Farewell To The King

Nooooooooooo, say it ain’t so!

Burger King Kills Off King Mascot Commercials

Burger King has decided that putting a creepy plastic mask on a robe-wearing human body isn’t good for business. After declining sales, the world’s second largest hamburger chain has decided to end its advertising campaign featuring the King mascot and instead focus its advertising on the food itself, beginning this week with commercials for its newest avocado and cheese-bearing product.

Since advertising firm Crispin Porter + Bogusky began working with Burger King in 2003, the King has been at the forefront of their campaigns. In the “Wake Up With the King” series meant to sell the chain’s new breakfast sandwiches, for example, unwitting customers wake up to find the silent mascot lurking outside of their windows or next to them in bed. We’re guessing that the narrator’s raspy voice also didn’t help “appeal to [the] broader audience” Burger King spokesman Miguel Piedra says the brand wants to attract.

See also:
Burger King Mascot to be Retired
Burger King mascot out, California Whopper in: Fast food company to focus more on menu items in ads
Anarchy in the BK: Burger King mascot dethroned
Burger King Dethrones Its Creepy ‘King’ Mascot
Burger King Mascot Gets the Boot From Fast Food Giant
Burger King retires its royal pitchman
Farewell To The King: California Whopper, Not Mascot, Will Star In BK Ad
Burger King Fires the “King”Burger King Retires Creepy, Mute Mascot
BK drops the king, adds guacamole
Creepy mascot, we hardly knew ye!
An Open Letter to the Deposed Burger King, From Fork in the Road

Okay, so The King was a little creepy, but the commercials were awesome, cult classics! At least he wasn’t boring like showing 30 seconds worth of retouched pictures of highly stylized food that looks absolutely nothing like the mangled, defective product you actually get in the store. Boo, the King will be missed.

/I mean, damn, first McDonalds wipes out Ronald McDonald and now Burger King kills off The King, what is the world of Big Burger coming to, how long will it be before Wendy’s takes Wendy out back and shoots her too?

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Let Them Eat Plutonium

North Korea seemingly has plenty of money to pursue a nuclear weapons program and develop long range missile technology, but apparently no money for food.

North Korea could be on verge of famine, smuggled video shows

Footage shot inside North Korea has revealed that the country could be on the verge of a famine, showing filthy, homeless and orphaned children begging for scraps and soldiers stealing food from rice sellers.

The video was shot over several months by an undercover North Korean journalist who smuggled the footage out to China and could face the death penalty. It was obtained by Australian Broadcasting Corp this week.

See also:
Famine threatens to return to North Korea
North Korea’s Hunger, on Film
Video shows North Korea starvation has spread to the military
Rare video footage smuggled out of North Korea
N. Korea Hides Evidence of Famine
North Korea: Video reveals extreme poverty of “Dear Leader’s” country
Video reveals North Korean famine

Could this famine be the catalyst that finally causes the collapse of the North Korean regime? It’s impossible to predict. However, although the collapse of North Korea would be a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions in the short run, in the long run it would turn out to be a blessing for the Korean people and bring stability to the region that’s been lacking for over half a century.

/and in other, WTF, Bizarro World news North Korea to Chair UN Disarmament Conference

The Other Other Dark Meat

Seriously, who could possibly come up with the sudden inspiration for this and think it was a good idea in the first place? And who in their right mind would volunteer to taste test it? Sniff, sniff, what’s that smell?

Japan scientist synthesizes meat from human feces

Mitsuyuki Ikeda, a researcher from the Okayama Laboratory, has developed steaks based on proteins from human excrement. Tokyo Sewage approached the scientist because of an overabundance of sewage mud. They asked him to explore the possible uses of the sewage and Ikeda found that the mud contained a great deal of protein because of all the bacteria.

The researchers then extracted those proteins, combined them with a reaction enhancer and put it in an exploder which created the artificial steak. The “meat” is 63% proteins, 25% carbohydrates, 3% lipids and 9% minerals. The researchers color the poop meat red with food coloring and enhance the flavor with soy protein. Initial tests have people saying it even tastes like beef.

See also:
‘Poop burger tastes like beef’
Japanese Make “Delicious”, Nourishing Steaks From Human Feces
Japanese scientist creates ‘poop burger’? Surely not
Artificial Meat Made From Human Poop
Human feces: The meat of the future?
Japanese scientist wants you eat reconstituted poop burgers
Meat Made from Poop Hits Japan
Japanese Environmentalist Turns Human Waste into Hamburger
Mitsuyuki Ikeda Wants You to Eat His Burger Patties Made from Human Waste
Burgers made of excrement? (We’re not kidding)

Now you might ask yourself, is this [expletive deleted] for real? I don’t know, I just report, you have to decide.

