November 23, 2005

And now . . . this - Nov. 23/05

Say it ain't so!

I don't know whether to be sad about this or not:

Sam, the dog whose ugliness earned him TV appearances, limousine rides and even a meeting with Donald Trump, has died.

The pooch with the hairless body, crooked teeth and sparse tuft of hair atop his knobby head died Friday, just short of his 15th birthday, said his owner, Susie Lockheed. . . .

Lockheed said she had Sam euthanized after a veterinarian told her Sam's heart was failing.

[Full Story]

No kidding. Because you know what? If it was my job to pump blood through that abomination and keep it alive, I'd pack up and leave too.

But, officer, it's my job!

Italian Formula One racing star Giancarlo Fisichella has lost his driver's license after speeding 2.5 times the limit on the outskirts of Rome, according to the Electric New Paper.

To make matters worse, the incident happened only six days after the Renault driver appealed to Italy's teens in a newspaper, asking them to refrain from street-racing after a 16-year-old's high-speed death in Rome.

Cops caught Fisichella, 32, early Sunday cruising at 148 km/h (95 mph) in a 60 km/h (35 mph) zone, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

[Full Story]

The irony at that moment was flying so fast they clocked it on radar.

The perfect corsage for your prom date

Its scent has drawn comparisons to garbage and spoiled meat, but that isn't stopping crowds from flocking to see - and smell - an unusual plant in bloom at the U.S. Botanic Garden.

The titan arum plant, nicknamed "corpse plant" for its rank smell, is attracting thousands of visitors during the day or two it remains in bloom. . . .

Now that it's in bloom, the plant has also started emitting a smell that's drawn comparisons to garbage, spoiled meat, and rotting fish. But the plant's stench is actually the key to its survival: carrion beetles and other pollinators in its native Sumatra are attracted to the smell, Kress said.

"These beetles usually lay their eggs in rotting animals, so this plant pretends to be a dead animal," he said.

[Full Story]

The plant rarely blooms, too, making hundreds of people ask themselves: "I waited five years for this?

News flash: Art now causes vandalism

If you thought art galleries were quiet havens of contemplation, think again. Looking at great works of art can inspire a strong, sometimes irresistible urge to destroy, Italian researchers have found.

Dubbed the "David syndrome," after the statue of the young Hebrew king by Michelangelo, the condition can provoke an overwhelming desire to damage the art being viewed, the psychoanalyst who identified the malady told Reuters.

"It's a range of strong emotions which go from enchantment, through vexation, aggression, a vandalistic impulse, right through to panic attacks," said Graziella Magherini who is leading a group of doctors, psychiatrists and art historians looking into the syndrome.

[Full Story]

I think that in the case of "David," it's probably just envy.

Heaven knows I get my fair share of Emma Watson Google hits . . .

 . . . but this one was kinda funny:

"Harry Potter" star Emma Watson is being sent Bibles by furious Christians who believe the magical movies are a work of evil.

The screen beauty, who plays the boy wizard's best friend Hermione Granger in the series, is building up a collection of the holy books from religious viewers who think she needs "guidance". The 15-year-old confessed: "I have a collection of about 20 in my room. People think I need to be guided."

[Full Story]

Well, she's a wealthy movie star, right? Perhaps she should return the favour: send them a Harry Potter novel, along with a polite suggestion that they get a life. (News flash, brethren: It's a story, and she's playing a rôle.)