SIGNS OF THE END TIMES

General Motors, once the symbol of American industrial might, is now 1/25th the size of Toyota, and smaller than Bed Bath & Beyond.


Fashion designer Claudia Escobar sells an ultra-mini-bikini made out of salmon skin for $495.

Salmon Bikini


After three months of testimony costing taxpayers over $1 million, a mistrial was declared in a drug conspiracy prosecution in Sydney, Australia, after it was discovered that five of the jurors spent most of their time in court playing Sudoku.


Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice joined the KISS Fan Club and was given a backstage pass.


Gerald L.K. Smith, a Disciples of Christ minister and white supremacist, pioneered the field of Holocaust Denial when he said that most of the Jews alleged killed by the Nazis in death camps were actually alive and well in New York City.


Televangelist Jack Van Impe says that the United Nations is placing secret codes on the backs of national highway signs in order to reveal the locations of believers, so that the New World Order can persecute them.


Texe Marrs, head of Power of Prophecy Ministries in Spicewood, Texas, claims that Jimmy Carter, the PTA and the Masons are involved in a conspiracy to destroy the American government, and that the conspiracy was discovered by Pat Robertson, who is also now part of the conspiracy. Marrs previously claimed that Hillary Clinton and Janet Reno were involved in a lesbian plot to destroy Christianity.


The European black truffle has skyrocketed in price, fetching 300 percent of what it cost just eight years ago, because of bad harvests in France caused by climate change.


Victorious Life Church, conveniently located right off Interstate 35 in Robinson, Texas, guarantees to get you in and out of a church service in under 30 minutes, divided into 8 to 10 minutes of “praise and worship,” 12 to 15 minutes of “the word,” and 5 minutes of “response.”


MP3 Prayer


One of the most popular novelty items in Japan is the Bondage Kewpie Doll Cell Phone Strap, with includes five different shades of rope for 1.57-inch kewpie doll charms held in bondage.

Bondage Kewpie


The Japanese named Hello Kitty as one of its ambassadors to China.


According to researchers at the University of Virginia, pollutants from power plants and automobiles have made it impossible to smell the aroma of most flowers, confusing the bees.


The cost of fighting spam is $140 billion per year.


Baskin died in 1967, and Robbins died 41 years later. Shouldn't that have been 31 years later?


Over the weekend the World Population Clock reached 6,666,666,666.


Karaoke versions of 3,000 songs are available on the Internet.


Jeans

In an attempt settle the fashion question, “Which are better, tight jeans or baggy jeans?”, a company called Soulful Commandoe introduced jeans that are simultaneously tight and baggy by adding suspenders and a feature called an “ass girder.”


ABC News anchor Robin Roberts, in a live interview, said to the polygamist wives of Eldorado, Texas, “Your anguish is quite genuine.”


"I'm proud I still have a really good sex life with David. He is very much in proportion. He does have a huge one, though. He does. You can see it in the advertisement for Armani underwear. It is all his. It is like a tractor exhaust pipe!"
--Spice Girl Victoria Beckham


New York University plans to tear down the Provincetown Playhouse, where Eugene O’Neill’s first play was produced and which is regarded as the birthplace of modern American theater, because they need more space for their law school.


“I said to myself, ‘I love him, but I love me more.’”
—Televangelist Juanita Bynum, explaining on Divorce Court why she had to leave her husband


“We love Jesus! Happy Easter, by the way. He died for our sins. That’s how awesome he is. Jesus rocks! That’s why we do what we do. My best friend Mandy dances for Jesus. I sing, dance, and act for Jesus! Now that I think about it, I do everything for Jesus. We make the YouTube videos for Jesus."

—Miley Cyrus, better known as “Hannah Montana”


Pastor John Hagee, preaching from the Book of Ezekiel at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, said that Jesus Christ will return to Earth bearing a "rod of iron" to discipline the American Civil Liberties Union.


More than a thousand people gathered in New York’s Union Square for a “silent rave,” with all of them dancing to the music on their iPods, thereby creating the illusion of community without having to actually acknowledge one another’s existence.


