Take Five (governor-free edition)

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ONE: Silent treatment.

Years ago I heard a (probably apocryphal) story about the only two cars in Pennsylvania colliding with each other in the very early years of the 20th century.

In an odd sort of inverse version of the tale, it seems the last two remaining speakers of the Ayapaneco language are not on speaking terms:

The language of Ayapaneco has been spoken in the land now known as Mexico for centuries. It has survived the Spanish conquest, seen off wars, revolutions, famines and floods. But now, like so many other indigenous languages, it’s at risk of extinction.

There are just two people left who can speak it fluently – but they refuse to talk to each other. Manuel Segovia, 75, and Isidro Velazquez, 69, live 500 metres apart in the village of Ayapa in the tropical lowlands of the southern state of Tabasco. It is not clear whether there is a long-buried argument behind their mutual avoidance, but people who know them say they have never really enjoyed each other’s company.

A last-ditch effort to preserve something of the language has thus become a battle against not only mortality, but stubborn human nature.

“They don’t have a lot in common,” says Daniel Suslak, a linguistic anthropologist from Indiana University, who is involved with a project to produce a dictionary of Ayapaneco. Segovia, he says, can be “a little prickly” and Velazquez, who is “more stoic,” rarely likes to leave his home.

As a registered Democrat, I can sympathize with Professor Suslak. Nineteen months out from the next election, Democrats can’t seem to resist shunning each other. When they’re not colliding, that is.

TWO: “Calling all patriots!”

Their website announces it with a flourish of martial brass:

Join your faithful like-minded partners at The WND Tea Party at Sea this August 26th to September 2nd as we sharpen and edify one another during 7 incredible days of sailing the pristine and majestic Alaska coastline…

Certainly I don’t disagree that teabaggers could use some sharpening and edification, a lot of each, in fact, but I’m not sure the WorldNut team’s invited speakers will be up to the task, since they strike me as none too sharp or edified themselves:

… best selling author of Obama Nation, America for Sale, and The Late Great USA,  Dr. Jerome Corsi… David Kupelian, author of The Marketing of Evil and his latest, How Evil Works; WND senior reporter, WABC Radio host and NY Times bestselling author of The Manchurian President: Barack Obama’s ties to communists, socialists and other anti-American extremists

And if that doesn’t give you a sense of this not-too-swift boat, well, it gets even better. Alan Keyes – yes, that Alan Keyes – will be there, though likely dressed as a waiter so as not to scare the white folks. But even the Keyes kavalkade of kooky won’t be able to compete with Molotov Mitchell and D.J. Dolce.

What, you’ve never heard of them? Tea Party at Sea website to the rescue:

You’ve probably never met anyone like Molotov Mitchell (born in 1979).

As President of the award-winning Illuminati Pictures, Molotov has produced over 100 music videos, commercials and short films, documented Christian and Occult subcultures, run for his life from knife-wielding voodoo priests, directed a film about building better marriages, and hosted a national television talk show on Faith TV…

His specialty is entertainment communications, particularly reaching the “under 40” demographic. He is an aggressive pro-life advocate and believes that his generation has been called by God to end abortion. He and his wife Patricia live and work together in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park.

I’m not clear on how one goes about living in Research Triangle Park, short of sleeping at the office every night, but never mind. What about Dolce?

D.J. Dolce is a Christian who’s been in entertainment since she was a little girl, works behind the scenes on “For the Record,” is a member of Mensa, and practices Krav Maga (Israeli Martial Art). She also sings in the comedy musical group “Wolverines!” with Molotov Mitchell.

“Under 40” specialist? Mensa member? Wolverines!? Alan Keyes? On a boat with a bunch of bigoted retirees who want that Muslim socialist Obama to keep his sticky fingers off their Social Security? Martial arts, Israeli or otherwise, just might come in handy. It’s actually sort of a shame that Sarah Palin’s Alaska is off the air. There should be at least another season’s worth of material here.

THREE: As if the foregoing weren’t dickish enough…

Iceland is probably most famous for volcanoes, Björk and having the highest per-capita consumption of Coca-Cola in the world. But Sigurdur Hjartarson is dreaming big, and his new acquisition might just eclipse them all:

In life, Pall Arason sought attention. In death, he is getting it: The 95-year-old Icelander’s pickled penis will be the main attraction in one of his country’s most bizarre museums.

Sigurdur Hjartarson, who runs the Phallological Museum in the tiny Icelandic fishing town of Husavik, said Arason’s organ will help round out the unusual institution’s extensive collection of phalluses from whales, seals, bears and other mammals.