/I, for one, pray to God it’s a hoax

Prices Double, Will There Be Trouble?

Will the sticker shock of these whopping price increases on life’s basic commodities be the final straw in Iran that breaks the back of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs’ theocratic regime? Are international economic sanctions finally working?

Prices in Iran rise after lifting of subsidies

The Iranian government’s removal of decades-old subsidies for food and energy in an attempt to boost its troubled economy has spurred price increases on everything from fruit and vegetables to gasoline, generated work stoppages and emboldened the political opposition.

In Tehran, the nation’s capital, taxi fares that officially were to rise by 10% shot much higher as drivers imposed their own price increases. Some truckers across the country refused to work, complaining of government threats to revoke their permits if they raised their prices to offset higher fuel costs.

Crews on ferry boats operating between Bandar Abbas port and Qeshm island in the Persian Gulf temporarily stopped working, complaining that the ticket prices set by the government had not gone up despite a four-fold increase in the price of fuel, the Mehr news agency reported.

The austerity measures, though long anticipated, have brought mounting public anger since they began Sunday. Government critics contend that they will hurt people with modest incomes while leaving the wealthy unscathed.

. . .

Already, the prices of produce, diesel, gasoline, cooking oil, water and bread have risen dramatically. In downtown Tehran, the price of a loaf of brick-oven bread doubled overnight to 40 cents. Security forces have been deployed around the country in case public frustration boils over into civil unrest.

See also:
Iran Braces for Backlash as Subsidies Nixed
Iran deploys police as gas, food prices go up
Police in Iran streets as subsidies are cut
Subsidy reforms threaten legitimacy of Ahmadinejad
Iran opposition: ‘Dark future’ awaits the economy
Iran doubles price of bread with subsidy cut
Fuel prices in Iran rise as latest subsidy reforms begin
Ahmadinejad cuts Iranian subsidies, quadrupling the price of gas
Prices to soar as Iran cuts subsidies

Now, if your food prices doubled and your gas prices quadrupled overnight by order of your government, wouldn’t you be a bit upset? Of course, the big question is whether the Iranian opposition can harness all this public frustration and whip it up into the overthrow of the Iranian regime, or will the Iranian regime, once again, crush the opposition and brutally repress the public anger?

You know, it would be nice if the Obama administration was paying attention here and seized this opportunity to support the Iranian opposition, unlike the last time there was a popular uprising in Iran, after the last Iranian elections, when Obama and the rest of his foreign policy Clown Posse basically ignored the Iranian opposition’s pleas for help.

/then again, Obama’s on vacation and heaven forbid that Lord Slacker should have to interrupt his vacation to help some peons in another country, far far way, it’s golfing time!

Shaking Down Mayor McCheese

This lawsuit is exactly why the U.S. legal system needs to adopt the “loser pays” model for civil litigation. Ridiculous grifter [expletive deleted] like this would dissapear overnight.

McDonald’s sued over Happy Meals

Happy Meals are again under attack, this time in court.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s Corp., claiming that the company’s meals with toys unfairly entice children into eating food that can do them harm.

The Washington advocacy group warned McDonald’s in June that it would sue if the company did not stop providing toys with children’s meals that have high amounts of sugar, calories, fat and salt. The suit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court, seeks class-action status.

. . .

The lead plaintiff in the suit is Monica Parham, a mother of two from Sacramento who said the company “uses toys as bait to induce her kids to clamor to go to McDonald’s,” the organization said.

See also:
Happy Meal suit raises more than food, marketing questions
Suit claims toys in McDonald’s Happy Meals deceptive advertising
California mom sues McDonald’s over Happy Meals
McDonald’s `Happy Meal’ Toys Assailed in Lawsuit Filed by Consumer Group
Mom and Consumer Group Sue McDonald’s For Luring Kids with Happy Meal Toys
McDonald’s hit with class action over toys
Parents Or Judges: Who Should Rule On Happy Meals?
McDonald’s suit over Happy Meal toys by California mom Monet Parham new low in responsible parenting
Sac Mom At Center Of Happy Meal Lawsuit
Ronald McDonald in court
Center For Science In The Public Interest
McDonald’s

I know one thing for damn sure, if Monica Parham and the Center for Science in the Public Interest knew they’d have to pay McDonald’s attorneys’ fees when they lose this frivolous hamburglary extortion attempt, there’s no way in hell they’d bring this bull[expletive deleted] anywhere near a courthouse.

/and if Ms. Parham is such an unbelievably pathetic parent that she can’t even say no to her children, well, then maybe a visit from social services is in order

The Sun Is Angry

Don’t forget to duck.

Huge blasts of sun’s plasma hurtling toward Earth

A huge mass of magnetically charged material ejected from the sun is racing across space toward our planet, where it is expected to arrive on Tuesday. When it strikes the Earth’s magnetic field, it could produce spectacular auroras.

