Scientists To Probe Mysterious Baltic Anomaly

Swedish researchers Peter Lindberg and Dennis Asberg are returning to the site of the mysterious “Baltic Anomaly”, a strange circular formation on the floor of the Baltic Sea that they discovered last year while searching for a WWI shipwreck. Speculation about the nature of the site ranges from an emerging volcano to a crashed UFO.

Costner A Hit In “Hatfields & McCoys”

Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton have a hit in the History Channel’s “Hatfields & McCoys” miniseries. The first episode was “the No. 1 non-sports telecast in ad-supported cable history!” according to History Channel execs.

Trump Is Back On The Birther Rant

Smelling points to be made with the extreme fringe of the GOP Donald Trump has been ranting about the “Birther” issue: the delusion that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya and has managed to pull-off a massive conspiracy to make it appear he was born in Hawaii.

Blair Says Murdoch Put Political Pressure On Him

Ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair, testifying for an investigation into media bribery of police, said that media mogul Rupert Murdoch lobbied him directly when he was in power. “Pressure from him was more political than commercial” Blair said. Blair claims he is not “too cozy” with Murdoch, even though he is the godfather of one of Murdoch’s children.

Obama Touts Veteran Policies Looking For Votes

Mitt Romney is out-polling President Barack Obama among veterans 58% to 34%. In 2008 Obama lost the veteran vote to Senator John McCain 55% to 45%.

Dario Franchitti Wins Third Indy 500

Dario Franchitti is seen here during the traditional “drenching with bull semen” after winning the Indianapolis 500 motor race. Franchitti is only the seventh driver to win three times.

Giuliani Explains Change In Thinking On Romney Presidency

Ex-Mayor of New York and ex-presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani has heartily endorsed Mitt Romney, and says his “ego” was in the way back in 2008 when he was running against the ex-Governor of Massachusetts. “At that point I was probably comparing his record to my record,” Giuliani said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “And compared to me he sucks – but he’s the guy who’s got the nomination about sewed-up, not me. Damn it!”

Lesbian Couple To “Wed” At Disney World Japan

Disney World in Japan has agreed to allow a lesbian couple to hold a symbolic marriage ceremony at the theme park. At first park officials insisted the couple must dress as a man and a woman, apparently hoping no one would notice they were both women, but relented after an Internet backlash erupted.

Romney, Trump, Gingrich To Appear Together

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is scheduled to appear with Donald Trump and ex-rival Newt Gingrich in Las Vegas next week. Vegas bookmakers put the odds of eye-poking and multiple face slapping at only 2-1.

Ex-President Clinton Poses With Porn Stars

While his wife travels the globe representing the U.S. as Secretary of State, ex-president Bill Clinton spreads his own style of diplomacy by posing with “adult entertainment stars” in Monaco.

Doctor Who Helped Get bin Laden Gets 33 Years

The Pakistani doctor who helped identify Osama bin Laden just before American troops killed the terrorist leader has been given a 33-year sentence for treason in a Pakistani tribal court. Doctor Shakeel Afridi used a vaccination program to gather DNA samples in the area where bin Laden was living.

Japan Tsunami Debris Washes Up In Alaska

Debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan has reached North America. Plastic bottles, children’s toys, and insulating foam from buildings is washing up on beaches in the Alaskan panhandle. Although it is estimated that 70% of the tsunami debris has sunk, it is also estimated that as much as 1.5 million tons is headed for North America.

Romney Criticizes Obama For Allowing Castro Daughter Into U.S.

Mariela Castro Espín, head of Cuba’s National Center for Sex Education, has been granted a visa to visit the U.S. to chair a panel on LGBT issues at the Latin American Studies Association in San Francisco. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and other GOP leaders are criticizing the Obama administration for allowing Espin into the U.S., as she is the daughter of Cuban leader Raul Castro and the niece of Cuban strongman Fidel Castro.

Plane Diverted Due To Woman’s Claim Of Implant

A flight from Paris to Charlotte, North Carolina, was diverted to Bangor, Maine, after a female passenger claimed to have a surgically implanted device. Doctors on the flight could find no evidence of recent surgery, and the woman was taken into custody at Bangor and will undergo psychological evaluation. The most amazing thing about this story is you can actually fly directly from Paris to Charlotte, North Carolina!

