Tagged with " International"
Oct 31, 2008 - quirky    18 Comments

The voodoo dolls and Nicolas Sarkozy

French have beaten every other nation in the world when it comes to poking fun at their head of state. Let’s admit; George W. Bush, Silvio Berlusconi, Angela Merkel and our own President Zardari make a much better fodder for poking fun but the French have beaten us all. They came up with Nicolas Sarkozy voodoo dolls.

The Nicolas Sarkozy doll went on sale Oct. 9th 2008. The president tried having it banned but that decision backfired and it became the hottest selling cult item. The doll comes with a set of 12 pins and a manual which explains in detail how to put a curse on him.
For only €12.95, French people have a chance to literally poke their president and have fun while doing it.

Sarkozy’s legal team demanded a ban, arguing that the president owns the right to his image and had never authorized the doll, but the court over ruled the litigation saying that the doll was protected by what it called the ‘right to humor’. “Caricature and satire, even deliberately provocative and crude, falls under freedom of expression,” three judges wrote in their ruling.

Interestingly, it is his sixth lawsuit this year. In February, Sarkozy sued a journalist for publishing the content of a text message he said he never sent to his former wife, just days before his wedding to his third wife, Carla Bruni. In May he went after two T-shirt producers who had made fun of his last name. He has sued Ryan Air for using the image of his then girl friend Carla Bruni among other litigation cases. If the latest case has made more waves than others, it is also because, as interior minister in 2006, Sarkozy was one of the staunchest defenders of the right of newspapers to publish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that offended many Muslims.

Sarkozy turns out to be the most litigious president in the history of France; I bet some of the French people must be wondering if he is better suited for a more litigious society like United States of America than France.


Oct 28, 2008 - Uncategorized    12 Comments

Economy in pits …

Everyone is talking about how bad the economy is across the globe, but you know it is really screwed when bunnies start losing jobs. No, I am not discussing cute furry animals here; it is Hugh Hefner’s Playboy bunnies that are in danger of downsizing.

According to Daily Telegraph, Hugh Hefner has been advised to cut back on staff at his multi-million dollar empire. Apparently, the shares fell from £6.20 to £1.55 in the recent economic turmoil.

If the economy is hitting bunnies this hard, imagine how hard lease and mortgage payments are for lesser mortals like us. The government in Pakistan has also increased CED on all insurance premiums. I am in a bit of quandary, do I pay my credit card bill this month or pay premium on my insurances. I hate having choices, and I also hate making decisions.


Oct 13, 2008 - Society    61 Comments

Arabs are racist and quite proud of it

I wrote a blog a few months back about not wanting to go to Dubai and I got a few responses that said that I should try my luck as it is land of opportunities. As it was a light piece, I never raised my biggest concern but I think that Arabs are the biggest bigots and most staunch racist people on planet earth and one must avoid them if one can. Some people, especially those who wear their religion on their sleeves (and face, head and ankles) would be offended that their brothers in faith are attacked in such a manner, but it is the truth. Unlike Western democracies, Arab racism is entrenched in law and a non Arab person has no hope for a fair judicial trial if pitted against an Arab. There are racist and bigots in the West, but being racist is generally considered a bad thing and no one would openly flaunt their racism like Arabs do.

During my recent trip to Italy, I had a chance to travel with Arabs. We were waiting at the Venice train station late one night and the minute they would see either a black person or a South Asian (there are lots of South Indians and Bangladeshis in Venice), they would huddle closer and try and hide their bags. I was also implored to hide my purse under my coat as they feared that any suspicious looking man (read black or desi) may snatch it away. When I looked at one particularly suspicious man, he turned out to be an Indian factory worker from Hyderabad in blue overalls, probably going back to his home after a long grueling day (I know it because I went up to him and spoke with him for ten minutes after my argument with the Arabs). When I said that he seems like a harmless man, the girl said, “These people (South Asians) are jealous of Arabs and their wealth and would rob us any chance they get.” Outraged that I was, I said, “In case you have failed to notice, I too am one of these people (South Asian).” To which she said, “But you are my Muslim sister.” I told her point blank that if I have to form an association with anyone, I would rather associate myself with the factory worker from Hyderabad. After all, we share the skin colour, food, history and we both work for a living, something to which Arabs are not really familiar with.

The reason for this tirade of mine is that I just read this article in Guardian where an Iraqi Arab living in UAE proudly said that he will never use the new metro if it’s not segregated and will never sit next to Indians and Pakistanis with their smell. “We need slaves; we need slaves to build monuments. Look who built the pyramids – they were slaves,” he further added.

