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Creative Commons License
This work by Chumworth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
September 30, 1999.
  Web Posted at: 6:08 pm UTC

Egypt will welcome in the New Year with a 12-hour overnight opera in the desert in front of the Great Pyramids.

12 hours of opera? I guess that's for people who'd prefer to sleep through the beginning of the New Year.

Talk-show host Oprah Winfrey is teaching a class teaching at Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

It's a joint class with the Jenny Craig Weight Loss Centers called 'How to Lose 100 Pounds and Make 50 million Bucks from It'.

A pet parrot in the Philippines thwarted a robbery attempt recently by screaming “Intruder! Intruder!” when a burglar broke into his living room.

Too bad that parrot wasn't living at the Los Alamos nuclear weapons lab when the Chinese were stealing all of our nuclear secrets.

New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has threatened to pull city funds from the Brooklyn Museum of Art for displaying a piece titled “The Holy Virgin Mary”, which is a painting of the religious icon splattered with elephant dung.

He felt that the word "Virgin" was too sexually explicit.

Each new story about the battle seems to make the accompanying coffee-table book fly off bookstore shelves all the faster.

Sounds like it would make a better bathroom book than a coffee-table book.

-Chum    [link | comment]

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September 29, 1999.
  Web Posted at: 9:10 pm UTC

The cash-strapped Russian government may sell some of its time on the International Space Station so it can raise money to build crucial segments of the orbiter.

Hilary Clinton is thinking of renting it out so she can run for the President of Russia next year.

Bill Clinton is thinking of renting it out so he can join the '500 Mile High Club'.

Janet Reno and the FBI are thinking of renting it out so they can burn it up in the atmosphere.

Pat Buchanan is thinking of renting it out to use as his 'bunker'.

-Chum    [link | comment]

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September 27, 1999.
  Web Posted at: 9:14 pm UTC

Edmund Morris, whose authorized biography of Ronald Reagan "Dutch" has been attacked even before publication, has defended his use of an imaginary character to narrate the story of the 40th president.

In fact, Morris intends to use the literary device again in his next project, 'Potatoe', a biography of Dan Quayle, as told by Barney the Dinosaur.

-Chum    [link | comment]

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September 21, 1999.
  Web Posted at: 11:09 pm UTC

Sarah Ferguson was hired a London-based correspondent for NBC's “Today” show.

In particular, she'll cover the royal family. I guess that makes her kind of like those ex-football players who become football announcers, which is fitting seeing as how she's built like a football player too.

On Sunday, Sept. 26, “Saturday Night Live” will celebrate its 25th anniversary.  All previous hosts and casts have been invited to return for the special. 

I wonder if Joe Piscopo will be able to squeeze this into his busy schedule.

Members of Reform Party, are urging Donald Trump to run for president of the US.

If the Clintons can raise all that money for the Democrats by renting out the Lincoln Bedroom to party contributors, just imagine how much the Reform part will rake in once he turns the first residence into the 'Trump White House and Casino'!

Trump's already got big plans if elected. They include:

Lightening the mood at Arab-Israeli or Northern Ireland peace talks by having Buddy Hackett warm up the crowd

Replacing all those Secret Service agents with a few members of the Teamsters.

-Chum    [link | comment]

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September 17, 1999.
  Web Posted at: 7:30 pm UTC

Kevin Costner is angry at Universal Pictures for ordering that a nude shower scene be cut from his latest baseball movie “For Love of the Game” in order to secure a PG-13 rating instead of an R.

What Costner was really angry about was that his naked, wrinkly, old ass would only garner an R rating, rather than an NC-17.

-Chum    [link | comment]

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September 15, 1999.
  Web Posted at: 8:51 pm UTC

In a recent study, researchers at the University of California, San Diego said that by inserting genes for nerve growth factor, or NGF, into the brains of old monkeys they were able to restore withered brain cells to a "youthful health".

In a follow-up study to be published next month, the researchers report that when NGF was inserted into the brains of old monkeys that were also given Viagra as part of another study, the monkeys' spent "significantly" fewer nights alone in the lab.

The therapy is so promising that the researchers applied in June to the Food and Drug Administration to test the gene therapy technique in humans.

Dan Quayle's presidential campaign manager was quick to volunteer the former vice-president for the study, but Quayle flunked the initial screening when he couldn't spell 'NGF'.

-Chum    [link | comment]

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September 15, 1999.
  Web Posted at: 3:50 pm UTC
The Russian Space Program

I’m actually starting to feel sorry for the people involved with the Russian space program.

Recently I read about how the cash-strapped Russian government may sell some of its time on the International Space Station so it can raise money to build its share of the orbiter. Now comes word that Pizza Hut will pay the Russian space agency over $1 million for the right to paint its logo on a Russian proton rocket scheduled to blast off in mid-November. All of this, of course, comes on the heels of a litany of horror stories about the space station Mir, which seems to be the orbiting equivalent of that truck the Clampett’s used to drive on the “Beverly Hillbillies”.

Now, I understand that the switch to a free market economy has been tough on just about everybody there in the former Soviet Union. But, it hasn’t been all that long since the Russian space program was so daunting that we were actually afraid they were going to beat us to the moon, has it? And wasn’t it that fear which lit a fire under JFK’s butt and got him to pledge that we’d make it the moon first? The prospect of seeing a big Pizza Hut logo slapped onto the side of a Russian rocket really brings home just how far the old “Evil Empire” has fallen.

