Sep 12, 2009

Beautiful Glow In The Night Sky Is Actually Astronaut Piss [Water Sports]

Giving new meaning to the expression "pissing rain," astronauts who haven't been able to land due to bad weather ended up dumping a large amount of waste from the International Space Station, which left a light trail. []

French Telecom Suicides Being Investigated By French Labor Minister [The Perils Of Work]

France Telecom, France's largest telecommunications provider, saw 23 employee suicides since the beginning of 2008. Unions blame FT's efficiency efforts, management faults employees' personal issues. Now, the French labor minister's meeting with FT's president. Workforce deaths: they happen. [BBC].

Sep 11, 2009

Mile High Club Sandwich [Pic Of The Day]

[The Parisian "Dinner in the Sky" hoists foodies 50 meters in the air. Image via Getty]

German Media Punk'd By Local Morons Into Reporting a Suicide Attack In California [Hoaxes]

A group of German idiots seeking publicity for their movie staged a fake suicide bombing in a fake California town yesterday and tricked the German media into running with it. Kind of like the Coast Guard did with CNN today.

Wired's Threat Report has the story: Everyone in Germany thought that a non-existent town called Bluewater, Calif., was struck by an attempted suicide-bombing yesterday after a group of German filmmakers staged an elaborate hoax, involving fake web sites and Skype numbers, that fooled the German equivalent of the AP.

The filmmakers, who were trying to drum up publicity for a movie called Short Cut to Hollywood, set up a fake web site for a town called Bluewater (it's a real place in rural California, but there's no actual town there) as well as a web site and wikipedia page (since taken down) for a fake TV station there. Then they called the German wire service DPA claiming to be a reporter from the fake TV station and reporting that a rap group called the "Berlin Boys" had attempted to blow up a restaurant. The fake reporter directed the real reporter to the fake web sites, which had fake video of the aftermath of the attempted attack and Skype phone numbers that led to the pranksters. So when German reporters called local officials in California to confirm, sure enough they got (German-accented?) confirmation.

Reporting from Frankfurt, Threat Level's Moises Mendoza writes:

The hoax has transfixed this country. It prompted a 1,000-word tome on the website of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany's most respected newspaper, and even a press conference denouncing the incident by the DPA – the German wire service responsible for first disseminating the news about the "attack."

The hoax's effect was felt thousands of miles away, as a flood of concerned phone calls from Germany jammed the switchboards at the San Bernardino County Sheriff's office, which has jurisdiction over the supposed bombing site in California.

The story was recalled thirty minutes after it went over the DPA's wire. Bizarrely, in the weird and annoying meta twist, the fake video about the fake suicide bombing on the fake web site is revealed itself to be a hoax, within the narrative of the hoax. In other words, these German idiots ended their prank by making a fake video showing a fake reporter saying, "The suicide bombing was a hoax!"

Did we mention today is the eighth anniversary of a rather large suicide attack?

Steve Jobs and the Journal 's Frightful Ad Placement [Badvertising]

Steve Jobs "appeared thin and spoke with a scratchy voice" on his return from medical leave, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. Apparently we had no idea!

We're guessing that whoever arranged to place an ad for Halloween skeletons next to a picture of Apple's famously a gaunt CEO (click above image to enlarge) is already fired, or perhaps just severely spanked. Still, good luck getting Jobs to return to speak at your next lucrative D conference, Journal guys! (Maybe if you promise him it won't be a bare-bones affair...)

Hat-tip to iPhone Savior, which first posted this. PDF via

Newt Gingrich Briefly Honors Porn Industry [Accidents]

Whoops! Newt Gingrich accidentally named a porn producer "Entrepreneur of the Year." For like a day. Then he rescinded it, the bastard. Why does he hate capitalism?

Allison Viva, president of "adult entertainment studio Pink Visual," woke up this morning thinking that the Gingrich PAC "American Solutions For Winning the Future" was rewarding her for her impressive business acumen and American can-do spirit. Then someone from the PAC called her up and told her that she would not actually get to enjoy a private dinner at the Capitol Club with the former majority leader himself. Sad!

According to the notice from ASWF, should Vivas attend a private dinner scheduled to occur Oct. 7 at the historic Capitol Hill Club, she will "dine privately with Newt," who will then take the occasion to present Vivas with her "well deserved award" and pose for a photo with her.

The notice from ASWF also informed Vivas that Gingrich is "looking forward to finally meeting [Vivas] face to face – and get[ting] your thoughts on Cap and Trade and Obama's Tax Policy."

Vivas expressed her intention to use the occasion as a chance to educate the former Speaker about issues pertinent to her industry.

Yes, right, that's what everyone said, and so on.