February 10, 2004

Rockall Dependence Day

Today, Scotland celebrates the day in 1972 when the island of Rockall gave up its billions of years of independence to join the empire.

The 83 foot long, 100 foot wide, six-story chunk of rock unanimously petitioned to be politically united with Scotland 300 miles to the west (at 57°35'48"N 13°41'19"W to be precise). Well, at least there didn't seem to be much opposition among the inhabitants to the annexation by the UK.

An amusing history of Rockall can be found on the, er, official website of the island, a labor of love by at least one very busy satirist.

Here's a hilarious photo of British marines sent to stand guard over the island as part of establishing the claim. No tent, no supplies, just the sentry box:

So let's see: rocky, windswept, barren, virtually uninhabitable, covered in guano... there has to be a metaphor in there somewhere.

p.s. It's all about oil. (And haddock.)

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We Ask the Tough Questions

Here's a question you hardly ever see asked:

"Why should employers feed troublesome farmworkers to the lions?" said spokesman Snuki Zikalala.


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February 09, 2004

States I've Visited

Too bad they didn't include provinces, especially since some of them are way bigger. Note, driving across Nebraska isn't recommended.

create your own visited states map

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Now for something completely frightening

Paul warns of exploding public loos in England, apparently as the result of an electrical failure. (Something Python-esque about this.)

Luckily, here in New York, we need only fret about being electrocuted while walking down the street. Last week, I kept running into Con Ed guys with probes slogging through the snow by the school where I work.

Seems they found something: some 280 dangerous manholes and lamp posts throughout the city, including one a block from our apartment and another two blocks from the school.

I have a feeling that if we actually had more public toilets in New York, Con Ed would ensure that they blew up every week.

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February 08, 2004

The Long View

Announcement on the southbound 1 train, 8:30am Saturday, February 7, 2004:

42nd Street.
Times Square.
Crossroads of the World.
Change here for ... Everywhere.

Proof that New Yorkers have still got it.

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