Congress Investigates DEA Prostitution Charges

There must be something in the water in Cartagena, Colombia. In addition to the 11 Secret Service agents and military personnel implicated in paying prostitutes for sex in the South American city, now three Drug Enforcement Agency agents are being investigated by the House Homeland Security Committee.

NATO Agrees To Obama Afghanistan Strategy

NATO leaders have agreed to the Obama administration’s exit strategy to get the multinational force out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

U.S. Postal Service Faces Aug. 1 Deadline

The United States Postal Service, the only government agency that actually dates from the colonial period, will officially run out of money on August 1, 2012, unless Congress can agree to save it. Which means it’s doomed.

Sales Are No Indication Of A Book’s Value

Some people who shall remain nameless recently made the claim that the value of a writer’s work is directly reflected in their popularity. At the time I tried to refute this using the example of “Mein Kampf” by Adolph Hitler, widely acknowledged to be one of the top best-selling books written during the 20th century.

But then I realized there are so many other examples from the 19th century (an era rife with thoroughly awful authors who have sustained immense popularity). Such as:

SIR WALTER SCOTT: just attempt to make your way through any Scott novel, even “Ivanhoe”. Your brain will simply dissolve under the constant pressure from his 100-ton prose. Yet most of his works are still available, and he is one of the best-selling authors in the English language. Why? No one knows. Even as an English major in school I never met anyone who could actually finish anything he wrote.

ANY BRONTE SISTER: There must be thirty or forty Bronte sisters to account for all the books they’ve sold. And I have heard that there are women who actually finish them, probably due to some gene they have that straight men lack. But you can only come across so many jilted heroines and soft-spoken, manly men who aren’t the heroine’s husband before you start thinking “y’know, maybe some books should be burned”

JUST ABOUT ANY RUSSIAN: Maybe it has to do with being translated into English, or maybe Russian authors really are inescapably depressing, dour, and so over-sensitive they get a rash from encountering a breeze. You’d think living in a place that is encased in ice half the year would have toughened them up.

AMERICAN ROMANTIC AUTHORS: Of whom James Fenimore Cooper is the leading transgressor. I myself am a Cooper fan but that’s just a strange masochistic fetish. Finishing a Cooper novel gives one a sense of accomplishment probably akin to surviving cancer.

All of these writers have sold literally millions and millions of books in the last 200-or-so years. Yet I am certain very few of those books are ever actually read. And if you come across them in used bookstores the proof is in the fact that even used their books tend to be in perfect condition. And if you look at used copies of Ayn Rand’s works (the extremely terrible author who started this rant) you will find hers appear to have not only never been read, but possibly they have never been opened.

SpaceX Private Spacecraft Launch Scrubbed

The launch of the SpaceX private spacecraft, scheduled to dock with the International Space Station, was called-off in its final seconds due to a problem with the rocket motor. SpaceX is NASA’s private enterprise answer to hitching rides on Russian spacecraft, which is not only embarrassing but scary.

Congressional Impasse On Violence Against Women Act

Congress is at an impasse over reconciling the Senate and House versions of the Violence Against Women Act. Republicans don’t want to include Democrat’s provisions for coverage for illegal immigrants, Native Americans, and gay, lesbian, and transgender victims.

Jesus Popsicles Made From Transformed Holy Wine

Artist Sebastian Errazuriz has created popsicles made from transubstantiated wine with crucifix sticks. Errazuriz says the quiescent confection symbolizes “religious extremism”. But to us it just looks like a devilishly tasty snack!

Arabic Media Struggles With New French PM’s Name

Apparently the new French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault’s last name is extremely similar to an Arabic slang word for “penis”, prompting some Arabic-language media to intentionally mispronounce it.

Escaped Penguin Survives In Tokyo Bay

A penguin known as number 337 scaled a 13-foot-high wall and then got through a barbed-wire fence to escape from Tokyo’s Sea Life Park. The aquatic bird has been living in Tokyo Bay for two months now, apparently eating small fish and holing-up somewhere on shore at night.

Federal Judge Won’t Allow Tombstone To Repair Water System

U.S. District Judge Frank Zapata has turned down the city of Tombstone, Arizona’s request to force the U.S. Forest Service to let the city use heavy equipment to repair it’s 130-year-old water pipeline that runs through the Huachuca Mountains. The Forest Service says some of the pipeline runs through federally protected wilderness.