of the perverse and the profane. Modern linguists have determined that its roots originated from a time-traveling John Waters upon realizing there was still an entire history of people not grossed out by Pink Flamingos yet.

Other helpful Romanian phrases:

“Shampoo my dick-hair with your saliva” (Shampona-mi-ai flocii cu saliva)

“Brush your teeth, my dick will be inspecting soon!” (Spala-te pe dinti ca vin cu pula in inspectie)

Mothers are another favorite target in this region. However, rather than indulge the classic “Yo Mamma” insult architecture, they prefer to taint her sanctity in a round-about way. For example, “Usca-mi-as sosetele pe crucea ma`tii” (I dry my socks on your mother’s cross) is blasphemous, but really only as a vehicle to get at the mom. You really have to applaud the balls it takes to assault God just to slam someone’s mother.

Another example of this is “Futu-tzi coliva ma~tii” (Fuck your mother’s funeral meal). We’re not sure if this meant to simply show disdain for the deceased or demonstrate intent to fornicate with the sarmalute cu mamaliga plate, but neither is particularly polite.

Honorable Mentions:

Here’s some more helpful phrases as you travel the globe, insulting the locals in their native language:

Suck devilcock in hell you faggotdwarf (Sut djavlepik i helvede din bossedvarg).

“You eat pubic hair with salt-dip” (May an long dai cham mui)

“Piss into a transformer” (Kuse muuntajaan)

“Suck on my hemorrhoids and wait for better days” (Siug aan my aambeie en wag vir beter dae”)

“May you get fucked by a blind bear” (Te qifte arusha qorre)

“I dream about farting on you” (Sanjam da prdnem na tebe)

We’re thinking that should cover about every situation. Enjoy your trip!

Father slays family as hunger returns to haunt North Korea

Filed under: Lifestyle — halfevil @ 3:52 pm

THE first case of murder and suicide caused by North Korea’s new food crisis has emerged with the account of a man who killed his hungry wife and children and then took his own life in despair.

The family’s precarious existence became desperate after officials forbade the wife and other vendors to sell noodles in a local market, their only source of income. Such arbitrary rulings are common.

This one led to a fight between the wife and her husband. Neighbours heard the sounds as he battered her to death, then strangled his three-year-old son and two-year-old daughter, but took it as one of their regular domestic disputes. The husband hanged himself from a beam.

The deaths caused widespread shock in a society where family bonds are revered. They set off a mobilisation of Korean Workers’ party cadres and collective farm managers to keep watch on households at risk of starvation.

The report was published on an exile website, Daily NK, and quoted North Korean witnesses contacted by telephone in Shin-yang county, a poor rural area. It was a rare piece of apparently credible evidence that North Korea – which lost about a million people to famine in the 1990s – is once again running out of food.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that North Korea is facing the widest gap between demand and supply for seven years and needs 1.6m tons of commodities to feed its population.

Jean-Pierre de Margerie, the WFP country director for North Korea, fears that the nation “may suffer deeper and more widespread hunger this year”. Some 37% of children are already chronically malnourished and prone to disease.

A South Korean aid group has reported the outbreak of a mysterious illness resembling foot and mouth disease among young children in a particularly impoverished province on the border with China.

The immediate causes of the present crisis are floods that wrecked last year’s harvest, a cut in foreign aid and the doctrinaire economics of Kim Jong-il’s Stalinist system.

As in Burma, however, the plight of the ordinary people is being made worse by political conditions attached by the regime to foreign aid.

The United States is ready to ship 500,000 tons of food to North Korean ports – enough to avoid short-term starvation. This remedy, however, is being deliberately delayed.

A specialist US technical team spent three days locked in negotiations in Pyongyang, the capital, last weekend to try to get the North Koreans to agree on how the food could be distributed, according to sources familiar with the talks.

The issues under dispute included whether the United States could monitor the aid, whether American citizens could be on the team, and how much notice the monitors would give for any spot inspections, the sources said.

In the past, some international aid has been diverted by Kim’s regime to the army and the internal security forces, while priority is always given to privileged parts of the country such as Pyongyang.

“It’s meticulous stuff, just what Kim Jong-il loves,” said an official briefed on the issues. “The North Koreans were the tougher negotiators – even though they are the recipients.”

The technical team left Pyongyang last Tuesday after reaching an outline accord but veteran diplomatic observers of North Korea predicted there will be endless haggling ahead.

The reasons are connected to North Korea’s efforts to stall, until President George W Bush leaves office next January, an agreement on giving up its nuclear weapons.