Several people had pledged their penises over the years — including an American, a Briton, and a German — but Arason’s was the first to be successfully donated, Hjartarson said.

“I have just been waiting for this guy for 15 years,” he told The Associated Press in a brief telephone interview.

The museum’s website provides probably too much detail on the new acquisition:

The human specimen has arrived!

Today, April 8th 2011, The Icelandic Phallological Museum has officially received a new specimen of the species Homo Sapiens. Member whole with scrotum and both testicles. In formalin. With this acquisition The Icelandic Phallological Museum now has specimens from all the 46 different species of Icelandic mammals…

Iceland’s population of 319,062 is smaller than that of Honolulu, the 50th-largest city in the United States. Does Honolulu have a penis museum? No.

Does Tucson? Nope. San Diego? Uh-uh. Philadelphia, Houston, Chicago, New York? No, no, no and no. They do not.

Now, 58,343,671 people voted McCain/Palin in 2008. The current crop of Republican Presidential hopefuls includes, rather prominently, Michele Bachmann and Donald Trump. A new poll finds that about 25% of Americans overall and 40% of Southerners in particular retain more sympathy for the Confederate States of America than for the United States of America. Gallup’s 2009 end-of-year poll on people most admired by Americans showed Sarah Palin in second place in the women’s category, and Glenn Beck in fourth in the men’s, ahead of Billy Graham, Bill Clinton and Tiger Woods.

And this country can’t support its own penis museum? Come on, America…

FOUR: Tim Pawlenty’s 3:00 AM phone call.

Benjamin Foster, a campaign worker for aspiring Presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, set out for Johnston, Iowa the other night, but before he got there, he took a strange detour to nearby Ankeny:

15 year old Chloe Seward was interviewed by a Des Moines television station, KCCI, and said that she was awakened by her dog barking. She went downstairs to the back sliding glass door and found Foster with his arm inside the house, barred by a piece of metal, at approximately 2AM… Seward said she screamed and ran upstairs to wake her parents. According to the tape of the 911 call, Seward’s father rushed downstairs and aimed a shotgun at Foster while his wife alerted authorities. No violence ensued, police arrived at the home and Foster was booked into the Johnston, Iowa jail at 4:11AM.

At least Foster made it to Johnston after his little Sewards Folly, but KCCI reports that not everything turned out well for him in the aftermath of the incident:

“Eric Woolson, speaking for the exploratory committee, said, ‘Governor Pawlenty is extremely disappointed in Ben’s actions and his behavior does not meet the standards he expects of his employees. Therefore, the committee is placing Ben on a two-week unpaid suspension and expects him to bear the legal consequences for his action.'”

I’m not contending Foster didn’t screw up in a big way here, but a two-week unpaid suspension?! Jeepers, they really went medieval on him, huh? But of course Pawlenty’s that kind of a no-nonsense guy:

“You can’t change what you believe or your values — that would just be phony.”

FIVE: The spade-cracker?

An unnamed woman deprived parts of Azerbaijan, Georgia and the whole of Armenia of internet service last week, when her spade severed a fiber-optic cable as she scrounged for scrap copper:

As Georgia provides 90% of Armenia’s internet, the woman’s unwitting sabotage had catastrophic consequences. Web users in the nation of 3.2 million people were left twiddling their thumbs for up to five hours as the country’s main internet providers – ArmenTel, FiberNet Communication and GNC-Alfa – were prevented from supplying their normal service. Television pictures showed reporters at a news agency in the capital Yerevan staring glumly at blank screens…

Dubbed “the spade-hacker” by local media, the woman – who has not been named – is being investigated on suspicion of damaging property. She faces up to three years in prison if charged and convicted.

A spokesman for Georgia’s interior ministry said the woman was temporarily released “on account of her old age” but could face more questioning.

The damage was detected by a system monitoring the fibre-optic link from western Europe and a security team was immediately dispatched to the spot, where the woman was arrested. The interior ministry said she had no accomplices.

Take heart, ma’am. At least the Vatican is on your side:

Computer hackers embody classic Christian virtues, a Vatican publication says, and shouldn’t be perceived negatively.

In their passionate commitment to creating, and their openness to sharing ideas, hackers see their online exploits as “a form of participation in the ‘work’ of God in creation,” Jesuit priest Father Antonio Spadaro wrote in the Vatican magazine Civilta Cattolica…

Or are they?

However, citing technology writer Eric S. Raymond, Spadaro said hackers shouldn’t be confused with “crackers”— the former builds things and the latter breaks them, Raymond wrote.

Hacker? Cracker? One elderly Georgian woman out there tonight probably wishes they would just call the whole thing off.