Thursday, December 31, 2009


For the past 30 years, a Chinese simpleton has been building robots from scavenged materials.

Uneducated farmer Wu Yulu, 46, spent several years assembling his first robot, a simple machine that Wu designed to “walk like a man.” Wu’s robot, incapable of lifting its legs, could only shuffle awkwardly.

Wu’s robot friends have become much more advanced over the years and are now able to perform important tasks on the farm such as lighting cigarettes, playing musical instruments, writing poetry and scaling walls.

Spending two-thirds of his monthly income on robots, Wu has burdened his family with debt. In danger of losing his Beijing-area home, Wu was forced to sell some of his precious robots, a last resort for someone who refers to his robots as his “sons.”

Wu has named all of the robots after himself and assigned each robot a number based on order of creation. His current robot family is comprised of Wu1 to Wu26.

“They are all my sons,” says Wu. “So they must bear my surname.”



Friday, November 13, 2009


In the latest polling, the person most often identified as “a real man” by Russians is erstwhile Russian President and current Secret Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The results demonstrate Putin’s disproportionate popularity with the ladies. While 16% of women prefer Putin, only 11% of men are similarly aroused by Putin’s incomparable real-manliness.

Soviet actor and troubadour Vladimir Vysotsky and maritime actor Konstantin Khabensky share second place in the polling data (7% each).

Obviously Mr. Putin must assassinate these men before they become any more “real.”




Thursday, November 12, 2009


A community of dwarves in southern China has formed its own tiny town.

Seceding from Kunming, the 120 dwarves hope to escape discrimination while profiting from the flocks of tourists who come to gape at their “castle” and mushroom-shaped houses. In a bid to maximize tourism, the dwarves have begun dressing as Oompa Loompas and other exotic creatures.

Those who wish to live in the town must be shorter than 4 feet, 3 inches tall.

“As small people we are used to being pushed around and exploited by big people," comments Fu Tien. "But here there aren't any big people and everything we do is for us.”




Tuesday, November 3, 2009


A competition in which children hurl dead rabbits over great distances has been canceled in rural New Zealand following extensive complaints from animal rights groups.

The RSPCA argues that the event teaches children to entertain themselves with dead animals.

“Do you throw your dead grandmother around for a joke at her funeral?” asks animal cruelty inspector Charles Cadwallader.

Pig hunter Jo Moriarty begs to differ, commenting, “You know, the children of the community here are fantastic. They love their animals.”

According to tradition, the rabbit-throwing contest marks the inception of the town pig hunt in Waiau, where pigs are regarded as a delicacy but rabbits are viewed with suspicion.

Over 30 million wild rabbits roam New Zealand, terrorizing the populace and exacting $22 million worth of damage.

The All-Blacks are New Zealand's first line of defense against wild rabbits.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Vladimir Putin’s proclivity for prancing around shirtless has won him fans not only within the homosexual community, but the gubernatorial community as well.

In March, Arnold Schwarzenegger will receive a bronze bust of the Russian dictator, adding to Schwarzenegger’s already impressive portfolio of bronzed Russians.

St. Petersburg-area artist Alexander Chernoschyokov, who has been working on the Putin sculpture since June, previously made sculptures of Lenin, Stalin, Gorbachev and Yeltsin for Schwarzenegger.


Putin raised a few eyebrows earlier this month when he announced the formation of a new song contest to rival the Eurovision contest, which has been held annually since 1956.

Putin envisions Russian singers squaring off against their Chinese, Kazakh, Uzbek, Tajik and Kyrgyz counterparts in a compelling event he calls “Intervision.”

The Eurovision contest attracts a television audience of 100 million.

Putin raised the issue at a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, saying that member nations would benefit from the music contest.

“Conducting an international modern song contest, Intervision, would strengthen cultural ties between our nations,” said Putin in Beijing.







Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Researcher Hiroshi Ishiguri of ATR Robotics in Japan has created a robot that looks and moves “exactly” like himself.

Tired of commuting to work at Osaka University, Ishiguro now sends his robot friend Geminoid HI-1 to teach classes. He imagines his students will make steady progress under the instruction of a slightly more robotic version of himself.

“I want to check whether students as well as my family can feel my presence through Geminoid,” says Ishiguro. “If I could have one robot at the university and one robot at ATR, I would just do all my work from a hot-springs resort.”

Geminoid HI-1 is composed of silicone casts taken from the real Ishiguro. It is powered by pressurized air and capable of semi-autonomous micro-movements that mimic Ishiguro’s mannerisms. Using lip sensors, Ishiguro can make the android speak in his own voice from afar.


The video reveals a weird, fidgety robot. This is a robot on the verge of strange mayhem.


Monday, October 26, 2009


Menswear company Haruyuma Trading has unveiled a natty new suit designed to protect Japanese businessmen from the swine flu.