Although the United States denies any linkage, the decision to assist the North Koreans followed progress in talks between Christopher Hill, the senior US nuclear negotiator, and his North Korean counterparts.

Conservative critics of Hill’s diplomacy say the process is a charade. They point to gestures such as North Korea’s promise to blow up a long-disused cooling tower at the Yongbyon nuclear reactor plant as evidence that it is meaningless.

However, Hill has convinced the White House and four other nations in the talks – China, Japan, South Korea and Russia– that they are worthwhile.

It seems that China, formally North Korea’s closest military and political ally, has decided to exert some rare pressure on the regime.

In the first quarter of this year, the Chinese are thought to have sent more than 70,000 tons of food across the border, but in April all exports were cut off.

The apparent reason is that China is putting its own interests first in the face of the global food price crisis and that Chinese leaders want to ensure price stability in the run-up to the Olympic Games.

In doing so, the Chinese ignored the requests for continued aid from a high-level North Korean delegation that visited Beijing last March.

South Korea has also tightened the screw on Kim since the election of a new conservative president and parliament in the face of vituperative abuse from the North. Much-needed supplies of fertiliser and food have been stopped.

Novel bacterial species found trapped in Greenland’s ice

Filed under: Lifestyle,Shkence, teknologji --- Science — halfevil @ 3:50 pm

A team of Penn State scientists has discovered a new ultra-small species of bacteria that has survived for more than 120,000 years within the ice of a Greenland glacier at a depth of nearly two miles. The microorganism’s ability to persist in this low-temperature, high-pressure, reduced-oxygen and nutrient-poor habitat makes it particularly useful for studying how life, in general, can survive in a variety of extreme environments on Earth and possibly elsewhere in the solar system. 

The work will be presented by Jennifer Loveland-Curtze, a senior research associate in the laboratory led by Jean Brenchley, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State, at 10:30 a.m. June 3 at the 108th American Society for Microbiology General Meeting in Boston. (Extreme Environments-I, poster N-156).

This new species is among the ubiquitous, yet mysterious, ultra-small bacteria, which are so tiny that the cells are able to pass through microbiological filters. In fact, some species have been found living in the ultra-purified water used for dialysis. “Ultra-small cells could be unknown contaminants in media and medical solutions that are thought to have been sterilized using filters,” said Loveland-Curtze.

The ultra-small size of the new species could be one explanation for why it was able to survive for so long in the Greenland glacier. Called Chryseobacterium greenlandensis, the species is related genetically to certain bacteria found in fish, marine mud and the roots of some plants. The organism is one of only about 10 scientifically described new species originating from polar ice and glaciers.

To study the bacterium in the laboratory, the research team, which also includes Senior Research Associate Vanya Miteva, filtered the cells from melted ice and incubated them in the cold in low-nutrient, oxygen-free solutions. The scientists then characterized the genetic, physiological, biochemical and structural features of the species. The team hopes that its studies of this species, as well as others living in the Greenland glacier, will reveal more about how cells survive and how they may alter their biochemistry and physiology over time.

“Microbes comprise up to one-third or more of the Earth’s biomass, yet fewer than 8,000 microbes have been described out of the approximately 3,000,000 that are presumed to exist,” said Loveland-Curtze. “The description of this one species is a significant step in the overall endeavor to discover, cultivate and use the special features held by these organisms.”

This research was supported by the National Science Foundation, the United States Department of Energy, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Green tea extract useful for genital warts

Filed under: Health — halfevil @ 3:44 pm

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – A botanical ointment containing sinecatechins, a green tea extract, is an effective and well tolerated treatment for external genital and anal warts, results of a controlled study confirm.


“Green tea catechins exert multiple biologic activities, involving potent antiviral and antioxidant activity,” Dr. Silvio Tatti, now at the Hospital Clinicas, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina, and colleagues note in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.


Given that genital and anal warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) and that effective, well tolerated treatments are lacking, there has been interest in treatment with sinecatechins ointments.


In their study, Tatti’s team randomly assigned 502 adults with 2 to 30 warts to either sinecatechins ointment (15% or 10%) or inactive ointment for up to 16 weeks or until the warts cleared.


In both sinecatechins groups, warts cleared completely in roughly 57% of patients compared to just 34% of subjects in the control group – a significant difference.


Clearance rates of at least 50% were seen in roughly three-quarters of patients who applied sinecatechins ointment compared with 51% of those who applied the inactive ointment.


Most side effects reported with sinecatechins ointment were mild to moderate skin and application site reactions.


The results support the use of sinecatechins ointment for external warts, Tatti and colleagues conclude. Sinecatechins ointment, sold as Veregen, is approved for the topical treatment of genital warts and perianal warts in health people aged 18 and older.