A blast of violent space weather could hit the Earth tomorrow following two massive explosions on the Sun. NASA astronomers witnessed a huge flare above a giant sunspot the size of our planet and linked to an even larger eruption across the surface of Sun.

Experts estimate a wave of supercharged gas called plasma will reach us this Tuesday when it will buffet the natural magnetic shield protecting Earth. It could trigger spectacular displays of the aurora or northern and southern lights.

The solar outbursts on Sunday August 1 were recorded by several satellites including NASA’s new Solar Dynamics Observatory which watched its shockwave rippling outwards. The flare over the sunspot was swiftly followed by an eruption 250,000 miles (400,000 km) away in a feature called a filament.

UK solar expert Dr Lucie Green, of the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, in Surrey, followed the flare-ups using Japan’s orbiting Hinode telescope.

She said last night: “What wonderful fireworks the Sun has been producing! This was a very rare event – not one, but two almost simultaneous eruptions from different locations on the sun were launched toward the Earth.

“These eruptions occur when immense magnetic structures in the solar atmosphere lose their stability and can no longer be held down by the sun’s huge gravitational pull. Just like a coiled spring suddenly being released, they erupt into space.

“It looks like the first eruption was so large that it changed the magnetic fields throughout half the Sun’s visible atmosphere and provided the right conditions for the second eruption. Both eruptions could be Earth-directed but may be travelling at different speeds. This means we have a very good chance of seeing major and prolonged effects, such as the northern lights at low latitudes.”

. . .

Scientists have warned that a really big solar eruption, like the Carrington Event witnessed from Surrey in 1859, could destroy satellites and wreck power and around the globe if it happened today.

Such an event would be the biggest disaster ever to hit mankind, preventing the production of essential supplies including food, water and medicines. Other eruptions have been observed directed towards us but thankfully less severe.

See also:
Coronal Mass Ejection Headed for Earth
Here comes the sun storm
Large solar storm headed our way
Solar plasma aurora storm to hit Earth tomorrow!
Solar Tsunami to Strike Earth Tonight
Solar light show expected tonight
Northern lights may shine in local skies
Solar blast may fire up Northern Lights
Northern lights could be visible from UK as Sun’s ‘solar tsunami’ sweeps towards Earth
Sun storms may bring northern lights farther south
Coronal Mass Ejection on Sun, Effects Can Be Seen in New England

So, enjoy the light show if it’s visible where you’re at and let’s hope we don’t suffer any fried satellites.

/eventually, the sun will destroy life on Earth and the Earth itself, but apparently not today

Missed It By That Much

Oops.

Unmanned capsule misses space station

An unmanned Russian cargo ship sailed past the International Space Station instead of docking on autopilot, as engineers on Earth struggle to determine what went wrong.

A telemetry lock between the Russian-made Progress module and the space station was lost and the module flew past at a safe distance. NASA said the crew was never in danger and that the supplies are not critical and will not affect station operations.

NASA said that it will not attempt another docking today. Russian flight controllers don’t know yet what caused the failure in the unmanned modules automated docking system.

The robotic cargo ship Progress 38 was slated to dock at the space station at 12:58 p.m. ET (1658 GMT) but lost its navigational lock on the orbiting lab about 25 minutes before the rendezvous.

“The Progress literally flew past the station, but at a safe distance from the outpost,” NASA commentator Rob Navias said. “The station crew reported seeing the Progress drift beyond their view, as they worked to reestablish telemetry with the spacecraft.”

The Progress 38 spacecraft flew by the space station at a distance of several kilometers (a couple miles) away, posing no threat of impact. But because of its orbit, there may not be a second chance to dock the spacecraft by remote control today, Navias said.

Known in Russia as Progress M-06M, the new Progress 38 spacecraft is packed with nearly 2.5 tons of fresh food, clothes, equipment and other supplies for the space station’s six-person crew. It launched Wednesday from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

See also:
Russian cargo ship ‘under control’ official says
Russian ship zips by International Space Station after failing to dock
Resupply vessel fails to dock with space station
Russian cargo ship fails to dock with ISS
Cargo ship misses space station docking
Robotic cargo spacecraft misses rendezvous with ISS
Unmanned cargo spacecraft misses tryst with ISS
Supply spacecraft misses space station
June 30, Soyuz-U – Progress M-06M (38P)
Progress M-06M

I’m sure they’ll get this errant Progress under control and docked with the ISS. However, it’s worth noting that, after the last two Space Shuttles stop flying, there’s no plan B anymore, it’s the Russian spacecraft or nothing.

/of course, we had a follow on to the Space Shuttle, but Obama canceled it