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284334.  Mon Feb 25, 2008 7:31 am Reply with quote

I don't think James's cheese censorship has come up before, actually. Here's the bit that he's referring to:
In Britain, the first instance of a demand for film censorship came from an outraged cheese industry in 1898. Charles Urban had released one of his scientific films taken through a microscope which revealed the unappealing bacterial activity in a piece of stilton.

284336.  Mon Feb 25, 2008 7:33 am Reply with quote

Q: How many times has George W Bush been buggered by an Apache?
A: Only once, that we know of for certain.

President Shrub is a member of the ultra-elitist and secretive Yale society, “Skull and Bones”. According to a (highly research-based) spy novel, “The Envoy” by Edward Wilson (Arcadia, 2008), as part of the initiation rites, the applicant must masturbate publicly and then “submit to anal rape with Geronimo’s thigh bone.”

The thigh bone is in the society's possession, apparently, because W’s grandfather stole it on S&B’s behalf.

General stuff about S&B, and Bush’s membership thereof:

285068.  Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:38 am Reply with quote

Damn, should have saved that one for a meeting.

Link to "films"

285775.  Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:19 am Reply with quote

Are we aware of “Filth Allowances”?

These are the rules by which the FDA in the USA determines how much of various specific types of “filth” is allowed in food products sold to the public. For instance, 8oz of chocolate must contain no more than 150 insect fragments and four rodent hairs; tomato juice must have no more than ten fruit fly eggs (OR two larvae) per 100 grams.

(There is extremely little googleage on this, which makes me a bit suspicious; does anyone have anything better?)

S: miniurl

285789.  Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:33 am Reply with quote

The Horse's Mouth

285800.  Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:42 am Reply with quote

Lovely, thank you - I searched their website, but couldn't find this. But i still wonder if the phrase "Filth allowance" is one coined by their critics, rather than an official one? If the former, I suppose it's not much use to us.

285836.  Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:11 am Reply with quote

Sadly, I think you're right - they seem to go with the rather less exciting term "maximum levels of natural or unavoidable defects".

287395.  Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:35 am Reply with quote

Are we aware of nostoc, aka “Star Jelly”?

In a translation in 1640 of van Helmont’s Ternary of Paradoxes it is suggested that nostoc may be the “nocturnal Pollution of some plethorical and wanton Star, or rather excrement blown from the nostrils of some rheumatic planet”. For centuries it was assumed to have fallen to the earth during meteor showers. In modern times it has been linked with organic detritus from unidentified flying objects or corpses of fictional atmospheric beasts.

From a short, fascinating piece at

Links: Falls (via meteorites)

287419.  Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:44 am Reply with quote

I've more on this...

**heads to book shelf**

287429.  Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:47 am Reply with quote

Star-Jelly, sometimes known by the Welsh "Pwdre Ser" or "Rot of the Stars" is foul-smelling mucus that is supposed to fall to Earth during meteor showers. Reports of the mucus have continued for centuries, but no events have successfully been shown to have extra-terrestrial origins. In 1656, philosopher Henry More wrote that these "trembling gellies" were the excrement of "falling starres".

s: Far Out - Mark Pilkington

Link to FECES

287493.  Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:34 am Reply with quote

Buildings near to whisky distilleries are often affected by a black fungus which grows on the walls and thrives on the alcoholic vapours escaping from the distillery.

The fungus was originally classified as "Torula compniacensis," compniacensis being derived from the Latin term for "Cognac" as the fungus was first studied around the distilleries in the Cognac region of France. However, this classification is now seen as outdated, since "Torula" was used to describe all fungi that were yeast-like and dark in colour, whether or not they were actually of the same species. The booze loving fungus has recently been reclassified as "Baudoinia compniacensis" (as if you cared).


287500.  Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:37 am Reply with quote

Links: Fungi

289983.  Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:34 am Reply with quote

A nice counter-intuitive snippet:

Part of the municipal dump at Croydon - which is one of Europe's biggest landfill sites, where the rubbish lies 200 feet deep - has been declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest, because of the richness of its bird life.

s: Clean Slate magazine, Winter 07

290025.  Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:34 am Reply with quote

A bloke called Mike Davis has written a book called “Planet of Slums” (Verso, 2007), which was reviewed in the Morning Star, 20 Aug 07, from which I take these snippets.

His thesis is that the proportion of the world’s population that lives in slums is growing at an unprecedented and massive rate, and that this is “a watershed in human history, comparable to the Neolithic period or the industrial revolution.”

He calculates that one billion people now live is slums (using the official UN definition). That population is expected to double by 2020.

In 2002, a survey of slums in India found one in which 102,000 people had access to just 19 latrines. (“You going to be in there much longer?”)

295982.  Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:39 am Reply with quote

The Tibetan name for the yeti is Metohkangmi; it translates, not as “abominable snowman,” but as “filthy snowman.”,9171,861919,00.html


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