Saturday, April 26, 2008

Crime alert in Kinshasa?

From all the crimes I've heard of in my life, this genre is the most bizarre. There's a wave of panic hitting the city of Kinshasa, capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo, because of a series penis thefts. Yes, you read it right: Penis thefts.

It happens that in Africa there's a widespread belief that sorcerers have special powers, and people in Kinshasa have been warned to keep away from them. The victims of this curious kind of theft (who add up to more than 15 men) argue that sorcerers touched their penises, and they either shrank them or disappeared them. Pretty much they are suggesting to begin a contemporary witch-hunt to eradicate this crime from the streets of Kinshasa - a suggestion that might gain widespread support. But the police decided to arrest a few suspected penis-thieves to avoid a massacre.

Having penis thieves in Kinshasa is really bad, and men should be careful with their possessions there these days. I can't really understand what reasons could drive a thief to steal a penis, but in any case, men around the world should be cautious. Hopefully, the penis-theft wave won't hit sensitive places in the world, as the Vondelpark in Amsterdam could be, for instance.

Click here to read the entire note by Reuters

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Magic swimsuits

Swimsuits, and not swimmers, are breaking swimming records. At least that is the idea stuck in some German Olympic swimmers' minds. A note published in Yahoo explains that the German swimmers are worried that their performance in the Olympic games in Beijing will be hindered by the swimsuits they'll be wearing: After all, who would want to wear an Adidas suit when there is Speedo equipment available in the market?

It looks that a model recently introduced by Speedo, the LZR Racer, has been worn by record-breaking swimmers around the world. It's a pattern that the German Olympic swimming team has noticed lately, and they think that their performance in the upcoming Olympics is doomed unless their federation terminates a contract with Adidas, who has the exclusive rights to provide swimsuits to the German swimmers until 2009. Unfortunately for their case, they are not being backed up by the authorities of their own federation.

How can it be possible that a team considers their chances of success nil because of the swimsuits they wear? Not only that's a slap in the face to Adidas and all other swimsuit manufacturers, but it also reflects a lack of self confidence among the German swimmers. Interestingly, the FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation), which is the governing body of water sports, has discarded a ban to the use of Speedo's 'magic swimsuit' in the Beijing Olympics, as they have found no scientific proof that the suit in fact provides unfair advantages to the swimmers wearing it.

It will be interesting to find out after the Beijing Olympics if, as the Germans suggest, there is indeed a correlation between the use of Speedo's swimsuit and the medals won in water disciplines.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The cellphone wars

Back in January 2007, when Apple's iPhone was unveiled by Steve Jobs, I was less than impressed with such gadget (as I widely described in a post dated back in those days). Nevertheless, other people found Apple's cellphone attractive and they bought their iPhones as soon as they could, which has given the iPhone a high degree of popularity among technology consumers, and a good position in the market.

But the real question was never whether the iPhone will ever become popular or not. It looked more appealing to see how would the giants of the cellphone industry would react. Would companies like Motorola, Nokia or Research in Motion just sit back and watch while iPhone invaded their market, or would they retaliate by launching equal or better products than the iPhone?

Until not long ago, the reaction of those companies still remained as a mystery, as no real action could be seen as a response to the iPhone. But just recently Nokia leaked some information about the product which they hope will pose a face-to-face competition to Apple's phone: the Nokia Tube.

The actual features of Nokia's new gadget are not widely known yet, however there is a video in Youtube in which it is very well presented the way this phone works: (click here if the video below doesn't work).

Talking about resemblances, the Nokia Tube definitely has some resemblance to Apple's iPhone. Would it be as successful as Nokia expects? And what products will the other giants launch to avoid losing their portion of the market? We will see. The cellphone wars have just begun.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


A picture taken by photographer Lula Marques in Brazil during Hugo Chavez's most recent visit to that country has become a source of anger for the Venezuelan president's followers:

Does he have any resemblance with anybody famous? Let's compare the picture above with the following one:

It is incredible the resemblance between Hugo Chavez and Mickey Mouse. To have the opportunity to see Hugo Chavez almost disguised as one of the Empire's most representative cartoons of all times is simply priceless. This is an ironic world, isn't it?

I'm sure that all the people who have been subject of Chavez's bad taste insults are enjoying this photo very much.

Photo by Reuters