Serious stuff

Science to eradicate dirty knickers?

Incredulous news reached the ears of the Poorhouse as it turns out the US military is in danger of inventing something useful that doesn't necessarily wreck other countries; namely underwear that doesn't need to be washed for weeks on end.

Yes readers, it's news to the Poorhouse as well, but it turns out that modern day society apparently deems in somewhat inappropriate to continuously wear the same pair of knickers for 6 weeks in a row without at least some token effort at filth-removal.

Out of the mouths of babes

Bratz, the line of anorexic slutty stripper dolls marketed to 8-year olds, sunk to a new low over Christmas according to according to at least a couple of squeaky-clean families.

Upon unwrapping the electro-version of the dolls over the holiday season - and by unwrapping the Poorhouse means opening the parcel, rather than taking off a plastic baby's skirt to discover a black mesh thong - kids and parents were together surprised as they started firing off f-bombs, albeit accompanied with irritating tinny music.

The reputed lyrics? "Baby bottle with bling...doing our f**king thing. F**k you!"

Close your ears

Ears are useful for many a thing, but sometimes one really could do without them. There are several sounds that once having penetrated through your eardrum can instil fear, terror, revolt, panic, annoyance or probably violence. Whilst the sound of your husband / wife / colleague / parent / child et al. may well be the final straw for you personally, there are some more general sounds that cause negative emotions in many people.

An oft-cited "worst sound ever" is that of fingernails being dragged down a blackboard. But an experiment set up by Mr Cox of Salford University shows this is far from the truth. It is merely the 16th worst sound from their test-bed of 34 down and dirty annoyances.

Plastic plug defect

The Poorhouse is constantly amazed that now we live in the future not only do we not drive spaceships as a matter of course, but that much as wifi, gprs and other invisible magic are increasingly prevalent, to get things powered up you often still need to attach them by wires to electrical outlets.

It is however just about liveable with, with the one exception of the stupid, pointless plug "feature". The dreaded plastic third pin.

Disaster tracking

Danger!Danger!Disasters disasters disasters everywhere? Well now courtesy of the Havaria Information Service's Alertmap, you can see where some of the world's worrying disasters are happening in real-time. As Chicken Yoghurt note it really looks a bit like scary sci-fi. Except it's real, and you can click on any icon for a full report of the problem concerned. Or if you're in the middle of an epidemic of bird-flu related earthquakes that they've somehow missed, submit your own.

If you're a real disasterophile then, and wait long enough for the page to load, you'll see big lists of earthquakes, volcanoes, massive fires and so on from the past 24 hours. Who would have thought the world was ravaged so?

America's most hated?

Dividing people up into common categories with labels, whether ethnic, racial, sexual or otherwise, what group of people would be the most distrusted section of society in America? What group would you absolutely never vote for as a president? What group would you cry with rage should you lovely innocent son/daughter decide to foolishly fall in love with them? What group is a threat to your wholesome all-American values and way of life?

As much as the answer should be "none of them", we all know prejudice is rife throughout the world and America is certainly no exception. So in general, who does the population most find unacceptable? Jews, Black Americans, homosexuals? Maybe that Islam religion the media constantly tells you is about to kill you and your loved ones?


Holidays or end of the world?

Blair seems to have gone mad again, this time on the theme of climate change. A few months ago, he had this to say on the subject:

Climate change won't just affect hot countries or those in the developing world - it will affect us all. The report is clear: We are heading towards catastrophic tipping points in our climate unless we act…Creating cleaner energy whilst using less has to be the key.

Today it is reported that he said that asking Britons to consider not going on quite so many long-haul flights for mindless recreation was "a bit impractical".

Melt your money

Pray show pity for the previously-mighty US dollar. Even those of us who would generally rather use the Financial Times for chip-wrapping rather than reading material can't have failed to have heard of its financial weakness. Recently, for the first time since Black Wednesday, it's been in danger of being worth less than 50 British pence. Now is a particularly good time for Britons to go buy, buy, buy any old American tat.

In fact, some US coins are actually worth so little currency-wise that you would make a significant profit from melting them in a big hotpot and selling the metallic goodness. But before you money saving experts do it, read on.

One at a time please

2007 is probably going to be a year that hardcore tobacco smokers in England will find a bit hard to get used to. In July there is set to be a smoking ban "in all enclosed public spaces". Later on, from October, the age limit for buying tobacco will be raised from 16 years old to 18.

This is probably a good idea for dealing with one of the most damaging and pointless recreational drugs in UK society. Whilst no ban is in force yet, some venues have started early. In a similar vein, The Poorhouse was kind of amused to see the following restriction in place in an anonymous (because I can't remember what it was called) All You Can Eat restaurant.

Bags against drugs

Even those of you who persist in hanging on to the futile concept of prohibition as a legitimate drugs policy might be baffled by (Talk To) Frank's latest series of adverts regarding the Brain Warehouse and lust for simpler days. Fortune be your friend in that case - one kind Poorhouse reader sighted the plastic bags pictured left being handed out for your groceries by Rite Way Food Markets in no other than the British Virgin Islands.

Hilarious blanket pointlessness aside, at least the message is clear. The Poorhouse is sure that hordes of young people are desperately circulating the high streets of Britain in search for that brain thing they saw on TV that makes binge cannabis even more fun.

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