Kochie's sorry if you were insulted by his horror at your disgusting bodies, ladies - 10 Things
Who's saying what
Poor, poor Kochie. Why does he have to be attacked by you damn women just because he suggested that you're a disgusting bag of horrible lady-fluids when you feed your child in public? Yes, the well-known feminist and public intellectual David Koch has hit back at suggestions that he insulted women yesterday on national television by asking them to put their dirty pillows away lest he and men generally be terrified by the hideous sight of an infant being breastfed - but you can stop burning your bras, femihitlers, because he's issued a public semi-apology, in that he's sorry that you were offended (although obviously not sorry about what he actually said, mind, because we all know that boobs are yucky when they're not being hoisted out for sexy reasons). "I have an opinion," he plaintively opined in a opinion piece about his opinion in the Fairfax press, "always have and always will. It may not be an opinion you agree with, but that is OK. It is a democracy and I am happy to hear yours" - because ultimately this is a free speech issue, and you're trampling all over his right to free speech with your crazy suggestion that he's a bit of a creepy idiot. "With three hours of live television every day, you cannot pretend to be something you are not… So you have to be honest and, unfortunately, that is often not politically correct." Thank you, David Koch, for explaining to ladies that their hideous temerity to feed their offspring is offensive, and that disagreeing with men about this is basically an act of fascism. You're the Rosa Parks of boobs.
Well, the US has a President again: Obama was sworn in yesterday for his second term in an inauguration that didn't have quite the everything-will-be-alright-forever zing of his first: a mere 750,000-odd people turned up this time around (mind you, normally the inauguration's on a Sunday - this time it was Monday so as not to fall on Martin Luther King Day), Obama made another adorable little flub of his oath and his daughter Sasha let a huge yawn rip, both of which have been turned into animated gifs that will populate right wing message boards for years to come ("Why is the President's daughter so bored with democracy? Is it because SHE'S A TERRORIST? I have no proof, I'm just asking the question!"). The President delivered a typically rousing speech calling on lawmakers to ensure the future of America, which he will no doubt laugh ruefully about once debates over the US debt ceiling begin again shortly. But if you have any doubt over how much stress he's been under, watch this time lapse video by artist Jeremy Tubbs showing the effects of five years of Washinton politics on the guy. Man, we're guessing that there's a portrait in his attic that's just getting younger by the day.
And look, if you're putting on a gig to celebrate the inauguration, maybe don't hire someone who's been fairly outspoken about how they don't care for the president? Promoters HyperVocal, EventFarm, and Fighter Interactive sent security to escort Lupe Fiasco off stage when the rapper decided not to perform his set but just keep repeating the one verse from his song 'Words I Never Said': “Limbaugh is a racist, Glenn Beck is a racist / Gaza Strip was getting bombed, Obama didn't say shit / That’s why I ain't vote for him, next one either”. After nearly half an hour of the one verse, he was taken off stage. The organisers have insisted it's not because they oppose freedom of speech, but because it was a shit performance - and heck, they make a solid argument.
Relations between China and Japan remain tense over an uninhabited island chain in the East China Sea. China still lay claim to what they call Diaoyu, despite Japan having bought what they call Senkaku from private owners last year. Both countries are laying on military forces in the region, with Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei telling US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton that she could just butt the hell out following her statement that the US - while not getting into any name calling over who owns what lumps of rock in what cold and unforgiving sea - vehemently oppose "any unilateral actions that would seek to undermine Japanese administration". Lei released a statement declaring that Clinton's statement was "ignorant of facts and indiscriminate of rights and wrongs", and that she had a "big dumb face" and "smelled like a stupid poo."
It's OK, everyone: finally, Bono is now a species of spider. Regular readers of 10 Things will doubtless remember that the greatest honour that can be given to a musician is to give their name to a spider and now the U2 frontman can enjoy the same creepy, eight-legged benefits as Megadeth's Dave Mustaine via the newly discovered A. Bonoi. The creature was named after Bono because it was found in the Joshua Tree National Park, and not - sadly - because of Bono's musical contributions to legendary flop theatre musical Spider-man: Turn off the Dark, but we're going to assume that it's because of the latter, obviously, because it's a lot funnier. A LOT funnier.
Australia, you're leading the world again - in, um, unaffordability of housing! Yep, the new Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey has concluded that people wanting to own houses in Australia are basically screwed, much as everyone's been saying for years. Australia has two cities in the top seven: Sydney's the third least affordable city on the planet (after Vancouver and, at #1, Hong Kong), with Melbourne at #7 (beaten by London, San Franscisco and San Jose). But don't stop believing, fellow renters: we may never own a roof over our head, but we can still hope to die yoked to crippling debt. Hey, we might all get cancer or something!
Things aren't going well in Algeria, incidentally: it appears that there are 37 confirmed dead foreign hostages after 790 workers at gas plant a few hundred kilometres outside of Algiers were captured by a band of armed militants, with no confirmed tally of the total deaths. The estimates are based on information that's been released to foreign embassies thus far - among the dead are nationals from Japan, the US, the Phillipines and the UK - after four days of intense fighting, with Algerian forces criticised for their heavy handed approach to negotiations with the militants, which included firing missiles at them from helicopters, which isn't ideal when you have hundreds of hostages in the facility.
Meanwhile in Mali French military are saying that local African forces must take the lead in the attempt to defeat the Islamist rebel forces that currently control about two thirds of the country, which isn't the most confidence-enhancing thing one's military ally can say. The rebel advance has been halted, but even so: maybe wait until the civil war's died down a bit before suggesting that the locals can handle things while you maybe pop out for a little while, France.
Planning on taking a sickie on Friday? Of course you are, because it's a long weekend and you're not an idiot. However, the chief executive of the NSW Business Chamber, Stephen Cartwright, is totally onto you and suggests that you should have taken extra leave while you could and stop costing Australia in lost productivity that will… something. To be honest, we're not entirely sure how they calculated a cost of $36 million by a few people skiving off, but even so: just for the record, we've totally got a tickle in our throat and feeling a bit peaky - should be fine, obviously, but does feel like maybe we're coming down with something…
And finally, here's a little Tuesday pick me up from New Scientist: two squid humping. Enjoy!