The dog ate my ballot
: Australia requires voters to vote. But some make excuses:
A woman claimed she was having group sex with 30 men in Nimbin, NSW, and could not get to a polling booth in Queensland on time to vote.
That is the all-time best excuse, according to electoral commissioner Bob Longland.
: Does that image look familiar? It looks quite like a storyboard for Mel Gibson’s Passion, perhaps? Nope. It’s part of the story of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein as told by Hammorabi in a long and illuminating post. I said below that I saw eerie similarity between the blood lust of Passion (and, as a commenter points out, Christian self-flagellation) and the self-flagellation we’ve seen in religious processions in Iraq.
See also Zeyad’s story of his amazement at seeing a procession of the faithful beating themselves on their backs in perfect rhythm. “The most comic incident was that my Christian friend got a bit dizzy and almost threw up while he was witnessing the scene. He was really freaked. ‘You’d better get used to it’ I told him later that night. ‘Expect a lot of this stuff every year from now on.”
: There’s a robust free weblog service in Romania. [via Blogalization]
: More from Maher’s show this week: Maher says he no longer does Stern’s show and doesn’t much like him but defends him against Clear Channel. Speaking from his own experience being yanked off a network, Maher, says, it seems it’s the people who don’t hear you who get you yanked. Christie Todd Whitman is on the panel and says she doesn’t listen to Stern but his endorsement did make a big difference in her election victory in New Jersey and she said Clear Channel will come to regret the decision economically.
: An Austrian university is giving a course in weblogs and online journalism. (auf Deutsch)
Ralph as comedy
: Ralph Nader was on Bill Maher’s show talking about a Chinese bird flu as a weapon of mass destruction. He’s sounding wackier and wackier.
Maher tells him that voting for him the last time now “seems like a bratty indulgence.”
It’s Ralph’s birthday as he’s on the show and Bill gives him a birthday cake: a pinto with the candles burning at the rear end.
: Loic Le Meur, head of UBlog in France, is going to Germany and he has set up a wiki (thanks to Joi) to plan the trip. Heiko says the list of folks he’s visiting is turning into a who’s who of German blogging mafia (though he’s missing some key players in Berlin), which is just the point. Damn, I wish I were along on that trip. Prosit, alle.
(Some more who ought to join in: David, Andrea, IT&W, der Schockwellenreiter, Scott, Moe, Volker, to name a few, not including the Swiss and Austrians.)
: Hoder points us to a weblog by a journalist blogging from Tehran, Omid Memarian.
: And I just noticed that the big Iranian portal, Gooya, now has an English version! (There’s a French version, too.) It’s a very good service that gets lots of traffic from the very large Persian online community.
It so happens that Gooya is edited by her brother, whom I met last fall.