Why Did Obama Use 22 Pens to Sign the Health Care Bill?

Posted By Ben Goulding, 24 March, 2010 | permalink

After months of intense political debate, President Obama finally sat down in the White House East Room on March 23 and signed the $938 billion health care bill, but why did he use 22 pens to do it?

It would seem that either the President has an undiagnosed case of OCD or the White House needs better office supplies.

Actually, the President was just adhering to an obscure Washington tradition. The practice of using multiple pens to sign important legislation dates at least as far back as Franklin Roosevelt and is now one of our government’s frivolous little quirks, much like that oversize gavel Nancy Pelosi carried around the other day.

Time has more details in the link.


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Whoops! Obama’s Talking

Posted By Ben Goulding, 23 March, 2010 | permalink

(Youtube Link)

I hate it when I’m lost in a building and I accidently walk into a room I shouldn’t have. It’s usually followed by silence and a room full of people staring at you. Well that’s what this guy did – the only difference is he had 30 million people staring at him when he stumbled in on Obama’s healthcare speech.

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Switzerland Bans Violent Video Games

Posted By Ben Goulding, 22 March, 2010 | permalink

Just a month after the proposals were first outlined in full, the Swiss National Council has now officially passed a law that will ultimately lead to the complete ban of any violent video games in the country.

The full implications of the new law are not yet known, however Swiss authorities now have the power to introduce any measures they see fit.

The likeliest outcome seems to be an outright ban on the production, distribution and sale of any games deemed to be unsuitable – most likely anything with either a PEGI 16+ or PEGI 18+ certificate. Until then, Swiss video gamers can back up supplies of violent video games on a hard drive, providing them with a lifetime supply of digital violence.

Do you think that this is a viable law for the Swiss to introduce? Won’t it just lead to a black market of banned video games, never mind the endless supply of violence already on the TV, internet and in movies.


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Bolivia Launches New Drink That Puts The Coca Back In Cola

Posted By Ben Goulding, 16 February, 2010 | permalink

Evo MoralesBolivia’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales, who is known for chewing coca leaves at UN meetings, has launched a drink featuring the leaf called “Coca Colla”.

Intended to rival its more famous US cousin the fizzy drink is at the centre of a plan coca growers from Chapare in central Bolivia submitted to the government last week to boost coca production.

Farmers proposed the name Coca Colla in reference to people living in the Andean part of the country.

The project will be launched in four months and could be either run by the state or a joint partnership with coca growers.

Officials said the drink’s packaging would feature a black swoosh and red label similar to the famous Coke insignia.


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The Strangest Laws That Ever Existed

Posted By Ben Goulding, 15 February, 2010 | permalink

When I heard that it is illegal to chain an alligator to a fire hydrant in the state of Michigan, it got me thinking… what other unusual laws are there around the world? Here are a few I thought you might like.

  • Alaska law says that you can’t look at a moose from an airplane.
  • In Athens, Greece, a driver’s license can be lifted by the law if the driver is deemed either ‘poorly dressed’ or ‘unbathed’.
  • In Ohio it is illegal to get a fish drunk.
  • In Tennessee, it is against the law to drive a car while sleeping.
  • On the island of Jersey it’s against the law for a man to knit during the fishing season.
  • In Miami, it is forbidden to imitate an animal
  • In England, it is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament
  • In Quebec, Canada, an old law states that margarine must be a different colour from butter.
  • In Hong Kong, a woman can kill her husband if he has cheated on her. She must use her bare hand though.
  • It is illegal to sell an ET doll in France.
  • If a whale is found on the British coast, the King can claim the head and the Queen has a legal right to the tail
  • Pregnant women in the UK are allowed to relieve themselves anywhere they want.
  • In New York, it is against the law for a blind person to drive an automobile.
  • In Alabama it is illegal to drive while blindfolded.

If you’ve got any more, let us know in the comments!

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KFC’s Colonel Sanders Tricks His Way Into Posing For Official UN Photos

Posted By Ben Goulding, 27 October, 2009 | permalink

Impostor Colonel Sanders

A man posting as KFC’s Colonel Sanders tricked his way into the UN headquarters in New York to pose and have his photograph taken with a senior official.

The impersonator, who looks shockingly like the real Colonel, managed to avoid tight security to gain access to the restricted areas of the complex. He even got as far as shaking hands with Ali Treki, the president of the UN General Assembly, before the alarm was raised and he was ejected.

