After Microsoft was caught removing the head of a black man from a stock website photo and replacing it with the head of a white man, UK betting shop Paddy Power is offering odds on the racial makeup of the smiling faces who will turn up in Redmond’s global advertising campaign for the upcoming Office 2010.
It’s not green cheese, but it might as well be.
The Dutch national museum said Thursday that one of its prized possessions, a rock supposedly brought back from the moon by U.S. astronauts, is just a piece of petrified wood.
Rijksmuseum spokeswoman Xandra van Gelder, who oversaw the investigation that proved the piece was a fake, said the museum will keep it anyway as a curiosity.
“It’s a good story, with some questions that are still unanswered,” she said. “We can laugh about it.”
The museum acquired the rock after the death of former prime minister Willem Drees in 1988. Drees received it as a private gift on Oct. 9, 1969 from then-U.S. ambassador J. William Middendorf during a visit by the three Apollo 11 astronauts, part of their “Giant Leap” goodwill tour after the first moon landing.
Middendorf, who lives in Rhode Island, told Dutch NOS news that he had gotten it from the U.S. State Department, but couldn’t recall the exact details.
The U.S. Embassy in the Hague said it was investigating the matter.
Surely this must be fake…
A new supermarket has opened near me. It has an automatic water mister to keep the produce fresh. Just before it goes on, you hear the distant sound of thunder and the smell of fresh rain.
When you pass the milk cases, you hear cows mooing and you experience the scent of fresh cut hay.
In the meat department there is the aroma of charcoal grilled steaks and sausages.
In the liquor department, the fresh, clean, crisp smell of tapped Stienlarger beer.
When you approach the egg case, you hear hens cluck and cackle and the air is filled with the pleasing aroma of bacon and eggs frying.
The bread department features the tantalizing smell of fresh baked bread & cakes.
I don’t buy toilet paper there anymore.
The “Google generation” finds it hard to imagine life before the world wide web, it seems. A student of Leo Enticknap, lecturer in cinema at the University of Leeds, explained that a political group “used the internet to publicise their cause, just like the French Resistance did during the Second World War”.
On the other side of the pond, when David Null, an emeritus professor at California State Polytechnic University, asked his class to write about the person they most admired, he was impressed to receive an essay on Martin Luther.
It turned out to be a mishmash of facts about a 16th-century Protestant reformer, who miraculously also managed to head up the American civil rights movement of the 1960s, some four centuries later.
Meanwhile, a biology student spent an entire paper telling Kevin Reiling, from the Faculty of Sciences at Staffordshire University, about the science of gnomes.
“It took me a while to realise she was referring to genomes,” Dr Reiling remarked.
Both the Dow and S&P hit their highest levels of 2009 intraday Tuesday, and all seems well for the bulls. But Howard Lindzon of Knight’s Bridge Capital isn’t among them and candidly admits to being “clueless” about the rally at this point.
One reason is the big volume in shares of “bankrupt” companies such as Citigroup, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Sirius XM Radio and AIG, which don’t seem to be moving on any fundamental growth, says Lindzon, who is also co-founder of Stocktwits. There are “just no underpinnings of real growth,” he says. “The markets seem broken.”
How about just calling it market manipulation?
A man approached and launched into a speech about how Obama is secretly working to build a socialist state, like the Nazis – “They want to take over our country.”
And then another woman asked me where slavery was started. Without waiting for a response she said “Africa! They started it themselves.”
The small crowd around me nodded.
I was stunned and dismayed. Who are these people? They look like my neighbors. They are people I see at the store.
What has happened to them?
The St Gallen-based bank, Switzerland’s oldest, said the decision had been taken in response to stricter measures introduced in the US against tax dodgers and planned changes to estate tax, which would make some non-US citizens liable to tax if they inherited US securities.
In a letter to investors it said Swiss banks were likely to find themselves in an untenable position, as they would be expected to know which clients were liable to pay US tax – “an impossible undertaking”, given the lack of clear definitions in the matter.
The danger of inadvertently making false declarations to the US tax authorities will be too great, it explained.
It added that it believes the US overestimates its attraction as a financial centre, and is advising its clients to get out of all US securities.