The suit is indistinguishable from the typical attire of Japan’s company man, but it differs in one crucial respect–it is loaded with titanium dioxide, a substance that breaks down and kills the virus.

A merchandising official at Haruyuma says the suit has been proven to kill 40% of the H1N1 virus over approximately three hours.

Haruyuma also claims the chemically-treated suit will retain effectiveness in spite of repeated washing.

After 32-year-old businessman Eiji Hiratsuka purchased the $590 suit, he told reporters, “I bought this suit to protect my new-born baby at home.”

Haruyuma is also known for its waterproof and laser-shooting fabrics.




Wednesday, October 21, 2009


In Japan, all citizens are entitled to receive a letter from the prime minister and a handsome sterling silver cup on their 100th birthday.

Newly installed Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama will have plenty of correspondence to write.

As of this month, Japan is bursting with centenarians, 40,399 of them to be precise. The number of centenarians has increased at a continually accelerating rate, reaching 10,000 in 1999 and topping 30,000 in 2007.

Japan’s centenarian population is expected to reach 1 million by 2050.

The retirement age in Japan is 60.

Japan’s rise of the superelderly has put a strain on resources, even forcing the government to switch to smaller silver cups.

Compounding the problem, most Japanese centenarians are bodybuilders capable of outmuscling several generations of young weaklings. According to the photographic evidence, many of these golden agers are armed with spears and are constantly protected by ingenious air bags.

Once the oldsters discover that Hatoyama is sending out cheap silver trinkets, a gray rebellion will surely follow.






Thursday, October 8, 2009


A flurry of articles in the Chinese news media reveals the existence of a magical town of lesbians in northern Sweden, where thousands of horny women have prospered for 150 years without the presence of men, somehow avoiding the need for reproduction.

The Xinhua news agency reports that the 25,000-woman city was founded in 1820 by a wealthy widow. The town is known as “Shakebao” or “Chako Paul City.”

China’s Harbin news service reports that the women have all turned to lesbianism “because they could not suppress their sexual needs.” The Shanghai media group concurs that a lack of exposure to men forms the basis of municipal lesbianism.

According to reports, most of the town’s residents are employed in the forestry industry. Typically, the women strut around topless, sporting belts “full of woodworking equipment.”

A pair of blonde, female sentries guard the entrance to the town, inflicting great violence on all men who attempt to breach security. Women who opt to leave the city are only permitted to return following the completion of several cleansing rituals.

According to Xinhua, Chako Paul’s tourism industry is bustling. “Hotels and restaurants are everywhere, to receive women from around the world.”


The Swedes remain unconvinced.

Claes Bertilson, spokesperson for Sweden’s association of Local Authorities and Regions expresses doubt over the existence of Chako Paul.

“At 25,000 residents, the town would be one of the largest in northern Sweden, and I find it hard to believe that you could keep something like that a secret for more than 150 years,” comments Bertilson.

Per Wilhelmsson, a tourism official in northern Sweden says that while he has never heard of Chako Paul, tourism in the area is robust.


Thursday, October 1, 2009


Bangladesh honored a humble farmer yesterday who personally slaughtered 83,450 rats.

Mokhairul Islam, 40, was awarded a 14-inch color television as first prize in a national rat-killing contest that resulted in the death of millions of rats in one short month.

Islam was meticulous in his rat-killing, saving up the tails as proof of his impressive tally.


Bangladesh faces chronic food shortages, importing 3 million tons of food annually. Officials at the Ministry of Agriculture estimate that rats destroy up to 2 million tons of food each year.



Monday, September 28, 2009


Since 2007, the clandestine publication Rimjingang has provided first-hand accounts of life inside North Korea. The quarterly is published in Japan, but its reporters routinely cross the border between North Korea and China to smuggle their stories out of the news vacuum that is North Korea.

Rimjingang was named after a river that flows back and forth, cris-crossing the border of China and North Korea.

Founding editor Jiro Ishimaru comments, “I’m proud of these reporters. I’m committed to helping them deliver a message to the world they are risking their lives to report.”

Ishimaru trained North Korean civilians in the arts of journalism and espionage, equipping them with surveillance cameras that would later provide stunning footage. Some of the scenes recorded include an illegal market where children are scavenging for food off the ground and a town where women and children are forced to work in a coal mine.

A recent video shows the Soonchun Vinylon factory, a site Western intelligence has long considered a production facility for nerve gas. But the video shows a deserted complex overtaken by weeds.

“The story is so complex,” says Ishimaru. “It needs to be told by the people who live it.”

This is Al Gore’s wet dream, the one in which his reporters do not get kidnaped by the North Koreans and rescued by Clinton.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009


One of Eva Peron’s weirder accomplishments was the establishment of a miniature nation-within-a-nation known as the Republica de los Ninos.