Symphony orchestras in Germany, France, Italy and England are being forced to cancel performances because fortissimo passages in certain works violate European Union noise-at-work laws, and professional musicians can’t wear ear plugs without losing their ability to play their instruments.


Florida plastic surgeon Michael Salzhauer wrote a book for children aged 4-7 called My Beautiful Mommy that seeks to explain to them why their mother needs to go in for a tummy tuck and a boob job.


Kathie Lee Gifford returned to morning television.


There are 400 websites devoted to techniques for crash-dieting, binge-eating, vomiting and hiding weight loss from your parents.


Serendipity 3, a New York restaurant, offers a $25,000 chocolate sundae called “Frrozen Haute Chocolate,” featuring 28 cocoas, 0.2 ounces of edible gold, served in a goblet lined with edible gold, with an 18-karat gold bracelet with a carat of white diamonds draped around the base of the goblet. The sundae is topped with whipped cream covered with gold and a side of La Madeline au Truffle from Knipschildt Chocolatier, which sells for $2,600 per pound. It is eaten with a gold spoon decorated with white chocolate-covered diamonds.


Paris Hilton announced a campaign to save drunken elephants that are in danger of being electrocuted or shot after getting into the rice beer of northeastern India and then charging.


The cost of feeding, housing and clothing a child born in the year 2007 until his or her 18th birthday is $269,040.


For the first time in history, the national debt will hit $10 trillion this year, even though annual surpluses were so large in 1999 that the Congressional Budget Office predicted it would be paid off in 2006. It now grows at $1.4 billion a day, or about $1 million per minute.


The members of Led Zeppelin, all eligible for Medicare, played “Stairway to Heaven” for a sold-out crowd at London’s 02 Arena.

Zep


Tiger Woods paid $65 million for the “By the Sea” estate on the eastern end of Long Island, which includes a 13,200-square-foot Colonial Revival house, a 7,500-square-foot guesthouse, a four-car garage with staff quarters, a seaside pool, a spa, a tennis court, a lily pond, six acres of gardens, nine bedroom suites in the two houses, a cabana, a fountain, and 420 feet of sandy beach on the ocean–and is smaller than his other house, located on the golf course he designed in Dubai.


Ninety percent of the bats in the Adirondack Mountains have died since winter, and no one knows why.


“Who doesn’t want to be that person with the cute boyfriend and the hot cellphone? You want to influence people, and you want to have money. Bravo is like America.”
— Lauren Zalaznick, President, Bravo Network

BravoTV


Last week the entire nation of Afghanistan celebrated the first day of the year 1387.


Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones fell out of a coconut tree while sunning himself in Fiji.

Keith Richards


“We love Jesus! Happy Easter, by the way. He died for our sins. That’s how awesome he is. Jesus rocks! That’s why we do what we do. My best friend Mandy dances for Jesus. I sing, dance, and act for Jesus! Now that I think about it, I do everything for Jesus. We make the YouTube videos for Jesus.”
        —Miley Cyrus, better known as “Hannah Montana”


At the New York restaurant Serendipity, the Golden Opulence ice cream sundae, made with chuao cacao beans from Venezuela and Madagascar vanilla, covered in gold leaf and served with gold spoons, retails for $1,000.

dessert


In 1978, eight-year-old Susan Hamilton became the first female to be admitted to a Church of England choir, at St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh. Today the traditionally all-boy choirs of the English church are 27 percent female.


By 2020, the percentage of foreign-born residents in the United States will surpass the previous all-time record (15 percent) set in 1900.


When the architect Le Corbusier designed an experimental modernist city in the 1950s called Chandigarh in India, he commissioned Pierre Jeanneret to design the city’s furniture, including teak “V-chairs” for government offices. The chairs were routinely thrown out by government officials as they became old, after which they were rounded up by junk dealers, sold to traders, and now fetch anywhere from $8,000 to $12,000 each when auctioned at Christie’s.

v-chair


Bono, lead singer for U2, gives advice on how to edit Wikipedia articles to Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.


At Nino’s Bellissima Pizza in New York, you can order a 12-inch pizza covered with creme fraiche, lobster tail and four different types of caviar for $1,000.


