From Think Progress:
NBC is refusing to air an ad for the new Dixie Chicks documentary, “Shut Up & Sing.” Variety reports, “NBC’s commercial clearance department said in writing that it ‘cannot accept these spots as they are disparaging to President Bush.'”
The full 2 minute trailer is on YouTube:
I’ll select some random ones:
45C – patient is one chromosome short of a full set (thick)
Beached whale – obese patient unable to do much for him/herself except lie there with flailing arms and legs
Bungee jumper – a patient who pulls on his catheter tube
Code Brown – faecal incontinence emergency (e.g. of bedlinen)
LMC – Low marble count (low IQ)
Negative Wallet Biopsy – (US) patient transferred to cheaper hospital because s/he has no insurance/funds
Ralphie McYakkers – young drunks vomiting
(via Bifurcated Rivets)
I came across John Frum and Cargo Cults from Dawkins’ “The God Delusion”.
In the morning heat on a tropical island halfway across the world from the United States, several dark-skinned menâ€”clad in what look to be U.S. Army uniformsâ€”appear on a mound overlooking a bamboo-hut village. One reverently carries Old Glory, precisely folded to reveal only the stars. On the command of a bearded “drill sergeant,” the flag is raised on a pole hacked from a tall tree trunk. As the huge banner billows in the wind, hundreds of watching villagers clap and cheer.
Chief Isaac Wan, a slight, bearded man in a blue suit and ceremonial sash, leads the uniformed men down to open ground in the middle of the village. Some 40 barefoot “G.I.’s” suddenly emerge from behind the huts to more cheering, marching in perfect step and ranks of two past Chief Isaac. They tote bamboo “rifles” on their shoulders, the scarlet tips sharpened to represent bloody bayonets, and sport the letters “USA,” painted in red on their bare chests and backs.
This is February 15, John Frum Day, on the remote island of Tanna in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu. On this holiest of days, devotees have descended on the village of Lamakara from all over the island to honor a ghostly American messiah, John Frum. “John promised he’ll bring planeloads and shiploads of cargo to us from America if we pray to him,” a village elder tells me as he salutes the Stars and Stripes. “Radios, TVs, trucks, boats, watches, iceboxes, medicine, Coca-Cola and many other wonderful things.”
The island’s John Frum movement is a classic example of what anthropologists have called a “cargo cult”â€”many of which sprang up in villages in the South Pacific during World War II, when hundreds of thousands of American troops poured into the islands from the skies and seas. As anthropologist Kirk Huffman, who spent 17 years in Vanuatu, explains: “You get cargo cults when the outside world, with all its material wealth, suddenly descends on remote, indigenous tribes.” The locals donâ€™t know where the foreignersâ€™ endless supplies come from and so suspect they were summoned by magic, sent from the spirit world. To entice the Americans back after the war, islanders throughout the region constructed piers and carved airstrips from their fields. They prayed for ships and planes to once again come out of nowhere, bearing all kinds of treasures: jeeps and washing machines, radios and motorcycles, canned meat and candy.
Wikipedia’s entry on John Frum
Australian Muslim Cleric says uncovered women like “abandoned meat”
SYDNEY – Women who do not cover up are similar to abandoned “meat” making them responsible for sexual attacks, a senior Islamic cleric has said.
The Mufti of Australia and New Zealand, Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali, has outraged female Muslim leaders with comments he made during a Ramadan sermon to 500 worshippers in Sydney last month.
“If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it … whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?” the sheik asked.
“The uncovered meat is the problem. If she was in her room, in her home, in her hajib [Islamic headdress], no problem would have occurred.”
Jewish Symbolic Wall Raises Environmental Concerns:
A group of Orthodox Jews in Los Angeles is trying to erect an eruv near a synagogue on Venice Beachâ€™s boardwalk. An eruv is essentially a magic enclosure that allows Orthodox Jews to circumvent certain oppressive traditions within its confines. For instance, Jews are not allowed to perform some basic activities like pushing a stroller outside on the Shabbat, but slap together an eruv and youâ€™re good to go. You can read more about eruvs here.
The proposal calls for several miles worth of 200-pound test fishing line to be strewn about the Venice Beach Boardwalk area. Typically in cities, eruvs are tied to existing structures like telephone poles, but a beach is quite different. The Jews suggest that the line be tied to existing lamp poles and signs. To fill the void in certain parts of the beach, 20-foot poles would be planted to provide the necessary connection.
Needless to say, many people are not too keen on the idea. Some are concerned about the poles being an eyesore, while others are concerned about the impact on local birds and their nests. Others find the use of public property for religious reasons troublesome.