Senora Peron oversaw the construction of the bizarre theme park, which features train stations, plazas and all the usual state institutions, providing the youth of Argentina with hands-on experience in fascist governance. Once a year, the city council of La Plata holds a special session to ratify laws enacted by the Youth Government of the Republic of Children. Hitler only wishes he had thought of this idea.

The park officially opened in La Plata in 1951. The dictator Juan Domingo Peron attended the opening ceremony, as his wife was terminally ill at the time. The previous year, Walt Disney reportedly visited the site, gaining inspiration for a fascist theme park of his own.





Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Today marks the auspicious occasion of the founding of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

According to several articles appearing in the New Light of Myanmar, sympathetic Burmese generals have been celebrating the felicitous holiday by regaling North Korea with felicitations.

In one article, no less than Senior General Than Shwe, leader of Burma’s felicitous military junta, sends "felicitations" to the Chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission.

A similar article details how “Prime Minister General” Thein Sein sends his “felicitations” to the North Koreans.

In a third article, Senior General Than Shwe rears his ugly head again to “send a message of felicitations” to the President of the Presidium Supreme People’s Assembly.

What a felicitous bunch of commies!

The Senior General’s smile is known to melt Dear Leader’s heart.

North Korea makes full use of its chimneys.


The vaults of Italian bank Credito Emiliano are bursting with cheese.

The bank accepts Parmigiano cheese as collateral from cash-strapped cheesemakers.

Credito Emiliano has amassed cheese reserves of 17,000 tons of aged Parmigiano. The 440,000 wheels of cheese are appraised at $187 million.



Tuesday, September 8, 2009


An emergency crew was dispatched to a steel bridge in Guangzhou, China last month to smear butter over every inch of the 1,000-foot-long bridge.

The scenic bridge had become a renowned spot to commit suicide. The site is so popular among the desperate that eleven people plunged to their deaths there in April.

Chinese officials installed fences and posted notices “asking people not to commit suicide here,” says a spokesperson for the PRC.

Yet the suicides continued, leading to the bizarre application of butter to a bridge.

“That’s not going to stop people from jumping off the bridge,” comments my wife. “That’s going to cause people to fall off.”


In May, 66-year-old Lai Jiansheng pushed a potential jumper off the bridge.

Chen Fuchao intended to kill himself to escape a 2 million yuan debt incurred over a failed construction project.

Lai was enraged when he saw the would-be jumper on the bridge, holding up traffic. After failing to persuade the police to allow him to negotiate with Chen, Lai broke through a barricade and climbed up to Chen’s perch.

Lai greeted Chen with a handshake before quickly shoving him off the bridge.

“I pushed him off because jumpers like Chen are very selfish,” says Lai. “Their action violates a lot of public interest.”

Meet and greet.

Pushed by Lai, Chen falls off bridge.

Chen salutes the crowd after pushing man off bridge.

Friday, September 4, 2009


A disease exclusive to New Guinea causes those afflicted to run amok, stealing objects of little value and attacking bystanders.

Wild-pig syndrome is a socially constructed disorder of the Gururumba tribe. The illness is characterized by involuntary antisocial behavior, followed by situational amnesia and the resumption of normal life.

After looting neighbors’ homes, the tribesman (usually a recently married male) ventures into the forest for several days, returning without the stolen articles.

Wild-pig attacks seems to occur when a man is unable to meet his financial obligations. Those who have undergone the episodes later receive special consideration from creditors.

The Gururumba people insist the illness is transmitted by the ghosts of recently deceased tribe members.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Japan’s first lady-in-waiting claims to have explored the cosmos during a nocturnal ride aboard an alien spacecraft.

Miyuki Hatoyama is the wife of newly-elected Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama.

In her memoirs, Very Strange Things I’ve Encountered (2008), Miyuki details her abduction and subsequent voyage to the planet Venus.

“While my body was asleep, I think my soul rode on a triangular-shaped UFO and went to Venus,” she writes.

“It was a very beautiful place, and it was very green,” she adds.

Miyuki says her husband advised her that it was only a dream.


Dream or not, Yukio Hatoyama has long been nicknamed “The Alien” because of his conspicuously extraterrestrial eyes.

He is expected to assume office September 16th.


In November of last year, aeronautical engineers at the University of Tokyo began experimenting with paper airplanes for use in Japan's fledgling space program.

Hoping to discover cheaper materials for building spacecraft, the engineers reason that chemically treated paper might be able to withstand reentry and landing without bursting into flames.

Venusian First Lady.

Martian Prime Minister.

Japanese Space Shuttle.

Friday, August 28, 2009


A strange obituary appeared in the Russian press last month, describing a “successful entrepreneur” whose life took an improbable turn when, during a prison stint, he learned to ingest great quantities of poison.

