Odd

Guinea pig bets on Uruguay

The Germans may have Paul the Psychic Octopus, but the Peruvians have Jimmy the Frightened Guinea Pig, whose terrified skittering apparently means Uruguay and Germany will face off in the World Cup final.

Not sure if having the support of a guinea pig will do anything to encourage the Uruguayan squad today as they stare down almost certain destruction at the hands of the Dutch.

Also posted in Peru, Uruguay | 1 Comment

Uruguay fuels up

The Uruguayan selection, which has made it to the quarter finals of the World Cup, just received a shipment of half a ton of fine cuts of beef for the mother of all asados in preparation for a contest against Ghana on Friday: “450 kilos of lomo, 200 of entrecot, 75 of vacío, 75 of colita de cuadril, 150 of ojo de bife and 50 kg of picaña.” [link]

Also posted in Side notes, Uruguay | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Acid-throwers linked to contest opponent

María Fernanda Núñez is a Colombian model who was poised to win the title to represent North Santander in the Miss Colombia competition. Then someone threw acid in her face.

Now the Colombian authorities say they know who did it, and the suspect is linked to another participant in the competition. From Semana:

The suspect is Fabián Sáez Ibáñez, a young man who identified himself with his ID card on June 10 in the chemical store where he bought the bottles of acid. Sáez is the boyfriend of Yesid Ramón Gómez, who is himself the cousin of Carolina Gómez Gómez, one of the eight candidates who were competing against ‘Mafe’ for the title of Miss North Santander and to represent the region in [the Miss Colombia competition] in Cartegena. Carolina Gómez [is] a favorite together with the candidate who was attacked.

Buying acid with your ID card on the day you plan to attack someone with said acid does not strike me as a brilliant move. Anyway, Caracol is reporting that the suspects, whoever they are, have fled, which is a bit smarter.

The Semana article seems to indicate that María Fernanda is recovering well, and she appeared on CNN the other night. Here’s a video of her from 2009. Get well soon.

Also posted in Arts and Culture, Colombia | Tagged | Leave a comment

Ballerina’s role in Panama coup attempt

From the days when coups were something of a regional sport, new documents detail a famous British ballerina’s role in a plot to topple the government of Panama. The plan was to use her yacht to gather men and arms, then “land somewhere and collect in the hills.” It didn’t work. [link]

Also posted in Panama, Politics, Side notes | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Coming soon: Pyme penis enlargement microloans

Either someone hacked the Central American Bank for Economic Integration’s (BCIE) web site , or the regional development bank is developing online Viagra sales.

Posted in Odd | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

‘The Torture Coloney’

For your Wednesday evening reading pleasure, a very long, very strange article on Colonia Dignidad, a German colony founded in Chile by a child molester/Nazi named Paul Schaefer. In addition to being the personification of the evil cult leader, Schaefer – who died last week in prison – got into evil politics as well, torturing people on behalf of Pinochet.

The whole thing’s too weird and creepy to excerpt. Just print it out.

(H/T BoingBoing.)

Also posted in Chile, History, Human Rights | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Chávez tweets UPDATED

Hugo Chávez now has a Twitter account: @chavezcandanga, which roughly translates to “Chávez candanga.” That is to say, if you think you can translate candanga, please, give it a shot. As far as the Venezuelan executive’s eloquent use of Venezuelan slang in an official capacity, it’s reminiscent of the “vergatario:”


Anyway, all trips down memory lane aside, @chavezcandanga now has 14,000 followers and counting. Chávez has said he has a “team” of people working his Twitter, and to watch to see what happens as of midnight. As of before midnight, he has twitted no tweets.

UPDATE: The feed is live. Here is Chávez’ very first tweet. We will bring you more updates on this gripping  new development, like, pretty much never.

