Archive for April, 2012

Strange But (Sadly) True: The Gaza zoo from hell

April 29, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s blog has seen some foul zoos and some exemplary ones. But never have I seen a zoo as profoundly grotesque as the Gaza Strip’s Khan Younis zoo.

To save money on care and feed, zoo management has opted to stuff the animals that die in its care.

What you will find is a semi-mummified lion stuffed with formaldehyde and sawdust stiffened on a shipping pallet, a porcupine with a hole in its head, and a contorted, dessicated monkey missing limbs sporting a foul grimace. Visitors are allowed to pet the animals. A treat indeed!

What you won’t find is a zoo keeper. There isn’t one on the premises.

The 65 living exhibits are neglected and seem very likely to be joining the sawdust brigade.

Notes journalist Ibrahim Barzak, “This is one of the few places of entertainment here in Khan Younis.”

And it seems to entertain.

On an appalling end note Barzak quotes Samir Amer (14) who snapped some pics of the lion on his mobile phone.

“I will print out the picture of me standing next to the lion and put it on my wall. It will be fun to show it to my younger brothers.”

Thai Days: Phuket panic prompted by dead ghost warriors

April 29, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog would like to reassure readers that the resort island of Phuket is NOT about to sink beneath the waves. A rumour started two days ago and swept the island causing panic, a mass exodus and all but deserted beaches. The cause of the rumour? A visit to a spiritualist by two revered female warriors who defended Phuket against Burmese invasion in the late 1700s. Thao Thep Kasat Tri and Thao Sri Sunthon (the revered female warriors) allegedly warned the medium that the island would sink yesterday and that everybody should leave. A lot of people did. The only thing likely to sink in Phuket are tourist numbers and employment figures if there is any more of this superstitious tomfoolery. And the only person who should seriously contemplate leaving is the spiritualist. Before the bar and guesthouse owners get their hands on him.

BLOG ED TRAVEL ADVISORY: A 4.3 Richter scale quake did hit Phuket nearly two weeks ago. Experts predict there will be more (minor) earthquakes over the next two to three months but stress that there is no undue cause for alarm. Thailand has 14 fault lines but these are classified as ‘normal’.

“In the opinion of geologists like us, we consider we have a low earthquake risk from the fault lines.”
Professor Thanawat Jarupongsakui.
(Disaster and Land Information Studies Unit, Chulalongkorn University)

Strange but True: A Very strange Guinness World Record

April 29, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s blog admires the Guinness records for encouraging really stupid activities.

But William Lawlis Pace of California didn’t want to make the roll call. In 2006 he was informed that he had won the Guinness accolade for being “the world record holder in the category of of unwanted cranial ammunition acquisition”.

William was shot in the head by his brother in 1917 with his father’s 22 caliber rifle. An accident. William lived with his record winning unwanted cranial acquisition until he died, on Monday, quietly at the age of 104.

Something to think about if you are planning to make a Guinness record. You’ll have to be seriously imaginative!
Cheers!

Hugh

Leonie’s View: Men vs Women

April 27, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog was just about to call it a night and spend the next few hours of troubled sleep swatting mozzies and wondering why it is that whenever I attempt to fix an air conditioner the problems either increase or just become things of the past.

I’m not alone. Gangs of Thais turn up from time to time and everything that was working kicks the bucket. Everything that looked destined for the junkyard roars back into action. Overall the end result is satisfactory. Everybody earns a wage apart from me but cool air in this high summer is worth more than gold.

I’ve just whacked my air conditioner with a petulant fist and it has taken pity on me. Ten more minutes of it in action and I’ll get some decent kip! Unless it explodes. To pass the time (before I get some kip or explode) I’m forwarding another submission from Leonie.

Over to her! And goodnight!

Hugh

Leonie begins!

OUCH… but so true!

8

Shaun’s Bit: He died fighting

April 27, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s blog presents a bit more Southern African humour. Regular readers will know the sort of thing to expect.

Subject: He died fighting

Brigitte’s Pick: Amazing!

April 27, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog is delighted to see that our blog’s resolute and politically incorrect correspondent has not lost her fire! And she’s got a point!

Amazing natural phenomenon!!

Studies were conducted to determine why these primates made these expressions and the findings showed that they were as a result of their primitive brain wanting to actually speak but could only make confusing noises.

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Makes sense though…

Charles Taylor goes down!

April 27, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s blog wrote a fiction/non fiction novel about the appalling atrocities committed in Sierra Leone (West Africa) by doped up, homicidal, voodoo-fueled child soldiers motivated by sadistic leaders who wanted blood diamonds. Homunculus is the title of the book. And publisher CEO of PanMacmillan went on record as being proud to have published the most politically incorrect book of the year. It’s a very violent book but also very funny.

In truth nothing that happened was particularly funny. Unless you are the sort of person who laughs at freak shows. It was one of the most sordid cases of civilian abuse in Africa since the latest sordid abuse of civilians in Africa. Which was probably last week.