Quite unsurprisingly, Dr Treki denied that he held a meeting with the Colonel Sanders impersonator, claiming that he only shook his hand out of courtesy during the incident on Thursday.

As part of its campaign to promote its new menu range, KFC is “lobbying” the UN for the fictional Grilled Nation to be accepted as a member state.

The fast food giant has written to Mr Ki-moon personally asking for grilled chicken lovers to get a seat, in a letter dismissed by Mrs Montas as “absolutely void”.


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Cassetteboy vs Nick Griffin vs Question Time

Posted By Ben Goulding, 23 October, 2009 | permalink

(Youtube Link)

Cassetteboy does Nick Griffin on Question Time. Let’s have a look at what he should have said…

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Glenn Beck: Obama’s Call For Volunteerism = “Communism”

Posted By Ben Goulding, 20 October, 2009 | permalink

(Youtube Link)

Here’s Glenn Beck slamming Obama for encouraging volunteerism – 10/19/09. Maybe this theory will get him some viewers, or maybe not. Not the best idea you’ve ever had, was it Glenn?

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The 50 Most Stunning Wall Murals From Around The World

Posted By Ben Goulding, 19 October, 2009 | permalink

Wall Murals

People paint wall murals for a variety of different reasons; to make a political statement, promote a particular ideology, commemorate a historical figure or loved one, or simply get their artwork seen by hundreds, if not thousands, on a daily basis.

Click the link to take a look at images of some of the most incredible murals the world has to offer. Most are hand painted, with ordinary or spray paint, while some have been printed onto plastic or paper and “stuck” onto the wall. While the painting of murals is often contentious (one man’s masterpiece is another’s act of vandalism), we’re sure people wouldn’t object to having most of these fantastic works of art on display in their towns and cities.

Link (Thanks Andy!)

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‘Why Does Everyone Hate You?’ [Barack Obama]

Posted By Ben Goulding, 16 October, 2009 | permalink

Barack Obama’s gets asked a tough question at a town hall meeting in New Orleans on Thursday. Fourth-grader, Tyren Scott asked the President ‘Why does everyone hate you?’. Hear what he had to say.

(Youtube Link)

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Michelle Obama’s Family Tree

Posted By Ben Goulding, 8 October, 2009 | permalink

barack-michelle-obamaThe NY Times have traced back Michelle Obama’s family tree to Melvinia (Michelle’s great-great-great-grandmother) – a slave girl valued at $475, who lived in rural Georgia.

Viewed by many as a powerful symbol of black advancement, Mrs. Obama grew up with only a vague sense of her ancestry, aides and relatives said. During the presidential campaign, the family learned about one paternal great-great-grandfather, a former slave from South Carolina, but the rest of Mrs. Obama’s roots were a mystery.

Now the more complete map of Mrs. Obama’s ancestors — including the slave mother, white father and their biracial son, Dolphus T. Shields — for the first time fully connects the first African-American first lady to the history of slavery, tracing their five-generation journey from bondage to a front-row seat to the presidency.

[Michelle Obama] is representative of how we have evolved and who we are,” said Edward Ball, a historian who discovered that he had black relatives, the descendants of his white slave-owning ancestors, when he researched his memoir, “Slaves in the Family.”

“We are not separate tribes of Latinos and whites and blacks in America,” Mr. Ball said. “We’ve all mingled, and we have done so for generations.”

Click the link for the full article.


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MoD ‘How to Stop Leaks’ Document Gets Leaked

Posted By Ben Goulding, 5 October, 2009 | permalink


A document by the Ministry of Defence on how to stop information being leaked onto the internet, has been leaked onto the internet.

The three volume, 2,300 page book which details information on dealing with investigative journalists, foreign agents and computer hackers as well as how to deal with typical approaches from Chinese EpicFailand Russian secret services has made its way onto WikiLeaks – website that publishes anonymous leaks of information from organisations including governments, corporations and religions.

The guides on WikiLeaks cover protective security, personnel security and IT security.

Possibly the most epic fail ever. Go on, push the button.


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Barack Obama’s Amazingly Consistent Smile

Posted By Ben Goulding, 28 September, 2009 | permalink

(Vimeo Link)

Barack Obama has a great smile – it’s wide, bright and welcoming, but have you noticed how unbelievably consistent it always is?

Ladies and gentlemen, your President is a robot. Or a wax sculpture. Maybe a cardboard cutout. All I know is no human being has a photo smile this amazingly consistent.

