Spider can rumba!

Cuban Pete Spider

I think I have mixed feelings about spiders. We had a smallish one – about the size of a dime – living in the chandelier above our dining room table for weeks one summer, whom we named Boris, probably because of the Who song. We got pretty attached to him/her and worried that he/she wasn’t getting enough to eat. So, as it was summer and there was a constant cloud of fruit flies in our compost bin, we moved the compost bin into the dining room from time to time so he/she could catch some flies. Then autumn came and we decided we better move Boris outside, which we did, and he/she likely died of exposure shortly afterwards leaving no heirs apparent as keeping him/her inside prevented Boris from meeting a spider of the opposite sex and creating a lineage. Essentially we totally effed up the cycle of life and killed Boris’s future family off before they even got a chance to exist.

So, I guess what that story proves is that I’m not too scared of spiders, and that I’m kind of an asshole. NOT THAT YOU ASKED. If there is a spider on me, however, I will freak out something crazy. Because those things bite. In fact, I got bit by one two weeks ago and it’s finally just healed now.

This guy, I think I would like to keep as a pet. Look at him rumba! (via Neatorama)


Pizza Hut perfume smells like fresh-baked dough


This is Pizza Hut perfume. According to a press release on Marketwire, it has “top notes of  freshly baked, hand-tossed dough.” It doesn’t say what the base and middle notes are.

Bread note can be gotten with 2-Acetyl-1-pyrroline, according to this list, while pyrazines can add a burnt touch. So, maybe that’s what they used. I wonder if it smells any good.

Only 110 bottles were produced to commemorate Pizza Hut Canada reaching 100,000 Facebook fans, says the release. They were given to selected Facebook fans.

A Pizza Hut spokesperson suggests that there may be more of it though, saying “who knows what the future has in store.”


Sworn virgins of Albania, women who live as men

sworn virgins

Today I learned about the sworn virgins of Albania.

According to photographer Jill Peters, women living in tribal societies in rural Albania were subject to such prohibitive laws, known as the Kanun, that some have opted to live their lives as men instead.

Peters, who is working on a documentary about circumvented gender roles in the non-Western world, writes on her website:

“The Kanun states that women are considered to be the property of their husbands. The freedom to vote, drive, conduct business, earn money, drink, smoke, swear, own a gun or wear pants was traditionally the exclusive province of men. Young girls were commonly forced into arranged marriages, often with much older men in distant villages. Even though formal law now states otherwise, in many areas the old laws remain sacrosanct.

“As an alternative, becoming a  Sworn Virgin, or ‘burnesha” elevated a woman to the status of a man and granted her all the rights and privileges of the male population.”

Interesting that she’s given that option.

I also found the video posted below, however, which asserts that most women who became sworn virgins did so not to escape oppressive laws but because they were forced to do so after the male head of their household died. And because “blood feuds” are apparently quite popular in Albania, this seems to happen quite a bit. The doc also states that it’s Albanian women who keep this culture of revenge alive, not the men.

So, you know, I guess how this is presented all depends on your agenda.

Peters states that “only a few remain” as modernization is infiltrating the villages in the Alps, and most are older, though there’s one in her photos who looks like she’s in her twenties.

Check out her pictures of the burnesha here, see a National Geographic video here.

The more you know….

Chinese wankathon

Chinese wankathon

If this isn’t the strangest thing you’ve seen today, you’ve had an interesting day. Please share with me the thing that is stranger.

This is an image of China’s first ever “Wankathon,” which was held on December 1st to mark World AIDS day and to “emphasise Chinese sexual freedom and promote masturbation as a safe, zero-risk-of-getting-HIV form of release,” says Shanhaiist.com.

Participants wore masks and hid their little red soldiers with orange buckets while women posed with dildos and a particularly sad looking sex doll – seriously, aren’t MOST sex toys made in China? Couldn’t they have gotten a better looking sex doll? *Shudder*

There was video but YouTube has taken it down (pulled the above image from the now unavailable video). But you can see pictures here!

Game of Thrones Season 3 trailer

It’s not super duper exciting or detailed but still. GOT Season 3 starts March 31 on HBO.

Book of hookers who saved Australia from total gayness hitting auction block

A “jail book” featuring the details of the women who saved Australia from going totally gay – and the population dying out as a result – has surfaced. The 226 female prisoners, mostly prostitutes, were shipped from England to Australia (along with male prisoners) on the Lady Juliana, a.k.a. the “Floating Brothel,” in order to keep the men already there from turning to bum fun. From the Daily Mail:

“British authorities were worried about the sexual tension developing in the newly colonised country, with the all-male population becoming increasingly frustrated.

“So they organised for 226 women – mostly prostitutes – to be transported Down Under to stop sexual activity between the men male settlers and to populate the country.”

The book is going on sale at Sotheby’s and is expected to sell for 7,000 pounds.

So, I guess a big chunk of the population of Australia is related to one of these girls.

Neat piece of history. (Read more at the Daily Mail)

Rube Goldberg menorah machine

The engineers at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology – created a Rube Goldberg machine to light their menorah. Cool. (via Neatorama)

Axel Dupre is Peter Parkour

Peter ParkourPeter Parkour! I think this promo video for The Amazing Spider-Man DVD/Blu Ray featuring Axel Dupre might even be better than the movie. Not that the movie was as bad as people said it was. I thought it was pretty good and was pleasantly surprised. No worse than The Avengers, which actually comparatively sucked balls because everyone said it was so freakin’ awesome.

I mean, what was up with the Hulk??? One second he’s all “OMG. I’m going to KILL EVERYONE by accident because I CAN’T CONTROL MY POWER!!!” Then, all of a sudden, with no explanation, he can totally control his power, no problemo. And the issue is never addressed. Stupid. And I hated the 3D and it was too dark and the story was dumb and Scarlett Johansson is overrated and how did this become a rant about The Avengers?

Watch the parkour guy. He’s good.

Wow. I am SO out of shape. (via Laughing Squid)

Boys made to hold hands as punishment for fighting. Cruel and unusual?

Westwood HighTwo Arizona high school students were made to either hold hands or face suspension for fighting on school grounds. They chose to hold hands. And people are going a little nuts about it on the school’s Facebook page.

Apparently, they were made to sit outside and were subjected to the taunts of other kids who said things like “Are you gay?” And this has people very upset. One guy wrote on FB:

“Children as young as 8 are killing themselves these days just because they KNOW they are gay. Your principal is a disgrace…I pray to god he loses his job. How professional of you to encourage ignorance, and promote the horribly misguided belief that sexual orientation is something to be made fun of…”

Another said simply:

“Your new principle should be fired. What a clueless bastard.”

Things that make you go hmmmm.

While I’ve no way of knowing the spirit in which the punishment was doled out, it wouldn’t have occurred to me to turn it into a sexuality politics issue.

“You’ve been fighting, now you hold hands!” seems like a perfectly reasonable peace-making strategy to me, whether it’s two boys, two girls or one of each, and one might assume the boys would be able to see the humour in the situation – though it’s hard to tell since they’re hiding their faces in the picture posted online.

Of course, if the principal’s intention was “Imma make you boys hold hands so everyone’ll see you for the faggots you are,” that’s another story.

Maybe he made an error in judgement, and I’m not sure he did, but if so, I’m also not sure he deserves to be raked over the coals for it.

I dunno. Curious to know what others think of this story.

Read more at ABC News.