Saturday, January 26, 2008

Subprime British humour

Via Maggie's Farm and Brits at their Best

Voytek, the soldier bear -- will he get his memorial?


The bear - named Voytek - was adopted in the Middle East by Polish troops in 1943, becoming much more than a mascot.


The large animal even helped their armed forces to carry ammunition at the Battle of Monte Cassino.


Voytek - known as the Soldier Bear - later lived near Hutton in the Borders and ended his days at Edinburgh Zoo.


He was found wandering in the hills of Iran by Polish soldiers in 1943.


They adopted him and as he grew he was trained to carry heavy mortar rounds.


When Polish forces were deployed to Europe the only way to take the bear with them was to "enlist" him.


So he was given a name, rank and number and took part in the Italian campaign.


He saw action at Monte Cassino before being billeted - along with about 3,000 other Polish troops - at the army camp in the Scottish Borders.


More here.

Striking writers take act to D.C.

WASHINGTON -- The striking writers behind Jon Stewart's fake news show and Stephen Colbert's fake talk show came here to explain to real lawmakers Wednesday a strike that has crippled creative television and threatens to wreck the Oscars.

But knowing it can be difficult to get a lawmaker's attention when not in a Learjet or on the links, the brains behind two of Comedy Central's most-watched shows couched the issues in terms Washington could understand: a mock debate.

On one side, in shirts, was the striking Writers Guild of America, played by "Daily Show" writers Rob Kutner, Tim Carvell and Jason Ross. On the other side, in suits, was the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, played by "The Colbert Report" writers Michael Brumm, Peter Grosz and Tom Purcell.

Crashing out of the starting gates, the shirts argued it would cost the suits less than 1% of their total revenue to give the writers everything they wanted. For Paramount Pictures, that comes to $4.6 million, or "half the amount it takes to get Reese Witherspoon into a movie."

"I ask you," one writer noted, "which is more important to a movie -- a script, or half of Reese Witherspoon?"

The studio suits thought for a second.

"Which half?"

Watch the video here.

SSC Ultimate Aero: Fastest Production Car In The World

1,183 horsepower, 256.18 miles per hour top speed (new Guiness Record), $600,000, and made in America -And the car could go even faster. NASA's wind tunnel testing facility in Langley, Va., found the Ultimate Aero to be aerodynamically stable at speeds up to 273 mph. It just ran out of road.

via Ace of Spades.