These days, it seems, we should be more afraid of cash strapped Russian scientists stealing hubcaps off the space shuttle then, say, of cosmonauts planting a flag on the surface of Mars before we do. One of these days, a NASA maintenance crew is going to come back from lunch and find the space shuttle Discovery jacked up on blocks, stripped to the bone, while cosmonauts on the space station Mir use shuttle heat shields as dinner trivets. In fact, I heard that, as a precautionary measure, NASA has instructed shuttle astronauts to lock the shuttle behind them when they go out on spacewalks. They’ve also started using the world’s biggest ‘club’ on the steering wheel.

Back when the Soviet Union was in business, its leaders were the models for the bad guys in James Bond movies: mysterious, clever, bent on world domination. We didn’t really know much about what was going on over there, except that they seemed pretty good at lobbing satellites and cosmonauts up into orbit, while we had trouble keeping our own rockets on the ground from exploding. Naturally, the prospect of going to sleep by the light of a communist moon (to paraphrase the Lyndon Johnson character from the movie “The Right Stuff”) seemed quite real.

These days the Russians are led by a fellow who more closely resembles the bumbling Dr. Evil from the “Austin Powers” movies — minus the good looks and smarts — with a liberal dash of Otis the town drunk from “The Andy Griffith Show” mixed in. The Iron Curtain has been lifted, and along with it the veil of secrecy surrounding all things Russian. As a result, we now know, for example, that the real reason why they had to shut down Mir’s main computer recently was because the Russian government realized it could no longer afford to feed the hamster that powered it by running in one of those stationary wheels.

So now the Russians must resort to selling out to fast food chains to finance their space missions. At the rate they’re going over there, I suspect that it won’t be long before the Russian space agency starts holding car washes at your local Shell station to raise cash. Or maybe cosmonauts will start selling candy bars door to door or Russian rocket scientists will start trying to raise cash at major intersections, holding coffee cans that say “Help Pay for a Russian’s Trip Into Orbit”.

As entertaining as all of these recent stories have been, I must admit that the whole space race was more fun when it was actually, well, a race. Not only was it more fun, but our own space program seemed to do much better when it had some good old competition Apparently, NASA scientists tend to lose their edge when there isn’t another superpower space program breathing down their necks. For example, our rocket scientists seem to have forgotten simple things like how to convert miles to kilometers. I had never thought of that sort of thing as “rocket science”, but apparently it’s pretty important because if you get it wrong, it seems to cause perfectly good – and expensive – weather satellites to burn up in the Martian atmosphere.

So, maybe we as a nation could see our way clear to chipping in a few dollars to keep the space race alive. In fact, I think that this could be one of those “legacies” that Bill Clinton has been searching for. Perhaps by applying some of his money raising skills to this venture he could help to save the Russian space program. For example, he could hold a few “coffee klatches” with rich Chinese businessmen or donate a few nights’ worth of income from renting out the Lincoln bedroom to the Russian cause. Or maybe Hilary would use her uncanny ability to turn small real estate investments into large cash holdings to keep the cosmonauts in orbit for years to come?

Let’s just do something before we see the head of the Russian space program rummaging through our recycling bins looking for redeemable aluminum cans.

-Chum    [link | comment]

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September 8, 1999.
  Web Posted at: 6:20 pm UTC

Russia's vacant Mir space station went into hibernation early Wednesday after Mission Control shut down its main computer, a space official said.

This move became necessary when the Russian government realized they could no longer afford to feed the hamster that powered it by running in one of those stationary wheels.

Isn't it strange how 30 years ago the Russian space program was so daunting we were actually afraid they were going to beat us to the moon, but these days we're more afraid of cash strapped Russian scientists stealing hubcaps off the space shuttle?

Recently, in fact, when a NASA maintenance crew went to lunch and left the space shuttle Discovery unattended, they came back to find it jacked up on blocks, stripped to the bone. Not long after, cosmonauts on the space station Mir were seen using shuttle heat shields as dinner trivets.

As a precautionary measure, NASA has instructed shuttle astronauts to lock the shuttle behind them when they go out on spacewalks. They've also started using the world's biggest 'club' on the steering wheel.

-Chum    [link | comment]

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September 7, 1999.
  Web Posted at: 6:40 pm UTC

NASA technicians inspecting the space shuttle Discovery, which carried John Glenn on his landmark return to space last fall, found wiring defects in 26 locations.

Fortunately, the defects did not interfere with 'the clapper' for Mr. Glenn's nighttime reading light.

-Chum    [link | comment]

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September 1, 1999.
  Web Posted at: 4:54 pm UTC

A space suit worn by Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, is among the items that will go on the auction block next month when Christie's East offers its first-ever Space Exploration sale.

One item not expected to fetch quite as much is Mrs. Armstrong's souvenir 'My Husband Went To The Moon And All I Got Was This Stupid T-Shit' T-shirt.

Monica Lewinsky has begun selling her own line of handbags over the Internet. “What really excites me is that this has nothing to do with the president,” she tells Marie Claire magazine.

Ms. Lewinsky's next product line will be her own brand of cigars. That should really excite her!

-Chum    [link | comment]

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