If anyone has shown such unabashed racism and cruelty to fellow human beings in any other part of the world, they would have been taken to task. If nothing else, they would have been bashed in the media. In Arab wonderland of Dubai, it happens everyday and it is sanctioned by law. They take pride in racism and bigotry and it seems that they are extremely proud of it.

on their way back after an 18 hour a day shift.

No washing facilities for the workers.

There have been incidences that 20 men have shared a single room.


Photo courtesy: The Guardian.

Some more photos were forwarded to me by Tarek Fateh, author of Chasing the Mirage which I am pasting below.


Oct 3, 2008 - Uncategorized    9 Comments

The most blinged out bike

You have seen blinged out humans, and blinged up cars, now bicycles are getting a blingy make over too. A Scandinavian design company Aurumania has launched a limited edition run of the world’s most blinged-up bike.

At just over £60,000 (what’s a little £60,000 for some solid bling), the Gold Bike Crystal Edition is believed to be the most expensive bicycle ever made.

Each of the ten produced, is hand-built and gold-plated with 24-carat gold, and decked out with over 600 Swarovski crystals.

Hand-sewn leather grips and a Brooks leather saddle provide finishing touches to the bike, with each limited edition number embossed with gold leaf and set into a leather badge onto the bike’s headtube.

The company has also created a 24-carat gold wall holder for the bike, so it can be displayed as a work of art.

I am wondering if it is being bought as an investment on art or gold or a collectable.

Sep 5, 2008 - Uncategorized    No Comments

The coolest granny

All you mommies daddies out there who think they are too old to go online now, here is an inspirational tale. A British great granny recently got connected and has become the oldest person on Facebook.

102-year-old Ivy Bean decided it was time to get herself some online action when she heard about the site through staff at the care home where she lives.

Her care givers helped Ivy set-up a profile and the former mill worker, from West Yorkshire, now uses it to keep in touch with friends and family.

Ivy had heard about Facebook and wanted to know what it was about. She now loves it and thinks that it beats writing with a pen.

She only has nine friends on the net at the moment but she is planning on making lots more friends.

Ivy lives at Hillside Manor in Bradford, Yorkshire.

The great gran also plans to try out a Nintendo Wii.

Sep 3, 2008 - quirky, women    1 Comment

Looking for wife number 14, anyone interested?

King Mswati hunting for wife number 14

Anyone who thinks polygamy is passé has another think coming. Last Monday, tens of thousands of bare-breasted virgins competed for Swaziland King Mswati III’s eye in a traditional Reed Dance; King Mswati was looking for wife number 14, Reuters report.

Walking through the dense crowds in a leopard skin loin cloth, Southern Africa’s last absolute monarch was eying the booty on display and quite a few women seem not to mind it. They think that getting selected to become King’s wife is the only way to escape from the southern African nation’s hardships for the easy life.

“I came here to dance. I wish the king would have chosen me because it’s nice at the king’s place. The wives live a nice life,” said Tenene Dlamini, 16, in a traditional brown skirt.

Critics say Mswati, who has courted controversy for his lavish lifestyle while two thirds of his subjects live in poverty, sets a bad example by encouraging polygamy and teenage sex in a country where about 40 percent of adults live with HIV.
The Reed Dance has been a big date on the Swaziland cultural calendar since Mswati began the ceremony in 1999.

Some said they would not want to be part of a polygamous arrangement with the king and were taking part in the ceremony to prove their virginity.
Last month, Forbes magazine listed him as the 15th-richest monarch in the world. He was the only African on the list.

During the reed festivities, one of the king’s wives drove up in a fancy BMW. Policemen told people to look the other way.

What other monarchy can compete with such insolence, huh?

Aug 29, 2008 - Uncategorized    1 Comment

And they say MJ is the crazy one


Michael Jackson is celebrating his 50 years on earth today and the other (still) big M (Madonna) celebrated hers on August15.

MJ is celebrating his birthday at SM Mall Asia in Manila, Philippines, at the release of his album “The King of Pop” while Madonna celebrated hers in London.

MJ’s birthday party is open for all his fans while Madonna’s guest list had lots of A list stars and blue blooded aristocrats. The guests were barred from giving cards or presents featuring the number 50. Apparently, it was not just rock-star vanity: according to the teachings of Kabbalah, in terms of her spiritual age Madonna is only 36.

And they say Michael Jackson is the crazy one!!!


Aug 25, 2008 - quirky, romance, women    No Comments

Lonely hearts for ugly women !

A town mayor in Australia has upset the locals by suggesting that ugly women should move there because they have an abundance of single men.