Poison connoisseur Dmitry Butakov, of Lipetsk, had but one superpower–the ability to withstand and enjoy lethal doses of toxic substances.

Butakov would begin his typical lunch with an invigorating glass of acetone before eating a ball of mercury and drinking a bottle of antifreeze, often performing this ritual on camera for the local media.

Butakov baffled medical experts when he suffered no apparent harm after eating toadstools and drinking dissolvent. His test results showed a lethal dose of poison in his bloodstream, but toxicologists agreed that the poison did not appear to have penetrated his system or affected his cells.

His final coolant bender would have a different outcome, of course. Butakov became ill and was rushed to a hospital after drinking antifreeze with a cola chaser. He died several days later of severe blood poisoning.


I am inclined to believe this incredible story is an urban legend. I have been unable to locate any photgraphs or videos of Butakov, even though he was reportedly under the nearly constant surveillance of the news media. The obituaries, appearing in Pravda and other Russian news media, provide no clue as to the date or even the year of Butakov's demise.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009


North Korea is one of the world’s leading producers of fresh fruit and vegetables.

According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, North Korea is the tenth largest producer of fresh fruit, including apples, peaches, pears and nectarines.

The chronically malnourished country is also the world’s 12th largest producer of fresh vegetables.


Unable to experience this incredible bounty, starving North Koreans have increasingly turned to an artificial food composed of twigs, tree bark and leaves. The scavenged ingredients are ground into a paste and formed into dried noodles.

The noodles provide scant nutrition and can cause internal bleeding and dysentery.


Since the mid-‘90's, North Koreans have endured chronic food shortages which have killed an estimated 2 million.

The government in Pyongyang blames natural disasters, such as the floods of 1995, 1996 and 2000, for the food crises–omitting the key detail that the floods were induced by the clearance of massive areas of forest to create more land for growing fruit.


Officially, North Korea espouses a philosophy of self-reliance known as juche, even rejecting various shipments of food aid.

Privately, North Korean officials usher in hundreds of millions of dollars in international aid which is siphoned off by the military and high-ranking members of the Korean Workers’ Party.

Despite its vaunted improved seeds, fertilizers and irrigation methods, the country remains unable or disinclined to feed its citizens.

All of that glorious fruit is destined for export.

"Bodies of Pyongyang" by performance artist Yoonhye Park.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Seeking to capitalize on a surge in banana consumption in Japan, Dole began airing a bizarre commercial this year in which a young man, capable of spontaneously generating bananas, is accosted by throngs of ravenous Japanese.

The bananaman strolls through a park where he encounters a sad woman whom he consoles by firing bananas at her through his nostrils. This seems strange even by Japanese standards.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Curtis Melvin, an American who spends too much time on Google Earth, claims to have spotted one of North Korean tyrant Kim Jong-il’s luxury homes.

The sprawling compound in the Ryongsong district north of Pyongyang features a sparkling pool and water slide.

It would be difficult to imagine a lesser official than Chairman Kim occupying such a preposterously lavish compound in the starving country.

Unnamed sources within North Korea have confirmed that Kim’s residence #21 is located in the Ryongsong district and is where he spends most of his time when in Pyongyang.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Japan is the land of movie monsters. It is also the land of actual monsters.

The Japanese fishing industry has been devastated by repeated infestations of six feet wide, 440-pound jellyfish known as echizen kurage (Nomura’s jellyfish).

The aquatic pests destroy fishing nets, poisoning the catch. Some of the monstrous jellyfish have even managed to breach security at Japan’s nuclear power plants, clogging up the cool-water pumps.

Echizen kurage enjoyed a population boom in 2005 that still has scientists puzzled. Some have cited over-fishing, global warming and agricultural pollution as possible causes of the surge.

The mass of giant jellyfish assembling now in the Yellow Sea off China is the largest ever. Ocean currents will guide the pesky creatures straight to Japan.

Jellyfish are difficult to eradicate because, when under attack, they tend to release millions of eggs.

As the saying goes, when life hands you a bag of lemons, you make lemonade. In the Japanese version, you eat jellyfish ice cream. The Japanese, to their credit, have seamlessly integrated the sea monsters into their cuisine.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

PUTIN’S TREASURED CHEST...Crushin’ on the White Russian

As Russian strongman Vladimir Putin poses for another bizarre, shirtless photo shoot, I cannot help but wonder why he constantly feels the need to display his droopy man-boobs.

"It makes no sense to ride a horse shirtless," my wife comments. "He is gross."

Putin’s desperate attempts to prove his rugged masculinity have resulted in an expansive portfolio of homoerotica. The more macho he tries to be, the campier his appearance.

Of course, Putin’s motivation is not rooted in his sexuality per se, but in his tiny anatomy.