Akershus Hospital in Oslo, Norway, equips all newborn babies with anti-theft alarms to prevent infant kidnapping.


Sales tax in Chicago is 10.25 percent.


To encourage population growth, the government of Turkmenistan gives $25 to any woman who gives birth to eight or more children.


Heather Mills received $108 million for being married to Paul McCartney for four years.


There are 35 paparazzi, on average, staking out Britney Spears’ location at all times.


Bun B did a tribute show for the late Pimp C, a pioneer in UGK.


Keith Richards said Amy Winehouse should “get her act together.”


One out of every 100 Americans is in prison, the highest incarceration rate in the world, and in history.


The value of the dollar has declined so precipitously that a Canadian dollar is now worth a dollar.


The cheapest single room in the Plaza Hotel in New York is $715 a night.


June 22, 2008, is the latest day that the Imam Mahdi, the true heir of Muhammad, who has been living in a well for the last 1,200 years, will re-emerge in Tehran to lead all Muslims in a battle that will establish justice on earth and rid the world of corruption. Jesus will be helping him out, according to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran, who described the preparations he was making for the messiah in a speech before the United Nations in 2005.


Steve Gerber, creator of Howard the Duck, died in Las Vegas at age 60.

Duck


Eight members of the riot squad stormed a pub in Warwickshire, England, to force John Vaughan to put out a cigarette.


Hardee’s introduced the 920-calorie Country Breakfast Burrito, to tide you over until your 1,420-calorie Monster Thickburger at lunch.


Patty Hearst, millionaire heiress turned kidnap victim turned Symbionese Liberation Army member turned machine-gun-toting bank robber turned convicted felon, brought her French bulldog named Diva to the 2008 Westminster Kennel Club dog show.


A travel agency in Germany offers all-nude flights to a nature resort in the Baltic Sea, but the flight crew remains clothed “for safety reasons.”


“Noah was the first investment banker. He was buying stock when the rest of the world was liquidating.”

  — from a sermon by megachurch pastor Mac Hammond, Living Word Christian Center, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.


Shakira sold one of her bras for $3,000.


It is now possible to sear artwork onto the surface of bologna slices.

laser meat


A German company sells a canned cheeseburger.

canned cheeseburger


The number of people living in slums—defined by the United Nations Population Fund as urban shantytowns—has grown from 715 million in 1990 to a billion today, and will hit 1.4 billion by 2020.


A company called Reserve Solutions issued a debit card that borrows money secured by your 401K retirement account. It works in all casino ATMs.


Edgar Bronfman, Jr., chairman of Warner Music and heir to the Seagram liquor fortune, has decided to sell his townhouse, which is exactly 31 feet wide and stands on East 64th Street in New York City. His asking price: $61 million.


The bells of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris are operated by a computer, and Stephane Urbain, the chief sacristan, or bell-ringer, is a software programmer.


The Final Call, official newspaper of Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, has an editorial staff of 22 people, of which 17 have the last name “Muhammad.” Three have the last name “X,” not counting a production assistant whose last name is “6X.”


America’s No. 1 source of imported oil is Canada (more than all the nations of the Persian Gulf combined).


The New York Giants won the Super Bowl.


The number of megachurches—defined by the Hartford Institute for Religion Research as a minimum of 2,000 people at each of its worship services—doubled between 2000 and 2005, from 600 to 1,250, and their average size increased by 57 percent.


"Arson, property destruction, burglary and theft are acceptable crimes when used for the animal cause."
      — Alex Pacheco, Director, PETA


Between April and July 1958, the Wham-O company sold 25 million Hula Hoops.


In Bhutan, the most common symbol–used to decorate almost every house, public square and building entrance–is a giant penis spurting semen.


The average woman applies 175 compounds to her skin and hair, amounting to four and a half pounds of chemicals, and ingests the equivalent of five lipsticks per year.


Out of 29 of the most developed countries in the world, students in the United States rank 24th in math, 18th in science, and 15th in reading.


At the Parker Meridien Hotel in midtown Manhattan, ten people have ordered the $1000 omelet, which consists of eggs, lobster, Yukon Gold potatoes and Iranian Sevruga caviar.