Also posted in Politics, Venezuela | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Mexico creates space agency

Mexico’s congress has passed a bill creating Agencias Especiales de Mexico, the Mexican Space Agency, or AEXA. The agency will be in charge of developing space exploration initiatives, as well as building a space base on the Yucatan Peninsula. [link]

Also posted in Mexico, Side notes | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Evo has a theory

Evo Morales has figured out where homosexuals and baldness come from: The “female” growth hormones used to make poultry freakishly gigantic:

The chicken we eat is full of female hormones. That’s why when men eat these chickens, they experience deviations in their behavior as men.

And for good measure:

Baldness, which seems normal, is a sickness in Europe. Almost everyone is bald. And it’s because of what they eat. Meanwhile, among the indigenous peoples, there are no bald people because we eat something else.

While I admire Evo’s support of organic, hormone-free poultry, I’m not sure falling back on machista bigotry and crack-pot theories is the best way to make one’s case. That said, I can definitely support his claims that Coca-Cola is better used for cleaning drains.

Will have to try that later.

(Original image courtesy Agencia Brasil via Wikimedia Commons.)

Also posted in Bolivia | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Christ the Redeemer tagged


Rio’s iconic Christ the Redeemer statue was vandalized by intrepid ne’er-do-wells who scaled scaffolding that was in place for cleaning the statue. Rio’s mayor called the vandalism of the 120-foot statue “a crime against the nation” and promised the vandals “will go to jail.”

Also posted in Arts and Culture, Brazil, Travel | Tagged | 1 Comment
  • DAILY LINKS

    • The Nation has a long, wonky, wonderful article on Mexican maize cultivation, the effects of NAFTA, and the dangers of genetically-modified seeds. Author Peter Canby backs up his excellent writing with piles and piles of meticulous research. Not to be missed. [link, via SM] (Image from Joel Penner.)

    • Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas ended his hunger strike yesterday after 134 days. Farinas decided to end his strike after the Cuban government said it would release political prisoners rounded up in the "Black Spring" crackdown of 2003. Get well soon. [link]

    • The Uruguayan selection, which has made it to the quarter finals of the World Cup, just received a shipment of half a ton of fine cuts of beef for the mother of all asados in preparation for a contest against Ghana on Friday: "450 kilos of lomo, 200 of entrecot, 75 of vacío, 75 of colita de cuadril, 150 of ojo de bife and 50 kg of picaña." [link]

    • Hitmen have assassinated the PRI candidate for governor of Tamaulipas State, Rodolfo Torre Cantú. Torre was gunned down along with six others at about 10:30 this morning on a highway on the way to a campaign event. Drug mafias are assumed to be responsible. [link]

    • From the days when coups were something of a regional sport, new documents detail a famous British ballerina's role in a plot to topple the government of Panama. The plan was to use her yacht to gather men and arms, then "land somewhere and collect in the hills." It didn't work. [link]

    • Mexico's Attorney General's Office has posted on its web site irrefutable evidence that gold-plated AR-15s and diamond-studded pistol grips are not nearly as cool-looking as they sound. The deadly knick-knack collection is said to belong to Valencia Cartel leader El Lobo. [link]

    • Two Brazilian ranchers were sentenced to 30 years in prison apiece for ordering the killing of an environmentalist nun: "Prosecutors said the pair offered to pay a gunman $25,000 to kill the 73-year-old [Dorothy] Stang because she had prevented them from stealing a piece of land that the government had granted to a group of poor farmers." [link]


    • This video of a kidnapping and car chase in Mexico is notable mainly for the bad-assitude of the TV journalists who were on this like white on rice. Well done, gentlemen.

    • The Economist takes a peak at the Mockus phenomenon in Colombia: "His moustacheless beard gives him the air of a Baltic pastor... He is financing his campaign with a bank overdraft. His supporters rely on Facebook and make their own posters; street vendors sell unofficial campaign T-shirts." [link]

    • Some cruise lines will cease traveling to Antarctica after this cruise season, as a ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil goes into effect next year. The ban came after a 2007 incident when a Gap Adventures ship got punctured by ice and sank, causing a mess. [link]