Friday, July 29, 2005

Now all they have to do is convince those pesky Christians

AFP (Yahoo News) | Christmas comes but twice a year, Santas decree
COPENHAGEN (AFP) - Some 80 Santas from around the world, backed by their elves, have agreed to establish a second Christmas in July to ease their heavy workload each December, their spokeswoman said.

"At the special request of the Japanese Santa Claus, the congress decided to approve two Christmases, one on July 24-25 for the southern hemisphere and another one on December 24-25 for the northern hemisphere," spokeswoman Tina Baungaard told AFP Wednesday.

The decision was approved at their 42nd annual convention in Denmark by Santas from Canada, Europe, Japan and the United States who have been meeting since Monday at the world's oldest theme park, Bakken, north of Copenhagen.

"The Santa Clauses and other Father Christmases are too stressed with too much work to do at the end of the year," since they up until now have had to travel around the entire world in a race against the clock to deliver all their presents in time, Baungaard said.

"They're exhausted, so they agreed to a proposal from the Japanese Santa Claus which greatly improves their working conditions," she said.

On Wednesday, the Santas and their little helpers handed out gifts to delighted children at Bakken, after holding a parade in the streets of Copenhagen Tuesday.

The Santas have been meeting in Denmark every summer since 1963.

One noticeable absentee, however, is the Finnish Santa, who has boycotted the event for years over his refusal to acknowledge that the one true Santa is the one from Greenland, who lives in a secret location.
They originally wanted April, but they got into a turf war with the Easter Bunnies. Eggs and reindeer poop as far as the eye can see. Of course, the eggs were candy and reindeer poop is tinsel, so it wasn't as bad as you might think.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

"I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here"

MTV | Sony BMG Apologizes For Payola Involving J. Lo, Avril, Good Charlotte, Others
Label gave trips, cash and electronics to stations in exchange for airplay.

The payola has got to stop — that's the word from New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who on Monday announced a settlement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment, which has agreed to cease its "pay for play" policy.

The label group, home to such acts as Jessica Simpson and Franz Ferdinand, was the subject of a yearlong investigation that revealed it was paying and providing expensive gifts — otherwise known as "payola" — to radio stations and their employees in return for airplay, in a violation of state and federal law. The payola took the form of outright bribes as well as fictitious contest giveaways for listeners, which actually went to station employees.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Is she sorry she let Buffy go?

Contact Music | Gellar Desperate for Topless Role
Actress SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR wants to go topless in her next film role - to shock movie bosses into giving her sexy roles in future films.

THE GRUDGE star is approaching her 30th birthday and fears she will be deemed too old to play raunchy roles, unless she proves she is still attractive and daring by baring all in a film.

She explains, "I am approaching 30 and I need a change.

"The sort of roles I would like are not being offered, so this way might just shock people into choosing me."
Perhaps she should look into adapting Buffy/Willow fanfiction to the big screen.

Today's top story

Yahoo News | Athletes Spark White House Flip-Flop Flap

A photo of Northwestern University's national championship women's lacrosse team, taken during the athletes' visit to the White House last week, shows four of the nine women in the front row wearing flip-flop sandals along with their dresses and skirts.

The choice of footwear has prompted a mini-controversy — a flip-flop flap, if you will.

A front-page story in the Chicago Tribune included the headline "YOU WORE FLIP-FLOPS TO THE WHITE HOUSE?!" inspired by an e-mail sent to player Kate Darmody from her older brother after he saw the photo on the team's Web site.

Family members of other players expressed similar dismay, insisting the summer footwear staple was too casual for a visit with the president.

"Don't even ask me about the flip-flops," said the mother of player Aly Josephs. "It mortified me."

Boy, that Karl Rove is just insidious, isn't he?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

I ain't got an accent, y'all do | Sounds of the South
Southern American English (SAE) is the most widely recognized regional dialect of American English, but as most of its speakers know, widespread recognition is a mixed blessing. SAE is also the regional dialect that is most negatively evaluated. In a recent study of folk beliefs about American dialects, Dennis Preston (1996) found that 90% of his respondents from Michigan and Indiana and 96% of those from South Carolina recognized SAE as a distinct variety of American English. Both the Michigan and Indiana respondents, however, also evaluated SAE as the most “incorrect” variety of American English (New York City speech was the only serious competitor), and the South Carolina respondents were ambivalent about its correctness as well.

The widespread recognition and negative evaluation of SAE can have practical consequences for its users that in some cases include negative stereotyping and linguistic discrimination, just as with African American Vernacular English (AAVE), or Ebonics. While SAE almost never generates the extreme reactions and extensive prejudice that AAVE often does, its users can anticipate at least polite (and often not so polite) condescension to their speech by non-Southerners. In spite of its low status outside of the South and of standardizing forces such as interregional migration and universal education that threaten many minority languages and dialects, SAE continues to persist.
I shouldn't oughta say anything.

Monday, July 04, 2005

But not too clean

Daily Mail | Regular showers may be health risk
Taking regular showers could pose a health risk and even result in permanent brain damage, it has been claimed.

Scientists believe that breathing in small amounts of manganese dissolved in the water may harm the nervous system.

The damage may occur even at levels of the naturally occurring metal normally considered safe, say the US researchers.