News & Politics

NetNomad 57

Five offbeat, timely reviews of Web sites on the arts, politics and news -- with a dash of the absurd thrown in for good measure. This week: Bozo Criminal of the Day ... This is News? ... Whassup? Language Program ... Tin Can Man ... Sam Shepard
Bozo Criminal of the Day

Each day Dave Moreland reports on the Bozo criminal of the day and they are simply terrific tales of blissfully inept criminals. You'll find a would-be robber who, lacking a gun, uses a toilet plunger hidden under his coat; of course it looked like he had a toilet plunger under his coat. Or how about the Bozo from Brazil who robbed a busload of passengers of $800, only to just off the bus into the helpful hands of some 140 police officers.

This is News?

Have you ever woken up of the morning only to discover that you had entered a new century? That's exactly what happened to Bill Williams, an accountant with H&R Bloc in Lawrence, KS. Bill woke up and said to himself: 'Whoa! I'm in the 21st Century." It was no wonder Bill was confused, of course, because we don't have flying cars. But Bill is not taking the new century lying down; from now on Bill is going to start calling his car a spacecar! Read this and many other very funny non-news stories at This is News?

Whassup? Language Program

We really do hate to give any more free press for this lame commercial than it has already received but this site is just too funny to pass up. You can view the Wassup commercial here, but the real charm is the site's ability to teach you how to say Wassup in a variety of languages. Yes, you can hear it said in Spanish, German, Hungarian, Russian, Polish, Chinese, Maori, Peruvian, Inuit and even Scottish. If you find one you can't live without you can even download it to your computer.

Tin Can Man

When we say that the artist David Wasserman made metal art using pop cans you probably imagine something akin to Elvis on black velvet. Oddly enough, Wasserman's work is as lifelike as any painting might be. Wasserman, who died in 1999, used colored pop cans as his pigment. So when he needed an orange for the tiger in his "Circus Poster," he cut out many dozens of cans of Pathmark Orange Soda, vowing in the end never to drink that pop again for obvious reasons.

Sam Shepard

He is a playwright, an author of essays, has written a song with Bob Dylan and appeared in a dozen movies. Not your normal resume for an artsy playwright. But Shepard is far from "normal." There is nothing flashy at this site but the essays provide a fascinating look at the man and the writer, including reviews of his most recent works, his work with singer Patti Smith and his involvement with Dylan's Rolling Thunder Review.
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