beer-bustJust in time for the weekend, the short stories you might have missed.

In the race and culture category this week we have the Arab lady who insists that no one but Arabs should be allowed to do belly dancing. Which is interesting on two counts: presumably no Arabs should be using English as a language of expression given the manner in which that appropriates my cultural background, no one but the English should be allowed to Morris Dance or eat terrible food, yoga must be the preserve only of South Asians and only Latin Americans may do the merengue, salsa or bossa nova. The second count being that the two main sources of belly dancing are Egypt and Turkey, neither of which are notably genetically Arab in any significant manner.

Cory Doctorow appears to think that the latest great battlefront in intellectual freedom is Keurig deciding that new Keurig coffee machines will only be able to use Keurig coffee-pods. Difficult to quite place the complaint here as this has been a common business tactic since King Gillette started to give away the razors in order to sell the replacement razor blades. And yes, there has been a century or so of fiddling with the way the blades attach to the handle to make sure you can only use the high priced blades from the people who gave you the handle. I didn’t miss the campaign against renewable blade razors did I?

To answer a headline at The Verge:

What would make you abandon Earth for Mars forever?

The existence of Simon Cowell is enough for anyone, surely?

In the extreme redundancy corner we have the new iPhone app from Oscar Meyer:

There’s nothing quite like the smell of freshly cooked bacon to help you get out of bed in the morning. Unless of course, that smell is a clever r(o)use by an iPhone app and there is no bacon. A new alarm app by Oscar Mayer deceives you out of bed every morning to not only the sweet sound of frying bacon, but to the smell as well.

Quite how this differs from trying to cook a pack of Oscar Meyer bacon is unknown. Sizzle, yes, bacon smell, yes, but there’s no actual bacon left at the end of it, is there?

Over in the Mandy Rice-Davies corner we have the executive from Corning dissing sapphire as a suitable glass for smartphones:

A Corning executive launched a blistering critique of sapphire crystal, used as a protective material for displays, on Tuesday. The subtext was obviously aimed at Apple.

A stunning statement I’m sure you will agree, executive sees one of his largest customers disappearing off over the horizon into the arms of another supplier: disses new technology and new supplier.

For those not blessed with an intimate knowledge of the English sub-culture Ms. Rice-Davies was a lady of negotiable affection participating in a trial. A lawyer pointed out that Lord Astor denied knowing her or even having met her, to which she responded “He would, wouldn’t he?”, as with our Corning executive.

And finally, an entry in regulations we might well be able to survive without:

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission says AOV XXX Action Clips and AOV Maleflixxx may not be airing enough Canadian content or closed captioning.

The X-rated specialty channels are supposed to air 35 per cent Canadian programming over the broadcast year and 90 per cent of its content should have captioning.

I suppose insisting on the broadcast of a certain percentage of Canadian genitalia is no more mad than a similar insistence on other domestically produced media but captioning for porn films? Quite apart from everyone, but everyone, being overjoyed at not having to suffer the dialogue, wouldn’t having it on screen rather detract from the point of the exercise?

[image via wikipedia]