Art, Writing, and Learning: The Clerisy Quarter => Discussion and Debate - The Philosopher's Plaza => Topic started by: Jubal on September 02, 2017, 10:23:49 PM

Title: And Another Thing (Silly/Quirky News Thread)
Post by: Jubal on September 02, 2017, 10:23:49 PM
Thought we should have a rolling thread for more light hearted or curious news.

This week, Belarus created a fictional enemy nation for a military exercise and it's kind of caught on:

A country invented as part of military exercises in Belarus has caught the imagination of locals, who have created a foreign ministry, flag, history and even its own Wikipedia page for the fictional nation.

Veyshnoria is one of three states made up for the Zapad 2017 military drills, which - according to the scenario - seek to invade Belarus and sow discord between Minsk and Moscow.

The map of the exercise, made public during the General Staff briefing on 29 August, shows Veyshnoria in the north-western regions of today's Belarus, with Vesbaria and Lubenia lying in Lithuania and Poland, the Nasha Niva website reports.


Of course, the next step is for someone to actually declare Veyshnorian independence, at which point we have a full blown Paranoia-style scenario on our hands...
Title: Re: And Another Thing (Silly/Quirky News Thread)
Post by: Jubal on August 01, 2020, 09:52:05 AM
We should use this thread more to lighten things up. So here's one about a fox with a penchant for shoe collecting:

A fox in a leafy suburb of Berlin has been getting into the spirit of summer - by collecting flip flops.

For weeks residents of Zehlendorf were baffled that a thief was stealing their flip flops and sports shoes from their gardens at night.

Finally a man spotted the culprit on a patch of wasteland, "in flagrante, carrying two blue flip flops in its mouth", the daily Tagesspiegel reports.

The fox had a hoard of over 100 shoes, but not the man's missing running shoe.

Rest of piece:
Title: Re: And Another Thing (Silly/Quirky News Thread)
Post by: Jubal on August 29, 2020, 10:53:18 AM
And another thing: a penguin has been being shown pingu clips so it doesn't get too lonely:


A penguin watching Pingu on an iPad to stop him feeling lonely should be the ultimate evidence we really can expect anything in 2020.

And it's actually, legitimately happening at Perth Zoo in Australia.

The penguin, who's been called Pierre - because at this point why not - was found washed up on a beach in the south west of the country. He's an endangered Northern Rockhopper penguin, and the only one in care anywhere in the whole of Australasia.

Pierre's keepers - who we assume are the ones taking care of the Netflix subscription - were worried he'd not get enough socialising while he gets healthy enough to return to the wild. So they're showing him the cartoon, along with live streams of other rockhoppers around the world - including the ones at Edinburgh Zoo.

Rest of piece:
Title: Re: And Another Thing (Silly/Quirky News Thread)
Post by: Jubal on September 18, 2020, 05:16:09 PM
This is MASSIVELY worth reading: a long post, but really eye-opening, about sloppy data handling and how someone found the former Australian PM's passport number via an instagram post:

Title: Re: And Another Thing (Silly/Quirky News Thread)
Post by: DeepCandle Games on September 19, 2020, 12:06:20 AM
You can call him TODAY, just call 1-800 ONION
Title: Re: And Another Thing (Silly/Quirky News Thread)
Post by: Jubal on October 15, 2020, 03:31:07 PM
So this article was doing the rounds on Twitter: https://newrepublic.com/article/159662/libertarian-walks-into-bear-book-review-free-town-project

And it's absolutely WILD and very worth reading. To give you the synopsis section:

This is the so-called Free Town Project, a venture wherein a group of libertarian activists attempted to take over a tiny New Hampshire town, Grafton, and transform it into a haven for libertarian ideals—part social experiment, part beacon to the faithful, Galt’s Gulch meets the New Jerusalem. These people had found one another largely over the internet, posting manifestos and engaging in utopian daydreaming on online message boards. While their various platforms and bugbears were inevitably idiosyncratic, certain beliefs united them: that the radical freedom of markets and the marketplace of ideas was an unalloyed good; that “statism” in the form of government interference (above all, taxes) was irredeemably bad. Left alone, they believed, free individuals would thrive and self-regulate, thanks to the sheer force of “logic,” “reason,” and efficiency. For inspirations, they drew upon precedents from fiction (Ayn Rand loomed large) as well as from real life, most notably a series of micro-nation projects ventured in the Pacific and Caribbean during the 1970s and 1980s.

None of those micro-nations, it should be observed, panned out, and things in New Hampshire don’t bode well either—especially when the humans collide with a newly brazen population of bears, themselves just “working to create their own utopia,” property lines and market logic be damned.

The remainder of the piece just carries on and gets more detailed from there. it's quite a ride, and I can recommend it.
Title: Re: And Another Thing (Silly/Quirky News Thread)
Post by: Jubal on November 16, 2020, 10:17:41 AM
The world's 213 living Kakapo, the world's heaviest parrots, have won New Zealand's bird of the year award 2020:

Title: Re: And Another Thing (Silly/Quirky News Thread)
Post by: Jubal on October 14, 2021, 12:02:32 PM
Bizarre as much as anything: North Korea releasing videos of their soldiers punching bricks, headbutting concrete and bending iron bars.


And all I can think is "wow, they're going to be REALLY pissed when someone tells them about the invention of gunpowder".
Title: Re: And Another Thing (Silly/Quirky News Thread)
Post by: Jubal on October 16, 2021, 10:05:34 AM

Of interest to those following the story of Colombia's cocaine hippos, which I believe has come up at pub at least once: there's now a sterilisation programme underway.