My Life as a Stunt Bum: “It seems like her only driving force is the desire never to let

Hurley, Crawford and Anderson down by having a

less-than-perfect butt.” The Sunday Times of London

For those who have been wondering what he’s been up to, an op-ed piece from Sunday’s Washington Post by Bill Clinton — We Can Win the War on AIDS — “The question is no longer whether we can or can’t win the war on AIDS. Of course we can. The question is: will we, or won’t we? Besieged by a common enemy, we must join together in common cause — in memory of 22 million human souls, and for the future of many millions more. Our humanity requires it.”

Self-Cleaning Windows to Be Sold in U.S. This Year — “Window washing ranks high on the list

of most hated household tasks, and

some glass makers are hoping that this

loathing runs deep.

Today, Pilkington, a British glass maker, is

set to outline its American sales plans for a

new technology: window glass that cleans

itself.” A coating of titanium oxice is apparently the key. New York Times

One of the more ridiculous examples of the self-serving, disempowering medicalization of everything: “Parents who want the best for their offspring, say

experts, must become amateur therapists. It’s no longer enough to be attentive, loving and caring to


‘Parents don’t instinctively know how best to raise children,’ said

Jane Askew, co-founder of a parenting course in cognitive

behavioural therapy (CBT) at the faculty of health at De Montfort

University in Leicester. ‘If parents want to raise their children in

as positive a way as possible, they should all have some

training in CBT.’ ” Guardian UK

Alt-log — “ Salon used to run a column called Alt, which highlighted stories from that week’s crop of alternative weeklies from all around

the country. I loved it. They’ve stopped running it, so I’ve decided to highlight my own favorites from the week here.” –Gael Fashingbauer Cooper (who also maintains the Pop Culture Junk Mail blog and the weekly Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune weblog). Recent items in alt-log include a critique of Zagat, a pointer to “my dinner with an etiquette expert”, coverage of a “pet communicator” ‘s intervention with the reporter’s troubled cat, and an account of the attempt by the arts section of a “Mormon-stronghold Utah” newspaper to ignore a local production of The Vagina Monologues. Just for starters. Many of the links receive little more commentary than “I liked…”, “I really enjoyed…”, or “I’m a sucker for…”, but she does her footwork.

Calls to kill off living goddess: “During the past 300

years, a succession of small girls have been chosen to become kumari, or Nepal’s living goddess – a job that entails living in an ornate cloister, appearing at religious

festivals on a chariot and retiring at the age of 11 with a small pension.

But human rights activists are questioning the tradition now that the current kumari has reached puberty, obliging her to step down, and the search for her successor is

about to begin.

‘Nepal has ratified the convention on the rights of the child. It says that you can’t exploit children in the name of culture. And yet the kumari is forced to give up her childhood. She has to be a goddess instead. Her rights are being violated.’

Opponents of the tradition point to the “horrifying” ritual involved in selecting the kumari and the bizarre lifestyle the new goddess is expected to lead.

Potential kumaris, aged four or five, are taken to Kathmandu’s royal palace and locked in a darkened room filled with freshly severed buffalo heads.

The true kumari, who is believed to be an incarnation of the blood-loving goddess Durga, is said to identify herself by emerging unperturbed from the ordeal.” Guardian UK

“…a total suspension of common sense”: ‘Ministers ordered the slaughter of up to two million healthy animals despite being told by their leading foot and mouth expert that the killing was not needed

to control the disease… Officials now admit that some of the assumptions that led to the cull may have been wrong. But at the time, says Dr Paul Kitching – then head of foot and

mouth at the institute’s Pirbright Laboratory, the world’s leading centre for research on the disease – his objections were ignored.’ Independent UK