We have all heard about the fact that the women who have bad luck with men should move to Alaska as the male population far outnumber the female population. But it is a first that a mayor – a local official – is suggesting that all the attractively challenged (plain ugly in politically incorrect language) women should move to his town because it has 5 men for every single women and no matter how bad a woman looks, she stands a good chance of hitting off with one of them men.
John Molony is the Mayor of Mount Isa, a remote mining town in Queensland, Australia and he has made that suggestion. According to the most recent census in 2006, there were just 819 women aged 20-24 living there out of a total population of 21,421.
Mr Molony proposed a novel solution to the lack of eligible ladies in an interview with the Townsville Bulletin: “With five blokes to every girl, may I suggest that beauty-disadvantaged women should proceed to Mount Isa.
“Quite often you will see walking down the street a lass who is not so attractive with a wide smile on her face. Whether it is recollection of something previous or anticipation for the next evening, there is a degree of happiness,” he said. In my opinion, he is chauvinistic moron who thinks that a woman can only be truly happy if she has a man or two at hand. He is also totally objectifying men, gasp!
The council has since been swamped with complaints from both men and women.
Fellow councillor Jean Ferris isn’t impressed: “It’s an absolute disgrace,” she told the Courier Mail. “It’s not council’s view and it’s not mine. We’re definitely appalled,” she said.
But the mayor has refused to apologize for the remarks – saying he was “telling it like it is” and insisting he is “a bloke who respects women.”
“I believe we should look after women,” he said. “I’m told men outnumber women here by five to one. If that’s the case, then perhaps it’s an opportunity for some lonely women.”

Aug 21, 2008 - Uncategorized    2 Comments

A David Beckham musical !!!!

We have seen him play, we have seen him run, we have seen him naked, we have seen him in wax, we have seen him in Police sunglasses, we have seen him doing cameo in films. As if all of it was not enough, the life of David Beckham (the five people on the planet who do not know who he is, go google him) is set to be turned into a musical that runs on London’s West End.

David Beckham: The Theatre of Dreams will tell the life story of former England captain Beckham, and his relationships with his parents and wife Victoria.

“Beckham’s story is a modern-day fairytale of heroes, villains, love, and what it means to lead your country,” producer Mark Archer said. “His rise from obscurity to international stardom, his universally acknowledged gifts as a supreme sportsman, and his Hollywood lifestyle all have the elements of an aspirational fable.”
The first thought that popped into my head was, “Who would be playing Beckham?” I mean if it were Beckham himself prancing on stage in tights and dancing; that would have be delicious, but whosoever would be enacting that part would need to start working on his abs, I mean seriously.

Aug 15, 2008 - quirky    No Comments

Drunk as skunk

I read too many crazy news to talk about them separately, so I have decided to lump them all here.

Its not just us, there are other countries in the world that have embarrassing politicians, although we still have the biggest number of embarrassing politicians who bring shame to the country, repeatedly.

Spotted at a recent tennis doubles match between Argentina and Belgium during Beijing Olympics was a drunken fan who was loud and constantly shouting. Eventually Argentine tennis ace David Nalbandian lost his temper and told him to be quiet.

But other Belgian supporters recognized the “very drunk” man as sports minister Michel Daerden.

Daerden was also spotted drunk when cheering on the Belgian hockey team from the stands, say reports.

At least Daerden was endearing enough to root for his country while drunk, our ministers would do everything but root for the country.

In a totally unrelated news, a Chinese man leaked the address of his secret lover while talking during his sleep.
His wife Cao, of Nanjing, said she suspected her husband was up to something.
She revealed: “He became cold to me, and when his phone rang, he would walk out to answer it.”
However, her husband revealed exactly what he was up to during his sleep.
“I tried to have a conversation with him, and he told me the name and address unconsciously,” said the wife.
Cao said she brought up the matter with her husband the next day, but he denied it.
However, when she visited the address she was shocked to discover her husband there with his lover.

In another piece of seriously crazy news, two council workers are in hot water after apparently having sex in their office – oblivious to being watched by a crowd of 20 people.

The steamy session, up against a window on the first floor, lasted 20 minutes. But the couple were unaware that passers-by outside were being treated to an x-rated display through the frosted glass.

According to the Daily Mirror, the pair’s romp was finally broken up by two Police Community Support Officers who had also joined the crowd.

One witness told the paper: “They couldn’t see or hear us and just carried on regardless as we all cheered.

“There were lots of us outside when the PCSOs went in. Then someone knocked, told them they could be seen and they ducked down fast.”

The alleged incident happened at the offices of Oldham Council and the two council officers have been suspended pending an investigation.

Suspension for having a bit of fun in office? Ouch!