You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2009.

Whipped Cream & Other DelightsMy parents didn’t own a lot of records, and what they did have was an odd assortment of music, considering they were twenty-somethings during the mid-1960s, one of the greatest eras in musical history.  For example, they only owned one Beatles album.  But they were young parents of two children living in what must have been Canada’s most expensive city, Toronto, and I’m told that records were expensive.  One of the records they owned for which I’m very grateful is the 1965 Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass album Whipped Cream & Other Delights, although I can’t say for sure whether I ever listened to it.  What I loved, and still love, is the album cover.  In what was a conservative household, where racy scenes in movies would see a parent’s or even sister’s hand quickly cover my innocent eyes, this album was one bit of sexuality that I could–surreptitiously–access.  I always thought of it as a kind of forbidden fruit, and instinctively knew that I would be in trouble, or at the very least embarrassed, to be caught looking at it.  The ultimate fate of this album is perhaps worth mentioning: for some reason, our dog got hold of the vinyl and destroyed it, leaving the cover (the most important part anyway) untouched.  It was the only album he ever destroyed, and I’ve never settled on a reasonable explanation for why he did it.

A new social networking website is gaining devoted followers and threatening to make Twitter a relic before most people even knew it existed. The new service, Huh?, takes the Twitter philosophy of “quick answers to the question what are you doing right now?” to a new extreme, by limiting users to a single gerund rather than the bulky 140-character limit of it’s rival. A recent sampling of posts include “eating”, “waiting”, and the intriguing “flummoxing”. “As long as it’s a verb form ending in -ing it’s all good,” says Huh? creator, CEO, CFO, CTO, MC, and VIP Henry Green in explaining the site’s philosophy.

Guantanamo BayWith President Barack Obama recently losing a vote on a bill in Congress which would have seen Guantanamo terror suspects transferred to prisons in the continental U.S., surprising news has emerged that the detainees themselves, including the so-called “worst of the worst”, are reluctant to make the move to mainland prisons.  Although getting any information from detainees is difficult, the few that have access to lawyers have made their preference clear: “Please don’t put us in American prisons.”  June Fremantle, the court-appointed defense attorney for Ali Muhammad al-Maliky, who has been detained since January 2002, released this statement from her client: “I grew up in Beirut during the worst of the fighting.  Times were hard.  I watched my parents killed by a bomb that destroyed our home, and my brother murdered in front of my eyes.  Since I was captured and brought to Guantanamo, I have been tortured on and off for six years, and have had no access to normal human contact.  But the thought of going to an American prison truly frightens me.  I’ve seen Oz.”  Other prisoners agree, citing fears of anal rape, riots, and “shivs” (knives fashioned from spoons). Al-Maliky concludes, “At least here all of the prisoners are on the same side.  Here, I feel safe.”

Manny RamirezJust days into his 50-day suspension for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), Manny Ramirez is once again coming under fire for violating Major League Baseball’s anti-doping policy.  As part of the suspension process, the Los Angeles Dodgers slugger must submit to weekly follow-up tests during his time away from his team, which boasts the best record in baseball.  Shockingly, the latest test on Ramirez revealed the presence of another banned substance, Altoids.  A spokesman for Ramirez, who speaks English in a charmingly inept fashion, questioned why Altoids, a popular breath freshener, would be included on a list of drugs that are known to aid in athletic performance.  “It’s just a breath mint,” the source said, adding that it was just another case of “Manny-being-Manny”, as well as “Manny-having-halitosis”, although he was unwilling to comment on the significance of Altoids being “curiously strong”, and cut the press conference short.  This file photo from 2007, when Ramirez played for the Boston Red Sox, was once thought to be merely a humorous shot of the left-fielder picking his nose, but is now suspected to show Ramirez injecting Altoids nasally.

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