SOURCE: Obstetrics and Gynecology, June 2008.

World’s most beautiful girls live in Stockholm, Sweden

Filed under: Lifestyle — halfevil @ 9:40 am

Traveler’s Digest, a magazine for travelers, has made a list of countries and cities where world’s most beautiful women live. Russia and its capital of Moscow do not take the last place on the list, although the country and the city can not be found on such lists as “the safest, most fashionable and pleasant country in the world to go.

Sweden with its capital, Stockholm, is the most attractive place to go for male tourists, the authors of the research believe. The abundance of beautiful women in the city gives you an impression as if you have found yourself in a reality show about top models.

In addition, Swedish women are very friendly and well-educated. They speak English with the British accent, so many might take them for British ladies. It is worthy of note that Sweden, as well as other Scandinavian countries, are one of the safest countries in the world for tourists.

Argentina and Buenos Aires takes the second place on the list. Many young Argentinean women look like models because Buenos Aires is inhabited by descendants of Italian emigrants. South American women were distinctive for their exquisite beauty in the past too. The winner of the first-ever beauty pageant held in 1888 in Belgium was a girl from Guadeloupe.

The countries of Eastern Europe and the Baltic region take positions from 3 to 8: Russia, Bulgaria, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine and Estonia respectively.

Russia is the home of world’s most beautiful women. “The number of beautiful girls in the Moscow metro may exceed the number of beautiful women in the entire USA,” the magazine wrote.

Germany , France and Switzerland have not been included on the list. The people of those countries pay much more attention to the way their animals look, tourists say. There is a saying in Switzerland which says that beauty pageants are held among cows, but not among women, because cows are nicer than women.

Denmark is also known as one of the safest and pleasant places to travel to. Copenhagen’s girls are distinctive for their freedom of expression and absolute indifference to the social status of their partner.

In the Netherlands, one can see beautiful women riding bicycles instead of cars, which helps them keep up a good shape. In addition, Amsterdam is included in the top ten of world’s most fashionable cities.

Varna (Bulgaria), Los Angeles (the USA), Caracas (Venezuela), Montreal (Canada) and Tel Aviv (Israel) have also been included on the list.

It is worthy of note that Israeli girls join the army at the age of 18. If a man cheats on an Israeli girl, he may be sure to have severe problems afterwards. Beauty girls from Montreal are attractive for their fluent French, which definitely makes them more charming.

Test offers a genetic excuse for laziness

Filed under: Shkence, teknologji --- Science — halfevil @ 9:36 am

A simple test could soon identify whether difficulty in getting out of bed in the morning is down to genes or pure laziness.

Scientists say that some of us
are night owls by nature

Scientists say that some of us are night owls by nature – late to rise and late to go to bed – while others are larks, genetically programmed to wake early.

They have developed a swab test that can identify a person’s natural tendency to wake early or late from cells collected from inside the cheek.

Discussions are under way with Boots to develop an over-the-counter version.

It raises the possibility of workers who are repeatedly late being asked by their bosses to take a test to show whether or not they have a genetic excuse. The test was demonstrated by researchers from the School of Medicine at Swansea University on visitors to the Cheltenham Science Festival.

“The novel technique we have developed at Swansea is entirely non-invasive, so we can use it at a public event,” explained Dr Sarah Forbes-Robertson, who worked on the project with Dr Adeel Siddiqui and Alison Baird. “Previously you needed to take blood sample. Our technique allows us to get a useable sample just by swabbing the inside of an individual’s cheek.”

The test can reveal the activity of a number of different genes that control the “natural” pattern of wake and sleep – the circadian rhythm.

One gene, known as Per2, is especially active at around 4am, and is associated with sleeping. Another, known as REV-ERB, seems to work in opposition to Per2, having its peak activity at around 4pm, and is thought to be associated with wakefulness.

Of her own patterns, Dr Forbes Robertson said: “My peak of Per2 – the ‘sleep’ gene – is at 6am rather than at the usual 4am. So I really do have a genetic excuse for not being able to manage early morning meetings. To get a full and accurate picture of someone’s natural circadian rhythm you would need to take samples four hourly over a full day and night, and also look at all the genes involved.

“But by taking samples at 4pm and 5pm to assess the activity of the REV-ERB gene, we will be able to see if patterns of peak gene expression are shifted forwards or back in time from the norm of 4pm. If your peak is earlier than 4pm it would indicate that you are a natural early bird, if you peak later than 5pm then you are more of a night owl.”

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