I came upon back to back stories just now that really lightened my mood, so I thought it appropriate to share them. The first one shows that Iran has a sense of humor, and coincidentally, I discovered the story moments after my local talk show host was musing about staging a "wet burka contest." Now this:
"VIENNA, Austria – Iran is threatening to sue countries that it says have damaged its reputation"
Is it just me or does the mere fact that Iran might even be considering such a thing lead you to imagine what the scene in court might look like?
Judge: I'll hear the plaintiff's opening statement
Lawyer for Iran: Your honor, we are suing Israel for damaging our reputation by issuing false and malicious statements regarding our stated intent to wipe it off the map, but were asking for a summary judgment because Iranian officials will not appearing. No disrespect intended, it's just that no self-respecting Iranian would appear in any venue, official or casual, that would allow Israelis in at the same time.
The second story I found to be equally delightful:
WELLINGTON (AFP) – The president of the low-lying Pacific atoll nation of Kiribati said Thursday his country may already be doomed because of climate change. President Anote Tong said communities had already been resettled and crops destroyed by seawater in some parts of the country, made up of 33 coral atolls straddling the equator.
"I am not a scientist but what I know is that things are happening we did not experience in the past," Tong said. "We may be beyond redemption, we may be at the point of no return where the emissions in the atmosphere will carry on to contribute to climate change to produce a sea-level change that in time our small low-lying islands will be submerged. Villages that have been there over the decades, maybe a century, and now they have to be relocated. Where they have been living over the past few decades is no longer there."
Under the worst-case scenario, Kiribati would be submerged by the end of this century (Clear the country, DIVE, DIVE!) and its people would have to be resettled in other countries, he said.
First of all, it may be a sign of trouble when air pollution particles are bigger in mass than your country. Second, this seems like a "tree falls in the forest" moment – I mean if a country disappears that no one knew existed in the first place, and its citizens end up in, say, America, will they be legally able to use a hyphen in describing themselves for minority grant purposes like Atlantis-Americans do?
Which reminds me of that old joke – what do you call someone from Kiribati…? Lucky!? <rimshot>
No? OK, how about this one:
The New Zealand navy's practice evacuation was aborted when radar revealed that the supposed GPS location for Kiribati was actually a blue whale.
Now this "57 States moment" from Paul Greenberg:
Barack Obama chose St. Paul, Minn., to stage his victory or at least near-victory rally Tuesday night. It was a good way to stick a thumb in John McCain's eye, since the Republicans have chosen to hold their national convention at the same arena.
Yet he overlooked the historical connotations of that site. Beautiful downtown St. Paul is where Walter Mondale delivered his concession speech after one of the most lopsided defeats in the history of American presidential elections — Ronald Reagan's 49-state sweep in 1984.