Miuccia Prada, the Italian designer, introduced blouses for men that button in the back, in order to “turn masculinity inside out.” As this picture attests, she succeeded splendidly.

blouse for men


Kathleen Casey-Kirschling, born at 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 1946, became, two weeks ago, the first Baby Boomer to file for Social Security benefits. Only 80 million more boomers to go.


Mercer U quote

Photo taken at Mercer University, Macon, Ga.



"The life of an ant and that of my child should be granted equal consideration."
      — Michael W. Fox, Vice President, Humane Society of the United States


“Confessions of a Mormon Boy,” the Off-Broadway play based on the life of a super-Mormon who was not always using his sacred undergarments in the proper way, has been booked into a theater in Salt Lake City—for the fourth time.

Confessions of a Mormon Boy


This is an actual sentence from a real book: “The turban is thus always in the state of becoming, the becoming of a turbaned body. In all its multiple singularities it has become a perverse fetish object—a point of fixation—a kind of centripetal force, a strange attractor through which the density of anxiety accrues and accumulates.”
    —Jasbir K. Puar, Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University, in Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times


The new Don Imus live radio show on WABC in New York is not really live—it has a 21-second time delay, which is enough time to say “nappy-headed ho’s” 14 times if you don’t get bogged down.


The Spice Girls, starting a new tour, have given birth to seven children since the last tour.


Due to rampant inflation, Zimbabwe took all $200,000 bills out of circulation because they’re currently worth about 12 U.S. cents. A year ago the central Zimbabwean bank had already removed three zeros from all denominations, so the current $200,000 bill was actually a $200,000,000 bill.


Neil Sedaka has sold 60 million records.


There are 2.8 million new cases of chlamydia in the U.S. each year.


Marcus Setchell, who oversees a staff of four, is the United Kingdom's official Surgeon Gynaecologist to the Queen.


A 17-room penthouse apartment on Fifth Avenue in New York sold for $46 million to hedge-fund manager Scott Bommer and his wife Donya, formerly the anchorwoman for Good Day Philadelphia. The seller was ... a poet! Georgia Shreve told the New York Observer she was happy to sell "at a good price" even though she felt a twinge because "my kids grew up here." Nothing she said rhymed.


Simon Fuller, of American Idol fame, paid $19,360,752.34 for two ninth-floor condos in New York’s Plaza Hotel. Why he needs two apartments–in addition to his houses in London, Los Angeles and the south of France–was not explained, but he paid cash, so we’re picturing him fishing that last 34 cents out of his pants pocket.


"If it wasn't for beauty pageants, I wouldn't be where I am today."

     —Shannon Moakler, former Miss USA, explaining how she came to be a judge on Crowned, a new reality show featuring 11 mother/daughter teams competing for matching tiaras and a $100,000 jackpot


In 2000 artist Eduardo Kac commissioned a French laboratory to insert the gene of a glowing neon-colored jellyfish into the zygote of a bunny rabbit. After several trials, a bioluminescent rabbit named Alba was born, glowing green under a blue light.


“I didn’t like the way my own butt looked in white pants. I went shopping for body-shapers at the age of 27, and I was completely horrified by what was out there.”

Sara Blakely, Atlanta-based designer, explaining her inspiration for Spanx, the most popular women’s “power panties,“ recently endorsed by Oprah


There are 2.8 million new cases of chlamydia in the U.S. each year.


In the 1950s, about 200,000 women in the world wore haute couture clothing, meaning dresses created especially for them by individual designers. Today the number of women wearing haute couture is 200.


About 200 “celebrity scents”—perfumes endorsed by celebrities—are released each year. Their average lifespan in the marketplace is 12 months. In the book Deluxe by Dana Thomas, a French perfume-maker describes how these scents are produced by the various luxury houses: “Basically, it’s: ‘We want something for women . . . It should make them feel more feminine, but strong, and competent, but not too much, and it should work well in Europe and the US and especially in the Asian market, and it should be new but it should be classic, and young women should love it, but older women should love it too. If it’s a French house, the brief will also say, ‘And it should be a great and uncompromised work of art,’ and if it’s an American brief it will say: ‘And it should smell like that Armani thing two years ago that did four million dollars in the first two months in Europe but also like the Givenchy that sold so well in China.’”


