Downright surreal. this Worth1000 contest -- photoshopped goofy images of Saddam, done up as Rita Hayworth, next imagined as a porn star, then dressed in Billy Idol drag -- is evidently being used by the US military in Iraq:
"Zsa Zsa Saddam" is one of a series spoof images of the ousted Iraqi dictator that are due to be posted on walls and billboards around his former stronghold of Tikrit by troops of the 4th Infantry Division's 1st Battalion 22nd Armoured Regiment. The idea is both to boost the morale of U.S. soldiers, ridicule the deposed leader and, also, help identify those who are still loyal to Saddam. "The bad guys are going to be upset," Lieutenant-Colonel Steve Russell told Reuters. "Which will just make it easier for us to know who they are." Sergeant David Cade, a psychological operations specialist, added: "It's mostly good for troop morale, but if we can put these posters up in Tikrit and the enemy can't take them down, then at least it shows who owns the streets."
While Russell insists that most local people "will love 'em and be laughing," there are nonetheless concerns that, far from aiding the American cause, the images will only serve to increase anti-American feeling among ordinary Iraqis. The Billy Idol Saddam, for instance, is portrayed with a gold crucifix around his neck, someything that could well cause offense in a Muslim country such as Iraq. Likewise images of scantily clad women. "I think this type of activity by U.S. forces will only further anger the Muslim population of Iraq," Inayat Bunglawala, a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Great Britain, told CNN. "This clear flaunting of Islamic Law by displaying pictures of scantily clad women will only add fuel to sentiments that the U.S. is trying to undermine Muslim culture in Iraq. It risks alienating the actual population."
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Neglected public payphones in New York City are being turned into “GuyFi” stations: a place where one can rub one out for the sake of “stress relief.” Annalee Newitz reports on the wank booths from a company named “Hot Octopus”… The company reported that at least 100 men used the booth on its opening day […]
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
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