On Wednesday, the Obamas hosted a reception at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, during which they stood for 130 photographs with visiting foreign dignitaries in town for the UN meeting. The President has exactly the same smile in every single shot. See for yourself — the pictures are up on the State Department’s flickr. And, of course, compressed into 20 seconds for your viewing pleasure.

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Obama-Wan Kenobi

Posted By Ben Goulding, 17 September, 2009 | permalink

Obama-Wan Kenobi

“May healthcare reform be with you”.


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Senator Al Franken Draws a Map of the USA

Posted By Ben Goulding, 8 September, 2009 | permalink

(Youtube Link)

Here’s senator Al Franken drawing a surprisingly accurate map of all fifty U.S. states at the Minnesota State Fair.

This isn’t the first time Sen. Franken has impressed a crowd with his impressive map drawing skills. In 2007 he auctioned off another map of the U.S. during a 2007 Democratic fundraiser in Minnesota.

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‘Moon Rock’ Given to Holland is Fake

Posted By Ben Goulding, 31 August, 2009 | permalink

Fake Moon Rock

A piece of moon rock given to the Dutch prime minister by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, from the Apollo 11 mission has turned out to be fake.

The ‘lunar rock’, which is held at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year. It had a value of over $500,000, however it is in fact petrified wood.

Xandra van Gelder, who oversaw the investigation, said the museum would continue to keep the stone as a curiosity.

“It’s a good story, with some questions that are still unanswered,” she said. “We can laugh about it.”

The rock was given to Willem Drees, a former Dutch leader, during a global tour by Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin following their moon mission 50 years ago. Nasa gave moon rocks to more than 100 countries following lunar missions in 1969 and the 1970s.


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French Hostage Escapes After Killing Captors

Posted By Ben Goulding, 28 August, 2009 | permalink

A French security adviser who was kidnapped by insurgents in Somalia, on July 14 2009, has escaped by killing three of his captors.

“We understand he killed three al-Shabaab guys who were guarding him. I cannot understand how this good story happened, but now he is in the hands of the government,” Abdiqadir Odweyne, a senior policeman, said.

An al-Shabaab source confirmed three of its members were killed, but said it was not known by whom: “Three of my friends died but who killed them is the question. We were expecting a ransom this morning,” the rebel source said.

Luckily the man is safe and is said to be in good health.


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Real-Time Cost Of The War

Posted By Ben Goulding, 27 August, 2009 | permalink

Cost Of War

I came across www.costofwar.com and was astonished by the rate of increase of the cost of the war.

You can redefine the cost for the entire U.S, per household, per person and per taxpayer as well as the cost for your state.

Watching those numbers going up is making me dizzy.

Check it out at www.costofwar.com.

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Algeria Causes Confusion By Changing The Days Of It’s Weekend

Posted By Ben Goulding, 15 August, 2009 | permalink

Since 1976, Algeria has held it’s weekend from Thursday to Friday, but in a bid to boost the country’s economy, the government has announced that it will coordinate its weekend with that of neighboring states, and will observe a Friday to Saturday rest period.

While businesspeople in the region have hailed to move, some Algerians have complained that some local trade could be lost with consumers at work on Thursdays.

“With reduced consumer traffic on Thursdays, shops could be forced to open on Saturdays. But critics of the move warn that businesses could be hit by the change, with Muslims observing the Friday holy day and then relaxing at home on Saturdays as the new week starts.”

As well as this, most of Algeria’s business partners are in Europe, America and Asia, who all have their weekend on Saturday and Sunday, meaning that Algeria’s business week was effectively reduced to three days.

The Thursday to Friday weekend cost Algeria $700 million annually, according to the International Finance Corporation.


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Muslim Woman Banned From Pool For Wearing “Burkini”

Posted By Ben Goulding, 13 August, 2009 | permalink

BurkiniPool staff have banned a French woman from a swimming pool outside Paris for wearing a ‘burkini’.

The woman, named Carole, who converted to Islam, was told that the garment was inappropriate for public baths. The staff said the swimsuit, which consists of a headscarf, tunic and trousers was against pool regulations and unhygienic.

“The ban was imposed as President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government is considering an outright ban on all Islamic dress, such as the head-to-toe burka or niqab, that it considers a “sign of subservience” and “not welcome” in France.”

Do you believe that the ban was imposed for genuine hygiene purposes, or do you think that it was purely a political issue?


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