This may be the creepiest thing ever

The Saturday Gazette is the big paper ~ loads of features, and as many flyers and coupon books as they can stuff between the sections. In one such flyer in this morning’s paper I came across this:
This is ‘Tiny Miracle Emmy’ and she’s a doll. Literally.
I believe my exact words were “ew! ew! ew! ew! ew! ew! ew! ew! ew! ew!” Or something to that effect.
But wait, it gets better.
I went to the website to get the photo of Emmy, and discovered that there’s a whole series of these weird collectibles, including this one:
Now, at first glance there does not appear to be anything significantly different between Exhibits A and B… until you read the description of the second one:

“Hush, Little Baby” is a genuine So Truly Real® “breathing” baby doll, designed by Master Doll Artist Waltraud Hanl. A battery-powered mechanism tucked inside the doll raises and lowers her tiny chest in a lifelike breathing pattern that mimics real life, making her a joy to watch. Gently place your hand on her chest, and you can even feel her breathe—such a comforting sensation!
This baby girl looks and feels so real, from her baby-soft RealTouch™ vinyl skin (our exclusive, patent-pending formula) to her delicate wisps of hand-applied baby hair. She has perfect newborn features, including delicate baby eyelashes and tiny fingernails and toenails. Hold her in your arms, and she feels just like a real infant. She comes to you in delicate floral-print nightgown and matching cap, with ruffled panties and even a little diaper.
Adding to her realism, the “Hush, Little Baby” doll is approximately 18″ long. Blanket not included.

Obviously, there’s no need for them to include the blanket, since you’ll get more than enough baby bedding at the shower.
ew! ew! ew! ew! ew! ew! ew! ew! ew! ew!

Darwinism: don’t touch it with a ten-foot Pole

Miroslaw Orzechowski, the deputy education minister of Poland, told a national newspaper that he thinks that Darwin’s theory of evolution should not be taught in schools because it is “a lie… that we have legalized as truth.”
According to Orzechowski, the theory is “feeble”, and Darwin himself was an “aged non-believer,” not to mention “a vegetarian” (gasp).
I don’t even know where to start with this report. How is this man in charge of education? Since when is Poland part of the American Bible Belt? What the heck does vegetarianism have to do with anything?
Of course, the irony is that if Darwin really was right, surely the idiots would have been bred out of the human race by now.

She turned me into a newt!

Lately, I have studiously avoided getting all het up about political issues on either side of the border. I’m admittedly a little blue about my personal employment situation, and avoiding the outside world and its goings-on is one way of coping. That and chocolate.
But there are limits…
We’re five days away from a federal election here in the Great White North, an election that appears to be all but sewn up for the hitherto too-scary-to-contemplate Conservative party. Down below the 49th parallel, things are pretty much unchanged – from a Canadian perspective, the US is ignoring its most important trading party as usual, except for the occasional potshot about pot and gay marriage and diseased livestock; rather than mending rifts, the Bush league seems, as usual, intent on imposing democracy and freedom and the American way of life on the Middle East, whether they like it or not.
And now this.

An alumni group is offering students up to $100 per class to supply tapes and notes exposing professors who might express extreme left-wing political views at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The Bruin Alumni Association president, Andrew Jones, claims that they are “just trying to get people back on a professional level of things.” On the group’s web site, the UCLAP project is lauded as a measure against “an increasingly radical faculty.” This week’s target, professor Douglas Kellner, is villified as follows:

While in public not much of a fire-starter, especially compared to the roustabout behavior of his more active radical colleagues, Kellner is an absolute tiger on paper. A close look at Kellner’s personal history and theoretical background reveals a professor whose political views are a witch’s brew of worldwide conspiracy, Marxoid theory, “critical pedagogy,” and an overwhelming dose of anti-Bush hatred.

In other words, despite the group’s stated objective of removing politics from the classroom, Kellner makes the list for his publications, not his lectures. Kellner is a prof in the Education faculty – hence the appearance of ‘critical pedagogy’ among his various sins.
This might be easier to swallow if the group’s targets were not limited to liberal profs. If any prof who exploited the captive audience to proselytize his or her political views out of context were to be ‘exposed,’ regardless of hisor her pro- or anti-Bush leanings, this thinly disguised witchhunt might be almost palatable. To specifically target only the so-called anti-Bush ‘radicals,’ however, not only smacks of McCarthyism, it’s downright insulting – aren’t the UCLA students smart enough to listen to professorial rhetoric and judge its validity for themselves?
The ultimate insult is that the group – presumably made up of graduates of UCLA and therefore, one hopes, well-educated and well-versed in US political history – seems completely blind to the irony of the term “witch’s brew.” Senator Joe would be so proud.
Oh, and “Marxoid”???

Culled from this morning’s headlines

Convicted felon from LA hospitalized with frostbite – the gentleman in question was attempting to walk from North Dakota to Winnipeg in order to take a bus to Quebec to meet a woman he has fallen in love with over the Internet.
Of course! Beer school! About time, frankly: “The Labatt Beer Institute, which officially opened in Halifax’s Brewery Market complex on Wednesday, will train students on everything from the history of beer to matching beer choices with different foods, to how to pour it properly.”
Apparently he plans to embarrass them to death – Lindsay Lohan’s father, according to the divore papers: “O.J. Simpson has nothing on me,” [he] allegedly told the family’s security guard last year. “I know exactly how I’m going to kill (them). I know when I’m going to do it, and I’m going to enjoy it.”
Police help victim bite dog!
It’s official – Jlo and that guy who isn’t Ricky Martin are indeed married. After months of speculation on the part of the very few people who still care, Jennifer has finally admitted it. Maybe they were waiting for the media to come up with some way to refer to the couple – after all, ‘Marc Anthoniffer’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?
And the discovery of the day: Mary Ellen Lang, a self-described “mom, grandma, writer, teacher, gardener, and equestrian,” is now writing a regular column on education for CBC on-line. Her latest topic is the decline of punctuation.

The Parrot, Part II

According to Winston Churchill’s daughter, Charlie the Parrot is a fraud.
Lady Soames says that the Churchill family did have a parrot, but a different one, for a few years, but the idea that Churchill taught the bird to swear at Nazis is, and I quote, “too tiresome for words”.

Churchill’s Parrot

Winston Churchill’s parrot is still alive and cursing the enemy. Apparently her favourite expressions are “F— the Nazis” and “F— Hitler”.
According to the Mirror article, Churchill deliberately taught the parrot to swear a blue streak – and she does it in his voice.

Attention, Mile-High clubbers!

Scrap your plans for the orgy at 30,000.
The US Transportation Security Administration, like many kindergarten teachers, has decided that inflight, we can only go to the bathroom one at a time. Yes, that’s right – the USTSA “are now requiring that passengers on flights to the U.S. are not to congregate in groups in any areas of the aircraft, especially around lavatories,” according to one airline spokesperson.
Sounds like prom night. I bet the USTSA would kick you right off the plane if they found that flask of Southern Comfort in your pocket.

More Hallowe’en Scariness

Remember Popeye Cigarettes? For some time now, these have been renamed Popeye “Candy Sticks” but we all knew better. But now, they’ve done away with the familiar blob of red at the end!
Is there no end to the PC madness?
On a happier note, thanks to my kids’ hard Hallowe’en work, I’m relaxing with a teeny tiny Crunchie bar. When they’re this small, the calories don’t count, right?