“I buy jeans that are tight in the rear end. I treat my cheeks like breasts in a push-up bra. I’m not kidding. I just reach down in there, lift them up and push them together. And they’ll stay put if the jeans are tight enough in the seat.”

Kelly Ripa, interviewed
by Fitness magazine


A limited edition photography book of the life’s work of porn star Vanessa Del Rio retails for $400 and weighs 12 pounds.


In 2005 the wealth of the Walton family of Bentonville, Arkansas, was estimated at $90 billion, equal to the wealth of the 120 million people who make up the bottom 40 percent of the American population.


Robert Rodriguez wants to film a $100 million remake of Barbarella, the 1968 outer-space sex film directed by Roger Vadim and starring Vadim’s wife at the time, Jane Fonda. For the remake, Rodriguez wants to use his wife, Rose McGowan, as the seductive Queen of the Galaxy.


The salary of Alex Rodriguez, expected to re-sign with the New York Yankees this week, will be the same as the annual budget of the Peace Corps: $275 million.


“One million dollars is the new 10 grand.”

Andrew Fabricant, New York art dealer, commenting to The New York Times after 16 record prices were set for art works at Christie’s auction house.


“I arrived just in time for the annual Fourth of July Patriotic Celebration at the 7,000-member Central Christian Church [in Wichita], where Independence Day is second only to Christmas. Thousands of people drove back to the church Sunday evening for a pageant of prayers, songs, a flag ceremony and an American history quiz pitting kids against their parents. ‘In God We Still Trust’ was the theme of the event. ‘You place your hand on this Bible when you swear to tell the truth,’ two men sang in the opening anthem. ‘There’s no separation; we’re one nation under Him.’

‘There are those among us who want to push Him out,
And erase His name from everything this country’s all about.
From the schoolhouse to the courthouse, they are silencing His word,
Now it’s time for all believers to make our voices heard.’

Later, as a choir in stars-and-stripes neckties and scarves belted out ‘Stars and Stripes Forever,’ a cluster of men in olive military fatigues took the stage carrying a flag. They lifted the pole to a 45-degree angle and froze in place around it: a re-enactment of the famous photograph of the American triumph at Iwo Jima. The narrator of a preceding video montage had already set the stage by comparing the Iwo Jima flag raising to another long-ago turning point in a ‘fierce battle for the hearts of men’—the day 2,000 years ago when ‘a heavy cross was lifted up on top of the mount called Golgotha.’

A battle flag as the crucifixion: the church rose to a standing ovation.”

David D. Kirkpatrick, writing in The New York Times Magazine


Models For Christ, founded in 1982, has 1,000 members who meet in New York, Los Angeles and Miami, where the runways are. The New York branch recently renamed itself Paradox, to allow for all the photographers, agents and designers who wanted in as well.


"I am not happy when people ask me, 'How is the situation for Christians?' Those who kill don't kill only Christians. They kill Muslims as well – the situation is the same for both."

Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, head of the Chaldean
Church, Baghdad, quoted in The New York Times


Tonight on Fox: The Liar, The Witch and the Wardrobe, two-hour made-for-cable movie culled from the televangelism files of Senator Grassley.


"Success Is a Process! You can remember that, it's only three words!"

Robert Schuller, speaking at the Get Motivated! Seminar
in Washington, D.C., as quoted in the National Review


In a three-square-block area of New York City – between 56th and 59th Streets, and between Madison and Park Avenues – the average household income is $577,170, an increase of 700 percent since 1980.


"They're still buying up the houses above $15 million [here in the Hamptons area of New York], but there aren't thousands of those coming in... The common man, the man who can only afford a house under $5 million, isn't really buying."

  —Steven Gaines, author, quoted in The New York Observer


"The Iraq war has been an amazing success. There were WMD, and they were shipped to Syria... This picture of a country in total chaos with no security is false. It has been a triumph. It couldn't have gone better."

  —Norman Podhoretz, former editor of
Commentary, quoted in The New Republic