Today, former Liberian president, Charles Taylor, a key instigator and facilitator in the years long horror, has been found guilty in the Hague by an international tribune. He will be sent to prison. This will be a sort of closure for the thousands of people who had their limbs ‘chopped’ by his Revolutionary United Front bush soldiers, the women who had their wombs opened by pangas, and a generation brutalised, harried, murdered and maimed.

Watching Taylor, in his suit, looking respectable and pleading innocent reminded me of how convincing African monsters can appear.

And there are lots of them still doing it. And lots of people thinking “Hey, that chap looks OK. He cares. It’s all the fault of colonialism. Etc”

Assuming there is any sense of discomfort in Africa’s geriatric dictators about their crimes, perhaps it might cause a sleepless night.

Bottom line? I doubt it. If the Hague is serious it would have to extradite and prosecute lots of African presidents. Start with Mugabe. His hands are stained with blood and ruin.

If there was any real justice Taylor would be sent to one of his own prisons. But he won’t be. He’ll go to a nice kind European prison. There was a bit of justice in the case of Zimbabwe. The Hague had nothing to do with it.

“Hitler, I am Hitler” Humsvei, one of Mugabe’s principle torturers died of AIDS and had a rotten ending.

I don’t know. I hope this Hague thing works and expands. But I don’t think it has the guts to go for Mugabe. I can’t see it arresting George Bush or the House of Saud.

THREATS IN EUROPE: BY JOHN CLEESE

April 26, 2012

THREATS IN EUROPE: BY JOHN CLEESE

Hugh Paxton’s blog rates British humour as the funniest in the world – probably because I’m British and can understand most of the jokes. Apart from 90 percent of the jokes in Monty Python. Did anybody? does anybody?

John Cleese has always been very funny and the following gem confirms that he has not lost his touch. Great fun!

John Cleese – British writer, actor and tall person

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let’s get the Bastards." They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France ‘s white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country’s military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."

The Germans have increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbour" and "Lose."

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels .

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No worries" to "She’ll be alright, Mate." Two more escalation levels remain: "Crikey! I think we’ll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!" and "The barbie is cancelled." So far no situation has ever warranted use of the last final escalation level.

A final thought – "Greece is collapsing, the Iranians are getting aggressive, and Rome is in disarray. Welcome back to 430 BC".

Leonie’s View:: A Bottle of Wine

April 25, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s blog presents the latest contribution from Leonie in Namibia. I’m rather relieved that I didn’t marry her.

A BOTTLE OF WINE

A Story All Women Will Enjoy

THE BOTTLE OF WINE

For all of you who are married, were married, wish you were married or wish you were not married, this is something to smile about the next time you see a bottle of wine:

Sally was driving home from one of her business trips, in Northern Arizona, when she saw an elderly Navajo woman walking on the side of the road.

As the trip was a long and quiet one, she stopped the car and asked the Navajo woman if she would like a ride.

With a silent nod of thanks, the woman got into the car.

Resuming the journey, Sally tried – in vain – to make a bit of small talk with the Navajo woman. The old woman just sat silently, looking intently at everything she saw, studying every little detail, until she noticed a brown bag on the seat next to Sally.

"What in bag?" asked the old woman.

Sally looked down at the brown bag and said: "It’s a bottle of wine. I got it for my husband."

The Navajo woman was silent for another moment or two. Then, speaking with the quiet wisdom of an elder, she said:

"Good trade .. . ."

Thai Days: Peking Duck With Sauce (chips/crisps)

April 24, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog has eaten a lot of thinly slivered very fried spuds in packets with names like Cheese and Onion, Salt and Vinegar, Beef, Shrimp Cocktail…and I guess you have done something similar.

The Roast Chicken crisps sold in English pubs were really great! They didn’t taste anything like a chicken, roasted or otherwise. They tasted really quite revolting but in their way they seemed to make one’s palate smile if you were having them with a pint or two of real ale. After five pints of Old Mothersoles Extra Strong Bitter they had outgrown their usefulness and it was time to hit an Indian restaurant for a super hot Vindaloo. Then the taste buds were bashed into oblivion.

But memories linger. Especially stupid ones.

Today I saw a packet of roast chicken crisps and nostalgia washed over me. But what was this???

Next to the chicken crisps was a new and exciting crisp packet. Peking Duck with Sauce.

Argh! The agony of choice! Chicken? Peking Duck (with sauce)? Chicken? Peking Duck (with sauce)?

I went for the Peking Duck (with sauce).

BLOG VERDICT: The Jury’s still out. Nobody likes them, the general opinion is that they don’t taste like Peking Duck, that they don’t taste like duck, that they are disgusting, that they are too crisp, that they are too soggy, at the moment these crisps can’t do anything right.

My predicted verdict is that this recipe is unlikely to thrive unless it is accompanied by at least six pints of Old Mothersoles Extra Strong Bitter. I’ve only had a six of the crisps. Indigestion has already kicked in!

EEK!

Hugh


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